It's a few days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training at Legends Field in Tampa, and it's also time for all of our Yankee bloggers at Blogs by Fans to get ourselves in shape for the upcoming season.
Because we're a New York-centric network, we've got 4 bloggers covering the Yankees, and because the Mets are a second-rate organization, our Mets blogger has yet to pop his cherry, but that's neither here nor there. The important thing is that we've got 4 Yanks bloggers, all with different outlooks and opinions, and we're going to hear from all of them.
I'm going to kick off the discussion with a couple of questions for the band-wagon Heat fan, Brandon. The only team he follows with any consistency is the Yanks, and he's our resident Bernie/Mussina-hater. In fact, I'm not sure he likes any Yankees now that Tino Martinez is gone, but I digress.
1. Out of Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Pavano, Igawa, and let's throw Philip Hughes in there just for kicks, who will Torre start on opening day? Who would you start on opening day? Take it a step further, give me the full rotation coming out of spring training 1-5, your version and Torre's version.
2. OK, that first one was a softball, here's one you're going to have to think about: The only players left from the Yanks dynasty years are Jeter, Mo, Posada and now Pettitte (sort of), besides those guys, who on this team has the same kind of fire that propelled the Yanks to those rings? Who has the the intestinal fortitude to come up with the big hit in the playoffs? Do any of them? And who brings the toughness to this team that's needed when their backs are against the wall? I think, beyond everything else, that's what's been missing from this team. Seeing Paul O'Neill freak out when made an out had to scare the other players on those teams and make them afraid to fail. Does watching guys laugh it off or shake their heads, talk to their shrinks and cash their checks have the opposite effect?
3. OK, I'll give you a fun exercise to end this, write a two sentence eulogy for Bernie Williams' Yankee career.
Again, check Behind-The-Back Sports for part 2 of the round table.