This particular narrative is driving me crazy. The idea that the Yankees are copying the Royals:
"The Yankees are trying to navigate this difficult terrain: They want to position themselves to contend for a championship in 2015 without taking on onerous long-term contracts at a time when their roster is, at minimum, problematic.
This is why they are involved so deeply with Andrew Miller."
In his heyday with the Yankees, journeyman lefty reliever Mike Stanton appeared in 79 games in 2002. It's not quite the Yankee record. That would be Paul Quantrill with 86 appearances in 2004. It's not even the record for a Yankee lefty -- that's Boone Logan with 80 in 2012.
Remember when Sparky Lyle won the Cy Young Award? Me too.
Remember that year when Alan Embree pitched, like, 20 games in a row in anticipation of a playoff matchup with David Ortiz? The year was 2005 and here is the Torre Special Game Log.
What do all these workhorses have in common?
They pre-dated the 2014 Royals.
"The Royals showed last season that an indomitable late-game bullpen could be the key element in a team getting to the World Series. In conjunction with an elite defense, Kansas City used its powerhouse late-game trio of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera to cover up for blemishes, namely, a good but not championship rotation and a middle-of-the-road offense.
The strategy is to win a disproportionate amount of toss-up games due to the strength of the pen, hope that is enough to push toward 90 wins or more and — should you get into the playoffs — have a proven October formula for success by reducing games to six innings."
Sounds like the Royals are copying the Yankees ... and the Red Sox ... and the Larussa A's ... and lots of other teams over the years.