Sunday, February 08, 2015

The 2015 Spring Training vibe reminds Bill Madden of the 1992 Spring Training vibe.

I know he is basing his entire analysis on Mets-vs.-Yankees, but I'd still like to point out that Bill Madden has zero recollection of the Spring Training vibes from 1992:

"There’s going to be a strange vibe emanating out of Port St. Lucie this spring, making it seem almost like ... well ... Tampa. Indeed, you have to go all the way back to 1992 — when Buck Showalter was embarking on his maiden season as Yankee manager following the team’s 91-loss finish under Stump Merrill the year before, and after Met GM Al Harazin’s spectacular offseason overhaul, bringing in Bobby Bonilla, Bret Saberhagen and Eddie Murray along with a popular new manager in Jeff Torborg — that expectations for the coming season were higher in the Mets’ camp than in Yankeeland."

"Yankees are better than the Mets" has pretty much been the major baseball theme of the Daily News for at least 15 years.

In fact, I would go back to 2014, one whole year ago. I could probably verify this by reading the Daily News sports section from one year ago, and quite possibly by reading Bill Madden's take one year ago. Sandy Alderson and 90 wins and whatnot ... Robinson Cano's departure ... Mets sign Granderson!

(Madden's actual 2014 predictions were Yankees 89 wins and Mets 82 wins ... and Tampa storming to the top of the AL East.)

The Daily News is essentially always predicting Yankee doom and gloom. Eventually, they are going to be correct. Madden should be honest enough to own his past predictions.

"Now here we are, all these years later, and the Yankees are coming off their second straight season of missing the playoffs and their lowest full-season win total (84) since ... 1992. At the same time, the Mets are coming off their fifth straight losing season, but there is optimism aplenty among the Flushing faithful because of the bumper crop of homegrown players all coming into their own — at the same time the longtime failures of the Mark Newman-run Yankee player development system have forced GM Brian Cashman to make some controversial trades in an effort to address the team’s urgent needs at shortstop and in the rotation."

See, I don't even disagree with that. I think it's quite possible the mediocre Mets will be better than the ... medicore-er ... Yankees.

Mets win 80, Yankees win 78.

But that's a pointless distinction between two bad teams ... and I'll be the first to admit my pre-season predictions are often way off.

Even so, this conclusion isn't enhanced in any way by referencing the long-forgotten 1992 season.

"As long as Derek Jeter was on the scene, there were always going to be high expectations for the Yankees. But now that the Captain is gone, so, too, is that aura of October inevitability."

The aura of October inevitability, as illustrated by the Yankees coming off their second straight season of missing the playoffs.

What kind of brain-dead fanboy thought the presence of Dererk Jeter gave the Yankees an aura of October inevitability?

When is the last time Jeter was the best player on the team or playing at an all-star level?

"Still, just as the big additions made by the Nationals and Marlins may temper the high expectations for the Mets, by contrast the lower expectations for the Yankees should probably be weighed against the vulnerabilities of the rest of the AL East teams."

That would sound like first-level basic analysis of how many games a team is going to win.  It would be super duper cool if you had a public forum in a New York newspaper where that analysis could be performed.

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