The New York Yankees‘ 2009 World Series championship season was a thing of beauty, nearly from beginning to end (well, from around mid-May to the finish line).
We wouldn’t change a thing about it.
But the seasons that followed? As the Yankees stare down the barrel of a 12-year gap between titles, those years could stand to change a bit, especially the 2010-2012 seasons where the team was still extremely close to glory.
Likely the biggest sliding doors moment of the non-dynasty came in 2010, when New York almost pulled the trigger on a season-saving move at the trade deadline, only to see the shoe end up on their opponent’s foot instead.
That summer, the Yankees tried to pry lefty Cliff Lee, who dominated them in a losing effort in the ’09 World Series, away from Seattle, a team that inexplicably traded for him without a real vision over the winter.
Philadelphia wanted Roy Halladay, and they got him. The Mariners gave up very little to get Lee (Tyson Gillies?!). It was all fairly strange. Needless to say, by the deadline, the M’s wanted out again and began to shop their prize lefty. The Yanks were obviously interested, and believed they had a deal … until one player’s medical reports and a bit of indecision siphoned Lee away to Texas instead.
That player? David Adams, who apparently Joe Girardi has forgiven. The current Phillies manager spent time this week eyeing Adams for the vacant Phils farm director post in a blast from the past we definitely didn’t know we needed — because we didn’t need it. Not today, not ever.
Joe Girardi brought another member of the Yankees family to a position of power in Philadelphia.
You know the ending of the Lee story — he destroyed the Yanks in the Bronx with eight two-hit innings (and 13 strikeouts!) in an 8-0 Game 3 win in the 2010 ALCS — but the muddy middle is certainly more frustrating.
To think, one man legitimately swung the AL postseason that year, and he went to Texas for Justin Smoak instead of the Bronx, in large part due to David Adams’ ankle. Brian Cashman was supposed to send Jesus Montero (!), Zach McAllister, and Adams to the northwest after pulling Eduardo Nuñez from the deal and replacing him with the new, problematic addition.
The deal was as good as done … until Seattle got nervous about Adams’ balky ankle. Come on. Come ON.
Adams eventually debuted in the Bronx and hit .193 in 140 at-bats during the ill-fated 2013 season, his only year in the bigs. Luckily, Girardi pivoted Tuesday evening and opted against the hire, putting him both out of sight and out of mind.
More importantly, he went with someone quite meaningful to Yankee fans of a certain age, instead of someone who helped torpedo the team’s most recent attempt at something dynastic.
Preston, son of Don, Mattingly is only 34 years old, but is extremely highly regarded throughout the game. He’s certainly made a name for himself in the scouting realm after struggling at the plate following a first-round selection by the Dodgers back in 2006.
Though you’d be hard-pressed to find many Yankee fans who care about the Phillies’ scouting department, you have to feel great for a member of the Bombers family here…while wiping your brow thinking about what almost came to pass.
Who do you think talked Girardi out of it? The Mariners GM from 2010?