New York Yankees Should be 22-10, 3 Division Poll Results, and Gerrit Cole

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole
Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws during a bullpen session as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees should be well ahead in the AL East

The New York Yankees, as of today, would have played 32 games during the regular season, had it not been for the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.  By this time, the Yankees would have played games against the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Athletics, Rangers, Reds, the Tigers, and the Indians.  Considering that nearly half of all games played would have been between the Yankees and the two worst teams in the AL, Detroit, and Baltimore, the Yankees should be well ahead in the East.

With no date for the start of the regular season yet announced, MLB will have a challenge to get in a season of 100 games unless they extend the season into October. The coronavirus and health officials have the upper hand in when a season can begin.  At present, it looks as if some type of resumed spring training will start late this month or in June with a hopeful start of the regular season near July 1.

Sometime this month, MLB will have to make decisions on when the season will start and where the games will be played.  The “Arizona plan” would have all 30 teams play all games in Arizona.  There is another plan that would start games in the traditional spring training locations, and still a third plan that would begin games in empty home field parks.  There are also two plans to realign the divisions; the first one made no sense at all.  The latest plan calls for three divisions, East, Central, and West, to cut down on air travel and to get in as many games as possible.

What do New York Yankees fans think about new divisions?

Earlier this week, MLB announced a plan to realign divisions to get in as many games as possible and to reduce air travel. The unveiled plan would have all east coast teams regardless of league play all games between each other.  No more cross country travel.  All central teams would be pitted together, and west coast teams include the two Texas teams would face each other.

In the East, the New York Yankees would play more games against their crosstown rival New York Mets.  They would also face the Jays, Phillies, Pirates, Orioles, Red Sox, Nationals, Rays, and Marlins.  Central League for the teams in the center of the country, and a Western League that would encompass the West Coast teams and the two Texas teams would round out the three divisions.  No plan for the postseason was laid out.

Yesterday on Facebook, I conducted a poll on the new plan.  I suggested that if the realignment plan worked out well and teams, players and fans alike, liked the new divisions, would you be in favor of making the change permanent?  Here are the results of the poll that was conducted in five Facebook Yankee fan groups consisting of over 50k members.

  1. I hate the plan – 38%   2. I like the idea 31%  3. I am undecided -  29% 4.  I think the season should be canceled and start anew in 2021- 2%.

I was somewhat surprised by the results of the poll.  I thought fans would be overwhelming against keeping the three divisions.  Those that hate the plan and like it are represented by just a 7% difference, although there were many that were undecided.   Whatever the case, fans do want to see baseball this year as only 2% thought the season should be canceled.  Several fans commenting on the poll, said they like the plan for this year but would not want to see it be made permanent.

Yankees have paid over $5 million for Cole not to pitch

The coronavirus has come at a wrong time for the New York Yankees.  Newly acquired pitching ace Gerrit Cole garnered a postseason deal worth $324 million over the next nine years.  If the regular season had started on time, Cole would have already pitched five games.  At just over a million per game, the delayed season is costing them big time.  Of course, the final deal between MLB and the players union will determine the pay for games not played.

In a very short sample, Cole did not impress in the shortened spring training.  In only nine innings, he was 0-0, but with an inflated ERA of 7.  To be fair, the high ERA is mostly due to him being hammered for 3 runs in just 2 innings pitched.   The nine innings was in four games started.  Meanwhile, Cole is at his newly purchased home in Greenwich, CT.  He has been staying in form pitching to his pregnant but very athletic wife Amy and to Yankee manager Aaron Boone who lives nearby.

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