Going into 2013, the Yankees look this way. They have a third baseman who is injured
again and won’t be able to hit in the clutch when he returns. His replacement is another
baseball nomad who is overpaid and overrated and had his day five years ago for a
bitter rival. There is no productive catcher. The pitching is a question mark. The team
is old and slow and lacks speed. The team lacks depth on the bench. They are one

Sound familiar? 2013 will be a lot like 2012 in the Bronx.

Things will be exciting at times, sure. The Yankees will hit a lot of home runs. They
have stars. Derek Jeter will get more hits in his quest for 4,000 career. CC Sabathia will
save the day a few times and the now-Core 3 will try and put together one more magical
run. The Yankees and Mets will play silly Subway Series games that the media and fans
go bonkers for. The Red Sox will come in for the usual rivalry games. And Joe Girardi
will be on the hot seat for some reason or another.

But let’s look at this seriously. The Yankees don’t have the horses or the pieces or the
anything to win a championship. And that is what it’s about in New York. Division
titles are sweet. Pennants are sweeter. World Series titles are the sweetest.

The Yankees didn’t have a good off-season. They signed Kevin Youkilis to replace A-
Rod. Youk is what the Yanks already are: slow, old, overrated and overpaid. There is no
room for one more. The Ichiro one-year deal makes sense but Ichiro brings a different
dynamic than most players the last 20 years so he almost doesn’t count (and he is getting
up there in age). Andy Pettitte is back for more staredowns from the mound, but another
injury and comeback and soap opera are sure to follow. Ivan Nova seems to have
regressed and Phil Hughes is the ultimate enigma. There was no addition to the bullpen
that lost Rafael Soriano. The catcher spot? Good luck.

This team is good enough to win the division. Or good enough to claim the Wild Card
spot or the handout Wild Card spot. But there is no reason to believe this team is any
different than last year.

The only way that happens is if New York learns how to hit with two outs or Curtis
Granderson can hit the ball the other way or if Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes attack and
finish hitters. Or if they magically develop a farm system player (GULP) and he instantly
makes something happen in the rotation or if Michael Pineda comes back and throws
lightning and makes Brian Cashman look somewhat smart for trading the best prospect
in the organization (Jesus Montero) for an average number two pitcher. Or if the average
age gets a little younger than 36.5.

Until then, 2013 is going to look a lot like 2012.