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Don't make Yankees World Series plans just yet

Three reasons the ticker tape parade should be put on hold.

Published February 22, 2004

- Sure, they added the best player in the game in Alex Rodriguez. But he didn't exactly replace Bobby Smith. A-Rod is obviously more productive than Alfonso Soriano, but not by as much as you might think, especially when you take him out of the hitter-friendly Texas ballpark. On the road the past two seasons, A-Rod hit .279 with 44 homers and scored 108 runs. Soriano hit .311 with 45 homers and scored 133 runs.

- A-Rod is really good, but he can't pitch. In losing Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and David Wells, the Yankees lost 53 wins and 633 innings. The five members of their current rotation (Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez, Jon Lieber and Jose Contreras) combined last season for 51 wins and 7271/3 innings.

- All the news won't be good. The New York media is rather, um, thorough, with heated competition to break stories. There's a good chance for some potentially distracting controversies. Like rumors about Joe Torre's job if they lose three in a row. Or if Gary Sheffield's name is further dragged into the steroid mess. Or if Brown throws more fits than pitches. Or if both Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams decide they need to DH. Or if (when) Brown, Lieber and/or Contreras break down. Or - here's the big one - when A-Rod fills in for Jeter at short and has a big game.

[Last modified February 22, 2004, 01:45:26]

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