If the Yankees fall flat on their faces this year, and finish in 3rd place, it should not be taken as evidence that Brian Cashman's new, youth-oriented, build-from-within plan is failing. To the contrary, the team the Yankees field now is the result of too many years of signing older players and trading solid prospects.
Old teams get injured. No matter how much Joe Torre wishes that "this is one of those freak things," the lengthening disabled list is a byproduct of poor design. And the lack of quality replacements for the crippled masses is proof the Yankees have been mismanaging their budget.
The moves Brian Cashman has made since he regained control of the organization were steps in the right direction. The Yankees need to get younger, keep their minor league talent, and learn to leverage their wealth in smarter, more advantageous ways.
Unfortunately, Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, Kyle Farnsworth and others are still under contract, and the franchise's broad shoulders are bending under their combined heft.
There's still enough talent on this team to overcome a ton of injuries and bad luck, but if the worst case scenario happens, and the Yankees do miss the playoffs, level heads need to prevail. the new course must be stayed. The price we pay now was writ years and years ago.