In a few days, we’ll turn the page on 2018. It was a great year for the Yankees, who somehow won 100 games despite significant time missed by Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and nearly every other key player. It was also a successful year for Pinstripe Alley. We love our staff, and altogether we wrote roughly 2,500 stories for you. Now is the time for reflecting on 2018, so I asked all current PSA staff members to send me their favorite story of the year. I’ve compiled them below. Let’s take a trip down memory lane!
Last month, we ran a home run series with the idea of dispelling some of the common narratives about the Yankees — namely that the Bombers hit too many home runs. Along with that came the notion that rookies Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres forgot everything else and started swinging for the fences during every big league at-bat. They may have hit more home runs than expected, but they were actually pretty consistent at the plate.
Early in the season, I had the opportunity to interview prospect Garrett Whitlock after he got off to a terrific start with the RiverDogs. After an impressive year, MLB.com even moved him up to the number ten spot on the Yankees’ top 30 prospects list. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on in 2019.
Jake mused about whether the “World Series or bust” mentality would re-awaken for the Yankees in 2018. Ultimately, he decided that it would be foolish for the Bombers to use that as the only barometer of their success. It’s far better to assemble a team that stays in contention for years to come.
All of Matt’s interests came together in this piece. He assigned France to Gleyber Torres. The only thing that would have made this better would have been Torres winning Rookie of the Year.
Josh wrote about the economic problems facing baseball today, the labor fight, and the Yankees’ place in it all.
It was a rough year for Gary Sanchez, and he received a lot of negative attention. Ryan pointed out that the early part of his career shares a lot of similarities with eventual fan favorite Jorge Posada. He struggled defensively early in his tenure, too, and it took him several years to get it together at the plate. Hopefully we’ll see Sanchez bounce back in 2019.
Yankees fans taking issue with Sanchez’s apparent lack of hustle, the Josh Hader tweets, and various other MLB happenings prompted Greg to write about the illusion of baseball.
Former Yankee Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a diuretic. Kunj shared why he still loves Cano.
PSA readers probably don’t know this, but for the last two years, Josh has kept a spreadsheet tracking every game, which staff member recapped it, and their win-loss record. To say that we are a superstitious bunch would be an understatement. When the playoffs come around, the staff members with the best records take over the game recaps. Tom had a good year, so we put the Wild Card game in his hands.
It was a good recapping year for Pavich, too! (I had the worst record—thank you, Sonny Gray.) Remember when David Price was bad, Gary Sanchez was scary, and the Yankees left Boston with the ALDS tied up? It was fun while it lasted.
The Yankees struggled with RISP all year, and that problem was clearly on display during the ALDS too. Kento explains why you can’t blame their reliance on analytics for all their troubles.
It has been years since the Yankees signed an ace pitcher, and they sat back and watched Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, and David Price sign elsewhere. Unfortunately, their starting pitching is one of the many things that failed them in the ALDS. There weren’t any aces available on the market this winter, either.
One ace has been rumored to be available via trade, though. Cleveland has made it clear that they’re willing to trade Corey Kluber, and Brock wrote that the Yankees should absolutely take Kipnis on if that’s the only way to make the deal happen.
Brian Cashman was visited by three ghosts at the Winter Meetings a few weeks ago. They warned him against being so frugal. We’ll have to wait and see if it worked!
Thanks to the PSA staff for another great year, and a big thanks to you, the readers, for sticking with us day-in and day-out. We may not all get along or agree all the time, but that’s part of the fun. We couldn’t do it without you. Looking forward to a great Yankees season in 2019!