(Exhibit A. Courtesy of The NY Daily News)
Injuries. Nothing can kill a team's chances for success faster than injuries. Every year you know going in what players are going to perform well, what ones aren't, and you can reasonably anticipate a handful of players having better seasons than usual and a handful having worse. What no manager ever knows is how injuries are going to affect his team, when they're going to strike, and how long they're going to last. The Yankees, to a certain extent, bucked that trend in 2013 by heading into the season with a well-known collection of injuries: Jeter's ankle, A-Rod's hip, CC's elbow, Mo's knee. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
In my "Walking Wounded" preview post in March, I pointed out that "the Yankees' main backup options for their injured regulars are injury risks in their own right" and said, "If the Yankees are going to be a player in the postseason race in 2013, they're going to have to find a way to overcome these injury hurdles." They never did and more than anything that could be the reason they finally fell out of the postseason race in late September.