Fan vs Fan

Monday, October 17, 2011

Not So Different, 2011-12 Flyers and 2009 Yankees

Last week, I did the similarities between the Flyers and Maple Leafs, this week, I started noticing some parallels between the current Flyers and the New York Yankees of 2009.

In 2008, a long term core of Yankees disappointed many by flat out missing the playoffs.

In 2011, a long term core of Flyers disappointed many by going down without a fight in the playoffs (round 2)

After this meltdown, fans of both teams wanted the coach/manager to be fired. (I had posts on my facebook wall and tweets regarding Lavi, Yankees ALWAYS want to fire the manager when the team loses)

Both teams blew up several positions in the ensuing offseason that showed a change in team philosophy:

The Yankees: instead of signing big bats and offense, went out and grabbed 2 starting pitchers at insane contracts pushing their young pitchers (Hughes, Chamberlain) back in the rotation/to the bullpen.

The Flyers: traded some top offensive players (Carter and Richards) to free up cap space to sign a starting goaltender (Ilya Bryzgalov) to an insane contract pushing a young up and coming goalie (BOB) to the pine.

Both teams saw a star player who was formerly a top offensive player begin to take a back seat

The Yankees: Alex Rodriguez began to see less time at 3B and more time as a DH while Eric Hinske was acquired to come off the bench and take his place more and more

The Flyers: Scott Hartnell's ice time dropped in favor of the newly acquired Wayne Simmonds.

Both teams acquired a player via trade with a solid classy personality

The Yankees: Put Nick Swisher in RF

The Flyers: Put Wayne Simmonds on the 2nd line

Both teams found a solid rookie who would turn into something that was somewhat overhyped given his actual role.

The Yankees: Francisco Cervelli (Catcher) came up from AAA to his over .300 while filling in for an injured Jorge Posada. He eventually gave the reigns back to Posada but some of his solid hitting helped the 09 Yankees to the World Series.

The Flyers: Matt Read, an undrafted UFA out of Bemidji State University, came out of nowhere during camp to wow everyone with a lot of talent before earning a spot in the Top 9 on opening night. He's seen some top 6 minutes, but will probably see most time on the 3rd line moving forward.

Both teams parted ways with long term high profile players who may or may not have had drug problems and had frequent leg injuries

The Yankees: Jason Giambi, his drug of choice was steroids and HGH, though if you read his actual comments, he only apologized for being a distraction for issues in his personal life, never did he explicitly admit to drug use.

The Flyers: Parted ways with Dry Islanders Jeff Carter and Mike Richards who have been accused of everything from excessive drinking to using cocaine.  

 Giambi and Carter: Both are also known for knee/leg problems, Giambi battled knee problems during his last 3-4 years with the Yankees as well as a foot injury, Carter broke both feet and sprained his MCL in his last 2 years with the Flyers.

Both teams always operate over the Salary "cap" of their respective sport.

The Yankees: Pay a luxury tax

The Flyers: exploit LTIR loopholes.

Both Teams have rabid fanbases, New York and Philadelphia are tough cities to play in.

Both Teams have a GM who is essentially a life time member of the organization.

The Yankees: Brian Cashman started as an intern with the Yankees while he was in college. He stuck with the organization before becoming GM.

The Flyers: Paul Holmgren played for the Cup WInning bullies, he then became an Asst. GM and finally GM in 2006. (yes I know he coached in Hartford too)

Both teams have a player who has a narrative history of being clutch despite the fact that standard mathematical evidence proves a major flaw to their game.

The Yankees: Derek Jeter. Captain Clutch. Mr. November. Also good for ~150-170 strikeouts a season.

The Flyers: Danny Briere. Mr. Playoffs. Also good for 25-30 stupid stick fouls a season.

Both players have a controversial, injury prone superstar who's on the downturn of his career and has a contract with no end in sight.

The Yankees: Alex Rodriguez, 10 years, 275M signed in 2007. UGGH.

The Flyers: Chris Pronger, 4.921 Cap Hit until 2017...35+ clause attached.

Both Teams also have an unsung hero who went unappreciated for his hard work.

The Yankees: Brett Gardner, he doesn't put up power numbers, but his stolen bases and great defense helped the Yankees win.

The Flyers: Matt Carle, the best even strength defenseman in the NHL (his weakness is goal scoring and special teams)

Both teams are known for using UFA's and trades to build up rather than from within.

The Yankees: they buy talent. the sign the best available player all the time. even though the Yankees have a 1B, if the Yankees signed Albert Pujols no one would bat an eyelash.

The Flyers: They trade an insane amount of draft picks for other players (Meszaros, Timonen rights, Hartnell rights, Pronger, Bryzgalov's rights, all had picks in their trade). They sign FA's too: Lilja, Bryzgalov, Timonen, Hartnell, Simmonds, Voracek, Talbot, Matt Read, Blair Betts, Jody Shelley, Bobrovsky all signed as UFA or RFA.

But yet both teams have built superstars from within:

The Yankees: Cano, Jeter, Posada, Gardner, Hughes, Chamberlain, Rivera, Pettitte were all built from within the Yankees system and won in 2009

The Flyers: Giroux, JvR, Read (undrafted UFA puts him in both categories), Bartulis, Gus, Bob (undrafted UFA, see Read)

How about you, what do you think? Did I miss anything?

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