Tom Verducci says the Yanks will fail again because they're a bunch of geezers. He notes that of the past five teams to win the World Series have had a combined total of four non-DH starters aged 32 or more. He also notes that (a) the postseason is a crapshoot and (b) talent level differentials between the top 15 teams in baseball have been compressed from the late '90s when the Yanks, BloSax, Braves, Mess and only a couple of others were at the top of the league and few could compete.
The Monk believes a bit in the young legs theory, but all it would have taken to crush Verducci's hypothesis would have been Tony Clark's ground-rule double staying in play in game 5 of the 2004 ALCS or Rivera to have pitched in game 4 of the 2003 Series. Either eventuality would have likely launched the Yanks to a title. I also think that the crapshoot theory holds up better than anything else. That's because even before the new revenue-sharing in 2000, 19 of 40 teams with worse regular season records won their postseason series from 1995-99. You want crapshoot: Yanks/A's 2001. There's all the proof you need.