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A low tolerance for losing

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Mar 06, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

capta8ee04be0a9746a9933b5405ff4a35e6yankees_reds_spring_baseball_flgp114.jpgThe Yankees have lost two games this spring. One thing I’ve noticed both times: Joe Girardi was visibly annoyed.

He didn’t tip over any tables or call anybody out. But Girardi clearly has a low tolerance for pitchers who don’t throw strikes. Just ask Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy, who were called into a meeting and delivered that message. He also doesn’t seem to carry around the Book of Handy Excuses many managers have.

It’s obvious that the Yankees are intent on avoiding the slow starts they have had to overcome in recent years. That makes a lot of sense. But the baseball season also starts in February and ends in October. There’s a fine line between driving your team hard and driving them too hard.

The Yankees needed the kick in the pants Girardi has given them. But there will be times when a pat on the back is needed. It will be interesting to see how well he negotiates that tricky terrain. It’s probably what will determine whether he is a success with the Yankees.

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23 Responses to “A low tolerance for losing”

  1. DJ March 6th, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    girardi congratulating melky after a sac fly is something torre would never do, especially in ST.

  2. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Good points Pete.

    I think the lack of strikethrowing, more than losing a ST game or two, is what will tick him off.

    The guy is not going to take pitchers who won’t attack the strike zone.

    Had to drive him nuts watching Rasner walk the bases full today.

    I say, good for him.

    Its about time lack of strikethrowing is addressed with this team.

    I thought it was telling yesterday when ESPN was interviewing him in game that he really made a point that walks, and pitching behind in counts continuously, was not going to be tolerated.

    They are big boys. They can handle it.

    I think he knows how far to push and when to do it.

  3. Drew March 6th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Of course Torre would congratulate him during the regular season. But it’s good to see a little more discipline.

  4. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 6th, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Girardi congratulates the little things and is a competitor. I have every faith.

  5. desti(NY) 2008 March 6th, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Peter :

    Joe Girardi will know the balance but for the next month he’ll get his expectations across.
    Torre must have been easy for the media. He had the same stock answers for winning and losing alike. Pretty much a prepared text. The often used words of “trust” and “comfortable”.

  6. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex" ) (I slay the Anti) March 6th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    nice to know we scored 8 in the last 2 innings and Action had an RBI I hope I get to see this kid live tomorrow on YES

  7. Joe from Long Island March 6th, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Part of spring training should be setting a tone. In these games, even I know that winning and losing is secondary to other goals – developing a new pitch, trying to hit to the opposite field, bunting, trying people in different situations, whatever.

    However, setting a tone, especially for a new regime, is also important. Letting players now that doing their job correctly – whether it’s throwing strikes, avoiding mental errors, whatever – is equally, if not more, important.

    And for a young manager, knowing when to scold and praise, much like a parent, is also something to be learned.

    Having said all that…I’m really excited by the team and the possibilities this season.

    PS – Mitchell’s in Tampa, for seafood, is really good. Good service, too.

  8. murphydog March 6th, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Girardi might be tougher than Torre when it comes to hammering home fundamentals, (OK, not “might be”) but Joba and IPK are rooks and better they get ridden hard by the skip and correct their mistakes now then that they get ridden hard by Hank, Lupica, and the crowd. And there really is no excuse for not throwing strikes, even in spring training. (Maybe Moose gave them bad advice). Anyway, let’s not forget that Thomson, Meachem, Pena, Jeter Po and Mo (and Geno Monahan) are around to “help” Girardi if need be.

  9. Peter Abraham March 6th, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    DJ: Don’t be an idiot. It’s standard baseball procedure for any manager to congratulate a player for driving in a run. Why do people who like Girardi have to hate Torre? This just in: Guess who Girardi talks to several times a week for advice?

  10. Bronxbyte March 6th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    There is a difference between having a quick hook and knowing the right time to remove a pitcher.
    Once the season begins, the tandem of Girardi / Eiland will not suffer from indecision. They’ll know the wherewithal of each pitcher and act accordingly.
    Both have been students of the game and have learned well.
    Spring training is not representative of how strategies will be handled. In the case of Rasner and others they need to find out more of how each pitcher’s mound demeanor is and what better time than when wins and losses have no affect in the standings.

  11. SJ44 March 6th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    He’s setting the proper tone.

    If everybody recalls last year, there were plenty of games where the Yankees had a 5 run lead going into the 7th inning.

    That should be “game over” and one, no more than two guys should finish that game.

    Instead, they would walk the ballpark, give up a few runs and the next thing you know, they need 5 guys to finish the game.

    Can’t repeat that this year.

    The mantra should be simple. Can’t throw strikes, can’t be on the staff.

  12. Alan March 6th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Show me a manager with a high tolerence for losing and I’ll show you a manager with low expectations of postseason play.

  13. woohoo March 6th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    “””Joe Girardi was visibly annoyed”””oh~come on.Just play in ST.Joe Girardi need to clam down.When he get promotion as a Yankees manager,he should understand that his team have young and talent arms.Young players need time to build up thier experience.Remind of Mr.Girardi the bomber’s offensive did the great job so far.

  14. Bronxbyte March 6th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    SJ44 -

    Excellent points. Good teams know when and how to put their opponent away without embarrassment or running up the score. Living dangerously or getting comfortable with a 4 or 5-run lead in the 6th or 7th inning is skating on thin ice at the risk of overusing the bullpen. It was a large contributor in ’07.

  15. Nick March 6th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Being a stickler for detail, Girardi sitting in the YES broadcast booth last year gave him knowledge of knowing the variances the umpires have in their strike zones and what he hasn’t gathered already will be told to him by those who know such as Posada and Tony Pena.

  16. mel March 6th, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    I like it. Set the tone early and navigate carefully.

    If pitchers can’t throw strikes, there’s others knocking on the door. Kids are kids, if you let them slide they’ll slide. If you raise expectations, lo & behold they actually meet them sometimes.

  17. Patrick Bateman March 6th, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    If Girardi doesn’t have a tolerance for pitchers who don’t throw strikes, Brian Bruney is in big big trouble and better start packing his stuff.

  18. john in Ohio March 6th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    He’s just letting them know that thinking, as opposed to just going through the motions, will be a priority for him.

  19. Nettles Punched Bill Lee March 6th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I agree Pete.

    I’m glad Giardi takes the losses as hard as I do (we the fans do), but you’re right, at times a pat on the back will be needed (not from me. They lose and I’ll be pissed. I always am, about 75 times a year)

    It will be interesting to see how Joe G. handles this.

  20. sharp shooter March 7th, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Pete let Joe coach will you,how do you know he hasn’t given pats on the back. This is his first year too, and he’s being watched
    by mgmt,he does have to prove they made the right decision.

  21. Jeff March 7th, 2008 at 2:22 am

    I can’t see why a manager whould be annoyed with Joba, or lets say Wang for trying to to veer away from their bread and butter to try to pitch with a bigger aresanal they need to develop for real games. Spring training should be about trying new things, practicing, and getting better… it should not be about winning.

  22. Alvaro March 7th, 2008 at 8:19 am

    A pat on the back to millionaires? Get real!

  23. RSM March 7th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Let’s not be too quick to judge Girardi. He’s relatively new at this and I expect there to be some growing pains. But that said, he’s a very smart guy, and I expect he will learn from his mistakes along the way.

    Frankly, I welcome the change in personality. Torre will always be a saint in my book, but it’s hard to deny the team seemed to grow a little to complacent over the last few years.

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