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The more things change …

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Mar 29, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It’s amusing that Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman picked the same roster that Joe Torre and Brian Cashman would have.

They went with big-league experience and power arms (Bruney, Ohlendorf) over minor-league stat sensations (Patterson, Ramirez).

They went with experience and power (Ensberg) over youth and speed (Gardner).

They went with an over-abundance of first baseman, just like they did last year.

They went with guys Cashman traded for (Albaladejo) over guys he has released (Rasner).

Ultimately, who is on the roster on March 31 is meaningless. Pettitte will come off the DL five days into the season and the first of many moves will be made. At this time last year, few fans knew anything about Joba Chamberlain or Ian Kennedy beyond that they were in the organization.

Expect more of the same this year. There are players who weren’t even in camp (such as J.B. Cox) who could be pitching in the majors come August. Humberto Sanchez gets on the mound for the first time on Monday. He could be a factor late in the season. There are countless possibilities.

But for now, the new boss seems to value the same qualities the old boss did.

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112 Responses to “The more things change …”

  1. stef March 29th, 2008 at 12:25 am

    How ironic…

  2. Simon B. March 29th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Gardner has potential? Gardner is the flexible utility guy. Ensberg is the guy who has potential. If he gets his swing back, he could be an excellent hitter. Pretty silly interpretation all-around, Peter.

  3. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 29th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    ehh…

  4. Pete Simonetti March 29th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Well Pete you make no sense when you say OVER POTENTIAL… Becuase Brett Gardner isnt a bench player yet… He should be starting in center for AAA and if an injury happens he should then fill in…. Only way he should be used off the bench is if the Yanks make the playoffs or are fighting for a spot come late in the season. Remember this guy isnt Kevin Thompson.

    I do agree with you about the abundance at 1B. Cody Ransom should of made this team and at some point likely will be, unless Ensburg surprises us all and does good.

    Also, looking for writers for http://www.nyyinsider.com …. Me and the other owner just recieved a Record Deal so we will not have time for the site…..

  5. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 29th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Pete Simenetti I nominate CB or whozat

  6. Yankee Fan in Chicago March 29th, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Ohlendorf 6.1 ip in the bigs.

    Edwar: 21 ip in the bigs.

    Who’s got the big league experience?

  7. Dr. Dorian March 29th, 2008 at 12:45 am

    i think pete is referring to bruney

  8. Betsy March 29th, 2008 at 12:46 am

    I really don’t think Joe Girardi = Joe Torre. I really doubt Ohlendorf would have made the team under Torre for one, and I suspect Rasner would have.

    I like Ramirez, but no way should he have made the team. I don’t care if he’s a minor league sensation or not – he’s a one trick pony right now and he needs to work on another pitch or two (as well as figuring out how to control his fastball) before he’s called up again.

    Putting Gardner on the roster would have been the height of stupidity as the kid needs to play every day instead of wasting away on the bench.

    I’ll take Albalajeo any day of the week and twice over instead of Rasner, although I’m sure Darryl will be back with the big club soon enough. The Yankees really do need a long man for April……even though Rasner is a pretty bad one.

    The part of your comments that I totally agree with is that the roster is very fluid and that there will be lots of shuttling between NY and Scranton. As you said, there are “countless possibilities”.

    I feel badly for Patterson, but if he’s any kind of decent pitcher, he will go out and perform well in Scranton. I hope he doesn’t become discouraged, and then angry and, as a result, throw poorly at Scranton. He’s got a great chance to stick with the big club if he takes care of business in AAA

  9. Midland TX March 29th, 2008 at 12:52 am

    I think the Torre/Cashman combo served the Yanks pretty well on the whole. The primary difference I would hope to see with Girardi is not so much in the area of roster-building as in late-innings game management. With occasional bursts of selective “motivational intensity” running a close second.

  10. mel March 29th, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Stats or no stats, Ramirez is no sensation.

  11. V March 29th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    The fact that Albaledejo made this team over Patterson, even if just for the few days before Pettitte comes back, speaks volumes to me. Throw the guy a bone for a great month of pitching.

  12. Tidrow March 29th, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Let’s see what happens before we make any judgements on the roster moves. All we can do now is speculate.

  13. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 29th, 2008 at 1:09 am

    “The fact that Albaledejo made this team over Patterson, even if just for the few days before Pettitte comes back, speaks volumes to me. Throw the guy a bone for a great month of pitching.”

    for what ? let him prove he can do it in AAA first, I don’t see a problem here well other than Bruney.

  14. mel March 29th, 2008 at 1:57 am

    I’m disappointed, too, about Patterson. But this is the right way to go. As a rookie, I think it’s best to bring him up later. He’ll be here soon enough.

  15. mel March 29th, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Oh yeah, congrats to Torre & Proctor for getting the win over Boston.

  16. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 29th, 2008 at 2:03 am

    did Proctor finally get Manny mel :lol:

  17. mel March 29th, 2008 at 2:16 am

    haha, no, Manny was out of the game by then. It’s so strange. Did the Sox have to set their 25-man roster in Tokyo? And then use an expanded roster for these exhibition games? Weird.

    Colon only gave up 1 ER in 4 innings, but his 8.10 ERA is still suffering Post-Yankee syndrome. :)

  18. G. Love March 29th, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Don’t see a long man on that roster.

    Where are all the experts, you know who you are, in here who ripped me and other people who said let’s not put a AAAA arm in the pen that can’t get major league hitters out. It made zero sense since none of the potential long men could be counted on to go an inning against a major league offense.

    Yeah, I know. You’re gonna tell me that they’ll bring up a long man soon. Sure.

    Once Rasner and Igawa get tatooed at Scranton, and they will, you can hold your breath and turn blue waiting for the long man to arrive.

    Albadejo, Ohlendorf or Bruney go down for Pettitte.

    The next call up is the guy who gets sent down for Pettitte or Patterson if someone else flames out in the pen.

    They’re going with their best arms. Not sacrificial lambs.

    Some of you wasted a lot of breath telling me and others how dumb and wrong we were, eh?

  19. mel March 29th, 2008 at 2:27 am

    A little birdie told me that Giambi will start the season @ 1B and Shelley will DH.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=nyy

  20. mel March 29th, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Where the heck is everyone?

    Found this on Kepner’s blog:

    But Jeter was not ready to concede. As our interview broke up, Jeter asked me and Mark Feinsand of the Daily News if Matsui had revealed the name of his bride.
    No, we told him. In fact, Matsui said only that she is “a 25-year-old civilian and had been formerly working in a reputable position at a highly respected company.” They met in Japan after the 2006 off-season.
    A glint came to Jeter’s eye. He knows the name of Matsui’s wife, he said, and he’ll tell everybody unless Matsui gives him the cash. Jeter hollered over to Matsui’s interpreter, and then chased Matsui down in the middle of the clubhouse.
    As usual, it seems, Jeter had found a way to win.

  21. Bilbo March 29th, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Actually most of us knew who Joba and IPK were last yr.

  22. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti March 29th, 2008 at 3:35 am

    wow slow blog tonight.

    I actually have been following both ian and Joba through the system since last year.

  23. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti March 29th, 2008 at 3:38 am

    and Brett will be up here at some point this season.

    And Joe would have Gone with Nick Green, (someone he knows).

  24. Andrea March 29th, 2008 at 4:17 am

    It would be silly to go with Brett Gardner instead of Ensberg. He needs to play every day. Hasn’t Pete said that himself before? I think maybe Pete is just sparking discussion…

  25. Jeff March 29th, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Why the hell would Gardner start the year on the ML roster? He is a prospect he needs his AB’s at AAA… A veteran like Ensberg should get the spot….

    Peter respect you alot dude but this post is flat out ridiculous and reaching on so many levels…

  26. Yeah!! March 29th, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Andrea

    “I think maybe Pete is just sparking discussion…”

    I think you are correct about that. It has been slow on the blog lately,and Pete is only trying to spark controversy.

  27. Irabu's Son March 29th, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Pete, Torre would have NEVER taken Albaladejo, just like he never gave Britton a shot. He would have taken either Rasner, or Edwar Ramirez (who he seemed to have a man crush on last season despite the Ed getting rocked every time out).

  28. eric1978a March 29th, 2008 at 8:15 am

    It doesn’t really matter that Girardi and Torre may have picked similar rosters… what matters is how they will use these rosters, and I think Girardi will do things rather differently – at least when it comes to bullpen management

  29. murphydog March 29th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    1) They went with big-league experience and power arms (Bruney, Ohlendorf) over minor-league stat sensations (Patterson, Ramirez).

    Where’s the inaccuracy? Having seen Edwar a few times, Ramirez certainly is not as good as his numbers suggest. Patterson doesn’t light up the radar gun either, so on this team as on every other MLB team, there is doubt whether a guy like that can consistently fool big league hitters until he creates a greater body of work proving he can. Bruney and Ohlendorf light up the gun, even if they aren’t too consistent. In the pen, when in doubt, teams go with speed over deception.

    2) They went with experience and power (Ensberg) over youth and speed (Gardner).

    Again, where is that wrong? Ensberg has his swing back according to Ensberg, Long and now Girardi. His value is not as a first baseman, he is needed as a power righty off the bench, a role the Yankees wanted to fill in their lefty laden lineup. So, veteran power righty bat beats situational rookie speed guy at least for now. That doesn’t mean Gardner won’t be up at some point in the season if Ensberg’s bat fails or someone is hurt.

    3) They went with guys Cashman traded for (Albaladejo) over guys he has released (Rasner).

    Once Karstens went down with the groin pull, this was a no brainer. They pretty much have their minds made up about Rasner (released before) so they dropped the idea of having a long man for now. If Karstens is not available, why not give a few weeks extra look at somebody they affirmatively went out and got because they liked him? (Abaladejo).

    4) Above all, relax. Nothing is written in stone. Middle relievers come and go like the weather, especially when there are loads of options and choices.

  30. saucY March 29th, 2008 at 8:37 am

    well put, murphydog

    i think, for patterson and gardner’s sake, lack of big league experience isn’t the issue. but more of a lack of AAA experience in their cases.

  31. Bronxbyte March 29th, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Positively every year there’s a surprise with the 25-man roster coming out of spring training.
    Fans need to look at the upside of these moves. It’s been several seasons since the Yankees had pitching talent of this kind at the AAA level and many of them will see time on the big team as the season progresses.
    Joe Girardi said at various times that he wants pitchers that throw strikes. While it appears that Patterson threw more strikes than Bruney, this may be the final chance for Bruney to prove himself to Girardi and Eiland.
    Ross Ohlendorf is no surprise. He has steadily made big strides in the past year. It must be Albaladejo’s ability to throw strikes and keep low in the strike zone.
    Brian Cashman has long been known to be stealth and some of it has rubbed off on his manager.
    With all the talent there’s been in spring training, it’s no suprise that there would be surprises.

  32. pat March 29th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    All this Torre would have done this or Torre would never have done that conversation is boring.

    It’s a new year, a new manager and with a new baseball season upon us, it’s time to stop dwelling on the negatives of the past.

  33. desti(NY) 2008 March 29th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    In truth, this pitching staff is clearly not vanilla. There’s nothing worse than having a staff that doesn’t have different looks and these Yankees offer variety with more of it available on call as needed. No random choosing was done. Both Girardi and Eiland were wide awake all spring in making talent judgements. They knew what they wanted and sorted through all the arms.
    I defy any team to say they have as much talent only a phone call away to rely on and they’ll be monitered and kept ready.

  34. murphydog March 29th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    pat:

    I agree that comparisons to Torre are of limited value this year since he’s gone. But, saying the team is the same even if the manager changed sets up some juicy arguments and issues.

    If they were going to pick the same team, foregoing speed and youth, for power and experience, did Torre really have to go? Has the team improved without Uncle Joe?

    Aside from a lot more running and music being allowed in the clubhouse, what’s changed? If the answer is “not much,” what does that tell us we can expect as this team goes against a potentially great rotation in Toronto and maybe a not so solid one in Boston? On the other hand, if the NYY rotation and pen are inconsistent, will the other teams feast on the young pitchers who are under pitch limits who are so far throwing too many pitches per outing?

    Also, if the ’08 team is basically the same as what Torre would have settled on, then can fans attribute any and all differences in the final win total to Girardi, since he is the only real difference? Or, if the ’08 team flounders, is it Girardi’s fault?

    All false questions to some degree, and too soon to know the answers, but the comparisons will go on all year.

  35. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Interesting article this morning in the Wall St. Journal regarding Joe Torre and whether he is worth the money the Dodgers are paying him. In the end, a non-committal article, but still worth the read.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....mod=sports

  36. Mark Alan March 29th, 2008 at 9:17 am

    The most important difference between the two Joes, methinks, will become obvious after the 5th inning, Girardi will remain awake, whereas Torre used nap — hitting a deep slumber by the 8th and turning management of the team over to Joe McCarthy’s plaque out in Monument Park.

  37. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti March 29th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Another thing I thought of. Didn’t Cash trade for Britton while Joe was manager? He wasn’t brought up with the club. Joe G and Cash brought up the players they thought would help them now. It is silly to say that the club would be the same if Joe T was manager.

    A little note, I am listening to Sweeney right now. He said that Joe T used to take 45 seconds to tell a player they were sent down. Now when Joe was doing this last night, he said the door was closed for a good 5 minutes. Take from that what you will.

    Another note, Mussina commented to him that Joe is more conversational during the game, a how are you doing, and talking about the game than Joe T was.

  38. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti March 29th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Mark Mussina agree’s with you, read my post below. :lol:

  39. John March 29th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    To be honest Pete, I don’t understand the comparisons because this roster was pretty much set from the minute Joe Girardi arrived. You know who’s playing at second, short, third, right, center, left, and catcher. You BASICALLY know who is playing at first (either Giambi or Duncan) and you know who is gonna DH (rotation of Giambi, Duncan, Matsui,with Damon thrown in every once in a while). The starters were pretty much a mortal lock as well, and when it came down to the bullpen, were there any real MAJOR moves to make? You are taking a chance with all those names. I mean, suggesting that Olendorff has “major leagie experience” over someone like Ramirez, I think, is a stretch beyond belief, and it is obvious that he took both Olendorff and Bruney over Ramirez and Patterson because there is a premium placed on POWER arms out of the pen now. And as far as Albaladejo versus Rasner, I watched the two in spring and, to me, there is no doubt that Albalabejo had A LOT more talent than Rasner, even though he was very erratic. Why not take the chance on the talented guy? I actually think that Torre would have taken Ramirez over Olendorff, may have taken Patterson over Bruney (he wasn’t a huge fan of Bruney) and I agree with another poster, he would have taken Nick Green over Ensberg.

  40. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Close games is where we’ll have to look to see if there is a difference. In reading the Wall St. Journal article, I was surprised to learn of the Yankees’ very poor record in close games (over the past three seasons, 23-31 in games tied after the 6th inning). I didn’t realize it was that bad. I’m sure many of you are not surprised to read that, though.

    Anyway, that’s what Girardi has to improve. Tied to that is whether or not he’ll have Torre’s quick hook, or be willing to let a starter work out of a jam. And, of course, how he’ll use the pen.

    Of course, a lot depends on the pitchers themselves. If they’re not effective, what can you do? A lot of Torre’s problems with pitching, in my opinion, was due to the mediocrity of the pieces available to him.

  41. joe b March 29th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Where is the improvement ? Same old same old

  42. gayle March 29th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    To show that I believe that this roster is a short term roster when it comes to pitching below is a quote from Girardi (from the NY post). This opening dayroster is by no means what we will see I belive even a month from now.

    We have been agonizing over this all day because our guys are so close,” said Girardi, who had to tell Scott Patterson, a righty reliever who gave up one hit and no runs in 71/3 innings across eight games, that he wasn’t making the team. “We made our decisions based on who we were facing early [Blue Jays] and we felt we made the right decisions.”

  43. vince March 29th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I think Albaladejo is a short-term Yankee, and Bruney, who has an option remaining, will be on a short leash as well.
    Patterson would be the first recall. Gardner would be up quick should any one of the outfielders get hurt.

  44. TKinDC March 29th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    That WSJ article about losing close games points to the bullpen management as far as I’m concerned. It is going to be interesting (or frightening) to see how things might go if Joe G relies on Farnsworth and Hawkins in the 8th when Chamberlain is not available.

    If Girardi can balance the workloads of the people in the pen and avoid SPS (scott proctor syndrome) it could end up helping the Yanks at the end of the year with fresher arms and greater depth.

  45. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Actually, Torre would have forced Cash to trade Hughes for Proctor, Ian and Kyle for Cairo and then gone with a 4-man pen of Mo, Proctor, Hawkings and Joba. The rotation would have been wang, pettitte, moose…pettitte and pettitte.

    Then he’d have filled out the roster with Green, Woodward and a selection of other utility guys.

  46. Joe from Long Island March 29th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I was just reading Chad Jennings’ blog, and saw that Tyler Clippard, Matt DeSalvo and TJ Beam were all in minor league camp with their new teams. Just shows the caliber of pitching help that we were trying to make do with last season.

    Phil, IPK, Joba, for a full season, with Patterson, Ollie, maybe Mark Melancon, in the wings should make for a better team and more success. Theoretically. But as Jeter always says, you still have to play the games.

  47. Joe from Long Island March 29th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Vince – I think you make a good point. These guys will all be on a short leash, especially if the guys sent to AAA play well. I would not be surprised at all if Scott Patterson is back within a month if Bruney or Albie falter.

  48. pat March 29th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I believe that “bullpen management” has more to do with the talent in the pen than the management of it. I could have managed the Yankee pens of the late 90′s by picking names out of a hat because everyone did their jobs. The past few years, everyone not named Mo was a crap shoot.

  49. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti March 29th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    pat I agree and disagree. Joe was too quick with the hook on pitchers who were pitching well.

  50. pat March 29th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    jennifer

    too easy a second guess.

    If the next batter had sent one over the outfield wall, Joe would have been accused of having too slow a hook.

    If the guys in the pen are capable of getting batters out, they should be as good a choice as the pitcher who was pulled too soon.

  51. Jeff NJ March 29th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Isn’t it the GM’s job to set the roster? If I’m not mistaken, the Yankees have the same GM they have had for the last 10 years.

    I for one am happy that Ohlendorf made the team. That kid is very good. Plus it’s always great when you have something to show for a big trade. Now we just need Humberto to start his program tomorrow and be ready to help the big league club come July.

  52. sara March 29th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Hi all..here is some interesting news. A friend of mine works at a car dealership in LA. Yesterday Vlad came in and my friend stuck up a conversation with him..said he is extremely unhappy with the way the Angels are treating him, it is his walk year and wants to play with the Yankees next year! Thought tha was interesting!

  53. Yellow March 29th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Peter, you couldn’t be more wrong. Cashman wanted Ensberg last season, but Torre didn’t want him. Please stick to reporting and not commentary.

  54. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    “The past few years, everyone not named Mo was a crap shoot.”

    That wasn’t helped by new guys having to sit around for a week waiting to get into a game. Is it surprising that many and trouble throwing strikes if they hadn’t pitched in a week?

  55. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    *had trouble

  56. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    “Peter, you couldn’t be more wrong. Cashman wanted Ensberg last season, but Torre didn’t want him. Please stick to reporting and not commentary.”

    You know this how?

    This is a blog. It is FOR commentary. If you don’t want commentary, read the main news site.

  57. Joe from Long Island March 29th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Sara, you’re right, it is interesting. I don’t know how much stock to put in it, but it should give us something to beat around here today. It’s certainly better than reading about PEDs, Canseco, politics…

  58. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    “said he is extremely unhappy with the way the Angels are treating him, it is his walk year and wants to play with the Yankees next year! Thought tha was interesting!”

    Yah. I’m sure that he’d tell a random person on the street that.

    Vlad is too often banged up these days anyhow. The Yankees don’t need any more part-time DHes

  59. Jay March 29th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Pete, you are so full of it. I’m glad Torre still holds sway over you all the way from L.A.

    >>They went with big-league experience and power arms (Bruney, Ohlendorf) over minor-league stat sensations (Patterson, Ramirez).>They went with experience and power (Ensberg) over youth and speed (Gardner).>They went with an over-abundance of first baseman, just like they did last year.>They went with guys Cashman traded for (Albaladejo) over guys he has released (Rasner).>But for now, the new boss seems to value the same qualities the old boss did.

  60. Jay March 29th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Well, that last post didn’t come through… lol. Anyway, I’m sure the points were already made by others. What you said — in a poor attempt to defend Torre — was absurd.

  61. sara March 29th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    whozat…i’ll make sure to save your comment and repost it next year when it happens

  62. pat March 29th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    whozat

    That’s a circular argument.If they had thrown strikes the last time they pitched, they wouldn’t have been sitting a week.

  63. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    pat -

    I think whozat is referring more specifically to Edwar Ramirez whose first appearance was phenomenal if you recall. And then he was not used for over a week, and the rust showed.

  64. Nick March 29th, 2008 at 10:27 am

    If Brett Gardner was a righthanded hitter he could have gone north opposed to Ensberg.

  65. Brian (from PA) March 29th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    i agree with the fact that Gardner shouldn’t be wasting away on the bench just for the sake of being readily available to the Yankees. it will do him good to be playing every day at Scranton, and we’ll have a guy with speed off the bench when it comes to the home stretch. maybe even the postseason.

  66. Back Bench March 29th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    You have to love the spirit of the guys waiting in the wings as well as their skills.

    According to Pete Caldera,

    “Patterson’s parting words to Girardi, which reportedly made the manager smile: “I’ll go out and get prepared in Triple-A, and be ready when you call.”

    WRT Torre vs Girardi on the use of the BP, isn’t there also a big difference/improvement in the advisor they have in the pitching coach. I mean ‘Gator’ vs Eiland, come on!

  67. Brian (from PA) March 29th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    just looked. tonight’s game isn’t on MLB.TV either. i wonder why there were no Yankees games on there this week? ridiculous.

  68. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Back Bench -

    I don’t think Eiland’s strength is necessarily strategy – when to take pitchers out, which pitchers to use when, although, of course I could be wrong. I thought he was chosen specifically because of his ability to work with the young arms, mechanically and motivationally. So, I think it will remain to be seen whether Eiland’s advice in in-game situations will have any real effect on the success of the bullpen.

    It might be that he will be more adept at offering which pitchers are most suited to what situations, and how best to assign their roles, but, again, that remains to be seen.

  69. pat March 29th, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Doreen

    I guess I just fundamentally believe that middle relievers are alot like utility infielders. They can look great for short spurts but will show their flaws over time.

    The ones who don’t show flaws become set-up men or closers. The ones that do, get ridden when hot and sit when someone else is.

  70. BBFan March 29th, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Pete,

    You need to get over your man crush on Torre. Just kidding….

    Torre is gone…. Get over it…. Read that WSJ article and it supports what many of us were saying for so long about Torre’s weakness about bullpen and late game management….

    Regarding your observations above, many have already quetioned your arguments, and agree with them.

    For me the main point is not necessarily who they are taking north, but how they will perform and how the manager handles them. Torre was always loyal to his old guys and rarely gave chance to the new guys unless his hand was forced with injuries or something like that. You think Ensberg would have gotten much opportunity under Torre, I do not beleive so if his history was nay indication. I am optimistic, like many here, that Ensberg will make a difference as a right hand power bat under Girardi.

    Also, it is well chronicled, including by yourself, how fit the guys like Bruney are this season, courtesy to Girardi. Let us wait and see how that makes a difference before drawing conclusions.

    Finally, yeah, I kind of agree with you that it is the same (or close to) what Torre took last year. I am glad that is the case. If Girardi does better with this team than Torre did last year, that should say some thing about Girardi. Let us not draw any conclusions now, let us wait for the resutls.

  71. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 10:45 am

    “That’s a circular argument.If they had thrown strikes the last time they pitched, they wouldn’t have been sitting a week.”

    I was referring to most new guys arriving in the bigs. Torre’d usually let him sit around for a while before getting him into a game. Edwar got one shot, looked good, and then sat around and, unsurprisingly, had no command next time he appeared. The same sort of thing happened to Britton. Guy does nothing but throw strikes and get outs in AAA (and had a year of solid performance in the majors already)…but when Torre gets him, he leaves him sitting on the bench, and then punishes him for not being able to command his stuff after not pitching for a week.

    Also…a guy new to the bigs gets ONE shot to show what he can do and then deserves to be consigned to the depths of the pen?

  72. Silas Barnaby March 29th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Have some Bigelow Green Tea and give Girardi a chance. Just because he chooses similar ingredients doesn’t mean he’ll make the same dish.

  73. Barb27 March 29th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    What happened to Lane? I haven’t heard a thing about him in over two weeks. I’m assuming he got released? I’m excited to see opening day start almost 49 hours from now. I just hope it doesn’t rain.

  74. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    “Regarding your observations above, ”

    Pete’s point is that we heard all camp that this was an open competition, and then it seems like guys who performed better wound up losing out to guys with experience that throw harder.

    See: Patterson v Bruney, primarily.

  75. Back Bench March 29th, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Doreen -

    You’re right about the fact that so much remains to be seen. Can’t wait.

    OT, however, do the NY Giants now get the NL East title for the forseeable future since Tony married his bad luck charm?

    http://www.azcentral.com/ent/c.....on-CR.html

  76. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 10:50 am

    BBFan -

    Read the article closely. It does bring up Torre’s shortcomings, but gives the opposite side of the coin, as well. For instance, it mentions the overuse of relief pitchers, but concedes that he didn’t have the best starting staff to work with in the first place. And it really did give Torre an out when it said there is really no way to allow for a player’s inability to handle New York.

    Also, if you notice, they had rankings of 20 current managers. In the BOTTOM FIVE were Terry Francona, Joe Torre, Eric Wedge (was he not the manager of the year??), Jim Leyland and Clint Hurdle. All 5 of those managers got their teams to the playoffs, Clint Hurdles’ team had an unbelievable run at the end of the season, and we all know what Francona’s team did. So take it with a grain of salt.

  77. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Back Bench -

    I can’t wait either!!!!

  78. Peter Abraham March 29th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    It’s so funny that the Torre haters can’t wrap their minds around the fact that Girardi played for Torre and coached under Torre and thinks the same as Torre about a lot of issues.

    The Yankees are the Yankees. This team is built a certain way and what the manager does will effect very few games over the course of the season, maybe 1 a month. Either they hit and the starter pitches well, or they don’t. The manager has almost nothing to do with that.

    Some people think Girardi has a magic wand and can turn Torre’s trash into his treasure. If it’s a one-run game in the seventh, you think he’s going to develop his back end relievers or try to win the game?

    “Yes, we may may have lost but Albaledejo really learned some good lessons tonight,” Girardi said. “That’s what counts.”

    Be serious. The Yankees have to win and Girardi will do what he has to to win, just like Torre did. Middle relievers are a dime a dozen and people get way too wrapped up in how they are handled.

  79. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Also, with regard to the WSJ article, the end paragraph concedes, overall, that a baseball manager is “overrated in terms of the impact they have on their players.” It sums it up by saying, if you want a better team, get better players.

  80. trisha March 29th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    All I’ll say is this. My bent always has been to trust the powrs that be until it appears that they no longer deserve my trust. I totally trust the ability of Brian Cashman to make good decisions – witness the fact that we still have young potential phenoms named Hughes and Kennedy and Cabrera instead of a 29-year-old pitcher whose ERA has grown every year and whom I, at least, believe has seen his better days. I also have total faith in and feel nothing but excitement about the management skills and potential of Joe Girardi. Here’s where I think we will see a difference between the old guard (Torre) and the new guard (Girardi). Girardi is going to treat all his guys the same. He isn’t going to play favorites nor is he going to burn out his relief pitchers. I think we’ll see a quicker hook with Girardi, and that’s what I want, even if it means that he’s a little too quick at times. People laughed when Kyle Farnsworth said he was going to be happier playing for Girardi because of the way Torre instituted rules and never bothered talking to players about it – two days’ rest, never pitching back to back. Farnsworth was also put in a corner, the way Torre had the ability to do when he decided on his relief pitcher du jour – and then proceeded to burn that pitcher out. No, I will not miss a lot about Torre and am looking forward to just about everything about Girardi.

    I too am happy about Ross Ohlendorf. I remember watching him last season and thinking he definitely had a ton of potential. Maybe under Torre it wouldn’t have happened, who knows.

    I give this roster my total vote of confidence, if for no other reason than I always know one thing about myself and major league baseball. The powers that be DEFINITELY know how to run a team much better than I.

    NO MORE GREEN TEA! NO MORE GREEN TEA! NO MORE GREEN TEA!

  81. BBFan March 29th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    “Pete’s point is that we heard all camp that this was an open competition, and then it seems like guys who performed better wound up losing out to guys with experience that throw harder.”

    Just because a kid who never pitched above AA, did well in a small sample in the spring training, he is not ready. In fact, taking him north now can easily turn into a disaster if he gets banged around by major leaguers. Look at what happened to Chase Wright last year. After the beating he took from Red Sox, he is still trying to recover from it. At the time he was promoted, some were saying he was better than Hughes!!!

    When they said open competition, their performance does matter, but other things in the best interests of the players come into play as well. I beleive that they did respect the open competition, when they sent Rasner and Igawa down and took Abal…and Ohlendorf.

    If petterson proves himslef at AAA, I am sure he will get his chance during the season. If Bruney does not do well, he will be sent down.

  82. Doreen March 29th, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Pat, I agree with your assessment about middle relievers.

  83. Martin March 29th, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Pete-

    Contrary to what most are saying, I think you have the right idea. But it wouldn’t be wise to have Gardner on the bench in New York. Gardner should be playing everyday, whether it’s in New York or Scranton. Hopefully he’s in New York everyday in a couple months; I don’t understand the infatuation with Cabrera. Gardner brings something to the table that I think would be devastating to other teams: blazing speed (hitting 9th) in front of Damon and Jeter.

    Also, you (Pete), more so than most, should not underestimate the value of the internet; probably a lot more fans than you think knew about Joba and Ian before last July.

    I do think you are right about some of their decisions. But I think Cash has a plan. If you bring these kids along now, then the long season will just wear them out. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. But if you give them the next three months in AAA, then they get their work in and it gives the organization some time to further evaluate some of the bums we have in the bullpen. Then, when the kids start to filter up to the club in July, they will bring some electricity to the club. Like last year.

    I really think we will see Melancon, Cox, and Sanchez (please stay healthy) in pinstripes by September 1st. Bye-bye Bruney and the rest.

  84. Countdown (tick, tick, tick) March 29th, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Who’s Joe Torre??

  85. trisha March 29th, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Pete, while I am not a Torre hater, I did notice his proclivity for certain things like quiet revenge on players who complained to the media. I have always linked the downward sprial of the Yankees to the loss of Jeff Nelson – and there is no question that Nelson was offered a joke contract after he bitched to the media about something (at this point I don’t remember what it was; maybe it was about relief pitchers not being chosen for All Star Games – but I remember Torre was not happy about it.) He also favored his veterans over younger players and didn’t necessarily interact with his players the way I believe Girardi will.

    THE FINAL STRAW WAS JOBA AND THE BUGS! While St. Joe was famous for not complaining about much, I think that Father Joe will take up for his team more.

    NO MORE GREEN TEA!

  86. trisha March 29th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Don’t get too nervous about kids being sent back down, sportsfans. Those who learn and learn well soon find themselves back in the big dance. Take a bow Melky Cabrera!!!

    I can’t say it enough that this is the first time in a long time that I am so excited about a baseball season and I know it is totally because I have been begging for an infusion of energy into the Yankees, be it in the form of a Paul O’Neil type player or a Joe Girardi type manager. All the better than it is the latter. Hell when you get Mike Mussina saying he has enjoyed spring training you know you’re on to something!

    NO MORE GREEN TEA!

  87. george March 29th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    i think Torre was more open to young players than he gets credit for. he played Cano, for example, even though Cano started out like crap.

  88. Bobby March 29th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Peter,
    I believe the Yankees see that the 2007 team’s fundamental flaws have been addressed: bullpen, starting pitching and manager. How do you believe they could have done better to address the short term needs with a solid long term approach?

    My belief is this is the best we can do after the reckless overspending of flawed veterans from 2001 to 2006.
    What say y’ll

  89. kylelitke March 29th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    I don’t know, I’m not sure most of those were really choices. Ohlendorf has less big league experience than Ramirez does. Gardner is not ready to be a bench player who pinch runs twice a week and nothing else, so taking him over Ensberg would have been a terrible idea.

    As for Rasner, we might still see him. I’m guessing Girardi figured that with 8 guys in the bullpen til Saturday, there was no actual need for a long man yet, which makes sense.

  90. pat March 29th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    “He also favored his veterans over younger players”

    Jeter, Posada, Nick Johnson, Soriano, Cano, Cabrera and the veterans they played in front of might not completely agree with that.

  91. Martin March 29th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    George,

    You may be right, but let’s remember the alternative to Cano when he started off slow. Tony Womack.

  92. Brian (from PA) March 29th, 2008 at 11:38 am

    what’s cuter: kittens or puppies?

  93. Kingshaffy March 29th, 2008 at 11:38 am

    we get it Pete, you love Torre.

  94. Brian (from PA) March 29th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    what’s with all the banter about Pete “being in love” with Torre? He simply made the observation that Girardi made very similar roster selections that Joe Torre would have. I don’t seem to recall Pete praising Joe Torre and discussing how badly he wishes Joe Torre was back. As i haven’t been posting on this blog for a very long time, If it turns out that Pete is a strong Torre supporter, please let me know. but i haven’t seen it since i’ve been reading here since november and posting since this past month.

  95. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    “Posada”

    I think there’s ample evidence that Posada should have gotten more playing time earlier. As for Cano, Tony Womack was just so hideously bad that they had no choice.

    As for Melky…He still started last year as a 4th OFer and that only changed when Jason went down with an injury and moved Damon to the DH slot much of the time.

    Johnson and Soriano played their entire Yankee careers while I wasn’t paying attention to baseball, so I can’t really speak to that.

    “Just because a kid who never pitched above AA, did well in a small sample in the spring training, he is not ready. In fact, taking him north now can easily turn into a disaster if he gets banged around by major leaguers. Look at what happened to Chase Wright last year.”

    I’m just holding Patterson up as a particular example. I certainly agree that putting him at AAA is a reasonable decision. And I’m glad that Bruney’s walks were down. I just feel like Patterson performed in any and all situations, often when MLB opponents were still hitting. Alba and Bruney saw more minor league hitters, and were both more erratic.

    I’m not down on this pen as constructed right now. I do think that Ross could use some more time in the minors to work on his new splitter — maybe that’ll wind up happening, I dunno. But, I do feel like it’s kinda predictable. And, that the arms are once again pretty similar. Kyle, Bruney and Ross are all power righties. The former two often don’t know where it’s going.

    We’ll see how it all turns out, of course.

  96. whoa March 29th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Valid point, Pete, but you can’t retard Gardner’s progress to be a sparingly used 4th OFer, and Albaladejo is merely a placeholder for Pettitte’s roster spot.

    Could you ask the Joe/Brian why Patterson hasn’t be stretched out, and if there is a chance that he will so he can pitch in long relief?

  97. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    “what’s cuter: kittens or puppies?”

    that’s like asking “What’s better…a walk-off hit from Jeter or Posada?”

    :-)

  98. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Also

    http://www.cuteoverload.com

  99. Jaewon March 29th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    The big difference between the Joes:

    If Girardi feels like ANYONE (even a vet. . .) is not performing, they will not play.

    Torre wouldn’t have the stomach to sit the big guns.

  100. trisha March 29th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    whozat – good catches, all of them. Joe never hand-selected younger players over veterans. And yeah, Cano was the alternative to someone who certainly wasn’t Joe’s veteran, and I seem to remember Cashman having a hand in putting Cano in place.

    I was thinking also of his pitching choices and painfully slow hook. And lest we forget, think David Cone. It was George Steinbrenner who had to order Cone down to Tampa after Joe refused to do anything but Cone in every 5th game so we could either be assured of a loss or burning out the offense in an attempt to overcome the Cone deficit. (Interesting note that Cone basically never recovered after pitching his no no.)

  101. trisha March 29th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Jaewon – Yep.

  102. whozat March 29th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    “Could you ask the Joe/Brian why Patterson hasn’t be stretched out, and if there is a chance that he will so he can pitch in long relief?”

    Presumably because there’s no reason to think he’d be good as a long guy. He’s started before, in independent ball, and not had much success. He’s pretty much a two pitch pitcher that relies on command and some deception with his FB and then a HUGE speed differential to his curve. There’s not much there to indicate that he could get through the order multiple times.

    All his success has come as a 1-2 inning guy. The scouting report agrees with the numbers on this one…if he makes it, it’ll be as a short reliever. Which would still be great for the Yanks.

  103. Around The Majors March 29th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Pretty satisfied with the make up of the roster.

    http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/

  104. Alvaro March 29th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    This is nonsense … Torre would have traded all the organization for Santana! They would have a long man just because … and there would’ve been thirteen pitchers, not twelve … Patterson is a huge gamble! The sample is too small to judge him … stick to reporting, your analysis sucks as always!

  105. pat March 29th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    “If Girardi feels like ANYONE (even a vet. . .) is not performing, they will not play.”

    BIG ASSUMPTION. Since Girardi has never managed a team that had any veterans before, that has yet to be determined.

  106. hmmm March 29th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    wow, this entry is a bit of a stretch.

  107. Bill Porter March 29th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    What’s the point Pete? Is it simply that the new and old regimes seem to value the same qualities? Not surprising since they seem to be populated by people who know what they’re doing. Do you have have some other or deeper implication in mind?

    Or are you just having some fun and stirring the pot a little?

  108. trisha March 29th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    “BIG ASSUMPTION. Since Girardi has never managed a team that had any veterans before, that has yet to be determined.”

    Well I’m taking a guess that there’s more of a chance that Pat is right than wrong. I saw him pull Andy Pettitte during a ST game, well before Pettitte reached his allotted pitch count, because Pettitte was getting hit pretty hard. Girardi pulled him and you could see that Andy was almost in disbelief when Girardi walked out to the mound.

    I think Girardi is a quick(er) thinker, I think he has a quick(er) hook, and I think he will use that great engineering mind to figure out whatever configurations are necessary to win games – and he won’t worry about hurt feelings in the process.

    NO MORE GREEN TEA!

  109. JT (Posada needs to relearn how to catch) March 29th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Pete’s great for his inside information, but thats about it. Listening to your analysis is like Spitzer asking his call girls how he should run NY.

  110. Jaewon March 29th, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    pat and trisha: Girardi himself has made it very clear that everyone has to “earn their spot.” There are no free passes. If Pettitte doesn’t like it, Girardi probably does not care.

  111. trisha March 29th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    My man Joe G.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03.....104079.htm

    I still want to hope that someone can fix Igawa because the stuff is there. Also, Girardi took Bruney even though it is obvious that Torre lost faith in Bruney after he burned him out last year.

    Girardi is no Torre…

    NO MORE GREEN TEA!!!

  112. bodhisattva March 29th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Bilbo,

    I think what Pete meant to say is that none of the WRITERS knew who Joba and IPK were.

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