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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


The Manny-Moose matter

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Podcast on Apr 12, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The only question anybody wanted answered after the game was why the Yankees decided to pitch to Manny Ramirez in the sixth inning.

Joe Girardi went with what Mike Mussina wanted to do. The Moose was more comfortable going after Manny than facing the ever-selective Kevin Youkilis with the bases loaded.

“I’ve been pitching a while, so he asked me what I felt like doing,” Mussina said. “I told him what I thought.”

The ultimate decision was Girardi’s and he took responsibility for it.

“It’s a decision I made and I have to live with it,” he said. “You don’t second guess.”

As good as Youkilis is, you have to walk Manny. A few numbers for you:

* He’s a .356 career hitter with runners on second and third.

* He has more RBI in his career against the Yankees than any other team.

* He’s third among active players in RBI, trailing only Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas.

* He’s hitting .456 against the Yankees since the start of the 2006 season.

Beyond that, he had homered off Mussina in his previous at-bat, crushing a ball off the Volvo sign over The Wall in left.

But Moose got what he wanted and Manny got what he wanted, a fastball that was too high and too far over the plate.

Girardi handled the questions calmly (see Sam Borden’s column tomorrow) and never got defensive. If he’s going to be a successful manager in New York, it’s a drill he has to get used to.

It was an interesting baseball decision and it didn’t work out.

Here’s a little audio of Girardi talking about his call. The sound is bad because at ultra-modern Fenway Park, we talk to the manager out in the concourse because his office is the size of a closet.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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95 Responses to “The Manny-Moose matter”

  1. jk April 12th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Fire Girardi!

    Hey Pete, we need an update on when Damon will return to being an elite MLB player.

  2. SJ44 April 12th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    As I said in the other thread, if you are going to pitch to Manny (I also would have walked him), you can’t nibble on the outer half. Manny is never going to bite.

    Mainly because, if you miss, which Moose did, Manny will punch the ball to right center, which he did, and you lose the battle.

    You go inside with your fastball and if you miss, you hit him. That’s how much you go inside.

    You don’t have to throw 95 to tie someone up inside.

    You do though have to have the onions to go right back in there though.

    If you look at the replay of the Manny AB, Manny KNEW Moose didn’t have the onions to go inside and he was ready for the ball middle/away.

    That’s a part of Moose’s pitching pattern he has to change if he going to be successful.

    All that said, the 4th run killed them. Can’t let that inherited run score after you have Youk 0-2.

    Lesson learned. If a similar situation arises later in the season, you can’t make the same mistake again.

  3. GoYankees April 12th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    It’s still only April, but fundamentals are still important. Walking Manny would have set up a possible force at home or any other base. With two outs that’s reason enough. I hope Girardi will be more decisive the next time.

  4. John in Ohio April 12th, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Agreed. Manny is one of the best right-handed hitters in baseball history. Gotta walk him and make the youngster beat you.

  5. Blargh April 12th, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Although, Youkilis is 29 this year; is that really ‘youngster’ territory in baseball parlance?

  6. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti April 12th, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Joe handled it very well. I would have been screaming haven’t you heard a word I said!! You’ve asked your questions 500 different ways!!

  7. Big Papi's Slump April 12th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Monday morning quarterbacks are right 100% of the time.

    Girardi did act decisively.

  8. Tim April 12th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Manny is the only batter on the Sux that scares me in that spot, plus you could tell after Wang embarassed him on Friday nite that he was motivated to have a great game. Now if it was Joba with a 97 mph heater and devastating slider then sure you take your chances, but with a Mussina 85 mph slow pitch softball you’ve got to walk him, its just inexcusable, and Girardi blew it plain and simple. But the bright spot is that next season we won’t have to worry about Mussina and his 101 year old delivery and his obscene $16m salary. Any 3 year old knows that that was the wrong decision in that spot, Girardi has waited his whole life to be the Yankees manager and have a moment like that to make a simple 3 year old decision and he blows it. I wonder if Hank Steinbrenner still thinks that Joe G’s a genius.

  9. GoYankees April 12th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    SJ44 … “Manny KNEW Moose didn’t have the onions to go inside and he was ready for the ball middle/away.

    Yeah, fastball in, curve down and away is right. Moose threw a curve inside under the arms for the HR, and a fastball up and away for the double. These things happen, though.

  10. SJ44 April 12th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I don’t think handling the media is going to be a problem for Girardi.

    Remember, he was a member of the media last year.

    Its an overblown issue (his handling of the media), IMO.

    That move, while controversial, did not cost them the game.

    The 4th run cost them the game.

  11. Bronx Betty April 12th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Too bad we weren’t collectively managing today.

    In reality, it’s so much easier to call the shots from the comfort of our couches, then from a noisy and hostile dugout in Fenway.

    Anyways, this proves, WE always know best.

  12. John in Ohio April 12th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Blargh

    You’re right…I didn’t realize he had 418 ML games under his belt.

    I’d still rather take my chances on him, as opposed to Manny.

  13. SJ44 April 12th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I don’t think Hank Steinbrenner has any issues with Girardi.

    I think kneejerk fans, who think before they post, have issues with him.

    If they win tomorrow, Girardi is “loved” again by the kneejerk crowd.

    If he doesn’t they will be in full panic mode.

    It has nothing to do with Manny being “motivated”.

    ‘Ya think Big Papi is “motivated” to hit? He’s 3-43 this year. For those scoring at home, he’s hitting .069.

    You execute pitches, you get outs. You don’t, you get beat.

    Motivation has zero to do with it.

  14. Frank Discussion April 12th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Hindsight is always 20/20, and it was a crapshoot no matter how Girardi played it. Ramirez is simply too dangerous for Mussina to tangle with. Better off rolling the dice with Youkilis.

  15. jay destro April 12th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    as the old saying goes… “this is why you play 162 games…”

    sometimes you make the right move, sometimes you don’t. fortunately there are over 150 games left to play to make the right decisions in.

  16. Bronx Betty April 12th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    ps I guess this kills Mussina shot at the HOF.

    No HOF could have made such a mistake.

    If Charlie Finley were alive, we’d hang Moose & Girardi in effigy.

  17. Tim April 12th, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Being on the couch and being a Monday morning quarterback, and the fact that that it was a noisy Fenway rat hole has nothing at all to do with that horrible decision. Mussina was on the ropes at that point, he was like a tired fighter rope-a-doping to get to the bell, and the whole baseball world knows you don’t pitch to Manny in that spot plain and simple. Its baseball 101 – geesh! If Youklis beats you then you tip your hat to him and move on, but you don’t allow the best right handed power hitter in the game beat you in that spot, you just don’t and Girardi blew it just like he blew allowing Damon to continue to start instead of Matsui and hopefully and eventually he learns from it.

  18. SJ44 April 12th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Last year at this time, we had Jeff Karstens and Chase Wright pitching against the Red Sox, on their way to getting swept.

    We had Wang getting belted around in the fist game of that series last year.

    I’d say its a little different this year.

    This is going to be a very good team. Just takes time.

    Fortunately, time is on the Yankees side this season.

  19. GoYankees April 12th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    With two outs, runners on second and third, I’d walk Poopy to get to Manny also. Then the infielders don’t have to play in, and a play at any base is end of inning. That’s just the way the game is played.

  20. Bronx Betty April 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    “the right handed power hitter in the game” was batting .256 with 14Ks in 43Abs (33%).

  21. Tim April 12th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I’m not a “knee jerk” fan, you have to call them as you see them, I will still criticize Joe for that decision if they go 150-0 from now on. That was a terrible terrible decision plain and simple. You can’t just blow it off, the manager has to be held accountable when they make terrible decisions just like you would be at your job. It cost them the game but hopefully it was a learning experience. These type of winnable games though hurt so much though and it could come back to haunt the Yankees later, hopefully not though.

    Love the play of Melky, Alberto G and Molina right now, they are the bright spots on the team right now. And Shelly and Brett Gardner are tearing it up at Scranton.

  22. jay destro April 12th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    SJ44 is right.

    remember the position the yankees were in, right now they might be a little banged up, but there are great things yet to be seen.

  23. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    not gonna say nothing but…

    Zach McCallister 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K’s

    check the GO to FO ratio … 13:2

  24. Tim April 12th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    “the right handed power hitter in the game” was batting .256 with 14Ks in 43Abs (33%).

    Manny is Manny whether he’s hitting .024 or .300. To say he’s the best right handed power hitter in the game means over the last few years – and I meant to add, against the Yankees (see stats from Peter above).

  25. Blargh April 12th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I’m probably the only one who looks at “He’s a .356 career hitter with runners on second and third.” and sees “So, that’s 64.4% the other way…I’ll take those odds” :/

  26. Fran April 12th, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    The Yankees are going to be just fine.
    They play the Sox 16 more times this season. The situation with Manny figures to come up again. I’m sure that if and when it does Girardi will remember this game and how to handle Manny.

  27. YankeeJosh April 12th, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    I wouldn’t have walked ortiz to get to Manny. Ortiz has been in a huge slump, and I wouldn’t want to deal with Manny with the bases loaded. Girardi made the right decision challenging Ortiz.

    I was screaming at the TV to walk Manny though. Girardi made a mistake, even if it had worked out. The 4th run was a killer, so there’s no telling if Youkilis doesn’t beat us anyway.

    Certainly not the end of the world though. The team is still in a pretty good place now, in the big picture.

  28. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Isn’t 13:2 with 7K’s 22 outs?

    did he have a 4-out inning due to a passed ball or wild pitch?

  29. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Blargh,

    probably but it’s a good point!

  30. Bronx Betty April 12th, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Drop the kool-aid, Tim.

    Manny struck out twice, Friday night (0-3).

    Manny is so scary, he starring in the remake of “Friday the 13th”

  31. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    BD 13:2

    ground ball to flyball ratio :lol:

  32. Tim April 12th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    not gonna say nothing but…

    Zach McCallister 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K’s

    check the GO to FO ratio … 13:2

    McAllister may be one of the most underrated pitching prospects in the Yankees system imo. You don’t hear much about him, but he has the build and “look” of a good pitching prospect. He will be interesting to watch as he progresses through the system. That whole Charleston team is imo the best collection of talent that I’ve seen in several years. Montero could be a star, in the A-rod strastosphere imo and there are at least 9 other legitimate prospects on that team in including McAllister.

  33. Hellboy April 12th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Whiners, just let the game go already — and go back to finishing doing your taxes.

  34. Blargh April 12th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Oh, this should explain the extra out:

    Top of 6th inning:
    Cole Miles strikes out swinging.
    Michael Fisher grounds out, shortstop Walter Ibarra to first baseman Brandon Laird.
    Jason Heyward strikes out swinging. Passed ball by catcher Jesus Montero. Jason Heyward to 1st.
    With Cody Johnson batting, Jason Heyward steals (3) 2nd base.
    Cody Johnson doubles (3) on a line drive to right fielder David Williams. Jason Heyward scores.
    Frederick Freeman grounds out, second baseman Justin Snyder to first baseman Brandon Laird.

  35. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Brandon,

    you mean groundball to flyball outs? or just total balls in play?

    thats what got me i think.

  36. Bob April 12th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Bad call pitching to Manny.

    That being said, there’s still alot to be postive about. That the Yanks were even in a postion to win a game that was Moose vs. Beckett says alot. Last year it would have been a laugher.

    I like the way the team looks this year at this point much better than last year.

  37. jrealty (formerly Jesse) April 12th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I noticed another Jesse posting on here earlier today and decided a name change was in order. Yes, I am the Jesse that thinks Barry Bonds should be signed to hit/DH behind Arod.

    Sure it may be another month or so before they make that decision or one similar to it but does anyone really believe that this line-up (which is essentially the same one that didn’t get it done last year, albeit another year older) will somehow man up and get it done in the post-season this year?

    Has anyone else read Kevin Hench’s article on why the Yankees won’t make the post-season?

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....s-October-

    I don’t believe that they will miss the post-season as they just have too much basic talent and money not to make the changes that will propel them there.

    Just my humble opinion.

  38. Tim April 12th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Drop the kool-aid, Tim.

    Manny struck out twice, Friday night (0-3).

    Manny is so scary, he starring in the remake of “Friday the 13th”

    Yeah, he struck out against one of the best pitchers in the AL right now, who had the game of his life on Friday. The simple fact is you just don’t pitch to Manny in that spot plain and simple end of story. Learn from it Joe and lets move on.

  39. CB April 12th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Boston Dave,

    I just took a look at that article on Joba’s mechanics that you mentioned in the last thread..

    it is absolutely, utterly nonsense.

    This video tape analysis of pitching mechanics over the internet has got to stop. It’s just garbage.

    Here’s what I think about that article.

    When Joba was drafted he was throwing 92-94.

    Nardi Contreras took a look at him and then revamped his mechanics giving him better leg drive.

    After a couple of weeks working with Nardi Joba was suddenly throwing 95-98.

    That’s how good Nardi Contreras is. He is very respected within baseball. I’m sure SJ could speak on this at length.

    The other guy Joba worked with closely on his mechanics last year was Gil Patterson. In the off season the A’s hired Gil Patterson to be their Nardi Contreras – Patterson is in charge of overseeing the development of all the pitchers in the A’s system.

    That tells you how respected the yankees development guys are.

    This video clip analysis stuff over the internet really took off with this guy Carlos Gonzalez who used to write for the hard ball times.

    The article that probably got Gomez the most noteriety was one he did on Phil Hughes.

    Why did his article set the blogosphere on fire – because in it Gomez confidently predicted that because of Hughes “poor mechanics” he was going to injure his shoulder. This of course sent the yankee blogosphere in a tizzy with panic.

    Here’s the funny thing about that article and all you need to know about this video tape analysis which is growing in “popularity.”

    Gomez predicted phil’s future injuries based on a change in mechanics he claims to have seen from when phil was in the minors to the first game phil threw in the majors.

    I don’t think many people took a look at the original video that Gomez linked to and based his analysis on.

    The tape gomez made his grand prediction on was a half inning Phil threw at the futures all star game in 2006.

    There’s surprisingly very little video available of hughes as a minor leaguer. That clip from the futures game was the most easily found as the game is on ESPN.

    I looked at the video – first it was a poor quality video. Second and this is the joke of it all – that clip showed Phil throwing 11 pitches!!!!! And on top of that Phil threw badly that day – kids get very hyped up at the futures game and often over throw (joba did that last year).

    So based on a poor quality video tape of 11 pitches only from the centerfield camera this guy predicted phil was going to injure his shoulder.

    And every yankee blog in the world linked to this nonsense.

    Gomez became this weird internet subculture celebrity amongst baseball bloggers. And in the off season the Diamondbacks actually hired him to do this “innovative” video tape, frame by frame mechanical analysis for them.

    After that insanity spread on the internet. Guys are doing these “mechanical” break downs as if they have some kind of expertise just because they have a blog. And in order to be heard over the noise of the internet they make the most outlandish statements possible – and the easiest way to get noticed is to predict catastrophic injury on a prospect. That way all the team’s blogs link to your piece.

    And hopefully a major league team will hire you because you’ve “mastered” this new technology.

    It’s absolutely garbage. These guys are just bloggers. If they were so brilliant wouldn’t they already be working in baseball. And unless a guy has seen and studied pitching mechanics and evaluated the pitcher in person its nonesense.

    This is what happened with Phil Hughes and his velocity “controversy” this week.

    As SJ pointed out Keith Law had a great take on this “internet phenomenon” Here’s what he wrote in his chat this week:

    Kevin (The DISTRICT of): KLAW, settle this ridiculous Phil Hughes velocity debate. What’s the real story? Did he really throw in the mid 90s in the minors?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:04 PM ET ) Yes, that’s definitely the stupid Internet story of the week. Hughes was 90-94 coming up through the minors – saw it with my own eyes, more than once – and he’s pitching in the lower end of that range right now. It’s a controversy borne of the cockeyed optimism of fans who latch on to a pitcher’s highest-ever reported velocity and then act shocked – SHOCKED! – when he doesn’t actually throw that hard.

    Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark): Joba has given up a hit this year. Do you think there’s anything wrong with him?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:13 PM ET ) I hear his velocity’s down. I’m going to go find someone who knows nothing about pitching mechanics to tell me what’s wrong with him.

  40. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    “Brandon,

    you mean groundball to flyball outs? or just total balls in play?”

    BD don’t make it tougher than it is ofcourse GO = ground outs and FO = fly outs :lol:

  41. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    jrealty,

    you can make that list for EVERY team in the majors.

    the Yanks arent close to perfect. the Sox arent either. even the Indians, arguably the top AL team, have questions. The Tigers slow start should enhance the Yanks chances. Seattle doesn’t look like a major threat just yet.

    Hench makes some good points, but doesnt really show enough to make a solid claim that they wont have enough to make the playoffs.

  42. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Brandon,

    then isnt 13:2 = 15 outs. add 7 strikeouts and you have 22 outs in 7 innings.

    that didnt add up to me. that’s all… maybe i’m missing something? quite possible.

  43. PAT M. April 12th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    One good side effect of the sucess that Wang, Cano,Melky and so is that more Yankee fans not only know the farm affilates, they are now following the players…That’s really impressive…..Maybe the FA spending spree menatality is a thing of the past…..

  44. Bob April 12th, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    That Hench column is stupid and just another lazy writer looking for the easy story to write.

    Oh, Jeter and Posada are old. Farnsworth sucks. The pitching is young and old. Wow, what an informative column there.

  45. Blargh April 12th, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    BD: According to that inning recap, it was a passed ball on a K that led to a 4th out

  46. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Blargh,

    ok thanks. that was my original post, asking if he had a 4-out inning due to a wild pitch or a passed ball.

  47. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    ohhhhhhh I see what you mean it must be a misprint so then it’s 13:1 or 12:2 I’ll investigate that line a bit more, because MILB made an error some where

  48. Dee April 12th, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Well coulda woulda shoulda. All I know is Girardi would need to do a lot worse for me to start doubting him. A 4-3 close game against Breckett/Papelbon is definitely not reason to be concerned about Joe’s in-game management.

    And I agree with Pete, Joe is handling the NY media well so far. All those speculations about him being a hothead before he got the job, I knew it was probably the stupid Marlins owner’s fault, and less about Joe. He seems too smart and too measured (in a good way) to me.

  49. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Brandon,

    according to Blargh, 13:2 is accurate (if he did strike someone out who reached on a passed ball)

    its not a big deal… just making sure my eyes didnt deceive me.

  50. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    BD,
    “Jason Heyward strikes out swinging. Passed ball by catcher Jesus Montero. Jason Heyward to 1st.”

    that’s why 13:2 and 7 K’s recorded 22 outs

  51. CaptainsCorner April 12th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    It shouldn’t have been a question in Girardi’s mind. But since it was and he let an old man throwing 80 mph make the decision he has a lot to learn as a manager. Also he better get used to the second guessing and 100 questions after a game where he makes a stupid decision.

  52. yeah April 12th, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    giambi sucks, why is ensberg not playing full time?

    im beginning to think damon is 100% finished as well, time for him to take a seat on the pine next to jason

  53. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    funny thing is McCallister struck out Braves super prospect and Yankee super prospect lets it through :)

  54. Boston Dave April 12th, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    thanks Blargh and Brandon

    I will assume he had some good sinking movement on the fastball tonight…

  55. Ross K April 12th, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Honestly, if we end up winning 2 out of 3 this weekend I’ll forget all about that piss poor decision to pitch to Manny, though I am shocked that it was Manny rather than Ortiz coming through with the clutch hit. On a positive not, am I the only who thinks that the Attorney General is going to be an absolute stud. This is going to make moving Jeter to first or the outfield that much easier.

  56. jrealty (formerly Jesse) April 12th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Boston Dave

    No doubt other teams have issues as well. Fortunately, the Yankees are in the enviable position of having enough quality players in both the majors and minors that could bring them the 2 or 3 pieces they need to strengthen the team they already have. Not to mention that there is probably a player or two out there that is unemployed at the moment that could be of assistance. Not every team has that option. I believe that will be what separates them from everyone else trying to make it to the post-season. Of course, the question is will they make the right decisions via trades etc…?

  57. Tim April 12th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Has anyone else read Kevin Hench’s article on why the Yankees won’t make the post-season?

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....s-October-

    I don’t believe that they will miss the post-season as they just have too much basic talent and money not to make the changes that will propel them there.

    Just my humble opinion.

    I saw that article also, and the sad thing is, I agree with alot of it.

    I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed the Attorney General’s defense the last few games and while he’s not Derek Jeter, he has good baseball instincts and can hit a little bit.

    Molina is an upgrade defensively over Posada, and while its early, Jorge doesn’t look like he’s set to have the year he had last year.

    Giambi had something to smile about Friday nite with the game winning hr, but he doesn’t appear to be the player he was either.

    Damon right now is a better defensive player than Matsui, but he is a shell of his former self offensively right now.

    Andy is still Andy imo and I don’t have any real worries there.

    Mussina scares the hel$ out of me when he pitches. I was actually surprised he had a decent ball game today but he still only made it 5.1 innings.

    Farnsworth is terrible and I don’t trust him more than 1 inning ever and not in a real tight situation.

    Kennedy scares me a little right now also, is he the pitcher of last season or is he just going through a “dead arm” period right now and will snap out of it and pitch like he did last year?

    Hawkins I don’t think is as bad as everyone thinks he is but time will tell.

    He forgot Betemit in the article who I think is a complete waste of bench space right now.

    The only issue I have with the article is that I think the Yankees have internal solutions to their problems and have the resources to get the solutions at the trading deadline.

    I think Shelly and Ensberg could eventually take over 1B if Giambi continues the status quo with good production and I think eventually they will bring up Brett Gardner to take over for Damon in the lead off spot with great production, and better defense. – he will be a big weapon even if just off the bench.

    I see Molina continuing to spell Posada a lot and provide great backup C. (Imo he is the best acquisition that the Yankees have made in the last 2 years.)

    I would like to see Gonzalez get the reserve infielder’s role over Betemit and spell Jeter at SS some when he comes back.

    And as far as Farnsworth and Hawkins are concerned the Yankees have great young arms in the minors, ie, Patterson, Ramirez, Britton, Albie, Robertson, McCutchen and Melancon, etc, who could eventually take their place and be as good or better.

    So its really the in-thing right now to jump on the “no way the Yankees make the playoffs” bandwagon, ie, see Steve Phillips, but its still early and some of their problems do have possible solutions.

    Now we just need to make sure Joe learns not to have Mussina pitch to Manny with the go ahead runs on base in the 6th inning and 1st base open.

  58. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti April 13th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    5.2 innings

  59. Boston Dave April 13th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    jrealty,

    for sure. IMO, it’s a little easier to make a list of reasons why the Yanks WOULD make the playoffs. their pitching is showing to be a real strength.

    guys like the dude who wrote that, probably dont even know who the Yanks have in AAA. many of their AAA pitchers are better than the guys on active rosters of a majority of MLB teams.

    you think the tigers would like the Yanks AAA pitching right now?

  60. S.A.-Phil Hughes is Saved and will be fine! Goodness.. April 13th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Didn’t Kevin Hench write something like that last season(after the wacky and disappointing first half of the season)..that we were done and not making the playoffs? Or am I thinking or something else?

  61. jrealty (formerly Jesse) April 13th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    yeah

    Why is this team continuing the fantasy that three players better suited to mostly DH’ing, are better than one quality DH, a solid defender/decent bat in LF etc…?

    All three players Damon, Giambi and Matsui are defensively challenged in some way and one of them is positively putrid in the field.

    Pitching and defense wins championships and decent hitting is nice to have. But, the most potent offense in the world will be hard pressed to out score other teams every time out.

    Changes need to be made. Hopefully, the above mentioned players will do decently enough soon to make them decent trade material.

  62. V April 13th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Wow, that article is horrible. Mind if I repost the link mid-season when this team is raking?

  63. Boston Dave April 13th, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I have no problem with people picking the Yanks to NOT make the playoffs…

    but Hench takes a small sample of stats, out of context, and doesnt do a very good job using them to explain why they wont make it, nor what teams in the AL don’t have the same number of question marks.

  64. bigjf April 13th, 2008 at 12:08 am

    I didn’t even want Moose facing Manny there in the 6th. I was hoping Girardi would go to Bruney before Mussina got the chance to face Manny. I’m not saying Bruney would have faired better in that spot, but it was clear that Moose was done for the day. I would have preferred a fresh arm with a different look. Those batters were facing 85mph and junk, suddenly you change it up with 96mph and hopefully catch Manny off-guard. And that’s not hindsight because I was screaming for it before Moose threw a pitch to Manny in the 6th. So give me a medal! :p

  65. V April 13th, 2008 at 12:10 am

    “Changes need to be made. Hopefully, the above mentioned players will do decently enough soon to make them decent trade material.”

    If we don’t want them, who the hell is going to trade for them?

    Stop wringing your hands over the bad offensive start. Damon will be fine. Giambi will be fine. Matsui will be fine.

    Giambi’s gone after the year. There’s no way he’s traded in the meantime. Giambi’s 2/21. But he also has 6 walks. While that’s mediocre, he’s been hitting a lot of hard balls – he hardly looks silly up there. He’ll come around. I fully expect something in between his 2006 and 2007 numbers.

    Damon’s played in 10 games. In the first 5, he had a BA of .111 – ouch. In the more recent 5, he has a BA of .350 – grand total of a BA of .211. Welcome to the small sample size of the beginning of the season.

    Matsui?? – .342/.390/.553 not good enough for you?

  66. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 13th, 2008 at 12:10 am

    who the hell is Kevin Hench ? (that’s all you need to know)

  67. V April 13th, 2008 at 12:14 am

    And you know what? While he’s still got a ways to go, I’m seeing some promising things in Cano’s approach at the plate over the last few games. That 10 pitch at bat vs Papelbon didn’t end up all that great, but not a bad at bat for someone struggling like he has.

  68. YankeeJosh April 13th, 2008 at 12:15 am

    bigjf

    I have so little faith in Mussina now, I wouldn’t have complained if after getting up 2-1, Girardi pulled Moose and went Bruney for the 6th, Joba for 7 and 8, then Mo. I knew he wouldn’t, and I can’t kill him for leaving Mussina in to start the 6th. I’d have let Moose walk Manny and go with Bruney-Youkilis though.

  69. V April 13th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    “I have so little faith in Mussina now” – :rofl:

    He beats the Rays with 2 hits and a walk, 1 run allowed in 6 innings. Then allows 5 hits and a run against the Red Sox in 5 innings on 55 pitches. That’s pretty damn solid. His 6th sucked, and he Manny is a damn good hitter, but give me a break. Please.

  70. Tim April 13th, 2008 at 12:21 am

    I kinda agree on Matsui, he should have been in the game today, but he needs to stay as a DH and not as a LF. He didn’t look terrible in RF the other nite but he doesn’t have a RF’s arm. In the interview Friday on M&MD, they were grilling Girardi about Matsui’s defense, and Girardi was sticking up for Matsui, “the wind really blew that ball”, referring to one of the balls he really butchered in KC but he hasn’t looked good at all in LF. I sure hope Damon does come around, because I think Gardner could be a special player. The thing that bothers me is that he doesn’t try to bunt to get on, hasn’t stolen a base all seaon, I mean that’s his strength I thought was his speed and he hasn’t been using it. I also hope Giambi comes around because he’s a game breaker when he’s producing.

  71. YankeeJosh April 13th, 2008 at 12:23 am

    V

    He sits 86-88 on his fastball, and needs to be near perfect with his location. He’s a fine number 5 starter, but the Moose of old is gone. He will get hit most games, which is okay when the Yankees offense is in full gear. Expecting him to protect a one run lead in the 6th inning of a game against a very good offensive team is asking a lot now.

    Moose has a bit of a history of giving back leads. I don’t blame Girardi for leaving him in, but it was pretty easy to see what happened in the bottom of the 6th coming imo.

  72. Tim April 13th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    You know what’s funny about Hench’s article, is that I haven’t seen him write that the 2-9 Tigers aren’t going to make the playoffs yet, unless I missed it, yet the 6-6 Yankees who have struggled scoring but we all know will score 850-900 runs this season are going to miss the playoffs after a sample size of 12 games when we know that they have the pieces and financial resources to solve some of their issues.

  73. Manimal April 13th, 2008 at 12:28 am

    JESUS, who was banging the drums in the background of the audio?

  74. jrealty (formerly Jesse) April 13th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    I fully believe that the team as it is presently composed will not be the same team we’ll see in September. I believe that Girardi is feeling his way along right now to see who he can count on and so forth. I also believe that Cashman is looking at all the angles on how to improve this team as well.

    I could live with Matsui as the everyday DH as he is a quality hitter but it’s just too crowded trying to find at bats for Matsui, Damon, and Giambi not to mention Shelley.

    That’s 2 too many DH’s in my opinion with defense suffering in the wake of all that churning of those players.

  75. Tim April 13th, 2008 at 12:39 am

    It does say something that Shelly has been playing 1B down in Scranton, so besides tearing it up offensively, they’re hopefully working with him and giving him more experience playing 1B. He looks good at times at 1B but he has butchered some throws. It would be nice if he could develop into a decent 1B, so even if they do get Texeira next year he could be an adequate backup if needed.

  76. MJL April 13th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Hench is also a self-proclaimed huge Sox fan, so this is just homering at its finest and a lack of actual analysis. Pay no attention to his weak writing.

  77. jo April 13th, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Of course I’m dissapointed with the loss today
    but man, Moose is really the Yankees number 4 starter and we went pitch to pitch with the Sox’s ace Beckett, I’m fine.
    We have given up 5 runs in two games with the Sox, which is great!
    Hopefully Phil can have a big game, 2 out of 3 would be great!

  78. BBFan April 13th, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Whether we like it or not, Sox are a good team and many are predicting they will win the WS this year. Not many are forecasting that Yanks will make to the playoffs.

    Under the circumstances, split in the first two games is reasonable. We will win the rubber game tomorrow and two out of three against a good team is great.

    All this talk about Manny should have been walked – it is just a matter of individual opinion. With tenacious hitter like Youklis on deck, very very few managers will load the bases thus leave no margin for error. I can not find fault with Girardi for that decision.

  79. G. Love April 13th, 2008 at 1:36 am

    I’m disappointed in the Mussina decision and I hope the positive that comes out of it is next time Girardi doesn’t leave it up to the pitcher to decide and makes the decision himself.

    That’s what a manager is supposed to do and I feel Mussina has lost all claim to managers and players walking around him on eggshells.

    Girardi should have made the call and I guess by leaving up to Mussina, he did in essence make a call.

    I just wonder if that was really the call he intended to make when he went out to the mound.

    It’s not why we lost the game today. I’m not blaming Mussina. He pitched admirably.

    But the in game decision being dictated by a player who got crushed by the same batter in the last at bat and who is basically throwing effective junk over the plate is not my idea of a good call.

    I’m not down on Girardi. I just hope he learned something from today.

    Moose doesn’t have the chits to make that kind of decision on the mound anymore. He needs a manager to tell him “when”.

  80. stuart April 13th, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Sj it was even worse last yr. we hadthe ex angel scrub catcher who hit a giambi like 085. we had terrible pen, with limited reinforcements in the minors. we have Britton ABedelaja(whatever it is), Edwar (dominating AAA again), patterson, Rasner a decent long man, and on and on. We still have high ceiling Sanchez, melancon, Cox, and others.. They are loaded with good young arms simply loaded….

    The AG looks like a player who definitely can field.. This team just needs to hit like they should or near it and they are going to win a ton of games…

    Moose has to pitch inside to Manny who is a different hitter(more then most0 when you pitch him inside..Again how about bringing Duncan back and getting rid of Ensberg?????

    I believe if Kyle flops a few more outings they will trade him to the NL for whatever they can get??/

    Igawa doing well at AAA will that make him more tradeable to the NL????

  81. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! Mussina is NOT DONE! anti-anti April 13th, 2008 at 1:43 am

    How could we have Alabajado if we just traded for him this off season?

  82. stuart April 13th, 2008 at 1:47 am

    when is the last time the yanks had three outfielders in the minors less the n23 with a chane to be legit major leaugers????

    Gardner can be a Jason Tyner(or hopefully a little better) and Ajax and Tabata supposively have huge upside. these guys are in AAa and AA.

    They are loaded in the minors…Next yr. things wil lget even more interesting… I hope they keep Cash, I believe the extra yr. for Posada and the extra yr. for Mariano, and even letting Arod back was the Steinny bys idea and Cashman makes many more good decisions then bad…

    The day pavano($11Mill.), kyle($5 mill.), giambi($16 mill.),moose($11 mill.), and other bloated contracts are gone is a good day it it is only 6 months away……

    I guess Molina at 2 yrs of $2 mill each is probably money well spent… srub catcher costs $750 k or more and defensively Molina is real real strong..

  83. Russell W April 13th, 2008 at 1:59 am

    Honestly, I would have pitched to Ramirez as well. Mostly because of my respect for Youkilis as a hitter. Pitching careful to Ramirez, to me, is safer than pitching without any breathing room to Youkilis.

    But the Red Sox are garbage and aren’t going anywhere so lets forget about this game :)

  84. jo April 13th, 2008 at 2:28 am

    its hard for me to get onto giardi right now
    the team obviously isn’t hitting to near capability it can, however giardi has KEPT the Yankees in every game except on in Tampa; the hitting will come and it showed tonight
    Even though we only scored 3 runs, a couple more could’ve happened if Ellysberry doesn’t make that great grab or “The Mayor” doesn’t make a top ten 10 grab to get out alberto.
    Cano looked a whole lot better at the plate tonight which is extremely encouraging. We’ll be fine.
    Hey at this point last year we were about to go on that horrideous 7 game losing streak, yikes!

    But I feel good about tmrw, hopefully phil and our offense can get it done & we can’t forget that the sox are coming to our house on wed for a 2 game series!
    GO YANKS!

  85. Kevin April 13th, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Frankly, there’s no excuse at all. You don’t let Mussina make the decision in a case like this. You don’t even ask his input, IMO.

    Anyone who has followed the Yankees / Red Sox rivalry knows that Manny owns the Yankees. I haven’t checked Manny v. Mussina, but my recollection is its not a pretty picture in general.

    About the only one I let pitch to him in that situation is Joba. Seriously. Someone with some gravitas who doesn’t know any better and can sling it up there high and tight at around 98 mph.

    Anyway, its water under the bridge now. Let’s move on, learn from it, and win today.

    ==========

    Here is one of Girardi’s game notes.

    Note to self: Don’t pitch to MR when first base is open, runners are on 2nd & 3rd, and the game is on the line.

  86. SJ44 April 13th, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Girardi didn’t let Moose make the decision himself.

    He made the decision in concert with Moose.

    You can disagree with the decision and I would have also walked Manny.

    However, there isn’t a manager in baseball who isn’t going to give input to a veteran pitcher in a situation like that.

    Why? Because he has to execute the pitches out there.

    Its the proper protocol in that situation. It just didn’t work.

    Its not little league out there and Girardi has shown he will involve the veterans in decisions. That’s why the vets play hard for him.

    Girardi also took on the heat for the decision after the game.

    That’s how you manage and how you win respect from your players.

    The strategy didn’t work. How the strategy was reached is not in question.

  87. Jeff April 13th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    This is a no-brainer. Joe clearly made the right call based on percentages. While Manny’s numbers over the last few years are slightly better than Kevin’s, they aren’t enough to justify the intentional walk. Read some of James Click’s work on the subject over at Baseball Prospectus or from the book “Baseball Between the Numbers”. Statistically speaking, the difference in batting between Kevin and Manny wasn’t big enough to justify an iBB. In 2007, Youkilis actually had better numbers (AVG, OBP and SLG) against right handers than Ramirez.

    The only real question of Joe’s decision making is whether or not he should have brought in Bruney sooner.

    He made the right call to pitch to Manny. Spend some time looking at the numbers and you’ll see it’s true. It’s a shame the NY Daily News and especially the NY Post had to flaunt their ignorance of fundamentally (and mathematically) sound baseball.

    -Jeff
    http://pinstripers.blogspot.com

  88. younguns April 13th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Whether they would admit to it or not, the players & management staff of the Yankees & Red Sox see each & every game that they play against each other as a playoff-intensity event.

    Knowing this, here is how I would have phrased the question to Joe Girardi as a reporter after yesterday’s loss…

    >

    Really, I REALLY want to know the answer.

    After Wang’s domination of the Sox on Friday night, a Yankee win over ace Josh Beckett by junk-throwing Mike Mussina would have sent Red Sox Nation into full panic mode & placed an unhealthy helping of self-doubt into the Red Sox psyche.

    You don’t thing so? Just take a look at David “3-for-48″ Ortiz.

  89. younguns April 13th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Whether they would admit to it or not, the players & management staff of the Yankees & Red Sox see each & every game that they play against each other as a playoff-intensity event.

    Knowing this, here is how I would have phrased the question to Joe Girardi as a reporter after yesterday’s loss…

    Joe, tough loss today, especially since you guys were facing Josh Beckett & also had a lead at one point. Seeing as how both the Yankees & Red Sox play these games like they were in the playoffs, should we expect similar decision-making on your part if the Yankees & Red Sox face each other in the ALCS?

    Really, I REALLY want to know the answer.

    After Wang’s domination of the Sox on Friday night, a Yankee win over ace Josh Beckett by junk-throwing Mike Mussina would have sent Red Sox Nation into full panic mode & placed an unhealthy helping of self-doubt into the Red Sox psyche.

    You don’t thing so? Just take a look at David “3-for-48″ Ortiz.

  90. Betsy April 13th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Anyone read Bill Madden today? He’s calling Joe “Clueless Joe” and has stated that Girardi’s decision will rank up there in managerial infamy with Grady Little’s decision to stay with Pedro Martinez in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.Seriously – isn’t it time that Madden retire? What a clown.

    Ken Davidoff had a much better piece in Newsday. He disagrees with Joe’s decision but doesn’t resort to name calling. He also credits Joe with facing up to the media and answering every and all questions.

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/.....159.column

  91. airandy41 April 13th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    hi

  92. mike April 13th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    what is w the Damon bashing? Nothing worse than a pessmistic fan

  93. jon April 13th, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    My god, are you really quoting stats like the # of RBI he has against the Yankees as evidence not to pitch to him? If the Red Sox had runners on 2nd and 3rd with Manny up against the Mariners then perhaps it would be smart for them to pitch to him?

    3rd among active players in RBI? Are you kidding me? So given the choice, you’d rather face Manny than Thomas or Griffey? How about Albert Pujols? His career RBI totals suck, right, so you’ve _got_ to pitch to him.

    I am fully convinced that the guy from waswatching.com has kidnapped Pete and is writing this blog. Either that or Pete is trying his best to get on FJM thinking it might increase his readership.

    Pete – please stick to the reporting – you have great interviews, and good access to inside information.

  94. gdamac April 13th, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Is it April, or June?

  95. RockinDaBronx April 14th, 2008 at 3:48 am

    April, but it gets late,early.

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