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


Today in The Journal News

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Sep 15, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Derek Jeter caught up to a legend as the Yankees and beat the Rays again. And you’ll never guess who left the game with an injury. Brian Heyman has the story.

Interesting sidelight in this story is that the person who caught Jeter’s record-tying home run gave him the ball in exchange for a bat and a ball. Nice that there are still some people left in the world who aren’t greedy.

Robinson Cano (finally) got benched for his lack of hustle. This notebook also has updates on Phil Hughes, A-Rod and Humberto Sanchez.

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Check out this MLB.com story about Doug Mientkiewicz and Ron Villone getting into a fight. Ronnie V played football in college and is a pretty big dude. That’s a fight Eye Chart doesn’t want.

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If you missed this Bob Klapisch column in The Record you should check it out. He has some good insight into what’s going on with the Yankees.

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76 Responses to “Today in The Journal News”

  1. rackem September 15th, 2008 at 3:01 am

    I don’t see a fight

  2. mel September 15th, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Good stories, Pete.

    -Congrats to Jeter and Rivera.

    -Eyechart vs Villone. Doug’s a scrapper, but Villone’s a bulldog. I miss Dougie’s glove. :(

    -Cano, Cano, Cano. I hope he doesn’t take being pulled personally. He’s hardly the first. I do hope that he gets the message. And it was unquestionably deserved.

    Cano ascended rather quickly, succeeded, experienced very little failure, and got a big contract. Now I’m not saying that’s why he’s slipped. But there are guys who would kill to be in his position.

    If Cano can find the perfect balance between his naturally smooth talent and aggressiveness, he’ll be an even better player. The message should be that playing for the Yankees is a privilege that is earned, not something to be taken lightly.

    -Now that the season’s *almost* over we’re seeing the layers being peeled back a little.

    Girardi’s a little more open. Talking openly about disappointments, possible coaching changes, expectatations, etc. He really needs a younger team in general. Jeter, Alex, Mo, and Posada will always play hard for Joe, but we need to complement the veteran core with young guys that can be molded into the type of scrappy ballplayers we had in the past (like Jeter, Mo, Andy, and Posada).

    Not that I don’t appreciate the vets and their big bats, I do. But it’s time for a change, and as painful as this season has been, it really pointed out what’s lacking. Energy and great defense.

    Don’t laugh. I think that’s why they hired Girardi, even though at the time it made more sense to go with Donnie because of the vets. But I think they hired Girardi because they knew that the team was going to get overhauled.

  3. Wang IS Taiwan September 15th, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Girardi sure has been a change, alright — for the worse. Geez, he really lost this team in a big way. I manage people and as much as you want to blame the people working for you when things go wrong or they don’t listen, if the person at the top is not leading in a way that inspires, it’s the manager’s fault. That’s just Management 101.

    Pete — Klapish’s insights were exactly what many have been seeing and commenting on all year long. Too bad so many of the posters on your blog are as delusional as Girardi, but I, for one, appreciate your clarity on the real problems facing the Yanks.

  4. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Mel, there are very few if any good defensive outfielders that can hit on the FA market and, really only one 1st baseman. The one other option would to either bring Mientkiewicz or try to get Ross Gload from KC. He’s not a pretty name, but, he has a great glove at first and a good corner outfielder. He also has a good bat…a line drive hitter, but, has always hit well and hit a few homers in Yankee Stadium. Doesn’t hurt that he’s from Brooklyn, so, the big city shouldn’t scare him. He can bunt well and has a little speed, doesn’t strike out. Mainly, he’s cheap and at 33 years old won’t tie up first base for years.

  5. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 3:52 am

    Sorry, but, not agreeing with you doesn’t make people delusional.

  6. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 3:55 am

    Mel, I moved this from the last subject title in response to your remarks……….

    Mel, I resent that “dirty old man” remark. I showered just last week and didn’t even need it.

    I agree that Cano’s play today had to be addressed, but, I also think his fielding and hitting has become a vicious circle, where one affects the other. It’s just false that he’s lazy and doesn’t care.

    I felt that Girardi was the wrong person for this team from the start. He’s still too close to being one of the players. If Torre had to go, Bowa was the ideal choice, but, he said a couple of weeks ago that he didn’t want to manage. He preferred to coach because it was easier to teach andinstruct…that it gave him more time for that. I also think that Eiland wa the wrong choice to be the pitching coach. He didn’t really teach the pitchers anything. They were taught by Gil Patterson and Nardi Contreras. Losing Patterson will hurt. I think that Rick Peterson would be a better choice. He may be too radical for the older pitchers and managers, though. Trenton’s Scott Aldred might be the best of the young pitching coaches.

    Jackson is the real deal in all phases of the game. Gardner could be a gold glover, but, unless he starts bunting for hits once or twice a game, he’ll never make it. In Tampa, he had a nice, quick swing and apparently in Scranton, too. Now, it’s like he’s afraid to swing the bat and is hoping for a walk. Not so sure that Curtis is going to be more than a #4 type, but, for now, my preference is Justin Christian in center field.

  7. chef salisbury September 15th, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Gload is a terrible hitter. In case you didn’t realize, the main reason the Yankee offense struggled this year is terrible hitting from 2B/CF/C and the bench. That is 2000 wasted plate appearances for the year from those positions. The last Yankee team to have so many way below average hitters get that many plate appearances was the 1991 team.

    We don’t need to add another 600 wasted plate appearances from 1st base as well.

  8. mel September 15th, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Wang is Taiwan,

    You have a point about management, but many of the problems ARE personnel related. Older players for one. And the RISP thing isn’t even anything new. Clutch hitting on a consistent basis has been MIA for at least 2 seasons.

    This isn’t even about Girardi. If we had a young, exciting first place team like the Rays, people wouldn’t care if someone like Meachem was the manager.

    When the team does bad, they start projecting hate like crazy. Hate on the owner, GM, manager, coaches, Pete, and other posters.

    I’m not saying that’s you, but winning covers a lot of flaws that have been there all along.

  9. mel September 15th, 2008 at 4:13 am

    GB7,

    I saw that. Thanks. Just wanted to distance myself from the delinquent crowd. :)

    Respectful I can do, but clean requires some effort.

    All the good teams have players just like you described. It’s like you need some players who are hungry or need to prove themselves.

    Whoever said there’d be quite a turnover next season had it right. This failed season will be just the excuse they need to clean house. Of course easier said than done, but we know there’ll be a new 1B and new catcher. Some Puerto Rican kid, Jorge, maybe? A sinkerballer from Taiwan and a fireballer from Nebraska.

    Should be exciting.

  10. chef salisbury September 15th, 2008 at 4:13 am

    As for the RISP woes, this is also a byproduct of the crap production from the 2B/CF/C/Bench positions.

    Here are their lines with RISP this year:

    Cano/Melky/Molina/Bench: .210/.269/.292, in 530 Plate appearances

    All Other Yankee Hitters: .290/.386/.454, in 1040 Plate appearances

    Notice how more than a third of the Plate Appearances with RISP were from the crap hitters. That is way too many wasted chances with RISP.

    So everybody can run around throwing blame at ARod or Giambi or Jeter or older players, but he truth of the matter is, the 2008 Yankee offense was ineffective because of too many automatic outs at 2B/CF/C/bench.

  11. mel September 15th, 2008 at 4:22 am

    chef,

    I’m impressed!

    If I translate those numbers. The top 2/3 of the lineup got 302 hits and the bottom 1/3 got 111 hits?

    Jose I give a pass to because we needed him defensively when Jorge went down.

  12. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 4:26 am

    You’re wrong Chef. Gload is a .286 career hitter, and given 500 at bats on a regular basis, he’ll hit and he’ll produce numbers. He’s not a home run hitter but he can hit enough doubles to provide another solid bat. His defense is better than NYY has had since Martinez left. Even as a part timer if NYY stays within the organization and uses one of their outfielders for a year, he provides a great glove late in the game, as good as Mientkiewicz with a better bat. NYY doesn’t need to tie up another 120 million dollars at first base for 6-7 years. There is talent on the way in about two years for first base.

  13. chef salisbury September 15th, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Gload has been only marginally better with the bat this year than Melky has been when it comes to getting on base and hitting for power. That simply isn’t good enough.

  14. Wang IS Taiwan September 15th, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Sorry, Mel, but I disagree. Of course there are a myriad of issues at play with their losing, but you can’t give management a free pass — and that includes Cashman.

  15. mel September 15th, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Anyone want to volunteer to find the RISP avgs. for the principle players ’07 vs ’08?

    What’s acceptable? Your career batting average? I know Bobby and Jeter have been near .400 with RISP, but that’s exceptional, right?

  16. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Much of Cano’s offense is because he had those two as his protection, and as a young player, he tried to make things happen by swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. NYY needs to decide whether he hits with protection or gets him out of the 7-8 slots and gets him protection. Last year, he was surrounded by hitters and they had to pitch to him. Cano is never going to walk a lot, but, neither is he going to strike out a lot. If Damon is traded, and, it were up to me, Cano would be hitting 2nd after Jeter and in front of Abreu. He would be forced to take at least pitch and then, attack the ball. He tried being patient at times this year and ended up with an 0-2 count. He was hitting over .340 on first pitches and . 330 on 1-0 pitches, until this last slump. Don’t go by the numbers this year…take a close look at his career numbers in those counts.

  17. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Mel, .300 is more than acceptable…..350 is very good and .400 is exceptional.

  18. Wang IS Taiwan September 15th, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Chief, I appreciate the research you did. V. interesting indeed. But I think we felt that while we were watching the games, didn’t we? You knew that if the top 5-6 couldn’t get it done, we were sunk once the bottom parts rolled around.

    I’m with Mel on Molina, though — he did as much as a backup catcher could ever be asked to — and then some.

  19. chef salisbury September 15th, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Molina is fine as a backup catcher. But when you need him to soak up 300 plate appearances as he is close to doing this year, you are killing the offense too much. His defense is awesome, but playing him more than twice a week is suicide to the offense. That’s why the Posada injury was a killer blow.

  20. mel September 15th, 2008 at 5:05 am

    GB7, thanks.

    Losing Jorge was a killer for sure.

    I do see quite a few sub .250 catchers on teams that are postseason bound.

    It’s usually the weakness anyway. The 1B is supposed to help average it out.

  21. chef salisbury September 15th, 2008 at 5:12 am

    “I do see quite a few sub .250 catchers on teams that are postseason bound.

    It’s usually the weakness anyway. The 1B is supposed to help average it out.”

    You are totally right. The thing is, the Yankees don’t have the starting pitching this year to support any super crapy hitters in the lineup.

  22. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Mel, it was having a subpar season from everyone. NYY could have survived one and maybe two, but, not all. The injuries to the offense and coupled with Wang and then Chamberlain was just too much and everyone pressed…the younger ones, especially. Guys like Abreu, Jeter and Damon weren’t affected as much, but, the the deep slumps by Giambi really affected Rodriguez, because any time he failed, the boo bird idiots used that as a reason to start. He can say it doesn’t affect him, but, it did have a huge affect on him, Cano and Cabrera. Everybody says it’s because they’re gutless, weak or chokers, but, the sounds affects people differently.

    People like Giambi never hear the boos and probably deserves it more than any of them. He has about a .245 average since his first year in 2002. Personally, I’d like to see Rodriguez pull a loudmouth from the stands and beat the guy senseless.

  23. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 5:33 am

    NYY affectively lost two middle of the order seasons worth of production in time lost from Jeter’s one week, Damon for 3 weeks, Rodriguez for 3 weeks, Posada for the entire season because he never got started, and 2 months of Matsui. Just average seasons from those guys, regardless of what Cano and Cabrera did, NYY would have run away with this thing. That lost offense also put pressure on the rotation to pitch without room for errors.

  24. crawdaddie September 15th, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Pete,
    So Klapisch is insightful because he agrees with your opinion about the manager and Girardi is delusional because he won’t admit the season is over with?

  25. Sush September 15th, 2008 at 5:36 am

    klaspich link does not work for some reason…

  26. Doreen September 15th, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Cashman recognized that Molina should not be in the lineup everyday. He got Pudge. Yes, Pudge has been a disappointment, but I think most people expected him to be much better. I think he’s finally settling in, but it’s certainly not in time. The need was addressed; it was quite unfortunate that the remedy didn’t quite work.

    The Klapisch article is laced with bad feelings so I can’t take it seriously. It’s interesting, really, that the main gripe is that Girardi doesn’t give the media the information they want in the way that they want it. The criticism of his managerial style seems to be second to that. Girardi is not delusional or stupid. His managerial style may not have worked for this team this year for whatever reasons. It’s obvious to me that he has tried to refrain from taking his players to task in the press. It’s obvious to me that he’s not going to throw out the white flag until he has to – and frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    What is clear is that the media is going to harp on Girardi endlessly.

  27. Bavd in reverse September 15th, 2008 at 8:12 am

    we are 2 games into a 15 game winning streak to end the season at 92-70, tied with Boston for the Wild Card…can anyone say SUDDEN DEATH ONE GAME PLAYOFF AT THE STADIUM ??? :-)

  28. sunny615 September 15th, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Hey Pete!!

    That article to Kaplisch’s story doesn’t work… you have a “bracket br/ end bracket” at the end of your link that gives me an error. It should just be:

    http://www.northjersey.com/spo.....ne_in.html

  29. Brad September 15th, 2008 at 8:23 am

    If the Yankees still want to make something of this season and feel better about going into 2009 they can take on the role of spoilers and affect the fortunes of the White Sox and the Red Sox in finishing out the 2008 season.

  30. FrankSJU September 15th, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Menky is just like his ‘best’ buddy A-Rod.
    Go figure.

  31. jennifer September 15th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Check out Mike Ahmore’s thrunder thoughts blog. Lots of great info quotes from last nights win.

  32. jennifer September 15th, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I don’t see the fight either. Only saw video of Dougie swipping the ball out of the glove. funny looked kind familiar. Just wasn’t as obvious without those Mickey Mouse gloves. :lol:

  33. fuhgoobagaz September 15th, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Girardi should have sat Melky far earlier than he finally did. He should have sat Cano for a bit, maybe sit him and have him work on bunting.

    When the Yankees played like crap against some pitchers, the only thing Girardi said was “we played hard, sometimes you just gotta tip your hat”. Had he said a complement to the pitcher but added that it is no excuse, the batters just didn’t do their job, it might have made a difference.

    When all you do is credit the other team you are giving tacit approval for the approach of your own team.

    The stuff about managers not making much of a difference is bull. Look at the Mets once Willie was let go (though he should have been gone after last season, not mid-way through), look at the Blue Jays playing now – with their giving away some of their offense and still playing better than they had been.

    Yes, the players have to produce, but a good manager brings out the best in the players. If it were a case of just one player doing poorly, then you can make a case for it not having a common cause. When pretty much the majority of the team is failing, then you need to look elsewhere.

    Girardi playing musical chairs with this team didn’t help matters. His sitting of hot batters when the players themselves couldn’t understand it didn’t help either.

    While publically, certain players are sticking up for Girardi, but I bet the true number of players who have no gripe with him is far smaller.

  34. mike September 15th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Thanks Pete

  35. S.A.-Looking forward to 2009 and hopefully the offense won't be so offensive. September 15th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Didn’t really think that Klapisch article providing any new insight. It was more like a waste of time reading that, but that’s just my opinion.

    Congrats again to Jeter!

    Also, hopefully Cano will learn something from this benching. For that we will have to wait and see.

  36. jennifer September 15th, 2008 at 8:48 am

    sa agreed. I think Pete was just showing us that other writers are bitter over Joe G as well.

  37. Fredo Corleone September 15th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    “Didn’t really think that Klapisch article providing any new insight. It was more like a waste of time reading that, but that’s just my opinion”

    Absolutely. Nothing new, but sadly nothing incorrect about this statement:

    “The only change, however, is that the Yankees are sloppier and less disciplined than ever and Girardi seems powerless to stop it”

  38. Vrsce September 15th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Torre left the Yankees and took less to be the Dodger manager. he knew his time was up, full credit to him. the Yankees would have made a mistake with Mattingly, as proven by subsequent events, therefore Pena or Girardi.

    Joe G., will have a better team and year next season.

  39. Fredo Corleone September 15th, 2008 at 9:34 am

    By taking 2 of 3 three this weekend, the Yankees chances of protecting next year’s 1st rounder have pretty much died. They currently own the 12th best record in baseball. The 16th thru 30th best records are protected. Yankees are presently 7 games in the loss column clear of the team with the 16th best record in baseball.

  40. pat September 15th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Girardi said a few things on his YES show this week that address points made by Klapish and others:

    -When pitchers are throwing strike 1 strike 2, it makes it difficult to work counts. Guys who are finding themselves 0-2 in ABs sometimes need to swing early in the count because that might be when they get the best pitch they can handle. He said there was a game this year that he looked in the 6th inning and the pitcher was at 75 pitches and 60 were for strikes, not much you could do to work the count that day.

    -The game has changed. It is more set up for athletic teams now than in the past. More athletic and less power seems to be the trend. Yankees are not currently constructed to fit that mold. That will likely be taken into consideration when deciding on expiring contracts.

  41. fuhgoobagaz September 15th, 2008 at 9:54 am

    “He said there was a game this year that he looked in the 6th inning and the pitcher was at 75 pitches and 60 were for strikes, not much you could do to work the count that day.”
    Trouble is many times this year those strike counts for the pitcher are misleading. How many times have we seen the Yankee batters swinging at pitches out of the strike zone? Yet those pitches count as strikes.

    I think the strike zones have been much harder this year to figure out as well. There is a lot more inconsistent strike zones throughout baseball, and pitching has improved overall from last year.

    It may be an aberition, but the Yankees this year have not worked counts regardless of who is on the mound. They swing too early once a run scored from the opposition and gave away a ton of at bats.

    It also didn’t help having a changing lineup, inserting poor hitters like Betemit, Gonzales, Melky, Molina, Sexson, Gardner. While that wasn’t all Girardi’s fault, you can only work with what you have, he frequently put inferior fielding and hitting lineups on when certain pitchers were taking the mound.

    The Rays are not a club that is going to have any real lasting power unless they start hitting better. This year they have been lucky with timely hits, but there is a decided lack of production of runs for them.

    Like it or not, there needs to be a balance of offense and pitching. The Yankees haven’t had the pitching for at least 5 years now. This year the offense wasn’t up to par and it exposed the weak rotation.

  42. filthy slider September 15th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    The fact that Cano said he hustles 99% of the time is a glaring problem, hopefully Girardi’s boot in his rear will help. It was way over do. I only wish he would have pulled him in the middle of that inning right after the play.

  43. ANSKY September 15th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Good to see Girardi finally benched Cano for lack of hustle.
    Maybe A-Rod can introduce Cano to a friend of his who knew a thing or two about hustle – Pete Rose.

    About Cano’s lack of hustle, Jeter sad something to the tune of “I don’t think that’ll happen again … I guess that’s a nice way to put it.”

    If it DOES happen again, Girardi should bench him immediately. He shouldn’t even wait for the end of the inning to do it. He should send someone out to play 2B while the defense is still on the field, and have Cano walk to the bench for all to see. Then Girardi should tell Cano that IS the last time it’ll happen, because next time he gets pulled like that he may as well walk straight to the showers & pack his bags because he’ll be playing his next game in AAA.

    If Girardi doesn’t handle it that way, Hank & Hal should bench Girardi for a game.

  44. JohnC September 15th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Yanks could coup some extra draft picks next year though by offering arbitration to Abreu (Type A) and Mussina (Not sure if he is Type A or B). Would not offer arbtration to Giambi or IRod, as they would probably accept it.

  45. ANSKY September 15th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    By the way, GREAT hustle by Gardner in the OF last game. If only he could show us anything close to a .300BA/.400OBP (even if he could get within 10% soon) we’d have an exciting outfielder who’s a leadoff hitter & base stealer who could make things happen.

  46. Joey's Poodle September 15th, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Thanks sunny615 for a link that worked.

    The article itself (Klapisch) is pretty much the ‘conventional wisdom at this point, nothing new.

    Now we get the governmental type blanket apologia equivalent to “mistakes were made”, as Girardi virtuously repeats “I take the responsibility”. He says it as if he has a choice and like he’s being magnanimous to do so. That’s what I don’t trust. That self-righteous tone. It doesn’t sound like someone who knows he was simply wrong in much of what they did, someone who knows he (not just the players) needs a pretty complete make-over in how he does his job.

    I’m not calling for his firing, just for the changes that I believe could come with the year of experience on the job and a genuine dropping of that layer of overconfidence that made him act as if he had to know best. Peel that away, surround him with a couple of battle-hardened older guys as bench coach and third base coach, guys who really have seen and done it all, and I think it’s a different manager.

    We can’t judge Joe for what he had to work with — and everybody knows it was a seriously flawed product — but for whether he was able to get the very best out of it. That’s all he’s accountable for, really.

    I hope next year at this time we’ll be able to say he did it.

  47. TKinDC September 15th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    “If you missed this Bob Klapisch column in The Record you should check it out. He has some good insight into what’s going on with the Yankees.”

    Or what Pete is really saying is – ‘Here is another experienced writer who thinks Girardi is useless – see bloggers? I’m not the only one.’

    I don’t remember where Klapisch was on the Torre situation at the end of last year, but a lot of people who supported Torre seem happy that he is doing well and Girardi is failing. It makes for easy zingers.

    It has been an awful season, but I don’t think you start canning managers on a yearly basis – that would just validate the perception that Hank and Hal are amateurs. With the team on the brink of being totally remade, there is little that you can say about this years team that will carry forward to next year. It will be a whole new mix.

  48. Fredo Corleone September 15th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    “that would just validate the perception that Hank and Hal are amateurs.”

    This requires no validation. They are amatuers, as it relates to owning a baseball team, and to a degree have admitted as much.

    The more I consider their “Board of Advisors” idea, the more I like it…..especially after Cashman’s “I already have a board” declaration.

  49. Joey's Poodle September 15th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    The ‘I already have a board’ statement made me think Cashman is very serious about the possibility of taking another direction next year. He’s probably right to do so. Better for him, and could be better for the team (depending on who replaces him).

    It would also put Girardi more on notice that it’s up to him to change his act and prove he can develop on the job — a new GM would not be likely to be as protective of him as Cashman seems to be.

  50. TKinDC September 15th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    “The more I consider their “Board of Advisors” idea, the more I like it…..especially after Cashman’s “I already have a board” declaration.”

    A Board of Advisors is fine, as long as it doesn’t become a ‘board of people who pursue their own agendas and then go around the GM to complain to ownership when their pet ideas aren’t accepted’.

    If the GM, whether it is Cash or anyone else, does not have clear authority then you are opening the door to chaos.

  51. Mrs. Kekich September 15th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Pat wrote: “The game has changed. It is more set up for athletic teams now than in the past. More athletic and less power seems to be the trend. Yankees are not currently constructed to fit that mold.”

    I take that to mean – Yankees slowest to adjust to post-PED game.

  52. Joey's Poodle September 15th, 2008 at 11:21 am

    If Cashman really does go another way, we might find the ‘board of advisors’ idea going away, also.

    Depending on who was the replacement.

    It might make recruitment difficult if people knew they were going to have another whole layer foisted on them, a new layer with no track record — might put off the best potential GM applicants.

  53. tony September 15th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    If you missed this Bob Klapisch column in The Record you should check it out. He has some good insight into what’s going on with the Yankees.

    thanks for wasting my time with that…we get it Girardi is delusional because he won’t admit they are out of playoffs…Hey Pete who pulled the lever on Sunday??? I hope it was up to someone of your standards

  54. Fredo Corleone September 15th, 2008 at 11:28 am

    TK:

    1) Agreed that the Board of Advisors is an entity that should be working in conjunction with the FO people towards ONE goal. As we talked about, if factions develop a la the old Tampa vs. NY business, we have problems.

    2) FEAR THE BLEEPIN’ TURTLE!!!!! You end up going to that game? Never easy for the westcoasters to go east and play at noon. Then again, after going 0-4 vs. the Mountain West this weekend, maybe the PAC 10 just sucks.

  55. SJ44 September 15th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    People talk like Cashman has a variety of great job offers.

    When your team badly underachieves this much with this type of budget (both at the major league and amateur draft levels), its hard to declare someone a “hot” candidate, despite beat writers spin to the contrary.

    Ruben Amaro, Jr. is the odds on favorite to get the Phillies GM job. They have been grooming him for that job for years. Do you think they are going to hose him to hire Cash? I’d say that’s highly unlikely.

    Washington? If he wants to take that job, good luck to him. It will take YEARS to fix what Jim Bowden has done there, with no guarantees you will be given the money/budget to do so.

    Seattle? Let’s see, a cross country move for a man and a family firmly entrenched on the East Coast. A team that may well be for sale. Meaning, the ownership group that hires you may not be the ownership group that hands you the budget and the marching orders, to start the season. Its also a in need of a complete overhaul.

    Is that really a better job than the Yankees, simply because Hank and Hal may want more experienced voices in the mix? If he thinks it is, then its time to go.

    I can certainly understand someone wanting a break from the Steinbrenner’s. Even in the best of times, they are very tough to work for, at all levels of the organization.

    That said, the Steinbrenner’s have been awfully good to Brian Cashman. And he to them, FWIW.

    He’s been around long enough to know the organization is not going to go unblemished after a season like this. Whether he likes it or not, changes are coming and some may not be popular. However, that goes with territory.

    At the end of the day, when you examine the other possible job opportunities for him, this is the best place for him to be.

    Its not just about finishing what he started. Its about having that chance to fix it. Something that isn’t guaranteed in other places.

  56. E-Rod September 15th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Don’t look now but Marte has only given up 1 run in his last 11 appearances, and has lowered his ERA to 5.40.

  57. SJ44 September 15th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Every team in baseball has a corp group of baseball advisors.

    Even Billy Beane, who has as much autonomy as any GM in the game, has a core group of advisors he consults in every move he makes.

    What Hank/Hal are suggesting is not exactly groundbreaking stuff. Boston has the same setup. Theo is FAR from a one man band there.

    Fact is, when it comes to the baseball side of the operation, the Yankees are WOEFULLY understaffed. Cleveland has more fulltime baseball people AND scouts on the payroll than the Yankees.

    Obviously, you don’t want a Tampa Mafia II setup. I doubt the Steinbrenner Brothers want that either.

    However, this organization is in dire need of more qualified and experienced baseball people in their operation.

    All you have to do is look at how other organizations set up the baseball side of their operations to realize the Yankees need to get with the times.

    As far as infighting or any stuff like that? Healthy disagreement is actually GOOD for an organization. You just can’t have dissension. That will be up to Hank and Hal to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    It comes with the responsibility of ownership.

  58. Fredo Corleone September 15th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    “However, this organization is in dire need of more qualified and experienced baseball people in their operation.”

    SJ:

    Looking at the Yankees Front Office on MLB.com, I see only Cashman and Newman fitting under the Baseball Operations umbrella. What’s your understanding of the baseball ops hierarchy?

  59. G. Love September 15th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I predicted a lot of the trouble in the pre-season (the pitchers, Cano, Cashman, etc.), but what I didn’t expect was Girardi to be such a cream puff.

    I sincerely bought into the hype that we needed someone tougher than Torre, even though I did want Torre to return and was very sad to see him leave.

    Girardi has been an utter disappointment. His job is to manage players and put the best (and in some cases most deserving) players on the field and he’s failed a ton at that.

    To bench Cano this late in the season after Cano has been pulling these kind of stunts all year is such a joke I’m surprised Cano didn’t laugh at him and thank him for the afternoon off.

    Now he’s going to get tough?

    After pulling the damn wool over his eyes all year with this guy?

    Girardi is starting to realize that this dream job is going to slip away from him fast in this town.

    I’m sensing a little Col. Queeg coming out of him soon.

    If they come back next season with all of these guys (minus Giambi) in the everyday lineup, THEY WILL get off to a slow start again like they have the past few years and Girardi will be fired before July.

    He can see the writing on the wall and if I were him, I’d sack up and start benching some of the prima donna’s on this team like Cano and go with players who will give max effort.

    This season has been a waste of time. Players didn’t develop at the major league level at all.

    The team never came together under Girardi.

    There was more lackadasical play this season then there has been in 15 years at Yankee Stadium.

    That’s not just a indictment of the team, it’s of the manager. When they only thing he has to hand his hat on is the handling of the bullpen, that’s sad. A good pitching coach can solely focus on the pen and do the same job.

    There’s literally nothing to build off of other than the hope that the wrecking ball wipes away the taste of the season in most of our mouths.

    I’m glad Jeter got the record and his moment yesterday, but I’m not going to let that gloss over the turd this team has been.

    They may finish the season over .500 and some of you may think that’s a victory, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory at best.

  60. SJ44 September 15th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Fredo,

    You also have Billy Eppler, who is in charge of pro player personnel.

    My take on him? The Yankees can do better in that position. He’s ok but, he’s not Chris Antonelli, Mike Rizzo, Jed Hoyer or guys of that elk.

    My $.02 opinion is that he is a bit higher on the food chain than he skillset presently allows. Just my opinion.

    Stick is a consultant, yet still has a lot of say in what goes on.

    Stick no longer wants to be a GM. He’s 70 years old, and enjoys the position he has right now. Its a much more fluid position, he can live where he wants to live, and doesn’t have to burn the (after)midnight oil. As most GM’s have to do these days.

    If the Yankees change their baseball ops organizational structure, I think Stick will have a lot of say as to who gains positions in the shuffle. Hank and Hal both like and respect Stick because he doesn’t tell them what they want to hear. He gives them unvarnished opinions.

    It doesn’t mean his opinions are always correct. It just means, he doesn’t play games with them. Something to be admired, IMO.

    Jean Afterman is in charge of contracts. That’s her main responsibility. She is not involved on player development/acquisition side.

    She is great at what she does and knows the business side of the game very well. I’d like to see someone with deep baseball player development experience in a role opposite to her. Kind of the “Jean Afterman of baseball ops”. I believe that spot is the spot lacking on Cashman’s staff.

    Nardi Contreras, the pitching “guru”? Color me unimpressed.

    I’ve watched what has passed for “development” with pitchers in the organization this year and it makes me long for the days of Gil Patterson.

    I think Nardi scores a lot of points because talks a lot to guys like Chad Jennings and fans think that’s cool. In terms of his craft? Just not seeing the type of improvement you would like to see in an organization that is supposedly committed to young pitching.

    I also don’t think his is anybody’s “guru”. Neil Allen, Rick Peterson, Larry Rothchild, just three guys who would run circles around Nardi when it comes to pitching knowledge and teaching skills.

    Personally, I think Raffy Chaves is a better “guru” to arms in the organization than Nardi. Raffy did a great job this year in Scranton and I think he should have a bigger role within the organization and its young pitching. That was an outstanding hire by Cashman.

    Dave Eiland and Raffy Chaves are, hands down, the best pitching coaches and teachers in the organization, IMO.

    I think they made a BIG mistake losing Gil Patterson. Certainly wish they had a “do over” on that one.

    Billy Connors? One of the last remaining members of the “Tampa Mafia”. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near pitchers with any future in the organization. Just keep him with the career rehab guys, like Pavano. Fortunately, his input strong these days and that’s a good thing.

    Damon Oppenheimer? His sole responsibility is the draft. I have seen people on this blog pitch him to be Cash’s replacement. He has no big league experience that would make him a viable candidate for the GM’s spot.

    Also, after his draft performance this year, he is another guy who should spend less time reading blogs extoling his “genius” and more time doing a better job in his present position.

    That’s my take on the guys in the heirarchy of the baseball ops side of the organization.

  61. SJ44 September 15th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    As far as Girardi is concerned, there is no doubt he made some mistakes this year.

    Let’s remember, this is his second year EVER as a major league manager. Take a look at how Joe Torre did in his early years as manager. It wasn’t pretty.

    Better yet, look at the fact that Torre only had 3 winning seasons in his first 15 years as a major league manager.

    He inherited a club that had certain issues.

    Age, guys playing positions they can’t play anymore, 40% of their starting rotation rookies who couldn’t get the job done, and a couple of young players (Cano and Cabrera) who, simply put, fell off the map as productive and consistent major league players.

    Then, the injuries hit to the players he had no replacements for and that pretty much did him in.

    His biggest problem this year was the decline in play of the younger players.

    I watched Girardi in Florida a lot. The younger guys on that team LOVED him. When he came back to do a Marlins game for FOX (his first game back in Florida), the players stopped their BP and mobbed him.

    Hanley Ramirez, cried when thanking Girardi at an off-season dinner, where he recieved an award. He still calls Joe Girardi his biggest mentor in baseball.

    What happened this year? I think he showed too much deference to EVERYBODY.

    I think he saw early on, this team wasn’t wired like he was, (taking every game so personally) and tried too hard to balance everyone’s feelings.

    In other words, he tried too hard to act like Joe Torre instead of being Joe Girardi.

    His relationship with the media? Again, he tried too hard to act like Torre (overly positive, even when it wasn’t the right play to make), and that only made things worse for him with the media.

    Basically, he overcorrected himself from his perceived mistakes in Florida and that made things worse for him in some areas.

    Once the season ends, and he has time to reflect on everything, I suspect he will learn a lot about this season and himself.

    I also think he will end up being a very good manager here when all is said and done.

    He just has to get back to being himself in 2009 and not try (consciously or unconsciously) to be something he’s not.

  62. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Go figure….some blow hard who claims to have predicted everything back during spring training. Hey, I need the winning numbers to the next 6 super lottos. I’ll send you a dollar from the winnings. Keep watching your mail.

  63. GreenBeret7 September 15th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Torre had 5 winning seasons and 5 years with a team (Mets) that John McGraw couldn’t have won with. He took a last place Braves team to 1st place in his 1st year and 2nd the next. How did they do when Torre left. He took a last place Cardinals team and had them in 2nd place during his first full year. They had 3 3rd place finishes after that and a 4th. How did the Cards do after he left.

    At least use a few facts. I don’t care whether Torre was let go, but, was dead set against Girardi, mainly because of the issues with Marlins management, but, mostly because of the damage he did to that young rotation.

  64. SJ44 September 15th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Why does Torre have excuses when his teams don’t perform, yet Girardi gets the “blame” for things that go wrong here?

    He got blown out in St. Louis and Tony LaRussa took those teams, with many former Torre players on them, to the post-season multiple times. He then ended up winning a World Series with an 83 win team. I’d say that’s pretty good.

    Atlanta? He was a fleeting star there. A good ’82 and ’83 and then it came undone. Some of that was his own fault. He pushed for the Len Barker-Brett Butler trade, which dramatically altered that Braves team. Some of what went on wasn’t his fault.

    In other words, it was like every managerial job in baseball. Some things go wrong by your hand, others do not.

    No knock to Torre but, until he came to NY, that was his calling card as a manager. He managed more games than anybody in the history of the sport without going to a World Series. Those are the facts.

    He was WELL under .500 as a manager when he got the Yankees job.

    The Yankees were good to Torre and vice versa.

    Somehow, that’s lost when we hear/read all about what “Torre did for the Yankees”.

    The Yankees also did quite a bit for Joe Torre. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer now because of his 12 year association with the Yankees. He was only going to the Hall of Fame if he bought a ticket, prior to his involvement with the Yankees.

    Like all sports relationships, it ran its course. It happens.

    As far as Girardi “hurting” the young pitchers in Florida, here are some “facts” for you:

    Annibal Sanchez was hurt his entire career. That’s why the Red Sox gave up on him. Under Girardi, he had the only healthy season he’s ever had in his career. It was also his most productive.

    Dontrelle Willis had his best year under Girardi.

    Josh Johnson? Everybody makes a big deal out of bringing him back after the rain delay in that game against the Mets. Urban legend, which is all it is, makes us believe Johnson got hurt because he came back into the game.

    What’s lost in the analysis is Oliver Perez, the Mets pitcher that night, also came back after the long rain delay. He didn’t get hurt.

    Johnson himself has said that his injury didn’t come from the rain delay.

    To blame Joe Girardi for Johnson’s injury is akin to blaming him for Phil Hughes’ injury this year.

    Pitchers get hurt. Its a fact of life. They got hurt under Joe Torre and they got hurt under Joe Girardi. Its just the way it is with pitchers these days. They are very fragile commodities.

  65. Fan mail from some flounder September 15th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    But seriously, us Yankee fans had no idea that they sucked this year. Its a good thing Bob let us in on his “good insight”. Wow.

    Klapisch’s talent as a writer is minimal, but then again, He’s a sports writer…

    Don’t you just love the “I predicted” crowd, the ones that “knew” everything… after the fact?

    Maybe if the Steinbrenners “blow hard” enough, the Yanks might win another title. I’ll bet Orioles fans wish Angelos had as much hot air.

  66. G. Love September 15th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    You keep trying there Colonel Jessup.

    If you were an active member of this blog in the off season you would have seen about 100 posts by me upset about going into the season with the rotation we did and giving Cano guaranteed money after he just had a season where he took the first few months off.

    But keep filling your day by picking fights on blogs instead of actually having something interesting to say.

    You’re the martyr. You’re the one who thinks you’re here to protect this blog from idiots. If you did a good job at that, we’d never see you put up a post in here again since you are the drill sergeant of the idiots.

  67. 86w183 September 15th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Next year will be a truer test of Girardi. Let’s be fair. It’s tough to take over a veteran team that has been very successful. They are going to be resistent to change and you don’t want to make them uncomfortable by forcing the issue.

    The 2009 Yanks will still be a veteran team, but they will be coming off a disappointing season, so all involved know “change” is needed. If they succeed in becoming younger and more athletic in the every day lineup then you could see a team that plays much more like the Angels and less like the softball team they have become.

  68. Angel - A tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing September 15th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    “If you were an active member of this blog in the off season you would have seen about 100 posts by me upset…”

    You’re always posting a hundred paragraphs at a time about how *upset* you are about something to do with the Yankees. Nothing new about that.

  69. Jesus September 15th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    What insite does Klapisch have in that column? He claims the Yankees are sloppier and less disciplined then ever. This may be true but his basis for this claim is “They miss signs, they’re impatient and are so busy hacking away it’s as if Girardi is being tuned out.” He then chooses three players — Cano, Molina, and Cabrera — as examples of this impatience and claims their pitches per plate appearance this year backs his theory up.

    Only problem is that those players are taking just about as many (Molina 3.54 vs. 3.55 career) if not more (Cano 3.36 vs 3.27 career, Cabrera 3.67 vs 3.64 career) pitches per plate appearance than in the past.

    Most of the other regulars are equal to or above career averages (Giambi, Jeter, Abreu, Damon) or below career but up 07 (Rodriguez). So yes, Cano, Cabrera, and Molina are a good representative of the team in that they are all taking about as many pitches as they have in the past.

    His theory that the Yankees have quit and Girardi let it happen may or may not be true. His claim that their pitches per plate appearance proves that point is bogus.

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