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Burnett: “I broke every record in the wrong direction”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Podcast on Oct 02, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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There has always been something of a love-hate relationship with A.J. Burnett. He’s massively talented but prone to implosions. The Yankees knew that when they signed him, and they experienced it to some degree last season, but this year has been different.

“I’m inconsistent,” Burnett said. “But not this inconsistent.”

Burnett said his terrific first two months of the season “seems like four years ago.” He was 6-2 at the end of May. Then he went 0-5 in June. He had a 2.00 ERA in July. Then he didn’t win a game in August. Even when his stuff was good, Burnett managed to lose a complete game in Kansas City.

Tonight, Burnett goes back to the mound with a shot at some level of redemption. “There’s no erasing it,” Burnett said, but he could put some minds a little bit at ease by finishing the season strong. For better or worse — and there’s literally no way of knowing which — the Yankees will almost certainly need Burnett at some point if they’re going to win another World Series.

“I’m sure a lot of people are curious,” Burnett said. “I broke every record in the wrong direction for the Yankees this year. It ain’t like we got a Cy Young on the mound. Then again, I can go out there and throw a no-hitter at any time. I have that in the back of my head too. Confidence is not lost, but I know there are questions. I’m not oblivious to that.”

Here’s Burnett speaking on Friday.

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Associated Press photo

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244 Responses to “Burnett: “I broke every record in the wrong direction””

  1. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Well, at least AJ is not oblivious – you have to give him that, right? :)

  2. Joe from Long Island October 2nd, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Hey, Doreen, he’s our’s, we might as well root for him :)

  3. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Joe from Long Island -

    Absolutely. :)

  4. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I’m looking at the American League leader stats. Robbie Cano has only missed 2 games this season. Two. I’m tired just thinking about it.

  5. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 9:21 am

    So, I am also looking at these leader stats and I see “Duke, PIT 8.44 ERA,” “Hammel, COL, 7.28.” I’m thinking, wow – talk about typos. Then I look more closely and the columns are titled “The Worst in September.”

    You should all be happy to know there is only one Yankees player on that list: Thames, with the 10th lowest OBP at .231. And that’s no surprise to any of us, right? :)

  6. Ross October 2nd, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Question: How did someone with THAT many tattoos end up with a black eye? Normally, excessive ink ink acts like the markings on a yellow jacket…………

  7. upstate kate October 2nd, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I saw an interview where Robbie quietly made his case for MVP. He mentioned how many games he had played. You could make a case that his avg would be higher if he had more rest.

  8. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I’m not sure how he could be oblivious to it with all the balls that have been whizzing past his head.

    Ill be cheering for AJ today as always and hope today is the start of him turning it around….but I think the “I know I’m inconsistent” and “I could throw a no hitter in any start” quotes are off base….one I don’t think he can still throw a no hitter at any time with the way he’s pitched this season and two if he knows he’s inconsistent then that should significantly bother him….we will see how much it does by if and how much he changes this winter. All that said….he could have a big opportunity to contribute something today and I hope he takes advantage.

    On a side note…I know the wild card is meant to punish that team by playing on the road throughout the postseason, but I’d be curious to know how often the WC team actually has the worst overall record.

  9. upstate kate October 2nd, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I will be cheering for AJ as well. But he hasn’t been inconsistent, he has been consistently bad.

  10. Joe from Long Island October 2nd, 2010 at 9:42 am

    kate – that has exactly been the problem.

  11. Fran the original October 2nd, 2010 at 9:45 am

    At least AJ knows he’s been awful. He really needs to come up big today. I hope he does well.

    Also need Andy to come through healthy since he is crucial to the Yankees playoff chances.

  12. comet October 2nd, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I think as a general rule of thumb it would behoove any manager to MAKE SURE his players each had at least one day a month off!

  13. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 9:49 am

    So,

    Looking at Robbie’s stats. You know last year he only missed ONE game.

    And while watching him play, you know he had a better year than 2009, the stats don’t really show it except in HRs and RBI and walks. BA is down. SOs are up. OPS is up (but that has to do with the HRs and walks being up).

    Interesting when you just look at numbers.

  14. LGY October 2nd, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Wake me up when AJ actually does something to make himself a better pitcher or at the very least more consistent.

    He is always a debbie downer when it comes to his performance. He never acts on it though.

  15. CBean October 2nd, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I’m always going to cheer for AJ. He’s ours and we need him to do well.

    And he’s right, he does have it in him to throw a no-hitter. In some ways it would be less frustrating if he were just awful or had something like what happened to Javy happen where his arm seems to have fallen off. It’s worse knowing that he’s got the talent in there, he just can’t seem to pull it up.

  16. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 am

    In Feinsand’s article, AJ says that he went back to look at video from the beginning of the season when he was pitching well. Hopefully that gives him a concrete starting point.

  17. LGY October 2nd, 2010 at 10:02 am

    The way AJ has pitched this season saying that at anytime he could go out and throw a no hitter is like saying any pitcher in baseball can go out and throw a no hitter on any given day.

    The real question with AJ is what is the chance at this point Good AJ actually shows up or No Hit AJ actually shows up. The chance of those 2 things happening are much lower than ever and that is why the Yankees shouldn’t get sucked into that fantasy. ANY pitcher can dominate on any given night.

    The closest AJ has come to throwing a no hitter this year was 8 innings 3 hits in April and 8 innings 4 hits in July. He hasn’t had another start this season where he has even come remotely close to throwing a no hitter.

  18. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 10:04 am

    LGY-

    I would setttle for non-explosive, competitive AJ. ;)

    Anything else is gravy.

  19. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 10:06 am

    MTU,

    Seriously…forget a no hitter. I’d settle for a quality start.

  20. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Robbie’s stats between last year and this year. When you dig deeper, it’s really about when the hits happened. Last year’s BA was more consistent through the season, but he did much better this season in getting hits in more important situations.

    Number stories.

  21. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 10:11 am

    What I want from AJ is not to cough up a lead immediately after the Yankees give him one.

    Quality start will do. :)

  22. pat October 2nd, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Some of you are such Mom’s when it comes to players getting days off.

    Good players in their 20′s play everyday unless they are injured. Robbie is the norm, not the exception.

  23. MiKylPTRS October 2nd, 2010 at 10:12 am

    hhashf

  24. upstate kate October 2nd, 2010 at 10:14 am

    LOL Pat, good point. Actually, as a mom, I would say “suck it up and play!!”

  25. murphydog October 2nd, 2010 at 10:16 am

    “I’m inconsistent,” Burnett said. “But not this inconsistent.”

    Well, um, yeah. You are.

    He’s just going back to see video of his good outings now? Unbelievable. But if he’s done it before now, it sure hasn’t worked. Why would it work now?

    Mechanics: his delivery can lead to wildness and inconsistency, it’s somewhat across his body. If the pitcher with this delivery is not careful, the strike zone can easily get away from him. Then he walks a few. Then, he has to sail one down the middle to re-find the plate. Guess what happens then? A PROFESSIONAL works on that and learns to repeat his delivery and correct the crossfire effect.

    Mentality: His head apparently leads to meltdowns. He cannot easily or reliably get out of the death spiral once it starts on the mound. A PROFESSIONAL learns to make his head a weapon, not a vulnerability.

    Repertoire: He’s got two pitches. TWO. He refuses to throw the change-up because he doesn’t have confidence in it. A guy who has two pitches needs a third. PERIOD. A professional learns that third pitch, changeup, splitter, something and he gets confident with it and he becomes a more complete, PROFESSIONAL, pitcher.

    A question was posed here last week I think about whether AJ was coachable. The answer is most clearly “no.” AJ’s pride in his “stuff” is apparently the problem. He still thinks he can pitch a no-no at any time. His “stuff” ain’t cutting the mustard anymore until he fixes his mechanics, his mentality and his repertoire. It’s as plain as the black eye on his face.

    “Potential” only lasts so long before the adjective, “wasted” gets inserted ahead of it.

  26. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:17 am

    AJ is a good guy, so if for nothing else, I’m rooting for him to do well. That said, I would be incredibly disappointed if a good start here convinced the Yankees to start him in the ALDS (though I don’t know if we can go with a 3 man rotation if we play Texas, only if we play Minny).

    I appreciate the Sox players asking the Yankees re: the DH – that’s classy. 4 and 9 pm, though? I’m surprised they didn’t want to play earlier……………I said last night that I don’t think the A-teams are going to play in both. Even if the Yankees have a chance to clinch, I would not play Swish for sure – maybe not Cano.

  27. JM October 2nd, 2010 at 10:18 am

    They may not have been able to play earlier because of the contract with Fox to broadcast a 4 p.m. game.

  28. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Criticizing him for making that no -hitter comment is unfair; I mean, what do you expect him to say? If he wants to believe that he’s capable of that, then by all means. I think it’s very fair to criticize him for not making changes – and he’ll have to do that over the off-season.

  29. LGY October 2nd, 2010 at 10:20 am

    “I’m not sure how he could be oblivious to it with all the balls that have been whizzing past his head.”

    ——————————-

    You would have to be blind not to see it this year.

    My gf is a casual Yankee fan. Likes going to the games and only watches on TV occasionally. Whenever she comes home though or walks into the living room and the game is on, she looks at the score. This season, if the Yankees are losing big time, this is how the conversation goes a lot of the time.

    Her: “AJ?”
    Me: “Yeah”
    Her: “He sucks”
    Me: “Yeah”

  30. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:22 am

    So Murphy, he shouldn’t go back and look at video just because it’s not worked before? Also, who said this was the first time he’s done that? I’m sure I read previously that he’s done it – and this year. Man, I know he’s struggling, but to question his professionalism or in essence his integrity? Ouch.

  31. MiKylPTRS October 2nd, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I’m sure in the prime of his life he’ll be able to manage playing a few hours of professional baseball every day if necessary especially considering the current circumstances.

    Robbie at his age and physical stature could endure far far more than is currently being asked of him IMHO.

  32. pat October 2nd, 2010 at 10:26 am

    AJ seems to know what he is. The Yankees seem to know what they have in him.

    Cashman was on with Kay yesterday and said AJs problem is he hasn’t shown the ability to self correct.

    You can’t teach someone to self correct so perhaps Plan B is to teach him to positive talk to himself before each pitch.

  33. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 10:28 am

    murphdog,

    Well said…all those things are why AJ is so frustrating to me and so many other people. He keeps doing the Sam things over and over and expects different results because ” he is capable of a no hitter at any time”.

    All we can hope is that this season causes some sort of light bulb effect with him.

  34. 108 stitches October 2nd, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Seems very odd with Burnett.

    A 1st ballot Hall of Famer (Mariano) can spend 2 days in Toronto with Dave Eiland to correct a mechanical flaw.
    C.C. Sabathia can seek out his pitching coach to change a grip on a pitch.
    Phil Hughes has worked with Eiland since their days together at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
    Kerry Wood can take advice from Dave Eiland to make him how good he’s been as a Yankee.
    Even Nick Swisher can go to Dave Eiland to change his grip to make his outfield throws better.

    Burnett either can’t or won’t to to his pitching coach to make his changeup better or other mechanical adjustments corrected.

  35. JCPD October 2nd, 2010 at 10:31 am

    MTU, repost for you from the last thread

    Since rain is a prevelant subject, here’s to a Yankee sweep today. Amazing what a “little” rain can do.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/10.....mv-a6gswE#

  36. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Well at least AJ’s likable and self-deprecating. That won’t get you a slice of bad California pizza, but at least it’s not classic Joba.

  37. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Blake-

    In order for the light bulb to go on there needs to be a filament inside of it first not just a vacuum.

    First law of the Wilderness is never piss up a rope or into the wind.

    Hope springs eternal though.

  38. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Pat, I did hear that part of Cash’s interview and was surprised he was so honest………….

    I thought Phil had some AJ in him this year when he refused to throw the change, so now maybe AJ should have some Phil in him. Still, throwing a change won’t transform this guy. He hasn’t had a curve ball basically all year……….

  39. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 10:34 am

    murphydog -

    Whoa – that was pretty harsh. :)

    But it is true. There is a disconnect there.

  40. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 am

    MTU,

    Lol…I’ve been really tough on AJ lately. I think I almost have it out of my system though. I’m going to try and be supportive :)

  41. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I’ve been hard on AJ, too, but I can’t make it personal as it seems to be getting.

  42. Wang IS Taiwan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:39 am

    MurphyD,

    Great assessment. Completely and totally agree.

    So, I guess we can conclude that AJ is not a professional, but instead, someone who has consistently wasted his potential over the years. Such a shame, really.

    I’m still not sure how the Yanks give him a playoff game if he pitches “ok” today, but I fear they will…

  43. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 10:40 am

    JCPD-

    Those are great shots. Send some of that water our way please.

    We could use it. Thank you for sharing the photos.

    Blake-

    Yeah. Me too. On both accounts. I’ve simply lowered my expectations is all. Helps keep the BP down. :)

  44. Wang IS Taiwan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:41 am

    WCYF,

    I’m with you on AJ’s likebility vs. Joba’s, but even that gets old when the loses/meltdowns become expected.

  45. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Wang, that’s not my conclusion at all.

  46. Wang IS Taiwan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Betsy,

    Thanks for posting the link of the Kerry Wood article in the Times. Enjoyed reading that. He is indeed someone you like rooting for. I sure hope he chooses to stay with us next year, although I know he wants to close.

  47. upstate kate October 2nd, 2010 at 10:44 am

    how is Joba not likeable?
    I don’t see any of the current Yankees as unlikeable.
    They may not live up to my expectations, but that doesn’t make me not like them.

  48. JM October 2nd, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Re: AJ….

    “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”

  49. pat October 2nd, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Murphy

    I’m going to guess your professiona has acquainted you with a few people who haven’t made changes in behavior until life hit crisis proportions no matter how many times people have warned them the crisis was coming.

    Maybe 2010 was the crisis AJ needed.

  50. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Wang, you’re welcome! He’ll get closer $$ from some team, but does he want to close for a team who probably won’t be a contender? He really seems to thrive in this type of environment, so that’s a trade off he’ll have to seriously think about. The Yanks will make him a fair offer – and he should remember as well that, with Mo’s age, he’d have some chances to close.

  51. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I just don’t understand the “AJ’s auditioning for the post-season” rhetoric. If he goes six innings today and gives up two runs, is there a Yankee fan anywhere that would be surprised if he went two innings and gave up seven runs his next start? That is what the problem is. How can you trust such a wildly inconsistent pitcher at this point in the season, with so much on the line.

    All season long Girardi said, “we need to get AJ right”. “We need to get AJ straightened out”. Well, it didn’t happen. Does the reason matter at this point? Mechanical, mental, personal problems at home, whatever the case may be, it really doesn’t matter.

    I even question why with our destiny in our own hands today, and that’s unbelievable given the last month, we are handing the ball to AJ in Fenway. Is he our best chance to win? Really? I mean Really???

  52. Rich in NJ October 2nd, 2010 at 10:49 am

    The velo of AJ’s four seamer is down 1 mph this season, over 2 mph since 2007. His stuff is in decline and he can’t make the adjustment by having better command and adding another pitch.

    IOW, he’s not that talented anymore. His stuff is that of a fungible reliever.

  53. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:49 am

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....4Oe8Jn2PuI

    Don’t count out Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova starting tomorrow in the final regular-season game.

    “We will see where we are at,” Girardi said. “It could be a lot of guys, a guy starts for a couple of innings and then we go to the bullpen right away. There are lot of different things we can do.”

    Girardi said Hughes, who will start Game 2 or 3 of the ALDS, will get some work tomorrow, but don’t expect him to go more than two innings to keep him below the 180-inning mark. He is at 175 1/3 innings.

    Asked specifically about Hughes, a 17-game winner, Girardi wouldn’t commit other than say: “We wouldn’t use him a ton.”
    **********

    So, either way, even if he starts on Sunday, Phil is not going to pitch more than a few innings.

    The way this is worded is weird – I’m sure Joe didn’t say Phil was starting one of those games, but rather an assumption on King’s part.

  54. upstate kate October 2nd, 2010 at 10:51 am

    who is the alternative? CC is pitching the first game of the play offs. Andy is pitching the first game. I would guess Phil and various long men go tomorrow.

  55. murphydog October 2nd, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I’m just calling a a spade a spade. If the Yankees choose to build up AJs self-esteem because nothing else has worked, well, I guess that’s understandable. He may well be the nicest guy to walk the earth, but my comments are not directed to his off-field persona, his eternal soul or anything metaphysical.

    There is something seriously wrong with a pitcher with his experience who cannot establish a repeatable delivery, has meltdowns like a kid in little league and who refuses to learn that other pitch. No one thing fixes this guy but all three are necessary to at least make this guy a competitor. He can certainly want to do everything right, and give out all that laid-back, self-deprecating stuff, but wishing don’t make it so. At the bottom line, except for a more pleasant demeanor in post game interviews after another loss is this guy really all that different from Hideki Irabu or Ed Whitson? Sentimentality can only go so far, especially in light of repeated failure along the same lines. Unless there is some personal issue (that will go away with time) killing him this year, his inability to get the job done is inexcusable.

  56. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Rich, I don’t agree. Just because his stuff is down does not make him mediocre reliever material. Then again, I’m not ready to give up on him. Well maybe for this year, but not for next

  57. Wang IS Taiwan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Betsy,

    Yep! I think whether we win the WS this year may have some bearing on Wood’s decision, but I’d like to think that his positive work with Eiland will have him leaning towards us. I worry that Cashman will lowball him, though.

    As far as AJ goes, I should have written that it is possible to conclude…obviously, not everyone agrees with what ails AJ.

    Sadly, I don’t think he’ll ever be a #2 for us, but it would be nice if he could at least be a decent #3 or 4.

  58. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 10:55 am

    WCYF-

    I can’t disagree with a word you said but we all have to hope that AJ finds it and strings it together for the remainder of the season.

    The likelihood: extremely low.

    Would many of us prefer to go in a different direction ?

    Without a doubt.

    So there you have it. It is what it is. We do not get a vote. :)

  59. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Murphy, I’ve no problem at all with you being honest and I respect your posts (plus, you are an atty and my father is one, so I like that profession, lol). I’m just not ready to go as far as you did.

    I can’t speak to mechanical issues because it’s very likely not as easy to change them as you make it seem. The stubbornness re: the other pitch is disconcerting to be sure, but I think what it comes down to is that AJ lacks confidence. I’m not going to attack him for that because I understand what it means to lack confidence. Believe me, I’m very upset about his year and I don’t trust him at this point…………

    For Eiland, anyway, here is the problem:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....EM6dMxBHRM

    “He’s got to believe in himself,” Eiland said. “We believe in him. It’s just that he has to believe in himself.”

    And not just believe sometimes.

    “Every pitch,” Eiland said.

    From the first pitch to the last.

  60. JM October 2nd, 2010 at 10:56 am

    That’s the thing about AJ. Say a minor miracle occurs and he goes out and has a quality start today. There is absolutely no reason to believe he would be able to repeat that the next time he started, which would unfortunately be in the playoffs. Before this year, he was just consistently inconsistent, which is frustrating enough. Since July, he has been consistent, at least. Consistently bad.

    I admit I would be pretty surprised to see him throw well today. Please, AJ. surprise me. LOL.

  61. Rich in NJ October 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Betsy

    He has had a historically bad season for a Yankee starter.

    It doesn’t look even worse because he was very good in April.

    His Post AS ERA is 6.19; BAA .301.

    Do you think his FB is going to increase in velo?

    Do you think after years of talking about it and doing nothing, he is finally going to add another pitch?

    What’s going to change?

  62. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Wang, all AJ has to be next year is a #4 type……but in order to rebound from this year, he’s going to have to work his butt off (he always works hard, though) AND work smarter. He’s going to have to make changes; I figure the Yankees will make it clear to him what they expect him to do.

  63. Wang IS Taiwan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 am

    What kind of drives me nuts is listening to Michael Kay go on and on and on about AJ’s pitch speed, when we all know darn well that he’s just “throwing” the ball aimlessly.

    Kay is obsessed with speed and never mentions location. Maybe he can’t tell where the ball is going and just reads the board for mph. Who knows?

  64. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 10:59 am

    If the Yankees can take the division tomorrow and they don’t throw Phil Hughes, it would be inexplicable and stupid. If he is at 175 and has a 180 limit, why can’t he go 5-7 innings? His arm going to fall of if he does? Career ruined?

    The Yankees have said clearly that in the post-season innings limits go out the window. How does that make sense in the context of all this coddling? They just seem to be clueless when it comes to developing pitchers, they have strengths in player development, this sure isn’t one of them. It’s always a mess.

  65. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Murphy-

    The real joke of it all is that AJ doesn’t even need to develop another pitch. He actually has a terrific CU. He just refuses to employ it on a regular basis.

    Maybe he will going forward. It’s long overdue. He may be forced to do what should have done voluntarily a long time ago.

    There is no solace to be found in diminishing stuff.

  66. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Rich, come on – I know how bad he’s been this year.

    Who says he needs to have an increase in velocity to win? I don’t know any of the answers to the questions you asked, but I’m not ready to assume that this year as a starter is what we’d get from him from now on.

  67. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Wang, he does seem to think AJ’s stuff is electric………….and he’s obsessed with velocity, which is why I think he always loved Joba and had real issues with Phil.

  68. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 11:03 am

    MTU
    October 2nd, 2010 at 10:55 am

    WCYF-I can’t disagree with a word you said but we all have to hope that AJ finds it and strings it together for the remainder of the season. The likelihood: extremely low. Would many of us prefer to go in a different direction ? Without a doubt. So there you have it. It is what it is. We do not get a vote. :)

    *****************

    That’s for sure, we don’t get a vote. Nor should we that’s not our job it’s theirs right? I’ll root for AJ every start, I have done so every game he has ever pitched for the Yankees. But – well, you know the but, no need to say it.

  69. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I have no problems with how they’ve developed Phil this year at all – the only question I had was that they should have skipped him earlier (like at the beginning of September) instead of waiting until when they were going to, last Sunday’s game. Obviously they’ve done something right as he’s made it through a grueling season completely healthy. The division clinching game, sorry to say, is not nearly as important as any game he will pitch in the post-season, so using this as an example of why they suck at developing pitchers is harsh, IMO. Do any of us know how Phil is doing physically? No. It’s much more important that he be somewhat fresh for the playoffs given the huge workload he’s had this year compared to years past.

  70. pat October 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 am

    ITime to go do my least favorite job of the year- close the pool.

    It means winter is coming and I’m the shortest in the house now so I get the “someone needs to crawl under the deck” work to do. :sad:

    Catch ya for the game.

  71. Rich in NJ October 2nd, 2010 at 11:06 am

    “Who says he needs to have an increase in velocity to win? ”

    His performance. He has never had consistently good command, but his FB was so good that he could get by without it. As the velo has declined, it has become more hittable.

    He threw his changeup 2.6% of the time this season (2.8% for his career). He obviously doesn’t think he can command it.

    And, he can’t hold baserunners on to save his life (or his team).

  72. Wang IS Taiwan October 2nd, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Betsy,

    I believe the Yanks have made it more than clear to him what they expect, so it’s not as if he’s been missing the message. He just hasn’t turned himself into true professional after all these years by always bettering himself, improving his skills (both mentally and physically). Some people never do — whether we’re talking about sports or other professions. You can get along on sheer talent only so long.

    I don’t think he’s suddenly going to change next season, but am fine with those who still think he can.

  73. murphydog October 2nd, 2010 at 11:07 am

    pat:

    “I’m going to guess your professiona has acquainted you with a few people who haven’t made changes in behavior until life hit crisis proportions no matter how many times people have warned them the crisis was coming.

    Maybe 2010 was the crisis AJ needed.”

    I’ve seen it. Handcuffs, criminal record, jail, lost job, lost relationships, drugs, booze, etc. I’ve also seen it on the professional side where lawyers have basically thrown it all away. I feel bad, I feel their pain, but what can you do? In the end we’re all responsible for ourselves and as Pettitte is fond of saying, nobody is going to give you anything in this life.

    Contrast Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is a once in a lifetime story in professional baseball. He hit bottom after repeated crises and his fight is to stay clean and sober, not figuring out how to overcome a stubborn refusal/inability to improve his game.

    Is this AJ’s year of enlightenment? Hope so. Mike Mussina had it, after enduring abject ineffectiveness and lots of fan hate. Moose overcame his legendary mule-ishness and won 20 games in his last year. Then he quit.

  74. Wang IS Taiwan October 2nd, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Betsy — you’re right!! Kay also repeatedly quotes Joba’s speeds. I have to laugh when he insists on doing it at the same time Joba is being hit hard batter after batter…

    Obviously, it’s not always about speed, Mr. Kay.

    Logging off. Enjoy the day posting.

  75. Shame Spencer October 2nd, 2010 at 11:10 am

    God I wish this game started at 1pm today.. After a couple days without it, I’m itching for baseball.

  76. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Wang, I’m just not going to go that far and call AJ unprofessional, so let’s just agree to disagree.

  77. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 11:11 am

    “His performance. He has never had consistently good command, but his FB was so good that he could get by without it. As the velo has declined, it has become more hittable.”

    this is absolutely correct. He still has plenty good enough stuff to be successful….just not pitching the way he has in the past….

  78. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Betsy,

    As we discussed last night, I think if winning Sunday means winning the division then they may change their mind regarding Hughes….otherwise what they are saying is that 2-3 inning is detrimental enough to Phil’s career to warrant risking the division…..which is ridiculous IMO. He could throw 6 innings Sunday and finish with 181 innings for the season.

  79. Rich in NJ October 2nd, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Mussina’s short period of decline in an otherwise HOF career was due to injuries. He was also a very cerebral pitcher. AJ and Mussina are as different as Strom Thurmond and Nate Thurmond.

    As for making changes in behavior, one of the biggest motivators is financial. That’s inapplicable when it comes to AJ.

  80. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:14 am

    “There has always been something of a love-hate relationship with A.J. Burnett. He’s massively talented but prone to implosions. The Yankees knew that when they signed him, and they experienced it to some degree last season, but this year has been different.”

    Chad-
    My impression was that the only concerns with signing Burnett would be if his arm would hold up for the 4 year contract after coming off three pretty good seasons with Toronto and the 2008 record of 18-10 with 231 strikeouts, beating up on the Yankees many times.

    He is absolutely the most frustrating Yankee pitcher to watch, works painstakingly slow on the mound and must be hard on his own players in the field to watch.

    As far as I’m concerned he can go out and pitch a shutout tonight against a likely AAA Boston lineup tonight, but I don’t want to see him on the mound for the ALDS and always feel uncomfortable with him pitching.

  81. Shame Spencer October 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Just to take a poll: Does anyone here actually think there is a chance AJ will NOT start at all in the post season? (I’m basing this on the assumption that we make it to at least the second round).

  82. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Blake, I don’t agree. If Sunday’s game means something and they still use Phil for just a few innings, they are very possibly saying that Sunday’s start means a lot less than future playoff starts this year. No one here knows how Phil is feeling – Phil does and the Yankees do.

  83. Rich in NJ October 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 am

    If the Yankees want to try something outside of the box in an attempt to motivate AJ to work extra hard for next season, leave him off the playoff roster.

  84. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Also, Rich was saying in essence that he doesn’t have the stuff to be successful right no – hence calling him a “fungible reliever”. I just don’t agree. AJ has the stuff to succeed if he makes the necesssary adjustments.

  85. upstate kate October 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Shame
    I think we see AJ in the post season, my hope is it isn’t until the 2nd round.
    At this point, I would rather see Nova get a shot, but I don’t get a vote :)

  86. Fran the original October 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am

    As far as I’m concerned he can go out and pitch a shutout tonight against a likely AAA Boston lineup tonight, but I don’t want to see him on the mound for the ALDS and always feel uncomfortable with him pitching.
    ***************************************
    Yankee Trader,

    I feel the same way. AJ is so unpredictable. It seemed as though he “had turned the corner” a few weeks ago and was pitching well and then he reverted back to the unreliable AJ.

  87. Carlo October 2nd, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Betsy – I don’t think its the innings limit on hughes that’s the concern sunday. If he throws 6 on sunday, he isn’t available until game 3 of the alds. If andy stinks today, hughes will be needed in game 2 in front of andy. Girardi hasn’t made his decision on game 2 starter. Throwing phil 6 tomorrow means he has no decision because hughes won’t be rested for game 2. He’d be on short rest thursday.

  88. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Carlo, that’s a good point as everyone is assuming that Phil will be the game 3 starter. Now if they face Texas, I think the choice is clear – but it’s not quite as clear against Minny – though I would still, I think, make him the #3 there so Andy could go in a game 5

  89. Shame Spencer October 2nd, 2010 at 11:24 am

    “Mussina’s short period of decline in an otherwise HOF career was due to injuries. He was also a very cerebral pitcher. AJ and Mussina are as different as Strom Thurmond and Nate Thurmond.”

    I’m not so sure about that Rich..

    I think the comparison is fair in regards to the work it would take for AJ to be a more consistently dominant pitcher. Mussina had injuries that year, but it was his approach to pitching that landed him in the pen. He kept leaving 89-90 fastballs right over the plate because he lost velocity and the ball didnt have the same movement. He had to completely readjust for the next season. He sharpened his off speed pitches, became better at pitching to both sides of the plate, and learned to accept that he was operating with lower velocity stuff in general. He adapted. And he did it in ways that his contemporaries refused to..

    I think AJ find it very difficult to make changes and commit to them.

  90. G. Love October 2nd, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Really tired of the AJ self deprecating “I stink” act. Every single time he feeds this to the media and fans, they inevitably eat it up and give him a pass. Especially the media who love when an athlete talks to them like this.

    I think it’s absurd that if he throws a good 6 innings tonight, it makes up for the total choke job he’s done this season.

    If Girardi and Cashman are willing to risk a championship on one start in Boston at the back end of a double header with the season about to end, they are fools.

    If we need a 4th starter in the post season I give the ball to Nova or Mosely, but preferably Nova. The bullpen is going to factor into that game anyway and at least Nova has shown he can get through an order a few times.

    AJ can’t get out of the warmups mentally intact.

    I’ve given up defending him for his contributions last year.

  91. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Hughes will face Duensing if it’s Minnesota. I believe he will be used as the #3 after CC and Pettitte[if Pettitte feels OK and can get his 100 pitches in], no matter who we face.

  92. Shame Spencer October 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 am

    upstate kate – I see Nova playing caddy to AJ in his starts. If AJ slips in the first or second inning, you just pull him before he allows 5+ runs and toss Nova out and hope he can dominate for 4ish innings.

  93. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Betsy
    October 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I have no problems with how they’ve developed Phil this year at all – the only question I had was that they should have skipped him earlier (like at the beginning of September) instead of waiting until when they were going to, last Sunday’s game. Obviously they’ve done something right as he’s made it through a grueling season completely healthy. The division clinching game, sorry to say, is not nearly as important as any game he will pitch in the post-season, so using this as an example of why they suck at developing pitchers is harsh, IMO. Do any of us know how Phil is doing physically? No. It’s much more important that he be somewhat fresh for the playoffs given the huge workload he’s had this year compared to years past.

    *******************

    Betsy, the innings limit for Phil is part of a strategy for developing pitchers that has much more to do with keeping them healthy later in their careers as opposed to this year. No need to re-open that debate again, there was plenty of it with Joba rules last year. Baseball professionals like Nolan Ryan think it’s nonsense.

    Be that as it may, there is no conclusion that can be logically drawn IMO that if Hughes pitches tomorrow, he would pitch less effectively in the post season. What on earth is the differencebetween 180 IP and 184 IP?

    If you can win the division you do it.

  94. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I’ll go out on a limb here and state AJ will come up big today, and either get the win, or keep them in the game with a good chance to win.

    JCPD -

    Great photo’s, thanks for sharing.

  95. upstate kate October 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 am

    the only problem w/ that is Nova hasn’t pitched out of the pen, and you certainly couldn’t bring him in w/ men on base, he really struggles then for whatever reason

  96. Carlo October 2nd, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I don’t disagree with what you guys are saying as it relates to phil going in game 3, but I think it depends a little bit on the matchup. If we face texas than game 3 is perfect because he has been better on the road and great at arlington in his career. If its minnesota, I think you go with the guy who is pitching better of he and andy in game 2. I trust hughes in a game 5 and I think girardi has to as well.

  97. Giuseppe Franco October 2nd, 2010 at 11:31 am

    G. Love,

    I don’t think you’ve been paying attention too closely if you really think the media and fans give “Burnett a pass” because of his self deprecating ways.

    Nobody gives him a pass. He’s one of the favorite whipping boys on this team.

  98. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:32 am

    West Coast, I love Ryan, but just because he’s opposed to IL doesn’t make him right. All these old school pitchers – they probably are opposed to anything “newfangled”. We have no idea how many pitchers in the past didn’t make successes of themselves because they were pushed too hard; we don’t know this because they didn’t make it – we only know those who did.

    That said, good point about the IL being about the career…….Well, we’ll see.

  99. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:33 am

    If Hughes pitches game 2 in Minny he faces Pavano, which should make an interesting matchup!

  100. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Nolan Ryan was a unique pitcher, and not every young pitcher will have the ability to do what he did, as far as innings pitched.

    Just ask the young pitchers from the Cubs, like Wood and Pryer what happens when young pitchers are pushed too far.

    Ryan has a good idea, as to developing pitchers in the minors to go longer as they get promoted from A, to AA, to AAA, so by the time they reach the majors, they are capable of pitching 200 innings. It should be a slow progression to avoid injury.

  101. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Betsy,

    he’s going to be on 5 days rest for his playoff start either way most likely if he goes in game 3 and as I said before I’d rather him be on 5 days rest than 2 weeks rest. We’ll find out shortly I guess….Maybe they will clinch today and it won’t matter.

  102. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Still unanswered?? How did AJ get the black eye? Wife? Girardi? Eiland? Posada? Our Captain? All of the above??? lol

  103. Rich in NJ October 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Shame Spencer

    Through 2003, Mussina was an elite pitcher. His 2003 ERA+, for example, was 130.

    In 2004, he suffered an elbow injury.

    As a result, his ERA+ that season was 98. In the following season, it was 96.

    In 2006, it rebounded to 129.

    I think the injury forced the adjustment, but it probably doesn’t matter.

    The point is that he adjusted, but he always threw about 5 pitches, more if you include arm angles.

    He’s really the anti-AJ.

  104. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Blake, we’ll have to wait and see which game Phil would be pitching. We can say it’s most likely game 3 in either case, but we don’t know that. We won’t know who we’re playing until probably tomorrow. My guess is that if it’s Minny, Phil will go game 2 – if not, then why haven’t the Yankees announced it?

  105. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Didn’t Nolan Ryan do a commercial years ago for a painkiller? I don’t remember which one it was, but I remember him saying in the commercial, in his Texas drawl, “M’arms killin’ me today.”

  106. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 11:38 am

    “If he throws 6 on sunday, he isn’t available until game 3 of the alds”

    I think this may be part of it as well. It they win the division then I’d expect Pettite in game 2 at home but if they are going to Minnesota then I think they would like to keep the option open that Hughes could go in Game 2 on the road.

  107. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Big Al, very good point……………I don’t think the Yankees did Phil any favors in the minors by apparently limiting him to something like 80 pitches; I think he was even taken out of a game where he was pitching a no-hitter.

  108. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I’m not a pitching coach but did pitch in high school and college (Division 3, I wasn’t very good, either) and have watched great (and not so great) pitchers for over 55 years so at least know something and think the answer for AJ could be getting away from the 4 seam fastball and relying more heavily on the 2 seamer. His 4 seam fastball gets hit really hard when he misses in the zone because it’s usually leaking over the plate-for some reason he tends to miss the outside corner to righties (inside corner to lefties) a lot and that winds up as a cookie over the heart of the plate-there is little or no downward movement and his loss of velocity makes it very hittable. A 2 seamer doesn’t move as much (if any) laterally and has some sink so it would keep the bad pitches in the park. He also, obviously, needs to use a 3rd pitch more frequently as a change of speed. His curveball has been so inconsistent this year it has ceased being an effective pitch at all unless there are two strikes.

    None of this can be fixed this year so we have to hope he at least gets hot for a couple of starts beginning today.

  109. Shame Spencer October 2nd, 2010 at 11:40 am

    That’s true, but I would wonder who else could come in from the pen that early in a game if AJ implodes. You’d need someone capable of going more than 3 innings and although he hasn’t pitched that well with men on base I would assume at that point you’re just gonna go with the guy who has the best stuff.

    Obv, we’re all talking in hypotheticals.. right now, I guess the only thing that matters is what happens today and if the Yanks can keep themselves in the race.

  110. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Rich in NJ-

    Totally agree. Mussina was a cerebral, control pitcher, who won his 20 games in his last year by making necessary adjustments and coming inside. More like Maddux.

  111. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:43 am

    That’s a good point about the 2-seamer; AJ has had good luck with that pitch this year, if I recall.

  112. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:43 am

    It was Advil that Ryan promoted.

  113. Giuseppe Franco October 2nd, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Yeah, Nolan Ryan thinks innings limits are are so nonsensical that he authorized innings limits to Neftali Feliz last season.

    EVERY team exercises caution with their young arms. Nolan Ryan is no exception.

  114. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Betsy,

    Probably because they want to see how Andy comes through this last start…I don’t think they have decided yet.

    If they open against the Twins on the road then I won’t be surprised to see Hughes in Game 2….you really want to optimize the lefties at Yankee Stadium and if the Yankees could get a split in Minnesota then they could come back with Pettite and Sabathia in Games 3 and 4 at YS.

    Of course that would leave Hughes to pitch a potential Game 5 on the road, but as I said last night I wouldn’t hesitate to give him the ball in that situation. If he didn’t pitch well then I don’t think it would be because of the situation.

  115. JCPD October 2nd, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Glad you enjoyed BIG AL. I’m hoping AJ comes up big, but certainly have my doubts. I don’t know what to think about the playoff rotation. AJ keeps saying he expects to start and so far he has. I don’t know, maybe he won’t change until a brick wall hits him. That brick wall might just be skipping him in the rotation through the playoffs. It would certainly give him a lot to think about in the off season. I’m tempted to use a Nova / Moseley tandem since you can’t expect either one to give the Yanks much length.

  116. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Betsy -

    The big problem with AAA ball, and below, when a pitcher gets into a slight jam, they take them out, thus, they never learn how to deal with that pressure, and how to pitch out of jams. They get that training at the MLB level, which is a major problem, IMO.

    Even David Price in AAA was not allowed to go that deep into games, that’s why they do better later in the big leagues, after they learn how to get out of jams, and go deep into games.

    Some pitchers can’t make those adjustments, thus the so called prospects can’t be truly evaluated until after they get promoted.

  117. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I actually think that the Yankees will have to get by Texas to go to the WS, with NY beating the Twins and Texas beating the Rays.

  118. Shame Spencer October 2nd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Rich – I see exactly what you’re saying. I was just pointing out that I didn’t think anyone here was actually comparing Mussina to AJ as far as stuff goes, just as far as the fact that one, while still a stubborn creature, was able to adjust and the other hasn’t.

    AJ obviously needs to start doing something different but in cases like this its almost as if you’re talking about someone on Intervention. They aren’t going to change unless they see a problem and feel it needs to be fixed.

    It doesn’t matter that anyone with two pairs of eyes can see the issue, if AJ can’t or doesn’t have a desire to fix it I guess I’ll need to start clearing my local CVS out of Pepto Bismol for the next couple years…

  119. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 am

    JCPD -

    I may be wrong, but, I think he’ll do well today, and in doing so, give Girardi the excuse to include him in the PS rotation.

    AJ can be dominate, look at May and June numbers, he was, so for the sack of the team, I wish him well, and will root for his success.

  120. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Betsy
    October 2nd, 2010 at 11:32 am

    “West Coast, I love Ryan, but just because he’s opposed to IL doesn’t make him right. All these old school pitchers – they probably are opposed to anything “newfangled”. We have no idea how many pitchers in the past didn’t make successes of themselves because they were pushed too hard; we don’t know this because they didn’t make it – we only know those who did. That said, good point about the IL being about the career…….Well, we’ll see”.

    **************************

    You’re correct it doesn’t make Ryan right. No one really knows what the truth is, probably because it depends so much on individual criteria and genetics. That’s what makes it so difficult a decision, no one really knows what’s right.

    Quick Nolan Ryan story. I owned a film production company in Texas years ago and we were hired to do a commercial campaign with Nolan Ryan. I think it was for Texaco, I can’t recall at the moment. Anyway, being the executive producer, I assigned myself the task of driving to Nolan’s ranch near Alvin, south of Houston, picking him up and taking him to the location. Needless to say this was the thrill of a lifetime, a 45 minutes drive with arguably one of the greatest pitchers of all times. We talked baseball, the 1969 Mets in particular, and I got a case of signed baseballs out of it as well. He was just a plain spoken good old country boy.

  121. LGY October 2nd, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I love the argument that because baseball professionals like Nolan Ryan think innings limit is nonsense that is a strong point against them.

    What about every other team in baseball? Are baseball professionals not involved with every other team or are the Rangers the only one?

  122. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Big AL-

    AJ can pitch a shutout today against a likely AAA Boston squad in the night game, but I still don’t want to see him starting a game in the ALDS and would rather use Nova, whom Texas and Minnesota have not seen before if we play either of them in the ALCS.

  123. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 11:51 am

    AJ has a great 2 seamer….however in general a two-seamer is more difficult to control than a 4 seamer so I’m not sure if that wouldn’t just worsen his command issues if he went predominantly to that pitch.

    It’s a great weapon for him but he still has to have a pitch he can get ahead with and throw quality strikes. Presently, hitters are just getting ahead and waiting on a get me over fastball and pounding it… or walking.

    It all comes down to throwing quality strikes with AJ….if he can refine his delivery to the point where he could get ahead of hitters and then incorporate his plus 2 seamer, plus curveball, and changeup then he could see success again….if he can’t then I’m afraid it will be more of the same. He is going to have to evolve because at least at this point in time he’s not able to sit 95-96 with that 4 seamer and miss in the middle of the plate.

  124. Shame Spencer October 2nd, 2010 at 11:51 am

    ..actually, anyone with two pairs of eyes probably shouldn’t be trusted either..

  125. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Blake, I think that’s all true. It would be really something if Phil was on the mound to save the season, wouldn’t it?

    Big AL, good stuff. I remember thinking in 2007 that Phil’s struggles in August of that year would help him in the future because you can’t get a better education than at the major leagues. You learn by facing the best……..

  126. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Yankee Trader -

    But I’m talking years and years ago. Advil is fairly recent, no? I mean when he was retired? I think the commercial I’m thinking of was before he was retired – he was younger. It might have been for an ointment rather than a pill. I’m trying to find it.

  127. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 11:53 am

    WCYF-

    Now that we know that I would recommend you get a burglar alarm for your home if you don’t already have one.

    45 minutes with a Legend. Wow. You are one lucky fan. :)

  128. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Yankee Trader -

    I agree with what you’re saying. My point was, if he pitches well today, Girardi will point to this game as his excuse to include him in the PS rotation, not that I wanted him to be there.

    If AJ is pitching in the PS, you have to pray he pitches like he did in May & June.

  129. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 am

    WC, what a great story. It sounds like Ryan is just as he appeared. I always just loved the way he talked and the way he just expected to beat you. I wasn’t even born when he started his career, so I don’t remember the vast majority of his career. Even though he was obviously wild and didn’t end up with a record indicative of his talent, I get the impression that he thought he owned that mound – and I LOVE that attitude.

  130. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Doreen -

    The only commercial I remember like that was well after he retired.

  131. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Felix Hernandez has been throwing 190+ innings a year since he was 20 years old….hasn’t seemed to hurt him a whole lot. Now I know he could very well be a special case and for all we know it could shorten his career….but there is more than one way of doing things.

  132. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 11:55 am

    MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 11:53 am
    WCYF-

    Now that we know that I would recommend you get a burglar alarm for your home if you don’t already have one.

    45 minutes with a Legend. Wow. You are one lucky fan.
    ———————————
    and one very unlucky Legend…

  133. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Now, I must be wrong, it must be Advil. And Advil has been around a lot longer than I thought.

  134. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Betsy-

    Ryan didn’t just THINK he owned the mound he DID. :)

  135. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 11:59 am

    MTU -

    Just listen to the stories of those that faced Ryan. Paul O’neil one day said he thought of calling in sick when he had to face Ryan, and Paulie was a pretty good hitter.

  136. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I’ve always wondered how pitchers come up with their mechanics. It’s not like a pitcher would choose to have overly complicated, hard-to-repeat mechanics……..I guess it starts when they are young. When they are kids, I would imagine they throw using the motion that comes naturally to them. In AJ’s case, he wasn’t even a pitcher until sometime in HS – he was a 3B. I read an article about this. His friend was the scheduled SP in a big game, but he got hurt, so AJ got the call (he’d done SOME pitching, not much) and he pitched great. The rest is history. My point is that AJ did not grow up as a pitcher, he kind of fell into it………and so it’s not a surprise that he’s got his “quirks”

  137. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Oh, well. Can’t find it. I know I’m not crazy. Just old. :lol:

  138. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks Betsy, it was surreal to me. I had a hard time being the professional I needed to be that day, I was a kid in a candy shop. At he risk of being accused of being inordinately observant of the male anatomy, lol, I remember Ryan had the largest thighs I ever saw on an athlete with the possible exception of Earl Campbell.

    Seriously, his opinion on protecting young pitchers arms is just his, but I understand why he feels that way given what he did. Certainly, that’s not scientific though and there is a good case to be made on the other side.

  139. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Al-

    For me Nolan Ryan is a God in the mold of his Mo-ness.

    I’ll try not to worship too much.

  140. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Doreen -

    The 1993 Advil commercial by Nolan Ryan, he talks about working out with weights, and when he gets sore, he uses Advil.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-7VNPQsVlI

  141. m October 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Doreen,

    The decades are bleeding into each other. Didn’t you think people wore pom-pom socks into the 80′s? :)

    My daughter has been listening to “under my skin” by the stones and we were laughing. I told her that I think they were playing together in the 50′s, pretty near 50 years. That’s nuts. I told her they have formaldehyde flowing through their veins. :)

  142. The Phenom October 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Wow Betsy, this particular thread is all you. Congratulations! I’m impressed by your stamina.

  143. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    MTU -

    He did have control problems, that’s for sure, but, boy could he bring it.

  144. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Betsy is a very knowledgeable fan.

  145. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Nolan took a little Advil, rubbed a little dirt on it and went out and threw 100 MPH.

  146. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Each pitcher is different and you just don’t know………….this is what Phil said earlier this season. He said he didn’t think he needed the IL (well, what pitcher does), but that there was no way to know for sure until later in his career. He didn’t say it exactly like this, but the point is the same – no one really knows who does or doesn’t need IL. Teams can only go by what they know; who can predict who will hold up under huge burdens for years? For all we know, Felix could break down at age 30……………It’s better to be safe than sorry.

    Didn’t Ryan use pickle brine on his pitching hand?

    I still can’t get the visual of him putting a hammerlock on Robin Ventura and whaling away, lol – what a cowboy

  147. JCPD October 2nd, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    MTU-

    The really bizarre thing about AJ and Nolan is that they basically have the same lifetime winning pct. Nolan .526 and AJ .524

  148. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I saw Ryan pitch many times and he was incredibly tough to hit but also walked tons of batters-he averaged 5-6 walks per 9 innings for most of his career, it’s tough to win when you put that many guys on. In terms of modern stats, his WHIP was around 1.3-1.4 for most of those years, that’s pretty high for someone with stuff that dominating. Compare that to Sandy Koufax, who learned to harness his fastball and throw strikes. Ryan could have been much better had he taken a page out of that textbook, he’d probably have 30 more wins and 40 less losses instead of winding up 327-292 for his career.

  149. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    JCPD -

    The big difference, AJ has played on good teams, Ryan played on not so good teams.

  150. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I remember sitting behind the plate when Ryan pitched in Houston in the 1980′s. That’s when I gained a real appreciation for how good major league hitters really are. That they could even make contact was astounding to me.

  151. JCPD October 2nd, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    BIG AL, except for the 2003 WS title, I’m not sure I’d call the Marlins a good team while he was there. But I do get your point though.

  152. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Blake-

    We both know that AJ has very complicated pitching mechanics.

    That makes it difficult for him to repeat his delivery.

    The guy is all arms and legs out there. Add in the rotation in his delivery and you can see why it’s so easy for him to get out of whack.

    Too bad he doesn’t have Tim Lincecum’s athleticism. Then again, who does. :)

  153. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    WC, I always remember what Tom Seaver said when he was a Yankee broadcaster (and I was just in my teens). He said that a power pitcher’s power comes from his legs and that it was important to have a strong trunk. Therefore, I always do pay attention to the legs on a power pitcher. Oh, and thanks for the kind words…………We all know our baseball here; I love having these types of conversations….

    MTU, that’s right! Ryan would make Braden look like a wimp!

  154. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    WC, I just ignore that guy………..probably just crawled out from under his cave this morning

  155. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    JCPD-

    All those non-no’s and SO’s say all I need to hear.

    They are uncanny totals. Off the charts. :)

  156. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Ryan was a physical freak. With all his walks and strikeouts, he must have thrown more pitches than almost anyone in history- and he was still throwing hard in his 40′s.

  157. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    “no one really knows who does or doesn’t need IL.”

    True, this is why I think its somewhat crazy to suggest that throwing 180 innings in a season is more detrimental to a pitcher than throwing say 175.

    If the goal is to not to abuse a young arm then putting an arbitrary number of innings on it to me is much less useful than monitoring the actual strain of those individual innings. Not all innings are created equally…..a pitcher can use up much more energy at times in some 5 inning starts than in other 8 inning ones.

  158. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Ryan also played with some really poor teams, he did win 20 games twice and nineteen games twice. My favorite stat of his aside from the no-no’s is this. He struck out 300 batters 6 times in his career and 200 batters another 9 times.

  159. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Betsy-

    Ryan would be able to make Braeden sh*t his pants with one stare. :)

  160. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Doreen -

    I searched all of Nolan Ryan’s commercials, and the one I posted above is the only one I could find for a pain product.

  161. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I know my opinion about Nolan Ryan is politically incorrect here but in 1976 and 1977, when he was in his prime, his combined record for the two years was 36-34 with an ERA of about 3. In those same years Frank Tanana, pitching for the same team, went 34-19 with an ERA of about 2.5.

    I don’t think .5 runs a game is enough to make that much difference in the won-loss record, a lot of it had to do with Ryan not finishing off games and being so inconsistent.

  162. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Wins and losses are the worst statistical way to judge a pitcher, see Felix Hernandez this year.

  163. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    MTU,

    I know, which is what worries me moving forward. I think for AJ to ever have any kind of consistent success again then he is going to have to improve his delivery….making it less rotational and getting everything moving more towards the target.

    With his stuff most likely in gradual decline he is going to have to improve his command to be effective and I’m not sure he can do that releasing the ball as he does now.

  164. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    That having been said, 7 no hitters, 5,300 strike outs, 324 wins and a 3.19 ERA – who was better?

  165. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Blake, that’s true and the Yankees said in ST that that’s how they were going to look at it. Well, in all honesty, Phil has had some very stressful games in the last few weeks – that 3 inning start in Toronto, for one. Earlier this season that wasn’t the case, but he had to work a lot harder after that. I don’t really know what the Yankees are thinking to be honest.

  166. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    blake -

    Pitchers, like hitters, some times have too many moving parts, thus it’s easier for that type of pitcher to have problems with his mechanics, and more difficult to correct the problem.

  167. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    The most dominating pitcher in my life time was Pedro Martinez in his prime.

  168. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Blake-

    Perhaps he will finally become a pitcher out of necessity.

    Then again a large Meteor could always hit the Earth, or the Sun could refuse to shine too.

    Maybe we move him at the half next year if he hasn’t shown signs.

    Otherwise he becomes a sunk cost and just clogs the pitching roster.

    I’m hoping for off season improvement. What else can you do. :)

  169. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Cashmoney -

    Then you must be very young.

  170. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I think both sides are right here….Nolan did walk too many people and he also pitched on some bad teams.

    He always took the ball though and went deep in games. In 1976 he threw 284 innings and in 1977 he threw 299…..In 1974 he threw 332 innings…..yes 332 inning! That’s about 100 more than the ultimate modern workhorse CC Sabathia has thrown this year.

  171. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Do you know Nolan Ryan’s real first name is Lynn? Not kidding.

  172. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    AL, I am relatively young.

  173. Doreen October 2nd, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Big Al -

    It wasn’t that one.

    m -

    Oh, goodness, I can’t remember anything anymore!!!!

  174. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    You can be a victim of your own talent and peoples’ expectations for that. Ryan was a great pitcher. Could he have been even greater? Possibly – but not definitely. Each player has his own quirks or flaws – no one is perfect. Ryan’s wildness was part of who he was – like it is with AJ. You have to accept a players’ limitations – it’s not fair to do otherwise.

    The fact that fans prior to this year resented AJ because he never became a #1 seems to me to be unfair because it’s like resenting a middling talent for not being better than he was. AJ was blessed with certain gifts and not blessed with others- so be it. Now this year was a joke, but other than that, he’s had a fine career and nothing at all to be ashamed of. Just because you don’t live up to expectations doesn’t mean you haven’t worked hard or tried – and I think fans forget that.

  175. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    WCYF-

    I hope you said it with a smile, and then remembered to duck. :)

  176. JetergroundsintoanotherDP October 2nd, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    “The velo of AJ’s four seamer is down 1 mph this season, over 2 mph since 2007. His stuff is in decline and he can’t make the adjustment by having better command and adding another pitch.”

    I can’t believe more posters haven’t noticed this. AJ could throw a fastball down the middle and get a swing and miss before. Now it gets pummeled into the seats. He’s not that “talented” anymore.

  177. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    Wins and losses are the worst statistical way to judge a pitcher, see Felix Hernandez this year.
    ——————-
    sure, champ. And the Hall of Fame must be making mistakes every time it inducts pitchers who won 300 games lifetime as well.

    In May, 1976, Nolan Ryan pitched 42 innings, allowed 31 Earned runs and went 0-5.

    In August, 1976, he pitched 50 innings, allowed 30 earned runs and went 3-4.

    Show me the peripherals that indicate the quality of the Angels that year impacted that performance.

    He was inconsistent and didn’t always finish off games when he was ahead, just look at his record. He had great stuff, could be more dominant than any other pitcher I’ve ever seen, but he was far from the best pitcher in baseball history, period.

    That looks a lot like an AJ Burnett season, doesn’t it?

  178. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I have to believe one of the reasons that Ryan was such a great strikeout pitcher was batters understandable unwillingness to dig in at the plate against him.

  179. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    332 innings? Wow – Ryan really was Superman. That tells you that this guy was an oddity – I don’t recall him having any arm problems, which is remarkable. He needs to remember that almost 100% of pitchers who have or will ever play this game are not going to be like him. It’s kind of the same rationale as to why great players don’t make great managers – they can’t identify with players who aren’t as good as they were.

  180. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I think there is an art to learning how to win as a pitcher. Look at Javy, a talented guy , whose peripheral has always been than his result , has been a more or less 500 pitcher for his career despite pitching for some good teams.

  181. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    MG-

    Comparing AJ with Ryan is like comparing a blade of grass with a Redwood but hey, you’re entitled to your opinion.

  182. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Betsy, Sandy Koufax threw 335 and 323 innings back to back his last two seasons. He also won a total of 53 games those two years and only lost 17. But wins don’t count, I forgot…

  183. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    IMO the best way to judge a pitcher is on individual stats. What the pitcher is capable of doing on his own, regardless of the defense behind him or how many runs his team scores for him, etc.

    Accordingly, I place a great deal of weight on strikeouts, ERA and certainly no-hitters. By those means of measurement, Nolan Ryan was among the greatest pitchers who ever lived.

  184. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    No one said wins don’t count at all, of course they count for something. And Nolan Ryan had 324 wins.

  185. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    MTU, I wasn’t comparing Ryan to AJ, just pointing out that Ryan was very inconsistent and didn’t always finish off games when he should. Ryan’s best was far better than Burnett’s and he was a far better pitcher.

  186. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Cashmoney -

    Take a look at pitchers like Sandy koufax, Don Drysdale, and a more modern pitcher Randy Johnson. Johnson did have a drop off late in his career, but look at his stats from the late 90′s to mid 2000′s, you’ll see what real dominate pitchers were like, and there are many, many more, much better than Pedro.

    By the way, the Yankees owned Pedro.

  187. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    MG, wow….did those innings lead to his arm problems?

  188. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Koufax is a whole different discussion….I love watching old film of him pitch.

  189. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    LOL! Comparing Nolan Ryan to AJ Burnett. Oh that’s good! I bet even AJ would split his gut laughing at that one.

  190. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    MG-

    OK. I gotcha now. I just can’t even mention Nolan Ryan and the other one in the same sentence.

    Don’t want to soil the brand.

  191. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Koufax’s numbers from 1962-1966 would be absurd on xbox…..

  192. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    blake Koufax was unreal, it’s a shame his career was so short. His curve ball was sick. By the way, Nolan Ryan is of course known for his heater but in his prime, his curve ball was as good as any I have ever seen.

  193. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    MG -

    You are talking about the most dominate pitcher I ever watched. When you had to face the Dodgers, with Koufax, followed by Don Drysdale, that was a tough series for any team.

  194. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    AL , I am not say Pedro was better than those guys or a Bob gibson or feller and others, he was the most dominating pitcher stuffwise and results wise for me , Randy Johnson was close, But Pedro posted era in low 2s and high 1s when the league average era was an absurd 4.5-4.9. He was literally head and shoulder above everyone in his prime.

    Post season is a different beast , We got the best of him late in career. Sandy and Gibson were legendary in that light.

  195. Betsy October 2nd, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I think someone said that trying to hit Koufax’ curve was like trying to eat soup with a fork, lol – great description. He must have been something because his first 6 years were so mediocre…………

  196. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I meant those that I saw AL. as far as Pedro goes.

  197. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Koufax already had arthritis in his left elbow before those two final seasons, he was just unbelievable.

    I’m just not a big Nolan Ryan fan and think he’s overrated by many who didn’t see him pitch. Tom Seaver was a better pitcher for his career as were many others in my lifetime.

  198. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Koufax had an arthritic elbow. Who knows if it was due to overuse, genetics, or a combination of both.

    He was also a God. GB posted some video footage of him pitching a while back.

    Another thing Sandy had in addition to the great FB and curve was a “palmball” type CU.

  199. cmperez3 October 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    After watching AJ’s up and down season last year, is anyone surprised it’s gotten worse? Even in the postseason, he follow up a good start by getting bombed by the Phillies in game 5.

  200. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    After his first 4 years in the major leagues, Bob Gibson was 34 – 36.

  201. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    MG-

    Again, you are entitled to your opinion but in mine Nolan Ryan was NOT overrated.

    He was an absolute beast.

    Hew was one a very few elite pitchers in the history of the game.

  202. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    “he” not “hew”. typo again. Damn.

  203. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Curveballs do more harm to a pitchers arm and elbow than a fast ball. That’s way power pitchers tend to have less arm injuries than those that throw a lot of breaking pitches.

    Thank God for Tommy John surgery.

  204. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    MTU -

    Don’t forget Bob Gibson.

  205. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    MTU
    October 2nd, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    MG-Again, you are entitled to your opinion but in mine Nolan Ryan was NOT overrated. He was an absolute beast. Hew was one a very few elite pitchers in the history of the game.

    *************************

    MTU I could not agree with you more and I did see him pitch, many, many times. How one can say a pitcher who threw seven no-hitters the most in MLB history is overrated is beyond me.

  206. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Al-

    I don’t. I absolutely loved Gibson. One of my all time favorites. :)

  207. Don October 2nd, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    How much is one World Series title worth to a franchise? I remember last year or the year before Pete Abe used to have a baseball economist talk about that question. I think AJ played an important role last year in getting the title. If he can help this year or next year in the same way then maybe the $80 million will be recovered.

  208. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Pedro’s 1999 was one of the greatest ever for a pitcher. It compares favorably to Koufax’s best year which was probably 1965.

    Pedro 1999: 23-4, ERA (2.07), K’s (313), WHIP (0.973). K/9 (13.2), IP 213
    Koufax 1965: 26-8, ERA (2.05), K’s (382), WHIP (0.855), K/9 (10.2). IP 335.

    Obviously Koufax threw a lot more innings that year due to 4 man rotations vs today’s 5 man rotations. A lot is made of pitchers going on 3 days rest today…..Koufax put those numbers up essentially going on 3 days rest most of the time. At the same time you could argue that Pedro did it right at the height of the steroid era…However you slice it, those were two of the greatest seasons ever.

  209. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Al-

    And Steve Carlton. Another. :)

  210. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    MTU, all I am saying is that Ryan was inconsistent throughout his career and it makes him lower on my all time ranking of pitchers than some of you.

    I just checked his record in 1978-over a 7 week period, from May 12 to July 9, he gave up 49 earned runs in 60 innings, that’s not the only time he struggled over long periods of time. You just can’t find those slumps among the truly elite pitchers of all time like Koufax, Spahn, even Whitey Ford who didn’t have nearly the stuff of Ryan’s.

  211. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    MTU -

    The problem is we’re too old. We remember when pitchers went out and pitched. When there were no specialty pitchers. Yes, they did have relief pitchers, but not set-up men, closers, long relief and so on. When a pitcher got the ball, he was expected to pitch a complete game, or as much as possible.

    I have to go take my meds so I can live a little longer and enjoy more baseball.

  212. jacksquat October 2nd, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Nolan Ryan had a career 112 ERA+. I would not call that elite.

    He was an elite strikeout pitcher.

  213. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I think the changeup and cut fastball has taken over as the repertoire of choice for RH pitchers in this decade. I don’t see any young pitcher arm with a nasty sliders anymore. Growing up, almost all the RH pitchers threw one .

  214. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    MG -

    Look at the early Koufax years.

  215. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Cashmoney -

    Ron Guidrey …………..

  216. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Big Al, he wasn’t the Hall of Fame version of Sandy Koufax before he learned how to pitch. Nolan Ryan is a Hall of Famer because of his spectacular achievements but, IMO, he’s not amongst the truly elite pitchers of my generation. There are probably 10 other guys I’d put in front of him.

  217. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    MG-

    I saw Ryan pitch many times. I don’t only go by #’s. It’s fine with me if you want to.

    My eyes told me I was seeing one of the greatest pitchers of all time.

    That’s my take. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  218. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    in 1965 by my count Koufax made 26 starts on 3 days rest (I did it quickly so that could be off a little but you get the idea). He threw 27 complete games and 8 shut outs that year. He also had 2 saves and threw a lot out of the pen in September.

  219. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    MTU, the numbers just support my memory which was that Ryan was inconsistent; when he was good there was no one better but he also had times where he wasn’t very good. I also place more significance on a pitcher’s ability to close out a game, I think there were times where Ryan let that get away from him as well.

    It’s a fair disagreement just like I’ll never admit that the Mick wasn’t as good as Willie Mays even though there is plenty of evidence that suggests otherwise :)

  220. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    blake -

    Without a doubt, we could name the top 50 pitchers of all time, but, when you separate the one’s you could call truly dominate, I’d put Koufax at the top.

  221. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Regarding Ryan, its not just what one’s eyes tell you, it’s the stats that measure individual greatness for a pitcher. Anyone can cherry-pick outlier stats. You can’t argue with the overall record. By that empirical means of measurement he is objectively one of the greatest pitchers of all times.

  222. blake October 2nd, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Big AL,

    For that 4-5 year period I don’t think anybody could compare with him.

  223. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    MG -

    When I was growing up, the biggest argument was always over the 3 guys that played CF in NY, Mick, Say Heh, and Duke. Being a Yankees fan, it was always The Mick.

    Willie Mays was great, but, had Mick not injured his knee on that darn water sprinkler in the OF, his numbers would have been far greater.

    I met Mick and got his autograph twice, a seet guy that was not afraid to stop and talk to his fans at the gate leading to the player parking area. That’s when you could get to see the players.

  224. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Jacksquat has a point. Nolan era+ is only 112 , that’s not elite territory. Nor is Ryan’s -8.21 clutch factor, a total 21.32 accrued career wise. He was a dominate SO artist who was a freak of nature in his longevity and his arm strength. He is not in the top twenty pitchers for me though.

  225. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Sweet …. not seet

  226. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Want to know what Sandy’s curve was like.

    Find a table. Place a ball at one end of it. Roll said ball to the other end. Watch ball drop straight down. Now just increase the speed and distance involved and you have an idea of Koufax’s curve.

    Yikes. :)

  227. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 1:01 pm
    MG -

    When I was growing up, the biggest argument was always over the 3 guys that played CF in NY, Mick, Say Heh, and Duke. Being a Yankees fan, it was always The Mick.

    Willie Mays was great, but, had Mick not injured his knee on that darn water sprinkler in the OF, his numbers would have been far greater.

    I met Mick and got his autograph twice, a seet guy that was not afraid to stop and talk to his fans at the gate leading to the player parking area. That’s when you could get to see the players
    ——————–
    Big Al, we grew up in the same era and, as a Yankees fan living 2 miles from Ebbets Field, I was definitely outnumbered :)

  228. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    MG-

    When I was a kid my Father used to take me over to Ebbetts to try to catch homers from the street.

    Grew up on Sullivan Place. :)

  229. West Coast Yankee Fan October 2nd, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    If one wants to talk about a dominant year for a pitcher, look at Nolan Ryan in 1973, pitching for a poor fourth place Angels team.

    He threw two no-hitters, pitched 326 innings, allowed 238 hits, and struck out a record 383 batters. He posted a 2.87 ERA in 39 starts and unbelievably completed 26 games.

  230. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    MG -

    When you look at the ball fields the Dodgers and Giants played in, it’s no wonder they had to move, after that idiot in NY refused to build new fields.

    The only reason you had Yankee Stadium, was the Giants threw them out of the Polo Grounds because the Yankees were more popular than the Giants.

    YS was built in under 1 year. That’s when they had real workers.

  231. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    MTU, you were really close. Did you ever bowl at Freddy Fitzsimmons?

  232. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    MTU -

    I always suspected you were not always a SW boy. You are too smart for that. So your dad said, Son you want to learn to play baseball, stand here for 3 hours, and see if you can catch a ball. lol

  233. BIG AL October 2nd, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Man, I have such great memories, I just have a tough time remembering them.

  234. Cashmoney October 2nd, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    For example , Pedro Martinez’s ERA + 154 compare 112 of Ryan’s. a whooping 51.48 WPA vs ryan’s 21.32 . 89.4 war vs ryan’s 61.1 WAR , and finally, 086 clutch factor vs Ryan’s -8.21 and all of these were accrued in considerable less time than Ryan’s.

    Ryan also sported a 4.67 BB for his career, which basically tells me there is one area of Ryan’s game he consistently fail to control , just not an elite elite guy IMO.

  235. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Big Al, I remember going to Ebbets Field as a cub scout and sitting in the upper deck in center field, the sight lines were so bad you couldn’t see half of the outfield. Yankee Stadium, except for the poles that got in your way, was a much better place to watch a baseball game although I’m sure that sitting in the lower deck at Ebbets Field must have been great because everything was so close-we didn’t have the budget for that in my family and were all Yankees fans anyway.

  236. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    MG-

    Walking distance. Nope. Neither Dad nor I were bowlers. Closest I ever came to bowling was staying out of the gutters. That’s my 300 game. ;)

    It a long way from Brooklyn to the middle of nowhere. That’s for sure.

  237. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Al-

    My Father absolutely loved baseball and he imparted his passion on to me I guess.

    Yeah. Let’s see if you can catch one Son. Tried to turn me into a pitcher. Just didn’t have the raw material to work with. Poor guy. :)

  238. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 1:15 pm
    MG-

    Walking distance. Nope. Neither Dad nor I were bowlers. Closest I ever came to bowling was staying out of the gutters. That’s my 300 game.

    It a long way from Brooklyn to the middle of nowhere. That’s for sure.
    —————————————–
    MTU, I’ll have to remember that one, it sounds like something Rodney Dangerfield would have used followed by ‘It’s a long way from Brooklyn to nowhere, I’ve driven it and figured out I got no respect there either.’

  239. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    MG-

    :)

  240. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    MTU, did you become a Yankees fan after the Dodgers were DFA’ed to LA or was it a family tradition?

  241. MTU October 2nd, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    MG-

    After the DFA.

  242. MG October 2nd, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    MTU, that’s an interesting change, most of my friends who were Dodgers fans either kept rooting for them in LA or just stopped caring until the Mets started in ’62.

  243. southern84yankee October 2nd, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    My, how quickly people forget that A.J. was the one that pitched against a vaunted Phillies lineup, down 0-1 when CC was defeated by Cliff Lee. I’m not going to pretend that A.J. is great, and never screws up, but he certainly doesn’t deserve the hate that he gets from his own fan base. He’s a Yankee for at least 3 more years, and whether any of us wants to admit it or not, we need him.

    What good is tearing him down going to do?

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