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


A chance for a surprisingly strong trip

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jun 15, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

New York Yankees

West Coast trips always feel a little bit unusual, but for whatever reason this one feels especially long. That’s partially because it has been long — 10 days in three different cities — and might be because it’s been a little relentless as part of a scheduled stretched of 17 games in a row (that rain out in Kansas City actually came at a pretty good time).

This afternoon the Yankees finally finish off this trip with one last game in Oakland, where the Athletics have been the best team in the American League with a terrific pitching staff, a powerful lineup, and the second-most wins in baseball.

You know what’s amazing, though? If the Yankees win tonight, they’ve have just five fewer wins than the A’s. Not that five is a tiny number, but it’s certainly not a gigantic number. At times the Yankees have seemed to be a pretty bad team — old, injured, underperforming — but a win tonight and they’re five away from the best record in the league. It’s not great, but it certainly could be worse.

A win tonight would mean going 6-3 on this trip. It would mean winning seven of their past 10. It would mean flying home tonight feeling good about the trip and feeling like, once again, a team that could have been written off has actually managed to keep itself in decent shape despite all of its obvious concerns and shortcomings.

The great point? It’s June 15, and I’m still not sure what to make of this team.

Associated Press photo

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69 Responses to “A chance for a surprisingly strong trip”

  1. austinmac June 15th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Mills,

    I have a 20 year old daughter. I understand . Believe me.

  2. Tar June 15th, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I have always like this song from John Cowan re: fathers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1lzwXa7Nc

  3. bruceb June 15th, 2014 at 10:13 am

    The chance to make it a really successful road trip came last night…but without Tex and Beltran, the Yankees’ O reverted to type. You don’t want to be banking on Nuno to beat Chavez to win a series.

  4. Triple Short of a Cycle June 15th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Are the McCann defenders still defending?

  5. austinmac June 15th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Teixiera will likely be out for awhile. I remember when Jagielo’s rib area hurt and they said it wasn’t an oblique. Well, he’s still out. I hope I’m wrong.

  6. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Good morning.

    Just like last season the Yankees have overachieved w the hand they have been dealt.

    If they are serious about a seat at the dance they will still need to add.

    It’s a shame they have so many older injury-prone players.

    Can’t run an airline that way.

    ;)

  7. Triple Short of a Cycle June 15th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Dick Cheney is healthier then Tex

  8. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Texeira seems able to hurt himself waking up out of bed, or maybe by sneezing.

  9. J. Alfred Prufrock June 15th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Tar,

    That was….
    Thank you

  10. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:29 am

    The Yankees have completely miscalculated on the middle of their order.

    Bring up someone from the MiL’s or make a trade.

    Time for a newer tire rather than some additional patches.

  11. J. Alfred Prufrock June 15th, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Happy fathers day to all – those who are fathers, those who can still be with their fathers – and those who go to sleep and wake up in their father’s field

  12. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    JAP-

    I know how much your Father meant to you.

    The good thing is you will see him again one day.

    :)

  13. 86w183 June 15th, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Happy Father’s Day to all the Lo-hud Dads,…. and your dads too

    Also — Happy birthday Andy Pettitte, Wade Boggs, Tony Clark, Ramiro Mendoze…. and me!

    Brunch with wife, mother-in-law and my unmarried daughter about to get underway

    later gang!

    have a day

  14. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    So what are we going to do about our situation ?

    Clearly, what we have is not sufficient.

    ;)

  15. bruceb June 15th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Nice thought, Pruf. Happy Father’s Day to you all.

  16. austinmac June 15th, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Happy Father’s Day to my father whom I miss every day. How lucky I am to have had the nicest man I ever met as my dad.

  17. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Enjoy 86.

    :)

  18. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Mac-

    You are lucky indeed.

    You’ll meet up again.

    ;)

  19. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    What could we get back for one of Phleps, Nuno, or Whitley + Sanchez + 1 of our relievers not named Betances ?

    Anything worthwhile ?

  20. J. Alfred Prufrock June 15th, 2014 at 10:40 am

    MTU – bless you, you are right of course.
    Happy Father’s day to you – your pups celebrate you today :)
    ///

    Happy Father’s Day to Luis primo!

    Randy, if you’re reading, hope your Dad is still in fine health, watching baseball with you.

    Great day, folks

  21. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Have a good one JAP.

    :)

  22. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Mop walk time.

    Later.

  23. Doreen June 15th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Happy Birthday 86w183 – enjoy your day!

    ****

    Even acknowledging the flaws of this team, I still have enough optimism to think they can do some good things the remainder of the season. But, admittedly, it’s like a see-saw, or a roller coaster. One day I hate them, one day I love them; one day I’m frustrated with them, one day I’m pleased as punch.

    Like Chad said, it’s difficult to know what to make of this team.

    I would like them to be proactive, and not stand around waiting for players to start performing and then come September still be waiting. There are some players on the team that, while you’d hope they’ll do better, and you don’t wish ill on any player, they are not here for the long-term, and so letting them go doesn’t have really long term ramifications. Of course you take the risk that the young players you bring in perform just as flatly. But you know what, the year they brought in Ivan Rodriguez, he plain out stunk up the joint. So you never know. You might get a Shane Spencer coming up from the minors to get hot for a month, or you could get an Ivan Rodriguez.

    Nothing is guaranteed, but doing nothing is not a good option.

    Have a wonderful day everyone!

  24. J. Alfred Prufrock June 15th, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Before I go: shout out to Wang Is Taiwan! What a nice surprise to see you! Don’t be a stranger. :)

  25. Giuseppe Franco June 15th, 2014 at 11:02 am

    There are some people who use the injury excuse as a primary reason why the Yanks are in their current position.

    But I don’t really buy that argument when Hal and Co. chose to construct this team with a lot of age and injury prone players (and knowing full well that Teixiera and Jeter were also coming off serious injuries last season) so they knew the risks when they signed on the dotted line.

    Cashman whined about injuries last season and he and his boss(es) chose to do the same damn thing again this season so this case of déjà vu shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  26. Doreen June 15th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    GF,

    Injuries are a contributing factor. Not an excuse, just a part of the picture. :)

    The biggest mistake they made was not having a bona fide fill-in for Tex. That one boggles my mind. That being said, McCann seems like he can do it, at least better than Johnson. (Johnson would have been fine, if you’re resting Tex like once a month).

    But the biggest problem on this team has been non-production from people they expected to do the heavy lifting, and aside from Beltran, it’s not injury related at all.

  27. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    GF-

    Not a question of surprise at this point.

    Just a question of what do you do about it ?

    ;)

  28. bigdan22 June 15th, 2014 at 11:12 am

    No matter what happens in today’s game, there is nothing surprising about this road trip. It is not difficult at all to know “what to make of this team.” I’m pretty sure this is exactly what a .500 team looks like. You have games like Friday night. You have games like Saturday night. This team has been remarkable consistent now for over six weeks. Perhaps all season.

    The defense has some bad games like last night. Some good games like Friday night. The starting pitching is almost always good. The offense is almost always bad. The back of the bullpen is usually excellent. How hard is this to figure out?

    I looked at the lineup before last night’s game and just said to myself “I’m not watching this.” It appears I didn’t miss much. Soriano didn’t strike out so that’s a surprise. John Ryan played like a kid and when you let the kids play, that kind of stuff happens. But I tell you, the Yanks in the long run will get a lot more out John Ryan’s two passed balls than Soriano going 0-4. If I know John Ryan, I bet he learned something last night. The way Phelps may have learned something when he got knocked out in the 6th two starts ago.

    Which brings me back to the question, why is Soriano still on this team? What is he offering right now? Since he’s been limited to DHing against lefties, he’s not hurting all that much but since he’s really the only easy fix to the offense the team can make, what on earth are they waiting for? Bring up Almonte, Roller, anybody!

    There’s really nothing that can be done for Beltran, or Tex or McCann. McCann is going to be around a long time, plays great defense so we all better get used to his deficiencies. Beltran and Tex are all under multi-year deals and I guess they’ll just play when they can. Girardi and the Yanks love Roberts so he ain’t going anywhere.

    But please, lets have some change, just for the sake of change. The downside has never been more non-existent.

  29. Ys Guy June 15th, 2014 at 11:13 am

    One game behind in mid-june, things are looking up fellas…ladies!
    It’s a beautiful day in Jersey, I think I’ll head for a stroll on the boardwalk!

  30. Ys Guy June 15th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Oh, and the lastro’s have a better record that the bosox, and everybody’s got a better record than the rays!

  31. Tar June 15th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    J ALfred

    It’s a great song, sung beautifully. Great sentiments from MTU to you, and you to Randy. I would also like to say hey to Randy and his dad.

  32. bigdan22 June 15th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I do think they should work of some sort of protocol for Tex, at least for this season. He apparently is “sore all over.” I think that means his body is telling us something. That he is no longer a regular every day player. At least not this season.

    Being held hostage to “day to day” is too big a burden to place on the team and Girardi. These guys who work for the Yanks aren’t stupid. They have trainers. So figure something out. One week off a month? Three days on, one day off. A transition to DH?

    This is not rocket science. Tex is breaking down. He’s Al Bundy, the shoe salesman who once played high school football who is now better suited to sit in front of the TV. It’s time to make some more lemonade. Playing McCann at 1b more is a good way to start.

  33. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I hate to have to say this but McCann has been a tremendous disappointment so far.

    The Yankees had a right to expect a lot more out of him.

  34. Madrugador June 15th, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Happy Father’s Day to the rest of those Dads out in Lohud land.

    I understand the motivation for the day to day designation but it handicaps the team and in a situation where you don’t have a good back up on the team, it would be better to just bite the bullet and go with the 15 day DL.
    Time to have a look a Roller to better know what is needed for next year.

    Hard to believe at 34 yo and 1st base, Teixeira is so fragile. We are stuck with him and CC for the next two years and longer if CC vests in 2016.

  35. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I think more and more Teams are learning that it is not a wise idea to offer long contracts to players over 30.

    You wind up paying for too much downside and you hamstring your budget.

    ;)

  36. Madrugador June 15th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    CC to the 60 day DL-won’t be back until after the all star break anyway.
    Roller added to the roster.

  37. Tar June 15th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    “The biggest mistake they made was not having a bona fide fill-in for Tex. That one boggles my mind. ”

    I mentioned how I thought that was a big mistake and very risky (Cash’s roster construction) early in spring training.

    For the most part it got denounced as me being a Cashman hater, and anyone can play 1B. Of course I also said I liked the Roberts signing :shock: yikes

  38. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Tar-

    Happy Father’s day to you.

    I see little redeeming value in Roberts.

    Other than being cheap and disposable.

    That said, the Yankees seem to love him.

  39. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Just imagine how good this Team might have been if our Pitching staff had stayed intact, and our Offense performed even close to the way it was drawn up.

    ;)

  40. Madrugador June 15th, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Last year we lost 4 of 5 top of the order hitters.
    This year we lost 3 of 5 starting pitchers.

    This is no way to build a winning team.

  41. bigdan22 June 15th, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Some more thoughts about McCann.

    I really like this guy. I think he’s a great teammate and can be a real asset to the Yanks in the short to medium term.

    Now I’ve been just about as hard on McCann as almost anyone here since the start of the season. I’m on the record as saying I had a lot of mixed feelings about him when he signed. A thirty year-old catcher, who had caught a ton of games for a 30 year old, and who was showing a very steady decline in his offense over several years. I predicted in early April that it was very likely with his approach and the effect of the shift, he’d have an OBP of less than .300 and boy did I ever nail that. (I made the same prediction for Tex and Soriano so basically I’m 2 for 3).

    But the more I see him, the more I like. For one thing, for a 30 year old he seems pretty healthy, which for the Yanks is no small asset. And while this is hard to measure, it seems like he’s had a very positive effect on the overall surprisingly effective Yankee rotation. I think he’s been really beneficial to the young guys. And it’s the rotation that’s keeping this team partially watchable and somewhat competitive. And as far as his offense goes, he’s caught in a bad place. He’s not a middle of the order bat. His approach is conflicted because of that. He’s a power bat who should get a healthy amount of walks and should hit no higher than 6th but 7th would be better. The sooner he and the Yanks figure that out, the sooner he can start being productive.

    I also think he can be very valuable as Tex’s backup. He doesn’t seem like a complete disaster at 1b. He should work at it a bit so he can improve. But I see a future rotation of three productive players between catcher and first base. This will take a lot of pressure off Tex to play every day and it also makes use of one to the Yanks important strengths, depth at catcher. So don’t expect to be trading any catchers just yet. The Yanks’ roster should contain two starting catchers and a first baseman (Tex) who gets a whole lotta days off.

    So, this is my take on McCann. Good guy. Great teammate. Still working on the fit.

  42. Missing Cano June 15th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Yankees management has not been proactive enough and Girardi has not been creative enough with this offense Girardi gets too cute in thinking that if he can manage his bullpen that will lead to wins

  43. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Good guy. Great teammate. Decent defensive Catcher.

    Sub par hitter.

    And since he was hired predominantly for his O not a good thing.

    He wasn’t hired to be a #6 or 7 type hitter.

    He was hired to be a middle of the order guy.

  44. Tar June 15th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Thank you MTU. Not sure if you are a father, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you were/are, you would be the best dad. You’re a great person and joy to read everyday.

    Have a nice day everyone.

  45. bigdan22 June 15th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    “He was hired to be a middle of the order guy.”

    ——-

    The past is the past. Like I’ve been saying, they have to start making some lemonade. That should be the theme for this entire team!

    And Younger and Better. But that’s more for the off season.

  46. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Tar-

    Unfortunately my tree is barren.

    But thank you so much for those very kind words.

    Now go out and have a great day w your family.

    Love your children to death.

    Most folks do not fully comprehend exactly how important an excellent parent truly is to a growing child.

    And how fleeting Life really is.

    Now get a move on.

    :)

  47. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Dan-

    I agree.

    One always has to deal w the hand they have been dealt and make the best of it.

    And that is why I expect adjustments to come soon.

    Because most things are still very much in play at this point.

    Just saying that McCann has become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

    At least to the Offense.

  48. Doreen June 15th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    bigdan-

    I agree that McCann may have value as Tex’s backup. I also think he will do better offensively at some point. Perhaps not this season, though, is a possibility. I like that he works hard to fight off the shift. But I think the biggest disappointment is the power numbers. Wanted to see more home runs from him. You can take the average being down if some home runs are there.

    Still more season, though. If he has a strong finish, that’d be great. (Along with a few other people.)

  49. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    The best investments anyone ever makes in this Life are the ones where these choose to love someone the most.

    Always try your best to choose Love over gold.

    After all we are all we have.

    ;)

  50. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Doreen-

    Hope springs eternal.

    We know that.

    A lot of hope is being placed on a regression to the mean by a # of players.

    Before you blink half of the season will be over.

    Hope we take out some insurance.

    ;)

  51. Madrugador June 15th, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Hope you all are right about seeing more offensive pop from McCann but as a 30 yo catcher, one has to wonder if his best days are behind him.

    Glad it is an afternoon game today. This old Dad can’t stay up that late anymore.

    Dad get’s to try a new recipe on the family today and they can’t complain because it’s
    Father’s Day!

    Have a good one everyone.

  52. MTU June 15th, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    You too Mags.

    Enjoy it to the fullest.

  53. RhapsodyInBlue June 15th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Happy Father’s Day to all. I was blessed to have a father who always had time to take me fishing and after he passed at a young age a Step Father who took good care of my mother and my brothers and I like we were his and he always seemed to be there to pick me up when I stumbled.

    Remembering both today.

  54. austinmac June 15th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    To all the young Dads out there, the most important thing my Dad did was support me in all I did . Even if I screwed up, I knew he was still in my corner.

  55. Hankflorida June 15th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I am back in New York for the summer, and a barbecue and Yankee baseball on this special day with my children and grandchildren is truly “Paradise Found.”

  56. charlestonchew June 15th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    There are still quite a few games left to play. McCann, Beltran, and Soriano can turn things around. They have big talent and it is totally possible for them to get hot and play well in the 2nd half. Ultimately, we live or die on whether they can turn thins around. Not a lot of bats on the market that are worth it, if any. So best cross your fingers!

  57. austinmac June 15th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Hank,

    Enjoy. I have one child at Disneyworld, one in Boston and one in Argentina. But, they are always with me.

  58. charlestonchew June 15th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Live or die….. As in the postseason of course :)

  59. RhapsodyInBlue June 15th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Sounds like a great day Hank, enjoy your family.

  60. tucker June 15th, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    That the Yanks have had a successful West Coast trip in spacious ballparks I suppose is not a surprise. They are a team with great outfield speed, limited power and a reliance on contact hitters. In other words, they are a team not particularly well crafted for Yankee Stadium. The Bronx Banjos, as Hank has coined them. They are 13-16 at home and 22-16 on the road.

  61. tomingeorgia June 15th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve got kids and grandkids from Flagstaff to Bar Harbor. I may hear from a couple of them.

  62. tucker June 15th, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Tom, you have grand kids in scenic places. “Flag” as us Valley of the Sun residents call Flagstaff, is a great summer retreat when the temps rise to 110-plus here in Phoenix.

  63. yankeefeminista June 15th, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Happy Father’s Day and thanks to all for sharing such touching song(s) and sentiments! I would love to be able to watch the Yankees with my father today, but I know that even though he is in the world beyond that he will somehow be there with me watching. I’m sure the same is true for other Lohudders whose fathers are so greatly missed. Go Yanks!

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