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2006-04-17 10:02
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yanks bounced back yesterday, as we all hoped, beating the Twins 9-3, featuring strong showings from Chien-Ming Wang, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was critical of his own performance after Saturday night's tough loss. According to Sam Borden in the Daily News:

Joe Torre wasn't surprised to hear Rodriguez was being hard on himself because he's seen A-Rod "set the bar sky-high" ever since Rodriguez arrived in the Bronx. Torre sometimes wishes Rodriguez would give himself a break.

"He drives himself to the point of expecting himself to do more than any human being is capable of doing," Torre said. "Alex is very tough on himself because he doesn't think he should do anything wrong ever. I don't think we can live our lives that way."

..."He never tires of physical work," Torre said. "He's out there constantly, trying to make himself better. Over 162 games, it takes its toll."

Rodriguez can be called a lot of things. A slacker is not one of 'em.

Comments (70)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-17 10:43:26
1.   pistolpete
I'm not sure I get A-Rod - Saturday? Saturday we came back from 4 down on Santana & gave the ball to Rivera with a 1-run lead in the 9th. What more could A-Rod have done, short of a light-speed dash over to 2nd base to catch the ball that floated past Cano?

Relax, Alex. Saturday night was a fluke. But it did have that same 2001/Game 7-ish feel to it, which is probably why the team was so down on itself afterwards. I'd venture to say any time Mariano falters it's a shock and a sickening feeling in the pit of all Yankees fans' stomachs.

2006-04-17 10:58:59
2.   Cliff Corcoran
For me the biggest thing about yesterday's game was Wang's performance. A career-high eight Ks, no walks, 68 percent strikes of just 97 pitches over seven full innings. After his first two starts were similarly discouraging, seeing him dominate and do it in the strike zone and by getting strike three is huge. If he can do that even every other start, with Johnson and Mussina looking good, the Yankees could be in very good shape pitching-wise.
2006-04-17 11:05:38
3.   pistolpete
2 I was shocked at all of Wang's Ks yesterday - apparently he'd been doing this quite often prior to his Yankees career?

Ugh, Loretta hits a 2-run dinger to win it for the Sox. I thought for sure that Seattle would lock this one up after getting the first two outs so quickly.

I'm sure right now they're partying in the streets on Patriots' Day like it's 2004.

2006-04-17 11:15:24
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Pete, Wang struck out 7+ per nine innings in the minors. He throws mid-90s with heavy sink, there's no reason for him not to be striking more guys out. It was just one game, but I'm hoping his low K-rate last year was a fluke.
2006-04-17 11:18:57
5.   Stormer Sports
Cliff,

Red Sox with yet another 9th inning walk-off with 2 out. Ugg. A cheap single and a bomb. Watching the game, even I believed it would happen. Why don't the Yankees give me that feeling anymore?

I'm not worried about Wang or Mariano. I'm worried that they're not loose, not having fun, akin to last year. Joe looks like his daughter got diagnosed with a brain tumor all game. I look at the Sox dugout and they are having fun when they're down 1 in the bottom of the ninth. The Yankees should take the advice from this blog, and just freakin' relax. It's the third week. Alex, calm the hell down, you cannot win when you're so uptight all the time. Numbers notwithstanding, it rubs off on everyone else. As my mom would say "It's not all about you." Sometimes I get the feeling that the difference between Jete and Arod is that Jete is driven to win, and Alex is driven to perform. The former being clearly more important. The same goes for MO, he wasn't pouting on the mound the other night like most closers, he was jumping up and down trying to get Mats head out of his ass to preserve the tie with a throw to second.

Once Paul O'Neil stopped beating water coolers and supporting his teammates, he was happier, and the team got better.
When the team is having fun, they're loose, when they're loose they're confident, and wen they're confident, they'll win. The Yankee dugout is as tight as Pat Robertson's ass.

2006-04-17 11:20:01
6.   pistolpete
His ball was definitely moving better in the later innings - guess it's true about sinkerball pitchers and fatigue.

Maybe this year he's exchanging balls hit back to the mound for strikeouts? Heh.

2006-04-17 11:28:15
7.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Alex: Off topic, but one thought on your BP Radio Q&A on Curt Flood which I just listened to:

When Will asked you about why Flood isn't as celebrated/recognized for his contributions to the game, I agree with your assessment that one reason was that he didn't win his case, but I offer the following two additional observations:

1) Fighting the Reserve Clause might be more of a technical accomplishment. I mean, the average baseball fan might not even know what the Reserve Clause was, let alone what it meant.

2) Many fans might be ambivalent about what replaced the Reserve Clause, Free Agency. Older fans recall how common it was for a marquee player to play for the same team for their entire careers, and even younger fans of clubs that can't afford to retain their stars (uh, Oakland fans - Giambi, Tejada; Seattle fans - Griffey, A-Rod). So it might be that fans are less interested in investigating and celebrating the events and people who set that in motion, however unfair it is not to seperate the Reserve Clause being dismantled from the current Free Agency system.

This isn't me saying Flood shouldn't be more widely recognized... He seems to me to be a very important figure in baseball.

2006-04-17 11:52:26
8.   Sliced Bread
Wang was great.

Any early word on who will catch Johnson tomorrow?
Let's see, it's a night game following a day off, preceding a day game which precedes another day off, oh, what's the point... it'll be Stinnett.

Yanks face a pair o'southpaws in Toronto (Chacin, Lilly) which means Phillips will probably get another start, and by "Phillips" I mean Cairo.

2006-04-17 12:05:27
9.   David
Bernie has had a long downward slide in batting. Starting in 1998, his OPS was
.997, .971, .957, .917, .908, .778, .795, .688.

I had hoped against hope that the pattern would reverse itself this year, but so far, Bernie's OPS is only .589.

When analyzing close games lost, one might factor in lack of production from the DH position as one of the causes.

2006-04-17 12:14:13
10.   Sliced Bread
Good call 5 re: the Yankee dugout, Stormer.

Arms-folded, thousand-yard stare seems to be the most common pose on the Yankee bench. .500 (yawn) ball will do that to a team's (yawn) body language.

But if the players and coaches have appeared at times like they have someplace better to be -- they do.

No team in the AL has played fewer home games than the Yanks (3) at this point (most have played at least 6), and they don't play in the Bronx again until Friday.

The 9-game/10 day homestand vs Baltimore, Tampa, and Toronto should help improve the Yankees collective spirit.

Hopefully, they'll end this business trip from hell with two wins in Toronto.

2006-04-17 12:22:10
11.   jedi
"Yanks face a pair o'southpaws in Toronto (Chacin, Lilly) which means Phillips will probably get another start, and by "Phillips" I mean Cairo. "

In regards to "Phillips," do you think "Sturtze" will start to be used more frequently than "Mendoza?" in these division matchups? I would like to see him in more clutch positions to help prepare for more tense situations with the bosox and, (can't believe I am saying it) the "Yanks". The subway series finally will be interesting to watch this year.

2006-04-17 12:22:34
12.   tommyl
Out of curiousity, what was the rationale given for not signing Thomas? Injury? he didn't want to play in NY?
2006-04-17 12:26:14
13.   fgasparini
Can anyone tell me, or point me to where I'd find out, what percentage of pitches the average pitcher throws for strikes?

Stormer--I remember a Joel Sherman (?) column in '95 (?) addressing whether the Yanks had a team leader--he wrote something like, "Ask O'Neill who the leader is and he points ten fingers in every direction but his own." I don't think there's a direct connection at all, but from '96 on Paulie did seem more settled, though I missed the spectacle of him trashing stuff.

Finally, can anyone tell me how to do the cool hyperlink to previous posts?

2006-04-17 12:27:15
14.   rilkefan
Note that the Big Hurt is hitting 0.171 with an 0.683 OPS.
2006-04-17 12:35:03
15.   Sliced Bread
11 jedi, I don't think Ramiro Mendoza is on the roster at this point, so we'll be seeing a lot more of Tanyon "Give Til It Hurtz" Sturtze.

13 put the number of the comment you want to link to in [brackets].

2006-04-17 12:50:22
16.   Alex Belth
Brent,
You make a great point and that was the one question I wish I had answered more succinctly. By the late sixties, with the left wing fractionalizing, we saw the rise of Nixon's "silent majority," mostly blue-collar, white sentiment that reacted against all the liberalism of the day. I think that the "silent majority" were a large part of sports fans who bristled at all the labor talk in the news, and bemoaned the increasing salaries that players made.

Flood called himself a child of the sixties, but he really grew up in Ike's America, and while he came of age during the civil rights 1960s, he also came apart in Nixon's seventies. I don't think Flood was a radical by any stretch, but he was perceived to be a radical and, I guess in the context of his profession, what he did was radical.

But I think the second reason you gave as to why he's not better remembered is right on--to this day, some people think he is to thank for ruining the game.

I was born in 71 and don't remember life before free agency. I don't think it destroyed the game, just changed it. But even if it had ruined the game, Flood's struggle was still a noble and just one. The old system was an offensive one as far as player rights went.

Thanks for the comment.

2006-04-17 12:52:23
17.   Schteeve
This nonsense about the Yankees dugout looking tight or whatever, is a crock of shit. That's how they look. They're the Yankees and they're playing .500 ball. You might be a little tense. But I don't buy that it's the cause of their struggles.
2006-04-17 12:58:18
18.   pistolpete
FWIW, I don't ever recall this group of Yankees being loosey-goosey, even throughout their championship run.

I really cringe at the 2004 Red Sox comparisons - so which 'dugout attitude' has won their respective team more rings? Damon's goofy grinning & hugging of his fellow players is certainly a refreshing change of pace from the norm, but I couldn't stomach it if the entire team was like that...

2006-04-17 13:15:17
19.   debris
Alex,

I think in the second line you mean "factionalizing," not "fractionalizing."

I think the split on the left had little to do with anything baseball. Flood may have been a "child of the sixties," but if he was, he was one of the few paying attention to baseball.

By the time of the Flood deal, I'd long since stopped following baseball. Baseball was Amerikan and anything Amerikan was counter-revolutionary and to be eschewed. At the time of the Flood deal, I knew very few people following the game.

I was living in and going to college in New Hampshire, albeit at an entirely radical college, in the fall of 1967 at the time of the Sox Impossible Dream team and no one I knew even paid attention.

Curt Flood picked a bad time to court the left.

2006-04-17 13:17:36
20.   debris
One of the great things about working for yourself is the ability to take the afternoon off to go home and watch a ballgame.

Ironically, I was sitting in my easy chair, Loretta at the plate, Papi on deck, thinking, "Please, Mark, don't end it here."

2006-04-17 13:29:40
21.   Simone
Schteeve, big fat word! I don't know where "the Yankees aren't winning because they are too corporate or too tense" has come from. I'm pretty sure that the Yankees were never happy go lucky in the dug out when they were winning championships. The happiest I've seen the guys in the dug out is when Joe picked one of them to manage the last game of the season.
2006-04-17 13:30:18
22.   pistolpete
20 How is that ironic?

The true definition of irony would have been you thinking, "Please Mark, just ground out and end the game already..."

2006-04-17 13:35:26
23.   brockdc
Good call, Stormer. They all seem very uptight (and not just A-Rod). It's like a dugout full of Mike Mussina clones.

As great as A-rod is, part of me wishes he had that defensive back mentality of forgetting the last play as soon as it has ended.

2006-04-17 13:37:34
24.   Count Zero
1 A fluke? It's a one-run game and we: (a) fail to get an insurance run in the top of the 9th with a runner at third and one out and (b) our left fielder has a brain cramp and throws to the wrong base in a 9th inning game situation like he's a fat middle-aged guy in a slow-pitch softball league.

We gave that game away Saturday and it was painful to watch. Over and over I hear the YES story about how "Sheffield says if he doesn't want to K, he won't" but I've now seen him K three times with a runner on third and less than two outs in just 11 games. PUT THE BAT ON THE BALL FOR CHRIS'SAKES! All we needed was a weak ground ball to second, not a 175 MPH screaming line drive.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm afraid that these guys have come to the conclusion they don't HAVE to do the little things right -- they just have to blast 250 HRs and score 1000 and they will get a ring. It's a fallacy. The little things will kill them in October, just as they have for the last five years. You can't give away runs against good teams.

Forget "small ball" -- play the damn game correctly. If I was Alex, I would have been pissed on Sunday, too. I have little leaguers on my street with a better understanding of baseball fundamentals than these guys are exhibiting day in and day out.

As if the Knicks weren't bad enough, I swear these guys are gonna' be the death of me...

2006-04-17 13:37:39
25.   Sliced Bread
20 I think in the second line you meant to say: "Annoyingly, I was sitting in my easy chair, blah, blah, blah..."
2006-04-17 13:41:22
26.   tommyl
24, Haven't the Yankees already won more games than the Knicks? ;)
2006-04-17 13:45:33
27.   pistolpete
24 Yes, a fluke. Mariano should have been able to nail down a 1-run game, and was well on his way if not for a weak cue shot in front of home plate (which I might have let roll foul) and a couple of floaters past our infield.

Specifically about A-Rod being 'angry', though - he drove in the go-ahead run. Again I ask - what more could you have asked for in that particular scenario? Like I read in another article, A-Rod seems to want to do everything all in one game. Jeter doesn't seem to mind if he goes 1 for 4, but that 1 hit is a game-winning HR in the 9th. Which is the right approach? Damned if I know.

2006-04-17 13:49:49
28.   Alex Belth
debris,
Thanks for the correction on that word. I didn't mean to suggest that baseball was becoming more of anything, just that that what was happening at the time. That's the social backdrop for the early years of the union and eventually, Flood's suit. But you are right, baseball was not the darling game of the left--it was abandoned by a lot of young people during that period.
If I've learned anything about Flood, is that, his story just had the damndest timing, and it worked against him.
2006-04-17 13:49:49
29.   Alex Belth
debris,
Thanks for the correction on that word. I didn't mean to suggest that baseball was becoming more of anything, just that that what was happening at the time. That's the social backdrop for the early years of the union and eventually, Flood's suit. But you are right, baseball was not the darling game of the left--it was abandoned by a lot of young people during that period.
If I've learned anything about Flood, is that, his story just had the damndest timing, and it worked against him.
2006-04-17 14:04:36
30.   Marcus
27 A-Rod must be harping on the 9th inning at-bat that didn't get Damon in from 3rd after the infamous Jeter sac bunt.

It's funny that A-Rod has made it this far with such a critical attitude towards himself. Billy Beane talks about that attitude ruining his baseball career in Moneyball, while guys like Lenny Dykstra shrugged off failure like it was nothing.

20 Zing! Funny stuff.

2006-04-17 14:08:02
31.   debris
Alex,

And, by the way, the left has always been, and still is, irritatingly factionalized. If we'd been able to build the coalition in the 60's that Bernie Sanders has built here in Vermont in the late 20th century into the 21st, that of labor, education, youth, farmers, elderly, the grim move to the right that we've suffered over the last 40 years would never have occured.

2006-04-17 15:35:05
32.   rilkefan
The left had the little problem of the '64 Civil Rights Act. Well, and Brown v. Board in '54, etc.
2006-04-17 16:25:10
33.   singledd
Just for laughs after 13 games.
9 HR and 1.700+ OPS. Who is Chris Shelton?
2006-04-17 16:59:00
34.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
16 Alex: all excellent points. I was born around the same time as you, so I'm surprised to learn that you don't remember the pre-free agency world (as I believe I do). Perhaps it is that while Andy Messersmith won free agency in 1976, the effects of free agency weren't fully felt until the late 80's or so. I recall consistent squads where retirement or decline were why the squad changed, not reaching a walk-year.

Dodger infield: Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey, with Steve Yeager behind the plate. Consistent infield from the mid-70s until 1982, when Lopes was the first to go because of his decline and Steve Sax's emergence. (Actually, Scioscia replaced Yeager before that).

Reds infield: Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Bench. Early 70s to Early 80s, largely intact, but I'm less close to that team.

Yankee infield: Chambliss, Randolph, Dent, Nettles, Munson. I guess it was those '78, '79 and '81 World Serieses that has me aware of the Yankees

Anyway, thanks for your comments and I enjoyed your segment.

2006-04-17 17:10:35
35.   Rob Gee
Why the Yankees are more than okay:

1st in runs scored in MLB (80; Atlanta 2nd at 79 runs; Cleveland 2nd at 74 runs).

1st in runs allowed in AL (52; Boston 2nd at 55).

Given that the objective of this sport is scoring more runs than allowed - step away from the ledge - we're doing more than just fine.

2006-04-17 17:20:58
36.   Dimelo
Subject: Interesting, perception vs. reality

The Yankees are 6 - 6, through 12 games I was under the impression the Yankees team ERA was somewhere in the lower echelon of the AL. From looking at the stats and sorting all the categories I see the Yankees are #1 in ERA, #5 in WHIP, #4 in K/9, #1 in OPS, and #5 in BAA. I was totally floored. Here I am believing how bad the Yankees pitching was and I've been watching the games. A clear case that my perception was incorrect when compared against reality. I understand it's only been 12 games but still, it's as if people want us to believe that our pitching is 2nd worse to Kansas City's or something. I am impressed, I hope this keeps up and the staff doesn't believe the hype.

http://tinyurl.com/gvvpr

Here's how the Yanks are doing as far as team batting is concerned.

http://tinyurl.com/gc4ao

I am still confused as to how we are 6 - 6, actually I'm sure I'll here the usual, "Torre this" and "Torre that". But the fact remains that there are a lot of positives and this team is going to do really, really well. This doesn't feel like last year. Again it's early but it seemed like last year there were more holes than we could count. The last thing that I find as a positive is the emergence of Proctor - if he can cut down on his walks. I can't believe how quick we are ready to quit on a guy and not let things evolve. The low point for me was Saturday's loss, but like Alex said in his Sunday post Mo definitely made me feel much better about the loss. I'd rather we lose with our best.

Anyhow, I was just looking over some of the numbers and I was happy the Yanks put a smile on my face - even on a day off.

2006-04-17 17:21:44
37.   Dimelo
Cool...Rob just said the same thing I said.
2006-04-17 17:36:29
38.   Schteeve
I hate to be "that guy" but there are a couple of regular posters in the comments on this blog that are making it pretty painful to read.

Being opinionated is great, but obnoxiously harping on some dead horse that you just can't stop beating is beyond tedious.

Obviously, the response I'll get to this whiny little rant will be "You don't like it, don't read it." Well, I'll always read the blog because Alex and Cliff do such a great job, and because there are certain commenters who really add to the discussion. But the constant knee-jerk Cashman bashing, and Torre bashing, and A-Rod bashing, and trite quippy self promoting nonsense is getting really bad.

It's like, people are too lazy to set up their own blogs so they come here and totally dominate the conversation with crap posts.

Just my ninety-eight cents.

2006-04-17 17:56:59
39.   Rob Gee
37 Yeah good stuff, D. The comments around here have been pretty dire. I thought a good reality check was in order. Glad to see I'm not alone.

Basically, as I see it as there are two clear games we should have won. The Proctor in tied 9th inning game and the one Mo blew. Put both in our column and we're at 8-4. Sooner or later these things will sync up and we'll be very merry.

If we can win the division last year after 11-19, anything that happens from this point forward will be fun to watch.

And in the future hope department - Melky is putting up huge numbers in Columbus (but Duncan is struggling).

38 Sorry Steeeeeeve you do have to deal with it. I've realized that the comments during games are a bit over the top and so I just sit back and enjoy the games then read the consensus afterward. The interesting bit for me is whether my reading of the games matches Yankeedom. But I can't contribute much to the in game comments - they're just too much for me - including some posters.

Of course, I've been a constant critic of the GM as the off-season wore on (bashing indeed), but the fact is he is mediocre. Isn't the point to Banter about such things? If you disagree, state your opinion, man. Otherwise, what would you want this site to be - a back-slapping jolly good affair where all we do is praise the moves and hold cyberhands and hope for the best?

2006-04-17 17:57:52
40.   Dimelo
I have to 2nd Schteeve's post. There's a lot of bashing going on, makes it counter productive. I have to admit that I haven't read as many posts lately because work sucks elephant balls and it's taking a lot of time away from my web-surfing - at work :-). But when I do scan through the posts it's as if there's an over abundance of negativity.

I know we all mean well, but it gets a little old. I really appreciate Torre and I think once he's gone we'll see how valuable he really is. For me, he represents the right manager for the times. The collection of superstars on the team and the players willingness to go all out for the man then you have to overlook some of the negatives. I'm not saying Torre should be absolved of any criticism, it just seems like some of the things being said are pointless and people are writing for the sake of writing - kinda like what I'm doing.

I see that NoMaas has turned into Boston Dirt Dogs and it's as if Yankee fans are turning into Sawx fans with the negativity.

2006-04-17 18:08:38
41.   Dimelo
Rob, I can't speak for Schteeve but from what I've read it just feels as if the things being said aren't constructive. I take the Yanks so seriously but I look to some of you to make a funny comment and say something constructive, not to contribute to my bad mood by saying something that makes no sense. I think the Proctor comments were bugging me....it's early and the Yankees have to see what bullets they have in their arsenal.

If Torre uses a player who wasn't give a chance people scream because when said player is being give a chance it doesn't coincide with their line of thinking of when they should get a chance. I thought Torre's usage of Smith was great and his philosophy is a simple one, if you do what I ask of you when I ask you then you will get another chance. For me, that's the right line of thinking for a high pressure environment like Yankee stadium or Fenway, etc. You have to go with what you know, Torre seems to go through the first part of season using what he has and building a database of information to figure out if certain people can be trusted. What ends up happening is that some people rot away at the bench and others end up being overused.

I understand full well that these are my opinions and I opine differently than, what it seems like most, when it relates to our manager Joe Torre.

2006-04-17 18:13:46
42.   Schteeve
39 If you think that the point of my post was that we should all bow and scrape at the altar of the Yankees, you might want to re-read.

Has Cashman made mistakes? Yep. Does Torre make seemingly whacked out tactical decisions? Frequently. Has A-Rod whiffed at really inconvenient times? Of course. Was I arguing otherwise. Not even close.

The point of my comment was not that people criticize the Yankees unfairly.

2006-04-17 18:30:27
43.   fgasparini
This is Alex and Cliff's blog. Perhaps they can weigh in if the tone or content of the posts bothers them.

To be honest I'm not too sure what Schteeve is concerned about, having read through this thread and found very little that seems to fit his description...if he is referring to the many comments that get posted during games, I wouldn't think they should be held to the same standards as at other times...it's just Yankee fans goofing, complaining and cheering, like they do on other Yankee blogs, like fans do at the stadium.

But again, it's Alex and Cliff's blog.

2006-04-17 18:52:43
44.   Start Spreading the News
How do you want to look at this?
Team: ExpW-L --- Strength of Schedule
Yanks: 8-4 --- .414
Sox: 6-6 --- .538

Glass half full:
So we should be winning more games. We had bad luck (bad rolls and calls) and this stuff evens out.

Glass half empty:
We lost more games than we should against a crappy schedule. The Sox have won more games by getting lucky but their schedule should only get easier when they play the Royals.

Glass really half full:
Take out the games against KC. That leaves us with only top tier opponents. I calculated the expW-L based on RS:50 and RA: 36. That still gives us an expected W-L of 8-4 for 12 games.

So that Yanks are really playing better than their record indicates. Which means Torre sucks! :) Yes, I am kidding.

2006-04-17 19:37:34
45.   fgasparini
Isn't it the case that Pythag standings (based on runs scored and allowed) are more predictive of next year than actual standings? IE, in any given year it's possible for real standings to be way out of whack, but you expect a correction next year. Over on RLYW there's a projection that based on runs scored and allowed so far the Yanks will win 109 games. He admits that's just a goof at this point.

Anyhoo, the point is, sometimes things DON'T even out, not even in a 162 game season, which is why it's disappointing to see the Chanks drop some games it seems they could or should have won, even early on.

44 I live in LA now and cannot, despite any evidence, bring myself to consider the Angels top-tier. I dislike them irrationally and totally.

2006-04-17 20:07:07
46.   brockdc
43 Agree completely. What I love about this blog is that there are honest, respectful (usually) disagreements of opinion. Just like when watching a game at home with a bunch of friends, there are pessimists, optimists, and everything in between.

Living in CA, I normally Tivo most games but have found the in-game threads too entertaining NOT to engage in. I think most of us, during gametime at least, are spewing shit for the fun of it; and I think the negativity is more a product of emotion than anything else.

With that said, basically, if I read something on this blog for which I have genuine contempt (which, for me at least, is pretty rare), I generally try to ignore it and move on.

Huge props again to Cliff and Alex for an entertaining, provocative and informative forum.

2006-04-17 20:15:55
47.   wsporter
Hey Rob, any thoughts? I'm looking for a back-slapping jolly good affair where all we do is praise the moves and hold cyberhands and hope for the best. Maybe the RNC has something, you know, on an "Up With People" sort of theme.
2006-04-17 20:17:23
48.   brockdc
44 Okay, but we're not. The question is, why?

1. Is it because Torre's strategies are more enigmatic than usual?

2. Is it because the defense can't make plays? Or,

3. Is it because we truly have encountered a combination of great pitching and bad luck?

Obviously, it's probably a combination of the three. But I have a feeling - just from watching ten games or so - that the defense is the true albatross.

2006-04-17 20:19:56
49.   brockdc
The 2004 RNC shattered all previous records of extreeme close-ups of mirthful African Americans and Latinos.
2006-04-17 20:31:20
50.   Stormer Sports
fgasparini

I'm in LA too. What part are you in?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-17 20:43:26
51.   Rob Gee
41 D - Honestly I don't think any of what we do is constructive. As fans all we can do is react - sometimes negatively - other times positively, and the rest somewhere in between. This blog is just a reflection of all of those emotions. A 4-1 week will shift things more than anything else.

Hey, I'll admit that the crowd here is usually very well-informed. The in-game comments are a different beast 43. I agree. Emotions get worked up and the silliest stuff gets put out there. But at the same time I wonder why Damon is the DH and Bernie is in CF - I thought we learned that lession last year.

It all comes down to how you see the club right now. I don't get too worked up over individual games and it probably goes to my view of the manager - I think he's top 5 easily. That said his eccentricities are maddening. But I get more infuriated by the GM's decisions. But my opinions won't change those any more than shouting at the television screen.

That's just me. I figure we have a long way to go. My view in January was this team would pile up wins, take the division (again), then get bounced in the playoffs. I stand by that opinion, but that's alll it is. And it won't stop me from cheering like hell and dropping a pretty penny at the Stadium.

And this lighter in the air is for you wsport.

2006-04-17 20:44:58
52.   Schteeve
49 I think I agree that the defense is the glaring culprit.

I think a better second baseman handles that ball that got Cano couldn't get to in Mo's blown save.

I think Jeter's error cost us that game against Anaheim.

But I also think that sometimes the Yankees offensive strength is their undoing. Pitchers who are successful throwing strikes on the corners, can take advantage of the Yanks willingness to take those pitches. If the counts are never in our favor and the meatballs never come...we tend to struggle offensively.

2006-04-17 20:52:43
53.   brockdc
I realize fielding percentage is an old-school indicator, but we're SEVENTH in fielding percentage in all of baseball (.976). SEVENTH! Again, obviously one of the big weaknesses of fielding % is that it doesn't account for a player's poor range, which, it seems, is a huge culprit right now, all over the diamond.
2006-04-17 20:53:17
54.   Stormer Sports
I understand the frustration on both sides of this negativity dabate.

If Torre yanks the starter and brings in a reliever, and the reliever gets slammed, we cant believe he yanked the starter.

If Torre visits the mound and stays with the reliever, and he gets slammed, we cant believe he didn't bring on the fresh arm.

If we bunt and strand the runner, we cant believe we didn't swing away.

If we start Bernie and he bombs, we cant believe he didnt start Phillips.

When he starts Cairo and he gets three hits, we have to eat our words of lament prior to the game.

Aren't these types of decisions that blogs like this are meant to discuss and offer opinion? It's not negativity, it's debate. Agreed, it can be negative at times, and I am surely guilty of that. I think much of this is due to many of our feelings prior to the season that this team would shrug off last year, have gelled a little bit, and would come out swinging.

Scoring tons of runs and losing isn't something to be seen as a positive, esspecially when our ERA is tops or near tops in the AL. You should win when that's the case, plain and simple.

When you put this type of talent together you expect results. It doesn't always follow to be sure, but it sure as hell should most of the time. The Malone/Payton/Kobe/O'Neil Lakers a recent example. However, that team did win games during the regular season.

We simply expect more from this team than it is delivering, and we have every right to. That's all this amounts to. We have every right to wonder why Matsui doesn't have a plan PRIOR to the ball being hit, not following! We have every right to disagree with Torre. This is what sport is all about.

None of us have the answers, that's for certain. There is no shortage of criticism of Torre in the opening articles day after day on this site. From Phillips to Cairo to Bernie, to the pirching moves.

No matter what my personal feelings are, I know I can log in any day of the week and find more interestng and insightful analysis of the Yankees here, than I will hear from Michael Kaye or the Joe Morgans of the Analyst world in an entire year. That's no small feat.

2006-04-17 20:58:02
55.   Stormer Sports
52

Jeter can cost us 10 games this year and that will be perfectly fine with me. Let the new boys step it up and make plays that my kids will watch some day for a change.

Of all the opinions out there, I can say one thing that we should all agree on. Derek Jeter had nothing do with our problems last year, and certainly will have nothing do with any problems we may have this year.

2006-04-17 21:04:28
56.   fgasparini
50 Silverlake.

I do think Torre stinks as a game manager, and I'm not afraid to say it. Of course not EVERY decision he makes is wrong--and I know that there are those who say managers add or subtract at most a couple wins per season, so who cares. But you know, Miguel Cairo, he's not so good. He shouldn't be starting at first base. Not like Andy Phillips is any great shakes, but don't you want a manager to give his team any small edge to win?

(With specific regards to Cairo, I do remember two years ago he had a career year with the Yankees--actually not putrid. So the in the playoffs--must have been at some point in the Sox series--Torre pinch hit for him! with like Tony Clark, someone much worse. Maybe some of you recall the deets, I'm too lazy right now to use retrosheet.)

HOWEVER, I think there probably is something to be said for Torre as a manager of the club--who deals with Stein, the media, and holds the hands of the superstars. I know that "you can't measure leadership," but it's an impression I have.

2006-04-17 21:06:28
57.   Stormer Sports
fgasparini,

Get the hell out of here! I am on Hyperion.

2006-04-17 21:10:23
58.   Stormer Sports
fgasparini,

I'm in the tiny minority here, but I don't think much of Phillips. Cairo is certainly not the answer, but in my humble opinion, you still get more from Cairo. Cairo is a solid defensive player and seems to perform in pinstripes, well, just not those over in Queens. I think Giambi should start nearly every day, and we should try to see what's out there for our bench later in the year as a replacement for Cairo, and dredge the farm system as well. Phillips is just a dud I think, but I sure as hell hope I'm very very wrong.

2006-04-17 21:11:28
59.   Stormer Sports
......you watching this train wreck of a Dodger game?
2006-04-17 21:14:16
60.   fgasparini
Phillips stinks. I just think he's probably a better hitter than Cairo, based on his minor league stats which have some limited predictive value. And because Cairo, you know, really stinks. I agree, neither is an answer to the 1b/DH question, but Cairo was supposed to be a utility guy.

Stormer, I live on Monon. If you're not working, wanna get together and watch the Jays game somewhere on Thursday?

2006-04-17 21:14:45
61.   fgasparini
Oops Wednesday, day game on ESPN.
2006-04-17 21:14:55
62.   dpmurphy
44

Well, you were using stats and making some sense until:

"The Sox have won more games by getting lucky"

2006-04-17 21:22:30
63.   Stormer Sports
fgasparini

60 Shit, what time is the game thursday? I have an event to attend honoring my Uncle at 4:30. I guess you have the package as well. Let's figure out when we could do it. I don't know any bars nearby that would have the games. Shoot me an email at brstormer@adelphia.net. I don't know where Monan is, but it can't be far.

See, that's why I like this site, I don't even worry about plopping my email address right there.

I guess I just have a soft spot in my heart for Cairo. I would almost like to see if Melky could make some 1B starts at Columbus. I still trust Gene Michaels and Reggie on him. Give him some kind of gurantee he'll stay up for a while, I think he'll hit the ball well.

2006-04-17 21:32:23
64.   Stormer Sports
Maddux 8 IP and another win. Striking out guys with that 84 MPH fastball. That guy is a freak. It's sad that Clemens isn't pitching. Was still the best in the league last year, scary.
2006-04-17 21:36:34
65.   Zack
Not sure it has been discussed as I have been away for awhile, but the Yanks signed Carlos Pena to a minor league deal. Exactly what many of us had hoped for!
2006-04-17 21:48:47
66.   fgasparini
65 It's a nice pickup for the Yanks. Maybe in the Chacon mold, we'll see...it's nice to see the Yanks make low-cost, high-upside moves like some of the other teams do. Like, yes, Boston. And the A's. I'm not a total Cashman fan, but he's made some nifty pickups. Like Darrel Rasner...don't know how he fell to us, but hell, it's free talent. If it turns out he stinks, no loss really. If he's major-league worthy, BONUS!
2006-04-17 21:53:20
67.   Stormer Sports
Cashman has certainly had to turn up the temperatue on that old nogin of his this year. I think George made clear he should God Damn well be able to win with the money he's spent. He is just being resorceful, for a change!
2006-04-17 23:35:57
68.   Stormer Sports
The pinstriped blog was interesting today. Anyone think Wright, as horrible as he has been, deserves a chance to get guarnteed bullpen-only work and see if he can be salvaged? This way he has a chance to play a single role, and if not, just find a way to move him?
2006-04-18 00:00:23
69.   Stormer Sports
Food for Thought.

Jeter has not one!

Arod's bonus plan follows:

$50k 6th-10th MVP; $100k All-Star; $100k most All-Star votes; $100k Gold Glove; $100k Silver Slugger; $100k AP/Baseball America/Sporting News All-Star; $100k Player of the Year by above; $150k DS MVP or LCS MVP; $200k WS MVP; $200k 2nd-5th MVP; $500k 1st MVP, $1m 2nd MVP; $1.5m subsequent MVP; can void contract after 2007 season. After the 2008 or 2009 season, can void unless salary is $32m $1m more than any other position player. The Yankees will defer $1 million annually from 2004-07 without interest, to be paid in 2011. This reduced the value of the deal by $5.1 million

2006-04-18 05:03:33
70.   Rob Gee
69 It's Yankees policy not to give bonuses. The Boss thinks "we pay you top dollar to produce top results - you don't need a bonus". So the only bonueses they do give are ones other teams agreed to. In A-Rod's case that would be the Rangers and Boras fleecing them.

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