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Bird Bombed
2006-06-04 17:20
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Aaron Small didn't have much on Sunday afternoon and was thoroughly beat-up by the Orioles who sailed to a tension-free 11-4 against the Yankees. David Ortiz, move over--Miguel Tejada has simply murdered the Yanks this year (16-26 this year).

Jason Giambi sat for a second straight game with a stomach virus. Alex Rodriguez returned from his bout with the bug and looked far from crisp. Worse still, Derek Jeter had to leave the game after being hit by a pitch in the right thumb. The initial x-rays were negative and Jeter is listed as day-to-day. With a whopping four-game series with the Red Sox kicking off tomorrow, the Replacement Level Yankees can ill-afford to lose their captain.

Comments (81)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-04 17:47:38
1.   brockdc
Nice little gapper by KT today. In bizarro world, he starts every game and Long hasn't seen the field in two weeks.

Despite the team stats, our starting rotation is concerning me. I will be satisfied if they can split with the Sox this week.

2006-06-04 17:49:21
2.   greenfuzz
I also hope that KT sees some real time. The young guys are propping up the team right now. I'm sad that Small's been such a failure this year. He was a real light in the darkness of last season.
2006-06-04 17:57:19
3.   randym77
Maybe Small was rushed back too quickly. He should have spent more time in Columbus rehabbing. At the very least, if he didn't have it, they'd have discovered that there instead of here.

I'm not too worried about the outfield situation. Hopefully Long will be getting onto the plane Bubba gets off of.

Like Brock, I am a bit worried about pitching. Torre didn't want to use Proctor yesterday. He knows he's overusing the guy, but doesn't have anyone else. It was cool to see Wanger get the save, but it could have been a disaster. Not a good situation to throw a young pitcher into, especially one who's had some issues with high-pressure situations.

Given the ages and injury histories of our starting rotation, there's reason for concern there, too.

2006-06-04 18:36:04
4.   MattinglyHOF
Long needs to be DFAed so we can get another inf
2006-06-04 19:21:58
5.   Zack
I think realistically, the Yanks should hope for a split, and expect to win one game. Tomorrows game could go either way, though I don't expect this lineup to hit Josh "I play the game right" Beckett. With Pauley vs. Wang (who is better at home) on Tuesday, that's the game we have to win. Schill vs. Wright on Wed, and Johnson vs. Wake on Thurs don't seem so bright. We can't hit Wake or Schill, and neither Wright nor Johnson still inspire confidence. So winning game one would be huge, which basically means we need Moose to throw a shutout methinks. Then we can hope to dominate Pauley, and then go from there..

That's my 2 cents...

2006-06-04 19:35:35
6.   Rich
Long, Small, and Erickson have no place on this team now or ever.
2006-06-04 20:41:53
7.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Now yes, but Small obviously had a place last year, and if we could have had Erickson during the late 90s that woulda been nice too :P

Games are always hard to predict. last time around most thought the only game we had a shot at winning was the first game with Wang , but it turned out that was the only one we lost...

Still though, I like the feeling of this team so far, if Mo A-rod Giambi is all back and Jeter doesn't miss most of the series I think a split is reasonable, and a win is definately not unthinkable.

2006-06-04 22:27:20
8.   brockdc
7 I like the feel of this team, too. A good mix offensively and an upgrade defensively. Still, as randym noted, our bullpen is already fried a week into June - not good.

I'm real happy that Wright is clawing his way back to mediocrity, but these 5 inning outings by him and the others must stop.

2006-06-05 00:43:38
9.   joejoejoe
I like what Torre did switching Posada to 1B and Phillips to 3B in the 6th inning. It's good to keep the team focused on the big picture in blowouts and working on the versatility of the ballclub is a good use of dead innings.
2006-06-05 04:12:35
10.   randym77
8 Yes, the problem is really the starters. They aren't going deep enough, so the bullpen's overused.

Maybe it will be better when Obi-Shawn returns. And hopefully Wang will pull it together. He's young, and when he's on his game, he doesn't throw very many pitches. If he gets over that pitching from the stretch thing, he should be able to go 7-8 innings easily.

2006-06-05 04:35:58
11.   randym77
The Post has an injury roundup:

http://www.nypost.com/sports/yankees/67063.htm

More than you might want to know about Giambi's and A-Rod's health issues. But the scariest part is this:

"The Yankees will likely send Kevin Thompson back to Columbus (Triple-A) when Bubba Crosby comes off the DL later this week."

Why, Joe? Why?

2006-06-05 04:57:20
12.   rabid stan
10 If Wang could pitch from the stretch he'd be a groundball terror. Teams would struggle to get guys as far as second, usually succeeding only on walks. Many would disappear into DP's. Add even a second-rate strikeout pitch, and he's Roy Halladay out there.

I guess this a roundabout way of saying that watching Wang infuriates me more than watching any other pitcher on the staff, including Johnson, Small, Erickson and the other under-performers, pumpkins and washouts in the rotation this year.

I could accept it if he never has a great K/9, even if he never gets over a very pedestrian 5 K/9. Mo was great for years with numbers in that neighborhood. They're even quite common for groundballers who hardly throw enough pitches per batter to strike anyone out.

But pitching from the stretch is basic. His splits with runners are beyond ridiculous.

In a lot of ways, he's still a AA pitcher. I really hope the pitching coaches get that and aren't treating him like a vet whose problems are somehow a mystery. What ails Wang is simple: He hasn't learned how to adjust his mechanics from the stretch such that he throws the same pitch as he does from the wind-up, that's his problem.

The solution is not repetition until he gets it right, but instruction in how to get it right. If the coaching staff is just letting him "work it out", they're doing Wang a great disservice. They need to teach him.

I watch him go three or four scoreless innings on thirty or forty pitches, then he gets 4 hung on him the next inning. The longer this goes on, the harder it is to watch and the more I worry that he'll never make it as a major league pitcher.

It would be a pity.

2006-06-05 05:15:03
13.   markp
Our starters are going as deep into games as the league average. Toronto and Texas both have less IP per start than we do, yet none of their RP have 27 IP. Proctor has 38. That's on Torre, not the starters.
2006-06-05 05:56:47
14.   rbj
As banged up as the Yankees are, I'll take a 5-2 road trip.
2006-06-05 06:27:30
15.   Shaun P
11 Words fail me.
2006-06-05 06:41:17
16.   Rob Gee
15 Not Tea -

"I think I trust T-Long. Can he be productive enough? I don't have enough information on that."

"He's a pro," Torre said. "He's easy to like in the clubhouse; everybody seems to be very comfortable with him. He's been in the fire before, with Oakland when they were winning divisions and getting in the playoffs, he was there. You can never discount that experience in my mind."

It's like he's gots his balls in Joe's mouth.

Everybody with me now! fdwaeysu ihj T-bag fgre yuihvj T-bag cdwusgovi T-bag fewu ysivhjk uifdslzvhb T-bag!

2006-06-05 06:41:47
17.   rsmith51
11 Not that I agree with it, but Torre sees Long as a viable LH bat in the outfield. Since KT is RH, it hurts his chances of staying on the team. Of course, KT would likely(undoubtedly) hit better against both RHP and LHP than Long, probably field as well, if not better. I think getting Erickson off the roster is a bigger issue, followed closely by Long, and then reevaluate Small. It is more likely Erickson could hurt the team in a close game. Why did Torre use Erickson instead of Villone with a 2-run lead? Erickson has got to be over 2 WHIP if you include HPB.

I do like the makeup of this team and they are pitching much, much better than last year even with RJ's follies.

2006-06-05 06:44:27
18.   rsmith51
16 Yes, there wasn't a reason that they traded for Johnny Damon and traded him away?
2006-06-05 07:08:02
19.   JL25and3
13 I couldn't agree more. Joe's never managed the bullpen particularly well, but this weekend was ridiculous. The starting staff has trouble going more than 5-6 innings, and the bullpen is depeleted and exhausted; you'd think Joe would want to conserve pitchers and let someone eat up innings wherever possible. But he was inexplicably cavalier with the bullpen, wasting pitchers at every turn.

The worst decision was probably pulling Johnson after 7.1 strong innings. OK, only 6.1 were strong, but he'd only thrown 89 pitches - and you pull him after he walks one guy? And when your plan B is to use a starter out of the pen? Yesterday's decision to take out Matt Smith after 20 pitches was also strange, especially since it was to get 3 innings of Erickson.

I'm afraid that Scott Proctor has already been quantrilled, at the beginning of June. But Joe might not realize it until his shoulder falls of...

2006-06-05 07:08:31
20.   JL25and3
Off. Falls off.
2006-06-05 07:26:19
21.   Dimelo
Baseball Musings has this from Michael Silverman's column at the Hearld.
http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/015233.php
2006-06-05 07:33:28
22.   wsporter
T-Long has clearly proven through his history, his production, his effort and his ability to blend in with the team that he is a viable option as a 10th outfielder.

Having said that, If Thompson is not going to play then I'd just as soon they send him back down where he'll get ab's every day. Maybe they can show-case him as a viable trade piece. Sad but if he can't get playing time what other value does he have to the club as a member of the 40 man?

2006-06-05 08:06:53
23.   JeterChrist
I wouldn't believe KT to be all that valuable in a trade, he really needs to be playing full time in NY..now. That's the only way for Thompson to accrue some trade value. A 26 year old in AAA isn't going to make himself all that much more valuable in trade by ripping it up. I feel like Cashman is letting me down here.

Also, I'm starting to get the impression that with the makeup of our starting rotation (outside of Mussina, and hopefully Johnson), Mike Myers is beginning to be a luxury we can't afford. Especially noting the last 2 series where there really weren't any big time lefty hitters that we needed him to get out.

2006-06-05 08:19:41
24.   wsporter
23 JC I think your point on Thompson is well taken but it doesn't look like he's going to get the playing time he needs in the Bronx. As a trade piece he may have value as a perceived interim piece as part of a larger package. I agree though, he needs to be playing. I hope we do play him rather than trade him. A short term outfield rotation of Melky, Damon, GOB, Thompson and Bubba may be the best we can do right now. Again, I like Long as a solid 10th outfielder in that rotation.

On Myers, I think he may get a chance to prove his value over the next 4 days, I hear the Sawx have 1 or 2 lefty hitters that may require the attention of a specialist.

2006-06-05 08:48:55
25.   JeterChrist
24 I agree with what you're saying, it was more to illustrate my disappointment in how the situation is being handled. The starting OF at this point should be Cabrera-Damon-Thompson. If anything, this is an OF that actually covers a ton of ground. The other "problem" with this arrangement is that Bernie's strength is RH hitting, and the 2 guys on the roster that Joe would most likely pinch hit for in that lineup would be Phillips and Thompson, also righties.

I think Myers is definitely quite capable of doing what he was put on the roster to do, it just concerns me that with 3/5 of the rotation throwing between 4-6 innings per outing, having a one out guy in the bullpen, who can go almost 2 entire series without being used, is more luxury than necessity.

2006-06-05 09:02:23
26.   rsmith51
Torre should probably have put Myers in on Sunday to keep him sharp. Although I guess he is assuming he will be pitching against Ortiz this week.

Speaking of LH bats, how are Durazo and Pena doing? If Pena can play the OF passably, he might be able to fit on this team.

I think we have seen the last of Cairo starting at first, at least.

2006-06-05 09:21:48
27.   RZG
19 Johnson had 114 pitches, not 89 when he was relieved.
2006-06-05 09:26:47
28.   Peter
17 I'm not sure I follow why KT's handedness should affect him. There's already two lefties (Damon and Bubba) and two switch hitters (Melky and Bernie) in the OF. If they keep T Long solely so he can be a LH bat off the bench, it's going to be a long summer.
2006-06-05 09:45:41
29.   JL25and3
27 You're correct; my mistake. I got the number from CBS Sportsline, which has 89 in the box score.

Obviously, that changes the calculations on that move. I think I'd still be more comfortable letting Johnson go to 120; one outing of that length shouldn't kill him, and throwing Proctor out there yet again seems more abusive.

In any case, the rest of Joe's bullpen moves pretty well sucked.

2006-06-05 09:57:32
30.   ChrisS
Pena: .253BA 7HR 19RBI 29BB 40K

I can't seem to find Durazo anywhere for stats. And while checking stats, it was nice to see Phil Hughes's K:BB around 4:1 with the jump up in competition.

Washington Post has an article up about Dotel being back in a week, possibly.

2006-06-05 10:09:49
31.   JohnnyC
Durazo's in extended Spring Training. He's at least 4-6 weeks away from helping us. Still rehabbing his hamstring pull.
2006-06-05 10:15:53
32.   wsporter
30 CS, Durazo is down in EST so there won't be any stats published. PinstripesPlus a partial pay site has him making progress in terms of his hitting work. When will he be or will he ever be ready? Who Knows?

Watching Pena he seems to be pretty streaky so far; big games and little ones. With the emergence of Andy maybe Pena can buy more time that is if he'll be patient on his opt-out option, what ever its terms are.

My concern is that Andy is becoming a more valuable trade commodity now that he seems to have his stroke back. Pena may be more than just a spare part after all.

2006-06-05 10:53:14
33.   Shaun P
Its not like the Yanks haven't gotten by with less-than-perfect players at the corner OF slots before. In 2002:

Rondell White - .240/.288/.378 126 G, 455 ABs
Raul Mondesi - .241/.315/.430, 71 G, 270 ABs
Shane Spencer - .247/.324/.375, 94 G, 288 ABs
John Vander Wal - .260/.327/.429, 84 G, 219 ABs

Melky is putting up better numbers than any of those guys (so far). And I think some combination of Thompson/GOB/Bubba can probably outhit the White/Spencer combo in 2002. The Yanks might be OK with what they've got.

Of course, having T-Ball around because he's a lefty bat is a joke. Does Torre somehow see Sierra when he looks at Long? I'd rather have the 40-year-old Big Rube, warts and all, on the bench than T-Ball.

2006-06-05 11:20:45
34.   rsmith51
33 Don't even joke about having Sierra again. He, like Long, is not Torre-proof. The idea is to have a Torre-proof bench and bullpen.
2006-06-05 11:29:52
35.   Shaun P
34 At least Sierra could hit for power, which is more than T-Ball is capable of. In a perfect world, of course both of them would/should be far away from the Yanks. But unless T-ball severely hurts himself (and soon), a Torre-proof bench will be more idea than reality, much as I wish that wasn't the case.

Similarly, until Small goes and Erickson is sent packing, there's no Torre-proof bullpen either. I'll cheer on the day that happens, but I don't expect it to be anytime soon.

2006-06-05 11:31:01
36.   wsporter
33 MFD, Melky looks like he's really getting comfortable; A partial silver lining in this injury disaster? It's nice to see that Andy is winning over some converts as well.

Do you see any chance at all that Thompson can get a fair shot at collecting enough ab's to get comfortable? It'd be great if he could begin to prove himself the way Melky has. I know he's had some problems adjusting to new levels in the past, well moving from AA to AAA anyway. I can see how Mr. Torre plays GOB especially in Right HH situations but playing Long, oye vey I'm screaming inside and that hurts.

Tossing Thompson into the crucible that will be these next 4 games and expecting him to perform may be a bit much but how else will we ever know?

2006-06-05 11:49:57
37.   yankaholic
For all the Mendoza fans, he had a bad outign last time out.. so did Hughes.. hopefully its just one bad game for those guys
2006-06-05 11:50:53
38.   Rob Gee
36 All I know is Thompson has more RBI's in 5 AB's than T-bag has from 36. And it's not like the latter hasn't had the opportunities. To me, that proves something, Gapper came up in a 2 out situation and produced with a gapper. Should be reason enough to stick when Bubba returns.

At least my head has stopped hurting with that hope.

2006-06-05 11:58:48
39.   wsporter
Hey Rob, glad you beat the Long virus. Yeah, if they can get him ab's it would be a good thing.
2006-06-05 12:03:52
40.   YankeeInMichigan
33 Why stop there with the Yankees' corner outfielder woes? We also had Womack, Knoblauch, Ledee, Curtis, et al. In fact, the only truly productive corner outfielders of the past decade have been O'Neil (1993-98), Matsui (2004-05) and Sheffield (2004-05). One of the marvels of the Torre era Yankees is that above-average production in the up-the-middle positions has compensated for below-average production from the corner spots.
2006-06-05 12:13:04
41.   unpopster
The following interesting little tidbit just posted on Rotoworld.com:

"General manager Brian Cashman said that the Yankees have 'decided to pull the plug' on Richard Hidalgo. Given New York's injury situation that means Hidalgo, who was signed to a minor league contract last month, must look pretty washed up. The Yankees have also stopped having Jason Romano work out in extended spring training."

Rotoworld is also reporting that the Rangers are expected to DFA former-Yankee prospect D'Angelo Jimenez. I wonder whether Cashman would take a chance and sign the kid for Columbus as maybe some infield insurance.

2006-06-05 12:15:44
42.   JohnnyC
Pitching cures a lot of ailments. Especially a strong bullpen that features good middle relief and great set-up men. We haven't had that since 2001. The DBacks won with 2 dominant starters, the Angels with unexpectedly great relief pitching, the Marlins with a consistently good staff, starting and relieving, the Red Sox won with, again, a surprisingly strong bullpen effort in post-season, and the White Sox won with the best staff ERA in the AL. The injuries have been a real drag but the key to winning in October will again be how strong our bullpen is. I would hope Cashman could see that and worry less about the line-up and the rotation (not that he shouldn't worry, of course).
2006-06-05 12:39:36
43.   Shaun P
42 Great point, JohnnyC - and the way things are shaping up, the bullpen at least should be A-OK. If only Torre would recognize that Villone could be the long man so Erickson and Small could both be sent away . . .

36 MFD, I think Rob has it right - but I also expect that T-Ball's veteran-goodness will win out. Sigh.

To put what Rob said in 38 into even more perspective:

T-Ball has 40 PAs, 27 with runners on = about 67% of the time, T-Ball has a chance to drive guys in. He's had 42 runners on base when he's at the plate, 20 on 1st, 16 on 2nd, 6 on third. He's driven in two of them - but none of the 6 guys on third.

There are only 19 other batters in all of MLB with 40+ plate appearances (ie - non-pitchers) who are worse than T-Ball at driving runners in. None of those 19 have had more runners on base than plate appearances, as T-Ball has. The list is full of backup catchers, backup middle infielders, no-hit outfielders, last guys on the bench - and Juan Pierre and David DeJesus of the Royals. In DeJesus's defense, he's been hurt and will probably disappear from the list soon enough.

The full list, courtesy of BP's RBI Opportunities report: http://tinyurl.com/llwpb

Also note who pops in at #30, but old friend Bubba. Hmm . . .

2006-06-05 12:52:36
44.   BobbyBaseBall
43 Excellent stats Shaun. I thought it was my imagination that it seemed T-Ball was always up with at least 1 or 2 men on.

Since Thompson came up, I can't for the life of me see how he can be starting. I mean, does Joe watch the same games we do?

He has to be encouraged by KT's plate appearances so far, especially the two-bagger yesterday with 2 outs.

2006-06-05 12:54:21
45.   rbj
43 Thanks for the info. My, but Long is bad. I am hoping Cashman doesn't trade for Pierre, who's even worse.
2006-06-05 12:59:24
46.   JeterChrist
Can anyone else here picture Joe starting KT on Monday and Wednesday (Beckett,Schilling), having him go 0-6 before being pinch hit for by GOB or Long, and then having Long get 2 singles with no one on base Tuesday against Pauley? Because I totally can, and we'd never see KT again.
2006-06-05 13:00:28
47.   Rob Gee
43 Nice Shaun.

The other thing that helped my head is realizing that Womack got 66 games in the OF last year. If they're d-u-n with T-bag, that would be quite an improvement in the common sense department (though they got one for the league minimum, the other they for 2 years at 4 mil - but that's a whole 'nother story).

As others have mentioned, an OF of Melky, Damon, and Gapper/Bubba would be nice defensively (esp. if Melky goes to right) and could actually do well above replacement though not in the power department. Still, it would improvement team speed. Then that frees Bernie to DH/PH against lefties - his proper place all along.

Bubba probably peaked two years ago, but a platoon with Gapper could be a productive combination with both adding PH and speed to the bench.

Too bad the mere existence of T-bag and Erickson suggests this scenario is more a figment of my newfound hope. Another start for T-bag could crush that hope (and my brain) for good.

2006-06-05 13:05:18
48.   Rob Gee
46 Sorry, JC, I'm not that pessimistic. If anything I can't see Gapper going 0 for 6 - seems patient enough to work a walk and enough of a hitter to poke something through.

Then again, I'd be happily shocked to see Gapper start a few games this series.

2006-06-05 13:09:40
49.   JeterChrist
48 RG, I'm actually fairly confident in KT, but I can see that sort of circumstance (tough night(s) against 2 good pitchers)being what bans KT to the bench (see Phillips last year vs. Scott Kazmir). I've actually been very impressed with his approach at the plate thus far, abeit in a very small sample. Same goes with Melky.

Now if we could just figure out what happened to Robbie's power.

2006-06-05 13:11:35
50.   tommyl
What I can't fathom is how no one on either the coaching staff or front office has stepped up to get rid of long or at the least severely reduce his playing time.

I agree its small sample size, but in 11 games totalling 36 ABs (40 PAs) Long's line is:

.167/.250/.194 with 8Ks.

If there was anything in his career numbers to believe he would turn it around (like Jeter's slump a few years ago) I'd say to give him a shot, but there just isn't. I can't begin to speak to how unproductive a .194 SLG is. Long is bad, was bad, will always be bad. Why can't anyone making decisions for the Yankees see this?

Its truly hurting my head.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-05 13:14:58
51.   wsporter
MFD, Eyow! Bubba that's some putrid company your keeping. Check out Juan Piere, Juan the Wally Killa. Glad we didn't jump on that; by the way I was hoping we would get him so there's one more where I was dead wrong.

With Damon, Jeter, Arod, Giambi, Posada and Cano we have enough hitting, that is if we can continue to get something out of Melky and GOB and if we are at or near the top of the league in pitching. A very dicey proposition. Remember a lot of the so called experts said during hot stove that if we were to do any thing this year it would be becuase we were going to slug everyone into submission. Doesn't look like it now. I think we better keep that Columbus shuttle working and keep those bullpen arms fresh.

Paging Mr. Beam, Paging Mr. Mendoza. Please keep your bags packed.

2006-06-05 13:18:54
52.   tommyl
Here's another idea to circumvent Torre's BP management, since I've accepted after 10 years its just not going to change. Why not shuttle a few younger players from AAA to the Yankees a couple of times a year? That way, Joe can burn whoever is up with the big club up, we send them down for a few weeks and replace them. Save the best relievers till the end of the season and we have a rested, effective BP come stretch run/playoffs.

It'll never happen of course, since you'd have to "trust" younger guys, but it just got me thinking.

2006-06-05 13:19:51
53.   JeterChrist
50 Especially with Cashman's stake in all this as being "the guy in charge" right now. You'd like to think he'd Torre-proof the roster as much as possible, like getting rid of guys like Long.

51 The bullpen definitely needs to be kept fresh, I'm guessing they're starting Mendoza to build up his arm strengh/velo, Beam I'm perplexed as to why he hasn't gotten the call to AAA. Also curious as to why they don't see Veras as a better alternative to Erickson. Matt Smith should stay for good, and its too bad Rasner got hurt, I think he'd have made a nice swing man.

2006-06-05 13:24:46
54.   Rob Gee
50 They gave T-bag a shot with terrible AAA numbers. It shouldn't be surprising he's lasted as long as he has. Hopefully, Tea has enough information now, unless he's getting a face full of T-bag.

51 Then again, those experts also thought the Yanks didn't have enough pitching and that their system was dry at the higher levels. Shows how much they know.

It's amazing but Melky had much better numbers than Milledge in the same league (i.e., same pitchers) this year yet the experts called one a bust and another a stud. Remember that with all the talk about the draft.

Oh, and Gapper and Milledge this year had about the same numbers - Milledge gets on base more but same average and power. Plus, Gapper is a better base stealer.

2006-06-05 13:26:39
55.   C2Coke
52 Funny. But which young ones are you referring to? The real young ones so far are more or less doing their part (ie. Melky, Cano, Wang, and...ok...Phillips, perhaps Thompson...too early to tell)

The rest? Not so young. The three that do no deserve any trust right now, Long, Erickson, and Small, are considered as veterans, right?

2006-06-05 13:26:49
56.   tommyl
53 Its just the behavior defying all rationality that is amazing to me. Joe playing Bernie more than he should, I sort of understand because he at least he likely seeing the Bernie of a few years ago. Long just has no explanation whatsoever. He can't hit, run, field, walk or really do anything. He is the first OF we've had who I can honestly say that Womack would be an upgrade and yet he is continually trotted out. If the Yankees had no one better that would be one thing, but they have clearly better options. Thompson is a better fielder for sure, and almost certainly a better hitter.

I know Torre knows 80-90% more about baseball and managing than I ever will, but this is just obvious. Get rid of Long. Its a complete no brainer and I don't understand it at all.

2006-06-05 13:28:00
57.   Rob Gee
53 It should be clear by now that the GM either: a) knows no more than the manager; or b) does not use what knowledge he has.

Remember, Tea also said they were getting a speed and defense guy in T-bag. Where could he ever get that idea from?

2006-06-05 13:28:04
58.   tommyl
55 I meant the pitchers. In this case some examples would be: Smith, Rasner, Bean, etc. You can replace youngsters by guys who don't have much experience in the majors if you like.
2006-06-05 13:29:35
59.   tommyl
57 Rob, I have been wondering where he got that idea myself. That's like picking up Pierre and saying its good to add some power to our lineup.
2006-06-05 13:30:43
60.   SF Yanks
I truly hope Long doesn't get one hit for the rest of his Yankee career, even with runners on (It will only give false hope to Torre). The sooner he realizes, the sooner he's Long gone, hopefully.
2006-06-05 13:31:28
61.   JeterChrist
56 Completely agree. I didn't think they'd bring him up in the first place, but KT had gotten hurt (I think), now that he's up, and at least produced in his first 2 games, there's really no reason to not play him (Thompson). Unfortunately, even if Long got sent down when Bubba comes off the DL, Joe will play Crosby against the majority of starters (being LH). I think Joe's strength as a manager comes in handling difficult star personalitites and staying calm under the pressure of NYC. But as a game in-game out manager, I think he's suspect.
2006-06-05 13:31:31
62.   C2Coke
58 Gotcha. That Long bug can do some damage to the brain...as all of us here know.
2006-06-05 13:37:55
63.   tommyl
61 That is true, but what's odd to me is that Joe didn't always use to be this way. For one thing, he pushed playing Jeter in '96 and staying with him, when Steinbrenner and others didn't think he could hack it. The same can be said of his treatment of Rivera, who Showalter wouldn't trust to bring in in the '95 ALDS and bringing Posada through to be Girardi's replacement.

I can't figure out why he's changed. He has a complete aversion to anyone who hasn't played at least three years at the big league level. I reiterate how refreshing it is to see guys like Melky, Andy and KT come up, struggle a bit and learn to produce. All while hustling everything out, playing the game the right way and feeling some attachment to the organization.

2006-06-05 13:40:35
64.   domvjr
Tenative lineup.
No Jeter as of now!
Damon
Cabrera, LF
Giambi, DH
A-Rod
Posada
Cano
Bernie
Phillips
Cairo
2006-06-05 13:41:04
65.   yankaholic
Today in a Buster Olney chat on ESPN, he answered that one of the negatives of Torre is he wears out the BullPen guys and is a weakness of him.. Everyone seems to know that he is abusing his relievers..
2006-06-05 13:44:39
66.   Shaun P
59 As Bobby said in 44, you have to wonder if Torre is watching the same games we are.

I'd love if Peter Abraham or one of the other beat writers would ask Torre just why he loves Long so much when T-Ball has done zip for the Yanks.

2006-06-05 13:45:24
67.   RichYF
53 Beam got called up to Columbus yesterday (the 4th).
2006-06-05 13:45:35
68.   Rob Gee
64 GOB's not a surprise there. I was going to call it in response to 46. Tea's thinking of keeping Gapper away from the toughest of the righties. If anything, hopefully we'll see him against Pauley and maybe Wake. That's if he 'trusts' the kid in a big series.
2006-06-05 13:50:26
69.   JeterChrist
67 Nice, I had missed that. Very exciting. Hopefully he continues his success. We need some help back there.

68 Hopefully you're right and he at least gets the start in the Pauley game.

2006-06-05 13:53:35
70.   Shaun P
68 Torre didn't trust Melky at first against Wake, I'll be shocked if he trusts Gapper.

And with Pauley being a lefty, I figure GOB will definitely play Tuesday. So unless Damon sits, Gapper probably rides the pine the next 4 games. What a joke, especially if Long and GOB play vs Schilling and Wakefield. You know at least one of them will.

2006-06-05 14:11:39
71.   Rob Gee
70 Pauley's a righty. But you're probably right on Wake, unless Tea thinks the Gapper's speed is a good asset to have in there - he's easily the fastest guy on the team now.

T-bag in there again and my cognitive facilities my not recover from the rapid whiplash then impact with the wall.

2006-06-05 14:21:57
72.   Shaun P
70 My bad. Don't know why I thought Pauley was a lefty.
2006-06-05 14:23:18
73.   randym77
I think they are working on Wang's mechanics. I heard part of his problem was they tried to change his grip. It really didn't go well.

Heard the problem with Hidalgo was he just couldn't get into shape.

Since Bubba's a lefty, I see no reason why Joe needs to keep T-Ball instead of KT. :-P

2006-06-05 14:32:02
74.   randym77
Peter Abraham is reporting that Jeter is out of the lineup due to that bruised thumb:

Johnny Damon CF
Melky Cabrera LF
Jason Giambi DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Andy Phillips 1B
Bernie Williams RF
Miguel Cairo SS

2006-06-05 14:39:02
75.   JohnnyC
Baseball Tonight did a nice video piece on Wang's stretch delivery and it's very clear he doesn't get on top of the ball, throws sort of 3/4, and his plant leg is bent instead of straight (as in his wind-up). Without the hesitation at the top of the wind-up, his arm really drags behind his motion and, voila, the ball stays up. He probably loses some velocity as well. Changing his grip does nothing. But it's difficult to rebuild his delivery in the midst of a season. Perhaps someone should have noticed this before now? Someone? Anyone?
2006-06-05 14:43:04
76.   Shaun P
74 At least no T-Ball!

Should we read anything into Andy hitting in front of Bernie again? Or is that overanalyzing things?

2006-06-05 14:43:53
77.   randym77
There's a game thread up now.

I think Joe is seeing the light on Andy...

2006-06-05 14:46:48
78.   wsporter
54 Rob I'm with you on the "so called experts". They, for example Baseball America or Neyer, are in the main so full of bile and invective when it comes to anything Yankee connected that it makes me wonder how they can lay claim to any objectivity. I found it very interesting that Baseball America was able to write Melky off as a top ten prospect at the age of 20 - 21 based on a 6 day ML nightmare. Would that have happened if he were a Devil Ray or a Diamond Back? Oh no that's right he never would have made the top 10 in those organizations to begin with. Maybe they need to reassess their decision criteria or maybe be willing to admit that every now and then they get one wrong.

Rob, wear a batting helmet if your going to pound your head into the wall.

2006-06-05 15:02:48
79.   JohnnyC
The darling of the BA-types, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, had a slew of prospects rated in the Top 50 in all of baseball...they were considered to be almost 2-deep at each position as late as this Spring. Where are they now, outside of Howie Kendrick (who's injured...again)? Where's Jeff Mathis? Hey, developing prospects is a crap shoot, dependent upon draft position, international scouting, and, yes, luck. Same goes for the vaunted Red Sox pitching depth in their system. Now they're thinking of converting Craig Hansen to a starter.
2006-06-05 15:21:13
80.   wsporter
This link appears at ESPN: "Gammons: There are no guarantees in the draft". Wow, who knew? With that kind of insight available I may be forced to renew my insider subscription.
2006-06-05 15:52:32
81.   Rob Gee
79 That's the funny thing. They can't even get the top 10 right in the whole damn organization. Melky gets bumped at the age of 20-21 78 behind alot of other less talented guys. But I think you're right wsport. After two years of the 'experts' saying the Yanks are dry at the upper level, the progress of these guys (Cano, Wang, Cabrera) is really nice to see. Though, after the Kevins, things don't look good position-wise. Who knows though? But I'd much rather give 30 AB's to a guy in the organization than to bring in a guy like T-bag or let a guy like Erickson pitch.

The one place the GM is doing things somewhat right is holding on to the prospects and getting at least a few of them on the roster. If he's mediocre in my mind, panic trades would put him in the below average range.

Waldman just said something about Maddux in the middle of a bidding war between the Yanks, Sux, and Padres. I'd rather stay out of any such wars esp since Maddux has lost his early season magic.

BTW: Lord Theo is entering mediocre terrority himself. Check out the numbers of not only Hanley (which seems justifiable only if Beckett gets a CY) but also Josh Bard and Freddie Sanchez (Mike Gonzalez too). The Crisp trade is the only clear positive right now, but it's much too early to call Marte a bust. Good times!

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