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The Sun Also Rises
2006-10-08 05:58
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Anyone feeling hungover this morning? I am and I didn't even have anything to drink last night. The Yankees' entertaining and highly enjoyable season ended prematurely yesterday, with a whimper then a thud, and we fans can't help but feeling angry and sad--completely helpless. There will be plenty of blame to go around (if you think we've seen the peak of the A Rod bashing, hold onto your hats). Will they fire Joe Torre, How Could This Have Happened?!, etc, etc. Guys, I just don't have it in me to dig into the dirt right now, so you'll excuse the lack of links. The Yankees weren't the only team to take it on the chin in the first round--look at the Twins, who also had a rewarding regular season. But that's what makes baseball unpredictable, wonderful, and, at times, painful.

I think I'll be pulling for the A's in the ALCS. I don't have anything against the Tigers, and I think they have the best home uniforms in the game next to the Yankees. But I have to admit that I was slighly put-off by their post-game celebration on the field after the game. I understand there has been bupkus to cheer about for Tiger fans, and I think the effusiveness expressed by the players were genuine and sincere. So it's not like I was offended on principle or anything. But this was just the ALDS. What ever will they do for an encore? I felt they were gilding the lily some, but, what the hell do I know? The only thing I came away with watching Kenny Rogers lead the charge, standing on the dugout showering fans with champagne, was the thought that he will not win another game in October. Oh, but maybe that's just the bitterness talking.

No matter. Like I mentioned, it is a beautiful, crisp, Sunday morning on the east coast. The sun is out and the leaves are turning. I want to thank all of the regulars--and semi-regulars--who make Bronx Banter the community it is. Again, you guys are the best. And for those who have been with us for more than a minute now, you know just cause the season is over for the Yanks, doesn't mean we're going anywhere. We'll be here for ya through the long winter.

Keep coming back.

Comments (202)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-08 06:20:40
1.   Sliced Bread
You and the other marrying man, Cliff, set the tone here, Alex, with your thoughtful and insightful work.

It was a great year of Bronx Banter.

It's going to be a long winter in Yankeeland, as Cashman & Co. look under the snow covered rocks for pitching truffles.

Damn, we need young, live pitching arms attached to sniper's heads. That would fix things fast.

2006-10-08 06:32:06
2.   seamus
as for this rumor about firing torre and bringing back Pinella. Am I the only one who thinks, "Why Pinella?" I guess I just never liked him very much.
2006-10-08 06:35:29
3.   Alex Belth
Why Lou? Simple. First of all, he's a longtime friend of George Steinbrenner, and that's a big deal. Secondly, he's probably the one guy who could come in and replace Torre knowing what is expected of a Yankee manager, dealing with the press the players, etc. My feeling has always been that you'd hate to be the guy who replaced Torre, you want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaced Torre. But I think Lou would come in, have general fan support (he's got cache as a 'great Yankee'), know how to work the front office and the media. I'm not saying that they should can Joe or not. I'm just saying I think Lou works in a lot of ways.
2006-10-08 06:44:02
4.   Bama Yankee
Alex, thanks to you and Cliff for all the work you put in to give us this site. I found the Banter back in January when I was looking for a place to keep up with the Hot Stove reports and have been hooked ever since.

The season was great. The postseason was a disaster. But through it all I am thankful that I have found a place where I can share the great times and the bad times with fellow Yankees fans (it is very hard to find someone down here in Alabama who feels your pain of a Yankee playoff loss).

I would also like to thank all the regulars who have made me feel welcome here. Who would have thought that a country boy from the South would find a bunch of new friends on a Yankee blog. Thanks for tolerating my posts this year and also thanks for all the great insight that you guys provide (I think I learn something almost every day on the Banter).

Thanks again for giving us the best place on the net for Yankee fans. Brighter days are certainly coming and I'll be tuning in daily to see what develops.

Let's Go Yankees!!

2006-10-08 06:47:42
5.   seamus
3 yeah, that all makes sense. I guess I'm letting my general dislike of him color my feelings on it. And hey, thanks for providing a great place to discuss the Yankees. I'm pretty bummed, and would be worse if I wasn't able to flip channels and watch ND dominate Stanford. I do love college football!
2006-10-08 06:55:06
6.   Count Montefusco
Thanks so much Alex and Cliff for running such a great site. I'm already looking forward to next season with all the intresting possibilities in play, Lou or no Lou.

I hope this isn't poor form, but I posted last on the prior thread, so I'm bumping it here:

Can't we agree at least to PLEASE STOP referring to Alex Rodriguez as the "best third baseman in the American league"? It is simply delusional.

A-Rod committed 23 errors, most in the league among third basemen. How does one square this with such ridiculous claims?

He grounded into 22 DP, 5th among all position players.

Most striking: among players appearing at 3B in the AL this year, A-Rod ranked 34TH OUT OF 35(!) in Clutchiness, posting an abysmal -2.23.
(http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=3b&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=n&type=3&season=2006

The incessant citing at this blog of A-Rod's cumulative-type stats is baffling. A-Rod was blessed with far and away the best top of the order in the league. What kind of numbers, I wonder — and please, be fair — do the apologists here think Troy Glaus (104 RBI) would have posted in this lineup, with the insane protection and opportunity ARod had? Joe Crede (93 RBI)? Hank Blalock (89 RBI)? Adrian Beltre (89 RBI)? Mora? Inge? Mark Teahan?

(BTW, these are players additionally capable of fielding their positions.)

I am not one to boo players, and feel genuinely bad for A-Rod. I've been disgusted with the way fans have treated some players this year — not least the booing Scott Proctor got in early Sept. after having gone above-and-beyond-the-call for the 129th time.

But the facts are plain, and you can throw all the numbers out if you want. A-Rod isn't working here. To cite his graceless style; his seeming robotic movement; the appearance that he is a pure guess hitter; his seeming discomfort on and off the field: these aren't observations made in lieu of statistical analysis, as some have claimed. They are perfectly valid considerations.

Cashman needs to find someone who is a "good fit" and get this club away from its 5-year-old Rotiserrie League directive ASAP. Moving A-Rod is the obvious place to start.

2006-10-08 06:58:52
7.   Chyll Will
3 Thanks for that, Alex, and thanks to both you and Cliff for being fabulous hosts of a wonderful blog. As I said before, I'm really impressed with what I read and being able to take part in a small way has been exciting. I've never seen anything like it, it's almost like being part of a famous acting troupe or a member of a highly decorated batallion, as the case may be.

If Lou does come in, I hope he brings back his Cadillac dealership in Ossining; I always liked driving past that and seeing his name on the marquee, so remarkably out of place for the scene.

It would be kinda cool to see an all-star lineup or an Oscars-type of celebration of Banterers throughout the season who have contributed and kept us informed, entertained, riled up or what-not.

Out of fun, of course. Oh, don't worry, I'm not going anywhere >;)

2006-10-08 07:03:34
8.   Chyll Will
4 Yeah, what he said >;) Gotta nominate you for something...
2006-10-08 07:06:38
9.   seamus
6 yawn...
2006-10-08 07:07:33
10.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
A few thoughts.

(1) Sweet Lou would be good for A-Rod given their relationship. But I wonder about Piniella and our young pitchers coming through. We've got Hughes coming, probably Clippard, and then perhaps some of those college pitchers we drafted high last year not too long after. By the time the new stadium opens we might even have a sniff of the big kid from NYC who lit up the GCL last season. Doesn't Lou have a rep for riding young pitchers hard?

(2) We've got to get younger fast, even at the expense of losing in the short term. I'd say let Moose and Sheff go. I'd also love to be able to get out of the last 2 years of Giambi's contract, but that's unlikely.

(3) We need someone who can field well at 1st, even if it means league avg numbers offensively. Giambi just doesn't cut it, and frankly Phillips, even if he hits the way he did in the minors, isn't a good enough fielder.

2006-10-08 07:14:22
11.   Simone
Alex and Cliff, thanks for the season. The Banter is my morning ritual so I'll be sticking around until pitchers and catchers report in February which isn't that far away.

I don't want Joe to be fired, but at the end of the day, I don't think that it makes a big difference. The Yankees' pitching problems remain. Years of Tampa dabbling has left the Yankees with a flawed starting rotation and that isn't easily fixed no matter who is managing or coaching. Remember when the bad pitching it was supposed to be all Mel's fault? Phillip Hughes is the Yankees potential savior, but it will be his first season pitching in the tough AL so we'll have to see how he does.

I never thought the day would come, but I'm rooting for the As also. The Tigers are obnoxious, particularly Kenny Rogers. Plus, I want to see Frank Thomas rub his championship ring in Ken Williams' face.

2006-10-08 07:17:19
12.   adenzeno
Although I am a Mets fan, I am not rabidly anti Yankee(maybe because I live in Texas?), I truly enjoy your insights and columns as they are always in good taste and informative. Thank you for all you write.

Luis Venitucci

2006-10-08 07:27:47
13.   pistolpete
Like a lot of folks who visit here, I see BB as a support group of sorts - the first paragraph summed things up perfectly, and even my wife read it over my shoulder and agreed with the analogy. She feels for me much more so than in any other season.

I don't think she fully understood my passion until this far into our marriage, so even when we lost in 2001 the sympathy wasn't as pronounced. Of course, we had just come off 3 out of 4 titles, so there was always that to fall back on.

As I said in the last post, BB will be the only place I can stomach to read up on the Yankeeland soap opera, so when you're ready to post the links, I'll be ready to read em.

Now let's all hold hands, take a deep breath and try to get through this together. Heheheh....

2006-10-08 07:34:09
14.   Chyll Will
Wow, who thinks Yankee fans are spoiled rotten? You should see the active cannibalism at Dodger Thoughts. Two posts got removed, a la Rob Gee.

I said it somewhere else, but it bears saying again. It would be a shame, but not a surprise if Torre is gone. He kept this team together throughout the season. However, I think the "media insights" have played a hand in undermining the authority he has exhibited or tried to exhibit. I don't know how different Lou Pinella would be in that regard, outside of maybe making them chew on each other instead of the team.

2006-10-08 07:34:27
15.   murphy
i have been a BB reader since 03 when cliff and alex still had separate blogs, and, i gotta say, their writing this year has been, far and away, their best. thanks so much to both of you for being my firefox homepage.

as per next year:

1) if torre goes and lou replaces him, i don't think this will be Lou's team or ARod's team. this is jeter's team. in the same way that ripken ran the orioles despite who was managing from year to year, derek jeter owns this team. if there's any doubt about this, simply wait till they open up those MVP ballots...

2) how the media percieves a player has so much to do with everyone else's thoughts on him. people haven't just talked about he tigers pitching this year because they've been great, it's also cos they're young. when the "big three" reigned in oakland, it had as much to do with their age as it did their quality. so i want hughes NOW. i want people to be able to talk about how great he is and finish their commentary with, "and he's just 21 years old." i want my favourite team to have one of those hot young pitchers on the mound. liriano be damned, it's time to bring up phillip.

3) bye bye sheff. bye bye moose. dont bother with zito, he won't win us a championship. matsui at 1B, giambi DH, melky in LF next year. hope unit retires.

also.

let's go mets!

2006-10-08 07:39:20
16.   pistolpete
15 I can't, in good conscious, root for the Mets. The fans I've known in CT have taken up allegiance with RSN and have made my life miserable in situations such as this since 2002.

Let's go St. Louis, and let's go A's. A's to win it all either way.

2006-10-08 07:40:09
17.   pistolpete
16 'In good conscience'
2006-10-08 07:41:14
18.   wsporter
I definitely had that Jake Barnes feeling watching Rodgers and Bonderman spinning goose eggs out the board. I have no idea what could have been done differently to prevent what happened in those two games with what we have on the roster. Of course the result of those games would have been far less catastrophic had we managed to hold a lead in the late innings and win game two.

Now I suppose we can talk about firing Mr. Torre or Ca$hman or the Grounds Crew as though that would or will make a difference. I'm sure Sweet Lou would have had the boys taking those outside benders the other way and laying off those sliders out of the zone. We never would have seen any of the boys roll one over to an infielder with men on. Every out I'm sure would have been productive. I'm sure Lou would have had Wright and Johnson making tough pitches in tight spots and forced the Tigers to swing through any number of flat heaters and hanging yackers. Lou would have known to do that. I just know he would have.

I can't wait to see if they let Mr. Torre go. Maybe then they'll get someone to manage like Sweet Lou who understands that no matter how stacked the lineup is if you don't match up pitching wise something like this can happen in a short series. God knows Mr. Torre never has understood that. He never once credited pitching for those four World Series rings and 5 trips there in 6 years. Oh wait ….

2006-10-08 07:43:30
19.   seamus
17 both could apply in their own way, conscience and conscious.
2006-10-08 07:50:35
20.   yankz
I thought change was in order, but now that it's actually happened I'm shocked and don't know whether I like it. I realized something: most of the guys are extremely loyal to Torre, and this "he didn't motivate them" stuff is bullsh1t. Lou would have to earn their trust as a manager, and who knows how long that will take?
2006-10-08 07:53:59
21.   Chyll Will
18 I nominate you for Most Consistently Sardonic (a good thing, I must say) >;) Honestly, if they got the grounds crew to stop doing "YMCA" that would be a big step. Also, if Joe were to go for any reason, could he also take "Cotton-Eyed Joe" with him?

I'm apparently out of the loop. I'm only finding out now that Buck O'Neil passed away. He's like that favorite old uncle. God Bless...

2006-10-08 07:54:00
22.   Jersey
Alex & Cliff - I rarely post around here, but I'm more or less a daily reader. Others have thanked you for building a great site, but I will ADDITIONALLY thank you for eliminating my need to go to mainstream media to follow the Yanks. ;) With the whole ARod fiasco, I pretty much gave up on the mainstream press and TV this year (except for ESPN, which I more or less ditched years ago). The Banter and the other blogs are a wonderful remedy for the media.

In 2007, there are few things I'm looking forward to more than the continued development of Cano and Melky, and the guys in the farm system. But what I really want is one more great year out of ARod. I don't like the guy all that much, but I don't know what kind of fan couldn't empathize with him this year in a big way. That's your 3rd baseman, and no one deserves the crap he caught. So my one wish for '07 (besides a World Serious victory): ARod shuts up the haters.

2006-10-08 07:56:31
23.   pistolpete
18 You may have quietly convinced me that Torre needs to stay. Of course, it doesn't help we have one more year of Johnson.
2006-10-08 08:06:26
24.   seamus
23 I wonder if Johnson will be back. He is going to have surgery? I guess we'll see if he can be effective in the spring. He is getting pretty old to come back from another back surgery.
2006-10-08 08:17:28
25.   dianagramr
I betcha A-Rod would become a much better all=around player for the Yanks if they moved him back to SS, but I know that will never happen.

Hmmm ... wonder if Jeter can play 3rd?

2006-10-08 08:25:32
26.   pistolpete
25 If there's any ludicrous infield position switches to be made, I'd almost rather see Jeter go to 1B than 3rd. Go get Aramis Ramirez and put Alex at his natural position.

All that said, I just realized everything I posted above is absurd. ;-)

2006-10-08 08:28:48
27.   wsporter
21 Chill, Yes I'm sarcastic's $10.00 cousin. I was running for Mr. Smart Ass but that seemed too obvious. I keep my wife and family in stitches with my sharp tongue and caustic wit. I am sorry if I've caused anyone hurt or embarrassment other than those who of course deserve to suffer hurt or embarrassment. However I doubt Lupica reads this.
2006-10-08 08:30:23
28.   she
Am I the only one who's happy to have Columbus Day off just to postpone having to endure the abuse of Met-fan coworkers? Tuesday will be bad enough.

I'm listening to Brandon Tierney on 1050 and he sounds absolutely angry.

2006-10-08 08:33:36
29.   rbj
I want to stay off the comments for a while, but just had to chime in on the onfield celebration thing. It was lead by Granderson and Thames, who were with the Mudhens last year; they did the same thing through the playoffs last year, culminating in a Governor's Cup championship. They were just doing what they knew to do. It's fine; in fact I wish the Yankees would have shown a little passion in the playoffs.
2006-10-08 08:37:25
30.   Alex Belth
What the kids did in terms of celebrating was cool. What Rogers did was nothing short of bush.
2006-10-08 08:40:31
31.   weeping for brunnhilde
I just don't know what to say.

This is all just too crazy, not just the loss, but now Joe?

I don't know if it's a good idea to replace him or not, but I do know that I'll miss him.

During yesterday's game I cried in anger and desperation that the Yankees should clean house if they lose. It was just so painful to watch the same fecklessness we've been watching for years with these guys, come October.

I didn't mean Joe needs to go. I meant the team should be reconstructed around pitching, defense, and contact, situational hitting.

It's hard to watch hitters on other teams spoil nasty pitcher's pitches by just putting the bat on the ball to flick it into the outfield or up the middle. Our guys are good at fouling off those pitches, but less good at putting them in play, the other way and such.

And obviously, pitching, pitching, pitching.

I'm willing to wait a few years to watch something new develop. I want Melky and Cano to be the team of the future and I do not want to see them used as trade bait.

Whatever.

I don't want to rant here.

Thanks to all for a thoroughly enjoyable season and for sharing your spirits and opinions and good humor.

Especially, of course, Alex and Cliff.

I love this place.

2006-10-08 08:48:15
32.   wsporter
30 I couldn't bring myself to watch and turned it off as the last out was being made. Did Rogers do anything other than described above?

I remember back in '96 how torn I felt watching Mr. Kodachrome Wade Boggs ride around the ballpark on the rear end of a horse. Other than the obvious symbolism, I felt real sorrow knowing that it should have been Donnie Baseball taking that ride. I thought it was bush and it bugged me only because it was Boggs. Had Doug Jones done what Rogers did yesterday would it have been bush? Can't stand Rogers so I'm really glad I didn't see it.

Thanks for a great year Alex. I'll look forward to another nice warm hot stove here while the cold Virginia rain is falling this winter.

2006-10-08 09:04:39
33.   Chyll Will
18 Torre doesn't deserve to be axed, nor should he leave. Lou can't change the real problems with this team, which starts with pitching. And you're absolutely right; he's been preaching this for years, and other teams have caught up with it. The organization has failed over the last few years to develop or acquire the kind of pitching that gets the Yankees another ring, same as others except they deliberately or otherwise strayed from what was working before. We can't do anything about that anymore than Kansas City fans can convince David Glass to spend money on actual ballplayers. Is it this type of frustration that we're dealing with here, that no matter what we feel is right, we can't do anything because the ones making the decisions have made some pretty bad ones for a while that have caught up with them?

Don't fire Torre for something he couldn't control; I'm sure if it were up to him he'd had signed Detroit's entire pitching staff, minus Kenny Rogers (whom I downplayed and was proven wrong about) and trotted them out with Wang to the delight of every Yankee fan in the universe. Couldn't do it, neither could cashman, whom I don't blame for the pitching mess either. This is what it feels like to be everyone else, ladies and gentlemen, and no I don't like it, but I can deal with it because it's not up to me.

Alex being switched around the lineup, that's on Torre. Leaving pitchers out there long enough to be beaten, that's a hunch he played that backfired. Having those type of players on his roster, even Sweet Lou would get skunked on this deal because it's ultimately not his fault A-Rod was 1-14 and Moose caughed up the lead, Wright gave it up in the second or whatever. Tough cookies, go home and think about what it will take to get the pitching back to late-nineties glory and then worry about if A-Rod can handle NY, because guess what, A-Rod did not lose this series by himself, nor did Jeter win it by himself!

I do believe, however, that a simple word of support for a fallen or down player, no matter who he was, would have made a subtle, yet important difference down the line. I mean, if I felt like I was completely frozen out here, would I come back next year? But that's me.

2006-10-08 09:07:16
34.   JeremyM
What did Rogers do yesterday? I missed that. Wasn't his theatrics in game 3 enough for him?
2006-10-08 09:07:45
35.   she
On a separate note, I'm glad that Bernie pinch-hit in that last regular season game. If that was his last at bat at home, it will be a good memory.
2006-10-08 09:13:30
36.   Chyll Will
27 I imagine you are related, as I spoke with Sarcasm, who said you, Sliced Bread and JL25and3 are favorites. Although I do believe he was being nice >;)
2006-10-08 09:16:30
37.   Chyll Will
33 C ashman, and c o ughed...
2006-10-08 09:17:46
38.   yankz
36 I personally think Wait Til Next Year was on fire yesterday.
2006-10-08 09:23:43
39.   glennrwordman
Is it possible that if indeed Pinella comes aboard that it might help Rodriguez? I know it's hard to imagine a more player-friendly manager than Torre, but what was Alex's relationship with Pinella like in Seattle?

I think it's a "New York" thing, not a "manager" thing, but...

2006-10-08 09:25:53
40.   JeremyM
39 This year, he met with Piniella seeking his advice. Personally, I think it will help him, and it seems to me that Torre doesn't like him, but who really knows?
2006-10-08 09:27:29
41.   The Mick 536
The 2007 season begins today for us Yankee fans. Liked the wimper and thud sounds. Did have a hangover this AM and a lot of anger.

The great thing about the game is that we have 162 games to gripe, complain, Kvetch, and Kvell about. And as the sun will rise, so will opening day come around.

Lots of work to do for the boys of autumn.

To Buck O'Neil, may your soul rest in peace and be of blessed memory to us all.

Alex. Bu"p"kus, nooo.

2006-10-08 09:31:04
42.   yankz
I couldn't bring myself to watch the celebration or the "highlights" so thankfully I have no idea what you're talking about.
2006-10-08 09:37:48
43.   Chyll Will
38 Yeah, points for consistency, but where was he when the chips were down?
2006-10-08 09:40:26
44.   Chyll Will
39 What does that say about Texas? Didn't get over the hump there, either.
2006-10-08 09:41:29
45.   RI Yankee
Alex and Cliff,

Thank you for a great blog. I don't post here as much as I'd like but the blog and the debate is always worth reading.

Questions for everyone:

1. How many Yankees from 1976-78 are in the HOF?

2. How many Yankees from 1996-2000 are in the HOF?

3. How many Yankees from 2001 - present are potential HOFers?

2006-10-08 09:45:15
46.   yankz
3 For now, I'll just answer number 3- Jeter, Mo, Unit, Arod, and Giambi (just kidding!) are locks. Those with decent chances are Mussina and Sheff. Anyone I miss?
2006-10-08 09:45:54
47.   David
Thank you Alex and Cliff for a great site. Also, thanks to the posters, whose real-time observations made the games even more enjoyable.

It seems clear that Torre did a terible job of preparing the team for the playoffs. They were tight and unfocused. Perhaps he let them relax too much after they clinched. Perhaps his fooling around with ARod's position in the batting order and his failure to head off the SI article were parts of the problem. Anyhow, I don't think it's unjustifiable to fire Torre.

One thought: the team that did so well in the second half of the season was not the team that took the field in the playoffs. Maybe the Yanks should have gone with Melky and Chris Wilson and left Matsui and Sheff on the bench. That's all second-guessing, of course. Nobody could fault Torre for using his stars once they were healed and appeared ready.

2006-10-08 09:46:22
48.   Chyll Will
Do you mean Yankees that were on the team during those years, or played predominantly for the Yankees and entered as Yankees?
2006-10-08 09:56:24
49.   wsporter
33 Chill, I think what you've written is fair. It occurs to me though that Mr. Torre really had no reasonable options if Unit and Wright didn't get it done early. We got lucky in game 4 back in 96 with Boehringer replacing Rogers and stopping the bleeding the way he did. Who knew that he could do what he did? No such luck with the current bunch. He could have lifted either Johnson or Wright but for what? In '96 he did know Rogers for the dog he was and always will be; he pulled him for a non canine and got lucky. Leland started the mut at home and he came through for him; what a genius.

Today we probably would be contemplating how the loss could have been avoided had Mr. Torre not left Wright in and had he moved to the pen earlier. Yet, Wright left it on the mound for Mr. Torre this year. Did he have anything in the pen better for that early spot? If he had he would have started him.

I was sitting at dinner the other night with some friends and they were remarking about the depth of the Yankees' lineup. I mentioned that what people in the press and news media seem to forget is that good pitching always has a chance to shut down a lineup like ours and if you are unable to match the pitching you have a great chance of being "upset" in a short series. They all accused me of taking the mickey and soft pedaling the Yankees position. When will people learn?

I think the reason all those comeback wins of years gone by were possible is simply because we were able to hold the games close. When winning time came around we had guys who didn't squeeze the ash or the horsehide as tight as the guys on the other team. Mr. Torre was able to put our guys in positions were they could do magnificent things. Here he just never had a chance to get them in those spots. He had to depend on things he really had no control over. Now he gets to swing in the wind because of it. It's not the way I'd treat a man who has given so much. Memories are short and need is such a greedy and immediate thing; it really never has a conscience does it?

2006-10-08 09:58:03
50.   Harley
Modest prediction. Okay, obvious prediction, too.

Torre resigns. Lou Pinella is hired. In his first presser, Lou reminds everyone that he got along great with A-Rod in Seattle, and expects him to perform up to if not beyond expectations in the future. Including the playoffs.

In other words, he'll back his player, not bury him. And then we'll see what happens next.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-08 10:00:43
51.   RI Yankee
48 I guess what I mean, is something that's been said here a thousand times. Having a fantasy team lineup doesn't always translate on the field. Those teams had a certain ineffable something that this team hasn't had in years. I think bringing in the big name guy, whether it's Giambi, Sheffield, the Unit, even Mussina to some extent, has been more detrimental than anything.
2006-10-08 10:02:56
52.   RI Yankee
Another thing . . .

Why do I feel like a Braves fan today?

2006-10-08 10:05:23
53.   mikeplugh
COH piece is up. Enjoy.

Catch you in the next few people. Hold yo' head up.

2006-10-08 10:07:54
54.   DarrenF
Alex, hungover is an apt description. Unlike the other recent Yankee postseason defeats, this really feels like the end. It was a good decade and fun while it lasted. 1996 is ancient history, and so is 2000, for that matter.

I keep thinking back to game four of the 2004 ALCS. Yankees coming off a 19-8 (?) game three victory, ARod hits a monster HR over the green monster to give the Yankees an early. If you froze time right there, nobody could have predicted what ARod and the Yankees were headed for in the playoffs.

Some may think it a lack of nerve or a lack of clutchness -- the Yankees sure looked gutless the past two games -- and some may think it's the fickle nature of baseball.

I'm willing to bet both ARod and the Yankees have better playoff days ahead. But I don't think the ARod will be a member of the Yankee next year.

2006-10-08 10:09:39
55.   Count Zero
I'd also like to echo the sentiments regarding Cliff, Alex and the Banter crowd -- thanks for giving us a great place to get the scoop, discuss things intelligently, and just hang out. Much appreciated!!!

As for post-mortems, I haven't the stomach for it right now. All I will say is that as we were going gentle into that good night yesterday, I longed for one Paulie moment -- one guy throwing his helmet off the water cooler or kicking things in frustration. This team has Torre's personality at this point -- even keel no matter what. Maybe it's time we got a little "Piniella" or "Guillen" on people. It bothers me that these guys can continue to lose quietly in the PS.

2006-10-08 10:11:35
56.   Chyll Will
49 Good points indeed. He played with what he had, and my point is that you can't hang the man for goign with what he wad. It worked for him before because he had better options to hunch on before. If Boehringer was a better option in that time than Wright is now, what could Torre do about that? He didn't sign Wright, he just used him where he had to. It's like saying it's his fault that Pavano failed to contribute this year. Must have wore him out with all those Get Well cards.

I mean, why is the joke that the Yankees wait until the pitcher is inducted to the Hall of Fame before they sign him?

sigh Casey Stengel got old around here, too...

2006-10-08 10:17:04
57.   Chyll Will
55 Guillen, no. Lou, perhaps and that may or may not be a forgone conclusion. Willie's not doing too bad, himself. He's my only rooting interest in the Mets; mainly for the implications of him winning the WS.
2006-10-08 10:21:07
58.   RI Yankee
55 57 What about Girardi?
2006-10-08 10:21:37
59.   yankz
Wow. Steve Lombardi at WasWatching says Piniella would be a bad fit because it means Arod would stay. I defend #13 alot, but I'm not sure I disagree.
2006-10-08 10:24:36
60.   randym77
25 If anything, "Past-a-diving" Jeter would be even worse at 3B than A-Rod.

I think Paul O'Neill had it right. The problem is too many chiefs, not enough Indians. Too many big names (and big egos).

Dunno if Torre's really to blame for that, though. And I do think better days are coming. The Yankees seem more committed to growing their own talent these days. Maybe the success of Wang, Cano, and Melky will prompt them to give more farm kids a fair shot. None of them was projected to be a starter, yet here they are.

(Now watch them make a fool of me by trading them in the off-season...)

2006-10-08 10:26:21
61.   bobtaco
I don't think you can hire a manager because of the potential relationship with one struggling player. That is ridiculous.

At this point, I don't want to see Lou or Torre. What is needed is someone who can motivate younger players and mold a developing pitching staff and bullpen. If Girardi doesn't go to the Cubs I think he would work.

I also spent most of the season defending Arod. I think it is a zero sum game now. Even if he comes back with a monster season, he will more than likely not turn into Jeter in the playoffs. I think they need to deal him. Hopefully get a front line starter and maybe a good prospect. People were throwing around Santana and Kendrick and Shields yesterday. I would do that deal in a second. I also think they need to sign Matsuzaka, and hopefully get a cheaper deal with Moose done so he can mentor Hughes.

It's all pitching and defense. We saw glimmers of that this year with Melky, Cano, Abreu, Proctor, Bruney and Wang. We need more of these types of players. Cashman needs more time, and to clean house from the last 5 years of disappointments.

The good news is that the core of Jeter, Posada and Mo can still get it done.

Thanks again for the Banter, I love this place and the real fans that make it such a valuable resource and community.

2006-10-08 10:26:34
62.   pjc5094
I don't blame you for the feelings about the over the top nature of the celebration. A couple of thoughts.

1) It shows how great the Yankees are percieved by everyone else.
2) Detroit is in misery with 8% unemployment and another 100000 jobs lost recently. The city is really down right now, so they want to feel good about something.
3) It was authentic and everyone made nice comments aand were very respectful of the Yankees throughout.

Final thought ...The Tigers played .380 ball the last 50 games of the season and won 95 games - only two less than the Yanks. They are a good team and they have got great pitching. Just one of those years. Yankees will be back as usual next year and still will be the team to beat.

2006-10-08 10:29:38
63.   Chyll Will
58 Chew and spit. If not by Cashman and Co., he'd likely push Mike "Gollum" Lupica off the upper tier, and we don't want a long, protracted drawn-out waste-of-time dispute with the Daily News, do we >;)
2006-10-08 10:36:57
64.   Flip Play
Agree that Torre should not be fired. Even though I would have preferred to see the July-August lineup on the field, you can't argue with how Torre handled his lineup. Imagine if Torre sat Godzilla and Shef and played Melky and Wilson and we still lost... This is what Tampa paid for and it's Steinbrenner's team and Steinbrenner's failure. Too bad you can't fire Steinbrenner.

Torre's handling of the pitching is another matter.

And if Lou is announced as the manager, we can stop the ARod debate because Lou isn't coming to the Yankees only to lose his favorite kid.

2006-10-08 10:39:28
65.   randym77
I didn't have any problem with the Tigers' celebration. They deserved to celebrate. And they may not make it past the next round, so why not celebrate now?

Pitching...I didn't like the roster Torre chose. Villone was clearly toast, no matter how well he did for us early in the season. In fact, if you look at his stats, he has that pattern: pitching well early in the season, poorly at the end. I don't know if it's because he's overused or what, but that's his pattern, and he was following it this year.

And Myers was a waste of a roster space. I think LOOGYs are kind of a waste, anyway, and he was pitching poorly on top of that.

I'd have given one of the kids a shot. Rasner, Karstens, maybe Veras. They didn't pitch quite as well as I'd hoped down the stretch, but I'd rather have them in the pen than Villone and Myers. Maybe with another starter in the pen in place of the one-hitter wonder, Joe could have had a quicker hook when Wright started to struggle.

2006-10-08 10:42:20
66.   yankz
Baseball Musings has an interesting take on the manager situation:

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/017893.php

2006-10-08 10:43:27
67.   randym77
64 According to the Daily News article, it was the "Tampa Cabal" that wanted Melky in the lineup, not Torre.
2006-10-08 10:48:19
68.   mehmattski
Hey everyone. I haven't posted here since Bernie's "home run" went foul in game 3. I just had a gut feeling at that point that we weren't going to win the series. I also had this feeling after we lost game 5 of the 2004 ALCS. I admit that I didn't even read the last two threads because I was afraid I'd end up more frustrated than I already was. You see, the Banter is great, but it's a lot like a prism: it focuses my current feeling and attitude about the team and amplifies it with the voices of a couple dozen similarly minded fans. So when things are going great, it's the best place to be. When things are going mediocre, it's still a great place to be because there are so many people willing to debate how to make things better. And so it also amplifies frustration when things are going awful.

Some thoughts re: the discussion on this thread. 62 Good points, and as a Duke basketball fan, I've run into this problem a lot. In 2004 when Duke was "supposed" to win the National Championship, my team lost four regular season games, three of them on the road. And every time, those teams' fans "charged the court" in a display of unmitigated joy. It hurt as a fan of the dominant team who lost, but it's also a burden of being a fan of the team everyone wants to see lose.

On the Fire Joe Torre movement: there are a lot of people on the internets who have wanted this to happen since 2002, and they may finally get their wish. It may indeed be a time for a change, and the stability of the manager's position in NY may be the symbol that needs changing. If it coincides with a committment to lowering payroll and increasing the number of young, talented players on the roster, then by all means, make a change. If it instead coincides with a return to throwing money at absolutely every aging free agent, then spare me.

Anyway, thanks again to Alex and Cliff for this awesome forum. And much thanks to the passionate, yet usually level-headed and analytical fans who frequent the threads and make it fun to be a Yankee fan despite living far from NYC.

2006-10-08 11:03:12
69.   e double trouble
Hey Banterers,

Big ups to Cliff and Alex for a terrific season.

If it weren't for Alex I probably wouldn't be a baseball fan and definately not a passionate Yankee fan. But I'm not like Alex, I didn't grow up in the City that's pretty.

I moved here in September 1994. I rode my bike around the Upper West Side and heard people screaming together in bars and old women banging pots out there window when the Yanks took it in 1996. How could a developing New Yorker NOT be Yankee fan.

Through it all I have still held my grudge against Reggie Jackson for his cheating hip-thrust in Game 3 of the 1978 Serious against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Yankees represented the Evil Empire to me as much then as now. (I played Little League in L.A. and grew up with that great Dodger team: Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey-Baker and the rest ... but I digress.)

But they were a team!

What has become of our Yankee team? Where's our Scottie Bro, Tino and Paulie O.? Where's the heart?

"You Gotta Have Heart - all you really NEED is heart"

What are we going to do? I don't know and half of me could care less. Mets fans have been calling me over to the Mets, the "People's team", while I sit hear listening to every Yankee game of the season on the radio. I try switching the channel during each commercial break. I can't stand the ads for the military, Foxwoods Gambling casino or that god damn Nuclear power plant that they keep saying is "safe, reliable and vital". I love baseball, I really do, but America is in a bad state and rooting for "the characters on the team" (as I used to say) - it doesn't sound okay to me anymore.

Michael Moore is on my radio repeating: "Dissent. Dissent. Dissent."

I know baseball has been a business for as long as it's been a game, but they used to have brass bands in the bleachers!!

I'm sick of money and I'm sick of the overt-patriotic-brainwashing at every game. If the Yankess roll out Ronan again next year, I'm gonna puke. New York City is stuck in the past - I guess, alot died in Arizona in October of 2001. We still haven't moved on. We keep up the appearances but all we do is put money on the wound - and money is nice but it doesn't heal. I'd hate to see Torre go on this note - he had a team earlier in the season, with players who played with more heart.

It IS all the same, isn't it gents? Is baseball a mirror on our country or is it somehow divorced from our political and social life? I don't know.

When I have been blessed to go to a Yankee game over the past few seasons I have seen it more and more for what it is. A gathering of rich, mean-spirited and dull lemurs. But I get carried away.

I have to get this off my chest before I turn off sports all-together til April.

Will I come back?

Well, Bronx Banter will still be my homepage whether I'm a Yankee fan or not.

Let's Go Mets!!

Peace.

2006-10-08 11:11:17
70.   Shaun P
Another great season on the Banter, even if it ends in disappointment for the Yanks. I've honestly had a hard time feeling down today - the sun is shining, and my baby girl gave me a big hug when she woke up, after I told her what happened yesterday. Life does go on.

A huge thank you to Alex and Cliff (BTW - welcome 'home') for the best Yankee writing on the Net - and the best Yankee community too. I'd be here everyday or near it even if the Yanks were 65-97 instead of the other way around.

Just like last year, the Yanks as a team didn't execute. Plain and simple. The bats were awful, pressing and hacking like they were the Twins. The starting pitching was sub-par and I did not like Torre's bp management, though some of it didn't really matter. I thought I was watching Game 6 of the '04 ALCS all over again, both yesterday and Friday night. I refuse to blame any individual.

If folks want a quick fix, someone figure out why that lineup decides to go hacking away when the pressure is on, and why someone isn't screaming at them to relax and do their thing.

2006-10-08 11:20:37
71.   Simone
Peter Abraham has posted this statement from Steinbrenner on the LoHud Yankees Blog:

As relayed by his spokesman, Howard Rubenstein:

"I am deeply disappointed at our being eliminated so early in the playoffs. This result is absolutely not acceptable to me. Nor to all our great and loyal Yankee fans.

I want to congratulate the Detroit Tigers'Â' organization and wish them well. Rest assured, we will go back to work immediately and try to right this sad failure and provide a championship for the Yankees as is our goal every year."

Rubenstein said Steinbrenner was in New York and "clearly upset." But he would not say whether Joe Torre has been fired. "No comment today on personnel moves," Rubenstein said.

Peter also said:

Steinbrenner is headed back to Tampa tomorrow.

Nobody at the Stadium, including the coaches we've spoken to, have any idea of Joe's fate.

http://www.lohud.com/blogs/lohudyankees.html

I hope this means Joe's firing isn't definite though George probably gave Madden the scoop for the NY Daily News.

2006-10-08 11:20:51
72.   yankz
I'm convinced the people who talk about "heart" and "chemistry" were right all along. The odds of any team- no matter how great- making it to the WS back to back times are incredibly slim (just look at the CWS). But the dynasty boys won it 3 years in a row, and were a couple outs away from a 4th. They defied odds, and while randomness is inevitable, you can't get that lucky that many times in a row. Something special had to have happened. The more recent teams just don't have it.
2006-10-08 11:24:12
73.   yankz
BTW, the "Upcoming Schedule" on the sidebar makes me want to cry.
2006-10-08 11:26:17
74.   Simone
More news: Giambi will be having surgery to repair the torn ligament in his wrist next week.

http://tinyurl.com/zycq6

2006-10-08 11:41:55
75.   BklynBmr
It's a cool, crisp beautiful morning here in SF, too and I don't know what to do with myself. The Jint-Redskin game is on the tube, but it's just another reminder that the baseball season is indeed over. I'll halfheartedly pull either for the A's or Mutts (mostly for Wille), but the doings in Yankeeland over the next few weeks will be far more interesting.

I'm not sure about pushing Joe aside, or if Lou is the answer. It does seem little was done to slap the team out of it's funk at the plate. It's always written that teams begin to tune out the coach even after great success (Pat Riley's Lakers come to mind), so if The Boss is looking for some sparks, Lou or Larry Bowa are your guys. But will their style alienate the backbone (Cap, Posada, et al)? This is not an easy call.

With the roster, we're going in the right direction by trusting the kids more. This lineup does not need to be dismantled, just a tweak here and there. Get younger and two solid pitching acquisitions, and the Yanks have to be odds-on favorites next year.

And a 'what everyone said' to Alex, Cliff and the great folks who make this jernt the best place a die-hard Yankee fan can find on the Web.

2006-10-08 11:55:08
76.   randym77
Peter Abraham said he thinks there's a scramble going on behind the scenes - people trying to convince The Boss not to fire Torre.

Newsday says this will be a test of Cashman's power. Cashman likes Torre, so if he's fired, it's because Cashman was overruled.

2006-10-08 11:59:53
77.   smingers
I read Mike's article over at Canyon of Heroes. Seems like he's definitely on the right track (that the Yankees struggles in recent postseasons have been all about pitching and the team needs to get younger in this department).

My concern is that it is going to take at least two years to fix the pitching staff (get rid of the old detritus). But two years+ from now, what kind of production do we expect from Posada, Damon, Matsui, Giambi, Abreu, even Mo and, to a lesser extent, Jeter? We could have a good young pitching staff (Wang, Hughes, Clippard?, Matsuzaka?) by the time we're running a bunch of dinosaurs around in the field.

2006-10-08 12:04:45
78.   wsporter
Mr. Torre deserves to be celebrated not cast aside like some worn out thing they've grown tired of. If they do this this thing it will be a gesture that brings far more shame to them and the Yankees family than to Mr. Torre.

How ironic that they would contemplate this act in the shadow of Buck Oneil's death; he the victim of this year's great baseball injustice.

Shame on them if they do this.

2006-10-08 12:18:07
79.   Chyll Will
77 I don't see those guys resting on their laurels two or three years from now. It's not like the Yanks haven't ever acquired a decent hitter that hasn't come from the system. Whose the last home-grown guy that they brought up that contrinbuted to the starting lineup? Back in 1996 I think? I think they'll be alright given that.

Let's not forget that the Yankees have 26 World Championships, while the nearest competitor (St. Louis Cardnials) have 9. I don't remember when this became a race to see who gets the last championships available, and as far as a race for the most, we already know who won that. I waited eighteen years between consecutive runs on the championship, I can wait a couple more now if it means the Yankees can go consecutive again. How many teams in the last six years have won the WS? Six, including a new team this year. How many between 1996 and now (ten years)? Seven. Nuff said.

2006-10-08 12:22:02
80.   yankz
Fire Joe, bring in Billy Haywood from Little Big League!
2006-10-08 12:22:08
81.   Chyll Will
79 Do'h, Cano (and Melky for a while) but you get my drift. They're on the right track and hitting won't be an issue even ten years from now as long as they stay on this tack.
2006-10-08 12:23:51
82.   pistolpete
49 "It occurs to me though that Mr. Torre really had no reasonable options if Unit and Wright didn't get it done early"

But it was Joe's decision to put Villone on the roster instead of someone like Karstens or Rasner. Villone wasn't going to be a 'long man' by any stretch - Torre knew Randy was an X factor going into this series (along with Wright, to some extent), so why not bring someone who could have ate up some innings?

The only thing that frustrates the HELL out of me about Torre is his faith in the vets that extends beyond statisical logic. There is such a thing as heart and desire, but who has more of that than someone who's new to the game? I'm not telling tales out of school here, but those championships spoiled Joe as well as the rest of us. Beyond Jeter and Mariano, I don't think anyone else on this team since 2002 justifies the enormous amount of blind faith Torre seems to have in them.

2006-10-08 12:28:55
83.   pistolpete
82 'could have eaten up some innings'
2006-10-08 12:31:45
84.   Chyll Will
83 Hell, Pistol, if we still had Ponson eating wouldn't have been a problem...
2006-10-08 12:33:20
85.   Chyll Will
83 We should ahve put Fasano in the bullpen...
2006-10-08 12:34:05
86.   wsporter
82 PP, My only quible was leaving Rasner off. Yet, it would have meant that either Villone or Meyers stayed home. If Mr. Torre was worried about a long man instead of late game situations going in I think that would have been an indication that the problems faced were bigger than he could have resonably expected to resolve with mere playoff roster choices.

I think you can make a good case for the guys he brought. It was loosing that 2nd game that killed us. Moose has to nail that down in the playoffs just as Jimmy Key or Cone or Wells would have.

2006-10-08 12:34:28
87.   Chyll Will
85 Never inhale when you type...
2006-10-08 12:36:53
88.   pistolpete
86 Why worry about late game situations if you never get there with a lead?

FOIP, Mariano could have stayed home this postseason.

2006-10-08 12:42:20
89.   Chyll Will
86 Woulda coulda shoulda, but if those are the examples to follow, then Moose isn't going to be HOF, nor should we rely on him to be one. Would his failure to hold the lead have made a difference if it came in the eighth or ninth inning? The Yanks (I still want to say we) failed against better pitching, and I doubt Rasner or Kastner would have changed that IMO.
2006-10-08 12:43:07
90.   wsporter
88 Your playoff starters are supposed to get you there with a lead, tied or close if you're going to win. I think that's the secret to playoff success that Mr. Torre has been preaching for 11 years. It's what has made Mo a hero and a Hall of Famer. It's what made hero's out of the King and Scott B and Paulie O and on and on. If you plan on winning it's dominating those late game situations that makes it happen. Your staters have got to get you there.
2006-10-08 12:46:20
91.   Chyll Will
On a positive note, we don't have to worry much about wearing out Mo's arm over the winter. I'd love to see him pitch in the new stadium. Or at least have him closing for Hughes, Clippard, Wang, Matusake, et al...
2006-10-08 13:02:37
92.   pistolpete
89 True, but perhaps if these last two games don't get out of hand, the offense finds a way to get it done. Coming back from a 1 or 2 run lead is a completely different mindset than coming back from a 4 or 5 run lead.

90 IMO we needed less 'LOOGY' and more 'long'. Villone was pretty effective against lefties earlier in the season, so I could definitely justify taking him. But Myers instead of a Rasner or Karstens is beyond my grasp.

2006-10-08 13:09:46
93.   Ravenscar
I would say that the absolute LACK of a clear consensus on what the hell caused the Yankees to come up short pretty much points to the inexplicable nature of baseball despite all the stats.

I do think that the best points I've heard over the last few days are :

1. Same pitching staff at the start as at the end - no moves -

2. This simply NOT being the same type of team as the dynasty and therefore it will not not work with Torre's style of management.

2006-10-08 13:15:59
94.   Chyll Will
92 Is it too much to expect this team to come back under the circumstances, considering that they've had big comebacks this season?

If not, then you might as well say, like Cashman did, that this is a great regular season team, but not a playoff one. Who would you you choose, considering who is available, to manage the playoffs then, given that Torre is accused of being a terrible playoff manager?

Can Suzyn Waldman broker a peace between Popeye and Steinbrenner and bring back the real brains of the operation?

2006-10-08 13:20:05
95.   Chyll Will
94 "If so, then you might..."
2006-10-08 13:38:23
96.   mslug
For everyone defending Torre, please do remember he was a lousy under .500 manager before arriving at Yankee stadium. Yeah, the players like him and he keeps the peace but with a team like ours we should make the playoffs with any manager. His expiration date is past due and ever since zimmer left he's been 0-fer in the playoffs. I think Torre's been given enough chances and we'll never make it to 27 if he stays. His style just doesn't inspire confidence or fight anymore. I can't see how his sullen, defeated face in the dugout can make the players do any better.

As for pitching, yes besides Wang and sometimes Moose, we suck. But remember we had the best line up since murder's row and yet we got shut out and almost shut out. So no matter how good our pitching we would have lost if we can't score. And this by a pitcher we routinely destroy and a kid thats off more than on. Something is a amiss if this team routinely lets mediocre pitching dominate them, whether its in the playoffs or the regular season.

Side note, way back in 2001 I remember reading a Times article talking about how the Yanks have never won the world series in the past 20 or 30 years when we had a player that hit over 35 hrs. I believe Tino hit over 30 that year and we've had 30+ hr guys since. Maybe that curse is for real.

2006-10-08 13:39:13
97.   wsporter
94 I think that's right. Given what the Tigers exposed this year and the Angels last year who available could have led this team to greater success?

It's a lousy day and I suppose I'm feeling defensive about Mr. Torre. I think we all so wanted to believe that the lineup could make up for the obvious weakness the team carried but it couldn't. Everybody likes to talk about the '27 Yankees and Murderer's Row yet what those people often forget is that those Yankees had the best staff in the AL by far. Hoyt, Pennock, Moore and company got it done. Take a look at Retro Sheet and see how the 4th game was won. It wasn't Meusel, Gehrig, Ruth or Lazzeri who got the winning run in.

Mr. Torre's formula is tried and true and has worked throughout baseball for years. We need to get the guys who can with it. The Marlins did, so did the White Sox and the Red Sox and the Angels and the D-Backs. Why can't we?

Rather than change the corporate culture maybe it's just easier to blame middle management; oh wait that's right, it is.

I'm out for a while, this is getting me depressed.

2006-10-08 13:46:57
98.   alterity
Just a quick question about chemisry, ince it seems taht everyone is on that bandwagon all of a sudden: how do you get that? Is it simply developing players? It's easy right now to say that we had no stars (or fewer stars) in 96-00, but should we go out looking for Chad Curtis? While chemistry is great, I don't think you can manufacture it. And let's not conflate the manufacturing a run/situational hitter with clubhouse chemistry. I've seen arguments in the past that we need people who keep the line moving and people who can advance runners. No doubt that's true. But again, it's not like that will produce chemistry either, even if the powers that be can correctly identify those types of bats. Sorry, this is a bit rambly and incoherent, but I don't think an appeal to chemistry is any more likely to produce a championship than any other course of action, because chemistry is by definition situational is basially something you can't just produce, whether it's through bringing up young players or getting "the right type of player," or whatever.
2006-10-08 14:03:51
99.   Stormer Sports
This may sound strange coming from me, but we need a little perspective with regards to Cashman and Torre.

Cashman has done a fine job as far as I'm concerned. Pitching would be wonderful, but we have to look to the reality of the situation Cashman was confronted with. We weren't lucky enough to snag a Bonderman, or a Liriano off the scrap heap in some deal that no one saw coming. We just haven't been lucky that way recently. You could blame scouting, but no other team seemed to think many of the current pheonoms were worth keeping in the first place.

We could have kept Vasquez, Contreras, Halsey, Loaiza et al. But even in hindsight, it wouldn't have been a good idea. Major League Baseball has been a black hole of great pitching free agents the past few years, and you cannot blame Brian Cashman for that. That trend continues this year as well. Who is out there, Zito, Schmidt? Both are question marks, Zito is getting older, and Schmidt pitches in the NL and walks guys more often than Holly walks Arthur Spooner.

I was never wedded to the Farnsworth deal but B.J. Ryan didn't want to set up. Cashman did what he could do, load up on hitters, given the total lack of free agent pitchers. We got lucky in the late 1990's with our pitching, we had great pitchers, some home grown, and some bought at the flea market. Cashman cannot sign ace pitchers that do not exist. We have to hope Hughes, this Japanese kid, and some other youngsters step up. We are not going to win with the current rotation, even if Pavano does come back.

I love Lou Piniella, but I can't lay this loss at Torre's feet. Alex waited 166 games to say the right thing, "I just sucked" as did nearly everone else in this last series. Joe cannot hit the ball. And remember fellas, the grass is always greener, and my gut tells me that letting Joe go may be a mistake, but if you have to do it, you do it for Piniella, and no one else! I think O'Neill has it right, they were just going about their business, earning a paycheck, and that hasn't surprised me these past few years, when you have more hired guns, than you do players trying to keep their jobs.

As for Moose, I think he's gone. We cannot pay him 19 million dollars, and unless he wants to negotiate a new deal, he'll have to go. We should get a deal done, but if we don't, the option is simply too expensive.

Matsui isn't going anywhere, neither is Arod, and neither is Abreu. In my opinion, Giambi has to play 1B on a regular basis next season, freeing the clog on the DH spot. We're stuck with what we have for a few years, it's that simple. Pitching is the key, and that is going to very very hard to find.

2006-10-08 14:23:44
100.   Chyll Will
I don't recall the word chemistry coming up util now, but let me say this about chemistry; it's an overblown sports colloquialism used to mean (everyone on the same page), chemistry is a physical action and reaction, not an emotional one from what I can see. I don't see anyone having a man-crush on each other in that club (though worshipping Mo comes close), so it's not that kind of chemistry. Seriously, diligent coaching, for what it's worth, involves give and take with each player and with the team as a whole.

The main problem over the years is that when Tampa was making the decisions, they collected a bunch of individuals and threw them together, telling Torre "Go West, and Be Champions!" I believe that Torre has been much better than others in assuaging the media and protecting his "core" players who came through the years together, but with individuals collected and thrown into the mix, you need a MBA in Media Mangement to handle the NY press and manage a ballclub at the same time. How many managers in baseball have had to deal with this balancing act for ten years? Under the circumstances, Torre has exceeded expectations from the start. We are spoiled.

If this same exact lineup were playing in Milwaukee, Baltimore or even L.A. for the last five years, would there be so much hate? If the Yankees had Detroit or Oakland's pitching and they had NY's lineup, would the Yankees still be expected to win? Of course. Look at the Mets, who hates them? (Well, besides Steve Phillips...) I doubt even the Dodgers fans have brought themselves to curse the Mets as much as they likely like the idea the Yankees failed to advance. That's certainly happening in Boston and Queens.

But hey, who cares? It is what it is, and you can't blame Torre for winning in NY when he was losing elsewhere. Atlanta had a good run, too. Nobody hates on Bobby Cox for winning only one WS in 14 playoff years (and twice getting beat by the same team in the WS). Who wouldn't want to come here and manage this lineup? (Those who know the starting pitching is kinda wack, but they'd believe in the lineup like everyone else.)

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-08 14:28:36
101.   Chyll Will
99 Yeah, what he said.
2006-10-08 14:30:14
102.   Ramone
99 I agree with most of what you say. Except that I think "Joe cannot hit the ball." is a bit of a cliche. A manger's job is to get the most out the players he has. Can you honestly say that Joe has done that?

I find it embarassing that people want to dump A-Rod. The guy is an amazing, amazing talent. Instead of asking what we can get for the guy, we should be asking, why can't Joe get him to play at his peak level? And, no, I don't particularly like his personality. But I respect that he wants do do the right things. He wants to be beloved like Jeter. If Torre, can't get A-Rod to perform, we absolutely should try someone else.

My first pick is certainly Pinella. I'm not too thrilled about the Girardi angle, but I think we NEED a new skipper.

2006-10-08 14:40:25
103.   Oscar Azocar
I haven't posted that much this year, but to Alex and Cliff, thanks so much for another great year. Congrats on married life as well (or pending married life for Alex).

I would be sad to see Torre go, but it may just be time for a change. I don't think Piniella is the answer, though. While Torre may be a great cluhouse manager/questionable tactical manager, Piniella is the opposite. He may manage a better game, but would pour gasoline on the fire in terms of media/Tampa relations.

I don't know, maybe I'm just having nightmares about the Bronx Zoo days of the 80's, and Lou telling us how Rickey Henderson is "jaking" his hammy injury....I must admit, it would have been entertaining if Piniella was here this year to go off on Pavano and tell him how he is "jaking" it.

2006-10-08 14:44:45
104.   Sliced Bread
Just came inside from enjoying a gorgeous Indian summer day with my wife and kids.

Of course my mind kept wandering to the fall of the Yankees.

I kept thinking of that Yogi line about it getting late early.

No game tonight. No game tomorrow.

But the Banter goes on.

Thanks again, Alex & Cliff

2006-10-08 14:49:16
105.   Stormer Sports
102

"I agree with most of what you say. Except that I think "Joe cannot hit the ball." is a bit of a cliche. A manger's job is to get the most out the players he has. Can you honestly say that Joe has done that?"

I don't know. I don't know whether Joe has gotten the most out of his players. When you have players of the caliber we do, should Joe really have to do anything special to get the guys ready to play.

I guess my concern is that few folks seem to remember the absolute zoo that the Yankees can become, and for some reason, Joe Torre has been able to keep the chaos under wraps. The team could have devolved into a tabloid mess many many times, but it didn't. I am not an Arod hater, but he brought much of this on himself(Si Article just weeks before the playoffs as one example), and why should any manager or captain have to defend that? Joe's calmeness amid the storm is something worth noting.

In Baseball, as in life, the grass always seems greener when times are tough and the world seems to be against you, but the solution almost always lies within, and throwing out the baby with the bathwater rarely has the intended result.

2006-10-08 14:54:30
106.   Stormer Sports
103

Anyone who calls out Rickey Henderson as the absolute buffoon that he is is OK in my book.

2006-10-08 15:05:38
107.   randym77
Chemistry...my take on that is that it's simply familiarity with your teammates and your place on the team. It doesn't mean anything mystical. It doesn't mean the players actually have to like each other. They just have to know each other well enough to work well together.

Chemistry has been a problem with the Yankees lately because of the revolving door on the clubhouse. Two examples from last year: Jorgie and RJ not being able to work together, and Bubba and Sheff colliding in the outfield in Game 5. In both cases, more time playing together would have/did fix the problem.

This year, the Yanks went into a funk in August, despite improving the team with deadline trades...at least on paper. The team that started the likes of Nick Green and Aaron Guiel won something like 11 out of 13 series before the trade deadline, but only 4 of 9 afterwards. The players were better, the results weren't.

And of course, the most obvious example was Sheff at 1B. Maybe one day he'll be a great first baseman, but it was ludicrous to expect him to do well there given only a few weeks to learn the position.

2006-10-08 15:08:03
108.   Ramone
102: I appreciate the sentiment of avoiding Bronx Zoo Redux. What I think you are missing is that, slowly but surely, it is happening anyway with A-Rod. The NY tabloids are in a frenzy unseen since the days of Reggie. People have taken it as gospel for so long that Torre's clubhouse is devoid of drama that they fail to call it what it is, even when it occurs right under their nose.

That said, I would reiterate that I would not replace Torre with just anybody. But I just dont see Pinella as a risk. Indeed, as making the playoffs is virtually a lock, there is nowhere to go but up (plus I think Pinella would manage the pitchers better, a less noted benefit).

2006-10-08 15:13:32
109.   Chyll Will
108 Just how much faith do you have in the tabloids?
2006-10-08 15:26:44
110.   Sliced Bread
Alright, had a nice dinner, enough bumming. I can jump in on the Bronx Banter.

Joe Torre is the least of this team's problems.

The Yanks have lost their way pitching wise, and defensively.

That's not Joe's fault. That's who our players are.

Joe has another year on his contract. The Yanks should do the honorable thing and honor it.

Forget Zito. We need fresh, young arms.

We need a young catcher for Posada to groom.

We can do better at first base than Phillips and Wilson, and it shouldn't cost much.

The rest of this team is what it is, and that's fine.

Dumping Joe solves nothing, and it potentially disenfranchises Jeter and Rivera, who are still the best thing the Yanks have going for them.

Piniella is not the answer.

If Steinbrenner and his people want to dump Joe, they're wasting money and energy, just like they're wasting money and energy building a stadium that's smaller than the one that already exists.

Dang, I wish to fuck I was thinking about baseball tonight, and not where do we go from here. Fuck.

2006-10-08 15:31:45
111.   Chyll Will
110 Thank you, Sliced, you can take it from here >;)
2006-10-08 15:35:39
112.   alterity
a followup on "chemistry". as 107 notes, it is about familiarity. we could argue if that's what it is, but let's accept that (i now you said more than that, but i only have a mniute). anyway, if there is a lack of familiarity caused by a revolving door policy, then getting rid of players and replacing them with new ones is a bad idea. even if the news ones are kids. again, i don't think chemistry can be manufactured. if, by contrast, you are on the side of "there can't be chemistry on a team of stars," well that's cetainly an argument. however, i'll take the stars over insert-name-here player any day. you can't kow if some regular guy is going to get it done on th efield or in the clubhouse. for all i know, cairo might be the best teammate ever (just as he is the best .220 hitter in baseball). however, he doesn't get t done on the field and whatever chemistry he creates has not translated into winning. of course, cairo might suck at the chemistry thing. my question would be, if chemistry is the problem, what do you do about it?

personally, i say do nothing about it. winning breeds chemistry in my opinion, not the other way around. in this case winning means (at least as far as i can tell) getting some more pitching. this type of club is not built for a lot of huge comeback wins, i don't think. it'ss built to beat the other team into submission. if they get down, everyone tries to hit 12 run HRs and nothing gets done until it's too late. i think the lineup is fine. it did get cold at the worst time, but that's nothing a #1 starter can't fix. imagine having someone better thanwang in game 1? i love wang, but you need more than that in the plaayoffs. moose was good, but he's no ace any more. we needs some pitching. of course, that begs the obvious quesion. . .

2006-10-08 15:49:11
113.   randym77
I think there are things you can do about chemistry. First of all, it doesn't mean you never make changes. Obviously, that won't work. It does suggest that when you make the changes is important. Switching Sheff to 1B may be great idea in the offseason. Doing it in the playoffs...not so smart.

Similarly, dumping Melky Cabrera into the lineup in an elimination game after he's been warming the bench for a month...not a great idea. If you want to start the rook, leave him in the lineup from square one...even if it means benching Sheff.

I also think using homegrown players helps. They've played together in Triple-A and even longer, so they already know each other.

Agree that pitching was the main problem. This had been obvious all year. However, given how Detroit pitched, even having three more lights-out starting pitchers may not have been enough. Then, the little things - like a first baseman who knows how to play first base - could make the difference.

2006-10-08 15:51:23
114.   Zack
Look, things aren't working out as they are, right? Is anyone really happy being the Braves of the 21st century? I, personally, would much rather a team that rebuilds around a core of players and maybe isn't such a regular season powerhouse for a few years. But that is besides the point. Things aren't working as they are, and so what you do when that is the case is shake things up. Whether it is the coaching staff, manager, or players, or all of the above, things change. Cashman isn't going anywhere, but, Torre most likely is. And he should. Not because he is a bad manager, not because we don't appreciate him, and not because it will change anything in the end. Joe should go because the team has underperformed enough now that whatever he is doing isn't cutting it. The players might support/love him, but they might respond to something/someone else. Just rememember, Jeter has never played under anyone else, and when even he starts looking like he isn't playing his heart out, someone has to pay, no? Pinella may or may not work, but he would probably make the clubhouse a bit more fun, something we also need...
2006-10-08 15:54:36
115.   Flip Play
I think when we refer to "chemistry," we mean more than just a familiarity between the players and a shared desire to win. It is something intangible and not something you can buy even with $200 million. Simply put, chemistry is what you have when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I always use this to describe the Beatles -- yeah, they each did some good, occasioanlly great, stuff on their own, but none of their solo stuff measures up to what they did as a group. (Yes, yes, even Ringo had some good solo songs.)

Likewise, the 1996-2001 Yankees had chemistry. There were a lot of great players on that time, but on paper they pale in comparison to the 2006 edition. What they had was something intangible -- chemistry. All together they added up to something greater than the sum of their stats. Most championship clubs show chemsitry, like the Angels a few years back and the hated '04 Red Sox, but it is rare that a team is able to maintain it for several years in a row.

2006-10-08 15:57:14
116.   Flip Play
And if there is a recipe for chemistry, it definitely involves balance. We need more hungry young guys. And 113 is right -- Melky helped build some chemistry, but you can't have him sit on the bench for a month and expect him to pick up where he left off in August
2006-10-08 15:58:48
117.   singledd
Alex - I thank you for NOT psoting any Links. I haven't read one, but I already know what they will all say. Hirings, firings and trades... OK. Anything else... I burn out my eyes with hot pokers.

I think all of us need some mutual-banter-hand-holding for a while. Maybe a crisis phone line. Discount liquor sites. Advice of what to do with our Yankee shirts/jackets this winter.

This is indeed the site for 12 Steps for Diehard Yankee fans. We must share our pain, and make sure ALL of us are back next year (without lobotomy scars or scars on our wrists).

(MikeP... I need a manhug!)

2006-10-08 16:06:22
118.   wsporter
Is the problem that we haven't won the Series? Because if that's the criteria then it seems that Bobby Cox and the rest of his buddies from the late cretaceous period should also be let go. Why Sweet Lou? He hasn't won since Cincy and didn't with the team with the most regular season wins in the history of the game. How about Girardi and Baker? No World series wins there. Buck Showalter? Do we really want to go there again? I guess I could go on with this.

Is the problem that Mr. Torre hasn't employed the resources he's been given appropriately? Can we really argue that he's had a top flight rotation; one that matches a $200 million payroll over the last 3 years? Sure it's a good rotation but it pales in comparison to the groups we have put up in the early part of his run. It certainly doesn't compare favorably to the top rotations still alive this season.

We all seemed to agree that he did a magnificent job holding this team together this season when injuries could have and probably should have derailed the season. He did a great job last year pulling the team together and getting them to outplay Boston down the stretch. Do 3 games outweigh that especially when it's easy to argue that those losses aren't on him?

My sense is folks would like to make a change for the sake of making a change. I'm willing to listen to any stroke of genius that would be exercised after we do the honorable thing and honor Mr. Torre's contract. (Thanks Slice that's why you have my proxy 110)

I think the guy who is best qualified to lead us out of this is already managing the club

2006-10-08 16:06:27
119.   yankeemonkey
Here's something I'd been thinking about for the past few days: how many teams that had an MVP have made it all way? I couldn't think of many off the top of my head... The point being, the team that makes it the farthest, that has the most "chemistry" (whatever that is), that plays the best is the team with most balance. If there's an MVP-type player on the team, that automatically creates a dis-balance. Thoughts?
2006-10-08 16:09:16
120.   randym77
116 Agree about balance and hungry young guys. In those rare occasions when we did come from behind to win, it seems like it was the kids and castoffs who usually started the rally. Maybe they're just too young and dumb to know it's hopeless. Maybe they're still playing for the scouts or for their roster spots, even if the game seems out of reach. But they didn't give up, even when the big stars did.
2006-10-08 16:11:05
121.   fansince77
(meant to post this in the latest forum)

Does it hurt after watching a team go through 162 games- be there with them every pitch, every ounce of struggle, every triumph-- yeah it hurts...in fact the sudden finality of it all leaves you worse than hungover- it leaves you empty. But it also proves the fragility and difficulty of this glorious game of baseball. We can't blame Torre, Arod, Cashman or anyone for the Yankees NOT winning another World Series. There are too many "X" factors involved in winning it all to ever fairly "expect" it to happen. If we expect it to happpen than we have already set ourselves up for failure.

That is why those moments-those mini-dynasties are so UNBELIEVABLE-- so special! If Mussina held the lead in game two the media and everyone else might be praising all the above mentioned scapegoats- one pitch different at the right time and we are still playing in October- yes it is that fragile. But Moose made so many great pitches, so many times and it didn't happen this time- so what? He's done? Arods done? Torre's done? I am not sure I subscribe to this all or nothing philosophy. I respect the difficulty of the game too much.

You can't gaurantee winning - you shouldn't be able to...just stick to your guys- root for them/curse them/root for them again...and keep hoping for success- that's what it is about for me. I don't like this- well we lost so time to clean house. It's a game of inches and short series in the end and anything can happen. Don't get me wrong- I am hurting as much as anyone - more than many - but I don't want to clean house. It was too much fun this year and will be alot of fun next year.

2006-10-08 16:15:17
122.   randym77
121 It's not the losing that bothers me. It's the way they lost. They seemed lifeless. Paul O'Neill said everyone except Jeter and Posada just phoned it in, and I think he's right.

I think this team does need some kind of shakeup.

2006-10-08 16:40:48
123.   iostream
I've never posted before but I have been an avid Bronx Banter reader for a while and I want to say that I love coming here and reading all the news (thanks Alex and Cliff) and reading all of the opinions posted here.

I agree with what most of what has been said already and to add on to randym77 with post 122 (I haven't figured out how to link to it yet) the Yankees really did seem lifeless. When I was watching game four of the ALDS all I could think about was looking at the Tigers and they looked like a team who was determined to win and even after they built a lead they still looked like they wanted to win. The Yankees, unfortunately, didn't look like they wanted it or even thoughgt they could come back once they defecit was built (except Jeter).

Thats what bothers me about the way that they lost. They just didn't look like they thought they could win (again except Jeter). They looked like a tired team who knew it was going to be over soon.

Anyway again thanks for all the hard work that goes into this site and I'm looking forward to Hot Stove reports.

2006-10-08 16:40:54
124.   fansince77
Yes- Random - it was hard to watch - but if you really think about it - the Tigers played out of their heads! And there were stretches during the season when we lost like that...agreed it has to be a lesson learned- but I stick to my point that baseball is just so damn unpredictable...

For example- how does game 1 go if Damon doesn't get a lucky roller to start off that big inning? Maybe a completely different result? How does game four go if the Ump calls Pudge out on that outside corner pitch - maybe completely different? How many times during the season did the Yanks only come to life after the other team made a blunder? - to me it seemed like alot. We didn't catch the karma.

it's such a difficult game to dominate - at least at the plate. I think we need a pitcher or two- that's it.

2006-10-08 16:48:01
125.   Chyll Will
Maybe someone with the capacity to bend Torre's ear (like Zimmer and Stott used to) could lend him a hand in those crucial moments where a concious decision needs to be made instead of "going with your vets" during the playoffs. Am I wrong in thinking that Torre relied on those two more than anyone during that run of championships? Not to say we have to drag them back, but that it's more inportant than we are letting on at the moment. Maybe Torre's genius extended to getting the right minds together to help.

All great leaders have a team to work with, and perhaps that would be an ideal place to focus, whether you acquire the pitching or not. Who did Lou Pinella reach out to as soon as he went to Tampa? Zim, and not just because they were neighbors. After Zim left, Torre had to teach a succession of bench managers and other coaches how to be good managers (and so far, Willie's the only one who has outdone his teacher.) Look at what's here now... Gator, who had to be coupled with the bullpen coach, and rival managers at other spots whose primary jobs were to tutor a couple of position players.

Failures? Only if you choose to believe a team that leads its division for ten years is a failure, but then so is Atlanta in that regard. There are quite a few areas to shore up, not tear into itty-bitty pieces. Let's not buy into the tabloid culture that says we have to blow everything up and start from scratch. That would sell a few more papers, but I wouldn't buy one.

Too bad they can't consider bringing in Lou as Torre's bench coach (or if Torre considered that himself) for a year and then Torre could gracefully ride into the sunset with another ring. But I'm afraid the buzz would kill all good intentions.

2006-10-08 16:54:01
126.   Stormer Sports
124

You can almost expect a let-down after a few dominating years and a few Chamionships. But this team is stacked with guys who haven't won squat, and to see them go out with a wimper, while the guys that have won seemed to want it more than they did, is embarassing. However, they could always give us the Randy Moss response, who cares right, I am still rich, I still have a big house and a parking lot full of cars, screw the fans.

I'm sure glad I didn't miss very much of the 1996-2000 years. And someone should tell the writers out there that couldn't wait to get to the typewriters yesterday, that we beat the Mets in the last Chamionship, not the Atlanta Braves. But what do I know, why should professional writers check facts as accurately as Alex and Cliff do for free in this blog?

2006-10-08 16:54:58
127.   singledd
Yes. Our oitching was not good. But the first 3 games weren't that bad compared to the regular season.
I feel it's hard to ignor this.

.246 .303 .388 .692 - Yankees PS
How bad was this? How much did we underperform?

.257 .299 .465 .764 - Twins PS

HOWEVER, the Twins offensive numbers were actual a tad BETTER then the A's, but almost identical.

So the A's, facing Twins pitching outhit us by a bunch.
The Twin's, facing A's pitching, also outhit us by a bunch.

So timing, clutch and many other random features enter into the equation.

You can blame Moose, but a .303 OBP and a .388 SLG for our team? And just imagine that includes the first game.

2006-10-08 17:00:00
128.   Stormer Sports
127

I don't blame Moose. I think we need better pitching to win, but sometimes you have to score to win, sometimes you have to pund the ball to win. We didn't do either. We couldn't even make it interesting. Now when Rogers, Bonderman et. al. go on to get beat by the A's or Cardinals, we should really be embarassed.

As I said in earlier posts, there is no quick fix for this team, and even signing Schmidt and Zito guarantees nothing. You do have to score at least a few runs to win a game.

Here's to an eventful, yet not overly-reactionary off-season in the Yankees front offices!

2006-10-08 17:03:22
129.   Chyll Will
Just to add on what was posted before my last one, yep, I could tell after they lost Game 2 that the momentum had shifted and for whatever reason, most of the team tuned out. That's mainly their own fault. A coach can only do so much, if winning a World Series isn't motivation enough, then you don't belong in the playoffs, which is exactly what happened.

But I will go back to something I said earlier; a word here or there from when it was really needed could have made a little difference. What have I always said? "Hit the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball, eat the ball, tell them to kiss your behind if necessary, but just play."

2006-10-08 17:14:27
130.   randym77
124 Yes, baseball is unpredictable. No one is arguing that.

But the Yankees didn't play like baseball is unpredictable. They were so confident that they left their best pitcher behind in New York. Facing elimination, Torre said Moose was available for Game 4 if necessary. Wouldn't Wang, younger, better, fresher, be a better choice than Moose?

And then yesterday, they played like the series was already lost. Down three runs, and it might as well have been 30.

2006-10-08 17:27:26
131.   Stormer Sports
130

Just like I said in 2004, when Joe thought it was a good idea to start Kevin Brown! Unless Piniella would have been willing to start his best pitcher--Wang--in game 4 on 3 days rest, then there is no point in letting Torre go. I still think Joe did the best he could, given the circumstances. But when you are facing elimination, guys shouldn't be "available," they should be playing. If Moose was available in game 4, then why on God's Green Earth wouldn't you start you ace when facing elimination, and worry abou game 5, the day of game 5, should you be lucky enough to make it to game 5? I posit that if Wang was pitching well in game 4, the hitters wouldn't have felt so much pressure, wouldn't have been so tight and off-balance. Phil Garner did the same thing the last game of the season, not starting Oswalt. The Cardinals won later so it didn't matter, but not starting your best guy, is mailin it in, and he too, should be canned. Why most every manager in the game understands this but a few is beyond me, especially when the kid is 26 years old!

That wouldn't cure the hitting problems, but it does what you are supposed to do as a team, give yourself the best chance to win and Elimination game.

2006-10-08 17:28:21
132.   singledd
It has been good reading everyone's thoughts on what went wrong. Very informative. Good stuff. However, I KNOW the reason we lost, but did not want to post this earier, for for the Banter would go dark.

But now, I am ready to reveal the truth.
The real reason we lost.
The facts of the matter.
And here, my friends and fellow Banterers, is the story.
(people with heart conditions should log off now)

We went into a 3 game slump.
Yup, thats right.
They happen to every team... even the 1996-2000 boys.
Its happed to this team duting the season. Have a teams OPS of .800 for 4 games, then the same pitchers, the same batters, EVEN THE SAME MANAGER, posts a 3 day OPS of .600.

Its a slump. No big deal. The Tigers had one against KC the last 3 days of the season. The Mets had one against the Pirates. They happen all the time in baseball.

And is there a rational reason for slumps?
Yes.... there is.
GRAVITATIONAL FORCES.

The alignment of the planets and the stars.
We know what the Moon does to the oceans, right? Think about millions of stars!

Random Gravitational forces.
They pulled Bernies HR 5 feet foul.
They pulled a line drive 1 inch off Jeters glove.
The pulled a ball headed right for Rogers nose, miraculously into his glove.

Random Gravitational forces.
And can these Random Gravitational forces somehow be controlled to work in the Yankees favor?

Yes.... they can.
How? How you ask?

Fire Joe Torre.

2006-10-08 17:43:26
133.   randym77
FWIW...check out LoHud. Peter thinks there's a chance Joe won't be fired.

He also has some interesting ideas about what should be done next year. (Melky in CF, Damon at 1B, anyone?)

2006-10-08 17:56:14
134.   Simone
mikeplugh's Canyon of Heroes analysis is dead on. The Yankees' playoff failures are on the pitching.

Firing Mel who was supposedly the cause of all the Yankees' pitching woes didn't bring a magic fix like some people here insisted. I told you so then and I'm saying now firing Joe won't fix the Yankees' pitching. Piniella as the Yankees manager means that is the Tampa Front Office is calling the shots. So if Joe does get fired enjoy the temporary celebration because the worse is yet to come.

2006-10-08 18:15:22
135.   Stormer Sports
133

That's perfectly fine with me. It leaves Giambi clogging up the DH spot, but I can accept 35+ Hr and 100+ Rbi from the DH spot. We can't afford Mary's arm in center for an entire year and PS.

Either way. The team is what it is. Not much can be done with the contracts we have. Zito and/or Schmidt offer no guarantees. I won't even mention Pavano. So buckle up boys. The only way I fire Torre is if it guarantees that our best pitcher won't be 1000 miles away from the clubhouse during an elimination game.

2006-10-08 18:31:05
136.   Murray
119 You're kidding, right? Just World Series winners:

1931--Frank Frisch
1934--Mickey Cochrane
1936--Lou Gehrig
1939--Joe DiMaggio
1940--Frank McCormick
1941--Joe DiMaggio
1942--Mort Cooper
1943--Spud Chandler
1944--Marty Marion
1945--Hal Newhouser
1946--Stan Musial
1947--Joe DiMaggio
1948--Lou Boudreau
1950--Phil Rizzuto
1951--Yogi Berra
1954--Willie Mays
1955--Yogi Berra
1956--Mickey Mantle
1957--Hank Aaron
1960--Dick Groat
1961--Roger Maris
1962--Mickey Mantle
1963--Sandy Koufax
1964--Ken Boyer
1966--Frank Robinson
1967--Orlando Cepeda
1968--Bob Gibson
1970--Boog Powell
1973--Reggie Jackson
1975--Joe Morgan
1976--Joe Morgan
1979--Willie Stargell (0.5)
1980--Mike Schmidt
1984--Willie Hernandez
1988--Kirk Gibson

In the last 18 years, it hasn't happened, but history is full of teams having the best player also winning championships, and the voting has always been decided before the World Series. If you expand this list to include MVPs who played on mere pennant winners, it's substantially longer.

2006-10-08 18:43:31
137.   randym77
135 Well, a lot of people are worrying about how Piniella would abuse young pitchers, so maybe he'd have brought Wanger along.

136 Fascinating. It hasn't happened in almost 20 years, though it seemed to happen regularly before then. Like, every year or three. And now there's an 18-year drought?

Something's obviously changed.

2006-10-08 18:52:09
138.   Start Spreading the News
I finally got read some of the thoughts here. The Yanks game really pissed me off yesterday. They seemed so listless. And why was A-Rod batting 8th? And Sheff batting 4th? Where was Giambi?

Why did the pitcher only have 67 pitches in the 7th innning? Where was the vaunted Yankee patience???

6 Dude, did you forget last year??? Forget A-Rod's counting stats. Did you see his rate stats last year? He has proved he can play well in NY. He has proved he can succeed here. But if Yankees fans want to boo him every strikeout, they are going to make his predicted failure a self-fullfilling prophecy.

Still A-rod's talent is so tremendous that in an off year, he still had a better OPS than Jeter who is an MVP candidate.

Everyone brings up A-rod's 1 for 14 performance. What about everyone else? Jeter, Abreu and Posada were the only ones to get a hit every game.

Here are the hits in the ALDS:

Jeter - 8
Posada - 7
Abreu - 5
Matsui - 4
Damon - 4
Cano - 2
A-Rod -1
Giambi - 1
Sheffield -1
Bernie, Melky, Phillips - 0

I give Torre credit for having the Yanks win the division. But the team had sooo much talent that many could have done that.

Additionally, given Torre's aversion to youth, do we give him much credit for the recent youth explosion in the Yankeeverse? It took a firm hand by Cashman to get Melky playing time (as well as desparation due to injuries). Cano also had to be thrust upon Torre.

Torre's one major asset was the handling of all the superstar egos in one roster. But his handling of A-rod was shoddy.

If you know that A-Rod is so sensitive, why is Torre dropping him to 8th? Why was there an article written about A-Rod so close to the playoffs, seemingly approved by the Yanks?

If the Yanks want to criticize A-rod, they should do so behind closed doors and left it there. Spilling the beans to reporters and having it be a major news item for ESPN and SI for weeks is bad for anyone's psyche.

2006-10-08 19:00:14
139.   Murray
137 Yes, something has changed: there are now more teams in the playoffs, which increases the likelihood that the team on which the MVP plays is going to lose before the World Series. If you expand it beyond WS and pennant winners to include division winners and Wild Card teams, the list grows substantially longer.
2006-10-08 19:08:08
140.   randym77
139 I dunno if I buy that. Couldn't you turn it around, and say that the MVP's team is more likely to make the postseason, and have a chance at the WS? A-Rod was MVP on a team that finished last in their division, so it's not like only contenders are considered.

Or at least, it isn't now. Maybe it was different in the past?

2006-10-08 19:14:32
141.   claybeez
Perhaps Torre is a better manager of teams with scrappy, gutty players. Perhaps that is why the teams of the dynasty always found a way to win and the post-dynasty All-Star squads have failed.

Given the fact that the Boss will go out and sign top-notch talent just because he wants to, Torre needs to be able to adjust. His job as Yankee skipper requires that he aid every player, even the All-Stars, to squeeze out every last bit of ability, particularly in October. Unfortunately, this does not seem like one of the manager's strengths nor a weakness he is working to make stronger.

I would love to see Joe Torre at the helm for the team's 27th. Maybe that's just the nostalgic in me. Yet, I can't overcome the dread that Torre's management in 2007 will so closely mirror 2006 and 2005. I'll gladly take from that what he does indeed do well. However, imagining another endless series of discussions on his bullpen management and resitance to trusting or developing youth may be more than I can stomach. I won't be able to bear knowing that a struggling Zito or Wright or Moose will be given an important start or left in too long when there's a successful Rasner, Karstens, Hughes or Clippard riding pine or failing to see his name on the post-season roster.

My desire to see Torre lead the team to success, but my dread of him repeating his failures makes it difficult for me to call for his ouster, though less difficult to imagine him gone.

2006-10-08 19:16:32
142.   claybeez
I'll also ask again if anyone with a Mac and the latest OS is having difficulty accessing lohud. I'd certainly appreciate it if someone could shoot Peter Abraham a PM just in case there is a glitch. Thanks.
2006-10-08 19:21:12
143.   Murray
140 I'm not selling anything. The question was, "How often does a team that has the MVP go all the way?" The answer is that it happens a lot, and when you include WS losers, it happens even more. As for turning it around, that gets mired in the silly debate about the existential meaning of "Most Valuable Player."
2006-10-08 19:21:34
144.   BronxToCT
Haven't posted in so long that I forgot my sign-in info and had to re-register!

My heartfelt thanks to Alex, Cliff, and all the regulars whose posts make the wins sweeter and the losses easier to bear. Like others today, I couldn't bear to read, watch, or listen to the media pundits who are undoubtedly having a field day about how the season ended. I simply don't want to know. The only thing I can bear reading now is this site so I can commune, even if silently, with intelligent, caring Yankee fans. Thanks to all for that, and thanks especially to Alex for his terrific commentary and slice-of-life pieces about living in the city that I miss so dearly.

Here's an observation, for what it's worth, and maybe I'm not the only one who feels the same way. I realize that one of the hallmarks of what makes the Yankees the Yankees is their incredible record in the postseason. But to my mind, the most enjoyable time of the year is the first month or two of the season when the games again become part of the rhythm of your life and the whole season is ahead of you. Maybe the last six playoffs have left me traumatized -- or maybe I prefer to remember when I was a kid in the Bronx in the mid-60s, becoming a Yankee fan as they were on their way to rock bottom, and not really caring because I loved the game and the team, no matter how far down in the standings they were. This decade of winning seasons (if not post-seasons) has taken some of the joy out of the game and replaced it with greedy expectations and inevitable disappointments.

Thanks again to all. I'll be reading even in the dead of winter.

2006-10-08 19:27:14
145.   randym77
I still think 18 years without a WS-winning MVP is quite striking, and not just chance or more playoff teams. Before that, the MVP came from a WS-winning team every year, every other year, maybe every three or four years.

If it was just more playoff teams, you might expect that to become every five or seven years. Maybe even every 10 years. But 18 years? That doesn't seem like chance.

2006-10-08 19:31:23
146.   donnygirl
This whole weekend has been like a nightmare but nice to find like-minded people, excellent writing Alex! Our main problem as I see it is our totally underwhelming starting pitchers, we are stuck with crippled Randy next year, Moose might be back although he always seems nasty and bitter, maybe he will want to leave and it will cost us 4 million to cut Jaret loose but 7 million to have him, to me it is worth 3 million not to have to see him pitch and then will Pavano ever return from Tampa and Wang. So we are basically in the same situation. Old, high-priced ineffective vets until Hughes, Clippard, Rasner and Karstens (maybe) arrive off the Columbus Shuttle. To see Lou with young pitchers is too terrifying. When Torre had grade A starters and people like Mendoza, Boeringer, Stanton, and Nelson in the bullpen we won and until we re-build the pitching staff no matter how many runs they score it won't matter. Saying that I am still depressed by the total lack of offense after game 1 against Detroit, I refuse to believe that they were utterly shut down by Kenny Rogers...
2006-10-08 19:36:43
147.   Stormer Sports
144

Thanks. Great post.

2006-10-08 19:38:11
148.   Murray
145 Why? In 1995, the MVPs were Larkin and Vaughn, both on playoff teams. In 1996, Juan Gonzalez's team lost the divisions series. In 1997, Ken Griffey team lost the division series. In 1998, Sammy Sosa's and Juan Gonzalez's teams lost the division series. In 1999, Chipper Jones's team lost the World Series and Ivan Rodriguez's team lost in the Division Series. In 2000, Jason Giambi's team lost the ALCS and Jeff Kent's lost the division series. I can go on. That's ten MVPs out of 20 playoff teams.
2006-10-08 19:39:42
149.   wsporter
140 145 What's so hard to buy about it? The award criteria is defined so that voting is stacked in favor of players who are on playoff bound teams. Go to BB Reference and look it up, winners on non playoff teams like A-Rod or Mattingly are definitely the exception to the rule. As such there is a far greater chance that the MVP winner won't reach the WS now because of the existence of a pennant playoff system that did not exist prior to 1969 or the truncated one that existed between 1969 and 1993. Prior to the playoff system there was a probability of 1.00 that the playoff teams from each league would reach the WS. In a fair game, now with 4 playoff teams in each league, there is only a probability of 0.25 that a playoff team from either league will reach the WS. Given that, the odds of any inividual MVP winner making the Series are also decreased. How does the point that Murray makes not make sense?
2006-10-08 20:04:06
150.   yankz
Why do people want Moose back so he can "take Hughes under his wing"- isn't that the pitching coach's job?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-10-08 20:15:11
151.   weeping for brunnhilde
A word about chemistry, for those who wonder what it is and how to get it.

What is it?

The Beatles. That's chemistry. It means a unit that adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

The old Yanks did that whereas these new Yanks, if it's possible, seem to add up to less than the sum of their parts.

How do you get it? I don't know, exactly, but I think a good start is to sign role players rather than superstars and develop as much talent from below as possible.

Why not have a team with Melky, Nick Johnson (I know, he broke his leg, was injury-plagued, but I'm just saying) Jeter, Soriano, Cano?

I just don't belive in the Yankee All Star Team route and think a team comprised of more fundamentally sound, driven and hardworking players might be a good place to start.

Maybe there's just too much ego.

I don't know. Just some thoughts.

2006-10-08 20:15:24
152.   nick
Great season, tough finish, guys....

Nobody on here agrees with me so I'll say it only once more: baseball is NOT a rah-rah, let's get dirty, grindy sweaty hussling Lenny Dyksatra is god kind of game. It is NOT that kind of game. (The fact that players and ex-players will say it is only means they read the papers too.) Baseball is about hitting it hard, pitching so their guys can't hit it hard, and making plays on defense.

Everybody who assumes our guys didn't try, came out flat, tuned out, seemed listless, etc--I say that is nonsense. Because they didn't act angry, on camera, the way you want them to act angry? To think that is a way of letting yourselves bitch at rich successful guys, a way of letting yourselves vent and feel better. It's taking the easy way out.

The more difficult truth is this. It's hard to dominate the postseason. The 1995-2000 team spoiled us. Over the past 12 years we've done, overall, quite well--a lot better than the Braves.

Detroit got two absolutely great starts in games 3 and 4. That said, if Moose pitches like an ace, we're back in the stadium for game 5.

We don't have an ace: we have 2 #2s and 3 #4s or something like that. Wang is great but depends heavily on defense and luck; Moose is aging; Randy might bounce back a little but will not dominate; who else on the current roster is necessarily even in the rotation next year?

We need pitching. The stats don't lie.

2006-10-08 20:24:57
153.   nick
PS--Re. all the chemistry professors: yeah, I know, I understand, sometimes I feel the same way. But that's all AFTER THE FACT. Chemistry is what people in the media discover a team has AFTER IT WINS.
2006-10-08 20:26:01
154.   Mike T
"Forget Zito. We need fresh, young arms."

Zito is 28 yrs old. Do you regard 28 as old? Zito probably has a solid decade ahead of him as, at the very least, a well above average major league pitcher.

2006-10-08 20:27:16
155.   ny2
Here's an article about the Arod Piniella realtionship

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/09/sports/baseball/09curry.html?ref=sports

2006-10-08 20:40:47
156.   she
I loved Pinella when he was playing. His kicking dirt on umpires' shoes - not so much. Do you folks think Mr. Torre will still have a job this time tomorrow?
2006-10-08 20:49:29
157.   BklynBmr
144 What Storm (147] said. Great perspective, I can completely relate. 1964 was the first season I remember as a kid, and from that day to this my interest and passion for the team has never waviered, even when Mel Hall became the self-appointed heir of 'Yankee tradition'.

The Bronx Zoo days were sweet reward for the drought and 18 years after that, the '96 squad was pure joy to watch. Never forgot when a good friend and life-long Yankee-hater told me, "Man, it's almost impossible to root against this team." All the world seemed right again.

But as you say, it seems a good chunk of the fun has been taken out it. But maybe that just goes along with everything else these days — as a society we've become vicious and intolerant of others with whom we disagree. It wasn't long ago when Democrats and Republicans would fight it out on the Senate floor, then get together over steak, cognac and a good cigar that night. Those days are gone, and that has filtered down to us — or it filtered up, I dunno.

The national sports press seems to take joy in our October failures. The haves against the have nots — when the Yankees fail it's a moral victory for the little guy. It's been eloquently and logically addressed here time and again about the irrational position that the Yankees "buy championships". Yet this angle has been the undercurrent of reporting for the last six seasons. Either these "journalists" are not very deep in the thinking department, or they're content to let a false mantra continue to fester.

Personally, I will not allow even The Boss' standard of 'win or else' or the media to color my experience. While last year was a ball of stress from the 11-29 start to the final frustrating moments against the Halos - this year was a blast on a few levels, the kids, the heart, etc. I really enjoyed it and watched the clock every game day.

It may not have altered the outcome, but the only thing I would change about this year is my pet peeve — that all postseason series should be seven games. Other than that, and my broken heart which will be fine by spring training, this year was a step in the right direction. No tears.

And let's go, Big Blue Wrecking Crew! — (apologies to Simone ;-)

2006-10-08 20:51:41
158.   Simone
If Piniella does become the manager of the Yankees, I don't want to hear any more excuses for A-Rod or attacks on Jeter on his behalf.

A-Rod won't need Derek to b his friend or stick up for him in the media because he will have Lou. Lou will bat him 4th in the line up even as he slumps. Lou will make him hit in the playoffs not his natural talent. No more in depth analysis of his "fragile and sensitive" psyche because A-Rod will be coddled in Sweet Lou's warm embrace.

2006-10-08 20:53:27
159.   JeremyM
155 Very interesting article.
2006-10-08 20:54:27
160.   weeping for brunnhilde
152 Of course pitching is the most important thing. Of course.

But I disagree about your assessment regarding the role of grit or whatever you want to call it.

In order to hit the baseball hard you need a mental toughness, unless you're so naturally gifted (like Rodriguez) that it's easy as pie, under normal circumstances.

But of course a tremendous amount of the game is how you respond to pressure, how well you're able to stay focussed, not only on the pitch as it comes your way, but on the meaning of your at bat in relation to winning.

I really believe that 50 per cent of this game is half mental and that if you can find guys who possess mental toughness, clarity, etc., you'll field a good team.

I'd rather have mediocre talent and extraordinary mental ability than the reverse.

Obviously, you want both, but I think it's the mental game that puts you over the top.

Part of the mental game is making adjustments. A lot of the time I see these Yankees failing to do that.

Sometimes you have to mercilessly stick to your game plan and others you have to throw it out the window and try something new.

And you need the wisdom to know the difference.

These things, I think, are entirely undervalued and even around here, among very savvy fans, are seldom talked about.

2006-10-08 20:55:42
161.   JeremyM
159 Although I'm kind of annoyed that people forget that Jeter did spend some time under Showalter's watch in 1995. Granted it was only a couple months or so.
2006-10-08 21:03:45
162.   Stormer Sports
158

Here here!

Kisses on the forehead. Good grief.

2006-10-08 21:07:54
163.   ny2
158. I completely agree ... you have to admitt it is pretty funny fire Torre (Jeter's father figure) and hire Piniella (Arod's father figure) .. Do you think Jeter will call him Mr. Piniella, Mr. P, or Lou
2006-10-08 21:08:29
164.   Stormer Sports
157

I'm with you bro!

Unfortunately, we have Bud "5 games, Jesus Christ the season can't be any longer" Selig at the helm.

David Stern understood the 5 game vs. 7 game issue was one of fairness to all, not something that should be contingent upon whether or not it lengthens the season.

2006-10-08 21:09:42
165.   BklynBmr
ESPN Headline: Torre won't survive Yanks' collapse, to be fired

http://tinyurl.com/zrd23

Nothing really new if you've been following it all day, although I love this quote:

"Piniella, in San Francisco while preparing to call the AL Championship Series on FOX, told the network he hadn't talked to the Yankees and was "stunned" by the report.

"We have heard from absolutely no one from the Yankees' organization, so as far as we're concerned, it's all speculation," said Piniella's agent, Alan Nero. "Lou is seriously considering the four jobs that are open."

Then read Peter A. on LoHud:

"More could happen tonight. But the read I get is that George Steinbrenner got upset and decided to fire Torre on Saturday. He also contacted Lou Piniella, who was more than happy to spread the word because he wants the job badly."

---

Oh, to be a fly on the wall somewhere...

2006-10-08 21:17:45
166.   nick
160 OK, I'm not sure we do disagree so much then. My question would be: how do you tell the difference between talent and mental ability? If they both lead to good hitting stats, I mean--since you can't see inside guys' heads...Or do you assume that guys who are physically gifted should do really well and if they don't it's a mental thing? If so, I'd say, hand-eye coordination is not the same thing as looking good in a uniform. Look at what happened to MJ........My overall point is that I don't see any way to IDENTIFY the kind of guys you describe.
2006-10-08 21:21:02
167.   BklynBmr
164 Bud "5 games, Jesus Christ the season can't be any longer" Selig

LOL! Love it! If this ding dong insists on 5 games, my proposal is the Wild Card team gets one home game — game 3. That's it. It puts more value on winning the division, and more stress on the team that finished second. If it was my call, the Wild Card gets no home games in the first round, but that's just me ;-)

2006-10-08 21:34:30
168.   monkeypants
Most of the whole post mortem strikes me as pretty silly. The team didn't lose because they didn't have heart or fire in the belly, or because they didn't 'grind it'--whatever that means. They lost because they lost three games out of four. That happened because the won a game the should have (game 1) and and lost two they should have lost (games 3 and 4), but they lost game 2 which they might have predicted winning. So goes baseball.

So, to fire Torre? So what? I am not huge Torre fan--check out my posts for this year. But even his typical mismanagement didn't cost the team in the play offs. His awful post season roster decisions didn't even really come into play, except for putting Shef and Matsui on the roster as starters--which most everyone seemed to agree with anyway. HAd this team won, the story line would have been how unfair it was for a team to have so many all stars.

But back to Torre. Was Watching ran an 'analysis' of why the team should pursue Piniella:

"He's had four 1st place teams and four 2nd place teams. He's had four 3rd place teams. He had a team that won 116 games in a season. He's won 90+ seven times - - missing an 8th by 1 win. Piniella understands New York, the Yankees, and Big Stein. Piniella will add some fire to the Yankees."

Based on the record, he's no better than Torre. I guess he brings 'fire.' Whatever.

The real problem I see is not the team will fire Torre--that may be a good move. Or that they will make moves--all teams do and must. But that they will succumb to the media hysteria and make yet more stupid moves. And in one year we'll bbe having this same conversation.

2006-10-08 21:43:53
169.   monkeypants
Oh, and what is up with seemingly growing 'trade A-Rod' sentiment, on such supposedly knowledgable Yankees' sites like Was Watching and LoHud. First of all, A-Rod has a no trade clause. For him to accept a trade would be for him to admit that he couldn't cut it in NY--if he is as self-centered as the haters think, why would he take such a deal?

Second, who would take him? Yeah sure, the Rangers are paying part of the salary, and the Yankees would also pick up some (surely). But what team has the money to absorb the back end of that contract? And again, if A-Rod is as evil and wicked as portrayed, what team would want him when good chemistry players like Eckstein, etc. are available much cheaper?

Third, why would the Yankees get rid of the (statistically) best 3B EVER to play for the Yankees for any three year stretch? Didn't the team go through this before, getting rid of a HOF talent because he couldn't hit in the big game? I think his name was Winfield. That wored out well.

This is insanity.

This team did not lose because of A-Rod (bad series or not). They lost because they blew a three run lead in game 2 (Mussina and BP), and because their starters got shelled in game 3 (Johnson) and game 4 (Wright) at the same time the whole offense disappeared (Damon, Jeter, Posada, Cano, A-Rod, Matsui--EVERYONE).

2006-10-08 21:45:31
170.   BklynBmr
Apologies if this has been covered — but Sheff speaks: ( from USA Today: http://tinyurl.com/onsz2 )

--

Torre, who managed the Yankees to 11 consecutive postseason appearances, has come under scrutiny for the Yankees' latest playoff loss. He benched Sheffield in Game 3 and first baseman Jason Giambi in Game 4 of the playoffs, and caused a firestorm when he demoted Rodriguez to the eighth spot in the batting order in Game 5.

"I think that affected the morale and psyche of the entire team, not just A-Rod," Sheffield said. ""I'm not making any excuses, but everyone was wondering what was going on. It made it a real weird day. You would like to be treated with a little respect, I don't care who you play for.

"We were worrying about all of that stuff, and we still had a game to play. If I'm on the other side, and all of a sudden they're putting Rodriguez eighth and putting me or Jason on the bench, you wonder what's going on. Those guys [the Tigers] were asking me about it. I think it boosted their morale. It gave them confidence they didn't have.

"[Tigers manager] Jim Leyland took advantage of that. He can make you believe anything. He can put a fire under your belt like you never had before in your life.

"Not to make excuses, but we didn't have that."

--

2006-10-08 21:48:05
171.   weeping for brunnhilde
166 Actually, it's a lot easier to spot than you might think.

It's easy to tell if someone's trying to pull a ball or if they're going with the pitch.

The question is, when do they do either one?

Is there a rhyme or reason in their approach?

What kind of at bats do guys have?

Do they give themselves every opportunity to hit the ball well?

Sometimes it's obvious that a hitter is just beaten by a pitcher, others it's obvious the hitter has given away an at bat.

I don't know. There's a lot that I suppose can't be seen, but I think there's a lot that can.

2006-10-08 21:57:18
172.   ny2
170. Wow ... what an idiot to be saying those things even if there might be some truth in there ... can you imagine the ripping a-rod would get if he said half of what sheff just said in that article ... especially if you have jeter and mo on the cover of the post saying "don't blame joe"
2006-10-08 22:07:12
173.   Peter
169 Hopefully the Yankee FO is saner than the Trade A-Rod Mob.
2006-10-08 22:24:32
174.   Stormer Sports
This is interesting.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10082006/sports/yankees/jeremy_had_tipster_yankees_lenn_robbins.htm

2006-10-08 22:38:58
175.   BklynBmr
174 Sheff? ;-)
2006-10-08 22:43:20
176.   joejoejoe
170 Thanks for the link. There is something to be said for 'never let the other guy see you sweat' and by batting A-Rod 8th Torre was saying to the Tigers 'We need to change to beat you'.
2006-10-08 22:49:14
177.   BklynBmr
176 Wow. Out of the 20,000 words I've read in the press, you nailed it in one sentence. That move had to amp the Tigers. Nice call!
2006-10-08 22:59:26
178.   ny2
Wow click on the back cover of the daily news
http://www.nydailynews.com
2006-10-08 23:14:53
179.   Stormer Sports
178

They cannot be serious with that. Blame Jeter?

I don't think I can even respond to that.

2006-10-08 23:26:35
180.   yankz
A resounding "Fuck you, Daily News" on my part.
2006-10-08 23:27:14
181.   yankz
The best part about this? Jeter is going to handle this the way he always has, and make the Daily News look like the dumbasses that they are.
2006-10-08 23:28:42
182.   ny2
I know nice headline: Blame Jeter: Captain's failure to reach out to Arod doomed yanks ...

did he also do something to the pitching staffs arms ... or selfish sheff or giambi to help them stop hitting ... they got throught the season with the best record in the majors ... I know the arod thing may have not be "handled" well ... but come on exiting in the first series of the playoffs can't be blamed on jeter

2006-10-08 23:30:38
183.   nick
171 OK, but: as a team this year the Yanks had the best ABs of any team, bar none, on your criteria. In games 3-4 against Detroit they had terrible ABS. Few people would argue with either of those two observations. So do they have "mental ability" or don't they?
2006-10-08 23:31:35
184.   yankz
Jeter should be the MVP and put on a clinic on October hitting in game 1, and had more hits than anyone else on the team in the PS. But yeah, blame him for not reminding the world that Arod can't handle the heat.
2006-10-08 23:50:46
185.   BklynBmr
178 Holy sh*t on a shingle! Like Storm said: unworthy of comment.

Anyone still wondering why ex-con used car salesmen are held in higher esteem than journalists just needs to read this pearl (same rag/same article):

"Suddenly, the future of the Bombers is gloomy, and a virtual demolition of the franchise may not be far off."

F the Daily News. I grew up with that paper, used to love it — especially Gallo. It's turned into a complete joke.

2006-10-08 23:56:43
186.   GoingDeep
I believe Joe isnt 100% to blame, however responsiblity must lay on his shoulders. The last 6 years are reason enough to suggest he has had his chance and its time to move on. No matter what you can say about the pitching and offense, this team didnt show up in the last 3 games. That is an indictment on Torre. He gave in to Sheff and threw A-Rod under a bus. I cannot excuse him for that. Sheff at 1st was a joke. Some players need love, you cannot treat them all the same and A-rod is clearly insecure and needs love. Throwing him under a bus by batting him 6th then 8th was a joke.

That said I can see two problems: As describe d by someone earlier, we have too many chiefs and not enough indians. We need more youth and role players instead of exclusion and bully-boy tactics in the clubhouse. This playoff team had no synergy and was less than sum of its parts.
Secondly, need starting Pitching.

A-Rod for Santana & Kendrick is something id look at. Two talents and less drama would help. Santana would really help build a quality young rotation. Kendrick can flat-out hit and would really provide energy to the team. A rotation of Wang, Matsuzaka, Santana, Hughes + 1 more would be a step in the right direction.

Bottom line is youve gotta get some youth in. When it came to the crunch Detroit was energetic and hungry whilst the Bombers were bitchy and old. Moose & Sheff can leave, as can Wilson&Lidle, Matusi to 1B could make sense. Wright and Pavano also out for anything we can get.

Either way we need to get younger, less bitchy and more energetic. And the more I think of it, an A-rod trade for youth makes sense. Even though I support him and think hes been humiliated.

2006-10-09 00:03:14
187.   GoingDeep
184 As a captain it is Jeters job to support every teammate 110%. By holding his grudge in my eyes he is less of a man than i thought he was. A real leader would of backed A-Rod at least publically and dealed with Alex in person. Instead of bringing the team together Jeter has maintained/created division and thats not good enough.
2006-10-09 00:47:04
188.   singledd
Those 'scrappy' teams of 1996-2000 had pitchers like Petitte, Clemens, El Duque, Cone, Wells, A younger Rivera, Stanton, Nelson and others... many of whom had great years.

How do you think these teams would have done with our current pitching staff?

Its not chemistry, ghosts, managing or anything else... Its pitching

2006-10-09 01:04:02
189.   ny2
http://www.newspress.com/Top/Article/artic...819729048797240
2006-10-09 01:34:00
190.   yankz
I love how you all assume you knew what went beyond the scenes, as if you want it to be true that Jeter didn't say ANYTHING to Arod. Because Verducci wrote it, right?

Again, Jeter told reporters to lay off. What more? "Ladies and gentlemen, he's not me, he can't handle the press. Leave him alone, will ya? I know he's a good player!!! You should too!!!" Yeah, Arod's confidence would go through the roof if Jeter had to convince the world that he can still play.

2006-10-09 01:46:46
191.   ny2
It's ironic b/c someone mentioned to me that this aired tonight but was taped before the collapse ... it's an interview with jeter

part 3 has some jeter comments on arod (mostly the same we've heard from him) and now ironic comments on joe torre

http://video.msn.com/v/us/foxsports.htm?f=...evision/stories

2006-10-09 04:09:15
192.   randym77
Wow, has someone adjusted the Toaster? It looks like long links are being automatically shortened. Basically forcing you to use TinyURL, or no one can follow your links.
2006-10-09 04:41:36
193.   Simone
170 Sheffield proves that my personal axiom, "once a selfish dumbass, always a selfish dumbass."

Did anyone see Lidle's comment about the Yankees not being "up" for the series.

How come the Yankees won game 1 in a route if they were so unprepared, confused, and unfocused according to this fools? Excuses for their non-performance. Unwillingness to take responsibility for their failures. Good thing these two won't be coming back.

176 The Yankees won game 1 with A-Rod hitting 6th so the move obviously worked.

2006-10-09 04:48:04
194.   Simone
178 Hilarious.

A-Rod devoted defenders insisted that he is talented player who is unfairly attacked and misunderstood. Yet they attack Jeter for not supporting A-Rod who they claim doesn't need support because it is his talent is all that matters. Clearly, their truth is that A-Rod is emotionally fragile. He needs Derek Jeter who he alienated to lurve him for A-Rod to be productive defensively and offensively. What a soap opera. Who knew that you guys were so delicate and sensitive. I never want to hear or read another insult that suggests that a man's weakness makes him a woman because clearly you men aren't as strong as women. You are more like children than adults.

2006-10-09 06:18:49
195.   choirboyzgirl
194-0 I don't blame it all on Jeter, the whole Yankees management staff should take on the blame if you see a fire brewing that you know is going to have an affect on your team you walk by it and do nothing? Or do you grab a pail of water and try to put it out? The media ran away with the fans booing Alex to the point where he couldn't go to the freaking park with his family... that was just insane. His every move was analyzed to death, oh no he put his right batting glove on before the left one...that's a bad sign he must be having issues. All long everyone just sat by and did nothing to help (the defense would have been so much more valuable if it came from someone within the orgainzation...instead of Alex). No one was asked to lie... just say "Hey New York the booing isn't helping, Alex or the team!" There were times I wish I was a journalist and could just scream "OKAY ALREADY WE GET IT, ALEX GETS IT, you think he sucks....Now are you more interested in supporting your team or tearing a man down?"

Also the worse move I think Torre could have done was move Alex to 6th on the eve of the playoffs. Talk about adding fuel to the fire. If he was considering that move he should have done it the week before so it would have been a non-issue by the time the playoffs came along. Of course Alex is going to say it didn't bother him, if he had said anything else he would have been considered a non-team player. But the actions spoke volumes.

Jeter is not a bad person, he is a great ball player and from what I can tell a good person, I just don't think he handled that one situation well as a captain of the team that's all.

2006-10-09 06:29:36
196.   seamus
194 I would say that most women are stronger than men anyhow. So I don't get your point.
2006-10-09 06:36:48
197.   jayd
196 I get the point. I think comparing men to women is hitting a bit low. Shame on you guys.
2006-10-09 06:56:38
198.   murphy
re: zito (154, i believe).

sure, he's only 28. if the white sox or tigers sign him, they are adding another "young stud" to their hot young picthing staff. the second he inks a deal with the yankees, he's an aging veteran/more bought talent. it's just the way we're percieved.

did the yanks overpay for wright and pavano? yes. but EVERYONE aged pavano 5 years as soon as he signed. this is the way the world sees the yankees. in the last two years we have seen them promote and use several players from the system whose productivity has ranged from acceptable (rasner, melky) to incredible (cano), YET, the media still will not shut up about the yankees sorry and pillaged farm system.

provided he doesn't show any signs of wear-and-tear after the spring, i say the yanks should bring up hughes NOW and shut them all up.

2006-10-09 06:56:38
199.   mikeplugh
Hey y'all.

I've tried to stay away from the New York media coverage of the soap opera in the Bronx. I bit the bullet and read some stuff over at the Daily News, which was always my sports section of choice, and I'm disgusted.

I knew that I gave up on the tabloids in favor of bloggers for a reason. We do our fair share of ranting and postulating, but the tabloids are out of control.

Jeter should have played kissy-face with A-Rod to be more Captain-like. Boo hoo. Did you ever have a co-worker that you didn't care for? In order to keep things functioning you play it civil. If people start ganging up on the person, you don't jump in to their rescue. If it gets really bad and you think it's affecting the atmosphere of the workplace maybe you pat the person on the back and tell them to hang in there. You don't stand on a chair and announce to everyone that they should lay off. After all, you don't like the person either.

Besides all the bullshit they're printing about the soap opera, it seems as though they've lost focus on the actual sport. Lupica is the worst of all. The team lost on the field because they didn't pitch as well as Detroit, and suddenly forgot how to work a count. All the fouling off of pitches turned into swinging and missing.

If Torre had any real impact on wins and losses, it's lost on me. Even NoMaas has a board in their margin that counts the "Torre losses". It has a grand total of 5 games. Piniella isn't the answer. If you want to sack Joe, that's your prerogative, but to blame him for everything is silly. When they win he gets too much credit, when they lose....

If A-Rod had hit 3 home runs in that series, it wouldn't have mattered in the end. We had so few baserunners that those dingers would have probably been solo shots. It was a complete team collapse, and almost every member of the club should share the blame.

Last point...

If you replace Randy Johnson 2006 in this series with Randy Johnson 2004, we may have won Game 3. We bought an old man to be our ace, and it didn't work out. That should teach us all something. Think about how different the last 2 years would have been if the Arizona Big Unit had showed up in the Bronx. No more pitchers over 33 or 34 please.

2006-10-09 07:39:12
200.   Chyll Will
199 Thank you Mike, on point as always.

The Fellowship has failed.

Oh well. There are plenty of people twisting their stomachs into a knot over this, and I've already had my say about it early on, but now I've moved on to Gore Vidal's Licoln, a good read if I do say so myself (considering that it's probably the eighth time I'm reading it), but for what it's worth, the country logic and the prescient politics of Lincoln brings perspective to this whole analysis that brings renewed meaning to my own handle.

Do not read the NY Daily News, period. I began boycotting the Rues the minute the Yanks reached the playoffs, simply because Gollum, like clockwork, invoked the "Salary Clause" and proved again what an insufferable gremlin he really is. His spew has overwhelmed what journalistic credential this paper laid claim to (little as it was) and has symbolized the hypocrisy and outright hostility of the New York sports media, for which he is no doubt proud. And, as you can likely tell, Torre was not fired yesterday, as they claimed he already was or would be as of yesterday.

For the sake of Banter folks and human kind in general, just say no. I refuse to acknowledge their existense from here on.

I do take back what I said about Jeter not speaking up. I love the co-worker analogy; I certainly have co-workers I dislike or don't have much regard if any for, so I just let them be for my own sake, not theirs. It's easier to understand when you put it into perspective. The O'Jays is now ringing in my ears: "They smile in your face (all the time, they wanna take your place...)" which could be the unspoken truth or not. yet, when it's put into a perspective in my own realm of existense, I understand a lot better.

That said, A-Rod is his own person and brings all kinds of things to the table. Let him be. If he were not making the money he is making , would he have many of the issues he seems to exhibit? And if so, would we have then considered him a clubhouse cancer of say, Nomar proportions? If I recall, the Ded Sox stated this as one of their primary reasons for dismissing Nomar in 2004, and we all know what happened after that.

Only the Yankees know what's going on in there, not some two-bit hack trying to get attention for himself in a rag I wouldn't even use to wipe my behind. I'm as frustrated as the next person about being left out of the loop here, but when I own a portion of the Yanks, I'll be sure to clue you all in.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-10-09 09:04:23
201.   JCP22
I can't say that I am surprised our starting pitching spit the bit...Moose is far removed from being a guy I would trust to hold a two run lead into the seventh (though I do still like him.) Once game two slipped away, I knew we were vulnerable. No way were you going to get a top notch start from RJ and in fact, you might have got a bit more from him than I would have expected. Torre letting games get away with fading RJ and Lidle is hard to fathom after he pitched various setup guys' arms off all year long. I think I would rather lose with the Proctologist on the mound, or Farnswacker, or Bruney.

Maybe if Bernie's shot off Rogers had stayed fair, it would have been a different story in game 3. I have to tip my hat to Rogers though as I can't ever remember seeing him that amped up on the mound. He pitched a gem. It would have been nice to come back for a game one re-match where we actually had a pitching advantage for once.

As for my pet peeves, how about not one but two guys in lineup seemingly incapable of hitting a ball the opposite way (Giambi, Sheff.) I would like to say adios to both, but only Sheff probably goes. Way too much age on staff...time for Moose to move on with many thanks for a very consistent, professional performance while here. I will miss seeing him pitch for us, but it is time to retool to a staff that is younger and might actually improve rather than decline over time. If we have to miss winning some division titles as a result (hope not), so be it. RJ...assuming he does not retire will once again come back and fade some more. Yuk. So Wang and RJ definites, Pavano (lord help us, we need to get lucky here), and fill in the blanks for final two slots (Hughes and free agent maybe?...Zito's gotta be on big Stein's radar by now.) One of the Lidle/Wright combo goes away, though in a perfect world they are both outta here. Karstens probably can replicate what they bring to the table, and might surprise on the upside like Wang and Cano.

Disappointments: Damon and Cano seemed absolutely lost at times at the plate. How many lazy fly balls can a leadoff hitter hit?
Giambi waiting for walks endlessly...someone please tell him playoff pitchers attempt not to beat themselves with walks...swing the bat! Ditto Arod...someone better figure out how to get his head cleared up soon. It is not good to hit your best player eighth...Torre, Jeter, Reggie, Cashman...can someone help this guy. I don't know if I can take another year of clutch hitting hand wringing...we need an intervention! Someone get Dr. Phil on the line fast.

At least Big Blue D played like it had a clue yesterday! Have to take your small victories where you can.

2006-10-09 10:29:07
202.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hear, hear, as to the pet peeve thing. I know I must be tedious, but I can't say it enough: going the other way is the difference between winning and losing. If you can't hit the ball where it's pitched then you'll always be shut down by superior pitching. If you can learn to do the best you can with what they give you, at least you've got a fighting chance.

Remember how when Giambi came over Joe said he's not just a home run hitter but can go the other way?

And I did see Sheff hit a single to right field, maybe in game one? That was nice to see, but that's the approach we need to build the team around.

Learn to single the opposition to death and
run like hell, like the Angels do.

Of course it's no guarantee, but I think that kind of a team is a bit more slump-resistant and less neutralized by superior pitching. Of course, they'll also fail to profit as much from mediocre pitching, but that's ok.

The question is how do you build a team around the idea of consistency. This feast-or-famine shit has got to go.

How many more times does this have to happen before someone gets the memo and starts signing different kinds of players?

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