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Yankee Panky #49: What's Goin' On?
2008-05-07 09:35
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

I want to let you know that I've made mistakes in many columns I've written, for which I'm sorry. I've apologized to those editors, my family (my harshest editors), and when warranted, you, the reader. Like everyone, I have flaws. I make poor word choices at times, have typos and write grammatically incorrect sentences. I maintain, however, that I've never used steroids or Human Growth Hormone to write a Yankee Panky column for this Web site.

___________________________________________

Phew. Now that that's out of the way, what did we do before the Internet? While away in Italy, with no game highlights to speak of aside from the UEFA Cup and ATP Tennis on CNN International, the only way to get any info on the Yankees was via cyberspace. Since my last post, top stories have ranged from Joe Girardi banning candy from the clubhouse to the extremes of a near automatic win when Chien-Ming Wang starts and a near automatic loss when the now defunct 4-5 combination of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy take the mound.

Now, it appears all the mainstreamers, for on-field matters anyway, are focusing on three key things: 

• How is Melky Cabrera leading the team in home runs? Joel Sherman's Hardball blog addresses this question by comparing Cabrera's statistics to those of Bernie Williams at the same stages of their careers. The offensive numbers are strikingly similar. The greatest difference is that at Age 23, Cabrera is a much better all-around ballplayer than Williams was.

• Why is Robinson Cano in the bottom three among qualified batters in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage? Will he emerge from his slump? Tyler Kepner of the New York Times had a thorough take on the slump, and analysis from teammates, including Derek Jeter. The only thing missing was that Cano, after being called up in 2005, went 2-for his first 23 at-bats.

• The timer is on for Jason Giambi's release. The Giambino is in a worse funk than Cano, except he doesn't have youth on his side or an optimistic band of media types rooting for him in print. I noticed an interesting contradiction in reporting, most notably from the same paper. Sherman and George King, in the Post, had different takes. Sherman called Giambi's continued presence in the lineup a "liability," while King showed the Yankees' continued faith in the former MVP.

• Perusing YESNetwork.com, David Justice says the Yankees do not appear to be built for a championship. Also, Steven Goldman provides insight on the Hughes-Kennedy demotions as only he can.

OFF-DAY RECAP
Off-days are fun to devour as much information as possible from as many different outlets. You can tell which papers, TV and radio types are on the pulse of things and are dedicated to providing the most information possible. The Times had only one Yankees story, on Cano, while the Daily News had not only the continuing saga of Roger Clemens, but a great bit from former beat man Anthony McCarron on how the Yankees could approach transitioning Joba Chamberlain to the starting rotation. After another subpar eighth–inning performance against the Indians, it would not be surprising to see Big Stein the Younger issue a media manifesto calling for a Chamberlain change. The Post had a wide variety, including a feature on Derek Jeter's captaincy and climb up the all-time Yankee ranks.

Newsday had an interesting recap of Joe Girardi's week, which included a contentious Q&A with reporters. Is anyone else waiting for the rash of stories comparing the situation Girardi walked into here in New York to the one he left in Florida?

This week marked Round 1 of Torre vs. Randolph, the all-National League version. What were the odds of features being written about their prior stints with the Yankees, or Torre's reactions to the rampant booing at Shea recently? Stay tuned for more of the same in three weeks, when the Dodgers come to Shea, with a smattering of Torre praise for Girardi.

YES, IT'S BOBBY MURCER
Friday night was a great night, not only for the Yankees' victory, but to see and hear Bobby Murcer back in the broadcast booth. The man has endured several bouts of poor health in recent years and rebounded well. Five years ago, he had an emergency appendectomy that kept him out for the last couple of months of the season. Now, he's back after recovering from a brain tumor and continued rounds of chemotherapy. You would be hard-pressed to find someone in the Yankee organization who is as respected and universally considered with such class and grace as Mr. Murcer.

And David Cone, after the sting of his failed comeback with the Mets wore off, has been a welcome addition to the YES broadcast team.

Until next week …

Comments (133)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-07 10:03:17
1.   dianagramr
Murcer is my fave Yankee of all time. He was my first fave when I started liking baseball in the early 70s. I nearly cried when he got traded to the Giants.

By the way, Murcer has his autobiography coming out, on his 62nd birthday no less ...

http://tinyurl.com/4zdmtq

and he'll be appearing at the B&N at 5th Ave. and 46th Street on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 12:30 PM.

(I'm gonna try and take a long lunch to make it there)

2008-05-07 10:19:10
2.   rilkefan
Giambi's OPS: 0.710. Jeter's: 0.729. Cano: 0.472. Let's not panic yet on Giambi. He's not going to put an 0.971 up again like 2006, but "worse funk than Cano"?
2008-05-07 10:39:22
3.   Shaun P
2 Perception vs. reality:

Jose Molina: 64 OPS+
Cano: 31 OPS+
Giambi: 97 OPS+
Jeter: 103 OPS+

Or, if you prefer VORP:

Jose Molina: -2.2
Giambi: -0.5
Jeter: 5.6 (thanks to the .310 AVG)
Cano: -10.2

Or EqA (same scale as batting average, so .260 is average, over .280 good, over .300 great):

Molina: .198
Giambi: .253
Jeter: .254
Cano: .144

Unless they have a contract with Barry L. Bonds's signature on it, the Yanks aren't going to release Giambi. Even with the blah numbers he's putting up, who is available for nothing (only $$$) that could take his place and provide an improvement? Except for Bonds, no one I see on the Yanks' roster, or at AA or AAA.

2008-05-07 14:17:40
4.   Schteeve
This goes to show that people still make judgements based on superficial crap like BA.

To add to Shaun's analysis here are Cano and Giambi by BRAA

Giambi: -5.9
Cano: -16.4

So by no meaningful metric is Giambi in a worse funk than Robbie. Does Robbie likely have more upside? Maybe. But he is killing the team almost 3x as badly as Giambi is.

2008-05-07 15:26:24
5.   ny2ca2dc
Another piece of the 3 4 analysis, Giambi is playing shit D at the easiest position on the field, while Cano is playing great D (right?) up the middle. Cano is still killing the team, but so is Giambi. shit vs. poop.
2008-05-07 16:26:26
6.   Zack
No game thread tonight?

Oh gosh, watching Bobby flail on that AB makes me worry he's gonna get all messed up for awhile as he seems to against lefties

2008-05-07 16:34:22
7.   quacks25
Wang is starting off shaky...
2008-05-07 16:40:06
8.   ChrisS
I didn't think it was possible, but the mighty Yankee lineup is making Cliff Lee look even more dominant.
2008-05-07 16:41:27
9.   ChrisS
Just as I post that, Matsui continues his one-man offensive juggernaut with a little flare.
2008-05-07 16:41:41
10.   quacks25
HIDEKI! 16 straight now
2008-05-07 16:57:07
11.   ChrisS
The way the Yankee hitters are flailing away up, I'd almost turn the game off, but Wang is settling in nicely and dealing.
2008-05-07 17:03:07
12.   Mattpat11
Someone needs to explain this Cliff Lee thing to me
2008-05-07 17:03:57
13.   ChrisS
all together now:

"... past a diving Jeter"

2008-05-07 17:11:57
14.   williamnyy23
The play at the plate shouldn't have been close...Abreu seems to rarely make a good throw when it's needed. Add in the pasta Jeter groundball and that's a run on the defense. Right now, it's hard to argue that the Yankees are better than mediocre on offense, in the field and on the mound. It is very hard to objectively look at this team and see more than 90 wins.
2008-05-07 17:15:23
15.   randym77
Wow, it's quiet around here. I could swear it was a lot busier last year. Even though last year we sucked just as bad, if not worse...
2008-05-07 17:15:54
16.   Zack
14 Your posts are always so cheery and optimistic...

But wait, Cliff Lee isn't throwing over 90, how can he possibly be any good?

2008-05-07 17:17:53
17.   williamnyy23
16 I am a realist. I can't manufacture optimism.
2008-05-07 17:18:46
18.   Mattpat11
Perhaps they can put Cliff Lee's career numbers up on the Titantron.

What the hell is going on?

2008-05-07 17:22:57
19.   Zack
17 What you call realism I call pessimism. It is certainly quite possible to take a less consistently negative stance while still maintaining a rational stance
2008-05-07 17:23:03
20.   williamnyy23
18 Well, it does seem like Lee has changed something, judging by his numbers. Having said that, the Yankees have shown an inability to hit the likes of Byrd, Sowers, Rogers, Bonderman and Robertson, so chances are the answer has more to do with the Yankees than Lee. I guess the Yankees only hit pitchers wearing Mariners uniforms.
2008-05-07 17:25:22
21.   williamnyy23
19 If you disagree with my assessment, I'd be interested in being convinced otherwise. Pessimism would be worrying about the 1998 Yankees. If you are a Yankee fan and aren't concerned about this team, you aren't facing reality. Like I've said before, I'll be watchin win or lose, but that doesn't mean I can ignore what's going on.
2008-05-07 17:30:27
22.   Zack
21 Oh come. That would be silly.

Pessimism: "the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc." I would say that is pretty much ALL you do...

I am quite concerned about this team, but I get no pleasure from constantly focusing on the negatives and pronouncing their demise already...

2008-05-07 17:30:34
23.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
ONE hit through 4 innings...sigh...
2008-05-07 17:32:06
24.   Just fair
Man, I hope all the usual commenters on the BB aren't watchng this game in person. What a bummer.
2008-05-07 17:34:10
25.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
3 runs down against Mr. 0.86 ERA..maybe they'll be an inspiring comeback win with a grand-slam pinch-hit HR by Wilson Betemit! Go Team!! (Trying to be positive here..)
2008-05-07 17:36:51
26.   Mattpat11
20 I'm not a believer in "he finally turned the corner." Lee is a so-so pitcher that is bound to come back to earth.
2008-05-07 17:38:29
27.   Just fair
I am of the unscientific and baseless claim that when pitchers throw nothing but strikes vs. this "patient lineup", their up shit creek.
2008-05-07 17:38:57
28.   Zack
Tomorrow is Byrd vs. Mussina, which could be a really painful game for fans of both teams...
2008-05-07 17:39:13
29.   williamnyy23
22 By your definition (the context you provided), those who forecast negative events based on evidence are all pessimists. The key word, however, is tendency. If the Yankees had a better defense, healthy offense and stability in the rotation, my "tendency" wouldn't be to predict negative events.

Like or not, there are many negatives about this team now. A realistic discussion can't avoid them. I have no problem with those who prefer to cheerlead, but that doesn't mean other conversation is taking pleasure in failure.

2008-05-07 17:39:49
30.   williamnyy23
28 That's pessimism!
2008-05-07 17:41:38
31.   williamnyy23
26 Undoubtedly...even bad pitchers have good strecthes though. More importantly, the Yankees have already made crappy pitchers look good, so we shouldn't be surprised. With Arod and Posada down, this team isn't going to hit many lefties. Call that pessimistic if you want.
2008-05-07 17:43:10
32.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
PLEASE pinch-hit for Ensberg here!!
2008-05-07 17:44:17
33.   Just fair
27 There, their, they're. D'oh.
It would be nice if Morgan got a hit here.
2008-05-07 17:46:11
34.   williamnyy23
31 This inning is the perfect illustration. Instead of Arod and Posada, the Yankees have Ensberg and Molina in the lineup. Last year, the Yankees offense was the biggest factor in the team winning 93 games. The two biggest contributors by far were Arod and Posada. Removing them from the team would be crippling if other things were going well.
2008-05-07 17:48:17
35.   Zack
29 Yes, the tendency to emphasize ONLY the negative, which is what you do. Its not at all the same thing as the analogy you offered. If you showed a consistent tendency to predict negative results/focus on negatives based on evidence, that would be pessimism. However, if you showed a tendency to weigh both sides, offer a few positives here and there, and didn't ONLY spout doom and gloom, well, then it would be a different story

Oh well, no matter,

2008-05-07 17:48:29
36.   williamnyy23
Why is a conversation between Arod and Pettitte so intriguing?
2008-05-07 17:49:32
37.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
37 surely more interesting than the powerful one-hit offense on display...
2008-05-07 17:51:25
38.   williamnyy23
35 Maybe we are watching different games? I guess I could let everyone know I think this Wang fellow is a pretty good pitcher, but I think everyone knows that already. I don't find that to be an interesting discussion, but you can certainly point that stuff out.
2008-05-07 17:52:18
39.   williamnyy23
37 Definitely to them...neither seems to concerned by the tenor of the game.
2008-05-07 17:53:22
40.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
38 personally I like the Felix Unger-Oscar Madison dynamic of you two posting, so consider that you have fans and keep up the bickering! as stated, deifnatley more interesting than watching Ensberg strike out..
2008-05-07 17:53:34
41.   williamnyy23
Why would anyone watch these two clowns talk about anything, not to mention finance?
2008-05-07 17:54:46
42.   williamnyy23
40 Glad I can entertain ;) Personally, I don't mind that others employ a different style or tone. I'd much rather analyze the Yankees than other BBites.
2008-05-07 17:55:26
43.   williamnyy23
40 I love the Odd Couple by the way...simply evoking the image of Felix and Oscar lifts ths spirits a bit.
2008-05-07 17:56:39
44.   Zack
38 Well, I don't think anyone could really take much out of this game, but on the other hand, I'm not forecasting the end of this team's chances or harping over and over again about how awful and terrible and stinky they are.

on the other hand, I do agree with you on Lee, which is a stance that seems to contradict your normal pessimism! Lee clearly is doing something right this season, and while I highly doubt it lasts, the Yankees are clearly running into him at the wrong time, which combined with their struggles, is not a good thing...

2008-05-07 17:58:53
45.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
43 Oh yeah, classic 70s sitcom in an era when there were many. Still would rather watch that or the Jeffersons than anything on today...including this game, Wang excpeted..
2008-05-07 17:58:55
46.   Just fair
The 08 Yankees and being over 500 are an odd couple.
2008-05-07 17:59:27
47.   williamnyy23
Here's some optimism...hustle like that has the tendency to lead to something good happening. Thanfully, Matsui is up next.
2008-05-07 17:59:55
48.   Just fair
And now instead of A-Rod, the struggling Frankenshelly. Bullocks.
2008-05-07 18:00:44
49.   williamnyy23
47 Scratch that...it's Shelley.
2008-05-07 18:01:58
50.   Just fair
Pasta Marte. HMMMMM
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-07 18:05:09
51.   williamnyy23
Hmmm...think positive...at least Lee threw some pitches in that inning.
2008-05-07 18:05:12
52.   tommyl
That's a nasty, nasty curveball.
2008-05-07 18:06:12
53.   ChrisS
awesome. just f'n awesome.
2008-05-07 18:06:53
54.   tommyl
53 I can't get mad at Matsui there, that thing broke about 4 feet.
2008-05-07 18:07:34
55.   SF Yanks
Lee does NOT seem like a good pitcher. What the hell is happening?
2008-05-07 18:08:20
56.   tommyl
55 I think the entire American League would disagree with you. He has yet to give up a run on the road this year.
2008-05-07 18:08:42
57.   ChrisS
54 I'm not mad at Matsui so much, that was a sick pitch, but that's just what I expect out of this offense.

And mlb.tv is pissing me off.

2008-05-07 18:09:44
58.   tommyl
57 You should see the pitch trajectory on Gameday. It looked like a videogame pitch from RBI baseball.
2008-05-07 18:10:16
59.   tommyl
Meanwhile, CMW showing how to have a low pitch inning.
2008-05-07 18:11:26
60.   51cq24
nice play by a shitty player
2008-05-07 18:11:31
61.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Wang really is keeping this staff together, too bad they can't even get him 3 runs to avoid the L...
2008-05-07 18:11:40
62.   Mattpat11
Cliff Lee is doing something nefarious. I see no other explanation.
2008-05-07 18:12:35
63.   tommyl
60 You think Robinson Cano is a shitty player? Are you on crack? Last year he was the second most valuable 2B in baseball.
2008-05-07 18:12:51
64.   tommyl
62 Damn Yankees?
2008-05-07 18:13:06
65.   Mattpat11
58 Cliff Lee's established career of not being good trumps that for me.
2008-05-07 18:15:40
66.   ChrisS
Gawd I hate John Sterling. Don't tease me you bastard.
2008-05-07 18:17:02
67.   51cq24
63 i was kidding. i even have a cano 22 t shirt. but he is absurdly frustrating to watch at this point (not on defense though).
2008-05-07 18:20:36
68.   Just fair
3-1 Pitch. You can really drive your pitch. Engsberg hits it 20 feet. Bring back the Mariners. Lee and the 3rd place Indians are out of our League. BLEH. This is frustrating.
2008-05-07 18:21:00
69.   williamnyy23
When does Seattle come back to town?
2008-05-07 18:23:43
70.   51cq24
was the curve to k matsui last inning his only off-speed pitch all night?
2008-05-07 18:23:57
71.   Just fair
69 Next year, Unless we're both in the post-season. : )
2008-05-07 18:24:15
72.   williamnyy23
68 The scary thing is the Yankees have now lost two games with their best pitchers. Now, you have Moose (who has been good, but is far from automatic), Rasner and Igawa. With the offense still mired in a season long slump, the Yankees are really in a dangerous spot.
2008-05-07 18:24:43
73.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
wotta sad game..and only 70posts here at the Banter on a slow Thursday morning..think i'll go get some freshly squeezed mango juice and then do some work..at least can watch Kei Igawa live Saturday morning! can't wait!
2008-05-07 18:25:13
74.   51cq24
it's 3 runs william give them a chance. you can be pessimistic, so am i, but they haven't lost
2008-05-07 18:28:13
75.   tommyl
73 One is the loneliest number...
2008-05-07 18:28:34
76.   Mattpat11
71 Next week
2008-05-07 18:36:44
77.   williamnyy23
74 True... I don't see them scoring three runs, but it's not impossible.
2008-05-07 18:38:12
78.   williamnyy23
At least the Yankees seem to have the dribbler down the line down.
2008-05-07 18:38:45
79.   Just fair
76 Yup. Missed that one. I read schedules like the Yankees hit Lee. Not good.
2008-05-07 18:40:21
80.   Mattpat11
I'm really, really not a fan of Duncan cleaning up.
2008-05-07 18:41:52
81.   Just fair
Does the 4 hole in the Yanks lineup seriously have to be Duncan. A guy who just hasn't done much in the bigs. I don't get it.
2008-05-07 18:43:54
82.   williamnyy23
81 Girardi's splitting the lefties, and Duncan is the best RH bat right now...which I think says it all.

Outside of moving Matsui up one slot, I don't see what else could be done, except maybe Melky in the clean-up slot.

2008-05-07 18:43:54
83.   Mattpat11
81 I don't think Girardi likes Matsui, to be honest.
2008-05-07 18:47:36
84.   Mattpat11
82 I don't think better hitters like Matsui and Cabrera should hit lower in the lineup than Duncan. Its not like Duncan is hitting, so you're putting a righty there for the sake of having a righty. Its like bringing in Felix Heredia because he throws with his left hand,
2008-05-07 18:48:27
85.   williamnyy23
83 Why do you think that? He should love him...Mastui and Melky have been the only consistent hitters all season.
2008-05-07 18:50:27
86.   Just fair
[83) Did Godzilla borrow his "Girls of Dolphin Stadium" calendar and fail to return it?
2008-05-07 18:51:12
87.   williamnyy23
84 True, but Melky and Matsui have struggled a bit against lefties this year, so you are making things easy for the opposing manager by stacking them together.

The bottom line is this isn't a very good offense against lefties. The Yankees are not going to win many games when they face a southpaw.

2008-05-07 18:53:06
88.   Mattpat11
85 Its only recently he's figured out that Matsui can hit left handed pitching fairly well. He sat him against Sowers for Christsakes.
2008-05-07 18:53:17
89.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
86 ba-dum-dum-CHA! Thank you, what a great audience, take my wife,please!
2008-05-07 18:55:13
90.   Just fair
A hail Molina. Wow.
2008-05-07 18:55:20
91.   Mattpat11
87 I'd argue that you are making things easier for the opposing manager by putting Shelley Duncan in the four hole.
2008-05-07 18:55:23
92.   williamnyy23
Great play by Molina!
2008-05-07 18:57:12
93.   williamnyy23
91 Duncan did hit lefties pretty well last season, albeit in a small sample. Of course, the small sample works both ways as Shelley has about 20 ABs this season. I don't think it's horrible to have Duncan batting cleanup considering the circumstances.
2008-05-07 18:58:19
94.   Just fair
[89 I just flew in from Cleveland and boy are my arms tired.
90 All hail Molina. Geez.
2008-05-07 18:58:36
95.   williamnyy23
Red Sox have come all the way back to tie...they could be off to the races.
2008-05-07 18:59:09
96.   Shaun P
The odds on Albaladejo being the reliever sent down when Igawa is recalled just skyrocketed, huh? Sheesh.

Fortunately, Hafner is more dead then Giambi, Cano, and the Yanks vs LHP. Speaking of that . . .

87 As a team, vs LHP, the Yanks are hitting .230/.311/.310 in 313 ABs (not including tonight). Damn, that sucks. The troublesome part of that is the near total lack of power. Maybe its just small sample size. But its bound to improve.

If this thing reaches Ensberg, Girardi has got to call on Betemit to pinch hit vs the RHP, no?

Admittedly,

2008-05-07 19:00:28
97.   williamnyy23
96 It should improve a little, but not much. I don't people realize how crippling the lose of Arod AND Posada is. Without them, the Yankees are an 80ish win team.
2008-05-07 19:02:09
98.   Just fair
95 10 games back by Memorial day would certainly put a damper on things. Now that's pessimism. Or could it be optimism at this point?
2008-05-07 19:02:24
99.   51cq24
97 i think people realize
2008-05-07 19:03:12
100.   williamnyy23
98 I think we need to be realistic about this team and realize that a lot has to change significantly for them to hang with the Red Sox.

Optimism to me is the fact that no other teams seems capable of running away with the wild card.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-07 19:05:15
101.   Mattpat11
93 I think at the end of the day, Duncan is little more than a fringe major leaguer. If he's not hitting Its not safe to assume he's just going to eventually figure it out and start hitting.

I don't think he should hit in front of the BA and OBP leader of the AL because Duncan is righthanded and Matsui is only hitting lefties at a .340 clip this year.

2008-05-07 19:06:48
102.   williamnyy23
101 He only has 20 ABs spaced out over a month. You can't draw any conclusions from that. Swapping the two wouldn't have any meaningful impact on this offense.
2008-05-07 19:07:13
103.   SF Yanks
I'm in an argument with my brother right now about why it's not cool to be biased like the announcers for the Chi Sox. He seems to think that it should be cool to openly root for the team you announce for; however, it's not and I cannot seem to explain why. Anyone care to chime in and help me to explain why announcer's like Hawk should take a long walk off a short pier? I know it's not professional, but he's not buying that one.
2008-05-07 19:08:32
104.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
103 It's not the homerism so much as the cringe-inducing expressions and "good 'ol Boy"-isms that drive people crazy..
2008-05-07 19:08:52
105.   Mattpat11
102 But you can draw enough of a conclusion to put him in one of the most important spots in the lineup ahead of the batting and OBP leader?
2008-05-07 19:09:07
106.   williamnyy23
103 I agree with your brother. Teams are so aligned with their regional networks that the days of impartial broadcasts are long gone. If fans of a team want homers, I have no problem with that. Announcers are not journalists...they are team employees.
2008-05-07 19:10:19
107.   williamnyy23
105 No...I just think Girardi realizes his offense flat out sucks against lefties and he is trying something new. I don't really think there is a combo that will work without Arod and Posada anyway.
2008-05-07 19:10:22
108.   51cq24
103 you can root and still be objective. what about people here? i think your brother is right on that.
2008-05-07 19:11:49
109.   tommyl
Cano has had markedly better ABs tonight at least.
2008-05-07 19:12:14
110.   SF Yanks
104 106 108 Ugh! Not helping MY case, but thanks anyways. I will NOT show him your responses :)
2008-05-07 19:12:28
111.   williamnyy23
109 Hmmm...I don't know about that.
2008-05-07 19:13:37
112.   Just fair
Witih Moose, Igawa, and Rasner upcoming, I don't like our chances of beginning another 3 game winning streak tomorrow. Oh well. Pretty miserable game, ey. So says my wife.
2008-05-07 19:13:50
113.   tommyl
111 He's worked counts, he's fouling off pitches a few games ago that would have been either missed or just dribbled into play. He looks smoother and more in balance to me.
2008-05-07 19:14:20
114.   Bama Yankee
103 I think that with the advent of the Extra Innings package and MLB.TV the announcers should realize that they are broadcasting to fans of both teams. I don't mind announcers being slight homers, but over-the-top guys like Hawk can turn off viewers of the other team. People pay good money for these premium services and therefore deserve a little more balanced broadcast, IMO.
2008-05-07 19:15:42
115.   tommyl
I hope when Alex comes back people finally appreciate just what he provides to this team.
2008-05-07 19:16:22
116.   Shaun P
95 I know things look bleak, and the indicators aren't exactly positive, but:

DUDE, ITS ONLY MAY 7TH!

The Sox are not almighty and unstoppable. In fact, on the pitching side, they've been a bit lucky so far. Maybe more than that. Dice-K's ERA is 2.43, but based on his peripherals, should be 4.44. Wakefield's ERA is 3.33, but based on his peripherals, should be 4.85. Lester's ERA is 3.94, but based on his peripherals, should be 5.28. That's 3/5ths of their rotation right there. Stuff like that tends to even out over time. (Numbers are FIP from THT's stats page.)

96 A-Rod will be back next week. Its not like he's out for 2 months.

IMHO, what's really killing this offense right now is that 2 of the 3 guys at the top are not taking pitches, and are not walking: Jeter and Abreu. Jeter has walked 4 times this year; 2 times in April. Abreu walked only 8 times all April (he's got 5 so far in May in 6 games now, a good sign).

Jeter has never, ever, had a month in his career where he didn't miss time due to injury (or the "month" was a day in March or October) and he only walked twice. Even in his horrible slump in 2004 he managed to coax 3 walks that May. The Captain has been a singles hitter, and nothing else, this year, and that to me is very troubling.

Nonetheless, I think he and the rest of the offense will come around.

2008-05-07 19:22:39
117.   williamnyy23
116 I know the date, but I also trust my baseball instincts. If this was any other team, I wouldn't have much hope for them.

Yes, Arod will be back, but how long will he need before he gets his swing down? Also, is he going to be the 170 OPS+ MVP or the 130-140 even year Alex. If the latter, he still may not be able to make up for the longer-term loss of Posada. If the Yankees keep dropping games, before you know it, we'll be scoreboard watching for the A's.

As for Jeter, well, I have to admit I am a little concerned about him. At age-34, we simply can't write in a 120 OPS+ as a given.

2008-05-07 19:23:04
118.   Mattpat11
105 Its the third time he's done that. It might be time to try and hit the best hitter on the team before the bench player.
2008-05-07 19:27:17
119.   williamnyy23
118 Matsui had been clean-up the past three games and will be against every right hander. The last time Shelley was a clean-up batter he had a hit during a rally and scored a run. I am not sure why you are harping on this issue. The bottom line is the Yankees do not have a good left handed hitting lineup. It's bad and isn't going to improve until Arod and then Posada return.
2008-05-07 19:33:42
120.   tommyl
118 Didn't Shelley hit a double tonight? Its not like the rest of the lineup was pounding the ball.
2008-05-07 19:47:19
121.   williamnyy23
Kim Jones asks some pretty stupid questions.
2008-05-07 19:54:25
122.   Mattpat11
119

I'm just getting the impression that Girardi has decided Matsui can't hit lefthanders, and that annoys me.

2008-05-07 19:55:51
123.   williamnyy23
122 I don't think that's the case. We are talking about whether he bats 5th or 4th, not whether he is in the lineup or not.

Man, I wish it mattered!

2008-05-07 20:03:34
124.   Mattpat11
123 He also sat him against Sowers.
2008-05-07 20:03:45
125.   Zack
Wait, the Red Sox just lost in the 9th, I thought they simply don't lose those games William and thats what makes them so much better?
2008-05-07 20:06:59
126.   Shaun P
103 114 I'll second that, and add that many of the greatest announcers in MLB history have been non-homers. They were baseball fans, and objective about their employer, above all else. Its worth listening to them because they add something to the broadcast.

A homer adds nothing, especially after you're heard them once. You can get the same commentary from a drunk guy in the bleachers. I could go on air right now and be a homer, easily. Anyone could. I could not go on air and be Vin Scully (or Jon Miller, or Ernie Harwell, or whoever will have the most impact on your brother). Who would your brother rather listen to?

And, given how personally annoyed I've been, listening to guys like Hawk, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It sucks. Ask your brother how much he'd enjoy listening to the biggest homer of the team he dislikes most, calling all of the game between his favorite team and that disliked team. A homer gets really old, really fast, in that situation.

2008-05-07 20:21:19
127.   williamnyy23
125 How silly. The Red Sox have already taken two of three IN Detroit. If you can't see the difference between how the two teams are playing right now, well, I envy you. I'd like to be able to ignore the obvious warning signs myself.
2008-05-07 20:33:03
128.   Zack
127 You said the Red Sox simply don't lose games like the Yankees lost last night, games where they were winning in the late innings, and that was what separates them and why the Yanks can't catch them. I simply am pointing out, yet again, that you are choosing to see things very selectively.

Of course the Yankees are scuffling and look like crap. But the Sox also recently got swept by the Rays, and have major BP issues and are not nearly as good away as home.

2008-05-07 20:48:08
129.   OldYanksFan
127 Oops
Tigers blow four-run lead but rally behind Polanco to beat Red Sox. Placido Polanco hit a broken-bat, tiebreaking single with two outs in the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 10-9 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
2008-05-07 22:15:10
130.   3rd gen yankee fan
bickering on the Banter
2008-05-07 22:17:44
131.   Andre
Geez, William, you're always so doom and gloom. I can't think of a time when you've really been positive on this board (I'm sure you have been, but I'm exaggerating a bit for effect). Yes, the team sucks right now. Yes, they may suck for the rest of the season and could finish in the bottom half of their division. BUT they could also just be having a poor start (like they did the past few years). Why the need to keep stating the obvious (about their current suckitude)? You sound like my Red Sox friends circa 2002, 2003, beginning of 2004. Nothing you or I can say or do to make them play better, so what's the point in continually heaping on other posters who are trying to find any bright spots or positive developments? Sometimes for the sake of keeping a lively discussion, you might want to say your piece & then move on to another topic. Continually posting comments about the writing on the wall & the warning signs doesn't really leave much room for lively banter.
2008-05-07 22:42:51
132.   SF Yanks
126 Thanks Shaun. That really helps put it into perspective. I will ask him those questions tomorrow and tell you what was said. :)
2008-05-08 06:42:48
133.   markp
The announcer I (and a great many others) liked to listen to most was Phil Rizzuto. There has never been a more blatant homer in the history of announcing. He wouldn't even discuss anything happening in 'that other league' (the NL), got depressed when the Yanks lost, and cheered on any Yankee exploits.
I think team announcers shouldn't repress homerism if that's how they feel. If they don't feel it, then don't. Artificial objectivity is just as annoying as Hawk Harrelson's rooting for the team he's covering-if not moreso.

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