Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Dog Day Afternoon
2008-06-09 13:34
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yankee bats let Mike Mussina down and Mo Rivera got tagged for another homer as the Royals beat the Spanks 3-2 today at the Stadium.  Mussina was terrific, allowing just two runs in eight innings (89 pitches total).  Alex Rodriguez cracked a two-run dinger to tie the game in the seventh.  But Jose Guillen hit a lead-off homer against Rivera in the ninth.  Mo yelled as Guillen circled the bases.  The frustraing game ended fittingly when Melky Cabrera tapped out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.  All of which will make for a long trip to the coast.

One step forward, one step back.  Hard to know what you make of these guys, but the record says it all: 2-2 split against an awful Kansas City team and 32-32 overall.

Dag, it's hot. 

2008-06-09 14:14:32
1.   Raf
Sliding into first slows you down. There is no reason to slide into 1b unless the first baseman is pulled off the bag, and you're trying to avoid a tag.
2008-06-09 14:52:56
2.   Kered Retej
1 Hasn't Melky done this enough now that someone in the organization can smack him upside the head and tell him to knock it off already? He should be fined and have to do extra laps or something every time it happens. It frustrates me to no end.
2008-06-09 16:52:34
3.   a O
What I make of these guys is that they're not very good. Both the offense and the rotation are starting to come around, but they've got a long way to go. I'm not optimistic they'll be playing past the regular season. Their pitching just isn't as good as the Jays, Rays, and Sox.

And re Melky: You can pretty squarely and obviously blame Girardi for letting that foolishness continue.

2008-06-09 17:13:33
4.   Mattpat11
I'm sure glad that the Yankees pinch ran Betemit in the ninth. Giambi couldn't have stood around with the pinache that Wilson did.

I've given up on trying to figure out some the rational behind Joe Girardi's managing. He just does stuff.

2008-06-09 17:24:11
5.   yankster
4 (panache)
2008-06-09 17:43:18
6.   joe in boston
4 "He just does stuff". Perfect. That's the best thing that I can echo to describe Girardi. Strange year this season.
Strange year.
2008-06-09 17:58:59
7.   rufuswashere
A particularly dispiriting loss. I have been morose all day.

Time for me to get a life.

2008-06-09 18:02:21
8.   Mattpat11
5 damnit.
2008-06-09 18:16:26
9.   Ace Rothstein
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

I really wish the tough would just get going though, huh - that would be juice.

2008-06-09 18:29:16
10.   Chyll Will
4 Yeah? Giambi's mustache has more panache than the entire bench... (are we gonna name that thing or what?)

8 "dammit" has more panache, too >;)

2008-06-09 18:34:29
11.   horace-clarke-era
It takes real panache to read 'when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor' and not blink.

I thought a pinache was that Mexican thing you smash at parties with a stick, and free agent set-up men fall out.

2008-06-09 18:39:56
12.   Chyll Will
11 I filed that next to "is the Space Pope reptillian?" >;)
2008-06-09 20:12:09
13.   Ace Rothstein

I didn't think it was that obscure of a reference, course out context it might not be so striking, but still.

2008-06-09 20:15:05
14.   OldYanksFan
Man... did anyone predict what would happen in Detroit? Miggy Cabrera is a stud, but for $19m/yr, he has a sub .800 OPS so far this year. Meanwhile Willis game up 8 ERs in 1.1 IP today, boosting his ERA to over 10. They have $30m wrapped up in him.

Baseball can be a tough game to predict.

2008-06-09 21:21:15
15.   yankee23
11 Forget it, he's rolling.
2008-06-10 05:30:23
16.   rbj
14 I'm glad the Yankees didn't do a damn thing to get Dontrelle. Now that is a bust.
2008-06-10 05:34:04
17.   horace-clarke-era

Belushi. Got it. My bad. Came on heels of pinache and seemed to indicate a plague descending! Ace Roolz!

OYF, join me again in the 'it could be a lot worse' room. I've been saying 'Be glad we aren't Tiger fans!' for two months.

In a weird, weird AL season, with the 'Three Kids Experiment' started (and really badly) and a new manager and two HUGE injuries (+ one to PKH), and no luck/success out of our back-up 1st base, DH, right handers, and our two top starters both in shaky shape, we are not remotely out of the playoff hunt in a year that needed to be seen as transitional, once Cash made the decision not to go for Santana.

And if we MISS the post-season (The Horror!) in the end-of-Torre-era transition, do we line everyone up and shoot them?

The fury and contempt and sense of entitlement coming off a segment of Yankeedom is, I suppose, predictable, but not very appealing. There's a new 'He SUCKS!' figure every 2nd day, it seems.

2008-06-10 06:21:06
18.   buffalocharlie

There was no reason for Detroit to sign Dontrelle long-term. Let him a season in the A.L. and earn his long-term deal.

Miggy should be OK, but that is a large contract indeed.

2008-06-10 07:45:05
19.   Raf
14 Probably coudln't see Miggy doing as bad as he as, but with Dontrelle, the signs were there.

17 I don't think it's a sense of entitlement. The Yanks should be playing better, and Jeter, Melky, Cano, Wang & Pettitte need to step up their games

2008-06-10 08:28:25
20.   horace-clarke-era
19 Raf, I passed on engaging on this with you yesterday, and I'm not going to make a lot of it now, but 'entitlement' for me has to do with not acknowledging that people can slump for a month (or more), they can have a bad season, they can get old, injured, fatigued. New managers can need time. Kids can need time. A team can underperform ... or outperform. This is why sport is unpredictable, why we follow it. Entitlement for me, suggests a feeling OUR team ought to be immune to this (because we pay da big bucks? Because we've made it so many times in a row?)

We are, along with your list of 'bad boys' getting great early seasons from Damon, Matsui, Giambi (impressively now) and Alex is just fine as will be, I suspect, Posada. Mussina is a huge, wonderful surprise, Rasner takes a bit of the edge off Hughes and Kennedy. Joba is fun and may be good. Some of these guys will (hate to be the one to tell you) SLUMP for awhile in the next 100 games.

"Should be playing better"? Want to run down the list of AL players and teams to which that applies? Along with the surprises on the upside? It is a long season, people fade, people arrive. Entitlement suggests it can't happen here. It does, it will, this year's team was and is a prime candidate to fall back after the hold-the-kids decision, and so far they have NOT fallen back so appallingly.

2008-06-10 08:41:35
21.   Shaun P
14 17 Detroit isn't even that bad off.

Imagine if we were fans of a team that:

Is in dead last place, with the worst record in the majors.
With a payroll of almost $120M.
That expected to contend ("everyone" said so!).
That traded away their 21-year-old MLB-ready best prospect (and a bunch of other prospects and quality guys) for a big-name pitcher who's been eh at best.
Who has a DH who's hitting .220/.265/.330 (OPS+: 64).
Who just benched their starting 1B (salary: $13M, OPS+: 90) to willingly play Miggy Cairo every day at 1B (OPS+: 50), because they have no other options.
And who just wasted their first round draft pick on a college reliever, who, at best, can only help out the one part of the team that's actually performing OK, and gives little to no help for contending in the future.

Friends, I give you, the Seattle Mariners.

2008-06-10 09:10:32
22.   Raf
20 Entitlement for me, suggests a feeling OUR team ought to be immune to this (because we pay da big bucks? Because we've made it so many times in a row?)

The expectations of a Yankees fan is a bit different than, say, a Pirates fan. Should the Yanks be immune to slumps and injuries? Of course not. We've seen major injuries over the years, and we have seen the Yanks weather them. We've seen slumps before, they happen, the Yanks have weathered them.

Maybe we have a different interpretation of "entitlement," but I don't think people should idly sit by while players and managers do dumb things.

21 According to USS Mariner, the M's were projected to win 82-83 games if everything went right for them. 83 wins will not be enough to take the AL West. They also said that trading for Bedard will not remedy the other, bigger, issues that they have.

2008-06-10 09:28:42
23.   horace-clarke-era
Bedard was fairly widely seen as one of the 3-4 best starters in the AL going into spring. He has never been 'eh' he has only had health issues, when on the mound he has tended to be outstanding and he was brilliant after the break last year, which gave reason to believe health was stable.

Even Silva was a move that looked not-dreadful in current economics ... he was a 13 game winner in Minny and moving to a weaker division and a serious pitchers' park ought to have made him a safe bet for 200 innings and 13-14 wins as #3-4 starter. So Seattle expected to have a killer 1-2 at top of rotation, a lights-out closer with good set-up men (they still have those). The offence was going to have to scramble or get lucky, but it happens. (They had and have their own kids-in-waiting.) It didn't, or hasn't in this case, and Miggy at first (he won the game last night!) is as clear a signal as the sport allows.

It really will be interesting to see if they start dealing pieces in the next 4-5 weeks or so. Rotoworld says the Blue Jays have backed off interest in Bedard (he isn't what they need, anyhow).

2008-06-10 09:53:18
24.   Raf
Carlos Silva analysis

The problem with the M's trading for Bedard was that they gave up too much for a team that wasn't going anywhere. It's one thing if Bedard was the missing piece, but he wasn't. The M's are still a poor offensive and defensive club.

2008-06-10 11:03:41
25.   horace-clarke-era

Thanks for the Silvanalysis. I don't think it tells anything all that new. The guy was at 950+ innings of decent major league starter. Everyone knows pitchers without power who rely on control (9 walks one season!) have little room if the control slips. The analysis says if they are facing David Ortiz such pitchers (righties) have troubles. Well, duh! Really.

I think the Mariners idea was as I said, a 3rd/4th starter. The analysis you cite says Washburn fits Safeco very well (Silva less so) so call him the planned 4th. As a 4th starter the only thing wrong with the signing is money, and a guy who goes 6+ every time for years is an asset... as the Yankee bullpen knows.

I think a case can be made, obviously, that Bedard joining a team that isn't quite there will not put them there, but I find this thinking a bit odd, too ... this means you don't go after an ace because ... you aren't good? You don't spend money and acquire talent because ... you aren't good?

A front end starter is a SMART pickup, by me. Signing a closer to big bucks on a weak team ... no. An ace. Go for it. You'll be a better team, more appealing to other players, and you'll show your fans you care (attention Jeffrey Loria).

2008-06-10 12:41:25
26.   Raf
25 With Silva, you have a pitcher that the only thing he has going for him is that he throws strikes. He doesn't miss bats, he relies on his defense, currently a M's defense that presumably isn't so good. Early results aren't encouraging.

With Bedard, it's like the Santana trade. Except the Mets were closer to winning the division than the M's are. The M's sacrificed offense, and defense as well as pitching to land Bedard. The talent is there, no doubt, but the M's are playing to win now when they don't have the chance. And this has a chance to bite them in the end, much like the Colon trade benefited the Indians.

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