Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Cellar Dwellers
2005-05-06 04:53
by Alex Belth

In "Annie Hall," Woody Allen's character complains that in Los Angeles all they do is give out awards ("Greatest Fascist Dictator: Adolph Hitler."). These days, all the Yankees do is lose and have meetings. The back cover of the New York Post says it all. There is a photograph of frowing Joe Torre, and the headline reads "Stinko De Mayo." The Yankees lost to the Devil Rays, 6-2, and are now tied with Tampa Bay for last place in the American League East.

Chien-Ming Wang allowed five runs in his second start but from top-to-bottom, the Bombers looked defeated. Gary Sheffield hit a two-run home run; otherwise, the Yankees are playing like a stunned team, unable to get out of their own way. They hit a half a dozen balls on the screws over the past few innings but had nothing to show for it. (The Devil Rays infield made plays the Yankees haven't been able to convert.) Even worse, there were a few mental errors that suggested just how lost the team is. Jorge Posada doubled with one out in the sixth inning. Matsui followed and hit a sharp ground ball to third base. Posada got caught well off second base and was tagged out, an inexusable error. With two outs in the eighth, Aubrey Huff stole second base, and Posada's throw bounced into center field. Why? Nobody covered the bag. The run didn't score, but it was an embarassing moment for Jeter and Cano. One that summed up another awful night for the team.

Kicking the Ka Ka

Last night I turn to Em and say, "You know, this switching of positions doesn't really amount to a whole lot. They are just switching s*** with s***."

"Well, maybe by moving it around, it'll smell less."

"Honey, s*** is s***."

"I can't believe we're having this conversation."

"Hey, if the s*** stinks, smell it."

Actually, her sense of optimism is nothing but endearing. After she allowed me to drone on about why things aren't going to get better anytime soon, about how history is squarely against this team, she said, "Nuts to that," and explained why she isn't losing faith. As she made her case, part of me was thinking, "Poor woman, she doesn't have twenty-five years of experience rooting for a team, she just doesn't know the writing on the wall when she sees it. The poor, naive dear." But another part of me was like, "Who cares? I don't need to convince her of anything. Why do I have to be right here? How is that going to make me, or her, feel any better?" Her enthusiasm and sense that good things will happen is completely endearing and one of the reasons I love her so. So I bit my tongue--momentarily, anyway--and told her that I think she's the greatest, held her hand, and watched Posada get picked off of second.

What Ails Ya

You know when Boss George will erupt? After the Kentucky Derby tomorrow. When that's all said and done, all bets are off. What does Steinbrenner think is wrong with his team? Yesterday, he told Hal Bodley of the USA Today:

"I am concerned because time is getting shorter as each day goes by," he told USA TODAY on Thursday. "We've got to get better, that's for sure. It's never too early. Pitching is my main concern."

..."We're just not getting the pitching," he said. "I don't know whether we have to think of some changes there or what."

..."I think we have a great team, and they'll start pulling together once the pitching goes, then they'll all go. As Joe Torre says, pitching wins it. Pitching is important. We've got to have it."

Joe Sheehan argues it's not simply all about pitching:

The Yankees appear to have finally identified the team's problem: defense. For all the attention being paid to the starting pitching, it's the defense that has been the bigger factor in those 16x runs allowed. They're converting just over 65% of balls in play against them into outs. I went back to 1986 and I can't find a team that converted less than 66% in a full season; under 67% isn't terribly common. The Yankees are on pace to have one of the worst team defenses in recent memory, and they have no obvious way to fix the problem. That doesn't let Kevin Brown off the hook, but it does mean that Yankee pitchers have to be graded on the kind of curve we're not used to employing.

One thing is certain: the Yankees have earned this moment. By watching as their position players got older and more immobile, but misidentifying the problem as a shortage of pitching, rather than defense, and by investing in arms this winter rather than picking up the true center fielder they desperately needed, they made this happen.

Dayn Perry adds:

The current Yankee quandary should serve as a reminder of how terrible their off-season battle plans were. The Yankees knew — or had no reasonable excuse for not knowing — that Williams could no longer handle such a critical defensive position. But instead of heartily pursuing the obvious and highly effective solution to their problem, Carlos Beltran, they frittered away the winter by signing the likes of Jaret Wright (10.07 runs-per-nine, on the DL), Carl Pavano (6.09 runs-per-nine) and the aforementioned Womack. Those decisions were, to be frank, stupid, and the Yankees are now suffering because of them.

The Oakland A's, a team that hasn't been able to hit, is in town for a weekend series. Something's got to give.

2005-05-06 06:22:28
1.   Simone
Yeah, things are bad, but I'm with Em and surprisingly George. If the pitching turns around, the Yankees will get on track. Pavano just needs to win tonight.
2005-05-06 06:32:07
2.   Oscar Azocar
Ugliness, just ugliness, but Yogi did once say "It ain't over untill it's over." It's still a long season (at least I keep telling myself that to keep myself sane). On the flip side, players rarely age gracefully. This could just be like the Ancient Mariners of last year.
2005-05-06 06:36:54
Okay, my grand prognistication that the Yanks would win last night and begin their glorious climb back to the top fo the AL East - was bunkus. I was at the country club playing cards while the game was on and taking piles and piles of scorn from the assembled Yankee haters - loooong night.
Okay, so let's make it tonight, the Yankees Win, theeeeeeeeee Yankeees Win!
2005-05-06 06:45:18
4.   Murray
One of the things I've always feared about this club is watching individual players become old and ineffective. I never wanted to see Rivera's decline. I don't want to see Jeter limited to DH duty like a modern-day Mickey Mantle. I haven't enjoyed watching Bernie Williams's slide past mediocrity. But I'm finding that when they all slouch toward irrelevance like this at the same time, it's sad but much less painful. I guess it's like watching your grandparents' house slip into disrepair as you watch your grandparents slip into senility and ill health. You suddenly care a lot less about the house's condition and upkeep, and you also grow resigned to the idea that the people you love aren't who they used to be. It's easier to let go, and you start to appreciate better days now past.

So this is where we are: there are players we still love, but they aren't who they used to be, and the team isn't what it was. My appreciation for the accomplishments of the past ten years grows each day. My memories of 1998 still make me feel warm on chilly spring mornings. At least we have time to say the proper farewell that we all knew was coming. Give me this long goodbye over another devastating loss like the 2001 World Series any time.

2005-05-06 06:45:22
5.   Suffering Bruin
As a Dodger fan, I just can't tell you how much I miss Kevin Brown.

I just can't.

FWIW, I've only seen the Yankees three times this season so I haven't gotten a feel for how bad the pitching has been outside of reading the stats and watching Baseball Tonight or ESPN where it's all-Yankees-all-the-time but based on what I've seen, this organization needs to shake the glove tree.

2005-05-06 07:10:13
6.   singledd
We have an old team, but thats not why we are losing. Old men RJ and Sheff are doing fine. Is the P, O or D? Well, pitching is ALWAYS a priority. Our offense is underperforming, our D stinks. However, good pitching covers a lot and decent pitching and outstanding offense can over come bad D. So is the P, O or D.

Obviously, it all 3. The O has been worse than the stats, as we have bunched hits/runs in a few games, and lost close ones because NOBODY is hitting in the clutch.

Yogi said something like "99% of the game is physical and the other half is mental". We obviously have talent. But mentally, this team is absolutely defeated. Not by age, or talent, or even the poor performances... it is they have the attitude of a team that is beaten.

Is Giambi having a 'Nomar Effect' on the club? Too many strangers? Too many overpaid, long term contracts? Is Posado just tired of seeing a great team ruined, year after year, by poor upper management? Does Giambi believe his own press?

Whatever it is, with all their faults and holes, this team is simply playing badly BEYOND comprehension. Losing a series to Boston is one thing. But losing to the Rays is another.

The air is out of the balloon. We need to see how they can play when their heads get straight. We need a team Gestalt, a Tony Robbins, a Doctor Phil or maybe a Doctor Ruth. This team is not just losing on the field. They are beaten BEFORE they get on the field.

Swapping players won't help. Talent in not the problem. Chemistry and mental attitude are real, and when neither exist, the unbelieveable, the inconceivable can happen.

Simply look at the Sox pre/post Nomar. They actually lost talent wise... although they improved the D. But look at the difference between those "2 teams". Look familiar?

2005-05-06 07:17:23
7.   Alex Ciepley
Dude, Emily is the best.
2005-05-06 07:23:43
8.   rbj
The offense has some spark of life. Pitching has been inconsistent, at best. Defense has been abysmal. Random thoughts: Good college program, the saying goes, don't rebuild, instead they reload. Well, what the Yankees need to do this year is retool. Wait out some contracts, give kids a chance to play & get major league experience. No one wins every year (except for the Braves, but then they tend to leave the playoffs real quick). I think we fans, along with the media, are partly to blame for demanding that George go out and get the best team every year. That leads to a collection of pricey veterans who don't necessarily play well together. I was impressed with the way the Devil Rays basically outhustled the Yankees. I'll take a bad season if there's a plan to be back in contention next year.
2005-05-06 07:25:41
9.   KJC
Maybe Emily's just happy that Tony Clark is doing OK out in AZ...
2005-05-06 07:30:14
10.   Jen
Just noticed who's pitching tonight. It's the battle of Alyssa Milano's exes.
2005-05-06 07:37:05
11.   jeroboam
"It can't get any worse for us."--Tom Gordon.
Ya wanna bet?
1. Suppose Posada, Giambi, Cano, Matsui, and Williams keep going about the way they've been going so far. Not implausible (with the possible exception of Matsui).
2. Suppose Mussina, Pavano, Brown, and the whole bullpen also stay at about the level of performance the've shown up until now. Anyone doubt that that's more than just possible?
3. Suppose Wright's newest injury isn't so minor, and he can't really contribute anything for a longish part of the season. Could easily prove to be the case.
4. Suppose Wang (I won't even talk about Henn) is simply the so-so pitcher that he looks like. Highly probable.
5. Suppose Randy Johnson's age catches up to him enough that he loses a significant number of starts this season. At least possible.
6. Suppose Jeter and/or Rodriguez and/or Sheffield have one or more extended slumps--if nothing else just from the strain of trying to carry the rest of this team. Wouldn't bet against it.
Each of these things is somewhere between very possible and very likely. Things can't get any worse? Ha!
2005-05-06 07:41:46
12.   Murray
George Steinbrenner is the only one who seems to demand that the Yankees win every year. Being a native of Cleveland, he seems to think that New Yorkers won't tolerate anything less than success, but that's not true. We won't tolerate years of losing, but we're perceptive enough to understand the nature of team rebuilding. It takes a little time. When you've been "rebuilding" for 13 years like the Pirates, it's one thing, but fans of the Mets and Yankees alike have always demonstrated their patience with the cyclical nature of sports success.
2005-05-06 07:42:30
13.   wishama
It is getting frustrating reading the comments here, because it seems that many
fans are okay with losing because these players were once good. The memories of championship teams and players will never go away--I enjoy every one of them. But unfortunately those memories are starting to be replaced by scenes of watching these guys fail day after day after day.

It's time for the fans and, most importantly, the press, to start holding
people accountable. If a $200M payroll is producing a last place team, who
is to blame? Cashman, certainly. But Torre is too. No one in NY, it seems, is willing to criticize St. Joe (or Mel, or, God forbid!, Don Mattingly). Joe managed a bunch of all-stars to multiple championships, but the true test of a manager/leader is how they do when they are not given as much (just look at Lou Piniella). This season, Joe is failing.

As much as baseball has an emotional pull for all of us, it is also a business. In the real world, if management isn't producing results, they're gone. More than a shift in the line-up, maybe what we really need is a shift in management.

2005-05-06 07:44:59
14.   Cliff Corcoran
Re: #2: Pavano should not be listed with Moose and Brown, he's been much better.

Re: #3: Who said Wright's injury was minor. Torn scar tissue was a best-case scenario, but anything involving a pitching shoulder that's been operated on multiple times is not minor. His DL stay should be measured in months, not weeks.

2005-05-06 07:57:10
15.   Murray
OK, fine, it's nice to hold somebody accountable, but it won't change the present state of affairs. The Yankees have an inflexible roster and an inflexible payroll. Couple those problems to a barren farm system and you have an explanation for the current situation, but so what? Sure, you can blame people, but that isn't going to make this team better right now. Businesses that were run into the ground through poor management don't recover overnight.

Also, it's time to stop blaming Cashman. Cashman was basically stripped of whatever decision-making power he had after the 2001 World Series. Steinbrenner and the Tampa front office are the ones who wanted all the old guys.

2005-05-06 07:58:59
16.   jedi
5 Quick Fixes:

1. bernie needs to put some viagra in his right arm. I say bernie has been
on a decline since he got lasik surgery on his eyes. Bring back the 3rd grade glasses bernie, please!

2. Tony Womack needs to give Mo Rivera his glove back and smack him for even offering it to him. The converstaion should have went like this:

Womack: "Hey, I need a bigger glove for the outfield. Mine is too small."
Rivera: (pops out from back of the clubhouse) "Hey, you can use mine."
Womack: (in disbelief) "Really!? That's really nice. You think it would be ok?"
Rivera: "Sure, no problem."
Womack: "But, this glove is sacred, I just ca...>
Rivera: (stops him mid-sentence and whispers in his ear) "Don't worry, I'm not being called in anytime soon...(snickers)"
Womack: (laughing)"Ha! That's a good one, Moe! OK, Cool, thanks!!!"
(temporary silence)
Womack: (Suddenly, smacks Rivera across the head with glove) "DON'T EVER LET ME CATCH YOU GIVING YOUR GLOVE AWAY, AGAIN!" (looking down at Rivera) "...AND STOP THAT B*TCH CRYING LIKE YOU DID ON THE PITCHING MOUND AFTER BOONEY HIT THAT HR!"

3. Fire Girardi or put him on the field. He can at least run the bases better and throw people out at 2b. He's no good on the bench giving Torre back rubs. That's saved for Bubba. Still don't know how he made the final roster.

4. New Position Shift

1b Tino
2b Cano
3b Sojo
CF Derek Jeter
LF Matsui
RF Sheff
C Girardi
DH Giambi

5. Please let Bellamy Road win this weekend. We need the money!!!

2005-05-06 08:02:51
17.   Sully
"So I bit my tongue--momentarily, anyway--and told her that I think she's the greatest, held her hand, and watched Posada get picked off of second."

That's the best sentence I have ever read. I am serious.

2005-05-06 08:22:49
18.   daven1
I agree with everything that is being written about the Yankee defense.

However, I have to say that the Tropicana astroturf is an abomination. There is a reason the Devil Rays have the second highest home batting average, after the Mile High Rockies.

And because the Yankees are so old, they are not able to play defense on such a fast surface and their offense is unable to take the same advantage of it that the Devil Rays can.

2005-05-06 08:22:56
19.   SteveF
That sentence was choice. This might be a somewhat insensitive comment given recent history, but it brought to mind that last scene in Fight Club when Edward Norton and Helena Bonham-Carter are holding hands while they watch buildings in the financial district collapse.

Perhaps I'm remembering the scene wrong, but that's what came to mind.

2005-05-06 08:52:22
20.   Oscar Azocar
Out of curiosity, I just checked Brad Halsey's stats:
2-0, 3.09 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 22K, 3BB, 6HR

Randy Johnson
2-2, 3.74 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 43K, 9BB, 6HR

I konw its way early for comparisons, but are we better off with Johnson? Granted, Vasquez is having a so-so year again.

I'm not going to put Brad Halsey in the same echelon as Johnson, but I'm just upset that the Yanks in recent years have never been patient in grooming a prospect in the 5 spot in the rotation. Also, I don't think they've had the patience to groom guys in the pen either. I'm sure they could use guys like Yhency Brazoban (Kevin Brown Trade) and Damaso Marte (OK, he's having a so-so year right now, but he's a lefty, has been killer on lefties the past few years, and was traded for Enrique Wilson!!!).

2005-05-06 09:08:58
21.   wishama
Murray, I think holding someone--Torre--accountable actually could change the present state of affairs. Many fans, including many who post here, and
the press, spent the off-season praising our revamped pitching staff,
predicting Giambi's return to greatness, etc. I can't remember how many posts I read here comparing our lineup to Boston's, and Womack aside, many argued that ours was far superior. So either a team full of supposedly great players (which we assume they are since we pay them so much) all of a
sudden turned into Chico's Bail Bonds, or lack of management and leadership is killing us.

I agree with your statements about the roster, payroll, and farm system
problems. And I'll concede that Cashman is likely following George's commands. But I do not think that Torre and his coaching staff have a clue as to how to turn this group of players into a functional, winning team.
And that is a problem. There are many good players on that team, and there is no reason why we should be tied for last place in the AL East, with the second worst record in the AL.

2005-05-06 09:23:53
22.   Dan M
Murray, I agree about the misconception that we expect winners every year. Yes, we're Yankees fans, but we're also Giants and Jets fans, and Rangers, Isles and Devils fans (OK, so maybe the Devils are a bad example), and Knicks and Nets fans. If those teams haven't prepared us for losing, and crushing collapses, what hasn't?
2005-05-06 09:42:59
23.   Knuckles
Our season can be described by any number of Woody Allen movies...

Pitchers' attitudes: Take the Money and Run

Second Base: The Purple Rose of (Miguel) Cairo

All the position switches: Bananas

Tiger Wang (hopefully): Sleeper

When our season will end: September

Our Defense: Crimes and Misdemeanors

Next Steinbrenner eruption: Bullets Over Broadway (or) Manhattan Murder Mystery

Our DH's: Melinda and Melinda

Inside Torre's Brain during the game: Shadows and Fog

Our Bench: Small Time Crooks

Constant comparisons to 96-00: Stardust Memories

What we can only hope for: Hollywood Ending

2005-05-06 09:49:57
24.   Nick from Washington Heights
Knuckles, that was brilliant.
2005-05-06 09:53:40
25.   Murray
This team doesn't have a Billy Martin/Bob Lemon problem. I'm not sure that a college of coaches featuring Earl Weaver, John McGraw and Connie Mack could turn this roster into a winning team, so I'm not sure what is to be gained by turning Torre out in the street in mid-season. Firing guys in mid-season when the problems are not easy to identify is classic 1980s Steinbrenner at his worst.

Also, for all the people who were happy about the off-season acquisitions, there were a number of us who anticipated the current problems and remembered that the club exceeded its Pythagorean projection last year by about 10 games. So, scale it back to 90 wins for last year's club, and then start deducting because of the faulty roster construction of this year's team. The 2005 Yankees are about where they belong. It could turn around, and that would be swell, because I, like all the non-Sox interlopers here, prefer to see them win. But we'll have to wait and see.

2005-05-06 09:55:58
26.   Murray
What I meant in the first paragraph is, "when the problems that you've identified don't have an easy fix."
2005-05-06 10:12:47
27.   Fred Vincy
In a rare note of optimism, Ryno is predicting the Yanks' sweeping the A's this weekend.;_ylc=X3oDMTBpa2lpNnFzBF9TAzk1ODYxNzc3BHNlYwN0bQ--?slug=rs-cycle050605&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Unlikely, but I respect his not piling on.

2005-05-06 10:24:04
28.   Bob B
I hate to be proven right but I reread my posts from the off-season and everything I feared would happen has and it's been far worse than my worst imaginings. I also said the Mets made the better off season moves and that is an understatement. Oh well, maybe George will lower our season ticket prices next year(that's about as likely to happen as this seasons team turning around on a dime). This is all because of the F-ing RedSox winning the F-ing WS. Please send me to back to the parallel universe where the Redsox were swept last season and the Yankees are back in first.
2005-05-06 10:24:13
29.   Alex Belth
Here's a depressing bit of news--one that I'll have to bite my tongue not mentioning to my girlfriend later tonight--from Steve Goldman on his blog today:

"Dr. Rany Jazayerli of Baseball Prospectus studied about 60 years' worth of baseball teams and found that a team's record as of the 30th game was strongly determinative. That is, by the 30th game, like Popeye, you am what you am. The Yankees won't play their 30th game until this evening, so things can go one of three ways:

1. The Yankees win the game and improve their record to 12-18. Jazayerli's study found 109 teams that opened the season with that record. Twenty-four of those teams, or 22%, worked their way up to a winning record by the end of the season. Just two of them made it to the playoffs.

2. The Yankees lose the game and drop to 11-19. There were 67 teams with this record. Just five of them had winning records by the end of the season. Just one made the playoffs.

3. It rains."

2005-05-06 10:39:53
30.   Roger C
There's something desperately wrong with your offense when pitchers like Mark Hendrickson, who go into the game with an ERA of about 70, can shut you down on two runss over seven innings. Captain Jeter sets the tone by taking called strike three at the start of the game, and A-Rod flails away at a changeup from guy who can't break 87 on the radar gun like it's Pedro Martinez out on the mound. I can't remember the last time the Yankees actually had a rally. It's one thing to lose to Roy Halladay (who the Orioles managed to beat the other day) but losing to Hendrickson and the full collection of pitching mediocrities who have been having career games at Yankee expense is what is most painful about watching this team right now.
2005-05-06 10:46:22
31.   Paul
Doesn't is seem obvious Jeter's range is a problem at short? It has been for years, of course, only with this team it seems to be an even more glaring problem. When watching the games, I am starting to be amazed when a Yankee infielder actually makes a play on a ground ball rather than having it roll into the outfield for a hit. That 65% statistic cited by Sheehan supports this impression.

Hey Joe, how about moving A-Rod to short? Jeter could probably play almost any other position on the team (save catcher) and hurt the team less than he does at SS.

2005-05-06 10:52:52
32.   uburoisc
Bad pitching and bad defense or reinforcing--one makes the other appear worse. Sure the rotten fielding makes the pitcher look worse, but the rotten pitching makes the defense flail. And clutch hitting has been a big problem with this club for some time. The offense scores big when it doesn't matter much. As for the chemistry, eeeyew, it stinks. I can't really fault Joe, there are a lot of good players who really deserve the blame for this circumstance.
2005-05-06 10:55:34
33.   uburoisc
Well, at least all the red-hat, NY bandwagon dummies out here in LA will being buying new gear soon. Tired of asking people with Yankee hats what they thought of the game last night only to be met with a blank stare.
2005-05-06 10:57:22
34.   KJC
"There were 67 teams with this record. Just five of them had winning records by the end of the season. Just one made the playoffs."

No team had ever come back from being down 0-3 in the playoffs, either. I'm not counting out the Yankees until August at the earliest...

2005-05-06 11:48:06
35.   Fred Vincy
Also note that during almost half of the last 60 years, only one team in 8 or 10 made the playoffs. In the AL today, it's 1 in 3.5. My gut is that 22% is a better estimate of the chances of making the playoffs than <2%, though obviously we all thought it was 95+% just a month ago.
2005-05-06 12:16:19
36.   brockdc
As I watched Wang pitch last night, I realized how few Yankee pitchers actually have the ability to strike a guy out in a crucial situation. Right now, I can think of exactly 2 out of 12 (RJ and Mo.) Sure, the defense could be (much) better, but if the ball's put into play almost every at-bat, wouldn't that put added pressure on any defense?

Also, I am damn sick and tired of checking the morning box scores only to discover that yet another exiled Yankee pitcher is having a solid post-Yankee career. Weaver, Halsey, Contreras Vasquez, Westbrook, Lilly, Yhencey, Pettitte...

2005-05-06 13:26:21
37.   Nick from Washington Heights
"Also, I am damn sick and tired of checking the morning box scores only to discover that yet another exiled Yankee pitcher is having a solid post-Yankee career. Weaver, Halsey, Contreras Vasquez, Westbrook, Lilly, Yhencey, Pettitte.."

In fairness, this year Lilly, Westbrook, and Weaver have been sub-par. But I see your point. Sadly, I want to see Mel out of here as soon as possible.

2005-05-06 14:11:39
38.   sabo
We run into Zito tonight. A guy who has something to prove after a horrible early season. Bad things tonight I think...bad things.

Quick Note: I have to defend Westbrook a little (he's on my AL only fantasy league). He's been phenomenal in 4 out of 6 starts. In four starts, with no run support, he carried a 1.80 ERA. 3 of which he went 8 innings

2 starts he allowed 16 runs in 4.1 innings (ouch!!)

His has given his team every opportunity to win in 2/3 of his starts, which is more than I can say for Wright, Brown, or Wang.

Question about Sturtze: His ERA is at 5 something, but he hasn't allowed a run in 4 of 6 outings. The other two against Baltimore...well not so good.

My question, do you consider that effective for a 6th, 7th, or 8th inning guy? Is putting up nothing but zeros in 4 out of 6 games good enough?

Just curious to what you guys thought.

2005-05-06 14:13:54
39.   Murray
You forgot El Duque, brock. He's 3-1 for the surprising White Sox.

As for Stottlemyre: I didn't like him much when he was Davey's pitching coach in Flushing in the 80s, I didn't like it when Torre selected him, and I'm not old enough to feel nostalgic about Stottlemyre's Yankee career as a pitcher. So he couldn't be gone fast enough to please me, except for one thing: what's the point of firing him in mid-season? Who could they hire in mid-season who would be so excellent that he could turn the staff around? Neil Allen? Billy Connors, who already would be in the Bronx if he got along with Torre and the New York branch of the front office? Is Art Fowler still on retainer??

The only purposes served by firing Stottlemyre would be to tweak Torre (which is obnoxious), to insult/irritate the veteran pitchers who liked Mel (which is also obnoxious), and to serve sacrificial lamb in the Yankee Stadium press box. All the proposed "hold somebody accountable" suggestions are exactly the sort of return to "Business as usual, Steinbrenner-style, ca. 1982" that doesn't work. For those of you who weren't there, you have no idea how embarrassing it was to live through it.

The only worthwhile thing to do is to ride this out until at least Memorial Day. We'll know better what kind of team the Yankees are at that point, and whether it makes sense to try something different.

2005-05-06 17:01:39
40.   Hank
So I bit my tongue--momentarily, anyway--and told her that I think she's the greatest, held her hand, and watched Posada get picked off of second.

This is poetry, plain and simple...

2005-05-06 19:24:35
41.   brockdc
Speaking of Posada... it me or does it seem that guys - even those with mediocre speed - are chomping at the bit to run on him this year?

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