Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Moose Call
2005-05-07 09:17
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yanks look to Mike Mussina to end a four-game skid, and perhaps save Mel Stottlemyre's hide. Remember, the Derby is today. When the dust clears from the track, my Spidey Sense tells me that Mt. Saint Steinbrenner is about to blow.

2005-05-07 09:30:34
1.   Harley
Isn't it time for Mel to go? (Well, in truth, the right time was probably last year or the year before that.) The failure of every young pitcher to cross his path in the last few years was worrisome enough. Then Jay Jaffe added some numbers to the anecdotal evidence (as you well know) -- and some more anecdoates, circa Mets -- and it seems like this overdue move might be a good place to start.
2005-05-07 09:42:50
2.   JohnnyC
Yankees fans should get real. The hot air expended over defending Torre and Stottlemyre while excoriating Steinbrenner should he raise an eyebrow over the team's utter futility is laughably sentimental and naive. If the bottom-line is that players fix themselves and that teams find their chemistry on their own, then why is it that other management never received your condemnation when Bob Brenly replaced Buck Showalter and won a WS, Terry Francona replaced Grady Little and won a WS, and Jack McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg and won a WS. All three of them beat the Yankees on their way to glory. At the very least, Stottlemyre has to go. The list of pitchers who have sucked while wearing pinstripes and then prospered elsewhere afterwards is just too damning an indictment of his coaching skills. Of, course, maybe they all "fixed" themselves. Right.
2005-05-07 09:57:20
3.   singledd
I think the real question is: If heads roll (Mel or whoever), will this help put the Team on track? Will this motivate the players to play better, or just add to their burden? They could have dumped Mel last year. This man IS a Yankee favorite, a Torre favorite, a cancer survivor, and retiring at the end of this year anyway. Does dumping him really help the team? (I don't know the answer to this question).

What about Giambi? Is he having a Nomar effect on the Team? If so, put him on the DL, keep Phillips when Sturtz/Sierra come back and get Giambi out of the dugout (IF this is INDEED a problem).

At this point, retribution won't help. We need moves that will help the team, both moral wise and player wise.

2005-05-07 10:42:15
4.   Alex Belth
According to my friend Rich Lederer:

"The Yankees 11-19 record is their worst in their first 30 games since 1966. A loss today would be their worst start after 31 games since a 9-22 start in 1913."

2005-05-07 11:10:27
5.   Cliff Corcoran
ESPN ran that stat last night. 11-19 ties their second worst start ever, with '66, 1912 and 1925. 1913 was the worst start in franchise history.

Here are their final records in those seasons:

1912: 50-102 (.329)
1913: 57-94 (.377)
1925: 69-85 (.448)
1966: 70-89 (.440)

2005-05-07 11:12:10
6.   singledd
We are UP 4-0 after 3, Moose with a 1 hitter. It will take REAL talent to loose this one.
2005-05-07 11:27:23
7.   Alex Belth
I'm not watching the game--figures--but I just checked out that score on the ESPN scoreboard. So far, so good.

They can do it. Let's Go Yan-kees!

2005-05-07 11:34:52
8.   Clay Caviness
Moose has really been looking good so far. Through 5, he's faced one over the minimum, 1 H 1 BB. 69 pitches, too, which is good since Mo's not available today (or tomorrow, either, apparently).
2005-05-07 11:47:21
9.   singledd
Moose escapes the 6th after giving up 2 hits. You would think this is the World Series the way we are hanging on every pitch.
2005-05-07 11:53:26
10.   singledd
P.S. Alex B - ARod actually had a 2 out - 2 rbi double. 2 miracles in one day?
2005-05-07 12:00:28
11.   Alex Belth
Remember, Rodriguez had a game-winning, walk off homer against the A's last year. And he could have won it last night if Posada didn't get stupid.

Mussina had an easy seventh, I see. What next? Hope he gets through the eighth and then bring in Sturtze?

2005-05-07 12:31:10
12.   rilkefan
The 9th, and they're dancing with the one what brung em...
2005-05-07 12:38:06
13.   alasky
way way way way way way too many pitches
2005-05-07 12:39:17
14.   alasky
has anyone in baseball thrown close to this many all year?
2005-05-07 12:42:41
15.   rilkefan
Blessed be the name of the Lord. Hope Moose can pitch next week.
2005-05-07 12:45:06
16.   Harley
No TV today -- damn you somebody!! -- so listened to the game on mlb audio. A pretty funny, not to mention lengthy, "Yankees win, thethethethethethe Yankees WIN!" call by Sterling. He needed this one. So did we.

Let the winning streak begin!! (Please.)

And for the moment, how about no more gloomy stats about the prospects for a team that begins the season with whatever the Yankee record happens to be on that day. If only becuz I'm guessing the sorry teams that established that metric didn't have half the Yankee's talent (however dormant) or one quarter the team's financial resources.

I'm thinking it's a mistake to punt on the team's season in the first week of May.

2005-05-07 13:06:19
17.   singledd
"I'm guessing the sorry teams that established that metric didn't have half the Yankee's talent (however dormant) or one quarter the team's financial resources."

This is very true. Of All those teams that started badly, many were probably bad teams. How many of them were projected to win their division and maybe the WS? So this stat doesn't necessarily hold for us.

5 hits ain't exactly a slug fest, but a complete game shutout... beyond expectation at this point. Torre didn't leave Moose in by accident.

How important is tomorrow's game?
1) Win a series
2) Stay out of basement
3) Win 2 in a row (have we done this since the first 2 games?)
4) Get some momentum

Tomorrow is big. Could be our turn around.

2005-05-07 13:23:32
18.   Simone
Props to Moose. A shut out is just what the Yankees needed. Now its on Brown to step up.
2005-05-07 13:46:23
19.   Cliff Corcoran
Harley, the '25 Yanks had Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earl Combs and Bob Meusel on offense and Herb Pennock, Waite Hoyt and Bob Shawkey in the rotation.

'66 Yanks had Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard, Tom Tresh, Richardson, Boyer, Pepitone, Roy White and Mel Stottlemyre.

2005-05-07 14:08:25
20.   jayd

To be sitting in a boat in calm weather is not an image of faith. But when the boat has sprung a leak, to keep it afloat by enthusiastically manning the pumps, yet with no thought of returning to port -- that is an image of faith…While the understanding, like a desperate passenger, stretches out its arms to terra firma but in vain, faith works with all its might in the deep waters: joyfully and triumphantly, it saves the soul…

Verily I say unto you, the Yankee faithful, a moose shall show you the way.

2005-05-07 15:09:11
21.   Adam B
Moose asked Torre to let him go out for the 9th, according to ESPNews.

And Jason Schmidt threw 130-something pitches a few weeks ago and ended up having his next start pushed back a few days.

2005-05-07 15:20:53
22.   Simone
Bellamy Road lost. The Yankees better start winning because George no longer has anything to distract him.
2005-05-07 15:41:10
23.   Harley

The plural of anecdote is not data. That said, the examples are worthy (if nothing else I can blame Mel for another collapse!) but I'd suggest that the bulk of the examples that make up the metric are of lesser quality. Hence the daunting statistic.

Hey, I'm a glass full kinda guy. At least until June.

2005-05-07 15:58:57
24.   Jen
"And Jason Schmidt threw 130-something pitches a few weeks ago and ended up having his next start pushed back a few days."

At least Moose will get an extra day off due to the travel day on Thursday. Hopefully that will help a bit.

You think whoever is in charge of the audio/visual stuff at the stadium is a bit superstitious? They now play Frank after a loss and Liza after a win, Cotton-Eye Joe was moved to the 8th inning, and they play a recording of Ronan for GBA instead of Kate Smith.

2005-05-07 16:46:51
25.   markp
"'66 Yanks had Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard, Tom Tresh, Richardson, Boyer, Pepitone, Roy White and Mel Stottlemyre."
In the interest of accuracy:
Mantle played in only 108 games, several of those as a PH because he was injured. When he did play, it was despite his injuries which is reflected in his 288 BA.
Maris, about at the end of his career, was also hurt and had about the same amount of plate appearances as Mantle. He also played despite his injuries, which is amply demonstrated by his 233 BA and his 13 HR. He managed 14 HRs total for 67 and 68.
Whitey Ford had 9 starts all year due to a circulatory ailment.
Bobby Richardson had a career OPS of 634. If that's your idea of a star...
Tresh had (well documented) back problems by 1966. His BAs from 66 on are 233, 219, 195, and 211.
Boyer's BAs from 61-66 were 224, 272, 251, 218, 251, and 240. He hit 81 HR over that span or under 14 a year.
Pepitone had a career OPS of 733. Not very good for a guy on the wrong end of the defensive spectrum.
Howard was done by then. He hit 256 with 13 HRs and hit 178 in 67.
Roy White was 22 and had a 653 OPS.
Stottlemyre had a 3.90 ERA.
The 1966 teams had a couple of washed up HOFers in Ford and Mantle, some other guys who were at the very end of their careers,and a bunch of other guys who had a few bug seasons either before or after getting most of the PT.
Theyt had no one near their prime in Jeter's class, let alone Arod's. They had no one close to Rivera or Johnson or Posada or Sheffield or Matsui that year.
Womack is a good comp for Clarke, though.
2005-05-07 17:54:15
26.   singledd
ie: 25. markp
Good comments. I was a fan then. Clarke & White's rookie years I think (both 2nd basemen). Remember that LCF and CF were over 450' back then. A righty that couldn't pull the ball had little chance of a HR. Howard was a great example. I cant tell you how many 'simple' fly outs he had that were over 390'. The Mic was wrapped from ankles to waist by then. Yresj did take a nose dive and never lived up to his rookie year.

Put Sheff and ARod in that park, and their HRs and averages would be way down.

2005-05-07 23:54:17
27.   markp
Their HRs would be down, but why would their averages be "way down?"

The number of 400' fly outs by Howard is nowhere near what you imply. He averaged 22 2Bs and 5 3Bs a 162 game year. If he were hitting a lot of long fly balls to death valley, at least the 2Bs would be a lot higher. He struck out a lot and hit quite a few grounders. He averaged only 17 HRs and he played only half of the time in Yankee stadium. If he were hitting that many long fly balls to left-center, he'd have enough road HRs to average over 20.

The 66 Yankees had no stars in their prime. The 2005 Yankees have several and a lot of older guys that can still play.

2005-05-08 00:08:25
28.   Rich Lederer
Re #4, in fairness to Lee Sinins, I picked that up from his ATM Report on Saturday.

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