Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
BoSox Beat Up Bombers
2006-05-23 05:35
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

That team is decimated. They've lost some very significant people," said [Curt] Schilling, who improved to 7-2. "We have to take advantage of that.

"Who's playing for (Gary) Sheffield? Who's playing for (Hideki) Matsui? That's a drastically different team. That's not a knock on any of the guys they're running out there, but we're talking about All-Star caliber players - Hall of Fame caliber players - that they're playing without.

"We've got to take advantage of them now."
(N.Y. Daily News)

That is exactly what Schilling and the Red Sox did last night as Boston drilled the Yanks, 9-5. Schilling's 199th career win puts his team two-and-a-half games ahead of New York in the American League East (Toronto is three back). Other than a third inning rally which produced a run, Schilling dominated the Yankees, aided by double play balls in the fifth and the seventh. Schilling's splitter was in fine form--he got ahead of hitters and then put them away.

Chien-Ming Wang wasn't as sharp and he paid for it. With one out and two men on in the bottom of the third, Wang fell behind David Ortiz 3-0. It looked as if he was pitching around the Yankee Killer, but then Wang laid in a cookie to the Monster who promptly smacked it into left under the glove of a diving Terrence Long for a two-run double (not for nothing but Long looks like Claudell Washington and Oscar Gamble's long-lost love child). Manny Ramirez followed and quickly fell behind 0-2 before Wang made another mistake--a meatball served up on a platter. Ramirez probably couldn't believe his luck, and didn't waste any time walloping the pitch into the center field bleachers.

"He looked like he tried to do something with Manny, something up, which is not his neighborhood," Torre said. "It's Manny's neighborhood, but not his neighborhood, and he killed that ball."
(N.Y. Times)

Wang settle down for the next few innings but was chased from the game in the seventh, and allowed seven runs in all. By the time the Yankees rallied for four runs in the ninth, the Sox already had a comfortable lead, as they cruised to a victory in the first of three at Fenway Park. Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez popped homers off Keith Foulke late, and whatta ya hear whatta ya say, Bernie Williams (the unbooable man) had another couple of hits. The Yankees are eager for Gary Sheffield to return to the line up tonight--he'll have some kind of welcome back having to deal with Tim Wakefield's floater.

Comments (107)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-05-23 06:31:43
1.   Dimelo
I hate Schilling, but his comments are right on.
2006-05-23 06:34:10
2.   Felix Heredia
Hurry up and get those Royals in here.

Bernie's playing with an injured butt. I guess he only strained it, whereas Pavano pulled his butt.

2006-05-23 06:37:35
3.   rbj
Yup, beat up on a team when they're down. So who gets send down or DFA'd for Shef? Would it be too much to ask that Long gets his walking papers handed to him?

I suspect Shef DH's tonight, with Melky and Bernie at the corners.

2006-05-23 06:52:34
4.   Dan M
Do you think Schilling's comments are a cryptic way of saying "why the hell didn't this team take advantage of my bum ankle in 2004"? Just a thought.

Anyone notice that teams have already stopped running on Melky's arm?

2006-05-23 07:14:59
5.   Sliced Bread
Memo to Yankees pitchers re: "Manny's neighborhood." Don't go there.

3 Ideally, Sheff returns as the DH tonight, but it seems Damon's injured foot needs more rest. I'm hoping Sheff is okay to play, with Bernie in center, Melky left, Damon DH. We'll see how it goes.

According to NY Post, slumping Giambi is sitting tonight against the knuckler, which means Cairo or Phillips at first.

Post reports Torre is also deliberating whether to start Posada because Wright and Stinnett have been working well together. Please go with Po, Joe.

2006-05-23 07:19:20
6.   Cliff Corcoran
The Yankees' outburst with two outs in the ninth was fun, but I knew Rodriguez would catch hell for hitting a "garbage time" jack against the Sox. Sure enough this morning's Daily News back page is a big picture of Rodriguez in his follow through with the headline "Thanks For Nothing." No mention of the fact that Posada followed him with a homer, or that Bernie and Cano doubled for another run after that.

Following those four straight extra-base hits off Foulke, Becky, likely inspired by last Tuesday's triple-comeback, thought just maybe . . . I reminded her that there were two outs and Terrence Long would have to bat before they could tie it up. Sure enough.

I have to say, for all of the useless-to-harmful players the Yankees have had in recent years (Enrique Wilson, Tony Womack, Sturtze, Erickson, etc.) none have made me physically sick upon sight quite like Terrence Long.

2006-05-23 07:24:38
7.   Cliff Corcoran
5 I'd assume Cairo because of his small-sample success against Wakefield were it not for Miguel's golden sombrero against Wake (well Wake and Papelbon) last time out. Think that poor performance by Cairo and Andy's game-winning hit on Saturday will be enough to get Phillips the start?

Me neither.

2006-05-23 07:26:51
8.   Zack
I'm with you 100% Cliff, I mean, there is no way that Reese is a worse option than Long, and I would wager that he is actually a significantly better option. But yet it will probably be he that gets sent down today...sigh
2006-05-23 07:55:43
9.   Rob Gee
fdhwjkh Terrence ghjoprana Long fhohrwev ojaweqwrx
2006-05-23 08:04:34
10.   standuptriple
7, 8 It's sad how predictably stubborn Torre is.
2006-05-23 08:14:57
11.   joe in boston
Tough loss.

Now, I didn't see much of the game (picking my wife up at the airport....grrr....), but why don't we take the same approach with Schilling as we do with Pedro; namely wait the guy out...then get him/bullpen in the 6-8th innings ??? Any thoughts ? It kills me to see this guy beat us.

2006-05-23 08:15:15
12.   Shaun P
8 With Farns maybe still hurting, at least there's no chance Bean gets sent down, right? Right?

10 Who will hurt their team more by running out useless vets and refusing to play anyone without significant major league experience - Joe Torre, or Dusty Baker?

Now there's a fascinating - and frightening - comparison, hmm?

2006-05-23 08:21:29
13.   Cliff Corcoran
12 The Yankees go with 11 pitchers? Ha!

As for your other question. Baker is far worse. Really, I don't even think it's close.

2006-05-23 08:31:59
14.   dpmurphy
"Dan M :Anyone notice that teams have already stopped running on Melky's arm?"

Have they? Because if the throw last night was any indication, they need to start running again. Boston was too cautious on the basepaths last night.

2006-05-23 08:32:41
15.   weeping for brunnhilde
Some good news: Bernie's been looking very good from the left side these past days, by no means an automatic out anymore.
2006-05-23 08:44:43
16.   weeping for brunnhilde
It's so hard to know how to deal with this Rodriguez issue. The guy is what he is and the stats are what they are, but still, something's missing. Here's what I know; when he steps to the plate against Boston I never feel half as confident that he'll get the big hit as I do that Ortiz and Manny will get the big hit against us.

I fear those two far, far more than I repose hope in Rodriguez. Am I the only one who feels this way?

As good as Rodriguez is, there are so many spots where I'd far, far prefer to see a professional hitter up there, someone like Mark Grace, say, or Paul LoDucca.

The thing is, I often wonder whether this team wouldn't be better by employing two or three of these types of hitters in place of Rodriguez.

The question to ask, in other words, isn't whether Rodriguez is overrated, but what alternative players could we get with that money.

Is it better to have two or three solid, quality players or one superstar?

It seems to me that when you look at the old Yankees and the Californias, Floridas and Arizonas that beat them, they did it without the Mannys and Arods and Ortiz'. And we're stuck with an Ortiz who never seems to step it up the way Ortiz does.

I'm not sure I'm being clear here, but the point is that Rodriguez is fine, I'm just not sure he's what the Yankees need and I'd not be sad to see him go in the right deal.

Of course I am biased against sluggers, far preferring to watch guys like LoDucca, so there you have it.

2006-05-23 08:53:51
17.   weeping for brunnhilde
Simone in the other thread made a comment about how event the Yanks with their payroll can't cope with this kind of disaster, vis a vis injuries.

Respectfully, I have to disagree. We were watching the game the other night and I lamented that the whole team was injured and my kid (3 1/2) asked why. "Because they're old," explained my wife.

And there you have it. None of this is unforeseen. Instead of sinking all this money into aging superstars, the team needs to return to the focus on depth that it had in the old days.

Remember in '98 how Tino, O'Neill and Bernie all went down and yet the club didn't miss a beat? Not one beat.

If only we as fans could vote for what kind of team we wanted to watch. I for one would cast my vote to stock the team with solid guys and the timely, second-tier superstar (a la David Justice or Matsui) rather than this pile-up approach.

Well, anyway, at least I'm enjoying watching Melky at the bat, he's giving me something to look forward to.

And how about Cano on the field? He's been spectacular. I think this is the best (infield) defense up the middle in years and years.

2006-05-23 08:55:27
18.   yankaholic
So last week, ARod hits one out of the park against Schilling at the stadium.. and he has rested the ghost and this week he strikes out and he is bad for the team??..

for crying out loud.. show some faith n patience in ur team's superstar..

sometimes u need the wind on ur back.. and i am quite sure, the liners that OFers snag only when he hits them.. will start going in the gaps..

u know its funny, when other sluggers like Manny or Vlad struggle they are in a "slow" phase or small slump..

but when ARod goes in a slump its a debacle.. right?? its sacrilege.. right.. how dare he with all of his 25 million not hit a HR every time he shows up...

oh wait isnt Giambi in a funk too?? funny, but we shrug it off.. saying he needs to or will get it back.. but we cant show that patience with ARod??

good lord..

2006-05-23 08:55:50
19.   Sliced Bread
Looking at the radiograph of his ankle in the paper this morning, I'm thinking the Yanks might try Barbaro in left tonight.

He has 23 screws in his leg, and doesn't quite fit the Yankee profile being young, and, you know, a horse, but there are less appealing options (see Long, Terrence).

2006-05-23 08:57:12
20.   Shaun P
13 Cliff, you have a point - the Yanks don't have anyone who is as bad as Neifi Perez, and Torre has never wrecked the arms of any of his starters. I guess I was just drawn to the veteran fetish both have, especially in the face of injury, and the incredibly poor benches each has had the last few years, mostly filled with black holes.
2006-05-23 09:00:16
21.   Cliff Corcoran
16 The classification of Rodriguez as a "slugger" in contrast to "professional hitters" such as Grace and Lo Duca is pretty silly if you ask me.

"Slugger" Rodriguez is a career .307 hitter who draws an average of 74 walks per year.

"Professional hitter" Grace was a career .303 hitter who drew an average of 78 walks per year and "professional hitter" Lo Duca is a career .285 hitter who draws an average of 43 walks per year.

2006-05-23 09:04:32
22.   Cliff Corcoran
18 And the Yankees are paying Giambi more than they're paying Rodriguez.

17 I think Matsui snapping his radius would qualify as unforseen.

2006-05-23 09:07:19
23.   yankaholic
Cliff, u r right.. not many ppl know that..

Texas pays abt 130 mill of the 252 overall..

and we are paying 120+ for 7 years..

2006-05-23 09:18:42
24.   domvjr
I am sure this was probably brought up last night, but how bad is the announcing crew on ESPN. Sutcliffe, is an ass, he should go back to drinking. O'Brien is not much better. In fact, The WWSN, announcing crews are all terrible. Besides the obvious red sox bias, they just talk sh*t, to hear themselves talk. I switched over to NESN, after two innings, and even though they are the Sox broadcast team, they were more even handed then those idiots over on the WWSN!
2006-05-23 09:18:55
25.   weeping for brunnhilde
21 It may be silly, Cliff, but I'm just telling you what I see while watching the games. If you think there's nothing to what I'm saying, fair enough. As I see it, Rodriguez seems tone deaf to the situation at hand, trying to pull balls he should flick the ball the other way, for instance. Just my opinion.

When I watch LoDucca hit, he just seems so expert on lining the ball to right field that he seems more dangerous in those spots than Rodriguez does. It could be a false perception, sure, but it looks to me like Rodriguez is trying to pull everything all the time and it's exasperating to me.

21 Cliff, do you really not at all see what I'm getting at?

Yes, Matsui going down is unforeseen.

2006-05-23 09:22:33
26.   C2Coke
All of the players would hit a slump from time to time. Sometimes, I just think Arod seems to have the wrong timing, say, the playoffs or when other players are injuried. Matsui had a slumping while last year but everyone else was hitting, no one paid as much attention.

When the Yanks are this down, whatever Arod DOESN'T do tends to be magnified. I have true faith he will pick it up but I just hope he can maintain his gold glove ability in defense when we are waiting it out. Those errors recently were harmful.

2006-05-23 09:30:32
27.   weeping for brunnhilde
26 Of course he'll pick it up, that's not my concern. It's just more about whether the team would be better served by putting that money somewhere else.

I'm not against the guy or anything, but honestly, I'm just not that impressed by him. His swing is amazing and smooth, of course, and his fielding is often sublime, but he doesn't seem to have that extra notch when he needs it.

I'm not trying to overreact or stir the pot but at the same time, I watch nearly all the games and I'm just offering my perspective, skewed though it may be.

2006-05-23 09:30:55
28.   C2Coke
From NY Times:

"... Jorge Posada returned to the lineup after missing two games with back spasms. Posada received heat treatment for the condition, but he burned a small area on his back and had a bandage there Monday. "

It just seems like ANYTHING can happen to this team right now.

2006-05-23 09:31:22
29.   Cliff Corcoran
25 I didn't say I didn't get your point, I only challenged your statement that "None of this is unforeseen." The Yankees completely booted their bench for the umpteenth season in a row and are paying the price because their regulars are aging and increasingly injury prone as a result. There's no doubt about that.

That said, David Justice was an aging superstar who had one last half-season of brilliance that carried the Yankees to a World Championship before age and injury wiped out his career. Your other example of a guy worth having is Matsui, whose injury is the primary source of the Yankees problems right now as Sheffield is due back tonight.

You then praise Cano and Cabrera, two kids the Yankees have promoted in lieu of making a trade for another overpriced aging superstar such as Justice, proof that the sort of thing you're saying you'd wish the Yankees would do, they're actually doing. So while you're point is well taken, your supporting evidence is a mess.

But I didn't say that, I only mentioned that Matsui's injury was indeed unforseen.

2006-05-23 09:33:27
30.   Rosbif22
According to, these are the injuries so far. Which of them is caused by old age?

Shawn Chacon - Placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left leg hematoma.

Bubba Crosby - Placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

Tanyon Sturtze - Placed the 15-day disabled list with soreness in the front of his right shoulder.

Hideki Matsui - Placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist fracture

Gary Sheffield - Placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hand contusion

2006-05-23 09:35:10
31.   Rosbif22
Yes, of course, I realize that some guys are banged up but are still playing. I'm just wondering where the perception "well, they're old, they had it coming" is coming from.
2006-05-23 09:35:39
32.   C2Coke
27 When everyone is nice and healthy, it's definitely nice to have that superstar power. It's this kind of time when we have that kind of wonder.
2006-05-23 09:39:08
33.   YankeeInMichigan
As an high-profile, overpaid, pollished-toung import, A-Rod will not win the hearts of Yankee fans until he delivers a world championship. Recall how Reggie similarly did not become a "true Yankee" (Steve Goldman just loves the term) until Game 6 (which would never have happened if his teamates had not stepped up for him in the ALCS).
2006-05-23 09:40:27
34.   standuptriple
19 There's got to be a joke in there. Something about Barbaro walking into left field and a Long-face...
13 And yes, as a frequent torturee of his SF days I can testify that Dusty is far, far worse. But I do believe they are cut from the same cloth.
2006-05-23 09:40:52
35.   C2Coke
30 When I look at that list, I think "there is something wrong with the OF!"

Chacon's injury wouldn't have become a problem if he didn't pitch that day.

And surely none of us here mind that Sturtze is out for good.

You forgot what's his name? you starts with a P...

2006-05-23 09:41:46
36.   KJC
Not to add fuel to the Terrence Long hating fire, but a Boston Globe article today said "Torre was encouraged by the swings of Long, who was brought up from Columbus Sunday." I can't believe Torre would actually want to run that guy out onto the field again after last night's performance.
2006-05-23 09:42:17
37.   weeping for brunnhilde
29 Good points, Cliff, thanks.

The thing about Justice was that it was timely, he was the right piece at the right time and his contract was appropriately short-term (wasn't it?).

Matsui's injury was unforeseen, right. I was just saying that he's the kind of free agent I prefer to see, maybe because the expectations aren't so high as they are for guys like Arod and Giambi.

Yes, Cano and Cabrera are a good sign, no doubt. I think the thing with Cabrera is that I'm worried they're not going to let him play out the year. I hope they do.

30 Good question. You're right, of course. I was probably thinking about Bernie, Jorgie Damon and Shef.

I may be way off base, though, admittedly.

2006-05-23 09:42:54
38.   YankeeInMichigan
I recall how, last year, everyone would marvel at Wang's poise (Torre would always use the term "unflappable"). This year, when a couple of runners get on base, he seems to lose his focus, delivering walks, wild pitches and meatballs. I wonder if, after having been bretrayed several times by his infield, he is trying to do it all himself.
2006-05-23 09:45:22
39.   standuptriple
I heard this morning that there are 126 players on the DL. I'm not singling anyone out, but it's hard to ignore that this seemingly large number might be due to increased testing?
2006-05-23 09:52:26
40.   Cliff Corcoran
30 Age factors in when those injuries to the outfield result in more playing time for Bernie. Age factors in when Jorge misses the entire Mets series because he wrenched his back. Age factors in with the complete collapse of Randy Johnson's mechanics. Age factored in each of the last two years when Mussina's elbow went kaput. Age factors in when Mariano Rivera takes more than a month to find his groove each year.

One also wonders, would a younger Sheff have healed faster? Would a younger Sturtze have endured further (not that I'm complaining)? Would not signing the injury-prone Pavano (not an age issue, but an injury-prone issue) have helped the Yankees improve their depth elsewhere? You're right that those five injuries are not age-related (nor is Farnsworth's tweaked back), but the plight of the team as a result is exacerbated by its age.

2006-05-23 09:53:08
41.   yankaholic
TESTIng.. well put it down to "amphs".. or "greenies".. not "roids"..
2006-05-23 09:57:38
42.   Cliff Corcoran
37 Justice was acquired in a trade for Ricky Ledee, Jake Westbrook and Zach Day. He lead a weak Yankee team to a Championship in 2000, then struggled throughout 2001, including the postseason. That winter he was dealt to the Mets for Robin Ventura (who in turn dealt him to the A's for a pair of forgettable pitchers). After one weak year with the A's he retired.

I'd still make that trade again in a heartbeat. To me the Championship makes it plenty worthwhile, but it's not a great example for what you're on about.

2006-05-23 10:05:14
43.   weeping for brunnhilde
42 Why isn't it a great example? He came in and did exactly what he was brought in to do, leading a weak team to the Championship, as you say.

My point is that he seemed to be a perfect fit and his role was clearly defined. And because of the situation, I didn't mind when he failed the next year because he'd already met and exceeded expectations the previous year. The problem there was that Torre should have played Spencer in the postseason instead because it was clear to all who had eyes to see that Justice was helpless at the plate.

My point is simply that he seemed to be an acquistion based on the real needs of the team rather than on his star power, as with Giambi and Rodriguez.

2006-05-23 10:19:26
44.   yankaholic
Err... only that i guess we got ARod because our "then" third baseman "Aaron boone" chose to play basketball game and injure himself and was out for the whole year..

and we also only got him because the gamer that he is.. he switched to 3B for the TEAMs sake and a chance to play for the Yanks..

remember when the BoSux tried to get him.. he offered to take a paycut and it was MLBPA that prevented that "precedent".. a fact which is lost on the "B" faithful

2006-05-23 10:25:13
45.   Cliff Corcoran
43 I was saying it wasn't a great example of the team avoiding aging superstars, but your response is well put. That said, the team really did need a big power bat and a first baseman when they signed Giambi. Yes, they overpaid for him, but he did fill a legitimate need. As for the Rodriguez trade, would you rather have Soriano plugging up second and maybe an overpaid, injury-prone Troy Glaus at third or Rodriguez and Cano?
2006-05-23 10:26:07
46.   yankaholic
And oh btw.. we had to pay only half of that monster contract for 5 years.. Yes he came to us at a cheaper rate than Manny for Boston or Kevin Brown for Dodgers or equal to Carlos Beltran for Mets..
2006-05-23 10:27:42
47.   Start Spreading the News
And we needed Giambi as well since Tino was approaching the end of his tenure with the Yankees
2006-05-23 10:31:47
48.   Dimelo
I was suprised to see this from Steve Lombardi (NetShrine). Actually...I was really suprised. I didn't know that ARod hitting a homerun last night would cause all this commotion.

2006-05-23 10:33:31
49.   Tarheel
I think that the Yanks should be happy to have an infield that is still relatively young (Giambi may not fit this) and they can count on for several years to come. They have an excellent future star outfielder that is only 21 and Hideki who is in his early 30s. Damon will be ok for a couple more years. They need a catcher, Pitching (of course), and some bench help. Maybe this is obvious, but I don't think that things are as bad as many say.
2006-05-23 10:34:29
50.   Schteeve
39 The number 126 is meaningless unless we know what the average number of players on the DL is on May 23, over the course of the last 10-12 seasons.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-05-23 10:43:54
51.   weeping for brunnhilde
45 Thanks for the clarification, Cliff.

It's true the team needed a power bat when they brought Giambi in, no doubt. Honestly I can't recall what the alternatives to Giambi were (probably because at the time it was clear that the Yanks were going to get Giambi) but there must have been some other decent power available in a more balanced ballplayer. Maybe not, though.

As for the Rodriguez trade, yeah, I don't know, that's tough. I really don't know about that. Maybe I'd rather have seen top prospects come in from somewhere than Rodriguez, I don't know.

Good points.

2006-05-23 10:52:37
52.   standuptriple
50 Of course it's meaningless w/o backup. I doubt the number would have even been presented if it had little deviation from historical numbers. It was stated by Buck Martinez on XM Homeplate and I was just passing it along. But the average of 4 players per team seems a bit inflated just based on recent memory.
2006-05-23 11:04:43
53.   Cliff Corcoran
48 Soxaholics linked to that same article about Rodriguez's "mental performance coach." Reading the entire article (from the Boston Globe), the guy sounds like a complete con artist. I wouldn't trust that guy to save me a seat on the bus.
2006-05-23 11:07:44
54.   weeping for brunnhilde
45 Duh, I just remembered Nick Johnson. I can't recall what his status was when Giambi was picked up, but presumably by that point the organization knew they had someone with a lot of potential. So how about if they'd plugged him in at first and gotten a DH for the power, especially considering how often Giambi ended up DH'ing anyway.

Of course it would have been a gamble going with Johnson over Giambi, but I'd have been happy with that. That would have been one alternate solution to replacing Tino, anyway.

2006-05-23 11:12:03
55.   Dimelo
Wasn't Nick Johnson ALWAYS hurt? I seem to remember being pissed that he spent a ton of time on the DL. He was Pavano.
2006-05-23 11:14:46
56.   jkay
A-Rod is not the problem.

The problems are:

Giambi stopped hitting.

RJ stopped pitching.

Injuries to Sheff and Matsui.

The can fix/solve most of these.

If RJ can pitch and Sheff/Giambi can hit, no one will care about A-Rod.

2006-05-23 11:18:19
57.   weeping for brunnhilde
55 Indeed he was, Dimelo. That would have been part of the gamble, admittedly. But with the size of his contract, the production he offered when not hurt might have been still worth keeping him around. Perhaps that could have been factored in and a suitable back-up could have been brought in at a reasonable price.

I don't know anything about injuries, but with Nick it was basically his wrist, right?

I have no idea what the professional prognostications were as to his long-term health, but I think even 120 games a year from him would have been something to consider.

But yes, there are a lot of variables so I'm not offering anything in stone, just throwing out an idea.

2006-05-23 11:18:37
58.   Tarheel
Arod is actually a very big positive for the Yankees. Those who think otherwise are just blinded by the jealousy of his huge contract.
2006-05-23 11:19:25
59.   Jeteupthemiddle
I want to say, albeit without looking up any stats, that Nick Johnson played 1B for about half the games since 2001...or at least 2002...leaving Giambi to DH. I believe he DHed most of the other half.

Except, he was out at least twice for extended periods of time with a broken bone in the hand.

To be honest, I had no problem trading him for Vazquez. I liked him a lot, but I thought Vazquez would be a monster.

2006-05-23 11:24:26
60.   Dimelo
59 I thought Vazquez would be a monster too. But he turned into the wrong kind of Monster we were looking for. I still remember the Cleveland game where the Yanks lost 20 something to nuthin. I thought that game was the end of his Yankee career.
2006-05-23 11:26:15
61.   Tarheel
Giambi is having a typical post-juice season for him. One great month followed by a poor month. Remember last year? Awesome July, poor Aug, good Sept, poor Oct. Now, awesome April (many were giving him the MVP), now a terrible May. If it plays out, look out in October (ha, ha).
2006-05-23 11:33:01
62.   yankaholic
I still think we just gave up a bit too early on Vazquez.. we should have seen for 6 more months whether he cud come back from that GrandSlam he gave to Damon..
2006-05-23 11:39:29
63.   Cliff Corcoran
61 I'm sorry, I'm looking at Giambi's 2005 splits and I can't find those poor months you're talking about. The .250/.448/.500 August wasn't good enough for you? His .421/.500/.579 post-season was "poor"?

Giambi turned it on in June of last year and never looked back. Hitters slump. He's slumping now. Just be glad he has the batting eye to remain valuable when he's not getting his hits.

2006-05-23 11:44:04
64.   weeping for brunnhilde
Another thought on Arod, Giambi, etc., with regard to situational hitting.

Does anyone remember Dave Winfield's 1984 season? He went from being a slugger to being a high-average hitter. He hit .340 that year with 19 homeruns. He decided he wanted to have a high average and so he did.

That's pretty impressive, right?

I wonder why this isn't something that Arod (or Giambi or whoever) can do in the right spots. If Winfield could raise his average by will, why can't these other guys?

Is it too hard to change approaches in mid-season? Is this the kind of thing you'd have to commit to for an entire season rather than adapting as per situation?

This is kind of what I mean by "professional hitter," something about how adaptive the hitter looks to be at the plate.

You can have a high average without adapting on sheer talent, but it you can take that talent and learn to adapt, you'd be unstoppable, no?

2006-05-23 11:45:22
65.   Cliff Corcoran
62 I felt that way at the time, but given Javy's performance since I think the real lesson from Vazquez and Weaver is beware pitchers who exceeded 200 IP in multiple seasons prior to their 25th birthday. The ones worth having won't be available and the others are likely damaged goods.
2006-05-23 11:49:35
66.   Tarheel
63. Don't you get sarcasam....notice the Ha, Ha at the end. Giambi is one of my favorite players. I never bash Yankee players....except Kevin Brown. (Although the unit is beginning to piss me off)
2006-05-23 11:51:05
67.   Dimelo
65 Cliff, you must have known the first pitcher that would come to everyone's mind after saying that would be Petey Martinez.

2006-05-23 11:55:11
68.   yankaholic
CLiff, i hear u.. but with pitchers its always a gamble.. the reason i say we shud have waited is coz he had a good 1st half.. infact he was in the AllStar Game right, then he got wacky..

but he did pitch well enuf to earn a second year is what i felt..

regding 200IP, man its a tuff pickle.. there are some who say unless u have 200IPs regularly early in u career "u cant develop arm strength"... and some say " u can burn him"..

i think its good to have 2 or 3 yrs of 200 IPs before ur first big contract so u can "show ur arm strength"..

2006-05-23 12:05:08
69.   Cliff Corcoran
67 I didn't, because Pedro didn't throw 200 innings more than once before his 25th birthday (which was October 1996) and he was brought along perfectly, slowly increasing his innings each year, from 107 to 144 2/3 to 194 2/3, to 216 2/3 in his age 24 season in 1996.
2006-05-23 12:12:34
70.   chris in c-bus
RE: Javy...I thought getting him was going to be a great move and I dont think too many innings had anything to do with his lack of success...he simply seemed to not be ready for NY pressure after years of pitching for the expos...i wouldve been willing to keep him for another year if not for the Damon HR, but I think it was clear the HR would be a scarlet letter for him to wear the rest of his yankee career and I dont think he couldve handled it mentally...he and weaver are a lot alike...
2006-05-23 12:13:48
71.   KJC
69 So it's actually good that Josh Beckett hasn't thrown 200 innings yet?
2006-05-23 12:19:10
72.   Cliff Corcoran
71 Actually, yes it is. His blisters may have saved him from what A.J. Burnett is going through. I should add that 200 innings under age 25 is just a short cut. The real issue is pitcher abuse points (that is, repeated high pitch counts). As the folks at Baseball Prospectus say, pitching doesn't hurt your arm, pitching while fatigued hurts your arm. That's why Dusty Baker (and Jeff Torborg) is death to pitching prospects.
2006-05-23 12:21:14
73.   Dimelo
69 So the fact that Pedro didn't reach 200 when he was 23, but he reached 194 innings qualifies him as a good candidate? He had 194 and 200+ before he was 25, if you were to sum and average his last two years before he was 25 it still comes out to over 200 ip. NO?

Javy averaged 220 ip, 2 years before he was 25. I don't see it as that much a difference. If the barometer is 200 innings pitched.

2006-05-23 12:21:23
74.   chris in c-bus
and why torre is death to relievers...
2006-05-23 12:31:25
75.   Schteeve
Weeping, are you seriously complaining that we have Giambi, and suggesting you'd be happier if we had kept Nick Johnson? And if so, can you hand me the lighter fluid because I want to light myself on fire.
2006-05-23 12:38:59
76.   chris in c-bus
At the time, we had to have Giambi...the offense was weak and Tino was done being productive..we overpaid, but signing him was the right thing about giambi is that even when he's slumping he still gets on base...his troubles recently are a little magnified by being in the 3-hole but he can go back to 5-hole with sheff back...I liked johnson, but his health was always a question and he didnt have enought power for a corner infielder...giambi also appeared to have the personality to handle NY
2006-05-23 12:39:34
77.   Dimelo
Cliff, can you define fatigued and tell me the difference between being fatigued at 24 and 26? And why it's easier to hurt you arm during the former - if pitching fatigued. Not being a smart ass, just asking a question because I don't think that answer has ever been proven with pitching. I sometimes think the opposite, that teams baby pitchers way too much.
2006-05-23 12:47:52
78.   Cliff Corcoran
Re: Nick the Stick. The Yankees had a similar situation in 1999 when they decided to re-up Scott Brosius and trade Mike Lowell. I won't complain about the Brosius/Lowell deal because, even if they did it despite Scotty rather than because of him, they won two more Championships with Brosius and his homer of Kim in 2001 almost brought about another. I can't complain about Nick either, because a) they kept both Nick and Giambi for two seasons b) Nick was constantly injured and c) despite arguing vehimently against trading Johnson in the winter of 2003-4, I conceded that the Vazquez deal appeared to be a good one at the time. Of course, I qualified that then, and will do so again, by saying that the Yanks could have simply waited on Javy and signed him as a free agent after the 2004 season and kept Nick and Juan Rivera as well. Then again, maybe they were convinced that if he didn't come to New York, Javy would be dealt somewhere else where he'd sign an extension. He was a hot property that winter.

So the question is, what went wrong. I don't think it was Whitson syndrome, I think he put too many miles on his arm in Montreal. His 2005 season was wildly inconsistant and he finished just below league average in ERA. I'm seeing the same pattern emerging this year.

2006-05-23 12:48:52
79.   wsporter
65 Cliff, I couldn't agree more. In fact IMHO that may be one of the true "Iron Laws" of baseball. If you look at the long lasting (10+ years)great pitchers of the last century I found only 3 in a quick survey that pitched 200+ innings prior to their 25th birthday. Seaver, and Feller were two. Seaver had a relatively long career, Feller's was not as long because of military service during the war. In fact even with that time off his arm was dead at the age of 36-37. Makes you wonder how long he could have gone had he not started at 17 and like Teddy Ball Game been called to serve. Pedro Martinez also pitched some heavy innings before 25 and has had health concerns but has been remarkably consistent.

Mel Stottlemeyer (great because he was a fav of mine not because he objectively fits the bill) was also on the list. He may actually prove the rule. He pitched huge 200+ inning seasons from the time he was 22 till he was 31. At the age of 32 he was cooked. Mark Fydrich I think may be the saddest example of what can happen. The Yankees seem to be aware of this and have, after allowing kids to throw too many innings in the past have started a piggy back and strict pitch count system.

Every time I read about someone suggesting the Yankees rush Hughes up to the majors it makes my skin crawl. God forbid we do and he finds success. The temptation to overuse him would be phenomenal and I fear ruinous (I'm almost glad he has looked relatively human at the AA level in 3 starts). It's why pitchers like Zito and D. Willis scare the crap out of me and why I think we should look before we leap in to a deal for either. Another guy to watch may be Andy Pettitte who threw 240 innings at the age of 24.

I suppose seeking to prove the big picture from a couple of small hand picked examples is a logical fallacy but the point seems intuitively correct. Are you aware of any empirical or at least broad study anecdotal work done on this topic?

2006-05-23 12:49:51
80.   Dimelo
Looking back at the "OLD SKOOL" pitchers like Marichal, Lefty Gomez, Gooden, Seaver, etc. All of them had a ton of innings before 25. That's only a small sample, I know...but these were still great pitchers and they logged even more innings than some of today's pitchers. I'm just saying....I don't think pitchers pitch enough.
2006-05-23 12:53:55
81.   ChuckM
GOODEN!!! Dwight Gooden is THE prime example of what happens when a manager abuses his pitcher. Granted it can be said that he did some of it to himself. But what Davey Johnson did to him was obscene. I think Joe Sheehan or someone like that did an entire write up over how badly he was handled at such a young age.

And by the way, Nick Johnson had a career high in games played last year with 131, he played 73 and 96 in the two years prior, respectively...

2006-05-23 12:57:03
82.   Zack
Any news on us sending Long back down yet? Hey, a guy can dream. I can't believe Torre would actually find somethign positive to say about Long...Oh wait, yes I can...
2006-05-23 13:01:41
83.   Dimelo
Gooden was mixing PCP, coke and crack and smoking that shit. I hardly doubt that was Davey Johnson who caused this guy to become "wasted talent". If he stayed clean, continued along with a great work ethic, and was a good citizen then I think he would have been one of the greatest pitchers of our time. If not the best. There's nobody to blame but Gooden wasn't Davey Johnson.
2006-05-23 13:01:55
84.   Sliced Bread
Over on the LoHud Yankees Blog, Peter Abraham reports the NY beat writers whupped the Boston hacks 15-0 at Fenway today.

Tyler Kepner of the NY Times (and apparently nasty slider) pitched the complete game shutout.

I'm guessing Yankee-haters Murray The Chassticle and Lupica remained in the clubhouse playing "Pin The Tail On The A-Rod."

2006-05-23 13:02:43
85.   wsporter
81 Yes good one, I forgot all about Doc. Duh, it's what happens when you type faster than you think. There are so many cases of guys who were abused and used by the time they hit their 30.

Johnson has become a core player and a fixture in the middle of the Nats lineup. Watching him and Sori play for "strangers" is tough. They do appreciate them both though.

2006-05-23 13:03:38
86.   Shaun P
80 I think there's something to be said for pitchers not throwing enough. People confuse building arm strength with pitching lots of innings. At least IMHO, Leo Mazzone has conclusively shown that the way to build arm strength is by throwing more, not pitching but long toss etc, between starts.

When evaluating how many innings guys in the past threw, you've got to take into account the conditions of the time, too. Offensive production in the past was no where near the level of today, except for maybe the early 30s. In other words, it was easier to pitch when you had a lot more bad hitters to pitch to.

There's also things like expansion and the height of the pitcher's mound to take into account (hello, 1960s).

Gooden and Gomez are just poor examples. Gomez was effectively finished at 32, and Doc stopped being a great pitcher after 25.

2006-05-23 13:06:08
87.   Shaun P
83 Dimelo, the drugs sure didn't help Doc, but you can't seriously be saying that it was the crack etc that caused Gooden's arm troubles. It was the overuse of his right arm by Davey Johnson and one Mr. Mel Stottlemyre.
2006-05-23 13:07:22
88.   ChuckM
Here's one of the articles on Davey Johnson's handling of Gooden. I know there are more detailed ones out there. You gotta scroll down a bit to get to it...

2006-05-23 13:07:58
89.   Dimelo
Can we get the NY beat writers to play against the Red Sox tonight?
2006-05-23 13:12:47
90.   Dimelo
87 WOW...I can't believe you guys are diminishing how much his crack usage had to do with his arm problems. Have you ever seen a crackhead? Have you seen how the body of a completely normal person changes once they become addicted to crack/heroin/pcp? We aren't talking about weed here and having 4 pints of Rocky Road Hagan Daz ice cream - not that I've ever done that.
2006-05-23 13:14:45
91.   fgasparini
I suggest that the people on this board who haven't looked into "Baseball Between the Numbers" by the BP staff should do so. If you're already a stat-head or a casual reader of BP most will be no surprise, although it's enjoyable to see them lay out their case.

WRT "clutch" guys, the numbers seem to show that Ortiz is clutch...some years. But shouldn't a clutch guy be clutch all the time? Who remebers the "clutch" year Keith Lockhart had for the Braves a few years ago? Should we sign him? Bottom line...if you're a good hitter you're a clutch hitter. If you're a clutch hitter, you might just be having a lucky year.

WRT pitchers...The bottom line is high pitch counts hurt. They do present some evidence that pitchers in the past didn't always throw all out, meaning higher pitch counts weren't as taxing. Besides, saying "Hall of Famer X pitched 400 innnings at 22!" doesn't prove takes a combination of a special arm and great luck to be a superstar pitcher. To prove it's okay to throw so many pitches, you need to prove that the rest of the pitchers who threw so many innings were NOT afffected by it.

2006-05-23 13:15:36
92.   fgasparini
90 Remember when Mondesi was rushed to the hospital with heart palpitations? You KNOW he was stoned.
2006-05-23 13:16:39
93.   chris in c-bus
I believe you, Dimelo...of course watching each game hoping that someone's leg/arm doesnt fall off might get you on the hippie lettuce real soon...
2006-05-23 13:18:41
94.   fgasparini
86 I agree, I really think that guy is on to something. How many times has he pulled a guy off the scrap heap and squeezed a good season out of him? SUccess that is NOT sustained elsewhere. See: Jaret Wright and Chris Hammond.
2006-05-23 13:21:23
95.   Cliff Corcoran
77 It's an issue of physical development. It's been proven that the average player peaks at 27. Taken from that is the fact that there's a learning curve that rises until the age of 27 during which players are capable of making fundemental changes to their game. Part of that is that they're still undergoing some physical development, whether you're talking about a 19-year-old pitcher who may still be physically maturing, or a 23-year-old pitcher who only recently finished maturing and is still developing and training his now fully-mature body to do what he's asking of it. As a result, their bodies are more easily damaged by misuse or overuse.

Twenty-five years old isn't a hard and fast rule, but more of a rule of thumb. Abusive pitch counts will hurt any pitcher (see the effects of Schillings 133 pitch game against Cleveland in yesterday's pregame post), but with younger pitchers they're more likely to cause serious, lingering injury because of those developmental issues.

That's my understanding of it.

2006-05-23 13:23:20
96.   fgasparini
89 You're a genius, Dimelo. Just hadda say it.
2006-05-23 13:28:16
97.   Shaun P
93 "If he stayed clean, continued along with a great work ethic, and was a good citizen then I think he would have been one of the greatest pitchers of our time. If not the best."

I'm not saying that crack/heroin/pcp doesn't change a person's body, and didn't affect Doc.

I am saying that, even if Doc was 100% clean, the overusage of his right arm in the minors and majors at a young age, most of it by Davey Johnson, would have still caused Doc to have shoulder injuries. And those injuries would have kept him from being "one of the greatest pitchers of our time".

2006-05-23 13:33:54
98.   C2Coke
84,[89} And let's have Tyler Kepner of the NY Times to pitch again tomorrow night.
2006-05-23 13:42:59
99.   Cliff Corcoran
[80, 86 The answer to those high inning totals is the 4-man rotation. Again, 200 IP is just a shortcut for the 5-man rotation ERA, Seaver, Feller, Stottelmyre, Gomez, Marichal et al. pitched in four-man rotations. Remember, it's pitching when tired, thus high pitch counts in individual games, not actually the high innings totals themselves, that lead to problems.

200 IP in a five man rotation = 32.4 starts (162/5) at 6.17 IP per start (200/32.4). Which is a solid full season of work for any modern day hurler, regardless of age. In a four man rotation, the same number of IP/GS = 249.9 IP over a full season for a 162 game season or 237.5 IP for a 154 game season. That's a significant difference.

There's also the fact that the examples given were all fantastic young pitchers, who may have been able to get through those innings on fewer pitches than the Jeff Weavers of the world. For example, Tom Seaver pitched three major league seasons before his 25th birthday and threw more than 250 innings (the 4-man rotation cutoff for a 162-game season) in each of them, but he also threw 12 shutouts during that three year span. That's 108 innings in which he likely worked very efficiently. Subtract his shutout innings (SHO*9) from his total IP for each of those three seasons and he falls comfortably below 250 IP for each season, maxing out at 233 non-shutout innings during those three seasons.

2006-05-23 13:43:40
100.   Joeg
Two items from last night's game I haven't seen mentioned:

- Wang's pitch that Manny crushed was right on target. For some reason, Jorge did the "rise from the crouch and call for a high pitch and surprise the batter" thing and Wang threw it right to his glove. Torre acted surprised in the after game interview that he threw the pitch high, but that's what the catcher called for.
- Commentators always make a big deal whenever the Yanks are losing a big lead late and have to call on Mo. Yes, A-Rod and Posada didn't help win the game, but they did get Papelbon warming up in the bullpen. May be a delayed payoff if he can't be used later this series or season.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-05-23 13:56:03
101.   Cliff Corcoran
100 Wang can blow high heat by some hitters. Manny Ramirez may not be one of them.

Excellent point on Papelbon, that was part of the moral victory. Yanks have had a lot of those moral victories lately. Sure would be nice to have some real ones.

2006-05-23 13:59:40
102.   Dimelo
Cliff, thanks for the explanation. Still not totally sold, but I'm definitely more informed. I believe in what you are saying but I also believe pitchers need more work than what they are currently being given. I guess I believe in both philosophies. A hybrid approach - so to speak.

It's funny that we are talking about this because my mom is a big baseball fan, especially a big fan of Dominican ball players. Saturday she couldn't help but root for the Mets - I think she's a bigger Met fan anyway but partly to try and piss me off - anyhow, she always gets pissed when managers take pitchers out and is always quick to want a pitcher out of the game if he walks a batter or two or allows a hit. She doesn't think Mo Rivera is that good and thinks Duanar Sanchez is awful. I think she thinks every pitcher is awful now that I think about - except for Pedro, Andujar, Marichal, etc. She's definitely from the old skool. She's quick to always say, "back when I lived in the Dominican Republic and I watched the games with my dad we saw pitchers pitch the entire game. There was never any of this taking out a pitcher after 100 pitches". She then references her favorite game when Gibson and Marichal dueled for 18 innings, I believe it was 18 innings.

2006-05-23 14:00:17
103.   Marcus
100 Following on with "points not discussed from last night": Is anyone else surprised that Torre didn't pinch hit Cairo for Long in the 9th? Perhaps Torre wanted to see what he had in Long, but with Torre's mancrush on Cairo, it seemed like the obvious choice. I would have been much happier to see Cairo than Long there.
2006-05-23 14:08:35
104.   Shaun P
104 Or Andy Phillips, but that horse is dead and buried, hmm?
2006-05-23 14:13:18
105.   Marcus
104 Yeah, basically anyone but Long.
2006-05-23 14:24:44
106.   Peter
Andy Phillips already pinch hit for Giambi.
2006-05-23 14:28:40
107.   randym77
I don't believe it. I just don't believe it. Long is still in the lineup.

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Gary Sheffield DH
Alex Rodríguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Canó 2B
Bernie Williams LF
Terrence Long RF
Andy Phillips 1B
SP: Jaret Wright

Andy's in, but I guess Joe still doesn't want Melky facing the big bad knuckleballer.

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