Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Three Times Doh!
2006-06-20 05:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

"We're two games out, and we feel we should be up," said Johnny Damon, who had an infield hit in five at-bats. "We've had a lot of games this year where we just came up a little short. We've got to do a better job with runners in scoring position."
(Hartford Courant)

For the second consecutive game, the Yanks were involved in a pitcher's duel. Again, they came up short, as Brett Meyers struck out 11 and the Phillies beat the Bombers, 4-2. For his part, Randy Johnson pitched very well in defeat. A one-out boo boo in the fourth by Robinson Cano (scored as a hit, but a play that should have been made), followed by a walk to Chase Utley set the stage for Pat Burrell's line drive double to left. Aaron Rowand later added an RBI double and Kyle Farnsworth's wild pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth (which just so happened to strike David Bell out) led to another run.

It was all Philadelphia would need. The Phillies were able to get out of big jams when they needed to, and were aided by two wonderful diving plays--one by Abraham Nunez, who robbed Randy Johnson of a game-tying single, and another by Jimmy Rollins, which helped preserve the lead in the seventh.

In all, it was a frustrating night for the Yankees, an even more frustrating time for Yankee fans, but as my writing partner Cliff pointed out, this was a well-played game. Unfortunately, the Bombers have lost 8 of their last 11 games. New York left 11 men on base but some credit must go to Philadelphia's pitchers. Jason Giambi had three hits including a solo home run, and Alex Rodriguez had a double and two walks. Melky Cabrera is in the middle of a growing slump (he's 1 for his last 18), and Joe Torre will most likely give the kid a rest. The Bombers have now lost three in a row.

No Relief

According to Tyler Kepner:

Octavio Dotel's comeback was stalled Sunday when he felt discomfort behind his right elbow while playing catch. Dotel, who had reconstructive elbow surgery last June, was found to have tendinitis. He was pitching for Class AAA Columbus and had been aiming to join the Yankees this weekend. Instead, he will report to Class AA Trenton on Thursday to throw on flat ground. "Of course I worry about it," Dotel said. "Tommy John surgery is not an easy surgery." Dotel said the doctor who performed the operation, James Andrews, assured him tendinitis was normal and not a cause for alarm. ... The Yankees released the veteran right-hander Scott Erickson.

2006-06-20 06:13:08
1.   Knuckles
I look at it this way. This is the losing skid that we all expected to happen as soon as Sheff and Matsui went down; it's just happening a little later on. But if we can get some positives out of this: Randy getting into a bit of a groove, Melky adjusting to pitchers adjusting to him, clearing out the ass end of the bullpen, cutting bait with '05 Cinderellas who've lost their pixie dust, A-rod making adjustments to his swing and his psyche, still hanging with Boston, then we are well placed for the second half.
2006-06-20 06:24:47
2.   Sliced Bread
Farnswacker's run in the 8th, an inconsequental run at that given how poorly the Yanks were hitting, should have been ruled a "passed ball." Posada coulda/shoulda handled that strike three pitch. Perhaps the official scorer figured Farnswacker deserved an earned run for denting Rollins helmet. Yikes. I was surprised Joe left him out there actually. At least Farns did the right thing and checked on Rollins after the game.

Is there a patch Cano can wear to surpress his desire to hit every pitch he sees. Cabrera has to stop trying to hit home runs, and accept that it will only happen a few times a summer for him... by accident.

It was indeed a good game, and would be a much easier loss to accept if it wasn't the third installment in a bizarre trilogy of frustrating defeats.

2006-06-20 06:41:22
3.   Dan M
Yesterday, there were some here who accused other posters of blaming every loss on Torre, not the players. However, I think we can all agree that last night's game was decided between the lines.

Sliced - didn't Cano take a 4-pitch walk last night?

2006-06-20 06:54:25
4.   joejoejoe
The Red Sox have had plenty of their own injuries (Wells, Foulke, Crisp, Clement, Wily Mo) so the Yankees have no excuses. Cashman needs to straighten out Torre on his bullpen killing ways and right the ship or a great season may be squandered. NYY have dropped a bunch of games in the wild card race in one week and it looks more like they have to win the AL East every day. Proctor has pitched 25% more innings than any other AL reliever with 33+ appearances. Farnsworth is 4th in the league in appearances, Proctor is 2nd. Scott Erickson should never have been with the team. Now is the time to get more innings for Matt Smith and T.J. Beam. The Yankees are 5th in the league in blown saves with 11 and only 2 of those are Rivera's. Give the kids a chance in the setup role, move Proctor to the old Ramiro Mendoza role, and slot Farnworth in as Jeff Nelson.

Ok, I'm ranting.

2006-06-20 07:04:54
5.   Sliced Bread
3 Yeah, Dan, Cano didn't see anything close to strike on that 4 pitch walk... and he also didn't see a strike during his rally killing at-bat in the 7th with the bases loaded. He hacked at two balls in that at-bat. He made the count 2-1 when it should have been 3-0 and then grounded out swinging at ball 4. He was way too anxious in that situation and could have tied the game with a little patience.
2006-06-20 07:13:57
6.   Dimelo
Everyone is getting on Cano for being the player he's been for the last year. He's a player who likes to swing the bat, not take many walks and he puts the ball in play. I don't think he K's that much either. I read a post at WasWatching that was complaining about Cano being the exact opposite of what a moneyball player should be. My point is, "yeah and so?". We can't have it both ways, we can't love Cano when he's slapping the ball all over the field and then get on him when he's trying to do the same in a crucial situation and he fails because he swings at a bad pitch. He's doing what he always does. He doesn't take a walk.

Then we have the exact opposite with Cabrera, a guy who does take a walk but doesn't hit. We get on him too for not being what we'd like him to be. These players are what they are. It's a natural progression and that's what happens when you have young players, you take the good with the bad and one game or a week of games is not a good barometer to measure the skill of the player.

2006-06-20 07:17:34
7.   tommyl
I'm not too worried about these close losses. Over a season they tend to balance out. All this talk of clutch hitting with two outs, etc. is mostly just talk. Sometimes the Yankees will get these hits (as they did during their last winning streak), sometimes they won't. They aren't indicative of any real problems or strengths. Its just like how the Nationals last year were doing so well in 1-run games and people kept thinking Frank Robinson has some sort of magical powers. Then it evened out and they crashed to the ground. That said, we do still have weakenesses that should be addressed if possible, namely, lack of power at the corner OF spots (I'm less hopeful about this one) and some better pitching.
2006-06-20 07:25:53
8.   Sliced Bread
6 I love Cano and Cabrera. Melky's lack of power doesn't bother me at all. The Yanks have enough big bats to carry a singles hitting outfielder. I want him to stop trying to be the power hitter he isn't and just get on base.
Cano is a great hitter, and with experience he'll become more disciplined, especially with the bases loaded.

Damn, if every Yankee batter could draw walks and hit for power like Giambi the team would be up by 20 games in the standings.

2006-06-20 07:26:45
9.   baileywalk
The most annoying at-bat of the night belongs to Posada, who came up to the plate with the bases loaded, and didn't even bother to look at a single pitch from a guy he never faced before. He swung at the first pitch and popped it up.

Sliced Bread is right that it should have been a passed ball and not a wild pitch. This line from Alex's writeup -- "Kyle Farnsworth's wild pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth (which just so happened to strike David Bell out) led to another run" -- is pretty hilarious. He makes it sound like Farnsworth threw it over his head and Bell swung wildly at it. It was a filthy slider that never should have gone through Posada's legs.

Also, Alex says Torre will probably give Melky a rest. Ya think maybe he should have done that before now? Even if it was just to get him out of the two hole? My God, with the way he's hitting right now, you're just giving him more opportunities to fail and hurt the team. There was no reason -- especially with A-Rod hitting again -- to have Melky, and not Jeter, in the two hole. The top of the lineup card writes itself: Damon, Jeter, Giambi, A-Rod, Posada, Cano. Why would you stick a 21-year-old going through his first professional slump right in the middle? That killed us, and fan favorite Bubba Crosby killed us, since he combined with Randy Johnson to do squat. He came up at least twice in crucial situations and struck out. At least Randy got robbed of a hit. Seeing Bubba in those at-bats it became very clear and obvious why it wasn't worth it to at least see if Kevin Thompson could hit on the big-league level.

2006-06-20 07:27:21
10.   Dimelo
7 Good points, Tommy. It'll balance itself out.
2006-06-20 07:32:01
11.   tommyl
10 Thanks Dimelo. Its sometimes hard to think on a statistical basis when you are looking at each and every game. I think I read somewhere that Billy Beane avoids watching games for exactly this reason, to avoid some knee-jerk reaction to something good or bad his team does. The things I'm taking out of these games is that Wang seems to be developing into a very good pitcher, RJ (tentatively) seems more on the right track and A-Rod has started hitting again. Those are all good signs to me.

This is tangential, but its also the reason I'm against the wildcard. Over a 5 or 7 game series, things will not even out, and you end up potentially rewarding a team who wasn't as good over 162 games. It irks me.

2006-06-20 07:36:30
12.   alterity
8 First of all, it's not at all true taht the Yanks have enough "big bats." They have TWO legitimate power threats at this point: ARod and Giambi. Jeter can hit it out, as can Posada and Williams. However, one of them will hit 25+ HRs this year. After ARod and Giambi the next highest HR total comes from who? Damon? If he gets to 20 this year I'll eat my hat. So there are not enough big bats to "carry" a singles hitting corner outfielder. ("Corner" highlighted to note that, as we all know, left and right are traditinally positions from which you expect power.)

Now, I love Melky and am happy to see him play. However, the notion that a team should "carry" someone because they have other guys doing the work is absurd (especially when ther aren't that many others doing the work). Why not have guys at every position who can hit the ball out on occasion? Of course, at this point there's not much anyone can do about this situation, but I don't think Cashman et al should just throw up their hand and say, well, we have good batters elsewhere, so we don't need to get any better.

2006-06-20 07:37:01
13.   Start Spreading the News
9 I am not going to question Posada. The guy knows how to take a walk. He probably saw a pitch he thought he could handle and missed. That happens.

11 You read that in Moneyball. Billy Beane purposely doesn't watch the games. This is to not bias himself from the statistical analysis by what he sees. Otherwise a bad at bat here or missed play would have him thinking a player sucks when he doesn't. Similarly a great hit having the opposite effect.

But he does get really stressed when he hears the crowd noise. So he works out during the game to release the tension.

2006-06-20 07:37:07
14.   unpopster
4 I couldn't disagree with you more. I don't care what injuries the Sox have had, there is absolutely no way you can compare the Yanks' predicament with that of the Sox. This is not an excuse, but you can't ignore that the Yanks have lost 70 homers/230+ RBIs in their lineup -- and I don't care how many "All-Stars" the team has, the loss of Matsui and Shef as the mega-run producing corner outfielders is devastating right now. Don't forget too that the lead-off hitter is playing with a broken bone in the foot, Posada will be playing with a tweaked knee for the remainder of the season, and Jeter has had to sit out numerous games due to various injuries.

The Melkys, Bubbas, Stinnetts and Cairos of the world will never make up for the injuries that this team has endured. As I said in a post yesterday, a slump by Arod, Giambi or Posada kills this offense. I think the pressure on Arod to carry this team with Shef and Matsui out is obviously weighing on him and resulting in his mediocre play thus far.

What the Yanks need sooner rather than later is a bonafide, corner OF run producer to help stabalize the middle of that order, period.

As for your belief that Torre should use Smith and Beam more, I have to again respectively disagree with you. This is not a time to hand close games in the middle innings to unproven youngsters. A good week by the Sox and a bad week by the Yanks puts us 4-6 games out of 1st place.

Cash needs top make some moves soon -- whether for a OFer via trade or bring in Mendoza to help stabalize the long relief, preferably BOTH. Torre should use Villone more, not hand games over to Beam and Smith. Let the young arms come in to mop up or in large leads...and that's all.

sorry, but that was just MY rant.

2006-06-20 07:39:27
15.   Simone
I hate the multiple losses against bad and mediocre teams. These are the games that the Yankees must win because this is where the division is won or loss. On top of which, these losses put me in a really bad mood forcing me to repeat the mantra, "it is just a game, it is just a game."

In the spirit of the ever popular blame game, I'm pointing the finger squarely at the starting pitchers (excluding maybe Wang). These guys cannot keep pitching so poorly. Five innings is not a quality start. There is too much inconsistency.

2006-06-20 07:40:00
16.   Dimelo
11 It's funny you mention the knee jerk reaction because this year more than last I don't go too crazy because of these loses. This team just feels different and I may be pulling the wool over my own eyes, but I just feel like you that eventually things will get better and it's not as bad as the 3 game losing streak or a bad stretch.
2006-06-20 07:49:08
17.   pistolpete
4 Honestly, though, how much have those Sox injuries affected the makeup of the team? Let Manny and/or Ortiz go down, and see how the team makes up the production.

Clement was stinking it up before he got hurt, so it's almost like the Pavano situation - it'd be nice to have that extra arm, but he wasn't exactly a stud before his departure.

2006-06-20 07:49:11
18.   Sliced Bread
12 Most teams, even a few of the best teams, don't have anything close to a Giambi-A-Rod threat, let alone a lineup of hitters like Jeter, Damon, Posada, etc. The Yanks can't have power at every position. There's not a team in the league that has power at every position.
What do you suggest the Yanks do? Go get another Sheffield or Matsui? From where? and at what cost?
The Yanks have few options (aside from trading their precious few prospects) at this point other than to carry Melky. If they can't it's going to be a long, frustrating summer.
2006-06-20 07:55:59
19.   tommyl
16 Yup, and these NL games worry me even less, since the team would be better with Phillips/Bernie in the lineup. Its often really a question of perception, perhaps typified by the clutch A-Rod/Jeter arguments. I can recall a few times in the last week Jeter grounding or striking out in key situations and A-Rod coming through. And the week before it was vice versa. Neither is really more "clutch" it just depends on how we remember.

For example, two years ago, was A-Rod clutch against Minnesota and in the first three games against the Sox, and then not in the last four?

2006-06-20 08:03:35
20.   tommyl
15 Have you tried saying "Serenity now!"? I hear that works well.

As for your comments about the starting pitching, I'm really fine with it aside from Chacon and Wright. Moose has had a bad start or two, but you can't expect him to pitch 8 or 9 near perfect innings every time out. Nobody does that. RJ has strung together a couple of quality starts and gone deep, and Wang has been pitching much deeper as well. That's three decent starters, with two who are not as great. That's about what I expected out of this bunch so I really can't complain. The reason the BP was more burned out this week is precisely because the Yanks were trying so hard to win a few games that were borderline. If we had just stuck in a long man and hoped for the best, the BP would have been much more rested. Sometimes you gamble and lose.

Let me also add, what changes are you guys suggesting? I think Cashman and everyone else would prefer to have a great corner OF and a frontline starting pitcher. But who is available? Who would you give up to get them? Its easy to bitch and moan, but I personally don't see any obvious moves to make at this point in terms of marquee type players (Wang, Cano and Cabrera for Willis? no thanks).

2006-06-20 08:05:29
21.   tommyl
20 Let me also add, yes I know the arguments about building a better bench in the offseason and I agree with them. That won't get us anywhere now though, so please refrain from simply saying something along the lines of, "We should have anticipated something like this happening or at least planned for it." Yes, we could have done a better job, but we didn't. Time to move on.
2006-06-20 08:10:36
22.   yankee23
4 & 17 All those guys down for the Sox (Wells, Foulke, Crisp, Clement, and Wily Mo) combined for a total of 60 win shares last year. Which is exactly the same amount as Matsui, Sheffield and Meat made up last season. Not to mention the obvious benefits to the other players when Matsui & Sheffield are healthy.
2006-06-20 08:35:32
23.   alterity
18 So you're saying that because other teams don't have great players at every position the Yanks should just sit back and admire their luck to have two? I'm not (NOT) advocating selling the farm for a bat, but here are Melky's rate stats: .244/.349/.313. The OBP is suffering because he's in a slump. However, that's significant because unless his BA is above .300 he's just not that valuable. That .313 is terrible for a second baseman. It's terrible for a reserve catcher. I have no idea what the solution to this problem is, but it is a problem, especially when combined with Bernie's rate stats of .277/.317/.422 and Bubba's career rate stats: .228/.267/.311. Bernie's SLG is getting a bit more respectable, but the OBP sucks. All of Bubba's career rates suck. And those are the three guys who are two thrids of our starting outfield. Couple that to the fact that Damon and Posada are one wrong step from the DL (both will be playing hurt all year) and the fact that Cano is also a batter whose value is mostly tied up in BA (i.e. not a ton of power and an alergic reaction to walking) and the offense is problematic. I do believe that they could ride it out, but there's no guarantee that they can. However, I am the first to admit that I don't have th efoggiest notion where help might be coming from. I am not blaming Cashman for not predicting this scenario. However, I don't think that the Yanks should be content to carry anyone right now, much less two-thirds of the starting outfield. Finally, just because I don't know the answer to the problem does not mean that there is no problem, or that we should not discuss it.
2006-06-20 08:40:15
24.   JL25and3
14 This is exactly the time to hand close games in the middle innings to unproven youngsters. It's the middle of June and the rest of the bullpen has been brutally overused already; when else would you want to do it? Yes, it's taking a risk. But it's better to take those risks now and see what you've got than to wait until August and find you have no bullpen at all.

6 You're right, it's not fair to criticize Cano and Cabrera for being the players they are. But then you also can't exaggerate their abilities. Unless Cano learns some plate discipline, he's only good as long as he keeps hitting .300; at .270 he's one notch above Migeul Cairo. Melky really has zero power now, which makes it hard to imagine him developing much. If that's the case, then he probably projects as a fourth outfielder, no better. Right now his slugging percentage is .313, and there's no lineup that can afford to carry a corner outfielder with a .314 SA.

2006-06-20 08:55:20
25.   Dimelo
24 So if we aren't happy with their abilities, or lack thereof, then we shouldn't be surprised when a trade is made with either or both of these two. I'm simply saying, if people feel these two players will always perform this way and we've seen enough of a problem to be concerned then we shouldn't be upset when they are traded.

I just think we spend so much debating what a player can't do and never looking at what they can do.

It's like me at work, my manager gives me crap about a line item in my review called 'Sensitivity'. She pulls out something that happened 4 month ago and it's put down as a negative thing on my review. My entire review is focused on that stupid line item, but we never discuss all the things I do well or the fact that my projects are always time, they are done well, etc, etc. I'm simply saying that if we are going to harp on all these things, then is it right that we forget that Melky almost saved the game on Sunday? That he was able to score from first on a double in the gap? That he caught Manny's homerun? We concern ourselves over one line item but we forget about the bigger picture. Some of you can probably be my manager.

2006-06-20 09:20:10
26.   alterity
25 "We concern ourselves over one line item but we forget about the bigger picture. Some of you can probably be my manager."

Game saving catches are exactly the kind of single-item attantion-paying you're talking about. If Melky doesn't catch ManRam's homer, the Yankees probably lose. They might win, but let's say they lose. His .313 SLG is going to cost them more games than the one catch made up precisely because it's an average and measures his total production in a particular category, namely extra base power. While neither Matsui nor Sheffield will make that play, I will take that loss for SLG north of .475. No one is saying that the Yankees shouldn't try and stick with Cabrera and see what happens, but let's not pretend that he's got more than he has because he saved a game or two with his glove. The trade off is too much. O course, there aren't a lot of options at this point, but that should not prevent us from pointing out areas that can and should be improved.

2006-06-20 09:34:36
27.   JL25and3
24 A couple of weeks ago I started suggesting that trading Melky might be worthwhile - he might never have higher trade value than he did then.

I agree that it's often important to focus on what a player can do rather than what he can't. Earl Weaver (the greatest manager I've ever seen) was absolutely brilliant at that, carving out useful roles for players that other teams undervalued.

But in order to put players in situations where they'll succeed, you have to be aware of both their strengths and their limitations. I suspect that Melky's lack of power means that he won't make it as an everyday corner outfielder. That doesn't mean he's useless. If he develops even a little bit of power he'll probably make a pretty good fourth outfielder, and that's not such a bad thing.

2006-06-20 09:42:41
28.   Sliced Bread
I don't put too much stock in what a hitter should hit for their position. If a guy like, say, Ichiro hits nothing but singles but gets on-base a lot does that make him a crappy hitting corner outfielder?
The key for Melky is to get on-base, especially if Joe continues to bat him in front of A-Rod and Giambi.
The Yanks are getting on-base as evidenced by the number of runners they're stranding. They have to start driving in runs again. They were driving in plenty of runs even without Sheff, Matsui, and with A-Rod slumping. I maintain the bats will be fine, and there's no need to panic about the Yankees hitting. Melky's lack of power will not kill the Yanks.
2006-06-20 09:46:24
29.   Sliced Bread
And in the big picture, as Dimelo suggests, Cano's lack of patience probably won't kill the Yanks either, but it cost them a crucial run last night.
2006-06-20 10:01:12
30.   Sliced Bread
Our fellow Banterer Mike Plugh has a great, in-depth assessment of the current state of the Yankees over at his "Canyon of Heroes" blog.

Mike, if you're reading this, I'm too lazy to register and comment on your blog, but keep up the great work. I really enjoy reading your stuff.

2006-06-20 10:01:21
31.   Dimelo
29 Sliced, that's about as plainly as you can put it. The same can be said about ARod, RJ, and a slew of others that can cost the Yanks a game at any point during the season.
2006-06-20 10:06:18
32.   JL25and3
Position does matter; that's the whole conept of "replacement player." Adequate left fielders who hit better than .244/.349/.313 - a lot better - aren't tough to find, so a team shouldn't have to carry that for long. good shortstops and catchers are a lot tougher to find, so you're willing to cut them more slack in terms of offense. (Having said that, .244/.349/.313 is probably inadequate for those positions as well.)

You're right, Ichiro! is a pure singles hitter, no power and very few walks. But you can't compare other players to him because there is no other player like him, not in today's game. He's a .330 career hitter who steals bases and plays a superlative right field. And if Melky can do those things, he'll be a terrific player; unfortunately, there's no sign that he can. At that, Ichiro!'s success depends on that high BA - if he only hits .305, as he did last year, he's not so valuable.

2006-06-20 10:28:26
33.   Tarheel
This may sound crazy but, looking at the schedule throught the end of July, I feel that the Yankees have a legitimate shot of having a record of 65-37. I can see them going 27-7 for the rest of June and all of July. Maybe wishful thinking, but the schedule is pretty weak coming up.
2006-06-20 10:40:44
34.   Sliced Bread
32 I'm familiar with the replacement concept, I just don't put as much stock in it as others. But you're arguments are sound, and you're right that Ichiro is not a fair comparison. Still, I don't think I'd trade Melky at this point just for the sake of an instant offensive upgrade. I maintain the Yanks should be able to get by with him.
2006-06-20 11:05:49
35.   rbj
With Matsui slated to return in Sept. and signed for a couple more years, basically the Yankees need stop gaps in left & right, or else a stop gap in left with a replacement for Sheff (resign him as a DH, and relegate Andy Philips to the bench?)
I don't necessarily have a problem with the latter route (I prefer a younger outfield, with the aging star at DH). I think Melky is fine as a stop gap in LF, but then who do you trade, and for whom, in RF?
2006-06-20 11:10:34
36.   JL25and3
34 We're getting pretty close to common ground. I don't want the Yankees to make a deal unless it's for someone legitimate, someon they might want to hold onto as next year's replacement for Sheffield. Abreu, maybe, but I wouldn't want to give up anything for Aubrey Huff or Reggie Sanders. Not making the playoffs would be better than having to see another Raul Mondesi debacle.
2006-06-20 11:33:30
37.   Bronx-zoo1977
Love the Philly Old School rap reference in the title, Alex - coulda called it Funky Dividends too!
2006-06-20 11:44:28
38.   Dimelo
I don't remember Kay dropping the s-bomb last night.
2006-06-20 12:00:59
39.   rbj
Dang, Dimelo, I don't remember that either.
2006-06-20 12:11:34
40.   unpopster
24 if there was one thing we should have learned from last season, it's that games in May and June count just as much as games in August and September. Just one extra loss in June '05 and the Yanks would have been the wild card. And the slow start in April and May forced the Yanks to play catch up throughout the second half and, as even the players admitted after the season, tired them out just in time to lose to the Angels in the ALDS.

I don't think we should experiemnet with young arms in June just as it seems like we might be in for a leapfrog type first place-second place race with Boston for the 2006 season. And, with the imminent return of AJ Burnett, this might become a very tight 3-way race by the AllStar break.

Thus, a middle relief meltdown by Beam in late June might just be that one game that keeps the Yanks out of the postseason.

I say either start trading for known commodities or bring up a guy like Mendoza, who we KNOW can perform...unlike Beam, who we HOPE can.

2006-06-20 12:20:14
41.   alterity
How do we "know" Mendoza can perform? I agree we should bring him up and find out, but he's appeared in one major league game since 2004. He was okay that year, appearing in 27 (31.2 innings) with a 3.52 ERA. However, the year before in 67.2 he gave up an alarming 10 home runs. (Not that the sample size can tell us anything, but in his one appearance last year he also gave up a dinger.) He's now 34. What are the odds that he's going to get better? In light of that, I think finding out what else we have is a good idea. We don't need to throw Beam into tight games, but he could mop up a blowout either way I'm sure. It's not like we have a lot of high leverage guys waiting around waiting to be used (until Dotel comes back, that is; and who knows when that will be or if he'll be great when it happens).
2006-06-20 12:53:07
42.   JL25and3
40 My point wasn't that games in June aren't important. If they could get through the whole season without having to use Smith or Beam in close games, that would be great. But the starers aren't providing the innings consistently, and you can't keep using Proctor and Farnsworth 11 times a week. You have to use the other guys sometime, and if not now, when? After the other two guys blow their arms out?

It's kind of like saying that this isn't the time to let Kelly Stinnett bat with men on base. It has to happen sometime.

I agree, it's better to use Smith and Beam in less critical roles where possible. But this pitching staff doesn't always allow for that luxury.

Also, you want to see what you've got before the trading deadline comes. Are these kids ready to pitch in the majors? The answer to that question could determine what the Yankees have to do.

Also remember, at this point Dotel and Mendoza aren't known quantities any more than Smith and Beam are.

2006-06-20 13:04:31
43.   dpmurphy
"unpopster: I couldn't disagree with you more. I don't care what injuries the Sox have had, there is absolutely no way you can compare the Yanks' predicament with that of the Sox."

Someone call the waaaahbulance. The two situations are very similar. Two starting pitchers down. Two relievers down. Willie mo was on his way to easily equal matsui. Leadoff hitter gone for a third of the season. And your payroll is 200 million.

"Honestly, though, how much have those Sox injuries affected the makeup of the team? Let Manny and/or Ortiz go down, and see how the team makes up the production."

Comical comparison. Sheffield/matsui do not equal manny/ortiz. If it was arod or jeter, you'd have a comparison, but that's not the case.

As far as damon, he was a walking injury for a while now. Now you overpay him for 13 mill and you want to complain that he's injured? Good one.

2006-06-20 13:26:09
44.   JL25and3
Comparing the injuries on the two teams is beside the point. Injuries happen, get over it, this is the team we've got.

But 43, come on: "Willie mo was on his way to easily equal matsui." No way. Don't start thinking he's really a .400 hitter against righties.

2006-06-20 14:45:26
45.   Shaun P
Why do lurkers always show up when the conversation has moved on to another thread? I wonder . . .
2006-06-20 15:27:22
46.   Max
dpmurphy is the ultimate hit and run troll poster...showing up to take a few shots when there are only a few people left. But let's blow up his argument to smithereens anyway...

If the Sox were really hinging their chances on Wells, Clement, and Foulke (all damaged goods, two of who were actively being shopped in the off-season), or Crisp or Pena (the latter a punch line in "who was involved in the worst Sox trade of the off-season?), then someone should ask Theo what kind of temporary insanity overcame him.

For Sox fans to be making excuses about these castaways is about as valid as the Yankees making excuses about Pavano or Wright. You invest in stiffs who don't perform, don't cry when they...uh...don't perform.

In no way do the Sox injuries and underachievement even approximate what's happened with Matsui and Sheffield. The Sox have weathered the injuries reasonably, which isn't hard when you've got the highest middle relief payroll in baseball.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.