Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Ray Milland Ain't Got Nothing on the Yanks, Sox
2006-08-27 06:22
by Alex Belth

Man, oh man, do the Halos have the Yankees number or what? Every team has a nemesis, for Pete's sake. I shifted back-and-forth from resignation to frustration yesterday afternoon, as the Angels beat the Yankees again, this time 12-7, in a contentious game out in California. About the only redeeming thing that occured was that last night, Boston dropped their second straight game to the Mariners. The Yanks' lead in the AL East holds at five-and-a-half. However, the Red Sox now trail the Twins by five-and-a-half in the wildcard race (the White Sox are a game-and-a-half behind Minnie).

Actually, the Ray Milland Achievement Award goes to Alex Rodriguez who went 0-5 again yesterday, whiffing three more times, after having struck out four times on Friday night. He looks completely lost at the plate, as if he's mentally gotten himself out before he even steps into the batter's box. It has been nothing short of painful to watch. The same can be said for the entire game as well.

According to the Times:

"What can you do?" Torre said. "You don't remake Alex Rodriguez. With the history of what he's done, certainly there's not a need for that. Human beings play this game, and certain things you can't explain, other than to say he's human.

"It's just changing the furniture around. It may give him a little feel of, 'Let's start something here,' because that's what we need. We need him not only in the lineup. We need him to produce."

Torre said he did not know where Rodriguez would hit Sunday, although he doubted he would give him the day off. Still, Rodriguez's frustration has become obvious — he flung his bat after a strikeout on a check swing in the sixth — and his struggles have made an impact.

"They're hurting him and they're hurting us," Torre said. "But we know what's there and we know he needs to break out, just basically for his own confidence. And if he gets that back, we benefit from it."

Ah nertz, no use moaning about it. Today is another day, and you've got to believe that this is the day the Yanks will come out and find a way to beat the Angels.

2006-08-27 07:19:13
1.   Sliced Bread
Good stuff, Alex.

One other redeeming thing from yesterday: Bruney.

Avenging Jeter he slips a horse head under Vlad's pillow, and gets him to bail into a ground out.

Then, he has Juan ducking and diving, and K'ing.

Yanks in the dugout loved it, most notably Gator, who was never the avenging type.

I thought the Yanks were going to take off from there, but...

yeah, we'll get 'em today, we will.

2006-08-27 07:24:52
2.   RZG
My first thought wasn't "The Lost Weekend" but "Dial M for Murder" with Guidry dialing up murder both Friday and Saturday
2006-08-27 07:36:15
3.   JPost
Oh and not to surprise anyone but... yeah............

Pavano is hurt, again.

The guy is probably the biggest pussy playing baseball at the moment. I mean what the fuck??? I want to just go to his house and steal all of his shit. Anyone know where that piece of worthless shit lives?!?!? Has to be somewhere in the tri-state area, maybe Jersey or White Plains. I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!~!!!!

2006-08-27 07:42:49
4.   monkeypants
3 "The guy is probably the biggest pussy playing baseball at the moment."

Except, of course, he's not playing baseball at the moment, because he's hurt!

2006-08-27 07:56:27
5.   mainmanmaitland
The thing is, the problem is not the offense. For the most part they scored enough to win on this road trip and I'm not expecting them to average 8-9 runs a game.

But they are going to have to until a starter other than Wang can give them 6+ solid innings. We have a good bullpen with lots of arms we can make use of but they are no good to us when we have to run them out there in the 4th inning of games because the starters can't do their job.

2006-08-27 07:56:40
6.   monkeypants
Also, I don't want to pile on A-Rod--in fact, his overall numbers are still very good, albeit not by his standards--but he is now on pace to K nearly 170 times this year. That's starting to get up into Rob Deer territory.
2006-08-27 08:05:59
7.   rsmith51
It can't believe the Yanks have held the same lead as they held last weekend. Should Mo have been pitching in Friday's game? I always hate it when the Yanks lose in a walk-off and Mo is not the losing pitcher. Especially in the 9th inning. Has he pitched any this week? This team is not a good coasting team.
2006-08-27 08:06:43
8.   rsmith51
Oops, replace first held with hold and it may make more sense in 7.
2006-08-27 08:08:52
9.   seamus
3 injury prone players are now pussies? grow up.
2006-08-27 08:09:42
10.   monkeypants
5 The thing is, one could imagine a successful pitching staff where the starters only go five innings most of the time. But it would require a fundamentally different BP philosophy than Torre employs (and that is not meant as an insult to Torre--most managers are not prepared for radical rethinking of baseball strategy).

First, the team would probably have to abandon the now 'traditional' roles of closer and set-up man. There is no use have the 8th and 9th covered if the games are lost in the 5-6-7 innings. Second, at least a few of teh relievers would have to be on a schedule, just like the starters. Maybe Proctor, Villone, and X will pitch every other, or hopefully every third day. Then you can also push them for two innings, at least sometimes. Third, high value pitchers (Rivera) would have to be used in high leverage situations--not just to close games in the ninth with a 3 run lead. Fourth, and related to #3, lower value pitchers would have to occasionally be trusted to close out games even in save situations, so long as the chance of victory is high (Bruney, etc. should be able to get three outs with a three run lead most of the time). Fifth, this philosophy means abandoning specialist pitchers (like Meyers), or at least using them for more than one or two batters. Sixth, starters will have to be ready to contribute the odd inning of relief work in between starts.

In other words, it would mean using pitchers not too differently from the way Bill Veeck (?) suggested: starting three pitchers every game, each only going three innings each. The Yankees have been approaching that this year by necessity, but they have not made the necessary philiosphical (and thus personnel) adjustments to carry it through.

2006-08-27 08:10:04
11.   murphy
RE: Pavano.

I am always on the fence when it comes to labor agreements in baseball. i am a union guy through and through, but it's just hard to take the MLBPA seriously when i look at the issues they try to tackle. anyhoo, at this point, every owner and GM in baseball has the right to invoke Pavano's name when balking at a player asking for any guaranteed money. we all knew he was being overpaid when the contract was signed, but no one could have predcited we would pay so much money for so little pitching.

RE: Arod.

just sad. i hope something magical happens, cos, at this point, it's starting to scare me in a historical way. here's to hoping he stops striking out and can get back on pace to being one of the greatest hitting infielders ever.

2006-08-27 08:22:53
12.   rbj
I'm just chalking it up to a subpar year for A-Rod.

As for the road trip, I think the Boston series took a lot out of both teams.

Yanks still have the third best record in baseball, and a decent six game lead in the AFILC.

2006-08-27 08:31:57
13.   rsmith51

Something Something Something Loss Column?

2006-08-27 08:34:31
14.   seamus
I like this from the star ledger:

"Asked if he was grateful for Bruney's actions, Jeter said, "(The pitch) got away from him, didn't it?""

I'm just picturing Jeter say that with a straight face! :)

2006-08-27 08:38:36
15.   mehmattski
3, etc... does anyone have a link to a story about Pavano? I can't seem to find an article saying he's reinjured, though I've found several that were posted just hours ago, stating he'd could start for the Yankees against the Tigers:

2006-08-27 08:41:39
16.   kdw
15 This was posted on last night's thread.

2006-08-27 08:41:56
17.   seamus
15 It was a George King article in the Post. I'm unclear about it as he is the only one claiming it and it contradicts every other post-game quote from Pavano. I don't have the link though...
2006-08-27 08:45:10
18.   mehmattski
16 Thanks. I'm just thinking that of all people, Peter Abraham (the first link in 15)would be jumping on a Pavano re-injury story, since he's always making fun of Carl in his blog. I guess we'll know more closer to game time, most people are still asleep over on the left coast.
2006-08-27 08:57:47
19.   mainmanmaitland
With Mussina out, Randy and Lidle random from start to start and Wright becoming less dependable (even by his standards), the Yanks are going to need someone to help stabilize the rotation. Maybe it can be Karstens and or Bruney but the Yanks aren't going survive the next week of six games against Detroit (I know they are slumping but that can't go on forever) and Minnesota if the starters don't do a better job.

If something doesn't happen or someone doesn't step up the Yanks could lose the entire lead they gained slaughtering the Bosox last week.

2006-08-27 08:58:36
20.   rbj
AFILC All Freakin' Important Loss Column.
(feel free to use the f word of your choice.)
2006-08-27 09:30:43
21.   randym77
Peter Abraham's awake:

"Word is that Carl Pavano has another injury. I know, we're all stunned. Back later with an update from Joe Torre."

2006-08-27 09:31:47
22.   Eirias
Who do you think probably going to pitch Thursday?
2006-08-27 09:35:00
23.   Eirias
15 I guess this answers my question. Wonderful, I get to go see the 2006 debut of Pavano.
2006-08-27 09:38:11
24.   Eirias
Then again, as 16 shows, maybe I won't. It'll still be a great afternoon out.
2006-08-27 10:06:49
25.   LI yankee
I would be down with the Yankees forfeiting today's game and having 2 days off. I do not want to see the Los Angeles California Angels of Anaheim ever again.
2006-08-27 10:21:41
26.   JL25and3
11 It's not like there's anything new about the risks of signing pitchers to long-term guaranteed contracts. In the first year of free agency, after the 1976 season, Cleveland signed Wayne Garland to a 10-year contract (for $2 million - total). He pitched one full season, then had rotator cuff surgery and was essentially done.

There are plenty of other examples over the years, so no one has to point to Pavano as if this is a revelation. No one forces teams to give guaranteed money, certainly not the union. They do it because they're willing to take the gamble, and they hope they'll win more often than they'll lose.

2006-08-27 10:41:34
27.   BayRidger
The fact that you could only name two tough teams over a six week period highlights the weakness of the Yanks remaining schedule which actually undermines your contention that the Yanks are in "trouble" if the pitching doesn't improve.
2006-08-27 10:50:33
28.   Jim Dean
The thing about A-Rod's year - it may have more to do with being left in the 4th spot than anything else.

A-Rod in batting order:
2nd 93 .301 .398 .495
3rd 281 .295 .386 .559
4th 227 .269 .352 .463

2nd 102 .333 .419 .627
3rd 27 .296 .429 .593
4th 329 .307 .403 .553
5th 147 .347 .461 .728

4th 371 .275 .376 .480
5th 88 .341 .438 .625

Torre's move did work - but it was when he moved A-Rod to 5th.

To simplify things: A-Rod at #5 over the last two years (235 AB's) is hitting about .345 AVG .450 OBP .660 SLG. Just as Giambi doesn't hit as well when he DH's, A-Rod doesn't hit as well in the cleanup spot. Go figure.

I'm not sure why it's so easy to miss this, but Torre certainly did.

2006-08-27 10:53:12
29.   randym77
I'm listening to the Clippers game on Gameday audio. Colter Bean is starting. The Indians announcers think he'll be a September callup.
2006-08-27 11:09:38
30.   Coco Loco
29 Bean is not on the 40-man roster. I believe the Yanks have one spot left on that roster. That said and as much as I would like to see him called up, I don't think the Yanks are going to purchase his contract. They will likely want the extra spot on the 40-man this offseason for guys they need to protect from exposure to the Rule V draft (and Bean is not one of those guys). After all, he's been exposed before, but Boston returned Bean after drafting him, as I recall.
2006-08-27 11:14:19
31.   randym77
30 They could move some players to the 60-day DL, couldn't they? For example, Reese is out for the season, but he's not on the DL.
2006-08-27 11:17:47
32.   Coco Loco
31 Reese seems to be the only candidate. The only guys on the 15-day DL are Sheff, Matsui, Moose, Phillips, Pavano, Cairo. Except for maybe Pavano, all of those players will be back in Sept. and therefore unable to go to the 60-day DL.

Still, something tells me the Yanks will want the roster spot flexibility this winter rather than purchase Bean's contract. I am not sure who exactly they will need to move to the 40-man this winter to protect them from Rule V.

2006-08-27 11:24:31
33.   weeping for brunnhilde
Anyone care to speculate on what's going on with Derek? I recall someone saying something about a run-in or collision he had on the basepaths back when he was hitting .355. Any word on that?

He's gotten some very big hits in the past week or so, but he really needs to start consistently smoking the ball again, especially if Arod is going to continue to be a no-show.

2006-08-27 11:29:22
34.   randym77
Oh, boy. It's house money day, and we haven't even won a game this series.

1. Johnny Damon CF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Bobby Abreu RF
4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
5. Jorge Posada C
6. Robinson Cano DH
7. Bernie Williams LF
8. Craig Wilson 1B
9. Nick Green 2B

2006-08-27 11:36:02
35.   tocho
Melky is finally getting a breather (well deserved and much needed).

Giambi out (he wasn't feeling well yesterday)

Cano gets the day off the field (??)

Bernie gets the start v a left-handed pitcher (finally).

2006-08-27 11:49:37
36.   randym77
And here's the Angels

1. Chone Figgins CF
2. Maicer Izturis 3B
3. Orlando Cabrara SS
4. Vladimir Guerrero RF
5. Garett Anderson DH
6. Juan Rivera LF
7. Howie Kendrick 1B
8. Adam Kennedy 2B
9. Mike Napoli C

2006-08-27 12:06:52
37.   randym77
Wow. YES just said Joe considered benching A-Rod today. They said the only reason A-Rod is in the lineup is that Saunders is a lefty.
2006-08-27 12:08:12
38.   mainmanmaitland
12 - Understand your point but we are playing the Twins and Tigers when get back to the Bronx. After we play them, the schedule gets a lot easier.

If we go 2 for 6 in those series we could be down to a 2 1/2 game lead.

Obviously by then, Moose is back and the rotation is stronger, I just don't want to play the four game series against the Bosox in Sept with only a 2 game lead.

2006-08-27 12:09:55
39.   randym77
Cliff just posted a new game thread.

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