Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
The Say The Road Ain't No Place To Start A Family
2007-04-24 22:23
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Chien-Ming Wang was his old self in his 2007 debut last night. Pitching into the seventh inning, Wang worked quickly, efficiently (81 pitches over 6 1/3 innings), and effectively, getting 12 groundouts to just four fly outs, striking out three and walking no one. His one rough inning had as much to do with bad bounces as bad pitches.

Carl Crawford led of the fourth with a single and a stolen base. Ty Wigginton then hit a chopper in front of the plate that bounced so high that even the plodding Wigginton had time to beat it out (though replays showed he was likely out at first). Crawford, who scampered to third on Wigginton's chopper, scored on a groundout which also moved Wigginton to second. Carlos Peña then hit a clean single to left. Hideki Matsui's throw beat Wigginton home by several steps, but again bounced off that hard surface in front of the plate and bounded over Jorge Posada's glove to make it 2-1 Rays (the first Yankee run came on a tape-measure homer by Matsui leading off the second).

The Yankees took the lead in the top of the seventh after Matsui reached on a Scott Kazmir throwing error on an easy comebacker with one out. Jorge Posada doubled Matsui home and, after a Robinson Cano groundout, Josh Phelps came through with a huge two-out RBI single to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

Wang started the seventh by striking out Jonny Gomes, but then game up a single to Dioner Navarro and a double to B. J. Upton that put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with one out. The pitches to Navarro and Upton were high in the zone and that was all Joe Torre needed to see to take Wang out of the game with the top of the Rays' order coming up.

Removing Wang was a questionable decision in and of itself given that he'd thrown just 81 pitches. Replacing him with Luis Vizcaino, who had pitched in each of the previous two games and in four of the previous five contests while allowing 11 base runners in just 3 1/3 innings, was downright irresponsible. Torre had Vizcaino intentionally walk Rocco Baldelli to set up the force and bring Brendan Harris to the plate. Vizcaino then fell behind Harris 2-0, battled to a full count, and gave up a screaming liner right at Miguel Cairo at short. Having dodged that bullet, Torre called on Mike Myers to retire Carl Crawford for the final out of the inning. Myers had made a one-batter appearance the night before, getting Crawford to pop out to third on two pitches. On this occasion, he battled Crawford to a 2-2 count then floated a pitch right over the plate, which Crawford deposited in the right-field seats for a game breaking grand slam.

The Yankees got one back in the eighth when Hideki Matsui singled home a leadoff walk to Bobby Abreu, but Shawn Camps' sinker made Alex Rodriguez (who took his first 0-fer of the season) and Jason Giambi look silly in between.

In the ninth another regrettable Torre move came back to bite the Yankees. Derek Jeter had been pegged in the lower thigh by a Scott Kazmir in the first inning and was replaced by Miguel Cairo when the Yankees took the field. After Phelps had given the Yankees the lead in the seventh, Johnny Damon singled to put runners on first and second with Miguel Cairo due up. Despite the fact that there were two outs and Cairo is hitless on the season (in an admittedly and delightfully small number of opportunities), Torre pinch-ran for Phelps with Melky Cabrera. After Cairo flied out to strand Cabrera and Damon, Torre put Doug Mientkiewicz in for defense . . . in Damon's spot. Removing Phelps' bat from a one-run game was bad enough, but removing both Phelps and Damon (and Torre confirmed after the game that Damon's nagging injuries played no part in his decision) was downright reckless. Indeed, when the ninth inning came around, the Yankees were down just two runs with Cabrera, Mientkiewicz, and Cairo due up second, third, and fourth. Cairo never even made it to the plate as the Yankees went down in order on a ground out by Cabrera and strikeouts of Robinson Cano and Mientkiewicz. Final score: 6-4 Devil Rays.

How quickly things can change. The Yankees left the Bronx last Thursday with an 8-6 record having just swept the Indians behind a trio of rookie starters. Five days later they're coming home with an 8-11 record after going 0-5 on their road trip. If there's a bright side it's that Wang appears to be back in midseason form and should combine with Andy Pettitte to form a powerful 1-2 punch atop the rotation. What's more, the Yankees didn't lose any of those five games by more than two runs and scored 5.8 runs per game on the trip. Unfortunately, the bullpen, which had been a strength in the early going, is now a full-blown problem. Having been overtaxed (or, in the case of closer Mariano Rivera, underutilized) due to the poor showing of the rotation, the bullpen is in tatters and is directly responsible for three of the road trip's five loses. Only the Florida Marlins have required more innings from their bullpen on a per-game basis. Much as it may seem like it would be little more than passing the problem back to rotation, it would behoove Joe Torre to be a bit slower in removing his starters until the pen appears to restabilize.

A few quick notes: Jeter was hit just above the left knee. He ran the bases, but didn't take the field. He has a bruise, but expects to play tonight. Wang was also hit solidly on the thigh by a comebacker, but continued to pitch and showed no ill effects. Finally, Kevin Thompson was optioned down to make room for Wang on the 25-man roster. One wonders if there was any internal consideration of optioning Melky instead (Peter Abraham reports that Torre said there was not). Right now, I'd rather have Melky playing every day in Scranton and Thompson coming off the bench. After 17 consecutive starts, Cabrera is hitting just .197/.227/.197. Note the complete lack of extra base hits in 77 plate appearances. Kevin Thompson has two doubles in just 8 trips, and six of his eleven major league hits have gone for extra bases.

Comments (139)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-25 00:20:39
1.   Vandelay Industries
I agree for the most part. I do wonder why Joe Torre continues to send in pinch runners to replace his starters in the seventh inning. As you point out, the bullpen has been horrific lately. (Why that is we will have to wait to find out) We have needed late big hits in so many of the previous games, one wonders why Joe thinks the game is over with a one run lead in the seventh. What worries me more is what we have to go to on the bench. It's just plain bad.

I am not so tough on Cairo though. Tonight illustrated why he is a valuable yet inexpensive player. Should we lose, among others, Cano, Jeter, or even Rodriguez for a period of time, we have a competent cheap replacement.

I actually believe we should send Nieves down, and get Phelps ready to roll to fill in for Jorge. He just doesn't have any value when you weigh his relatively mediocre defense against his horrible hitting. He's 30, been in the minors forever, it just aint going to happen. Posada has played more than 120+ games each of the last six or seven years, and we can always call Nieves back up if need be. We have to find someone viable to pinch hit. Whether we hit the trade market, call someone up, or sign someone from their couch, Doug. M., Cairo, and Nieves are not going to cut it. Most notably because we are going to have to carry a Winnebago full of pitchers all season.

2007-04-25 00:25:46
2.   joejoejoe
I wish Torre would just stop using relievers on back to back nights except for Mo in the 9th, in save situations. It's not optimal but it's a lot better than the current usage. There's not that much difference between relievers 2-6 that you couldn't pull one out of a hat and take your chances. Myers? I think LOOGYs should go the way of the dodo.

As for the offense I'm not worried about Cabrera. Melky's not a .190 hitter and ARod's not a .390 hitter but the 5.8 runs a game sounds about what to expect in the long run.

2007-04-25 01:43:29
3.   nyyfan22
So, does the title of this post allude to the forgettable journey the Yanks had this week, or possibly to simply encourage us fans to stand by our team... Faithfully?

Either way, I gotta drop a request for you to try and quote Rocket Man soon - so we can turn this pitching situation right-side out.

2007-04-25 02:27:02
4.   joejoejoe
3 If Johnny Damon can cut his hair to be a Yankee so can Steve Perry.
2007-04-25 03:45:29
5.   The Mick 536
Just don't see the starters saving the pen. Torre style baseball doesn't require 7 innings from the top of the rotation. And still having lots of trouble wishing for Carl's return.

Bad pitching and bad defense and no bench. Scary.

Cannot remember a string of losses like this. 5 straight. If A-Rod doesn't create a run in game 1 and hit two walkoffs, we be in bigger dooodooo. Need to get out in the lead and stay there.

2007-04-25 03:55:34
6.   Shaun P
Its a shame Myers' ERA is only docked 1 run when he allowed all 3 inherited runners to score too. BP doesn't look like they've updated their advanced reliever metrics yet to include last night's games, or I'd go on more. Free Ron Villone?

Why does Torre have a fetish with 80-pitch outings? Is he trying to make the entire bullpen a bunch of EDSPs? I don't want to see the bullpen throw 700 innings (70 for Mo, 30 for Pettitte on his throw days, and 100 each for the other 6 bullpen guys). That's half of the 1400 innings you'd expect the team to need. Why does Torre seem to want this?

All these bullpen moves, and the crazy pinch hitting and pinch running, reek of over-managing to me. Torre is pressing more than Melky is, and I wish someone would tell him to stop, please.

Is it possible that some of this is coming from saintly bench coach Donnie Baseball, who is, at least in theory, Joe's advisor? I'd prefer to think not, but I've never seen Torre act like this before, so I think its fair to ask what's going on.

2007-04-25 04:34:36
7.   C2Coke
3 I think Cliff was just doing his usual excellent game recap despite the fact the Yankees have a 5-game losing streak.

I just kept repeating to myself, "Wang was on a pitch count, he was on a pitch count." Otherwise, it's harder to swallow it.

When is the next offday? The bullpen could use a week.

2007-04-25 04:35:42
8.   Jim Dean
I'm with 100% on this summary, Cliff - glad to see you're back :)
2007-04-25 04:45:37
9.   ChuckM
That's what I've been trying to figure out about Torre this year, myself. It's not like the Yanks have had partcularly strong bench players the past few years, and this year's crop is probably the weakest, yet Torre is managing like it's the best bench he's had in years...
2007-04-25 04:49:11
10.   rbj
Don't know the extent of Jeter's boo-boo, he may not have been able to play any more last night -- or at least be as effective as Cairo.

I'd have taken Wang out then as well. His first ML start in a while and it looked like he was losing it a bit, leaving the pitches up in the zone. Vizier got his job done, with an assist from Cairo. 'Twas Myers who didn't do his LOOGY job. Yanks only 4 games out of first, with pitchers starting to come back from the DL.

2007-04-25 05:12:29
11.   ny2ca2dc
this just in, from pete abe, and it's important for those of us who were howling that torre took out wang so early:

"There seems to be a little confusion about Chien-Ming Wang.

Joe Torre told us the other day that he didn't think Wang was on on a pitch count. Turns out that Ron Guidry and the medical staff decided he would get 80 pitches. Wang threw 81 pitches on Tuesday night, which is about what you would expect from a starter in his first appearance of the season."

link to lohud blog on sidebar

2007-04-25 05:18:40
12.   Jim Dean
1 You do realize that middle infielders who can't hit are perhaps the most abundant around, battling 1B who can hit but not field. Indeed, any random AAA middle infielder could do the "job" that Cairo is doing.

2 And Vizcaino was on his third night in a row.

10 Familiarity breeds bitch slaps. Myers had faced Crawford the night before. And it's not like he gets by with good stuff. When you're trying to deceive hitters, seeing them often sort of ruins the surprise. What Joe will need to realize this season is that Henn is either an interchangeable option with Myers or simply better.

2007-04-25 05:31:13
13.   Simone
11 I figured that Wang was on a pitch count when Joe took him out of the game.

Sucked to lose yet again, but they play again today.

2007-04-25 05:34:36
14.   Sliced Bread
Vizcaino is pitching scared. His eyes say 'help me.' His arm says 'hit me.' Not right.

I've been indifferent to Myers, and his perpetual hangdog expression since he joined the team, but I couldn't get too upset about him last night. My wife felt so sorry for him that I had to empathize.

You're right, Cliff, about how things change so quickly in baseball. They can turn this around fast.

Melky? That's a tough call. As much as Thompson probably deserves the chance to prove himself I think Melky has earned the right to work his way out of a slow start. Give him time.

2007-04-25 05:42:13
15.   Simone
I don't know what is Vizcaino's story, but Myers can't complain of overuse. He should be able to get out one lefty hitter as needed. If not, what is the point of having him as the left hander specialist?
2007-04-25 05:43:19
16.   Simone
About Melky, I think that the Yankees should give him more time to work out his issues before sending him down.
2007-04-25 05:46:14
17.   yankz
Yeah, Torre's proved that Melky has joined his long list of "Players he doesn't know how to manage." Send him down.
2007-04-25 05:46:20
18.   rbj
15 Exactly. If your job is to be a LOOGY, then you need to be a LOOGY -- doesn't matter if the guy saw you the night before.
2007-04-25 05:49:15
19.   Sliced Bread
15 There sorta is no point to having him right now. To me, a lefty specialist is a luxury item, something you dust off and display on special occasions. Oh, Big Papi is coming to dinner? Let's break out the LOOGY. The skidrow Yanks can't afford such a luxury item at this time. They need work horses in the bullpen asap. They need wins asap.
2007-04-25 06:22:25
20.   Knuckles
Cashman needs to make Myers the LOGY (Left Out GuY) or LUGY (Lefthanded Unemployed GuY), or SMIGY (Scranton Middle Innings GuY), because his work as a OBBDGY (One Batter, Booming Double GuY) and GUGSGY (Giving Up Grand Slams GuY) ain't cuttin' it.
2007-04-25 06:26:24
21.   Sliced Bread
20 Grand slam, Knuckles!
2007-04-25 06:28:51
22.   mehmattski
I, meanwhile, maintain my status as IOAG (It's Only April Guy), which will soon be replaced by IOMG (It's Only May Guy), and if things are not better, he will soon be replaced with WDFSG (When Does Football Start Guy).
2007-04-25 06:30:30
23.   Shaun P
11 Thanks. Wang being on a pitch count makes it a different story altogether. Still, why "Todos las Dias" Vizcaino, and why Myers? Jim makes a great point about both in 10.

Melky isn't going to stop pressing by serving as a LIDR on the bench. Too bad they can't undue Thompson's demotion.

2007-04-25 06:31:45
24.   C2Coke
20, 22 These good moments are long due on the Banter!
2007-04-25 06:41:03
25.   Jim Dean
For the "Melky Deserves More Time" camp:

When exactly do you expect him to get said time now?

1. Giambi is the full-time DH (i.e., he's not playing first and so doesn't open the DH slot for one of the OF's).

2. The team is struggling. They shouldn't be resting any of the OF's and their offense.

3. Melky isn't hitting and he's not going to get chances to start (see #1 and #2).

When the team is winning, and Melky is hitting, it's easy to rest one OF a week - even then that only equals 3 games started for Melky each week. And if they were willing to put Giambi at 1B, that maybe one more game a week that Melky gets a start.


Melky will be lucking if he gets 5 plate appearances a week for the next month. He would have been better served in Scranton to be recalled if someone gets hurt.

2007-04-25 06:44:54
26.   Sliced Bread
25 Melky's role is Melky's role, and nobody said it was going to be an easy role for him to adjust to.
I think he was trying to do too much filling in for Matsui. Now he has to adjust to his job as the 4th outfielder.
Also, Damon is playing hurt and should be replaced in late innings. That's Melky's job. He's slumping. Give him time.
2007-04-25 06:50:46
27.   Sliced Bread
25 Melky's bat isn't hurting the team. The pitching is. Why should Melky lose his job?
2007-04-25 06:58:29
28.   Jim Dean
27 Leche's bat isn't helping the team (witness last night). Every out he makes hurts the team (multiplied by the outs of Cairo and Mhfsdjkghf and Nieves too). As Goldman said yesterday - One half of the lineup is fighting the other half.

Melky needs to get straightened out, and riding the bench ain't gonna do it.

2007-04-25 06:59:31
29.   OldYanksFan
From Lohud: "Joe Torre told us the other day that he didn't think Wang was on on a pitch count. Turns out that Ron Guidry and the medical staff decided he would get 80 pitches. Wang threw 81 pitches on Tuesday night, which is about what you would expect from a starter in his first appearance of the season."

Gee... I guess a few people will now have to change their rant from "Fuck Torre, Fire Torre" to "Fuck Guidry, Fire the medical Staff"?

Maybe... maybe people will take this one incident to realize Torre is not responsible for every move, every action, and every natural disaster that we see.

While I like Torre, I confess that so far, there have been many moves I've hated. Can't figure out. But I also understand that many times there is reasoning that I am not always privy too.

It would be nice is we could just eliminate "Fuck Joe Fire Joe"/"Fuck Cashman, Cashman stinks" comments from this blog. It is one thing to have an intellectual discussion and dissection of moves that Joe and Cash make (even though they may be mandated by other factors outside of their authority). It's another thing to CONSTANTLY trash these men, on every thread, after each reliever has a poor game, or player substitution. It's getting old. Write Cashman if you like, but the incessant trashing of Torre/Cashman is beginning to trash this blog.

Is there anyone here who would rather have Phelps play then Minky? Raise your hand. I would. I absolutely would. But I imagine that Minky might have another 300 ABs coming this year. Does this mean I can look forward to 3,625 comments to the nature of just how bad Minky is? How stupid Joe is? How incompetent Cashman is? Just how much do you feel these comments add to the integrity of the Bronx Banter?

How many times in a thread, and how many times in thread after thread, do we have to hear certain people insistently say the same thing, over, and over, and over? Do people understand the difference between a discussion or discourse and a diatribe?

I have been a reader/contributor here since about 4 months before Cliff came on board. I'm guessing thats around 3 years. I have always held the Banter up as having the most intelligent, reasonable and fair comments section in the Yankee blogoshere (to go along with Alex's and Cliff's excellent writing).

But this year something has happened. Yeah, we're losing early games and Torre is befuddling us... but that's not new. Many quality commentors over the past 2 years, for whatever reason, are no longer here. People are openly commenting on how 'hard' reading some of these comments is. There are people who may feel this and say nothing. There are people who may feel this and simply stop coming here. It is obvious I am not the only person saddened by the curent level of the 'dialog' here.

So I have a few suggestion:
1) If you want to "Fuck Torre/Fire Cashman", go to some Red Sox blogs and "Fuck Francona/Fire Theo" instead. If you really need to, throw in a few "Fuck Torre/Fire Cashman"s. Hopefully you will feel better. This kind of 'intellectual statement' is really more appropriate elsewhere.

2) if you are absolutely positive in your views and have no intention whatsoever in modifying them, why come here? There are many other Yankee blogs where this kind of dogmatic/pedantic attitude is appropriate.
There are many blogs that have commenters that are much more knowledgable and have more baseball experience then Joe and Cash.
It's not here. I personally don't confuse my 'opinions' for 'facts'. The Banter is a place to share thoughts and opinions in the hopes of becoming more educated on a variety of issues that surround the Yankees world. If you have nothing to learn, go elsewhere, as you as far too intelligent for us Banterers.

3) If you are frustrated at the Yankees, Joe or Cashman... join the club. But that is not reason to diarrhea over this blog.

a) "Jesus... why would Torre take Giambi out here? There odds of......"
b) "FUCK TORRE! What a jerk! How many times is he going to do the same shit! How come he wants to throw away this game!"
While expressing the same thought, can you see the difference is those 2 statements, and don't understand how differently they effect people reading this blog?

5) It's bad enough I have to listen to our President accuse members of Congress of not being 'loyal Americans'. Do I have to come here to relax, and have people accuse me of not wanting the Yankees to win? Because I don't agree with your opinion? Are there people here who really believe that there are Yankees fans who participate regularly here, who DONT WANT THE YANKEES TO WIN?

6) We have some very witty, intelligent folks here. I certainly can not make comments that are as smart and funny as many I read. But I do TRY AND CONTRIBUTE some thought or opinion that may have value to someone here. There will ALWAYS be posts of frustration. That's part of why we are here. But it would be nice, when possible, for our comments to add something of value to the discussion.

It is up to everyone here to help maintain the quality of this wonder Bronx Banter blog, that Cliff and Alex have worked so hard to create. We owe this to them, and to all the participants here. Many people come here because we feel that this blog operates on a HIGHER LEVEL that other blogs out there. We all have a responsibility to maintain and contribute to this HIGHER LEVEL.

I feel the Bronx Banter is a special place. Please treat it as such.

I apologize for my own diatribe, but it's been brewing for a while. Maybe it is topic for discussion? Maybe the majority disagree? I don't know. But the current discourse have a different 'feel' then those of years past. And I just think it was much better then.

2007-04-25 07:03:35
30.   JL25and3
17 I know it's fun to play "Dogs Pile on the Wabbit" with Torre, but how is his managing responsible for Melky's recent suckitude?

5 It happens. The Yankees lost 6 straight (9 of 10, 11 of 14) in 2005, and 5 straight in 2003. And remember - or try to forget - the end of the 2000 season, when they lost 6 straight, won 1, and lost 7 more. There've also been plenty of times that they've lost 6 of 7, 8 of 10, that sort of thing.

All those years, they ended up doing OK.

2007-04-25 07:14:14
31.   Bama Yankee
3 Good one, nyyfan22. I guess the Yanks are ready to welcome Clemens back with "Open Arms". Maybe we need Randy Jackson as a bench coach so he can tell Torre: "I'm just keepin' it real, dawg... Don't Stop Believin' in that fly dude Phelps, he's the bomb". Although Torre might not know that when Randy says someone is "pitchy" that is not a good thing...
2007-04-25 07:18:07
32.   JL25and3
29 Thank you. I've been reading Alex for quite a few years, and I've noticed many of the same tendencies you have.

I also am getting tired of the Torre-bashing. Not that he should be treated with kid gloves - I've been criticizing him for years. His weaknesses are the same as they've always been - he's a mediocre game manager, it pains him to play youngsters, he values Warriortude over actual performance, and he doesn't really know how to handle time-sharing arrangements well - whether platoons or bullpens.

But people are losing sight of the fact that he has strengths, too. I said yesterday that I think he was crucial to the Yankees' winning last year, and I believe that. And while he has weaknesses, the man's not an idiot; the success over the last decade hasn't all been push-button, not by any means. He can and should be criticized, but I find the condescension a little presumptuous.

I also agree with you about the tone of some posts. One of the great values of this site is that it's never gotten personal. I see some of that creeping in, and that would really be a shame.

2007-04-25 07:18:50
33.   Jim Dean
29 That's quite a rant. Meanwhile, the language you're using is something I rarely see arouond here. Though I don't follow most of the game threads.

The problem with the pitch count explanation is what followed:

1. He brings in Vizcaino (for the third day in a row) to intentionally walk Baldelli and setup the double play.

2. As others have pointed out (the boys at NoMaas are about to have their collective heads explode), if you're going to go through all that, why not just have Wang walk the guy and pitch to one more batter. His arm isn't going to fall off and decisions like that are the manager's perogative. So what he ends the night at ~90 pitches of which four were an intentional walk.

3. He brings in Myers to face Crawford for the second night in a row.

4. As Cliff nicely summarizes, Tea pinch runs for Phleps with Cairo at the plate in the 7th inning. The only way to unravel that dandy of a decision is to put Mfhwdsfik and compunds it by double switching Melky into Phleps spot in the lineup and Mfjdfkl into Damon's slot.

5. In a two run game, the offense sends up Melky, Cano, and Mfwshfjk to end the game with Cairo on deck.

Me, I feel very comfortable calling that a Torre loss. And for all the games Nieves and Mfhdskj have been playing - those to me are Cashman losses.

Oh, and I'm not worried in the least. But the limitations built into the roaster will continue to haunt this team alll season long.

2007-04-25 07:22:05
34.   Shaun P
29 Very heartfelt comment, OYK. I understand exactly how you feel. Lots of passionate folks here not afraid to express an opinion, and back it up. It usually makes for great discussion. Lately, not always. I've skipped reading some of the game threads because its just not worth it, and that makes me sad. I'm happy to see good discussion in this thread at least.

IMHO, the best way to make nonsense go away is to not respond. Its hard to do, but it does work. Not responding is also a proven Sox troll repellent.

2007-04-25 07:25:33
35.   Sliced Bread
29 well put, OldYanksFan.

I'll cop to pressing the Minky stinks button a few too many times around here, but I've been trying to do it less.

More to your point though -- yesterday I was called "stupid" by a fellow Banterer, and accused by the same Banterer of not wanting the Yanks to win because I expressed my preference that the Yanks not go after Clemens.

It was not the type of dialog I'm used to enjoying here, and I'm sorry I got caught up in it.

For the most part, I think the discourse is still interesting and fun here, but I've also noticed the unappealing rash of meanspirited comments.

Good call on your part to keep the noise in check.

2007-04-25 07:32:42
36.   LI yankee
Maybe this will lighten the mood.

I've always equated the Cap'n to Lassie...

2007-04-25 07:32:56
37.   Shaun P
32 Great points, JL. Its like Steven Goldman's experience with the 'trade A-Rod' e-mailers: OK, if you want to fire Torre, who takes his place AND does a better job?

I too criticize Torre's lack of tactical skills, and his "Belly full of guts" approach to the bench and bullpen. But outside of maybe Davey Johnson, who I think is unavailable (getting ready for the '08 Olympics), I can't think of anyone out there right now who'd be an improvement on Torre. Lots of maybes, but no guarantees.

We're going to find out someday, but I'd rather it not be today.

2007-04-25 07:34:22
38.   Jim Dean
29 Meanwhile - let me ask this:

What would you rather have?

I think what you're losing sight of is: To Banter is to complain, celebrate, bemoan, applaud, debate, discuss, cheer, etc. Me, I react strongly to folks that wish to steer a discussion one way or another.

Sounds like you'd rather strike all the negative stuff and live in a polyanna universe. That level of censorship never benefits a community. Everyone gets different things here. And so long as what they say is respectful of others, then let them say it, and if you don't like it then either ignore it or debate it.

2007-04-25 07:38:18
39.   monkeypants
29, 32, 35 Reasoned and passionate posts, especially by OldYanksFan. I too will admit to bitching about Stinky Minky to much (or repeatedly asking about the Gyro-Ball). I guess I draw a distinction between the game threads, which tend to reflect more of a real time sports conversation (like you would you have watching the game with your buddies at the bar), and the post game analysis threads, which tend to emphasize lengthier analysis. So, I tend to skim the game threads or contribute (perhaps unfortunately) with short, 'witty' comments. Perhaps I will tone this down in the future.

With regards to Torre--yes, I am guilty of piling on. We should all be able to agree that he has his strengths and weaknesses. I will contend, however, that he (like many older coaches) is increasingly patterned in his game-tactical decisions. I will also contend that while the construction of the team has eveolved over the years, his managing has not. Thus, I believe that his blunders--often the same blunders he made in the past--are becoming more frequent and have a worse cumulative effect.

Case in point is his BP use. Pitching the bejeesus out of your number 1 set-up guy is great if he is Mariano Rivera 1996. But just because you strike gold with one or a few players does not mean that the same usage tactics work for all players. (It reminds me of NFL coaches who try to run the "west coast offense" but don't have the personal in place to do it.)

2007-04-25 07:38:52
40.   Jim Dean
37 It's a moot point, no? The Torre ship has sailed for this season. Without the Boss suddenly regaining mid-80's forms, Torre is safe. He gets one last chance. Seems like a fine farewell for me.
2007-04-25 07:43:39
41.   Sliced Bread
32 Word.
Criticizing Joe is one thing, but fans are getting crazy.
It's as if the irrational hate normally reserved for A-Rod is now being pointed at Joe. The Torre cyber-booing is getting louder by the day.

Torre made a great call last week bringing Phelps and Posada late into the A-Rod walk-off game. That move went unnoticed by compulsive Torre bashers, but if he presses the wrong button you'll read a hundred angry posts about it.

Whatever. Some fans won't appreciate Joe or A-Rod until they're gone.

2007-04-25 07:52:13
42.   Jim Dean
41 It's not booing for the sake of booing. The guy is making consistently terrible decisions (sure just like he always has).

When they win all is forgotten.

When they lose, he gets the blame. That's what he supposed to excel at - deflectivng attention from the players. Too bad he forgot that last year with Arod.

2007-04-25 07:52:50
43.   LI yankee
41 There unfortunately always has to be a scapegoat when things get rough. The bashing will stop when the winning starts.

Joe has made some questionable moves I admit, but how can you prepare for having 3 starters go down? How can you prepare for Rivera suddenly becoming mortal? Everyone in that pen, besides Mo and probably Farns, is absolutely gassed at this point. Without much reliable starting pitching, what can the man do? At this point he's playing with fire no matter who he puts in. What can the man do?

2007-04-25 07:56:34
44.   Jim Dean
43 Just last night:

Maybe not pitch Vizcaino for three days in a row?

Or throw Myers at Crawford for the second night in a row?

Or pinch run for Phelps with a one run lead in the seventh?

Or swap Melky for Damon with that same one run lead?

See, if they win that game, those things float by. But when they don't win, those decisions get magnified.

Torre makes the big bucks - no one needs to defend him.

2007-04-25 07:59:57
45.   Jim Dean
Oh, and lest you think I'm a Torre basher. I think he goes in the HOF - no doubt. But it's not hard to realize his expiration date is rapidly approaching. He had a great run. Hopefully there's one more ring in it.
2007-04-25 08:00:58
46.   Alvaro Espinoza
29 Hehehe... I don't post here as often as I used to. Been busy planning a wedding. But another reason for not posting as often is b/c I usually don't have anything new to add. This post is a perfect example - I agree with Cliff entirely (i.e. Vizcaino, PR for Phelps, etc.,).

So I agree that it would be nice if folks kept the banter (pun fully intended) to fresh and insightful ideas. But cyberspace is a big place and we're all going to experience a certain quotient of pedantry. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath.

btw - not laughing at you. I know the frustration you're feeling and I'm sure a lot of others have felt it before on this and other sites. My approach - I ignore posters who are clearly looking to press buttons and/or add nothing interesting to the conversation. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...

2007-04-25 08:01:27
47.   JL25and3
38 I don't think anyone's suggesting a Pollyannish - or even Panglossian - approach. Criticism is part of the life blood of any of these discussions. But the criticism has often had a shrill, breathless sort of quality - how could Joe be so stupid, any idiot can see, and so on.

I agree that some of his tendencies are getting worse, though I'm not sure bullpen use is one of them. In fact, that's a case where I think his managing has changed with the roster - this year, with a deeper bullpen, he's been able to overuse about 5 different relievers instead of just one or two. On the other hand, I can't see that he's had a lot of choice.

I'll repeat what I said yesterday: given his tendencies, I think it's a mistake to use the bench coach as an apprenticeship. Give that job to Bowa, and I think the in-game management would improve.

And finally: if the pitching coach and medical staff tell Torre to keep Wang down to 80 pitches, it would be grossly irresponsible of him to ignore that. It's all well and good to say from here that it wouldn't have mattered, but we really don't know that. It only takes one more pitch to pull that hammy again.

2007-04-25 08:01:55
48.   JL25and3
38 I don't think anyone's suggesting a Pollyannish - or even Panglossian - approach. Criticism is part of the life blood of any of these discussions. But the criticism has often had a shrill, breathless sort of quality - how could Joe be so stupid, any idiot can see, and so on.

I agree that some of his tendencies are getting worse, though I'm not sure bullpen use is one of them. In fact, that's a case where I think his managing has changed with the roster - this year, with a deeper bullpen, he's been able to overuse about 5 different relievers instead of just one or two. On the other hand, I can't see that he's had a lot of choice.

I'll repeat what I said yesterday: given his tendencies, I think it's a mistake to use the bench coach as an apprenticeship. Give that job to Bowa, and I think the in-game management would improve.

And finally: if the pitching coach and medical staff tell Torre to keep Wang down to 80 pitches, it would be grossly irresponsible of him to ignore that. It's all well and good to say from here that it wouldn't have mattered, but we really don't know that. It only takes one more pitch to pull that hammy again.

2007-04-25 08:03:57
49.   OldYanksFan
38 Please let me be clear: I am not against negative feedback on Torre or Cashman, or negative comments, complaining, hand wringing or any other expressions of frustration.

But there are simply different ways to communicate our thoughts and feelings. So are much better then others. We don't need to express our thoughts at the expense of others. We can hold our opinions but still validate others. There are rules even in arguing.

Jim... While you might not believe it, issues are more usually shades of grey then black and white. Black and white 'discussions' tend to take on a 'my dad can beat up your dad' kind of flavor.

Things like name calling, personal attacks, discounting others opinions, constant insults, continual beating of the dead horse... these are not good ways to communicate.

I have no problem with peoples ideas... whatever they are. I very much Do have a problem with the manner in which people have been 'verbalizing' there ideas.

There has been a lot of distrustive language used recently. It's not necessary,

A valid point can ALWAYS be made without it being at the expense of others.

I am a supporter of Torre, but MANY things that are done (whether by him directly or him representing other voices) infuriate me. However, I do recognize that Torre was an All-Star catcher, an MVP and has 15 years player experience and 15 years managerial experience. Even the Rain Man would has learned something from that career.

Cashman has also been around a while. My guess is, he's a pretty smart guy. There are also dozens of other personal with a great deal of knowledge and experience. This is, after all, a billion dollar corporation.

I just assume (maybe wrongly?) that sometimes they know something we don't.

But again:
I have NO NO NO desire to censor content.
I simply want our communication skills to be on a higher level.

2007-04-25 08:04:27
50.   JL25and3
Sorry for the double post. It was the network, not me.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-25 08:07:00
51.   Cru Jones
29 Sorry, but, IMHO, your rant is pretty excessive, not warranted, foul-mouthed and doesn't make much sense. This is a PUBLIC BLOG. People simply log in and express themselves. You don't own it. You being here before Cliff doesn't give you more rights to it or more say than anyone else. Moreover, it's not like the things you complain about are off-topic. If you only want to read things that please you, that you agree with or that don't annoy you, maybe you should get together with some of your buds and email each other or start your own private/restricted blog. You might end up being a happier person. There are some unhappy Yankee fans venting their frustrations in cyberspace, and, for better or for worse, you're going to have to deal, change the tone with different posts or just move on.
2007-04-25 08:15:30
52.   Jim Dean
"Things like name calling, personal attacks, discounting others opinions, constant insults, continual beating of the dead horse"

I'm not sure if this is the site you've been reading. I've seen very little of this sort of stuff here. And when it's happened, folks have been promptly called out.

And sure, I can recognize the dead horses - I've repeatedly flogged the majority of them. But a certain aspect of that is calling attention to stuff that folks readily dismissed in the past.

"Cashman? - He's a great GM"

"Migufdivhg - at least he'll provide outstanding defense and a good OBP"

"Cairo - A veteran that knows what it takes"

"BUC? Who needs a good BUC? Besides, they're hard to find."

"Cashman ain't finished yet."

That last one was a nice little discussion you and I had.

See, surely there are huge grey areas. But I think a huge mistake is made when folks start to think all opinions are equally valid. They're not. Some things just are right and wrong. And just as it's okay to be wrong, there's no shame in being right. The best part of Banter, to me, is the fun in sorting those things out.

2007-04-25 08:18:03
53.   Jim Dean
And one question for me:

If OldYanksFan has been here since before Cliff, I'd like to know:

Who is OldYanksFan?

Cause that identity seemed to only appear late last summer. Why the cloaking?

2007-04-25 08:27:46
54.   ny2ca2dc
Well, hopefully some folks can try to feel a little better by mocking my pain ;).

Check this out: While Phil Franchise makes his debut, I will be in Baltimore, with my wife & some of her relatives, for the Red Sox - O's game. And they're all from Boston. So not only do i have to deal with the in-laws being sox fans (and i had to watch the weekend sweep at the in-laws house last weekend, with the mother in law making disparaging comments about the one and only Mariano), I also gotta go to a Sux game WHILE PHIL MAKES HIS DEBUT. christ that sucks.

2007-04-25 08:29:46
55.   Jim Dean
See, and for some folks, this is a place to feel like you can regain your manhood, at least in theory.
2007-04-25 08:32:27
56.   C2Coke
29, 32, 35 Thank you. It feels a bit like we've got a family to protect, doesn't it?
2007-04-25 08:35:23
57.   LI yankee
54 Ugh. Can't you call in sick?
2007-04-25 08:37:29
58.   OldYanksFan
53 I was initally SINGLEDD... when I was younger. (So I've been here since BEFORE you were Rob Gee).

It would be nice, even important, if you guys weighed in here. This is your blog, I am just one of many. If you think I was out of line, or off target, let me know.

If you think I made some valid, maybe even important points, please say so.

I do not wish to speak for you two, but as someone who has been here a while, and has read 98% of all the posts over the years, I believe I am only asking for the decorum that I sensed and experienced in years prior.

(and Alex... Congrats. I wish the Yankees could have given you a better wedding present)

2007-04-25 08:40:55
59.   Knuckles
Pregame at Pickles Pub.

You need two accomplices.

One, a work buddy, to act like an obnoxious O's fan and to take a swing at you.

Two, another buddy, dressed as a cop. To arrest you both and haul you off to jail.

"Jail" in this case being ESPN Zone down the street.

Watch Hughes pitch.

Then make your "one phone call" to your family, and tell them the matter has been dropped.

2007-04-25 08:48:39
60.   rbj
Just gotta say that I'm glad we all aren't fans of the Royals -- then it really would be one giant doom and gloom fest with calls for everyone to get fired (of course, then there actually would be a rational basis for the shrieking.)

So everyone, who's the perfect manager and GM (excluding yourselves)?

2007-04-25 08:50:24
61.   Simone
Awww, the boys are bonding against Rob Gee an his negative crew. How sweet. OldYanksFan, I've your back in a "kind of stay out of the way so I don't get hit kind of way." I've taken a hiatus from the blog a couple times over the last 2 years to get away from the negativity. I love the occasionally heated debate, but meanness and insults are too much at times, worse I find myself getting sucked in and responding in kind.
2007-04-25 08:51:39
62.   Ken Arneson
This is all an interesting discussion...and in some ways, it's a very typical growth problem for a blog.

I try hard to keep people from insulting each other, which is usually the first and biggest hurdle towards having reasonable discussions, and that's fairly easy to do. But it's a much harder problem on a high-traffic site to keep people from beating dead horses. I keep wondering if there's some systematic way to reduce the amount of dead-horse flogging, but I don't have any brilliant ideas.

Over on Dodger Thoughts, the community is pretty good about agreeing on these dead horses, and moving on. I think that's kind of what needs to be done here, too.

I suggest someone make a short list of Official Bronx Banter Dead Horses, and then you can refer back to it (repost it or whatever) whenever one comes up, and it might save y'all some grief.

Note that you don't have to have a consensus conclusion on the issue for an issue to be a dead horse. You just need to have argued the thing to death, and any further discussions will just be more of the same.

2007-04-25 08:54:21
63.   OldYanksFan
Now... to get back to the Yankees and intelligent debate, I ask for feedback on the following:

As the 'from Lohud' staement (in the first paragraph of 29) tells us, there are times Torre is acting on instructions 'from above' (or from the side?). I myself wonder just how often, unbeknownst (sp?) to us, this goes on.

For example: Is it possible Cashman has mandated that Minky get the majority of the playing time, so the he (Cashman) can determine 'if he stays or if he goes'. After all, Cashman has got to be thinking/planning about mid-season upgrades.

For BP usage: How much of a role does Ron and Kerrigan play? How about the players themselves? What if Bruney says 'I'm ready to pitch... I don't think this bad case of diarreah I have will effect me'?

What about scouts or the number of other personel that are responsible for various different aspects of the game (such as determining batter/pitcher weaknesses)?

I mean, there are a LOT of people behind the scenes. It would be hard for me to believe that Torre gets 95-100% authority to do whatever he wants.

So the question is: How much of what we see are actually HIS personal decisions vs him just being the front man for the organizations desires/mandates?

51 Sounds like a new name... if so... welcome. I would ask that you again read the BOLD statements at the bottom of 49. As in terms of foul-mouthed, I was quoting other 'statements' that have been posted here.

2007-04-25 08:55:21
64.   manila boy
29 Thanks, OldYanksFan, for saying what's been on my mind but haven't said. You said it for me, and I'm glad you said it as passionately as you did.

52 Jim, you don't get it.

One, you don't get it that OYF complained about the way people express their opinions, not about the opinions per se. Disagreement is fine, but condescencion, mean-spiritedness, and foul language are not appreciated.

Two, you again make it seem as if everyone who disagrees with you is unreasonably optimistic. Those who have disagreed with you have struck me mostly as having done so quite reasonably. No one has struck me as being "Polyannaish."

And the fact that you often refer to the people who disagree with you as Polyannas or as folks who've drunk the Kool Aid or are dense is an example of the kind of banter that OYF, and I, don't like. It's your absolutism, as Cliff puts it.

Oh, and you said this:

"But I think a huge mistake is made when folks start to think all opinions are equally valid. They're not. Some things just are right and wrong."

Sure, but who gave you the clear glasses to see which ones are right, which wrong? (But I guess I've had too much Kool Aid.)

Good night, folks. Time for bed. (I'm on the other side of the planet.)

Enjoy the games. Me, I haven't been able to watch any. That sucks. But what's worse is reading comments from folks here who actually are watching -- who actually have the blessed opportunity to watch the Yanks play -- but who do nothing but whine and bitch and moan.

You're blessed. Gratitude would not be inappropriate.

2007-04-25 08:55:46
65.   williamnyy23
29 So, you think we should ignore the many questionable moves that Torre has made? Criticizing Torre and even suggesting that his job status be under serious review are all defensible positions. You may not like the opinions, but that doesn't mean those advancing their arguments are "trashing the blog". Personally, I think using repeated vulgarity is trashing the blog, but that's just my opinion.

I thought the point of this blog was to have die hard Yankee fans express passionate opinions about the team. I passionately think the Yankees would be better off without Torre (and have felt that way for some time). Bloggers like me have outlined several examples of how we think Torre is hurting the team. Unfortunately, Torre's mistakes are becoming a reoccurring theme. If you are going to have any discussion about CURRENT games, one of the main topics is going to be Torre. If you like Torre, I realize it isn't easy to hear, but the criticism is warranted. If you think it isn't, let us know why. Advancing your opinion as the moral high ground doesn't constitute dialogue.

35 I am not going to rehash this again…but you DID say you would rather the Yankees fail with prospects than sign Clemens. I didn't accuse you of anything, but instead pointed out how ridiculous your statement was IF you wanted the team to win. I still think it is a ridiculous statement (I originally said stupid and rescinded that remark). If I misunderstood you, I apologize, but any attempt to turn my reaction to your comment as a personal attack is excessive.

2007-04-25 08:59:09
66.   Sliced Bread
54 59 Problem is, the in-laws are Sox fans, and as such, they'll probably overreact to a false incarceration. It will also confirm their suspicions that you're a Yanks lovin' thug.

Staged medical emergency is probably the way to go.

But, see, if you sit on a shrimp fork, for example, you'll be ridiculed Pavano style.
If you feign a seizure they'll blow it off thinking you're just acting like Tavarez.
Also, you'd have to suffer a serious injury so as not to raise suspicion. Hmmm.

Best bet: be honest and tell them the sight of the Red Sox gives you the runs somethin' awful. You wouldn't be lying, and they might just let you off the hook.

2007-04-25 09:00:18
67.   OldYanksFan
60 Jim Dean
2007-04-25 09:03:40
68.   Sliced Bread
65 Hello. Good to see you. Enjoying the fine weather we're having? Me too.
Hey, have a great day. Counting the days til Roger gets here!
2007-04-25 09:03:46
69.   Cru Jones
63 Thanks for the welcome. I've only posted once before, but have been checking the site for quite some time since I moved out of the country and found it hard to see much live Yankees action (my new SlingBox is helping!). As a relatively new member, though, your original post hit a nerve and made me think I was somehow less worthy of a participant/made me nervous to post. But, your further comments in 49 cleared things up for me. Also, 59 gave me a good laugh!
2007-04-25 09:05:15
70.   williamnyy23
62 Those are excellent suggestions, but the Torre issue can't really be considered a dead horse? can it? For years, Torre has had games where he made you scratch your head, but never before have I seen such a concentrated display. If it's June and the tone is still "Joe Must Go", I'd agree that the debate had grown stale. We are still early in the season, however, so I think this debate is more relevant.

One other point...I think a significant distinction should be made between comments during games versus those posted to more general threads. Running game commentary is definitely going to slant NEGATIVE when the Yankees lose 5 games in a row. What's wrong with that? Clearly, if you are watching every game and posting to a blog, you have made it clear that these games mean a lot more to you than they should.

2007-04-25 09:06:00
71.   C2Coke
58 Ken's got your back.

63 Everytime when the camera goes to the dugout and shows Torre deciding on bringing in a reliever, he always seem to be initiating a conversation with Ron Guidry. Then, more often than not, I would see Guidry does most of the talking. Obviously, I have no idea what they talk about but to me, that indicates that the BP usage is not a one man decision all the time.

2007-04-25 09:10:31
72.   williamnyy23
63 I'd have to think Joe completely runs the ship. Considering his relationship with the media, we'd know if he was having things forced upon him (see the Kim Jones fiasco a few years back). Maybe the problem is Joe delegates too much? If so, it's up to him to pull the reigns in. Also, if that is the case, it would concern me. Guidry and Mattingly do not have the experience of Mel and Zimmer...Torre needs to adjust his style and be more hands on than he has ever been. Perhaps that is the problem with what we are seeing now...Torre hasn't adjusted his style.
2007-04-25 09:11:46
73.   Bama Yankee
69 Welcome. BTW, cool name. Please tell me you were a boxer and used the nickname "Wrecking"... ;-)
2007-04-25 09:12:19
74.   C2Coke
66 Good one. 68 Even better.
2007-04-25 09:12:53
75.   OldYanksFan
Err.... ah... um.....
In 58, I meant to type: Alex/Cliff/KEN (silly me).

Nice to know that like the voice of God (Bob Shepard) Ken is always looming. Ken... a few suggestions:

"Official Bronx Banter Dead Horses"
EXCELLENT IDEA! It might be fun to post the list at the top of the comments page... just as a gentle reminder. If you want to be a 'real liberal', you can even dedicate a page, or ongoing thread, to some of the dead horse issues. Thats way people can read about dead horses, and even continue to beat them, without it interferring with the current thread.

If terms of Bronx Banter general decorum, you could have some really fancy named page that states what we strive for here... maybe called "Bronx Banter General Decorum". Public Libraries have rules, no reason you/Alex/Cliff can't.

And similar to the 'Dead Horse' page, maybe we could have separate pages/threads for ongoing, hotbutton topics, headed by Torre and Cashman 'God or Devil'. Again, place where people could both post and read various opionions of HotButton topics, without interferring with the current thread.


2007-04-25 09:15:24
76.   Bama Yankee
53 Jim, OYF answered your question about the name. Are you going to tell us if you are the poster formerly known as Rob Gee?
2007-04-25 09:17:19
77.   C2Coke
76 LOL! Can this be included in the "Dead Horse" list? ;)
(I love it, keep them coming.)
2007-04-25 09:19:45
78.   Bama Yankee
77 The official Bronx Banter shirt could have Karim Garcia trying to ride a dead horse...
2007-04-25 09:21:22
79.   OldYanksFan
And Ken... at register time, can you ask if we are Male or Female? That way, when females post, you could put there Handle in PINK.

Maybe if we all knew when there was a Lady in the room.... :-)

2007-04-25 09:21:48
80.   yankz
Yeah, I like the "Dead Horse page" idea. But I think we should get somewhat -not a totally free- pass during game threads when most of us (myself included) let emotions get the better of us and don't always think rationally.

I'll nominate Cashman's pitching moves as a Dead Horse. But I will fight to the death to keep "New nicknames for Midxzedzk" alive!

2007-04-25 09:22:35
81.   yankz
76 Has he denied it yet?

Are we ready to let Karim Garcia jokes go?

2007-04-25 09:22:53
82.   williamnyy23
I'll bite...who or what is Rob Gee?
2007-04-25 09:23:03
83.   C2Coke
78 ROFL! Not it's more like it, the Banter we know and love.

And Karim Garcia could be wearing the "game-worn" cap of Glass owned by Sliced.

2007-04-25 09:23:41
84.   yankz
82 Sigh. It's a long, long tale. Start by searching this site (--->) for "rob gee." And someone else can take over from here.
2007-04-25 09:23:56
85.   Cru Jones
73 Thanks. The name is sports related, but it has nothing to do with boxing. It's an homage to one of my favorite sports movies. If you grew up liking BMX bikes and thought mag wheels were awesome, you'll know the movie and the man.

I'm also quite pleased with myself that my third post to this forum received the coveted "69" slot!

2007-04-25 09:25:18
86.   C2Coke
83 Same old same can't spell can't type. "Now."
2007-04-25 09:27:52
87.   pistolpete
29 Well said - I suspect this place got a bit too popular and it's sort of like when you live on the edge of the forest and leave the back door open - sooner or later the wildlife creeps in.

Anyway, I too am becoming increasingly frustrated with the pitching situation, and with each passing appearance I wonder what place Myers has on this team. If you're the LOOGY and that's the only reason you wear the uniform, you should be automatic. Not so-so, not iffy - auto-effin-matic.

Hey, why not Chase Wright as the new LOOGY? He can get bombed for a helluva lot less money after all.

I'm also in the 'don't panic' camp, although it's difficult to keep a brave face when you live on the fringes of RSN here in CT...

2007-04-25 09:36:00
88.   OldYanksFan
Hey... did anyone notice that the Wanger pitched 7 innings of 2 run BB last night (and one run was on a BADLY blown call)?
Did anyone notice we had 'The Perfect Lineup' in there (until Jetes got plunked)?

Whats the better lineup?
Melky -in LF, Giambi at 1st, Matsui DH -or-
Matsui in LF, Phelps at 1st, Gaimbi DH

2007-04-25 09:37:58
89.   Ken Arneson
75 Now posting...Number Zero...Ken Arneson. Number Zero.

I'm just making suggestions here; it's Cliff and Alex's blog, so they can manage it how they want. I usually only step in when I see people insulting each other.

I agree that it might help things here if the game threads were clearly separated from the opinion pieces, because they do generate much different kinds of discussions, and some people don't care to read game threads. But again, that's up to Alex and Cliff, and they each have their day jobs and schedules and honeymoons to take care of as well as this blog, so they have to do whatever works for them.

2007-04-25 09:39:57
90.   Bama Yankee
81 I have not seen him deny it.

As for the Karim Garcia jokes, I guess some people must like them in the same way you like the "New nicknames for Midxzedzk". They seem to have taken on a life of their own (I guess you can blame me and a few other for that). Some people are pretty creative with their jokes and they usually add some levity to the discussions (we could all you that the way things are going lately).

2007-04-25 09:45:49
91.   Peter
88 I'd go with Matsui LF, Giambi 1B, Phelps DH

Giambi's splits must not be ignored!

2007-04-25 09:48:51
92.   LI yankee
91 Neither can his defense...

Actually what do the defensive metrics say about Phelps in comparison with Giambi?

2007-04-25 10:09:18
93.   Bama Yankee
82 william, you can send me an email at:
and I'll give you the scoop...
2007-04-25 10:15:27
94.   Jim Dean
76 Me, I think it's a funny tale - nothing more or less. The reverence for the fellow when I first asked the question, that 82 repeats, was hilarious - like some long lost soul. Good times!

Like I've said, I think the community works just fine. As soon as you start crossing things off about what can be discussed, you're on a very slippery slope. Good luck with that.

And 64 I've got no problem with being right or wrong. The point of Banter to me, is figuring out for yourself where your opinions lie - not with regard to popularity but with regard to some version of the truth. If folks make statements that seem less than inspired we should all feel free to debate, and I will, irrespective of the topic.

Very frustrating to me are the things that are obviously wrong, and yet get perpetuated because they seem right (Cairo is a great veteran presence, Mjfsdhk is a great 1B, Cashman will make more moves before the season starts, that Girardi and Beinfest were best friends). I'd rather this place not sound like everything we hear already from Joe Morgan and John Sterling because people are too afraid of challenging each other. And IMHO you have to fight against that nonsense everyday with good cold hard facts, or arguments because it always crops up. That doesn't mean you'll change any minds - it just means that the bantering will be good.

I'd say if you have trouble dealing with negativity then don't expect to find many positive thoughts in the middle of a five game losing streak while the team is in last place. Or after they sign Doug Mfhdjgd and promote Wil Nieves. Now, that's just me.

Don't get me wrong Ken 62 especially as you've put together a great, great site here (great design, simple interface, runs really well, and great, great authors), but what's worked at Dodger Thoughts need not work here. That's a different community (West Coast - the horror!), different team (haven't won anything in ~20 years), just a different vibe based on the author(s) involved.

See, I believe that stats can be used to nicely show common beliefs as wrong. Or when then GM shows his M.O. in past years, it's not a surprise when he does nothing major in January or February (even as others vigorously argued he would - whoops!). Or when the manager has consistently shown he can't manage a bench or bullpen, is it any surprise when he doesn't?

Meanwhile, look at this thread. People who are talking about having good discussions are taking pot shots at me (e.g., 64, 67). Way to set the example - really nice work. Whatever.

I come here to discuss the Yankees. When something's said that I don't agree with I'm not going to pretend I agree. And I wouldn't expect anyone to do that with me. Some egos may get bruised, but hey that's life. If it's a respectful debate, there's no problem in my mind.

That's the Bronx Banter I know. And I wouldn't have it any other way.


2007-04-25 10:17:52
95.   Jim Dean
91 But Peter, he's doing just fine (much to my surprise) as a DH this year and only playing DH. The time for Giambi as a 1B may have passed.
2007-04-25 10:20:38
96.   Jim Dean
One more thought: Why do people hide behind anonymous names?

One way IMHO to humanize the discussion is to use first names.

2007-04-25 10:23:05
97.   Max Nomad
91 95 Yea, Giambino is mashing. Tied for second in RBI with Ortiz behin A-God.
2007-04-25 10:23:28
98.   Max Nomad
96 What if I'm famous?
2007-04-25 10:29:32
99.   LI yankee
96 Yeah, um, I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal.
2007-04-25 10:31:24
100.   yankz
90 Oh man, I'm definitely not advocating the end of "Who is..." jokes. I like them too.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-25 10:33:40
101.   yankz
99 I remember once I said "I'm Joe Torre." And frankly I'm sick of you all calling for my head.
2007-04-25 10:35:52
102.   Jim Dean
It may be just me - but I'd think you'd want better monikers if you're going to be famous, like Woody Allen or Bob Dylan. If you don't want to use your real name, pick a stage name.

All I know is I'd rather talk to Frank or Sarah than monkeyface or SoxSuk32. Hey, that's just me.

2007-04-25 10:36:13
103.   Shaun P
77 I would buy it!

62 Ken, the idea of a "dead horse list" is fantastic. Lord knows there are plenty of horses that are dead enough to be something beyond zombies right now. Lord also knows I've contributed to many of those, and I've tried hard to stop.

2007-04-25 10:44:09
104.   AbbyNormal821
102 - hey, my name is in the title! I just add the 'Normal' because every time someone asks "what's your name?" and I reply with "Abby", I get "oh, Abby NORMAL???" Hardee-har-har! It's not that I mind the Young Frankenstein reference (one of my fave movies), but dammit all to Hades, if I had a dollar for every time someone called me that...


2007-04-25 10:47:29
105.   JL25and3
65 No one's suggesting that anyone ignore Torre's bad moves. I'd like to see him criticized with some respect, and with a little less heat. It's a long season.

Personally, I think you have it backwards. If it's June, the pitching staff is healthy and a little more stable, and Joe's moves still seem to be dragging the team down - that's the time to start talking about real concern. Right now, his flaws aren't why the team's in trouble.

And, since Sliced Bread is keeping mum, I'll bite one more time. There's no clear choice between winning with Clemens or losing with prospects. I'd rather win with the kids than with Clemens; I'd rather lose with the kids than with Clemens. So if they don't sign Clemens and they don't win, I can live with that.

2007-04-25 10:51:23
106.   3rd gen yankee fan
79 I fuckin hate pink. Did you want us to wear pink Yankees caps now? Are we somehow less able to tolerate cussing cause we're female? Or are you trying to find yet more ways to control the situation?

Sorry if I sound peeved, man. I love your stories, but really can't see wth being female has to do with how some people conduct themselves online. Maybe you were kidding?

2007-04-25 10:51:27
107.   Bama Yankee
Okay, Jim, I'm gonna come clean, I'm actually Karim Garcia...
All that stuff about being a Yankee fan in Alabama is just a facade. ;-)
2007-04-25 10:56:25
108.   JL25and3
102 I've been JL25and3 so long I sometimes forget I have another name. It's as distinctive and identifiable as my real name - just ask my nephew, who will gladly call me out if I say anything especially stupid here.
2007-04-25 11:00:07
109.   Shaun P
107 I KNEW IT! I never had any proof, but I always knew.

Karim, I've got to thank you for 2002 - you helped save my fantasy team from the cellar with that awesome second half you put together.

2007-04-25 11:02:25
110.   seattleyank
94 Jim, be honest, what percentage of posters on this blog actually say that Mfhfhxhfkd is a great 1B? Or that having a good BUC is totally useless and wouldn't want one if he was available?

I think the vast majority of people on this site AGREE with your opinions. My take is that you're preaching to the choir, and people are ready to hear some new sermons. We all wish we had a 1B who could hit his weight. But it's not like if we achieve 100% consensus on the Banter, then Cashman will have no choice but to go get one. At some point, it's just no fun talking about it anymore.

Today's blog could have been about what we saw in Wang last night. Or what we expect from Hughes tomorrow. Or whether Vizciano is awful or just tired. There are other things to talk about than Mfhdfghh and BUCs and Torre's bad game management. I don't think people want to banish those topics altogether, only to give them a rest every now and then.

I totally dig your passion and knowledge, I just wish you could expand your laser beam focus from those handful of "dead horses."

2007-04-25 11:05:18
111.   Alvaro Espinoza
96 You'll get my name when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!!! :)

To be honest, I've always found this objection to be, well, irrelevant. The poster either has something relevant to say or they don't. Their name has zero to do with the content of their contribution. Do some people hide behind their names and take liberties with their discourse? Sure, but so what? Any half-wit is going to weed them out sooner or later, no?

And consider the logistical factor: what if 7 of the regulars are all named John? Do we have John 1, John 2, etc., of John A., John S., etc.,


I spent 2 1/2 minutes coming up with my name and I like it.

2007-04-25 11:11:16
112.   Shaun P
111 One other logistical factor - pseudonyms. Shaun is an actual name, but who says its my actual name? My legal name could be Joe for all anyone knows (its not). You have only my word to go on.
2007-04-25 11:19:30
113.   Bama Yankee
112 It's time for you to come clean, the rest of your name is actually "Diddy Combs" right? ;-)
2007-04-25 11:20:09
114.   thelarmis
102 "Thelarmis," is my stage name! : ) it was bestowed on me by a wise old bandleader on tour over a decade ago and lotsa folks only know me as that. it's not "the larmis" or anything like that. just a real, bonafide stage name = Thelarmis. (full name, Thelarmis J. Younkin)

some of the tags folks have are really cool and/or funny. i was super glad Orly came clean the other day. i had wondered what it meant for awhile. my guesses were either Asian or Star Wars related.

ooh, sooo many Journey references could've been made after the first coupla comments. just with a-rod's possible Departure or Escape, if you will. he and the Yanks going there Separate Ways. next year, someone would ask "Who's Crying Now? and it would be the Yanks, for certain. btw, i've never seen American Idol, but i'm guessing everyone knows Randy Jackson was actually the bassist for Journey in the mid-80's? (sorry if that's common knowledge...). let's just hope our 10th division crown in a row and 27th ring are Captured this october!

we've got 2 games against the Jays at home and we don't see doc halladay, who owned boston last nite. let's get back on track and in the W column.

and, please oh please, let's keep the "Who's Karim Garcia" out of the 'dead horse' list! (even though we already know it's bama...)

2007-04-25 11:20:10
115.   williamnyy23
105 Other than game blogs, I haven't seen Joe treated with disrespect (as someone else mentioned, game posts are usually filled with unchecked emotion). I think Torre is a very good manager when he is surrounded with experienced game managers and overwhelming talent. That's not a faint complement either. Lots of good teams have been ruined by a Valentine/Bowa/Showalter type. Having said that, I think the composition of the team and his age have conspired to put Joe behind the curve. Personally, I'd like to see him have his number retired, get his HoF plaque and move up to the YES booth. I just think his tenure as MGR is coming to an ugly ending.

What I meant is that if it is June and Joe is still bungling, then it's obvious that nothing will be done, so we might as well let it rest. I really hope Torre has the ability to turn the team around, but I am fearful that his guidance might actually cost the teams enough games to miss the playoffs. That's why I think it's a bigger issue now than it would be after the cow has left the barn.

Finally, when Sliced made his comment, he stated he would rather "try (and fail)" with kinds than try to sign Clemens. Had he said he rather try to WIN with kids INSTEAD of Clemens, I wouldn't have a problem. His comment implied that even if FAILURE was guaranteed, he'd still opt for the kids over Clemens. That is what I thought was ridiculous (assuming winning was more important than having guys to root for). Do you disagree?

2007-04-25 11:30:18
116.   Jim Dean
110 See, a good honest retort. Sure, you're right. But those were some hard fought battles we waged and we still see those posts. As well as the "Cairo as trusted veteran".

When Mfshskdj and Nieves are in the lineup together, I think it's okay to let off a little steam here.

111 No, I don't think a real name is necessary, Alvaro. See how well that works! - just a name, any name, civilizes things a bit.

112 Exactly! Much better than Yankee4Ever23.

And Bama I think he should snatch Karim up before it's take.

114 Works for me. The problem I've always had with your name is that it's not capitalized so I had assumed it meant something.

2007-04-25 11:36:34
117.   Bama Yankee
114 Thanks for explaining the name. Maybe we need a thread where those with unusual names tell us what them mean.

Also, I hope the Randy Jackson/Journey thing is common knowledge (but maybe it's not) or my post 31 probably didn't make much sense.

2007-04-25 11:39:22
118.   thelarmis
116 ah, yeah, sorry man. i tend to type pretty fast and i generally never capitalize anything. my emails are the same way. i actually capped a bunch in my 114 post, which was replete with a 'there' instead of 'their' error and a forgotten closed quote on one of the song titles. i'm just a lower case kinda guy, i guess! ; )

but, um, the name does actually mean something. the first, last and middle initial of the stage name. but it was a personal thing from the guy who made it up, so no one would get it and it wouldn't mean anything to explain.

i've grown accustomed to the name and kinda like it now. it is, however, pretty damn odd. sounds a bit greek to me, but really, it sounded like a skin disease. like, i went to the dermatologist and got diagnosed with "thelarmis" on my left arm. : ~

names = when folks were leaving beautiful messages here for alex when his pop passed, there were a number of people that signed off with their real first names...

LI Yankee has my interest piqued!

2007-04-25 11:39:33
119.   ny2ca2dc
110 amen
2007-04-25 11:42:42
120.   thelarmis
muts are getting crused 11-0 right now at shea by the rox.

Ambiorix Burgos is on the mound. anybody hear his awesome nickname??? The Amburglar!

2007-04-25 11:53:07
121.   Shaun P
120 Its so nice to hear a real nickname instead of the tired, overused J-Lo-type names that are so uncreative.
2007-04-25 11:58:21
122.   OldYanksFan
1) How about Yellow
2) No, I am not Alyssa Milano
3) Because sometimes, when there is a Lady in the room, men will zip their flys, tuck in their shirts, and TRY to act like gentlemen.
4) Yes, I was joking... but I do like to know who's a Lady
5) Did you like my Sheep joke?
2007-04-25 11:58:55
123.   OldYanksFan
My first name IS 'Old'
2007-04-25 12:00:47
124.   Bama Yankee
120 Hilarious. Do they call Wilpon "Mayor McCheese" and Carlos Delgado "Grimace"?
2007-04-25 12:05:49
125.   OldYanksFan
117 Reminds me of the time I asked a young one if they knew who the Beatles were. The reply was "Sure... Paul McCartney first band"
2007-04-25 12:12:40
126.   thelarmis
124 man, growing up in queens, in the late 70's, i used to collect all those McDonald's glasses and stuff. hamburglar was my fave.

burger king used to give out yankee bb cards in 1978, iirc. i should have them all in my mom's attic...

2007-04-25 12:24:14
127.   Bama Yankee
126 Were they like these:
2007-04-25 12:25:50
128.   Ken Arneson
124 Bobby Kielty is nicknamed "Ronald" for obvious reasons, which he has totally embraced:

2007-04-25 12:30:28
129.   JL25and3
120 It's a great nickname...except that, to my ears, no nickname can top his actual name.

Fausto Carmona. Elijah Dukes. Ambiorix Burgos. Some names you just don't mess with.

2007-04-25 12:36:12
130.   thelarmis
127 omg, you rule, bama! yup, we had them all. and they all broke during a move. well, i think one or two survived, only to suffer a shattered death in the new home...

i'm late. i'll check back in later...


2007-04-25 12:37:31
131.   thelarmis
129 i always loved "Oddibe McDowell"
2007-04-25 12:55:53
132.   yankz
"yankz" was created many years ago because yanks with an s was taken.

111,112 spot on, spot on.

One fun thing to do is look up your Bronx Banter birthday. I turn two this August 4.

2007-04-25 13:02:51
133.   JL25and3
132 I read BB for a long time before I ever posted. I believe my first appearance was when Alex quoted an e-mail from me some 3-1/2 years ago.

Many here will be unsurprised to learn that the e-mail was about how much I didn't want the Yankees to sign Gary Sheffield...

2007-04-25 13:23:04
134.   3rd gen yankee fan
1. I like yellow, but I think I'll stick with the traditional blue, unless that's only for boys.
3. Your modesty is not my concern. Only your baseball knowledge. Which, don't get me wrong, I do respect. Put it this way, how many guys here are naked at their keyboards? Should I care? I don't.
4, 2. Why? I sense diverging cultures here. I don't know what a "lady" is, but since your real first name is "Old" and you have a lot of stories from back in the day, you must have some sense of propriety that I never received. With all due respect to the boys' locker room mentality, I never got the sense that what gender I was mattered a damn to the Yankees, only my money and loyalty. I also sense diverging cultures becuase I have no idea who Alyssa Milano is.
5. Missed your sheep joke.

It's ironic. My first or second post here, I was chided by someone for cussing. :-/

2007-04-25 13:25:29
135.   3rd gen yankee fan
134 I'm taking a break. I think I'm taking this too seriously. Later peeps. Apologies to OYF, let me buy you a root beer sometime.
2007-04-25 13:54:53
136.   OldYanksFan
"I have no idea who Alyssa Milano is."
I will then assume you don't own a TV.
N.H. State Joke:
Q: Why did God invent women?
A: Because Sheep can't cook.
2007-04-25 14:34:10
137.   Bama Yankee
136 She had to be joking about not knowing Alyssa Milano, right? I thought "Who's the Boss" was almost as popular as "Who is Karim Garcia". ;-)

Also, I'm confused, was she offended that you refered to her as a "lady" (evidenced by the "I don't know what a 'lady' is" comment)? I guess I'm out of touch (or maybe it's because I'm from the South) but I didn't know that the term "lady" was offensive.

2007-04-25 14:40:02
138.   Shaun P
132 It took awhile, but my first post was on May 5, 2005.

I've been reading the Banter since the days, but didn't post until later.

Its amazing, looking back at those first two months. Some game threads had 20-30 comments, or less.

The first post with 50+ comments was when Sheff got slapped at Fenway.

And given what OYF/singledd (why the name change?) said earlier, the comments in this post were, I thought, very well put:

Last thing - Jim Dean, if you aren't Rob Gee, are you JohnnyC?

2007-04-25 16:32:44
139.   yankz
138 That's SO weird, I was just thinking about old Johnny today.

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