Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Series Wrap: @ Baltimore
2007-07-30 08:31
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Offense: The inverse of the Royals series, the Yankee offense was comatose for the first 18 1/3 innings (including the completion of the suspended game), scoring just 3 runs over that span. Over the final ten innings they scored 15 runs. Overall a poor performance, but at least it ended well.


Melky Cabrera 6 for 11, 2 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB, HBP, SB
Robinson Cano 5 for 13, 3 2B, 2 RBI, R


Alex Rodriguez 0 for 9, 4 K, 5 BB
Miguel Cairo and Jose Molina combined 0 for 3

Neither Shelley Duncan nor Chris Basak got into a game on either offense or defense.

Rotation: Quality starts by Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang with Roger Clemens missing by one run (6 1/3 IP, 4 R). Clemens and Wang were both a bit off, however, as they combined to allow 24 base runners in 12 1/3 innings. Pettitte's was easily the best start of the weekend (7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K).

Bullpen: This was by far the pen's worst performance of the second half thus far as it allowed 8 runs in 7 2/3 innings.

The Good:

Ron Villone faced three batters over the course of two appearances and retired all three, striking out one. He did allow one inherited runner to score, but that was because he was brought into a bases-loaded, one-out situation created by Brian Bruney and the first batter he faced grounded out, plating a run in the process.

The Bad:

Brian Bruney gave up the two crucial eighth-inning runs by which the Yankee rally fell short on Saturday night. He faced five batters, allowed three singles, one reached on an error by Alex Rodriguez, and the only one he retired plated a run with a sac fly. Kyle Farnsworth walked the first man he faced, then allowed a two-run Brian Roberts home run and threw in a single for good measure in his only inning of the weekend. Scott Proctor gave up a Kevin Millar solo home run and a single in his only appearance of the weekend and needed Ron Villone to get the last out of his inning for him. Mike Myers faced four batters across two games. Two of them reached base, one of them scored on Luis Vizcaino's watch. For his part, Vizcaino allowed four runners and one run (not counting the inherited run of Myers') in an inning and a third. Mariano Rivera got one save and closed out the only win of the weekend, but allowed five hits and a run in 2 2/3 innings (though he did also strike out four). I honestly forgot Sean Henn was on the roster. He did not pitch.

Defense: The only error of the weekend was Alex Rodriguez's boot amid Brian Bruney's awful third of an inning (though Robinson Cano flubbed a ball that hit off Vizcaino's shoulder in the finale, but that was ruled a hit). Otherwise, the Yanks played some very strong defense, with Melky Cabrera's arm and Johnny Damon's catch in the finale standing out. Jose Molina threw out the only base runner who attempted to steal against him making him a perfect 2 for 2 as a Yankee.

Conclusion: A scuffling offense and a flammable bullpen make for a rough weekend, especially when the starters are only so-so. Fortunately the offense perked up at the end. But what about the pen? Word has it Joba Chamberlain has been moved to the bullpen down in triple-A. Meanwhile, the trading deadline is tomorrow. Stay tuned . . .

Comments (165)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-30 08:58:31
1.   tommyl
Apparently Shawn Chacon also got mistreated by Torre, or so he claims:

In addition, Edwar was quoted as saying that when he found out about his demotion, he wasn't upset, because he wanted to pitch and not just sit around watching the game.

Sigh, this stuff is starting to get to me a bit. We've always heard how Torre sticks up for his players and all, and how much people love to play for him, but thinking back it always seems to be the people in his circle of trust. That's now Lofton, Sheff, Chacon and Kevin Thompson and Edwar Ramirez seem a bit annoyed (notably without calling out Torre), I'm not including Farnsworth because he's just an ass. I'm sure Derek Jeter loves him, but he seems to be awful at handling either lesser players, new players or just anyone he doesn't love for some reason. Isn't this supposed to be his great strength?

What do others think?

2007-07-30 08:59:12
2.   tommyl
p.s. Oh and as always, great wrap Cliff!

p.p.s. I nominate Cliff for GM and Alex for manager. Anyone else? :)

2007-07-30 09:06:31
3.   yankz
I always dreamed of having Cash's job, but now, I think I'd rather have Stick's. Or Boss's, of course.
2007-07-30 09:40:03
4.   Count Zero
1 Good read...Obi Shawn seemed pretty honest and straightforward. I think the common thread seems to be: "When it's done in front of the whole team, you read disrespect into that," Chacon said. "You expect a manager to handle stuff in the office. Even though it's (his) team, you put people in a weird situation when you do that."

And may I just say that speaking as a people manager, Chacon is correct. That "calling out" stuff works OK when you're dealing with teenagers working at McDonald's, but when you do it to skilled employees at high salary, you are begging for trouble. Nobody likes to have those things done in front of their peers -- that is a universal human truth.

2007-07-30 09:48:56
5.   Zack
I like how all the articles on Joba's move to the pen (I am 100% against it as long as Torre is the manager) refer to him "possibly being the Yankees answer to Jonathon Papelbon." Since when did the Yankees NEED an "answer" to the question that is a closer? Is there something about turning a hard throwing starter into a closer that somehow MUST be done? I'm sorry, but who wouldn't want 180+ quality innings from a starter over 50 from your closer?
2007-07-30 09:51:55
6.   Zack
A rumor out of Sox land is Dye to the Bloody Sox for Wily Mo and a pitcher not named Bucholhz or Lester. No idea why Chicago would do that unless its really the best they can do and Boston pays all of the $. Pena is a guy the Sox can't GIVE away...
2007-07-30 09:51:56
7.   Zack
A rumor out of Sox land is Dye to the Bloody Sox for Wily Mo and a pitcher not named Bucholhz or Lester. No idea why Chicago would do that unless its really the best they can do and Boston pays all of the $. Pena is a guy the Sox can't GIVE away...
2007-07-30 09:55:15
8.   Zack
Ooops, no idea how that happened. Sorry, I'll just go back to talking to myself :)
2007-07-30 09:57:14
9.   bp1
1 I think that for every Edwar Ramirez who would rather be sent down than wait his turn, there is an Andy Phillips who just wants to be part of "it", no matter what his role. For every disgruntled ex-Yankee during the Torre era (and the list is large), there are that many and more who would like nothing more than to relive their days on the team.

I do believe Joe has favorites, and I do believe he has a doghouse. Ruben Sierra is proof the doghouse has an entrance and an exit.

It's clear that Joe likes players who know and accept their role on the team, whether they like it or not. When players bitch and moan and whine and complain, blaming others and general being a malcontent, they get sent to the doghouse, which is sometimes a layover on the way out of town. I would think that Farnsworth is now getting to know the inside of the doghouse pretty well (look in the corner, Kyle, and you'll see Buddy Groom's initials carved into the wall). If he turns out to be a disgruntled ex-Yankee and complains that Joe disrespected him, will that make the racial angle go away? Of course not.

Nobody accused Joe of racial preference when he sat Tino and gave his spot to Cecil Fielder. Or told Andy Phillips or Giambi to sit down while offering the first base job to Gary Sheffield. All I remember Joe doing is saying "This is what I feel is best for the team to win ballgames".

None of us knows what goes on inside the clubhouse. Joe has been a manager for a long time - longer than his tenure with the Yankees. It's hard for me to believe that if he was obvious in his racial preferences that we'd be hearing it for the first time in 2007, but crazier things have happened.

The things these players are saying are very charged. Hopefully they know what they are doing and saying, 'cause it's the sort of thing that can stick to someone whether true or not. The allegations are all but impossible to prove or disprove, but affects of the insinuation itself linger for a long time.

2007-07-30 09:57:40
10.   Marcus
6 What I don't understand is why Boston would even want Dye. Can anyone explain their rationale? He's having a mediocre season, although he's hitting home runs a decent pace. But where do they play him? Do they bench JD Drew? Platoon Drew and Dye? It just seems odd. Any other ideas?
2007-07-30 10:04:59
11.   Count Zero
9 Actually, Chacon didn't play the race card -- he went so far as to say (emphasis mine):

"I mean, I have all the respect for Joe in the world and it didn't ring true as far as the race thing was concerned, but I can definitely understand where Sheff is coming from, that Joe tried to make an example of him, used him to get a point across to the team."

2007-07-30 10:15:59
12.   Shaun P
10 Oneupmanship. What do the Yanks (seem to) need (desperately)?

A right-handed bat that hits lefty pitching.

What is Jermaine Dye?

A right-handed bat that hits lefty pitching.

If you are worried that Kenny Williams is going looking for young pitching, and might be shopping a player your 'enemy' wants, and your 'enemy' has lots of young pitching to deal - you float rumors that you are going to going to get that player by giving up something your 'enemy' does not have (Wily Mo Pena) to make your 'enemy's' life harder.

I am sure that Larry Lucchino (and his personal PR man, Dr. Charles Steinberg, friend to all Boston media) has not forgotten the Abreu deal last year, where the Yanks insisted on getting Lidle too, to keep the Sox from getting him (supposedly).

Just speculation on my part . . . but only because the Red Sox have absolutely no need for Dye, unless they plan on benching Drew, or trading Mike Lowell (which the clubhouse would revolt over).

2007-07-30 10:18:58
13.   Shaun P
5 I think you're absolutely right, Zach. I think Joba to the pen is a reaction on Cashman's part to the fact that Torre keeps using Farnsworth and Proctor in late innings, with the hope that giving him a "name" option - as opposed to poor Edwar - might force him to actually learn to trust and use the kid.

If so, more proof that Mr. Torre must go, and that someone who does not run a bullpen by the "Wheel of Guts", and only uses players in his "Circle of Trust", must be brought in when the year ends.

2007-07-30 10:21:44
14.   Shaun P
13 Argh - I left out ". . . Zach. On a related note - I think Joba to the pen . . ."


2007-07-30 10:32:28
15.   pistolpete
9 Agreed. IMO it's less about race than it is about the pressure-cooker that is the Yankees clubhouse.

I'd be curious to see what Torre's managing style would be like had he not won the 4 rings - what players would be in his 'inner circle', etc.

Then again, without the rings, Joe's probably out before the turn of the century. And who the hell knows who's actually on this team.

2007-07-30 10:32:35
16.   tommyl
9 I'm sorry but your argument just doesn't hold up. First off, Chacon (and I) was not playing the race card. The point is not whether Torre is a racist or not (he's not), but is handling of lesser and role players.

In addition, I don't think Chacon acted up at all before this incident in question. In fact, just a year before he was the savior of the team, and he did start off relatively well in 2006 before he hurt his shin. His point about not being allowed to work back into rythmn rings true, they bounced him all over the place. Now, maybe he would have worked it out, maybe he wouldn't, but the point is he wasn't given much shot.

As for the Edwar situation, versus that of Phillips, I just don't see it. When Andy was first brought up a few years ago, he had one bad game against Kazmir and then was basically seen once in awhile. Last year, being used as only a PH, LIDR, or spot starter he never really got into rythmn. He as well has said how difficult it is to adjust when you aren't getting regular playing time. Neither he nor Edwar are really complaining, but I mean, how could they? They are both barely there, and if they bitch they know they won't get to play.

Now for Edwar, some of it is probably him trying to put a positive spin on things. But the facts remain that he was lights out in AA/AAA, came up, struck out the side against the Twins, pitched ok against the Angels and then was never heard from again. How can you not expect the kid to get frustrated? or recognize that he needs regular work.

The Joba move is a mistake, I just really think it is. I like the idea of pitching a young starter out of the bullpen a la Lirianio or Santana, but not when the manager is Joe. He will either abuse Joba till he gets hurt, or he will rot in the pen. I'd much rather see him finish the year in AAA (with a September callup perhaps) and start next season fresh as a starter with the big league club.

This year all I've seen is Joe stand in the way of this team. There are better players in the system (Britton, Edwar, Andy vs. Stink, etc.) that he refuses to play. Now, he's gone on record saying the team needs to add a bullpen arm via trade, because he just doesn't want to let a player develop. I just feel he is damaging the long term success of this team.

2007-07-30 10:35:08
17.   KJC
10 Platoon (at least partially) Dye with Drew & maybe Ramirez -- perhaps ocassionally DH'ing Manny to rest Ortiz (who seems hurt this year) -- and use Dye as a bat off the bench. He has to be an improvement over the current Pena/Hinske combo.
2007-07-30 10:42:16
18.   Knuckles
From the ongoing Buster chat…

chauncey (teaneck): what are your feelings on cansecos comments on A-rod?

SportsNation Buster Olney: (1:05 PM ET ) Chauncey: He can throw out just about anything he wants now -- on me, on you, on A-Rod. He was right about enough, with his first book -- McGwire probably would have been in Cooperstown yesterday, if not for his first book -- that he's got some credibility. A lot of what he had in the first book was wrong, but enough was right to put him in a position to throw out anything... That's where we are in 2007…

This thing is really chapping my @$$. Does anyone really think Jose is smart enough to have held some juicy dirt in reserve after his first book? Everyone's giving him so much credit for being 'right' on a lot of things in his first stab at yellow journalism, but I highly doubt it was intended to be a serial. My guess is the impetus for part 2 is, "Hey, I need more money. Who hits a lot of homers whom I haven't smeared yet? Got it!"

2007-07-30 10:42:43
19.   RIYank
Rosenthal at FOX reports this impending deal:

Rangers get Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus and two additional prospects.
Braves get Teixeira and Ron Mahay (LH relief).

Teixeira plans to test the free agent waters.

2007-07-30 10:46:33
20.   ChuckM
I may be the only one that remembers this, but when Tino was doing ESPN last year or 2 years ago, he told a story about how Torre RIPPED into Clemens in the middle of the clubhouse after he pitched like crap. To the point where Clemens sat there and took it and didn't speak until Torre left, at which point he said, "I haven't been ripped by a coach like that since High School." So I don't think Torre can be accused of only ripping lesser players either. I'm not saying his handling of younger players and the bullpen isn't horrible, because it is, but I think people should also take a step back and realize that when guys like Andy Philips and Shawn Chacon are getting a steady diet of playing time it's a BAD thing for the Yanks.
2007-07-30 10:50:07
21.   tommyl
20 Really? Phillips getting playing time over Mink the Stink is a bad thing for the Yankees? or when Dougie comes back you'd rather see Phillips sent back down to AAA?

My main contention is not that every rookie he's messed up would have been great. My point is that we'll never know, and if at least a few of them could have been productive for the team than his handling of them harms the team. Could Edwar be the 7th or 8th inning guy we are craving if Joe had let him pitch a bit more? Maybe, maybe not. But now we're likely going to have to make a trade for someone a lot more expensive.

2007-07-30 11:02:12
22.   Zack
21 Exactly. And furthermore, as the team will (at least should) be much younger next year in the pen and the rotation, Joe's tendencies will be even more magnified. In the last few years, I feel like Joe's habits have gotten much worse as the team lost more and more of the core from the championship teams, where Joe really didn't have to in game manage at all.

What the Yanks SHOULD do next year is start the year with Ohlie, Henn, Edwar, Britton, Proctor, Mo, and Viz, and the Rotation of Hughes, Wang, Joba, Andy, and (I guess) Moose.

However, can you imagine Torre with that BP? He'd ONLY pitch Proctor, Mo and Viz until their arms fell off...

2007-07-30 11:06:23
23.   tommyl
22 ...and then re-sign Villone?
2007-07-30 11:19:22
24.   Max
5 ... the team's answer to Jonathan Papelbon? Or is he going to be the team's answer to Craig Hansen?

I know Joba's supposed to be really good, but I remember the Hansen hype being here in Boston, and I hate the idea of rushing someone so young into the bullpen out of desperation.

2007-07-30 11:22:21
25.   Zack
24 I agree, though the comparison to Papelbon is mostly b/c of the starter to reliever thing. I think Joba would be fine in the BP, and I'm all for it, as long as he does three innings or so every 5 or 6 days. Which he isn't being brought up to do. He doesn't have all that many innings under his belt, so they shouldn't really be worried about limiting them, and if they really want him to turn around and start again next year, they need to be stretching him out and watching his work levels
2007-07-30 11:25:06
26.   ChuckM
No, my point was that people should stop talking about Phillips like he's the second coming of Lou Gehrig. He's a 30 year-old utility guy, at best. Anyone that thinks he would've become even a league average 1B if Torre gave him steady playing time is smoking something a helluva lot stronger than Marlboros. There's a reason he never got more than 100AB's in a season before last year, and you can't put that all on Torre. If Phillips had the minor-league resume of a Daric Barton or someone of that ilk, than you could definitely fault Torre for not being patient.

The thing no Yankee manager, especially not one under Steinbrenner, has ever had, is the luxury of being patient. Why people are questioning why a manager who hasn't successfully broken in a rookie since Jeter w/out having his hand forced by the GM (Cano and Wang) is reluctant to play rookies is beyond me. This isn't a new pattern. And the argument that the Yanks have to get someone more expensive is absurd. Money is, and most likely never will be, an issue for the Yankees. At least Cashman has enough sense to hold onto what valuable prospects he has. I'd much rather see Gagne coming out in the 8th than "trying to see what we have" in Edwar come mid-August.

2007-07-30 11:28:55
27.   monkeypants
I don't know if this is in the news yet, bu according to Pete Abe, Texeira is all but traded to the Braves, with the Rangers getting Saltamacchia. Hmmm...two players the Yankees must have coveted. I wonder Salty can be pried from the Rangers? Anyway, at least Texeira ended up in the NL for now.

I am of two minds about Joba to the pen. I actually don't mind the idea of starting a young player out in the pen. I also harbor secret dreams that he will be used as a sorta long man when Moose or Clemens (or even Hughes) pitches, so that he throws two innings twice a week, say, rather than being used for one inning every day.

But then again, starters are so much more valuable than RP, even closers. it would be shame if either he is 'tracked' into a reliver role because of an ad hoc decision made this season, or if somehow his development as a starter is stunted (either through mechanics or injury or overuse, whatever).

And no, I don't trust Torre with him--he'll either be overused or ignored. But, at least there are only about 50 games left in the season, so hopefullyany damage will be limited.

What do y'all think: would Righetti's career have been better if he remained a starter?

2007-07-30 11:32:10
28.   tommyl
26 I meant expensive in terms of people being traded.
2007-07-30 11:44:08
29.   yankz
I agree that he's not Gehrig or Donnie B or even Olerud or someone like that, but FWIW, Phillips' minor league OPS was .868, while Barton's was .889 (Andy outslugged him). Not exactly worlds apart. Yeah, Barton did it while younger, but that just means Andy should have gotten a shot earlier.
2007-07-30 11:46:46
30.   monkeypants
26 Hmmm, I don't know. He's a 30 y.o. (thus probably past his athletic prime) utility guy, currently carrying a .770 OPS.

League average 1B the last few years (OPS):

2007: .817
2006: .851
2005: .824
2004: .825

I'm not convinced Phillips couldn't have approached league average in 2004 and 2005 (age 27 and 28 seasons), when the Yankees elected to go with 253 ABs of Tony Clark (.753 OPS), 164 AB of Olerud (.763 OPS), and 303 ABs of Tino (.767 OPS).

Phillips MiL OPS those two seasons (AAA only)? .957 and .952. I'm fairly confident that would have translated into league average, and certainly better than the the big club played.

There are three reasons why Phillips never got more than 100 ML ABs in a single season before last year:

1. Jason Giambi
2. The Yankees organizational mistrust of marginal MiL talent.
3. A colossal injury that caused him to miss most of the 2003 season (after he was the teams MiL player of the year in 2002).

You are correct, though. He is not the second coming of Lou Gehrig.

2007-07-30 11:48:24
31.   tommyl
Let me ask this question. If Alex Gordon were a Yankee, and started the season like he did, would he still be in the majors? or would he be working things out in the minors?
2007-07-30 11:48:48
32.   Javi Javi
I have no real basis, but my hunch is that Joba to the pen is, at least in part, a negotiating tactic as part of a bullpen trade being worked out--a move meant to show that Cashman has a good alternative to a negotiated trade. The last minute nature of it, conveniently before the Tues trade deadline, is a little too coincidental.
2007-07-30 11:51:53
33.   yankz
31 In the minors, because the Yankees have the best 3B in the world. Don't forget Cano- he sucked when he first came up (.245/.261/.409/.670 in his first 30 games), but they let him play through it because the alternative was Womack.
2007-07-30 11:54:10
34.   Shaun P
27 To me, the potential for damage is not just overuse, but overuse coupled with doing something he's never done in the pros (or in his last two years of college) - short relief. Warming up every so often, then pitching for a short time, then doing it again is very different from starting. (Its one thing if Joba's future was the bullpen, but its hopefully not.)

32 Boy I hope so.

31 In 2007? No, not unless Cashman forced Torre's hand a la Cano (remember he did not get off to a good start, .253/.273/.398 his first month).

The problem is, as we've all seen, no team can consistently win without using some of its in-house talent on a frequent basis. If that means a month or two of growing pains, so be it - the payoff is worth it. Especially to the Yanks, because it lets them direct their financial might at better things than over-priced middle relievers (Farnsworth) and crappy starters (Pavano and Wright).

2007-07-30 11:54:13
35.   yankz
Cano is batting a whopping .385/.421/.606/1.027 this month. He really is a warm weather player, apparently.
2007-07-30 11:54:38
36.   yankz
34 Haha, slowpoke.
2007-07-30 12:02:21
37.   Shaun P
36 You know what they say: great minds . . . ;)
2007-07-30 12:03:12
38.   yankz
Someone should tell Phil Allard he loses a lot of credibility when he spells it "Rameriz " multiple times. His views on the Joba situation:
2007-07-30 12:03:25
39.   yankz
37 True dat, true dat.
2007-07-30 12:05:08
40.   tommyl
33 34 He can also play 1B (he did a game or two in the last series iirc). Me, I think Torre would play Cairo over him.

34 hits it on the head. Its one thing to take a solid core of players (Mo, Jeter, Bernie, Posada etc.) and add various free agents to complete the picture. Its another to try to build your entire team that way. Sometimes you have to endure a month or two of subpar production from a rookie in order to have him performing for you in years to come. Just think where we'd be if Cash hadn't forced Torre's hand on Cano.

I think this even factored in to many of the trades that were made. Why hold onto position prospects if Joe is never going to play them? What use does someone who could only be a decent major leaguer have? etc. I'm speculating in this last bit, but this team needs to start building from within. Otherwise its going to remain what it is now, an expensive, underperforming collection of a lot of stars past their prime.

2007-07-30 12:12:47
41.   JL25and3
So let me get this straight. Torre reportedly dresses Chacon down in front of a couple of dozen guys in the locker room, and Chacon gives it back to him because, well, he's a man and you can't treat him like that. But when Chacon shows Torre up in front of 45000 fans, he's just trying to help the team and Joe should be OK with that.

That was an especially horrific loss, and Chacon did an especially egregious job. The Yankees scored 7 in the top of the 5th for a 9-2 lead. Chacon started the bottom of the fifth by walking Alfonso Soriano on five pitches(!), followed by single, single, popout, double. It's now 9-4, men on second and third, and Chacon's not doing it. And Joe's supposed to give him the chance to pitch his way out of it?

The Yankees ended up losing, 11-9, so one might understand how Torre would be a bit peevish afterwards. It may not have been Joe's best day, but I can't say that I have any sympathy for Chacon at all.

2007-07-30 12:13:26
42.   JL25and3
40 Cash forced Torre's hand on Cano?
2007-07-30 12:13:28
43.   Shaun P
40 "Otherwise its going to remain what it is now, an expensive, underperforming collection of a lot of stars past their prime."

Right - and for those of us who remember the Yankees of 1984-1989, while there were lots of things to cheer for, there were no rings either.

(I suppose you could really go back for 1979 or 1980, but I can't because I was too little to watch the Yanks back then.)

2007-07-30 12:17:49
44.   yankz
42 Even Torre saw that Cano > Womack.
2007-07-30 12:20:13
45.   unpopster
in trade news, looks like the Bravos are going for broke. Not only have they agreed on a Texiera swap, but now they are reportedly on the verge of landing Dotel.

That sound you hear is a million Mets fans breaking out in a collective WHINE!

2007-07-30 12:21:00
46.   tommyl
38 The mystifying thing to me, is that Joe's decisions are really experience=better, as opposed to track record=better. If someone like Damon is slumping or Ks 3 times a game, well, his track record says he's going to pull out of it, so Joe sticks with him. While I disagree with the example of Damon, I can't fault Joe for sticking with a talented guy, who has performed in the past and is having a bad stretch.

What does gall me is when he sticks with guys who have sucked in the past, just because they "have been there." This list includes: Terrence Long, Tony Womack, Doug asdfalkjdfaj, etc. I mean, Tony Womack and Dougie have stunk pretty much everywhere, forever. Why keep sticking with them?

Also, anyone seen Shelly Duncan? Is he in the Andy Phillips/Kevin Thompson memorial seat yet?

2007-07-30 12:23:21
47.   tommyl
44 I also remember Tony Womack starting at a corner OF position at some point.
2007-07-30 12:25:05
48.   yankz
47 True, but it's still an example of Torre (or whoever) letting a rookie work out his own problems.
2007-07-30 12:25:40
49.   ChuckM
Saying he was the Yanks MiL in 2002 player of the year isn't exactly high praise. It's akin to being the smartest kid on the short bus. Look, I like Phillips and hope he has a nice career, but should the Yanks really be shooting for league average? Or wasting AB's trying to find out if someone can approach that? I agree that Torre sucks at bringing along rookies, but it's a difficult balancing act between winning games and waiting for one to develop. The major leagues are littered with managers who play vets over rookies, much to the chagrin of their fans everywhere. If you fire Torre for the same, who do you replace him with?
2007-07-30 12:27:50
50.   JL25and3
43 1979 wasn't the same thing at all - it was essentially the same team as 1978, with the addition of Tommy John. But Hunter and Figueroa were both done (the latter probably as a result of Martin's overuse), and Munson's death ended any chance they might have had. And in 1980 they won the division.

Right now they're playing Posada, Phillips, Cano, Jeter and Cabrera - all homegrown, including all the up-the-middle players. They only have one home grown starter, at least until Hughes gets back, but through the championship years Pettitte was the only pitcher they'd developed.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-30 12:28:36
51.   yankz
49 You ignored the rest of post 30, which did a great job showing that Phillips would've been a very viable alternative to the riffraff the Yanks were trotting out there. But, he wasn't given the chance, and now it's probably too late.
2007-07-30 12:30:22
52.   ChuckM
Check that-I read that incorrectly and thought you meant he was the Yanks minor league player of the year in 2002. That's what I get for trying to read while looking over my shoulder for the boss. LOL
2007-07-30 12:31:21
53.   Vandelay Industries
Looks like the deal is done between Atlanta and Texas, pending physicals. Ugh! At least Tex went to the NL.
2007-07-30 12:33:53
54.   tommyl
50 Well, Posada is getting older, as is Jeter. Phillips has only been playing there a few weeks, and atm Cabrera is only playing because Giambi is injured and Damon was too. We'll see what happens when Giambi comes off the DL, but last year Joe benched him for Sheff and Matsui.

In addition, Posada and Jeter were brought along in 96-98 when Torre was much more open to giving rookies a shot, and they don't really fit the argument of marginal talent players who are still useful. Jeter was a star in the making. The kid was the 4th overall pick and was a golden prospect at that point.

The last reliever that Joe has developed was Mo (who he does deserve praise for). You're telling me, in all those years there wasn't one kid in the minors who could be a decent reliever?

2007-07-30 12:37:24
55.   tommyl
49 Should the Yanks be shooting for league average? No, but should they be bringing in more expensive players who are below league average? I'd give that a bigger no. The question isn't what to do in an ideal world, but given the options which is better. To me, letting Phillips play would have been better than signing Minky for over a million, who'd still be playing if he hadn't gotten injured.
2007-07-30 12:46:25
56.   ChuckM
Oh, so you mean those wasted Tino at bats that probably kept the Yanks afloat at the beginning of the season when he belted 10 HR's in May? I'm not arguing that Phillips shouldn't have been given a chance, I'm arguing the assumption that most people seem to have that he would have become this wondrous first baseman if given the opportunity. The Yanks started out like crap in 2005, thereby ruining any chance Phillips would've had for them to be patient with him. They would've had to have had the stones to not only pull someone like Tino out of the lineup, but to go with an untested player at a prime offensive position. Exactly when did you expect Cashman to pull the plug when it took him as long as it did to force Torre's hand with Cano and Wang in 2005? In 2004, the Yanks took off in May and never looked back, prompting a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. It's a simple as that.
2007-07-30 12:48:17
57.   williamnyy23
If the Yankees pick up an offensive player, I'd like to see them get Mike Piazza. Not only would Piazza solve the problem against LHP, but it would be great fun to see him interact with Clemens.
2007-07-30 12:50:21
58.   yankz
After that homer streak, Tino batted .217/.302/.323/.625 with just 5 HR in 225 PA. I'm guessing he was referring to those at bats.
2007-07-30 12:53:56
59.   tommyl
58 Pretty much, thanks.

56 So its as simple as saying that it would take Cashman forcing Joe's hand for the correct move to be made? Are you making my argument for me?

2007-07-30 13:03:27
60.   Shaun P
42 Yes.

56 Yes, but that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality is why the Yanks are where they are today. This team as constructed is not going to win forever; it needs an influx of talent, and the free agent market is not the place to get that. The Yanks need to re-tool at some point here, by using some of the talent on hand. If that means missing the playoffs for a year, c'est la vie. Can't win 'em all.

57 Sounds like a fine idea to me!

2007-07-30 13:07:16
61.   yankz
60 Check out the name of the first commenter on that archive thread.
2007-07-30 13:15:48
62.   ChuckM
I never said that Torre made the right moves, nor did I disagree that Cashman should force his hand. I also didn't advocate playing Minky or any of the other scrubs. I object with most people talking about Phillips as if he is a known commodity where it's a no-brainer to see that you would get better production from him than the alternatives, when that simply isn't the case. If Phillips was younger, I would probably be screaming at the top of my lungs that he should be getting some steady run. But the fact is he's a 30-yr old minor leaguer who was never considered a top prospect. These decisions aren't made in a vacuum, especially on a team like the Yanks as opposed to Milwaukee, so you need a string of events in your favor to breakthrough unless you're highly touted. The fact that Torre sucks when it comes to bring along young guys just works against him. At this point, that shouldn't shock anyone, though. The guy has been managing for 12 years now, you know what you're getting from him. And as I said in a previous post, any manager in NY doesn't have the luxury of "wait and see" with a young guy unless he's highly touted. Whether that's justified or not, it's the nature of the beast in NY.
2007-07-30 13:17:45
63.   tommyl
62 Well then we go back saying that Joe isn't the right man for the job anymore. If its so hard to bring people along in NY, and its what this team needs right now, shouldn't we have a manager who's talent is doing just that? Not one who's weakest attribute is that?
2007-07-30 13:30:11
64.   JL25and3
As for Torre burning out relievers' arms: it's an argument I've made myself, going so far as to coin the verb, "to quantrill." But looking into it a little more, I can't really identify the pattern at all.

Quantrill and Karsay are the two most obvious examples. Both had been good previously, both were heavily used in their first year as Yankees, and both developed arm problems. The thing is, Torre used them just as they'd been used previously. Quantrill's appearances: 77, 82, 41, 68, 80, 86, 89, 86. Karsay: 50, 72, 74, 78. So it's hard for me to say that his use of them was somehow reckless.

As someone pointed out yesterday, Sturtze was a terrible pitcher who had a good month. That he went back to being a terrible pitcher can't be blamed on Torre.

Proctor was always a hard thrower with inconsistent command. He's obviously improved, but last year may still have been an aberration. And if Torre's overuse was a major problem, why was he sucky in May and June, but terrific in September?

I think there are lots of problems with Joe's use of the bullpen, but I'm having trouble seeing how this is one of them.

2007-07-30 13:32:57
65.   tommyl
64 Well, what are the first and second half splits for Quantrill? Could he perhaps have been used a ton in the first half, started sucking a bit and then wasn't used much less then?
2007-07-30 13:38:31
66.   Count Zero
In today's "Sad but True" category, I am almost (not really, but almost) rooting for the Yankees to miss the postseason...simply because it increases the chances that Torre won't be back for another year. The Joba thing really scares me...let's hope Javi Javi is right 32.

If they somehow pull it out of the fire and catch the Sox, an encore is almost completely unavoidable and I really, really, really think Torre would be the wrong person to manage this team if we're going to a "win from within" plan.

Then again, I've been anti-Torre for at least three years, so I could be biased. ;-) (The "A-Rod batting 8th" lineup in last year's postseason was the final straw for me.)

Many people put a lot of stock in Torre's so-called "people" skills so I guess there must be something going on in the clubhouse that contradicts what I see outside of it. He certainly isn't there for his tactical decision-making.

2007-07-30 13:38:33
67.   JL25and3
54 Maybe Joe brought Jeter and Posada along because he was more open to using rookies a decade ago. On the other hand, maybe he was more open to using rookies because he had Jeter and Posada there.

Since then, who were the great Yankee minor leaguers who Torre held down? For that matter, who were the great prospects they traded away? It seems to me that the problem was the deterioration of the farm system, not Torre's use or non-use of rookies.

2007-07-30 13:38:38
68.   JohnnyC
54Torre didn't "discover" Riviera nor did he "find his niche" as a set-up man. Mo's performance in the 95 ALDS vs. Seattle opened a lot of eyes in the organization...a little too late for Showalter's sake. This was, remember, the pre-cutter Mo. He did it with 96 mph gas then. It was Gene Michael's "trust" in Mo's newfound velocity after TJ surgery that got him to the show in '95 as a starter which morphed out of necessity into long relief down the stretch and in the playoffs. Frankly, as with installing Jeter at shortstop in '96, the decision to use Mo in the bullpen had been made before Torre had even been hired. So, the next relief pitcher Torre "develops" will be the first.
2007-07-30 13:41:53
69.   JL25and3
65 He was much worse in the second half. But unless Quantrill said something to him, why would Torre attribute it to overuse rather than just ineffectiveness?

If you want to say that Torre continues to keep pitchers in their established roles beyond usefulness, and that he goes to the same pitchers repeatedly even when they suck - there I'll agree with you completely. But burning pitchers out through overuse? I don't see it.

2007-07-30 13:44:16
70.   JohnnyC
64Do the names Jeff Reardon, Steve Bedrosian, and Mike Perez ring a bell? See the acknowledged masterwork on the topic from Cliff himself:
2007-07-30 13:45:46
71.   JL25and3
54 Whom did you have in mind? Remember, Joe has nothing to do with the minor league development. So who were the terrific AAA relievers that he failed to develop? Do you think that Randy Choate and Todd Erdos didn't really suck, it was just that Torre didn't develop them?
2007-07-30 13:47:50
72.   tommyl
69 Tom Gordon, 2004. By the ALCS he had nothing left. I didn't mean his effectiveness, I meant his use. If he got to 80 appearances by appearing 50 in the first half, and 30 in the second, then I'd say he was overused in the first half which decreased his effectiveness. Another way to look into this would be to look at a comparison of Torre's "trusted" guys versus the rest. How much more, percentage wise, were they used? I'm willing to bet its a lot.

68 Fair enough point. I was referring to him installing Mo as the closer in '97, but you make a good argument.

2007-07-30 13:49:01
73.   JohnnyC
71Well, as with Edwar Ramirez, who sat in the bullpen for 14 days without throwing a baseball in anger, we'll never know, will we?
2007-07-30 13:51:25
74.   JL25and3
70 True, I'm only looking at the Yankee years. On the other hand, if we're going to go by his entire managerial career, then most of the characteristics we see don't apply. He's broken in tons of rookies, changed players roles, argued vehemently with umpires, all sorts of things. For that matter, we don't judge Casey Stengel by what he did with Brooklyn.

This is his twelfth year as Yankee manager. Who was the pitcher who he burnt out through reckless overuse?

2007-07-30 13:55:11
75.   Zack
71 I think the problem is not with Joe and the future stars, its with all the other "kids." Joe has shown a tendency to start and stick with kids who, whether b/c they come with hype or b/c the organization demands it, are deemed worthy of starting over the BFOG club: Jeter, Mo, Hughes, heck even Melky. Its the fringy, no vet guys who could really help the team where Joe is destructive. I would not argue that Joe has caused the Yanks to trade away any future star, but I WOULD argue that he has caused them to continually look for expensive, older, and ultimately ineffective answers for the BP, bench, and lineup (off season and mi season) when many of the answers could be found, perhaps in the minors. But Joe has shown time and again that he has no patience with those guys. Thats what at least I was talking about with Joe
2007-07-30 13:57:24
76.   tommyl
70 Jeff Nelson, Karsay, Cliff's article. There's quite a few.
2007-07-30 13:58:14
77.   tommyl
75 ditto, thanks for saying it so well.
2007-07-30 14:00:17
78.   JL25and3
72 Quantrill was used 47 times in the first half, 39 in the second half. His usage dropeed in September because he was awful. Was he tired? Maybe. But it was exactly as he'd been used before.

Gordon was the one other possibility I was thinking of. He was used more than he had been in the past. On the other hand, in 2004 he had a mediocre August followed by a terrific September, and he didn't seem to show aftereffects the following year. For a guy with a history of arm problems, he didn't have any with the Yankees. Maybe he was wiped out for the ALCS, I don't know. but there's nothing else in his record to suggest that overuse was a particular problem with him.

And if it was: that would mean we've got overuse leading to a bad October for one pitcher. Hardly the consistent pattern people have been suggesting.

2007-07-30 14:00:50
79.   Zack
74 With Quantrill, its wasn't the games, it was the innings. He jumped from two years in the low 70s to 95 innings, 56 of which came in the 1st half. That is a lot, only 20 away from his previous two year totals...Same thing with Karsay in 2002, 50 innings at the break. But what is hard to do off the bat and would take some time, is to actually look at what I suspect is the most damming aspect of Joe's BP management, which is the days off and IP correlation. TO me, it seems that Joe has the tendency to force certain relievers to pitch time and again without letting them rest, so sooner or later they get tired, lose control/velocity, and then try to overcompensate...
2007-07-30 14:02:02
80.   JL25and3
75 I don't see any reason to believe that Joe has forced the front office to overpay for old middle relievers. Really, do you think that Torre is the one who makes those decisions? You think he forced them to go out and sign Quantrill?
2007-07-30 14:07:28
81.   JohnnyC
78 If you read Cliff's article it states quite clearly that in 2004 both Gordon and Quantrill set career highs in innings pitched and Mo set a career high in appearances. Repeat, career highs.
2007-07-30 14:07:42
82.   Zack
80 I don't think he made any decisions, but his managerial style has made it so that the young guys never get the chance. Britton, Edwar, Phelps, Phillips (until now), Duncan. Just this year. By simply not playing them except rarely, they don't have the chance to prove they are more effective then Raul Mondesi or whomever, and it is made clear that Joe simply prefers the BFOG club.

Cashman, for his part, has made it clear he likes Torre, and so arranges the team to fit his style. Hes as much to blame as Torre is, as he clearly gets it...

2007-07-30 14:11:19
83.   JohnnyC
80 Yes, because he over-works them and throws them away like tissue paper and doesn't have the patience to develop relievers from within. Look at this season alone. When presented with two inexpensive at worst replacement-level relievers in Britton and Ramirez, he actively shuns them and has Brian Cashman trawling the trade waters for expensive veterans like Gagne and Dotel. Even Dan Wheeler got a sniff, for goodness sake.
2007-07-30 14:11:31
84.   JL25and3
70 Read the article again. Jeff Reardon is cited as a success.

Again, the problem I have with blaming Joe for Nelson, Quantrill and Karsay is that he used them exactly as they'd been used before they were Yankees. If their appearances or inning suddenly increased when he got a hold of them, that would be one thing. But that's not the case here.

71 That's some argument - they were bad pitchers because Joe didn't use them right. Who are the ones who went on to be big-time pitchers somewhere else?

2007-07-30 14:14:44
85.   JohnnyC
82 Zack, you're right. And with Gene Michael's alleged outburst at the Tampa meeting last week, it's become clear that Cashman may have to re-think the wisdom of accomodating if 2005 didn't learn 'em that he's the GM for a reason and not just the manager's man Friday. BFOG! Torre actually used that term again this week.
2007-07-30 14:16:35
86.   JL25and3
For Quantrill in particular, it may have been a career high (as a reliever), but it wasn't at all inconsistent with how he'd been used for quite a few years.

Yes, I read the article. I know what it says. I love Cliff's writing, but it doesn't mean I always have to agree with him. I'm not at all sure that the stats bear him out in this case.

2007-07-30 14:16:55
87.   JohnnyC
84 The point of the article is that Reardon "escaped" Torre's arm-stretching regimen because he was traded away to Montreal the very next year. And Quantrill set a new high in innings pitched in 2004. Christ! Can't you read?
2007-07-30 14:19:34
88.   JohnnyC
The next time I ask my boss for a raise I'm going to use your rationale: sure, it's an all-time high in salary but it's consistent with how I've been paid all these years. And if he reads off my exact yearly salaries to prove me wrong, I'll just say, with a sneer, I'm not at all sure that the stats bear him out in this case.
2007-07-30 14:19:45
89.   tommyl
85 What outburst?
2007-07-30 14:20:14
90.   JL25and3
Zack, you've heard me criticize Torre for a very long time. I'm hardly an apologist. I just think that the shrillness of the criticism has gotten entirely out of hand. The roster construction isn't his doing, though of course a general manager should listen to his extremely successful manager.

but so far in this thread we've had Torre being forced to play the rookies who succeeded - there's Soriano, too, btw - while bludgeoning Cashman into buying used-up vets. We've got the failure of the farm system attributed to his failure to develop them. And that's just today.

2007-07-30 14:20:40
91.   Zack
84 But with Quantrill, it IS the case. Gordon too. Nelson had one season before of similar innings. Karsay was always injury prone, so I don't count him. Proctor jumped to 102 innings last year after 80 the year before...
2007-07-30 14:21:07
92.   JL25and3
88 Nice. Why don't you try actually making a rebuttal instead of a sneering riposte based entirely on cliff's article?
2007-07-30 14:23:26
93.   JL25and3
87 I read quite well, thank you. So here's the argument: Reardon didn't pitch for Torre for very long. Reardon was then successful. Therefore it's because Torre didn't have time to ruin him. Is that the general idea?

Let's take it a step further. Every successful pitcher who didn't play for Torre is evidence of how bad he is, because he never had the chance to ruin them.

2007-07-30 14:25:26
94.   Zack
90 Don't forget Torre's insistence on using Sori as a lead off man (which has continued for some bizarre reason).

But seriously, I think the reason for the shrillness is the continued realization that Torre simply is not, and certainly will not be next year, the right manager anymore. Thats ok, no baseball manager really lasts that long. So I think theres frustration there and therefore a tendency to focus it all on Torre's faults.

No, Joe can't be blamed for the roster construction, but some of it is a RESULT of him. That's Cashman's fault, as I said. As for the rookie thing, also as I said, Torre has shown the tendency to play rooks who are CLEARLY better than the alternative, in the lineup and the rotation. But the BP is another matter...

2007-07-30 14:28:58
95.   JL25and3
91 Nelson had four seasons in Seattle. In two of them he pitched as much as or more than he did his first two seasons in NY.

You're right, Quantrill did have a bigger jump in innings than I realized. His appearances were the same. So maybe that one holds. Proctor had his bout of ineffectiveness early in the season; both he and Gordon were excellent in September - how does that happen?

2007-07-30 14:30:44
96.   cult of basebaal
with quantrill, it wasn't the innings or the work load most likely ... it was the innings and work load after he injured his knee in the season opening series against the d-rays, then continued to gut it out instead of going on the DL or getting surgery ...
2007-07-30 14:31:16
97.   joe in boston
Rumor (WEEI) has it here in Boston, that maybe Ortiz' knee is worse than people think. Granted, it's sports TALK radio, but I have been wondering the same as I surf between the games/read the stats, etc.....
2007-07-30 14:32:25
98.   Dimelo
JL25and3, Just wanted to tell you that you are fighting the good fight. I agree with you 100%.
2007-07-30 14:33:47
99.   JL25and3
94 I've never said any different - unless the Yankees do make a run at the division. In that case I'd probably have to make the same case I did last year. but assuming they don't - and it's looking that way - then I completely agree, he's no longer effective with this bunch. But come on, you and I have been saying the same things every year, so why is there now a sense of outrage? And I also object to the constant implication that Joe is just some idiot, and we all know more than he does.

I'm not worried about putting Joba in the bullpen. Joe's clearly under orders from the front office on this one. And I think the issue of his abusing reliever is far overblown. Again, I think the bigger issue is his keeping them in the same roles long after it's clear they're no longer effective (e.g. Sturtze).

2007-07-30 14:36:18
100.   JL25and3
94 I think it's also just become fashionable - and in that way reminds me quite a bit of last year's A-Rod bashing. I think it's out of proportion, and I think there's more than a hint of presumption in how some go about it.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-30 14:45:57
101.   Zack
99 I think the sense of outrage now is precisely b/c the team isn't very good, and Joe is not helping. Its normal, really. A team stinks/underperforms, and the first targets are the coaches, Gms, and manager. However, to be fair, its not like the players don't get hammered here as well. I think you are tending to separate the Torre criticism from the team criticism. What I see is a general attack on all sides: Cashman, the players, AND Joe. The ship is sinking and plugging the holes with caulk ain't gonna stop the flow, but there's also the dawning recognition that perhaps the Captain the sailed the boat into the iceberg should go down with her too...
2007-07-30 14:48:14
102.   tommyl
100 Excuse me, I respect your opinion and you've made a lot of good points, but I'm not "bashing" Torre because its fashionable. I have been saying for a good long while that I think Joe is a standup guy, a good manager and he has his strengths, I just don't feel that he is well suited for the Yankees moving into a transition stage, which is what they are doing right now.

That's not bashing, its an informed opinion. Last year I was one of A-Rod's biggest supporters.

2007-07-30 14:49:19
103.   seamus
101 or rather because the team was underperforming. I don't agree with the assessment that this team is now underperforming. The record and stats for the last month shows the team is starting to perform to realistically anticipated levels.
2007-07-30 14:50:35
104.   cult of basebaal
sounds like dotel is going to the braves for kyle davies ... another rumored target off the table ...
2007-07-30 14:52:38
105.   Shaun P
99 Don't look just at the appearances of guys like Nelson, Quantrill, etc. Given 7 (sometimes 8!) guys in the bullpen at any one time, look at the workload distribution. Torre rides "his guys" an awful lot. Maybe the alternatives aren't that great - but maybe those alternatives, like Edwar, aren't given a proper chance.

Why is there a sense of outrage now? For me, and I suspect many others, this is years of frustration boiling over. When Torre first used Quantrill over and over, though he wasn't effective, it was an annoyance. Then came using Sturtze over and over again, even though he sucked - but it wasn't hurting the Yanks that much. They still had Gordon, and Mo, and were winning lots and lots of games.

Now, we've seen it with Quantrill, we've seen it with Sturtze, we've seen it with Ron Villone (worked into ineffectiveness last July/August), we've seen it with Proctor, we've seen it with Farnsworth, we've seen it with Vizcaino this very year, we've seen Myers brought in and fail, then get brought in again and again. Meanwhile, a guy like Edwar is left to rot. Britton doesn't see the light of day. Maybe they'd suck. Maybe not. But anything has got to be better than continuing to use Kyle Farnsworth as Mo's primary set-up guy!

And this time the Yanks aren't winning.

I said it before - I'm frustrated with Joe Torre because he makes mistakes and doesn't learn from them. He just keeps using the formula over and over, though Nelson and Stanton and Mendoza are long gone.

The vitriol, if any from me, is because its gone from "Torre is impeding the Yanks" to "Torre is probably actively hurting the Yanks in the W-L column". That is, to me, unacceptable.

2007-07-30 15:14:34
106.   monkeypants
Woo-eee, I've been away for a couple of hours and see that some of my posts have generated some thoughtful responses. A few observations--

49 "Saying he was the Yanks MiL in 2002 player of the year isn't exactly high praise. It's akin to being the smartest kid on the short bus."

That's intersting. A certain lanky SS was named Yankees MiL player of the year in 1994. Othe NYY MLPY include Nick Johnson (1999), Phil Hhughes (2006). Of course, not all have been 'real' prospects, but when Phillips was so awarded in 2002 he was 25 y.o. and split time between AA and AAA. Not spectacular, but young eneough to take notice. He did have a little potential.

But yeah, his boat has sailed...and he's still a better option than Minky and Cairo, and probably Phelps.

54 67 Did Joe really 'bring Jeter and Posada along'? Jeter was essentially foisted on Torre when the Yankees refused to sign the corpse of Tony Fernandez. And Jeter hit pretty well his first season (including .314 in the all important in evaluating guts batting average department).

Posada meanwhile was buried behind Girardi for a couple of seasons, and Joltin' Joe G. was still getting 50 starts/season in 1998 and 1999. If Jorge misses the HOF, he may have Joe and Joe to thank for that !

Meanwhile, was Mo really developed? Joe threw the shit out of him and 1996, and lo and behold, he stumbled into a late inning prodigy turning in what may be among the greatest RP seasons of all time. The 'decision' to move Mo to closer was made when Wettland was not resigned.

I am probably being unfair, but I cannot think of a single young player that has developed under Torre's tutelage who wasn't blcoked by a stinky veteran for far too long or who did not get playering time only after a series of injuries removed all options, unless they were simply successful from day one (which is not really developing them).

Maybe this is Torre's fault, maybe it's oraganizational (Cashman, et al). Who knows.

2007-07-30 15:44:33
107.   Schteeve
Regarding Dotel, I don't understand the Yankees. This is the second time they have acquired a guy in the middle of his rehab from TJ surgery, and after less than lights out results, have cut ties with him. Lieber is the other guy. If you acquire a guy and his first season with the team is his first season back from TJ, wouldn't you want to give him at least half of one more season to see if the arm strength and velocity return?

In many ways pitchers coming off of TJ are skittish, they are relearning to trust their arms. Either give them some time to make the post surgery adjustments or don't go there in the first place.

2007-07-30 15:50:20
108.   Schteeve
Also, I think like, 80% of these comments are conjecture based.
2007-07-30 15:54:41
109.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
85 What outburst of Stick Michael's?

C'mon you can't throw something like that out there and not explain it dude.

2007-07-30 16:00:59
110.   yankz
107 Read the RLYW comments. Cash tried to sign him to a 2-year deal, but he didn't want it. He was dead set on a 1 year deal, and had offers from multiple teams.

It also cost KC a ton (min of 5.5 mil this year) to get him. Should the Yankees have paid more than that much for a recovering 7th inning guy who sucked for them last year?

2007-07-30 16:30:30
111.   RIYank
108 83%.
2007-07-30 17:22:32
112.   Marcus
111 Haha, brilliant.
2007-07-30 18:24:17
113.   mickey1956
FYI Joba Tonight

1 inning
13 pitches
10 strikes
3 strikeouts

All the rest were zeroes!!!!

2007-07-30 18:47:16
114.   Yankee Fan in Chicago reporting that the Yanks have a deal for Gagne:

Clippard, and either Kartstens or Marquez, plus a lesser prospect.

Joba in the 7th, Gagne in the 8th, and Mo in the 9th could be devastating come October.

2007-07-30 18:58:04
115.   yankz
114 3 pitchers? I hope it's Marquez then, I like Karstens. Other than that it sounds good to me.
2007-07-30 18:59:15
116.   yankz
Also, who is Jim Johnson and what is his source?
2007-07-30 19:04:36
117.   Schteeve
Can they trade Farnsworth to someone for a thing of sunflower seeds?
2007-07-30 19:09:19
118.   ChuckM
Monkeypants, you missed my follow up post. I had misread and assumed he meant Yankee MiL player of the year-they weren't exactly boasting a phenomenal system at the time. And again, I'm not saying he's worse than those other options, I'm saying people should refer to him as what he is-the best we got as opposed to someone we can expect to continued improvement from.
2007-07-30 19:09:39
119.   yankz
117 After yesterday's antics, I doubt the Yankees have that kind of leverage. Farnsworth's attitude and horrible pitching have ruined the Yankees' chances of getting even 50 cents on the dollar back. I believe at best we can expect a stick of gum, which might be bumped up to a full pack of Big League Chew if the Yanks eat half his salary. Of course, it would have to be one of the lesser flavors, such as grape.
2007-07-30 19:12:26
120.   Schteeve
119 Grape is awful, but I'll take it.
2007-07-30 19:13:32
121.   Shaun P
114 Three prospects for a two-month rental? Blah.

117 Maybe if the Yanks offered to send a case of beer too? And the sunflower seeds were just empty shells, with the seeds having already been eaten?

2007-07-30 19:25:40
122.   yankz
Don't forget, Gagne would likely bring back 2 high draft picks.
2007-07-30 19:26:21
123.   tommyl
114 Um, who are his sources? I have found no one else who is reporting this, not even
2007-07-30 19:27:24
124.   yankz
Pete has a very interesting Mo quote up.
2007-07-30 19:31:28
125.   Jeteupthemiddle
114 I distinctly recall that blog trumping up some rumor as true during the off season that never came to fruition.

They aren't a legitimate source.

2007-07-30 19:42:22
126.   Shaun P
122 Only if the Yanks offer arbitration, and Gagne declines - which he might not do. And then if Gagne signs with a team that has one of the 15 worst records, the Yanks don't get their first round pick (which is protected), they get the second round pick instead. But I'm not worried if this dude isn't a credible source.
2007-07-30 19:46:45
127.   tommyl
From the comments section on that blog:

As far as validity here, guys, I heard the grumblings from Dan Benton and Evan Brunell, two credible writers and front office members of, who I'm sure were reporting based on what they believe to be solid sources.

I asked Jimmy to put up a post on the talks — sorry we couldn't verify anything further, but we'll cover any updates as soon as they're made available.

---end quote----

No offense, that doesn't seem like quite the done deal they are making it out to be. Someone earlier said they heard it on the NYYfans board and the YES board. It could be one of those rumors that bounces around enough that it starts to sound credible.

Now this may actually happen, as they are reporting, but I'm not convinced just yet.

2007-07-30 19:54:21
128.   tommyl
PeteAbe also says that the deal is definitely not done yet. I may not always agree with Pete's analysis, but he's a very credible source.
2007-07-30 19:57:15
129.   yankz
126 Someone will want him as a closer. I don't see any reason for him sticking around next year.
2007-07-30 20:04:50
130.   Shaun P
129 If he sucks, or gets hurt, he won't get another 1 year big money contract - and he might gladly take an arb offer.

But who knows? If some team takes Farnsworth, I suppose anything could happen. =)

2007-07-30 20:16:28
131.   Mattpat11
117 If we dump Farnsworth's useless ass on someone, my faith in Brian Cashman will be somewhat restored. If Kyle Farnsworth is still on this team come Wednesday, it would be another instance in a somewhat worrying pattern over the last 8 months.
2007-07-30 20:17:57
132.   Vandelay Industries

He might just stick around. Mo is a free agent and it is certainly not carved in stone that he will re-up with the Yankees. I hope the deal goes through. It is clearly the weakness on the club. I am loathed to ever advocate trading for or signing middle relievers (see Farnsworth, Kyle), because, quite frankly, they are middle relievers for a reason, they cannot start and they cannot close (again, see Farnsworth, Kyle). And no, he was never an effective closer for any extended period of time, stop making excuses for Cashman. But I do advocate signing bona-fide closers (see Gordon, Tom and Wettland, John), because they can be effective and are ready replacements for Mo should injury sideline him. A trade for Gange makes sense on so many levels, which is why it probably won't happen. If he is effective in NY it only drives his asking price up next season whether he closes or not, and he could always want to stick with the club and sign a longer deal knowing he will replace Mo at some point. It makes sense for him, for us, and for the Rangers.

2007-07-30 20:22:49
133.   Mattpat11
I really miss Tom Gordon.
2007-07-30 20:25:17
134.   Vandelay Industries
Not to mention that there aint no way in hell we are making the playoffs with our bullpen. Joe has made it clear he isn't giving anyone a chance other than the veteran scrubs we already have, so aquiring Gange is the only way to guarantee we have an effective arm out there. We need to start shutting teams down late. Anyone remember those mind boggling numbers we had at one time after 6 or 7 innings? Contrary to many peoples' opinion, and Cliff, Seattle is very much a concern, and we won't even need to worry about Cleveland if we don't do something about the bullpen.
2007-07-30 20:43:00
135.   SF Yanks
133 I don't know. He used to make me sweat. Granted he's better than anything else we have not named Mo, but still. I wonder if my memory is playing tricks on me but I could have sworn people were getting tired of him by his last year.

I'd be happy with Gagne but I'd be reluctant to give up Horne, or Kennedy. Hmmmm... close call.

2007-07-30 20:58:04
136.   Vandelay Industries
It is nice to see Mo add his voice to Greg Maddux in saying velocity alone doesn't guarantee anything. Now if only there was a GM out there who understood that, other than Theo Epstein of course. I wonder how Brian feels to be out-dueled over and over by a punk kid.
2007-07-30 21:08:24
137.   monkeypants

"I wonder how Brian feels to be out-dueled over and over by a punk kid. "


2007-07-30 21:11:37
138.   yankz
Yeah, Theo's offseason wasn't exactly great (outrageous contracts for Drew and Lugo, and has Matsuzaka been worth the trillions or whatever he spent?). I know Beckett has been great this year, but if you believe VORP, Hanley Ramirez has been the second most valuable player in baseball this year (!), behind some Rodriguez fellow.
2007-07-30 21:13:23
139.   Vandelay Industries

I don't know, a solid frontline rotation, Matsuzaka, Lowell, and now Dye on the way. A lights-out bullpen and a huge lead in the AL East. I'd say he is doing a pretty good job.

All this while Joe is on record as saying the bullpen doesn't need help, and Cashman has done nothing of note other than Igawa, and taking Abreu off the hands of a team not wanting to pay him.

2007-07-30 21:18:37
140.   Vandelay Industries

I think they knew what they were getting with Drew, much like us with Damon. Lugo is finally cooming around, and given the dearth of pitching this past off-season, I think Dice-K has worked out nicely for them.

2007-07-30 21:19:36
141.   yankz
139 I never understand why people take Joe's comments literally. What the hell is he supposed to say, "We suck, the pen is filled with a bunch of bums"? How would that make Cashman's job at all easier?
2007-07-30 21:21:31
142.   Mattpat11
I wouldn't say Cashman's issues are because of a velocity infatuation. I think he falls for hype more than anything, which isn't unique to him as a general manager. The Pavano and Farnsworth situations where a guy was coming off the one big year and had hype and Cashman chose to ignore the rest of their careers. I don't think it was a velocity thing with Kyle.

Then there's kei Igawa, which i can't figure out what the hell he was thinking. But that wasn't velocity either.

2007-07-30 21:29:22
143.   yankz
140 No way. They gave Drew a five year contract. You don't do that if you know a guy's going to suck.

Lugo has had one good month and three that were worse than Womackian. He's been an above average hitter just once in his career. Not worth that contract.

Daisuke has been good, yes, but it's too early to call that contract a success. Posting fee included, that's a ton of money.

I doubt you were groveling at Theo's knees about Beckett last year. And, you could argue that even with his great 2007, they still came out on the wrong end. It's funny that the Abreu scenario you depict is exactly what happened with Lowell. The Marlins made the deal partly to get that contract off their hands.

Dye sucks this year. Let's see how he does before we declare it a good move. With Abreu's last two months (.897 OPS), I say props to Cashman for not pulling the trigger on that deal.

There's no denying he's put a good team together. But the idea that he's a world class GM who consistently "out-duels" Cash is a joke.

2007-07-30 21:30:05
144.   monkeypants

"I don't know, a solid frontline rotation, Matsuzaka, Lowell,"

Lowell's a nice compensation for not landing A-Rod.

"and now Dye on the way."

Hmmm. Adding a 33 y.o. OF batting 95 OPS+, career109 OPS+, but coming off a freaky career year (one of only two truly excellent seasons in his entire career)? Pure genius.

" A lights-out bullpen and a huge lead in the AL East. I'd say he is doing a pretty good job."

This season. Oh, and he did a great job helping Tony Clark's double bounce into the stands in 2004.

Seriously, though, Theo spends a lot of money and has had his share of successes and failures. He's not a bad GM by any stretch, but he's also almost as overrated as Ricciardi ever was.

2007-07-30 21:33:58
145.   yankz
I'd start worrying about Bruney if I were the Yanks. 6 1/3 more innings and he ties his career high.
2007-07-30 21:34:14
146.   yankz
I mean, worrying about his health. They should obviously be worrying about his effectiveness.
2007-07-30 21:35:00
147.   yankz
144 Not to mention, if you credit Theo for a big lead this year, you have to credit Cash for a big one last year.
2007-07-30 21:39:40
148.   Max
136 "I wonder how Brian feels to be out-dueled over and over by a punk kid. "

Is this some kind of sarcastic joke? Not even partisans here in the heart of RSN subscribe to this kind of ludicrous thinking. Drew, Lugo, Wily Mo, Renteria, Crisp, the price for getting Mirabelli back, etc etc

Beckett was Lucchino's doing. And they got completely lucky with Okajima, who wasn't supposed to be much more than Dice-K's caddy.

And Brendan Donnelly and Pineiro just show how the "punk kid" keeps outdueling Cashman in building a world-class bullpen. Please. And on top of this, we're supposed to be crediting him for his attempts to land Dye? Dye?! What parallel universe is this?

Overstatement isn't needed to nail Cashman to the wall. Other teams roll the dice in trying to build a bullpen with the detritus that's rolling around out there, and to claim that Cashman is uniquely incompetent doesn't cut it.

2007-07-30 21:40:25
149.   monkeypants
""Sometimes you don't have an uberteam," Epstein said before last night's game with the Yankees. "That's not our dynamic. We're not going to try to build an uberteam every year." -- Theo Epstein, August 21, 2006.

And another great thing about Theo, he's just so darn cute when he pouts.

Kidding aside, that quote was made in the context of the Sox receiving criticism for not making big moves last year at the deadline and otherwise scuffling through a disappointing season where the team 'underperformed' relative to expectations. Last year's Sox are this year's Yankees. We'll have to wait until next season to see how the Yankees (esp. Cashman) respond.

2007-07-30 21:45:33
150.   tommyl
147 Not to mention the fact that both of them have made mistakes in the past. No one is perfect, its a lot easier to second guess. Does Cashman get credit for finding Chacon and Small off the scrap heap and catching lightning in a bottle? Does he get credit for the Justice trade in 2000 that pretty much won the team the world series that year?

Yes, he completely missed on Pavano (dear lord that was awful) and Farnsworth, and so far Igawa has been a bust. To be fair, as has already been mentioned, a lot of other teams (including Boston) wanted Pavano at the time and Cash got him for a discount. You want him to learn from his mistakes? I think he has, this year he didn't go after any overhyped free agent pitchers. Whatever you think about Meche he's not an "ace." He's so far held on to every major prospect, and I think he's serious about building from within (though we'll see if he panics in the next few hours). I also think one mistake he's learned from is that huge, long contracts become an albatross.

No, he's not perfect, nor is he Billy Beane, but he's certainly good and he learns.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-30 21:47:39
151.   tommyl
Btw, I have to say how much I admire Beane. Not only does he do things on a tight budget, but in every trade he seems to work some multi-team deal and end up giving up nothing at all. Sometimes I think he's like those old con-men, "Ok, you give me a twenty, I give you two tens..."
2007-07-30 21:57:54
152.   monkeypants
151 And even Beane makes some mistakes (signing Loaiza for 6 million), but he rarely if ever makes colossal errors, and he does seem to be able flip bad players to other teams (getting anything for Jason Kendall).
2007-07-30 22:02:32
153.   tommyl
152 Right, no one is perfect. Injuries happen. Players under or overperform expectations. Now, Cashman isn't without fault, it might be that we'll look back and see Pavano and Igawa as Cashman's Jeff Weaver moment (aside, can we make that a verb? To "weaver" something?).

Sooo...Proctor to LA is looking a bit more likely now, apparently Joba will replace him almost immediately according to Stark (via comments in PeteAbe's blog). Its a rumor, but I'm about to go to bed, and hey, deadline day to me is like chanukah, you just have to hope you don't get the crappy gift from that aunt who pinches your cheeks.

2007-07-30 22:05:02
154.   yankz
153 Billy Beane?
2007-07-30 22:07:57
155.   tommyl
154 Sorry, I don't understand what you are asking. monkeypants and I said we liked Beane and that even he makes some mistakes, then I made another comment about Cash. What are you asking?
2007-07-30 22:10:50
156.   yankz
155 Haha. I was asking if Billy Beane is the aunt that pinches your cheeks. Forgive me, it's late...
2007-07-30 22:11:54
157.   yankz
And with that, I'm off to bed as well. May we all wake up to Farnsworth being someone else's problem!
2007-07-30 22:36:01
158.   underdog
I sure hope Farnsworth isn't my (Dodgers) problem, er, gift, in the morning. ;-) I wouldn't mind Proctor, but don't think he's worth giving up much for; in fact, I think Betemit's even too high a price to pay. But I guess we'll find out. Hopefully Cashman and Colletti both won't do anything stupid tomorrow. ;-) Most rumored trades always seem scary to me for some reason. Hold on to those prospects!
2007-07-30 22:43:37
159.   Vandelay Industries
Yikes. I didn't mean to get all that started. I was blowing off a little steam, and I've made no secret of my feelings toward Brian Cashman.

158 I live in LA now, and have been known to catch a Dodger game now and again. I don't see any harm in pulling for the team in the city in which you live.

That being said, even I wouldn't wish Farnworth on you guys. Proctor can be good, I think the Dodgers know that, if only he would throw his curve more than twice a week.

2007-07-30 22:48:38
160.   Vandelay Industries
Anyone catch that Celtics/'Wolves trade? Holy Cow! Talk about worst to first. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Pierce and Garnett and Allen oh my! Kudos to the Celtics for doing something. As a Knicks fan it saddens me, but hell, so long as Isiah is there, no point in caring. Now that that deal is done, its going to be an interesting season here in LA with the Lakers.
2007-07-30 23:55:53
161.   Vandelay Industries
I love this quote from Damon, speaking on his drawing twenty one walks thus far in July:

"It cuts it with the team because they know how important that is, but unfortunately the stats rats out there don't really think it's too important to see a lot of pitches and make the players around you better," Damon said.

Stats rats. I love it.

2007-07-31 05:01:38
162.   monkeypants
161 Right, because the stats rats only care about BA and Wins, not, say, OBP.
2007-07-31 05:50:20
163.   williamnyy23
161 The irony is the "stat rats" do care.

Some good news from Tampa last night:

1) Giambi went to 2-5.
2) Joba pitched an inning of relief and struckout three. Not a bad early trial in the experiment.

2007-07-31 06:12:10
164.   RIYank
160 I dunno, they had better win in the next couple of years. The Celts traded away their future (Jefferson, Green, some garbage including Telfair, and two first round picks). Sure, they now have Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Garnett, a fearsome core of superstars, and it may work out for them. But if they don't win this season there will be loud grumbling, and if they don't win the season after that, Ainge is history and the leprechaun will be swearing like a tree elf.
2007-07-31 06:48:39
165.   OldYanksFan
150 He is good, but poorer teams usually simply can't afford to make expensive mistakes. The Yankees always try to get impact players and USUALLY, people that fit their 'mold'. Beane simply gets the most undervalued players. He is like the good working class housewife that always shops sales and the dollar store.

The BEST thing to me about Yankee money is that it allows us to KEEP our players, even if we overpay them a bit. Mo and Posada might do well on the FA market, and their prices might escalate to more then they are really worth. But we will (hopefully?) resign them, not only because we do need them, but because they are 'true' Yankees.

163 I am not concerned about his few ABs as much as how his foot feels, and if the injury is having any impact on his swing. After all, in a way, Giambi is King of the Comeback. If he has no ill effects, I am SURE he will be an impact guy for us, with a high OBP. I drool at the idea of putting him behind ARod... although batting him 3rd may be more potent.

In terms of the Torre Overuses Pitches Issue:
I have read all the posts, instructional and entertaining, and both sides made good points. A few things I did NOT read... that MIGHT effect the issue?

1) Everyone quoted IPs. What about number of pitches thrown? 12 pitches in 2 IPs is probably easier then 12 pitches in 1 IP.
2) What was the situation and who were the opponents? Is pitching to the TB 6-7-8 batters an 'equal' IP to pitching to the Sox 3-4-5? Are all IPs created equal?
3) Pitchers had their 'peak pitches thrown' year under Torre. Well... by definition, every pitcher has one year that's their peak. Does that make their manager that year a criminal. Did the manager overuse them? If you average 80IPs in your career, is throwing 90IPs one year really too much?
4) What about our FO? Is it possible our FO philosophy is to get as much out of a RP in a year, 'overuse' him and then dump him if he's not effective? Might overuse, if mandated by winning THIS year, be part of how we operate? Are we so sure this is just 'Torre idiocy'?
5) What's more stressful for a pitcher? 80 IPs (of unknown pitches, situations and opponents) in a year a guy is not in the best physical shape and had some peronal problems, or 90 IPs (of unknown pitches, situations and opponents) in a year a guy is in GREAT physical shape and his life is going well?

I'm not that smart, but I think many here take a very few stats, stick them in a vacuum, and jump to a conclusion.

I'm not sure if watching lots of Yankee games and looking up and analyzing stats is enough to make one a manager. I believe there are many, many factors that need to be considered in any one decision.

Also.... Joe Torre is effecting personel decisions and running the Yankees in the wrong direction with his management of the BP and young players? Yes? Really? This billion dollar corporation bows to Joe Torre? The Boss, Cashman, Stick and about $100 million dollars worth of salaried personel just sit around waiting for Joe to do his thing?

Are you guys serious? You think Torre has that much power? You think he can steer this boat into an abyss will everyone else just watches?

Q: Whats the best way for a manager to get fired?
A: To run a team that is expected to win, and sit vets with proven track records and instead play kids, hoping they don't underperform and don't make mistakes due to lack of experience and nervousness.

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