Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
Hank continues to talk.
For the last time Hank, we're not losing because the pitching sucks. We're losing because the supposedly best offense in baseball is averaging under three runs a game. Any moron can see that, but I guess you can't. Santana would have added a couple of wins, and you'd be watching Johnny Damon patrol CF.
There's also this bit from the Bats blog:
I'd like to know what role the media has in making everything said seem "loud". What's really irked me about the coverage is the NY (and even the National) media seems to pine for laziest, most basal story: The old George. What better substitute than his son! Maybe for me, the blustery act got tired when I realized the old man didn't really have it in him any more. Worse for the media portrayal of Hank (and we should all shudder at selective editing) - he has a brother that would seem to balance out his fanboy impulses.
Gotta say though I loved this recognition of recent history by Hank:
"There's been a lot of mistakes the last five to seven years that I had nothing to do with and Joe had nothing to do with and quite a few things Brian had nothing to do with."
And that anonymous scout (worst Yankee bench he's ever seen) is a moron.
And it's hilarious that Waldman is trashing the owner when she's an utter disgrace to her profession. Hopefully this finally leads to them firing her AND Sterling. Meanwhile, Raisman is quite the revisionist if he thinks George's words had any real impact.
"I don't know what the reason is. Injuries certainly are part of it, but I don't know the reason we've had so many cold bats. Eventually, I really do believe we're going to get back to at least the vicinity of where we were last year."
Let him talk. I just want to see some wins.
8 Yeah, possibly the A-Rod contract, but who really didn't think that A-Rod was going to get his money and the Yankees were going to pay him? And thankfully they did pay him (Miguel Cabrera butchered third so bad in Detroit they've already moved him to first and Betemit as the everyday 3B gives me the vapors).
By the way - something I just noticed:
Brett Gardner - 2008:
vs. RHP: .245 .359 .378 (98 ABs)
vs. LHP: .375 .446 .667 (48 ABs)
Um, Hank? The guy you let go made the playoffs with what was pretty much the same team.
Anyway, since he threw out the "I have complete confidence in Joe" line, I may worry a bit about Girardi... Seen that line uttered too many times before to believe it.
No. This is not the same team. For starters, Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes are not the same the mish mash that Torre worked with. Ian and Phil were giving up around 8.5+ runs a game. None of the AAA starters that the Yanks threw out there last year were that bad -- not even Igawa.
And did you see the lineup that the yanks threw out against the Mets??? Three guys batting under 600 OPS.
This is not the same team. Torre never won with a lineup this bad for this long.
If you think the interview with Hank was tough talk, go to Yahoo and see what Kevin Towers has to say about his team. I think some of it applies to the Yankees, but luckily for them, no one in the organization has been that harsh.
11 I like the numbers, but beware of small sample sizes!
Personally, I think Hughes & Ian will bounce back and will be better than what they've shown so far. At the very least they should do league average work.
15 I don't think it's tough talk, I think it's Hank talking out his @ss, which seems to be his "thing."
Anyway, the point of 13 was "second verse, same as the first." There was a slow start last year, there is a slow start this year. Girardi was supposed to cure the Yanks' ills with his fire and intensity and his preparedness. So far, it hasn't happened, for whatever reason.
So this year, instead of having the pitching staff implode (as has been the case every year since 2004), they're dealing with losing their two best hitters. And now that they're struggling, the "cards dealt" comment struck me as amusing considering that much of the cards from this year's hand were from the same hand as last year.
I have a feeling that if you read the comments from this point in the season last year, they'd be awful similar to the comments this year.
Having said that, I feel it's still early, and I refuse to panic, write off the season, or otherwise be worried with two trading deadlines left, and the Yankees' two best hitters coming back.
Last year, they won 94 games, I can see them winning as much this year.
I also think there is a significant difference between the two slow starts. Not only was run differential much better last year, but the offense and even the defense was pretty good. This year, the Yankees have been weak in every facet.
What's more, the Yankees had to play ridiculously well last year to overcome the slow start. You simply can not bank on that every year.
In other words, the cards dealt this year aren't the same, and I think it is a mistake to come to the conclusion.
They play ridiculously well when they play to their talent level. Once the lineup and rotation stabilizes, I believe that will be the case.
They don't need career years from everyone in the lineup, just play the way they're capable of playing.
And they're not banking on playing well to overcome a slow start. As has been the case the past few years, something happens where they have to make up ground, be it the aforementioned staff implosions from 2004-07, or losing two of your best hitters while the rest of them aren't in synch.
Whatever the reason for why they get off to slow starts, the fact that they've rebounded in the past doesn't mean they will again in the future. With most key components a year older and the early returns on the young pitchers poor, I think Hank, the fans and anyone else looking in with interest have every right to be concerned and frustrated.
I'd actually like to see Brett Gardner called up, just to reshuffle the chairs. Ensberg has no place, he's not even doing what I/we'd hoped (mash lefties), so cut him. Gardner is yet another lefty bat (though as BagleBoy pointed out, he has huge reverse splits this year, dunno about career), but he could at least LIDR for Abreu (who is looking worse and worse in RF every year; if Gardner doesn't have the arm for RF, slide Melky over), and add a speed element. Worth a shot, maybe he goes on a little hot streak before the league figures him out.
19 Isn't that the problem though? This isn't a team where a bunch of guys are doing well, and some tanking (at least not anymore). Cano and Giambi are coming around, but besides Matsui, it's just a lot of guys hitting their 25 percentile projection minus last years two best hitters (replaced by your and my grandmothers). Even with ARod back, it's not a stretch to think these guys will/have all aged a lot at once. As Cliff pointed out, the team is like 10th in OBP, so it's not like they're getting particularly unlucky.
May 19, 2008: Record 20-24 Scored 179 runs, Allowed 197 runs.
May 19, 2007 Record 18-23 Scored 221 runs, Allowed 198 runs.
If you want to be optimistic, you could argue that the difference in runs scored is solely the result of Arod/Posada. That could be true. Of course, it also means that both Arod and Posada need to return soon and at their all-time great 2007 form. In other words, the Yankees have very little margin for error going forward...it simply isn't a given that they will play .650 ball from this point forward.
The key word in your second paragraph is "early." The key componets are a year older, but hardly at an age where they can be considered washed up. The early returns on the pitchers haven't been as expected, but it's not to say that they can't pitch. Hughes did it last year, Kennedy & Chamberlain were outstanding. I understand it's unreasonable to expect ERA+ of 236 & 1192, but I don't think any of us were expecting that.
Anyway, there are two deadlines at the end of July & August so there's plenty of time to make moves, be they promotions from within, or players bought in via trade.
We will see quite a few moves in the next few weeks with Betemit & Posada coming off the DL. Don't think Duncan & Moeller are going to stick around much longer. I anticipate another pitcher being sent down (Britton, given his luck) as a 13 man staff seems a bit much.
... at least, I'll wager that we'd be more likely to see Joba in the rotation if Girardi ever uses the bullpen guy with the 2nd best K/9IP and an ERA of 0.00 in a situation even resembling a tight spot.
25 I don't know...I was very confident that Ensberg would be a useful player. You can't say he didn't have a chance either. He hasn't shown even a glimpse of usefulness. After years of killing the Astros, I have to now admit maybe they were correct in their assessment.
There's also a bunch of arms moving up quite quickly threw the system. Cox, Melancon, Robertson etc. Ohlendorf better get it back together fast or he's going to end up back in AAA. That said, I'd much rather keep 'Dorf around and just DFA LaTroy at some point. Maybe trade Kyle (yeah right).
28 ABs is a small sample. In 560 previous career ABs vs LHP, his OPS is over .900. Even last year, he hit LHP very well (.830 OPS vs LHP in over 100 ABs, vs .661 OPS vs RHP). Maybe Ensberg is cooked, but I'm not sure we're there yet.
Shelley has options - and only a 70 AB track record of bashing MLB LHP, itself a rather small sample - so I think I'd send him down for Gardner, instead of releasing Ensberg.
The interesting thing, of the 3, Abreu has the best line vs LHP - his LHP/RHP split is almost dead even. Matsui is .583 OPS vs LHP, and Damon is at .642. Matsui usually doesn't do that badly vs LHP, should Girardi really sit him for Gardner? Probably not. That means Gardner pinch runs and relieves Damon vs LHP. Are the Yanks facing a lot of LHP the next few weeks?
Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.