Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Dead Team Walking
2008-05-20 18:45
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Mike Mussina's was the coin that flopped over tonight. After walking just three men in his last five starts, Mussina walked Brian Roberts to start tonight's game. Moose then gave up two-out singles to Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar to plate Roberts and put men on first and second. After that, he got of Luke Scott 1-2 and got Scott to ground to shortstop for what appeared to be an inning-ending groundout. Derek Jeter fielded the ball and looked to flip to Robinson Cano at second for the out, but Cano wasn't on the bag. Instead, Jeter threw to first, but his throw was high and allowed Scott to reach safely, loading the bases for Ramon Hernandez. Mussina walked Hernandez on four pitches to force in a second Oriole run, then failed to retire any of the four men after him, finally being pulled with the score 7-0 Orioles and still just two outs in the first inning.

That thew a wet blanket on Alex Rodriguez's return to the lineup. Rodriguez came through with a two-run homer into the Yankee bullpen in the sixth, but those were the only runs Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera allowed on the night as the Orioles cruised to a 12-2 win.

The only other action of note stemmed from a third-inning Cabrera pitch which tailed in on Derek Jeter and hit him on the outside of his left wrist. Jeter left the game immediately, and LaTroy Hawkins cleared the benches by throwing at Luke Scott with none on and two out in the sixth, but Jeter's x-rays were negative, which means that other than a coming suspension for Hawkins, the lasting effects should be minimal. The lasting effects of the Yankees losing six of their last seven while averaging two runs per game remain the greater concern.

2008-05-20 19:13:09
1.   nick
was that play really Cano's fault, Cliff? those who were watching in the game thread seemed to think it was 100% on Jeter....
2008-05-20 19:16:11
2.   Cliff Corcoran
1 Did I say it was Cano's fault? I agree, it was 100 percent Jeter's misplay. I merely described what happened.
2008-05-20 19:22:44
3.   nick
ah, ok, thanks!
2008-05-20 19:25:39
4.   Cliff Corcoran
3 Actually, I should clarify. The throw was 100 percent Jeter's fault, but Cano should have covered the bag and the inning would have ended there if he did. Still, Cano's absence had nothing do to with Jeter's bad throw, and none of that, ultimately, had anything to do with Mussina folding. Each man remains responsible for his own performance.
2008-05-20 19:27:40
5.   williamnyy23
I would actually correct the title of this post to Dead Team Not Walking. If they would draw a few walks instead of hacking away as they have all season, they might actually score 3 or 4 runs per game.
2008-05-20 19:28:59
6.   Jeb
I just hate this team so much that I don't know what to do. They just so damn apathetic. I wish Girardi would be fired. I hate him too. Cashman too.
2008-05-20 19:31:33
7.   Cliff Corcoran
5 Good point, as per my post from Friday. The Yanks drew zero walks tonight.
2008-05-20 19:32:24
8.   williamnyy23
Had to chuckle when Girardi offered the following commentary, "You can't win games when you give up 8 unearned runs...[pause] in the first two innings."


2008-05-20 19:37:40
9.   williamnyy23
I appreciate Mussina's honest reaction to his poor performances...especially compared to the stoic nonsense you get from so many other players.
2008-05-20 19:38:09
10.   williamnyy23
I appreciate Mussina's honest reaction to his poor performances...especially compared to the stoic nonsense you get from so many other players.
2008-05-20 19:39:48
11.   williamnyy23
And now I appreciate his honest take on the team's performance, not the least of which it mirrors my own. According to Moose, he is a lot more concerned about this year because no part of the team has consistently played well for any meaningful stretch during the season.
2008-05-20 19:42:01
12.   tommyl
Hawkin's interview on YES is pure comedy gold.
2008-05-20 19:42:52
13.   williamnyy23
12 I liked it too. Funny, I come away liking this team more after the postgame!
2008-05-20 19:44:16
14.   Cliff Corcoran
This might be our first post-game show thread.

That's what happens when the game is over after 1/2 inning allowing me to get the game-wrap post up minutes after the final out.

2008-05-20 19:45:06
15.   williamnyy23
14 Sadly, the postgame shows are far more interesting than the games.
2008-05-20 19:45:09
16.   tommyl
13 "Just trying to throw inside, got away from me." Uh huh, sure LaTroy. Could you see him trying desperately not to crack up and laugh while saying it?

He does have a good point though. Second time in a row, someone on the Yankees gets hit, no one on the other team does and a Yankee will be suspended.

2008-05-20 19:45:32
17.   tommyl
14 I'll take what I can get at this point.
2008-05-20 19:55:57
18.   Bruce Markusen
There's plenty of blame to pass around for that first inning. Cano should have gone to second base--but didn't cover. Jeter made yet another poor throw. A more athletic first baseman than Giambi, who can't stretch to save his life, might be able to get up and down quicker on the high throw. And then Mussina, who is too often rattled when things don't go well behind him, caves in for the rest of the inning.

There are a litany of things wrong with this team, from the front office on down. Cashman hasn't done much of anything since re-signing the big three early in the winter. Girardi seems afraid to put on plays. The defense is always a step short. The starting pitching is up and down. The offense is putrid. The team plays with little emotion, enthusiasm, or urgency. Other than that, I can't find too many problems.

I almost wish that someone would start a fight in the clubhouse--without breaking any bones or pulling any more quads, of course.

2008-05-20 20:13:38
19.   tommyl
18 Where's Karim Garcia when you need him?
2008-05-20 20:16:27
20.   Raf
16 Second time in a row, someone on the Yankees gets hit, no one on the other team does and a Yankee will be suspended.

That's on Hawkins; he had two shots and missed.

2008-05-20 20:24:23
21.   tommyl
20 Even our pitchers can't get a hit!
2008-05-20 20:25:43
22.   Shaun P
18 I know what the Yanks need. They have a lethargic fever, and the only prescription is -


Seriously, now is as good a time as any to bring back the junk food. That strength and conditioning guy took the fall last year for all the hammy injuries, so why not blame the lack of energy on the lack of M&Ms?

2008-05-20 21:19:55
23.   tommyl
22 Yes, the Yankees are losing because of the lack of Skittles available in the clubhouse. Except, Chris Britton has pitched well recently, you'd think he'd be the most affected, no?
2008-05-20 21:23:52
24.   JL25and3
23 Especially the, ah, little green Skittles.
2008-05-20 22:55:14
25.   Chyll Will
24 FINALLY! I knew I wasn't the only one thinking that. I'm crazy and all, but the Sun is catching fire here...
2008-05-21 03:34:11
26.   williamnyy23
24 I alway thought eradication of the greenies would have a much bigger impact than HGH and steroids. I know BP ran a study and concluded that the drop in runs in the AL was not a result of the chemical ban, but I think there main reason may have been flawed. If I am not mistaken, run production from the DH spot is way down. When you consider that DHs tend to be older, less athletic players, it might make sense why the greenie ban would impact the AL more than the NL.
2008-05-21 04:09:25
27.   joejoejoe
Not since the Alou brothers have there been so many bros. on one team. Ug Lee. Home Lee. Sick Lee. Meek Lee. Pathetic Lee. All on the same squad!
2008-05-21 05:14:20
28.   rbj
I think LaTroy was deliberately trying to not hit the batter, just do something to fire up the team.

BTW, I saw our old friend Tyler Clippard pitching for the Clippers Monday night. He started out well (four straight Ks, aided by being in the setting sun) then didn't get a called third strike in the 5th. He kind of let it get to him and wound up giving up one whole run. You gotta put things like a bad call or a bad throw behind you.

2008-05-21 05:19:11
29.   RIYank
We could really use some ghosts about now. Where are the ghosts?
2008-05-21 05:28:24
30.   ny2ca2dc
29 Whatdayamean, the 25-man is almost all ghosts?!
2008-05-21 05:41:44
31.   OldYanksFan
4 Well said Cliff. People like to BLAME one guy, but all 3 contributed and any one of them could have avoided it.
2008-05-21 05:53:35
32.   nemecizer
This feels like 1990 all over again...
2008-05-21 06:18:07
33.   OldYanksFan
9 What did Moose say? And Jeb, you really think firing Joe and/or Cashman will help? At least 20 of 25 guys are underperforming. I mean, management needs to motivate, but what can they do? We ALL wanted to keep the kids. Who knew Shelly, Phil and IPK would be total garbage (up till now)? Who knew Cano and Giambi would start this poorly? ARod said Jetes would be MVP (kiss-assing, I know)... but he is struggling just to get withon 50 pts of his career OPS. I do not think there is a single player who is posting a better then career OPS.

The tragedy that is this team is morphing into comedy. They have played so porrly it's almost comical. This is not Girardi's, Cashman's or Long's fault. Somehow there is just a big black cloud over the entire team. Mo and Wang are the only guys really doing well.

Maybe Torre was a better manager than we gave him credit for? Even with 1 extra year of aging, this team should be a little better then last year.

2008-05-21 06:29:20
34.   OldYanksFan
I will say I have NOT given up hope on the PS. The division may be impossible, but Cleveland and Detroit are certainly making the WC look doable.

While it should be the vets who pick things up, mentally, we might need to see Cano, Melky, IPK and Phil get back on track. Maybe our kids can show the old guys how it's done.

Just cause we did it last year doesn't mean we can do it this year. Still, we are 7.5 games back on May 21st. This time last year, we were 9.5 back. On May 28th last year, we were 13.5 back.

It's getting late early, but we can still turn this season around. But it has to start soon.

2008-05-21 06:38:04
35.   Shaun P
24 Couldn't we just have a truckload of Red Bull dropped off at the Stadium? How about an espresso machine? Do they still make Jolt?

29 But RI, you can't use a ghost runner until a real hitter gets on base first.

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