Sunday, May 27, 2007

Halos Handle Yanks In 3-Game Sweep

2 small steps forward, 3 giant leaps back it seems.

Mussina puts in a professional performance (took some outside coaching lessons from Mel Stottlemyer in between starts and made some adjustments) and the bull pen blows it - again. Mussina pulled after 90 pitches which I guess is acceptable - be that as it may, he probably would have done better than Proctor, but I understand, you can't push the fragile Moose. As of right now, I think the only three guys you can trust coming out of the pen to bridge to a save opportunity for Mo is Meyers, Bruney, and Villone (0 ERA after 4 games and 7 2/3 innings).

When you have a save situation the equation to go by is Meyers for the one tough out in a pinch, Bruney to finish the 7th, Villone for the 8th, then Mo. Use Farnsworth, Vizcaino, and Proctor for mop up duty until their performance improves. -- In my humble opinion only.

As the season goes on and all that has come with it - Matsui injury, Damon injured, and injured again but won't DL, Abreu and Cabrera's slump, I find more and more of my anger surprisingly finding its way to Bernie Williams. The reality of the situation is quite clear cut: Bernie voluntarily sat out because of pride plain and simple. Had he put his pride in the backseat like he has his entire career, he'd be out there now, playing and contributing in a big way. He'd be a leader in the clubhouse. Wouldn't be fielding any worse than Damon - and would very likely be batting better, perhaps significantly better than the .219 and .233 of Cabrera and Abreu respectively. But, because of his pride getting in the way, he is not with us and hurting the team. I'm not saying its right - but I am saying it is how I feel. Williams has let the team down due to pride - very un-Bernie like.

We've got Toronto, Boston, and then the White Sox before a return to inter-league play. When Clemens comes back (in Boston) the starting rotation will be Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Clemens, and then take your pick between Rassner/Clippard/Hughes. I think you give that starting 4 two full rotations. If the ship doesn't right itself by then, I think we have to look at the prospect of dismantling the team and rebuilding.

What do I mean by dismantling? I mean you keep: Posada, Jeter, A-Rod, Cano, and Matsui. You can build off of those guys, and let younger players fill in and learn. You find a home, this season, for Abreu, Giambi, Damon, and Mussina. Trade them to those that are close to contending and clear the way for some younger guys to get some seasoning to start preparation for a new run in '08.

I hope it does not come to that - either way, I think we'll know for certain what will happen by the end of our series with Pittsburgh on Sunday, June 10th.

Two full months in, 6 games under .500 and competing with Devil Rays for Last Place in the East.....just thinking about that makes my head hurt.


CrashDavis said...

The Yanks have the 2nd worst bullpen in the league, behind KC. Farnsworth, Proctor, and Vizciano should all be sent down, cut, or traded immediately. This is ridiculous.

The Scooter said...

Your point on Bernie is well taken, but on the other hand, if Cashman offered him a guaranteed Million, he would be on the team right now. I think it was Brian's ego that kept Bernie away.

I'm a fan of Proctor...he has a great arm and has shown some guts in the past. But his perfomance yesterday was pathetic.

How in the world are you going to unload Giambi (no trade and a bad bad contract) and Damon (he got old literally overnight)? I can't see any team willing to touch them with a ten foot pole. I think we are stuck with them. Abreu wont bring any value at all unless he starts hitting...and if he does, we might as well keep him. Moose might have some value to a contending team come July, but I'm not sure if he has a no trade.

I can't believe i'm about to say this....If you look back, you will see that I have been Joe Torre's staunchest supporter on this blog, since its inception..that being said, I am seriously believing that this team may just need a new voice. I am torn because I think Joe has built up enough equity around here that he deserves to out on his own terms, but this season has become a train wreck. If they make a move, I don't want it to be Mattingly....I think they need to go outside of the organization (or at least look towards the YES booth at Girardi). As far as the inevitable Cashman firing..there is one man and one man only for the job...Gene Michael.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree that Stick is the man if Cashman goes.

Watched the Jays game lastnight - it looks like they are playing scared or at bare minimum just waiting to see when they'll blow the game.

Clemens is ready to go - hopefully, and this is a big, big hope, he'll bring in the much needed confidence these guys need.

If Torre goes, then maybe we should be looking at removing the hitting instructor (avg less than 4 runs a game!!!) and possibly pitching as well (Moose taking instructions from Mel is a sign that maybe they are not getting the proper attention to detail on mechanics)


old professor said...

The first game in Toronto was embarassing to say the least. The team has no spark; the bench is dead when the team is batting, and Joe looks like a wounded beagle on the bench.

From 1996-2001 it seemed Joe made all the right moves when it came to managing a game. The question that needs to be asked is whether he was making the right moves or were these teams so good that no matter what move you made it was going to be the right move?

It appears we are seeing classic Torre - the one that caused him to be cut loose by the Braves, Mets and Cards.

Cashman has had his responsibilities greatly reduced and has been told that he will not have a say in who the new manager will be (quote from the latest sports illustrated).

Before we all jump on the Stick bandwagon - lets remember he was the architect of some very bad Yankee teams. He is also old enough to collect social security. Cashman basically followed orders - get younger and reduce the payroll.

This season has gone down the drain. It may be time to get rid of some of the age through trades or cuts and bring some of the young kids up.

Basak is currently starting at Triple A and can do as much as Cairo (sitting on the bench). It is also time to find playing time for Phelps - You cannot expect him to sit on the bench for days and then come off the bench and be productive. Thompson and Reese can be as productive as Melky and Damon.

By the way has anyone noticed that when Mussina is the most effective he has Nieves behind the plate - call it a comfort level.

As for Bernie Williams: Jeter, A-Rod and Torre all put calls into him asking him to show up for spring training. Bernie chose to stay home - claiming other teams were interested in him. Guess what? There were no other teams and now he is sitting home contemplating when to change the strings on the guitar.

Anonymous said...

Stick put together the teams for 96 and 98 right??

old professor said...


Bob Watson put together the 96 Team, he left after the Yankees exit from the 97 playoffs, however the 98 team had most of the players brought it by Watson. Tino and Brosius were Watson additions.

Stick is in the mold of trading the farm system for instant gratification. Stick was part of the Yankee leadership in the late 80's and early 90's.

The Scooter said...

Prof, I strongly disagree with your description of Stick:

In 1990 he was made general manager of the Yankees, during this time he built the Yankees farm system and laid the seeds for their dominance in the end of the decade. This was facilitated in part by the suspension of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner who had earned a reputation as a meddler. The Yankees also began building young talent, rather than trading it away, as they had done in the 1980s with little success. During Michael's tenure as general manager, the Yankees drafted such notable players as Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and others. Further he traded popular prospect Roberto Kelly for Paul O'Neill whose fiery personnna and play would become a cornerstone for the team. This foundation paid off with Yankee championships in 1996, and from 1998 -

Anonymous said...

That side of the story coincides with the Joel Sherman book I read regarding the birth of the yankee dynasty.

I'm wondering if due to the inactivity YTD, on top of bull pen woes, if the Torre may be willing to revisit the idea of using Mo for more than 1 inning outings.

In addition to Joe G. - It would be intersting if the Yanks held talks with the likes of a Joe Morgan for the skip spot.


Anonymous said...

clarification on prior post: Sherman's book coincides with the side of the story supporting Scoots view of the Stick vs. Prof.

Mid Relief said...

Andy Pettitte is a true Yankee... how about some !#@!%& run support!

The Scooter said...

How about some hits?

Anonymous said...

Last 4 games - Bombers are averaging 2 runs per - pa thet ic

I thought Phillips running into Phelps was a dirty play - he ran on the inside of the line

What is going through Pettitte's mind? His ERA is looking very National League-ish right now and what does he have to show for it?

old professor said...

Your posting headline asks How Bad Can It Get? We are getting the answer to that. Pettitte pitches his heart out and the Yankees find a new way to lose. One error in the first leads to a run another later in the game allows a runner to go to third and then the steal of home. Great. By the way if the Yankees needed a double play to get out of the inning, why bring Proctor in who normally gets fly balls? True to form count goes 0-2 and he nibbles gives up the Sac. Fly and the Yankees are now in last place in the East.

Strange event prior to the game - Yankees take infield practice for the first time in years - result - two errors by infielders cost them the game.

Any thoughts about the Yankees looking for a new batting coach? With all of the early injuries, the team fired their conditioning coach. Now with a universal offensive slump could the hitting coach be next??

old professor said...

Yesterday was a good day and a bad day. Yankees win and break a five game losing streak, though the bullpen made it interesting.

The bad news is that Phil Hughes is going to be out another 4to 6 weeks due to an third degree ankle sprain suffered during rehab.

This is a significant injury because he will not be able to throw to maintain arm strength. Four to six weeks puts his next re-hab start somewhere in the area of mid-July three rehab starts would mean a possible return to the Yankees by early to Mid-August.

Anonymous said...

Good win, although, if they couldn't do it against that pitcher, then they were never going to.

Mo's classic cutter appears to have returned.

I thought Phillips running into Phelps was a worse offense than A-Rod distracting the 3rd baseman.

As pointed out in my pre-season post about the Jays, John Gibbons is a piece of garbage and he showed it last night.

Man I hope we can string a few wins together in Fenway.

The Scooter said...

Good win....but then again at this stage any win is a good win.

Too bad about Hughes. That makes the wildcard even tougher to achieve.

But the thing that I can't get out of my head is.......Are we back to the Bronx Zoo of the seventies, or what?

There is always some type of negative drama going on with this team...whether it's Giambi's mouth; A-Rod on the front page of the Post with a young lady who ummm aint his wife; A-Rod once again with his bush league play; and now the leaked story that there is a rift in the Torre-Cashman relationship.

Maybe ole number 44 should manage this team.

Anonymous said...

The Bronx Zoo won back to back titles - so I'll take it if they can find a way to deliver the rings!

57 said...

has anyone noticed how good the Mets are?

The Scooter said...

Mid, oh yea I'd take it too...but this team seems just a little but more ummmm fragile then the teams of Munson, Nettles, Goose, Reggie, et al.

Hey Ketchup Boy, what happened to your blog?

old professor said...

First I have heard about a Torre-Cashman feud. What is the basis and when did it come to light? Could it be that Cashman is positioning to save his job and let Torre sink?

As for the Muts, is anyone really interested??

old professor said...

Giambi is officially headed to the disabled list, which will finally take weak bat and no speed guy out of the line-up. Due to the nature of the injury he will miss at least three weeks and if surgery is needed, it will probably end his year.

it will be interesting to see who the Yankees fill the spot with and if someone becomes the regular DH or whether the outfielders will rotate through the position.

The Scooter said...


Prof, Sports Illustrated dot com first reported a source in the Yankee front office said that the Torre/Cashman relationship had soured due to the fact that Girardi has been a fixture "upstairs" since his gig at YES began.

Both Joe and Brian strongly denied this and Girardi has stated that he hasn't been in the Yankee executive offices since he was a Yankee, who knows? But typically, where there's smoke...there's fire.

Anonymous said...

I agree, where there's smoke - - often there is an out of control, blazing forest fire!

I think on the DH that Abreu is the obvious choice - - who knows, maybe take a gamble and bring up Tabata??


The Scooter said...

Good start to the Red Sox series.

Wang battled without his best stuff. They scored some runs, and they didn't fold when they gave up a 3-0 lead. Abreu and Cano hit.

Jeter started a sparkling double play..and Meyers actually got Ortiz out.

Torre showed some fire and Damn, Proctor almost took Yukes head off. Let's see what Moose shows up with tomorrow.

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