The NY Yankees, MLB, the Bronx Zoo, and my point of view.
Sorry to all Yankee fans. They should not fire Torre, but I don't think he wants to come back...at least that is how he sounded to me after the game.It seems as if Jeter was the one who did not step up in this series, which is surprising, and I don't think you can get after A-Rod too much...or at least as much as you can get after Jeter. Pitchers and catchers are too far away.****That Monday Night Football game was an absolute farce... how does a team with 6 turnovers WIN THE GAME!!!!!??????
The game was a mirror image of the season. Torre misused his pitching staff. Exhibit A - Failure to arrange his pitching staff as the season was winding down to maximize their effectiveness in the Post Season. Giving Wang eight days rest and then stating the obvious, he had too much rest didn't make sense. Exhibit B - Clemens has an iffy hamstring yet Torre sends him out in game three to pitch; he lasted three innings, forcing the use of Hughes for 3.1 innings. May not have been the way Clemens thought his career would end. Not bad for 28 million dollars a .500 regular season record; one outting in September and three innings in the post season. Great investment there. Exhibit C - Knowing that Wang has never pitched on three days rest in three big league seasons, let's send him out in the crucial game four, while Mussina sits in the pen waiting to be used.He could have used Hughes or Mussina in game three and the other in Game 4.There was also the irrelevance of Jason Giambi. This could be a sign he is done as a Yankee. As for Jeter. Yes, Mr. Clutch grounds into three rally killing double plays. Sorry to all of you Jeter lovers out there, but he was not there when the team needed him. His bad throw in game three led to an early Cleveland lead.There are approximately 125 days until pitchers and catchers report.57, regarding the Buffalo Game, The placekicker for Dallas would have kicked the winning field goal from 60 yards. Buffalo is under the wrong star.
Well, what can you say? Since we are fans, the conversation will inevitably turn to "who's to blame". Well there are plenty of culprits to go around.Yes, if you ask me, the poster boy for this year's failure to advance is Jeter. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a huge Jeter fan (and I continue to be so), but it's impossible to ignore the struggles he had at the plate during this series. He'll never blame the knee, but you have to wonder if it really hampered his ability to drive the ball. Whatever the case, you certainly do not expect him to (as Prof points out) ground into three rally ending dp's. His reputation as "Captain Clutch" certainly has to take a hit.Next on my hit list is Chien Ming Wang. Some "ace" huh? I don't want to hear about Torre misusing him or setting up the pitching staff poorly...that's a bunch of bull. Take the ball and pitch and be the ace that you are supposed to be...show some heart.I really don't know what to think about A-Rod. Once again, when they needed him to be the best player in the world, the pressure got to him. Are we being unfair in expecting him to be able to take this team on his back and "will" them through the first round? Byrd throwing an 88 mph fastball by him in his first time up last night set the stage for the entire game. How hard do they try to re-sign him?Posada didn't exactly let his great year carry over into the post season either. Maybe fatigue finally got to him or maybe we have to give the Cleveland pitching staff some credit.There are a whole lot of questions to be answered before Opening Day '08. We all know what they are; from the manager, to Alex, to Mo and Jorge, to Andy and Abreu. Does Damon stay? Is Matsui a full time DH or trade bait? Can they unload Giambi? Do they buy out Moose? Does Jaba stay in the pen? Cashman certainly has his work cut out for him....all I hope is that he corners Gene Michael and does EVERYTHING Stick tells him to do.As for Joe Torre. If the sun has indeed set on his tenure, can we please let the man go out with the dignity that he deserves? Truth is, he was never a master tactician, this has been apparent since they let Zimmer go; and yes, he had issues with how he dealt with both the starting and relief pitchers.....but let us never forget that he brought us four count em FOUR World Titles and had them playing in October every single year...and for those who say that ANYONE could have gotten the "best team on paper" into the post season every year, just take a look across town to this year's Metropolitans.Let's put it this way, would we sign up right now for Four World Series Rings and 12 straight years of the playoffs over the next dozen years under Mattingly or Girardi? I certainly would.Yankee starting line up for Opening Day '08:Damon (LF)Jeter (SS)Abreu (RF)Matsui (DH)Hunter (CF)Posada (C)Cano (2B)Betemit (3B)Casey (1B)That's old and ugly if you ask me. I would prefer they sign Aaron Rowand (put him in center for the next ten years); Re-sign A-Rod (it's ok, they can bench him for Betemit in the playoffs); find a quality second catcher (maybe it's Molina) so Posada can play at least 50 games or so at first base; and here's my blockbuster......wait for it......Move Matsui to RF and give Barry Bonds Abreu's money to hit about 65 home runs into the short porch. Think about it before you all kill me, ok?Glad to see a football team finally lose after pulling that total Bush League move of calling a timeout right before a field goal. That's just a bad bad rule that the NFL must change right now. It's unfair to make the kicker kick the ball twice on EVERY game ending field goal. Well, I hope this blog stays alive during the off season, I have had a lot of fun jawing with you guys...from Old Prof to Crash to 57 and of course you, Mid. Thanks for setting this place up...we may not always agree...but we sure all know how to get our opinions across.I will not watch one more pitch until Spring Training '08.
Scooter, you raised an interesting point by bringing Zimmer into the equation. The Yankees have not been back to the series since Zimmer left. He made the ideal bench coach for Torre and who can argue with his fifty plus years in baseball. However, he had enough of the Steinbrenner BS and walked away like a man.A name that has been thrown into the mix for a Torre replacement (assuming he does not come back), is Trey Hillman - interviewed for the Texas job and has managed successfully in Japan. He recently resigned as a manager in Japan and has returned to the US. There has also been mention of God help us Buck Showalter.The lineup you put up for next year is anything but awe inspiring.While at times this team played old, they should really look to bring back Abreu, Posada, Molina, and Rivera. A-Rod may have signalled his intentions when he said "I came here to win a ring, I am sorry I didn't and sorry it had to end this way."I also believe they will make a play for Hunter during free agency, the only question being can he actually take the glare of the camera in the big city.The biggest changes will probably occur in the starting rotation: Pettitte, Wang, Kennedy,Sabathia (yes he is a free agent at the end of the season), and Mussina. I don't see them taking Chamgerlain out of the equation for the bullpen. If they don't resign Rivera (and they would be crazy not to), Joe Nathan will also be a free agent.The Bonds thing while interesting will never happen. Bonds does not want to play on the East Coast and like Ken Griffey has some very hard feelings over when his dad was a Yankee.Hey this season has been real on the blog. Maybe I can watch the Yankee reruns on the YES network. Trick some Red Sox fan into betting on the results of the game. They aren't blessed with the greatest common sense.
I will sign off here.... fun times... and a lot of pain during these last few weeks. Don't shut the blog down, Mid. Go on hiatus for a while, shut down your engines, bring yourself back to neutral and maybe have some guest commentators leave a blog or two.***Hunter will be in NY next year, but not in the Bronx.***Patriots vs. Indy in AFC Title game (yawn)Green Bay vs. NYG in NFC Title gameIndy vs. Green Bay in Super Bowl.Congrats to Farve winning for winnning the SB!***Britney Spears will commit suicide***GOOD NIGHT NOW!!!!!!
Old Prof. don't know where you get your info from but Sabathia is not a free agent this year. He makes $9 million next year. He's a free agent in 2009. The pitching out there will be dreadful...I could see the Yankees going after Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon for the rotation. They have always liked those 2 for some reason. They may decide not to go after any starting pitching as they have Wang, Kennedy, Hughes, Mussina, and Chamberlain (yes according to Hal Steinbrenner, Joba is in the rotation next year). They may rely on their farm to fill in as necessary...sorry forgot Igawa for a second and that's assuming Pettitte doesn't comeback (I'm not holding my breath on that one). The one intriguing name out there is Jon Lieber. I know he had a rough year but if Girardi some how ends up the manager don't be surprised to see Jon back in pinstripes him and Girardi go back a long ways to Chicago.I was critical of Johnny Damon this year but he was one of the few that stepped up in the ALDS for the Yanks. He's under contract so expect him back for next year. I think the Yanks do sign Hunter, though I like Rowand too. Rowand would add that blue collar grittiness that is needed in the clubhouse. If they don't re-sign Abreu then I could see them signing both Hunter and Rowand.If healthy Giambi is the starting DH. They won't be able to trade him because they have to pay him $20M next year. They would have to eat at least half of that to trade him. Wouldn't mind seeing Doug M. back he's a free agent this year, but Andy Phillips was playing well until getting hurt (that sounds like Nick Johnson). Look for major changes in the bullpen...thankfully Vizcaino is gone. Yanks go after Scott Linebrink, Jorge Julio, and Jeremy Affeldt.Let me say this, and I will definitely be in the minority here...if players like Posada, Pettitte, Rivera, and A-Rod decide not to come back because Torre is not brought back, I say see ya later, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, go collect your paycheck somewhere else. You won't be as successful as you were with the Yankees and the Yankees will just keep on moving ahead like they always do. Personally I don't think it will impact A-Rod he'll just follow the $$. And yes Torre will finally be gone. Overstayed his welcome by 3 years. He should have been canned after the 2004 ALCS. Don't know who will replace Torre. I don't think Mattingly is ready, I like Girardi, I like the possibility of LaRusa. He's a baseball guy who gets it and won't be out managed...unlike Clueless Joe. But I think the media would eat LaRusa alive within the first month when the team hits its first bad stretch.
Okay as the Yankee season has come to an end and the blog is coming to an end as well, let me comment on Crash's statements: Rowland would be a good addition - the White Sox regret letting him go. Jorge Julio is a journeyman much like Vizciano. Don't be surprised to see Vizciano back if Joe is gone. He was overused and worn out. Linbrink - ask yourself why would the Padres have let him go if he was so special?The Yankees would pay have of Giambi's salary to trade him and to get rid of him. That would still give the team $10 million to use toward A-Rod's new contract.As for the rotation, if Pettitte begins to follow the same path that Clemens followed ("I won't make a decision until May") then let him go. The only way Chamberlain makes will be put in the starting rotation is if the entire bullpen is rebuilt.Also don't forget a pitcher by the name of Alan Horn.Regarding the Yankee free agents. It will depend if the boss is still really making the calls or if the sons are going to step up and run the team. Rivera is a no brainer. Posada the same. Both deserve two year contracts (minimum). Abreu proved himself during the second half which may lead to the issue of him not being completely healthy during the first half of the season.signing off
Ok - I'm back (at a conference), and the sting is starting to fade.Mid
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