Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fire Girardi

As I'm watching The Rays put a 7 spot in one inning and retake the lead of a game the Yanks had in hand - I am wondering: WWTBD?

What would the Boss do?

He would break some glass. He would shake things up. He would fire the manager.

Champions stay focused and put distance between themselves and the pack down the stretch. They don't let up.

Girardi seems content to do just that (as evidenced by his pitching decisions in my opinion)

Fire Girardi, promote Pena


old professor said...

I don't agree with the way Girardi approached the last two games, but in the same vein, both the Yankees and the Rays realize that barring any major callapse by either team, they are both in the playoffs. Girardi is trying to give rest to people whenever he can. Having said that the object of playing a professional game is to win regardless of when it is. If he is content with sitting back and winning the wild card he should say that.

In last nights game, he failed to realize that Nova was on the bench for a very long time as the Yankees sent eight men to the plate. In most of his starts, Nova has run out of steam after 75-80 pitches.

Girardi's fate will be decided when the playoffs are over. If the Yankees play in the series, he will be renewed. If they are eliminated look for Girardi to be in Chicago next year.

How about the throw that Golson made from right field to end the game last night??

old professor said...

Okay the 2011 schedule is out and the Yankees open on March 31 with three games against Detroit; followed by a series against Minnesota. Both of these series occur in NY. Does anyone bother to look at the schedule and realize it is cold in NY during those dates and you could be competing with snow??

When will MLB get it throught their heads that if you are going to open a season in early spring, then you should schedule in warm weather venues or at least domed stadiums.

Texas is actually pleasant during the early spring as is Florida and California. The Yankees could have even opened against Toronto in the dome for God sake.

Maybe it is time soneone hires competent schedule makers.

Mid said...

I like it that Jeter admitted the ball hit the bat but he took the base anyway.

Mike Greenberg is a clown.

Crash said...

The only reason the Jeter acting thing is getting so much attention is because this is the only thing they have on this guy in 15 years. So all the haters out there finally have something they can point to and say see he's not perfect. Truth is something like this occurs everyday by virtually every player out there. It's a non-issue.

Yankees better get their act together for this Baltimore series.

old professor said...

Crash, it may be a non-issue, but if it was A-Rod instead of Jeter - how load would the outcry be? In the end, justice prevailed the Rays won the game. Wonder if the Rays had lost if Madden would be so redicent about the incident.

Yankees are entering what could be considered the most difficult part of their schedule: Baltimore, Tampa and Boston - they need to get down to business or risk looking at the wildcard going away.

Crash said...

Just saw Joe Torre is stepping down as Dodgers manager...Don Mattingly will be the new manager. Doesn't say if Torre is leaving immediately or at end of season. Don't know how I feel about any of that. LA was suppose to be the greener pasture. As soon as they start to lose and miss the playoffs Torre bolts. But this does make him available for the Yankees position if it becomes available. I was hoping Girardi would leave NY and go to Chicago and Mattingly would take over Yankees.

old professor said...

Torre is leaving at the end of the season. Mattingly has announced he will coach in the Arizona Fall League to get more actual managing experience prior to taking over. Both will be in NY to owner Steinbrenner this evening.

Yankees blow a chance to lengthen their lead in the east. Neither the Rays or the Yankees seem to be willing to just get on a roll.

Girardi is intent on resting people versus getting the job done. Texiera is hurting I understand, but putting he and A-Rod on the bench for the same game is signing up for a lose. The division is on the line and he is resting his two biggest offensive players - INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crash said...

I saw people calling the Sunday loss Girardi's worst game ever from a manager perspective.

Good to see the Yankees bounce back yesterday. I can't figure out Nova...he seems virtually unhittable for 4+ innings then someone gets on and the wheels come off.

Mo has pitched on back-to-back days not sure he would be available tonight. Same with Wood and Robertson. I guess that leaves Joba by default if the game gets close.

Think Hughes gets the call tonight, he pitched well against the Rays last week accept for the 2 pitches to Dan Johnson.

old professor said...

The issue with Nova may be related to the amount of time he spends on the bench between innings, which could make it more difficult to keep his concentration (remember he is only 22). His last outting, he sat on the bench for about 30 minutes while the Yankees sent eight men to the plate - he went out and imploded. Last night something similar, the Yankees built a four run cushion. Had the bases loaded twice in the same inning, sent a number of players to the plate - too much time on the bench - again Nova imploded.

I am beginning to wonder whether the Yankees would prefer to be the wildcard. If they are the wildcard, they play the Twins who they match up better with. Win the division and they get Cliff Lee and the Rangers.

Crash said...

Yeah the Cliff Lee aspect definitely scares me especially in short series.

Crash said...

Hughes pitched really well last night. It would have been real nice to see him get 20 but as it stands he only has 2 starts left and I would bet the Yankees skip him at least once if not both times.

AJ needs a good start. He's actually 3 games under .500 and his ERA is over 5.00. He needs to build some momentum for the post season. Think it's funny how the Yankees designate Vazquez to the bullpen, yet his record, ERA, and Whip are better than Burnett's. They're both head cases but I think the decreased velocity and the fact that Vazquez makes about $5MM less are the reasons he's in the pen. Last night his changeup was 80 while his fast ball top out at 89.

Boston's elimination number for the division is 3. You can tell they have thrown in the towel. They haven't played well the last couple of weeks. I bet they will still get up big for the Yankee series this weekend though.

Crash said...

Was just reading that because of Curtis Granderson's strong 2nd half performance, the Yankees are out as a possible landing spot for soon-to-be free agent Carl Crawford.

Swisher, Gardner, and Granderson are all under contract for the next couple years, so this would seem to make sense. Red Sox would have a tremendous OF if they went after Crawford.

If Yankees are not going after Crawford you have to assume it's all-in on Cliff Lee.

old professor said...

First things first: Hughes, if the Yankees have not wrapped up the division, Hughes will not be skipped. Second: his performance last night - while he gave up only three hits (or possibly four), he walked five. Too many men on base for the outting. Also related to Hughes they are concerned about his innings, but sent him back out for the 7th inning with 105 pitches already thrown - they apparently aren't concerned about that!!! And finally the Crawford free agency - Yankees will concentrate on signing Lee, Jeter, and Mo. They won't have the money left to sign Crawford. The other question to ask is just how much of a diffence regarding the number of wins will Crawford bring versus Gardner or Granderson?? His production with that team would not mean a signficant amount of wins. Having CC, Lee, and Pettitte at the top of the rotation you could be looking at 55-60 wins between those three.

I am amazed that with the skipped starts, early innings limitations and some of the second half issues that Hughes had that we are looking at a kid who has 17 wins and may end up with 18 or 19.

Now for my vent - I cannot take the Yankee radio broadcasts any longer. The team has to have the two worst broadcasters in the history of baseball. This is a team that had Red Barber, Scooter, and Bill White. The current two are a joke - I cannot stand another chorus of: the Grandy man can oh the Grandy man can.

The team use to rotate between the television booth and the radio that would be preferrable and give the team the chance to dump those two yo yos.

Crash said...

Old Prof, you are really starting to impress me...are you a closet sabermetrician? You're actually mentioning things like wins over replacement...WORP (similar is WAR: wins above replacement) and VORP: Value of replacement players.

If we look at a couple different saber stats: WAR (Wins Above Replacement), ORAR (Offensive Runs Above Replacement), and RDRS(Defensive Runs Saved), they would suggest Granderson should go.

Crawford 4.4, 43, and 13 (WAR, ORAR, & RDRS, respectively). Gardner 3.7, 24, 3, Swisher 3.7, 34, -1 (meaning he's below the average player in this defensive stat), Granderson 2.0, 22, 5.

What does this mean...Crawford instantly becomes the Yankees best OF. And that gets you about 2 more wins a season over Granderson. Which if you ask the Yankees right now, they would love to have 2 more wins at this point.

I think you can tolerate Nick Swisher's less than average defense as long as offensive production remains at this level.

Now about your venting on the Yankees Radio broadcast...I listen to a ton of Yankee games on the radio. XM doesn't always give you the NY broadcast. They (Waldman & Sterling) believe or not are not the worst out there. But they are far from the best. Toronto, Red Sox, and White Sox are terrible. Baltimore, Twins, SF, LAD, and Tampa's crews are pretty decent.

old professor said...

Crash, while we can put a lot of statistics into a computer and theorize how many more wins a player could bring a team it still comes down to team needs and what kind of fit the player would have.

As this season has progressed it has bcome obvious the the Yankees greatest weakness right now is their rotation. CC is the proven stud of the rotation, though he did get rocked last night.

Burnett is a head case who is now an overpaid .500 pitcher, Vasquez set a franchise record by hitting three consdecutive batters proving he can't be counted on in relief either, Hughes is an up and coming star for this team, however, he is going into his no man's land regarding innings pitched and having the burden to start in the playoffs. Pettitte is a winner, but age is catching up with him.

Based on that the Yankees need to pursue Lee and another serviceable arm for the rotation.

The bullpen will need significant upgrading next year: Do you really want to start next year with Gaudin, Robertson, Mitre and the arms you have to rely on? Aceves will probably be recovering from back surgery and who knows what the fallout will be if Mo decides to retire!!

The other concern that has to be creeping into the mind of the GM is this team is among the oldest in baseball - Jeter 36, A-Rod 35, Posada will be 40 and Mo is 40, Pettitte will also be 40.

I believe Gardner is 27 and is the youngest position player they have (Cano??). So where am I going with this, Crawford is at the peak and any long term contract will mean a significant number of years where his value will decline - Concentrate on pitching in the off season.

Oh and those two games the Yankees wish they could have in the win column, it was pitching this year that cost them more than two games. (Witness last night and the leads they have blown this seaosn).

Crash said...

I can't argue with any of the points you have there Old Prof.

As soon as Girardi brought in Joba I knew the game was over. If you look at his line it's not pretty but not terrible...2/3 IP 2 hits 1 ER...But he let all of the inherited runners score. Having Vazquez warm up was the equivalent of waiving the white flag for the game.

The thing with Cliff Lee...he's not young, he's already 32 years old. He will get at least a 5 year deal maybe 6. But that would give you 3 left-handers in the rotation, if Pettitte comes back.

Quality veteran bullpen guys are rare. Wood has been great for the Yankees but I wouldn't sign him to a deal, he just gets hurt too much. I think Joba has worn out his welcome and I wouldn't be surprised if he's traded in the offseason.

The good thing is the Yankees have a number of prospects that are about ready...we all know Montero is coming probably next year, with Romine at least another year beyond that and we see Nova. But Brackman, Betances, and Banuelos (the new Killer B's) had great years and will most likely start at AAA next year. Heathcott will most likely go to AA, people are still projecting 30/30 for him at the big league level.

old professor said...

Crash, I have serious concerns about your reliance on the Killer B's. Banuelos pitched in 15 games at three different levels. Finished the season a combined 0-4 in 15 games. Pitched in 64.2 innings and allowed 54 hits and 25 walks - that is a lot of base runners. Betaneas pitched at two levels and a total of 17 games, 85 innings had allowed 53 hits and 22 walks. Brackman logged the most innings by pitching at 2 levels had a 10-11 record and in 140.2 innings allowed 144 hits and 39 walks. On the positive side he did have 126 strikeouts.

Brackman may be the only one to start the year at Triple A. I do take into consideration this is his first full year back from Tommy John surgery and has a tremendous upside.

Regarding the bullpen arms available. I would sign Wood to a two year deal, Soriano (the Rays closer) is a free agent as is the set up guy from the Rays.

The Yankees need another lefty for the pen Marte is doing his best impression of Carl Pavano.

One last word on Crawford - can he deal with the criticism and bright lights of NY. There is a lot of information out there that when he was thrown out at third by Golson, he could not understand the criticism coming from the Yankee clubhouse afterwards.

Compare the whole thing to golf - your drive for show and putt for dough. Crawford is your drive; pitching is the equivalent to putting.

Crash said...

First regarding Banuelos, that's not a lot of base runners...that's a whip of 1.22. That is more than respectable at any level. Second yeah he may be 0-4 in 15 starts but his ERA is in the 2's...that indicates no run support.

For Betances that's a WHIP under 1...that's incredible for a starter. And Brackman logged the innings he needed to. I'm not saying these guys are in the Bronx tomorrow, I'm saying there is definitely a decent youth movement coming, especially in the rotation.

If the Yankees could sign Wood and Soriano in front of Mo absolutely. But Soriano won't sign with NY...he will want to close and expect to get big closer money. Someone will pay him. Maybe the Mets, maybe Philly, White Sox, Boston, LAA, Reds, etc.

Crash said...

9th inning, bases loaded, 1 out winning run on third, and Posada may have just had the worst AB I've seen this season from anyone in the big leagues. Melky Cabrera would have been more selective.

Joba's in the game and I have a bad feeling.

Crash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crash said...

I hope Posada was taking notes during Miranda's AB.

old professor said...

The Yankees should be more concerned with Mo blowing three saves in September. His cutter is not sharp and tends to bleed over the plate. His velocity is down and he looks - well - old.

Hughes was outstanding. The schedule is not condusive for the Yankees winning the East. While the Rays play the worst two teams in the league, the Yankees close against the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Both those teams would like to see the Yankees relegated to the wildcard.

Papelbon may have pitched his way out of Boston.

Crash said...

Buster O. had a great stat on Mariano...Since pitching on back-to-back days on 9/11 after throwing 2 innings on 9/10 Mo has a line of 5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3 Blown Saves. Girardi has been praised as using his bullpen masterfully. Here is what I know Mo can go back to back to back days if it's an inning or less in each. Joba & Robertson should not be used on back to back days. Wood can be used on consecutive days but then needs 2 full days off.

By the way the Giants looked terrible. The only good thing about the last 2 weeks are the losses are against non-conference teams. They can still be in the playoff hunt at 9-7 this year. They better kick it into gear real soon though.

old professor said...

Here is a prediction: If the Yankees have to rely on A.J. Burnett in the playoffs, it will be a short run and they will not repeat. Igwa could have given them a better performance than what was displayed last night. There also appears to be some friction on the team as Posada was under the impression he was starting last night. When he is called on to pitch hit, he nubs a ball to first base on a 3-0 count.

For all of you Jeter fans out there, he killed another rally. Granderson hits a two run homerun. Two more runners get on and Jeter grounds into a double play. I believe he went 0-4 and the double play was his 21 of the season. It is time he is dropped in the order.

Hopefully, Sabathia can wrap up a playoff spot tonight. Last nights loss also prevented the Yankees from regaining possession of first place in the division.

Here is a thought for the next time Burnetts spot comes around - Start Nova for three innings, go to Vasquez for three and let AJ pitch the last three. Maybe by the time he comes in the Yankees would have a big enough lead and his ineptness would not be a problem.

Crash said...

Jeter should go back to the lead off spot. If you recall 2 years ago his hit into double plays was up, then last year he was moved to the leadoff spot and that number dropped big time. This season he was back in the 2 hole and the double plays is back up. I only say put him in the leadoff spot because Girardi would get crushed if he batted him anywhere in the 7-9th spot. The lineup really should be Gardner, Swisher, Tex, A-Rod, Cano, Posada, Jeter, Granderson, Cervelli.

I can't believe AJ has the balls to say he expects to be in the rotation in the post-season. What in the hell is he thinking. You have to earn that spot. He certainly hasn't earned it with 15 losses, an ERA around 6.00, making $16.5MM. Joba could have put up those numbers. Thing is AJ started out so good...he was 4-0 with an ERA under 2 in his first 6 starts. From June on he goes 4-13 with an ERA of 6.67.

All we heard is that he likes the big stage and all the pressure...well he could have clinched a playoff spot last night, a win would have put the Yankees back in first place, and he can't get out of the third inning. Truth is if he does pitch well in the post season and come up with a big win, people will give him a pass on the season. But I really hope the Yankees trade him this off season. Even if it means they eat a lot of his salary.

Crash said...

Looking at the Yankees expiring contracts...they have a lot coming off the books this offseason. Besides Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitte, you have Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman, and Javier Vazquez all with club options for next season that will certainly not be picked up. Then you have Nick Johnson (waste of $5.75MM), Thames, Mitre, Kearns, and Gaudin. All said and done, $94.2MM. Now Jeter and Mo certainly will be re-signed. That still leaves plenty for a bat and Cliff Lee. There are 3 bats that may interest the Yankees: Crawford, Adam Dunn, and Xavier Nady. The pitching market is real slim after Lee, and by slim I mean non-existent.

old professor said...

Play out this scenario - Pettitte retires, Vasquez is let go. That means you have Sabbathia, Hughes and Burnett. Sign Lee that still leaves one spot open - Bring Vasquez back. Or another scenario is the Yankees lose the pitchers mentioned above and trade Burnett then what? The pitching market is very very thin.

I believe the Yankees will do a full court press to bring in Cliff Lee, the Yankees will bring Kerry Wood back. I would also expect them to make a play for Raphel Soriano (rationale - Mo might return and even if he does it would be for one or two years max).

I agree that Nick Johnson was a waste. Adam Dunn yes power and homeruns but the strikeouts.

Now regarding Jeter hitting leadoff okay if you lead off no one is on base so you can't hit into double plays!!! It is time that Girardi to do what is in the best interest of the team and drop Jeter in the lineup.

old professor said...

Yankees win and clinch playoff spot. What was surprising and actually a positive for the team is they played what can be characterized as small ball. They scored a run without the benefit of a hit. Swisher bunting and moving a runner into scoring position!!

Now they have to get their rotation squared away. It will be CC followed by ?????? (Pettitte, Hughes, Vaquez or AJ - put the names in a hat and pull one out). Not surprising Vasquez is pitching tonight. IF he turns in a good performance don't be surprised to see him in the post season rotation. (Only because of the frustration of Burnett).

Crash said...

I didn't hear that Vazquez is now pitching tonight instead of Pettitte. They need to get him another start before the playoffs. Game 2 of the ALDS is Thursday, so I would guess Pettitte would pitch Friday or Saturday to keep him on "regular" rest. Hughes has to be you're #3 starter. I don't think AJ gets the ball in the ALDS. And would only get the ball in the ALCS if the Yankees are up by 2 games.

old professor said...

Last night was the most pathetic pitching performance by someone other that A.J. Burnett. Vasquez didn't have a fastball and when he threw what was supposed to be one it was flat and in the center of the plate.

With the issues centering on this rotation, the Yankees will not make it out of the first round. The only way the do is if they sweep the series in three games and don't have to rely on Vasquez or Burnett. The team could get a better performance out of Mosley for God sake.

The only thing that may save this team is the Twins have also gone into a funk. To win the division, the Yankees have to sweep Boston and have the Rays lose three of the next four - not going to happen.

Crash said...

Old Prof your math is off on the division, Yankees are only half game back. That means the Rays have to lose twice and the Yankees have to win once, while at worse matching the Rays on the other days.

Vazquez just pitched himself off the post season roster. Yankees can certainly make it out of the first round without using AJ. IF it goes to game 4 CC pitches on short rest.

That would still allow CC to pitch game 1 of the ALCS on full rest. The ALCS is a different story the Yankees will need at least 4 starters as they have removed those unnecessary off days.

AJ needs to show something BIG in order to be considered. I would rather go with a combination of Nova and Mosley in the post-season right now. Wonder if AJ is having personal issues this season. He has obviously been a headcase this year. His problems are all in his head, and then he shows up with a black eye last week. Just speculation.

What I didn't understand about last nights game is that even though Girardi elected to start Vazquez (which was essentially throwing the game away) he decided to start Jeter, ARod, Tex, and Swisher...all of those guys need time off. with an off day today they could have had 2 days off now and another 2 days off in between end of season and start of the ALDS to heal up a little bit.

Crash said...

Yankees move into first place tie with Rays, as the Rays lose to the Royals.

Rays hold the tie breaker over the Yankees. I fully expect the Yankees to get the Wild Card, no CC, no Hughes, plus you do have AJ...ugh...plus some everyday players will most likely get a day or two off.

old professor said...

Yankees end the regular season as the wildcard. The division was theirs,but they lost two in a row to the Red Sox. None of the four teams in the american league ended the season on a high note.

I like the Yankees against the Twins partly because there is a question about the Twins starting first baseman. The Twins offense is not as deep without Morneau. While the Twins rotation was good enough to win the central (lets face facts the Indians and the Royals were no better than triple A teams.) it will be a different story in the playoffs. Having said that, the Yankees played some of the most awful baseball the last month than I can remember. They almost reminded me of the early 1970s teams.

Everyone now gets two days rest. The older guys need that and lets be real there was no momentum for this team to lose with a day off.

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