Maybe Scott Proctor wasn’t the problem…

Remember that bit about Wickman?
A note on Kyle Farnsworth

Around the trade deadline yesterday, as Scott Proctor packed up his stuff and headed west, everyone assumed Proctor was traded because of his inconsistent pitching. He had after all allowed 20 baserunners in this last 10.1 IP and 40 over his last 28.2 IP. It’s amazing he hadn’t been hit harder.

But what if the Yankees traded Scott Proctor to protect the team from Joe Torre? That’s why Tyler Kepner intimates here:

On July 8, the day before the All-Star Game break, the Yankees led the Angels by 10 runs when Scott Proctor was sent in to pitch the eighth inning. To the Yankees’ decision makers, this was an obvious sign that Manager Joe Torre would probably always favor Proctor over a pitcher just up from the minors, no matter how promising that pitcher seemed.

So when the trading deadline arrived at 4 p.m. yesterday, the Yankees took away Torre’s go-to reliever, shipping Proctor to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the utility infielder Wilson Betemit.

At the time, that was Proctor’s fourth appearance in a span of six days, and it was an unnecessary one for sure.

Now, if what Kepner writes is true – that is, if the Yankee braintrust has figured out that Joe Torre’s bullpen management is actually hurting the arms of the relievers – why is the solution to trade the reliever in question? Wouldn’t a better solution be to root out the problem?

Steve Lombardi today notes that, increasingly, coverage of Joe Torre makes him sound like a lame duck manage. I couldn’t agree more. When your manager is hurting your team, it’s time for him to go.

Author’s Note: I could have sworn another blogger noted this last night, but I couldn’t find that post this morning. If anyone has it, drop me an e-mail, and I’ll add the appropriate hat tip.

Remember that bit about Wickman?
A note on Kyle Farnsworth
  • Mike

    That picture up at No Maas has to be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

  • CT – RJ

    Just another in the long line of reasons Torre should’ve been replaced in May.

  • Mike N (Stamford, CT)

    When you take a way a man’s crutch, does he all of a sudden learn to walk without or does he simply look for another crutch?

    Who is Torre going to “trust” now and ultimately wear down? My money is on the Viz.

  • wayne’s world

    If you think hard about this, you will realize that this is truly weird. When has one ever heard of a team trading a pitcher so that manager can’t use him? There’s a piece of this puzzle that’s missing.

  • Mike

    I don’t think it’s that big of a mystery. Given the way he was pitching, Proctor was easily replaceable (by say, Britton, Joba, Edwar, Ohlendorf, or heck, even Brower or Williamson). If Chamberlain is half as good in the ML as he is in the minors, it’s an upgrade.

    If Cash is trading guys so Torre can’t use said guys, you can classify the management as “dysfunctional.”

  • Tom

    Steve Lombardi is the biggest Torre hater on the planet. He’s the most negative Yankee anit-fan in the entire world of blogs.

    He seems like a decent guy and a family man, but his constant negativity is sickening.

  • The Scout

    My question about the Times piece is whether the writer is giving us his own spin or whether it is from people in the organization, and which people. In theory, there is only one Yankee decision maker now — Cashman. Are he and Torre really that far apart? Or is this the voice of the Tampa end of the organization? If it is the former, then Torre is surely done after this year if Cashman stays. Not necessarily so if the voices are part of Tampa crew.

  • Ben K.

    That’s good question, Scout. The way Kepner puts it in The Times piece makes it sound as though the Yankees braintrust was well aware of Torre’s problem and opted to take his favorite toy away from him on purpose. It does not at all bode well for Joe’s future.

  • Kyle

    I dont think Torre has much of a future with the Yanks I would say its probably 90% that he isnt coming back next year

  • Brian

    Ben, I mentioned this a couple of days ago in passing on my blog. Basically, bringing Joba up wouldn’t have served any purpose at all if he got the same treatment as Edwar, moving Proctor and/or Farnsworth forces Joe’s hand.

    I don’t know if he’s a lame duck or not. I think someone just needs to talk to him about playing the young guys. It’s ironic, because usually a manager would get flack from the front office for favoring young guys over expensive veterans, not vice versa. “We’re paying Farnsworth $7M, you better use him!”

  • Stephen

    I think people may be reading into this a bit too much. Proctor’s right arm is probably going to fall of in the near future because of his workload. It was the right move to deal him now while the Yanks could still get something in return.

  • John

    I agree with Stephen. If the front office honestly feels that Bruney, Britton, Proctor, and Farns are interchangeable then it makes sense to trade the one who has had the most wear and tear on his arm.
    That the guy who has been used the most is Joe’s favorite/most trusted is a redundancy.

  • MikeM

    Another sign that the front office recognizes Torre’s problems:

    They’re apparently telling the press that how Torre uses Joba will be a test for Torre… and also that they didn’t make some deals because they knew Torre would waste the bench.

    Combined with the Kepner piece about why they got rid of Proctor, it certainly sounds like the front office is *well* aware of Torre’s major weaknesses and are getting just as sick of them as the rest of us.

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