What Kyle said

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Another day, another mediocre Yankee reliever popping off about Joe Torre’s bullpen management skills.

Today’s contestant is Krazy Kyle Fansworth. He of the 1.45 WHIP and 4.80 ERA had this to say about his former boss:

“I always have confidence in myself, definitely,” he said. ” But it’s tough when you do lose the confidence from your manager to maybe prepare yourself day in and day out when you have no clue about anything.”

Farnsworth criticized the way the Yankees handled him last season, saying no one asked him if he could pitch on consecutive days or in the middle of an inning, two things Torre was reluctant to do. The Yankees decided unilaterally on “The Farnsworth Rules,” according to the reliever.

“I know that’s been going on in the past, especially last year,” he said. “They decided not to use me back-to-back days. They never came up to me and asked me. I don’t know why that came about.”

While I can understand why members of the Yankee bullpen were skeptical of Torre’s bullpen patterns, this is another example of a crappy pitcher bemoaning a fate that was largely in his hands. In 64 appearances last season, Farnsworth managed to throw just 14 one-two-three innings. He gave up walks; he gave up hits; he nibbled; and he was eventually replaced by Joba Chamberlain. Is it really surprising that Torre didn’t want to use him?

I’d be thrilled if Farnsworth could rediscover himself in 2008. A halfway decent season by the Farns could allow Joba to move seamlessly into the starting rotation without significantly weakening the Yanks’ late-inning pitching. But right now and forever really, Farnsworth only has himself to blame. If he didn’t like how Torre didn’t have confidence in him, it was because he didn’t show anything confidence-worthy on the mound last season. Prove us wrong, Kyle.

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An un-Holy April road schedule
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  • nolan11

    Ben,
    Normally I think you’re right on about Yankee issues….but this time I think farnsworth might have a point. Its gotta be tough to pitch anywhere if you have NO IDEA when you’ll be getting into games. Joe Torre was the WORST manager when it came to managing a bullpen. He would pick relievers that he “liked” and use them every single game he could…completely ignoring any of the other relievers. What ended up happening was that he destroyed any quality reliever we ever got (proctor is a good example but there are others) and never gave plenty of guys who could’ve been decent a chance. Look we know pitching has a bit to do with luck. You could get me up on the mound to throw my best fastball to David Ortiz and depending on what happened the big oaf might get himself out. For a reliever its all about trusting your stuff…going with you best pitch and throwing strikes. Torre however was from a different school of thought which was: Do well once and I’ll love you to death (literally)… Fail once and you’ll ride the pine til your traded.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I think there’s a middle ground. I don’t mean to excuse Torre’s handling of the bullpen. You know that none of us here were too enthused with it. But Farnsworth never helped his cause, and that’s why Torre lost faith in him. He was cranky; he was hurt; he whined about injuries; he didn’t throw strikes.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Not knowing when you’ll pitch is part of the territory when it comes to being a reliever. Too bad Kyle, this excuse falls on deaf ears.

  • Jeff

    I just read that on the Yankke’s site and I was just shaking my head.
    Nolan he had no point… what the hell does he expect when he stinks up the mound and continually doesn’t do his job. People would have sacrificed Torre if he used this guy regularly as it would have just cost us a lot more games.
    Give me a break… I’m sure Torre would have loved to use him if he managed not to give up runs every time out. Why can’t he and Bruney take a little responsibility for their own lack ability to get it done.
    If there could be any blame maybe you put it on the pitching coach for not working the issues out but you can’t blame Torre for not using a guy who can’t get people out.
    That said I hope he figures things out a little this year and succeeds. If not I hope Posada cracks a bat over his head.

  • barry

    Maybe its just because I’m always the guy to give everyone one more chance but I do place most of last years pitching woes on Joe Torre. Something about the way he coached wasn’t helping the pitching staff, perhaps it was a direct result of his lackadaisical approach or maybe it was something else, I personally don’t know. All I know is that a very small percentage of the pitching staff last year lived up to expectations.

  • mg

    I agree with Ben and I agree with Farny and don’t see much conflict there. Torre was pretty lousy with the pen but that doesn’t mean the onus isn’t on Farnsworth to pitch well. So what is Torre made it harder? Tough shit, you’ve got a job and you need to do it. The Yankees made the right decision in letting Torre go. That doesn’t mean Farnsworth is off the hook though.

  • dan

    Kyle’s career OPS against on zero days rest: .699
    Kyle’s overall career OPS against: .738

    And the zero days rest comes with a .328 BABIP versus .295 overall. He’s said that he’s available and ready on back to back days, and his career numbers show that he’s slightly more effective pitching the second day of a back-to-back. Tiny sample size for ’07, but in 5 1/3 innings off of no rest, Farns had 5 K’s, no walks, no home runs.

    http://www.baseball-reference......038;year=c

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I think Joe wrote something up about this once upon a time. I could be wrong though…

      • dan

        Yea someone did, they looked at individual instances and how he did. Not sure if it was for ’06 or ’07 (I think it was ’06 because there were about 10 or so instances IIRC). I couldn’t find the post, so I looked it up myself.

  • mko

    For 2 years I was wondering when they would finally trade him or send him down or whatever, and they gave him chance after chance after chance. So his complaining has got to be a joke…
    I really hope he gets it together with Girardi mentoring him (or gets hit by a bus (not really)).

  • Captain Wiley

    I dont want to be the guy sounding like he’s defending Farnsworth, but his quotes seem to suggest that it was the lack of communication that bothered him. I agree that he has been lousy on most occasions over the last two years, but it might have been nice for these guys to know whether they were in line to pitch that night or doubtful, depending on the score. Reminds me of that Simpsons softball episode when Strawberry cant play and Burns turns to Homer who has a look of “who me? I’m in the game?”

    Great site RAB guys…first time, long time here.

  • Ivan

    I understand what Kyle is saying and yea Torre wasn’t the greatest manager inconcern with the bullpen. But, Farnsworth didn’t help himself either.

    Hey, I can’t stand farnsworth but does he have a point, maybe. Nevertheless, if he feels that way, then he too have to take responsibility with his performance.

    This is a big year for Kyle, he’s in his third year and final year with the yankees with his contract, he’s been inconsistent to say the least, fans can’t stand him, and also he’s going to be relied upon alot this year. Time for him to step his game up and if he’s gonna say what he said, then it’s his responsibility to pitch better and assist this team.

  • Count Zero

    Did you ever have a job somewhere and one guy (or girl) leaves to take another job somewhere else and for the next six months everything bad that happens is his (or her) fault?

    Blaming the guy who’s no longer around is always an easy choice. :-)

  • CB

    Typical Farnsworth. He does less with more talent than perhaps any other pitcher in baseball. He’s had three decent years in his career, the last one in the walk year of his contract. How surprising.

    Was it also torre’s fault when he had a WHIP of 1.8 in 2000 or 1.65 in 2002? I bet that was also the manager’s fault.

    If he does anything positive this year it’ll also be because he’s in the walk year of his contract.

    Many people have said that under Girardi everything would change and only the players who deserve to play will – that roster spots will be based on track record and competition not loyalty and experience.

    Overall that’s been the case so far this spring but Girardi has made a huge exception for Farnsworth. Right after he took over as manager he essentially guaranteed Farnsworth a spot on the team and coddled him. He didn’t tell Farnsworth that he’d need to compete to get into games or compete to define his role. Girardi just said I know Kyle and I caught him and I think we can make things better. Nonesense.

    Now his contract has a lot to do with this – but nonetheless Girardi has elected to make Farnsworth his project. As manager that is his prerogative but in no way is Farnsworth deserving of this.

    Farnsworth is on the team and will play his role on this team largely out of Girardi’s loyalty.

  • Dylan

    THANK YOU Ben. Torre mishandle the bullpen? Somewhat, yes. Farnsworth sucks? YES.

  • dan

    Most creative post title of all time.

  • inman

    everyone wants to hate on farnsworth . but i see some potential for him to step in during the 5th inning of a game getting out of hand when moose just couldnt put them away when he had 2 strikes on them. so he gives up a hr here or there to the bottom of the order. what do you expect for 5m/yr?
    fortunately if the big 3 hold up [ what is that generation trey crap ? ]- we’ll be in the race come september and have a few guys who’ll be much better then kyle our cage fight man. of course were stuck with no guts kyle until a few or the younger guys come back from their injuries. hopefully that’ll be sooner rather then later

  • Rob

    Tyler points out today that Farnsworth had a fantastic season with Girardi as his catcher in 2001:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03.....ref=sports

    The stats:

    82 IP, 65 H, 25 ER, 29 BB, 107 K, 2.74 ERA

    The problem is that he sucked big time in 2002 also occasionally with Girardi. I think Farns just needs someone to get in his face a bit. But we shall see.

  • paul

    i totally agree with you ben. farnsworth shouldnt blame torre for sucking balls

  • Rob_in_CT

    Farns was a “proven veteran” and as such has no business bitching about Torre’s useage. If anything, Torre displayed too much trust in Farnsworthless.

    Farns has a large body of work at the ML level, and has largely sucked. He’s had flashes of usefulness, yes. But he’s also had flashes of awfulness that we have been lucky enough to avoid during his tenure as a Yank. He’s smoothed it out here and been merely mediocre.

  • Curramba

    Here’s to hoping that he has a great, great season that allows the Yankees to let him walk and get something back for him :) Go Kyle get us picks.

  • http://nyyu.blogspot.com Mike_@_NYYU

    Note to Farns: “confidence from your manager” is something you EARN.

    The lack of “confidence from your manager” is something you earn also.

  • McGatman

    The thing I remember about Farnsworth is not that he bitched about his manager…but that at one point during the season he tried to blame Posada for his troubles, getting into a snit with him about pitch selection during an outing, then after the game, Posada said it was over, Farnsworth actually said “I don’t know”. What pitcher EVER does that to his catcher? That’s what tagged him for me asa class A whiner

  • Wolf Williams

    Farnsworth….. LaTroy Hawkins….. Joba in the starting rotation…. we’ll need more than the gentle, soothing touch of Joe Girardi’s hand on Farnsworth’s backside to solve the bullpen problems that appear to be lurking….