Halladay sinks Yanks

Tight rope wins for all
Once more unto the Bronx parks

I knew the Yanks were in trouble tonight when, in the top of the third inning, Ivan Rodriguez struck out swinging on one of the nastiest pitches I’ve ever seen.

The fastball from Roy Halladay started over heading toward the middle of the plate. A few feet short of home plate, the bottom literally dropped out of this pitch, and it bounced in the dirt in front of home plate as Pudge swung over the top of it. I couldn’t fault Rodriguez for swinging there. By any account, that pitch should have been right over the heart of the plate. But Halladay’s sinker was just that good tonight, and by the time he tired enough to leave one up to Hideki Matsui, it was far too late for the Yankees.

While tonight’s game belonged, from start to finish, to Roy Halladay, it was also the day when Sidney Ponson’s chickens came home to roost. I’ve long harped on Ponson’s inability to keep runners off base, and while he had shown some improvement over his last few outings, his Yankee WHIP prior to tonight stood at 1.50. Pitchers who allow that many baserunners per inning simply cannot sustain success, and it all came crashing down tonight.

Ponson allowed eight hits and a walk as he pitched into the third but couldn’t record an out that inning. He gave up seven of the Blue Jays’ 14 runs before giving way to the equally ineffective tandem of David Robertson and Billy Traber. Games like this one really make me miss Chien-Ming Wang.

Meanwhile, the Yanks continue to lose their grip on any sort of October hope. They’re 10.5 games behind Tampa and six behind Boston. With 35 games left, the Yankees will have to game for every five they play just to tie Boston in the Wild Card. With six games left against their archrivals, it’s not impossible, but they’re going to have to make this run trotting out Ponson, Darrell Rasner and perhaps Carl Pavano for three out of every five days. Don’t hold your breath.

Game Notes: Why is Billy Traber still a member of this organization? He’s been terrible all year…Since acquiring Ivan Rodriguez, the Yankees are 8-11, and Pudge is hitting .229/.270/.343. That trade sure seemed better at the time…Derek Jeter has 2499 hits. With his next base knock, he’ll become just the 88th player in baseball history to amass at least 2500 hits.

Tight rope wins for all
Once more unto the Bronx parks
  • pat

    i hate how girardi throws robertson in during blowouts, but I guess with no long relief somebodys gotta do it.

  • brockdc

    Halladay may very well be the nastiest pitcher in baseball right now. First of all, he’s doing this all against the most stacked lineups in baseball. And you’re right, Ben: those sinkers (and cutters) were just flat-out unfair. With that said, this is why you beat up on the middling pitchers of the league – the Daniel Cabreras, Jay Howels and Brian Burresses – so that losses like this don’t sting nearly as much. But, we all already knew that.

  • kris

    As nasty as Doc was, they still scratched out 3 runs. If we had a better starting pitcher it might have been enough to win.

    • steve (different one)

      this assumes Halliday throws the exact same pitches without a 12 run lead.

      i’m guessing Halliday put it on cruise control at that point.

      if Ponson had only given up 3 runs or whatever, Halliday probably bears down and doesn’t give up 3.

      yeah, he’s that good.

  • Raven

    They should find a way to steal Halladay from the Jays. He really deserves a chance to pitch in October.

    • Batty

      At this point he’s got almost as good of a chance where he is vs the Yanks.

  • Raven

    Since this season is very much likely done for the Yanks, I’m talking about next season…

  • Bart

    Jarod Washburn — too expsnsive (trades)
    Mark Teixeira — Too expensive (trades) – wait for free agent
    CC Sabbathia — Too expensive (trades) – wait for free agent
    Santana — too expensive (Trades – contract) — its over — look to CC
    Carlos Beltran — too expensive — we’ve still got Bernie; Oops get Johnny; Got Melky

    Missing playoffs – 1st time in 13 years — PRICELESS

    2009 – Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Giambi, Abreu, IVANROD, Pettit, Mussina, ARod — a year older and slower of hand and foot. Matsui, Posada my hit but done in the field.

    Cano — can he learn to hit the entire year —

    Nady a good find. Molina – maybe a perfect backup.

    Will Hughes, IPK, Joba play a full season — wil they be plus pichers if they do or will that wait to 2010

    Without thinking about replacements at ALL — YET — Who would you keep from this roster as the CRITICAL CORE for 2009-2011. If you can’t move a contract you have to keep the player.

  • Steve

    Here are the questions I have for next year

    Who’s playing CF?

    Do you keep or trade Damon and/or Matsui?

    Do you bring back Abreu?

    I think we all assume the will break the bank for CC and Tex.

  • Steve

    One upside to this years teams struggles, it will finally FORCE the Yankee brass to bring in players who can give you situational hitting. The thing we’ve have seen over and over again is this team’s inability to hit with RISP, advance a runner, get a sac fly. That means forget about the big name-big numbers-big ego players and bring in guys who will help you win a 2-1 game as well as the occasional 8-6 game. Their record against the better pitchers like Halladay, Burnett, Lester, etc proves this. And there are more good pitchers around and less run scoring than there used to be, across baseball.

    I can see this team getting a massive overhaul this off season, and not just with the free agents. 1B, the entire outfield, and a few rotation spots are all up for grabs.

    • Bo

      It’s not situational hitting.

      It is bringing in better players overall.

      You can’t have a 1b who hits 200 with RISP. Just can’t.

      Can’t have a CF who had 3 extra bits since about June.

      Can’t have a 2b with a .300 OBP.

      This lineup was littered with automatic outs all year long.

    • ChrisS

      Who is a situational hitter?

      Name some names.

      Who consistently hits well with RISP?

    • Old Ranger

      Damm Steve, one more on the band wagon. For weeks the same thing has been posted by a couple of us. Change the face of the Yankees. A team can win with; good pitching, defence and athleticism. A couple big bats i.e. A-Rod, Tex, Jorge (maybe) is OK and welcome. Why jam up the bases with old slow runners, when we can have younger, faster guys driving the pitchers/catchers crazy. 27/08??

      • ChrisS

        Yeah, I bet the Yankees could get Juan Pierre from the Dodgers for Austin Jackson. That dude’s fast!

      • Count Zero

        Oh noes — a clogging up the basepaths reference! Where’s Ken T. and Murbles?

  • TurnTwo

    the point at which i knew this game was done came in the 2nd inning.

    fly ball drops in front of Abreu, like they seemingly always do, for a base hit.

    dribbler by Overbay down the 3B line, ARod cant make the play.

    1st and 2nd, fly ball to right-CF, and Johnny Damon catches the ball instead of Abreu, who was standing right next to him, for the out. the runner advances to 3B on the tag-up, but where they caught the ball, you figure if Abreu catches it, he holds the runner because he’s got a much better arm than Damon.

    sac-fly to deep CF, run scores.

    the whole way that run was manufactured, and almost given away by the yankees, to me told me all i needed to know about that game; that it just wasnt going to be our night.

    so i turned it off to watch a little Olberman, to turn it back on to check in and find out it was 7-0, and then 13-0.

    thats just embarrassing.

    • ChrisS

      Nady-Damon-Abreu is the worst outfield defense in the AL, and I don’t pay enough attention to AAAA to know which team has the worst OF D in the NL.

      Damon at least has some value and could be traded, if he waives his no trade clause.

      The Gotta-Win-Now-At-All-Costs of 2002-2005 and front office infighting really bit this team in the ass.

      • Old Ranger

        Amen! 27/08??

  • Bo

    Starting pitching wins titles. it sets the tone for the whole team.

    Anyone that expected 3 rookies to be in a championship rotation was out of their minds.

    That goes for the whole front office.

    1 rookie is asking a lot.

    • TurnTwo

      except that it was the front office who conceded that 2008 was going to be more of a transition year than a contending season.

      it was the sports networks, especially, and the fans who saw the Yankees $200 million payroll and the glitzy names and scoffed at the idea that this team and organization could have a transition year.

    • Geno

      You’re 100% correct – starting pitching is vital.

      However, you can’t develop young pitching without allowing them to fail at the major league level. We just happen to have several very talented young arms coming up at once. This season was a necessity, and I’ll see it as a success purely on the player development side, even without the playoffs.

      Injuries are what sank this team, not rookies. Our rookies are a major strength, not a weakness.

      Next year we get Wang back. We get Joba, back with some starting experience under his belt (no way they send him back to the pen). I still think Hughes is going to be very good. That’s a top-3 as good as anyone. Sign a CC and bring back Pettite and we’re on our way.

      Couple that with the development this year of Bruney, Edwar, Veras and Melancon, and how could you not see what this team will be in ’09 – a monster.

      • ChrisS

        I’ve never been concerned with the pitching staff for ’09. Even without Phil developing into a #3 for the season.

        The offense/defense on the other hand is dreadful. And signing Teixeira to some ridiculous contract won’t solve much of anything for ’09.

        • steve (different one)

          the story of the 2008 season has been the OFFENSE, plain and simple.

          the pitching has been good enough for where the offense was supposed to be.

          people who keep bringing up the “3 rookies” point are simply trying to sell an agenda.

          look at the runs scored and runs allowed and tell me where the problem is.

          • TurnTwo

            exactly. which is why even if Cashman made the move to upgrade the rotation and forget about Washburn, even brought in CC Sabathia, or (uh oh, opening the can of worms) trading for Johan in the offseason, this team would still have had problems winning games.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Amen, Steve. Yes, starting pitching is the key, and yes, we’ve been hurt by the fact than none of the Hughes/Kennedy/Joba/Wang crew have been healthy enough or effective enough to remain in the rotation, but despite all odds (and last night’s game not withstanding), Ponson, Giese, and Rasner have still somehow given us good starts about 60-70% of the times we’ve handed them the ball, and that’s probably all we could have expected from the more talented aforementioned quartet.

            Put simply, we’ve lost rotation pieces, but their replacements have done about as well as they would have done, by and large.

            The bigger problem is the fact that the heart of our order, the 3-4-5-6 hitters, have all been atrocious this year with men on base. ARod and Giambi have had practically unheard of splits that are just horrendous, Abreu and Cano have been decent but far from outstanding, and until Nady showed up, the back end of the heart was manned by the ghosts of Matsui and Posada.

            Matsui and Posada’s injuries have been really, really rough, because they’ve shortened our row of run-producers. And when you combine that with the season-killing nature of ARod and Giambi’s struggles, it’s just not an offense that can keep a pitcher Aruban or non-Aruban, in a game.

            I’ve changed my mind on both Giambi and Abreu. I want them both gone after the year. I’m all in on Teixiera – we MUST have another good bat for the heart of this order. As for fixing ARod, I’m honestly stumped. Mike and Mike (although it was Eric Casillias and not Greeny) were having a discussion this morning about whether Manny was better than ARod, and they picked Manny (while acknowledging that ARod’s career will go on longer and he’ll eventually pass him.) And I hate to say it, but I agreed with them. Manny’s just a better hitter, and his hitting superiority is enough to outweigh his shortcomings in the field.

            I wish I had an answer as to how to get ARod to produce in RISP situations more consistently. I just don’t. Some years, he’s lights out, and some years, he’s a bum. It’s inexplicable.

            • ChrisS

              I wish I had an answer as to how to get ARod to produce in RISP situations more consistently. I just don’t. Some years, he’s lights out, and some years, he’s a bum. It’s inexplicable.

              It’s because variation in small sample sizes is a bitch. Hitting with RISP is not some special skill that only manifests itself in gamers and non-headcases. It’s simply not a repeatable skill. If you were the GM and went out and signed the best “run producers” from year-to-year based on their ability to hit with RISP the previous year, they probably won’t repeat that ability the year after.

              David Ortiz, a Clutch god, Career OPS: .937, Career OPS w/ RISP: .939. How does he turn his ability on when needed like that?

              Derek Jeter, Clutch, non-Madonna lover, Career OPS: .846, Career OPS wi/ RISP: .836

              A-Rod, slacker, Madonna lover, Career OPS: .968, Career OPS w/ RISP: .956. Cut that joker and get Eckstein here ASAP. Seems like A-Rod in his career has consistently produced a .950 OPS regardless of whether people are on base or not.

              Because I mentioned him: Eckstein, Career OPS: .704, Career OPS w/ RISP .713.

              Giambi, decidely non-clutch with or without the ‘stash, career OPS .944, Career OPS w/ RISP: 1.000

              There’s no such thing as someone consistently hitting statistically better or worse with runners in scoring position compared to their overall skill once the sample size is large enough to smooth out variations from small sample sizes. There may be some rare anomalies that can, but I’m not sifting through any more data to find ’em.

              • ceciguante

                the other day someone posted a-rod’s career OPS versus (i think) career close-and-late situations. there was a .062 dropoff from his career OPS, over something like 1150 plate appearances. not sure what the average player’s split would be. but i’m not convinced a-rod’s been the equal of ortiz or jeter with RISP since becoming a yankee. and i’m not convinced that performance in RISP or in clutch situations is completely nonrepeatable and random. mental approach is a huge part of hitting (ask any hitter) and it probably doesn’t automatically even out over time.

                i DO know that since a-rod arrived, he’s been awful in the playoffs (and he’s looked super tense, too), while jeter has been mediocre in that span. sample size, ok. but we’re not talking 2 playoff series here. alex carries extra blame until he produces in october.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

                Chris: Your numbers present a powerful argument; I’ve always felt like you did, that over time, things even out.

                The single year splits for ARod and Giambi, though, are disturbing, even you must admit. If it’s just small sample size issues, ARod and Giambi are going to have to go on an incredibly lucky tear over the last 6 weeks to not end up as anything other than “horrible situational hitters”.

                Hitting with RISP may not be a “repeatable” skill, but, at least for 2008, these two are repeatedly failing, that can’t be denied.

            • Setty

              Thank you Tommie. ChrisS, how can you say that Teixeira wouldn’t help in 2009? You wanna make the contract argument, fine, but what does that have to do with next year? He’s 28 years old, hes AT LEAST a 30-100 guy every year, and he’s a gold glove first baseman. So actually, that would help both the offense AND defense next year.

              • ChrisS

                Namely because, despite the RISP-whine, Giambi at 1B hasn’t really been the problem with the offense. That’s all. First base is one of the easiest positions to get good offense from and it’s a catch-all position. There are plenty of players that can be slotted in there. Teixeira’s a very good one, no doubt, but the $150 million spent on him could be better spent in other places. IMO, paying a premium in money and years for a first baseman is bad baseball economics.

                So, yeah, Teixeira wouldn’t hurt the team next year, but I don’t think that the improvement over Giambi’s bat and glove would be enough to overcome the potential real offensive black holes at whichever corner OF Nady doesn’t play, CF, and potentially C. The Yankees have a lot of trouble spots on the offense next year potentially and it could look a lot like this year regardless if Giambi or Teixeira is playing 1B.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  Jason Giambi has 428 plate appearances in 2008. Of those, 265 of them, or nearly 62%, have come in the 5 spot in the batting order, right behind our three table setters and ARod, the batter he’s supposed to be protecting. In those 265 plate appearances as the 5th batter in the order, his triple slash is .207/.358/.361, with 15 XBH against 56 K’s.

                  In those 428 PA’s, he’s been up 209 times with the bases empty (48.4%); his triple slash is .240/.364/.566 with 22 XBH. Meanwile, in the 145 PA’s with RISP (or 33.8% of his PA’s), his numbers plummet to .205/.352/.321 with only 7 XBH.

                  Incidentally, his BABIP is actually HIGHER with RISP, even though his numbers are pathetic. It’s .238 with RISP vs. only .212 with the bases empty. So he’s actually been “lucky” to put up that varitekian .321 slugging percentage with men on base. (Although he seems damn unlucky on the year as a whole.)

                  Basically, for about 66 percent of his PA’s he’s been as good as David Ortiz, but for the 33 percent of his PA’s where he’s fortunate enough to come up to bat in a situation to drive in some runs, he’s been as effective as Melky Cabrera.

                  If you don’t think any of that has “been the problem with the offense”, you’re way more forgiving than I am.

            • steve (different one)

              And I hate to say it, but I agreed with them. Manny’s just a better hitter, and his hitting superiority is enough to outweigh his shortcomings in the field.

              i agree that Manny is a better hitter, but i disagree that he is a better player.

              his offense may make up for some of the difference in their defensive SKILL, but not enough to make up the difference in their position-adjusted defensive skills.

              in other words, Manny is a HOF hitter and a mediocre LFer. A-Rod might be 1 tiny notch below Manny offensively and an average 3Bman.

              average 3Bman >> mediocre LFer

              also, A-Rod is a very good baserunner (tuesday night excluded). that’s an often overlooked part of his game.

              how to settle this argument? sign Manny to DH next year. i guarantee if you bat A-Rod in front of Manny and he won’t be a “bum” ever again.

          • Old Ranger

            What are your thoughts on Miranda? Will he be a liability at 1st base for us next year and be a DH/1st with Jorge? From watching him a few times this year, I must confess, I am not sure. What do you or anyone know of him? We all know he can flat out rake. 27/08??

    • Ed

      World Series teams counting on a significant number of starts from 1 rookie isn’t unreasonable at all. 2 isn’t even uncommon.

      For the Yankees:
      96 – Pettitte
      98 – El Duque
      01 – Lilly

      Other rookies in recent World Series runs…

      ’02 Giants – Ryan Jensen

      ’02 Angels – John Lackey

      ’03 Marlins – Dontrelle Willis

      ’05 Astros – Wandy Rodriguez, Brandon Backe

      ’05 White Sox – Brandon McCarthy

      ’06 Cardinals – Anthony Reyes

      ’06 Tigers – Justin Verlander, Zach Miner

      ’07 Rockies – Jason Hirsch, Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin Morales

      ’07 Red Sox – Jon Lester, Kason Gabbard

  • pete c.

    I hate to say it, but for once all those Boston fans are right, the Yankees do suck.

  • Frank B.

    One player can demoralize the opposing pitcher & his team by by hitting in the clutch and with power (see Manny) and literally carry his team… we got ARod, enough said!!!

  • Old Ranger

    It would be nice to see Melky back in the show as a starter, next year…along with X-Man (LF), Brett (CF), Melky (RF). All of them hitting league avg., or better with stellar defence. Be a novel approach, don’t you know!
    More or less, I posted that the other day. Melky is cheep, if he could bounce back it would be a nice out field, without having to trade for someone. I am not an advocate of trading for a player of 30years old+, they always want 5-7 year contracts…we have seen how that works out.
    I would; trade Johnny, Matsui, Wilson and dump Jason, Bobby, I-Rod and Pavano…take the draft picks. Yankees just droped 5 Lefthanded bats, we play in a lefty friendly park…so, we add Brett and pick up a young good OF or hope Melky can come back. We still need a good 1st basemen…Tex a s/hitter? Putting Jorge as DH/C takes care of that and bringing up Cervelli with Molina as our catchers. Not being a GM, it is all BS anyway. Without knowing the inside story on some of the players we MAY be able to get, who knows next years team? It sure won’t look like it does now. 27/08??

    • keith

      That would be an absolutely horrendous offensive outfield.

      • Old Ranger

        You are right, but it COULD be better then what we have now. No one knows (for sure) how Brett and Melky will hit next year…or if we can pick up a very good replacement for Melky. My take is; Brett will hit well enough to play every day in CF…which is a big up-grade. X-Man will play a good LF. Wish list would be, a very good young left bat for RF. The problem is where do you find one? Of course if we can get Tex for 5 years or a front loaded 5-7 year (NO, no trade) contract, good.
        Honestly, the pitching for next year is ok, yes CC would improve it tremendously but not a must. 27/08??

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Agreed. Both of the following two things would be absolute disasters for next year, for the exact opposite reason:
        1) Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera both starting in the outfield
        2) Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui both starting in the outfield

        • Old Ranger

          Tommie…
          I’ve already changed the endding, what more do you want?
          I can’t look into a crystal ball and say, Brett will a very good player, but with the right people around him he can hold the fort for A-Jax in late 2009/2010. As for Melky, well I would rather have someone other then him (much better) but again…IF he can show much better play then he did these last two years, why not? 27/08??

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Ranger, I know, I know. I haven’t given up hope on Gardner, he can still be one of those pesty little slap hitters at the top of a lineup who never drives the ball, but gets on base a ton. There’s hope for him yet.

            I just can’t endorse your plan to have both of them in there together. I don’t think our lineup could survive with two outfielders with sub .350 slugging percentages.

            • Old Ranger

              Like I said; “I would rather have someone other then Melky”. I am just trying to stay inside the organization, we all know it will cost a TON to try any get someone in trade. But, again I say “What if” Melky turns things around, it wouldn’t be the 1st time…switch hitting RF with a very good arm, who can hit is in very high demand. Whatever happens this winter, it should be very interesting, don’t you think. 27/08??

  • Macphisto

    I wonder if it is best to start the season with Jackson in CF. Put the kid in and let him grow. The Twins did it with Carlos Gomez this year. He has had his ups and downs but he is further along now as a result. Not ready to give the year up yet. Next week’s series against the Sox is likely going to tell the tale. If the Yanks walk out anywhere under 4gb of the WC then it is very doable.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      At first, i was going to dismiss that out of hand, but then I looked it up… Jackson is going to be 22 by opening day. It might not be the worst thing in the world.

      Let Gardner, Melky, and AJax all battle it out for the CF spot in the spring. All options are on the table. But I’d still feel more comfortable throwing Jackson to the wolves in center if we had two good corner outfielders around him instead of just one (in Nady).

      • Old Ranger

        I think, if one looks up the stats (I won’t) one may find A-Jaxs has a fast/slow start when moved up. Also, seems to be confused by the more talented players (pitchers). One could bring him to ST and see how he is doing then make a dicision…you know the saying about ST/Fall call-up. I think I would give him AAA next year, maybe move him up to the show mid season, if needed and doing well (which he will)…otherwise keep him in AAA next year with Sept. call-up. 27/08??

    • http://2009 Haggs

      At the very damn least they could play well against Boston and make the Sox playoff spectators too.

      That would add a little whip cream atop this turd of a season.

      • jsbrendog

        hmmmmmm turd with whipped cream…….i’ll allow it

  • Brad K

    Stop making excuses for Cashman’s poor performance. This didn’t just happen this year it several years of bad decisions to get to this point. Cashman is the man in the middle and he needs to go. Time for some fresh ideas. AS far as who expected this team to win this year don’t put all that on the media and the fans. One of the biggest problems this year is the Yankee’s lack of direction. Are we rebuilding? Are we a contender?

    How much does Cashman pay this site to cover his ass?

    • Setty

      Oh yea, the “rebuilding or contender” question must really be killing A-Rod and Giambi when they step up to the plate with RISP. How can they focus on getting hits in those situations when they have no idea what direction the team is going in?! No wonder Joba, Wang, and Posada got injured – they weren’t sure whether to stay healthy since Cashman didn’t fully commit to either rebuilding or contending! THIS IS ALL CASHMAN’S FAULT! GET HIM OUTTA TOWN!!! Your argument is embarrassing and you come off sounding like an idiot

      • steve (different one)

        wow. kindof harsh.

        true, but harsh.

        • Setty

          I just blew of fall my steam from the exorbitant amount of mind-numbing posts with that one comment. I should’ve spread the frustration around to others, my bad

      • Brad K

        No you embarrass me. After being a loyal Yankee fan through thick and thin for 35 years it’s morons like yourself that embarrass me and the organization as a whole. Hmm ever wonder why Yankee fans get such a bad rap? It’s because of people like you who think they have all the answers no matter what the reality is.

        STOP MAKING EXCUSES. Face the fact that you really don’t have a clue. Wait I have a better idea. Since your so smart we should make you the next GM…….can’t do any worse then the one we have.

        Now grow up and grow a set.

        • Setty

          Hahaha. Yea, you really are sticking with the team “through and through” by ripping the GM that has gotten this team to the playoffs for all 10 years of his tenure here. Yet I AM the reason why Yankee fans get such a bad rap, not you. Makes sense to me. You also haven’t backed up your anti-Cashman argument with any sort of fact whatsoever. You’re just whining and bitching like a typical spoiled Yankee fan bc there is a chance that they might not make the playoffs (gasp!) for ONE year. What a loyal fan you are. And also, what are you in your 40’s telling people to “grow a set”? Very mature. You sure sound credible

        • steve (different one)

          seriously guys, stop trying to analyze the “facts” surrounding Cashman’s tenure. stop trying to look at what actually happened this season and what could have or should have been reasonably predicted and prepared for. try growing a set.

          Brad’s been a fan for 35 years, he deserves better. he’s been through thick and thin, and we all know how hard it is to be a Yankee fan. i mean, there was those 2-3 years in the last 35 years where the Yankees just weren’t very good. if you guys think it’s acceptable to miss the playoffs for the first time since 1993, i have 3 words for you: GROW A SET.

          face it, “your” just not as smart as Brad.

          • jsbrendog

            i saw a “grow a set” in wal;mart, just add seeds and water and it grows in a week….or was that a chia pet?

  • brockdc

    People who call for Cashman’s head on a plate like to bluster about what a horrible G.M. he’s been but then rarely seem to have an alternative in mind.

    Well, I’ll just throw a couple of names out there, since no one else wants to. Let’s see…Steve Phillips always seems available…Or how about Bill Bavasi? Or maybe they can buy out Sweet Lou’s contract and somehow “transform” him into a functional front office man – then we’d have a G.M. with the baseball horse sense and guile we’ve all been looking for!

    Guh.

    • jsbrendog

      not only that but as someone referenced earlier the infighting and refusal to rebuild on UPPER MANAGEMENT’s part from 2002-2005 really bit this team in the ass. what we are witnessing now is the end of george’s legacy. this is cashman’s team now for the first time free of interference or havign to deal with big george’s mistakes. Hank and Hal see this and they want him back and to let him put his plan to fruition. If cashman stays they WILL win a WS with him as GM

      • Macphisto

        Exactly right. Cashman has only had control over this team since the end of 2005. Before that he had to deal with George, Connors, Emslie, Oppenheimer. There was no organizational philosophy or chain of command, thus many bad decisions were made that impact this team today. Cash, along with his scouts, turned the farm around. The Yanks are seeing immediate results in someone like Joba and future potential in a very short period of time. Letting Cash go now would be a huge mistake.

      • Peedlum

        I agree with this post completely. Steinbrenner gets a lot of credit for spending a lot of money, but the reality is that after 1981, the yankees were terrible and they wasted a lot of money on players with huge contracts because steinbrenner wanted them–the 1980’s yankees had massive payrolls compared to the league too, but did not get results. carl pavano is just pascual perez for another generation. mike gallego and spike owen were big free agent signings. it was only when steinbrenner was suspended that the yankee organization was able to get away from the huge free agent signings as the only way to build the team. the yankees still signed free agents, but they also developed players and made good trades. Once the 2001 world series was over and the core of the yankee dynasty teams was mostly done and gone, the steinbrenner spend a lot for names strategy imbedded itself again, and as a result the team has suffered. everyone knew johnny damon couldn’t play CF for 4 years, but they signed him. Everyone knew GIambi couldn’t play 1st base for 8 years, but they signed him. Everyone knew Jaret Wright was a one year wonder with the Braves after about 6 years of injuries, but they signed him. Everyone knew Sheff was a head case, but they signed him (over Vlad). Trading for players like Raul Mondesi was something that was never worth it, but it happened. Some trades seems good but didn’t work out–vazquez, weaver, even the unit–but there’s some amount of luck involved in any trade. There has to be some time while the gears switch. I was at one of those 5 games in Fenway in 2006 when the sux got massacred and they fell (i think) behind toronto that year and finished in 4th. But they rebuilt and got rid of some of the dead weight and have developed some all-star or ptoentially future all-star caliber players–eddie gaedel, youk, lester, laptop thief, ellsbury, papelbon–i hate all those guys, but i wouldn’t hate them as much if they didn’t do well. I don’t always agree with Cashman (and he never seems to draft hitters) but signing guys to long term contracts they can’t fulfill is not the only answer and I trust him more than i ever trusted George Steinbrenner to make the right call. I will say that it would be nice to develop or even trade for some positon players (other than Cano and Dioner Navarro, I can’t think of any since Posada that have come thru the system but I can be forgetful) that can make an impact.

    • Ed

      People don’t throw out alternatives because most of the candidates aren’t really public figures. Oppenheimer is probably the most likely guy to get the job if Cashman leaves. But it’s more likely to be a high level advisor to a current GM that gets the job rather than someone who got fired from another team.

  • Brad K

    blah blah blah. You guy’s keep making the same tired arguments over and over and over again. Do you keep those arguments on your clip board so you can just paste them in anytime someone suggest your boy Cash isn’t up to the task? Oh my mistake only the Yankee’s have injuries and only the Yankee’s have players who don’t live up to their potential. Hmmm let’s see that last time I checked the Ray’s had to major pieces of their offense on the DL and their closer but they went out and won 8 out of 10 after the injuries. Not to mention beating the team with the best record in the AL 2 out of 3. Imagine where the Ray’s would be if they had a GM as smart as Cashman.

    • Setty

      What is with your hatred for Cashman? What exactly would you have done differently that Cashman has been responsible for, since you are the MLB executive guru yourself?

      • ceciguante

        there’s a LOT that cashman has done that should have been done differently. take a look at the list of pitchers he acquired — it’s long and not very illustrious. for fear of puking, i won’t recite a full list, but do the names karsay, heredia, quantrill, witasick, farnsworth, wright, pavano, vazquez, loaiza, weaver *spits up in mouth a bit* ring a bell? cashman has guessed wrong a LOT.

        and i gotta stick up for brad k on another point: the rebuilding v. contender thing was a problem. cashman and co. towed the company line of championship ’08, and began the season with 3 rookies in the rotation. surprise! 1 of 3 made a meaningful contribution. that was no way to start a championship season, and i don’t want to hear how good ipk is in AAA. yes, yes, the hitting was a bigger problem, but that is just blowing smoke: the starting pitching should have been better, too, and that is on cashman. he’s messed up the pitching many many times (see above).

        • Setty

          Listen, I completely understand that Cashman has made mistakes in the pitching department (although I do not agree with some of the ones you listed, but that’s besides the point). My whole point there was that BRad wasn’t actually using any actual evidence in his killing of Cashman. As far as the rebuilding/contending argument, I don’t see how this makes any sense. If Wang and Joba don’t get hurt, we have one of the best rotations in baseball. Sometimes injuries happen, but when they happen to 2 of your best pitchers in the rotation, it doesn’t matter how much backup you have for them, it’s going to be hard to overcome. The bottom line is the lineup has not lived up to its billing, which is why we won’t make the playoffs if we don’t. If the lineup was hitting and we were securely in the wild card or divison lead, this rebuilding/contending nonsense would not even be a discussion

        • jsbrendog

          right, pavano, who was a bust, but BOSTON WAS OFFERING MORE MONEY TO, vasquez, who was also A VERY SOUGHT AFTER PITCHER after coming off a yr with a mid 3 era, 240 strikeouts and a whip of 1.1 and who won 14 games FOR THE EXPOS!!!! Jeff weaver was one fo the brightest young pitchers of the game when they got him from detroit and i remember cheering the day they got him. it was a GREAT MOVE.

          Cashman’s bullpen moves are bad, but his starter moves are nowhere NEAR as bad as people who DO NOT DO THEIR RESEARCH AND DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT say.

          Because a move doesn’t pan out means its a failure at the time?? signing pavano at the time was a great move because he signed with us for less money than our rival AT THE TIME. Vasquez and Weaver were great acquisitions AT THE TIME. Loaiza and Wright were never supposed to be #1 guys, btu back end filler and were solid to mediocre moves. Take a look at the numbers before you throw out uneducate dopinions

        • steve (different one)

          cashman and co. towed the company line of championship ‘08, and began the season with 3 rookies in the rotation

          no, they began the season with 2 rookies.

          they had Pettitte, Wang, and Moose with plans to add Joba later.

          yes, yes, the hitting was a bigger problem, but that is just blowing smoke

          how is this “blowing smoke”?? the yankees are on pace to score TWO HUNDRED fewer runs than last season.

          it is easily the biggesst problem with the 2008 yankees, and frankly, it’s not even close.

          the Blue Jays have BY FAR the best pitching staff in all of baseball.

          and they are in 4th place b/c their offense sucks.

          yes, some mistakes were made by Cashman on the pitching. but the problem has been OFFENSE OFFENSE OFFENSE.

          it’s not even debatable.

          • jsbrendog

            the Blue Jays have BY FAR the best pitching staff in all of baseball.

            I was saying this in the begnning of the yr. with a healthy burnett and halladay, and marcum and litsch that’s pretty intimidating…and the other guy who’s name i can’t remember, chacin? if those 3 live up to their potential that’s scary

          • ceciguante

            your point that “no, they had 2 rookies” to start the season is a stupid distinction to draw. they relied on 3 rookie starters (joba transitioned in, big deal), and it played out just how one could have expected: 1 out of 3 panned out. are you saying that’s not on cashman?

            blowing smoke is refusing to engage cashman’s failures by declaring that the team would have lost anyway in 2008 due to the offense. i pointed out ten — TEN! — pitching busts of cashman’s without even trying. a reasonable answer to that is “wow, cashman really has made a lot of mistakes, he does deserve blame,” not “hitting with RISP is down and there are lots of injuries..oh, well, don’t blame cashman.” the offense might have missed expectations by a greater amount, but the pitching missed, too, and their respective failures are not as lopsided as you suggest.

            and btw, who assembled this offense? who signed a 37yo catcher to a 4 year deal, and had an offensive black hole as his backup? when he and a 34yo LFer go down for the year, it shouldn’t be a surprise. who signed damon to a 4 yr deal to play CF, and then stuck melky there to play his position?

            i know ~200 fewer runs in ’08 was a surprise, but bradk is right that you guys give cashman a royal pass. cashman assembled this team with copious $$$$, and when it fails, he (not luck) is primarily to blame.

        • Ed

          Karsay was a good pickup. A 4 year deal was a little much, but he dominated until he blew out his back. There was no reason to predict that.

          Quantrill was a great pickup. Until he joined the Yankees, he was a top setup guy for a long time. He started out great with us until he got hit in the leg with a line drive. He continued pitching with a leg brace, which caused him to alter his mechanics. Combine that with Torre pitching him way too much and he just fell apart.

          Heredia and Witasick were never expected to be great. They were mediocre relievers and performed roughly how you’d expect. As much as we hate Farnsworth, he is league average for a reliever. Middle relievers as a whole aren’t very good.

          Vazquez was a good trade. The guy has always shown flashes of brilliance. Some years he puts it all together, others he doesn’t. A *lot* of pitchers are like that. Our getting rid of him had nothing to do with him and everything to do with wanting Randy Johnson.

          Loaiza – That trade was more about getting rid of Contreras than about getting Loaiza.

          Wright, Weaver – Those were people Steinbrenner wanted.

          Pavano – Obviously it’s gone down as one of the worst deals ever, but, about 1/3 of baseball was willing to give him similar deals to what the Yankees did, and some teams offered more.

          Oh, the plan wasn’t to have 3 rookies in the rotation. It was to have Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, and 2 out of Hughes, Kennedy, and Joba with one as a fallback.

          • ChrisS

            And really, acquiring bullpen arms through trades and free agency is tilting at windmills. A couple might stick, but mostly there’s so much year-to-year variation that’s a crapshoot. Starting in ’06 the Yankees started stockpiling arms and lo and behold their bullpen is pretty darn good with a bunch of journeymen and rookies. Marte, the one acquisition hasn’t been very impressive.

            everything to do with wanting Randy Johnson.

            Another Tampa/Steinbrenner/media driven trade.

            Nothing like giving up the sole positional prospect the Yankees had, and one that would be needed in a couple of years as their current starter grew older for a 41-year old pitcher with a bad back and knees held together with chewing gum and rubber bands.

            • jsbrendog

              and a surly non media friendly attitude

            • ceciguante

              so, you guys are excusing TEN failed pitching acquisitions, essentially on the reasoning of “oh well, bad luck, don’t blame cashman,” but you let him off the hook b/c of ONE trade (randy johnson)? i don’t know what to call that other than blatant denial of the facts. i wish my bosses were as forgiving as you.

          • ceciguante

            this is purely revisionist. karsay was a good pickup?? quantrill was a great pickup?? witasick performed the way we would have expected (badly)?? all on the basis of what they did BEFORE they got to the yanks? sorry, that’s wrong.

            we are fans, we play armchair GM. cashman IS the GM. the GM is judged based on how his acquisitions turn out, not how they looked before that. to use the favorite argument around here, we are not dealing with a small sample size. over ~10 years of work, cashman’s deals fail more often than not. i listed 10 failed acquisitions, and all you did was make excuses about who got hit with a line drive, and who was good on his prior team. cashman’s job is not to make offers to guys who 1/3 of baseball is chasing — his job is to get players who perform. all else is irrelevant.

            Oh, the plan wasn’t to have 3 rookies in the rotation. It was to have Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, and 2 out of Hughes, Kennedy, and Joba with one as a fallback.

            and how’d that plan turn out? they got ~half a season worth of starts out of those THREE prospects. result: rasner + ponson. but don’t blame cashman, right?

            look, i cut cashman SOME slack for past lack of complete control. but this year, like others, he miscalculated.

    • steve (different one)

      and imagine where the Yankees would be if they had a top 5 draft pick for the last 10 years. i couldn’t think of 2 teams whose situations are more dissimilar.

      there are valid arguments to make about Cashman, it’s just that your arguments are particularly shitty.

    • Count Zero

      Talk about the same tired arguments over and over again…not to mention the same tired use of an apostrophe when making a noun plural. I mean…shouldn’t that be argument’s? At least be consistent in your usage. :-P

      Here’s the bottom line for you, Brad (and everyone else like you): A lot of us come here to rationally discuss baseball and the Yankees in particular, and we like the fact that Ben, Mike and Joseph feel the same way. We may all disagree on any number of topics, but what we don’t do is post arguments without specifics or any facts to back them up.

      It’s easy to criticize anyone’s performance in a vacuum without any regard for reality. (E.g., “We should have started the season with a better rotation.”) Be specific. If you want to argue that we should have done whatever was necessary to get Santana, that’s a valid argument that can be made. The argument against that is also valid. But when you just make statements like: “This didn’t just happen this year it several years of bad decisions to get to this point. (sic)” No shit! Really?!? Wow! I never realized that until you just said it!

      Unless you can be more specific than that (e.g., trading Navarro, giving up on Vasquez, etc.) we have no framework for a discussion. You want to lay all that on Cashman’s doorstep when anyone who has been following this team for a decade knows (as well as it could be known since we weren’t actually in the room) that he was openly against many of those deals. But you prefer to deal in vague generalities that can’t be challenged due to the fact that they are just phantoms of a strategy.

      Many of you feel that any emotional argument you come up with should carry just as much weight as a rational argument backed by statistics. Well guess what? It doesn’t and it never will. If that’s the level of discourse you want to engage in, stick with LoHud and the rest of the lowbrow crowd. We didn’t force you to come here and post this garbage, and we won’t miss you one bit.

      Thanks for sharing!

      • jsbrendog

        here here! (or is it hear, hear?)

      • Setty

        Boo, grow a set Count Zero!

      • ceciguante

        it would be tough to find a post more pompous and self-congratulatory than this one, on any blog. get over yourself.

  • jsbrendog

    right, pavano, who was a bust, but BOSTON WAS OFFERING MORE MONEY TO, vasquez, who was also A VERY SOUGHT AFTER PITCHER after coming off a yr with a mid 3 era, 240 strikeouts and a whip of 1.1 and who won 14 games FOR THE EXPOS!!!! Jeff weaver was one fo the brightest young pitchers of the game when they got him from detroit and i remember cheering the day they got him. it was a GREAT MOVE.

    Cashman’s bullpen moves are bad, but his starter moves are nowhere NEAR as bad as people who DO NOT DO THEIR RESEARCH AND DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT say.

    Because a move doesn’t pan out means its a failure at the time?? signing pavano at the time was a great move because he signed with us for less money than our rival AT THE TIME. Vasquez and Weaver were great acquisitions AT THE TIME. Loaiza and Wright were never supposed to be #1 guys, btu back end filler and were solid to mediocre moves. Take a look at the numbers before you throw out uneducate dopinions