The Fat Lady hasn’t quite sung yet

Hughes rights the ship
How do fans give up on the season?

There’s no need to declare the Yankee season over that. I’ll let David Pinto’s eloquent eulogy carry the day in that regard.

After all, just a year ago, the Colorado Rockies, the NL’s 2007 World Series representative, were 6.5 games out of the Wild Card. The Yankees are down; they’re not playing well; and Joe Girardi, as David Cone opined on the post-game show tonight, doesn’t really know what to do with this group of ballplayers. But until they’re mathematically eliminated, I’m not ready to throw in the towel. They do, however, have a very steep climb ahead of them.

Tonight, the game started and ended with the Yankee pitching. Sidney Ponson got off to a rocky start in the first inning. Before the Yanks had a chance to bat, they were facing a 2-0 deficit, and Ponson didn’t seem to have that sinker working. But Ponson seemed to right the ship for a few innings, and he pitched through the second, third and fourth without incident.

In the fifth, with the Yanks and Red Sox knotted at two, Ponson allowed another two runs, and Joe Girardi quickly yanked him. Again, a Yankee pitcher couldn’t get out of the fifth, and again the bullpen would be called up on for more than four innings of work.

The bullpen wasn’t up for the job. While Edwar Ramirez and Damaso Marte kept things under control, Jose Veras and David Robertson, once again called upon in a situation in which he was nearly obligated to fail, allowed seven runs in the eighth. That would be all for the Yankees.

Ponson allowed 11 baserunners in 4.2 innings. The bullpen allowed seven earned runs in one inning of work while tossing up zeroes in the other 3.1, and when the game ended, it didn’t matter that A-Rod was 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. It didn’t matter that Jason Giambi blasted yet another home run off Mike Timlin. All that mattered was that Lisfranc injury to Chien-Ming Wang, that reliance on starters that just shouldn’t be here, and an offense that just isn’t doing what it should be doing.

The Yanks are down. But I’m not ready to count them out. Hope springs eternal, even with September growing closer.

Hughes rights the ship
How do fans give up on the season?
  • D.B.

    Season over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    David Robertson, once again called upon in a situation in which he was nearly obligated to fail…

    I don’t like this line of criticism because of one reason, who would you want Joe Girardi to bring in? Brian Bruney? He threw 33-pitches on Tuesday night. You really think Chris Britton gives you a better chance there with his putrid 5.17-K/9? Girardi felt, correctly, that in that situation a strikeout hurler was needed. The best available option not named Mariano Rivera was David Robertson and his 10.17-K/9 ability.

    • Geno

      Robertson’s going to eventually be a really good major league reliever. He’s got to be exposed to this pressure eventually, so why not in a rebuilding season? Same thing with the starts Hughes and Kennedy had earlier in the year, maybe especially since they failed so spectacularly. Any major-league experience we can give to our top young arms is paramount to our future success.

    • steve (different one)

      yeah, i was going to say that.

      you guys KEEP harping on this every time Robertson is brought into a game with men on base and it’s a little ridiculous.

      Robertson is ON the team. he’s a member of the bullpen.

      he has to be able to get guys out whenever he is asked.

      i love this site, but this simply reeks of prospect apologia.

      we get it, we like Robertson b/c he came from the farm system. but when he stinks, he stinks. it’s not Girardi’s fault because he doesn’t have the luxury to only bring him in with the bases empty and a 5 run lead.

      again, this is a great site, but some of criticisms of Girardi don’t really make any sense. Robertson is inexperienced, but so are Edwar and Veras relatively speaking.

      you can’t have guys in your bullpen that you aren’t allowed to bring in with men on base. that’s what relievers do. they come in with men on base.

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

        Frankly, the entire David Robertson outing was a total non-factor. We were trailing before he came in, and we were trailing afterwards.

        The real problem here is that we couldn’t score any more than three runs against Paul Fucking Byrd.

  • JG

    I’m sorry but the game did not start and end with Ponson’s pitching… we are not going to beat the Red Sox or the league’s best by plating as few runs as we did.
    I always want to keep hope alive, as our team is more talented than they consistently prove, but the difference between us and the Rockies is that that team pulled it together and this team has shown no signs of having the ability to do so. Unless things drastically change we might as well start looking forward to the offseason and hope we grab the type of pitching that can keep us in games that are decided by two or three runs.
    FUCK – to make is worse this Red Sox family of cunts that were sitting in front of me were really burning my ass. Nothing to say when there is nothing to say. Otherwise you’d be a Met fan.

  • Joey H

    BALLLLLL GAME OVER! SEASON OVERRRRRR! THE REDSOX WIN, THE REDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD SOX WIN!

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

      Take that shit to LoHud.

  • james

    “FUCK – to make is worse this Red Sox family of cunts that were sitting in front of me were really burning my ass.”

    That’s the thing about Yankee fans. They win AND lose with such class.

    :)

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      oh yeah, i forgot that Boston fans are the epitome of class. :)

      the season ain’t over until they’re mathematically eliminated.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    Ben, I appreciate the optimism but seriously…didn’t the Rockies win like 22 in a row or something insane like that? Now can you honestly see these Yankees go on a tear like that? As much as I had to suck it up and hear all the crap in ’04, we will have to grin and bear the Sox, Mets and Dodgers all making the playoffs. We’re not going to make it unless the Twins and Sox monumentally collapse down the stretch. It’s one thing to bank on one team faltering but 2 is impossible, especially with only 6 head to head games. Maybe next year lol…..

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

      The Dodgers? Yeah, right. They’re not making the playoffs.

      As for the “but seriously” part, yeah, the season’s not looking to good, but why throw in the towel? Is there any sort of joy we would all get in not rooting for the Yanks to pull of something amazing? The odds aren’t on their side, and the team looks like crap. But, to borrow a phrase, it’s not over ’til it’s over, and until the Yanks are mathematically out of it, I’m not going to stop hoping.

      Call me naïve, but that’s the way it goes.

      • Steve

        Naive.

        So there.

  • E-ROC

    No mention of the shortcoming in the field by Abooboo and Damon not backing him up?

    I still have optimism. If the Yanks, let fall with Hughes, IPK, Aceves, or Wright on the mound. I don’t think I can take Ponson or Rasner anymore.

    • E-ROC

      *If the Yanks fall, let them fall….

      • Dylan

        Yeah, word.

  • Yankees=warriors

    I blame the offense for this game and the season the Yanks are having.
    3 runs against a pitcher just off the DL and 2 runs against Bryd? Pathetic to say the least…

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

      It’s really tough to blame the offense in a game in which your starting pitcher fails to make it out of the 5th inning and has an ERA of 7.17 during those innings in which he pitched. It’s really tough to blame the offense in a game in which the bullpen gave up seven runs.

      So if the Yanks optimistically score 6 or 7 tonight, they still manage to lose. Face it: Ponson sucks, and he’s not pitching well enough these days to keep the Yanks in the game.

      • Stephen

        I really hate Paul Byrd. The Yankees hit the ball hard off him all night, just like the playoffs last year, with nothing to show for it. Two almost homeruns by Cano and Damon. However, why did the Yankees let him get to the Red Sox? He’s not a good pitcher, but he doesn’t walk anybody, and when he’s lucky, like tonight, he’ll get decent results. He would certanly be better than Snacks Pontoon or Darrel Rasner. Also, why would the Yankees not put a claim on Mark Kotsay? He’s an ok player who plays decent defense.

        • steve (different one)

          and where would Kotsay play?

          seriously, why would the Yankees get Kotsay now? what is the thinking there? just because the Sox got him, we want him?

          who sits? Damon, Nady, Abreu, or Matsui?

          is it even an improvement?

          that Yankees are WAAAAAAAY out of the race. the difference between someone like Byrd and Rasner over 40 games is worth maybe 1 win.

          this team isn’t going to miss the playoffs by 1 win.

          Kotsay and Byrd both have about $2M left on their contracts. i know everyone sees the yankees as having infinite funds, but why throw away $4M on players who offer tiny, marginal upgrades? it would make sense if you were 1-2 games out of it, but not 5-6 games out of it.

          i’d rather take that $4M and give it to CC next year.

          sometimes you gotta know when to fold.

      • Hybrid Moments

        The Yankees had a lot of chances to change the game Pettitte started with just a base hit. Yeah, Andy was terrible but if anyone can give them a base knock in a few positions then the entire complexion of that game changes. Its also pointless to talk about how the Yankees would still have lost if they put up a 7 or 8 spot on Boston tonight. Maybe they knock Byrd out early and change how Francona has to use his pen.

      • Ron

        This loss, and the season, is squarely on the offense. Ponson gave up 4 runs. Granted, not stellar, but we weren’t facing Halliday, we were facing Paul effing Byrd. And the offense was able to muster a whole 2 runs. And if we had a lead going into the 8th, Girardi would have managed it differntly, maybe even brining in Mo for 4, 5 or maybe even 6 outs.

        No, it isn’t the pitching, it’s the offense. This offense has scored 2 or fewer runs in 40 games this season. FORTY GAMES! Are you telling me that Wang was going to pitch to 2.00 ERA? The pitching injuries are unfortunate, but don’t let them ask the real reason this team isn’t going to the playoffs. Plain and simple, it’s the offense.

      • Steve

        “Ponson sucks, and he’s not pitching well enough these days to keep the Yanks in the game.”

        There’s really no reason at this point to be wheeling out veterans like Ponson, Pavano, Mussina, Rasner and anyone else on the roster you don’t plan on bringing back. Let Hughes take Ponson’s spot, IPK take Rasner’s spot, try to deal Pavano to a contender and see if Moose, Abreu, Pudge and Giambi can land you more than he will in FA compensation.

        We haven’t done this for a long time, but it is now time to play September with an eye toward 2009. There’s still a few days until September 1st, you have to explore these things at this point.

        • Steve

          BTW-NY Post says the Yanks are already dangling Pavano, so they seem to be going into sell mode

          http://www.nypost.com/seven/08282008/sports/yankees/pavano_available_to_other_teams_after_on_126412.htm

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

            Great, let’s trade him now.

            Those two ham sandwiches we get back are gonna be TASTY!

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

              I want swiss cheese on those sandwiches, and I want them toasted. Or NO DEAL!

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

                Hey, not bad. Nice, hot mustard; Good bread. The turkey’s a little dry…

                THE TURKEY’S A LITTLE DRY?!?! O, FOUL ACCURSED MONKEY PAW!!! WHAT DEMON FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL CREATED THEE!?!?!?

  • BigBlueAL

    I realized tonight that the roles between these 2 teams have completely switched. In the past the Yankees would go into Fenway in late August or early September and turn a 5 or 6 game lead into 7 or 8 games and essentially bury the Sox. At times do so humiliatingly like the Sox have done to the Yanks these first two games.

    Honestly what makes this worse is look at the lineup the Sox has put out this series and look at their two starting pitchers. You can make all the excuses you want for the Yankees, and some of them are definitely valid, but Boston last weekend went into Toronto and won 2 out of 3 and will do so at the minimum in NY with that makeshift lineup and pitching staff w/o Beckett.

    I would like to see IPK and Hughes start throughout the month of September for Rasner and Ponson and hope to see progress from them heading into next season….

    • Hybrid Moments

      Maybe for a season they have changed. The Yankees beat the Sox’s brains in enroute to the Wild Card last year and almost won the division after being back 14 1/2 games at one point.

      • Whitey14

        ummm, wasn’t the season series 10-8 last year? I would hardly consider that beating their brains in fella.

        • Clayton

          I think he is refering to the sweep at the end of August and then taking 2 of 3 in September

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    There is a point when positive thinking can lead to negative results. The old saying, “a winner never quits and a quiter never wins is a bit misleading, actually winners know when to quit, and losers don’t know when to quit. Let’s use the rest of the week productively with an eye towards the future, see what interset there is from contending teams in some of the Yankees that have no place in the Yankee future (Giambi and Abreu and yes even Damon and some of the middle inning guys). I think it is counter productive to hang on to the hopes of 2008 as a week from now the value of anyone on the roster drops dramatically because of post season eligibility limitations.

    One more thing, Cashman has had full run of the organization for at least three years, I don’t know about anyone else but I am not satisfied with the results or in his ability to evaluate talent. His contract is up for renewal, I’d fire him today and put Gene in the position until a permanent replacement can be found. If George was still George he’d already be gone.

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

      “a winner never quits and a quitter never wins”

      Hillary Clinton, is that you?

  • http://www.3KidsTix.com Scott from 3 Kids Tickets

    Ponson is doding so much better than I ever expected. He’s a great #5 type guy. The problem is he’s out #3.
    Hank is a big fan though:

    Hank Steinbrenner once again proved he is his father’s son, ripping the Yankees Wednesday night after their 11-3 loss to the Red Sox.

    “The bottom line is, they sucked.”

    ‘Nuff said

    -Scott

    PS I small important aside: I’m still going tomorrow & Fri simply to soak in Yankee stadium while I still can. Some of the nicest concession people you ever met will be gone soon, the Yankees are bringing over EXTREMELY few of them because people with years of experience are too expensive. Make sure to say thanks and we appreciate you to them next time you go before it’s too late.

    • http://www.3KidsTix.com Scott from 3 Kids Tickets

      BTW…Where’s the feisty Girardi I heard about? The Billy Martin type of guy? The guy who was going to bring the importance of doing “the little things” back?

      We shouldn’t get rid of him, but this was not the bill of goods I was sold.

      -Scott

      • Steve

        To be fair to Joe, this isn’t his team. Its Torre’s team from last year and he hasn’t really had a chance to bring in his types of players yet. He’s tried to bunt with Melky and Damon, and it didn’t work.

        I think Girardi values guys who can play some situational baseball and win you a close game. Role players, “Grinders” as he used to say on the YES broadcasts. From listening to him call games, I always thought he had more Mike Scioscia than Torre in him. He just doesn’t have those types of players on this team. But that will all soon change.

    • Berto

      panson doing better than ever expect??? ARE YOU ON DRUGS!!!

      WHY have the standards of pitching in this town gone so incredibly LOW…..this city needs to grow a clue, this guy hasnt had an era under 5 since he was in Baltimore….this man has a 6 era with us!! he is a career 5 era pitcher!! great #5???

      PANSON IS HANDS DOWN ONE OF THE WORST PITCHERS IN BASEBALL AND HAS BEEN NOW AND FOR A LONG LONG TIME……..

      • Steve

        His ERA with the Yanks is about 5.50, so since Sidney is “doing better than he expected” I guess he expects the 5th starter to have an ERA of 6-7.00.

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

        Hey Berto: Did you know that we have a 6-5 team record when Sidney Ponson takes the hill? And that in two of those starts, Sidney pitched into, or through, the seventh inning and allowed 1 run and 2 runs, only for the Yanks to lose both games (0-1 and 2-3)?

        Sidney was awful against Texas on July 2nd, giving up 7 runs, but the Yanks won it for him anyway, pounding out 18 runs on crappy Rangers pitching, so he got the ND…. But, he was very effective/lucky in his starts on 7/9 (1 ER, ND), 8/1 (0 ER, ND), 8/11 (4 ER in 7.2 IP, L by shutout), 8/16 (2 ER, ND). Just like the Texas outing probably should have been a loss, all those games should have been wins

        Even with his unsightly WHIP and ERA, in his 10 Yankee starts going into last night, he’s given us 7 really good chances to win and 3 stinkers. That’s definitely doing better than expected, by far.

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/gl.cgi?n1=ponsosi01&t=p&year=2008

  • bill

    The only way for the Yankees to make the playoffs is repeat of 1978. And the problem with that is the Yanks had 7 games with the Sox in September to make up ground – this year we got only three.

  • Jake K.

    Wow. RABers throwing around “cunts” and “faggot.” The discourse around here has taken a nosedive.

    • bill

      Its called frustration. You have to protect your turf against the Red Sux fans, cant have em invading RAB. And dont act like you havent used those words before

      • Jake K.

        I understand the frustration, but I think we can do better than “faggot.” How about “fuckstick,” one of my favorites. Also, I’m pretty sure Joey H is a Yankee fan. He has been posting on this site for a while now.

        • bill

          Then that was really stupid making that post. That post was the equivalent of putting on a David Ortiz jersey. Anyway, I wonder if this is how the Red Sux fans felt when they were 3-0 down in 04. Probably worse. I also wonder if a Yankee comeback this season would get us even with the Sux for 04. Probably not. But the situations are eerily similar. I guess tomorrow is our game 4.

          • Steve

            Its called “gallows humor”. Instead of being miserable you try to make a joke of things. People who don’t take themselves too seriously readily understand it.

      • Whitey14

        How is using those words protecting this site from Red Sox fans (like myself). The language posters use speaks volumes about themselves, not the site.

        • Glen L

          Why are we “protecting” the site from Red Sox fans? If they want to drop by and engage in civil discourse, why stop them?

          If they’re going to be assholes, then I’d rather they not post, but I feel the same way about Yankees fans that act like assholes on this site

  • steve

    this is what it must feel to be a red sox fan prior to 2004. i dont like this feeling one bit.

    • Steve

      Bingo. You sir, have nailed it.

      Now lets all deal with it with a little grace and not act like crybabies. It just makes it more fun for the Sox fans to see us whining.

    • ChrisS

      Try being a Yankee fan during the Stump Merrill Wade Taylor/Jeff Johnson days.

      There was nothing to be hopeful about then. This is nothing. The rotation next year looks like it could be dominating. The bullpen is already assembled. All they need to do is concentrate on making the team younger and rebuilding the offense (no small task to be sure, but it’s better than having to rebuild the entire team).

      • Rick in Boston

        Please refrain from referring to Stump Merrill ever again. It pains me to think about those days. I’ll take this team over those days anytime.

    • Whitey14

      You’re experiencing something completely different. Don’t bother trying to associate the two because they’re not even remotely close. One is a feeling of entitlement and superiority that Yankee fans have held for decades, the other was the gut wrenching feeling of being taken to the edge so often, only to be let down. It was the forlorn feeling that you may never witness your team winning a championship and it was passed along from Grandfather to Father to Son. Thank whichever God you pray to that you won’t ever have that feeling because it’s not easy to live with.
      The Yankees are still the greatest team in the history of baseball, 2008 doesn’t change that, and their GM recognized that the Red Sox change in philosophy (not trading Jeff Bagwell type prospects) was improving their on-field product and he managed to convince his bosses that they too needed to return to that philosophy which had recently helped them win four World Series in five years and produced such gems as Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. Sometimes when you transition from throwing your money away on high priced free agents who never help you win the World Series, like Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina and Gary Sheffield, to a younger core that’s supplemented through Free Agency, not run over by it, you have to endure a brief hiccup. Very few teams can reload and rebuild at the same time. The Yankees are going through the same thing Boston did in 06. They knew there was no sense going out and trading away any real prospects in July or August to try to get back into a race they didn’t really expect to win anyway. They would have been happy to make the playoffs this year, but as many of you have stated, their eye is on 09 (which the Nady/Marte deal supports) and beyond which means they’ll be winning with more home grown players and with a lower payroll which should make most people happy.
      If Boston had paniced in 06 and traded away Pedroia, or Lowrie, or Youkilis, or Lester to try and make the playoffs, they wouldn’t be in this race right now. But they set up their organizational philosophy and stuck to it. They don’t expect to win the World Series every year, but they do expect to compete for it each year which is all a fan can ask for. Especially a Red Sox fan.
      When put in the proper perspective, missing the playoffs once in fourteen years, really isn’t so bad, especially with the youth the yankees are preparing in the wings.

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

        Whitey, you’re my favorite Sox fan ever. All my comments about Bostonians being ignorant douchnozzles (and buttloads of them are) never applies to you.

        ————————————

        And no, I don’t want to EVER compare any small moment of Yankee frustration or futility to what the Red Sox and their fans experienced for damn near a century. We don’t know the depths of their fatalistic, soul-crushing despair, and I for one damn sure never want to.

        We’re probably going to miss the playoffs for the first time in half a generation, mainly because we’ve had a bunch of our really good players have a bad year, we’ve had some really unfortunate injuries and some setbacks to some of our young talent, most of which still remain promising overall. We’ve battled, scrapped, and hung in it all year, never quite getting to the mountaintop, but trying like hell and just failing a bit too frequently for the expensive tastes we’ve become accustomed to.

        Contrast that with the Red Sox fans, who would wake up in the morning year after year with their team in first place by ten games in August, and instead of rejoicing or gloating, would be absolutely TERRIFIED of how monumental and painful their eventual and unavoidable collapse would become.

        Fuck that.

        • Whitey14

          If you’re ever in Southern Maine, I would like to drink a couple of beers with you. You clearly “get it”. Terrified is a great descriptive of how we felt. Thank God 2004 happened so we finally realized that our team could win. It took a lot of pressure off the team and absolutely off the fans as well.

          The one point I would add to though, is unfortunately, every year that the Sox have a lead in August, there are always a bunch of dumbasses who just can’t keep their mouths shut.

          Yogi Berra said it best “It ain’t over till it’s over” and smart fans always keep that in the back of their minds.

  • dkidd

    if giving up on 2008 was an option, what would/should the yanks do with their remaining games?

  • Relaunch

    They Yanks are 7 games out of the WC and will have to fight 3 other teams to gain any traction. This thread is dellusional. Almost but not quite as dellusional as your hopes for IPSuk.

    • Steve

      Yeah, I don’t see the benefit of clinging to some dim hope. It would ruin the rest of the season for me. By giving up hope, I can now just watch the games for the enjoyment of baseball and not get so frustrated by the teams inability to produce in big spots. Because lets face it, there are no big spots anymore.

  • Phil McCracken

    Even if the Yankees won all final 30 games, do you really want to see a playoff rotation of Pettitte, Mussina, and Ponson?

    Is a playoff team one that struggles vs two washed up bums like Wakefield and Byrd?

    Its sad that this is how the old Stadium closes, but its time to hit this team with a wrecking ball just like the Stadium. Abreu and his Wall-o-phobia goes. Giambi goes. I’d even consider shipping Cano out in the off season as well. At this point he looks like a poor man’s Soriano at the plate.

    And last but not least, the architect of the “Big Three” all developing in the same season must finally pack his bags after a decade of no results. Brian “The Process” Cashman.

    • ChrisS

      That’s not a fair assessment, he’s been the nominal head of the Yankees for a decade, but up until 2006 The Boss and various other actors were still pulling strings to sign/acquire guys like Giambi, Sheffield, Kevin Brown, and Randy Johnson.

      Cashman has his faults, but I like he’s down with the farm system in just two years.

      • ChrisS

        I like he’s down with the farm

        I like what he’s done with the farm …

        Wow, that’ll teach me to post before coffee.

        • Phil McCracken

          He’s put together a few good players that may be good in 5+ years. Brackman and Montero. He also overrated a few players. Alan Horne, Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and possibly one Phillip Hughes

          Unfortunately when he decided to make the transition from vet free agent to farm team, he forgot that you can’t make that change overnight. You still need to infuse a team with free agents, and by free agents I’m not talking about people like Kei Igawa.

          Brian just isn’t cut out for New York. He’d be better off working at a franchise like the Royals or Giants where he won’t be up against high expectations from ownership and the fans and can take 10 years to make a contender from farm bred players. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just got the wrong approach for the biggest team in the league with the most resources.

          • ChrisS

            Brackman hasn’t even pitched yet. Montero’s had one (really really realy good season at low A) and Hughes is the one that’s overrated? Hughes has dominated every level of minor league pitching and is 22 years old. IPK ain’t done yet either. Cabrera may be, he’s only slugging .395 in AAA and that worries me.

            he forgot that you can’t make that change overnight.

            But some fans seem to think that he should be able to. Which free agents should he have signed? He had to sign Damon because Bernie was shot and the Boss wanted Sheffield and not Beltran (which also led to Cabrera). He had to acquire starting pitching because Hughes was three years away at the earliest and he had two 38+ year old pitchers on his team and then the boss had to have Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown. Pavano and Wright definitely didn’t work out, but he was in a corner – the Yankees had zero readily available starting pitching at AAA outside of CMW.

            Playing as the biggest team with the most resources from 2001 until now has been about acquiring big names after their career peaked or at the peak. That really hasn’t worked out so well. Cashman has stocked a farm system that, three years ago had all of one prospect in the top 100, now there’s three. His control over the team has been hampered by a lot of poor contracts that, fortunately, are ending sooner rather than later (except A-Rod).

            You have to temper your expectations a bit when Cashman’s reign is viewed in context of 2001 to 2006.

            • Phil McCracken

              You’re right Brackman hasn’t pitched yet, and most of the better prospects are not in AAA. But that just proves more of my point. Cashman drafted players that weren’t going to help the team for years due to injuries or age. That put a strain on us this year because we had to use Rasner, Ponson, and Giese type pitchers.

              I’m not saying that he should have been able to do it overnight, but he should have continued to bolster the team with free agents instead of just turning off a switch and going straight to farm players to the tune of 3 inexperienced pitchers in the rotation this season which was huge disaster. You can’t rush progress. Those rookies need more time to season in the minors. Horne should have been gone after last season. Same with Kennedy. They were both at all time highs in value. Thats when you trade. You want to say that we shouldn’t have traded Hughes and Melky for Santana, thats fine, but there should have been a counter offer with Kennedy, Melky, and Horne.

              There was never a decision between Sheffield and Beltran. It was between Sheffield and Guerrero. And Cashman was correct in that decision, but he’s been wrong on so many other things. The Boss had to have Kevin Brown, but thats also how you got Phil Hughes. The bottom line is that Cashman should have been acquiring young pitchers for the past 10 years. Instead he’s been like a bad landlord, ignoring problems until its too late.

              He’s had more than enough time. It hasn’t worked. People said Torre needed to go to get a new voice in here. Same goes for Brian. We need someone to give this team a new look. After years of repeated failure, there has to be some big changes this year. Can’t blame Torre anymore.

              • r.w.g.

                I don’t know what dream world you’re living in where the Yankees could have traded Kennedy, Melky, and Horne for Johan Santana.

              • ChrisS

                Which free agents should he have gotten?

                And you’re right, I confused the Sheff/Beltran/Guerrero fiasco. But the point remains, thanks to meddling the biggest holes weren’t filled by the right players and it crippled the team’s flexibility for more than just one season.

                Cashman/Oppenheimer weren’t running the drafts from 1998 until 2004. That guy was reassigned. Cashman didn’t have 100% operational control over the team until 2006. About the time the team started acquiring piles of young arms.

                Ah, you’re a Santana trade guy. I see. Carry on.

          • A.D.

            When was Melky rated, at no point has anyone considered Melky sometime of big time prospect, he was at the right place at the right time.

            The Yanks got Horne in the 11th round, when he was a 1st rounder out of HS, and he showed his talent last year, but the injury bug has hit again, he was more of a higher ceiling guy then can’t miss, and no one made him into a can’t miss.

            Completly passed by Joba Chamberlain, a player that has already shown he should have been a true first round pick, and a player everyone passed on in the first round, and that the Yanks were smart enough to get in the supplemental round.

            IPK & Hughes we will see, we wouldn’t even be talking about IPK if he didn’t have arguably the best season of any minor league pitcher last year, if he had a normal season he’d be pitching well in AA or AAA, maybe have gotten a spot start, and if he didn’t perform, everyone would say ‘he’s not ready” instead of “he’s a bum thats not going to amount to anything”

            Also passed up AJAX, who has only performed to this point.

            Net in net, Cash can handle NY, I don’t think he “forgot” about what happens when you make the change, yanks were still in a position to make the playoffs this year, they just didn’t

            • Phil McCracken

              Sorry, the Yankees were never in a position to make the playoffs this year.

              After watching Kennedy and Hughes not make it out of the 2nd inning on a regular basis at the start of the year, and with no backup plan to switch to, we were already dead in the water. The 15 games that those two guys gave away would have meant everything right now. If we had won half those games we’d be fighting for first place.

              Poor evaluation by the Yankees is why we’re in this situation. Every scout has said that Kennedy was a #5 starter at best. Every scout has always said that Melky is a 4th outfielder at best. Brian Cashman chose to ignore all that and roll the dice. Well, he’s crapped out, and its now time to get a new group of players in here.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

                Thing is, it’s not the pitching that’s killed us. It’s the underperforming offense. Not that the pitching has been stellar. But they’ve held their own for the most part.

                • Phil McCracken

                  The pitching is a lot worse than people want to admit. Yes situational hitting has been terrible on this team, but Pettitte has been very inconsistent. Definitely not worth of being classified as a #2 starter. While Mussina has been a surprise, he still isn’t getting deep enough into games to be classified as a #1 starter.

                  Ponson/Giese/Rasner are all junk. It should have never come to this. Some sort of veteran innings eater should have been signed in the off season. I still don’t know why we didn’t take a shot on Colon or Byrd. Even Livan Hernandez might have done something.

                  I just don’t think Cashman thought this thing through at all. Kennedy, Hughes and Mussina as 3/5ths of the rotation wasn’t a smart idea. He doesn’t deserve to keep his job due to making a foolish decision.

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

                Phil, Hughes and Kennedy have struggled mightily, yes. But no, neither of them were overrated then, or now.

                Phil, IPK, Joba, and AJax are all very highly regarded young talents. When we were trying to acquire Santana in the offseason, their names were bandied about because everyone in baseball knows they’re super talented and have a great chance of being great MLB players. Nothing has changed. When it was Sabathia or Harden or Teixiera or fill-in-the-blank at the break, teams asked for the same four names. During this offseason, if we sniff around any trade options, our competitors will STILL ask for those same four names. Because they’re still good, EVEN Hughes and Kennedy.

                Hughes and Kennedy were highly rated because they have the talent and makeup to be great major leaguers. One bad season with injury concerns and struggles in their first extended taste of the majors doesn’t throw all that away. Almost every single major leaguer looked bad at one point or another at the beginning of his ML career.

                Calm down.

                • Phil McCracken

                  How was Kennedy not overrated? He’s a right hander with average stuff. 80mph stuff on a righty isn’t hard to find. Scouts called him a 5th starter. The Yankees called him “untouchable”. Thats text book overvaluing. Even other GM’s in the league say that Cashman overvalues his prospects.

                  One bad season? This is the second season Phil Pavano has been on the DL for 90% of the season.

  • http://robjules.wordpress.com RJ

    It’s not looking good, to say the least. I mean how confident could we have been, including the players themselves, with Ponson on the mound in a must win? Unless they rip off a quick streak, starting today thru the wknd, I don’t bring Joba back. Why risk it.
    Sadly, i’m not nearly as upset about this season as I thought I’d be. They’re beat up, haven’t really played very well all year, besides the streak outta the break, plus they’ve been in the playoffs for 14 straight years! That’s unreal, I’m pretty sure we’ve all begun to take the postseason for granted. Maybe moving into a new stadium is just the time to start another dynasty!

    But hey, it ain’t over yet!

  • Steve

    Another thing, if Red Sox fans want to come here and crow they have every right to do it. They’ve earned it, and are a better organization than we are at this point. That’s just reality. As long as it doesn’t get obnoxious and take over our ability to discuss things then they can say what they want as far as I’m concerned. They’ve won, we’ve lost. Deal with it.

    We’ve done a lot of crowing over the years, and now we know how it feels to fans of other teams. Now its their turn, and the more us Yankee fans cry about it the more fun it is for them. Just let them take their shots and move on.

    Take the abuse, we’ve earned it with this overpriced, crap ballclub of ours.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Yeah, but we (at least most of us here) don’t go trolling on Sox boards. Let them crow on their own turf.

      • Whitey14

        I don’t come here and crow. I try to be respectful and I’ve tried to comment honestly throughout the season. I do think I’ve learned a lot about the yankees by coming here and that’s a good thing.

        I’ve also learned that many of you think Youkilis, Pedroia, Papelbon are excellent players because you rail on them the way Red Sox fans always railed on Jeter, Pettitte and Posada. (there always was from our side, and seems to be now from your side, a twinge of jealousy in all the name calling)

        Good fans shouldn’t abuse fans from other teams because what goes around tends to come around eventually. It took me until I was about 20 to realize that.

        It’s fun to remember that had we been born in opposite locations we’d probably be fans of the opposite team as well.

  • andrew33

    I appreciate the optimism… but would you really want to see rasner pitching the 4tt game of the alds, the holes keep adding up, dare i say next year will be even worse. I certainly hope i’m wrong … prior post .. i’d like to see hughes but is he ready given his prior 2 starts were atrocious … bad times

    • A.D.

      I don’t think next year will be worse, even if they don’t land some of the big free agents we salivate for, they will fill those holes with solid players, which Girardi will use to play his style of ball, and we’ll see if that works

  • Efrem Goldman

    Ben

    Wake up and smell the coffee

    It is time to throw in the towel

    stop with the optimism pitch already

    it makes you look foolish

    • pat

      if you dont like the optimism THEN LEAVE

      • Efrem Goldman

        If all opinions are not welcome here then I will leave

        nice community that you’ve built here at RAB.

        agree with us or be asked to leave

        Fine. Have fun playing in your private tree house/

        children

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          I mean, it’s not like you’ll be missed. All you do is come on here and tell us what some other blog wrote about.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Speak for yourself… Reading Plaschke-esque haikus kind of brightens up my morning at work.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      How do fans throw in the towel, exactly?

      • Efrem Goldman

        By knowing it is time to move on when something is done and stop preaching that miracles can happen

        They are called miracles for a reason
        b/c they almost never happen/

        • Count Zero

          Hehe – funny.

          On the other side of it though, we have all argued that the Yankees should do what’s best for the long term. You build a dynasty from the ground floor up. It’s fine to keep hoping for a miracle to happen — as long as you don’t let it get in the way of making the right moves for the long term. Because realistically, this season is over.

          Thus, I have to agree that it’s pointless to keep running Ponson out there — release him and bring Hughes back up after one more Scranton start. Put Gardner in the lineup every day and let him play it out. If you have no intention of re-signing Pavano (which I assume we don’t) then why not trade him for whatever you can get? Etc., etc.

          From a long term perspective, continuing to play guys like Giambi, Pavano and Ponson who aren’t part of our 2009 plan just because we aren’t “mathematically” out of it is the wrong thing to do.

          • Count Zero

            Sorry – meant to reply to Joseph.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

            That’s the team throwing in the towel, not the fans. And I agree, if you’re looking towards next year, yeah, you might want to sit Giambi and bring up Miranda once the rosters expand. I’m not disagreeing with any of the team-related stuff. I’m wondering how fans give up — which I addressed more fully in the newest post.

  • Ian Kennedy = Darrin Chapin

    This is way too late but BigBlueAL – that was a funny comment re: Ian Kennedy = Chuck Cary.

    I was sticking with RHPs but it’s the thought that counts. Let’s just hope there’s an
    Andy Hawkins type starter in the Yanks rotation for 2009!

  • scott

    this season seems like the flip side of 2006…when the yanks went into boston and swept them essentially ending their season. Bottom line…even if the yanks made it this year they didnt have the pitching to win a short series…then angels would have killed them. Long term this is a good thing if they use the rest of this year to get some starts for kennedy, hughes and joba. Also we can finally end the Giambi era…in the age with no more amphetamines building a team around 35 year old guys with bad legs is not a good idea.
    Also does anybody else feel that if the yanks sign sabathia then andy pettitte is done here?

  • Ron

    I don’t understand why so many (knowledgeable) people continue to blame the pitching, particularly Ponson & Rasner, for this season. Granted, they are not the best, but if this offense produced like last year, we would be better off w/ Ponson & Rasner than we would be w/ this year’s offense and Wang & Joba.

  • Bob Michaels

    Why can`t the Yankees hit in the clutch?