The sound of a dying team

Betances shines in a loss
Rasner rarin' to go tomorrow

The Yankees aren’t dead. Not in any mathematical sense of the word. They’re certainly dying, though, right before our eyes. It’s hard to stay optimistic after a fourth straight loss, one in which the team couldn’t manage a single run. This has been a maddeningly frustrating season on the offensive side.

What stings worse is that we got another quality performance from Sidney Ponson, and couldn’t plate a single run in his support. Not many of us like Ponson, but he’s been solid his last three times out. He forced the Twins to put the ball on the ground 19 times, with just two making outs through the air. Other than a mistake to Adam Everett, he did what he was supposed to. Didn’t matter, though. Might as well have been Kennedy pitching.

I wonder what Girardi was thinking before the game, when he was filling out his lineup card. He definitely wasn’t asking himself, “What lineup would give my team the best chance of winning tonight?” because any lineup that features Justin Christian (or Melky Cabrera) and Richie Sexson over Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi is not your best. But Girardi has to play the righties against lefties, even though that hasn’t worked too well all season. You’d think after 118 games of this shit, he’d get it. But no. Giambi still sits.

(Never mind that Giambi’s numbers against lefties nearly mirror his numbers against righties this year…and last year…and he was still really good against lefties in 05 and 06. And 03. And, really, every other year of Jason Giambi’s career.)

So the team drops yet another game, losing ground pretty much everywhere. Except on the White Sox, who lost to the Red Sox, who gained ground on the Yankees. Radical.

Don’t worry, though. They’ll just start the tear tomorrow.

Betances shines in a loss
Rasner rarin' to go tomorrow
  • Manimal

    two hours and fourteen minutes. TWO hours and FOURTEEN minutes. Thats all they could do?!? Seriously. If this isn’t rock bottom I don’t know what is. They can’t hit good pitching and they can’t hit bad pitching. They really need to shape up. I guess after the game Girardi told Kim Jones that the team didn’t look flat. Please. Enough with the jokes and excuses Girardi.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Manimal says:
      August 11th, 2008 at 10:15 pm
      Ladies and Gents, I will see you fellers in 09.

    • Steve

      They were double parked. Nobody wants a ticket.

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    “Don’t worry, though. They’ll just start the tear tomorrow.”

    The problem is, we’re running out of tomorrows.

    Look, it was the Angels. When have we beaten the Angels in the last 5 years at least? I was willing to overlook the painful week behind us.

    Tonight was just awful, and what made it worse is that we didn’t have our best lineup out there. Girardi is the most stubborn Yankee. He makes George if the 80s look like a pussycat. He doesn’t get that Marte is only good/effective for an inning, and he doesn’t get that tonight he didn’t use his best lineup. WHAT ARE YOU SAVING THEM FOR? He can rest in another month if you don’t make the playoffs!

    Maybe tomorrow they rip off 10 of 11 wins, but if they do it won’t be because of Girardi. It will be despite him.


  • Babe’s Ghost

    I think the “tomorrow” comment was sarcasm.

    Certainly I am disappointed. But the measure of your character is how you behave when things aren’t going your way. We are not Mets fans, so don’t start acting like them. By that I mean turning on your team or your manager.

    Criticism is fine, but analysis is better.

    And for the record, I won’t give up unless we’re mathematically eliminated, but that doesn’t mean we should rush Joba back.

  • sabernar

    Giambi’s gotta rest sometime. He can’t play 162 games a year. Might as well rest him against lefties.

    • Steve


      As does Damon, Jeter, A-Rod and everyone else on this team.

      Remember what Willie did with the Mets last year? The team was playing poorly, so in his mind (and the minds of Mike A, Joe P, and Ben K) he couldn’t afford to sit any of his key players like Reyes or Wright. We all know what happened next.

      Its really gets old reading every game thread starting out with “OMG!!! SOMEBODY’S SITTING DOWN AND ITS GAME 6 OF THE WORLD SERIES!!!!”

      Guys have to get regular rest whether they request it or not. Torre didn’t do this and his teams collapsed down the stretch in 2000 and in the playoffs 04, 05 and 06.

      The fact that sitting ONE GUY means our hitting is doomed only proves how absurd this line of thinking is. It clearly displays that our problems are bigger than any one player, its all over the lineup.

      • TurnTwo

        “The fact that sitting ONE GUY means our hitting is doomed only proves how absurd this line of thinking is. It clearly displays that our problems are bigger than any one player, its all over the lineup.”

        this is an excellent point.

        • A-Point

          I could buy that if it weren’t for the fact that Damon had been sitting quite a bit because of being on the DL AND they have an off day coming up so soon.

          Girardi makes poor decisions. Look at the timing of when he gives out rests… if a guy gets a couple of hits, he sits him the next day. Girardi has gotten too stat happy. Torre was too much by feel.

          Girardi isn’t a good manager though.

          Yes, this is an aging team, but to have this big a fall off in one year can’t be explained by age.

          • steve (different one)

            Yes, this is an aging team, but to have this big a fall off in one year can’t be explained by age.

            totally. luckily not a single key player has been injured, so i’d probably say it’s mostly because of the manager.

      • http://2009 Haggs

        But there is a much better way to do it than playing Cabrera,Christian and Sexson at the same time. Unless the middle of the order hits the ball over the fence all rallys get strangled to death.

        In Texas, Girardi played Damon in CF and Nady in LF, and used Betemit to give each infielder a day off on defense. We all applauded this move because it was a smart move. Did I miss the great game Cabrera had to get himself back in the lineup? What the fuck happened?

        Last night’s lineup was retarded, there’s no getting around it. If he likes Christian against lefties so much, it’s dumb thinking, but he could have sat Melky, played JC in CF and batted him 9th and not many people would have given it a second thought. That way either Damon or Giambi could have been the DH. Or, more preferably, Giambi could have played first with Damon DH’ing.

        Against Randy Johnson in his prime – yeah maybe. Against last night’s stiff play your best hitters regardless of which batter’s box they stand in.

        • Chris

          Before last night, the last game Cabrera played was on Saturday. In that game he was 3 for 4. I’m not saying it justifies him starting, but it was a pretty good game.

          • mike

            and he was for 7 lifetime against Perkins this year

          • http://2009 Haggs

            I can see how in Girardi’s mind that might cause him to get another start.

            But those hits on Saturday came left-handed, where Melky is marginally better than having a pitcher bat.

            Right handed he’s helpless. Girardi wisely sat him against a lefty Sunday, but for reasons no one can adequately explain he put him back in there last night.

            To me the bigger question is not why Christian but why Melky???

      • Setty

        It’s not “SITTING ONE PLAYER” – it’s sitting 2! You wanna give Damon a night off? Fine, then you CANNOT SIT GIAMBI 2 NIGHTS IN A ROW. I don’t wanna hear that bullshit about how Giambi can’t play 162 games, he just sat the damn day before! It didn’t seem like it was hard to access the info indicating that Perkins is allowing a .340 avg to lefties, yet somehow apparently Girardi couldn’t get his hands on said information. There is absolutely NO excuse for Girardi not playing one of his best players 2 nights in a row for fucking Richie “I can’t catch up with an 86 mph fastball” Sexson. But Girardi is too stubborn to not play his designated righty lineup. Also, if Girardi says every game from here on in is a must-win and like a playoff game, what is he trotting Melky, Christian, AND Sexson out there in a playoff like situation for? That was embarrassing last night

  • Rayblay

    I was such a huge Girardi supporter before the season because I saw his experience, his fight, his intensity, his knowledge, his preparation. And I didn’t think Donnie had any of that. But we can just throw that crap out the window, can’t we? Don’t you think Mattingly would realize that this lefty/righty BS is just that – BS? That if you have an extremely productive player, one of the best in the league, you play him? Not a guy who’s been sitting in AAA for almost a decade and is on the team ONLY because the team needs a bench player? I think anyone with common sense can realize that. Preparation is nice, but there is such a thing as over-preparation.
    I always thought after Torre left that they won because of the team, and Joe helped them along the way.
    Now I know what it really is: you win because of your team, and you lose because of your team. But losing is a lot easilier facilitated by your manager. Winning has a lot less to do with managers than losing. And Girardi’s helping nothing by continuing to throw out different lineups and ‘resting’ every player while there are two off-days in the next week. He can shove all of his “we’ll win if we’re prepared” nonsense up you-know-where. He can stop hiding all the news stories from the media, stop pretending nothing’s wrong when something’s obviously up, and then letting the media find out sooner than he would have liked to inform them because the story was leaked. And then getting mad that everyone found out. He can remove that freaking facade that he puts up every time he talks to the media when his appearance proves he’s concerned and everyone knows something’s up.

    I refuse to put my heart with this team any longer if it continues to be lousy even before they start playing.
    End vent.

    • steve (different one)

      Pete Abe? is that you?

  • Old Ranger

    Please people calm down, it’s not the end of the world or the season for that mater.
    Just about all of you (w/few exceptions) have not lived through the; 40/50s when they won all the time (almost), or 60/70/80s when they lost all the time (almost). So it might behove you to pull in your horns a bit and wise up…the players on the Yanks team are not gods. Some of them are over the hill and some of them are underachieving, but they are our team. Bitch all one likes, as fans…that’s our right! But come on, aren’t we better then that…after all (as someone said) we are not the mets/Rsox.
    If you ask me…half the team sucks, they remind me of some of the old slow defenceless teams of the 70s, so let’s get to it. Let’s be a bit more creative and less insulting, even if some need the insults. Have a good day. 27/09?

    • BigBlueAL

      I was gonna say like the 80’s teams, but those teams actually hit the ball but didnt have any semblance of pitching whatsoever.

  • pat

    Our fucking problem is that we’re not hitting. When your lineup features derek jeter, bobby abreu, alex rodriguez, xavier nady, robinson cano, and ivan rodriguez YOU CANNOT BLAME THE FUCKING MANAGER WHEN YOU ADVANCE 2 RUNNERS to 3rd base. You gotta take into account that most of our core players are on the wrong side of 30 and need the rest, especially with the amphetamine clampdown in MLB.

    • pat

      i apologize for the foul language, I just think too much emphasis is put on the manager. Some of his bullpen moves have left us scratching our heads but bottom line is we’re not hitting worth a damn and thats not his fault.

    • Steve


      For all of you who think SITTING ONE PLAYER is the end of your chances to score runs, I suggest you take a look at some of the other guys, particularly the guys in the run producing #4 and #5 spots. A-Rod hitting .239 and Giambi hitting .204 in clutch situations.

      • Setty

        How about when that “ONE PLAYER” you’re sitting is the league leader in hitting and also your leadoff guy who ignites the whole team? Like I said, if you wanted to give Damon a night off (which is ridiculous enough, but if so, then he should’ve DH’d), then you CANNOT sit Giambi for the 2nd game in a row against a lefty who can’t even get lefties out.

  • blah

    Oddly enough, that was the same sound that Madonna made when she was getting nailed by Arod.

  • MikeStanleyWalkOff

    The team may not be mathematically out of it, but I cant see them making a push to the playoffs. Sometimes they look like the more talented team who isn’t putting in the effort. Sometimes, they look like the more talented team who can’t withstand all the key injuries. Sometimes they look like they’re running into a hot pitcher (even if he’s only hot for one start). The important thing is, they’re consistently finding ways to lose each of these games. Maybe its time to look at the writing on the wall and think that what we expected out of this team was not realistic. Privately or publicly, many of us guessed Hughes would have 12-15 wins and IPK would have 10-13, Wang would finally win 20 and Pettite 17. All have fallen short (in some cases injuries didnt help, in most cases, our expectations were unrealistic). The only reason the Yanks are above .500 is Moose revinventing himself and Rivera having one of his best seasons ever.

    I’m starting to realize, (and I’m trying to remind myself of what I felt like in the late 80’s/early 90’s) that this team isn’t as good as I (and I’d say we) had thought. And now I have to manage expectations. Someone help me… As a man in my mid 30’s, I’m trying to grow and be a bit more realistic

    • Old Ranger

      Good luck Mike…
      I’ve been putting up with the ups and downs of this team from the mid 40s. And if one is a Yankee fan, one always tends to look through rose colored glasses. We always try and be optimistic, sometimes it is harder then others, but we try. Then, they Break are damm harts with this stupid crap! There, got that out of the way feel better already. The Yanks will put a younger more athletic team on the field next year.
      Some scoff but, I believe that: Jason, Bobby, Wilson, Pudge, Johnny (traded) and even Melky (maybe 4th OF) will be gone. Who we can get to replace them, I don’t know…we do have a lot of arms down under, also a few very good players. Just my thoughts. Buck up, it could be worse…you could be a mets fan! 27/09?

      • JohnnyC

        Ranger, my only quibble with this is (and I admit it’s totally hindsight), why didn’t Cashman do the heavy lifting of getting the team younger and more athletic THIS YEAR (players with contract years remaining do get traded). To essentially have 60% of your rotation manned by rookies while your position players get even older…that’s not a good formula. As a fan, I’m one that wouldn’t object to a rebuilding, transitional season (or two?) but to pretend to contend with a flawed squad is begging for the kind of backlash we’re hearing now…fans calling for Girardi’s head, for Cashman’s head, for Murray Head, Hedda Hopper, head of lettuce…

    • Steve

      “I’m starting to realize, (and I’m trying to remind myself of what I felt like in the late 80’s/early 90’s) that this team isn’t as good as I (and I’d say we) had thought.”

      Absolutely, this team isn’t very good. But one ray of hope is that the team that would be playing in October would have Matsui (career .300 with RISP) hitting and Joba, Hughes, and Wang in the rotation. Totally different team than the one we see today.

      • Old Ranger

        True, but only if they are 100%. 27/09?

  • BigBlueAL

    I dont know why everyone here is so surprised by this. This goes back to April and the stupid notion of having in your rotation not one but two rookies. All I heard during April and May was dont worry about their record, remember 2005 and 2006. I kept saying dont compare the teams because in 06 the Yankees were plain unlucky with their record in the 1st half since they outscored their opponents by a shitload of runs and in the 2nd half it played itself out. Plus in 05 they had significant injuries to their rotation that they somewhat took care of in the 2nd half plus unlike this season Wang came back in September which unfortunately wont be happening this season. Oh yeah one other huge difference, their manager was Joe Torre.

    Before the season almost every publication/analyst had the Yankees out of the playoffs except for this site and most if not all Yankees fans, myself included. But they played like barely a .500 team for the first couple of months and have picked it up only slightly since. Sure they could still make the playoffs and they have had both a 7 and 8 game winning streaks this season, of course look at their records immediately following those streaks. Im going to still root like hell and hope they somehow make the playoffs, but unlike the past few years for the first time in a while I am not expecting them to and will no longer kill myself when they lose like tonight. However I will take shots at Girardi if I feel so desired since Joe Torre got skewered the past few seasons all year long so Girardi aint getting a free pass from me thats for damn sure….

    • BigBlueAL

      Sorry I just realized my mistake, I obviously meant 05 and 07 not 06. Shit Im becoming as stupid as Girardi, Zing!!!!

      • JohnnyC

        I take it you’re a Dodgers fan.

  • Bo

    Im an optimist by nature but this team is pretty much shot. I mean come on. They started Sexson, Cabrera and Christian in a must win game.

    We just don’t have the horses this year.

    It’s open season in second guessing and the Santana trade is going to be at the top of the list.

    Followed right by hiring Girardi. I dont think hes made one move this yr that Ive been impressed by.

  • Manimal

    Your as good as the back end of your lineup/rotation and the yankees have very very VERY weak one. When Ponson is your number 3 guy and Melky is your starting CF, then a lot needs to be changed next year. Alot.

    • Old Ranger

      Very stellar thinking on your part.
      I think I mentioned (above) 5-6 people that need to be replaced.
      The (Yankee) teams that won 26 WS had a lot of similar parts to them.
      Good/excellent pitching; give the team a chance to win most games, by going 7+ innings. Good defence; making the plays that one should+. Good hitting; hitting WRISP, moving the guy up, sac. flies, and (god forbid) bunt the damm ball. 27/09?

  • Chris

    I don’t get why everyone is so down on playing Sexson. As a Yankee he’s hitting .292/.400/.458 – which is very similar to Giambi’s line. Obviously it’s a small sample size, so you wouldn’t expect him to keep it up, but playing him instead of Giambi has not been a reason why the Yankees aren’t scoring.

    As for Damon, he needs to rest sometimes. Christian will play for him, and he hits better against lefties than righties (.333/.379/.444 against LHP and .077/.143/.077 against RHP). I’d much rather have Christian in the lineup with a lefty pitching than a righty, and the two other Twins pitchers this series are RHP.

    • Setty

      How about the fact that lefties are hitting .340 off Perkins? The defenders of Girardi’s lineup last night seem to conveniently be leaving this crucial aspect out.

      • Chris

        My point is, if you’re going to sit Damon, then Monday was the day to do it. And Sexson has been almost as good as Giambi, so it’s not that big a deal. If you disagree with it, fine. But the line up yesterday doesn’t make Girardi stupid, and it’s certainly not a reason to fire him (which I’ve seen people suggest).

        • Setty

          Clearly, I’m not advocating anything that extreme. I do think he deserves criticism for this move though, especially when we needed that game badly coming off an awful series. You can’t possibly believe that Sexson is as good, or almost as good as Giambi. That sample size is too insanely small to indicate anything significant. Melky hit .300 for a month, which is a much larger sample size than Sexson has been here for – do you still want him starting everyday? Also, we have an off day on Thursday, so I don’t buy that Damon wouldn’t have been able to play in 3 more games before getting a break, whether he is 34 years old or not.

          • mike

            To the above point, if guys are on the ML roster, the manager’s job is top put them in a place where they can succeed, and not to lose the team while doing it.

            If he didnt play Melky last night, with a 5 for 7 history off Perkins, and he wanted to give Giambi and Damon a day off on the turf against a lefty, and he had a guy ( Sexon’s) job is to hit lefty’s and spell Giambi – how can you criticize Girardi? What message does that send to the roster?

            Is it possible that Damon and Giambi are a little banged up, or are having ok seasons because Girardi is using them perfectly?

            The GM’s job is to assemble qualified players and give the manager options, its the managers job to put them in a place where they will succeed, and its the players job to execute.

            Of the three, the players are shi**ing the bed, the roster is flawed, andf Girardi is dealing with it. The fault is with Cash and the players, not Girardi

            • Setty

              I really don’t agree with what you said, but fine. If you think Girardi handled the lineup well by resting Damon and Giambi and playing the numbers (despite ignoring a whole other set of numbers that lefties hit .340 off Perkins), then I’ll give that to you. But then answer me this: once his little experiment was a miserable failure in the 8th inning, why did he not try to get a rally going by pinch hitting EITHER Damon or Giambi for Melky or Christian? It was a 3-0 game, yet he acted like it was 9-0. And Please do not feed me the bullshit about wanting to giving them a full day off, they’re professional athletes and this is a playoff race, I think they can handle the rigors of one at-bat with a possible inning in the field.

  • mike

    How about our 2nd baseman with a .300 obp, and our power hitters unable to hit with runners on base? Jeter seems incapable of hitting an XBH, and the CF is a minor-leaguer.

    These are the guys who are NOT hurt, who were counted on to be contributors to a monster offense.

    if the 2/4/5 hitters are not getting it done, and the #3 just woke up last week, and # 6/7 have been on the DL all year…………how can you expect to win 95 games??

    we are just moving deck chairs on the Titanic worrying about Christian or Damon, or Giambi or Sexon.

    This team is not flawed, but rather has had a rash of injuries which were both unexpected and longer-lasting than could have been anticipated, and a few of the star players are having down years, wheteher it be from age, abuse, no greenies or lack of a circular lineup.

    The minor leagues offers no replacement players, and the veterans picked up were let go because they were not getting it done anyway on their other teams.

    Its really simeple – the Yanks are having a bad year, and a 4 for 4 Day by Damon would likely have been wasted anyway – as it has been for the entire year except for 8 games around the AS break

  • Serious Jujar

    You said it, man. The Yanks came out of the ASB taking numbers and re-vitalized, only to piss it away. One thing’s clear, it ain’t gonna be pretty or easy for that matter, but I’ll be damned if I give up on these pricks. Go Yanks.

    • Old Ranger

      Go for it…well said, I realy liked that last part. 27/09?

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