Should the Yanks tank the season?

All you've ever wanted to know about James Andrews and then some
Blowhard Rieber: Forget innings limits

Over the past few days and weeks, I’ve seen the sentiment arise that the Yankees should tank the rest of the season. Phone it in. Lay down and let other teams walk all over you. For the most part — actually, for all the part — none of those suggesting this are or were professional athletes. So it makes a degree of sense. They have something else in mind, which I’ll get to in just a second.

My main question is, why would any fan want to see a player on their team lay down? Isn’t that the sign of an uncommitted athlete? It seems that this type of player could turn it on or turn it off whenever. According to many sports fans, including probably the majority of commenters at RAB, that’s not the type of player you want on your team. This came up yesterday in the Manny Ramirez thread. A number of people don’t want someone who can just turn it off if things aren’t going exactly his way. Yet tanking the rest of the season would indicate just that.

The reason a few fans want the team to lose in September is for reasons of a higher and possibly protected draft pick. The first mention of this I saw was at, where else, NoMaas. Let me start by saying that having a higher draft pick means little for the Yankees. If they sign a Type A free agent, and by all indications they will, they’ll lose that first rounder anyway. Yes, they’ll have a higher pick in the subsequent rounds, but the higher spot means less and less as you get deeper in the draft.

Second, in order to protect their pick, they have to be the 15th worst team in baseball. Right now the Yankees are the 18th worst team in baseball. Cleveland, with 71 wins, is the 15th worst. While dropping three spots in the standings doesn’t seem out of the question, dropping six games over the last few weeks of the season seems a bit less likely. Plus, do you really want the distinction of finishing fourth in the AL East this year?

I think Andy Pettitte puts things into proper perspective:

If guys think we’re out of the playoffs, I would hope they’d play for some pride. We’re getting paid an awful lot of money to do a job. I would hope that would never come into account, no matter how far out we are.

Personally, I want to see them win a few more games of these final 16. What motivation would I have to turn on the TV if I know they’re just mailing it in? Play. Win. Finish 3rd. Please, please, finish 3rd.

All you've ever wanted to know about James Andrews and then some
Blowhard Rieber: Forget innings limits
  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Well said, Joseph. I agree.

    I apologize for calling you a dirty pig-fucker in a previous thread.

    • steve (different one)

      did you preface that by saying “no offense”?

      if you did, you can say whatever you want.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        -“Man, you are one pathetic loser! No offense…”
        -“Oh, no, none taken.”

      • dan

        From Talladega Nights…

        Ricky Bobby: “With all due respect, sir, I didn’t realize you had experimental surgery to get your balls removed”
        Randy (I think) Dennet: “Just because yo say ‘with all due respect’ doesn’t give you the right to say whatever you want”
        Ricky Bobby: “It sure as hell does”

        There. Proof.

        • Joseph P.

          Oh, man. You missed the best part of that quote.

          Ricky Bobby: “Yes it does. It’s in the Geneva Conventions. Look it up.”

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            – “Did you ever see The Highlander? It won the Oscar.”
            – “For what?”
            – “For Best Movie… Ever.”

        • JohnnyC

          You realize that this nullifies 95% of Dom Irrera’s entire act.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos


    • Joseph P.

      You called me a dirty pig-fucker?

      • dan

        is that against the RAB commenting policy?

        • Joseph P.

          As long as he didn’t call me a soul-soliciting pig fucker, we’re all good.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            I’m sorry, officer, I…
            I didn’t know I couldn’t do that.

  • Eric

    If they could somehow knock Boston out of the playoffs by sweeping them in that last series in Fenway, that would be fantastic.

  • jsbrendog

    i want the yankees to be the reason why some team, any team doesnt make the playoffs because we beat them.

    nuff said

  • Rich

    Eric voiced my sentiments. I want the Yankees to spoil Boston’s playoff bid.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      And in a side note, I’m eagerly anticipating the Angels-Brewers World Series, a/k/a Snoozeapalooza 2008. For once in my life, I’m kinda sad that Mike and the Mad Dog aren’t together to do their stupid segment about breaking down the awful TV ratings (not really), because that might be the most boring World Series ever.

      • Ivan

        No TB Vs. Brewers would be the most “interesting” WS.

      • JohnnyC

        That bit they did with the TV ratings made me always think of Johnny Carson’s “Great Carsoni” routine with Ed MacMahon.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Except that Carson and McMahon were, you know, actually mildly entertaning.


    The NY Jets were in a similar situation a few years back. I f they lost the final game they guaranteed themselves a top 2 draft pick. they were awful all year. But in typical Jets fashion where they lose even if they win, Ty Law who sucked and was injured all year had a 2 INT game and returned one for a TD which in effect won the game and buried their chances of the high draft pick… typical

    onto the Yanx, now that were officially out of it . you could sense in the lackluster performance of the team that they dont even care if they win or not. So to me this isn’t even a discussion. i think they gave up when they couldn’t sweep the bosox.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      And as a Jet fan, I’m happy with how things turned out. I may be in the minority, but I always want us to win, always, even if it means the 6th pick in the draft instead of the 2nd. Winning breeds so, so many good things, and losing breeds so many bad ones.

      FWIW, winning that December 2005 game gave us D’Brickashaw Ferguson instead of the chance to take Reggie Bush or Vince Young… I’m happy with how that turned out, aren’t you?


        Yes I am only happy cause the jury is still out on Reggie and Who the hell knows whats up with Vince.

        but still, at the time i was so pissed off they won that game and I dont believe you weren’t either along with all of jets nation. That win meant nothing at the time. all it did was screw us out of a better pick.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          “all it did was screw us out of a better pick.”

          … as well as give our young, struggling team some pride and something to hang its hat on.

          And believe, me dude, I wasn’t pissed off at all that we won that game, just like I wasn’t pissed that we beat the Chefs in week 17 last year. There’s no such thing as a meaningless win, every game has meaning. Not every games has playoff implications, but every game has meaning and every game has an affect on your team and your organization.

          • SAMIAMSPORTS

            I guess we agree to disagree.
            In my eyes, its all about winning a Superbowl. and a win like that , which has no playoff implications whatsoever. hurts the chances of winning a ring for the following year simply bec the worse pick.

            I know nowadays, when every player is playing for a contract and trying to boost their stat line as much as possible . this mind set of mine will never be.
            I dont buy the fact that a win like that helps in any way. Can you explain to me your reasoning. The next year in training camp is a brand new year and the slate is clean. if anything , a worser record the previous year is more of a motivation to prove the world wrong that they are as bad as that record….
            I dont know man….. im not on the same page as you at all on this one

            • Bo

              They are pros. pros dont tank for a franchise especially football players because half the roster leaves every yr anyway.

              You think any jet playing in that game give a huge F about draft picks???

  • radnom

    This isn’t football.

    We all love the farm system, but seriously guys, don’t worry about what our record means for the draft.

  • steve (different one)

    i realize that this post was written by Joseph P., and yesterday’s game thread was written by Mike A. (you could tell by the stellar grammar and un-Ben-K-Like readability (is this joke ever going to get old?)), but isn’t this post somewhat in direct odds to the plea to play Gardner everyday from here on out?

    not that playing Gardner every day equates to “tanking”, but i think it gives basically the same message to the players. benching Damon, who is one of the leaders on the team and who has had a very good season, for the rest of the season essentially tells the players that the season is over.

    we like to analyze things from afar, but i think there would be some fallout from such a move in the locker room. it also kindof tells the team that Damon isn’t really in their plans for next season, which also would probably not go over very well. he may be traded, but why deal with that before you even know if a trade is feasible or not?

    benching Damon is not the same thing as cutting Ponson to call up Hughes.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Steve, your post is full of uncapitalized words at the beginning of your sentences, dangling participles, unconjugated nouns, split past-tense reflexives, and non-subject-abject-project tense agreement. This is the most poorly constructed ungrammatical mound of goat-feces I’ve ever seen written by any footie-pajama-wearing moron not named Ben in my entire life. I, for one, plan of voting for John McCain in the hopes that as president, he will euthanize you for the good of humanity.

      Joseph, ban this fucker immediately.

      • steve (different one)

        no need, i’ve already killed myself

      • TurnTwo

        am i missing an inside joke here or something?

        • steve (different one)

          read yesterday’s game thread.


        hhahahahahah. tsjc, that was hilarious …

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Thanks. Personally, I’m most proud of the “split past-tense reflexives” bit. Almost sounds real, don’t it?

    • Count Zero

      It’s a good point.

      But to me, “tanking” is not the same thing as taking the opportunity to evaluate a young player at the MLB level. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of September call-ups? And if we weren’t already making choices like this, Joba would be back in the rotation — we chose to protect his arm because we aren’t struggling for a playoff spot. So…choices like this are already being made.

      You don’t have to bench Damon every day — he could DH sometimes, he could play LF sometimes. Matsui doesn’t need to be in the lineup every day as he’s not going to be a FA, and he probably would benefit from not stressing his knee. Give Abreu a day off and put Nady in RF. There are lots of ways to get Gardner into the lineup regularly…

  • Depressed Fan

    What motivation would I have to turn on the TV if I know they’re just mailing it in?

    I ask myself that same question every night. They’re already mailing it in, but not for a draft pick, it’s just apathy.

  • Mike A.

    The difference between say, the 16th pick and the 25th pick is minimal. Play for pride, finish strong, have something positive to take into the postseason.

    • Ivan

      you mean offseason right?

      • dan

        he hasn’t let go yet

      • Mike A.

        Well, couldn’t the offseason technically considered “postseason”?

        • steve (different one)

          it’s post-postseason

  • Ivan

    Folks, this is not the NFL or the NBA where draft position is significant.

    Also, why would you root for ya team to lose? Play for pride and just play well to end the season and leave some good taste in ya mouth.

  • steve (different one)

    also, you have to consider that tanking kindof takes away from the integrity of the divsional races.

    i remember some yankees/yankee fans were upset in 2005 that Showalter pulled his starters in the last game of the season against Anaheim, which cost the Yankees home field advantage in the ALDS.

    seems a little hypocritical to root for the yankees to not play their hardest. they “owe” it to Tampa Bay, Minnesota, etc. to try their best.

  • Old Ranger

    Playing Brett is not a white flag! Johnny has been in a slump, why not play a guy with fresh legs. Brett may be in the plans for next year anyhow, with or without Johnny being on the team. If one were to replace A-Rod, Jeter or X-man…that is the white flag. Besides, Brett has been getting a lot of work with Johnny and Long on his bunting and all around hitting…let’s see if it has payed off.

    • steve (different one)

      one thing they COULD do is just send Matsui to get the surgery now.

      then DH Damon and play Gardner.

      i know you like Gardner, but i do think that sitting Damon would not go over well in the clubhouse.

      • Old Ranger

        Hadn’t thought of that, good thinking.
        I didn’t mean to sit him the remainder of the season…sit him, Bobby, and X-man at different times. Johnny is saying his legs are hurting, give him a rest and move on…the others must be in the same situation.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Shouldn’t bunting be second nature to Brett Gardner? If he can’t do it by now, will he ever?

      • Old Ranger

        Bunting in AAA and the majors are two different things…just like hitting.

  • Mark B

    Finishing third means nothing, so I could care less if Toronto finishes ahead of us. Third or fourth – what’s the difference? Tampa Bay, of all teams, with its tiny payroll and fanbase is finishing ahead of us. That should be humbling enough.

    Outside of Moose winning 20 (hopefully), I only want to see that Aceves, Hughes and Kennedy finish the year with a few good solid starts. Kennedy and Hughes are not a given, but have to imagine they will be called up after tonight.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    If you are tanking the season, you don’t put young, hungry players into the line-up. You keep old, underacheiving veterans, who are afraid of walls, in there everyday.

  • BigYank1

    IMO the Yanks have been tanking the season for awhile now. Yesterday they went from 1 out in the 4th to 2 outs in the 9th without a hit.

    Most of that was against this guy: Dustin Moseley (1-4, 7.90).

    If that isn’t tanking, I don’t know what is.

    The Yanks have also left Rasner(finally replaced) and Ponson in the rotation even though they have been totally ineffective.

    I really believe Cashman and the Stein brothers knew this was a lost cause sometime in early August.

    • steve (different one)

      sucking and tanking are not the same thing.

      I really believe Cashman and the Stein brothers knew this was a lost cause sometime in early August.

      this i agree with. august 4th to be exact.

      losing Joba was kindof made it impossible to string together any sort of prolonged run. also, that was right around the time Pettitte completely turned to shit.

  • EJ

    If the Yankees tank enough, then they could lose their 2nd round pick instead of their 1st.

    Just a thought. Not that I advocate for that.

  • DCBill

    At least, having fallen into fourth place, the Yankees have something to play for now. Granted, third place is hardly a source of pride, but it is a goal.

  • Old Ranger

    Bobby (afraid of walls) reminds me of a player I played against in football.
    No names (he is the brother of ex-Chi running back) please, one of the best running backs I’d seen, even better than his brother…the problem was; hit him hard, he quit and lay-ed down. He couldn’t take the hits and would go to ground the min he thought he would get hit.
    I don’t know what the problem is with Bobby, but I know he has cost us a few games, that’s a no-no.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Steve Grange?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Doug Enis?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Ted Salaam?

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            Way to young. John Thorpe?

            • Pablo Zevallos

              Cedric Benson!!

    • dan


      • Old Ranger

        Hope is eternal!

    • JohnnyC

      Because of his fear, he lets balls go over his head that he could reach. Compound his fear of walls with his playing so deep that he can’t possibly catch anything shallow. Result: the range of a postage stamp.

    • Old Ranger

      Sorry guys! The past is the past and naming him wouldn’t make anyone happy…plus, get me sued.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        I’m pretty sure nobody here knows who you are. I will tell you that John Cangelosi’s brother used to teach at my school, and he was (allegedly) banging some of the cheerleaders.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Chicks dig the longball.

  • Curramba

    I don’t want the team not to give the effort to win but I would like to see the team get the additional protected pick and it that means that other teams beat them while there giving max effort than so be it. I’d also like to see Gardner playing CF to see what he really has instead of Damon. So, Girardi sits Damon for a couple days.

  • troy

    A young up-and-coming team might gain something from a strong September/playoff baseball. This ggroup of aged veterans ain’t going to get anything out of going out on a win streak. That is one of the reasons why the Yankees didn’t call up more reinforcements on Sep. 1, they would rather have them participate in a pressure-packed winning environment (Scranton, Trenton). Hanging out with this team might hurt more than it would help.

    Secondly, if you aren’t the winner, you are a loser. That’s right 1 winner, 29 losers. And since we are clearly in the second group then it doesn’t matter what place you finish. Sure, a better record is nice and can make you feel better during the off season, but as we all know the Yankees are about winning.

    I’d much rather be guaranteed to keep the #15 pick than pretty much be guaranteed to lose the 18th when we sign atleast one “A” type free agent. For those of you who don’t think the order matters just look at this year’s draft. The talent dropped off significantly somehwere between 12-18.

    Tank away

  • mustang

    “My main question is, why would any fan want to see a player on their team lay down?”

    No fan wants to see them lay down, but how can anyone expect them to play with the same intensity. For some of them the playoffs are all they known.
    On the Manny thread that just about pushes the RAB’s youth movement philosophy out the window I still don’t get that one.

  • Manimal

    Im still wondering why Gardner is sitting on the bench and only bats against filthy pitchers that makes him wish nobody saw that

    • Bo

      Because hes a terrible hitter and an automatic 4 outs.

      • Old Ranger

        If one had followed his record, one would know he always needs time to adjust to the next level…but, he does adjust when given the at bats. One game here and there is not good for someone trying to adjust to a new environment. This is true with most hitters, as those that love stats can rightly check out.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          Keep drinking the kool-aid.

          • Old Ranger

            Actually, I would think the Yankees know a bit more about Bretts’ abilities then we do. One likes or dislikes a player for many different reasons, real or imagined, you don’t like him I do. He has many things going for him, he needs to hit better…ok, almost every AAA, AA etc., player has the same problem, he is no different.

    • Infamous

      my swing looks better then Gardner’s

  • JohnnyC

    I think Cashman is allowing Damon and Abreu to keep playing in order to pile up their stats so they’re attractive to other teams. Damon as a trade and Abreu as a free agent. Unfortunately, playing Matsui now makes him less attractive…and little sense as well.

  • Bo

    You start laying down now it effects all the young players who see that. its not professional and they certainly dont learn anything by losing and quitting

  • Realistic Yankee Fan

    I’m not sure what team you guys have been watching all season, but aside from Jeter & Mo, this entire group of overpaid, overrated prima-donnas started laying down months ago.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Yup. Clearly, they stopped competing months ago.

      Because “not trying to be good at baseball” and “not succeeding at being good at baseball” NEVER EVER EVER look remotely similar to each other, so clearly, the fact that we haven’t won every game means that these lazy heartless jackhole players haven’t been trying to win and packed it in like a bunch of selfish assholes. There’s no other possible conclusion that could be drawn about the results of our 2008 season other than “they’re laying down”.

  • Bonos

    Two runs or less almost 30 percent of the time. Countless times, man on second no outs and nothing done to move the runner over. And these are professional ballplayers trying to win games, or stats padders? They have played a lot of embarassing baseball since the beginning of August.