Joey on the spot

As Teixeira hunt narrows, Impacto Deportivo reports Yanks signing Manny
Cashman: Impacto Deportivo report is 'not true'

It’s hard to know what to make of Bob Klapisch’s latest on Joe Girardi. On the one hand, it’s a rather obvious piece exploring how Girardi may lose his job if the Yanks don’t get off to a good start in 2009. On the other, it’s something of a hack job designed to rile up the anti-Girardi factions among us.

While much of the piece focuses around some non-existent conflict between Joe Girardi and Manny Ramirez that may not even be an issue, Klapisch fires some blanket warning shots Girardi’s way. Take a look:

This is bad news for Joe Girardi, who’s already facing a difficult 2009 agenda. Despite the apparent imbalance in the Yankees’ roster — terrific pitching, questionable offense — the manager is expected to get the Bombers to the playoffs or else lose his job.

Of course, the front office hasn’t issued a win-or-else edict to Girardi. But officials are aware that his leadership style was too rigid and too intense for a veteran clubhouse. It’s hard to believe Girardi can loosen up in the span of one off-season, but he’d better: If the Yankees are playing .500 ball in mid-May, the clock on his dismissal will be ticking loudly.

This is the same pressure that Willie Randolph faced early in 2008, and look how the Mets responded: They got their manager fired as they sunk under .500. Girardi is getting one more chance to undo last year’s mistakes, including his over-reliance on team meetings, his inability to digest and process tough losses and his ill-advised policy of banning junk food in the clubhouse.

Got that? We have “questionable offense,” Girardi’s “inability to digest and process tough losses,” and an “ill-advised policy” designed to encourage healthy eating in the clubhouse. I can’t help but wonder what the agenda is.

In truth, Girardi probably will face a tough 2009 if the Yanks falter. The brass seemingly gave him a pass on 2008. The Yanks were facing some growing pains as they tried to determine how their young arms would fit in, and the teams had to overcome far too many injuries to make the playoffs. A poor start in a few months will land Girardi in the hot seat whether he deserves it or not. It won’t be over some junk food ban or Girardi’s inability to cope with losses. It will be because the team just doesn’t perform up to anyone’s expectations.

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As Teixeira hunt narrows, Impacto Deportivo reports Yanks signing Manny
Cashman: Impacto Deportivo report is 'not true'
  • C.Panella

    Well the whole manny thing was fun while it lasted cash says this report is not true

  • Tony S

    Klapisch, seems to always write negative yankee reports. He seems to always look for the negative. Maybe I’m biased but Giardi is intense & uses his pictures properly. Is he Torre – no but not many men are.

    Tony

  • Tony S

    Ben, what is your take on Manny – do you want him? a 3 yr deal seems fair – what do you think?

    Tony

  • JohnnyC

    Just another bad case of blind Torre-love from the NY media who should know better but only give a shit about headlines that sell newspapers and get them attention. It’s a bad act, an old act, a stale act. All three describe Klapisch particularly well.

  • Jon W.

    Just another ridiculous piece of faux journalism designed to sell newspapers and spark discussion. The Yankees obviously didn’t play up to their standards in 2008, but I think that had more to do with fluke injuries, and their inability to hit with RISP, which is another unpredictable statistic. I have a feeling that with CC, A.J. and a healthy Wang leading the rotation, Girardi will look like a genius.

  • jsbrendog

    you have to stick with girardi the whole year and see what he can do. if at the end of the year he was absolutely horrible thne rethink him as manager. but he handles a pitching staff well (except for him torre-ing marte last yr for some reason right after they got him) and he seems to be able to motivate young players (as in florida where hsi team avg age wa like 17)

    who knows maybe he can pull a tom coughlin and become a players coach. bottom line is this is stila veteran team and a veteran team shouldnt need someone to get them going etc. veterans should know how to play by now and all girardi should have to do is fill out the lineup card and make that alk to the mound once or twice a game to get MO/mrte/bruney/ hopefully alby

    • UWS

      You know, no one was talking about Coughlin becoming a players’ coach until they won the freakin’ Superbowl. All the bullshit about team chemistry, coaches mellowing out, etc, etc: all of it comes as a result of winning. Das it.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Thank you.

        Oh, and LoL at these writers giving so much lip service to the ban on junk food.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          After Joe Girardi rudely chose to ban ice cream from the clubhouse, I decided to quit dogging it and not playing hard (or “pulling a Manny”, as I call it) and win 20 games (which I always could have done, but chose not to for various personal reasons) with deft, masterful, sublime pitching, thus making me more valuable than ever, followed by me retiring out of spite. All to prove my point.

          And that point is that Joe Girardi is a mean stupid jerkface and I hope he gets cancer of the gonorrhea of the eye. He’s the reason we didn’t win last year, as well as the 7 years before that. He’s the reason I lead you on and then broke your hearts, Yankee fans. Him. Joe Girardi.

          Loser.

          Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go finish my crossword. What’s that? You’ve never done a crossword before? Well, it’s the challenging part of the newspaper, the big thing next to the Junior Jumble that you never do, you non-erudite plebeian knuckledraggers.

          Sincerely,

          Michael Cole Mussina a/k/a “20-Cent”

        • TONY

          because the writers probally love to hit that junk food stash.

          tony

  • DisplacedYanksFan

    This anti-Girardi thing is ridiculous. Its been one season, he was a great player, he has shown (in Miami) that he can be a great manager. Give the guy a shot, does anyone actually think that these Yankees (veterans included) don’t need a kick in the ass from time to time. I love the Yankees, I grew up loving them, I will always love them, but from time to time they do play like the overpaid assholes that everyone in the country complains about. He is what the Yankees need, the players need to learn to deal with it and perform. That is what they are paid to do.

    As for Manny… 2 years, $46MM, with a club option for a fourth and fifth year at $25MM/year. Get it done. Manny grew up less than a mile from the Stadium, he will get a chance to kill the Red Sox, he will push A-Rod back to ALMVP status. So what his defense blows (it actually isn’t that bad, it never lost the Sawx a game that I can recall). Like a dude said in another post, the guy mashes… He just F-ing MASHES!!!

    • greg

      Since when was Girardi a great player?

      • TONY

        since he was part of a championship team & had championship moments. he was a great fit for that winning team – so he was great player for those teams. plus he helped mentor posada.

        Tony

    • Count Zero

      As for Manny… 2 years, $46MM, with a club option for a fourth and fifth year at $25MM/year. Get it done.

      So what happens in year three? He takes a sabbatical? :-)

  • Art Vandelay

    At least someone has acknowledged that the Yanks now have good (teriffic?) pitching and a mediocre (questionable?) offense. Unfortunately, almost everyone else seems to have been on the “OMG! Pitching wins teh championship!@&!” bandwagon.

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

      Probably because pitching, you know, does win championship.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Like Yogi said, “Good pitching always beats good hitting, and vice versa.”

        Also, 78% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

      • Art Vandelay

        No chance of winning the championship if you don’t make the playoffs in the first place. The Yankees’ problem last year wasn’t their pitching, it was their woefully inconsistent offense. Which is the same reason that they’ve flamed out in the post-season lately. Obviously having an ace pitcher and a shut-down closer take on added importance in the playoffs, but the sample size is so small that I don’t care much about that right now. I think getting to the playoffs is priority #1 right now, especially with Tampa and Boston looking pretty strong.

        • UWS

          To be sure, inconsistant offense was their #1…offense. But also to be sure, some sketchy pitching performances also figured pretty heavily. With a better pitching staff, some of those losses could’ve been wins.

          Also faltering in the playoffs, it was undoubtedly the pitching. Forget where I saw the numbers recently, but the Yanks’ ERA the last 3 times they were in the playoffs was around 5. That ain’t gonna get it done against the other teams’ elite pitching.

          • jsbrendog

            the yankees lost to cleveland 2 yrs ago because chien min wang in 2 games pitched like sydney ponson after a bender.

        • TONY

          what good is making the playoffs – if you dont have the pieces to go all the way? do you want to be the rangers of the late 90’s?

          If you have stud pitchers & mediocre line up you can win. If you have a stud lineup & mediocre pitching – you have no chance.

          Now idealy you have a stud pitching staff to go along with a strong lineup. But if you have to choose – go with strong pitching.

          Tony

          • Art Vandelay

            I’m not sure where the “you have no chance with stud hitters and mediocre pitching theory” comes from. I don’t see why that is necessarily true. I won’t disagree that pitching takes on added importance in the post-season, but position players are significantly more valuable during the regular season.

            Which I suppose brings me to your other point – “what good is just making the playoffs?” Well, for starters, the Yankees did NOT make the playoffs last year. Seems to me that making them would be a good start before we worry about winning the WS. Especially when you consider that the Sox and Rays could/should both project better than the Yanks on paper this season (although it’s still a little early to make those judgments until FA shakes out).

            Of course you’d ideally like to build a team that can win both the regular season and the playoffs. The problem is that the playoffs are such a small sample size that what happens when you get there can be awfully random (see, e.g., the Cardinals winning the WS, the White Sox bullpen pitching absolutely out of their minds, etc.). I’d rather do what I can to plug the holes – and one of those was the decidedly middle-of-the-pack offense. The Yanks response? Replace two of the biggest run producers with Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady. Not exactly confidence-inspring.

  • Old Ranger

    Joe G. was never a great player but, if one looks at the good managers (coaches) around pro sports, one will find the best are the ones that never made a big name for themselves.
    When Casey was manager of the Yanks, I remember some (Stupid) sports writers writing of him “Casey is not a good manager, how much skill does it take to put the same names out there every day.” (something like that). Does that sound like Joe T.? I am so tired of hearing how he was such a great manager. He had never won anything as a manager before coming to the Yanks. Was he a bad manager, NO! He came to NY at the right time. Stick, Cash, and Showalter built the team…Joe T. won with it. He was actualy the right guy to lead the team at that time, so in that sense, he was great…for that team only.
    Last year, was a dissaster but, not of Joe G. making. I think he handled it well…he could and should inprove this year. 27/09.

  • ko

    Girardi is a good man and a good manager. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If he goes into the season with the roster as it sits now, the Yankees are clearly third best in the Division. Anyway, if Girardi gets fired not making the playoffs with this roster, then it will be another classic case of the front office blaming the manager for its own shortcomings. I don’t see anyone out there that I’d take over Girardi – unless the Yankees could bring back Torre, of course.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      2007 Yankees MINUS Moose, Giambi, Abreu, Pudge/Farnsworth, Ponson, Rasner PLUS Posada, Matsui, Sabathia, Burnett, Swisher = markedly better

      2007 Red Sox MINUS Manny, Coco Crisp PLUS Bay, Ramon Ramirez, Junichi Tazawa = worse

      2007 Rays MINUS Edwin Jackson, Trever Miller, Rocco Baldelli, Cliff Floyd, Eric Hinske PLUS Matt Joyce = worse

      The Rays will probably still add a mid-priced bat, like maybe a Ken Griffey Jr. or something of that level, and maybe a closer on the cheap. But nothing that makes them demonstrably better, and they’re bound to regress either in terms of production or health. Everything clicked for the Rays in 2008, it’s not likely to break their way as consistently in 2009.

      And until the Sox actually spend some of this money they’ve got, on a Tex or a Lowe or a something, they’ve also taken a step back, in the Manny-to-Bay for a full season downgrade and in the health of Ortiz, Lowell, and Beckett. Not to mention Diasuke having one of the luckiest seasons in memory.

      Even before signing one of the Tex/Manny big two, I’d call us the 2009 favorites. When we do add that bat, we’re the ironclad favorites.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    I have a question posed out of genuine curiosity and without sarcastic/snarky overtones:

    Tony, Old Ranger, and Scott (from 3 Kids Tickets), do you view the site through some special browser or something that puts your names/signatures at the end of your comments? If not, do you just cut and paste it in?

    You don’t actually manually type out “Tony”, “27/09″, and “-Scott” at the end of every comment, do you? That seems tedious.

    • TONY

      yes I do. I dont know what proper blog etiquete is – it just felt right to me. I just started viewing this site (after seeing a plug in mlbrumors) & I can’t seem to get enough of it. It talks about my favorite subject – The yanks. And everyone here – from what I can gather is pretty into the yanks. Most normal people I know are not into it the yanks this much.

      I was also shocked when the writers actually respond to comments – I just assumed that no one paid attn to them – boy was I wrong.

      Tony

    • Old Ranger

      Well, to be honest with you, I am a very big non-conformist (even in Army).
      I did the 27/08 a few times, people (some) bitched about it…big mistake! Now it is more or less, habit and contrariness. Yes, I type it in every time…I’m too new with this computer stuff to do anything else. Someday I will get educated enough to find out how to get all those smiley faces etc., on my posts.
      I hope that was a good enough answer for you? Thanks for asking. 27/09.

      • Jay CT

        Oh yeah. He NEVER stops that 27/09. And in regards to blogging, no need to write your name Tony, it says it on top. And in regards to comments posted, you get even more flack for your mistakes then your comments, lol

  • LiveFromNY

    It is a stupid piece. Girardi is the guy to lead this club. Last year’s injuries and issues were tremendous and they still made a run for it. They weren’t out of it until the very end.

    And if not Girardi, who? That’s the other piece of the puzzle that is missing.