Fan Confidence Poll: May 4th, 2009

Is it the bullpen, or is it the starters?
Livin' large with AJ Burnett

Record Last Week: 4-2 (42 RS, 27 RA)
Season Record: 13-11 (142 RS, 153 RA), 3.5 GB
Opponents This Week: vs Boston (2 games), vs. Tampa Bay (2 games), @ Baltimore (3 games)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results
Is it the bullpen, or is it the starters?
Livin' large with AJ Burnett
  • Mike Pop


    The young guns are coming in to play! Woot, woot. Take that, John Kruk.

  • Joseph Pawlikowski

    10. Things are starting to get back in order.

  • ARX

    Everyone’s criteria is different, but for me a 9 is a bit high for what is still, presently, a 13-11 team.
    (said 7 last week…..reactionary, sure. But watching us get our teeth kicked down our throats was depressing.)

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Confidence Level = Back to 10.

    – Matsui now actually looks like he may make it through the season before he’s retired to stud. His loss (piled onto Nady’s and ARod’s) was the only thing that shook my confidence thus far… and then, since Nady went down, H-Mat’s been hitting .367/.475/.551 (1.026 OPS).
    – Melky and Pena continue to show good approaches at the plate, to the point where I don’t think it’s impossible to see them put up season-long OPS+’s of 85 or better, which would be outstanding from a depth perspective (since, by September, Pena would be one of the best utility infielders in baseball and Melky may well be sitting behind AJax…)
    – Cano, Swish. Posada, and Matsui all look locked in; Jeter and Damon aren’t raking but are still producing well, and once Tex straightens himself out that’s a 7-man dynamite batting order, and we still haven’t even mentioned…
    – Nady yet, who should be back sooner than thought thanks to teh awesome cheating. Oh, yeah, and

    – Pettitte-Joba-Hughes looks great, and CC and Burnett are mortal locks to start pitching better than the first three, meaning we have the best 5-man rotation in the AL East regardless of whatever happens with Wang, hands down (sorry, TB and Boston, you’re both still overhyped);
    – Mo-Bruney-Coke-Melancon-Albaladejo will end up being a dynamite back end of the bullpen, making whatever we get from Veras/Edwar/Marte/D-Rob/Claggett/Jackson just gravy (and I still wouldn’t be shocked to see Chris Garcia in the 2009 pen in some way)
    – Jose Molina, possibly the best defensive catcher in the league and an awesome backup even if he were only OBP’ing .290, is currently OBP’ing .343. That’s just not fair.

    Confidence Level = 10

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      H-Mat? Can we buck the abbreviated name trend and call him HazMat?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        • jsbrendog

          i do like hit-deki

      • UWS

        Let’s make this happen.

  • Mike Pop

    Man, I gotta get to a game this season. Missed out going to the Saturday affair, maybe a good thing but it’s still a game to see in the new stadium.

    Gotta go to an A.J. game and scream his name real loud.

    “He looked at me, he looked at me”!!!!

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      CBS’s special presentation of “Touched by an A.J.”, starring Allan James Burnett, Mike Popavero, and Della Reese as “Tess” will return after these messages.

      • Mike Pop

        Now, exactly where did he touch you?

  • Jamal G.

    I’ve moved up one spot to an eight. I’ve always capped my vote to a seven because of the lack of hitting prospects in the upper levels of the farm system; but after further review I’ve realized that two-thirds of the outfield and three-quarters of the infield should not need any replacements over the next three, four years.

    Also, Melky Cabrera’s early-season resurgence of his plate discipline to 2006 levels have made me a bit giddy.

    • Matt ACTY

      Speaking of plate discipline, I’m still not convinced with Robbie. I know he had 5 walks in the first 10 games but he’s only had 1 in the last 11.

      • steve (different one)

        plate discipline is not just walking.

        Robbie has stopped swinging at pitches above his head and in the dirt.

        he’s still swinging at pitches that aren’t strikes, but he’s turning a lot of them into base hits. that’s the kind of hitter he is and always has been.

        he’s not going to walk a ton and his success is going to be batting average driven for the most part.

        so they key is to avoid swinging at pitches that have no chance of becoming hits. and he’s doing that.

        it’s working.

        • steve (different one)

          when i say he is swinging at pitches that aren’t strikes, i mean pitches that are just out of the strike zone. he can hit those.

          the difference b/w this year and last year is to avoid swinging at EVERY pitch.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Robbie’s swing is so beautiful and level and the bathead stays in the zone so long, you can see why people were predicting that he’d win batting titles.

            The double edged sword with that is, it’s so easy for him to make contact, he has to avoid swinging at pitches that can’t be hit well, because he will hit them poorly (rather than miss them altogether.)

            I agree that Robbie drawing walks is only half the equation. The other half is him being patient and waiting for a pitch he can drive (as opposed to just “handle”.) He’s doing that this year.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
          • Matt ACTY


        • Matt ACTY

          His O-Swing% (via FanGraphs, percentage of pitches batter swings at that are outside the strike-zone) actually stands at a point higher than it did last year at 31.0%. What’s different is that his contact on those pitches is up from 75.3 to 80.7. If that contact rate stays up, then Robbie can probably maintain a higher BA. But if it comes down towards his career mark (68.9) and he keeps swinging at them, I think we’ll see his BA fall (which will happen anyway, he’s not going to hit .360).

    • Mike Pop

      Yep. Develop the pitchers, sign the bats. Well, you want to develop some bats but you know what I mean.

      • UWS

        Not if you listened to Joe Morgan last night. Evidently elite pitchers grow on trees, while good hitters are hard to come by.

        • Whozat

          Joe Morgan’s base premise: however the Yankees are doing it is wrong.

        • thurdonpaul

          joe morgan is horrible

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I’ve always capped my vote to a seven because of the lack of hitting prospects in the upper levels of the farm system; but after further review I’ve realized that two-thirds of the outfield and three-quarters of the infield should not need any replacements over the next three, four years.

      C-Posada for now, Montero after that (although a bridge is probably necessary)
      1B-Tex for the foreseeable future
      2B-Cano for the foreseeable future
      3B-ARod for the foreseeable future
      SS-Jeter for now, _____ after that (JJ Hardy? Stephen Drew? HanRam?)
      LF-Damon for now, _____ after that (Jeter?)
      CF-Melky for now, AJax for the foreseeable future
      RF-Swisher for the foreseeable future
      DH-Matsui/Nady for now, _____ after that (Posada?)

      Best thing is, I just listed 12 names (Posada, Montero, Tex, Cano, ARod, Jeter, Damon, Melky, AJax, Swisher, Matsui, Nady) and all 12 of those names are guys who can probably OPS+ 100 or better (okay, maybe not Melky…), and the ones who will be here the longest are probably 125+ or better bats. The ones most likely to decline are the ones with the shortest contractual obligations.

      We’re positioned much better than outsiders think.

      • steve (different one)

        We’re positioned much better than outsiders think.


        for 2 reasons: Cano and Swisher.

        two big question marks coming into the season.

        with last season looking more and more like a fluke for both of them, this answers 2 pretty big questions for the Yankees for the next 2-3 years.

        2 near (or at) all-star level players who are 26 and 28. it’s a HUGE development.

        i’m not ready to throw Melky on that pile, but IF he can keep this up, he looks like a pretty nice 4th OFer as well for the next 2-3 years.

      • Matt ACTY

        This is just me being an asshole ’cause your breakdown is pretty good, but I just don’t see Jeter as an option in LF. He may have a bat similar to Damon’s, but I don’t think he could provide the same sort of defense Damon does. While Damon’s bat is average (or even below) for LFs, his defense is second to Crawford only and I don’t think Jeter can do that. If he’s bad in left on defense and is only providing a league average or worse bat, he’s giving the Yankees very, very little value. While his defense at SS is just…yea…his bat fits in best there and I think we may have to just deal with it.

        I’m also not big at all on Stephen Drew. He’s got some power but it comes with only a little patience and his fielding is just as bad as DJ’s (-12.2/150 for his career).

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          A) I personally think Jeter would be an excellent defensive leftfielder. He’s fast but not quick at SS – he has problems making the instantaneous lateral movements to get to his left or right on grounders, but Jeter’s always had amazing range on popups, one of the best shortstops ever at ranging deep into the outfield or foul territory. And, his arm isn’t accurate but it’s strong. I think the move to the OF would turn Jeter into a plus defender, maybe the best he’s ever been, because what he does well is what you need an OF to do; what he does poorly is what OF’s don’t really do anyway.

          Look at Jeter’s signature plays: The jumpthrow (strong but inaccurate arm), his dive into the seats on a foul-pop (field range) and his relay throw against the Angels (field range). I see similarities in Jeter and Robin Yount or B.J. Upton or the like: an average SS who moved to the OF and flourished.

          B) I also don’t like Stephen Drew. I included him not because I want him as Jeter’s replacement, but because I can’t rule out the team pursuing him as Jeter’s replacement. But yes, Drew is also a poor defender, I won’t argue that point with you.

          • UWS

            The problem with your Jeter and Yount/Upton comparison is that both of those guys did it considerably earlier in their careers – wasn’t Yount in his late 20s, not mid 30s when he went to the OF?

            • Matt ACTY

              Yount moved at 29.

          • A.D.

            Worked well for Soriano going from a poor 2B to an above average LF.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Also a good point.

              I just think he profiles so well for the OF, it’s not funny.

          • Stryker

            i thought that famous relay throw was against the A’s?

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Damn, another brainfart. Thinking A’s, typing Angels. Second time in a week I’ve done that (other one was thinking Kevin Brown, typing Jeff Weaver).

              Me = epic fail.

              (These damn finals are killing me.)

        • A.D.

          Damon hasn’t been so hot in LF UZR wise thus far this season, obviously plenty of time to pick that up.

          I agree on Stephen Drew, most fans say Jeter has to move off SS because his fielding/range will diminish and he’ll be too poor defensively, however if you’re replacing with Drew you don’t improve the defense at all, same with Han-Ram (though his offense will make up for it). Thus the SS that can give better defense & enough bat for better value at the SS position are at lot harder to come by.

          • Matt ACTY

            Hanley actually got a lot better defensively from ’07 to ’08 (-20.9/150 to -0.6/150) so maybe it’s an upward trend?

            • A.D.

              He is improving, though Jeter did too last year so there’s hope on that end too.

  • Matt ACTY


  • UWS

    My vote stands unchanged from the previous weeks (8). Lack of top prospects at upper levels of the farm system now that most of the pitchers have graduated to the majors is of at least some concern.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      And yet, many of those pitchers who have graduated to the majors, like Hughes, Kennedy, Wang (sort of), Robertson, Albaladejo, Edwar, etc. find themselves still often pitching at the upper levels of the farm system because, while they’ve graduated out of the minor leagues, we’re just too stacked in good pitchers to throw them all.

      I can’t see how you can downgrade our farm for graduating prospects when many of those prospects are still on the farm patiently waiting their turn.

      • UWS

        This is very true. I guess my concern is more with hitting prospects, or lack thereof, in the upper minors, and I should’ve clarified that in my original post.

  • UWS

    Who the hell keeps voting “1”? Grant and Bo?

    • Slugger27

      axl or lanny

    • jsbrendog

      they’re the same miserably depressed pessimistic person

      • UWS

        I know. I figured one vote for each of his tortured personalities.

  • Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime


  • Arlok789

    I give them a 7 because of questions about the pen and depth in case of another injury. That said, I’m inclined to think Tex has some mental issues to work out that will go away when Alex gets back. Pressure off his back will help him hit. Once Alex is back, even if he looks more 2006 than 2007 and Tex starts hitting, the team is going to be unstoppable. The rotation will be fine. Sabathia is only going to get better as will Burnett. We all know what Pettite can do. Ever since I watched Hughes get pulled from that no-no bid a few years ago with that hamstring injury I’ve been aware how good he can be. Joba will get better as well as his velocity heats up and command improves when he settles into routine. Wang sounds like he is improving already in his rehab and will only make this team better when he gets back at full strength.

    Tonight, lets hit the Molester hard. Those Redsox fans deserve pain and suffering.

    • steve (different one)

      wait, Jon Lester is Pedroia’s brother?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Tonight, lets hit the Molester hard. Those Redsox fans deserve pain and suffering.

      I still find the references to the relative of a Sox player being an accused child molester distasteful. I say all types of ignorant shit around here, but I don’t think it’s cool to be joking about actual kids actually being molested.

      We’re above this. Let’s retire these non-jokes, please.

      • Matt ACTY


      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Yeah, and he’s no longer accused. He plead guilty.

        But still….no place on here for that.

      • Joseph Pawlikowski

        Is it a reference to that, though? Lester = Molester. CWHDT?

        Totally agreed on your point, though. We’ve knocked down any offenders that we’ve noticed, and would appreciate people notifying us of such.

        • steve (different one)

          devil’s advocate here, since i’m 100% fine with dropping the Brett Pedroia jokes:

          how come “Brett Myers/Julio Lugo” type jokes are tolerated here?

          i guess i don’t see much of a difference. both are ugly crimes with real victims, yet people are clearly making fun of the perpetrator, not the victims.

          whatever, i’m toally cool with the rules, just think it’s odd that this is where the line is drawn.

          • Joseph Pawlikowski

            Good point that I haven’t really thought deeply about. Now that you’ve got me on the topic, I think it has to do with the nature of the crime, in that Pedroia’s has to do with innocent children. True, the victims of Brett Myers and Julio Lugo are innocent, too, but I guess we as a society take more offense when it happens to children.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Good point.

            My response: I don’t like and don’t care doe the Brett Myers/Julio Lugo jokes either.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I don’t like and don’t care doe for the Brett Myers/Julio Lugo jokes either.

    • Mike Pop

      You say the team will be unstoppable but you only give them a 7? Hmm, okay then. You say that the pitching will have greatness, and you love what you’ve seen out of Hughes/Joba. You’re excited that the team will improve with Nails back but you still only give them a 7. Damn, man. You got some high expectations.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        He gave the 1998 Yankees a 7.5.

        They should have won more that 114 regular season games, those slackers.

      • steve (different one)

        he said the 7 was for the pen and the possible depth issues. seems reasonable.

        • Mike Pop

          Ya, but overall future is the question. I know I was just being a dick but moving it all the way down to 7 because of a bad pen the first month? I don’t know, it’s his opinion but I find that ridiculous. Especially since the pen was so good last year and they have those arms in the minors. With Bruney and Marte out, that is what brought me to a 9 but it’s obvious pens are going to struggle. I wouldn’t be shocked if they pitched to a 3.30 ERA for this month.

          • Arlok789

            Did you see how much worse the team got the second after Swish got nailed on the elbow? Did you see how much worse the pen got when Bruney went on the DL? Thats why I gave it a seven. I am a firm believer that the team is always one pitch or one play away from disaster. Last year when Wang hurt his foot? Yeah. They went from having a chance to screwed in about 4 seconds. If you told me there would be no injuries, they get a ten.

            • UWS

              Did you see how much worse the team got the second after Swish got nailed on the elbow?

              Dude, it was one game! You’re going to base your entire outlook on one game?

              • steve (different one)

                the point was: what if it wasn’t one game? what if Swisher was hit on the hand and broke his hand?

                they’d be f*cked.

                and this was an area that the FO actually provided adequate depth for by holding onto both Nady and Swisher.

                now that Nady is out, if Swisher goes down, you’re looking at Gardner AND Melky everyday. does anyone want to see that?

                it doesn’t even have to be Swisher, Damon is playing with a balky shoulder as well. if that worsens, they could be in trouble.

                same with the pen. the FO set up plenty of depth in the bullpen, but injuries have taken down your top 2 non-Mo relievers. and a few guys who were pretty good last year, look pretty bad right now. the depth is looking a lot thinner than it did 3 weeks ago.

                i still feel confident, but it’s not crazy to have these concerns.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Arlok said: “Thats why I gave it a seven. I am a firm believer that the team is always one pitch or one play away from disaster.”

                  No team will ever have an unlimited supply of capable backups. Hence, we’ll always be “one pitch or one play away from disaster”. By this logic, I can see how he ranked us a 7, because 9 and 10 are probably impossible rankings to EVER give by this logic.

                  Because, if ARod and Nady were both healthy, we’d still be a Mariano Rivera or A.J. Burnett shoulder-flareup away from disaster, or a Jorge Posada fastball-to-the-facemask away from disaster, or a Tex strained hammy away from disaster, or a Cano and Swisher headbutt in the outfield (like Beltran and Cammy) away from disaster.

                  He’s not just talking about anticipated risk but also unanticipated risk. Which makes actual high confidence impossible, because the unforeseen and unpredictable should be considered possible or even likely and should be assumed to be bad… very very bad.

            • Chris C.

              “Did you see how much worse the team got the second after Swish got nailed on the elbow?”

              Oh, yeah. I couldn’t believe how bad the team got after Swisher got hit on the elbow. Cano tried to catch a ball with his nose, Jeter ran out to his position with two different cleats on, and Damon accidentally put his mitt on the wrong hand. Poor Jorge was so destressed, he accidentally went up to the plate with batting gloves on!

  • Mike Pop

    I just hope Tex doesn’t have an injury right now. He is still helping with getting on base and all but the bat would be real nice and obviously you don’t want a guy like him to be hurt.

    • Chris C.

      He looks anxious to me. He is drawing alot of walks, which is a good sign, but he seems to lurch at the pitches he swings at……..most of his long outs to right field are off the end of his bat. He’ll eventually relax, and everything will be fine. Of the 3 big signings, Teixeira is the last one I’d be concerned about.

  • Ivan

    I voted 8.

    I think the pitching short and long term is gonna be okay.

    The position players are in good shape long term except


  • THU

    I voted 7, as long as Veras is on the team im scared to death. I don’t care if he can be dominant, it’s a roll of the dice with him and I’d prefer to get someone a little more solid.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I don’t care if he can be dominant, it’s a roll of the dice with him and I’d prefer to get someone a little more solid.

      There’s a word for guys like that: closers.

  • Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

    So my confidence level is 10ish, because I’m Optimist Prime and I can get away with it, but if it rains again my confidence level’s gonna drop down to like five.

    I hate rainouts.

    • UWS

      There are tons of affordable tickets on StubHub for tonight and tomorrow, but I’m hesitant to pull the trigger cuz I don’t want to sit there soaking for hours. Decisions, decisions…

      • Nady Nation

        I think I’d take the chance on the game tomorrow night (possibly optimistic thinking b/c I have tickets), because I believe the front is supposed to move out by then. Hopefully, it moves a little faster than expected and the skies will be clear by 7.

  • steve (different one)

    i think the more rainouts the better right now.

    • Mike Axisa

      Exactly. The more games that get postponed now, the more games that Alex and a pitching staff that is performing up to their abilities play in later.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        When the Angels come back into town to make this game up, in, say, August, the heart of our lineup could be the murderers row of Tex-ARod-Matsui-Posada-Swisher-Cano, all OPS+ing north of 170; Phil Hughes could be the starting pitcher looking for this third straight complete-game shutout; and the Bridge to Mowhere could be the dominant, overpowering tandem of Brian Bruney and… Chien-Ming Wang.


  • Rob in CT

    8. Back up from 7 last time, I think.

    I’m very pleased with what Matsui’s been doing (removing fork from back, impaling opposing pitchers with it). Still, his knee issues could flare up at any time. Posada is clearly healthy. This I love. The offense in general has been very good, despite lacking ARod. Teixiera’s slow start has been far less damaging than it could’ve been, because others have picked him up. He will soon pick up the slack from others. And we add ARod.

    The pitching has been frustrating. CC has been very close to excellent results a couple of times, only to give it up late. I’m starting to get annoyed at Girardi – it appears he believes CC absolutely must throw ~115 pitches per game. He CAN throw that many, but he may lose b/c of it. Burnett has had a mini-regression. He’s a good pitcher, not a great one. He started like a great one. Sooner or later, he was going to have a few bad starts. I’m not really worried about him. Joba looks like he may have turned a corner last time out. Hughes was good, but he needs to do it consistently (and/or Wang needs to come back strong, which isn’t happening any time soon). Pettitte’s been good. The bullpen has been terrible. Some of that is injury (Bruney, Marte). Mo’s hiccup at Fenway hurt. Some of it has just been suckage. They’ve better than this. I’d like to see more of Robertson.

    The fielding has been odd. Jeter, Cano, Teixiera and Pena have been getting it done on the infield. Posada is his usual self (not very good, but I’ll take it). The OF has been all over the place. I’ve seen good plays, and I’ve seen really bad ones. The numbers say they’ve been bad overall.

    • steve (different one)

      i have ZERO problem with leaving CC in on Saturday. none.

      this is how the inning unfolded:

      bloop single that should have been caught, IMO
      bunt for 1st out
      99 MPH fastball to strikout Matthews for the 2nd out
      seeing eye infield single to make it 2-1
      then a bad pitch to Hunter for the double

      up until the pitch to Hunter, CC looked just fine. throw on top of it the fact that there aren’t too many guys in the pen you can trust to go after Hunter (you aren’t going to use Coke), i had no problem at all with the decision.

      • Joseph Pawlikowski

        Agreed 100%. My buddy made a similar comment, that Girardi likes to leave his guys in at 100 pitches. I replied that they signed CC to be a horse, not to take him out after 6 innings and 100 pitches when he’s allowed just one earned run. As you said, with a bit of luck that inning is over while the game is still tied.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          CC is an ace. He wants to keep pitching, he can keep pitching, he should keep pitching. 9 times out of 10, he’ll be the best pitcher available for that inning (even if our bullpen was lights-out.)

          Aces pitch deep into games. This is what we brought him here for.

          • Chris C.

            Yes, but since he was brought here for 8 years and an enormous amount of money, and has a good many miles on his arm in his career already for a guy his age, you can’t treat him like your first car……during the first two months of the season.

            Once you pay a guy that kind of money, he stops being his own manager. The DL is filled with guys who “know their own body”.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Agreed. But, I think we’re a long ways from that. Nothing so far has looked like pitcher abuse to me.

              • Chris C.

                No, no abuse. In a close game like that, you can stretch him out a bit. Like I said, I had no problem with him being left in the ballgame that inning. If the Yankees had a sizable lead, sure, you can go to the bullpen. But in a close game, you don’t want to remove your ace and then have the pen lose the game, because then you’ve wasted Sabathia’s turn in the rotation.

                A game like that is Sabathia’s to lose. And unfortunately, that’s what he did.

        • cult of basebaal

          the other reality is that right now, I think Girardi doesn’t have anybody he trusts more in that situation than CC.

          if the bullpen was lights out, there’s more of an inclination to turn it over to them at those points in the game every once in a while to give CC a breather.

          right now, they’re all arsonists …

          • Chris C.

            “the other reality is that right now, I think Girardi doesn’t have anybody he trusts more in that situation than CC.”

            All the more reason to protect his arm over the course of the season. But having said that, I have no problem with Girardi trying to get him through that inning.

      • Rob in CT

        Hmm. I hear you on that. I think leaving him in that game was defensible, especially considering the BP struggles. It’s just that it’s happened repeatedly now (CC pitches well, gives up a bunch of runs late with a high pitch count).

        I watched part of that inning. The first thing I remember was the K of Matthews, so I missed the blooper that should’ve been caught. Anyway, to my eyes (certainly inexpert eyes), CC looked to be laboring. Despite that, it’s true, it really came down to 1 bad pitch to Hunter.

  • Reggie C.

    Damnit! I’m late on this Fan Confidence Poll.

    I’m at a 7. And its b/c the youth has looked good ….

    – Hughes should pitch solid tonight and going forward in ’09 he’s a good bet to be at least a .500 pitcher.

    – Joba is slowly, but surely, getting more economical. I’d love to see a 6 inning effort become the norm. Though inning caps will rear its ugly head eventually, minimizing pitch counts AND high leverage situations is the key to avoid injury.

    – Ajax looks terrific. He hasn’t slumped, yet, but 70 at-bats in its clear he’s a superior offensive prospect compared to Gardner or Melky.

    – Finally… Cano. Though Swish has been an offensive spark plug, Cano remains the more valuable player only b/c he’s guaranteed more PAs and plays a harder defensive position. Cano’s game looks sharp all around.

  • Lance

    There is an article on about why Joba should be in the ROTATION. Oh, is that a pig flying out my window? That alone puts me at a 9.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Don’t get too excited yet, Lance. Rick Sutcliffe said he should stay in the rotation, but it wasn’t exactly a slam dunk. I agree with his premise but soundly disagree with his timeframe.

      Emphasis is mine.

      …I think the Yankees need to leave him right where he’s at. They’ve built him up to be an ace someday and he certainly still could be…

      Before they even consider using Chamberlain out of the bullpen again, I think they need to give him four or five more starts. If he consistently struggles, maybe you start to think about it, but as long as he holds his own he needs to stay where he is. And I haven’t seen any indication that he’s going to struggle.

      Thank you for distinguishing yourself from the rest of the ESPN idiocy, Rick. But, the Yankees shouldn’t give him four or five more starts before they consider moving him to the bullpen, they should give him four or five more YEARS before they consider moving him to the bullpen.

      • Matt ACTY

        they should give him four or five more YEARS before they consider moving him to the bullpen.


  • Evan

    Odds that Ellsbury gets drilled first pitch of the game tonight?

    • UWS


    • pat

      Yeah, in case you havn’t noticed, we need to keep his azz off the basepaths.

      • Matt ACTY

        Did you know he stole home in the last game against the Yankees?

        • pat


          • Matt ACTY

            I know. I think it was the first time anyone’s ever stolen home.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Jacoby Ellsbury >>>>>>>>>> Jackie “Mr. Affirmative Action Handout” Robinson

            • Chris C.

              “I know. I think it was the first time anyone’s ever stolen home.”

              A straight steal of home, without a rundown or pickoff attempt, or double steal involved, is pretty damn aggresive and cool. Alot goes into making that successful, and it’s definitely worth talking about.
              If Jeter did it, they’d instantly waive his 5 year waiting period to the HOF.

        • Chris C.

          For that, the Yankees should drill Posada or Pettitte.

          Ellsbury actually did them a favor…….he caused them to wake up and win a bunch of consecutive ballgames.

  • handtius

    I’m an 8. Have been all year. They got out of april without a losing record without A-rod, with an ineffective Wanger (ha), With CC’s typical slow start and Matty’s bad knees. Oh and our bullpen brows chunks right now. All of these things are on the up-swing as well. I’m happy.

  • MattG

    I downgraded to 7 last time, and I am keeping it there until the younger players make a sustained impact. My confidence figure is a direct reflection of my feelings of this organization as related to the Red Sox. Face it, Boston has a big head start in this race. They are stocked with talent at every level.

    Until the Yankees can dip into their minor league system to produce a similar impact, I am sticking with a 7. Hughes’ first start was certainly a nice step…but is Melancon a panic move? And other than Jackson, whom else can make an impact?

    The Yankees might have better major league talent than the Red Sox, at least when they have all their parts, but I think that thanks to incredibly superior depth, Boston can have a lot more confidence in sustaining success at this time than the Yankees can.

    If Hughes and Melancon assert themselves, and Jackson continues to tear up AAA, I might be back to an 8 next time around.

    • Chris C.

      “Hughes’ first start was certainly a nice step…but is Melancon a panic move? And other than Jackson, whom else can make an impact?”

      Listen, dude. You can’t rave about the Red Sox minor league system making an impact without realizing that most of those guys did NOT have an immidiate positive impact when they initially came up. They are good because the Red Sox allowed them to flounder until they found their groove. They didn’t dip into their system for a bunch of guys who made immidiate impacts…….they just have more patience tan the Yankees. And yes……..they seem to scout prospects better as well.

      If you’re gonna spend your time waiting for the Yankees to have a team full of guys come up and make an immidiate impact, you’re gonna be waiting an eternity.

      • MattG

        Crazy much? How much patience did the Sox have with Papelbon, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Lowrie, and Masterson? Lester had freaking cancer. Only Buchholz and [the reliever from St John’s whose name I cannot remember] had any trouble at all, and they’re not there anymore.

        No patience required. The call the guys up, and they immediately go on to pitch with 0.00 eras, compete for WS MVPs, or actually win an AL MVP. Patience? Are you serious?

        • Chris C.

          “Crazy much? How much patience did the Sox have with Papelbon, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Lowrie, and Masterson?”

          They had a good amount of patience with those guys.
          Pedroia was terrible his first season in the majors. Masterson was so-so, Ellsbury was inconsistent last year (I think he has a streak of about 0 for 35 at one point), Delcarmen got roped for quite a while after his initial call-up, Youkilas was mediocre for about 3 years before becoming the elite player he is now, and Lowrie hit around .250 last season, but the Red Sox didn’t rush out and sign a new SS. Only Papelbon was great from the moment he suited up for the Red Sox.

          “Only Buchholz and [the reliever from St John’s whose name I cannot remember] had any trouble at all, and they’re not there anymore.”

          Huh? Buchholz is still one of their top pitching prospects in the minors. They haven’t given up on him. And they’d still have Hanson, if it wasn’t for Manny basically forcing their hand in a trade. I mean, they got rid of Manny’s salary and turned Hanson and Moss into Jason Bay.

          “No patience required. The call the guys up, and they immediately go on to pitch with 0.00 eras, compete for WS MVPs, or actually win an AL MVP.”

          Unfortunately, that’s complete bullshit. But don’t let the statistics get in the way.

          “Are you serious?”

          Yup. The Sox have more patience with their young players than the Yankees do. Yes, they scout and draft better too, but I should NOT have to convince you that the Yankees are notorious for having ZERO tolerence for slow-developing young players. I mean, are YOU serious???

          • MattG

            This post is crazier than the first. It might be true that the Yankees have less patience than the Red Sox, but there is no evidence. The Red Sox have not had to have patience:

            Ellsbury was a national phenomenon in the world series of 2007, then posted a .730 OPS with phenomenal defense as a rookie.

            Pedroia wins an MVP in his second year (and when was he horrible? His first season was .317/.380/.442!).

            Lowrie had a .739 OPS with solid peripherals in his rookie year.

            Masterson had so-so peripherals, but great results (3.16 era as a rookie), so that’s not hard to be patient with.

            Delcarmen’s had one year where he was the opposite–but the Sox are smart enough to understand BABIP–and has a career 3.26 ERA with a 179/77 K/BB ratio.

            And Jon Lester, after missing a whole season with cancer, pitches 210 innings (!) with a 3.21 ERA (!!).

            Man, I’d like to see the Yankees have that kind of patience, too. Maybe if Hughes and Kennedy can combine to have an era under 8, they’d have been a little more patient.

    • Chris C.

      but I think that thanks to incredibly superior depth, Boston can have a lot more confidence in sustaining success at this time than the Yankees can.

      What “incredibly superior depth” do the Red Sox have over the Yankees? Do they have a bench that I don’t know about? The Red Sox only seem deeper in the bullpen because their guys are performing better.

      • MattG

        You need to go compare top thirty prospect lists.

  • Chris C.

    Don’t need to. I Know the Red Sox have more minor league talent. I though you meant depth on the 25 man roster.

    But incidentally, their top 30 prospect are now closer in talent than you think, because most of Boston’s highly rated players are now in the majors.