May
11

The cure for a controversial first pump

By

Twenty minutes ago, Jonathan Papelbon struck out Carl Crawford to seal a Red Sox victory over the Rays. By putting two runners on, Papelbon made it exciting, but he rebounded to strike out Carlos Peña, B.J. Upton and Crawford to end the game.

In celebration, the Red Sox closer pumped his first, not once, not twice, but three times. He’s just having fun, said former Mets GM Steve Phillips a minute or two later as the ESPN team wrapped up their broadcast.

Flashback to Friday night in Baltimore. With the Yanks up 4-0, the first two Orioles hitters in the bottom of the ninth reach base. CC Sabathia digs deep to end the game by striking out Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Melvin Mora, the meat of Baltimore’s lineup. The big man does a fist pump. It’s his second complete game in pinstripes and his first shutout of the season.

Today, though, the Yankees experienced a different twist on the fist pump. Joba Chamberlain, pitching through his now-routine first inning troubles, allows a three-run home run to the Orioles’ clean-up hitter Aubrey Huff. As Huff slowly circles the bases, he fist-pumps toward Joba and then does it again in front of the Orioles dugout.

That Huffian fist pump becomes the story of the game. When will Joba retaliate, wonders the YES Network announcers. Who will he hit, they ask. When Huff steps up to the plate a few innings later, nothing happens, and that trend continues through the game. Joba goes six innings, is involved in no incidents and walks away with a win.

As the game unfolds, reaction comes in from all other. Kimberly Jones chimes in during the game:

Last year, an Oriole who shall remain nameless said he would WALK around the bases if he hit a home run against Joba. Today in the Orioles clubhouse, a few players wanted to know why Joba pumped his fist Tuesday against the Red Sox when his team was losing. (As if we know.) And so, Aubrey Huff hits a home run and makes sure to pump his fist as he rounds first and as he crosses home. Hmmm.

After the game, Joba and Aubrey say all the right things. “I honestly didn’t see it,” the Yanks’ hurler said. “He did what he was supposed to do with the pitch. He hit a home run. If he wants to do a backflip, he can do a backflip. It doesn’t bother me.”

“He’s done it a couple of times to me when he’s struck me out,” Huff explained.”For me, it’s just in good fun. I always told the guys that if I get him, I’m going to give him a nice fist pump. For me, it wasn’t really showing anybody up. I was just trying to have some fun with it. He does it all the time and I figured you know what, why not?”

Huff defended his actions and made a good point in doing so. “He does that stuff all the time as a pitcher, so I was just having a little fun with him out there,” Huff said. “That’s just part of the game. You get excited in situations like that. I wasn’t showing anybody up. I was just having a good time. If you want to do that stuff, you got to expect the hitters to get you, too.”

Within baseball, the fist pump engenders a lot of discussion. Mostly, the players take it in stride. They recognize what adrenaline does and how different people cope with the rush of the game in different ways. Not everyone is as stoic as Mariano or as demonstrative as Joba, but those who show emotion in the macho world of sports can always expect it to get shoved down their throats when they fail.

Now, tonight, Yankee fans were dismayed to hear Peter Gammons preaching against Joba’s fist pump while praising the enthusiasm of the Red Sox. You know what though? It doesn’t matter. What Gammons says, what Steve Phillips says, what Bryan Hoch says in trying to maintain suspense for the next Huff-Chamberlain showdown — none of that matters.

When the dust settled today, Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees walked away with a win. That’s what counts, and if the Orioles want to demonstrate on the field, they’ll walk away knowing who won the game. You can bet your bottom dollar that Aubrey Huff would trade all the fist pumps in the world for that W, and this weekend, it belonged to the Yanks.

Categories : Analysis
  • ike

    I do not understand what the big deal is? We see in basketball all the time when a player hits a clutch shot the chest and fists pumps. What is the difference? why is there absolutely no issue with that, and by joba or any pitcher in baseball its a cause for such a big issue??

  • ike

    honestly who gives a damn about Steve Phillips! There is a reason why he is out of the league 6 yrs and counting.

  • John S.

    It’s hardly just Steve Philips or Peter Gammons when the opposing players themselves take exception to Joba’s celebrating, but not other players’ fist pumps. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because Joba is young and players think he hasn’t “earned it” yet or whatever.

    • Chris C.

      I fully expect Peter Gammons to deliver a biting commentary on Jon Papelbon’s excessive celebration on the next issue of Baseball Tonight.
      He practically did a sack dance.

      But he may not have time…….he’s been busy working overtime to protect the Sox legacy from the Manny fallout.

  • Derby

    I’ve learned to not listen to a word the ESPN analysts have to say about the Yankees. There is this HUGE bias towards the yankees and I don’t get it. So…. it’s ok for Papelbon to do multiple fist pumps, and even an irish jig after a win, but when Joba does it, all of a sudden it’s unsportsmanlike conduct. Screw ESPN, I’ll get all my yankee info off of RAB.

    • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

      There is this HUGE bias towards the yankees

      I think you mean against the Yankees, right?

      • Matty Ice

        Both are correct.

  • yankees=warriors

    Yup, serves Huff right that we won the game.

    And not trying to show anybody up? He said himself that he did it because Joba always does it, and he wants him to see how it feels. He WAS trying to show Joba up.

    I’m one of the celebration-on-the-field-hating person, so I don’t especially like any of Joba’s fist pumps. But to compare Papelbon and Huff’s “celebration” with Joba’s is quite comical. Those 2 (and, of course, there’s good old Manny and K-Rod we don’t often see anymore) were practically doing “drama acts” on the field, and that definitely warrants some “schooling”.

    • John S.

      “But to compare Papelbon and Huff’s “celebration” with Joba’s is quite comical. Those 2 (and, of course, there’s good old Manny and K-Rod we don’t often see anymore) were practically doing “drama acts” on the field, and that definitely warrants some “schooling”.”

      Oh come on. It’s all the SAME thing!

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        Agreed. It’s the same thing, and I don’t care if any of these players celebrate. This guy does it too but with a little less drama.

        • John S.

          Yeah I don’t care either, in fact I think it’s fun. Even the Huff thing was funny, and Joba handled it the right way by focusing on pitching instead of retaliation.

      • http://www.8minutesonhigh.com Max

        John’s right. It IS the same thing. Papelbon and Joba are both showing up the other team.

        In the old school – that’s poor sportsmanship.

        The key phrase in those quotes is “He’s done it a couple of times to me ..”

        Its perceived as an insult.

    • Scooter

      K-Rod and Private Pyle are both pretty awful to watch out there.

      Going back to the ‘good old days’ before the DH, all this garbage would be handled quickly, on the field. There would be a knockdown, you’d take it like a man, and move on. And with the pitcher batting, he’d be sure to face the music if the other team viewed him as a headhunter. Beckett and Manny-being-Manny would have been dusted a long time ago. I’m imagining Bob Gibson’s head would have exploded in response to all these theatrics.

      I guess Huff is normally too busy grabbing some bench vs the Red Sox – or he would have shown up Private Pyle years ago.

      • andrew

        Old Ranger?

        • Bo

          The difference is Joba is pumping in the 5th inning. Papelbon and K Rod when the game is over.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Irrelevant.

            Huff fistpumped in the 1st.

            • Arod, all the time

              Of course it’s relevant. Papelbon and K Rod fist-pump after winning a game while Joba does it on a more personal level. It’s almost as if he doesn’t care if the game is won or not, only that he strikes some guy out.

              Total bush league.

              • steve (different one)

                hey, how about Manny?

                how about Merloni stating that the Sox brought a doctor to ST to educate players on taking steroids?!!!

                OMG, THE HOUSE THAT ROIDS BUILT!!!!

                Ortiz is next.

                • Arod, all the time

                  Manny? Manny who? heh

                  I want this Merloni story to go full-tilt. To me, it’s ridiculous to think that every GM in baseball did not know of steroid use when team doctors not only examined all players but also were around them often enough to observe evidence of use.

                • Chris C.

                  … Joba does it on a more personal level. It’s almost as if he doesn’t care if the game is won or not, only that he strikes some guy out.

                  What?? Only once did he do it when the team was behind, and it was because he had struck out 8 straight and the Yankees were very much in the ballgame……..I think it was 4-3 at the time, in the the inning. It’s not like they were losing 10-1, and he was fist-pumping after every pitch.

                  So if a team is down 9-4, and a batter hits a grand slam to make the score 9-8, he should not pump his fist because it would show that he doesn’t care whether he wins or loses????

                  This is really turning out to be a full-blown load of shit.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  So if a team is down 9-4, and a batter hits a grand slam to make the score 9-8, he should not pump his fist because it would show that he doesn’t care whether he wins or loses????

                  Exactly, great analogy.

                  We would have no problem with the entire bench high fiving and fistpumping in the dugout after huge homer to cut a big deficit into a one-run deficit. Joba’s fistpumps are the same thing.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                … Joba does it on a more personal level. It’s almost as if he doesn’t care if the game is won or not, only that he strikes some guy out.

                You have absolutely no evidence to back that up, and it’s pure baseless speculation.

                During that Boston start, he gave up 4 runs in the first to almost singlehandedly ruin his team’s chance of winning. But then, he struck out 10 of the next 15 Red Sox to KEEP HIS TEAM IN THE GAME and his teammates scored 3 runs to make it a one-run game off their hated rival when he did his “evil” fist pump.

                Joba made a big play to preserve a one-run deficit against the Red Sox team that every Yankee wants to beat, and you assume that his fistpump is “on a personal level” and that he “doesn’t care if the game is won or not”.

                That’s freaking ridiculous.

                I suppose when Andy Pettitte gets in a jam in the middle of the 4th inning and the defense turns a run-saving doubleplay behind him to help him out, when he shouts and slaps his glove on his thigh and points at Jeter and Cano, he doesn’t give a shit about winning the game, he’s just concerned with his own personal ERA and only cares about himself.

                • Arod, all the time

                  I don’t need evidence. The impression any athlete leaves when he celebrates a personal battle while his team is losing is that it’s not about the game, only about me and you, buddy.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I don’t need evidence

                  Yes, you do. You’re making a factual claim about the emotions behind Joba’s actions being emotions of selfishness rather than of natural competitiveness and desire to win. You absolutely need to provide evidence when you slander a person’s character.

                  The impression any athlete leaves when he celebrates a personal battle while his team is losing is that it’s not about the game, only about me and you, buddy.

                  Says you. I’ve outlined a perfectly reasonable alternative: that Joba’s excited that while they may be losing, they still have a chance to win this thing because of that great play that was just made to preserve the current 1-run deficit without making it any bigger.

                  If Joba truly only cared about his own strikeouts and didn’t give a shit about winning or losing, why doesn’t he fistpump after EVERY strikeout? Why does he seem to get excited about the strikeouts that seem to come in big situations, like, for example, times where the game deficit is about to become prohibitively large but then, whaddya know, a huge Joba strikeout keeps it from getting bigger?

                  Or, how about this: When Joba struck out Lowell there in the top of the 5th, I GOT EXCITED AT HOME AND JUMPED OUT OF MY CHAIR. Do I now “not care about winning or losing”, since I showed emotion at Joba making a play while we were losing? Or do I care about winning and losing and I got excited because I recognize that Joba getting that K and keeping it at a one-run deficit, as opposed to Lowell getting a hit and making it a two or three run deficit, is a play that HELPS US WIN THE BALLGAME?

                  Because, yesterday, Joba’s scoreless frames thrown in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th innings all helped us win the game, even though we were trailing in all of them. If Joba doesn’t K guys there, we don’t keep within shouting distance of the O’s, and Johnny’s game winning HR becomes just a margin-reducing homer. Meaning plays made while your team is trailing are still plays made to help you win the game.

                  You’re seriously grasping at straws here.

                • Chris C.

                  “I don’t need evidence. The impression any athlete leaves when he celebrates a personal battle while his team is losing is that it’s not about the game, only about me and you, buddy.”

                  That’s because you’ve obviously never played the game at any kind of competitive level, and have obviously never been involved in a 1-run ballgame midway though whereas your team has fought their way back and you are excited to be holding the opposition at bay for a chance to win.

                  When I was watching that game, I PUMPED MY FISTS AFTER THAT STRIKEOUT! Know why? Because just like you say, I didn’t care if the Yankees won or lost. I was just interested in Joba Chamberlain’s stats.

                • Chris C.

                  “Or, how about this: When Joba struck out Lowell there in the top of the 5th, I GOT EXCITED AT HOME AND JUMPED OUT OF MY CHAIR. Do I now “not care about winning or losing”, since I showed emotion at Joba making a play while we were losing?”

                  Whoa……I didn’t see this Tommy before I typed my last post. It is an excelant point. The fans can fistpump…….but the actual players who are ON THE TEAM cannot.

          • Chris C.

            Their is no difference…….and for the record, KRod and Papelbon do NOT always wait for the last out to pump their fists. And ofensive players do NOT wait for the game to end before admiring the flight of their homers.

            In a totally related story, I wonder what Dennis Eckersely is doing these days?

  • Let’s Talk About TEX Baby

    I’m a huge supporter of Joba, but he really needs to tone it down a bit especially when it’s the 6th inning and the Yankees are losing. It’s one thing to show a genuine display of emotion when you get the last out of a great outing or when you hit a game-changing home run, but it’s also important to remember that in baseball when you succeed it means that someone else has failed. It’s best to save the antics for really big moments.

    • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies

      How in the blue hell do you know its antics and not emotion?

      • Let’s Talk About TEX Baby

        It wasn’t my intention to suggest that Joba’s fist-pumps are staged I think he’s caught up in the moment I would just prefer to see him try and save it for big moments.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Every Joba fist pump I’ve ever seen was made in a “big moment”, IMO.

          • Zack

            Strike out to end the 5th inning when your team is losing is a big moment?

    • Derby

      You just have to accept that some guys are going to celebrate a lot more than others, its just part of their game. It’s hard to control yourself when the adrenaline is rushing. It happens in every sport. Take a look at football. Emmitt Smith had many touchdowns in his career, but everytime he made a touchdown, he would give the ref the ball. Then, you have a guy like Chad Johnson who needs to make a big show of it everytime he makes a touchdown, even if his team is down by 3 TDs. I just accept it for what it is and move on. Joba isn’t going to change, but I enjoy his energy.

      • Arod, all the time

        Actually, everytime Smith scored a TD he saved the ball. He has one room in his house ceiling-high in footballs.

    • Klemy

      But the point is,”game changing” and that can be in any inning. Just because he fist pumps on the third out of the 6th inning, down by 1, does not mean it’s not game changing.

  • Nikhil R.

    Did Gammons really criticize Joba’s fist pumping while supporting Papelbon’s? Are you kidding me?

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

      I know this is way off topic, but my brother went to school with someone named Nikhil R__, which is, I imagine not all that common a name.

      So I am wondering if you are him.

      And if Gammons really did that…well, it wouldn’t surprise me. But that doesn’t make it right.

  • dee

    i want to see emotion out there. yes, joba was losing when he did the fist pump but it’s good to see he has life on the mound. at least he cares. i think the yankees need more excitement sometimes.

    • Chris C.

      “i want to see emotion out there. yes, joba was losing when he did the fist pump but it’s good to see he has life on the mound.”

      He was down 4-3 in the sixth, when the score was at one time 4-0. Give me a break.

  • yankees=warriors

    I didn’t check out the postgame interview until now, and, LOL, what’s with that scholar look that Joba’s sporting?

    • steve (different one)

      i laughed out loud at Joba’s vest and glasses.

      awesome.

  • Tom Zig

    Look at the picture of papelbon on the front of the MLB section of SI.

    He just looks down right silly.

  • Matty Ice

    Peter Gammons is nothing more than a Red Sox fanboy. I actually saw him about 3 weeks ago infront of Fenway before a Sox game. He looks terrible without all the makeup on. He needs to retire, ESPN can blow him/give him a tribute, and that’ll be that.

    As far as Huff goes, he needs a fastball q-tip the next time they play. He says “oh, I wasn’t showing up Joba” but then says “Well, he does it to me.” PICK ONE. If he did it after every home run, like Joba does after every strikeout, then his argument holds water. But he doesn’t, and he’s full of crap.

    • Matty Ice

      *I meant to say after every big strikeout.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      As far as Huff goes, he needs a fastball q-tip the next time they play.

      But that completely misses the point. The best way to show up Huff isn’t to shove a fastball down his throat, start a fight and get ejected. That’s what 13-year-olds do at recess. The best thing to do is what the Yanks did today. Just beat them. Win the game.

      • Matty Ice

        Maybe. But I like my baseball old school. What brought the 2004 Red Sox together? The Varitek/A-Rod fight.

        Obviously winning the game is most important. No reason you can’t send a message along the way though.

        • Justin

          Hey do you go to BC? Just wondering cause I’m graduating from BC in a week. I like the Matty Ice screen name :)

          • Matty Ice

            Graduated in December, but I’m walking next week.

            And to everyone else, if you don’t think that the fight turned the Sox season around, I don’t know what to tell you. Obviously Kevin Brown’s shitty pitching cost the YANKEES. But the Red Sox and their cowboy up crap brought the team together.

        • whozat

          But I like my baseball old school. What brought the 2004 Red Sox together? The Varitek/A-Rod fight.

          Really? Varitek and ARod fighting made the Yankees unable to win ONE MORE game in the ALCS? It wasn’t the shittiness of Kevin Brown and the rest of the starting pitching?

          Absurd.

          • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

            Teh gritz!11!!

          • Chris C.

            But I like my baseball old school. What brought the 2004 Red Sox together? The Varitek/A-Rod fight.

            If you’re going to go all “old school” on us, please use the proper terminology…….that would be “fisticuffs”, “came to blows”, “gave him the business”, “clobbered”, “knuckle sandwich” or “gave him what for”.

            Thanks,

            Connie Mack.

        • steve (different one)

          Maybe. But I like my baseball old school. What brought the 2004 Red Sox together? The Varitek/A-Rod fight.

          really?

          they played .500 ball for about 3 weeks after the fight and THEN started to come together.

          i guess they must have watched the replay of the fight or something.

          • Hawkins44

            Furthermore, as far as that fight being OLD SCHOOL… Varitek fights AROD with his helmet and mask ON, hardly an old school tough guy.

            Yankees lost in 2004 because they couldn’t pitch…..

  • Justin

    It truly is the most one-sided thing I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing how they demonize Joba while praising guys like K-Rod and Papelbon. And the funny thing is, he doesn’t even do it nearly as much (and his pumps aren’t as long) as those guys. Also, when Joba does it, he turns around and faces first base or the outfield. Papelbon, on the other hand, stares down and screams at the batter, and he makes actions as if he’s flipping him off after striking him out. I just don’t understand how Joba is the one everyone’s out to get. It’s amazing how biased announcers can be.

  • Zak

    Huff can do whatever he wants; the fact of the matter, like Pete said, is that the Yankees walked away with the W.

    ESP-Bosto-N can say whatever they want, too. It doesn’t matter. As long as Joba performs on the mound, Huff can walk.. dance.. pump his fist.. finger his butthole.. whatever. That man’s a hypocritical douchebag anyways.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Pete? The name’s Ben.

      • http://statspeak.net dan

        Operation LoHud brainwash: complete

    • Klemy

      I was thinking when he did it how funny it would’ve been, not to mention a bomb in the press, if Joba would’ve said something like, “It’s okay. I’ll get him next time, if he’s still got a job in the next year or two. I mean, he’s a pretty average ballplayer and hasn’t done anything special in his career, he’s getting up there in years…”

      I know, it’s absolute gradeschool, but things like that make me laugh.

  • Zak

    That was totally my bad.. I was talking on the phone with my buddy and for some reason I typed his name instead of yours.

  • DocBooch

    I agree with you whole heartedly Ben, Joba showed them up when he gutted out not giving up a run after the homer. This guy is a keeper.

    Off topic question, I know you are awesome at those pitching analysis, how bout one for Joba 1st inning vs the rest?

    I have to think it is ALL psychological. It seems his fastball is harder and breaking pitches sharper after he gets pissed off. The 5 hits vs Boston and the fist pump had to have pissed him off.

    I’m telling you, he needs to rub the liniment on his balls a la Clemens. ;)

    • Klemy

      If he starts doing that, I pray to God I never have to hear a report on it. Frankly, the less I hear about his balls the better. lol Although, it might be fun to watch Kim Jones stumble through that story.

  • Alex

    kabak,
    You still want girardi fired?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Hah! I was waiting for someone to call me out on that response from earlier today.

      In my opinion, Girardi’s on probation. Despite the weak bench and sketchy bullpen, the pieces are there for this time to start winning. If he can’t turn the ship around by the team this month is over, I’d have no problem welcoming the right replacement.

      • http://statspeak.net dan

        One of the pieces has been back for 3 days. The other big one, CMW, still isn’t. Not to mention Nady and Bruney.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Wang should be back within 7-12 days based on how his start goes on Tuesday. Nady could be back in June, and Bruney is up in the air. We could use an effective Damaso Marte as well.

          With the way Coke has been throwing though, he’s the set-up guy right now, and I’m a-okay with that.

      • ranger11

        I actually agree with this. Usually replacing managers is a knee-jerk thing but I think he’s had a long leash to this point. If this was a rebuilding situation then it would be too soon. This team has enough talent to win now. There were injuries last year and now this. This is no longer an excuse.

        • whozat

          “There were injuries last year and now this”

          There are injuries now too. They’re on their third and fourth string catchers, they have a league-average CFer if they’re lucky, and their corner IFers have been producing like NL backup shortstops so far. Oh, and their rotation has drastically underperformed.

          I’m not really sure how you can rationally claim that the manager has much to do with any of this.

        • steve (different one)

          I actually agree with this. Usually replacing managers is a knee-jerk thing but I think he’s had a long leash to this point.

          WTF are you talking about?

          only in Yankee land is 30 games into the second season a “long leash”.

          • Chris C.

            Oh, I’d give Girardi the season…….wouldn’t judge him after 30 games. But I’m sorry, he is not going to have the injury excuse for two straight seasons, and I’m already hearing his apologists set him up to be able to use it down the road with things like, “he’s doing all he can with what he’s got.”

            Let’s keep this in perspective……the Yankees are a 200 million dollar team. They are the last organization that can use injuries as any kind of excuse.

            So if they fall short this year, it has got to be on either Girardi or Cashman. And heading into the season, nobody had a problem with Brian Cashman’s offseason. Not even me, and I’m usually his biggest critic.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Let’s keep this in perspective……the Yankees are a 200 million dollar team. They are the last organization that can use injuries as any kind of excuse.

              No, every organization can use injuries as an excuse. There’s no bar on using injuries as an excuse if you have a larger payroll, because there’s no direct correlation between having a larger payroll and having a deeper bench. In fact, there’s a likelihood that having a larger payroll has a negative correlation to having a deeper bench, since many veteran players will choose NOT to sign with a team full of expensive, well paid starters because there’s a smaller likelihood that they can beat those well-paid starters out of a job and earn playing time. A guy like Orlando Hudson will choose playing for the Dodgers over the Yankees because he’ll play more there than he will here.

              But back to the point:

              If ARod is hurt, they’re not a 200M team, they’re a 170M team.

              ARod is now back, but we’re without Posada, Nady, Wang, Molina, Marte and Bruney, and Ransom, who make a collective 32.1M in salary, so we’re still a 170M team and not a 200M team.

              • Chris C.

                “No, every organization can use injuries as an excuse. There’s no bar on using injuries as an excuse if you have a larger payroll, because there’s no direct correlation between having a larger payroll and having a deeper bench.”

                There is, however, a correlation to having a large payroll, shallow bench, very few offensive-ready prospects, and a questionable General Manager.

                As long as this team sits around waiting for the big home run to solve all the problems, they will be mediocre for most if not all of the season.

                And if the season ends without another playoff appearence, you’d better believe that either Cashman, Girardi, or both will be packing their bags and hitting the road.

                Last year, I would have said it would be Girardi, because I just didn’t feel he had it as a manager. But this time around, I’m starting to think that the architecture and philosphy of the the team, regardless of who’s managing, is just not conducive to any long-term success.
                For this kind of scratch, there are just way too many players who can’t manufacture runs.

                But I’d need the rest of ther season for more of a look…….not 30 days. Healthy or not, something is missing from this team.

              • Chris C.

                “ARod is now back, but we’re without Posada, Nady, Wang, Molina, Marte and Bruney, and Ransom, who make a collective 32.1M in salary, so we’re still a 170M team and not a 200M team.”

                7 players are injured, and the Yankees can only field a 170 million dollar team.

                Repeat that 10 times, or until it sounds ridiculous……whichever comes first.

              • Chris C.

                “In fact, there’s a likelihood that having a larger payroll has a negative correlation to having a deeper bench, since many veteran players will choose NOT to sign with a team full of expensive, well paid starters because there’s a smaller likelihood that they can beat those well-paid starters out of a job and earn playing time.”

                That’s why minor league developement is important. Who’s to blame for the Yankees thin bench, nobody?

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

                  I don’t really understand why this escapes the people: The Yankees, as planned, did not have a thin bench.

                  Right now, the Yankees have a thin bench because half the team is or was on the DL. No team still has a bench when they lose their starting and backup catchers, their starting and backup third basemen and their starting right fielder. No more depth. No more bench. That’s all there is to it.

                • Chris C.

                  The thin bench isn’t why they’re mediocre.

                  The crappy pitching and untimely hitting are!!! The bench has nothing to do with the Yankee team ERA, or the amount of men left in scoring position from game to game.

                  I only addressed the bench issue because it was brought up, not because I think it’s the root of all their problems. But the Yankees would not be having bench issues if they developed some damn hitters from their system.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        You can feel that way all you want, I’ve read nothing that suggests he’d be fired in-season. And Cashman will be making the call, so even after the season someone will need to explain to me why Cash will fire him. Cash doesn’t think that way. He wanted to change the direction of the franchise since 2006, and Girardi was his hand-picked choice. Unless Girardi has a complete melt down, I don’t see it happening.

        • Bo

          He doesn’t have long for this team if they are playing .500 ball 20 games from now. No matter who’s hurt.

        • Chris C.

          “Cash doesn’t think that way. He wanted to change the direction of the franchise since 2006, and Girardi was his hand-picked choice.”

          I’m not even really sure about that. It seems to me that Cashman was a big Mattingly guy until it became apparent that Hank was not budging from his love of Girardi.

          I think he convinced himself that Girardi was the answer, because he wasn’t going to sway ownership anyway.

        • Chris C.

          “You can feel that way all you want, I’ve read nothing that suggests he’d be fired in-season. And Cashman will be making the call, so even after the season someone will need to explain to me why Cash will fire him. Cash doesn’t think that way.”

          If you actually think that BRIAN CASHMAN will be making the call on whether to retain or fire the hand-picked managerial choice of the Steinbrenner brothers and Randy Levine, you are kidding yourself. Cashman may be the guy who delivers the news to the press, but he aint making the call on that one.

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    Forget all of this fist-pumping BS. Yankees need to focus on stringing 3-5 wins together and get going. Nothing else matters.

  • Drew

    This is so ridiculous. So many people hate on Joba. HE DIDNT HAVE TEH LEAD! Who’s fault is that? Should Joba change his mood/adrenaline based on the given situation? Ugh… I hate Francessa now, used to be his biggest fan. Him, and those like him are on another planet.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I used to like him too but something changed over the past few years. He’s just become an idiot.

      • steve (different one)

        he’s always been an idiot.

        the difference is that YOU are smarter.

        • JohnnyC

          IETC

      • Chris C.

        He was actually more of an idiot last year.
        Just ask the players and the media.

    • Bob Stone

      I’m another long time fan that thinks Francesa is losing it. He can be so anooying lately.

  • BigBlueAL

    Is it really that hard to figure it out???? When the Yankees were winning all those WS they were looked at as one of the classiest teams ever and so forth. Thats all you heard was how classy those Yankees teams were.

    People look at Joba as some young kid who has never won anything and is pumping his fist in the 8th inning or now I guess when he is losing in the 5th inning (didnt see that one) on a team who people look at as a bunch of robots with rules on length of facial hair and so forth. Where as someone like Papelbon is doing so closing for sorry to say a championship Red Sox team who is known as a bunch of free-spirits and back in the day a bunch of idiots with crazy facial hair and so forth.

    Guys like K-Rod or older school pitchers like the Perez brothers are looked at as flamboyant latin players who play with that type of flair and “fun”. Or you can be someone like Rickey Henderson or Manny who are HOFers (well maybe not Manny now!!) and are just being their crazy selves which is what they are known for.

    Its all stupid but I dont see it as being so surprising as to why Joba is getting criticized more so than all these other players….

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Bingo. This has as much to do with how young Joba is and how he hasn’t won anything yet as anything else. The other guys who are known for this (Paps, K-Rod) have rings, so critics can’t claim it hindered their teams from winning a championship. The is said about the Mets with their celebrations and Jose Reyes’ pointing and dancing routines. The thought process being you can do that stuff if you win, but if you don’t then it appears to put a bullseye on your back which you can’t handle. The Mets folding late the past two years is supposed to be further evidence of this lack of team character.

      BTW-I think most of this is hogwash, but that’s the thinking behind it.

      • Chris C.

        “Bingo. This has as much to do with how young Joba is and how he hasn’t won anything yet as anything else.”

        Nonsense. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that he plays for the New York Yankees. Do not kid yourself, or try to blow smoke up anyone’s ass regarding this.

        Jeter used to get shit for his fist-pumping too. Apparently though, his 4 rings weren’t enough to get him off the hook for that.

    • deadrody

      Could you clarify all the exceptions that make celebrations ok ?

      If he was a crazy latin player, that would make it ok ?

      And if your team is self-proclaimed idiots, THEN its ok ?

      Or is it only for closers ?

      Thanks for that.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Dude, you TOTALLY missed his point. He’s identifying reasons why other people seem to have issues with Joba but not with other guys who celebrate on the field, he’s not supporting the reasons he cited.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Sports broadcasters like to act like MLB is WWF and the Yankees are the perennial bad guys and no Yankee fan cares what they think. Everyone got upset over Joba’s “brashness” when he came up. The fact that it got to be such a big deal is just evidence of how intimidating he is and the fact that he’s in pinstripes.

  • deadrody

    For one, nobody on this or any other Yankee fan site should care what Red Sox fan #1 – Gammons – says.

    The issue with Huff is and was that despite his claims otherwise, his fist pump was contrived, not a natural expression of spontaneous emotion, but a premeditated attempt to show up Chamberlain, the exact 180 degree polar opposite of what Chamberlain and Papelbon do. And, frankly, he should have gotten a fastball in the thigh for it.

    My suggestion for Huff is, if you feel the need to have some expression of emotion when you hit a HR, figure out what that is and do it all the time. Don’t be an ass for one game and one HR. Oh and your team is putrid and wound up losing the game, maybe you should act accordingly.

    • Joe R

      Agree. Bothered me that it was contrived and not spontaneous. Otherwise i’m all for a little emotion on the field. Get your team going.

  • Jake H

    ESPN blows. All the talking heads suck except Keith Law and Timmy K. Those are the only 2 guys who don’t homer it up or talk about who they drafted even when that player isn’t playing in that game.

  • Kevin S

    My favorite part in all of this was Dennis Eckersley (on the Red Sox broadcast in place of Jerry Remy) losing his mind because Joba was fist pumping and how there was no place for that in baseball and that he was going to get someone hurt with his antics. Dennis Eckersley!!! The guy had 5-step fist pump he used to breakout when he was playing. Hello kettle this is the pot calling.

    • Bob Stone

      Thanks for reminding us of Eck’s playing days. You are so right to point out the hypocrisy from him. Although, I think he is one of the better analysts on NESN.

  • Mike

    What the liberal media is to the democratic party = What ESPN is to Boston

    Paplebon is such a phony. He is immensely talented, but that fake made for TV angry face he puts on is comical. I can’t wait for the ESPN “trade” rumors to start soon in which Gammons will create his own rumors that the Red Sox are about to acquire every premium trade candidate available.

    • Bob Stone

      I can’t stand watching Papelbon – from his exagerrated lean-in for the sign, to the pursed lips to his over-the-top fist pump(s) celebrations to his ridiculously brash comments in interviews. He’s the most annoying BoSox player since having to endure the Nomar wrist-tapping, toe-tapping dance in between EVERY pitch.

      • Klemy

        I can’t help but thinking Bay and Papelbon are long, lost brothers with parents who are sister and brother.

      • Klemy

        And speaking of annoying people between every pitch, remember we had Knoublach.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      or Fox News to the Republican party.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Well Fox hates the Yankees too. Their bias is as obvious as some ESPN sportscasters.

        • YankeeScribe

          It’s becoming apparent that nobody in the mass media likes the “new” Yankees. Not even the NY news media. Everyone in the media was Yankee fans back when they were winning championships. Now they all like the Red Sox…

    • steve (different one)

      what this already idiotic topic really needed was an injection of politics!!

      that should spice things up.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        OH CRAP LETS HAVE A TEABAGGING PARTY

      • LiveFromNewYork

        WOTS NEXT?! FIST PUMPING POLITICIANS!!11!! ZOMG!!11!

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Mayor Bloomberg: Let’s make this legislation, baby!

          [ signs bill; spikes pen, gets up, starts dancing ]

          Mayor Bloomberg: WE’RE NOT HERE TO CAUSE NO TROUBLE, WE’RE JUST HERE TO DO THE BETTER BOTTLE BILL SHUFFLE!

        • Klemy

          Let’s ask Howard Dean how that helps. lol

  • Russell NY

    “Did Gammons really criticize Joba’s fist pumping while supporting Papelbon’s? Are you kidding me?”

    Gammons also says he knows Manny Ramirez didn’t do steroids. The guy is as biased a media guy as you can be. His team has gone from the Pedroia bush league slap play, to Papelbon antics, to Manny steroids, and he has defended everyone. But at the end of the day the Sox are not any more special than everyone else. Which hurts him deep inside.

    • swisher’s guru

      i also recall Gammons in the off season, telling the espn viewers why CC would NOT sign with the yankees. he definitely did so more than a few times.
      How does the senile shmuck get airtime?

  • Jeremy

    The fact that Joba refused to retaliate or let Huff rattle him just shows how pointless it is to focus on Joba’s fist pumps. There is no question that Joba has the maturity and dedication needed to be a big league starter. If he wants to pump his fist after a big K, he is well within the leeway given to pitchers in pivotal situations.

  • Jersey

    The overall suckitude of ESPN, as epitomized by Gammons and Phillips, was one of the drivers behind my decision to get rid of cable completely. And to think of how long I actually paid hard-earned money for that garbage.

  • JackC

    Papelbon is absolutely insufferable in every measurable way. However,it follows that the same infuriating antics Paplebon does aren’t much more charming on anyone, regardless of the uniform. Moreover, I think if Jon Lester pumped his fist emphatically and shouted after getting a strikeout in the 5th inning of a game he was LOSING, we’d all be laughing out loud at his cluelessness/narcissism. If Joba feels the need to express a bit of emotion, more power to him, but it’s silly to think he couldn’t find a way to express it that looks a little less like showing the other team up. And who knows, maybe all the energy he’d save not celebrating would enable him to make it through 7 innings one of these days.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think that if we (fans and media) are going to eschew celebrations, it should be ALL celebrations. And if we are going to embrace them, we should embrace ALL celebrations.

    I think it’s better to vote for toning it down across the board. I hate the endzone celebrations in the NFL and I fear MLB going the same way for strikeouts, HRs and who knows what else. When do baserunners start celebrating a stolen base or defense celebrate double plays? When does it end?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I think we as fans should do absolutely nothing.

      If somebody wants to celebrate, fine. If somebody else doesn’t fine.

  • V

    I’m just glad that Joba had the last laugh – a W next to his name.

  • fistpump

    Peter Gammons is a tool…

  • RustyJohn

    All I know is two things- if you Google “fist pump” you get a lot of interesting things pop up. Second, Papelbon (who I call Mr. Pap Smear, from Naked Gun) looks like a total douchebag. It doesn’t matter what that guy is doing, pumping a fist or staring at the wall, he just looks like a tool.

  • JP

    Whoever said it’s not a big deal is correct, but I still say, if it’s not a big deal, why do it?

    I think it’s better to act like you expect to strike the guy out (or hit the homer), and not jump around like an idiot when you win. As if they were in battle or something.

    I like Joba’s pitching, and I’m a lifetime Yankee fan. But I don’t like the way he acts on the mound. I like Papelbon even less. I’ll be happy to see him get his head handed to him some day…he’s a great pitcher, but the thing with relief pitchers is that it’s only rare ones who last a long time. Lee Smith, Rivera, Fingers, Gossage, Hoffman…Papelbon has had some good years, but let’s see how long he lasts. Maybe he will be one of the greatest, and last a long time. If he doesn’t, I’ll be happy to see him fall.

    And I wouldn’t blame a Red Sox fan for wanting to see Joba fail, too.

    It’s not a big deal…so why do it?

  • http://www.8minutesonhigh.com Max

    I think none of them should do it, but didn’t that horrible Michael Kay make more out of it than what was there? “Oh boy, we’re going to have a beening this time for sure” – ok that’s not a quote, but Michael Kay drove that story!

    • Klemy

      He had to do something to drive the game, because we were starting behind in the first inning AGAIN and he probably feared another bullpen blowout. :(

  • AC lerok

    when i play, an outright expression of emotion is never considered, “showing up “, only cocky intentional antics ever pissed me off. to me there is nothing wrong with what Joba does, and there never has been. The same goes for Papedouche, there is nothing wrong with an expression of emotion if you ask me. What Huff Did is a different story in my book, thats an intentional act in order to show someone up. If he did it as purely reactionary than its fine but it was OBVIOUSLY not the case. Thats just my two cents. All this talk about showing people up i think just stems from all the uptight WASP’s that are the majority in this country. (I’m italian never understood the whole shake your dad’s hand thing lol)

  • Texeiramvp (JobaCyYoung)/Letsgoyankees-It depends on the blog

    EXACTLY.

    There ARE people with sense in the world.