Jun
23

Reading Joe Girardi’s tea leaves

By

Over the weekend, a crack appeared in the Yanks’ Front Office façade. It wasn’t an outburst from Hank or a strongly-worded press release from Howard Rubenstein. No one was fired, and no one was put on notice.

The crack was the rather public spat over the Alex Rodriguez situation. It involved some anonymous “he said/he said” articles, and a whole bunch of backtracking by Yankee officials. While everyone seems to be on the same page right now, I believe Joe Girardi‘s job security may have suffered because of it.

The story took off when Girardi originally penciled A-Rod into the lineup on Friday but announced shortly before the game started that Alex would be getting two days off instead. Some papers reported it as a benching due to his poor play while most news outlets recognized that a player coming off a serious labrum procedure shouldn’t be playing 38 games in a row. It was a rest, but from where did the demand for rest come from?

Over the last few days, the story has continued to swirl. Linda Robertson reported rather skeptically that the decision to rest A-Rod was mutual, but she also noted that some have alleged a behind-closed-doors fight between A-Rod and Girardi. The Big Lead’s Miami sources echo Robertson’s piece. “Why didn’t you sit me against the Nationals?” A-Rod is rumored to have asked.

In the New York papers, Brian Cashman has denied ordering a benching, and Girardi says he didn’t want to do it. Rather, A-Rod sat to rest his fatigued lower body. There is no doubt that the team is better off with a well-rested A-Rod, but that’s almost beside the point.

Meanwhile, the CC Sabathia saga adds a new dimension to this sordid story of injury management. In expressing his belief that he would start this weekend against the Mets, Sabathia fielded a question concerning the cause of his injury. What led to this soreness, reporters wanted to know. “It could be the 120 pitches this year,” Sabathia said.

By blaming the pitch count totals, Sabathia is indirectly implicating Joe Girardi. The big lefty has thrown 119 pitches or more three times this season, most recently on June 11 when he went 123 pitches. Last year, he threw four starts of 120 pitches or more. All of them came after July 2. Is Sabathia saying that Girardi has not managed his arm well enough? Reading between the lines, I certainly think so.

Meanwhile, in The Record today, Bob Klapisch calls the next stretch of games a “critical phase of [Girardi's] managerial career.” While Klapisch cites using Mariano Rivera in the 8th against the Mets — a move I will always support — he also questions whether Girardi is under a microscope for the way he drives his players.

Maybe this second-guessing in the media is a big nothing, but maybe the Yankees’ Front Office is putting some of these stories out there. Are they questioning Girardi? Is he on the hot seat — or at least in the on-deck circle for the hot seat? He doesn’t deserve this treatment, but someone in the Front Office doesn’t seem too happy with Girardi. If this year doesn’t end in Yankee-defined success, I wonder what his managerial future will be.

Categories : Front Office
  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

    “It could be the 120 pitches this year,” Sabathia said.

    Translation
    Hey Joe chill the f out with pitching me 120 almost every game. I know I’m a “horse” but even the best thoroughbreds shouldn’t be pushed this much.

    • Jamal G.

      It’s nice to know that two starts out of the entire season equals “almost every game”.

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

        If CC himself thinks its too much then yes its a problem.

      • radnom

        3 out of 15.

        20 percent.

        Not “almost every game” by any stretch, but still a really high percentage.

        • Chris

          Two games:

          122 pitches on 4/16
          123 pitches on 6/11

          • radnom

            I counted the 119.

            I guess the whole thing is sort of arbitrary.

        • BklynJT

          The post said 4 games with 120 or more. IMO 119 = 120, so let’s not nit pick

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Move him to the 8th.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I wonder if that’s where CC’s quote ends? Because ending the quote where it is, sure makes great copy.

  • radnom

    Just win, baby.

    Boom, end of questions.

    I still like Girardi. So glad Mattingly did not get the job over him.

  • http://161stStreet.wordpress.com Chris A

    I worry about the whole CC situation. If he really is hurt because of the extra pitches he has thrown this season, then Girardi is in trouble. His job security which I think was always pretty low, will go down even further. I like Girardi, but I can see him gone even if the Yankees make the playoffs.

    • http://161stStreet.wordpress.com Chris A

      That being said, I don’t want him to be fired. I’d love to see him take the Yankees all the way, then there will be no negativity.

      • Bo

        If your job was on the line would you go to CC for another 15 pitches or Tomko, Edwar, Veras, etc?

        • Evan NYC

          That’s a loaded question. If you leave CC in for too many pitches and he loses the game/gets hurt you get fired. If you bring in Veras/Tomko/Edwar and they lose the game, you get fired. So I would stick with CC for those 15 pitches and take my chances because I have 0 faith in a 100% healthy Veras/Tomko/Edwar. Or I would just bring in Mo.

          • dre

            thats an iddiotic question, it depens on how many pitches hes thrown and how good hes pitching..

    • Mike HC

      If CC needs to have a lower pitch count from here on out, Girardi will pitch him less. Another manager will also pitch him less. Getting rid of Girardi at this point won’t change anything. I’m not sure what people expect out of Girardi. I think he has done a fine job so far.

    • BklynJT

      I call BS. CC himself said that he has had this problem before in the past, and just pitched through it.

  • Mike HC

    Oh man. Tell me the Yanks are not going to become a team that is constantly changing coaches/GM’s and never sticking to one plan. There have definitely been some questionable decisions, but Girardi is still a young manager and you have to expect that he will learn on the job a bit.

    Decisions on how often players should rest, or how many pitches a guy can throw, should not be left completely up to the manager. Girardi is a baseball manager and not a doctor. If A-Rod had to be rested once a week, that should have been told to him. If CC needed a lower pitch limit, that should have been told to him. It is hard to fault a manager who is trying to win every game by using his best players. Issues of rest and pitch counts are for the medical staff and the front office. People who have done research on this.

    • Bo

      They’ve had two managers in 13 years and one GM for a decade. Relax.

      • Mike HC

        Right. And that is how I want it to stay. The Yanks have had success doing it that way, and I hope they don’t panic if we don’t get to, or win in the playoffs. Playing musical managers rarely works. And does anyone actually get calmer after they are told to “relax.” Telling someone to “relax” usually escalates the situation.

      • radnom


        WHOA WHOA WHOA

    • Jamal G.

      ell me the Yanks are not going to become a team that is constantly changing coaches/GM’s and never sticking to one plan.

      They’ve had one GM and two managers in the past dozen years, what’s making you worry to this extent?

      • Mike HC

        Prior to those dozen years, the Yanks were notorious for constantly changing managers. After the Yanks won four world series, there was kind of a grace period for Torre, which ended in 2007. Girardi does not have that same grace period. I am just hoping they don’t start changing managers every two or three years if we can’t win a WS. I think consistency is an important thing.

        • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          “Prior to those dozen years, the Yanks were notorious for constantly changing managers.”

          I don’t think there’s reason to worry that those days will return anytime soon, but I’d like to back up Mike HC regarding the origin of this fear… Before the Torre/Cashman era, the Yankees didn’t just tear through a few managers and GMs, they were the ultimate example of the disorganized organization with no real direction that fires GMs and managers too often. This isn’t something it’s fun for Yankees fans to hear, but they were a joke. I think that is the core of the reason I was so scared of Cashman leaving (when that possibility was the topic du jour), so I, at the very least, understand where Mike HC’s coming from.

          Again… I’m not saying anyone should be worried that the Yanks are returning to that era, just pointing out why some Yankees fans (those who were around for the 80s-early 90s and primarily those who came of age then) are so concerned with things like that.

    • dre

      you don’t need to be logical you need to have half a brain to realize that a player back from major surgery needs more rest now, or that letting pitchers throw too many pitches is not a good thing..

  • Bo

    Girardi is managing for his job this week. They won’t tolerate the lazy play for too much longer. And Cashman has to realize his job is on the line too.

    And the bringing in of Rivera was just mind numbing. Why would he bring him in vs the Mets but not against Boston a few days before? It makes no sense like much of his decision making.

    • Chris

      Why would you fire the manager or GM when the team is in position to make the playoffs?

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

        A 3 year old could take this roster to the playoffs.

        • Chris

          Really? If the manager makes that little difference, then why bother firing Girardi?

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

            Whos asking for him to be fired? I’m just saying the roster is loaded and should make the playoffs no matter who is at the helm. It would be a utter disgrace missing the playoffs(barring major injures).

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              Like a hip surgery?

              • UWS

                And a #2 starting pitcher who still hasn’t recovered from a major injury?

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

                  Boston has just about the same problems as us and are ahead

          • e mills

            Girardi is worse than a 3 yr. old, perhaps a 2 yr. old.

            • jsbrendog

              oaktag.

            • JohnnyC

              Hell, if a 3 year old can win the Kentucky Derby the least you’d expect from Girardi is a world championship.

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                ietc immensely :)

    • radnom

      And to think, you told someone to relax not 5 inches above this.

      • Chris A

        oaktag.

        • jsbrendog

          except this comment by no means deserves an oaktag. blatant misuse. this is a point of fact. bo, somehow, told someone else to relax, and then blows it all up by once again being irrational and bringing nothing to the conversation

          • radnom

            Thank you.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        ..that’s not 5 inches.

        (TJSC i bet money you’d comment first…dont fail me…)

    • jsbrendog

      And the bringing in of Rivera was just mind numbing. Why would he bring him in vs the Mets but not against Boston a few days before? It makes no sense like much of his decision making.

      actually it makes PERFECT sense. he learned from his mistake. which is what we expect isnt it? no matter what thanks to our buddy BO and ppl like him Girardi is effed no matter what he does.

      • BklynJT

        Exactly. I would also like to wager that Girardi read the comments on RAB that night and realized his mistake. Of course it came back to bite him in the ass in the Met’s game.

        FYI, for some reasons, MO has terrible numbers in non-save situations. At what point do you put aside the whole “have the best guy in the bullpen pitch high leverage situations” and look at the numbers?

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

          “Terrible” in how many innings? As I said yesterday, Rivera’s had 9 appearances in tie games. In one of them, he had the flu and got smacked around by the Rays. The other was the back-to-back HR game against Tampa, and the third was against the Mets. In the other 6, he has pitched shut-out baseball. There’s no one I’d rather have out there, and you’re arguing against him based on a rather small sample size.

          • Chris

            The back to back HR game was during his dead-arm period, right?

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

              Reportedly.

          • BklynJT

            First off, I agreed with bringing in Mo in that situation. I was not arguing against using Mo in those situations, I was just merely posing a question regarding his effectiveness in those situations based on his numbers this year.

            He has a .476 BABIP this year in those situations (.306 overall for 09). Ok yes, it is a small sample size and many people would say that he is just unlucky. But you have to wonder if those numbers are an indication that Mo is losing his stuff on the one pitch that has made him so dominant. Sometimes people get too hung up on small sample size arguement and are so quick to brush something off because of it. But don’t forget, everything initial starts off as a small sample size and you are incorrect to just brush it off without thoroughly examining the numbers.

            Maybe my use of the word “Terrible” was uncalled for, but by Mo’s standards its pretty bad. If you look at the past 4 years (I chose 4 years because 5 years ago he was lights out in tie games =P) Mo’s tOPS+ in tie games is 268/139/253/173. His OPS against in those 4 years are 1.019/.772/.752/.923. That is a big drop from his career tOPS+ line of 137 and OPS against of .665 (and those career numbers include these last 4 years).

            Sad to say, but we may be slowly witnessing the decline of the best closer in history.

        • jsbrendog

          never. i want my best pitcher in the msot high leverage situation.

    • Mike HC

      So, I should relax and not worry about Girardi getting fired because the Yanks have had 2 managers in the past 13 years, yet you believe that Girardi and Cashman may get fired next week. Makes sense.

  • Jake H

    I’m sorry but pitchers should be able to throw more then 1oo pitches and I don’t think 120 is too crazy. Back not too long ago they used to throw a lot more pitches.

    • jsbrendog

      worst. argument. ever.

      yes they did and they threw 300 innings too. and you know what? their careers were shorter, they burned out faster and their success rate was in a much smaller window.

      • Jake H

        Ya because David Cone didn’t have a long career or Al Leiter.

        • jsbrendog

          go find out how many times a season either one of them threw 119+ pitches in a season and then i will listen to what yopu have to say

          • Observer283

            It’s actually not even about how many times David Cone and Al Leiter threw more than 119+ pitches. Of the top of my head, they both threw a lot of pitches many times in their careers.

            The point is, people like David Cone and Al Leiter are exceptions, not the rule. For every “old-timer” who threw a ton of pitches and had a great career, there are a bunch who blew their arms out too early (Mark Fidrych, Jason Isringhausen (he was initially a starter), Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, etc.)

            Just because a few guys are lucky enough to survive excessive workloads does not mean its smart for teams to push their pitchers too far. Specifically, I don’t want Joba, Phil, or CC to be yet another cautionary tale.

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

            David Cone did it 144 times. Al Leiter did it 91 times. Sabathia’s done it 27 times.

            • BklynJT

              LOL

              /Ben Kabak’d

    • A.D.

      Just because something was done in the past doesn’t mean that it should be continued to be done. If it was better for pitchers to throw 150+ innings, teams would do so.

  • Chris

    The comparison of CC’s pitch counts it somewhat bogus. At this point last year, CC had thrown 116 pitches in 3 games (117 on 5/14, 119 on 6/5, and 116 on 6/23) compared to 3 games this year (122 on 4/16, 119 on 5/2, and 123 on 6/11).

    The choice of 120 (or 119 as Pete Abe used) as the cutoff is arbitrary. Do you really think he would have been pulled earlier last year if he had thrown a couple more pitches in his final inning?

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

      Pete Abe? I used 119. What does Pete Abe have to do with it?

      • Chris

        He has a similar post about the quote from Sabathia, and counts his starts with at least 119 pitches. I misread and thought you were using 120 as the cutoff.

        Whatever the cutoff is, it’s basically arbitrary – is there really a difference between 117 and 119?

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

          As someone pointed out above, if CC think it’s important, then it’s important. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Sabathia is far more vital to the Yanks’ long-term success than Joe Girardi is.

          Anyway, I set the cutoff as 119 because it’s close to Sabathia’s 120, and it’s 7 pitches more than his next highest outing. That’s a decent sized jump right there.

          • Chris

            My point is that there was a similar jump at this time last year between 112 and 116. If you compare starts over 116 pitches, then it’s the same.

            Sabathia also said that he’s had this same problem between starts before. If that’s the case, then how could this be related to his overusage this year?

            He’s probably just grasping at straws to come up with some ideas.

    • Mike HC

      The problem is that CC thinks it is an issue. Whether that is the reason for the injury or not is tough to tell. It is obvious that it may be affecting CC mentally though. That is a problem.

  • Rob H.

    Overall, I think Girardi does decent job as manager. I’ve been a supporter of Girardi since before he was hired. He makes decisions in-game that will either be praised because they worked or will be vilified because they didn’t work…such is the life of a manager at the big league level. I think what could wind up being his downfall as a manager, at least with the yankees, is how he handles playing time and injury concerns. So far we have see the situation with A-Rod come to a head apparently, and now we have Sabathia, our 161 million dollar ace, starting to “complain” about his usage. I believe this was a problem with Girardi when he was in Florida as well.

    If Girardi can’t learn how to handle his players and make sure injuries don’t crop up due to overuse, then he might be shown the door quicker than you would think depending on results. What I mean by that is maybe he fixes his problems with dealing with player usage but the yankees bow out in the first round, maybe that saves his job for another year. However what if these problems continue to persist the rest of the season and the team bows out in the first round. Maybe everything considered gets him fired.

    • Mike HC

      Girardi should not be the person deciding on how much rest these older players need. He should be in the discussion, but it should not be solely left up to him. How much a player needs to rest to stay healthy should be decided by medical experts and people who have researched the topic. Leaving it up to the guesswork of the manager is not fair to him. The manager, for the most part, should try to win every game. If there needs to be constraints on this objective, he should be told by ownership or the front office.

      • Rob H.

        I understand that but it is Girardi who decides when to take someone out of the game like in CC’s case. Apparently Girardi didn’t listen in regards to A-Rod for the situation to get into a supposed shouting match between the two. Girardi is still the guy who sets the lineup and who makes the in-game changes so he needs to actually follow the advice and information given to him in those conversations in which you talk about. A-Rod’s situation was one in which he should have been resting at least once a week. Whose fault is it that he wasn’t? Did Girardi just not listen and kept running him out there? I don’t know.

        • Mike HC

          Exactly. If he was told to do certain things, and ignored them, then it is a problem. I find it hard to believe that Girardi just ignored the front office if they specifically told him to rest A-Rod once a week. But, I really don’t know.

  • A.D.

    If the Yanks make the playoffs this year & make it out of the first round, Girardi stays, if they don’t make the playoffs he goes, and if they make it and have a first round exit, prob 50/50.

  • Jay

    There was no closed door fight with A-Rod and Joe Girardi. According to Sweeny Murti someone who actually covers the team everyday unlike the writer from Miami.

    Girardi stated he would use Mariano for 4 outs not more than that. The red sox game in the 8th when Sabathia left there were no outs. Mo is old he is not going to get a 6 out save anymore.

    Also how come that there wasn’t a follow up quote to that Sabathia qoute. In what context was that said in?

    People need to stop blaming Girardi for everything.

    • Tank the Frank

      Good call and well said.

      1. The A-Rod fatigue situation has gone beyond overblown. They didn’t handle it that great, no one saw it coming, the media wasn’t given a heads-up, therefor they got up in arms about it.

      2. It’s amazing how much the mediots (Francesa) have criticized bringing in Mo in the 8th in the Mets game. It was the heart of the Mets order (Beltran, Wright)… you want to bring in your best reliever. The rest of the Mets order is a joke. You can trust anyone to get them out. I wish this were a strategy Girardi would employ more often… as RAB has pointed out.

      3. I would like to see the entire quote, but taking an educated guess, it seems like he was rapping off a bunch of reasons as too what caused the injury. The pitch count was the most controversial, therefor it was printed. But CC has been around. He knows how to handle himself. That’s ABSOLUTELY a way to get a message to Girardi.

  • http://www.downswinging.com Seth

    Girardi is proving he can’t handle his players or the media. His recent episodes of calling the Commissioner’s Office to try and get Brad Penny suspended, and the nonsense with the Nunez, leaves us wondering if he is capable of handling the team. As this article says, he is grasping at straws.

    http://www.downswinging.com/wo.....at-straws/

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

      When exactly did he “call” the Commissioner’s Office? That’s a false charge. He talked about it in the media, and anyone could tell that Penny was aiming for A-Rod.

      As to the incident with Nunez, idiotic umping and managing on the part of the umps and Marlins is not “nonsense.” It could impact the outcome of the game. Of all the things for which we could criticize Girardi, you picked two that aren’t easy to justify picking. I have to wonder who’s grasping at straws in that sense.

      • UWS

        I have to wonder who’s grasping at straws in that sense.

        Someone who’s cleverly trying to pimp his blog on someone else’s blog, would be my guess.

        • jsbrendog

          well it wont do him any good if thats the kind of posts hes running out there

        • Jack

          I’m not sure I’d call that clever.

      • http://www.downswinging.com Seth

        Girardi submitted a recommendation that Penny be suspended, despite the fact that the Yankees have plunked 9 Red Sox hitters so far this year, and have only been hit back 3 times.

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

          I’m still waiting for a link that proves this charge. So far, nothing.

          Look: I don’t think Girardi’s done the best job in the world, but there are gripes far more legitimate than protecting A-Rod after an intentional plunking. If you want to call for Girardi’s head, pick his bullpen usage patterns. While some of the problem has rested in the pieces he has at his disposal, he hasn’t made the most of the effective parts.

    • Zach

      Protecting your clean up hitter and calling out the other team after a huge error is grasping at straws. And if he didnt do that you would say hes clueless and not protecting his playeres

  • YankeesFanInMI

    If Sabathia really felt that the soreness in his arm was because of Girardi leaving him in too long, then why did he fight him so much when Girardi wanted to take him out of that game? And if the Yankee brass doesn’t want Girardi to leave him in so long, go out and get him a decent reliever that you would feel safe giving the ball to.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      A voice of reason. thanks

      • Frankie

        Because what pro athlete wants to get taken out of any game?

        Isn’t that why Sabathia is here? Cos hes a gamer?

  • Stryker

    it could be the 120 pitches this year

    like he’s never thrown 120 pitches before…

    • Hova

      Not in April buddy. From PeteAbe (http://yankees.lhblogs.com/)

      When Sabathia was with the Indians and Brewers last season, he did not get to 119 pitches until June 5 and his first time over 120 was on July 2. He pitched into the eighth inning four times in his first 14 starts.

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

        Again, no offense to Pete, but that info’s in my post. Just read the post on which you are commenting.

  • Jay

    “The good thing about Joe is that he is consistent. He expects a lot out of us but you look at him and you can’t tell if we won or lost,” Teixeira said. “Your leader needs to show confidence. The manager can’t be upset after every loss. He can’t be angry all the time.”

    Then Teixeira paid Girardi the supreme compliment.

    “Out of all the managers I have had, he is the best I have had by far,” Teixeira said.

    I guess not all the players dont hate Girardi.

    • Evan NYC

      Well that’s a lie. Scioscia is 10 times the manager Girardi is…

      • JohnnyC

        Nice playoff record against the Red Sox. Even “better” than Torre’s.

        • Evan NYC

          Scioscia is the best manager in baseball, IMHO.

          • Slu

            Scioscia makes even more questionable moves than Girardi. He does seem to get the most out of his players though.

            The best manager is baseball unfortunately manages the Dodgers.

            • Chris

              Scott Proctor, Paul Quantrill and Steve Karsay disagree.

          • Ant

            Managing is overrated

  • Evan NYC

    I have a few friends who work at YES and they have relayed to me that the vet players (Jeter, Posada, Pettitte) don’t really like him. How much that factors into how the team plays is undetermined. In the end I really don’t think the manager makes too much of a difference in the end. The players still need to perform to their capabilities.

    • jsbrendog

      and because they work at yes that means they are in the know? they talk to jeter and posada and pettitte? theyre in the clubhouse and hear these guys say this?

      • Evan NYC

        They hang out with the players during BP, warmups, etc. Either way, this is what they say. But like I said, whether they like him or not doesn’t really translate too much to them not performing.

    • Mike HC

      Those vet players were catered to and were the favorites of Joe Torre. Girardi was brought in to specifically dispel the notion of favorites and put everyone on a equal level. To create one team and not having an obvious split between the “true” Yankee and the free agent additions. Jeter, Posada, and Pettitte have also played with Girardi, so they probably don’t give him that much respect right off the bat. If Girardi can manage, then I bet those guys think they know just as much if not more. All of those problems could have been, and should have been expected.

    • JohnnyC

      A few friends, eh? Well, Mike Francesa weighs as much as a few people, come to think of it.

    • V

      I know it’s not kosher, but I, for one, can’t wait until the ‘dynasty years’ are gone, and the team takes on an identity separate from Jeter+Posada+Pettitte+Bernie.

      Mo’s a different animal. He can stay til he’s 60.

      • Evan NYC

        I disagree. I think it’s important for them to have a core of leaders who know what it takes to win. Someone like Pettitte is invaluable because even when he doesn’t have his best stuff he can go out there and give you 7 strong innings. I wish more of him would rub off on Joba and Burnett.

        • UWS

          Someone like Pettitte is invaluable because even when he doesn’t have his best stuff he can go out there and give you 7 strong innings.

          Except when he’s being atrociously awful or whining that the new stadium is making him gunshy. Seems like that’s already rubbed off on Joba and Burnett.

      • Mike HC

        When that day comes, you will finally realize how much you took it for granted. One day, probably when those players are gone, the Yanks will have an extended streak of being a truly mediocre, non playoff team. I know it is tough to imagine, but it will happen. You never know what you got until it is gone.

  • http://www.fackyouk.blogspot.com MattB

    I think the Sabathia quote is being taken out of context. At least that’s the way I’m looking at it. The Brewers beat Sabathia like the rented mule he was last year. And Sabathia was a willing participant in that.

    I think his quote is more of a reference to the questions he faced following his playoff struggles last year, during his free agency, and during the whole Opening Day water bottle episode: did all the innings last year (and in the two years prior) put him at risk for an injury?

    I interpret the quote as CC saying “Look, I threw a lot of pitches last year and I’ve thrown a lot this year. To suggest that what happened Sunday is strictly a result of 2008 is a bit shortsighted.”

    If CC was willing to work deep into games last year, and willing to work on 3 days rest down the stretch, I can’t really see him complaining about his workload thus far in 2009. He didn’t want to come out Sunday and he’s insisting that he’ll make his start Friday. I think this is all a bit overblown at this point.

    • Chris

      Another related point is that he never criticizes Girardi for allowing him to throw 120 pitches. Just because it may (or may not) have been related to throwing a lot of pitches is not necessarily an indictment of the manager. Especially since CC seemed pissed that he was getting pulled on Sunday, I don’t think there is any chance that he would have preferred to come out of any games earlier than he did.

  • Greg

    Joe needs to go. He’s a horrible in game manager. Here’s what he proposes before games as a gameplan:

    Hey guys, let’s play small ball with the lineup that has the most HRs and highest OPS in the whole league! Let’s waste outs in the 5th inning so we can manufacture runs with arguably the best lineup in baseball and a mediocre pitching staff. Bullpen wise, we’ll just spin a giant wheel and whoever it lands on that’s who goes in. Everyone has 1 spot on the wheel except you Phil Coke, you have 25.

    Girardi is just dumb. Using Mariano in the 8th in a high leverage situation is correct, but everything else is awful. CC and A-Rod are right, Girardi is inept.

    • jsbrendog

      oaktag

    • Hova

      His players are slowly starting to throw him under the bus. When Yankee management went to ARod and asked how he was doing, he said he was worn down and needed days off. That’s on Girardi (even though in my opinion I don’t think ARod conveyed that to Joe, which is fcuked up).

      Now we hear CC say that maybe it was the 120 pitches in April that has led to the bicep tendinitis. Again, nothing too crazy, but that once again points to Girardi.

      The noose is now on his neck. It may not be tightening yet, but its there. The next few weeks will determine how tight it gets.

      • Mike HC

        President of the United States and Yankee manager must be two of the toughest jobs out there.

        • Frankie

          At least Girardi isn’t letting innocent people die in Tehran without saying something. I think he would “meddle”.

          • Mike HC

            Girardi would probably overwork the special OP’s units and never go to the ground troops.

          • Hova

            Obama doesn’t feel like fcuking with Iran right now. I think we have enough issues with Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea. Let’s leave a little something for the next term.

            • JackC

              Without getting too political, I think getting to vocal is about the worst thing Obama could do — The government is just ITCHING to blame the protests on America, he shouldn’t make that an easy sell. If the protesters wanted the US incredibly vocal, they’d have tweeted us with that by now. See what Idid there? I said let’s not too political,and then I threw in my political opinion. oops.

              • JackC

                “getting too vocal,” is obviously what I meant

  • LiveFromNewYork

    When Girardi didn’t let Hughes finish he was criticized. He was saving Phil even from himself. (Phil was pissed). I know of another game recently where he took CC out and was criticized.

    If the players look lackadasical he’s criticized. If they look overworked, he’s criticized. For switching Melky and Gardy (whichever way) and Cervelli and Posada (either way).

    But he gets criticized no matter what. the arms in the bullpen are either overworked or underused (depending on the arm, the situation and the person making the under/over call).

    It’s said he doesn’t know how to manage veterans (yet Teix loves him) and isn’t careful enough with his young guns.

    There is not a person on earth managing this team in this fishbowl who would not be criticized.

    But Girardi is a young manager, managing the most scrutinized team in all of sports, in the toughest division, with a team that is technically playing together for the first time complete with huge egos, contracts and potential.

    And who is going to do a better job than Joe Girardi? Who is going to bring this team together and manage everything perfectly? Who do you trust?

    It doesn’t surprise me that Girardi has some issues with all that he’s contending with but he’s there, he’s involved and even if he holds back some.

    He sometimes sits people but his philosophy is that you don’t bench a slumping player, you let them work out of it otherwise it gets in their head. He’s got a philosophy that the Yankees, so far, have supported. If he’s mismanaging CC and Arod, the two biggest contracts the Yanks have, then there’s going to be issues but that is for them to work out.

    The front office has to get everyone on the same page and help the team in its cohesion.

    But Girardi is doing as well as can be expected. He has a winning record, he’s thinking and he’s very involved in the games. And if he’s not, exactly who do you bring in? There’s no one else I want to see managing this team.

    • jsbrendog

      + eleventy billion

    • Hova

      There’s only one solution. Win. Beat the Red Sox a significant number of times in the 10 games we have left against them and be competitive in the playoffs this year. That’s it.

      I hate to make it sound so simple, but that’s reality in a town like NYC. All Girardi can do now is put the best team on the field and hope they perform.

    • Chris

      Just to harp on one point that bugs me…

      Girardi is not overusing any of his relievers. Phil Coke is the most often cited player as being over worked. He’s pitched in 32 games (41st most in MLB) and thrown 29.2 innings (69th most as a reliever). He’s on pace to pitch 68 innings in 75 games. That usage pattern is in-line with what effective relievers throw.

  • Hova

    “…wonder what his managerial future will be?”

    If we don’t make the playoffs, he will be fired the very next day by the Yankee brass and will have an impossible time finding another job. Two firings in less three years as a manager. Not a bright spot on a manager’s resume.

    Hopefully it won’t come to that. Unfortunately I feel the urgency is not there yet with the team and most of the fans. We usually dominate the NL and have struggled this year. Need to rip Atlanta in half these next three games.

    But my biggest concern is the 3 big west coast trips we have to make. That is no easy task especially two 3 game series left with the Angels in LA.

    • Chris

      Joe Torre was fired in 1981 and 1984. I heard he went on to have a pretty good managerial career.

      • Hova

        You can’t compare that era to ours my friend. Do you know how many reporters covered a team in those days? A couple. Now there are hundreds of bloggers and MSM outlets following every move of every team with up to the second updates.

        Think about how our society has transformed. There is no patience anymore on any level. Its a now society. Our technology caters to this, our news outlets cater to this, and our sports franchises are starting to function the same way. GMs fear hiring new coaches because they know that their job is on the line for the hire. Its crazy.

        • Chris

          I agree that times have changed, but that would seem to make multiple firings even less of an issue.

  • Jesus

    Is Cashman in charge? Where is the Front Office in all this? Girardi’s the easy place to point the finger. If it was such a big deal why didn’t they send Girardi a spreadsheet for the first two months of A-Rod’s season highlighting the Mandatory off days and the potential off days?

    This smells funny to me, the bottom line is that the front office has not shown itself to be prudent when dealing with injured players. The way they handled Wang was ridiculous.

    • Evan NYC

      Maybe along with the Manager learning the ropes, Hal is going to need to learn the ropes of being an owner also…I’m sure some of these decisions have come from him.

  • Charlie

    I don’t like Girardi very much, but its mostly because of the little things he mismanages(the bullpen, too much small ball). Don’t blame him for CC’s arm or A-rod needing rest, but if we don’t make the playoffs this year, Girardi will be gone.

    • Zach

      “too much small ball”

      then we have people complaining this team relies too much on the HR and they need to manufacture runs right? he cant win no matter what joe does

  • Zach

    So Mike Lowell blats the Red Sox Front Office for just caring about “the gate” in the rain shortened game and that quote went no where.

    CC says maybe he’s throwing too many pitches, which turns in CC not liking Girardi and Joe cant control the team.

    • Hova

      Red Sox are in first place in the AL East and their manager is made of teflon. Our team is in second place and our manager is slowly beginning to feel the heat. MSM loves to find anything to blow up when it comes to the Yankees. That’s what happens when you’re the Evil Empire.

      But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Embrace the dark side :)

    • GG

      also while it may look like an easy job, there are most likely things to being a manager that we all know nothing about…resting a player coming off a major surgery every once in a while is not one of those things, so yea, Girardi deserves a little heat, but hey atleast he knows Tex loves him.

      • Zach

        i understand needs rest, but Joe is also managing for his job. He sits Alex and they lose by 1 run what comments would flood a game thread here?

        Should he have rested Alex more? Sure, is it that big of an offense that people are making it out to be? no

  • Frankie

    Fire him already. He is an awful manager. Awful. I can’t think of a player who has exceeded expectations under him.

    • Zach

      Cervelli?

      • Zach

        Aceves and Coke and how many people thought they wouldnt have traded for a CF by June?

        Tough to exceed expectations with a veteran team; Posada, Alex, Jeter, Cano, Tex, Damon, CC, Andy, AJ are who they are.

        • GG

          Who are they going to trade for??? and with what?

          • Zach

            I’m not calling for a trade.
            My point was = in the offseason/ST how many people were confident that Melky/Gardner would still be everyday CF at end of June?

            • GG

              Thats b/c Yankee fans are a spoiled breed, myself included

    • Mike HC

      It is tough to have players exceed expectations when half the players on the team are expected to have MVP or Cy Young seasons.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      When you expect the world from everyone, how can you exceed it?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      How about Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez last year?

      • Hova

        Btw, where is Edwar? Are we ever going to see him again? Has being in the minors done anything to help him improve?

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          He’s doing real well, 23 Ks in 18.2 innings and only 5 walks.

          • Hova

            Wow. Good to hear. Hopefully he replaces Tomko once he implodes again.

    • jsbrendog

      oak

      tag

      .

  • JeffG

    A couple of weeks ago all the press is on his side. Articles of Tex calling him the best manager he has ever played for. A short cold streak for the Yanks and he is on his way to being fired. I see why Torre got sick of being in the NY caldron.

    If there was such an issue with the pitch count it could have been voiced prior… 20/20 hindsight calling out is a bit unfair in my estimation.

    A-Rod should have been rested. I just wonder if Cash or anyone said so much earlier.

    Ultimately I think the bats are due to come alive soon and once again we’re going to find that Giardi is a genius. Sometimes I think a little too much is attributed to the manager good and bad.

  • Jake H

    Joe just can’t get a break.

    • Hova

      Almost makes you wonder why come to a place like NYC to be a coach/manager (other than the $$$)? Its impossible to please everyone. And every move is so exaggerated and criticized. I have a lot of respect for the guys who last years in NYC as coaches. Pretty incredible.

      • Zach

        Even the third bad coach for the Mets was getting killed for a while there if im not mistaken

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

          Still is. Razor Shines made some really bad calls at third base yesterday that are being ignored because the Cardinals couldn’t execute a simple relay play from the outfield. Omir Santos was out at the plate by a good ten feet, but Yadier missed the short hop.

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

        Rumor has it that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

        • jsbrendog

          this comment prevented me from smashing my keyboard.

          therefore, ietc

      • Mike HC

        Because it is an all or nothing job. If you win a World Series, you will be forever revered and loved by the best city in the world. You will get the proverbial “key to the city.” Of course, if you lose, you will be criticized, mocked and run out of town. When fans are so passionate like New Yorkers, it is a high risk, high reward type of job.

        • Zach

          Joe Torre is forever loved by fans?

          • Mike HC

            Yes. I believe Joe Torre is loved by New Yorkers and would have run of the city if he ever decided to move, or visit here. I think the Yankee Stadium crowd would give him a standing ovation and a big hand every time he comes back to the stadium. Anyone Yankee fan who does love and respect Torre is probably too young to remember the glory years.

            • Mike HC

              * Any Yankee fan that does not love and respect Torre is probably too young to remember the glory years.

              • Zach

                Well I wouldnt take the stadium’s reaction to people as speaking for Yankee fans. [Booing ARod, Mo, etc]

                But I guess I do agree with you, it depends on the age/type of Yankee fan

            • jsbrendog

              i personally lost all respect for him after that abortion of a book of his taking shots at his former players and violating the trust of the clubhouse. he also inherited an amazing team. do i like him? yeah. he won a lot here. does he deserve our adoration? hell no.

              • jsbrendog

                to clarify, he was great and yes, he deserves credit and a cheer. but he burned all his bridges and has left a sour place in my memories of him.

                • Zach

                  you cant combine ‘inheirted amazing team’ and the book in the same argument

                  if you dont like him because he wrote a book fine whatever, but does NY no longer like David Wells?

              • Zach

                Francona inherited an amazing team, and his GM made midseason trades.

                Girardi inheirted an amazing team and added more this offseason, and what comments are filling up this thread?

                • JP

                  Is there any doubt Girardi is a hard-ass? Some players respond to this, others don’t. A good player should be able to play for any type of manager, outside of an outright psychopath, but I don’t think Girardi is doing much to showcase his managing skill. Maybe he’s doing as well as anyone could, but I think if this team is still 5-6 games behind Boston in August, he’ll be gone. Pena will manage in the interim, and they’ll get someone new next season.

                • Chris

                  if this team is still 5-6 games behind Boston in August

                  They’re not 5-6 games back now. They’re 4 games back.

                • Zach

                  I dont know what Joe being a hard ass has to do with anything, Torre was too laid back for fans, cant please everyone.

                  And if Jeter, Alex, Posada, Andy dont respect Girardi then that says alot more about them then it does about Girardi

                • JP

                  Ok, Chris, you win the nitpicking award for the day. You understand what I mean, though, right?

              • Mike HC

                He won four World Series, took the team to six World Series and made the playoffs every year during his stint as Yankee manager. It is all about winning in New York. He won big time. Just because he wrote a hardly revealing book about the Yankee years does not diminish him in my eyes. If anything, he added more entertainment for New York fans. I actually enjoyed that book. Phil Jackson wrote a far more degrading book about Kobe and the Laker years. It seems like Kobe and LA fans were able to forgive him.

          • Slu

            I think he is gets his love back a little bit every day.

            “You don’t know what you got, till it’s gone”

  • KW

    Anyone reading this quote a little differently? To me, it seems like he was responding to the “was it last year’s usage” that brought this on questions that always seem to pop up, and to me, it seemed he said “it could have been any amount of pitches, or any of the 120 pitches I threw.”

    That’s not a condemnation of girardi, and CC isnt the guy to do that.

    • Zach

      Sabathia didn’t believe a heavy workload last year (a MLB high 253 regular-season innings and making his last four starts — including a NLDS outing — on three days’ rest) with the Brewers late in the season caused what Dr. Dan Kanell diagnosed Sunday as tendinitis.

      “No, that’s not it,” Sabathia said of the Brewers, who knew their chances to retain the free agent hurler were slim, riding him hard down the stretch, something Sabathia volunteered for. “It could be the 120 pitches this year.”

  • Andrae

    is it too early to start thinking about a replacement for giardi?

    • Mike HC

      I vote for the three headed monster at RAB, with the RAB commenters as advisors, to become co-managers.

      • Chris

        You could have a post for each inning, instead of one game post. Or maybe a live chat with polls.

    • Slu

      Yes. Because as was stated earlier in the thread, if the Yankees run off 15 of 20, all this goes away.

    • Hova

      Yes. You don’t think about it until the season is over.

    • Chris

      YES.

    • jsbrendog

      i nominate the water skiing squirrel from anchorman

      • Hova

        Can we include Baxter as the hitting coach? He can eat an entire wheel of cheese.

        • jsbrendog

          done.

  • JP

    I was torn between Girardi and Mattingly back in ’07…I favored Girardi, but now I kinda wish it was Mattingly. Girardi seems to let too many things get under his skin, and if there is an atmosphere of tension and anxiety even in interviews with the guy, I can only imagine what it must be like with him when the cameras and mic’s are gone.

    I think Mattingly might have been a lower key guy, maybe better at managing the players. But who knows…it’s a tough job.

    • Zach

      “I think Mattingly might have been a lower key guy, maybe better at managing the players. But who knows”

      Exactly, Mattingly has 0 experience managing, or dealing with players with authority (yes batting/bench coaches are more friends then enforcers)

      I dont get how anyone could make the case for Don over Joe in ’07, dont think you can even make that decision now.

      • JP

        I definitely think you can make the case now. Managing is about results. If you don’t get reuslts, you are gone. While this would be a very harsh evaluation this early in the year, you can certainly make the argument that the Yankees are under-achieving. They are basically at the same W-L level as last year, but have added 3 major FA stars.

  • dre

    I was all for Girardi back in ’07, he had the experience and the awards so why not?
    but wow how the tables have turned. He makes the most illogical decisions sometimes and constantly thinking about tomorrows game instead of right now..

    • Zach

      thinking about tomorrow (or how todays decision effects the next 100 games) is part of the manager’s job

      • Zach

        if it wasnt the case why would you ever bench ARod? Why wouldnt you use Mo or Bruney 4 games in a row? Let CC throw 160 pitches

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    Wasn’t bullpen management considered Giradi’s strength last year? Funny how many comments say that he can’t manage a bullpen. I do believe that he does not have the full respect of veteran players, especially the Four Ring crew. It may not even be intentionally. How many of you have worked along someone, possibly outperformed them, then had that person become your boss? I think it is only natural for there to be some issue with his ability to relate to those players. When the Yankees go on another run all will be right with the world again and we will forget all about this stretch.

    • Zach

      Outperform him? Girardi is like 10 years older then them, and was on the downside of his career.

      The promotion analogy doesnt make sense. If Jorge was manager it would make sense, if you get hired and a guy who’s been working there for 15 years gets a promotion are you not going to respect him?

      • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

        When did Girardi ever put up anywhere near the offensive numbers Posada does or Jeter? I am just saying, this COULD be a factor…IMO…Torre was mostly an All-Star his career and while he didn’t have a great deal of managing success when he came here, he was able to handle veteran personalities for the most part and gained the respect of the players…with Girardi, from taking the candy away when he first started it seems like alot of the things he did or does or however rubs some in the clubhouse the wrong way…I’m just saying…

    • JP

      “…I do believe that he does not have the full respect of veteran players, especially the Four Ring crew…”

      Interesting remark. Wouldn’t surprise me, although obviously none of us can know for sure.

      This will sound idiotic, but from what I’ve read of the Torre book, learning about Jeter’s and Posada’s personality, I sort of wonder if maybe that old nucleus isn’t part of the problem. Clubhouse “chemistry” wise, if they are sort of a clique, and if we’re going to throw around blame in the club house at guys like ARod, etc., maybe you have to consider the possibility that the Four Ring crew has failed in their roles as leaders and integrators on a changing team.

      (Or maybe it’s just that other teams have been better for the last 8 years…)

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    On another note, pardon my ignorance, what does oaktag mean?

  • Chris P.

    I’m not sure if anyone’s said this already or not, but i wanted to give my 2 cents.

    When I read CC’s quote is see it more as a “my work load last year didn’t contribute to my injury” than a “I’m being over worked.” Everything I read about CC’s seems like he wouldn’t throw his manager under the bus, or even insinuate as much unless it was accidental.

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