Girardi called team meeting after last night’s game

The Slade Heathcott Brawl
Run boys, run

Buried in the middle of this predictable “the Yankees didn’t bury the Red Sox when they had the chance!” column by Joel Sherman is this little nugget: Joe Girardi called a team meeting after last night’s game. Not just the players either, the coaches as well. The message: cut the crap and stop playing so sloppily. Team meetings sound nice to us fans, because at least it looks like they’re trying to do something, but I highly doubt this alone will end this ugly slump. Better than nothing though.

The Slade Heathcott Brawl
Run boys, run
  • dkidd

    Team meetings are overrated, but I don’t mind the timing of this one

    Let’s take 2 of 3

  • Matt :: Sec110

    team meetings are the most overrated thing in sports…that and ‘team chemistry’.

    • Bryan L

      I’m praying this is sarcasm.

      Otherwise, I couldn’t agree less.

      • Pasqua

        I don’t think it’s sarcasm, and I actually agree with it, especially in regard to “chemistry.” How can how much a guy gets along with another guy impact a win or a loss? If a SS and 2B aren’t friendly that does it effect their ability to turn a double play? Will a guy intentionally strikeout instead of trying to hit a sac fly with a douchebag teammate at third?

        I think the chemistry concept makes for good mainstream media fodder, but that’s about it.

        And, finally, ’77 Yankees, blah blah blah.

        • Bryan L

          It impacts winning and losing because its one less thing to worry about on that team. When players get along better, they tend to have more fun playing the game, which can translate into better results on the field.

          I fully believe good team chemistry is one of, if not the most important factor for a team trying to win a championship.

          • Zack

            So did the Rangers beat the Yankees last year because they had more team chemistry or because they had more pitching?

            • Bryan L

              Probably a combination of both.

            • Neil

              In part because Girardi refused to recognize he got all he was going to get out of AJ (a pitcher he didn’t even wanat to use) and left him in to pitch to Molina!

          • JobaWockeeZ

            That’s incredibly laughable. Talent >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

            Them 1977 Yankees sure did love each right?

            • Bryan L

              04 Red Sox, 08 Phillies, 10 Giants…..

              None of these teams where the best in MLB. But they still ended up winning it all.

              • Mike Axisa

                That doesn’t mean anything. Those teams had really good starting pitching, that’s why they won.

                • mike

                  agreed – its like your job – talent wins and gets the corner office, while being friends is nice and can’t hurt but is irrelevant

                • Bryan L

                  2004 Red Sox had good starting pitching? Really? Other than Schilling and Pedro, the rest of the staff had a pretty average-mediocre year. Lowe had an ERA north of 5.00 during the season.

                  Other than Hamels and Moyer the 2008 Phillies staff sucked. 3,4,5 all had ERA’s north of 4.5

                  2010 Giants I’ll give ya. That’s an example of good starting pitching.

                  • Mike Axisa

                    The playoffs are not the regular season. Derek Lowe had a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-.500 OPS against in the playoffs in 2004. Joe Blanton had a ~3.00 ERA in 2008 playoffs.

                    It’s not just good pitching. It’s good pitching at the right time.

                    • Bryan L

                      So in essence, its luck. That’s what your saying?

                    • Mike Axisa

                      Oh absolutely.

                  • Pasqua

                    So, if the pitching is “only” better than average, than the only other possible reason for a team winning is chemistry?!

              • mike

                and if Rivera gets the job done in Game 4….one fewer team on the list, despite the bon-homme and Cowboy nonsense, no??

              • JobaWockeeZ

                Uhm the 2004 Red Sox were the best team in baseball. The 2004 Yankees got incredibly lucky. They should have been an 89 win team with their horrendous pitching.

                And in the playoffs you need to get lucky and hot…

                Talent trumps all. Chemistry has nothing to do with it. It’s incredibly overrated. If you want a feel good story then fine but it has little correlation to succeeding.

                How come the Yankees arne’t hitting now? Isn’t their chemistry great? How come in 2010 when Melky left Cano had his best season? Obviously t3h chemistry would be worse without his best friend.

                • Mike c

                  When you’re talking about a bunch of millionaires half-assing it, then yes chemistry matters. Just because you can’t put a number on it doesn’t mean it’s not there

                  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    Are these a bunch of millionares half-assing it, though? Playing poorly doesn’t mean the team isn’t trying hard enough to play well.

                    Especially in baseball, where not succeeding is such a regular occurrence. There are millions of instances of players “whole-assing it” and still not winning ballgames.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            When players get along better, they tend to have more fun playing the game, which can translate into better results on the field.

            And when players have better results on the field, they tend to have more fun playing the game and get along better. It’s a chicken and egg scenario. Most of the teams that win regularly and contend for a championship are often noted for having a great clubhouse atmosphere. Teams that often lose a lot and are at the bottom of the standings are full of surly malcontents who are clubhouse cancers.

            Does winning breed happiness, or does happiness breed winning? Does losing breed discontent, or does discontentedness breed losing?


            In terms of the issue at hand, though, this is all just a big red herring. Girardi didn’t call a team meeting because the Yankees didn’t like each other, there’s no chemistry issue here. He called a team meeting because the team had been playing sloppy baseball and he wanted to reemphasize the commitment and focus on defense. This wasn’t a chemistry meeting, and the Yankees don’t have a chemistry problem.

            • Bryan L

              You’re getting all philosophical on me there haha.

            • Kosmo

              I guess you weren´t around for the “Bronx Zoo “ years.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                A valuable counterexample that either proves the rule or invalidates the theory. Tough to say.

                In any event, it would indicate that the relationship between chemistry and success is probably more correlative than causal, wouldn’t you say?

          • Pasqua

            “When players get along better, they tend to have more fun playing the game, which can translate into better results on the field.”

            Sorry if this sounds immature, but, “Says who?”

            These guys play 162 games, not counting ST and possible playoffs. There will be up days and down days, regardless of how much the guys like each other.

            You are, of course, more than welcome to believing that chemistry pays a large part in a team’s success, but to definitively say that it impacts winning and losing is simply unfounded. And, simply citing teams that have won and claiming they had good chemistry isn’t an argument, because I can cherry pick that too. Like this: ’03 Red Sox. “Cowboy Up!” No ring.

  • Pasqua

    To little, too late: Cervelli has already hit his game-changing homerun for the year.

    Buuuuut, seriously, folks…regardless of how meaningful / effective team meetings are, I think it’s fair to say that, after the last two weeks, one was most definitely in order.

  • General Tsao

    And Girardi finally does something. The team needed someone to light a fire under them. Paul O’Neill ain’t walking through that door. Hideki and Johnny Damon aren’t coming back to get clutch hits. Someone on the team will have to step up. What happened to A-Rod’s MVP season? Where have Swisher and Posada gone? Why does Teixera hit infield pop ups on 3-1 meatballs? Girardi needs to turn it around or he’s gone come season end.

    • Xstar7


      All joking aside, this team does need to turn things around. But the good news is that there is plenty of time left to do it.

    • marty l

      swisher will be gone either this year (traded if they fall far out of race) or not re-signed. he over- achieved last year. ditto posada. a rod looks old even “running” to first, joba is not really clutch in big games. tex, ??? this could be 1959, yanks finish third in east. girardi will be back, has 3 year deal.

      • Jerome S.

        Third behind who?

        Tampa? Really?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        this could be 1959,

        Nope. By definition, it’s 2011.

        • first time lawng time

          Pretty sure he was making an analogy not being literal.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            And I was making analogous point by being overly literal.

  • jackstrawelf

    Blame Kevin long and his cushy rep of returning one hitter to pre Yankee form

    • mike

      all joking aside, ive been disgusted at the mad-love given to Kevin Long for the past few years. IMO, too much credit has been given to him for these “successes”, where the full body of his work is actually not that good

      while im sure some of the hitters dont listen to him and have other influences, he needs to get some of the blame for every hitter (with the exception of Granderson and Martin….maybe?) for not hitting their weight.

      he cant get the credit for “working with” Granderson, and not get the bitch-slap for Jeter/Arod/Posada/Tex/Cano/Swish (although he did predict a regression from swish..).

      • the tenth inning stretch

        K-Long can’t force hitters to make adjustments. In most of his success stories, the hitter comes to him and asks for help.

    • Tom Zig

      I’d love for Kevin Long to return A-Rod to his pre-Yankee form.

      • Neil

        You’ve got to find his cousin!

  • Dr. O

    The meeting quickly went to crap though when Girardi asked Boone Logan as “team leader” to address his teammates.

  • infernoscurse

    reporters are tweeting that girardi put one foot over a chair as he laid one elbow on his knee while chewing on a twig he gave a 2 minute speech that ended with the words “Win one for the gipper”

  • Cuso

    When you have the closed-door meetings, sometimes it can kick-start the offense.

    But those meetings aren’t likely to impact the defense. it interesting that last year this team was ranked first in defense. the continued sloppiness isn’t an aberration. they are what they are & defense is a spring training dedication. it’s not like a hot-cold streak with the bat that you can tweak mid-season.

    unless all the Yanks are playing with a lazy mind (which i can’t believe) we’re seeing a 2011 with an extremely shoddy defense.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      unless all the Yanks are playing with a lazy mind (which i can’t believe) we’re seeing a 2011 with an extremely shoddy defense.

      Or, we’re just seeing a defensive slump, which happens occasionally just like offensive slumps do.

      I don’t remember our catchers and second basemen and shorstops booting and misplaying that many balls this year until a few weeks ago, when the team’s defensive play took a dip. I’m not sure you can say simply that this team is a bad defensive team or if it’s just having a bad defensive month so far.

      • first time lawng time

        I disagree with defenses having slumps. With offense it obviously happens (you fail more than succeed, you get unlucky, etc.) but I feel like you have so much more control over the defensive game. Bottom line is defense has been terrible lately and they need to address that.

      • Neil

        And what about the pitchers not covering first base?

  • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

    I don’t know anything about Chemistry (even less about Physics.) All I know is I am screwed tonight in Chicago with the local Fox game being the Cubs/Giants and the blackout in effect for all other night games. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

    • first time lawng time

      You may have lucked out. This could be another ugly game.

      • Pat D

        I know.

        It’s very possible that CC shuts down the Sox and that Beckett reverts back to his “getting his ass handed to him by the Yankees” persona.

        • first time lawng time

          That’s very possible, too. But given the way the Yankees have played recently and the way Beckett has pitched this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t happen.

          I’m not saying they’re automatically goin to lose and that’s the only possible outcome, it’s just that the Yankees are slumping right now, and they could play another lousy game.

          Also, he may have lucked out in that he doesn’t have to deal with Buck and McCarver lol.

      • Esteban

        You have such a great track record with predictions. Everybody, listen to FTLT, she predicted the Yankees would get swept by Toronto, but somehow, miraculously, the Yankees won 2 of 3 that series.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          She’s right, though. We’re playing Boston; by definition, that’s an ugly game.

          Youkilis, Pedroia, Beckett, Papelbon, Jenks, Varitek, Matsuzaka, etc… those are some ugly sons of bitches. I wouldn’t hit those guys with Bea Arthur’s dick.

        • first time lawng time

          Except I was basing that Toronto series on their track record vs Toronto since 2010. This I am basing on the way the Yankees have played the past 2 weeks. I actually have a legitimate argument this time.

  • hardwired

    Team meetings aren’t going to do shit for the lack of 2 out hits w/RISP.

    Take Posada and Swisher, for example. Combined, they’re a laughable 1 for 27 in that situation.

    It’s almost hard to believe they’re still above .500 considering the dearth of clutch hits so far this season. They’ll start coming, eventually. Until then, hopefully they can still hover around first place.

    • Esteban

      Sometimes teams have bad luck or go into slumps for whatever reason. The Yankees hitters are all tremendously talented and have all hit in clutch situations before. Assuming that all these great hitters (and sure, maybe Jeter and Posada won’t rebound) will continue to hit poorly in ‘clutch’ situations is going against logic and reason.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      It’s almost hard to believe they’re still above .500 considering the dearth of clutch hits so far this season.

      Not really, no. Because clutch situations are only one component of winning ballgames. You can score plenty of runs in non-clutch situations (like, say, homers) and you can pitch well or play defense well (which, current cold streak aside, the Yankees have done quite frequently this year) to limit the need for excessive scoring.

      If hitting well with RISP was like, 80% of the contribution towards winning ballgames, then yes, the Yankees struggles with RISP this year (as well as previous years) would make posting a winning record less likely.

      Hitting with RISP isn’t remotely close to that significant, though. It’s probably more like 25%. Non RISP hitting would be another 25%, and pitching and defense would be the other half of the equation.


      • Kosmo

        You got any rabbits in that hat?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          No, I have the historical record. I don’t need rabbits.

          Plenty of teams who were at the top of the league in RISP never won shit. Plenty of teams with mediocre or subpar RISP numbers went to the playoffs and won championships.

          We’d all love to hit better with RISP, but it’s importance is far overstated.

          • first time lawng time

            But it helps score runs, which helps wins ball games, which the Yankees have had trouble doing lately, because they haven’t scored many runs.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              I’m not claiming that not to be true. What I am claiming is, even when you don’t hit with RISP and fail to score runs and thus fail to win ballgames, it doesn’t mean by default that your team is going to lose more ballgames than it wins, because winning ballgames via hitting well with RISP is only one of various input methods by which to win ballgames.

              I know they’ve had trouble hitting with RISP, scoring runs, and winning ballgames lately. They’ve also won several ballgames previous to this period of not winning ballgames, despite also not hitting particularly well with RISP during those wins. That’s the point.

              Hitting with RISP is good and we all want to do more of it but we need to avoid overemphasizing it as if failing to hit with RISP has a direct, causal, linear relationship with failing to win ballgames. We can continue to fail to hit markedly well with RISP all year long and still win a crapload of ballgames if we pitch well or hit homers, two things we’re eminently capable of doing.

              If we’re not hitting well with RISP AND not hitting well in non RISP situations AND not pitching well AND not playing good defense AND have good reason to believe that all of those things will continue all year long, that’s when you should despondently panic. Losing one of those four legs of the table is cause for annoyance, not for panic.

              • first time lawng time

                We have been pigging well and we have been hitting homers and we have been losing ballgames.

                What’s missing? RISP.

                Bottom line is our offense needs to step it up.

  • William Wallace

    As I’ve gotten older these types of funks are bothering me less and less. Maybe its the fact that I’ve seen so many seasons of Yankee baseball, but I just don’t worry anymore. I still watch every game but my stress level doesn’t move until August. That’s when I’ll start showing any type of concern for this team.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder


      • Pat D

        Yea, like I said last night after the game ended, I’m not allowing myself to actually live and die by what happens on the baseball field.

        I have/create enough stress in my life as it is, so I refuse to let sports bother me that much anymore.

        After all, I’ve had a good sports life. In my 30 years of life, I’ve seen the Yankees win the World Series 5 times, the Giants win the Super Bowl 3 times, North Carolina win 3 (technically 4) National Basketball Championships, and I’ve even seen the Rangers win a Stanley Cup. Only the Knicks have let me down. Penn State’s had a lot of good seasons, too, but their 2 National Championships were too long ago for me to remember.

  • Stevetheman

    I think managers getting thrown out of games seems to be a more effective tool to jump starting an offense. A good brawl doesn’t hurt either to wake players from their stupor.

    But if I can just lay down some hard ugly truths here:
    Jeter, Posada, and ARod are all on the decline. Yes, they may show occasional glimpses of their former selves now and then but we should expect continuing lesser years from all of them and in the case of Jeter and ARod, that includes the field. Tex’s great picks will enable them to look better, but their range and athleticism is dwindling. Speaking of Tex, after that uncharacteristically fast start, he’s back to being last year’s version. When you look at what we’re paying him and ARod and you see what we’re getting, it’s pretty sickening. Then there’s Swisher. As a right fielder he’s always been pretty limited, but his hitting sort of made up for that. He’s certainly not too old. I can only hope he comes around soon. Where would this team be without Granderson? He along with AJ and Colon have been the pleasant surprises that have enabled us to have the record we have…and of course the late inning pen has been great, although we still never know which Joba to expect.

    Some things I’d like to see:
    Bring up Vasquez from Triple A to DH. He can hit right handed pitchers pretty well and he kills lefties. Start thinking about getting a left handed hitter off the bench to replace Chavez by trade if necessary.
    By the way, Jones has been a big dud so far. We need a 4th outfielder who can hit and maybe play some 1st to give Tex a breather here and there.

  • jon

    girardi showing some balls with tonights lineup

    Derek Jeter SS
    Curtis Granderson CF
    Mark Teixeira 1B
    Alex Rodriguez 3B
    Robinson Cano 2B
    Russell Martin C
    Brett Gardner LF
    Nick Swisher RF
    Jorge Posada DH

    • Monteroisdinero

      13M DH batting 9th. Yes it is time for JoVa or Montero to fill that role.

    • Pat D

      Not necessarily sure if that will do anything more than “send a message.”

      But let’s see what happens.

    • Xstar7

      I find that to be very amusing. Hopefully it works out.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Girardi calls team meeting-BURNS BINDER.

    That’s better.