May
11

Thoughts on a Random Saturday

By
(Jamie Squire/Getty)

(Jamie Squire/Getty)

Note from Mike: Just a heads up, Matt wrote this Thursday, so some of it sounds kinda weird after the blowout win over the Royals.

1. The Yankees offense looked pretty anemic against the Rockies, which is kind of surprising given the fly ball tendencies of Colorado’s ballpark. Then again, maybe it isn’t all that surprising as half of the Yankees lineup belongs in AAA (you know it’s bad when soon-to-be-canned Ben Francisco is batting fifth) and Travis Hafner is stuck on the bench. The Yankees pitching is pretty solid, but they’ll need to plate more than a couple runs on the board if they’re going to be successful this season, unless they plan on taking a page out of the 2012-Orioles-win-by-a-run-every-night handbook. When Hiroki Kuroda gives the team seven strong innings of two-run ball you’d like to see a W. On a side note, it’s really too bad CC Sabathia‘s start was cut short by rain. He was looking really sharp prior to the delay.

2. Speaking of run production deficiencies, I can’t stand watching the pitchers hit. Don’t get me wrong, I love interleague play – especially since the Yankees have generally fared pretty well through these matches. But I can’t stand pitchers hitting. Aside from the fact that they are generally terrible hitters at the plate (yes, even the “good” ones), the risk of injury is simply too great. Frankly, I cringe every time I see CC step up to the batter’s box in general, but now more than ever, the Yankees depend on him taking the ball every five days with half their team out of commission. Here’s to the AL and the designated hitter.

3. Not really Yankees related, but I thought I’d mention the fiasco in Cleveland. For those not familiar with the situation, Oakland’s Adam Rosales was ripped off of what would have been a game tying home run. Here’s the video. The umpires had an opportunity to reverse the incorrect call but they didn’t despite the replays showing definitively that they screwed up. I find this pretty inexcusable. I get the argument (though I don’t necessarily agree with it) that it’s nice to have the “human element” in the game (aside from the players apparently). But for goodness sake, get the damn call right when the tools have been implemented, are easily accessible and are designed specifically for that purpose.

4. During Thursday afternoon’s chat, I received a number of comments mentioning Joe Girardi’s nomination for the Manager of the Year award should the team make the playoffs. First, that seems a bit arbitrary to me – if the team has a successful season but just barely misses the playoffs by a game or two, shouldn’t that still count? Kind of like when he won the award with the Marlins? Second, Girardi’s doing the best that he can with the pieces that he has, and keep in mind those pieces are generally veteran players. That said, I don’t know that you can give him credit for the performance of the players. Guys like Hafner or Vernon Wells or Kevin Youkilis are going to do what they’re going to do. I’m just not sure how much Girardi has to do with it. At the end of the day, the players are accountable for their own performance. Just my $0.02.

Categories : Musings

29 Comments»

  1. Willballs says:

    Wow, you take disliking girardi to another level. Based on your past condemnations of joe you now are already rebuking any mention of possible candidacy for coach of the year. Be truthful and tell us how you really feel and who you want to coach this team!
    Maybe you want Willie Randolph?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Oaktag.

    • Matt Warden says:

      I don’t dislike Girardi at all. He’s a fine manager, and honestly, he’s a pretty good fit for this team. I find that it’s hard for a manager to have much of a tangible impact on a veteran lineup such as this – other than setting an optimal lineup. That said, I don’t really blame him when the team is losing generally, and I don’t really give him a ton of credit for when they win. I put the accountability primarily on the players. As to your question about who I’d want as a manager given my druthers, I like Maddon’s forward thinking approach. As much as I joke about Showalter, he’s pretty good too.

      • Peter Lacock says:

        You want something tangible?
        You watch maybe 20 hours of baseball a week and you think you know something about the other 120 hours a week when all the real work takes place. Those 20 hours you see are simply the product of all the hard work that makes a performance.
        I don’t see anything tangible that leads me to believe that you have any credibility to speak with any authority.
        And this just doesn’t go for you, everyone around talks like they know something when in fact they know shit.

  2. mitch says:

    I really don’t care about manager of the year…especially in mid-May. I also agree that he’s not responsible for the resurgence of Wells/Hafner/Overbay. Having said that, Joe has to get some credit for where the team is right now. The team keeps winning as the disabled list gets longer. He’s done a great job so far.

  3. Jason says:

    Being the manager of the Yankees must stink. If they underperform, you get destroyed. If they play well, you get no credit whatsoever. Rough. Girardi’s done a great job.

    • trr says:

      After all the injuries, all the BS, we are in 1st place on May 11th. Who wouldn’t have signed up for this on 3/31? Under the circumstance, it’s tough to knock Girardi, his coaches, or the F/O for that matter. Kudos to the players who have stepped up.

      Say….what IS in that binder anyway?

      • SeventhAce says:

        I assume every page in the binder was:
        “left > right, right > left” with every subsequent page’s font get larger and bolder with exclamation marks added

  4. Gordon M says:

    Didn’t a Yankees player hit a HR at the Royals’ stadium, which was reviewed, then called a double when all the replays showed that it was in actual fact a HR?

  5. jjyank says:

    I’m somewhere in the middle with the whole Girardi and credit thing. I do think that a manager’s role is overstated by many and at the end of the day, it’s the players that have to execute. But I also think there is something to be said for the guy managing a first place team that has been absolutely devastated by injuries and in a tough division to boot.

    At the very least, I’m glad people are mentioning his name and “manager of the year” in the same sentence, even if such talk is premature. Girardi gets an awful lot of hate from a lot of fans, and the binder jokes are so overplayed and hackneyed that I cringe every time I see the word. It’s nice to see some people give him some love.

  6. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I can’t tell you who’s won Manager of the Year in either league the past few years. It’s a great award, if you’re a manager, but leaves the general public shrugging their shoulders.

    I simply don’t think the award exists to be held to the type of scrutiny we want to hold it to. If the storyline for the season is a good one, he should be considered for it. It’s not some super-sabremetric award.

  7. DJ says:

    I never understood the “binder” hate. Name one job in this world where you don’t make decisions based on past experiences. Go.

    • mitch says:

      Agreed. I’ll take binder of over “gut feeling” any day of the week.

    • jjyank says:

      Agreed. Every manager has a binder. Every one.

    • YankeeJosh says:

      I agree in general principle. I think the majority of the hate comes from Girardi being married to the wrong information though. I can look at numbers in my job but if I don’t take into account that things have changed since the last time we did something, I am also being short-sighted. The biggest example I can think of lately was Girardi playing Ben Francisco over Hafner vs. lefties because of handedness.

      Having information is good. Knowing which information to use is more important. And I take the criticism of Girardi to be that he’s using the wrong information simply because it’s there.

    • pinch hitter says:

      kamikaze pilot.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      Binder jokes are lame. If anything I wish Joe paid more attention to statistics and did less of that “he’s our ____ guy” stuff.
      And don’t get me started on his love affair with intentional walks.

  8. nsalem says:

    Girardi has made almost as much as a manager as he did as a player. He apparently has the trust of his employe’s and probably has plenty of options if he wants to pursue other avenues off the field in MLB. I’m sure he’s happy to take the cash over credit. I also doubt he is effected or even hears any criticism he may receive from the press or the public.
    Considering the tenuous health issues of both Youk and Tex i wonder if the Yankee’s are giving consideration to keeping Overbay around. . Judging by our two injured stars track record and severity of their injuries the question may be not when will theyl get healthy? but How long will they stay healthy for? If Overbay is not a Yankee I would imagine the next choice is Dan Johnson which I don’t think sits well with the FO. I have no stong feelings about this one way or the other just interested in seeing how it plays out. It would be hard keeping Overbay around with such a small role if Youk and Tex come back and play well. It might even be more difficult if they both went down again

    • Kosmo says:

      if Overbay keeps it up I´m sure Tex´s rehab will be taken at a moderate pace to insure he´s 100% . Hafner staying healthy is iffy, so Overbay could remain given how brittle the incumbent 1B and current DH tend to be.

  9. TomH says:

    That said, I don’t know that you can give him credit for the performance of the players. Guys like Hafner or Vernon Wells or Kevin Youkilis are going to do what they’re going to do.

    The logic of the position here is not merely that Girardi doesn’t merit the award but that no one, ever, merits the award–and it should therefore be abolished.

    • Greg C says:

      Sounds good to me.

      • Matt Warden says:

        Not sure I agree with your conclusions here, Tom. I make the argument that Girardi shouldn’t get credit for Vernon wells playing above his projections or get penalized for Andy Pettite’s recent cutter difficulty. I just don’t see how much influence he has here. Maybe if there are some young kids on the team, and he manages to compose them, that counts for something, but player performance has to be accountable to the player I would think.

        What I judge Girardi (or any manager for that matter) on is:

        A) is the lineup reasonable
        B) is he making timely decisions correctly more often than not — i.e. calling in relievers or handling certain match ups appropriately
        C) keeping club house issues in house – i don’t like hearing about dissention among the players (perfect example was all the drama surrounding Bobby V during his stint in Boston).

        I never once claimed that Girardi shouldn’t win the MoY award nor did I say no manager should qualify (although, honestly, I wouldn’t care in the least if the award didn’t exist). The point here is that we should re-evaulate how we’re measuring managers against one another since teams “circumstances” are so drastically different and unlike a player, their contributions to the team are often much more nuanced.

  10. wow says:

    I get where you’re coming from about Girardi. The players, especially veterans, are ultimately responsible for their performance.

    But I think where the real impact of the manager is putting his players in a position to succeed. I think that’s easier said than done, and Girardi has done a pretty good job of it so far. As much as I’d like to see Hafner in the line up taking every day, Girardi knows Hafner is best left on the bench against lefties, etc.

    That’s we’re his most tangible impact comes in. If he continues to do that well, I think he should be considered for th MOY.

  11. vicki says:

    this site generates enough content that noone needs to post that the yankees need to score more, it’s hard to watch pitchers hit, or that bad umpires suck. all due respect. but you did stumble on a good debatable point about girardi, and the comments and your follow-ups are elucidative.

    i’ve heard football is the coach’s sport; basketball the players’; baseball the gm’s. i think that’s chiefly accurate, at least when it’s business-as-usual. but we’ve seen decimated teams fall apart so often i ultimately come down on the pro-joe side.

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