2010-03-02T22:29:25.410-08:00It's been a minute or two since I did a Top Ten Tuesday post, but back when I was blogging constantly (AKA when I had even less of a life than I do now), they were one of my fave posts to craft up - so let's bring 'em back!As each member of the Yanks rolled into camp for Spring Training and were pounced upon by the media, every single one of them reiterated the same cliched sentiment: "we just want to repeat what we did last year." A lovely goal, but as history has shown us, a tough one to realize. There are so many variables involved in winning even one World Series - not just your own team's injuries, slumps, and luck (good and bad), but that of 29 other teams, too! - that winning two in a row is no small feat, even with a spectacular team.The Yanks do have a spectacular team, of course - arguably even better than last year's championship roster. They've got about as good a chance of repeating as any team in recent history, but there's a few things that need to fall into place just right if they want any chance of back to back titles.Top Ten Things the Yanks Need to Get Ring #28 in 2010:10) A big year from Cano. Robby Cano Dont'cha Know had a dandy year last year in most regards - solid defense, stellar average, and a nice burst of power (25 home runs compared to his previous career high of 19). However... he couldn't always hack it in big situations and hit into 22 double plays. If he can get his act together just a tiny bit more, it'd be huge for the team. Let's just hope he's not too distracted by the loss of his BFF to play well - we don't want a repeat of 2008's performance.9) A decent performance from the Gardner/Winn/Thames contingent. I've said several times that because of the depth of the rest of the lineup, having a mediocre player in that outfield spot isn't really that big of a deal. That may be true, but there's still no room for a wretched performance. Whoever ends up in that spot needs to at least be consistent and able to contribute to the team in some way - we can't have a .200 hitter going out there every day.8) Minimal injuries. It's a "duh" one to even put on here, but really: some of these dudes ain't spring chickens, and we've got at least one guy that is particularly injury-prone (I'm looking at you, Nick Johnson. Try not to trip over a sunflower seed on your way to the dugout.) A rash of ill-timed minor injuries or a totally debilitating injury to a key player like A-Rod or Sabathia could be fatal. To their dreams. And anyone sitting near me when it happens.7) We need the 2008 Granderson, not the 2009 one. Last year was a relatively rough year for Curtis, at least in comparison to his previous seasons - he only hit .249 with a .327 OBP (although he did hit 30 homers, which he can hopefully duplicate with the Yanks' homer-friendly right field). Worst of all, his splits last year were heinous - he only hit .183 against lefties last year. We need better.6) No burnout for Sabathia. Sabathia has earned a reputation for being a workhorse, never turning down an opportunity to pitch one more inning or on one fewer day of rest. This was key last year, but can he keep it up?5) Jobamania AND Hughsie need to be ON all year. Wherever they end up, they both need to finally live up to their hype - and stay healthy. Whichever one ends up starting is going to make a huge impact on the team every five days, and whoever ends up in the 'pen has the ability to be a stabilizing force on the team. Both are important roles, obviously, but it would also be a big morale booster for the team to see both of their young "future stars" finally become stars.4) A drama-free A-Rod. I think after last year, we can pretty much confirm that A-Rod's attitude makes a WORLD of difference in his performance - and it also makes it easier for the rest of the team to relax and play their best, too. If A-Rod gets entangled in a baby-mama drama with a Real Housewife of New Jersey or continues to be thrust into the spotlight for past transgressions, all bets are off.3) Jorgie MUST be able to catch (and prefera[...]
2010-02-09T17:12:24.101-08:00After the announcement of the decision to sign veteran Randy Winn last week that put the official kibosh on any hopes of a Damon return in 2010, one might have come to the conclusion that the Yankees were pretty much set with their left field plans. They've got Gardner, they've got Winn, they've got no more money allotted to improving that position - that just about settles that, right?Apparently not!The Yanks have now invited 32-year-old righty Marcus Thames to Spring Training with the intent of having him compete for the left field gig with Garder and Winn. Or they may platoon two of them. Or all three of them! There doesn't appear to be any plan in place at this point - these three potentially-capable candidates will have to battle it out in March to see who sucks the least; the one or two still standing come April will be our starting left fielder.Ya know what would have been easier? Scraping together a few million bucks from the spare change in Big Stein's couch and signing Damon for the everyday job.But i digress.As I said a couple of weeks ago when I was advocating that the Yanks should just settle on Gardner and be done with it, with the other 8 dudes in the lineup there's really nothing to be concerned about even if our left fielder does suck. That is not to say that whichever of these three guys (or combination thereof) ends up starting will suck - just that they might, and that's actually OK. Let's take a gander at these three dudes and discuss what they may be capable of adding to the team:Brett Gardner: A youngster - just 26 years old with two seasons of experience, both with the Yanks. Lifetime .256 average and .325 OBP; his slugging percentage is just .352, but he's 39-for-45 on his stolen base attempts (in just one and a half seasons). While he is a lefty, unfortunately not much potential for taking over for Damon in the cheap right-field homers category.Randy Winn: The most seasoned of the bunch at 35 years old and 12 years of experience, and the only switch-hitter. Lifetime .286 average, .344 OBP, and .418 slugging percentage, and he's averaged 21 stolen bases per season during his career. Not a ton of power, but could hit a few to right field (who couldn't?).Marcus Thames: 32 years old, 8-ish seasons of MLB experience (not many games played in some of those seasons), including 7 games for the Yanks in 2002 (you don't remember because it was not memorable). Lifetime .243 batting average, .306 OBP, .491 slugging, has stolen a whopping THREE bases in 8 years... and been caught 9 times (for the non-mathletes among us, that is a very, very poor ratio). Potential for hitting a bunch of cheapo right-field home runs is not remarkable. On the bright side, he's been hit by pitches 11 times in his career!At least you got on base, we'll take it.You'll notice I didn't bother to compare the fielding skills of these lads - I've determined that aspect is a moot point after last year; as long as the 2010 left fielder runs himself into walls 10% less often and his relay throws make it an extra 4 feet, we can consider it an upgrade over Damon's fielding.While Winn arguably has the best stats of the three, my money is still on Gardner for the starting gig. He plays hard and has been steadily improving since his time in the minors, and he's got youth on his side. Gardner's speed and hustle (perhaps he's a John Cena fan?) are unique on a team packed with older guys with ample power, and quite valuable. What he lacks in power will be picked up by the other guys, and when he gets on base we know he'll be jetting down to second base.Winn won't be out of a job, though - I anticipate that he'll be playing a few times a week, or coming in to bat in certain situations (remember, he's a switch-hitter while Gardner's a lefty).As for Thames... I don't even understand why they invited him. Hope he likes Scranton![...]
2010-02-05T20:44:47.337-08:00After a long week of work and school, I finally had a spare moment to review the happenings in Yankeeville from the past couple days, and was quite jazzed to find not just one but two quotable quotes to dissect!The first comes to us courtesy of our dear Jobamania and relates to the surprising issue I wrote about a couple weeks ago: the surplus of starting pitching that the Yanks have to work with for 2010. Unlike most of his teammates, whose roles on the team are set, Joba will be heading into Spring Training without the promise of a starting gig. The Yanks have made it clear that they have not made a decision on who will be the fifth starter and will make a decision during or after Spring Training. Joba will need to compete for a spot in the rotation (which is where he wants to be - he is intent on being a starter despite the fact that he's arguably been more successful in the bullpen... but that's a whole other discussion I shan't delve into tonight) against Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and possibly even Alfredo Aceves.This picture is too awesome to NOT include. It reminds me of this. Enjoy. Despite a disappointingly mediocre 2009, Joba is still fired up and confident in his skills as a starter. He's ready to get down to Florida and prove himself, and understands that having four of five guys competing for one spot will benefit everyone: "It's something that's going to be a battle. The greatest part about it is it's not only going to make guys fight for that No. 5 spot, but it's going to make our team better. We're going to push each other and continue to try to outwork each other. That's the greatest part about this game; not only do you push one another to do better, but the team is going to be better for it."Joba is likely the frontrunner for the gig - barring a disastrous Spring, of course - but forcing him to work for it will make him even better. Of course, the bonus effect of this Spring competition will be an improved bullpen, too!(Until everyone gets burned out in August because they worked so hard in the off-season.)Alas, not everyone in the world is as gung-ho about the Yanks as Joba... which brings us to our second BQE!The Yanks are, as we are well aware, a polarizing force. They certainly have their share of detractors, and their wealth is a main bone of contention amongst many of the haters. We've all heard the "the Yankees buy their championships!" scoff (9 times out of 10 in a Boston accent) enough times to want to beat a Bostonian over the head with a bag of chewed-up sunflower seeds, but Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti took the "Yankees and their money" complaint to an interesting new level this week. Bisciotti's beef is apparently not just the disparity between the Yanks' payroll and that of the other teams, but also that the Yankees don't win enough (seriously):"It certainly doesn’t show up in the standings. If I’m a Yankees fan, I’m upset we’re not winning 130 games with the roster that they have and the money that they pay out. I think it’s a disgrace they only beat the average team by 10 games in the standings with three times the money. I’d fire that GM. You don’t need a GM. All you have to do is buy the last Cy Young Award winner every year.""It's PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE that the team I run blew it (again) this year!!!"I... don't know where to start here. This is so absurd I don't even know how to mock it properly. Are you angry that they have money? Or are you OK with the money but think that the number of wins should be directly proportional to the number of dollars spent (it doesn't work that way - talk to the Mets)? If it's a disgrace that they "only" won 10 more games than the average team, then I suppose it is also a disgrace that it took them 6 games to win the World Series. And if all a team has to do to be successful is be in possession of the previous year's Cy Young [...]
2010-01-26T09:56:10.696-08:00A-Rod's New York state of mind circa 2004-2008 (left) and 2009 (right)When I posted the BQE with McGwire's non-apology apology for juicing a couple weeks ago, I noted that it was unlikely that any other quote would ever top that one in terms of idiocy and amusement factor. That statement stands and likely will for some time (because really, how are we going to top "I did this for health purposes"???), but A-Rod's reaction to winning an award for post-season excellence this weekend earned him a spot on the BQE list for a different reason entirely: it was sincere, endearing, and humble. In other words, totally different from any other BQE I've ever posted.A variety of awards were handed out at the 87th annual New York baseball writers’ dinner in NYC on Saturday, from the traditional AL and NL MVP to more personal honors like the Joan Payson Award for community service (given to Carlos Beltran... that'll make his team feel better about him concealing his surgery from them, right?) and the Arthur and Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart Award (which was given to Aaron Boone, obv). Our dear A-Rod was honored as the winner of the Babe Ruth Award (the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s postseason MVP), an award no one who had ever uttered the words "choke artist" or "A-Fraud" during the 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 playoffs would have fathomed him earning.But earn it he did! His 2009 post-season numbers were indeed award-worthy: he batted .365 with six home runs (most of them undeniably clutch) and 18 RBI in 15 games, a performance worthy not just of an award but of a pardon for his prior playoff shortcomings. His amazing post-season capped off an equally impressive regular season, something no one would have expected after everything he'd endured in the previous couple of years (events which include, but are not limited to: a bitchy wife that wore clothes adorned with "Fuck You" to his games, a nasty divorce from said bitch, a romance with a near senior citizen with freakishly muscular arms [I'm looking at you, Madonna], getting dumped by said old lady for a 20 year old male model, opting out of a mega-huge contract in order to get an even bigger one [although I hold Boras primarily responsible for that one], being mocked by his former manager in a high-profile book, and a steroid scandal).While accepting his award, A-Rod acknowledged both his record of crappy playoff performances and the personal problems:“Postseason MVP. Wow. What’s next, the good guy award?”Seeing A-Rod cap off an impressive 2009 with a well-deserved award and a humble, self-aware acceptance speech is a delightful symbol of his shift in attitude. Yankees fans have been hoping for a change like this since he joined the team nearly 6 years ago, and it fills me with hope for what we'll be seeing from him for the next 8 years. A relaxed A-Rod that performs like a champ in the playoffs? It seemed unlikely just one year ago, but he proved me wrong. Perhaps that good guy award is up next after all![...]
2010-01-20T20:41:46.445-08:00Less video gamin', more fighting-for-your-rotation-spot, please.After a few shaky years of relying on one or two solid starters backed up by a series of interchangeable question marks (Rasner, Ponson, Chacon) and downright WTF's (Igawa, Wright, Pavano), the 2009 Yanks finally managed to put together a roster of starters that came close to being as impressive as their lineup. The Wangster was a bust, but they still had four starting pitchers pitch the entire season without injury or major disaster (CC, AJ, Pettitte, Joba), and the collection of dudes that filled in at the 5th spot was refreshingly reliable - as far as 5th starters go, that is - as well (Hughes, Gaudin, Mitre). As we look forward to 2010, the Yanks' list of starters is even more impressive. In fact, the Yanks appear to be in possession of - I'm frightened to even say this for fear of it causing a wave of Pavano-esque injuries and sending us right back to where we were in years past - a surplus of starting pitching.Could this really be true? Is this real life? In addition to their three best performing starters from last year (CC, AJ, and Pettitte), the Yankees will also have Javier Vazquez in 2010, giving them a rotation any team would be thrilled to have regardless of who was rounding out the last spot. Unlike previous years where the 5th (and sometimes 4th) spot was at best a gamble and at worst a throwaway, the Yanks have four viable starters to fill in after CC, AJ, Pettitte, and Javy. Hughes and Joba are the obvious candidates for the spot - Girardi and Stein still consider both of them as potential starting pitchers, not relievers - but the Yanks also still have Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin, who started 9 and 6 games last year, respectively.Who will actually get that spot remains a mystery for now; arguments can be made in several directions (and we shall discuss them in a later post). The fact that they have all these options is the important thing. Not only does it give the Yankees some breathing room in the event that someone gets injured or proves to have an off year, but it also forces all of them to step up their game to earn the spot - having to beat out their teammates to get the chance to pitch will surely inspire some serious hard work and determination. I don't necessarily anticipate Chad Gaudin to bust out an epic season and knock Joba and Hughes out of the rotation, but for those two to know that if they don't pitch well they could easily be bumped can only be good.It's been quite a while since I've felt such confidence in the Yankees' pitching staff. Not having to rely solely on Mariano and offense was a nice treat last year, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying that same luxury this year. With a lineup that actually could carry a team with poor pitching and a rotation like this to take the pressure off, this team is looking downright absurd*.*Superstition disclaimer: Not I would count my chickens before they hatch. Knock on wood, etc etc.[...]
2010-01-18T19:03:29.127-08:00Let him go, Brett. You can hang on your own.As I mentioned last week, my love for Damon (post-Boston/beard Damon, that is) had me rooting for him to return to the Bronx for another season - if the price was right (even as a fan, I can't justify the Yanks spending more than a couple million on him, nor would I want them to sign him for anything more than one season). Unfortunately for Damon fans like myself, since the Yanks (wisely) don't want to shell out big bucks for their left field spot and Damon is still holding on to hope of scoring big elsewhere, it's time to accept the fact that Damon will likely NOT be manning left field in 2010. Thus the time has come to suss out other possibilities...The Yanks have not yet formally announced who they plan to have in left field this year, but with Damon out of the picture, they essentially have three options: make a trade, sign a free agent, or put Brett Gardner out there. Making a trade seems unlikely - who would they be trading for? And who is left to give up? - and the list of free agents that fit the criteria the Steins have in place for their 2010 left fielder ("will work cheap" and "doesn't suck too horribly") is dwindling by the day (although Gary Sheffield is still available! I'm surprised - who wouldn't want that little ray of sunshine brightening up their team's morale?). That leaves our dear friend Brett Gardner, a guy once thought to be a better bet than Melky Cabrera before his lackluster performance relegated him back to the bench. Gardy may not be the most impressive player, but his low price (under half a mil) and potential for improvement have him just weeks away from getting the left-field gig by a process of elimination. As a Yankees fan during the Steinbrother area, I'm not used to the team "settling" at any position - they've got the money, go after the big players! - but I actually think giving the job to Gardner instead of expending more money or players is the best move the Yanks could make with their left field opening.Why give the gig to Brett? As noted, Brett ain't the best left fielder in the league, and when compared to the rest of the Yanks lineup he looks like he belongs in the minors. That said... who cares? Have you seen the rest of that lineup? While a 1-9 can't-get-em-out lineup like we had last year is fantastic, it's also rare and simply not necessary. A-Rod, Teixeira, Jeter, Granderson, Cano, Posada, Swisher and Nick Johnson are more than capable of taking care of business whether their 9th teammate is Brett Gardner or Wily Mo Pena or even Matt Holliday. Would having another 25-home run guy on the team be nice? Sure. But it's not necessary for the Yanks to be successful in 2010.What's more, Gardner shouldn't be written off as a "waste" of a lineup spot anyway - he has the potential to contribute much more than we saw last year. Remember, last year at Spring Training he impressed Girardi so much he was actually given the starting job in centerfield over Melky. Once the season got rolling, his performance unfortunately dropped off significantly, but he's obviously got some natural ability in there somewhere. He's only 26, and doesn't have a ton of experience - perhaps what he needs is the chance to get in a lot of at-bats without a ton of pressure (look at that lineup above). His first partial year in the Bronx, when he appeared in 42 games in 2008, was not impressive (.228/.283/.299), but he improved substantially in 2009 when he had more opportunities: .270/.345/.379 in 108 games. Why not give him the chance to prove what he can do? If he does poorly, it won't have a huge impact on the team, and if he does well the Yanks find themselves enjoying the services of a quality left fielder without[...]
B.Q.E's (best quotes ever) are some of my fave posts to do: they essentially write themselves thanks to the sheer idiocy of the quotee. Today's addition to the B.Q.E. files is no exception, as Mark McGwire decided at last to come clean about his past steroid use after 10+ years of unyielding (and unconvincing) denials to everyone from fans to congress. In a lengthy statement that covered everything from his dedication to his new job as Cardinals' hitting coach to a list of injuries he felt justified his juicing (at the time), Big Mac admitted to using steroids throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season when he broke the home run record (good thing Bonds broke it again a couple years later and brought dignity back to baseball!).
The statement itself is somewhat dry, likely written by an adviser of some sort, and hence not the ideal source for humorous quotes. Once he got on the horn with reporters, the fun began! He was very emotional and had some interesting things to say about his previous denials and the reasons he used steroids. Let's look at the highlights:
On how coming clean feels:
"It's very emotional, it's telling family members, friends and coaches, you know, it's former teammates to try to get a hold of, you know, that I'm coming clean and being honest. It's the first time they've ever heard me, you know, talk about this. I hid it from everybody."
No, you didn't - everyone knew you were juicing. Denying something doesn't mean you hid it, it just means you're a liar.
On whether the steroid use contributed to his many injuries that prompted his retirement:
"That's a good question."And that's a bad answer.
On his 2005 lie-fest at the congressional hearings (for which he now blames his lawyers' advice):
"That was the worst 48 hours of my life."Lying to congress wasn't pleasant? Aw, we feel so bad for you.
And the quote that may never be topped by another B.Q.E.:
"I did this for health purposes. There's no way I did this for any type of strength use."
2010-01-10T20:38:38.690-08:00I'm not a huge fan of change when it comes to my Yanks, particularly when the status quo is working just fine and dandy, but it came as no surprise that after winning the World Series in November the Yanks basked in the glory of their 27th championship for about 36 seconds before beginning their quest to improve the team for a bid for #28. While I personally would have been content to watch the exact same team trot back out there in 2010 and try to repeat their successes, I understand the need to capitalize on free agency (by both letting some dead weight go and snapping up some available players from other teams) and lucrative trade offers, and I must say the Yanks have done a bang-up job tweaking the team thus far this off-season. They've steered clear of all the blockbuster-type players many assumed they'd be in the market for (Lackey, Halladay, Holliday, etc), instead focusing their energies on making minor changes that cost relatively little in terms of both money and prospects. Is it possible that the Yankees might make it through an entire off-season without blowing $3028023091283 or shipping off their entire farm for one player? The winter's not over yet, so there may be a big move still up their sleeves, but the 2010 team is shaping up quite nicely without the need for major moves. Let's review what the Yanks have done so far to prepare for 2010:No hard feelings, Hideki: Despite having a very productive 2009, capped off by an MVP-worthy World Series performance, the Yanks let Matsui walk away rather than re-signing him. I like Matsui and appreciate everything he's done for the Yanks (and I'm sure the Steins appreciated the Japanese advertising yen he brought in), but there was really no need to keep him around at this point. He is not able to play defense anymore and his knee is hanging on by a thread - keeping him around strictly as DH is silly when there are other candidates available who can offer more for a lower price....But we'd rather have Nick Johnson: I loved NJ when he was first with the Yanks, and I'm thrilled to have him back. His services won't be needed at first base very often (Teixeira took a grand total of about half an inning off last season), so he's likely to spend just about all of his time in the DH spot, but that is precisely where he should be with his .400+ OBP and potential for a bunch of right-field cheapie homers in the new stadium. I'm not always keen on teams signing someone strictly to be a DH, but the Yanks' infield is set in stone and they've already got a plethora of outfielders, so NJ it is!You better learn how to dance, Curtis: The Yanks already had about 678 outfielders, but when they agreed to a 7-player three-way trade with the D-Backs and Tigers that landed them centerfielder Curtis Granderson I was excited all the same. He's got speed and power and is a good all-around dude to boot - which, as we saw from Nick Swisher last year, can add a lot to a team. For Cano's sake, though, let's hope he can dance a la Melky...No mas Melky, bring back Javi: The writing was on the wall for Melky once CG was signed - as mentioned above, how the hell many outfielders does this team really need? Still, seeing him traded to the Braves for Javier Vazquez was bittersweet all the same. Javi is obviously much more valuable to the Yanks than Melky, however, and will hopefully fill out the rotation quite nicely. Whether he can repeat the incredible performance he put together in '09 seems unlikely when you factor in the league change and the park he'll be pitching in, but he's just what the doctor ordered to back up CC, AJ, and......Dand[...]
2010-01-09T12:57:34.935-08:00Why hello there, Yankees fans and folks who accidentally clicked my link from a Google search for "Kate Hudson A-Rod Breakup"! 'Tis I, the Yankees Chick - a gal you've likely forgotten thanks to my abysmal failure to update this sucker even once in the past 5+ months.Yes, it's been a minute or two since I last blogged (and longer still since I kept this site updated on a truly regular basis), and I apologize for my absence. No, I haven't stopped obsessing over the Yankees (come on now), nor have I given up on the blog - 2009 was simply a wildly busy year in the land of the YC. Even whilst I was forced to push the bloggity to the back burner last year, I always intended to fire it back up as soon as one of three things happened:1) I finished school, thus freeing up my evenings for bloggin'2) Vince McMahon hired me as a high-paid special consultant for the WWE, with my sole responsibility being to watch every episode of Raw and Smackdown and offer suggestions on how the storylines and characters could be improved (for the love of christ, can John Cena and Randy Orton not be in a title match at just one PPV?), thus freeing up my days for bloggin'3) Something ridiculous in the baseball world fired me up so much that I decided I simply MUST get back on the blogging saddle pronto, regardless of my lack of time to do so.I'm still in school, and Mr. McMahon has yet to seek out my valuable services, so you can all thank Mark McGwire for inspiring me to dredge up my blogger.com password and get back to work!If you're a die-hard MLB Network viewer like myself, perhaps you saw this little nugget yourself last night:The fuck? What year is it? The most shocking thing about this seemingly out-of-nowhere Big Mac news is that Harold and the gang at the MLB Network failed to mention what seems in my opinion to be the obvious motivation for such a move: a better chance at Hall of Fame election. Since becoming eligible for the HOF in 2007, it's become abundantly clear that the voters have no interest in allowing McGwire into Cooperstown (I know, I know - it's shocking that they don't believe his steroid denials, isn't it?), and making a brief comeback may give him a fighting chance. By rejoining the field of active players, Big Mac would no longer be eligible for the HOF for the time being, but once he re-retires and waits out another 5 years for renewed eligibility, attitudes may have changed enough to give him a chance at election.Cuz seriously, there's no other reason for the man to even consider re-joining the MLB. I don't think he's that hard up for cash, and I certainly don't think elderly pinch hitters are such a rare commodity that the Cardinals are banging down his door begging him to return.That's it for today - again, I apologize for my long absence, and I look forward to writing much more in 2010. Stay tuned this weekend for my thoughts on the Yanks' off-season moves thus far (fare thee well, sweet Melk-Man...)[...]
"I hate three people right now: Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, and Joe Girardi. I'm over Pettitte, Joba's a pussy, and I hate Joe Girardi."I've already mentioned my concern about Joba and his troubling insistence that he was pitching his "best" lately, and no one can deny that Pettitte has been extremely disappointing this year, but I'm not sure I'm ready to be out on Girardi. Is it really his fault? What could/should he be doing differently? Convince me one way or the other in the comments section, kiddos. Are you on team YCD or still wearing your Girardi jersey?
Remember that annoying kid you knew growing up who always insisted they were great at something despite ever-increasing evidence to the contrary? The type of kid that could fail 10 math tests in a row and still brag about it being his best subject, or the horribly klutzy girl that kept trying out for the cheerleading squad year after year, thinking they really had a chance at making it? Their confidence was so ridiculously off-base that you couldn't help but feel bad for them while wondering what the hell their parents were telling them to convince them of their awesome-ness.
Joba is totally that guy right now.
Our dear Jobamania, whose pitching this year has continued to be ineffective at best and downright pathetic at worst, stated last night that his "stuff" and "mechanics" in his last two starts were the best he has had all season.
Read that again, and then take a gander at his line over those aforementioned last two starts:
8 IP, 18 hits, 13 runs, 7 earned runs, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 home runs.
Now, I certainly understand that it is possible to pitch well but get unlucky (bad backing defense, particularly lucky opposing hitters, etc etc), but I simply cannot agree that Joba has shown his "best" stuff recently. You know how I know this? BECAUSE I HAVE EYES AND CAN SEE THAT HE'S BEEN PITCHING HORRIBLY. Giving up 18 hits in 8 innings is not a fluke, it's an indication that your pitches are not good.
To be fair, Joba also expressed frustration and disappointment in the results of his recent outings, but to say that he feels his "stuff" was at his "best" is worrisome indeed. Confidence is important and I certainly don't want the poor kid to get too down on himself (putting immense pressure on oneself is a recipe for disaster; just ask the growing number of players on the DL for anxiety problems), but how is he going to improve (which we desperately need him to do) if he thinks that what he's been doing is his "best"?
For those counting, the Yanks are already down to 4 starters thanks to the Wangster's inability to recover from suck-itis, and 4 innings of Joba's current "best efforts" every fifth day is not helping matters. It's lovely that Joba has such faith in himself, but he's going to need to step it up to re-gain mine.
2009-04-25T13:37:20.297-07:00Suh-weeeet!!! Way to go, Melk-Man! Not only did he hit 2 homers (including the walk-off jack!), but he hit them from opposite sides of the plate --- an all-too-rare talent these days.
2009-04-25T13:37:34.590-07:00Testing, testing, 1-2-3!! Just realized I can blog via text message (apparently I've been sleeping since 2005). Had to comment on the home run derby going on in the stadium - fluke or a sign of what we'll be seeing for the next 50 years? And is it necessarily a BAD thing? At least we've got the bats for now - ask me again in 10 years when the roster is totally different...