Friday, September 14, 2012

Yankeetorial: Here's a way for the Steinboys to cut payroll next season: Stop signing former stars in the freefall of their careers

First, for the record: GOD BLESS FREDDY GARCIA. This isn't about The Chief as a person. He's had a great career. He came through last year, and responded in December by writing him a check for $4 million. That's where the problem started. Brain Cashman ascended into his creative tradesman mode, we sent pitchers to hither and Pittsburgh, and then everything went sour. Freddy Garcia has been a positive. After he's gone, many many years from now, his epitaph should read: Freddy Garcia, a Good Yankee.

But Freddy's last four starts have been disasters, and he is one of the reasons we watch scoreboards every night. And nobody - nobody - is surprised. We all knew the wheels were loose.

Now, some of you are saying, Duque, this is just another one of your bullshit tirades just because a guy's pitched crappy lately, and you liked Adam Warren. If you like Adam Warren so much, why don't you gett back on your meds and become a Scranton-Wilkes Barre Trolly Frog blogger? 

Well, first off, other Voice in My Head, Thank you for being an asshole. Secondly, the record doesn't lie about Freddy, who has now pitched 102 innings on the season. After becoming a starter through injuries, he pitched well for three starts and went steadily downhill.

The trouble with a guy like Freddy is simple: You know he won't get better. He's running out of pitches, and one of these days, boom, it's Deja Ponson, all over again.

So what if Freddy never existed? What if Clarence, the angel of Capra, floated down to the bridge where I'm planning to jump, snapped his fingers and said, OK, Duque Baily, you've got your wish, Freddy Garcia never existed! What if we hadn't signed him? Has David Phelps been better? Not much. And what about Warren or DJ Mitchell, whom we traded for Ichiro?

Adam Warren, 24, got one shot this year. He pitched 2.1 innings and gave up 6 runs. It was horrible. They banished him to Scranton, like Mad Max being sent from Thunderdome. On the Thruway Warriors, though, Adam threw 150 innings, went 7-8 with a 3.71 ERA.

Before we dealt him, DJ Mitchell, 25, pitched in four games. He went 4.2 and gave up 2. Down in Scranton, his ERA was over 5.00, so maybe he's better gone.

And then there's old Ramon Ortiz, 29, the bull of the Scranton rotation. Spent the whole year on the Thruway. Won 13, lost 6, with a 3.45 ERA. Would he had done better than Freddy? We'll never know. Because we were lashed to Freddy by a $4 million chain.

Would Adam Warren - if we had tracked through is opening disaster - now be improving, instead of getting worse? We'll never know. We never had that option.

When you buy an old player, you are closing the door on young players.

Of course, there's also the Andruw Jones example, but that's too easy. Would Kevin Russo (.284 at Scranton) or Ronnie Mustellier (.303, 10 HR) hit better? (It's hard to imagine them fielding worse.) Andruw has fallen off the board. His .203 average speaks for itself. But we play him. Basically, he's a bank that's too big to fail.

Instead of kids who might improve, we keep trotting out seniors with wobbly wheels. Even when they do well, they are always a tweak away from the DL. And then we wonder why nobody is coming up. You know how Joe DiMaggio was "The Yankee Clipper?" Well, David Phelps should be "The Yankee Youth Movement." He's all we got for 2012. Is it because we have no talent, or we simple demoralized it?

Meanwhile, the Yankiverse is celebrating the best news in weeks: Andy Pettitte's coming back, and Freddy - dammit, he was a Good Yankee - is finally gone from our rotation.


Alphonso said...

Andy is sure to save us.

He has been a steady major league pitcher for the last couple of years, is still in his prime at age 29, and has fresh legs.


el duque said...

Well, he looks good compared to Freddy, am I right?

JM said...

This was a great post. The only way you could be more right was if you were Michelle Bachmann.

This whole 'go with the veterans' thing has hurt the team for years. First it was George, then it was George and Torre, now it's Cash and 'Charts' Girardi.

We coulda hired Mattingly.

Charlie from upstate said...

You couldn't be more right. This go with the "veterans" thing has killed us since the middle of July. Could the young players done any worse than Jones and crew? What is Joe thinking?

Lee MacPhail said...

middle of July? It's been killing us for 30 years. We got lucky when George was suspended, but other than that, the Yankee record for nurturing and developing young talent is pretty dismal.

Stang said...

The Yankees might argue that they value the tried-and-true over the unproven. But an old team is a lot less fun to watch.