Sunday, May 27, 2018

What Are Managers For?

The Yankees, yesterday, gave up another meaningful lead and got clobbered.  We are making a pattern of giving up 3, 4 and 5 run leads lately.  And losing.  And losing ground.

The pitching staff, and much of the regular line-up, may be visually described as follows;



No, that is not spaghetti on her brain, it is a tangled mess.

1.  We all said, " Walk him, goddamit.  Walk him!"  Sonny Gray had established from his first pitch that this would be "one of those days."  He could not throw a first pitch strike.  He couldn't throw a strike when the count went to 3-2 either.  He is desperately trying to protect a one run lead, with two out, one on on third ) and Mike Trout at the plate ( did he think it was Steve Trout?)

The manager must, by now, know that MLB changed the rule for intentional walks to speed up the games.  Just wave your hand, and off he trots.  Instead, Boone pitches to Trout ( who had hit two scorching doubles in his first two at bats ) and suddenly, the Yankees are behind and out for the count.  Shitty, miserable decision by a rookie manager, trying to give his pitcher confidence.  Meanwhile, it blew the game.

2.  The last thing I imagined was sending the " toe " down to SCRANTON.  He was hitting .330 and played great defense.  Torreyes was a thorn in every team's side whenever he played, and loved by the team.  Clearly, this was management thinking...."our starters are so terrible, we need 5 relievers per game to give us any chance of winning."

The message here is; " no matter how consistently well you play, if you are not a full scholarship player, you will be trashed."  This is clearly a Yankee administration that would have found no place for Phil Rizzuto.

The team is bummed, and all to bring up a guy who has never been reliable ( Bird), and who was hitting .200 in AAA.  He is now hitting zero in the majors after yesterday's debut, flashing an unimpressive and non threatening 0-4.

3.  If opposing pitchers only throw change-ups, curves, sliders and sinkers to Stanton, he will strike our forever.  He can only hit a fastball.  And only from lefties. But he made a nice defensive play, or we would have lost 13-4.

4.  I, too, wondered why Knahle and why now?  He had not shown anything in the minors.  His only asset is his fastball, and it is not doing what it did last year.  His work was useless.  Can't wait until Adam Warren proves that he, too, is out of gas.

5. The big guns in our line-up ( all swinging to hit the ball 454 feet ) are just shooting blanks far too often, and it is obvious that they can't do much damage against really good pitching.  So, our shot in the post season would seem limited.  We aren't scoring 10 runs often enough, and sometimes lose even when we do.

6.  But the real story is that we have one reliable starting pitcher.  Sonny, CC, Tanaka and German are each good for about 4 innings and 6 runs per start.  And there is no point considering a trade of our best prospects because we can't get 4 reliable starters in any imaginable series of transactions, and that is what we need.  It is a fairy tale to think we can win the AL East if the four current starters are a combined 32-32 in mid September.  This is what you call;  a mess.

7.  The Yankees are the ones who should play the Tampa Bay" pitching switch."  Lay out each game with the idea of replacing our starter ( except Luis) after three innings.  Always walk a dangerous hitter if there is anyone on base, and two outs.  Hold the damage down and keep all thirteen pitchers active.

Also, change the batting order.  Bird and Stanton should be in the 7-8-9 part of the order.  Torres needs to be moved to the heart.  Seriously consider getting Clint Frazier into the outfield now.  Gary and Hicks, lovable as they are, are not producing.

And we won't even address the " Didi issue" right now.  He is great.  Yes.  But none of us have seen a non hitting streak from a star, as relentless as this one is.  His lack of production is killing us.  At least move him to the 9 hole.

8.  Make some courageous changes, Aaron.  That is your job.  Now do it.  It is not courageous to simply plug in the expected, formulaic moves ( Bird, Khanle, Warren, Walker ).  Anyone can do that.

I suggest we begin today.

28 comments:

Leinstery said...

Stanton with yet another Golden Sombrero. In comes Roberston to walk the bases loaded before giving up the bases clearing double. Get me the Binders

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Does Bird have options?

Anonymous said...

Yes--there is something very strange about the Gregorious batting plunge--not just a slump, but a collapse. His career offensive numbers are not great--but now he looks helpless at the plate. Notwithstanding Sterling's near-hysterical hyperbole about Didi's fielding prowess, his defensive metrics have never been especially impressive--hovering just slightly above average, a bit better than those of Jeter, whose dWAR was often in minus territory because of his terrible range. The Yankees cannot hope to advance to the postseason with a shortstop--a critical up-the-middle player--who is merely average on defense and essentially batting zero on offense. If his freefall at the plate persists up to the All-Star break, I don't see how they can fail to make a move--and that move might well bear the initials MM.

Leinstery said...

I'm not sure how options work. And certainly don't know how they work for a guy that was called up almost 3 years ago, but has never been sent down because of constant injuries.

And yeah, Didi hasn't fallen off a cliff, he's fallen into a black hole. What does he have 2 hits in the month of May? I feel that if this persists there will be no ace at the deadline, but a team other than the Orioles flipping Manny to the Yanks.

Yankees Historian said...

I hate to state the obvious but someone has to. We can’t expect help at 2B from the Mick. Not only was he never an infielder, he’s dead.

Anonymous said...

Yankee Historian--Is that your idea of humor, or have you failed to open a scorecard since Manny Machado came on the scene?

Anonymous said...

Yankee Historian--And Gregorious is a shortstop, not a second baseman. You seem to be the Rip Van Winkle of Yankee historians.

Anonymous said...

And now for a bit of blog blasphemy. I was listening to the postgame show on the radio, and the Yankees' Spanish-language play-by-play announcer, Ricky Ricardo (no, not THAT Ricky Ricardo), was substituting for Sweeny Murti. I'd heard him before, and have always come away impressed by the beautifully sonorous timbre of his voice, his smooth, expressive delivery, his solid knowledge of the game. With Sterling pushing the big eight-oh, perhaps it's time to ease his heroic burden a bit and convince him to allow another play-by-play announcer in the booth--as has been the custom with every other MLB club since the dawn of time--with Suzyn relegated to pre- and post-game duties and occasional pregame vocal renderings of "The Impossible Dream"--closer to her area of real professional training and competence.

I hereby nominate Ricky Ricardo as Sterling's successor--and sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Having read a bit more about Mr. Ricardo, I see that he spells his first name "Rickie"--in case you were planning to write to Hal or Randy Levine with a recommendation. He would also provide welcome relief from Kay and that awful twerp from ESPN radio on telecasts in case you want to write to Mr. John J. Fillipelli, as Kay renders it in his inimitable suck-up style.

TheWinWarblist said...

Rufus, this is for you.

TheWinWarblist said...

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a Hicks? Is it a Bird? No! It's Andujar!!
AHH-AHH-AAHHHH-AAaAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHaaaa-ah-ah-ah-aaaaaaaaAaAaHaHaHaaaAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!

TheWinWarblist said...

I second that emotion.

Anonymous said...

el duque's three-day holiday words of wisdom:

"Have a great Memorial Day everybody, and let's play nice with each other, okay?"

Seconded. I assume we can agree to a unanimous upvote by acclamation.

Anonymous said...

Alphonso's points on this post are nearly all spot-on, imho; I'm sure that he meant Gardy & Hicks in #7, though, and not Gary. Overall, it is as if Fonz was reading my mind during the game...

I also absolutely agree that the Yankee voices could use a good shake-up - - and I also agree that Coney & Kenny are our only two really good TV men at present - - no way, though, would I advocate trading Kay for Buck, even if that were possible - - Buck hates the Yankees, and takes every available opportunity to depict us in a negative light. Would that we could bring back people such as Kitty (the crafty lefty of yore), and others who really knew the game. We need to ditch Paulie as well - - all he wants to do is joke about food, lodging, and his family - - let him go spend his millions - - they never did pay him for his mental acuity, anyway...but rather than Buck, I would love to see John Miller back (if he is still with us - - as I hope, though I haven't looked it up). Our commentary, both on radio & especially on TV, could use an injection of thoughtfulness & intelligent insight, fer'shure.

Not ready to give up on Didi just yet - - and I NEVER would spend the bucks on MM (I see why the YH, above, may have gotten confused) - - but Gleyber WAS a natural shortshop - - and we could feld another creditable 2nd-bagger - - and then, FGS, use the $$ on REAL starting & relief pitchers - - next year, if not this. LB (No J)

Joe F said...

Dilly dilly

Joe F said...

Was it just me... or has there been a strange somberness to the clubhouse since Torreyes wrongfully got sacked. The players AND Boone all looked depressed as if all the fun got zapped right out.

Thanks again Coops...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Dilly dilly!

TheWinWarblist said...

DILLY FUCKIN' DILLY!!

TheWinWarblist said...

Sadly, I believe Didi is hurt ...

Mustang said...

Anonymous, Jon Miller is calling SFGiants games on the radio. For my money, he's the best broadcaster in baseball.

I'd leave NYY radio alone and institute a purge of the TV booth, leaving only Singleton & Leiter standing.

Anonymous said...

Jon Miller is too firmly wedded to the Giants and to San Francisco--and to far on in years--to be a realistic candidate for the Yankees--although I agree that he is one of the best in the game, by a good measure.

I don't know why the radio booth should be off limits. For all Sterling's "lovable" eccentricities and tics, he's a disaster as a radio announcer and a fool--an all-around embarrassment. Suzyn Waldman has no more qualifications to be a baseball analyst than anyone's Aunt Martha. That broadcast is a fucking disaster. Why not ease the transition, as I suggested, by pairing Sterling with a first-rate play-by-play guy for a year or two--someone who is designated to take over the number-one slot when Sterling is mercifully awarded his gold watch?

And as for keeping a woman in the radio booth or introducing one to the TV booth--what does Jessica Mendoza do between Monday and Saturday? She would be a dream compared to Waldman.

Anonymous said...

As regards a possible injury to Gregorious: if he had sustained an injury serious enough to account for the disappearance of his batting skills, surely he would have been given some time off by now. I don't think it can be that: I think he's lost something, and no one--not Didi, not the coaches--knows where to find it.

Baseball hitting can be a notoriously streaky business. But this streak into oblivion is beginning to have a permanent feel about it. I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

too far on in years

Anonymous said...

Gregorious's slash line for May is .117/.150/.195. Nine for eighty. That makes him by far the worst qualifying (number of plate appearances) player in baseball for the month. Call up the shortstop from Charleston or Staten Island, and you will get a better result than than that. If he were a robot on Westworld, he would have been decommissioned by now.

I hope he goes four for four tomorrow. But would you bet on it?

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


re: Jon Miller

He was the voice of the Orioles for a time when I lived in Maryland. I listened to him because (a) unless atmospheric conditions were precisely correct, I could not get the Yankees' radio broadcasts; (b) while still a Yankees' fan, I hated the Orioles; and (c) it was, after all, Baseball.

Also, the Washington Nationals did NOT exist at the time. And: If there was an Internet in 1996, it did not carry MLB games to my house in the D.C. suburbs.

My memory is that Jon was a great announcer. Esp. good in games that got out of hand early. Had opinions, and voice them.

Well, that got him FIRED. Believe it or not, I found a 1996 Bawlmore Sun write-up on this:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-11-04/features/1996309053_1_angelos-jon-miller-camden-yards

My other thinking on Jon Miller leaving San Francisco: If you could find well-compensated, gainful employment in your field of dreams in San Francisco -- well, why the F would you ever leave?

Yankees Historian said...

Seeing that the Mick is dead, he’d have an easier time at 2B than SS.

Let’s keep it real, folks. Jeez.

John M said...

Mantle started out as a shortstop. He also played a handful of games at 2B and 3B for the Yankees.

Alphonso said...

Hey Mustang...

You do know that Ken S. is retiring, right? This is is final dance.