Archive for April, 2008

Giambi owns Neyer

April 28, 2008

Rob Neyer’s Blog 4/22/08:

In Jason Giambi, the Yankees have the highest-paid first baseman in the majors. By far. They also have the worst-hitting first baseman in the majors. By far…

I have a solution to all the Yankees’ problems. Release Giambi. Sign Frank Thomas and Barry Bonds for the greatest DH platoon in universal history. Win division title. Beat Angels in AL Division Series. Beat Red Sox in ALCS. Lose to Dodgers in World Series. Simple.

How’s that .286 EqA taste? (5th out of 13 AL 1B w/ 75 PAs)

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Girardi fallout

April 13, 2008

Sam Borden of the Journal News:

You want to call him an idiot? Fine. You can call him that. Maybe Joe Girardi made a dumb decision yesterday. Maybe.

He’s not apologizing though. He’s not calling what he did a mistake. It wasn’t like he and his coaches didn’t think about having Mike Mussina walk Manny Ramirez with a base open and a one-run lead in the sixth inning. They thought about it. And they talked about it. And then they decided not to.

This is how the new manager of the Yankees works. He is – clearly – not afraid to make an unorthodox or unpopular choice. He is not afraid to ask his players for their opinions. He is not afraid to deal with the consequences of his choice. Results aside, that has to be a good thing.

Now, Borden is just going off what he thinks and not really any information, but he still raises an interesting question. (Actually, he is just answering the question with no info, I’m raising the question). Anyway, is it really a good thing for a manager to ask his players for their opinions on in-game decisions?

I would lean towards no because it is very difficult for players in the middle of game to evaluate situation without bias. Also, at the end of the day it is the manager’s decision. Nobody went over to Moose after the game and said, “Why didn’t you walk Manny?” It was, “Why didn’t Joe have you walk Manny?”

Regardless, Girardi should’ve realized that it wasn’t a situation to ask Moose anything. It was a situation to come out to the mound and say, “Walk Manny, there are two outs and Youkilis is the guy we need to get.”

Or, even if he wanted to know what Moose was more comfortable with, Girardi should’ve tossed Moose a throw pillow and told him to walk Manny.

Girardi’s first gaffe

April 12, 2008

In the bottom of the 6th in Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees game, runners were on second and third with two outs. The score was 2-1 and Manny Ramirez was at the plate, he had already homered earlier in the game against pitcher Mike Mussina. With first base open and Yankee reliever Brian Bruney (0.153 WXRL) warm in the bullpen, options were aplenty.

Instead of walking Ramirez or bringing in Bruney to face him, Yankee manager Joe Girardi elected to have Moose face Manny. Ramirez promptly lined a Mussina fastball to right-center for a double scoring both runners and relinquishing the Yankee lead.

Stop booing LaTroy Hawkins

April 4, 2008

Stop Booing LaTroy Hawkins: Why Paul O’Neill’s number shouldn’t be retired

The latest trend among the masses that attend ballgames at Yankee Stadium (perhaps you’ve heard, it’s the last season) is the booing of newly acquired Yankee reliever LaTroy Hawkins. At the prices these people are paying, it is their right to boo anyone. But, I find the reasoning quite misguided. The fans (the same ones that started a “we-want Ber-nie” chant on Opening Day last year) are booing Hawkins because he is wearing number 21, Paul O’Neill’s old number, which fans believe should be retired.

If fans are so passionate about this, they should probably boo someone who would actually have authority over which Yankee numbers get retired and which ones don’t instead of booing a pitcher who has been a Yankee for mere months and claims to be honoring Roberto Clemente.

In addition to their plea being misguided, I also believe their plea to be just plain wrong. O’Neill was a terrific player who wore his heart on his sleeve. ‘The Warrior’ was a fan favorite that was famous for his temper tantrums (remember the “Paul-O Ne-ill” chant from Game 4 of the 2007 ALDS? It was a supposed dig at the team’s lack of passion), but he is on the outside looking in on this issue.

Here is the full list of all retired Yankee numbers:

(4) Lou Gehrig
(3) Babe Ruth
(5) Joe DiMaggio
(7) Mickey Mantle
(37) Casey Stengel
(8 ) Bill Dickey
(8 ) Yogi Berra
(16) Whitey Ford
(15) Thurman Munson
(32) Elston Howard
(9) Roger Maris
(10) Phil Rizzuto
(1) Billy Martin
(44) Reggie Jackson
(23) Don Mattingly
(49) Ron Guidry

The only member that doesn’t fully deserve to have his number retired is Martin, who may have brokered an under the table deal with Big Stein in order to comeback as a manager for the 5th time.

Here are the more deserving Yankees that should have their numbers retired over O’Neill:

Derek Jeter: Is there any doubt about The Captain?

Mariano Rivera: The Greatest Reliever of All-Time. Sure, he’s no Keith Foulke, but we should retire his number anyway.

Joe Torre: Yes, the man we love to hate for his years of faulty bullpen management, love of veterans and hate for young players. Don’t forget that he was the manager that broke the 18 year World Series drought in the Bronx or that he won more games than Casey Stengal.

Bernie Williams: Despite what Buster Olney would have you believe, #51 was the most important player for the Yankees during the ’96-’01 Dynasty. In an unrelated note, with Jim Rice extremely likely to make the Hall-of-Fame next year and lower the standards for the HOF, Bernie might be an interesting case as he out-WARP3’s Rice by 30 wins.

Jorge Posada: A bit of a borderline case, but Po is a Yankee-lifer and will have 16 seasons in pinstripes when finished with his current contract. Po has a career .300 EqA, so when he’s at the plate urine good hands.

Alex Rodriguez: Sure, you might be a little surprised to see A-Rod’s name up here at this point, but think about it. When A-Rod is done with his current contract, he’ll have 14 years in pinstripes and the all-time home run record if healthy (knock on wood).

That’s the end of the list.

Yes, I appreciate everything Paul O’Neill has done for the Yankees organization. I’ll never forget the memories, especially him in right field near tears during Game 5 of the 2001 World Series (his last game at Yankee Stadium) with the crowd chanting “Paul-O Ne-ill.” But, the theme that has been set with Yankee retired numbers has been all-time greats. Simply, O’Neill just isn’t deserving of that label. And for that reason, Yankee fans need to stop pining for his number to be retired and stop booing LaTroy Hawkins.

Girardi has BP2K8

April 3, 2008

But what caught my eye immediately was a copy of the Baseball Prospectus 2008 annual on the shelf behind his (Girardi’s) desk. Baseball Prospectus in the manager’s office?

Yep, Joe Torre doesn’t live here any more. (Source