Friday, May 16, 2008

The Yankees Suck - Late May Edition

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Over the past few days, I have been in an email exchange with my brother and Jerry discussing the Yankees. I usually have very brief observations such as "Moose rules" or "Yanks suck."

But I finally had something of substance to say and the next thing I knew, it was fifteen minutes later and I wrote a bullet-pointed email.

Anyway, here's the meat of the email I sent to Derek and Jerry...

Let's really look at why the Yankees suck.

1. Injuries do matter. A-Rod was last year's MVP. He's an all-star and a future Hall of Famer. Posada is really the glue of the Yanks and keeps the young pitchers in check. No A-Rod leaves a monster gap in the line-up. What good is getting Jeter or Damon on base when Matsui has no one to protect him? I mean Giambi is just an average player post-steroids and Shelly Duncan is way to inconsistent.

2. Hank Steinbrenner is being a retard. He's acting like his dad during the 1980s and early 1990s. Remember when George finally chilled out and stopped throwing the Yankees players and coaches under the bus in the media? The Yanks finally turned it around right around that time the Boss' philosophy changed. He let his employees do their jobs without interference. Baseball players, even high priced ones, don't play when there's too much pressure on them, especially in a 162 game season and it's May.

3. Joe Giradi is no Joe Torre. I think this is the most underrated aspect that no one has talked about in the newspapers that I read. The Dodgers are 21-19 and in second place in their division. Obviously Torre makes the Dodgers a slightly better team. I was never too keen on Giradi's hire. He played his ass off as a Yankee and is one of the more intelligent guys in the organization... but he lacks experience. I also hoped that Torre would finish out the decade with the Yanks and then Willie Randolph would take over since he was an integral part of those epic teams in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And then Giradi could take over in a decade after he got several years of experience under his belt. So that didn't happen. Torre flew the coup. Willie is coaching the Mets. And we got Giradi who I always thought was a better broadcaster than coach. I accepted the fact that I wasn't high on Torre either when he took the job, but Torre quickly won me over. Giradi hasn't done anything yet to impress me as a manager. In fact as we'll soon see from below, some of the Yankees problems have been lingering because of Giradi's ineffectiveness in handling those issues particularly with the media.

4. Joba Chamberlin is on thin ice. There's two issues at hand. First, the fist pumping stuff is something that I don't think is an issue. But the media vultures have been fanning the flames. Torre would have nipped that issue in the butt immediately. I fault Giradi for not addressing that sooner and letting it get bigger than it really was.... just a display of youthful exuberance. Torre would have told Goose to shut up and not say anything in the media and handle it internally between Goose, Joba, and Torre. Chalk that flare up to Giradi's inexperience. He has to know that a vital requirement of his job is also putting out fires in the media before they even ignite. OK, secondly, the more important issue with Joba is the entire Starter vs. Reliever debacle. Right now the Yanks upper management is split between having him start and remain the set up man and heir apparent to Mo Rivera's role as closer. Bottom line - Torre would have nipped this in the butt with the media before the season began and beat reporters would know not to pester him and his players about that distracting question. If beat reporters don't write about it, the national press doesn't get wind of it and have nothing to ask when the Yankees hit the road. And yeah, Joba should stay in the pen despite the starting pitching woes.

5. Starters 4 + 5. Moose, Wang, and Pettite are pitching solid like a 1-2-3 should. But didn't a lot of pundits predict that Moose would be the #5 starter? He's having a great year at 6-3 and lost a couple of close games. He has 30% of the Yankees wins so far. The young guns have been young duds. Rasner looked good as a call up but Kennedy and Hughes have been pitching like chumps. Maybe they aren't that good? Maybe they can't handle the pressure? Maybe we should have traded both for Johan Santana. What will happpen in July when Moose cools down or Pettite gets hurt? Will any of the young guns step it up or will Hank freak out and start trading away prospects to get a second-rate pitcher? Ineffective starting pitching in May will come back to haunt the Yankees at the end of the summer when the toll on their relievers starts to show.

6. Ghosts of Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are an unimpressive 9-9 at home and 11-13 on the road. What happened to home field advantage? Bottom line - the Yankees switching stadiums is a minor distraction since everyone is talking about it. More importantly, maybe the ghosts of Yankees past are wicked pissed?

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