April 27, 2006
April 27th vs. The Devil Rays
One month ago, the question came up: Will Jeter be the 2006 AL Batting Champ?
Well, he's sure off to some start, huh?
OK, when The Farns threw that 0-1 pitch to Ty Wigginton in the 8th, and the YES gun said "100 MPH," I have to confess that I yelled out "Whoa!" - even though I was watching the game by myself. (And, by the way, did the ump miss that pitch, or what?)
I was happy to see Matsui get the big hit tonight. Of all the Yankees, when they're not going well, I worry about him the most. Think of who he was (and/or is) in his country and how important it is for his people for him to do well here (at this level). Then, factor in the cultural implications for him with respect to not losing face. It's got to kill him more so than most Yankees not to do well. That's why I feel for Matsui the most when he's struggling.
Speaking of happy, how cool was it to see the Red Sox' Josh Beckett get batted around this evening like a piñata on Cinco de Mayo?
Lastly, I have to comment on Tanyon Sturtze starting the 9th inning tonight. Clearly, Torre was looking to get lucky there - and it blew up in his face in a hurry.
It was like the guy who needs a hammer to drive in a nail, but, he's too lazy to go get the hammer. So, instead, he picks up a rock and tries to bang in the nail by whacking it with the stone. And, after one smack, he realizes he's going to screw up the whole thing if he doesn't go get the proper tool - the hammer. Thus, in trying to be creative, in the end, he was just wasting time and assuming risk.
That's not smart.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at April 27, 2006 10:17 PM
Re: Sturtze, on the radio post-game it was mentioned that Joe said he was going to work him one batter at a time. Don't try to pick corners and get cute. Just throw fastballs. Don't know if that meant he would only see one batter no matter what, but it was obvious that his leash would be short since Mo was warming up at the same time that Tanyon was. I really didn't have a problem with him in there with a 3-run lead and Mo ready in the pen.
The fact that he brought in Farns in the 7th after he threw last night (and after all of Joe's "these 2 are going to alternate days" comments) I want to believe that his trust in Sturtze is waning a bit.
Posted by: Jen at April 27, 2006 11:43 PM
Man, the bit on Sturtze and the hammer is too funny. God, makes me think of things I've done when I've tried to save two seconds worth of effort...
Fully agree on Matsui. Coming from such an unemotional culture, he sure wears his heart on his sleeve. In some ways he has a lot of Paul O'Neill in him. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend Godzilla Takes the Bronx : The Inside Story of Hideki Matsui, great look at Matsui and his culture as a whole. It was a huge story in Japan when Matsui simply took a few steps towards a pitcher after a pitch that hit him.
Posted by: JeremyM at April 28, 2006 12:59 AM
I'm just glad to see them win a relatively close, low-scoring game.
Posted by: carla at April 28, 2006 08:07 AM
The Sox have Manny being Manny. The Yankees have Torre being Torre. And sorry about this, folks, but Torre is AN ABSOLUTE MORON and it's amazing they've won four titles with him. He gets worse by the day. His decisions are mind-boggling. Okay, so he doesn't want to pitch Mo again after he threw so many pitches last night and they have a three-game series coming up against a pretty good pitching staff. Totally understandable. So then why doesn't he bring Sturtze into the eighth, since he has Myers getting the lefty out, and it will leave Sturtze with only two batters to face? Instead, he brings in Farsnworth, who was actually a closer last year. It's obvious that he doesn't trust Farsnworth at all. Which is ridiculous. He could have brought Sturtze in after Myers got that first out while Farns got warmed up in the 'pen, and if Sturtze got into any trouble, brought in Farns. Instead he pointlessly brings in Sturtze to start the ninth and has to call on Mo anyway. Mind-numbingly stupid and totally illogical.
Torre, you boob, if someone else is going to get a save, let it be the guy who closed for the Braves last year, not a guy who at one point in his career had the worst ERA of all active pitchers.
And as for Matsui: let's be honest here, this guy is close to being a streaky hitter. Sometimes he's locked in, and he hits everything hard, and other times he looks terrible and can't buy a hit. Matsui is a good hitter, but he runs hot and cold.
I think it's without question that Matsui's a streaker hitter. When he's on, he EVERYTHING. In fact, when he's in a groove, I'd put him against any other hitter in the game right now. However, as you've already stated, when his mechanics are just a bit off, he's a solid #7 hitter, at best.
Torre being Torre last night was simply a product of believing his own hype as a "player's manager." Remember, this is the same man who openly advocated trading for Albert Belle because he thought he could "handle" him. Obviously he wanted to give Sturtze an easy save to "boost" his confidence (not Farnsworth whom he dislikes for some reason). Instead of managing based on actual performance, he likes to think he can impart some kind of mystical mojo to his favorites. Well, it certainly hasn't worked in a long, long time. And, his own worst enemy, his misplaced "trust" has cost him the shine on his burnished image. Stop believin' the hype. Get back to real managing one of these days.