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February 22, 2008

New Hughes A Pop Sensation

From Bryan Hoch of Yankees.com:

The Yankees' catching tandem was ready to hit the streets after another early afternoon at camp when Jose Molina dropped by with a tidbit for Jorge Posada.

Having just completed receiving Phil Hughes' latest bullpen session, an impressed Molina told Posada, "You know what? Phil looks like he has more pop."

Posada concurred, and the backstops aren't the only ones who have noticed.

This offseason, Hughes reported regularly to the Yankees' training facility on Himes Avenue, even while general manager Brian Cashman was fielding calls from Twins counterpart Bill Smith, dabbling with a potential deal for Johan Santana.

It helps, of course, that Hughes heeded the call for better fitness. Girardi let it be known that Spring Training '08 would not be a country club, and Hughes showed up ready to go. Spending weeks over at the Minor League complex under the supervision of pitching coach Dave Eiland have been paying dividends early.

"He's in great shape," Girardi said. "All the reports on him that I saw from when he was working down at Himes said he was different. He'd worked really hard."

All the reports on him that I saw from when he was working down at Himes said he was different. He'd worked really hard.

Just another indicator that there's some validity towards the claims that Phil Hughes had a questionable work ethic in the past.

Hopefully, this will now be a case were a leopard can permanently change his spots.

Posted by WW Staff at February 22, 2008 10:39 AM

Comments

I don't think this is a case of Hughes shedding a bad work ethic. He was only 20 at the start of the season! It's more likely that he is learning a major league work ethic. I also don't think anyone should be surprised by Hughes regaining the velocity scouting reports had said was there. After all, he was babied in the minors and then spent several months on the DL, so he probably was never in "mid-season" form at any point last year.

Posted by: williamnyy [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 11:41 AM

Or perhaps its not a bad work ethic that hes shedding but that he is GETTING a strong workout ethic, as William said. Did Pettitte have a BAD ethic before he met Roger? No, he just didn't work out as hard. But more so, as Hughes himself has said, its all about the legs. Molina never caught Hughes pre-injury, and he said it was only in the playoffs that he felt that he had his FB back.

Kennedy spent all offseason getting married and on a honeymoon and he only throws at 90, he must have a crappy ehtic too!

Posted by: Zack [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 01:04 PM

Again, who knows more about Yankee prospects, Patrick Teale, who follows them full-time and says that Hughes has had a very good work ethic, or Joel Sherman, who deals in unnamed sources and innuendo?

Yup.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 01:51 PM

You can discount Sherman, if you want. But, the quote from Eiland in the past and now the one from Girardi back up the claim on Hughes.

So, who knows more about Yankee pitching prospects, Eiland and Girardi, or Patrick Teale?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 02:14 PM

Are you sure he doesnt mean that, he was a different mold of player.

Example: These group of guys worked hard, but this one guy was different.
Meaning that, that one guy worked harder than everyone else.

Girardi, IMO, means that Hughes is a different kind of player.
Not that his work ethic is different from what it was in the past.

Posted by: Bradley [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 02:29 PM

I'm going to use a simple story involving one of my friends to describe this whole Hughes "story".

One of my buddies was a gym rat, worked out alot, lifted weights, the whole 9 yards. He was an intense workout warrior type hitting the gym every day.

Then he decided to become an NYPD cop, before and once entering the acadamy, he became a workout fanatic, his routines became insane, you would have thought he trying to become a Navy Seal.

Was his work ethic different, hell yea, was he working out harder, absolutly, was he ever lazy, HELLLLL NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FWIW, Petite wasn't lazy before Clemens, but he kicked it up more then a few notches after meeting him. Petite, for those who know his background, was a fatboy in high school, who actually played offensive line, he worked hard, but realizing his potential as a pitcher, and having a coach guide him, he shed weight like a madman, and became a workout nut, he became a dedicated gym rat.

Then he met Clemens (no hgh jokes, please), and his work ethic "changed", it became "different" and he started to work "really hard" (keep in mind this is a guy who shed something like over a hundred pounds a few years earlier).

As for who knows Hughes best, I'd go with Eiland and Tates simple because, at best Giradi probably only met Hughes last year (I'm assuming he met him when Giradi was working for YES), and got to know him then, if I am wrong, then Giradi only got to know Hughes this year, and now.

Keep in mind there is working hard, and then there are guys like a Petite, or Clemens, who are a different level.

Posted by: Sonny M [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 02:52 PM

So, who knows more about Yankee pitching prospects, Eiland and Girardi, or Patrick Teale?
__

Only Sherman made a truly disparaging comment. Girardi and Eiland spoke in relative terms. So I think that Teale's comment is closer to theirs than Sherman's is.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 03:17 PM

Damn those 19-20 year olds and their lackadaisical work ethics. Man, what the hell is a kid thinking, not working hard and putting up career minor league numbers like 275 IP, 170 H, 66 BB, and 311 K (2.08 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 0.86 WHIP).

You'd think he knew what he was doing or something.

Posted by: Sherard [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 03:45 PM

Sorry Steve, but you're way off on this, as you usually are on things regarding your most hated Yankee players. Absolutely NO ONE would have rocketed up the minor leagues as Hughes did at such young an age with a 'questionable' work ethic. Indeed, all you have heard about Hughes, despite his unique talent, is how mature he is and how hard he works. The fact that he is working harder now than ever before can only be taken as a positive.

Do you think Jeter had a questionable work ethic? Hell, he worked out differently this offseason than in the past, hopefully this is a case where Jeter, the bum, is permanently changing his stripes. I mean, why don't you make a post about that, too? It's just as, if not more valid.

Posted by: Andrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 03:51 PM

Andrew, there's s difference. There's never been a claim, whisper, etc., about Jeter being lazy. And, in less than a year, there's three of those on Hughes.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 04:40 PM

Andrew, there's s difference. There's never been a claim, whisper, etc., about Jeter being lazy. And, in less than a year, there's three of those on Hughes.
__

Who used the word lazy or any other disparaging adjective about Hughes other than Sherman and his anonymous sources?

No one as far as I know.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 05:54 PM

Steve is taking Sherman at his word over countless others, including such Yankee personnel as Nardi Contreras and Dave Eiland who have said Hughes has an outstanding work ethic. Shocking, I know, but Steve will go to any end to rat out the Yankees that he hates so very much.

Posted by: Andrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 06:05 PM

There's never been a claim, whisper, etc., about Jeter being lazy. And, in less than a year, there's three of those on Hughes.

____________________________________________________________

Actually George Steinbrenner came damn close to implying it publicly, and did tell people that privately.

He started off knocking Jeter for going to to many charity events, and it sounded like he was saying jeter was burning himself out, but then exposed himself when he started ripping jeters going out to clubs and bars and his nightlife and used that to knock jeters work ethic.

I'm just glad Joel Sherman never said Jeter was lazy....though there were more then a few articles written about Boggs influence on the yankees and young derek jeter...and boggs strong work ethic rubbing off on the yanks.

Posted by: Sonny M [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 08:18 PM

wow, and here i was thinking Steve might actually write something positive about Hughes after this article.

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 08:34 PM

~~~Shocking, I know, but Steve will go to any end to rat out the Yankees that he hates so very much.
~~~

Just as those who worship Hughes will go to any end to ignore things reported about him that don't fit into the plan of that worship.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 11:06 PM

You can discount Sherman, if you want. But, the quote from Eiland in the past and now the one from Girardi back up the claim on Hughes.

So, who knows more about Yankee pitching prospects, Eiland and Girardi, or Patrick Teale?


Well actually Steve, the Eiland quote doesn't really back it up. Even when the quote first surfaced, you speculated that it meant that Hughes was lazy. Eiland never actually said he was, so it's all a matter of interpretation.

The bigger question might be why are you taking an article that's clearly a positive on the progress of Hughes' development and spinning it into a negative by referring back to "rumors" that he's lazy? Rumors that are still unconfirmed. Even if Hughes WAS lazy in the past, then developments like these should be a cause for celebration for Yankee fans. What are we missing here?

Posted by: bfriley76 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 12:06 AM

Steve,

I'm still waiting for you to list anyone besides Sherman who used a disparaging adjective to describe Hughes's work ethic.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 12:08 AM

~~~The bigger question might be why are you taking an article that's clearly a positive on the progress of Hughes' development and spinning it into a negative by referring back to "rumors" that he's lazy? ~~~

Did you see where WW Staff wrote: "Hopefully, this will now be a case were a leopard can permanently change his spots."

Believe it or not, I'm taking that as being positive when I read this.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 12:10 AM

~~~I'm still waiting for you to list anyone besides Sherman who used a disparaging adjective to describe Hughes's work ethic.~~~

Dave Eiland: He's been very diligent in his work this offseason, more so than he has in the past.
He's starting to figure out some things as far as work ethic goes...

Joe Girardi: ...he was different. He'd worked really hard....

Granted, they don't use the word "lazy" - but, they can't because of their jobs. But, they said it, at least to me, without saying it - based on these comments.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 12:15 AM

--Granted, they don't use the word "lazy" - but, they can't because of their jobs. But, they said it, at least to me, without saying it - based on these comments.


Steve...your making a big leap. "Working hard(er)" doesn't equal "used to be lazy." Could it be your natural inclination to view Hughes with a skeptical eye leads you to believe the negative here?

Come on...almost everything that's been said and written about this kid has been a plus. Stop digging for the bad so you could say "I warned you" to everyone if he doesn't end up becoming the ace everyone hopes he does.

Posted by: bfriley76 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 12:23 AM

To me, it seems much more likely that Girardi and Eiland are merely saying that Hughes has taken his commitment to a higher level rather than that his prior commitment stunk. That's the plain meaning of Eiland's and Girardi's words.

Your only basis for imputing anything resembling laziness is the anonymous quote Joel Sherman. That's pretty thin stuff.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 12:28 AM

Let's agree to disagree on this for now - and, wait and see. The beauty of the truth is that it always comes up, eventually. Time will tell.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 08:30 AM