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June 25, 2005

June 25th vs. The Mets

OK, so, Henn's not ready yet. Good to know. Personally, I was always a fan of the old O's way of bringing in kid pitchers - let them work a year or two in long relief before giving them a starting job. Teams did this for a while - as recent as Chuck Finely and Jimmy Key. But, I guess, that was then and this is now. Back to Henn, at this point, if Brown can't go, might as well let Quantrill start a game. It couldn't be any worse.

To the current state of the Yankees, well, it's obviously very bad right now. Most recently, you have a terrible 12-game road trip. It's the one from hell. Then, you come back and win six in a row. However, you follow that by losing 3 of 4 against what might be the worst team in baseball - and you probably should have lost all four - and then you let the Mets come in to your house and play flat for the first two games of a three game set.

But, this is nothing new. We've been down this road a few times this year - where the Yankees string together some wins, and it's looking good, and then they're garbage, playing the lowest of low brand of baseball. It's a cycle that they have not been able to stop.

Yet, by some miracle, the Yankees are not 10-something games out of first - despite these long stretches of poor play. And, even though many Yankees fans are starting to become apathetic about the team's chances this season, there is still a chance that they can get back into this thing......if they start playing better and are able to maintain that level of play for the remainder of the season.

But, how to they do that? If you ask me, they need someone to come in, take control, and rally the team. Since the salaries on this roster do not exactly permit many changes on the players-side, it has to be a change in field management.

Is this fair to Torre? No. It's not his fault that Brown and Wright were busts and the best answer to that is Henn. It's not his fault that the team thought Bubba Crosby could play second-string CF in the majors and when that failed they were forced to play guys in the OF who have no business being there. It's not his fault that he has to carry players on the roster to just cover for a one-dimensional players like Womack and Giambi and that prevents him from carrying other players that might help him win games. And, there's more - too much to keep listing.

Nonetheless, in baseball, since you cannot fire the players, you fire the manager. It's what they do. Yes, it's no lock that a change will work. But, you can either try - and attempt to turn this around and no longer be the $200 million laughingstock of baseball. Or, you can stand pat, and keep doing what you've been doing all year to date - which is nothing - and let this thing die a long, slow, painful death on the vine.

And, if you choose the latter, just watch - lots of Yankees fans out there will pull up their interest stakes and do something else with what is a good portion of their summer disposable leisure time. Is that a good thing? No, it's bad for the team. Absence makes the heart forget.

Let Yankees fans go from July to March without anything to keep their interest in the team and you'll see that many of them will not be interested in the team again until they see that it's a legit winner. Front-runners be they? Sure. But, that's the way it works. Just check Yankees attendance, from 1987 through 1991, and then compare that to 1999-2004.

Think it over Big Stein. What, right now, is the best move for your business? Then again, what do I know? Maybe I have this all wrong? After all, I thought the Yankees were going to have a very good season this year.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at June 25, 2005 08:09 PM


Once again I have a question regarding the umpiring today. We got duped at least 2 or 3 times on plays at 2nd base where it looked like the ump motioned safe but they runner ended up being out. Did he have a weird out call or was the heat just screwing with our eyes?

We think we saw Steinbrenner in his box today (a bit too hazy out to be sure). If that was him, it wouldn't be too surprising if a big change comes soon.

Whether they make any moves in management or not, they need bullpen help. If it's frustrating for me watch a workable 4-run deficit turn into an 8-run deficit I can only imagine what the players are going through. (That's not to say that the offense was in the clear today. To get 11 hits and only have 3 runs to show for it is just sad. And not sad in that I get angry about it anymore, sad as in my dog died or something.)

Lately it seems like if Torre puts Quantrill in, he's putting up the white flag. (22 runs in 30 innings! And that was before today.)

Posted by: Jen at June 25, 2005 09:55 PM

Jen - I missed the last 6 innings of the game. I did see the throw from Sheff to Jeter, to try and get Castro (is that his name?) on the double early in the game. He was clearly safe. FWIW, I caught the post-game. (I got home just in time to see the very end of the bottom of the 9th.) And, on what I saw of the post-game, there were no mentions of blown calls - - - only Bob, Murcer and Justice talking about how this is a splintered team, and, as such, they cannot pull together and rally each other when the going gets rough. Too many solo "enterprises" (as Murcer called it) and not a team of players.

Worst part - apparently, Singleton said something like "don't be shocked if this is the way it is all year" - because Justice was rubber-stamping that.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at June 25, 2005 11:16 PM

I'm not saying that the calls were blown. But the ump looked like he made the safe sign but the runner ended up being out (a play with ARod at second comes to mind.) Like I said, I think the heat started getting to us after a while.

Posted by: Jen at June 25, 2005 11:25 PM

Was it all heat? Or, could the smell coming off the field been part of it too?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at June 25, 2005 11:33 PM

"for a one-dimensional player like Womack"

What dimension, exactly, does Womack bring? The only dimension I've seen from his is sucking.

At least Giambi's hitting for some modicum of power and getting on base a ton; Womack is almost historically bad this season.

Posted by: Clay at June 25, 2005 11:51 PM

"Was it all heat? Or, could the smell coming off the field been part of it too?"

You know we did get a whiff of something awful a few times during the game but I just thought it was the Mets fans in front of us.

Maybe San Diego will take Womack. And by San Diego, I mean the Surf Dogs. I mean, Rickey can't do any worse than Tony, right?

Posted by: Jen at June 26, 2005 12:19 AM

GS called Cashman during the game.

In 2002, in a game against the Mets at the Stadium, a non-outfielder, Enrique Wilson by name, playing the OF (RF I believe) dropped a fly ball. Result of the GS tirade? Raul Mondesi.

Or did I dream that?

Posted by: Don at June 26, 2005 02:41 AM

Don, you're 100% correct on that one. That's exactly what happened.

Jen, I just thought about how bad it must have been there, to watch that, sitting with Mets fans near. Ouch.

Clay, it's speed - that's the only thing Womack has.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at June 26, 2005 08:21 AM

... and speed is completely useless if you never get on base.

Posted by: Clay at June 26, 2005 09:49 AM

Not for firing Torre.

As far as fans pulling up their "interest stakes" and "forget"ting ... who cares about that? Certainly not me. Those "fans" can go root for another team. I'll be here regardless of the outcome. I don't care about fans who would only be interested in the team if "they see it's a legit winner." Bah. They're not fans.

Posted by: Patrick at June 26, 2005 10:39 AM

Jen we actually thought we saw the safe signs from the umpire too. One was Alex Rodriguez, I think, can't remember who the other was. So if it was heat, it was hitting us up in the tiers too . . . .

Posted by: billyfrombelfast at June 26, 2005 12:29 PM

Thanks billy. Glad to know it wasn't only me.

Posted by: Jen at June 26, 2005 03:08 PM

//As far as fans pulling up their "interest stakes" and "forget"ting ... who cares about that? Certainly not me. Those "fans" can go root for another team. I'll be here regardless of the outcome. I don't care about fans who would only be interested in the team if "they see it's a legit winner." Bah. They're not fans.//

Couldn't agree more.

Only problem is that there's no $$ in "true" fans. That's why we have gimmicks like interleague play, loud stadium music, and expanded playoffs.

Posted by: Raf at June 26, 2005 03:57 PM