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July 19, 2005

July 19th @ The Rangers

Ah, the recent legendary gaggle of "next great pinstriped LOOGY" hopefuls......

Randy Choate
Chris Hammond
Felix Heredia
Gabe White
C.J. Nitkowski

And, now add Wayne Franklin to the list.

As Steven McCrosky would say, looks like the Yankees picked the wrong night to bring a 0-0 game into the 8th inning - on a day when their pen was on fumes.

Shoot, for what it's worth, I'm shocked that Felix Rodriguez didn't blow the game when he showed up. (And, is it just me, or, is Felix the bastard love child that Jose Contreras and Felix Heredia left behind?)

At least they went down kicking and scratching in the 9th.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at July 19, 2005 11:13 PM


Steve, you're thinking like Torre...giving up before the fact. This is the man who started Enrique Wilson in rightfield because he wanted Brian Cashman to...yes...acquire Raul Mondesi (well, not him specifically, but who did he expect to get...David Justice? Hubba hubba). Torre could have pieced together six outs from a combination of Rodriguez, Proctor, Groom and Franklin by playing match-up batter to batter, saving Gordon to close in the 9th. But, noooooo...we had to provide Yankees fans, Cashman, and Steinbrenner with a morale to our little fairy tale of a recent streak: I am a push-button manager and I will accept nothing less. Give me Eddy Guardado, Billy Wagner, and Ron Villone or I'll press the shiny red button! I will! I will! Stop me before I do! Arrrggghhhh! Usually, this causes a Pavlovian reaction from Cashman where you'll read in the morning paper that the Yankees have just traded Cano, Eric Duncan, and their closest female relatives to the Rockies for Shawn Chacon and an Eric Byrnes to be named later. Really, this is major league managing at its very worst.

Posted by: JohnnyC at July 20, 2005 12:11 AM

That was an awful piece of managing by Joe tonight.

You have the lead with six outs to go. If you win, then you win this series and can rest Mo and Gordon tomorrow. Heck, with two wins in your pocket, you look at tomorrow with Aaron Small as a throwaway game anyway. Knowing that you are going to Anaheim with no days off, you can even rest some guys with the comfort that you took two of three.

What you don't do, in the words of Billy Beane is "take this lefty-righty shit way too far" and let a mediocre triple A pitcher go against one of the best lineups in baseball. This was not a tie game on the road, where you don't know how long you'll need someone to pitch. You needed six measly outs for a win. YOU GET THE WIN!!! You don't mess around. The game was lined up to win.

I know, I know, I can hear Joe's monotone... "Gordon couldn't possibly go more than one inning and we've really used Mo a lot lately." Come on. This was the same BS logic that screwed us in Game 5 against the Red Sox last year, where Joe kept Gordon in too long becuase Mo "could only go one inning." (He brought Mo in for 2 innings anyway in the end--when it was too late to salvage the win.)

You go for the jugular and you close this type of game down--especially after an 11-19 start. A few more manage-by-the-numbers games like this, and Gordon and Mo will have plenty of rest in October.

Posted by: Joel at July 20, 2005 12:19 AM

And yet, Joel, Torre continues to have his supporters when it's painfully clear he's lost out there. He has to have a virtual Hall of Fame pitching staff now to win. 6 outs, four pitchers not counting Gordon,Mo, and Sturtze...I repeat: not counting Gordon, Mo, or Sturtze. Is there a pedometer attached to his leg? Can he not make repeated trips to the mound to change pitchers, matching up for 6 outs? What good is a rested bullpen with Aaron Small as your starter? As you said, Joel, it's elementary: win the game in front of you, take the series, then the game tonight is a no-stress luxury. Hey, if Small wins, my God, that's a blessing. If he doesn't, which is likely, you go on to Anaheim having won the first two series on arguably your toughest road trip of the season. But Torre continues to invite disaster. He's his own momentum stopper.

Posted by: JohnnyC at July 20, 2005 12:36 AM

I didn't get it either. I know Mo pitched in 4 of the last 5 games- but I agree- you go for it now- Gordon in the 8th, Mo in the 9th and rest them Wednesday and maybe Thursday and hope the Big Unit can go the distance....Instead we have Small going to save the series.

but it was a bit disheartening to see Franklin get popped by a lefty.....not a good sign.

Anyway- let's not get too agitated- we are going to lose some games. Some will be blowouts, and some will sting.

BTW- Vladimir is mired in a MAJOR slump right now...we better hope he doesn't wake up for this weekend's series (my guess is that he will- why wouldn't he?)

Posted by: philly phil at July 20, 2005 10:05 AM

I have no idea what you guys are talking about. The fact that Torre had an awful record with bad teams, a mediocre record with mediocre teams, and a decent record with unrivalled fantasy teams doesn't mean anything. He managed 4 World Champions. Therefore, nothing stupid he does on a daily basis should ever be questioned. Hang your heads in shame.

Posted by: hopbitters at July 20, 2005 10:21 AM

hopbitters, I like your sarcasm. unfortunately, there are many fans who wouldn't get the sarcasm.

Posted by: JohnnyC at July 20, 2005 10:32 AM

lol @ hopbitters. Torre has never been known tactical whiz.

This was a tough game; Yanks ran themselves out of a couple of innings, and blew opportunities in others.

Posted by: Raf at July 20, 2005 10:43 AM

FWIW, I too, if I were MGR of the team, would have pulled out the big guns, tired and all, to win a 1-0 game, just needing 6 outs.

Tomorrow, hell, tomorrow it could rain. Or, Small is pitching. Think that's going to be a close game?

How many shots will this Yankee team have at a 1-0 win? You just cannot let those slip through, I agree.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 20, 2005 11:10 AM

Game 5 last year against Boston.

Your up 4-2, bottom of the 8th. The Red Sox have just won a dramatic extra inning, momentum-swinging game less than 24 hours ago.

Gordon starts off the inning by giving up a moonshot homerun to Ortiz. Now, he looks rattled on the mound. OK, he's a pro, right? He'll get through it.

Next hitter, a righty. (I believe, Millar.) Gordon walks him on 4 or 5 pitches--not even close--and now looks really rattled.

Now Trot Nixon, a lefty who kills you. If Gordon loses Trot with nobody out, you are almost certainly looking at another tie game on the road with the momentum going against you.

What do you do? Stay with the formula or give the ball to "The MVP of the Joe Torre Era" and say
"Six outs Mo, bring us home."

I will go to my grave believing that if Joe gives the ball to Mo to face Nixon and get the final six outs, all of this historic Red Sox horseshit never happens.

Last night was a minor variation on that theme.

Posted by: Joel at July 20, 2005 11:23 AM

word, Joel, f***ing word. Torre's the teflon manager but like Grady Little and Buck Showalter to name just two, usually the inability to properly utilize your bullpen means termination of employment. I guess we all live in the bizarro Torre world instead.

Posted by: JohnnyC at July 20, 2005 11:51 AM

Who was the last?

Posted by: Patrick at July 20, 2005 12:08 PM

Joel....amen brother and hallelujah....the truth shall set us free.

Besides...I don't think Rivera is overworked this season. I looked as his game log- every time he pitched on consecutive days- he has gotten LONG breaks.

As of 7/19
2005: 39.6 innings in 37 games
2004: 49.3 innings in 44 games

And...his numbers are his best EVER.

PUT HIM IN JOE...we need the wins!

Posted by: philly phil at July 20, 2005 12:38 PM

MO has NEVER pitched four consecutive days or five out of six.

Wake up, he wasn't available. And he told them he wasn't available. Yeah, win the battle and lose the war by pitching MO four straight days late in his career.

Posted by: Don at July 20, 2005 01:45 PM

Joel, you nailed it. Rivera should've went 2 innings instead of only one to save him for the next game. Torre played that ALCS like a chicken-sh*t. Really, when he started El Duque in game 4 to save Mussina for a possible game 5, that was the beginning of the end. He was playing not to lose, instead of playing to win. I still feel that if Mussina starts that game 4, we sweep. You go for the kill in the playoffs.

Really, what kind of confidence does that show your team? Guys, I'm going to start El Duque because I want to save Mussina in case we lose game 4, which was his exact reasoning in making the decision. He's too damn cute with stuff like this.

That said, I don't think Mo should've pitched last night (which I think most agree with). If he says he's unavailable, listen to him--he's earned it.

Posted by: JeremyM at July 20, 2005 02:19 PM

I have no issue with sitting Mo.

But, Wayne Franklin in the 8th? Where was Groom?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 20, 2005 02:20 PM

Groom found his way onto Joe Torre's mysterious sh*tlist, which can be found next to the "holds compromising pictures of Torre-list." There's also the "doesn't understand how to use correctly" list that included Paul "bring him in with baserunners on, not to start an inning" Quantrill (Torre's nickname for him, not mine). I'm guessing Groom got there by pitching poorly in a few blowout games, well after they were already blowouts. Phillips found his way there after the 5 Ks. People named Bubba are automatically placed there. Maybe that explains Buddy as well.

Seriously, if Joe Girardi is such a managing prospect, why does he seem to have so little influence on anything Torre does? I guess I really don't know what a bench coach does, maybe Torre doesn't either without Zimmer.

Posted by: JeremyM at July 20, 2005 02:39 PM

Jeremy, don't get me started again on the ALCS. Any other manager would have been roasted alive for the innumerable mistakes he made. But, nooooo, we're making a monument to this doofus because, to some fans, these are the only 4 championships the Yankees have ever won. Yeah, like we're in f***ing Kansas City or some place. We should have higher standards. Buck Showalter got fired for NOT using John Wetteland, Grady Little got fired for NOT relieving Pedro...yes, mistakes like this count and Torre has established quite a bad pattern in handling his staff as soon as he couldn't push-button his way to the post-season. Hate to say a manager with Torre's experience is managing scared but the evidence is there. Jeff Weaver in Game 4 anyone?

Posted by: JohnnyC at July 20, 2005 02:42 PM

But, Jeremy, Torre's logic is eerily consistent. Look: he pitches El Duque in Game 4 so that he has Moose available for the kill shot in Game 5. See? If you don't win Game 4, you've got the stopper in Game 5. He's got the angles covered, man. Same thing last night. He doesn't go to any of his 3 top relievers in order to hold them back for the kill shot tonight with Aaron Small, his ace, on the mound. Ergo, he takes the series. Natch! Man, he's a deep thinker. You just don't appreciate the multi-faceted, three-dimensional stuff going on in his brain. Don't worry about Gerardi...he's soaking this all up like a sponge. Hope he spends some quality time with Mel as well. You can never learn enough from the guys who've brought us 4 rings. And that's never happened before in the history of baseball much less the Yankees.

Posted by: JohnnyC at July 20, 2005 02:51 PM

Showalter didn't use Wetteland because he was torched in game 4

Posted by: Raf at July 20, 2005 04:07 PM


Mo told them he wasn't available? This is Mo quoted in today's New York Post:

"He's the manager and he makes the decisions. I was there for every situation. He chose not to use me."

Never heard about "overuse" after Mo's epic 48 pitch, 3 inning performance in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

Dave Roberts steals a base on Jorge Posada and Bill Mueller bounces a single up the middle and now the whole world is obsessed about the "overuse" of a one inning reliever.

Mo is the greatest of all time. But Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter are laughing their asses off about all this talk of overuse.

Posted by: Joel at July 20, 2005 05:10 PM