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September 22, 2006

September 22nd @ The Devil Rays

This kid Wang looks like he might be a keeper, eh?

O.K., on to the serious stuff from tonight:

1. Gary Sheffield is a ten times better 1B than Bernie Williams is a CF (at this point). That Perez single that Bernie played into a "double" in this game was obscene. And, then, just to show his range (in terms of badness), Williams allowed a catchable Young drive to go over his head for another "double." It's so sad to see Bernie in CF now. Shame on Torre for doing this at this stage of Williams career.

2. Speaking of Torre stupidity, you have the A.L. MVP on third, late in a meaningless game where you're winning, and you send him home on a suicide squeeze? If Jeter had got hurt on that play, Torre should have been fired before he left the dugout at the end of this game.

3. Watching that shot that Posada took in the 9th was frightful. I think it's time for Jorge to start using the Charlie O'Brien hockey-catcher's mask. It just offers more protection.

4. Please tell me there's a way that Aaron Guiel makes the post-season roster.

5. Yankees fans around the world should hit their pillows tonight and hope that they wake up tomorrow and hear that Mo Rivera feels great. He looked pretty good tonight. But, as Kay and Murcer said on YES, how he feels tomorrow is the bigger story. Cross your fingers, toes, and anything else that you can, for good news on Saturday.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at September 22, 2006 11:18 PM


Aaron Guiel rocks. Great defense with a side pop. That's all I have to say.

Posted by: bloodyank78 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 22, 2006 11:57 PM

*with a side of pop.* I always remember that series in Arlington w/Guiel this season. He was punishing the ball.

Posted by: bloodyank78 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 12:00 AM

better screw up the play now then trying that crazy play in the playoffs... it's against a righty too.. which makes even less sense.

Guiel is probably beating out Andy Phillipes and Craig Wilson for the final spot ... unless either of them come out swinging a red hot bat in the next few games...

Posted by: Yu Hsing Chen [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 01:13 AM

If logic prevails, Guile will make the roster. He can play four positions adequately, knows how to take a walk, has a nice little power stroke for The Stadium's short porch.

I'm sure the Torre apologists will think it's a minor quibble, but, you're right Steve, re: Bernie. The only time he should be playing CF is in AN EMERGENCY. I love Bernie and don't need to see him stumbling around in CF, even in a relatively meaningless game.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 01:43 AM

I disagree with you if you blame Torre because Jeter might get injured on a squeeze play. He has more of a chance getting hurt just batting.

BTW, I see you've annointed Jeter the MVP. Is that the fan in you?

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 08:24 AM

I agree with the squeeze play. Torre's trying to get another run, a good way to test the AAA kid at the plate but the Rays sniffed it out. I don't think Torre should ever manage fearful of one of his players getting hurt, that's how they DO get hurt. He should be cautious, but not manage in fear.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 08:55 AM

Rich - if he's not the A.L. MVP, then who is?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 09:03 AM

Do you know how obvious the squeeze play had to be if they pitched out? They must have flashed lights or something. The whole thing seemed pretty spring-training-ish. With a handful of games left, and the division clinched, it was an odd move. I think it had more to do with Torre not believing that Cannazaro could hit a flyball.

Does Torre have something against Kevin Thompson? He hasn't played center once. Instead Torre runs out Bernie, whose legs don't need it (and whose range and arm are really, really gone). Thompson is no longer a prospect, but he has some skill, and what's the harm of playing him for a few games? If Bubba was on the team, he'd be in center every day. Thompson is a better centerfielder (and hitter) than Bubba is.

If Jeter wins the MVP this year, people won't give him credit for it -- they will say he won it be default. Because the Red Sox and White Sox didn't make the playoffs. They'll say that if either team made the wild card, Papi or Dye would have won. So he may win it, but people will dismiss it the same way they did A-Rod's award (everyone said Papi lost because he was a DH, even though A-Rod had better offensive numbers than Papi that year).

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 11:22 AM

"Rich - if he's not the A.L. MVP, then who is?"

I'm not against Jeter but I'd vote for Frank Thomas as MVP (I treat it as "who's the most indespensible if he was lost to a contending team").

Jeter's the best Yankee but Rivera is more valuable to me.

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 02:26 PM

Rich, I know what you are saying about Mo and I agree, but it's too hard for me to forget what Jeter did from April - July. Those were the months that the team had to overcome the most adversity.

The Yanks had quite a few faces that stepped up: Melky, Wang, Cano, Damon, Posada, and Giambi specifically, as well as Mo. But the person who was consistently at the start of just about every big inning or when they needed a huge hit was Jeter. Jeter and Mo are not mutually exclusive when it comes to Yankee success - translated simply as WINS - I don't think that losing Mo would be worse than losing Jeter or vice versa. I think they are both critical components of the Yankee machine.

The dynamics of the lineup change quite a bit w/o Jeter in the lineup everyday. For me, that can't be underestimated or cheapened - not saying you were doing that either, however one can infer that from your comment - by saying that Jeter is more dispensable than Mo.

I have no problem with your F. Thomas vote, but I don't agree that Jeter is more dispensable than Mo. I find them both to be critical pieces of the Yanks, just that they contribute to different aspects of the game itself. The MVP has to be someone that helped his team overcome adversity and he was the rock when the team needed him most, the MVP should be one of these three: Morneau, Jeter and F. Thomas. Who is more worthy? That can be debated for days and weeks. I saw how much Jeter meant to the Yanks, but I also know that Morneau and Thomas mean a lot to their teams too. Should we give it to them because the Yanks still had ARod, Giambi, Posada, Cano, and Damon in their lineup. If that's the case, then we should never consider a Yankee ever for the MVP. If we feel that because of all of the Yankees riches then we shouldn't be allowed to compete for these individual awards then that is a guilty feeling I refuse to succumb to. All things being equal, Jeter is just as worthy as those other two candidates.

As a team, in order for the Yankees to be successful, Jeter and Mo need to be key contributors or else the team is doomed. So as far as Yankee MVP is concerned, I think Jeter and Mo share that this year. I'd also like to consider someone who is flying under the radar, Jorge Posada. He has been fabulous this year. I remember Steve writing a piece about what should we expect from Posada, I think Jorge has surpassed all of Steve's expectations for this year.

Speak of which...Steve, you offer a lot of good insight and wisdom throughout the season, as well as offering your own predictions. Can we revisit all of your predictions for this year and see how well you've done with those? I'd like to see your win % in that department. It would be a fun excercise too, plus it might humble you a bit....not saying you aren't already humbled.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2006 03:43 PM