"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Man, talk about a good game to miss. I was out and about all afternoon and didn’t catch a moment of the memorable–for some anyway17-1 beating the Sox gave the Yanks at the stadium.

Looked long and uuuuugly. Sox fans still worried about Edgar Renteria?

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1 rbj   ~  May 29, 2005 2:10 pm

1.  With the Tigers come from behind sweep of the Orioles, today's a great opportunity to shave a game off the Bird's lead.

2 JohnnyC   ~  May 29, 2005 4:50 pm

2.  Take Renteria's 11-19 against the Yankees' brainless-trust of a coaching staff and he's hitting under .250 with horrible defense. He didn't hit against the Red Sox in the series either. If I'm a Red Sox fan, I'm still worried. They shoulda re-signed Nomar and ordered more steroids.

3 singledd   ~  May 29, 2005 6:30 pm

3.  With all the compaints about Torre, nobody is complaining about Womack batting 2nd. Putting a guy with a .620 OPS between Jetes and Sheff is just a rally killer. Speed or not, this guy should not be at the top of the order.

Johnson hit the first pitch after Wells got 2 outs on 3 pitches. Hope somebody talked to him about that. A 4 pitch inning is a great way to give the enemy pitcher confidence.

4 rbj   ~  May 29, 2005 6:37 pm

4.  Is Wang going to be coming out of the pen now?
Oh well, at least we've got KC up next. Always good to go against AAA teams.

5 Fred Vincy   ~  May 29, 2005 6:43 pm

5.  Completely right, singledd. It makes me downright angry to see Womack in the 2 hole and know the Red Sox would never be stupid enough to bat a guy with a .320 OBP second.

6 Simone   ~  May 29, 2005 6:56 pm

6.  I also agree about Womack. He should be batting 9th, period. Also, this game sucks, maybe Wang can hold them until the Yankees can get into the bullpen.

7 JeremyM   ~  May 29, 2005 7:03 pm

7.  Why in the hell was the lineup made out like we already took 2 out of 3 in the series? I don't care what side of the plate they swing from, Sanchez and Johnson are a waste in this lineup.

8 JohnnyC   ~  May 29, 2005 8:11 pm

8.  singledd, don't you think Torre knows more about making out a line-up than you do? And, anyway, how can you blame Torre when it's the pitchers who can't pitch and the hitters who can't hit and the fielders who can't field? As sabermetrics teaches us, line-up order really means very little. And, finally, it's a baseball truism, managers get all the credit and get to write books on leadership when they win but, never, please, never blame them when they lose. Never. Really.

9 JohnnyC   ~  May 29, 2005 8:14 pm

9.  By the way, I'm sure Torre really enjoyed getting beat by David Wells tonight.

10 Simone   ~  May 29, 2005 8:50 pm

10.  I bet Boomer loved sticking it the Yankees tonight. Thank goodness the Royals are coming up.

11 singledd   ~  May 29, 2005 9:41 pm

11.  Bad news. We were outpitched and outhit in all three games.

12 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 29, 2005 10:32 pm

12.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I just read this deliciously morbid tidbit from Pinstriped Blog:

9:51 p.m.: WW: Yes, you heard that right. Red Sox down in order for the first time this SERIES.

You can't win that way. It's amazing we won the one.

13 Simone   ~  May 30, 2005 4:30 am

13.  Lets quit with the funeral march. The Yankees just lost the series to the Red Sox, not the division. Last year, when the Yankees swept the Red Sox, a whole lot of people acted as if it was over and that the Red Sox were done. The Red Sox weren't done and the Yankees aren't done now. Fortunately, the Yankees have put themselves back into contention and now have to focus on winning the division because the Wild Card might come out of the AL Central this season.

On a positive note, Wang looked really good last night. The Yankees better not trade this guy. Despite his low strike rates, he is a solid bottom of the rotation pitcher.

14 singledd   ~  May 30, 2005 5:39 am

14.  "Lets quit with the funeral march"....
The problem is not that we lost the series. The issue is we had our 1-3 pitchers against Boston withOUT their #1, and were outpitched in all three games. We were also outhit. No, we're not dead.... but we looked a little sick.

15 Harley   ~  May 30, 2005 8:51 am

15.  Bottom of the rotation? I dunno. Wang's the most consistent pitcher we've got at the moment. Which raises some concerns. Gulp.

16 Fred Vincy   ~  May 30, 2005 10:34 am

16.  JohnnyC is right that line-up order is a relatively small part of the picture, but it's also free, so there's no excuse for hurting yourself, even a small amount, by batting Tony Womack second, against a lefty no less.

17 singledd   ~  May 30, 2005 11:20 am

17.  As Steve Goldman pointed out, the big difference in batting someone 2nd vs 9th, is that the guy batting 2nd gets one more AB 78% of the time over the guy batting 9th, or about 120+ ABs over the year. I'd rather give Bernie, or even Cano, the extra ABs. Also, with RBI guys like Sheff, Matsui and ARod following, a few extra on-bases (as opposed to an out) from the #2 guy could be a few extra runs, which could be the difference in a few games.

I know Bernie's D sucks, but I have been saying that overall, Bernie in LF (and batting 2nd?) is a better choice than Womack.
In today's "Pinstripe Blog", Steve finally admits (Steve HATES Bernie in the OF):

"The Yankees really need to readdress the rationale for benching Bernie Williams, which right now is actually benching him for Womack or Cano. Even in his diminished state, he could out-produce either one. The defensive hit might be worth it at that point.". And putting Bernie in LF as opposed to CF makes it a tiny bit easier. This also keeps Matsui in CF all the time.

I'd love to see a vote here. If you would rather have WOMACK in LF (and the lineup) instead of Bernie, please raise your hand.

And here's something REALLY insane. With Bernie in LF, Giambi is our DH against righties. Even in his current pathetic state, his OBP is .377..... which I believe would hit .400 if he played regularly. As slow as he is, what would happen if he batted 2nd? Might he see himself as more of a contact guy? It's a little nuts, but I'd like to see it for 2 weeks.

Here's my everyday lineup:
Jetes, Cano, Sheff, ARod, Matsui, Posada, Tino, Giambi, Bernie.

Rest Bernie with Womack.
Rest Tino with Johnson
Sierra DH against lefties.
Sometimes Sanchez instead of Cano against lefties (just so he doesn't rust)
Womack pinch runs late in the game if needed and can be a defensive replacement (is he really better on D in LF then Bernie) for Bernie late in the game/for blowouts.
Bernie/Cano can swap 2nd/9th in the order against lefties.

And would it be better for our future to can Sanchez and bring up Phillips?

18 Paul   ~  May 30, 2005 12:27 pm

18.  singledd,
Your proposal makes a ton of sense. Could make a top run producing team even better, which will be especially important given the shakey pitching.

19 singledd   ~  May 30, 2005 12:52 pm

19.  Thanks Paul.... Lets face it... the Cashman 'shakeup' was a desperation move, and fueled by the fact that they didn't address in the off-season, how to use Bernie in the OF. We have had some terrible LFs in our day, but Womack is a new low. Imagine how Boston fans are laughing, seeing Womack as the Yankee's LF'er.

I think there is no doubt that Cano is our 2nd baseman. Womack must be put where he belongs... on the bench and pinch running. I don't know what Giambi and Bernie have left... but these guys have been regulars their ENTIRE careers. Now, EVERY DAY, they have to wonder if they are playing. This can't be good for their moral, and it is not good for our team.

Until Giambi is released, he must play REGULARLY. Use him or release him... he is no good to us as he is. Either put Bernie in LF or bench him... but moving Matsui around the outfield is stupid. The fact is, we have Bernie and Giambi. The only way to get their BEST is to play them and cross our fingers. If they suck, get somebody else.

This 'musicial chairs' lineup does NOT work for these guys and frankly, is making me sick.

There are plenty of things we need to address. Our baserunning has been poor.
Our scouting has been poor.
We have been making unexcusable errors.
Yesterday, it looked liked we had Wells on the ropes, and then we started swinging at first and second pitches instead of making him work. He only threw FOUR pitches in the 2nd inning and 9 in the 33rd inning. BAD BASEBALL! The key to our team has ALWAYS been patience, intelligence and making starters work. This is how we beat Pedro, and this is how we beat anybody.

As Goldman points out, this is one of the 'hidden' reasons we lost the playoffs last year. In games 4 and up, we got antsy, lost our patience, made fast outs, and gave our opponents confidence and fast innings.

The key is not screwing around with Bernie and Giambi. Our key has ALWAYS been SMART baseball. Wearing starting pitchers out. Frustrating them with walks.

Even with RJ, like last year, our pitching is, and will probably continue, to be shaky. Our key will be offense, patience and intelligence. These are more in our control, and things we can improve.

20 Hank   ~  May 30, 2005 6:11 pm

20.  singledd:
Many good points, especially about their approach to Wells last night. I can only assume that their scouting report said swing early and often, because there were far too many quick innings. (The Johnson example you cited being the most obvious example.) I thought about going back over the telecast to track "time of possession" -- my guess is it was at least three to one for the Sox.

As for your suggested lineup, that makes sense too. I'm still not ready to say that the Yankees are a better team with Bernie Williams on the bench.

One thing about the pitching, though. Much has been made about the recent success of the rotation, so I don't think it's time to panic after a poor series. What I think we might have to accept is that this Boston team is one of the best hitting clubs in recent memory. Honestly, aren't you surprized whenever David Ortíz DOESN'T hit a home run? I realize that the Yanks will have to get them out at some point, but the fact that they weren't able to do it this weekend doesn't mean that they can't win the division or even that they won't be able to beat Boston in the LCS.

Remember where this team was three weeks ago. Three weeks from now, they will certainly have passed Baltimore, and they could very well be ahead of the Sox as well.

21 Paul   ~  May 31, 2005 3:45 am

21.  Last night's game in Boston was just another example of how "momentum" in baseball is often an illusion. Amazing how quickly a hot hitting team's bats can go silent. And Arroyo looked positively awful, he's luck he didn't give up more than 7 runs.

22 JJay   ~  May 31, 2005 6:31 am

22.  "Arroyo looked positively awful, he's luck he didn't give up more than 7 runs."

Especially when two guys were nailed at the plate.

23 singledd   ~  May 31, 2005 7:31 am

23.  Hank - I haven't given up on the pitching, I just think our staff in NOT going to be one of the top 3 in the league. A lot of this depends on RJ, who I think most of us were expecting more from. Messina, going back through last year, has dominant days but also off days. Pavano's career, all in the National League, is (whip/baa/era) 1.35 - .274 - 4.21. These are decent but not great numbers. Brown.... God only knows. It says something when Wang has been close to our best and certainly our most consistant pitcher.

We have a good staff, but not great or dominant. We won't talk about our D. If we get to the post season or further, it will be on the backs of our offense.

El Duque was pretty cheap. I don't know why we let him go. He was VERY smart and professional the way he pitched, especially after being out one year. While our staff may be better then last years, it is still up in the air. And there is always the chance that the Yanks will put Wrong Wright back in the rotation.

24 brockdc   ~  May 31, 2005 11:12 am

24.  I'm not advocating swinging at first pitches all the time, but Wells does have outstanding control. Two pitches and suddenly you're down 0-2.

Though Torre is lauded for his loyalty to players, I agree that he's doing Bernie a disservice. If Bernie's healthy enough to play CF once in a while, he should be playing LF on a regular basis. What you'd be gaining offensively with him as your LF, as opposed to Womack, far outweighs his defensive shortcomings. In fact, the two of them are probably a wash defensively.

25 brockdc   ~  May 31, 2005 11:14 am

25.  I also concur with the fact that we lost to what is currently a better team. It hurts 'cause it's true.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver