"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Future, Conan?

I didn’t expect to pay much attention to this year’s amateur draft, but with the big club flailing about in Milwaukee, the picks the Yankees have made today (thus far the next Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield–in a perfect world, that is) are providing some hope as the Yankees seem to be doing a fair job of restocking their farm system, with three of their first four picks being used on college players. You can check out some of the comments to my previous post for more info, which I hope to assemble into a draft-wrap post tomorrow.

Meanwhile, back in the suffocating reality of the here and now, the Yankees will try to avoid dropping their fourth straight series tonight against the Brewers. To do so, they’ll have to defeat Ben Sheets, who was nothing short of the third best pitcher in the majors last year (behind Johan Santana and Randy Johnson and well in front of the boosted Rocket). Sheets is looking to get his season back on track following a reoccurring inner ear infection that hospitalized him in May. Thus far he’s made two starts since returning from the DL, lasting just five innings in each, showing the old form against the struggling Astros in the first only to be undermined by his defense, but struggling against the Dodgers in the second. Don’t be surprised to see him put it all together against the Yankees tonight (not that I thought you would be).

When things get rough, just dream about C.J. Henry.

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1 debris   ~  Jun 7, 2005 4:53 pm

1.  I don't know much about the players drafted, but I do know this. The Free Agent draft is a ton of work and a full time job for a GM and his team in April and May.

While Theo Epstein was working his butt off preparing for the draft, what was Brian Cashman doing? Fielding conference calls from the Boss and following the team to Kansas City on Steingrabber's orders. I don't know how well Cashman fared today, but I do know that he was working under a serious disadvantage.

2 singledd   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:03 pm

2.  Womack is back in the lineup. I feel like puking.

3 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:12 pm

3.  Between Womack back in the line up and Sheets mowing down the Yankee hitters, it is going to be a long night. Why, Womack, why? He is the Yankees' bane.

4 tocho   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:13 pm

4.  That curveball will keep the Yanks real busy tonight. It really looks nasty.

Good thing we got BPavano(TM) on the mound...

5 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:20 pm

5.  At least, Pavano got out of the 1st without giving up a run. Pedro is no hitting the Astros. Take that Peter Gammons and all the anti-Pedro people.

6 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:27 pm

6.  D'yall hear that stat Michael Kay just threw out? Since Bernie hit that grand slam in Seattle back on May 16 the Yankees are hitless with the bases loaded, which gives them the longest such 0-fer for any AL team since the implementation of the DH in 1973 (!!!)

7 tocho   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:33 pm

7.  If you are sick of the Yanks (who are down 2-0 and will most probably lose) check out the Pedro game it is really amazing...

8 Marcus   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:43 pm

8.  Let's end the 0-fer Matsui!

9 Marcus   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:44 pm

9.  Ugh....

10 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:50 pm

10.  Can you believe that Womack actually got a hit? How is that possible? Did Sheets offer up the hit out of Yankee hate? Also, I've never heard of Cirillo, why is he hitting like Barry Bonds against the Yankees?

11 singledd   ~  Jun 7, 2005 5:52 pm

11.  I know Torre is doing the R/L thing, but ARod needs to bat cleanup. Sox down 6-1.

12 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 7, 2005 6:13 pm

12.  Simone, Jeff Cirillo was a hidden gem on the Brewers clubs of the late '90s combining great defense with high OBP. Check his 1998 and '99 seasons:

.321/.402/.445 (.294 EQA) 112 Rate2
.326/.401/.461 (.292) 111

As arbitration drove his salary past $3 million he was traded to Colorado after the '99 season in a classic three-team deal with the A's that shifted around a lot of forgoten parts (Scott Karl, Jimmy Haynes, Jamey Wright etc.).

In his age 30 and 31 seasons on Colorado his gross production actually declined slightly, which meant a severe decline when Coors field was factored in (.264 and .266 EQAs in those two years).

He was then dealt to Seattle for more forgettable names (Dennis Stark, Brian Fuentes), where, now earning well over $6 million, his career collapsed. He posted .239 and .206 EQAs in two seasons while watching his defense regress to league average. As a result he lost playing time to guys like Desi Relaford, Mark McLemore and Willie Bloomquist.

He was dumped on the Padres prior to last season where the collapse continued (.197 EQA, 89 Rate). At age 35 he appeared to be out of baseball, but, back where he started in Milwaukee, he's again playing great D and posting a strong OBP (for a .274 EQA thus far). Apparently that Milwaukee rejuvination machine is a powerful beast.

13 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 6:29 pm

13.  Cliff, that sucks for the Yankees.

Pedro pitches a complete game against the Astros out pitching Oswalt who also pitched a good game. Pedro gives up 1 run, 2 hits on 110 pitches. The Yankees need one of their pitchers to do the same in order to turn their fortunes around.

14 singledd   ~  Jun 7, 2005 6:46 pm

14.  Pavano is pitching a good game. What does it say when a team built around offense needs to only give up 1 run to win?

We will get a dominant pitching performance on occasion, but our offense needs to show up every game.

15 Mike Z   ~  Jun 7, 2005 6:55 pm

15.  I am really beginning to get fed up with Posada. It seems to me he keeps coming up in key opportunities, and always disappoints. I find it unbelievable that his average is as high as .276. After Womack, Jorge is really starting to look like the weak point in this lineup. Then again, they're all looking like weak points right about now.

16 tocho   ~  Jun 7, 2005 6:56 pm

16.  time to get this game out of hand with the "great" Quantrill on the mound. My guess is at least 3 runs score on him.

17 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:08 pm

17.  Ha. Gammons and the guy who hosts BBTN trying to pretend they aren't bitter about Pedro moving on and pitching even better.

The Yankees need to try and do something against the Brewers' pen. Though notice their reliever has a better ERA than just about every Yankee reliever not named Mariano Rivera.

singledd, when you go against good pitchers the only chance you have is that your guy out pitches their guy because good pitching does beat good hitting. Look at the Mets tonight. Pedro had to out pitch Oswalt for them to win the game. The Yankees used to win low scoring games like this against Pedro and other talented pitchers all the time. It has just become so rare a thing that we don't remember that it used to happen.

18 JeremyM   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:17 pm

18.  You know and I know that a 2-0 deficit is insurmountable for the Yanks these days. But does Joe Torre have to manage like it and bring in both Quantrill and Stanton to pitch?

Yeah, we got lucky with Q, but something tells me Stanton won't be so fortunate.

19 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:23 pm

19.  A 2-0 deficit against Ben Sheets is game over.

Just great Gordon whose arm is injured has to come in because Stanton can't do the job.

JeremyM, last year everyone bitched that Joe wore down the bullpen because he used them like the Yankees had to win every game and you are now advocating that he does just that? Joe should put in Sturtze, Gordon and Mo every single game? Quantrill, Groom and Stanton have to do the job that they are millions to do once in a while.

20 tocho   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:26 pm

20.  What is a true fan supposed to do during these streaks?

Keep watching the games and getting frustrated? lay off the TV/mlb.com for a while until they snap out of it and start hitting balls? Keep micro-analysing every game to reach the same conclusions over and over again?

Then first option is supposedly the one that a true fan does, but why should we ruin our evenings watching a bunch of guys that don't know us, don't care if we get frustrated or happy...

Any thoughts?

21 singledd   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:27 pm

21.  Sheets is an excellent pitcher. He ERA tells us he only gives up 3 runs a game on AVERAGE. However, our offense SHOULD be better then average.

We only gave up 2 runs today. We only needed to get an 'average' 3 runs. How many games can we pitch shutouts in? Pedro, Sheets, whomever. When we hold them to 2 runs, we should be a winner. When we average 3 RS/game for a week, its hard to ask for the pitchers to come through. As far as I'm concerned, they came through tonight.

You dont see a lot of shutouts in the post season.

22 Mike Z   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:36 pm

22.  Ugh, if Giambi's fly out had been a little longer, this would have been a totally different ballgame.

As bad as they Yankees are playing, absolutely nothing is going their way.

23 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:36 pm

23.  Two nights in a row now that Jeter has come up small in the 9th. Ugh. The positive is that Pavano pitched well. Hopefully, he can continue to do so.

24 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:39 pm

24.  singledd, Sheets' era is actually higher than it normally would be because he is coming back from an injury. Look, I see where you are coming from, but with the offense struggling, the Yankees need more from their pitchers if they are going to get a win. Remember it was Pavano's 3 run game (though the Yankees lost) and Mussina's shut out that go the winning streak going. Hopefully, that happens again.

25 Fred Vincy   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:46 pm

25.  Tocho,

I'm going into enemy territory at Busch Friday, but after last night I swore to watch no games until then. Sometimes, a time out is the best thing, though it hasn't been since the Stump Merrill days that I've felt I needed one....

26 Simone   ~  Jun 7, 2005 7:50 pm

26.  To paraphrase Thomas Paine, "These are the times that try Yankee fans souls." Somehow and I know don't how, things will take a turn for the better, soon hopefully.

27 singledd   ~  Jun 7, 2005 8:34 pm

27.  "It's the offense's responsibility to give our starters a little something in the bank," Torre said. "We haven't done that. The offense has to stand up first, so the pitcher isn't in a situation where he has to throw every single pitch thinking he has to be perfect."

In eight games, Yankee hitters are 52 for 266 (.195) over all and 8 for 57 (.140) with runners in scoring position. They have been outscored by 37-20 on the trip and by 61-23 in this 10-game swoon.

28 rbj   ~  Jun 8, 2005 5:11 am

28.  From this morning's NYT (not that I trust them):
"Kevin Brown said his bruised left shoulder needed to improve significantly in the next two days for him to pitch for the Yankees on Friday in St. Louis. If it doesn't, the Yankees will have the opening they were looking for to put the rookie Chien-Ming Wang back in the rotation."

What the hell is Wang doing not in the rotation?
Package Brown and Womack for a hitter.

29 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 8, 2005 7:08 am

29.  RBJ:

1) For some reason the Yankees keep trying to skip Wang when off days give them the opportunity. This despite the fact that five of his six starts have been "quality starts" (min 6 IP, max 3 ER) and the team is 5-1 in those six starts, including their only win on this road trip. If you ask me, that's almost cause for Torre and Stottlemyre to be show the door in and of itself.

2) You can't trade Brown unless you want to put Sean Henn back in the rotation. He's doing well in Columbus, but he's not ready and there are no other options.

30 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 8, 2005 8:15 am

30.  The pretext for skipping Wang is RJ pitching regularly on his fifth day. That, again, is Torre and Stottlemyre grasping at straws and trying to placate Johnson instead of actually trying to fix his mechanics, caused, again, by Torre and Stottlemyre's cavalier attitude toward pitchers' injuries. See Kevin Brown. Allowed to pitch way past his effectiveness after obviously hurting himself the inning before. I know Stottlemyre is not a doctor but it doesn't take staying at a Holiday Inn to realize a guy with a chronically bad back shoud be monitored carefully after diving and twisting on the ground trying to catch an errant throw from the new Enrique Wilson, Rey "I'm done" Sanchez. The Wang situation also points out Torre and Stottlemyre's reluctance to play rookies regardless of their performance. Were it not for Cashman's intervention, Wang would still be just a glint in some fans' eyes.

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