"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Things Fall Apart


Today felt like having duct tape slowly peeled off your arm for more than four hours. A tough-luck loss on Friday night was just the start of what is turning out to be a long, ugly weekend for the Yankees in Boston. About the only way to be feel any pleasure is to admire the Yankees’ fortitude–they showed a lot of fight–and just laugh at the WWF-ridiculousness of these games against Boston.

Yanks-Sox turns baesball into something else, the back-and-forth suggests a heavyweight boxing match even more than it does wrestling. But even in defeat, there is something satisfying about watching your team give it a balls-out effort. Nevermind the horsesh** pitching.

The Bombers put an early beating on Josh Beckett jumping out to a 6-0 lead. But Jason Variteck’s grand slam in the fourth brought the Sox back and by the time Beckett and AJ Burnett were done the score was 8-8. So much for the hype, the two big starters were doo doo. In the end, the Red Sox bullpen was better than the Yankee bullpen and that was that.


Oh, it was typical Yankee-Sox, a regular opera: lead-changes by the handful, big homers by Mike Lowell and Johnny Damon, two long balls by Robbie Cano, a suprising error by Dustin Pedroia, a missed call by the second base ump, Damon crashing into the left field wall. Rock-em-sock-’em-robots stuff. Took forever.

“Did this start yesterday?” said Tim McCarver in the 8th inning.

You know, the usual. 16-11 was the final in favor of the Sox.

So not awesome, man. 

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 25, 2009 8:47 pm

I think there were 15 walks in 8.5 innings by the two teams.

I miss Mussina and Schilling already.

2 Rich   ~  Apr 25, 2009 8:49 pm

Turn the page.

3 Dimelo   ~  Apr 25, 2009 8:51 pm

This ONE game had all the emotions of the 2004 ALCS. Yanks went ahead early, by a lot, looked like the Yanks were well on their way to winning then everything felt like the Red Sox were peeling away at a bad scab, and, in the end, you were left bloody and without anything to treat your wound.

Man I really miss Torre during these awful losses, I always felt that he had it all under control when the team experienced a bad loss. That he would make it all better, like chicken soup on a really cold day. Girardi could be all these things people say he "is", till he starts making me feel like he has an answer for today's ugly loss (speaking in generalities here, not particularly about today's game), till that day comes, I will continue to long for Torre.

This team has a lot, a lot of holes.

4 Rich   ~  Apr 25, 2009 8:57 pm

[3] I don't miss Torre and wanted him gone for years, but I thought that his ability to keep things "under control" would have prevented the the 2004 collapse. I started a thread on another site to that effect prior to game Game 6 that reflected that confidence.

But the reality was that he didn't have things "under control" and they choked away the series. TBH, they may have never fully recovered.

Girardi may not be the right guy to lead this team. But in light of the foregoing, Torre's time had clearly come and gone.

5 randym77   ~  Apr 25, 2009 9:03 pm

Pete Abe's live blogging of the game would be funny if it were some other team. Looked like a sure win for the Yanks...until it wasn't.

He thinks Girardi is going to be in the hot seat for this loss.

6 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 25, 2009 11:07 pm

Serves me right for drafting Beckett for the 2nd year in a row for my $$$ roto team (I also have Rivera .... who screwed the pooch last night) and tomorrow I have Pettitte (oy)

7 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 25, 2009 11:08 pm

Is anybody missing A-Rod right about now?

8 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 25, 2009 11:14 pm

EVERYBODY'S missing ARod right about now.

I don't get how when we have 15+ guys participating in each of these games, how Girardi, who sits on the bench, gets blamed.

Mo grooves one to Bay. Where is Girardi's role in that?
Bases loaded... no outs... no scoring. Where is Girardi's role in that?
AJ gives up 8 ERs in 5 IP. Where is Girardi's role in that?

Whether the Yankees are great, or they stink, Girardi has a minimal role.

9 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 25, 2009 11:16 pm

Per PeteAbe:
"Jonathan Albaladejo, Phil Coke, Damaso Marte, Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras have a combined ERA of 7.08. Joe Girardi is juggling hand grenades every time he comes out of the dugout. With Brian Bruney out, Girardi is fresh out of guys be can trust not named Mariano Rivera."

Gee, maybe it is Girardi's fault.

10 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Apr 25, 2009 11:18 pm

Missing Rodriguez? After 27 runs were scored?

Look. This game was horseshit. In fact, I'd like to take the Yankees last three games (including the 14-inning win against the A's) and wipe them from my memory. Alex is right, this isn't baseball. This is absurd.

I'm not saying that because the Red Sox won. I was saying this with the Yanks up 10-9. Heck, the best game of the three was Friday night's Boston win. At least the score was reasonable in that one.

What really has me down right now is the fact that I can't say "I can't wait until they get out of Fenway" because the new Yankee Stadium has been worse. I could deal with two losses to the Sox in April, but the nature of these games is really pissing me off.

11 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 26, 2009 12:38 am

The bullpen is a disaster..it's making me weep every morning and contemplate full-time Yakult Swallows fandom! (Until the inevitable first-inning sacrifice bunt pushes me back to MLB..)

I blame Cashman. He wanted full control and got it. Where's the bullpen?!?!?

12 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Apr 26, 2009 12:53 am

I'm not worried about the bullpen.

The Yankees had one of the best bullpen's in baseball last year and I honestly believe that when the 2008 season is over they will have had one of the best bullpens in baseball again, largely with the arms they have there now. Bruney could be back in just a couple of weeks.

Forget it, Jazz, it's Fenway.

13 MichiganYankee   ~  Apr 26, 2009 1:10 am

Cashman has said that he wants to keep the weekend young and cheap, and I agree. He's held by this principle -- except for the Marte signing. And it's the 3-year commitment to Marte that looks really scary right now.

Albaladejo and Coke have been solid most of the time. Veras and Edwar have been shakier, but that's why we have the Scranton shuttle.

14 MichiganYankee   ~  Apr 26, 2009 1:11 am

That should be: "Cashman has said that he wants to keep the bullpen young and cheap."

15 PJ   ~  Apr 26, 2009 1:12 am

[10] "What really has me down right now is the fact that I can’t say “I can’t wait until they get out of Fenway,” because the new Yankee Stadium has been worse. I could deal with two losses to the Sox in April, but the nature of these games is really pissing me off."

What are the chances the Yankees can simply begin their regular seasons in the future in May?

That might give these ridiculous divas enough ST to actually be ready for regular season games!

In the current economy, these veteran millionaires deserve their respective salaries and a $1.3B new stadium, with all the amenities imaginable, like Michael Vick deserves free puppies!

16 Bobtaco   ~  Apr 26, 2009 2:08 am

BP looked a lot better when Bruney wasn't hurt.

Bring on Melancon. Let's see what he can do.

17 thelarmis   ~  Apr 26, 2009 2:09 am

at least Pavano lost today. he gave up 5 runs on 11 hits in 5 innings. he's 0-3 w/ a 9.50 ERA...

18 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 26, 2009 3:06 am

[12] J.J. Gittes..nice. Cut to you leading a confused and beaten Mr. OK Jazz away from Fenway as the credits role..

19 rufuswashere   ~  Apr 26, 2009 6:45 am

Live in Boston.

Must ... avoid ... Boston ... sports media ...

20 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 26, 2009 8:58 am

[10] There were a couple balls that ate up Berroa last night that I think A-Rod would have gotten.

21 randym77   ~  Apr 26, 2009 9:15 am

I think a big part of the problem is that the pen is overused. There's no long man in the pen. No Leiter, no Rasner, no Giese, who can carry the load if the starter implodes early. Cashman seems to have been confident that there would be no Jaret Wrights among his starters.

It blew up in his face. Not only do we have Joba doing a fine Jaret Wright impression, we had Wang unable to pitch two innings.

So I guess if I"m blaming anyone, it's Cashman. Not for inability to assess pitching talent; relief pitchers are notorious for being unpredictable. For not having a Plan B.

I read an analysis of the Rays earlier this year, that credited their success last year partly to luck in injuries. They didn't suffer many of them. Most teams aren't so lucky, and the Yankees haven't been. Every year, there's a rash of injuries, and every year, they seem ill-prepared to deal with them.

22 Rich   ~  Apr 26, 2009 10:49 am

[21] Given their payroll, the Yankees' depth has been bad for years. In some ways, it's similar to being house poor. You have this sprawling mansion, but you can't afford to furnish it or maintain the landscaping.The Yankees have a bunch of extremely high priced players, but abysmal depth behind A-Rod, Jeter, Posada, etc.

Part of the reason for that is beyond Cashman's control. For example, he was opposed to re-signing A-Rod to the contract he received. If an extra $5 million per year could be allocated to the bench, they may have been able to sign, for example, Wigginton or Hudson. Also, he has only had control of the draft since 2006.

Which points to a big part of the problem, their mL system is virtually devoid of ML ready or near ML ready position player.

23 Raf   ~  Apr 26, 2009 11:27 am

So I guess if I”m blaming anyone, it’s Cashman. Not for inability to assess pitching talent; relief pitchers are notorious for being unpredictable. For not having a Plan B.

I believe "plan b" is starting against the Tigers. Not having a long man isn't the reason the pitching hasn't performed the way it has.

Every year, there’s a rash of injuries, and every year, they seem ill-prepared to deal with them.

Namely because the caliber of players involved. There is a huge drop from Posada to Molina, or Rodriguez to Ransom.

The Yankees have a bunch of extremely high priced players, but abysmal depth behind A-Rod, Jeter, Posada, etc.

Namely due to the durability of said players. When you have starters that play 150+ games a season, you can see why there isn't much of an emphasis on the bench. BTW, I don't see Wigginton or Hudson coming here on a bench role, when they can start elsewhere. Especially in cases where they'll hopefully be cashing in on another FA year.

24 randym77   ~  Apr 26, 2009 11:37 am

I've heard that before...that the reason the Yankees' bench is so bad is they spend so much on their starters.

I can buy that...but I still think Cashman could do better.

We need a long man. That's obvious, just looking at the past few seasons. We had one, in Giese. Cashman let Oakland claim him off waivers, because he wanted the roster spot for someone else.

Similarly...was there no way to get a Nick Green or Andy Phillips type to stash in Scranton? It wouldn't have taken a lot of money, and given A-Rod's hip and Jeter's age, it seems like it would have been money well spent.

And if Berroa was going to be the emergency backup, why not tell Dave Miley to play him at 3B as well as SS? Once Ransom became the 3B starter, Cashman should have been thinking about what he was going to do if Ransom were injured. Berroa played SS in almost every game in Scranton, and now he's the starting third baseman in the Bronx.

25 Rich   ~  Apr 26, 2009 11:45 am

[23] I think only the last quote is mine.

The fallacy in your reasoning is that their core position players are aging (A-Rod will be 34 this season, Jeter will be 35, Posada will be 38, Damon will be 36 this calendar year, Matsui will be 35). Consequently, their capacity to remain durable is at an increased risk. We saw that with Posada and Matsui last season, Damon the last two seasons, and A-Rod right now.

So if there is a lack of "emphasis on the bench," they have made a major miscalculation that cost them dearly last season, and to some degree even at the early part of this season.

In the '90s, guys like Raines, Strawberry, Davis, Curtis and others were content to be on the bench for a championship team (some could have started elsewhere). Given the market contraction that took place this offseason, I believe that a lot of talented role players would have been willing to play for the Yankees if their offers were competitive.

26 Raf   ~  Apr 26, 2009 11:53 am

Giese, up to that point hadn't done much worth mentioning; he was a reliever that took well to starting late in his career. He was nice to have, but not really necessary given the way the staff was constructed. The reason why they had a long man the last few years was because they had guys like Pavano, Ponson, Wright, Rasner, etc, etc, etc starting. Even now, they have Kennedy, Aveces & Tomko capable of being long men, but I believe the Yanks would like the first two to get more innings @ SWB. If Hughes sticks around this time, Wang may be your long man.

As for Nick Green and Andy Phillips types, you already have them in the minors and majors in Justin Leone, Kevin Russo, Ransom & Pena. Berroa played SS because the SWB Yanks have Eric Duncan playing 3b.

27 randym77   ~  Apr 26, 2009 12:03 pm

Eric Duncan has been splitting his time among 1B, 3B, and LF. Duncan is not the reason Berroa played so much SS.

Curiously, Duncan has been playing more 3B the last few days. Maybe he's Plan B if Berroa doesn't work out.

28 Raf   ~  Apr 26, 2009 12:52 pm

[27] Thanks, I stand corrected; I was under the impression that Duncan was the primary 3b

29 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Apr 26, 2009 1:10 pm

[13] I know you corrected it in [14] but that typo/brain cramp is one of the GREAT typos here in a long time. And yes, it amounts to a massive libel against Cash's way of easing his pain after the two losses! He won't spend what Spitzer spent, no way, no how!

30 thelarmis   ~  Apr 26, 2009 1:40 pm

ugh. i just saw that horrible news about Dusty McMVP's brother. link at nomaas. eeeeeewwwww!!!! : /

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