"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays

2009 Record: 22-12 (.647)
2009 Pythagorean Record: 21-13 (.618)

2008 Record: 86-76 (.531)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 93-69 (.574)

Manager: Cito Gaston
General Manager: J.P. Ricciardi

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Rogers Centre (99/98)

Who’s Replaced Whom:

  • Aaron Hill (DL) reclaims his playing time from Joe Inglett (minors)
  • Travis Snider replaces Shannon Stewart and Brad Wilkerson
  • Adam Lind replaces Kevin Mench and Frank Thomas
  • Kevin Millar replaces Matt Stairs
  • Jose Bautista replaces David Eckstein
  • Raul Chavez is filling in for Michael Barrett (DL), who replaces Gregg Zaun
  • Brian Tallet is filling in for Ricky Romero (DL), who replaces A.J. Burnett
  • Brett Cecil replaces David Purcey (minors) and Dustin McGowan (DL)
  • Scott Richmond replaces Shaun Marcum (DL)
  • Robert Ray is filling in for Jesse Litsch (DL)
  • Bill Murphy replaces John Parrish
  • Scott Downs is closing in place of B.J. Ryan (DL)

25-man Roster:

1B – Lyle Overbay (L)
2B – Aaron Hill (R)
SS – Marco Scutaro (R)
3B – Scott Rolen (R)
C – Rod Barajas (R)
RF – Alex Rios (R)
CF – Vernon Wells (R)
LF – Travis Snider (L)
DH – Adam Lind (L)


R – Kevin Millar (1B)
R – John McDonald (IF)
R – Jose Bautista (UT)
R – Raul Chavez (C)


R – Roy Halladay
R – Scott Richmond
L – Brian Tallet
L – Brett Cecil
R – Robert Ray


L – Scott Downs
R – Jason Frasor
L – Jesse Carlson
R – Shawn Camp
R – Brandon League
L – Bill Murphy
R – Brian Wolfe

15-day DL:

RHP – Dustin McGowan (labrum)
RHP – Shaun Marcum (TJ surgery)
RHP – Jesse Litsch (forearm tightness)
LHP – Ricky Romero (oblique)
LHP – B.J. Ryan (trapezius)
C – Michael Barrett (right shoulder tear)

Typical Lineup:

R – Marco Scutaro (SS)
R – Aaron Hill (2B)
R – Alex Rios (RF)
R – Vernon Wells (CF)
L – Adam Lind (DH)
R – Scott Rolen (3B)
L – Lyle Overbay (1B)
R – Rod Barajas (C)
L – Travis Snider (LF)

The Blue Jays enter this week’s three-game series against the Yankees with the best record in the American League. If you saw that coming, you’re lying. The Jays’ Pythagorean record from last year (93-69) makes their current position seems less fluky, that is until you remember how the Jays won last year and how they’ve changed since.

The Blue Jays allowed fewer runs than any other team in baseball in 2008, which is how they managed a winning record (and that handsome Pythagorean) despite the fourth-worst offense in the American League. Leading the Jays’ attack was their major league-best starting rotation, which allowed a major league-low 3.72 ERA and turned in a quality start 54 percent of the time, a rate surpassed by only three teams in 2008. That rotation was headed by Roy Halladay (20-11, 2.78) and A.J. Burnett (18-10, 4.07). Behind them, Jesse Litsch and Shaun Marcum combined to go 22-16 with a 3.49 ERA in 53 starts, and Dustin McGowan (6-7, 4.37) was their primary fifth starter before his season was ended early by injury.

And there’s the rub. McGowan hit the disabled list in July with a frayed labrum that ended his season and, due to set backs, could keep him out all of this season as well. Shaun Marcum had Tommy John surgery in September and is also likely to miss most or all of 2009. A.J. Burnett then opted out of his contract and signed with the Yankees, reducing the Jays’ major league-best rotation to Roy Halladay and Jesse Litsch. Then, in his second start of this season, Litch left after three shaky innings due to tightness in his forearm and has been on the DL ever since.

So, 34 games into the 2009 season, the Jays have received just 8 1/2 starts from their starting five of 2008, yet they have the best record in the American League. What gives?

To begin with, the Jays are one of the best defensive teams in baseball. Last year, they were second in the majors to the Rays in defensive efficiency. This year, without David Eckstein on the roster, they’re leading the AL by turning 71.4 percent of all balls in play into outs. So, some of what looked like pitching last year, was actually fielding. Note the success of replacement starters Scott Richmond, who starts tomorrow, and Brian Tallet, who starts on Thursday. Richmond, a 29-year-old Canadian journeman, has gone 4-1 with a 3.29 ERA in six starts thanks to a defense-aided .245 opponents’ batting average on balls in play. Tallet, 31, normally a long-relief lefty, has been solid in five starts thanks to a .227 BABIP.

The Jays have also enjoyed strong debuts from rotaition prospects Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil. Though Romero, their first-round pick from 2005, is now on the DL himself, the two have combined to go 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in five starts.

Also, the Toronto bullpen, the major’s best a year ago with a 2.94 ERA, is still among the best in baseball (3.66 ERA, tied with Seattle for fifth in the majors), with B.J. Ryan’s DL stay and 11.12 ERA being the primary difference and lefty Scott Downs (2.20 ERA, 3 SV) and righty Jason Frasor (4-0, 0.77) doing tremendous work in Ryan’s stead.

That alone is impressive, and with Ryan, Romero, and Litsch all on the comeback trail, perhaps even sustainable, but what keeps making me rub my eyes is the fact that the Jays also have the major league’s best offense, scoring an even six runs per game.

Leading the charge are second baseman Aaron Hill, who has returned from a season largely lost to post-concussion syndrome to deliver on his age-27 promise, hitting .353/.394/.549 with a team-best eight homers, and 25-year-old designated hitter Adam Lind, who is similarly realizing his potential by hitting .333/.405/.561. The Jays’ first basemen are hitting .287/.369/.519 thanks to Cito Gaston’s strict platoon of lefty Lyle Overbay (.256/.370/.537) and righty-hitting Yankee-killer Kevin Millar (.327/.364/.481). Gaston has also gotten good results by spelling struggling rookie left fielder Travis Snider against lefties, as utility man Jose Bautista has hit .333/.429/.389 in his place.

Though there are plenty of batting averages there that look unsustainable, youth and strategy have also played a large role in the Jays’ success with those players. Less convincing are Rod Barajas’s .319/.350/.511 line and Scott Rolen’s continued health. Meanwhile, Marco Scutaro has a .406 on-base percentage thanks to his maj0r league-leading 29 walks (against just 19 Ks), that despite his hitting in front of the red-hot Hill. The only potential counter weight to the expected regression up and down the Rays lineup is that Alex Rios hasn’t hit a lick yet.

The X-factor in all of this is the return of Cito Gaston. After going 35-39 (.473) under John Gibbons to start 2008, the Jays have gone 73-49 (.598) since Gaston’s return in last June, that despite the gradual disintegration of their starting rotation. Gaston has made a number of wise moves, including establishing Marco Scutaro and Adam Lind as regulars, dropping Rolen in the order, and platooning Overbay, but how much of that success is wisdom, and how much is just good mojo that is as likely vanish as miraculously as it appeared? Only time will tell, but if the Jays finish the season with the best offense in baseball, I’ll eat my hat. You read it here first, folks.

As for the Yankees, just when you thought things were looking up, Derek Jeter is out of tonght’s lineup with an oblique pull. I don’t yet know the severity of the injury, but the it seems like he’s not the only Yankee starter to come down with the bird flu with Halladay taking the mound tonight. Nick Swisher is also on the bench, leaving this lineup:

L – Brett Gardner (CF)
L – Johnny Damon (LF)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L – Hideki Matsui (DH)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
S – Melky Cabrera (RF)
R – Kevin Cash (C)
S – Ramiro Peña (SS)

A.J. Burnett faces his old mates and mentor, who are reportedly furious at him for opting out over the winter. Burnett has been good but not great in his last two starts, allowing seven runs in 13 innings, but striking out 13 against just three walks and one home run. Roy Halladay, of course, hasn’t failed to complete seven innings all year and has allowed more than three earned runs just twice in seven starts, posting a 6-1 record.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread  Series Preview

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Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 6:48 pm

Great! Yet another team pissed off at the Yankees!

Wow @ this lineup...


Go kids!

Go A.J.!


2 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 6:51 pm

Wooooo! Pena, Gardner, Cash - oh my!

Great work Cashman! And I thought it couldn't get worse than Terrance Long, Andy Phillips, and Sal Fasano. Bah, but that was only three years ago. Who has the time to improve the 25-man and minor league depth when you're spending $450 million on three players.

[holding up an envelope] I see a fourth place finish!

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 12, 2009 6:54 pm

Pete Abe reports that Jeter hopes to be back in the lineup tomorrow. Meanwhile, Pete notes that since Swisher was hit in the elbow with a pitch he's 3-for-23 with 12 strikeouts, so maybe Halladay gives Girardi a good excuse to give Swish pair of days to rest that elbow.

4 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 6:54 pm

Its time to put the Blue Jays in their place.

5 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 6:57 pm

Ah, yes, the Yankee avoid-the-DL magic! Yes, yes, an oblique strain heals overnight. Brilliant! The guy only has .750 OPS and can't field anything more than two steps to either side. But rush him back!

At least Pena will show people how a decent shortstop can field the position. I expect nothing though from Gardner and Cash.

6 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 6:58 pm

Its time to put the Blue Jays in their place.

Kevin Cash gladly accepts this challenge.

7 Alex Belth   ~  May 12, 2009 7:01 pm

Hey Guys,

Just wanted to put up a general reminder and that's to cut out the cursing. I've been real lax about mentioning anything about it but if you can cease and desist, I'd appreciate it. Write effin or f****** if you have to, I get it. But please stop with the full-out "F Bombs."


8 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:01 pm

NO KAY! Things are already looking up!

9 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:06 pm

[6] Yankees constantly get beat by scrubs. Maybe its our turn.

10 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:07 pm

A guy with a .284 career OBP batting leadoff. Yeah, that's fantastic.

11 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:08 pm

[10] Well, he probably shouldn't be on the team, let alone leading off, but maybe he'll surprise us.

12 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:09 pm

Bad call.

13 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:09 pm

The real question is whether Gardner will hit it out of the infield tonight.

The envelope says no.

I'm rooting for a Halladay no-hitter. At least that would be interesting.

14 ny2ca2dc   ~  May 12, 2009 7:11 pm

en fuego. OH NO

15 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:11 pm

[13] Probably not. But its just one game.

16 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:11 pm

@ 11

If the manager didn't bat him leadoff they'd have Melky Cabrera, he of the career .382 SLG, batting 6th.

Yeah, Cashman is a genius. But at least they're carrying Angel Berroa for when Jeter goes on the DL.

17 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:13 pm

Damn, a hit.

At least the $180 million man didn't disappoint! But, but, he has really hot second halves!

18 BrianLevy2020   ~  May 12, 2009 7:15 pm

Toronto announcers called Damon safe on the non-double.

19 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 7:15 pm

is anyone in NY's channel 9 feed a little choppy?

20 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:15 pm

[16] I never bought the "Cashman is a genius" or "The Yankees need Cashman" movement. Cashman is good at the obvious moves (Sabathia, Teixeira) but he's often quite wrong when he needs to do actual talent evaluation (Farnsworth, Pavano, Igawa, Betemit)

21 ny2ca2dc   ~  May 12, 2009 7:18 pm

At least the Yankee fielding should be good with this lineup

22 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 7:19 pm

Love the boos at Burnett for every pitch!

Maybe if they were so vocal in favor of Burnett while he was there, he wouldn't have... you know...

: )

23 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:21 pm

[22] Well, to be fair, he often wasn't there.

24 BrianLevy2020   ~  May 12, 2009 7:22 pm

[21] How many players choose fan support over cash?

25 ny2ca2dc   ~  May 12, 2009 7:23 pm

[22] Maybe if they were so vocal in favor of Burnett while he was there, he wouldn’t have… you know…

YA RIGHT!!!!! Money talks amigo (not that I begrudge players exercising their bargained for and agreed to rights in the least)

26 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 7:23 pm

I don't care how much "grizzled veteran" status he earns, to me Rolen will always be the spoiled brat who whined his way out of Philly and then spent an entire postseason refusing to speak to his manager because he was just a BIG FAT JERK!!

27 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 7:23 pm

[24] I'll let you know after I see him catch a few more games...

28 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 7:33 pm

Note to Alex...

Let the kid make those plays!

: )

29 BrianLevy2020   ~  May 12, 2009 7:37 pm

I like the contrast between [7] and PJ's smiley faces.

30 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:41 pm

Is Snyder wearing rouge?

31 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 7:42 pm

for whatever reason, Marco Scutaro scares the hell out of me at the plate

33 BrianLevy2020   ~  May 12, 2009 7:44 pm

Let that headfirst dive be a lesson to Melky! (I think he might have been safe.)

34 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:45 pm

Good thing Scutaro is a moron.

35 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 7:46 pm

[32] Well yeah, there was that...

36 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 7:46 pm

[34] Yeah, what you said!

37 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:49 pm

@ 29

How do you say WTF or STFU with an emoticon?

If Burnett can keep this up, it's one way the Yanks could win. Still, 38 pitches through 3 IP vs 2-effin'-5 from Halladay.

38 unmoderated   ~  May 12, 2009 7:52 pm

effing my9 game - how we doing?

39 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:52 pm

Its time to make Brett Gardner go away.

40 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:52 pm


We're not losing.

41 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:53 pm

It's time to make Mark Teixeira go away.

42 unmoderated   ~  May 12, 2009 7:53 pm

indeed, that is one way to look at it.

43 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:55 pm

Wang just got hit with a line drive

44 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:55 pm

There goes my reason for watching this doody-fest.

45 BrianLevy2020   ~  May 12, 2009 7:56 pm

[43] Where'd you see that? Chad Jennings has him cruising...


46 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 7:57 pm

Is it wrong to hope that the new stadium flipped the cosmic karma? I mean, if the Yankees suck for the next twenty years, maybe they'll tear down the abomination and rebuild the rightful park across the street.

A boy can dream, at least.

47 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:57 pm

[45] Friend at a game

48 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:58 pm

*the game

49 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 7:59 pm

He's okay.

50 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:00 pm

Well, this is fun.

51 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:01 pm

settle in kids....

52 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:01 pm

[46] I don't think you need to hope, I think it's a done deal. Unless it's A Rod that flipped the karma; the timing is more precise with the A Rod scenario.

53 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:03 pm

Oh christ

54 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:04 pm

so Pettitte vs Richmond tomorrow....

55 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:05 pm

Two runs isn't so bad. Why do I feel like it's gonna be more though? Maybe cause it's second and third, no outs?

56 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 8:05 pm

Hello, Team, here we are again, eh?

57 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:06 pm

Remember when the Yankees would score first? Every once and a while it would happen. 'Twas like magic.

58 NickL   ~  May 12, 2009 8:06 pm


at what point can the "season in serious danger" light come on?

if they sweep us, could Girardi get fired?

59 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:06 pm

[56] We need some Tawny Kitaen and a car hood.

60 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:07 pm

Looks like another early exit by Girardi's boys. Is there a date when we might expect them to reach .500? Hopefully not June 11 like last year.

Meanwhile, if I was managing the team and wanted to make a move to limit the Yankees' chances of scoring, I would lead off with Brett Gardner.

61 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:07 pm

@ 52

Except they were finalizing the details, with Giuliani agreeing to rape the city, in 2001. And 2001 wasn't a good year for the city or the Yankees, and it led Giuliani to think he could run for president as a cross-dressing NYC mayor.

62 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:07 pm

why do I feel like Skydome (thats all I'll call it) is going to be like a morgue tomorrow compared to tonight?

63 bxsparksnyc   ~  May 12, 2009 8:08 pm

2 things I don't get....why every game we seem to have the smallest strike zone to deal with and why ARod didn't move closer to the line with a curve being thrown....ugh....just my 2 cents

64 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:09 pm

for fuck's sake

65 BrianLevy2020   ~  May 12, 2009 8:09 pm

No worries. They called up Cash for his stick.

66 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:09 pm

And there's William right on cue blaming the manager for a lineup that featured Brett Gardner, Kevin Cash, and Ramiro Pena and starting a $85 million pitcher who sucks.

To get you caught up:

16. Bum Rush
May 12th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

@ 11

If the manager didn’t bat him leadoff they’d have Melky Cabrera, he of the career .382 SLG, batting 6th.

Yeah, Cashman is a genius. But at least they’re carrying Angel Berroa for when Jeter goes on the DL.

67 ms october   ~  May 12, 2009 8:10 pm

f'n christ catch the ball cash

68 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:10 pm

Great throw from Melky. Catch by Cash, not so great.

69 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 8:11 pm

Sterling: "Well, the Yankees are going to lose unless they can find a way to get three runs off Halladay. At least three runs."

70 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:11 pm

Girardi totally should've gotten the tag down on the play

71 NickL   ~  May 12, 2009 8:11 pm

why no Cervelli? any reasonable reason to expect Cash to be better?

72 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:11 pm

[68] Any reason given for not catching Cervelli, who is a much better defender? It's all well and good to blame Cash, but someone wrote his name in the lineup. Against Halladay, I would think you want the better defender.

73 ny2ca2dc   ~  May 12, 2009 8:11 pm

pack your bags Kevin Cash

74 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:12 pm

[66] He was blaming Torre for batting Gardner first. That's it, I think. And Girardi richly deserves that blame.

75 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:14 pm

I was kind of enjoying Cervelli in a Pena-ish way. I wish they hadn't switched him out for Cash anyway, never mind the poor attempt by Cash at home plate.

76 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 8:15 pm

Just logged into Gameday..down 3 runs to Doc Halladay! D'oh!!
any chance of "grinding" out a "scrappy" comeback? If only we had Scutaro on OUR team!

77 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:15 pm

Oh God.

78 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:15 pm

So wait a minute. Nick Swisher is available and BRETT GARDNER was playing?

79 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:15 pm

Meanwhile, Sonnanstine's magic ran out and he returned to being a crappy pitcher against the Orioles. It's one thing to get shut down by Halladay, but the Yankee offense has struggled of late against some very lackluster names.

80 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:15 pm

Matsui? Holy sh** this team is doomed.

81 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:17 pm

[78] Incredible, right? And, if you were hell bent on putting a weaker lineup, why would you not rest Matsui on the carpet?

82 ms october   ~  May 12, 2009 8:17 pm

matsui's knees are hurting on the turf just from walking to the batter's box???

83 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 8:18 pm

Sterling sounds really indignant: "I can't think of one ball the Yankees have hit hard."

84 ny2ca2dc   ~  May 12, 2009 8:18 pm

[75] I'm with you on that. And I like his name.

Wonderful, now Matsui's injured too. shoot me.

85 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:18 pm

We have Gardner

86 NickL   ~  May 12, 2009 8:19 pm

well, to be fair fast guys who hit ground balls should be effective on turf--glancing at the play by play, it would appear that we've failed to get any of our ten ground balls through the infield....but I'll assume they were all weakly hit.

87 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:19 pm

well at least Lonn Trost is around to make us feel better

88 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:20 pm

In his defense, I think Girardi rested Swisher cause he's been hitting poorly since a HBP a few games back.

89 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:20 pm

I think most Yankee fans probably went into this game chalking it up as a loss, but I also think most Yankees probably did as well.

90 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:20 pm

[85] That was for [76]

91 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:21 pm

right hammy tightness for Matsui...wonderful

92 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 8:21 pm

Strained right hamstring for Matsui.

93 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:21 pm

[88] Gardner has been hitting poorly his whole major league career.

94 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:22 pm

So apparently Halladay is a better than Burnett. Next.

95 ms october   ~  May 12, 2009 8:22 pm

[87] if only his bosom buddy was there too!

burnett has been about what i feared after the first 2 games.

96 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:23 pm

[93] The point is Swisher's a little banged up and yes, the Yanks figured they'd lose this one anyway.

97 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 8:23 pm

ONE hit and zero walks..I know Halladay is great but still..we have a freakin ALL-STAR LINEUP and we can't get ANY baserunners against this guy??

98 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:23 pm

[88] Gardner has been hitting poorly for years.

99 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:24 pm

Strained right hamstring for Matsui.


109. Bum Rush
May 12th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

After Jeter, using my Carnac-inspired abilities I predict that Damon or Matsui will be next. All in all, we’re now at three of the opening day nine to hit the DL and we aren’t even two weeks into May. And Teixeira should have been disabled. Now Jeter. It’s only a matter of time before Matsui’s knees start acting up and Damon pulls a hamstring. At least that’s something to look forward to: When 7 of the opening day 9 have been on the disabled list. But I suppose then it will still have been the manager’s fault.

100 NickL   ~  May 12, 2009 8:24 pm

[88] Gardner probably hit poorly in Little League

Show/Hide Comments 101-200
101 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:24 pm

[97] Allstar lineup is being generous.

102 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:24 pm


Correction: we *had* a freakin ALL-STAR LINEUP

103 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:25 pm


Sorry OK, that made me laugh!

: )

104 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:25 pm

[97] That's the problem...it's one thing to get beat and another to be non-competitive. When you can't even hit a line drive to the outfield, it really makes you wonder if this team saw Halladay's name and started thinking about Wednesday. I just don't sense the old Yankee culture of "We play today; we win today". Instead, there's almost a how are we going to find a way to lose feel about the team.

105 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:26 pm

@ 93

Good thing a second-year manager dictates the roster!

Oh, wait...

106 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:26 pm

[93], meet [98] ... meet [100].

107 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:26 pm

If Matsui hits the DL, the have to demote Gardner and call up Duncan and Rodriguez. And I'm not a huge huge fan of either, but I cannot watch Gardner play every day.

108 ny2ca2dc   ~  May 12, 2009 8:26 pm

[104] Hitting a line drive to the outfield against Halladay is probably one of the hardest things to do in baseball.

109 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:27 pm

@ 104

Ah, yes it's about the culture.

Who needs statistics, when we have that inspired logic?

110 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:28 pm

[108] I've watched Halladay a pitch a few times, and not only have the OF'ers actually had to move, but a few have also watched balls sail over the wall this season. He isn't invincible...except for tonight that is.

111 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:28 pm

I can specifically remember Torre saying "when you know you have to face Pedro, you hope to win 2 out of 3" and that was in the middle of winning 4 championships. I don't know if the Yankees expected to lose tonight, but they'd be fools not to realize the odds weren't in their favor.

112 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:28 pm

What's friggen next?

Mo cuts himself shaving?

CC gets really bad hemorrhoids?

Pettitte bursts an eardrum during the decent into Toronto's airport?

Tex sneezes his way onto the 60 Day DL?

Cano gets an infected toe?

Girardi falls asleep in a Barber's chair and misses the game?

I'm ready, I'm ready!

: /

113 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:30 pm

If it were Sabathia vs Halladay, I'd be more bothered by this game.

114 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:30 pm

[113] Why is that?

115 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 8:31 pm
116 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:32 pm

@ 112

It what you get in a non-PED, non-greenie league. Old teams get old fast. A good GM, like Riccardi (who isn't great but better than Cashman) realizes this.

And I absolutely wouldn't be surprised to see Mo hit the DL this season either. Tex should have already hit the DL. And CC's arm is due for a major surgery.

117 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:32 pm

anybody got a pitch count on Halladay? not that it matters, I'm just curious

118 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:32 pm

Whoops, I forgot...

Coke tests positive for coke?

Now I'm ready!

119 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:33 pm

[114] He's our number one, vs their number one.

120 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:34 pm

[115] Hey, funnier than "ALL STAR LINEUP!"


121 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:34 pm


Halladay at 56 effin' pitches through 6 IP.

122 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:34 pm

[112] I'm nit sure Ricciardi is any good. He's spent quite a bit of Rogers money and accomplished less than Cashman. Lyle Overbay was supposed to be the division turner.

123 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:35 pm

[119] Then the Yankees would be wasting their #1 because the Yankees don't seem as if they showed up for a game tonight.

124 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:35 pm

[112] Somehow you ended up with two shaving-related incidents. I'm not sure what to read into that.

125 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 8:36 pm

[120] I will now refer to our lineup for the rest of the year as "ALL-STAR LINEUP".. :)

126 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:36 pm

how is Ricciardi a good GM? at best he's the 3rd best GM in his own division, and thats being generous.

127 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:36 pm

[124] Just keeping with the two catchers' leg injuries...

128 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:37 pm

[123] That's a hard line when facing Halladay.

129 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:37 pm

[125] Now I would really laugh if we did a mad balloting campaign for Ramiro Pena!

: )

130 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:38 pm

Bullpen active in Scranton. 6 IP, 3 H 3 BB for Wang

131 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:39 pm

Overbay is better than what the Yankees have trotted out there for the last four or five years.

how is Ricciardi a good GM?

He's better than Cashman - that much is obvious, especially since they don't have $200 million yearly to play with and they're north of the border where it's much harder to attract free agents.

132 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:39 pm

[130] He must have his arm strength back.

Not that it matters much at this pernt...

133 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:41 pm

Is Jeter's oblique getting worse as the game goes along?

134 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:42 pm

I fucking hate watching Brett Gardner play baseball.

135 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:43 pm

[134] SORRY.

136 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:43 pm

Then the Yankees would be wasting their #1 because the Yankees don’t seem as if they showed up for a game tonight.

Seriously, can you quit the Joe Morgan analysis? What does it mean for a team to show up? Can you tell me which games last year they didn't show up? And which games did they show up? Where's the stat for percentage of showing up? Were do the Yanks rate on this stat relative to the rest of baseball? Are particular managers adept at getting their team to show up?

That Jim Leyland. His teams always show up. Like in 2008.

137 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 8:43 pm

[134] Not even watching but seeing Gameday "Gardner grounds out to Overbay" made me want to jump out the window

138 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:44 pm

[131] In 7 full seasons in Toronto he has never built anything better than an 87 win team. I'm not about to build statues of Cashman or anything, but to say he isn't better than an executive that has never in his career constructed a 90 win roster is a little hard to swallow.

139 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:44 pm

That Johnny Damon. He really showed up tonight. Maybe he should manage the team?

140 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:44 pm


141 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:46 pm


He's also never spent $220 million to win 89 games. At this rate, Cashman may just beat that record this year. It is looking more and more like a 82 to 85 win team.

142 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:46 pm

What could Teixeira have possibly been waiting for?

143 NickL   ~  May 12, 2009 8:46 pm

once again, Damon tries to save this horse**** ballclub.....

144 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:47 pm

The $180 million man strikes (out) again!

145 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:47 pm

[141] Can we all just agree that both men think they're a hell of a lot better than they really are?

146 bxsparksnyc   ~  May 12, 2009 8:47 pm

Picked a tough day to remind the squad to temper the cursing....Tex along draws the desire to drop several....

147 bxsparksnyc   ~  May 12, 2009 8:48 pm


148 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:48 pm


149 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 8:49 pm

Holy moly, that was clutch!

150 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:49 pm

Can you imagine how rough this game would be if Kay was calling it?

151 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:50 pm

[146] I already wore out my "*" and "#" keys out already this spring! Those quotes right there took 23 and 17 taps respectively...

152 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:50 pm

[141] And yet the worst team Cashman has ever built was still better than Ricciardi's best-to-date. You can make really strong arguments about plenty of GM's in the game being better than Cashman (Theo, Shapiro, Bean, Smith)...I do not think Ricciardi is one of them.

153 NickL   ~  May 12, 2009 8:50 pm

tie it up, Swish....

154 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:51 pm

If they weren't giving away 12 outs they might have had a chance too.

155 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:51 pm

Nothing I love more than called strike 3.

156 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 8:52 pm

[150] I dunno Mattpat. I now know that it's an inside joke for Al Leiter playing a "teacher" on Yankees on Deck!

: )

157 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:53 pm

@ 152

You're comparing apples and oranges. The Jays, in any other division, would be in the playoffs every year. The only reason the Rays are able to compete is all the #1 draft choices.

And what will you say when the Jays finish ahead of the Yanks this year?

158 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:53 pm

This interview with Boomhauer is more interesting than the game.

159 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 8:54 pm

[128] I am used to Yankee teams battling tough pitchers, so while it might be a tough statement, I think it accurately reflects this team's level of preparation.

160 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 8:54 pm

Swisher looking sharp. Good thing the manager started him.

161 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 8:57 pm

[157] Well I wasn't aware the final standings for the year had been determined already, what the hell am I doing wasting my time watching the games then?

Every team in this division has made the playoffs at least once since '97...every team except Toronto. You want to rip Cashman fine, if you want to say a GM that has had success is better than him thats fine too. But to just start declaring GM's who have never experienced any sort of success is "clearly" better than him is a little silly.

162 NickL   ~  May 12, 2009 8:59 pm

you wanna find out who the best GM is, set up a fantasy league where everybody has the same revenue streams and ownership......

163 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 8:59 pm

Yankees are on a roll now.

164 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:00 pm

Never mind

165 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 9:00 pm


166 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 9:02 pm

To william's point above about Hallady not being invincible, his ERA right now sits at 3, which means someone hits the guy. That's a far cry from 1.12.

167 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:02 pm

This game might be over in like two hours and five minutes.

168 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 9:02 pm

I still think we should all do a write in ballot campaign for Ramiro Pena for this year's ASG.

That would be great, especially if they send him down before then!

169 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:03 pm


Going back to 1997 is completely arbitrary and only a way to include Baltimore. When did Ricciardi start in Toronto?

Since then, he's had mostly a third place team except for 2004 (5th), 2006 (2nd), and 2008 (4th). That's pretty damn good given their resources. And third-place behind the Yankees and Sox is excellent.

170 bxsparksnyc   ~  May 12, 2009 9:03 pm

Think about it....we all where just hoping that Kevin Cash comes thru in a big way....Kevin Cash!?!.....Wow....

171 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 9:03 pm

I've officially switched over to "The Madoff Affair" on PBS

172 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:03 pm

Hell the hell did Burnett get a dirt stain on his pants?

173 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:04 pm

Of course.

174 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:06 pm

@ 170

Not me.

Yeah, there were no catchers available this off-season.

175 PJ   ~  May 12, 2009 9:07 pm

Well that's enough punishment for me during an evening, guys!

Have a good rest to your night, if you can manage it...

176 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 9:09 pm

[169] How is 3rd place excellent? That means he's better than the pre-'08 Rays and Peter Angelos' living nightmare...wow what a rousing accomplishment that is.

His best finish was on account of the Red Sox packing it in in August of '06, plus we can throw in a couple of sub .500 records for good measure. We're not dealing with Branch Rickey here.

177 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 9:10 pm

Comic relief http://tinyurl.com/r4944w

Sayonara banterites, depressing game for sure...

178 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 9:12 pm

[169] Just to be clear this isn't so much me defending Brian Cashman's sacred honor as it is me not really wanting to lavish praise on a GM who in the better part of a decade hasn't passed the threshold of mediocrity.

179 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:12 pm

Might as well bring Veras in now just to make it hilariously bad

180 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:17 pm

@ 176,

For consistently getting outspent by 50-100% (or in dollar terms - $50 to $100 million). Any other division and they're in the playoffs almost every year, especially with Halladay.

Plus, the talent Ricciardi has brought in is just starting to pay off - Lind, Snider, Hill. Who are position players that Cashman has developed in his 12 years?

181 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:18 pm

Oh Jose Veras.

182 bxsparksnyc   ~  May 12, 2009 9:21 pm

And when you turn to see Reyes get thrown out w less than 2 outs at third as the tying run in the 8th....you then realize......


183 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:22 pm

@ 178

Yeah, finishing right behind the Yanks and Sox almost every year is terrible.

By the way, now Cashman has shown he can't even spend money wisely. As if that was in question since 2005's Pavano and Wright and Womack trio. If he can't even do that well, then what's he around for? The occasional salary dump winner (Abreu, Swisher, etc)?

184 bxsparksnyc   ~  May 12, 2009 9:29 pm

Figures...2 thing amazing tonight...Toronto's fans...and this dude Bum....amazing...nite...

185 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:30 pm

[183] Well, "right behind" is a bit of a stretch. 11 GB in 2008, 13 GB in 2007, 10 GB in 2006, 15 in 2005, 33.5 in 2004, 15 in 2003, 25.5 in 2002. They're never even close to contention.

186 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 9:33 pm

[185] Yes, it is quite a reach... It's a wonder he didn't pull something.

187 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 9:35 pm

Meanwhile, our number three hitter is hitting a buck ninety one, our career .315 shortstop is hitting .273 and it's not Robinson Cano, but Melky Cabrera who leads the team in hitting.

Yes, this team is plagued by injuries, but imagine if the guys who were supposed to hit would hit. I hate to get on Robbie, but it's maddening how streaky he is. Is a little consistency too much to ask?

188 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 9:35 pm

[183] No not terrible, just not all that good.

And as for '05: Womack was a bad sign who did no damage financially and gave way to an everyday major leaguer who was developed on Cashman's watch, Pavano was the most sought after FA pitcher of that winter and if Cashman was an idiot for wanting him then so were half the GM's in the league, and Wright...well nobody's perfect.

But again, I'm not trying to build up Cashman to be anything amazing, I just think he's better than JP "3rd Place is a Major Accomplishment" Ricciardi

189 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:36 pm

@ 184

You're welcome. Glad I could join in the fun. Too bad this place seems more like Lohud than the Banter of old. I miss the knowledgeable fans like Shaun, Chyll, and wsporter.

No offense to the hosts. I keep coming back for their inspired writing. But since when was it okay to justify arguments around here based on "preparation" and "pushing players" and "coming to play"? Not only is that lazy but it's unoriginal.

190 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 9:38 pm

Russ Salzberg just took a shot @ Clemens... lol

191 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 9:41 pm

Randy Johnson is two wins shy of 300.

192 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:42 pm

[188] Cashman had to disregard all sorts of red flags and lights and buzzers to sign Carl Pavano. The injuries and the fact that he just isn't very good come to mind. It was a bad signing at the time, a bad signing throughout the course of the contract, and probably the worst acquisition in the history of the franchise now that its all said and done. "Everyone else wanted him!" is not an excuse. We're not paying Brian Cashman a ton of money to do what everyone else would do.

193 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 9:42 pm

[183] Cash didn't want to sign Wright or Womack.

194 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 9:43 pm

[191] Yes, he got 298 last night @ home. He may be in a position to win #300 @ Seattle.

195 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:43 pm

@ 185

They’re never even close to contention.

Except this year. And I see them sticking around. Even still, I'm not going to hold it against them for struggling to stay close against teams that spend 50-100 million more.

@ 188

Oh, great. In 12 years Cashman has developed one position player. Ricciardi, has three on this year's roster alone.

Go back and read the old Banter archives. We knew Pavano was joke. And he was. If half the GMs were in on him that means Cashman is in the lower half of all GMs. And if you're non-plussed by the name Womack recall they tried starting him in CF because the alternative was Bubba Crosby. How'd the 2005 playoffs turn out again?

196 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 9:45 pm

Cashman had to disregard all sorts of red flags and lights and buzzers to sign Carl Pavano.

Agree wholeheartedly.

As for Wright, whether or not Cashman wanted him, they signed him after he failed his physical.

That 2004 offseason left me scratching my head.

197 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 9:47 pm

There are things in baseball - important things - that can't easily be quantified and turned into a stat. That doesn't mean they're not worth discussing.

198 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:47 pm

We’re not paying Brian Cashman a ton of money to do what everyone else would do.

Exactly. He makes the most in all of baseball and he's not even in the top half of GMs. The results prove that. They're the biggest underachievers in history and they have been for at least five years now.

199 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 9:47 pm

Oh, great. In 12 years Cashman has developed one position player. Ricciardi, has three on this year’s roster alone.

2... You have Cabrera there too. Anyway, you have other position players he "developed" playing around the league, so I don't know what the problem is anyway. The problems the Yanks have had aren't because they didn't develop their own players...

200 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:48 pm

That doesn’t mean they’re not worth discussing.

Joe Morgan says hello.

Show/Hide Comments 201-276
201 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 9:48 pm

There are things in baseball - important things - that can’t easily be quantified and turned into a stat.

You'd be surprised. If it has any impact on the game, it will show up in the stats.

202 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 9:50 pm

There are plenty of people besides Joe Morgan who agree.

203 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:51 pm

I once saw Robinson Cano lose a footrace to Todd Jones. That doesn't show up in a boxscore.

204 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 9:52 pm

[196] Yes, they did, which indicates that this organization has been dysfunctional on multiple levels for some time. I honestly believe it is now being run better than it has been since Stick and Buck were in control, but it is still not being run well enough. In many ways, the money is as much of curse as it is a blessing because it breeds an inefficient decision making process.

205 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 9:52 pm

[201] Yeah the stats will reflect almost everything (almost) but not necessarily clearly. What's the stat for being a clubhouse cancer and ****ing up a team that way? Or the opposite? Everyone's stats will look worse, but it won't reflect why

206 tommyl   ~  May 12, 2009 9:53 pm

Well, Roy Halladay is one heck of a pitcher.

207 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 9:53 pm

[206] Apparently you haven't been reading along here. He's just okay ... ; )

208 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 9:54 pm

[206] Yep. I'm really not all that outraged because of that. They really need to take the next two though.

209 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:54 pm

The problems the Yanks have had aren’t because they didn’t develop their own players…

That's exactly the problem. When you don't develop your own you end up with Miguel Cairo at 1B - the easiest position in all of baseball to find a warm body - especially when you don't think the bench is important.

As for Melky, we have no idea what he is.

The fact of the matter is, Cashman has no spine. If he did, he would have quit before going along with moves that he supposedly didn't agree with. The BS about such and such not being his move is a spin job. He was and is the GM. Either he eventually went along with things or he found another job. He's always chosen the former. That's about the only thing he's done well - save his own hide. I have little doubt he'll throw Girardi under the bus before he himself gets fired. And that's after giving him a roster with Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner - for $200 million.

210 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 9:54 pm

[192] He was 29 years old, was coming off back-to-back 200+ IP seasons, had already pitched to a postseason ERA under 2 on a World Series winning staff, and had been given a clean bill of health. We can rip Cashman for PLENTY of legitimately bad moves, theres really no need for revisionist history.

211 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 9:54 pm

[180] [b]Who are position players that Cashman has developed in his 12 years?[/b]

Cash has only had control of the draft since 2006, so the 12 year time horizon is irrelevant.

212 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:55 pm


Whenever someone says "plenty of people" I know they're just pulling things out of thin air.

213 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 9:56 pm

[194] I really dislike the guy but I have to say, it's nice that 300 wins still means something. I mean, here's a guy, one of the three or four best pitchers of his generation and here he is, in his forties, barely squeaking to 300.

Not easy to win 300 games.

15 wins a year for 20 years.

Also, today was Halladay's first CG, I think I heard Sterling say, so I checked out Dwight Gooden just for comparison.

Dude had 8, count them, EIGHT shutouts in 1985.

And here everyone's raving about what an unhittable pitcher Halladay is.

The times change, eh?

214 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 9:56 pm

The thing that I take from tonight's game isn't that they couldn't hit Halladay, it's that Burnett stunk. Again. So what is it - Now that Sabathia might right himself, Burnett's going to go down the tubes?

215 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 9:59 pm

@ 210

Go back and read the Banter from that off-season. We all knew it was a terrible move. There no revision going on here.

@ 211

Again, then you're admitting he has no spine - just like with the trades that were forced on him.

All I know is if I'm in a job for that long and all I do is go along with things, then the fault is just as much mine as anybody else's.

Fire Cashman.

216 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 10:00 pm

[210] He was a 29 year old pitcher who twice in his life pitched even 150 innings, twice had seasons better than the league average, and only once did both (a contract year).

Unless he decided that Pavano FINALLY TURNED THE CORNER he should have run like hell. Since its clear that either Cashman or someone in the front office has a thing for corner turners, we signed him.

217 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 10:01 pm

[213] Times have indeed changed..ever checked out Jim Palmer's stats on baseball reference.com? reeeeediculous!

218 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:01 pm

[209] The BS about such and such not being his move is a spin job. He was and is the GM. Either he eventually went along with things or he found another job. He’s always chosen the former. That’s about the only thing he’s done well - save his own hide. I have little doubt he’ll throw Girardi under the bus before he himself gets fired. And that’s after giving him a roster with Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner - for $200 million.

To call it BS is to fail to understand the management dynamic that characterized George's tenure as owner. This is a man that was often his own GM, that at one time had two GMs, and usually had a rotating group of advisers whose members fell in and out of favor over time.

So while it's fair to argue that Cash should have resigned when his advice was ignored, it's neither fair nor factual to call consensus reporting on how events unfolded, a spin job.

219 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 10:02 pm

Geez...gotta love Girardi's advice to the team. He basically said if you get a pitch from Halladay, you'd better hit because you're not going to get another. That doesn't exactly sign like a confident plan of attack.

220 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 10:04 pm

Anyway it was Girardi's idea to stick Gardner in center field, not Cashman's. Not to mention Ransom did pretty well last year and was supposed to be the backup, remember?

221 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 10:07 pm

[184] Ignore, ignore, ignore...that's the best way to deal with it.

222 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:07 pm

[215] Characterizing it as having no spine is one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is that if you were employed by the NY Yankees since you were an intern out of college, and made contributions to the championship run from the time you were Asst. GM to when you became GM, and you then juxtaposed those facts against the backdrop of the owner entering his senescence promising you more power as of 2006, you might be willing to tolerate interference with your job along the way.

223 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 10:08 pm

In many ways, the money is as much of curse as it is a blessing because it breeds an inefficient decision making process.

Not really. It's as simple as deciding whether a player is worth signing or not.

What’s the stat for being a clubhouse cancer and ****ing up a team that way? Or the opposite? Everyone’s stats will look worse, but it won’t reflect why

A player can be a clubhouse cancer, but a team will not win or lose because of said "cancer." If a team is messed up, it will show in the stats, it's a question of how deep you want to dig.

When you don’t develop your own you end up with Miguel Cairo at 1B

Cairo was a spot starter @ 1b, for reasons I cannot quite understand. Phillips was there, Wilson & Guiel were eventually acquired, and they had Carlos Peña in the minors.

224 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:10 pm

@ 218

It's exactly a spin job if the story is "it wasn't his move". He went along with every single one of them. Go into any major corporation and management is a team effort. But a guy can't play along and then after the fact disown the moves he didn't agree with. That's for the press and for his ego. If he was earning a paycheck, and never willing to put that on the line for his beliefs, then it really doesn't matter what he believed. The organization's moves were his moves.

225 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:12 pm


Not really. It’s as simple as deciding whether a player is worth signing or not.

That would only be true if the GM, whoever that is, had full autonomy. That has never been the case under the Steinbernner family's ownership, and they are the only owners in MLB who have spent anywhere near the amount of money that the Yankees spend.

226 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 10:12 pm

[213] Gooden had an awesome seaon in 1985. Not easy to pull off the pitcher's triple crown.

[219] He's right though. Halladay doesn't make many mistakes.

[221] It's either that, or do laundry. I'd rather play :)

227 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 10:12 pm

[223] I'm prepared to agree to disagree.

228 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:13 pm

Anyway it was Girardi’s idea to stick Gardner in center field, not Cashman’s.

Yeah, a second-year manager is dictating the roster to a 12 year GM.

Not to mention Ransom did pretty well last year and was supposed to be the backup, remember?

On an old team there is no such thing as a backup. See also 2005-2008.

Cairo was a spot starter @ 1b, for reasons I cannot quite understand. Phillips was there, Wilson & Guiel were eventually acquired, and they had Carlos Peña in the minors.

You do realize that's just supporting my case, right? The one guy in there capable of anything was the one in the minors.

229 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 10:14 pm

That would only be true if the GM, whoever that is, had full autonomy.

Then a player gets buried on the roster, or traded.

230 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 10:17 pm

I really don't know what plan you can have against Halladay, especially when he's on a streak like he is right now, but to be aggressive with him. Otherwise you're just going to be staring at strike 3 all night.

231 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:18 pm


Your statement is only true if the sole acceptable means of demonstrating his opposition to every single move he opposed is to offer his resignation.

I don't think that's necessarily a prudent course of action for every executive under any given set of facts.

A reasonable alternative would be to remain with the organization and to attempt to fix it from within, especially given the years of service that Cashman had already invested.

232 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:19 pm

[229] Then a player gets buried on the roster, or traded.

Can you flesh that out, please.

233 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:20 pm

@ 221

I just wait for you to contribute something beyond "preparation" and "coming to play".

Somehow I don't think major league hitters don't need their manager to tell them how, or when, to hit.

234 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:23 pm

My only point is that if you want to fire Cashman, identify the replacement who:

1) will be better.
2) has a chance of being hired.
3) will be given full autonomy.

235 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 10:25 pm

I got everyone fighting over here, I got the Real Housewives henpecking eachother on tv (don't judge me)...can't we all just get along guys? Come on, we can all agree that beating Richmond and Tallet would be fun right?

236 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 10:27 pm

[230] It's not so much the plan, but the attitude. If you go into a game thinking you have little chance, well, then you have little chance. That seems to be how this Yankee team has approached things...lots of excuses, but little accountability.

237 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:29 pm

@ 231

Who says it has to be every move? Did he do it even once? And there have been plenty of awful moves over the last 12 years for him to take one stand on. In any large organization, especially one worth $1.5 billion, decisions are made as a team. He could have left long ago. Instead, he collects his biggest-in-the-game salary while still pretending, or having his people float the stories, that he didn't agree with some moves. That's completely two-faced.

Besides, if we take 2006 as the beginning of his authority (and I don't) the team has only gone backwards since then. We can talk about the youth all we want, but if he's going along with signings since 2006 that he didn't agree with (A-Rod, Jorge), then that just shows how little spine he actually has.

238 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:31 pm


In a $1.5 billion organization, no one, ever, will have complete autonomy.

239 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 10:31 pm

[234] Hawk Harrelson, he'd shake things up..didn't hesitate to fire Tony LaRussa back in the day..

other options:
Bob Watson returns (he "speaks his mind")
Cam Bonifay (good track record of bad signings, experienced "Operation Shutdown"
Steve Phillips (nice hair)

any other ideas??

240 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 10:32 pm

[239] Sorry for being silly..am just too down about the recent stretch of play..enjoy all the back and forth testiness here though.

241 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:34 pm

@ 236

Great! Now you're adding "attitude" to the mix. "Son, I can't tell you how to hit Doc Halladay, but I can say go up there with the right attitude! Turn that frown upside-down!"

242 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:35 pm


In a $1.5 billion organization, no one, ever, will have complete autonomy.

Should that person resign any time they disagree with a decision?

243 RagingTartabull   ~  May 12, 2009 10:35 pm

[240] It's ok, I'm starting to get scared about what might happen around here if the team goes on a 15-5 run or something

244 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:37 pm

[239] I would want a young guy who understands both sabermetrics and scouting, and has a demonstrated track record of success.

245 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 10:38 pm

[234] Gene Michael.

And really, if complete autonomy is going to get us people like Hawkins, Igawa and Betemit, I might take meddling.

246 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 12, 2009 10:39 pm

[245] Stick is fully retired now, isn't he?

247 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:40 pm

@ 235

Meanwhile, where's Cashman's accountability. I only seem to hear about all the moves he didn't agree with. Where does he own how much some of "his" moves have sucked?

Leadership by example. The manager has only had his job for 18 months. The GM has had his job for 12+ years.

@ 242

Who said "any time"? I asked whether it's happened once...in twelve years. Or once in the last four years.

I should not be hearing about how the GM didn't agree with a decision. That's gutless grandstanding.

248 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:42 pm

[245] I easily could live with Stick (that he was ever replaced is perhaps the best evidence of George's unpredictability and inefficient management style), but he is over 70.

Betemit yielded Swisher. Hawkins only signed a one year contract, so he was easily expendable; if only Marte had a one year contract.

The Igawa signing is indefensible.

249 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 10:47 pm

[247] Then when is it appropriate to stay and when is appropriate to resign when a GM's autonomy has been breached?

I think Cashman is completely accountable for anything that has happened since 2006. To this point, although he hasn't done a great job, I'm not sure that he hasn't done a good enough to job since then to warrant keeping it.

But again, if he is replaced with a clearly better alternative consistent with what I have posted, fine, replace him.

250 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 10:49 pm

It boggles my mind that some people don't acknowledge the place things like attitude have in sports.
Playing a sport still occurs in our reality. You see these things affecting day-to-day life - why wouldn't it affect baseball players? People have emotions, varying mental states, etc. A group of people has ... a group of people experiencing the whole spectrum of human ups and downs, entwined with all manner of group dynamics. How you feel or how your brain is working on any given day are going to affect how you play the game - just like in "real life"! So yes, mental preparedness, attitude, etc - all these other very real things some of you guys treat like science fiction do come into play.

251 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:52 pm

Betemit yielded Swisher.

Swisher was a salary dump, like Abreu.

Then when is it appropriate to stay and when is appropriate to resign when a GM’s autonomy has been breached?

That's up to the individual to decide (even as no individual, in a $1.5 billion company will ever have autonomy). Still, that it's never happened in 12 years says everything. The guy, starting as an intern, has only been interesting in getting and keeping his job. Spineless is the key word even as he's now a millionaire many times over.

252 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 10:53 pm

Unless we think his mind is going, do you really need to be young to be the GM?

And when you trade for someone like Wilson Betemit because you think he's "the next David Ortiz," the eventual return takes a back seat to the fact that something very wrong is going on in talent evaluation.

What do we think about Afterman?

253 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 10:56 pm

I don't think Cashman called Betemit "the next David Ortiz" ... I could be wrong but having read the book, I don't think it attributes that to him, specifically.

254 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 10:57 pm

@ 250

If you can't tell me how to measure it then it might as well be religion. After all, religion makes a lot of people productive. Ask the Egyptians and the Incas. But does that mean we should be trying to intuit religious ballplayers and building teams accordingly?

255 Bum Rush   ~  May 12, 2009 11:02 pm

I gotta say I don't know enough about potential GM candidates to offer an informed opinion. The best bet might be to keep the majority of management in place and bring in a guy like John Schuerholtz for a few years.

256 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 11:06 pm

[253] It may have been attributed to Billy Eppler who was describing the thought process behind acquiring him. Either way, it doesn't exactly fill me with encouragement over Cashman's new, post 2006 front office.

257 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 11:08 pm

[250] Agreed wholeheartedly. Well said.

258 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 11:10 pm

I got the Real Housewives henpecking eachother on tv (don’t judge me)…


[232] If a GM doesn't want a player on the roster, he can trade him, or release him. The Keith Hernandez trade comes to mind.

259 Mattpat11   ~  May 12, 2009 11:11 pm

[257] I've never had a problem with thinking a team needs a gameplan or that they might be defeated going in.

My issue has always been with "team chemistry" and the idea that Player X will stop hitting to spite Player Y because Player Y is MEAN.

260 The Hawk   ~  May 12, 2009 11:18 pm

[254] I'm sorry but that makes no sense. Just plain bizarre reasoning there.

261 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 11:20 pm

[250] I don't think any reasonable person really discounts things like attitude, but not everyone is reasonable.

Meanwhile, consider the following from Cliff's preview:
"The X-factor in all of this is the return of Cito Gaston. After going 35-39 (.473) under John Gibbons to start 2008, the Jays have gone 73-49 (.598) since Gaston’s return in last June, that despite the gradual disintegration of their starting rotation. "

Did JP Riccardi go from moron to genius right around the time Gaston took over, or perhaps did changing the manager make a difference? It's not like the Jays went out and got Manny or something. In fact, as Cliff notes, the Jays staff has been riddled by injuries. Yet, Gaston has managed to guide his team to an outstanding record since taking over. Perhaps, Gibbons would have done the same thing, but then again maybe not. Unfortunately for the Jays, they waited too long to make a change last season. Sadly, the the Yankees seem intent on making that same mistake.

262 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 11:27 pm

[251] OK, but the Swisher acquisition still salvaged the Betemit trade.

I have no idea whether or not the reports are true, but most of the sports media has reported that Cash would have his choice of jobs if he ever let the Yankees.

263 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 12, 2009 11:30 pm

[259] Well, not so extremely, of course, but as one who has been on teams in the past, I notice how my own performance can change according to how secure I feel on my team. If I feel nervous around my teammates, like I have something to prove, I tense up and don't play as fluidly as I might when the pressure's off, when I feel confident, etc.

I do believe that things like "team chemistry" or whatever you want to call it most certainly can have a physiological effect on players. Obviously, the better players are better able to cope with those kinds of pressures than others, but I think most people would perform better if they are in a comfortable work environment than if they are in one that isn't.

Whether and how one can control for and measure the impact of psychological factors is, of course, another story.

264 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 11:35 pm

[263] My personal experiences playing jibe with yours. Things like chemistry, preparation and attitude can not overcome a lack of talent, but then can sure overwhelm it. As fans looking in, it's really hard to get a sense about the team's personality, but the impression I get is that this is a very tight team that is trying to avoid losing (as opposed to trying to win). I also honestly think a new manager would lift that cloud and allow a very talented group to take a deep breath and apply their talents.

265 Rich   ~  May 12, 2009 11:45 pm

That's true of any work environment or even in relationships. Although I wouldn't fire anyone today, I don't think it's likely that anyone will be fired this season.

266 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 11:46 pm

[263][264] Be that as it may, it's nice if we could all get along, but all the chemistry in the world wasn't going to help the teams I played on if we couldn't play solid, fundamental baseball. And I've said as much, to the chagrin of my coaches.

267 williamnyy23   ~  May 12, 2009 11:50 pm

[266] Of course...talent is an essential component. But, when you have talent as these Yankees do, and you still can't win consistently, then I think you have to look toward these other elements, and that usually means evaluating the manager.

268 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 11:55 pm

[266] Given that the offense is near top of the league, and pitching is near the bottom, I would take a look at the pitching first.

269 Raf   ~  May 12, 2009 11:58 pm

Looks like the defense could use a bit of work too.

270 cult of basebaal   ~  May 13, 2009 12:13 am

[269] especially on the left side of the infield.

if this is what Alex's defense is going to look like in 2009, there's gonna be a whole lot of pitchers unhappy after ballgames ...

271 Rich   ~  May 13, 2009 12:14 am

[268] Perhaps it's not a repeatable skill, but the Yankees are 9th in the AL in runs scored and OPS with RISP.

272 Bum Rush   ~  May 13, 2009 7:05 am

@ 260

You know what's really interesting? No matter how bizarre that reasoning is, it's just as valid as yours. If you can't tell me how to measure something, then any explanation is equally valid.

That's the difference between science and religion. I'm a scientist. You might as well be a priest. Maybe all the Yankees need is Confession. You know, to get their attitudes right.

@ 261

Somehow you left out the most important bit (no surprise, really):

Gaston has made a number of wise moves, including establishing Marco Scutaro and Adam Lind as regulars, dropping Rolen in the order, and platooning Overbay, but how much of that success is wisdom, and how much is just good mojo that is as likely vanish as miraculously as it appeared?

The difference, of course, is what other possibilities does the Yankee manager have to make "wise" choices? Oh right, Cody Ransom, Brett Gardner, Jose Molina, Angel Berroa, Kevin Cash...freakin' Kevin Millar is better than anything the Yankees had at 1B, or on the bench, for four years. The Yankees have never had, in twelve years, a position prospect like Adam Lind. And Marco Scutaro is an excellent example of guy that could have easily been the first man off the bench for the Yankees of the last five years.

The only choice Girardi had was to swap Melky with Gardner, and he didn't wait long to do that. When you're dealt a horrid roster, you get horrid results. Occam's Razor.


Let him go be the GM of the Orioles. No winning team needs him because they're already winning.

@ 269

Ya think?

273 Bum Rush   ~  May 13, 2009 7:19 am

Of course, William, also leaves out the crux of Cliff's analysis - it's the defense, stupid. They had a great defense last year and they have a great defense this year.

How's the Yankee defense? But yeah, I bet the manager doesn't properly motivate his team to field the balls. He really needs to get on that.

"Wait, but they improved their defense at 1B!!!1111!!!" (for $180 million).

274 Raf   ~  May 13, 2009 8:00 am

Of course, William, also leaves out the crux of Cliff’s analysis - it’s the defense, stupid. They had a great defense last year and they have a great defense this year

No, it's the offense. They had the pitching and defense, they have the offense this year. Time will tell if Scutaro, Lind, Millar, etc can keep up their pace.

275 The Hawk   ~  May 13, 2009 9:31 am

[272] That might be really interesting if it were true.

276 williamnyy23   ~  May 13, 2009 9:36 am

I think I may need to get a restraining order out on Bum Rush. Even ignoring his posts can't seem to break his fixation! It's nice to have a fan, but I wish mine actually had a clue.

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