"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

A Nice Night of Home Run Derby, Philled to the Brim

On a warm Monday night at the Stadium, the first inning foreshadowed the rest of the series finale between the Yankees and Rays. Three Yankees hit long fly balls against Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine in that initial frame, including Mark Teixeira’s towering home run into the second deck of the right-field stands. The Yankees would hit several more long drives against Sonnanstine in later innings, including home runs by Nick Swisher (a two-run homer), Johnny Damon (a solo shot), and Derek Jeter (also a solo blast), all big parts of a 5-3 win over Sonnanstine and the Rays. The four home runs accounted for all of the Yankee scoring against Sonnanstine, who entered the game with an ERA of over seven.

Damon’s sixth-inning home run provided the winning margin. With the score tied at 3-3 and one man out in the bottom of the sixth, Damon launched his 12th home run of the season, easily reaching the right field seats. Two innings later, Jeter padded the lead with a leadoff home run, again hit to the familiar bull’s-eye region in right field.

Andy Pettitte’s first inning also provided a glimpse into his overall performance against the Rays. After loading the bases, Pettitte escaped on Joe Dillon’s slow roller to shortstop, handled deftly by Derek Jeter. Pettitte managed to escape from every jam he faced except for the third inning, when he permitted all three Tampa Bay runs. Though Pettitte struck out a season-high seven batters, he allowed five hits and three walks in what turned out to be a workmanlike effort at the Stadium. For his career, Pettitte has now won 16 of 20 decisions against the Tampa Bay franchise.

The two Phils, as I’m sure they’ve already been dubbed, then turned in standout relief efforts in the seventh and eighth innings. Phil Hughes, showing increased velocity with a 95 mile-an-hour fastball in his 2009 relief debut, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. (The successful appearance will surely fuel speculation that Hughes will be used in Joba Chamberlain’s old role as the primary bridge to Mariano Rivera.) Phil Coke then followed with a scoreless eighth, setting the table for another masterful ninth inning by Mariano. More than 48 hours removed from his Saturday afternoon horror show, Rivera logged his second straight 1-2-3 appearance, capped off by a 93 mile-per-hour fastball thrown past the elevated swing of B.J. Upton.

The Yankees, now equipped with a full game lead in the American League East, will prepare for the start of a three-game series against the reviled Red Sox. It remains to be seen whether Rivera will be available for the first game at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, given that he has pitched three straight days. Joe Girardi says he’s inclined to give Rivera the night off, but the future Hall of Famer may attempt to talk his manager out of that plan, especially after throwing only 11 pitches in Monday night’s finale against the Rays.

Yankee Doodles: Nick Swisher was the only Yankee to pick up more than one hit against Rays pitching. With his 2-for-3 against Sonnanstine, Swisher lifted his batting average to a more respectable .257… Former Yankee left-hander Randy “The Snake” Choate made his second appearance of the series. The journeyman sidewinder, who was once part of the package sent to the Montreal Expos for Javier Vazquez, struck out Johnny Damon and walked Mark Teixeira in the eighth inning before being lifted in favor of former Met Jason Isringhausen. Isringhausen induced an inning-end double play from Alex Rodriguez, who heard a smattering of boos after going 0-for-3 with an error at third base… Former Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler hit a two-run homer for the Rays, his first of the season.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Bruce Markusen

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1 The Mick536   ~  Jun 9, 2009 8:08 am

How long can they live with six hits and no baserunners? And where did this "The Snake" monicker come from?

2 ChrisS   ~  Jun 9, 2009 8:30 am

I loved watching Posada stand up when they had Upton at 0-2, motioning to Mo to get it up in the zone. And Upton obliged by swinging at an unhittable pitch.

3 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 8:32 am

Girardi's explanation (via River Ave Blues): it’s Cokey’s job to get the lefty.

Well, the bright side is that if Mo isn't available, we could see Hughes close tonight.

4 monkeypants   ~  Jun 9, 2009 8:36 am

[3] we could see Hughes close tonight.

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. That's a good one.

5 The Hawk   ~  Jun 9, 2009 9:58 am

If at all possible, I suspect they'll hold Hughes back for possible emergency use in Wang's start. That may be one reason they only had him pitch one inning, too.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 10:26 am

[3] That sounds exactly like Torre...and that's what really worries me about Girardi in a big spot. "It's Cokey's job" is simply not a good reason because the logical followup becomes "Why is it Cokey's job"?

7 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 10:29 am

[5] I think that may have played a part, but I really hate the idea of holding him back as a contingency plan, especially because it means the Yankees would likely have little chance of winning the game for which you are holding him back. Not only did lifting Hughes an inning early put yeterday's outcome in greater jeopardy, but with the two run lead, perhaps Hughes could have been left in to pitch the ninth, saving Mo for the Boston series.

8 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 9, 2009 11:01 am

Seriously? You guys are criticizing Girardi. I really don't have to show up to know what's being discussed.

Not only did lifting Hughes an inning early put yeterday’s outcome in greater jeopardy

That makes no sense. They won the game! Coke did his job. Seriously, you need another dead horse to mutilate. Here's a topic for you:

The Yankees clear $100 million/year in net revenue. Discuss.

9 monkeypants   ~  Jun 9, 2009 11:33 am

[8] Strictly speaking, that they won the game does not necessarily mean that the move to use Coke did not put the game in (more) jeopardy.

I for one do not think that using Coke raised or lowered the chances of team's success. i do however think that using Hughes for one inning was not good at all.

All this being said, the complaining about Girardi of late has been perhaps disproportionate.

10 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 11:49 am

The main issue for me isn't that Girardi put the game in jeopardy. (I agree with William that he did -- Coke is often good, but he's sometimes bad, and we knew Hughes was throwing very well.) The problem is that he should be using Hughes in two inning chunks. That's better for Hughes' development, and it's also less wear on the bullpen arms to use them in longer stints.

11 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 9, 2009 11:52 am

@ 9

But that's exactly it! We can't talk about jeopardy - greater or otherwise - because it invokes a parallel universe, one we can't visit or observe. We might as well be talking about Europe had Hitler won.

I'm not bothered by how they used Hughes. I'd always love to watch him more, but we have no idea how they plan to use, or not use, him. Moreover, the manager could be hamstrung by management rules for his use. We just don't know. And if Hughes is being used sparsely then the next best move was Coke. I guess we'll find out tonight, but I can't see them using Hughes again.

As for Girardi, I don't like or dislike the guy. But I do think he's a vast improvement over Green Tea. Torre wouldn't be batting Jeter leadoff. He would have used Cash and Berroa more. He wouldn't have broken in any new relievers. It would have been so much worse I just can't fathom how anyone is on Girardi's case. They're in first fucking place and after having lost A-Rod and Jorge for significant stretches. Burnett is a joke. Wang has been. Shoot, you tell me all that at the beginning of the season and I'm happy if they're in striking distance in third place.

12 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 9, 2009 11:55 am

@ 10

If they go to Hughes tonight, I'll come around to your way of thinking. But I think it's deeper than that. They learned about what happens in the NY media when "rules" become public. And given the question marks for Wang and Pettitte, I have no problem with using Hughes sparsely.

13 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:02 pm

Fair point about 'rules'. I don't understand your point about using Hughes sparsely, though.
Here's my basic argument. You want Phil Hughes to throw a lot of innings, because he's very good -- much better than pretty much any bullpen option. (If Bruney comes back to form, that won't be true, but even so you want Hughes over anyone but Bruney and Mo.) But you'll get more out of him without as much wear on his arm if he goes in two or three-inning appearances than if he becomes The Eighth Inning Guy, or whatever role they pick for him.

I also hate Bullpen Roulette -- when someone (Hughes) is throwing well, don't spin the wheel again and hope that Coke can do a good job.

Oh, and I'm also slightly worried about Coke becoming the new Scott Proctor. I don't think that's going to happen, but the possibility makes me nervous.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:05 pm

[10] I agree with you that the main issue is Hughes needs to pitch more than one inning at a time.

Also, Girardi could have 10 good reasons for doing what he did...however, "it’s Cokey’s job to get the lefty" is not one of them. Now, maybe Girardi was hiding his true motives for some reason. If not, that mentality concerns me quite a bit.

15 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:07 pm

I just mean that they may want him ready to go six if they need him to - like if Wang craps the bed in the first.

But the longer he's out there, the more I'll agree with you. I don't think the GM ever has a decent plan - and calling up Wang early shows that - but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here. For however Hughes is used, the GM seems to have the final say, just like he did with Joba.

16 51cq24   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:11 pm

i don't know how fair it is to say the game was put into jeopardy by taking out hughes and his 5+ era, no matter how good he looked in the 7th. i personally think that if they are planning on using hughes in the pen, it's not a bad idea to let him have a great 1 inning start. while i also hate the bullpen roulette, i think in this case it was fine. and at some point we are going to have to put a good prospect into the bullpen. i don't think it should be joba with his 4 pitches, but i'm not sure it shouldn't be hughes with his 2.
[11] i don't think torre deserves the nickname "green tea" for his promotion of that bigelow crap.

17 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:21 pm

[16] Hughes threw a fastball, slider, and curve last night. Which of those are his 2?

18 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:24 pm

[17] He also threw a very effective cutter, which Pettitte said looked a "little" like Mo's. Hmm...maybe Hughes is the closer of the future?

19 monkeypants   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:29 pm

[7] I'm also not sure that the "contingency plan" explanation makes much sense. I guess if they are now going to use the "Joba Rules" for Hughes, he would need one off day for every inning pitched, so a second inning last night would mean he would miss Wang's start. However, if there is fear that Wang will get touched up or at least not get past the fifth (both are legitimate concerns), then one would figure that the Yankees will want Hughes available for more than two innings. By using him yesterday--even for one inning--I suspect that he will now be limited to two innings on Wednesday.

20 monkeypants   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:35 pm

[11] But that’s exactly it! We can’t talk about jeopardy - greater or otherwise - because it invokes a parallel universe, one we can’t visit or observe. We might as well be talking about Europe had Hitler won.

That's just silly reasoning. By this logic, one can only judge risk, good v. bad decisions, etc. by the outcome. So, by extension, standing in the rain during a lightning storm, next to tree, holding a metal poll last week was not a stupid thing to do because you happened not to get struck by lightening.

We most assuredly have the reasoning capacity--which includes the ability to look at evidence, think in abstract terms, and consider contrafactual possibilities--to be able to argue that, say, bunting Babe Ruth in the third inning of last night's game was a bad move even if the team won the game.

Thus, it is perfectly plausible to argue that using a lesser pitcher in a tight spot (if one considers Coke a lesser option--that is another discussion) put the game in greater jeopardy. This is a simple and reasonable analytical statement, not the plot of a Star Trek movie.

21 monkeypants   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:38 pm

[11] And for the record, while I think you are wrong in your assertion that the outcome necessarily determines the initial risk, I agree with your overall assessment of Girardi v. Torre.

22 51cq24   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:39 pm

[17] i didn't see a slider, and i thought he scrapped it a few years ago. he does have more than 2 pitches (the "cutter" and the change), but when i see him pitch only his fastball and curve look good.
[18] every time someone throws a cutter someone else compares it to mo's. except that hughes' is 88 mph and doesn't really break down. it's not that good a pitch.

23 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 12:49 pm

[22] First pitch to Longoria, broke 7 inches (check the pFX data on Gameday). That's a slider. A cutter doesn't have that much break.

24 The Hawk   ~  Jun 9, 2009 1:29 pm

Talking about jeopardy invokes a parallel universe.


/mind blown

25 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jun 9, 2009 1:34 pm

Basically it sounds as if Bum wants to attack Cashman and others want to assail Girardi, and as soon as someone in the pen starts screwing up, or a batter does the extended slump thing (don't look over your shoulder, Hideki Matsui) it'll be them on the firing line.

Guess it helps pass the day before first pitch. (Me, I'm pessimistic about our side of the ex-Marlins matchup, Beckett seems to have it together lately).

Of course we can discuss 'risks' and possible/probable outcomes. It isn't an alternate universe, except in the sense that all that didn't actually happen is, which is just tautology. Any time a manager (to stay with baseball) switches pitchers, or does an infield shift, or pinch hits, he is working off probable outcomes. We can't tell what would have happened if A had been left in to pitch, instead of B, who gave up a double ... but we sure can offer our views as to whether it was a CORRECT analysis of probable outcomes. Indeed, the wrong move can often have a good result - and still be wrong. We went through this when Mo was left in with a 6 run lead.

I'd say Hughes' role is a to-be-determined, and I'd add some value to the idea of letting his first bullpen gig be a highly effective inning, sit down feeling very good. Let a guy who has done the 8th do the 8th. I do agree that 'that's his job' is exactly what Girardi said about leaving Mo in with the 6 runs to go another inning ... and it sounded lame then - in that situation. If you say 'Coke is lights-out vs lefties' (he isn't, is he?) you are - I guess - saying the same thing in a way I find easier to hear. I prefer it to be true, mind you.

26 51cq24   ~  Jun 9, 2009 1:54 pm

[23] gameday lists it as a slider, but at 88 mph i'm pretty sure that's his cutter. not that it really matters what he calls it- cutter/slider/curve are all on a continuum anyway.
i'm still not quite clear on the gameday data. i understand their definition of break, although i'm not sure why they only measure it to the front of home plate when batters stand a few feet behind the plate, and some pitchers throw pitches that break later than others. but i really don't understand pitch-f/x: "the distance between the location of the actual pitch, and the calculated location of a ball thrown by the pitcher in the same way but with no spin." with no spin like a knuckleball? and at what speed? it calls pitch-f/x "movement" and goes on to say that fastballs will have a higher pitch-f/x value than offspeed pitches. but if we're measuring movement, shouldn't it be the distance from where a straight fastball at the same speed would cross the strike zone? surely from a batter's perspective (and from our view from the centerfield camera), a knuckleball has a lot more "movement" than a 4 seam fastball. i know we've discussed this before, but i don't think we ever resolved it.

27 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 9, 2009 1:58 pm

@ 20

I mostly agree. It is silly reasoning. That was my point. Initial silliness plus more silliness is still silliness. Of course we evaluate risks - just like the manager does. But the difference between leaving Hughes in versus using Coke is so much up in the air we can't assume any outcome and thus interpolate "jeopardy". There is no logic there one way or another. It's all bullshit.

@ 25

You must have missed the part where I gave the GM the benefit of the doubt on Hughes and his use. Still, given the way they handled Wang, I don't have much faith.

By the way, Angel Berroa is still on the team. Who's fault is that?

28 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:16 pm

Guys.... you say Girardi should be using Hughes for more then 1 inning. And I agree with you. The problem is, I don't know shit about what the Yankees plan is for tomorrow or beyond.
And.... neither do any of you.

Maybe they want to save Phil for relief in this Boston series.
Maybe he is backup in case Wang shits the bed.
Maybe they are showcasing him for trade.
Maybe there are other reasons.
Who knows. Frankly, in my last conversation with Cashman, we didn't cover this issue.

Why is it that we assume Girard AND the Yankee's FO are just plain stupid? Can we really sit on our couches and make better decisions then the millions of dollars spent on profession, experienced baseball people, who are on the field and in the clubhouse?

When I am at my job, I bring years of actual experience and study, and have to deal with the real issues of my boss, my co-workers and the client. I just LOVE IT when someone who knows nothing about what I do (except that "Well... I drive on roads, so I sorta know about designing them") tell me what's wrong and right, and makes 'suggestions' that are sure to be helpful. I just love it.

Now we have some bright people here.
You have watched a lot of baseball, analyzed data from websites, and have had discussions of certain issues. And many of you have very good judgement.

And if you knew everything about what in currently going on in Yankeeland, from the FO, to the players, to discussed stategies... then I wholely believe you could, at times, make better calls then Girardi.

The problem is, you don't know this info. You aren't in the offices, on the field or in the clubhouse. You don't know if Mo is puking his brain out, if Tex is shitting his pants or if ARod is crying his eyes out over Kate Hudson moving on.

There is more to managing then just making decisions based on stats and which players 'suck' or not. It is FINE to question Girardi and Cashman. We are fans. That is OUR job. But to be so absolute and dogmatic about our opinions is just nuts.

29 thelarmis   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:23 pm

at first, i was shocked - and pissed! - that Joe pulled Hughes. but...apparently Pena also had 2 homers against Hughes in only 3 AB's, so there was some reasoning there, too. Hughes will also be more available in the Boston series. all in all, i think it's okay, now that i've slept on it...

30 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:24 pm

[26] If Hughes' cutter breaks that much it's a pretty unusual cutter. (Compare Mariano's, which has a 4" break.)

The Pitch f/X thing is not very well explained. It's not "no spin" like a knuckler has no spin. They could instead say "in a vacuum", but that would mean that they'd ignore friction, which wouldn't be right either. The idea is that the computer takes the initial velocity of the ball, adds gravity plus friction, and calculates the trajectory. Then it looks at where the ball actually crossed the front of the plate and compares it to where the calculated trajectory crosses that same plane. The difference is the f/X movement.

The reason a fastball has a lot of movement is that a typical, good, 4-seam fastball has backspin. It's a rising fastball. So compared to, say, a billiard ball flung with the same velocity, it will break the plane much higher. (It doesn't actually rise; it just falls slower than a billiard ball would.)

I'm not sure about a knuckler. My guess is that a knuckleball jumps very suddenly but won't have as much total movement because its little movements are not all in the same direction.

And I think they use the front of the plate just to have a standard. The computer can't tell where in the box the batter is standing.

31 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:24 pm

[29] Of course, Pena was 1-3 with a HR off Coke...

32 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:25 pm

[30] The reason Mo's cutter is so good is that it doesn't break too much. A great cut breaks sharp and late.

33 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:28 pm

OYF, I agree it's possible that there's a plan that will make the move seem very sensible in retrospect. But I can tell you that the reason I don't give Girardi the benefit of the doubt on this is that he's pretty consistently played Bullpen Roulette. He yanks a successful relief pitcher after an inning or even less, when it would make more sense to let him ride. The results have often been bad. I admit they have sometimes been good. But in the long run it would work out better to use one pitcher for a longer time.

But, I might add, I don't think it makes a huge difference, either.

34 thelarmis   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:28 pm

[31] ah! thanks for that. yup, shoulda/coulda left Hughes in. oh well...

Get Yer "Phil" Here!!!

; )

35 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:29 pm

@ 28

I assume the GM is stupid because of the moves he makes. Bringing Wang back too early is example #1.

36 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:30 pm

[32] I don't understand that.
The ball has a certain spin and a certain initial velocity and position that are together responsible for its movement (well, together with friction and gravity, of course). Except for the decay of the spin, the acceleration is going to be constant. What does 'late break' really mean?

37 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:32 pm

@ 33

Most, if not all, managers do that. Who are managers that regularly throw relievers for two to three inning stints? Since he doesn't do many of the other stupid things, I think he's a net positive.

The guy is never going to get a break. They're in first place with a team that has been decimated by injuries and people are still pissing on him. He's expected to win with an old roster, and little behind it, and when he does they still criticize.


38 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:35 pm

[37] I agree, pretty much every manager does dumb stuff.
And I felt this way about Torre, actually: sure, he does dumb stuff, but pretty much anyone he'd plausibly be replaced by will do dumb stuff, too.

But I don't think that's any excuse when he does dumb stuff. "Other managers also do dumb stuff" isn't an excuse.

39 PJ   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:35 pm

I would like to offer up the possibility that it was Hughes' throw day and one inning was plenty considering Coke was brought in to get the favorable lefty-lefty match up against Pena leading off the eighth. Right now I would argue Coke is the lefty specialist, given he's the only lefty in the pen. He has also improved in terms of command recently. This is what Girardi meant when he said facing Pena was Coke's job. Pena is no "cookie" of a lefty AB and considering opponents were hitting well over .300 against Hughes at the Stadium (.317, 1.87 WHIP), and he's given up 5 HR there in similar innings as Coke (3 HR allowed), such that it was an appropriate and good switch in my opinion. Coke's numbers are significantly better than Hughes' at home. Opponents are hitting a mere .188 against Coke there (0.98 WHIP and a full two runs less of ERA). By doing that, Hughes could "let it go" in his one inning of work, which is what we saw him do.

Just look at the home splits and you'll know why Girardi made the switch.

Also, everyone but Hughes and Mo can go in Boston today. If they can give Mo today off, he'll be available for the next three which will include the first Mets game.

I would not agree that Hughes is being "held" for the Wang start. Rather I would contend they are doing the one inning-one day off/two innings-two days off thing with him. Right now, long relief is Aceves and Tomko's job in that order of priority.

That's what I'm seeing anyway...

: )

40 51cq24   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:37 pm

[32] i agree with this, but i think it's more because of the velocity/break tradeoff. if mo could throw a 94 mph curveball i think it would be even more ridiculous.
[30] i still don't understand. if it means where a smooth ball with no speed would have crossed the plate if thrown exactly the same way, i'd agree with what you say. but it doesn't seem to be saying that at all. i'd prefer just a graphic of exactly where the ball is, what the spin on the ball is, and what the speed is at all times during the pitch.

41 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:40 pm

[40] Good explanation on the speed/break tradeoff. Now I think I do get it.
Right, that's not what it says, but I'm pretty sure that's what it means.
I can't imagine what that graphic would look like!

42 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:41 pm

[36] What does it mean scientifically or from a baseball standpoint?

From a baseball standpoint, late break means the hitter has less time to react to the "cut". Also, a late break means it wont break as much because the only thing stopping further movement is the catcher's glove.

43 51cq24   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:42 pm

[36] late break means velocity really. a slider seems to have later break than a curve, a cutter later than a slider. the more velocity/spin you put on the ball, the later it should break. it's still a smooth curve, just a later one.

44 Bud Wisenheimer   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:43 pm

I hate the All or Nothing tone of these debates about Cash and Girardi. Apparently if you're in the Girardi camp you can't question anything he does, and if you're in the Cashman camp you can't question anything HE does.

I think Cash is a pretty good GM. I think flipping Betemit for Swisher was a great move. I think resisting the urge to trade Hughes and Joba was a good move that will help the Yankees for years to come.

I seriously question bringing Wang back when they did. I don't think he's ready, and I'd rather see him build up his stamina in AAA, especially when Hughes was doing a more than adequate job of filling that slot.

But there may be motives for bringing Wang up when they did that we aren't aware of.

Alex Rodriguez is a great player, but he fails sometimes. Cashman is a good GM, he fails sometimes. Girardi is a decent manager who fails sometimes.

Show me a GM or manager who never fucks up.

Besides Francona and Epstein of course.

45 51cq24   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:44 pm

[41] if you watch tennis, the graphics they sometimes do on serves are pretty good.

46 RIYank   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:48 pm

[42] What I meant was what [43] answered.
[44] You're misreading, I believe. Most Banterers do think that Girardi is an okay manager -- not great, not terrible. There's a broader mix of views about Cashman (I think he's very good).

47 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:50 pm

[44] "Alex Rodriguez is a great player, but he fails sometimes. Cashman is a good GM, he fails sometimes. Girardi is a decent manager who fails sometimes."

I agree with that statement 100%. I don't think Girardi is an awful manager, but the Yankees should have a manager who is better than decent.

48 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 9, 2009 2:53 pm

[46] Gotcha...break is basically the time between initial movement and landing in the glove. Mo's cutter breaks late because he throws it at 91-93mph (and even harder when he was younger). Hughes 88mph cutter has a bigger break. In fact, Sonnenstine kept getting beat last night on cutters that were breaking too much.

49 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jun 9, 2009 4:40 pm

I'm worried ... this discussion is getting much too grownup and civilized. I suspect OYF is at the root of the problem with that long, WAY too mature post. Jeez, man, give it a rest!

I think PJ may be saying something logical here: Hughes is extremely young, a developing arm, a prize talent in potential, it makes a ton of sense to go cautiously in a migration to relief. We all know (I've harped on this) that relief arms are not the same as starter arms (even the same arm!). I also agree it looked as if Hughes was doing the classic (and correct) short reliever thing and really airing it out. His strikeout fastball on Longoria was at 96 and I believe that's his max speed this year. In other words, he knew when he went out there it was a one inning gig, and he blew away the league leading rbi guy ... sit him down.

Bud, you're being too adult too, dammit. Yes, debates online, even more than in bars end up sounding all-or-nothing because of the format, in part, I think (medium is the massager?). William, I'd also agree with you, in principle (what's wrong with me this afternoon?) ... Yankees should have top-notch managing ... problem is identifying that. Is Cito first class? His record since returning midway last year, turning Jays around sure suggests it, but he's a classic, 'they need to know their roles' guy, like Torre was. And Torre, as everyone knows, had a mediocre record till he hit exactly the right job for his personality. Billy Martin turned teams around in a hurry, left pitchers ruined behind him, and had combustible clubhouses. Who is out there, and available, you'd call 'the manager I want'?

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