"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

You’re Being Very Un-Dude

Sweeney Murti says it’s not time to press the panic button:

But feel free to hit that button if you think CC Sabathia won’t win again the rest of the year. Hit the button if you think Mark Teixeira will hit .209 for the season. Hit the button if you think Mariano Rivera is done. Hit the button if you think Derek Jeter is done. Hit the button if you think Toronto, Boston, Detroit, and Oakland (the only other non first-place teams currently over .500) will all be better than the Yankees over the next 118 games.

I’m not ignoring everything that’s gone on the last few weeks. I just know there were many panic-button moments last year for this team as well, but the talent was there to right the ship. The Yankees could lose at least 50 more games the rest of the way and still make the playoffs. Let’s not call 911 after every single one.

Tags:  panic button  sweeney murt

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1 a.O   ~  May 24, 2010 11:10 am

Is there an "Anger Button" you can press when a guy making as much as Teix stinks this bad for this long? I mean, we might as well be hitting Ramiro Pena third. It's a giant black hole in the lineup. Pull your head out of your ass, Teix!!

2 Diane Firstman   ~  May 24, 2010 11:12 am


how soon before Kevin Long becomes the fall guy?

3 RagingTartabull   ~  May 24, 2010 11:17 am

[2] that would be ridiculously unfair considering under his watch Gardner, Cervelli, and to a lesser extent Pena have become half-way respectable offensive players. Not professional hitters by any stretch, but not automatic outs either

4 Alex Belth   ~  May 24, 2010 11:41 am

Yeah, funny but here is the truth--David Ortiz is doing better than Teix.

5 williamnyy23   ~  May 24, 2010 11:47 am

These panic button arguments are either naive or purposely misleading. After all, no one is worried that Sabathia will never win another game, or Tex will hit .209 all season. However, there is a great cause for concern that the Yankees could play themselves out of the AL East race in the next week few weeks. For those who actually care about the team, that is a reason to panic.

[2] Long should and very well may have better long-term job security than Girardi. The players absolutely swear by him, and several of his projects (Cervelli, Gardner and Cano, for example) have shown positive results.

The biggest onus for the Yankees freefall is on Cashman. His offseason renovations have mostly been a negative. The combo of signing NJ and letting Damon go could wind up being a defining point in the season.

After Cashman, Girardi also deserves blame. His poor game management and lineup construction has been exposed even more now that the Yankees don't have an All Star at every spot in the lineup. If the Yankees don't get healthy soon, Girardi's influence could also be a key reason why this team will miss the playoffs.

As things stand, the Yankees are now a distinct underdog to win the division and a slight favorite to win the wildcard. If they get healthy sooner than later, their odds of winning each will increase, but if not, well, it will indeed be time to hit the panic button.

6 williamnyy23   ~  May 24, 2010 11:54 am

[4] So many others who have been maligned are doing better than Tex. It's amazing how teflon Tex has been, which is rare in this town. He got a pass for his slow start last year, his poor post season and now his poor first two months. What's more, each of those periods have been times when the Yankees most needed him (during Arod's absence; post season; and amid a myriad of injuries).

I am not advocating that fans boo Tex, who I really like and am extremely happy that he is on the team. I just think it is interesting that he has been treated so well. Needless to say, if it was Arod...well, you know the rest.

7 seamus   ~  May 24, 2010 11:57 am

[5] what i'm not clear on then, is when isn't it a time to panic?

8 seamus   ~  May 24, 2010 11:59 am

[6] while performance is important, it's always been clear that other factors affect popularity, including media treatment.

9 Alex Belth   ~  May 24, 2010 11:59 am

6) It's true. Been thinking about that a bunch lately too. It's remarkable, really.

10 williamnyy23   ~  May 24, 2010 12:04 pm

[7] It isn't time to panic when you look at your team and honestly believe no significant changes are needed. In this case, the Yankees have four major contributors who are on the DL as well as an older player who is struggling. Because the rest of the team has not shown an ability to compensate for the injuries, panic is justified. What wouldn't be justified, however, is allowing that panic to lead to a disproportionate response.

11 Diane Firstman   ~  May 24, 2010 12:06 pm

The bizarre world that is Alex Rodriguez gets a little more weird:


The Rangers sale will be accomplished through a voluntary, “prepackaged,” court-supervised process under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code pursuant to a plan previously negotiated and agreed to by the current Rangers owners and the Greenberg-Ryan group. The prepackaged plan, which is supported by Major League Baseball, current Rangers ownership, and the Greenberg-Ryan group, provides sufficient sale proceeds for the Rangers creditors to recover 100 percent of the portion of HSG Sports Group’s debt that is guaranteed by the Rangers and for all Rangers creditors to be paid in full. ....

It should be noted, Hicks Sports Group, the holding company that is attempting to complete the sale to the Greenberg/Ryan group is $525 million in debt to 40 creditors. Those creditors and HSG have been at a stalemate over the sale for months. The latest restructure plan by Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, with MLB's blessing, was not made known to the creditors in advance of the announcement today. With the plan ostensibly fulfilling the debt surrounding the Rangers sale, it is unknown what legal footing the creditors have in chellenging the move.
The largest of those creditors is A-Rod.

12 seamus   ~  May 24, 2010 12:08 pm

[10] To me that sounds like you believe that unless things are going great it is time to panic. Injuries and slumps happen. The way I read your definition means that no matter how good the team is you'll be panicking through half the year. I guess I wonder if that is really fun at all? People are very different I know. And I hardly panic in real life, let alone in fandom. I guess our different approaches reflects our different personalities. Kind of interesting.

13 Raf   ~  May 24, 2010 12:08 pm

I'm not going to worry too much with 2 playoff spots up for grabs. It's May, not September, a 6 game deficit isn't insurmountable...

Just saw that Jose Lima died... He may not have been the greatest pitcher to ever grace the mound, but the times that he did he sure looked like he was having fun, no matter the location.

williamnyy23, if you make it down to Lima, Peru ESPN+ (Direct TV) carries Yankees games. Kinda makes you appreciate the brand in that of all the teams in MLB I can only watch the Yanks in Peru.

14 seamus   ~  May 24, 2010 12:10 pm

[11] wow, that is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

15 williamnyy23   ~  May 24, 2010 12:12 pm

[11] Not sure if you meant that as a joke, but Arod is not among the creditors, which if I am correct, was a group of investment firms (mostly hedge funds) who lent Hicks' HSG Sports Group money separate from the operations of the Texas Rangers. Any deferred money owed to Arod would have been transfered to the new Rangers ownership group.

16 Diane Firstman   ~  May 24, 2010 12:14 pm


The A-Rod as creditor was taken from a tweet by Aaron Gleeman. I'm sorry if it is incorrect.

17 Diane Firstman   ~  May 24, 2010 12:16 pm


From Business Week:

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Texas Rangers, the Major League Baseball team controlled by billionaire Thomas Hicks, filed for bankruptcy to facilitate a sale to investors led by team president Nolan Ryan and his partner Chuck Greenberg.

The Arlington, Texas-based ballclub listed assets and debt of between $100 million and $500 million in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth, Texas.

Alex Rodriguez, now the third baseman for the New York Yankees, was listed as the Rangers’ top unsecured creditor.

18 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 24, 2010 12:50 pm

[6] Could well be his glove.

19 williamnyy23   ~  May 24, 2010 12:53 pm

[12] That's not what I meant at all. If your team requires a significant change, then it is far from going great. The Yankees right now are in a position where if the status quo remains, they could fall out of contention for first place. I realize many don't care as long as the Yankees make the playoffs, but the division title is very important to me. So, yes, a six game deficit and trending down is a reason to panic, which really is a term being misused because no one is running blindly in the streets. Rather, what most refer to as panic in sports is really concern.

As for real life, I seldom panic too. The difference is I have control over that. Unfortunately, sports is a passive interest (in terms of the outcomes), so absent significant concern, what else you do? I am too engaged to just take a wait and see approach. To me, that's no fun.

[13] Thanks for the heads up...I've never been there during the baseball season, so that's good to know. Unfortunately, the internet access in the two where I usually stay isn't very reliable.

20 williamnyy23   ~  May 24, 2010 12:57 pm

[16] [17] Interesting...the team itself has filed for Chapter 11, which is different from the earlier possibility that Hicks' HSG Sports Group would. In this case, I am pretty sure that any condition of the sale would be that all players be made whole. Because it is the Rangers' debt, MLB would have control over that aspect.

21 Sliced Bread   ~  May 24, 2010 1:19 pm

[6] as weeping suggests [18] Teix's glove has kept the boo-birds at bay. He's also 2nd (only to ARod) in RBI. Not the most advanced stat, but respectable enough to silence the morons who would boo him.

22 Diane Firstman   ~  May 24, 2010 1:22 pm


How many other teams employ a shift on Teix like the Mets do? (trying to think of them)

Teix's swing is so unorthodox, I doubt Long would want to try and "correct" it.

23 Sliced Bread   ~  May 24, 2010 1:23 pm

[6] I'd also say he had much better than a piss-poor postseason (rather a very productive one from a quality rather than quantity standpoint) - but that's old news.

24 RagingTartabull   ~  May 24, 2010 1:29 pm

yeah, thing with Tex in the playoffs last year was that what he lacked in quantity of hits he more than made up for with quality. The walk-off vs Minnesota and his shot that turned the tide in Game 2 vs Philly being the biggest. Kinda like how no one will ever remember that Boone hit .176 in the '03 ALCS.

25 Sliced Bread   ~  May 24, 2010 1:33 pm

Slightly off topic but I've been studying the Panic Button art above, and I'm pretty sure Miz Mansfield is giving me the sign to steal third.

26 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 24, 2010 2:09 pm

[24] Oh, I remember about Boone, don't you worry! I remember when he struck out with a savage swing at a fastball up in the zone in Florida in the thirteenth or whatever with the bases juiced instead of shortening up like a professional hitter. I'll never forgive him for that.

27 RagingTartabull   ~  May 24, 2010 2:15 pm

[26] nooo no no, I'm not talking about Florida...all bets are off in that one. I'm talking solely about the ALCS.

28 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 24, 2010 2:18 pm

[27] :)

29 Diane Firstman   ~  May 24, 2010 2:23 pm


A-Rod is owed deferred compensation to the tune of $24.9 million ...

(page 5 of this attachment)


30 a.O   ~  May 24, 2010 3:04 pm

[20] Why would an unsecured creditor be given priority oversecured creditors? Or is there enough $$ to go around?

31 a.O   ~  May 24, 2010 3:06 pm

However you want to characterize last year's post-season, Teix is sucking big time this year. Big time. He needs to get his head together or set his ego aside and move down in the lineup.

32 williamnyy23   ~  May 24, 2010 3:17 pm

[29] Right...the distinction I was making is the Rangers owe Arod the money, not Hicks. The real holdup in the process has been all of the money owed by HSG Sports Group.

[30] Again, the distinction is who owes whom the money. HSG owes over $500mn to a variety of investors. The Rangers as a separate entity also have outstanding debts. The hangup in the process was whether there would be enough proceeds from the sale so Hicks could pay off his creditors. Apparently, this solution satisfies that concern. However, I would seriously doubt if the bankruptcy plan didn't have protection for the deferred compensation owed to players. Although technically "unsecured", you can bet MLB doesn't want a situation wherein a team defaults on owed salaries. Not only would the Union like cause a stir, but the practice of deferred compensation would like become extinct, which would be to the disadvantage of owners.

33 rbj   ~  May 24, 2010 3:22 pm

[25] That certainly is one button I'd hit.

I'm not going to panic -- no panicking before the ASG, but I am fangry. Fangry that the team isn't playing well at the moment and that Tampa is playing so damn well.

BTW, Rays vs. Red Sox tonight, I just can't bring myself to hope for a Boston win. May it be an 18 inning game.

34 cult of basebaal   ~  May 24, 2010 3:33 pm

Well, this would be a wee bit embarrassing if Teix doesn't pick it up soon:

... among the A.L. leaders are teammates Mark Teixeira (396,034), who is ahead of Justin Morneau (258,225) of the Twins and Miguel Cabrera (242,039) of the Detroit Tigers at first base ...

35 cult of basebaal   ~  May 24, 2010 5:23 pm

From over at RAB:

At Hardball Talk, Craig Calcaterra raises the issue. It’s a little journey, and I suggest starting with the 1:15 p.m. part at the bottom and work up. Craig notes that the Rangers can’t pay A-Rod the full amount without also paying their full debt to all unsecured creditors:

Since the Rangers filed for bankruptcy it means they don’t have enough money to pay all of their unsecureds at a 100% rate. That means that A-Rod should not get all the money he thought he’d get and all of the ugly union/team dynamics set forth below come into play.

A later update notes that, no, A-Rod probably won’t get stiffed on the $25 mil. He might see a delay in the process, but because this Chapter 11 filing acts as a precursor to a sale, not to help it restructure its debt. The Greenberg-Ryan group, then, will be responsible for the remainder of A-Rod’s deferred payments, as well as deferred payments to a number of current and former Rangers.

36 a.O   ~  May 24, 2010 9:26 pm

So, you can file bankruptcy to prepare for a sale without being insolvent?!

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