"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Now, it's Garbage

Atrocious. That’s how Michael Kay described AJ Burnett’s performance tonight in Chicago. Nine runs in 3.1 innings. Maybe it was all a bad dream, huh, Meat?

Nope, it actually happened. Seen it with my own eyes. And if Burnett wasn’t bad enough, the rest of the team played like Chico’s Bail Bonds. Francisco Cervelli’s little star has not only crashed to earth, it’s been dismantled to the point where it doesn’t matter how cute he is, his performance, behind the plate and at bat, is lacking. That Yankees were listless for long stretches of the game, scratching out just six hits.

Here’s a shot from Joe Girardi’s post-game team meeting with the team.

Bull Durham and The Bad News Bears. Makes for a great double feature but a lousy model for, you know, winning a real game.

“This is one of those games where you hope the whole team gets it out of its system because they just want to turn the page quickly,” said Ken Singleton. The long view. Right, what he said.

The White Sox whipped the Yanks, 9-4. The Red Sox also beat the Rays, so the Yanks remain tied with Tampa for first place. Boston is just four-and-a-half back.

The Yanks are the defending World Champs and share the best-record in baseball with the Rays. But after CC Sabathia–who pitches on Saturday night–their starting rotation is suspect. The Red Sox are lurking. Could the Yankees–or the Rays, for that matter–spit the bit down the stretch? Could the Red Sox, improbably, make the playoffs?

Stranger things have happened. I’m not panicked but I haven’t been impressed with the Yankees of late and I’m far from comfortable.


1 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 27, 2010 11:09 pm

If the Yankees miss the playoffs, I know I'll sure be glad that Cervelli was the starting catcher this year so Posada could rest for something that never came.

2 Just Fair   ~  Aug 27, 2010 11:52 pm

I'm really glad the wife wanted an outside night. I missed every pitch of this one. Ignorance is bliss. But fuck you, AJ, anyway. I'm scared to even read the game thread. : /

3 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 27, 2010 11:58 pm

[1] Yup.... Jete's OPS is 100 pts below his career, ARod's OPS is 150 pts below his career, A.J. now has an ERA+ of 83, Joba's ERA+ is 85, and Phil's ERA+ is 97. But we can survive that. But Brains? Fucking Brains is killing this team.

4 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 28, 2010 12:17 am

[3] All of that is true. Most of that is also largely out of the control of those making the decisions for the team. There's not a better option than Jeter or Rodriguez readily available to the team right now. The same is (more or less) true for Burnett and Hughes. There was a better option than Chamberlain, and thus he was replaced. Unless you truly believe that Francisco Cervelli is the best option as starting catcher for the New York Yankees (in which case I'm not sure there's anything either of us can say that will change the others mind on that topic) there's no reason he should be playing this much.

If the Yankees need to overcome Jeter and Rodriguez and Burnett and Hughes and Chamberlain and Vazquez and injuries and whatever else, what sense does it make to install another enormous obstacle in the form of a starting catcher that hasn't really been good at anything since May?

5 monkeypants   ~  Aug 28, 2010 1:08 am

4) thank you. Lucid, logical and oh so correct. Thank you again.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 28, 2010 8:45 am

[3] Offense is down across the board, so you can't use a straight OPS comparison (especially because you ignore spikes for other players). Having said that, your general point is dead on. The Yankees have a lot of hole...and extraordinary amount, in fact, for a team that is still holding onto a share of the best record in baseball. Too many people (including Yankees brass), however, have used that last point to obscure this team's shortcomings. They have pretty much been a .500 team for 30 games now and show no signs of doing much better over the next 30, which will feature a much more difficult slate of games (no more Royals and Mariners on the schedule).

Getting back to Cervelli, he is not the root cause of the all problems, but a symptom. His inability to produce on any level has been evident for months now, but the Yankees seem content to run him out there 40-50% of the time. That's inexusable. Even if it only costs them one game over the span, it's an example of gross mismanagement.

7 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 28, 2010 8:47 am

[3] [6] Or, what he said in [4].

8 mhoward120   ~  Aug 28, 2010 9:47 am

I really hate to say this, but my finger is now hovering about an inch above a button marked PANIC and gravity keeps pulling it downward.

9 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Aug 28, 2010 10:19 am

Oh, great. I come over here looking for reassurance, and what do I find...? Alex just as worried.

As the preacher of early season calm, always, when panic buttons are lifted in spring, I find myself glum and anxious as September looms.

I am amused at the Cervelli Focus ... talk about scapegoating! Same with notes about 'holes' and off-seasons. I mean, Boston is rolling with 4 major stars/starters down for the season. It is, drumroll, all about pitching, I fear.

And with Burnett scary, Vazquez looking as if 'tired arm' is a benign spin, Hughes also fading (innings limits exist for a reason?), and Pettitte in 'who-knows?' country ...

Check in with me Sunday night if we lose 2 more in Chitown and Bosox sweep, but I'm not yet actively in playoff-missing fear mode, though I can certainly hear footsteps. My current fear is that we match up badly against everyone on the mound right now, and don't have the offensive depth to cover that. Lee is fading too, in Texas, and it is hard to fear Baker and He Whom We Will Not Name in Minny (helluva season, though). But Boston and Tampa have really, really good top of rotation looks.

May be a knuckle-chewing month.

10 The Hawk   ~  Aug 28, 2010 10:53 am

Luckily I didn't see much of this game, but I am surprised Burnett has been as atrocious as he has been. For a while there he was pretty much true to form; half-bad, half-good. Now he is just flat out terrible - not just bad - with no good to balance it.

If Pettitte doesn't come back, things will get very dicey. Even if he does, and performs well, without a third decent pitcher - I'm a fan of Hughes, but this is really his first year as a starter - the Yanks are in deep trouble.

Is the entire season gonna hinge on Ivan Nova, for pete's sake?

11 Raf   ~  Aug 28, 2010 12:48 pm

[10] Depends if the commish office finds anything pertaining to him shooting up B12...

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