"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

By the Book


Andy Pettitte is on his way but he’s not what the Yanks need writes Tyler Kepner in the Times:

Rays Manager Joe Maddon credited Ron Porterfield, the team’s head athletic trainer, for his pitchers’ durability, but Hellickson said he assumed all teams had the same kind of programs. Cashman said the pressure of New York makes the comparison unfair.

“I know they have a lot younger guys, but Pineda’s young and he just went down,” Cashman said. “I know the innings here are more stressful than the innings there, no doubt about that. Throwing 100 pitches in New York versus 100 pitches in Tampa are two different stresses. The stress level’s radically different on each pitch.”

Maddon said Cashman’s theory was worth considering. In a cosmic way, he could have added, the Rays deserve a benefit from playing before small crowds in an outdated home ballpark. In any case, Maddon said, the starters are essential to their model.

“Without that pitching, all the other wonderful stuff that we are, I don’t think really works nearly as effectively,” Maddon said. “It all starts with the starting pitching. That particular group and that part of our team really permits us to do all the other things well.”

While you are there, check out Hunter Atkins’s story about Joe Maddon–the King of Shifts.

[Photo Via Rays Renegade]


1 OldYanksFan   ~  May 9, 2012 2:52 pm

It would be interesting to look at the numbers of 3 groups:
Players who came to the Yankees (from elsewhere) and did better...
Players who came to the Yankees (from elsewhere) and did the same...
Players who came to the Yankees (from elsewhere) and did worse...

My guess is more have done worse. It seems to me that it's not uncommom that we have gotten lots of Sorianos... guy who were supposed to be studs but didn't perform for us.

There is pressure to play in NY. And I believe it takes a certain personality for someone to thrive there.

2 joejoejoe   ~  May 9, 2012 3:01 pm

I don't think emotional stress tears your labrum.

Cashman is telling tales here. The training staff in New York and Tampa have the same job to do. If a player in NY starts overdoing it because of the pressure of the big city, it's the JOB of management to hold him back. Chalking it up to New York karma is shirking your job.

I don't doubt that there are performance variables playing in NY but if there are injury variables from a large sample, I'd chalk it up to one team having better judgment than another.

3 joejoejoe   ~  May 9, 2012 3:11 pm

Also, there are plenty of borderline major leaguers who have the pressure of simply staying in the big leagues at every club. They have the pressure of making a living pushing them, which I think is more pressure than the ghosts of Yankee Stadium apply or the media or whatever.

4 Alex Belth   ~  May 9, 2012 3:20 pm

1) "My guess is more have done worse." I would be curious to see that though it seems to me that this is something that most fans say about their teams. Mets fans especially.

5 Greg G   ~  May 9, 2012 3:26 pm

I can see to some degree where Cashman is coming from on this. The Yankee fans are the ones who started cheering for the pitcher when he has 2 strikes on the batter. The fans live and die on every pitch in NY and Boston.

I have been to several other stadiums around the country, and the fans are not like they are in NY and Boston. They are not as vocal or fickle.

St. Louis might have the best fans in the country, and they root for their team, but will often applaud the performance of the visiting team as well.

NY and Boston fans will boo their own team and their favorite players. Some of this is a result of the high ticket prices. When you pay top dollar to see a game or a few games a year, you want results.

Ironically, the fans in NY are just as boorish at times as the late George Steinbrenner who was knocked by the very same fans for the behavior they practice themselves. Impatience and unreal expectations. Myself included.

I think the players pick up on that energy, and when things are going well there is probably no better place to play, and when they are not just ask Ed Whitson, Javy Vazquez, Chuck Knoblauch and Carl Pavano what it is like.

6 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 9, 2012 6:06 pm

[2] I don't know that it literally tears one's labrum, but obviously it takes a toll on the body. I hold an unbelievable amount of stress in my neck and shoulder area and feel it all the time. Why wouldn't emotional stress physically affect professional athletes?

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