"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Begin the Begin

Every opening I came up with for tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Rays was depressing and cheap. The Yanks have played poorly, blown a big divisional lead and I was ticked. But I stopped myself and tried again. I remembered this isn’t the finish line.

If this collapse coincided with the end of the season, like it did for the Red Sox and Braves last year, then we could thrash and roll about all night. However, there are 27 games left and it’s now a flat-footed tie with Orioles. If they come up short in this sprint, we’ll have plenty of time to hash out why they weren’t good enough this year. In the meantime, maybe they’ll get mad, play well and win.

We don’t know if it will happen that way, and by the look of things, the chances aren’t that great. But it could and we should keep watching and hoping like the fans of the other, less pre-destined, teams.

I didn’t come to this outlook on my own. I woke up this morning to mouse clicks followed by a small voice repeating “Yes!” I figured my son was at the computer checking baseball scores, just down the hall from my room. The problem with that is I knew that the Pirates lost yesterday afternoon and I knew my son knew this, too. I pulled myself out of bed to see what he was celebrating. He sat there dangling his feet and grinning like he just heard about Cookie Crisp cereal. I pulled up over his shoulder and asked him what he was doing.

“Checking out the olden days,” he said. He had clicked all the way back to June. The Pirates won a lot of games in June, so he was thrilled. It didn’t seem pathetic either, like it is when I hole up with Baseball-Reference.com and swaddle myself in past glory each time the Yankees get bounced from the Postseason. I think he just wanted to see the whole picture of the season rather than dwell on their most recent disappointment.

The 2012 Yankee team has access to something better than this. There are some guys that could play better and some guys that could get healthy. If it all happens that way, I think they’re the best team over the last 27 games and I hope their records indicates that. If it doesn’t, well, my son wouldn’t mind if we joined him rooting for the Pirates.

As for the game I have only one thought. After the Yanks went down 3-2 in the third, they sent 21 batters to the plate for the rest of the game. Three over the minimum over the final six innings. I am sure some will credit the Rays pitcher Alex Cobb with grabbing the lead and not letting it go. And some will blame the Yanks hitters for tightening up and failing to execute when they fell behind. I don’t know which is correct, so I hope the Yanks load up on both lead-holding and come-backing for these last 27 games. Find out where the O’s and Rays are shopping.

Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 Bruce Markusen   ~  Sep 4, 2012 10:11 pm

Well, Jon, it's been a total team collapse. The lineup has become putrid, the starting pitching mediocre, and the bullpen has become a gas can.

Everyone should share in the blame. Girardi has been way too soft on the team, Cashman failed to pick up a good right-handed bat when it was obvious they needed one, and most of the players have played as tight as drums. But, as you say, they do have some time to recover.

They'd better, or else a lot of people will be losing jobs this winter.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 4, 2012 10:19 pm

I'm about as dispassionate about the games as the players seem to be. They may be seething and breathing fire in the clubhouse, but you would not know that when you hear the sound bites. I may be wrong, but I sense a tired team that has realized they don't have the energy to make it all the way. Too many missing pieces and the Score Truck is running on spare tires way after they should have been replaced. I wouldn't be surprised if the Yanks have decided to see how far they can go with what they have and retool during the off-season.

3 jjmerlock   ~  Sep 4, 2012 10:37 pm

When's the last time anyone saw any of the following put together a game's worth of good at bats: Granderson, Ichiro, Jones, Ibanez, Martin. Heck, even a game's worth of passable at bats? That's 3 to 4 spots in the lineup every night, to say nothing of some of the replacement dreck they've trotted out there. I think even Chavez has hit a wall, recently?

Am I forgetting a game in between Ichiro hitting those two homers and today? I could be. Just wondering. Because if not, those are a lot of bad at bats.

If this team has the ability to reverse this tumble down the mountain when it's picked up this much speed, that would be an impressive display of resolve. I'm not seeing it out of this bunch.

4 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Sep 4, 2012 11:17 pm

[2] Interesting..I wonder if that means they don't lock up Cano? He's one of my favorite players to watch but maybe..he's peaking now?

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 4, 2012 11:53 pm

The pitching the Yanks have seen over the last 2 weeks is nothing special. Let's forget baseball correctness by crediting the other team. We have sucked the big one... pure and simple.

From a RAB Poster:
In the last 11 games, this is what the Yankees are hitting AS A TEAM:
.203/.272/.338, 3.09 R/G

A .610 OPS over 11 games. Was it the King? Price? Pedro? Koufax?
Nope. It's a lineup of 1/2 scrubs and 1/2 regulars swinging from the heels.
This team has no one to blame but themselves.

6 RIYank   ~  Sep 5, 2012 5:58 am
7 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 5, 2012 6:14 am
8 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 5, 2012 6:56 am

I think EVERYONE is pressing.
One sign... it seems to me, we are not taking Walks.
Girardi and Jeter say they are not panicking, but I don't buy it.
You don't have a whole team slumping without something going on in their heads.
Maybe now they can 'relax'?
The season starts anew.
It's all even.
There's no lead to blow.
Maybe now, they can just play.
Hopefully, ARod can help.
Hopefully Teix comes back soon, and helps.
Who knows, maybe Andy can help too.
we have the season opener.

Are you excited????

9 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 5, 2012 8:15 am

[8] Well said! It's a 27 game run-off. First prize is the division and spot in the real Postseason. Second prize is a seat in the Wild Card game. Third prize is your fired.

10 ms october   ~  Sep 5, 2012 8:20 am

[8] yea, agree with that thought process.
the hitters are in quite a funk.

and if these games weren't bad enough, it doesn't help the viewing experience that lou seems sloshed by the second inning.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 5, 2012 8:34 am

[8] Yeah, that sounds like bullshyt to me, too. Complacency on their part perhaps?

[4] I don't know who you replace Cano with; he's the best fielder they have and still can jack it out when he's in the mood. That seems to be one of the main problems with him; i.e. they had to place him under Larry Bowa's care to "light a fire under his ass" which he actually succeeded in doing in the long run (not to mention 86-ing his running buddy Melky). You can't expect Cano to be a leader-type in this clubhouse because you have Jeter and Alex and numerous other vets with long term experience (that being maybe an underlying problem in itself) who are supposed to be the leaders. But then, even if you think he's supposed to be a professional at all times, the perception is strongly "not all the time". Some guys are just like that.

Do you bring back Larry Bowa or a Larry Bowa-type to get into his head again? That would probably be the least impactful-on-the-team option (and least expensive), but it's up to Girardi and Cashman to determine if that's necessary. Maybe all the injuries to key players throughout the season has had an impact on him as well; trying harder than he should have to \ and wearing himself out in the process. That would be a Cashman/Girardi issue because they constructed a roster that's top-heavy with older players who are perhaps pushed beyond capacity.

No, I'd keep Cano, but not at the humongous price he might be looking for. If he ends up signing with the Dodgers or Miami so he can get his dollars, so be it. Frankly, I'm tired of the Yanks signing older players to big contracts for past production they can't expect to maintain over the length of the contract at the expense of grooming younger players with strong potential (they could have locked Cano in long term when he was younger, but didn't make it happen).

Not that I know, but I honestly suspect the scouting and development departments needs some overhauling to include position players and not focus solely on pitching, as it seems. They could sign and trade Cano for a MLB-ready prospect if one exists; I wouldn't absolutely hate that. But if they lose Cano for nothing, they have nothing to turn to and nobody to blame but themselves.

12 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 5, 2012 8:37 am

[8] Hmm, I sure read that wrong; I thought you were being sarcastic, my apologies. I agree that they're all pressing.

13 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 5, 2012 8:49 am

[11] I don't think the situation with Cano is that dire. They have him in the middle of the lineup, in his prime, for two more runs at the World Series. They can decide after 2013 the best way to allocate their dough. Maybe it's to Cano, maybe it's elsewhere.

And they have good 2Bs in the minors. Joseph and Adams. Neither figures to approximate Cano, but if they can get in there and be credible at league minimum, the Cano $ could be spent elsewhere to great effect.

14 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 5, 2012 10:25 am

New York, NY.
The Truth Revealed
Reporter: So Brian.... Are you panicked a bit?
Cashman: Panicked!!!! Fuck NO! The New York Yankees panicked?!? FUCK NO! Panicked? Fucking Panicked? WHAT THE FUCK MAKES YOU THINK THAT?!?!?

Reporter: So Joe.... Are you panicked a bit?
Girardi: Panicked? No. Everything's FINE. The guys are having some GOOD ABs. Panicked? Fuck No. Why do you ask? PANICKED! NO! WE JUST NEED SOME FUCKING HITS TO FALL IN! THAT'S ALL! SOME. FUCKING. HITS!!!!!

Reporter: So Derek.... Are you panicked a bit?
Jeter: Panicked? Dude... have you seen the list of putang I've been banging over the last dozen years....?
How about you? You getting any?

15 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 5, 2012 10:42 am

I'm trying to find some good news.
... We have 4 games left against TB and 4 left against the O's.
We only really need to play .500 ball those 8 games.
... The Rays/Oreos have 6 games, so it will be hard for them to both
chase us. This includes the last 3 days of the season, at Baltimore.

... TB has 3 more against Texas and 4 more against the White Sox.

... Our last 16 games:
7 against Toronto (3 at Home)
3 against Oakland (at Home)
3 against Minnesota
3 against Red Sox (at Home, to end the season)

As things go, that a very decent schedule.

16 RIYank   ~  Sep 5, 2012 11:50 am

[15] Yeah, those last six particularly look nice.
Although, you know the Red Sox would love to knock us out of the playoffs or division championship. So they'll have something to play for.

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