"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Prince Charming

The Yankees announced that Andy Pettitte was coming back to the rotation on May 8th.  The Yankees ripped off 31 wins against 15 losses before he got hurt. They announced he was coming back from injury on September 13th. They have gone 6-1 since then. So that’s 37-16 with the notion that Pettitte is on the staff. And 49-47 without him.

From a logical point of view, Pettitte’s presence – and quality – deepens the staff and, just as crucially, lengthens the bullpen. So we should expect the Yankees to perform better than usual when he’s healthy and effective. The rest is just dumb luck.

But given the fact that they’re playing must-win games every day for the remainder of the season, I need something more than logic and dumb luck to hold onto. Andy Pettitte’s the good luck charm that turns this ordinary team into a powerhouse. If they win it all, that’s why. If they don’t well, we know it was all foolishness anyway.

Categories:  1: Featured  Baseball Musings  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 21, 2012 10:02 am

That's all well and good, but we all kinda went in from Spring fretting that the bench had once again been neglected for the sake of utilizing the DH as an old folks' home for the likes of Ibanez, Jones, Chavez and to a lesser extent Alex and Derek. In fact, the whole organization seems to be smoking their own crack when it comes to the short porch in right; when guys do get on base, the next guy always wants to hit a homer. And I'm tired of hearing the cop-out, "that's the type of team we have" because it implies that no one takes responsibility for assembling the roster or coaching these guys to play better. If it's no difference whether the manager says anything to them or not, then why is he really there and why does he have so much pressure on him?

2 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 21, 2012 10:15 am

[1] Brett Gardner's skill set was sorely missed for much of the season. And replacing him with Ibanez and Jones turned the team into more of an all-or-nothing type squad.

Criticize the bench and roster construction and I agree with you, but also have to note that the team is what it is because of major injuries, not by design.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 21, 2012 10:20 am

I have a good feeling about CC tonight.

4 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 21, 2012 10:45 am

[3] CC brings it tonight. He's pissed about how he has performed lately and the rest of the staff has set a high bar recently. He's not going to let himself be the flat tire on the winning wagon.

5 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 21, 2012 11:57 am

[2] I certainly don't deny the impact that injuries have had, but wouldn't you have a contingency in place to replace a potentially important widget as opposed to changing the design of the whole machine in mid-season? That's like renting a new luxury SUV, but it breaks down and so you switch it out for an old Cadillac because it used to be a really nice ride.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 21, 2012 12:18 pm

[5] The Yankees don't have decent outfield prospects at the higher levels and it's hard to acquire a starter-level outfielder and stash him on the bench because those guys want to play everyday. I can't fault them with re-signing Jones, who was not bad in 2011 and he was to have exact same limited role.

Therefore, what we're really boiling this down to is the decision to acquire Ibanez as a LH DH and potential emergency corner OF. That was a bad decision for DH and ended up magnified with Gardner's injury and deserves first, second and third guessing to make sure whatever thought process led to that decision doesn't happen again.

But I think this is a more narrow defect than the broad problem you're describing.

7 thelarmis   ~  Sep 21, 2012 12:35 pm

andy's a golden god! : )

8 thelarmis   ~  Sep 21, 2012 12:37 pm

all the above said...ibanez has had some big, productive hits for us and hasn't been canseco bad in the outfield. jus' sayin'...

plus, he's a native new yorker and a really nice guy! : )

9 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 21, 2012 12:43 pm

[1] I agree with you. I love the HR, but with RISP, players need to be more focused with contact, rather then power. With Gritner on the DL, aside from a few scrubs (exluding Ibanez and Jones), everyone is taking huge swings.

I loved Ichiro the other day with the bases loaded. The Toronto PBP guy recommended that the entire Totonto defense shift towards LF, as he said Ichiro, especially against a LHP, would just try to slap one to LF, which was just what he did... good for 2 runs.

There is such a thing as situational hitting, and the Yankees suck at it.

10 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 21, 2012 1:02 pm

[9] On Thursday night, Ichiro tagged a hanger into the rightfield corner with the bases loaded. Good for two runs. And it was a powerful swing.

On Wednesday afternoon with two outs and a runner on third, he slapped a single to left on a defensive swing.

I think that illustrates your point, that he should take the swing the situation and pitch dictates, but I think you have confused the details.

11 thelarmis   ~  Sep 21, 2012 1:07 pm

you guys do realize there's a "morning art" post/picture...right?! ; )

12 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 21, 2012 2:00 pm

Bet she doesn't like talk of small ball...

13 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 21, 2012 5:07 pm

[10] I was referring to Wednesdays slap, soft liner to Left Field.

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