• April 9th @ The Angels

    Posted by on April 9th, 2006 · Comments (18)

    This was a good win – to me. Not an overly impressive win – considering that Colon is off his game. But, since this is a game that the Yankees should have won, and they won it, that’s a good thing (these days).

    I had to leave the house after the top of the 2nd – with the Yankees winning 5-0. And, even then, with that score, I was not sure what I would hear when I tuned in again – really. I’ve seen Mussina meltdown before – especially against the Angels. And, we’ve seen the Yankees throw away games already this season. So, it was a pleasant surprise to hear the final score (when I did).

    What’s going on with Joe Torre and Andy Phillips? Yesterday, Torre had Posada DH on his “day off.” And, today, Torre had Giambi at DH and used Miggy Cairo at 1B. If I’m Phillips, I’m texting my agent during the game, asking him to tell the Yankees “Play me or trade me.” Maybe, just maybe, I can “understand” (if I put on a Torre-mask) the Posada call. But, Cairo? That has to do wonders for Phillips’ confidence.

    Now, it’s home – with K.C. for a short three game homestand. Why are all of these games 1 p.m. ET starts? OK, the first one and the last one I can understand – Opening Day and getaway day. But, Wednesday too? Well, at the least, it will make up for all the late nights over the last week.

    Coming into this season, I thought the Yankees would need to average 16 wins a month to win the A.L. East. Given the off days in April, I would be willing to say that number should be 13 this month. They’ve now got two wins in April. Therefore, to get to 13, they need to go 11-6 over the next three weeks. Since the have a few tough teams to play this month, this means they better take at least 2 of 3 from the Royals.

    And, it would be nice to see the Blue Jays give the Red Sox a hard time in Fenway this week.

    I know it’s early, but, I think on Friday morning we should have a nice idea of who’s a contender and who’s a pretender in the A.L. East this season.

    Comments on April 9th @ The Angels

    1. JohnnyC
      April 9th, 2006 | 8:49 pm

      This is the danger in Cashman giving in to Torre and re-signing his “trusted” few (and brave). On that note Ruben Sierra was recently re-assigned by the Twins…the countdown begins. Andy Phillips probably hit on Torre’s wife during Spring Training while he was doing valet duty at Legends Field. Steven Goldman’s theory is that Philips doesn’t have a steady hand when handing Torre his extra-large cup of green tea during the game. Kid’s a little nervous. Veterans have steadier hands when serving tea.

    2. Jen
      April 9th, 2006 | 11:15 pm

      They were talking about this on the radio. I guess Joe talked to Andy before the game. His reasoning for playing Cairo is that he’s an energy guy and he felt the Yankees needed energy today.

      So there you go. Miguel Cairo, the Human Greenie.

    3. April 9th, 2006 | 11:41 pm

      Come on Steve, join the fire Joe Torre movement with me!

      firetorre.blogspot.com

    4. baileywalk
      April 10th, 2006 | 9:11 am

      This idea that Cairo is an “energy” guy is ridiculous. I’d respect Torre more if he was honest. Cairo is his “boy” — someone who “went to war for him” — and since he’s not going to sit Cano, Jeter or A-Rod, the only way to get him into the game is at first. Torre runs the team when they’re on the field (unfortunately) and if he wants one of his “boys” playing first base, then fine — but just be honest. He doesn’t like Andy as much as he likes Cairo because Andy never had the chance to “battle” and show his “guts” and isn’t an “old pro,” which is what gives Torre multiple hard-ons.

      When Cairo came in the other night as a defensive replacement at first, I’m sure Andy put a gun to his head. Because as soon as that happened the sign was clear: outside of pinch-running or getting in during a blowout, Andy will NOT be playing on this team. I guess this will just soften the blow when, next year, he’s replaced by Eric Duncan.

      And, Steve, what’s up with the negativity? I wouldn’t take you as a guy who would get down on this team over a half-dozen games. Not an impressive win? When the offense knocks out the starting pitcher after two innings and our starting pitcher only gives up one run, that’s an impressive win. Moose and Johnson have both looked great this year — and everyone said they needed to pitch effectively for the team to have a chance. So it’s time to end the melancholy. Not to mention that this season is so long the New York football Giants will start playing again before the baseball season is over. We’ve got a loooooong way to go.

    5. April 10th, 2006 | 9:35 am

      I dunno bailey, maybe I’m just still hung over from games 2 throuh 5? Maybe if they were different I WOULD HAVE ENJOYED 6 MORE?

      Down – it’s funny for me. I don’t want his head on a stick. I just want him to do better. Is that possible?

    6. Raf
      April 10th, 2006 | 9:45 am

      They were talking about this on the radio. I guess Joe talked to Andy before the game. His reasoning for playing Cairo is that he’s an energy guy and he felt the Yankees needed energy today.
      =========

      If this is true, Torre needs to be smacked.

    7. April 10th, 2006 | 10:21 am

      We won 10-1. Off with his head!

    8. baileywalk
      April 10th, 2006 | 10:32 am

      Steve, look what you’re saying. Games TWO through FIVE. There are 162 games in the season! Getting hung up on four games seems ridiculous. Especially since two of those games had good pitching performances from the starting pitchers. And in two of those games the Yankees scored three and four runs, respectively, off of two difficult pitchers (Harden and Haren). Torre mismanaged two of those losses.

      Even a great team loses over 60 games in the year. People need to keep that in mind.

      And, as far as I’m concerned, pitching is all that matters right now. You know the hitting will come, because we won’t be facing this kind of pitching again for a while — Harden, Haren, Santana (who’s better than advertised) all in a week.

    9. JohnnyC
      April 10th, 2006 | 11:16 am

      “I don’t want his head on a stick. I just want him to do better. Is that possible?”

      Steve, if we’re consigning Bernie to the scrap heap based on an undeniable downtrend in his skills and 99% of all observers think it’s impossible, short of PEDs, for him to regain his late ’90s form…then how in the heck do you expect a 66 year old man, whose best managing skill as admitted by even his staunchest supporters is fending off George’s senile barbs, to “do better?” Strategy-wise he is lost without Zimmer, his handling of the pitching staff now hinges on the inexperienced Guidry, his pre-game preparation is hampered by the fact that Gene Michael is not advance-scouting 24/7 due to being 67 years old, and he doesn’t trust using the farm talent his “good friend and ally” Cashman offers him. How would any of that change?

    10. April 10th, 2006 | 11:25 am

      baileywalk – it really 5 games or 172 games?

      JohnnyC – I see your points, but, hope springs external, I guess……

    11. hopbitters
      April 10th, 2006 | 12:08 pm

      Haven’t you been paying attention, JohnnyC? Torre’s strength isn’t in managing the game. It’s in the much more important factor of making sure all the players get along so they can produce at the same level they produced everywhere else without him. That’s why everybody does get along, knows their role on the team, and feels confident in their standing.

      Sure, Cano had to be reassured that Torre didn’t hate him. But, you know, he’s just one malcontent. And Phillips? Sure Cash and Torre played up Phillips all ST as _the_ backup 1B/DH guy. And after a strong ST, he now has 2AB in 6 games, while Torre is busy bending over (backwards) for his boys.

      The Phillips situation is particularly irksome to me, because he’s a good guy by all accounts, he’s played well when given the opportunity, and the Yankees need him more than he needs them. I have a good friend who goes to the same church as Phillips in Tuscaloosa. He and his wife are apparently accomplished singers. Torre had instilled so much confidence in him over the offseason that they had made backup plans to tour with their choral group if he didn’t make the team. Then, the team spent all ST telling him he’s the prime DH/1B only to bench him for the first two series. But at least he’s a good in-game manager.

    12. gator49
      April 10th, 2006 | 12:34 pm

      2005….they were 11-19 in May….I’m not worried, especially since the pitching looks strong.

      I assure you- Andy Phillips ain’t texting noone and he ain’t asking to be traded, he’s just happy to be there…last I checked Andy Phillips hasn’t done much at the pro level

    13. hopbitters
      April 10th, 2006 | 1:47 pm

      So your contention is that they told him he’d play even though he’s not very good, and he should be happy with sitting on the bench while he could be enjoying a perfectly viable career and life outside of baseball if they hadn’t jerked him around? And that Cairo, meanwhile, with his career -94 RCAA, should be in there, because he’s proven himself?

    14. JohnnyC
      April 10th, 2006 | 3:13 pm

      Hop, I still prefer Goldman’s explanation (the shaky green tea serving hand)…at least it’d be something concrete. This new age-y “energy” and “cheerleading” stuff is as convincing as the claim that, 2 games into the season, the offense was “flat.” Personally, he’d be better off extending his explanation for the post-season failures of late to every regular season game. Pure luck. Sometimes the ball bounces your way and sometimes it bounces into Derek’s forehead. And, honestly, could anyone have predicted that Rivera wouldn’t even pitch until a meaningless 9th inning on Sunday? See what I mean? It’s kismet.

    15. baileywalk
      April 10th, 2006 | 4:41 pm

      “baileywalk – it really 5 games or 172 games?”

      ———————————————

      Sorry, Steve, I’m not sure what you mean. Anyway, my simple point was this: you’re not always going to be facing Harden and Haren. On most nights, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina going six or seven and giving up one or three runs is going to get it done.

    16. April 10th, 2006 | 4:59 pm

      I just mean, everyone says “It’s only 5 games.” But, are the last 5 games any different from the 162 and the ALDS that came before it? (162+5+5 =172.)

    17. Jen
      April 10th, 2006 | 5:09 pm

      //But, are the last 5 games any different from the 162 and the ALDS that came before it? (162+5+5 =172.)//

      I’d say that they are different. As corny and cliche as it is, I like to believe that each season is a new beginning. No sense in bringing last year’s baggage along with you.

    18. brockdc
      April 10th, 2006 | 7:20 pm

      I understand the desire for optimism, but this is roughly the same team as last year (slightly better bullpen, upgrade in CF, full year of Cano, everyone’s a year older), with the same tired manager making the same ill-advised on-field moves. All I’m saying is, get ready for another roller-coaster.

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