• July 4th @ The Indians

    Posted by on July 4th, 2006 · Comments (17)

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    Worst Yankees Losses

    Aug. 31, 2004: Cleveland 22, Yankees 0
    July 4, 2006: Cleveland 19, Yankees 1
    June 17, 1925: Detroit 19, Yankees 1
    July 29, 1928: Cleveland 24, Yankees 6
    July 19, 1987: Texas 20, Yankees 3

    Funny, in that 2004 game, it was Jake Westbrook, like tonight, who got the benefit of all those runs. Actually, that 2004 game started out like this one tonight for the Yankees. Javy Vazquez allowed 6 runs in 1.3 IP to start that game. Tonight, Chacon allowed 7 runs in 1.3 IP to start this game.

    I had tickets to that 2004 game and sold them to someone that I worked with at that time. The next morning, I told him “I will never sell you tickets again. You’re bad luck.” But, who can I blame for today?

    I think it has to start and end with Shawn Chacon. Don’t get me wrong, last year Chacon and Aaron Small were Cinderella Men for the Yankees. But, there was evidence that suggested that was just a lightning strike. There were stats that said Chacon was just lucky last year.

    The Yankees have already pushed the button on Small. It’s time to do it now with Chacon as well. Yes, he’s a great guy and super in the clubhouse. But, he’s not a good pitcher. This season, he’s pitching like I said that he would when the Yankees were going after him last season.

    Give Ramiro Mendoza, Steven White, or Jorge De Paula a chance. They’ve been pitching OK at Columbus. Put it this way, could they do any worse than Chacon has lately?

    Comments on July 4th @ The Indians

    1. MJ
      July 4th, 2006 | 10:09 pm

      Considering how Chacon was going before he went on the DL, I think it’s worth trying to sort him out. He’s been awful, no doubt, but since there really aren’t any other options (Ramiro Mendoza is simply not an option), the team should make Gator earn his dough.

      All this aside, it’s always nice to know that the Yanks think so much of themselves that they can go on vacation a full week before the All-Star Game.

    2. baileywalk
      July 4th, 2006 | 11:10 pm

      Watching this game was like passing a kidney stone. Just not as much fun. Though I did stick it out till the last pitch (I can’t believe that Indians’ reliever hasn’t given up a run all year with his average stuff).

      There’s really nothing you can say here. Chacon was awful, the bullpen was awful, and the offense was pitiful (two straight games where they scored in the first and then never again, though they got men on base).

      As I’ve stated before, I dislike Torre. A lot. But I have to give him major props for his little pep talk to T.J. Beam. Beam got rocked for six runs in less than an inning and he really looked upset. Even though Torre was in a foul mood, he took the time to pat him on the back and explain that one bad inning doesn’t mean you don’t believe here. It was a rather nice moment in an abominable game. It was the best managing Torre has done in YEARS.

      Also, Chacon is lost. He was throwing his fastball right over the plate. It’s time for the Yankees to DL him (his leg, his arm, his whatever) and let him work things out in AAA (I don’t want to cut him because I think he can turn things around). For the time being, bring up Steven White. He’s made the transition to AAA pretty well and he throws fairly hard without walking many. It’s worth it to give him a start before the All-Star Break and see what they have. I think he can, at the very least, eat some innings for them.

    3. Joel
      July 4th, 2006 | 11:27 pm

      Of course the pitching was awful tonight. But the more disturbing trend is the offense. I did not believe this (an assist to Josh) until I saw this myself, but over the last 30 days or 26 games, our offense is 22nd in baseball–far behind the big boys in Boston, Chicago and Detroit. We are losing games that we bashed our way to winning last year. Right now, this is a 88-92 win non-playoff team.

      Here’s the question: Are we willing to trade Philip Hughes for Soriano or Abreu? Because if we want to have any chance in 2006, a Reggie Sanders or David Dellucci is not going to make the difference. And we’re not getting an impact player for anything less than Hughes.

    4. July 4th, 2006 | 11:34 pm

      FWIW, the NYT tonight said that “Discounting their 16-run outburst on Sunday, the Yankees have averaged less than three runs a game since June 23.” Agreed, the “O” needs help – badly.

    5. Joel
      July 4th, 2006 | 11:48 pm

      That’s right Steve. So what do we do about it?

      Do we make a small change not involving Hughes and hope we can tread water until Matsui and Sheffield come back, knowing that we could be 9 games out on August 15; or do we try to win this year by dealing Hughes for Soriano.

      I know I am probably in the minority, but I do not feel like chucking this season away because Hughes may be a number 1 starter in 2010.

      As Omar Minaya once said to his boss Steve Phillips: “Prospects get you fired.”

      Let’s make the deal.

    6. Don
      July 5th, 2006 | 1:21 am

      You don’t trade your top prospect, who is a pitcher, for an OF who is a FA.

      Soriano is not gonna be the difference between this team winning it all in 2006. Which ain’t happening anyway.

    7. July 5th, 2006 | 7:43 am

      Didn’t the Yankees have enough of Soriano already? Why would they want to watch him chase pitches all over again?

    8. rbj
      July 5th, 2006 | 8:36 am

      Send Chacon to AAA to see if he’s truly dead, or only mostly dead.

      I would trade Hughes — for Liriano or Santana. Which ain’t gonna happen.

      What about trading Melky for an offensive upgrade in the OF?

    9. Joel
      July 5th, 2006 | 9:02 am

      Steve, you dismiss Soriano as if he was Enrique Wilson. He had a bad series against the Marlins in ’03. Big deal.

      I’ll take enough of Soriano’s 26 homers and 55 RBI in half a season–in a very tough stadium for home run hitters and with little protection in the Washington lineup.

      He is entering his prime and is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the game. He would be an immediate difference-maker for this team. We can easily resign him to a long-term deal and not exercise the option on Sheffield.

      I’m sure Hughes is a great double A prospect,but this team is built to win now. Jeter is 32, Damon 32, A-Rod 31, Giambi 35, Posada 35, Mussina 37, etc… I would be OK trading Hughes for a guy who may well be on his way to Cooperstown.

      We can still make the post-season if we get the offense going again. And once you get in, anything can happen.

    10. July 5th, 2006 | 9:41 am

      IIRC, Soriano was a bust in the ’03 ALCS too.

      Also, could his HR total this year be the NL not knowing that he’s a hacker? How has he done lately now that the league knows how to pitch to him?

    11. baileywalk
      July 5th, 2006 | 9:52 am

      Joel, no offense, but your dismissal of Hughes, and you saying “he’s probably a great double-A prospect,” tells me you don’t know much about Hughes or the impact he could have on this team. Hughes is now officially the best right-handed pitching prospect in the minors. It’s not going to take him till 2010 to be in the rotation. He’ll be there in ’08 at the latest. But with the way things have been going, he could even be there next year (to start or at mid-season).

      Soriano is not going to win the Yankees a world championship. As you say, this team is old, and Hughes is the type of player you build the next generation around. Hughes and Tabata are like Andy and Jeter — the homegrown guys you bring up and build a team around.

      I would hate to see the Yankees miss the playoffs this year — it would be embarrassing — but trading Hughes would be the dumbest thing the Yankees ever did. Yankee fans now cry about the young guys we gave away, even though most haven’t amounted to anything. Hughes will be a star somewhere. You know how Mets fans still weep when they see Scott Kazmir dominating? That will be us.

      Yankee fans drool over a Liriano or a Santana or Verlander or Kazmir — well, guess what? Hughes is that kind of pitcher. A young pitcher we drafted and developed who will make an impact on the team. Trading him would be a depressing move by the Yankees.

    12. Joel
      July 5th, 2006 | 9:58 am

      Oh come on! The guy is in a little slump and now the league “knows how to pitch to him?” Scouting reports are everywhere. The league knew his weaknesses from day one. If anything he has been at a disadvantage because this is his first season seeing NL pitching on a daily basis.

      You may not want to trade Hughes. Fine. But Soriano is a star–a proven 35-40 home run, 100 RBI, 30+ steals guy who is entering the prime of his career.

    13. baileywalk
      July 5th, 2006 | 10:10 am

      Sori isn’t exactly a kid at thirty years old. But even with his good year this season, his problems still exist: in 342 ABs he’s struck out 79 times and walked 32 times. His OBP is .334. He’s jacking mistakes out every time a pitcher makes them, but he’s still the same offensive player (hacks at everything and strikes out a ton). He’s also a lousy defensive player (in the outfield or the infield). Could he help the team? Probably. But I think it’s more likely he signs with them next year as a free agent. The Nats think they can get a good minor-league player for Sori. But he’s not worth Hughes.

    14. Joel
      July 5th, 2006 | 10:17 am

      Baileywalk, believe me I know what Hughes is. I know he is a great prospect.

      But the simple fact is that nobody knows what Hughes will be until he gets to the majors. There have been a ton of “can’t miss” guys like Hughes who never amounted to much. The guy could just as easily be Jaret Wright as he could be Roger Clemens. Pitching is the most iffy thing out there.

      And I, for one, do not moan and groan about the young talent we gave away. I happen to like signing free agent superstars and playing big games in October every year. For me, there will little consolation watching other teams play in October and, like an old-style Met fan, talk about the “great prospects” just around the corner.

      Derek Jeters and Mariano Riveras do not grow on trees and do not last forever. The future is now.

    15. MJ
      July 5th, 2006 | 10:49 am

      Joel, the future’s been now every year since April 2002 and every year we’ve come up short precisely because we’ve deviated from the course that made us great in the first place.

      Boston won their title in 2004 and has several years of Lester, Hansen, Papelbon, Delcarmen and other young arms to look forward to. That means that with their combination of young arms and big bags of money, they’ll be in the mix for several years. The Yankees are heading in that direction where they will combine their tremendous cash advantage to what is becoming a far better minor league system thanks to Hughes, Tabata, Jackson, and Cox.

      It’s always nice to win and be in the mix and the Yankees are most definitely in the mix. But in order for them to keep you happy by playing in Octobers years from now, they have to resist trading guys like Hughes for a shot in the dark that Soriano might be able to bring them back to the playoffs. If he doesn’t, the Yanks will have to watch Hughes spinning shutout innings for the other guy.

      I know that prospects might not amount to much but sometimes you have to find out for yourself. It hurts a lot less to get burned by a prospect that busts for you than to get burned by a prospect that goes on to All-Star games for someone else.

    16. baileywalk
      July 5th, 2006 | 11:05 am

      Joel, I find this sentence — “I happen to like signing free agent superstars and playing big games in October every year” — kind of amusing. When the Yankees won (’96-’01) they did it with a MIX of homegrown talent and free agents. But since then, it’s all been free agents (Mussina, Giambi, Matsui, Sheffield, Pavano) and we haven’t won squat. If the Yankees’ dynasty proves anything, it’s that you CAN’T buy a ring. You need a mix of players. I know it’s a broken record, but the Yankees had five homegrown players as major contributors in that run (Jeter, Mo, Posada, Andy and Bernie).

      The only way to stay alive in baseball is to have a strong farm system. Even if it’s to trade them to make deals. Hughes could blow his arm out tomorrow, but he could also win fifteen games in two years. When you have that potential in your hands, why give it away? The Yankees need to get younger, and that starts with Hughes, and hopefully continues with Cox, Tabata, Jackson, Duncan, etc., etc., etc.

    17. Joel
      July 5th, 2006 | 5:57 pm

      Making the playoffs every year since 2002 isn’t exactly “not winning squat.” The playoffs are short series crapshoots, and we have come out on the short end over the last few years.

      I’m not saying dump out the entire farm system. I just saying that sometimes a top prospect has to be dealt for a legitimate star.

      We can trade Hughes and still have a strong farm system.

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