• September 10th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 10th, 2006 · Comments (26)

    This team is starting to get that “Today we play, today we win – dat’s it.” feel to it.

    Back on August 29th, Johnny Damon said:

    “I think we’re the best team out there,” Johnny Damon said. “We have to show it. We have to go for the jugular. We have to start abusing people.”

    Since Damon said that, including this win today, the Yankees have gone 8-4. And, if Scott Proctor gets one more out in one of those games, the record would be 9-3.

    Now, you have games like today – where usual heroes Damon, Melky and Jeter are joined by guys like Fasano and Green.

    This team is starting to form an attitude, and it’s a good one – it’s right in line with what Damon called for at the start of this run.

    Comments on September 10th @ The Orioles

    1. JeremyM
      September 10th, 2006 | 5:06 pm

      You know, I’ve never caught a foul ball at a professional baseball game. But if I can somehow make it to a Yankees game in the next week or so (unlikely), I just may catch Scott Proctor’s arm!

      And how about Bruney? I’m loving this guy. He might end up as a big piece of the puzzle.

      October could be a lot of fun, but luck seems to play such a big role in these things that I’m going to be just a huge ball of nerves until then. But this team does seem to have that swagger that has been missing, and I think Johnny Damon has a lot to do with that.

      Jeter’s 9 RBIs from 100 and 2 runs from 100. If he can somehow pull out the batting title, he’ll get his MVP I think.

    2. MJ
      September 10th, 2006 | 6:31 pm

      I listened to the first 4 innings and then had to go to the ER (nasty bug bite that won’t heal) so I got home in time to see the 9th inning. Someone please tell me why Proctor had to pitch a game with a 5 run lead when Dotel was available?

    3. Raf
      September 10th, 2006 | 6:50 pm

      I suppose Bruney is ahead of Dotel in the pecking order. Is Dotel hurt?

      I was @ Shea earlier today, but it was nice seeing the score on the out of town scoreboard.

      Fasano and Green went deep? Hokey smoke!

    4. JohnnyC
      September 10th, 2006 | 7:35 pm

      Torre said in the post-game that he still “trusts” Villone and that his problems today probably stem from “not having been out there in a while.” It couldn’t be because he couldn’t break 89 on the gun.

    5. September 10th, 2006 | 7:47 pm

      ~~Someone please tell me why Proctor had to pitch a game with a 5 run lead when Dotel was available?~~

      They don’t call him Everyday Scottie Proctor for nuthin’ folks!

    6. Rich
      September 10th, 2006 | 8:18 pm

      It’s not even worth talking about Proctor anymore. He is stubborn, and Joe apparently doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Villone is probably shot, but Bruney is stepping up so that’s fine (I guess). The funniest thing to me though is Dotel. Assuming he’s healthy (which he probably isn’t), Joe is probably trying not to overload him by pitching him too often or in high leverage situations. He could, however, still be hurt. Then again, Joe probably just doesn’t trust him. I don’t really understand the situation that is the Yanks bullpen, but if this team loses in the postseason because of it, there will be a lot of upset fans calling for Joe’s head.

      When RJ had his no-hitter going, Joe and Cash said they were “relieved he gave up a hit” because they were worried about his pitch count. Keeping him “fresh” for the postseason is a big concern, so a 125 pitch outing would be bad right now. I obviously agree, but why doesn’t that get translated to the rest of the ‘pen? Hopefully it won’t become an issue. That’s pretty much the only thing we can all hope for. I’m nervous, not only for this year, but for a guy like Proctor’s career. He must be in some serious pain after pitching these days

    7. RICH
      September 10th, 2006 | 9:10 pm

      OK all you geniuses:

      What bullpen strategy do you want to use?

      Reading these comments I learn:

      1. Dotel is the best pitcher who ever was. Some here say he’s healthy. Others here say he’s not healthy.

      2. Villone has always pitched great throughout his career but Torre has ruined him. Same with Proctor.

      3. The postseason series has been lost because this fantastic collection of relievers who, until they became Yankees had never given up a run, has been ruined by Torre.

      Complainers and whiners.

      Again, who here will lay out a specific plan?

      Then everyone here can go back to nitpicking and whining about how Dioner Navarro and Brad Halsey should never have been traded.

    8. DFLNJ
      September 10th, 2006 | 9:37 pm

      Rich, is it your opinion then that Torre’s bullpen usage is not a concern? (I’m genuinely asking.)

    9. JeremyM
      September 10th, 2006 | 9:47 pm

      Proctor has logged the most innings of any reliever in baseball last I heard. Should he be pitching up 5 in the 9th inning?
      Torre has went back and forth on Villone, first saying it was mechanical, then saying he had been a little overused, and now he’s saying that he’s rusty. So which is it? Villone has been pitching over his head up until this recent stretch, so a lot of this is reverting to form most likely, but when the manager gives 3 different answers as to why he has been ineffective, it gives me some concern regarding his bullpen management.

      Most managers do not effectively use their bullpen so it’s not like this is just a Torre-thing. But, we can still comment on it. And I’m sorry, but using Proctor in blowouts at this point is indefensible. The pen is loaded with guys that can get 3 outs without giving up 5 runs.

    10. christopher
      September 10th, 2006 | 10:04 pm

      The reason why Proctor has the most innings of any reliever is because he can handle it. He needs/likes to pitch every other day. Proctor has said this, Torre has said this, Guidry has said this, Kerrigan has said this. If he didn’t pitch in the game today, he would have thrown 30 pitches on the side. I don’t understand why people are concerned about Proctor’s potential fatigue, but couldn’t care less about using Dotel – who obviously is not ready to pitch more than a couple times a week.

      And why is there any concern at all about how Torre uses his bullpen? If you look back at his accomplishments over the past 10+ years, Torre’s biggest strength has been bullpen management. Look at the stats. Look at the playoff performances. All of Torre’s workhorses – Rivera, Nelson, Stanton, Mendoza – all dominated in the post-season despite heavy workloads during the regular season. Even lower tier guys like Weathers, Lloyd, Sturtze, and the lovable Scott Proctor put up good playoff numbers. Is there any evidence that Torre burns out his bullpen(and don’t say Tom Gordon. He was choke artist before he got to the Yanks)? Can anyone name a manager who has had better production out of his bullpen in both the regular season and playoffs?

    11. September 10th, 2006 | 10:25 pm

      Rich – I could counter with a statement that says “Only complainers and whiners complain and whine about complainers and whiners.”

      There, I’ve run rings around you logically!

      J/K.

    12. Raf
      September 11th, 2006 | 12:17 am

      1. Dotel is the best pitcher who ever was. Some here say he’s healthy. Others here say he’s not healthy.
      ========
      I never said he’s the best pitcher who ever was, but with the $$ the Yanks have sunk in him, it would be nice to see what he has. If he’s going to be on the postseason roster, he needs to throw, and get his rhythm, and get back into synch. These kinds of games, games where it’s over early, are the kinds of games Dotel should be pitching in. Especially, if he doesn’t have Torre’s “trust”

      I’m working with the assumption that he’s healthy.

    13. baileywalk
      September 11th, 2006 | 12:17 am

      Villone is officially Sturtzed. He’s done. And it’s not just about “reverting back to form,” either. As JohnnyC pointed out, his velocity is down two-to-three miles an hour. He can’t throw the slider for strikes, he’s lost velocity on his fastball, and his command is shot — he could easily go from a bright spot early in the year to a disaster in the playoffs.

      I’m still not sold on the fact that Bruney is real. I still think the guy is going to turn back into the guy he was before getting here (the Yankees should be thankful he’s here now, and use him, but not expect him to be around next year). What’s great about Bruney is that he’s a strikeout machine. There’s nothing more valuable then a bullpen guy you can call on for a strikeout (tends to make getting out of jams easier).

      I also don’t get what they’re doing with Dotel. We really don’t know what Dotel has right now — he simply hasn’t worked enough. Right now they need to get him some work to see if it’s worth it to bring him onto the post-season roster. I thought today’s game — a five-run lead — was a perfect spot. The odd thing about Torre’s usage of Dotel is that earlier he brought him into a tie game in the ninth — but now he seems like he doesn’t trust him in even blowouts, though trust shouldn’t factor in.

      The bottom line is that Dotel needs to get work, and even if Scott likes to pitch a lot (which I’ve never heard), he doesn’t have to pitch EVERY day — five-run leads with ten-game leads is why you have Beam, Veras and Henn.

    14. nyny
      September 11th, 2006 | 12:30 am

      Christopher and RICH, read this and tell me you still don’t think Torre’s got a problem with bullpen management.

      http://tinyurl.com/o3f7m

    15. baileywalk
      September 11th, 2006 | 1:09 am

      Christopher and RICH, read this and tell me you still don’t think Torre’s got a problem with bullpen management.

      http://tinyurl.com/o3f7m
      —————————-

      That is an amazing article, nyny. Thanks for posting that link. This should absolutely be required reading for anyone who defends Torre’s use of the bullpen. What an absolutely fascinating, though horrifying read. It’s particularly interesting to hear how overworked Mo was in ’01. And how Torre has been doing this his entire career (he’s sent a dozen pitchers to the DL).

      What’s also interesting is how Torre, as both a player and a manager, sent every team he went to right into the dumper. He wasn’t just a bad manager — he actually made his teams spiral out of control and fail. Until he got to the Yanks, that is — when the talent was too good for him to screw up.

    16. RICH
      September 11th, 2006 | 5:21 am

      Well, no one’s still set forward a plan for bullpen usage.

      I don’t want to stifle anyone’s criticisms since it takes attention away from the Arod’s a cancer conversations but I’ll repeat my first thought – everyone’s always sniping about Torre’s bullpen usage but no one lays out a better plan.

      I’m not thrilled with how Torre (and Guidry) manage the bullpen but I don’t see anything tremendously terrible with it. My impression is commenters think relievers all around baseball have long, glorious careers and only get worn out and/or disabled when they play for Torre.

      Look around, who are the good (not great, just solid) relievers who have been around more than 2 years? There’s not that many. I think Torre is playing the hot hand if he gets one and the managers who don’t are probably getting worse bullpen results than Torre is. Anaheim’s ensemble has had nice results but I don’t see another team, or even that many individual pitchers who maintain performance for more than a year or two.

    17. christopher
      September 11th, 2006 | 9:22 am

      Bailey – aren’t you the same guy who said that Proctor should never, ever, ever pitch in the Yankees bullpen? You never wanted to see him in a close game. And now your worried about Torre wearing him out?

      Is it a coincidence that Proctor’s worst performances have come after several games off? Take a look at his game log. Every single one of his bad performances happened after having two or more days off. Proctor is at his best when he’s pitching every other day. Also, is it just a coincidence that Proctor’s ERA in May was 5.50, June – 5.06, July – 3.86, August – 3.27, and September – 0.00? He’s gotten better every month. The more work he gets, the better his numbers are. He’s shown absolutely no sign of wear and tear, but there are still Yankee fans who will break into tears if they see him warming up in the bullpen. It’s ridiculous.

      And what is the fascination everyone has with Villone? He is the 5th most important reliever on the team. If your number 10 pitcher can’t eat innings in a blowout, then he shouldn’t be there. Villone is a guy who’s pitched 80+ games through out his career and people are throwing a fit because he may break 70 games with the Yankees. He’s here to pitch.

    18. baileywalk
      September 11th, 2006 | 10:56 am

      Chris, Chris, Chris. You’re going to have to show me this quote where I said I “never, ever” wanted Proctor to pitch for us. Never happened. In fact, just the other day I called Proctor one of the team’s MVPs. Like most people, I didn’t want anything to do with Proctor before this season started, because to be blunt he sucked, but he’s been amazing for this team this year and I can’t imagine we would have a ten-game lead without him.

      This idea that guys like to pitch and want to pitch — therefore it’s okay to pitch them every day — is empty macho bullshit. Having pitched in my life, I can say with absolute certainty that pitching takes a lot out of your arm, and warming up and pitching on consecutive days is even worse. If it doesn’t have an effect on Proctor when he pitches a lot, why does his velocity go from 96-97 down to 93-94? Mentally he may want to pitch every day, but he’s human, and his shoulder needs a break. When you pitch every day your fastball loses life and your breaking balls aren’t as sharp. It’s just a fact — not some anti-Torre conspiracy theory.

      As for Villone: he’s only pitched those amounts of innings while spot-starting or starting. He is going to far exceed his pure-relief innings pitched this year (and he’s no kid).

      I’m not sure I understand the idea that you shouldn’t care about your “fifth most important bullpen guy.” What’s the pecking order: Mo, Farns, Proctor, Bruney, Villone? What happens if you need innings in playoff games back to back? Will Proctor and Bruney throw five each? Everyone in the bullpen in the post-season is important. As yesterday’s game shows, you can dominate a team for six innings, then a walk, a bloop, and a home run takes you right out of the game.

      This is for RICH (the king of hyperbole): you want an alternative bullpen plan? Here’s one: use everyone in the bullpen. With an established hierarchy, don’t use the “big guys” in “small guy” situations. If the lead is more than three, don’t use Proctor, Farnsworth or Mo. Dotel (especially), Beam, Veras, Henn, even Rasner can hold down the lead. The baseball season is a long one, these guys have thrown a lot of innings, so since you have a nice lead right now, let them rest up for the quickly-approaching playoffs.

      During the regular season, here’s my advice for Torre: don’t panic. In the regular season, if he has a five-run lead and the other team scores a run in the sixth inning or so, he panics and rushes everyone up in the bullpen. If the lesser bullpen guy gives up another run, then he rushes up (in this case) Proctor and Farns. Just chill out. It seems like Torre’s panic gets into the pitcher’s mind — he knows he’s on such a short leash that his failure is almost predetermined. If Torre had just a little bit more trust for his second-tier relievers, guys like Proctor and Farnsworth wouldn’t have to have 100 appearances a year.

    19. christopher
      September 11th, 2006 | 12:18 pm

      I haven’t read one post on hear calling for Proctor to pitch every day. He’s going to pitch between 75-80 games this year, just like the good setup man on other contending teams.

      I apologize for misquoting you Bailey — here are two comments that you did say:

      “The guy I want least with the game on the line is Proctor. Hasn’t it been shown enough that the guy can’t pitch out of the ‘pen? HE NEEDS TO START.”

      “Listen up: PROCTOR WILL BE A STARTER THIS YEAR. They have already said he will be a starter with the Clippers in AAA. That’s why he STARTED in the spring. Because he is now a starter. Because he couldn’t cut it as a reliever, but Cashman thinks he has a decent arm, and he had one good start in the bigs, they were turning him back into a starter. Again, this is why he STARTED in the spring and did not work out of the ‘pen. He only made the team because of injuries. When he gets sent back down in a week or two, he will go to AAA and START. Because he is now a starter. I can’t comprehend what you don’t understand about this.”

      Maybe Torre gets a little credit for sticking with Proctor and putting him in a situation to be one of the Yankees’ MVPs?

    20. baileywalk
      September 11th, 2006 | 1:18 pm

      Duuuude, you are a friggin’ tool. You must be a big Fox News fan. That quote is from the START OF THE YEAR, before Proctor had his turn-around. As you’ll NOTE, I said I wasn’t a Proctor fan at the start of the year because of last year’s pitiful performance. I was, however, impressed by the starts he made in spring training. What I say in that post was true — Proctor only made the team out of spring training as a reliever because of injury, and at the time Cashman said he was going to go to Columbus to start.

      And going back over six months to get a quote from me is pretty sick. (A little context on the second quote, which is useless in this argument: I was obviously battling it out with some numbskull — you, Chris? — who couldn’t accept the fact that Cashman said he was starting in AAA that year.)

      If you can find one Yankee fan who wanted Proctor to be the seventh-inning man after last year, I’ll give you a million dollars. After all, the harshest truth about his performance is the fact that they were going to have him start in AAA (in other words, they had no confidence in him).

    21. Raf
      September 11th, 2006 | 1:49 pm

      And going back over six months to get a quote from me is pretty sick. (A little context on the second quote, which is useless in this argument: I was obviously battling it out with some numbskull — you, Chris? — who couldn’t accept the fact that Cashman said he was starting in AAA that year.)
      =============
      Actually, the point in that argument was that if Proctor was going to help the big club, it was to be as a reliever.

    22. christopher
      September 11th, 2006 | 2:09 pm

      That’s exactly my point. At the start of the year, you thought Torre was an idiot for using Proctor at all. Now he’s an idiot for using him too much. Maybe in your Playstation fantasy world you have the ability to win 100 games without using any relief pitchers, but that’s not how the real world works, JJ.

      If you can’t take people disagreeing with you, maybe you should stop commenting. You have a mental breakdown everytime someone posts a comment that doesn’t align with your view. Instead of backing up any of your rants with facts, you resort to name calling. Sounds like you’re the one with a little Fox News in ya.

    23. baileywalk
      September 11th, 2006 | 3:01 pm

      Chris, I don’t have a “mental breakdown” when someone disagrees with me. I get angry when someone resorts to something this stupid.

      What relevancy does a six-month-old quote have to an issue of today? When I wrote that, no one even knew Proctor was going to be on the team. When I wrote that, no one knew Proctor had improved so much.

      Proctor was coming off a very mediocre year. AT THAT TIME (context is a beautiful thing) I didn’t want Proctor pitching in a close game. Now, having seen Proctor pitch all year, and knowing what he can do, and how he can help the team, NO, I DON’T WANT HIM PITCHING EVERY DAY.

      Here’s what I find weird. Either two things happened there:

      1) You actually remembered something I wrote SIX MONTHS ago, or –

      2) You went back through every post — or did a Google search — to find it, which is just as bad.

      But if you would rather Proctor pitch every day and lose miles an hour on his fastball, and prefer to use him while guys like Beam and Veras are around for mopup, hey, that’s fine with me.

    24. christopher
      September 11th, 2006 | 4:52 pm

      Don’t give yourself that much credit. It doesn’t take a google search to find your gems.

    25. baileywalk
      September 11th, 2006 | 5:44 pm

      Chris, I find it very creep that you called me “J.J.” (I wasn’t aware that you could see a person’s sign-on name — mostly because I don’t care to know anything about any other poster.) So unless I do it accidentally, I won’t be responding to anything you post, fearing that you’ll boil my dog or cut up my girlfriend’s face with a razor.

      Good luck to you, local psychopath. Have fun talking to the voices in your head.

    26. christopher
      September 11th, 2006 | 8:12 pm

      You’re paranoid about me killing your dog, but I’m the psychopath because I can read the screen name that you chose??? Ok. Another persuasive argument.

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