• Stick Men Thrown Into The Volcano

    Posted by on October 14th, 2006 · Comments (5)

    From Jon Heyman

    Joe Torre’s job was spared, but the Yankees have fired their two long-time advance scouts, Wade Taylor and Chuck Cottier. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed the firings but said the decision was unrelated to the team’s disappointing postseason.

    “It had nothing to do with losing to Detroit, ” Cashman said.

    To replace Taylor, a former Yankees pitcher, and Cottier, Cashman said they’d hire two pro scouts, who will do the advance work plus other special assignments. The Yankees plan to hire scouts in different regions to cover the whole league and will also use more video work to scout opponents.

    “We’re still going to advance and have people in the stands,” Cashman said. “We’re just not renewing the two people we had.”

    These two were Stick Michael’s guys. Cash can say that this has nothing to do with the ALDS results…but I don’t believe it. File these terminations along with the claims by some players that the Tigers were better prepared for the series.

    I have to wonder if the Yankees focused more on the Twins, in terms of scouting for the ALDS, and then got caught with their pants down when the Tigers ended up as the Wild Card team at the last minute?

    Then again, seeing the results of the ALCS to date, maybe the A’s focused too much on the Twins and Yankees and not enough on the Tigers too?

    Comments on Stick Men Thrown Into The Volcano

    1. jonm
      October 14th, 2006 | 10:35 am

      I read the account of these dismissals in the Post and what struck me was that these seemed to be entirely Cashman’s decisions. These firings and the AAA move to Scranton make it seem obvious that Cashman has almost entirely consolidated power.

      I trust Cashman, but, in itself, it is a good thing that the Yankees have one man in charge. At the very least, it will provide some rational coherence to the organization. In other words, the Yankees will be run in a more corporate way. It also leads me to believe that we won’t see Womack and Wright-type signings this off-season.

    2. baileywalk
      October 14th, 2006 | 11:50 am

      Blaming scouts for a loss, or saying you weren’t “prepared” for a team you played SEVEN TIMES in the regular season, is the lamest excuse there is. Maybe I give the Yankees a pass on Kenny Rogers, because they had not faced him in a long time, but they knew what Verlander and Bonderman had. They faced them and beat them earlier in the year.

      Scouting hitters is much more important than pitchers, in my opinion. With hitters, you not only expose their weaknesses (pitch them high and in, can’t catch up to a fastball, fooled on changeups, etc.) but you can track where they hit the ball most often (which I think is the most important scouting). But with pitchers it doesn’t really matter. You can tell a guy everything a pitcher throws and in what count, but you still have to hit the ball. Even if you know a fastball is coming right down the middle, you still might foul it off (especially if it belongs to a guy like Verlander).

      Football players can go in unprepared. Baseball players? Not so much. If a hitter told me he wasn’t prepared, I’d tell him he was making excuses.

      And jon is right: Cash has taken over and that’s a good thing.

    3. Raf
      October 14th, 2006 | 12:15 pm

      Blaming scouts for a loss, or saying you weren’t “prepared” for a team you played SEVEN TIMES in the regular season, is the lamest excuse there is.
      Exactly. Scouting or not, what these guys throw/threw isn’t exactly a secret.

      The Tigers are actually a decent team.

      They won 95 games
      They led the league in ERA
      They led the league in shutouts

    4. MJ
      October 14th, 2006 | 8:32 pm

      This is sort of off-topic but I have to say that I’m glad my closer is Mo Rivera and not Huston Street. I won’t bother to look up the stats on him, I just know from seeing him this year that either he was injured or he’s just not that good. Every save opportunity is an adventure with him…

      Glad to see the Tigers won. Losing to the eventual champ is the only way to go.

    5. Don
      October 15th, 2006 | 1:36 am

      Wasn’t Street working in his third inning? Didn’t he save three in one series vs. the Yankees this season?

      Rather, say Billy Wagner.

      BTW……How many more years has MO got left? He’s done it for ten seasons now.

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