• Tino, Justice, Paulie, and Girardi Agree – Yanks Lifeless

    Posted by on May 17th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    The old guard is letting the new guard have it. From Johnette Howard

    A couple of weeks ago when I happened to run into [Tino] Martinez in an airport restaurant in Cincinnati and the Yankees happened to be playing — and getting routed — on television right above us, I asked him what he thought was wrong with the team and he just shrugged amiably and said, “Aw, they’ll get it together. There’s still time.” But by this week, Martinez’s assessment dramatically changed. During an appearance Tuesday on Michael Kay’s ESPN Radio show, he flatly questioned the Yankees’ effort and desire.

    Justice, who worked the Yankees’ loss Thursday for the YES Network along with O’Neill and Girardi, cited the same things. Justice said when he looks in the Yankees dugout now, “You don’t see energy in there … too many guys here are just laid back, expecting it to happen. And it isn’t going to just happen. We’re in the middle of May and their longest winning streak is just three games.”

    Already, Boston owns its largest division lead over the Yankees at this point in the season since 1912.

    “Someone has to fight — or show they’ll fight,” Girardi said.

    O’Neill agreed, then added: “A few years ago, it seemed like the Yankees almost seemed to be surprised to be losing in a game or in a series. Now it seems like [losing is] something they’re almost used to doing.”

    No “effort” or “desire.” No “energy.” Further, “too many guys here are just laid back.” And, it “seems like losing is something they’re almost used to doing.”


    Don’t you usually fire the manager when you start to hear things like that about your ballclub?

    Comments on Tino, Justice, Paulie, and Girardi Agree – Yanks Lifeless

    1. Don
      May 17th, 2007 | 11:08 pm

      Yeah, you’ll get your fondest wish Steve if the Yankees lose the next two series, that’s my gut feeling. Most likely then the team will be 12 or so out and Torre will get the axe.

      But I’ve posted a certain sentiment on this wonderful blog a long while, that this team lacks enough players with that certain ‘fire’ in them, or heart, if you will. Now one or two have chuckled at that, not understanding it really, but that is what the team needs.

      A new manager won’t matter in the long haul. You can’t get blood from a turnip.

      Elsewhere, how can you explain 3 RBI’s in 20 games from Alex? Yeah, Joe’s fault. Abreu, that’s Joe’s fault too. Not the player(s), but Joe Torre’s.

    2. May 17th, 2007 | 11:19 pm

      FWIW, it’s hardly ever the manager’s fault. But, you can’t fire the team.

      So, you take a shot and hope that you can pull a Bob Lemon or a Jack McKeon and get someone in here who can bring some life out of the team. mid-season – somehow.

      The talent is there. Few teams have as much talent as the Yankees. But, it seems that many more team have more energy than them. Somehow you have to make that happen.

      Sometimes it’s a player – like when the Phillies got Pete Rose. But, since the Yankees cannot add a player now, you have to take a shot and see if a new MGR can stir the pot some, IMHO.

    3. brockdc
      May 18th, 2007 | 12:00 am

      This may sound a bit melodramatic, but I’m taking a break from this team for a while. Justice is right – they are lifeless and incredibly boring to watch. I will start watching games again, probably within a week; but I just don’t feel like these guys merit my time and attention at the moment.

    4. Raf
      May 18th, 2007 | 12:28 am

      Back in my day…

      Anyway, they traded three “fire” guys away in Unit, Sheffield & Wright. So, do we want them back? What about Damon, the happy go lucky “idiot?” Mike Meyers not keeping everyone loose enough? Melky and Cano aren’t infecting the team with youthful enthusiasm? My, my, my, what a difference a year makes!


    5. Raf
      May 18th, 2007 | 12:32 am

      Sometimes it’s a player – like when the Phillies got Pete Rose.
      When Rose came to the Phillies in 1979, they finished in 4th place. Before that, they won 3 consecutive division titles.

    6. baileywalk
      May 18th, 2007 | 2:04 am

      Raf with the historical smackdown.

      Of all the comments by the ex-players, I think O’Neill’s is the most accurate. They are starting to get used to losing.

      I’m not a big Torre fan, but I think firing him would make the team even worse. I think certain players — like Jeter and Mo — would probably be sick to their stomachs. It would also seem a bit desperate, and it would also allow Torre to go out a martyr (which I doubt Big Stein wants) instead of someone partly responsible for this mess.

      The only thing about this topic, and saying certain players aren’t “championship” players and some players are comfortable losing, is that NO ONE likes to lose. And as anyone who’s ever been on ANY team knows, winning is a lot more fun than losing, and I’m not going to think so low of these players to say that they’re “giving up” or “quitting.”

      It’s less about heart and more about slumps — namely the ones A-Rod, Giambi, Abreu and Cano are in. Add those slumps to guys like Melky and Minky not really being that great to begin with, and you’re asking Jeter, a red-hot Posada and a so-so Matsui to carry the team offensively. Not happening.

      I wouldn’t mind Torre going Krakatoa — just for giggles (and to see if he’s awake) — but I’m not really sure it would make a difference.

    7. Don
      May 18th, 2007 | 2:35 am

      I don’t believe that any players are “comfortable” losing, they just don’t necessarily care. This cuts across all facets of life, not just athletes, so denying it is denying human nature.

    8. xxxdanxxx
      May 18th, 2007 | 3:03 am

      “It would also seem a bit desperate”

      After signing clemens I wouldn’t worry about looking desperate.

    9. antone
      May 18th, 2007 | 7:51 am

      I was just thinking the same thing yesterday after they lost to the White Sox. This team just doesn’t seem to have that fire, it almost seems like they just go out there and expect things to happen like they lost their edge.

      Maybe they don’t even realize it, maybe they need someone from the outside to come and whip them into shape. To be honest, I don’t think any of us really know if this team would be better with or without Torre. I think it’s silly to even debate it because we really don’t know. Did anyone ever think Terry Francona would win a world series? I sure didn’t.

      The one thing I do know is, I don’t think we should worry about Jeter and Mo if Torre got fired. Does anyone really think they wouldn’t give 100% for any manager they played for?

      Also, is it possible that Clemens is that guy that could energize the team? He is pretty fiery, the only thing is the pitching has been fine lately, it’s the hitting that disappeared.

      There is still plenty of time to get this thing turned around so I’m not worried yet but it still feels like this team needs more of an edge.

    10. Raf
      May 18th, 2007 | 7:52 am

      “Someone has to fight — or show they’ll fight,” Girardi said.
      So where was Girardi during the M’s – Yanks brouhaha?

    11. RICH
      May 18th, 2007 | 8:46 am

      Antone, what kind of fire do you want to see? I don’t see physical mistakes in the field.

      If they play well it’ll look like they have fire, if they don’t play well then it looks like they’re blase’.

      I just hope the pitching stays good when the hitting comes back.

    12. JJay
      May 18th, 2007 | 8:52 am

      “This may sound a bit melodramatic, but I’m taking a break from this team for a while. Justice is right – they are lifeless and incredibly boring to watch. I will start watching games again, probably within a week; but I just don’t feel like these guys merit my time and attention at the moment.”

      I’m with you brock. I’m not going to ‘avoid’ The Yankees but I’m certainly not going to go out of my way to catch any of the games for a while. I have plans all weekend and probably will only see a half an hour or so.

    13. snowball003
      May 18th, 2007 | 11:56 am

      I knew once the word “desperate” was mentioned, someone would bring up the Clemens signing. What about that was so desperate? I was listening to Mike and the Mad Dog (bad idea) the day after that and they seemed to agree. Vehemently. Would it have been desperate of the Astros to sign him? Would it have been desperate of the Red Sox to sign him? Cashman said that they were pursuing Clemens since before the season started, when they didn’t know that the starting rotation would be dropping like flies. It only seems desperate because of how much money he’s getting and because they allowed the “family plan.” To me, the amount of money the Red Sox gave Matsuzaka just to TALK to him is far more desperate-looking. You know what you’re getting from Clemens. Dice-K was a gamble.

      That’s my rant for the day. Try not to kill me.

    14. antone
      May 18th, 2007 | 12:37 pm

      I did not see the Clemens thing as desperate. Desperate would be signing any bum off the street and giving him millions of dollars to pitch for you. This was something they needed to do considering their pitching problems and it was a smart move if they want to improve their chances of winning this year.

      Rich – This team might not make mistakes in the field but there is a nonchalant type of feel I just get from this team over the past few years. Almost like they are so used to things being the way they are like they are too comfortable. I honestly don’t know if this makes a difference or not, I was just saying that it seems like they don’t have that same “we know we are better than you” edge, so I guess maybe the team isn’t as confident as in the past?

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