• May 28th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on May 28th, 2007 · Comments (17)

    You watch the way the Yankees went about their business today – even after a long pre-game meeting – and then you watch the way the Red Sox looked in the highlights of their game today, and you can see the difference between the having a losing and winning attitude.

    Sure, maybe it’s a chicken and the egg thing – meaning that your attitude is better when you win and terrible when you’re playing like the Yankees now. But, bottom line, regardless of the root cause, you have to change your attitude when it is like the one the Yankees have now. (And, that’s why Torre called the failed meeting today – to try and address their attitude issue.)

    After all, the Yankees need to do something. It’s not like they can take some players out of the starting line-up…because they have no bench whatsoever and there’s no one at Triple-A (or even Double-A) who can join this team and be a spark for them. There are no trades to be made at this point of the season.

    Basically, the Yankees are in a terrible losing funk now…and it’s become a losing state of mind. And, when someone has a mental situation like this, the only way to stop it is to break the pattern. It’s the same as when someone starts to go down a mental path that’s not good for them, but one that they’ve been down before and have been repeating (as a response to their situation). Maybe they have to get up and go for a walk. Or, maybe they need to get control of their breathing. Or, maybe someone has to slap them or throw cold water in their face. But, there has to be some shock to the system to get their attention away from repeating that bad mental state.

    You’ve seen this pattern-breaker happen for baseball teams in the past. Maybe it’s an on-the-field brawl that will wake up a team. Or, maybe it’s a big trade – moving someone who they team never thought would be traded. But, most of the time, it’s a matter of firing the manager.

    At this point in Yankeeland, it’s time to strongly consider letting Joe Torre go – in an attempt to shock the team and break the pattern that this unit has formed this season.

    It might work – or, it might do nothing. In any event, it’s the only thing left for the Yankees to try now. Perhaps someone “new” (read not someone on the current staff) can be a spark for this team to start winning some games and get back into the wildcard chase?

    Put it this way: How much worse could things get with a change? There’s probably little downside to letting Joe go, and, maybe, you might get lucky with the move.

    The Yankees are not a great team. But, they have some talent. It’s not like they’re the Devil Rays, Royals or Rangers. Even with their flaws, they should at least be a few games over .500 at this point. The fact that they’re playing this poorly, when they need (in the worst way) to show some life, is a sign that they have flatlined.

    It’s time for team management to break out the defibrillator. Again, maybe it’s too late? But, you have to at least try now. Inaction will only lead to no change in the Yankees current state. Taking some action, in an attempt to break the pattern, albeit not a guarantee of solution, at least shows that the Yankees don’t want this state to continue and are willing to try and stop it.

    It’s a Hail Mary pass type move, sure. But, it’s better than what’s happening now – which is the Yankees just taking a knee.

    It’s time for Big Stein and Cashman to huddle up between now and May 31st and get a new, fresh, guy at the wheel to start the month of June.

    Four months should be enough time to make a run at the wildcard – if the Yankees can get back to a better state now. But, that’s not going to happen without a change. It’s time for the only change possible at this point: Let Joe go.

    Comments on May 28th @ The Blue Jays

    1. May 28th, 2007 | 11:53 pm

      I kept on noticing how bad and old Torre was looking in the dugout tonight. He looked like he aged so quickly over almost literally overnight. He’s never looked this old before.

      I think he’s gone on the offday on Thursday.

    2. May 28th, 2007 | 11:56 pm

      He looked pained, for sure.

    3. baileywalk
      May 29th, 2007 | 12:26 am

      It’s funny — the team needs a shakeup, but I don’t get the feeling at all that Torre is going to get fired. They probably SHOULD fire him at this point — his team looks like it’s running in slow motion — but I just get this feeling that they’re going to stick with him.

      When the year started, the starting pitching was awful and then injured. The offense picked up the pitching staff. Now they’re getting decent pitching, but no offense, but the bullpen isn’t picking up either.

      I think Torre should be fired not just because of the overall attitude of the team, but also the decisions he makes. DeSalvo shouldn’t even be starting this game, but whatever. He pulls DeSalvo for Vizcaino and ‘Caino comes through! Wow. Then he brings in the back-to-normal Villone, who implodes. Oddly, he walks the bases loaded put leaves in Villone, a lefty, to face two righties that can’t hit a good fastball.

      And then what the hell was Mike Myers doing in the game? Did Torre suddenly feel he had to save the ‘pen?

      Ugh. It doesn’t even matter. The Yankees didn’t hit again anyway.

      The Yankees need to start looking to offload some of the slag. See if there’s any interest in Abreu. Try to get Giambi to waive his NTC. Same with A-Rod. Get Farnsworth and Vizcaino the hell out of here and bring up Britton and Ramirez. Get rid of Ron Villone and see if Zach Kroenke is for real. Maybe get rid of Myers, too.

      Incidentally, I can’t believe the kid they were facing tonight had been knocked around so much in the bigs. I thought he had really good stuff. Good, hard fastball. Nice curve. Of course he finally put it all together while facing this team.

    4. May 29th, 2007 | 1:15 am

      Incidentally, I can’t believe the kid they were facing tonight had been knocked around so much in the bigs. I thought he had really good stuff. Good, hard fastball. Nice curve. Of course he finally put it all together while facing this team.

      ya it seems like that happens to be the case with every pitcher the yanks face..

      and fine, I understand wanting to be rid of half of the bullpen, but how can you get on A-rods case? Sure he isn’t having the best month, but he had an all-time april, so one has to understand if he cools off a bit. He’s still hitting .242 for the month, and thats much higher then many other yankees, and he has 5 homers this month which again is higher then every yankees season except giambi and posada. A-rod isn’t the problem with the team, what are you going to do with him? trade him? and then what? he’s the best third basemen you can have, what are you going to do trade for less? Especially less offense? The team can’t hit as it is and you want to downgrade the offense?

    5. antone
      May 29th, 2007 | 8:01 am

      It’s still way too early to start dumping players. I mean the way they are playing right now they look like they have no chance at the playoffs but you can’t just give up, especially this early in the season. I think you won’t see any player dumping until after the all-star break the earliest.

      I almost think it’s time to get rid of Torre too but the only thing is I don’t think this team is going to win with a different manager right now, they are just flat out not hitting the ball when they need to. Plus, they are so far down there they should just wait until the end of the season and then fire him because he deserves that kind of respect at least for all the years he has put in with the team.

      Where the hell has Phelps been? He hasn’t started since the Mets game where he went 3-5. Shouldn’t he be in the lineup if the team is struggling to hit?

      And Torre is killing me with the pitching changes, he takes the guys out too early but then he leaves Mussina in there too long and takes him out another time when he should have left him in. I just don’t know what he’s thinking, he probably should be fired but at this point it’s probably too late, so I just think they should bite the bullet this year.

      And Bruney should be the 8th inning guy or coming in with runners on base in the 6th or 7th in a tough situation.

    6. May 29th, 2007 | 9:53 am

      I just thought of this today…

      The Yankees are Ronny Cammareri (the Nicholas Cage character from the movie Moonstruck). And, Big Stein is now Loretta Castorini (the Cher character).

      Stein needs to slap the Yankees in the face and tell them to “Snap out of it!”

      It’s just that simple.

    7. Yu Hsing Chen
      May 29th, 2007 | 10:06 am

      the reason Phelps isn’t playing is because Minkiewitcz have actually been not too bad in May, to a tune of .281/.338/.469 , so amusingly, the worest hitter on our team have actually been doing well enough, it’s the better hitteres aren’t killing us (Giambi / Cano / Abreu /A-rod all suck this month, Giambi and Abreu is really beyond suck )

      Diss Mink all you want, but if you look at what Hillenbrand and Aurillia is hitting (or should i say not hitting , as both managed to outsuck Mink by a good margin , and both cost a ton more) you’d realize Cashman probably made the best choice in a limited and very bad crapshoot.

      At this point, Torre’s got to go, it’s sad to see an era end this way, but i rather do it now then a the end of the season if they still play under .500. Kevin Long must go too. is it their fault? probably not, but this is a world where you gotta take up responsibility for the results. I hate to see Cashman go but the same migth hold true for him.

      I thought DeSalvo actually had a very wicked slurve yesterday, but his control is just amazingly bad, worse than Igawa showed early in the season, and in Igawa’s case at least you can blame the different balls / mound /enviornment. as Igawa had a very low walk rate in the NPB, but DeSalvo’s been wild thing forever. McGrownen is the same thing, and it should remind us that developing kids is simply not as easy as it sounds, and i highly doubt those of us who can’t even endure two months of suckitude can endure two year of watching kids getting knocked around.

    8. wally26
      May 29th, 2007 | 11:00 am

      Last year the Twins were 20-28 and 12.5 back. They went on to win 96 games. While it looks bleak right now, the addition of one or two players can mean a great deal. The addition of Clemens and a full court press to get Texiera could pull them back in. Last year with the addition of Abreu the lineup got stronger, adding Texiera could have the same effect. They will not catch Boston, barring a major rash of injuries for the Sox, but the wild card is possible.

    9. Joel
      May 29th, 2007 | 11:36 am

      They’ll turn it around. I’m not prepared to say they will win the division or even the wildcard–but things will get a lot better.

      You can’t fire a guy who has led us to the playoffs 11 CONSECUTIVE TIMES!!! because we are off to 21-28 start. Joe has earned the right to finish out his contract. He is one of the greatest managers in Yankees history–in all of baseball history for that matter. The guy is on his way to Cooperstown as a manager. He is going to get a plaque in Monument Park. His #6 will be retired. Let’s be classy about this.

      If we win 75 games and the season is a total bust, we deal with that over the winter. Right now we just wait for the worm to turn.

    10. baileywalk
      May 29th, 2007 | 12:23 pm

      A-rod isn’t the problem with the team, what are you going to do with him? trade him? and then what? he’s the best third basemen you can have, what are you going to do trade for less? Especially less offense? The team can’t hit as it is and you want to downgrade the offense?
      ——-

      I’m not blaming him and I know he’s not the problem. I don’t trade him because he’s bad — I trade him because he’s good. He’s the best trading chip they have among the veterans. No one wants Damon or Giambi. But they’ll take A-Rod. A-Rod is a good player, but I just don’t see the Yankees winning with him. This team has gotten worse every year he’s been here — and while I’m not blaming him fully for that, it’s still a fact. I say trade him at the deadline for a bunch of young players, and then use those players and our own pitching depth to get Tex from the Rangers.

      I’m not “giving up” on the season yet — I still think they can win the wild card. But you do have to shake up this team a little. I love Abreu as a player and as a person, but I think you might as well see if anything is out there for him (he probably won’t be back anyway). You need to blow up that bullpen, too. Farns, Vizcaino and especially Villone need to go — we have people in the minors who can replace them.

      I would move Giambi and Damon in pure salary dumps. I say this though Gimabi is one of my favorite players. He’s just too banged-up at this point. If someone would take the contract, I’d sell him for peanuts. Damon can still hit, but you get the feeling that the “Iron Man” is going to be hurt the next two and a half years.

      You can let Torre stick this year — it doesn’t even matter. I would replace him with Donnie, though. Donnie is just as calm as Torre — which people don’t like — but Donnie seems to be more humane. Last night, Donnie gave DeSalvo a little reassuring pat on the leg after he got knocked out. Torre — who looks like a half-dead Igor-style butler these days anyway — appeared ready to vomit on him. Maybe the players will show up for Donnie because he doesn’t treat them like pets.

    11. Yu Hsing Chen
      May 29th, 2007 | 12:43 pm

      bailey, firesaling is a lot harder than you think espically for this team with all the NTCs and albatross contracts.

      and even if they did pull it off, rebuilding with kids usually takes 3 years MINIMUM, i highly doubt any fans that can’t stand two month of bad playing can stand 3 years of kids getting smacked around.

    12. christopher
      May 29th, 2007 | 1:02 pm

      A mid-season managerial change rarely sparks a team and usually does more harm than good. Firing Torre isn’t going to do a thing. The players love him – they aren’t going to start playing better because they have a new manager who kicks dirt on umpires or throws bats on the field. And if Torre does get axed, who says that Mattingly, Bowa, Guidry, Kerrigan, Pena et al will stick around? It would be a complete disaster if an outsider was hired and brought in his own people. If Torre does go, you have to at least make Mattingly the manager.

      The Yanks need to keep Torre for the rest of the year and make some simple roster changes:

      -Get some fresh arms in the bullpen – Britton and Ramirez would be a start. If that means cutting Farnsworth or Villone, so be it.
      -Trade for a right handed bat – I’m not talking about Pujols here. Just someone who can keep the opposing manager honest. Even guys like Sierra or Bernie were useful in this role.
      -Settle on a first baseman – if it’s Man-K, fine. If it’s Phelps, fine. Pick one and free up a bench spot for someone who can contribute. Carrying 3 first basemen is killing us.
      -Put Damon and Giambi on the DL until they are 100%. They need to give up on their playing hurt gimmick and get some rest.

      The starting pitching is coming around, the bats will get hot again, the season isn’t over. We can still get back in this thing. Before the season, we all thought the yanks were going to finish 35-40 games over .500. With 70% of the season left to play, is it so crazy to think that the Yanks can play 25-30 games over .500 the rest of the way? If we do that, we’ll have 90+ wins and will be right in contention for the wild card.

    13. May 29th, 2007 | 1:10 pm

      ~~~A mid-season managerial change rarely sparks a team and usually does more harm than good.~~~

      Yeah, Bob Lemon killed the ’78 Yanks and Jack McKeon killed the ’03 Marlins. [wink]

    14. May 29th, 2007 | 2:06 pm

      Hey – that’s a good question – what’s Jack McKeon doing these days? Think he’d like a job?

      He did managed the Marlins for 124 games that year and led them to a .605 winning percentage. Of course…the Yanks have 113 games left and that same winning percentage doesn’t even get the team to 90 wins! Yeesh (I find myself saying that a lot).

    15. baileywalk
      May 29th, 2007 | 2:36 pm

      and even if they did pull it off, rebuilding with kids usually takes 3 years MINIMUM, i highly doubt any fans that can’t stand two month of bad playing can stand 3 years of kids getting smacked around.
      ——-

      I didn’t say I wanted to turn this team into the Marlins or Devil Rays. Just get rid of some of the players.

      If you dump Giambi, Damon, A-Rod, and most of the bullpen, you still have Jeter, Posada, Mo, Pettitte, Mussina, Matsui, Bruney, Proctor, Hughes, Clippard, Cano and Melky. You hardly need to “rebuild” when you have a catcher, shortstop, leftfielder, a starting rotation, a closer, and two setup men.

      The Yankees need to find a solution to the corners in their infield. Neither is in the system. So they should make that the focus of the team right now — and use the expendable players (including A-Rod) to make it happen.

    16. Don
      May 29th, 2007 | 3:08 pm

      No way do thet cut Farnsworth, that’s plain silly. He is one player with some value come trade time who can be traded.

      But the Yankees are NOT about to deconstruct this team. Not with over 4 million tickets sold and YES to prop up.

      I would let Alex walk if he opts out. Right now with the partial salary the Yankees are paying him and the luxury tax, what is that, about $24 million? If he opts out he’ll expect $30 million per year and with the luxury tax that’d be about $39 million, for one player. Not happening.

    17. christopher
      May 29th, 2007 | 3:17 pm

      ~~Yeah, Bob Lemon killed the ’78 Yanks and Jack McKeon killed the ’03 Marlins. [wink]~~

      Absolutely, Lemon and McKeon were great – just like Morgan with the ’88 Sox and Garner with the ’04 Astros. But that’s 4 guys in the past 30 years. Your inital statement was “But, most of the time, it’s a matter of firing the manager”. That’s just not the case. Most of the time, teams improve through roster change – not firing the manager.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.