• Fixing The Yankees

    Posted by on June 25th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Tyler Kepner asks:

    [W]hat is wrong with the Yankees? And, at 36-37, is there still hope that they can turn around a season they thought was headed in the right direction just one week ago?

    I’ll take the second question first.

    Yes, there’s still time for the Yankees to win the Wildcard. There’s not a lot of time for them to get into it. But, there’s enough time if they start to play better now.

    The first question is tougher. The overall stats say that the Yankees have a good offense, an OK defense, and have four “brand name” starters in their rotation. And, the bullpen is not terrible – compared to most team’s bullpens.

    So, what’s the issue? It’s consistency. As I wrote yesterday:

    When the Yankees are hot, they’re red hot. But, when they are not, they’re down right terrible.

    Someone needs to take charge of this team and have them ready to play, hard, everyday. Each game, at this stage, must be “take no prisoners.” Sure, that’s not how you usually attack a baseball season. But, we’re no longer talking about six months here. It’s now a three-month season – where you’re starting from a hole and trying to ice-skate uphill. Every game, without exception, is urgent now – and the team needs to play that way.

    It can be a player or a manager who makes sure that this team goes into each game with a sense of urgency. Or, both. But, someone needs to do it. And, if that person is not here now – the Yankees need to find that person ASAP and get them on the team, pronto.

    What do you think?

    Comments on Fixing The Yankees

    1. Raf
      June 25th, 2007 | 5:34 pm

      Under NO circumstances are they to throw a lineup like this one out there again

      Melky
      Cairo
      Jeter
      A-Rod
      Matsui
      Cano
      Thompson
      Nieves
      Moose

      Thank goodness IL play is over.

    2. Inconnu
      June 25th, 2007 | 6:05 pm

      “Someone needs to take charge of this team and have them ready to play, hard, everyday”

      That is the job of the manager. Get rid of Torre and bring in Girardi. This is so simple. If you listen to Girardi broadcast it is clear he would take this team in another direction. He wants to DL Damon, and he mentioned more than a couple times that the bullpen has bee OVERUSED. He didn’t like Abreu bunting, This is a guy who gets it. Hire him now.

    3. rza93
      June 25th, 2007 | 6:12 pm

      Fire Torre

    4. June 25th, 2007 | 6:21 pm

      i dont think there’s one move that can make or break the season. not even mark teixeira. (which would probably include giving up one of Hughes, Joba or Tabata for anyway, and therefore not worth it.) and mark buehrle is definitely not going to be the difference between this team making the playoffs or not. this just seems like one of those years when all the breaks go against the Yanks. they win the blowouts and lose the close ones. even their pythagorean record is great: 42-31. it’s just been a very unlucky year (if they didn’t have bad luck…) they have a ton of talent: Arod, DJ, Abreu, Posada, Matsui, Damon, Cano, Rocket, pettitte, Moose, Wang, Mo, hughes. just one of those years – too many injuries and very few breaks. there’s nothing short of trading for Santana, Teixeira and Ichiro that might change things – other than if their luck greatly improves.

      if they are still .500 in late-July, and more than 10 out of the wildcard and division, they should become sellers. THEN, i have a few ideas: 1. trade the overpaid vets – Moose, Abreu, Farnsy, Damon, Myers, and yes even Arod (maybe for Broxton and/or Kershaw?); 2. sign ichiro in the offseason to play CF (and hit leadoff), move melky to RF, move Damon to 1b/DH/4th OF if he cant be traded; 3. sign Zambrano, a horse who’s just 26 and piles up strikeouts and brings a ton of fire to the team (i know he walks guys but his k ability and inning eating ability should compensate for it). he has dominant stuff, not a zito expensive soft tosser type; 5. rotation would be Wang, Zambrano, Pettitte, Hughes and someone, Igawa, Karstens, Rasner, TClip, DeSalvo, Joba, Kennedy, Marquez, White, FA, trade, etc; 6. hope that one of the Duncans or Miranda play well enough to make the ML team. if not, fall back on Damon, Posada or a trade/FA; 7. bring up Edwar Ramirez and Britton to see what we really have. hope that JB Cox can contribute in 08.

      That’s all i can think of for now…

    5. June 25th, 2007 | 6:26 pm

      oh, and bringing in Girardi i agree with but… the coaches seem very loyal to Torre, so i think firing joe mid-season would not help the problem. but i definitely like that move in the near future, like the upcoming off-season.

    6. Jordan Meisner
      June 25th, 2007 | 7:52 pm

      I think you’re mostly right Steve, but I also think the Yanks have had some bad luck this year, too. I mean, they’re friggin’ 4-12 in one-run games this year. That’s the worst winning percentage in the ENTIRE LEAGUE. If they were even 8-8 in one-run games they’d be 40-33 and be right in the mix for the wild card.

    7. June 25th, 2007 | 8:00 pm

      This may be somewhere between a minor quibble and a major flaw in your givens, but…

      I don’t think anywhere in the “stats” can we find mention of the Yankees having “brand name” starters. In fact Yankees starters are still sporting a 4.66 ERA and a .779 OPS against, both worse than the bullpen. The stats say that the bullpen has been average and the starters have been below average or worse. Now, if you meant to say that the Yankees’ starters are brand names and *should* be able to carry the team, that is a fair point, but the current stats say that starting pitching is a big problem for the Yankees.

      Pettitte (133) and Wang (120) are the only ones with ERA+ above 100, and the others are far, far worse.

      In terms of a fix, the starting rotation just needs to pitch to its capabilities. A run at the Wild Card is not out of the question but to sacrifice the future for that is unwise.

    8. snowball003
      June 25th, 2007 | 8:02 pm

      I love Girardi. He is thinking all these things, and pretty much every baseball game watcher is thinking the same thing (i.e. Abreu runs his hands up the bat to bunt, instantly, every viewer thinks to him/herself: “what the FUCK?”). But Girardi has the guts to say it. Everyone else is so friendly in the broadcast–except Tim McCarver but he’s just a damn fool. So if he has the guts to say it on air, he’d have the guts to smack some sense into the players.

      Or maybe he just treats every broadcast like an interview.

      I get the feeling a lot of player (DJ, Clemens) would be pissed if Torre got fired mid-season. When Clemens signed, he made a point of letting everyone know he was happy to sign with the Yankees because of the manager.

    9. JohnnyC
      June 26th, 2007 | 9:38 am

      First of all, I disagree about Clemens being that upset if the Yankees fire Torre. He said repeatedly that it was a personal discussion he had with George in ST that he’ll “keep close to his heart” that swayed him and, ultimately with Rocket, money talks. Furthermore, even if he was upset, do we give a flying f…? And, believe me, Derek isn’t going to kiss his cash cow goodbye over a 67 year old green tea drinker. You have to remember Torre’s the only manager he’s ever known (except for two weeks in 95). Sorry for the extra commas, Steve ;)

    10. June 26th, 2007 | 10:39 am

      LOL JohnnyC

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