• Powell: It’s The G.M. Who Makes The Mgr. Good (Or Not)

    Posted by on October 25th, 2007 · Comments (8)

    From Shaun Powell -

    Given the turmoil of another failed October, next season will be a stressful one for the man on the Yankees’ hot seat. He must handle the demands, both the reasonable and the ridiculous. He’ll deal with a wave of new challenges. Furthermore, he’ll have to work in the aftermath of Joe Torre’s departure.

    Basically, the direction the Yankees take as they enter a whole new world will be dictated by Brian Cashman.

    In some ways, his job as general manager has never been tougher or more important than now. He doesn’t have a Boss anymore; he has bosses, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, who are new to this. He’ll have a new manager, if it’s Mattingly, who’ll be new to the game, too. Therefore, Cashman will have the unenviable task of advising his neophyte bosses on personnel and also giving the rookie manager something to work with.

    While Torre was made out to be the scapegoat by the Yankees high command, despite all the rhetoric about everyone being held accountable, the Yankees simply lacked the pitching to go deep into October. Since pitching is everything this time of year, the Yankees were ill-equipped for a championship run. In hindsight, they had Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang, and only one was up to the task. Basically, they had no shot.

    Torre could only work with what Cashman gave him, which was a heavy batting order and a rather average pitching staff comprised of pitchers who proved too old or not old enough. You could make the case that the one man in the front office who strongly wanted Torre to return was also the man who quickened Torre’s departure.

    And once again, the success/failure rate for the next Yankees manager will be dictated in large part by Cashman, who has a tricky task ahead.

    Already, the Yankees are wisely backing off their playoffs-or-bust demands, with yesterday’s call for “patience,” a word Torre never heard during his time in the Bronx.

    If the new manager doesn’t rise to the level or Torre in that regard, then maybe it won’t be his fault. Maybe he wasn’t given the right pieces. Maybe he didn’t fail; maybe Cashman failed him.

    The Yankees could make it official as early as tomorrow that Mattingly, the leader in the managerial clubhouse, is the guy. Whether Mattingly can cope with the demands will be up to him. Whether he’ll become the next great Yankees manager will be up to Cashman.

    Amen.

    Comments on Powell: It’s The G.M. Who Makes The Mgr. Good (Or Not)

    1. dyntasydays
      October 25th, 2007 | 10:19 am

      Put me on the record as saying that if joe actually went with his best 2 pitchers at that point in the season he would have started hughes in game 1 and if he wasn’t an idiot he woulda pulled Joba for Mo with 2 out in 8th and runner on third ina 1-0 gamewhen Joba had already thrown a wild pitch and hit a batter. Im pretty sure in september Hughes was 4-1 with like a 2.16 era and wanger looked tired from the middle of august on.

    2. dyntasydays
      October 25th, 2007 | 10:24 am

      explain to me how the ebst reliever in the world isnt in a 1-0 must win game in the 8th witha runner on third when the current pitcher had already thrown a wild pitch and hit a batter… and then he scores on the second wild pitch. Jobas the man btu hes also 22 and was bothered by the bugs. you know that with mo, he’d hafta earn that tying run

    3. jonm
      October 25th, 2007 | 10:46 am

      dyntasydays makes a good point about bringing Mo in. I think that probably Torre didn’t bring him in because he is very hesitant to bring his closer in too early when the Yankees are playing on the road. It always bothered me that Joe seemed to be so rigid about this.

      The other point about Hughes/Wang is a situation that I think Joe handled right. Wang had a 3.27 ERA in September and Hughes had a 2.73 ERA in September. Both pitched well so you have to give the nod to the more experienced pitcher.

    4. dyntasydays
      October 25th, 2007 | 10:48 am

      and i don’t wanna hear about how “politically” incorrect it would be to give hughes the start because thats why joe sucked at times… never rolled the dice… wanger could have used to extra rest and pitched game 3 at the stadium… basically if he went to rivera in game 2 the yanks could guaranteed a game 5 but he didnt, and starting a struggling tired wanger twice was the wrong move.

    5. MJ
      October 25th, 2007 | 10:55 am

      dynastydays, are you saying that Phil Hughes should’ve gotten the Game 1 start? I don’t know about that. Wang was the team’s best pitcher all season long and, as jonm pointed out, had a 3.27 ERA in September. That’s hardly a cause for concern. Further, I don’t think anyone predicted that Wang would melt down in both games that he pitched.

      As for not pitching Wang in Game 4, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to that question. Last year, in the exact same situation, everyone killed Joe for pitching Wright/Lidle over Wang in a potential elimination game. This year, he took Wang over Mussina in the same situation. It’s a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation.

      With the exception of a) not using Mo in Game 2 and b) using Joba too much in Game 3, I can’t fault anything Torre did in this year’s ALDS. The starters not named Pettitte pitched like crap and the hitters collectively stunk up the joint.

    6. Raf
      October 25th, 2007 | 11:13 am

      Last year, in the exact same situation, everyone killed Joe for pitching Wright/Lidle over Wang in a potential elimination game.
      ============
      IIRC, the reason Torre did that was to save Wang’s arm.

    7. MJ
      October 25th, 2007 | 11:42 am

      IIRC, the reason Torre did that was to save Wang’s arm.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Whatever the reason, he decided not to pitch Wang. This year you could argue that he “learned” from that experience and decided that saving the season with your best pitcher on the mound was the way to go.

      The point was to illustrate that pitching Wang over Hughes wasn’t some horrendous error the way it was characterized earlier in this thread.

    8. McMillan
      October 28th, 2013 | 9:18 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Prove to me that it’s the pitching, and not the hitting, which determines who wins [a postseason series].

      “… While Torre was made out to be the scapegoat by the Yankees high command, despite all the rhetoric about everyone being held accountable, the Yankees simply lacked the pitching to go deep into October. Since pitching is everything this time of year, the Yankees were ill-equipped for a championship run. In hindsight, they had Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang, and only one was up to the task. Basically, they had no shot…”

      “No shot in 2007.” Amen. No shot in 2013, either.

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