• How Soon Until Girardi Season Starts?

    Posted by on April 27th, 2008 · Comments (13)

    How soon will it be until we start to see reports on how the Yankees are responding (or not) to new manager Joe Girardi?

    The team is off to a poor start. The media is already starting to question how Girardi is dealing with them on player news. The players are sneaking in candy to the clubhouse behind his back. Some are already questioning Girardi’s line-ups and game moves.

    Sure, it’s only 25 games into the season.

    And, the Yankees pitching – as many predicted – has not been effective outside of Pettitte, Wang, Bruney, Rivera and Chamberlain.

    Also, only Abreu, Jeter, Damon and Posada have hit well with RISP this season, to date. (With A-Rod, Cano, Melky and Giambi killing the team in this regard – see below. Although, for what it’s worth Melky has done well in High Leverage situations.)

    Yankees, with RISP, through April 26th:

    		PA	BA	OPS     BAbip
    RCano		32	.133	.354	.160
    MEnsberg		11	.182	.364	.286
    ARodriguez	24	.143	.440	.231
    JGiambi		27	.056	.444	.059
    AGonzalez		8	.200	.629	.200
    JMolina		9	.222	.667	.333
    WBetemit		6	.333	.667	.500
    MCabrera		23	.188	.693	.182
    SDuncan		4	.333	.833	.333
    HMatsui		19	.267	.954	.250
    CMoeller		6	.250	1.000	.250
    DJeter		24	.429	1.006	.450
    JDamon		25	.300	1.075	.286
    JPosada		14	.333	1.095	.444
    BAbreu		21	.421	1.160	.538
    

    [Stats via Baseball-Reference.com]

    In any event, many expected Girardi to be a serious change agent for this Yankees team – compared to how the team has been in the last three years or so. And, so far, some could suggest that all we have seen is a situation where various feathers have been ruffled with mixed results.

    Me? I’d like to see where the Yankees are at the end of May before making any hard judgements. But, will the rest of the world be as willing to give this another 4-6 weeks? I’m not sure that will happen – and things could start getting hot for Joe, sooner rather than later.

    Comments on How Soon Until Girardi Season Starts?

    1. OldYanksFan
      April 27th, 2008 | 10:05 am

      First off, the NY media’s JOB in to ‘make news’, not report it. They would find issues with Joe Jr. even if the Yanks were 25-0.

      Secondly, you can ALWAYS question a manager’s moves. While maybe some fans think there are ABSOLUTELY right/wrong moves, this is seldom the case. It is NOY black or white. If Jeter tried and failed to squeeze last night, we would all question why our best RISP guy wasn’t swinging away. The truth is, players perform, or don’t, and managers have far, far, far less impact on the game then the guys on the field. Girardi gave the team MANY opportunities to win. The players blew it last night.

      Molina is a RADICALLY better hitter against LHP, while Posada is a little worse, so there are BIG gains use use Molina’s ABs against lefties. Having Molina be someone’s ‘regular catcher’ is not his best use. Getting him in against lefties is:
      –OPS– .LHP .RHP (last 3 year averages)
      Posada: .827 .897
      Molina: .770 .562

      To play Molina (instead of Posada) against LHP, you give up .057 OPS pts.
      To play Molina (instead of Posada) against RHP, you give up .335 OPS pts.
      So you GAIN .278 OPS pts using Molina against LHP.

      Girardi is a fine manager with a difficult job in a difficult year.

    2. Raf
      April 27th, 2008 | 10:18 am

      I think we should wait until after the season to judge how Girardi did as a manager. Unless there’s a player revolt, a mutiny, I see no reason to make a change.

    3. K.V.C
      April 27th, 2008 | 10:29 am

      I have a major problem with Girardi, but not for game decisions or lineups(athough why give the regulars off when the kids pitch?!?) or even the candy/locker room rules.

      Why aren’t injured guys going on the DL? Arod, as pointed out on horrible FOX yesterday, is injured and it is effecting his swing. Posoda cannot throw and Jeter doesn’t seem to be running full out, Joba and Farnsworth are also dinged up. It is april for gods sake, DL these guys and get them 100% healthy.

    4. j
      April 27th, 2008 | 10:48 am

      I’m sorry Steve, but I’m not with you on this one. I’m curious about what you think regarding what I’m going to say here:

      > The team is off to a poor start.

      Poor is a relative term, but given the expectations, sure, this is true.

      > The media is already starting to question how Girardi is dealing with them on player news.

      I understand that part of the job of manager of the Yankees is to deal with the media, but if you listen to the audio clips that Peter Abraham posts, even I get frustrated with these idiots. They ask the same question 5 times, 5 different ways, and it’s obvious that they have their story already written in their head, they’re just looking for a soundbyte to go along with the headline. Being somewhat at odds with some of these clowns is a plus in my book, although certainly not part of the job description, as Girardi is expected to play nice.

      > The players are sneaking in candy to the clubhouse behind his back.

      This article is from the Northwest Addition of the Arkansas Democratic Gazette, written by Scott Loftis. A quick Google search of “Scott Loftis” and “Yankees” results in only one Yankee related article – the one you mentioned. The only relevant line is “Yankees players, meanwhile, were seen smuggling banned items (candy bars, not steroids) into the clubhouse.” Really? This article is perhaps the definition of credibility issue.

      > Some are already questioning Girardi’s line-ups

      Here we go again with the same thing. Yes, what you wrote is true. ‘Some’ are questioning his line ups, ‘some’ in this case being a blog called Baseball 24/7. Surf away from the specific article and you’ll see days and days of blog entries with 0 comments. You should add a qualifier to this sentence – something along the lines of ‘Some, who have no idea what they are talking about, are questioning…’

      > ….. and game moves.

      This link sends you to MLB.com’s post game article when Girardi let Mussina pitch to Ramirez – generally agreed upon to be a bad move, and admitted mistake by Girardi. This is a bad ‘move’, not ‘moves’. Further down in this story, by the way, is Girardi explaining to reporters how he made a decision and he’ll live with the consequences. They don’t seem to be able to grasp that.

      > Also, only Abreu, Jeter, Damon and Posada have hit well with RISP this

      Matsui has a .954 OPS with RISP with a not-so-great BA. If they’re don’t pitch to him, he’s getting on base. If they do, he’s hitting the ball hard and for extra bases.

      You once said that you spoke to a friend of yours about how many of your readers were giving you a hard time about your opinions of Cashman, Hughes, and others (but those two specifically.) You said your friend compared you to Mike Lupica – people hate what he says but still pick up the paper and read him all the time. In my opinion, this is not something one should strive for. I don’t read Lupica, and it’s mainly because he has no idea what he’s talking about. I’ve been reading your stuff for a couple of years now, and most recently you’ve decided to stray from objectivity and do what most New York reporters make a living doing – deciding the headline first and then filling in the holes later.

    5. April 27th, 2008 | 11:14 am

      j – then, why keep reading it?

    6. j
      April 27th, 2008 | 11:24 am

      > j – then, why keep reading it?

      Because every now and then you still have something interesting to say.

      And you haven’t responded to any of my points.

    7. April 27th, 2008 | 11:31 am

      j – that assumes that I agree that you have any points.

    8. j
      April 27th, 2008 | 11:38 am

      Do you not agree that an article written by someone from the Northwest Arkansas edition of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette has credibility issue when it comes to covering the Yankees?

      Or that Matsui is hitting well with RISP?

      Or that Girardi has had a move, and not moves, questioned by anyone with some credibility?

      Or that the NY reporters are obnoxious and would try any man’s patience?

    9. April 27th, 2008 | 11:40 am

      I thought Girardi was the man for the job when they hired him. Now, I’m not so sure. I don’t agree with many of the decisions he’s made. I don’t like the way he handles the pitchers and bullpen, his lineups, his decisions about who to assign to the roster at the end of Spring training, his pinch hitting decisions. He doesn’t seem to be hitting it off too well with the players either.

      He’s in a tough spot, probably the single toughest job in all of baseball. I don’t want to make any rash decisions. He certainly deserves a chance to play a full season before any decisions are made.

      What I would like to see is Girardi starting to manage a little smarter.

    10. April 27th, 2008 | 11:56 am

      *Do you not agree that an article written by someone from the Northwest Arkansas edition of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette has credibility issue when it comes to covering the Yankees?

      That was just one link that I picked. There are many, many, other stories out there about the Yankees bitching about the no-candy rule.

      *Or that Matsui is hitting well with RISP?

      Fine, yes, I should have included Matsui. I went with the guys with the really high marks with RSIP.

      *Or that Girardi has had a move, and not moves, questioned by anyone with some credibility?

      I saw one blog (RAB?) this AM where they questioned Girardi not using Rivera yesterday. There have been other pitching moves/non-moves questioned on Joe. IIRC, there was a play where Damon hit into a DP where many questioned why Joe did not have him bunt. It’s more than just one move that’s been questioned in the first 25 games.

      *Or that the NY reporters are obnoxious and would try any man’s patience?

      Sure, but, there’s a way to handle it. You don’t react, you control it. See Torre.

    11. hopbitters
      April 27th, 2008 | 1:22 pm

      I’m with Raf. Yankee fans’ longstanding familiarity with Girardi doesn’t translate into his familiarity with the players in a managerial capacity. I’d give him a season plus before jumping up and down on the panic button.

    12. Raf
      April 27th, 2008 | 1:43 pm

      hop, we’d probably make terrible columnists, given that we tend to use logic & reasoning :)

    13. Rich
      April 27th, 2008 | 4:22 pm

      Not soon.

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