• April 6th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on April 6th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    So, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia didn’t have the greatest of ‘first day as a Yankee’ days today…

    …is it just me, or, is it easier to say “A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk” than it is to say that thought on CC and Tex?

    Moving right along…you probably know the ol’ baseball truism: Each season, every big league team is going to win 60 games, no matter what, and, every big league team is going lose 60 games, no matter what – and it’s what they do in the other 42 games that will define their overall record.

    Well, today was one of those 42 games for New York. And, while I give the Yankees credit for coming back, after being down 6-1 after five, I have to say this is one that the Yankees let get away. (Shame, too. After that Matsui homer in the 7th, I really thought the Yankees were going to pull this one out.) Two things that killed New York today:

    1. After that clutch, pinch-hit, lead-off double by Nick “It wouldn’t kill me to lose 25 pounds” Swisher and the sac-bunt by Brett Gardner that immediately followed in the 8th, when the score was 6-5, Baltimore, Derek Jeter has to get the runner home from third (with less than two out). But, the Captain failed when it counted the most today.

    2. The Yankees bullpen in the 8th inning was atrocious. First, Phil Coke allows the Mott Street tater to Cesar Izturis. Then, Brian Bruney reminds us why he’s someone who you cannot count on to do well more times than not. And, finally Damaso Marte puts the kernel on top of this steaming turd sundae of an inning when he allows the double to Aubrey Huff. And, before Michael Kay could say “Co-Brun-Mar,” this game was packed, wrapped and shipped to the O’s win column.

    And, now, with this being a day game, tomorrow being an off-day, and Wednesday’s game being a night game, everyone in Yankeeland has to think about this game for the 48-hour period that follows it…until the next Yankees game. What a way to tee-off the season…

    Comments on April 6th @ The Orioles

    1. YankCrank
      April 6th, 2009 | 10:28 pm

      Tough first game of the year. I don’t think anybody can disagree with what Steve said. Jeter needs to do all he can to get that run in, the pen fell apart and now we have to eat it for 48 hours. Sucks, but it’s only game one of 162.

      Some of my observations:

      -Does Jeter hit the ball hard, or in the air at all anymore?
      -Is it just me, or does Nady look like he’s running in slow motion in the outfield? I can think of about 10 corner outfielders who could have made some plays he missed today, and one of them (to keep his name anonymous) is named N. Swisher. No wait, that was too revealing…i meant Nick S.
      -It’ll always bother me that Cano never dives for a ball, and it bothers me even more that I always think “I wish he was as aggressive as Pedroia.”
      -If Matsui can stay healthy, we may not miss A-Rod that much…as long as it’s only one month. Any extended time and it will hurt.
      -Is Swisher, who is better defensively, a better baserunner and gets on base more really going to be limited to pinch hits and then getting pinch run for? For the sake of the Yankees success, I hope not.

    2. JeremyM
      April 6th, 2009 | 10:31 pm

      It was ugly, and I agree that Swisher is better than Nady. I don’t get that move at all. Hopefully CC will settle in quick.

    3. YankCrank
      April 6th, 2009 | 10:32 pm

      To add to those:

      -Gardner’s throwing arm isn’t nearly as bad as everyone says it is. No, he’s not Melky but he’s certainly not Damon.
      -I never really understood why Jeter was leading off and Damon hitting second today, but after watching how we scored our first run I totally get it…and like it.

      Sorry for those. Just my thoughts after day 1. Let’s go out and get them Wednesday!

    4. April 6th, 2009 | 10:39 pm

      Just a tack on…

      Sorry if I’m coming across super pissy on this one. Yes, I know that it’s just one game out of 162, etc.

      But, that’s the kind of Yankees fan that I am…I don’t sleep well when they lose…however, on the other hand, I do find myself in a better mood following a Yankees win…

      Does that make me a Jerome from Manhattan? Nah, I’m not at that level…it’s just that I want them to do well, so badly, that it pains me when they don’t do well. Make sense? Maybe not…but, that’s what it’s all about…

    5. Tresh Fan
      April 6th, 2009 | 11:39 pm

      I guess I have to disagree here about Jeter. With a man on third and less than two outs all I hope for from Jeter is that he puts the ball in play. Sac Fly? Get serious. Jeter hits–what—three sac flies all year (well, maybe 4)? In point of fact over the course of his career Jeter is about 4 times more likely to reach on an error (163) as he is to hit a sac fly (43). He has 20 odd fewer career sac flies than Johnny Damon (64) and only half as many as Omar Vizquel (86). So let’s not fault Jeter for not doing now what he really hasn’t been able to do before.

    6. April 6th, 2009 | 11:51 pm

      FWIW, I know that Jeter never, well, almost never, hits the ball in the air. So, I wasn’t counting on a SF there. But, the infield was in when he came to bat in the 8th. So, he has to make hard contact in that spot, to try and get the ball through the short infield…and he did not.

      Instead, he takes a hack at a 1-0 fastball and hits a Little League grounder to the drawn in shortstop.

      That’s a failure on his part, IMHO.

    7. Tresh Fan
      April 7th, 2009 | 1:25 am

      I still respectfully disagree.

      “[Brining the infield in] is a great risk for the defense because even average or minimal contact by the batter can beat the defense.”
      —from GOLD GLOVE BASEBALL (2006) by Charlie Greene (American Baseball Coaches Association)

      There was a rather interesting discussion on this a few years back on a Yankees board I belonged to. The consensus there was that you didn’t want your batter to try to make hard contact in that situation. You wanted him to just try to put the ball in play.

      IMHO a failure in that situation would be striking out.

    8. BOHAN
      April 7th, 2009 | 1:37 am

      jeter did what he could do there. he put the ball in play and it just happened to be right at an infielder. itws nearly impossible to hit the ball exactly where you want to hit it. if anyone could do that they wouldnt make an out all year. he put the ball in play just so happens that it was at someone. thats all. hes gunna have plenty of those situations all year and if he comes thru 40 percent of the time there i think wed all be happy with that.

    9. butchie22
      April 7th, 2009 | 7:43 am

      Invariably, people can nitpick at everything all the position players did and ultimately it was irrelevant because of one reason…. CC stunk up the joint! He didn’t even give the Yanks the chance to be in the game. That’s the essence of that game, not that Teix was 0 for 4 etc so on. If the ace of the staff give up 6 runs that early then your team is not in the game. Bad job by CC.PERIOD.One can preen about the other factors, but CC’s line was wretched, the Yanks were in that game at 6-5 but then the relief corps blew up too. It’s only one game and no one should panic, so let’s hope that CC gets it together. BUT everytime, they lose in their division that is a very important and loss and especially to a “bad” team like the Os. Hopefully, next time out.

    10. butchie22
      April 7th, 2009 | 7:59 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      Tough first game of the year. I don’t think anybody can disagree with what Steve said. Jeter needs to do all he can to get that run in, the pen fell apart and now we have to eat it for 48 hours. Sucks, but it’s only game one of 162.
      Some of my observations:
      -Does Jeter hit the ball hard, or in the air at all anymore?
      -Is it just me, or does Nady look like he’s running in slow motion in the outfield? I can think of about 10 corner outfielders who could have made some plays he missed today, and one of them (to keep his name anonymous) is named N. Swisher. No wait, that was too revealing…i meant Nick S.
      -It’ll always bother me that Cano never dives for a ball, and it bothers me even more that I always think “I wish he was as aggressive as Pedroia.”
      -If Matsui can stay healthy, we may not miss A-Rod that much…as long as it’s only one month. Any extended time and it will hurt.
      -Is Swisher, who is better defensively, a better baserunner and gets on base more really going to be limited to pinch hits and then getting pinch run for? For the sake of the Yankees success, I hope not.

      Swisher again? Here is a piece from Mark Feinsand talking to a scout about both Nady and Swisher.

      Here’s his take on Nady:

      “Nady has looked like a pretty steady, solid average player with some flashes of above average at times. I like what I’ve seen of him, and he fits well on this club as a whole. He brings good tools to the ballclub, especially if everybody else is healthy. He’s not the hitter that Matsui was when he first got here, but he’ll be pretty steady for the most part.”

      Not too bad. Here’s what he had to say about Swisher:

      “Swisher doesn’t fit in this organization. He’s a goofball for one, but more than that, I don’t think he’s that good a fielder anywhere you put him. As a corner outfielder and first baseman, he’s not what I would call a good defender. He doesn’t run that good. He can jump on some pitches and hit them far, but you’re banking on him doing something with the bat if you’re going to play him. The only way he works himself into the lineup is if Damon or Nady don’t perform.”

      It is funny how Girardi made his decision LIKE he didn’t totally go with the one who was better sabermetrically BUT the one who was actually better BY sight(scouting)! Nady and Swish are both nice players at best BUT scouting and sabermetrics tell two different stories about these players. So one should be careful about claiming how wonderful one player vs the other when both had down seasons last year: Nady had amediocre and Swisher had an absolutely shitty one! Both of these players bring something to the team and Ken Singleton mentioned what kind of depth Swish brings to the bench. Quite frankly, I hope both Nady AND Swish both do well for the sake of the team in any capacity,but sabermetrics don’t tell the whole story, judging from Girardi’s decision.

    11. YankCrank
      April 7th, 2009 | 9:00 am

      Butchie, I read those reports from Feinsand, who is neither a baseball scout nor a writer for a respectable paper. He is a Daily News writer, and not discredit who he is or what he does, but if I want valid baseball knowledge i’ll turn somewhere else before I listen to Feinsand and the other sensationalized NY tabloids. Point in case, anybody who says a player doesn’t fit on the Yankees because he’s a “goofball” isn’t reputable. The Yankees have had goofballs, drunks, addicts, womanizers and racists all win World Championships for this organization. The fact somebody likes to have fun doesn’t mean they don’t fit, let’s be real.

      Also, if Feisnand knew what he was talking about he would check out a real scouting report, or statistics before he claims Swisher is poor defensively in the outfield and even worst, a lesser defender than Nady. All of that is just not true.

      I want Nady to play well too, I like Nady. All I was doing was making an observation and that observation was that Nady looks like he’s on ice skates in the outfield.

    12. YankCrank
      April 7th, 2009 | 9:23 am

      It is funny how Girardi made his decision LIKE he didn’t totally go with the one who was better sabermetrically BUT the one who was actually better BY sight(scouting)!
      —-

      Hey Butch, Girardi openly admitted that he chose Nady because he was on the team last year and has Yankee tenure…not because he thought he was a better player than Swisher.

      Honestly, looking at Girardi’s decision, I think we can say that Swisher’s versatility hurt him more than it helped. A guy who can switch hit, hit for power, get on base at a high clip and play four different positions is mighty attractive coming off the bench. With Nady already being there, Swisher’s versatility is attractive off the bench for Joe…like we saw last night.

    13. butchie22
      April 7th, 2009 | 10:08 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      Butchie, I read those reports from Feinsand, who is neither a baseball scout nor a writer for a respectable paper. He is a Daily News writer, and not discredit who he is or what he does, but if I want valid baseball knowledge i’ll turn somewhere else before I listen to Feinsand and the other sensationalized NY tabloids. Point in case, anybody who says a player doesn’t fit on the Yankees because he’s a “goofball” isn’t reputable. The Yankees have had goofballs, drunks, addicts, womanizers and racists all win World Championships for this organization. The fact somebody likes to have fun doesn’t mean they don’t fit, let’s be real.
      Also, if Feisnand knew what he was talking about he would check out a real scouting report, or statistics before he claims Swisher is poor defensively in the outfield and even worst, a lesser defender than Nady. All of that is just not true.
      I want Nady to play well too, I like Nady. All I was doing was making an observation and that observation was that Nady looks like he’s on ice skates in the outfield.

      Crank , Feinsand actually talked to a scout, it wasn’t from his imagination! I doubt that he would make anything up to that degree or any degree. MY attitude is that when evaluating a player scouting and stats have to be seen as a flip side to a coin. When I made the egghead statement about Swisher last week, it was directed at the pure sabermetric crowd out there(not necessarily on these boards)who also proclaim that Jeter is a total stiff in the field(he’s no Arod but was not as bad as the BIll James crowd made him out to be). See him live and you might have a different opinion. With Swish, I’ve seen him at the Cell in Chicago(4 times and he didn’t impress me one bit) and a few times at with Oakland where he seemed to do a decent enough job in the field. In addition to the scouting on him, I feel that Swisher is best on the bench. Nady does have the experience of playing in NY for both teams and didn’t have the dropoff that Swish did. Swish can also swoop in and take a position if an injury happens at a moment’s notice just in case. BUT as Ive said before when Steve posted what an Oakland and a Chicago fan scouted about Swisher I don’t think he will be as bad as he was in Chicago AND he won’t be as good as he was with Oakland. If the Yanks can get that, I’d be very happy. And like I’ve said repeatedly, for the Swisherites or the Swishers, Nick will get a chance to play. They won’t be hiding him on the bench no matter what happens, even though they got Teix to place first AND Nady got the outfield position in the end. He will be an important piece of the team and contribute anyway he can.

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