• The Scene Oustide The Stadium Last Night

    Posted by on November 5th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    While I did say that I was going to lay off the keyboard for a bit and enjoy the win for a while, my buddy Chris just sent me some pictures from last night – that I thought you might enjoy as well. So, “I’m back!” albeit for just a quick one.

    Chris was hanging out at Stan’s and outside the Stadium last night during the game. (Now, that’s a Yankees fan! I say this because he doesn’t live anywhere near the Stadium and had to hike to get there – just to hang out at a bar near the ballpark on the night of the big game.) Here are the pictures…

    From inside Stan’s:

    insideStans

    One out to go:

    2 outs in the 9th

    Last pitch of the game:

    LastPitchOfGameOutsideStans

    Game over:

    LastOutofGameStans

    Chris pulls a Zelig:

    ChrisZelig

    Outside the Stadium after the game:

    OutsideTheStadium

    More outside the Stadium:

    OutsideTheStadium2

    Chris steals a picture of a girl stealing a picture of Joba’s dad:

    joba dad

    My thanks to Chris for sharing these. Looks like a great time, and place, for a Yankees fan, huh?

    Comments on The Scene Oustide The Stadium Last Night

    1. MJ
      November 5th, 2009 | 1:09 pm

      When I see Harlan I feel bad for making fun of #62.

      I won’t go so far as to say that all is forgiven between me and him…but I’m willing to let bygones be bygones if he can promise not to be the starter for EVERY one of my games next year. That’s how this all started…

    2. Corey
      November 5th, 2009 | 1:56 pm

      @ MJ:
      Something tells me that Joba has learned a lesson, and will come into ST in the best shape yet. (At least, he better :))

    3. MJ
      November 5th, 2009 | 2:33 pm

      Corey wrote:

      @ MJ:
      Something tells me that Joba has learned a lesson, and will come into ST in the best shape yet. (At least, he better )

      I’ll tell you what — and I preface this by saying that this is merely what I would do if I were GM and not what will actually happen — I think the Yanks would be best served if they went out on the free agent market and tried to sign a couple of guys on the cheap, the way Boston did with Penny/Smoltz last year (think Rich Harden instead of John Lackey).

      I would tell #62 that he’s starting the season in Scranton, no matter how good a spring training he has. I would make him earn his way back up to the big leagues, the way Boston made Clay Buchholz earn his way back to Boston.

      Including the playoffs, he pitched 163.2 IP in 2009. If you add about 40 innings to that workload next year you have a full starter (200 IP). I’d start him in AAA, unshackled from the silly Joba Rules, and tell him that we’ll check back on him from time to time to see how he’s doing.

      The issues that plagued him during the regular season still remain, namely that he went from a four-pitch pitcher to a two-pitch pitcher with spotty control of his fastball and slider. He needs to work on getting the feel for his curve/change again and straightening out the problems with his slider/fastball control.

      As we know, starting pitching is pretty fragile. It’s not like starting #62 starting in AAA would mean that we’d never see him again. If he works hard and takes the demotion in the spirit it is intended — re-calibration instead of punishment — then he’ll be the first or second choice to fill in for any injuries that might (and will) occur at the big league level. Again, Clay Buchholz went from #7 on Boston’s depth chart to now being their #3 starter next year.

    4. Corey
      November 5th, 2009 | 2:48 pm

      MJ wrote:

      I would tell #62 that he’s starting the season in Scranton, no matter how good a spring training he has. I would make him earn his way back up to the big leagues, the way Boston made Clay Buchholz earn his way back to Boston.

      To be fair, Joba has not been as bad as Bucholz was.

      The real problem with Joba is not his stuff, it’s pitch selection. He needs to learn how to pitch. If you send him to AAA, would he learn that? I don’t know, to be honest. I’d imagine a lot of AAA players would swing at that 2 strike slider diving down and in to lefties and away to righties. If that’s the case, he can pitch to a 0 ERA and it won’t help him when he comes up. Personally, I think you gotta leave him in there. Maybe let Cervelli (or whomever is the backup catcher next year) be his personal catcher (to break him and Posada up and give Posada a built in day off every week), and see if that works.

    5. MJ
      November 5th, 2009 | 3:22 pm

      @ Corey:
      I agree that a big problem for him was pitch selection but another problem was location. He only throws the slider down and away to righties and needs to either modify a version of that pitch as a “get it over” slider to get a called strike on it from time to time or go back to being the guy that had a curveball and a changeup. You can’t be a 2-pitch pitcher in the big leagues and make it through the lineup three times…not unless you’re Randy Johnson.

      I agree that #62 wasn’t as back in ’09 as Buchholz was in ’08 but I think he’s still got things to figure out (pitch selection, command, refinement, re-discovering at least one more pitch for his arsenal) plus I think he needs to earn his way back. Like I said, I’m not saying this as a punishment because, I agree, he wasn’t as bad as Buchholz (or Hughes), but because it’s for his own good.

      I’m not looking for a certain set of results in the minors — I already know that he will probably dominate most of his innings there — I’m looking for improved process.

    6. MJ
      November 5th, 2009 | 3:22 pm

      *back = bad

    7. Corey
      November 5th, 2009 | 3:33 pm

      MJ wrote:

      I’m not looking for a certain set of results in the minors — I already know that he will probably dominate most of his innings there — I’m looking for improved process.

      Agreed, but if he’s dominating the competition, would he learn new ways to pitch? I doubt it. This is the whole growing pains process we keep hearing about.

    8. MJ
      November 5th, 2009 | 4:35 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Agreed, but if he’s dominating the competition, would he learn new ways to pitch? I doubt it. This is the whole growing pains process we keep hearing about.

      I don’t agree. Buchholz dominated AAA this year and learned how to both locate and trust his fastball again.

      I don’t agree that you don’t learn if you dominate. You learn by doing the things you’re told to do and you learn by working on the things you need to further develop. He’s not some nobody that needs to statistically impress in order to make it to the show. The results are totally unimportant, all that’ll matter is if he improves on those specific points he needs to brush up on. He could throw 4 no-hitters in a row and look totally bored out there against weaker competition but the key is if he learns how to spot his FB and SL and if he can re-discover his CB.

    9. Corey
      November 5th, 2009 | 5:00 pm

      MJ wrote:

      I don’t agree. Buchholz dominated AAA this year and learned how to both locate and trust his fastball again.

      He trusts his fastball plenty, he’s a stubborn dude. To me, that’s his downfall as the only problem I see is pitch selection. He pitches like a 12 year old pitches to the computer in simulation baseball video games. Same pattern over and over. Now, someone has the entire offseason to beat into this guys skull not to shake off the catcher and to throw different pitches in different counts, in different locations.

      I’m sure you recall me calling for Tony Pena having a catcher’s mini-camp over the offseason with the organizations catching corp. Maybe Joba should be the stand-in pitcher that throws to the catchers as they are instructed. As Pena teaches the catchers how to call a game, perhaps Joba can pick up something or at least learn to trust his catchers a bit more.

    10. MJ
      November 6th, 2009 | 8:35 am

      @ Corey:
      I didn’t say #62 doesn’t trust his fastball (although I don’t fully believe that he does). My point about trusting his fastball was in reference to Clay Buchholz. That was the developmental issue he (Buchholz) had to work out in 2009 and it seems like he did.

      Your Pena/#62 idea is a good one and I’d sign up for that. But I still don’t think he’s earned the right to throw 200 MLB innings next year without fixing his issues at AAA.

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