• Assigning Blame For The ALCS

    Posted by on October 26th, 2010 · Comments (20)

    Neil Keefe takes a look at who’s to blame for the Yankees losing the ALCS this year. It’s an interesting read.

    Comments on Assigning Blame For The ALCS

    1. MJ Recanati
      October 26th, 2010 | 2:15 pm

      I have this little bias: whenever a writer makes a stupid claim or a facile argument at the beginning of his article, I tend to tune out or heavily discount the rest of what is written. That’s why when I read this:

      Neil Keefe wrote:

      I wasn’t really shocked that they lost since the final blow didn’t come via a dagger on a walk-off hit. It came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Joe Girardi walked Josh Hamilton once again to face Vladimir Guerrero and Vladimir Guerrero finally showed up for the ALCS. The same Vladimir Guerrero that could have been the designated hitter for the Yankees.

      But you can’t forget about Nick Johnson and his on-base percentage! Whenever you can sign a guy who has never played more than 133 games in his career just one time, that’s a move you have to make. Guerrero made $1 million more than Johnson this year, and he played in 128 more games, hit 27 more home runs and drove in 107 more runs. They both have mutual options for 2011. I wonder how those will both play out.

      I can only shake my head and laugh. While you’ll never hear me defend the Nick Johnson signing — it was the height of stupidity and basic common sense (or internalizing the lessons of the Carl Pavano disaster) would’ve averted the signing — it is completely disingenuous to argue that Neil Keefe advocated for Vlad Guerrero or that Vlad Guerrero was the better choice. Vlad Guerrero was coming off the worst season of his career and was clearly in decline at an advanced age in baseball terms. No one wanted Guerrero.

      Reading that, I didn’t see the need to go through the rest of Keefe’s article. It’s obvious that he’s a MSM hack.

    2. October 26th, 2010 | 2:42 pm

      M.J., this guy isn’t a MSM hack, he’s a kid in his twenties who thinks he’s the new Bill Simmons or something. (Simmons’ longwindedness is as bad an influence on the kids today as Hunter S. Thompson’s self-indulgence was for the Boomer generation.) And this article is horrible.

      Like this part: “I always said that if the Red Sox didn’t win the World Series in 2004, Tony Graffanino would never be able to step foot in the city of Boston again. Trailing 1-0 in the 2005 ALDS against the White Sox, the Red Sox were leading Game 2 in Chicago, 4-0, in the bottom of the fifth inning. Graffanino let a grounder go through his legs in what ended up being a five-run inning for the White Sox. The White Sox went on to win the game and the series in three games.”

      What does that even mean? Who even thinks of Tony Graffanino these days? Who cares? I doubt most Red Sox fans even think much about this play. And why would you have “always said” something that happened after 2004? Horrible piece.

    3. MJ Recanati
      October 26th, 2010 | 3:01 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      I’ve never heard of Neil Keefe before (I don’t think) so I had no idea he was just a 20-something and not some seasoned moron like the guys earning paychecks at the NYP or NYDN.

      That being said, when you’re writing under the CBS banner, you’re pretty mainstream, no?

    4. October 26th, 2010 | 4:10 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I hadn’t either, so I looked him up and saw his pic on his Twitter feed https://twitter.com/neilkeefe

      He apparently works for WFAN,.com, which is owned by CBS. And his big crusade on Twitter as of late is to get rid of Nick Swisher because he doesn’t like him. As if guys with .870 OPS are the biggest problems the Yankees face!

    5. MJ Recanati
      October 26th, 2010 | 4:14 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      What are his credentials as a member of the sports media? He sounds like he knows nothing about sports AND is a moron. At least Bill Simmons is a great writer when he spends more than 15 minutes on his column (and worked his way up).

    6. October 26th, 2010 | 4:43 pm

      FWIW, I’ve never met Neil. But, I’ve exchanged a few emails with him in the past. In all our dealings, I’ve come away with the impression that he’s a very nice guy, hard worker, and a super diehard Yankees fan.

      Then again, many say the same three things about me – and there are others who have told me that I’m a hack.

      FWIW, it’s been my experience that people like you when they agree with your opinion and you’re a hack when they don’t agree with what you’re saying. But, that’s the FJM mindset of those who leave comments on the internet at play…IMHO.

    7. MJ Recanati
      October 26th, 2010 | 6:14 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I would hope you’d give me a little more credit than that. I’m not calling Neil a hack because I disagree with him. I’m calling him a hack because that Nick Johnson/Vlad Guerrero bit was pure rubbish, steeped in hindsight.

    8. MJ Recanati
      October 26th, 2010 | 6:16 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Further, his credentials as a Yankees fan are not important. Before Lisa told me that he was just a young kid, I assumed he was a mainstream journalist. I don’t care who mainstream journalists root for and, more importantly, I don’t want to know. Part of the problem with mainstream journalists is, unfortunately, that you can tell who they root for even if they don’t print it in big bold letters. A journalist’s job is to remain objective.

      I’m glad Neil’s a Yankee fan. It shows good taste on his part. But that doesn’t make his writing stronger or his opinions more (or less) valid.

    9. redbug
      October 26th, 2010 | 6:18 pm

      Overall he was right-on w/ his assesment of each player and their cintribution (or lack thereof) to the PS. You might disagree w/ his asides but his overall points were correct.

    10. MJ Recanati
      October 26th, 2010 | 6:35 pm

      redbug wrote:

      Overall he was right-on w/ his assesment of each player and their cintribution (or lack thereof) to the PS. You might disagree w/ his asides but his overall points were correct.

      I buy that.

    11. Evan3457
      October 26th, 2010 | 7:02 pm

      He’s not right about A-Rod.

      A-Rod hit the ball hard a lot in the postseason and even in this series with little to show for it.

      The idea he’s the second most to blame is comical.

    12. October 26th, 2010 | 10:14 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      I’m so tired of hearing that. (Nothing personal, I mean in general.) IIRC, A-Rod also had some hits that were less than smashed, fell in, or dropped right in front of the OFers too. It all evens out.

    13. October 26th, 2010 | 11:03 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi: As I’ve discovered via Twitter, Wally Matthews is a super-nice guy too (extraordinarily friendly to fans, self-deprecating, and funny). But I still disagree with 90% of what he writes!

    14. October 27th, 2010 | 7:00 am

      But, do you call him a hack too?

    15. October 27th, 2010 | 9:40 am

      I didn’t call your friend a hack. I said he was “a kid in his twenties who thinks he’s the new Bill Simmons or something.” And I stand by that. Keefe wrote 3,335 (!) words in that one article! He could be making the greatest points in the world, but that’s way too long-winded for a single article unless you’re Bill Simmons. And even then, I think Simmons could trim his articles without detracting from them.

      And while I’ve been a big defender of Joe Girardi for most of his tenure, I think he can’t escape blame for the terrible way he managed in the playoffs. But that article lets him off the hook, saying “he doesn’t play in the games, so he can’t really be accountable for the Yankees being dominated by the Rangers.” Huh? Who was it who used the bullpen so poorly — the man in the moon? Using that logic, you can’t hold Grady Little — or any other manager — responsible for anything, ever, as they don’t play in the games. Who really believes that?

    16. nwyank
      October 27th, 2010 | 10:50 am

      I just don’t see it as Girardi’s fault. Most of his bullpen pieces didnt’ perform anyway, so what was he to do?
      The hitters got shut down 2x by Colby Lewis. Shouldn’t have happened. Cliff Lee game wasn’t even close.
      The blame article referenced above is accurate, IMO.

    17. MJ Recanati
      October 27th, 2010 | 11:42 am

      @ nwyank:
      Girardi mishandled Game 4 and Game 6 with respect to bullpen management but your overall point is correct: the offense didn’t hit at all and some of the bullpen arms didn’t get the outs they needed to get anyway.

      I wouldn’t absolve Girardi of all blame because he didn’t handle AJ Burnett (Game 4) or Phil Hughes (Game 6) well but I can’t disagree that others share far greater culpability.

    18. Evan3457
      October 27th, 2010 | 5:43 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      I’m so tired of hearing that. (Nothing personal, I mean in general.) IIRC, A-Rod also had some hits that were less than smashed, fell in, or dropped right in front of the OFers too. It all evens out.

      No, it didn’t even out in the ALCS. It doesn’t even out in the short run.

      He had one bloop hit. All the others were hit hard. And he had at least 5 or 6 bullets that got caught.

    19. 77yankees
      October 27th, 2010 | 11:14 pm

      You can’t point to any one thing a player, or the manager or the GM did or didn’t do that caused them to lose. We just got beat, period, and sometimes you just have to accept that.

      This series wasn’t on par with the endings in 2004, 2003, 2001, or 1995 where you lament what if this or that or “we were one hit/pitch away”. No – it didn’t apply here.

    20. Raf
      October 28th, 2010 | 4:28 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      FWIW, it’s been my experience that people like you when they agree with your opinion and you’re a hack when they don’t agree with what you’re saying.

      I have no problem with agreeing or disagreeing with an opinion, that doesn’t make one a hack. What makes one a hack is formulating poorly written and or researched opinions.

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