After their win on July 18th this season, the New York Yankees, on a run where they won 9 of 11 games, sat on top of the world in the American League standings:
In fact, at the close of business on July 18th, the Yankees had a big, fat, ten game lead in the A.L. East.
After opening the 2012 season where they only played .500 ball over their first 42 games (going 21-21), the Yankees were a juggernaut going 36-13 from May 22nd through July 18th. And, then, since that time, New York has crapped their own bed.
Look at how the American League teams (who are currently still have a chance at a 2012 post-season berth) have done since July 19th of this season (to date, including yesterday’s games):
As you can see, the Yankees have played the worst baseball of these eight remaining contending teams. And, they have now allowed the Baltimore Orioles to gain 8 games in the A.L. East standings since July 19th.
Further, the Yankees are now at risk of not making the post-season in 2012 – at all – if they choke up the lead in the A.L. East since there are more than two teams close to them in terms of their overall record.
To say that the Yankees have been a horror since July 18th this season may be an understatement.
Of course, they can turn this around by playing better over the next four weeks. But, why should anyone in Yankeeland expect that now, based on what we have seen over the last 43 games?
Are you kidding me with this one?
- Leaving the bases loaded to end the 1st inning.
- The way the 2nd inning ended at the plate.
- Garcia imploding in the 5th inning.
- Joba in the 6th inning.
- Logan in the 7th inning.
- Lowe in the 8th inning.
What more can I say?
Via Joel Sherman -
Russell Martin homered twice on June 10, finishing off a sweep of the Mets with a leadoff, game-ending blast in the ninth inning.
That was four weeks, one humongous slump and — perhaps — many, many, many millions of dollars ago for the looming free agent.
After that game, Martin actually proclaimed, “I am starting to feel dangerous at the plate.”
He said he believed he had mended a glitch that had made him susceptible to being jammed. The two homers against the Mets gave him five homers, 11 RBIs and 1.092 OPS in his last 17 games. His overall .216 average did not look impressive, but was his season high.
And then Martin began to hit like a pitcher — a particularly bad-hitting pitcher.
Friday night, as the Yankees generated 14 hits in a 10-8 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Martin again had none. His 0-for-3 extended his hitless streak to 30 at-bats — the longest by a Yankees since Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi both had 0-for-32 stretches in 2004. Overall, Martin is in a 4-for-57 slump.
His season average is down to .176 in 240 plate appearances. The worst average by a Yankee who came to the plate at least 450 times was the .193 of Jerry Kenney in 1970.
In other words, Martin is in danger of making history, and not the kind any player wants to make — especially in his walk year.
Martin turned down a Yankees overture in the offseason believed to be in the three-year, $24 million range and bet on himself.
Now he has the second half to better cash in on that bet. There is a dearth of quality catching available and teams will appreciate many things about Martin: 1) How athletic he is behind the plate. 2) His reputation for really putting in the prep time to work well with pitchers. 3) That he doesn’t turn 30 until February.
Nevertheless, it is going to be hard for Martin to even replicate the $24 million if he cannot get over the Mendoza Line, if he cannot rebound to hit for impact with more consistency in the second half of the season.
“I really don’t think about that,” Martin said of his free agency. “I really am trying to concentrate on winning as many games as possible.”
Still, Joe Girardi is concerned human nature being human nature, Martin will look up each at-bat, see his average on the scoreboard and overreact.
“I worry about him trying to make up for what happened in the first 81 games,” the Yankees manager said.
I don’t get the Martin thing – at all. On any other contending big league team, if you had a 29-year old catcher in the walk year of his contract who was batting .176 in 240 plate appearances, he would be benched, demoted, or cut.
Why the Yankees continue to run Martin out there is beyond me…except for the fact that there’s no one in the organization to take his place that would be an upgrade. And, the General Manager has to be blamed for that fact. Then again, it was the Yankees G.M. who was comparing Martin to the late, great, Thurman Munson before the start of this season. Yikes.
And, let’s not forget that Martin hit .225 from May 2nd through the end of the season last year (in 391 PA). So, it’s not like you needed to be a genius to figure out that he has a hole in his bat.
If you’re the Cubs or Padres this year and you want to play a guy at catcher who bats like a bad-hitting pitcher, that’s fine. But, when you’re the Yankees, this is unacceptable.
On Saturday, I took my 10-year old daughter to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won. The Mets lost. It was a good game.
I live about 50 miles away from Yankee Stadium and the only practical way for me to get there is by car.
Heading to the game today, we left our house at 3:45 PM. Yes, I know it was a 7:15 PM start for the game. However, we wanted to get there early enough where we were not rushing – and we wanted to see the pre-game parachutes that were scheduled for 6:15 PM (per the Yankees – meanwhile, they really started at 6:30 PM).
My route to Yankee Stadium is pretty simple. I take the Garden State Parkway to the Turnpike. And, then I take Route 46 into the “G.W.B.” Once over the Bridge, I immediately get off and take local streets to the Stadium (and, I don’t mess with the Major Deegan or anything else).
Going in today, as I said, we left at 3:45 PM and zipped into the Stadium. At 5 PM, I was locking my car and we were heading into my fav Yankee Stadium deli to get sandwiches to bring into the game. That’s reasonable – an hour fifteen, door to door, for the 50 miles.
Coming home, it was a different story.
Of course, we waited until the final out of the game to leave our seats. And, after that, my daughter made a quick stop at the restroom before we left the Stadium. But, we were back at our car, in the parking garage, at 10:25 PM.
And, that’s where it got ugly. It took us one hour and five minutes to get from our spot in the garage to the George Washington Bridge. Yes, it took us 75 minutes to drive all the way in to the game. But, it took us 65 minutes, coming home, just to get away from the Stadium and out of the Bronx.
Once we got on the Bridge, because it was then 11:30 PM, we flew from there and I got home at 12:30 AM on Sunday morning. In total, coming home, door to door, it took two hours and five minutes to cover the 50 miles – and most of that drag was due to the mess in the Bronx, on the streets, after the game, around Yankee Stadium.
Now, I get it. This is not my first rodeo. I’ve been here before – big games against the Red Sox, post-season games, etc. – and, I know there’s heavy and slow traffic after the game…especially if it’s a big crowd and a close score. (And, for the record, there were over 48,000 there on Saturday and the final score was just 4-2.)
There have been times in the past where it’s taken me just as long, if not longer, than it did to get away from Yankee Stadium and out of the Bronx. However, just because it’s happened in the past, it doesn’t take the annoyance factor out of it happening again now. And, just because it’s been this way, it’s no excuse for the Yankees and cops, not to do a better job at keeping things flowing, as best as possible, when these big game crowds empty out of the Stadium.
Or, is that asking too much?
I have to a agree. Between the repeats on the MLB Network this AM and the crap on ESPN’s extra channels (outside of Mike & Mike), there’s no excuse not to have these games on TV.
If the games are THAT boring and unattractive to have on live TV in the States, then it makess no sense to have them played.
Yesterday, I wore my “Yankees” jacket for the first time in 2012.
Actually, it was the first time that I have worn it in a while. How long? Read on.
When I put on the jacket, I realized there was something in one of the pockets. When I pulled it out, I realized that it was my ticket stubs from Game 5 of the 2011 ALDS between the Yankees and the Tigers.
Yes, the game that everyone in Yankeeland thought was a gimmie win – and the game where New York had:
- The bases loaded with one out in the 4th and could not score.
- The bases loaded with one out in the 7th and A-Rod struck out.
And, in the end, the Yankees lost, 3-2.
That was four months ago – the last time that I wore my Yankees jacket.
Like a lot of Yankees fans, I have put that game far away in my memory. Now, I wonder, is that a mistake?
I love the MLB Network.
Really, I know it has not been around all that long. However, I don’t know what I would do, now, without it.
It’s my “go to” channel any time I turn on the T.V. and I do not have something specific in mind to watch…
But, gosh, they keep playing that New Era “Rivals Are…” commerical over and over and over….
It’s so annoying. Is that the only advertiser that they have?
Anyone else watching how the Rangers went about their business in the 9th inning of Game 2 last night think “My goodness, why couldn’t the Yankees do this in Game 5 of the ALDS this year?!?”
And, if you did, who do you blame for it not happening? The Yankees players? Girardi? Both? Neither?
Here are Mark Teixeira’s post-season numbers, to date, as a member of the New York Yankees:
The Yankees’ current Triple-A franchise is anchored in the twin cities of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, an area in northeast Pennsylvania that has always supported baseball on some level. But the Yankees organization decided that PNC Field, the Triple-A team’s home park, is in desperate need of renovation. The job will take all of 2012.
And back in New York, management came up with a magnificent public relations idea. Newark had been the bellwether of all Yankee minor league teams dating as far back as when Jacob Ruppert was paying Babe Ruth’s salary across the river. Newark, through horrendous mismanagement, has seen its minor league team dissolve.
Newark has a ballpark. With that in mind, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman visited the city’s Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, which does need work. He met with Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. Together, they hammered out an agreement that could be done for the least money.
To understand the mechanics of what followed, you have to understand that Major League Baseball has a 90-year-old Supreme Court ruling giving it an antitrust exemption. The Boy Scouts of America have no such exemption. The NFL, NBA and NHL have no such blanket exemption. Chains of cloistered nuns or Trappist monasteries do not have an antitrust exemption.
Under baseball’s rules, the exclusivity of the Yankees and Mets territory is shared. The Yankees called the Mets and asked permission to put their Triple-A team in Newark for only a single year.
The Mets declined.
The Yankees tried again. They pointed out that it was only for a single year.
The Mets declined again.
The Yankees tried once more. They repeated that this was just for a single year. They said that if the Mets agreed for just that one season they would offer an evergreen matching proposal. In essence, they would give the Mets the same shot if they had a team with a minor league park in jeopardy, no matter how many eons into the future.
The Mets declined, saying their organization would only do something like that with mutual and immediate reciprocity as they did when the Yanks put a minor league team in Staten Island and allowed the Mets to do the same in Brooklyn.
But those were permanent moves. This was only for a year, the Yankees argued. They also offered a permanent waiver if a similar situation ever arose for the Mets. In addition, there was Yankee money involved in this final offer.
And once again, the Mets declined.
Today, DiVincenzo thanked the Yankees for their consideration and Brian Cashman, the Yankee GM, for his “professionalism.” But he could not hide his obvious disappointment:
“Unfortunately, the Mets exercised their territorial rights to block this temporary partnership and have prevented the chance for baseball fans to come to Newark and Essex County to watch players in minor league baseball’s highest classification on their way up to the major leagues. It would have rejuvenated interest in one of the highest levels of the sport in an important urban area.”
One of the concerns that influenced the Mets was their belief that a minor league team in Newark might have weaned potential Mets fans away from the affluent New Jersey suburbs.
Man, are the Mutts looking like big league arse-holes for making this call. And, if I’m the Yankees, I file this one away – but never forget it. And, the first time that they have the chance to screw the Mets in the future, the Yankees should call upon this memory and stick it to the Mets…right between the ears.
I waited on Yankees Weather tweets as long as I could today – but, then I had to make the call and head out to the Stadium.
I left my house at 4 PM – and, thanks to the rain and rush-hour traffic, I didn’t get up to the Stadium until a few minutes past six. Yes, two hours, bumper to bumper, door to door.
Once there, I parked – for forty bucks – with my pre-paid parking ticket. And, then, my daughter and I grabbed some sandwiches from our favorite deli and went into the Stadium. I’m guessing that we sat down around 6:40 PM, thereabouts.
Around 7:10 PM, I knew the game wasn’t going to start on time. So, I asked my daughter if she wanted to go out to Monument Par…Kave.
She did – so, we went. As we were coming back to our seats, we took a look at the Great Hall, from up above, and I saw people walking out of the Stadium. And, then, I figured bad news was coming…
We went into the Yankees Museum and then I saw the announcement that the game was called. I reached out to my wife, via the cell, and she said that the Yankees just called our house with an automated message – saying that the game was rained out. Duh.
So, back to the car, where I just pissed away $40 on parking, and time to head home. We left the garage around 7:45 PM and I got home around 9:15 PM.
My daughter had fun – enjoyed her sandwich, liked the Monument Park and the museum. And, she likes the fact that now she can see another game…maybe Sunday…or next year.
But, boy, do I feel like a sucker. I should have stayed home, never left, saved the gas and tolls – and the time in traffic! – and got a credit for the parking – and I still would have been able to get my rain-check on a game that anyone with a half a brain would have called this afternoon, based on the forecast.
MLB sucks for allowing this to go until just past seven to pull the plug. It’s just stupid and inconsiderate. And, I’m a sucker for playing into it.
Tweet from Mark Teixeira today -
Gee, Mark, maybe if you get your batting average up to a respectable level, then the booing that’s about to start at home won’t happen too!
Is there a difference between starting a game at 11 PM…and having it end at 2 AM…and then playing another game 11 hours later, and, playing a traditional double-header on one day? I would have to think the former is just as taxing as the latter.
Why MLB made the Yankees play last night – and screw their fans – makes little sense, no?
And, I think we’ve seen enough.
Just like Mike Griffin, he’s fooled us long enough. We found out about him today. That should do it for him.
Cashman can take the objective pipe and stick it up his poop chute.
Burnett is a turd. And, he must be flushed.
I had a long trip home tonight after work. So, after dinner, I hit the gym (to let off some steam). After a nice workout, I got home around 9 PM.
Instead of picking up the game, I decided to watch Predators on HBO In Demand. (I had never seen it before tonight.)
The movie ended just after the final out of the Yankees game – just in time for me to catch the recap of what happened.
A Burnett melt-down in the sixth. Mo taken yard in the ninth. And, the Grandy Man getting “Jeff Nelson’ed” to end it with the winning run at the plate.
Granted, I only saw the “low-lights,” but, is it just me, or, is this possibly the worst Yankees game of the season to date?
How many wins did A.J. Burnett have in July of this year?
It’s the same amount as he had in June and August of last year.
And, it’s the same as the amount he had in August of 2009.
Think about that. This guy has pitched 16 months of regular season baseball for the Yankees to date, never missing a turn. And, in 25% of those months, he failed to win a single game.
Burnett is the 8th highest paid pitcher in baseball today. He should be an ace at that salary. But, he’s far from that. What a joke.
Did anyone see Maicer Izturis’ RBI “single” in the 9th inning of Saturday’s game?
Is it just me, or, is that a ball that an average major league shortstop makes a play on – with little problem – to get the out? (Maybe it was just me, it was late when it happened…)
In any event, maybe it’s time for the Yankees to get a defensive caddy that they can trust – meaning not Eduardo “Death To Flying Things” Nunez – on the roster to sub for Derek Jeter in late and close games? There’s no need to have Luis Ayala, Hector Noesi and Lance Pendleton on the roster at the same time. They’re all garbage time fillers. You don’t need three of them. Do you?
It’s how you say Kyle Farnsworth in Spanish.
That’s Brian Cashman tending bar last night at Foley’s, wearing the same bandana-and-spiked-hair wig that he wore when he rappelled down a building in Stamford, Connecticut, last Christmas.
Enough with the “look at me” photo-ops, huh, Cash?
I know, I know, it’s for charity. Then again, remember what Big Stein always used to say? It was: “If you do something for someone and more than two people know about it, meaning you and that person, then you did it for the wrong reason.”
Word, Boss. Word.
At this point, I would much rather have someone who is “no name” – but a real and qualified “baseball person” – someone trying to make his bones as a hard working GM, running the Yankees. Someone who just wants to do his job, and well, with no fanfare or excuses, rather than someone who is running around town in a wig speaking at pancake breakfasts, jumping off buildings, tending bar – and getting his picture on TV and in the papers.
Gabe Paul and Stick Michael just did their job without using it as a platform to attain celebrity status. Cashman should follow that example instead of trying to be like Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Kenny Williams – making a “name” for himself for doing things outside of the office. Guys like John Schuerholz and Pat Gillick did it right. Cashman’s inflated sense of self-importance and need for admiration is getting old in a hurry here. I just hope the Yankees put an end to it – and soon.
With the Yankees having now signed Rafael Soriano, I have to point out what Bill Madden wrote the other day -
The word is out on Soriano, whose refusal to take the ball on occasion or pitch more than one inning incurred the wrath of Rays manager Joe Maddon. Cashman, who has been burned too often on big-money contracts to set-up relievers in the past (Steve Karsay, Kyle Farnsworth, Damaso Marte) is also loathe to give up a No. 1 draft pick for Soriano, who’s a Type A free agent. He said flat out Friday he won’t do it.
And, I also want to point out what Mark Simon had to share on the pitcher as well -
The one warning sign that comes with Soriano is this: Some of his peripheral numbers weren’t as good as they have been in the past, such as his strikeouts per nine innings rate, which dropped from 12.1 in 2009 to 8.2 in 2010.
The Rays also did a particularly good job at turning his batted balls into outs. Opponents hit .212 when putting the ball into play last season, an 85-point drop from 2009. It’s rare for a pitcher to be able to pitch to a number that low, though Soriano also did it previously with the Atlanta Braves in 2007.
Soriano’s status as a fly ball pitcher may cause a little concern with his coming to Yankee Stadium, considering that 67 percent of the balls in play against him were hit in the air. He allowed six home runs in 2010 (four in the regular season), though three of them cleared the fence by less than 10 vertical feet or landed less than one fence-height beyond the fence, according to work done for HittrackerOnline.
Soriano’s contract is the second-largest given to a free agent reliever not named Rivera, in terms of average annual value. Rivera has netted a pair of $15 million per year deals. The only other pitcher to get a bigger contract will be pitching across the river from Soriano — Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez (three years, $12.33 million per).
Oh, and, then there’s the whole untucking of the shirt thing when he’s done with his inning of work:
So, in Rafael Soriano, the Yankees may have signed a combination of Kyle Farnsworth (won’t pitch more than an inning or on back-to-back days), K-Rod (too many on-field histrionics) and Billy Taylor (save numbers hide fact that ballpark and defense aided his numbers). And, they’re paying him huge bucks too (“second-largest given to a free agent reliever not named Rivera”). Attaboy Cashman.
The Yankees Alex Rodriguez is quoted, below, directly after the Yankees lost the 2010 ALCS, via a New York Post report entitled “A-Rod downcast after postseason without homer” –
“This is going to hurt. And it’s going to hurt for a while. And it should. We expect to win every year and our front office has put a team on the field that’s expected to win and should win, and we came up short.”
…This is going to hurt. And it’s going to hurt for a while. And it should…
O.K., remember those words. And, now, see this report from TMZ entitled “A-Rod Mourns Playoff Loss with LeBron” -
The day after the New York Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, Alex Rodriguez partied at a Miami nightclub with someone who is no stranger to playoff failure … LeBron James.
The two kicked it at the grand opening of the Arkadia at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Saturday night to attend Drake’s 24th birthday party.
Spies inside the club tell us both A-Rod and LeBron partied until 1:00 AM — and were each seen drinking Grey Goose La Poire vodka.
Since they’re each worth roughly a bazillion dollars — who do you think pays for drinks?
Hey, what can I say? It’s stuff like this which is the reason why so many see A-Rod has being totally disingenuous.
In their last 67 games of the 2010 regular season, the Yankees went 34-33. During this time, their pitchers allowed 4.5 runs per game and their offense scored 5.1 runs per game. Clearly, for the last 67 games of the season – which is more than 40% of the schedule – the Yankees were in tread water mode.
And, it was worse towards the end. In their last 26 games of the 2010 regular season, the Yankees went 9-17. During this time, their pitchers allowed 5.4 runs per game and their offense scored 4.6 runs per game.
So, should be be shocked that the Yankees averaged 4.0 runs scored per game and allowed 5.0 runs per game this post-season? What the Yankees did, collectively, in the ALDS and ALCS was basically the same poor performance that they had over their last 26 games of the season.
Personally, I was concerned about their poor closing performance as they headed into the ALDS. Therefore, I’m not shocked that they Yankees went 5-4 in their 9 post-season games. Mediocre is as mediocre does, and all that.
More so, at this point, I’m more interested in the “why?” than the “what.” Why did the Yankees play so poorly for so long at the close of the season? And, who was responsible for realizing what was going on and what did they do to address it? There’s failure here. And, there has to be a root cause. Further, what will be done to address it for next season? And, who’s on point for that?
I have some preliminary ideas about all this – but, at this junction, I’d rather here from you. What do you think about this? How would you answer these questions?
So, the Yankees have now lost 12 of their last 18 games. And, a case could be made that they’re very lucky that it’s not 14 of their last 18.
Yeah, I know, they almost came back in the loss last night. Big whoops. It was a bunch of garbage time homers. And, in the end, it was all a date late and a dollar short.
Man, these are different times in Yankeeland. Do you think if this was happening before that church service for Otto Graham back in December 2003 that all this would be tolerated as much as it is today?
Me? To be candid, at first I was upset about how the Yankees are playing lately. But, now, I’m just flat out angry. Yeah, my state towards all this has gone from being troubled to being enraged now.
This team has eight games left to get their act together before the post-season. And, it would be beyond nice if they could start working towards that right now.
If angry comes after upset, what comes after angry? I’m really not looking forward to finding out.
If not for this man, the Yankees would have lost 13 of their last 17 games!
In any event, as it is, with their loss tonight, New York has now lost 11 of their last 17 games. So, how ugly is that?
It’s about as ugly as a leotard clad quinquagenarian with 1980′s big hair
acting like she’s getting her butt mud pushed in.
For a team with the most wins in their league, right now, the Yankees sure do stink.
Three days ago, I warned about this happening. And, this morning, I shared how important it was for the Yankees to win today. But, they lost – yet again. Make it eight of their last ten, now, that New York has dropped. And, at this moment, the A.L. Wildcard standings are:
W L PCT GB Yankees 88 58 .603 - Red Sox 82 64 .562 6
Yup, it’s a six game difference between the two teams with 16 games to be played – including six head-to-head match-ups between New York and Boston. Oh, and, by the way, the Yankees also have to play the Rays four times, too, in those 16 games.
Man, ten days ago, the Red Sox looked like toast. Heck, the Red Sox appeared dead back on August 24th.
But, those stupid ef’n blankety-blank Yankees have opened the door and let the Red Sox back into this thing. Criminy!
Damn, I just want to kick something now. Thanks Yanks. Thanks a lot.
When was the last time that the Yankees were involved in an extra inning game, with the score tied at zero, with only 18 games left to follow, while being in first place, and playing the team directly behind them, by only one-half game, and they brought in pitchers like Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre to pitch in the extra frames – when they had several other pitchers with better statistics available?
Lemme guess, if Mitre had pulled a Houdini, like Gaudin did, was Javy Vazquez the next in line to pitch in this one for the Yankees?
Man, punting is one thing. But, it’s even worse when you shank it.
Update: In his post-game presser, Joe Girardi said that Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Jonathan Albaladejo were not available as they needed rest. And, that he would not use Mo Rivera in a non-save situation. Well, Joba hasn’t pitched since last Friday. So, what’s up with that? And, Robertson last pitched on Saturday – throwing one and a third. And, in fact, over the last 13 days, he’s only pitched 6 innings (over five games). Therefore, how tired can he be – throwing 6 innings over a span of two weeks?