The weekend from hell

jobabiblegoldman042609.jpgTHE WEEKEND FROM HELL
Of all the troubling events of the past weekend in Boston, perhaps the most ominous development was Joba Chamberlain’s Friday evening start, in which he pitched like a much older man, walking four and striking out two. Naturally, various broadcast crews spent the weekend wondering if this meant that Chamberlain should be sent back to the bullpen, where he threw harder. Guys: reduced velocity and a loss of control does not indicate that a pitcher is starting or relieving. Reduced velocity and a loss of control indicates that something is wrong. Any argument that Chamberlain is now hoarding his stuff as a starter is purely suppositional and highly unlikely, and Chamberlain’s role is less important at this moment than the possibility that he might be hurt.

MY LATEST THEORY
Steven Jackson is on the roster purely so the Yankees can bring a full complement of players out to the foul line during the national anthem. It is painful to watch Joe Girardi manage games so as to get them into the hands of his so-called dependable veterans, pathologically avoiding the kids now on the roster. This is 180 degrees removed from the Girardi of a year ago, who did so much to revamp the bullpen after years of Joe Torre kiting from veteran to veteran. For some reason, Girardi doesn’t seem to be willing to do it again. Yet, the team isn’t winning and the pen isn’t helping, so whatever he’s trying to do in getting those pitchers reestablished, and in some cases re-reestablished requires rethinking.

WHY THE YANKEES STILL NEED TO ACQUIRE ANOTHER THIRD BASEMAN

Because even if Alex Rodriguez comes back tomorrow, he could be out again the day after. That could be for any reason, not just his hip. A pitch could fracture his hand in his first plate appearance of the season, and the Yankees would be right back where they were. This is what we call insurance. You don’t think your house will burn down tomorrow, but you pay the insurance, just in case. There will be no time this season where it will be safe for the Yankees to have so little depth at the hot corner, just because life is unpredictable. Meanwhile, playing Angel Berroa at third clearly means you’re not altogether serious about winning. Playing Cody Ransom meant that too, but it was marginally worth trying — though not without a safety net. It is stunning how little Yankees management learned from last season’s injuries.

PROBABLY WISHFUL THINKING, BUT…
…If Sidney Ponson could hold the Tigers to three runs over eight innings, as he did on Sunday, the Yankees should be okay in this series.

THE AROUND (AND ABOUT)
?    In a previous entry, I said that no one can win the NL East. Allow me to add the AL West to that formulation as well.

?    Dear Angels: Can the Yankees offer you 1.5 pitchers for your own apparently despised 3B/SS Brandon Wood? With affection, Brian Cashman. Dear Rockies: Can the Yankees offer you .5 pitchers for your own redundant third baseman Jeff Baker? Respectfully, Brian “Manpower Shortage” Cashman. Dear Mike Blowers: All is forgiven. Please come home. With sincere regret, Brian “I Didn’t Work Here Then” Cashman.

?    Best wishes to Braves All-Star Brian McCann as he heads for the DL trying to cure his blurred vision. We know from bad vision at the Pinstriped Bible, and we feel for you, Brian. McCann is apparently off for a second Lasik surgery.

?    Gavin Floyd was battered by the Blue Jays on Friday night. Given Floyd’s unrealistically low batting average allowed on balls in play last year, forecasting a regression was one of the easiest calls of the offseason…

?    I love allmusic.com, because sometimes you just have to know how many bands have covered “Daydream Believer,” “Coconut Grove,” or “Who Put the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder?”  

?    Sometimes I think, “Where would the Royals be without Zack Greinke?” Then a voice answers, “Where are they with him?”

?    On the eve of a new Bob Dylan release, a reminder that if you haven’t been with the man on his last three albums, “Time Out of Mind,” “Love and Theft,” and “Modern Times,” you’ve missed a remarkable career renaissance. I’m not certain of Dylan has changed with the times or the times have become strange to the point that Dylan is now able to sing from a timeless American dimension in which civil war soldiers commiserate with hoboes over the Great Depression, both admiring the singing of Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, who are playing just down the line at the next soup kitchen. Many of these songs are fatalistic, but simultaneously reassuring. In the early ’60s, Dylan was an entertainer. In the mid- to late-60s he was angry. It was harder for him to find relevance from the mid-70s through the 90s, but now he’s memory, and boy, do we need memory. “I got my back to the sun ’cause the light is too intense/I can see what everybody in the world is up against/Can’t turn back, you can’t come back, sometimes we push too far/One day you’ll open up your eyes and you’ll see where we are.” Funny thing about history; you can only mourn what you’ve lost if you know what you had, and who in modern times has any use for the lessons of history? Thus the next line of the song: “Sugar Baby, get on down the road/Ain’t got no brains no how/You went years without me/Might as well keep going now.”

?    One good sign for Alex Rodriguez is how well Chase Utley and Mike Lowell, both veterans of recent hip surgery, have been hitting. The Yankees have seen the latter’s work firsthand…

?    It seems odd how quickly the Twins decided that Carlos Gomez was a defensive replacement rather than a starter, especially when Mike Cuddyer and Delmon Young aren’t giving them anything special at the plate. Just because Cuddyer is the rare Twin under a sort-of pricey contract doesn’t mean he has to play. As for Young, at this point the hype, always out of balance to the actual product, should no longer blind anyone to the realities of the player. The Twins, by the way, possess several mediocre third baseman that can actually play third base, and yet they have no current use for. Just sayin’.

?    In case you missed it, Carl Pavano got hammered Saturday. He’s now 0-3 with a 9.50 ERA. Somehow, though the thrill isn’t quite as sweet given that the Yankees passed up their own opportunity to thrash him…

?    Charlie Manuel benched Jimmy Rollins on Sunday because “He’s not swinging good.” While it is true that Rollins is batting only .162/.205/.235, unless you really think he needs a mental health break, or he’s doing some Manny-style sulking thing that we don’t know about, do you bench a former MVP and three-time All-Star? You figure a ten-year vet will work his way out of it…

?    Are we off the Marlins’ bandwagon yet?

?    Given that Reds’ left fielders have combined to hit .171/.275/.300 to date, why not run Micah Owings out there every once in awhile? Is Laynce Nix really going to do that much better?

?    Chris Davis of the Rangers has a seven-game hitting streak going, in which he’s hitting .304/.360/.739 with three home runs, including two in his last two games. His strikeout-walk ratio in that time is 12-1, so he’s not over his troubles yet, but at least he’s holding his own for now after his miserable start. Note also Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s eight-game streak (not counting a no at-bat appearance as a defensive replacement), during which he’s hit .407/.429/
.630. His strikeout-walk ratio I during the streak is 10-1. Hey, Rudy Jaramillo: what are you teaching these guys?

9 Comments

The Red Sox series was absolutley atrocious!! Yet again, the red sox just walked all over the Yankees organization. Hey JETER, instead of smiling all the time, how about you go and get your team fired up!! Go get into a fight or something instead of the whole time sit on your ***** and just get pounced on. I don’t even think the weekend was a big weekend baseball wise but I’m just sick and tired of this team get beat and outplayed and out hustled for the past two years. You brought in 3 huge aquisitions. Why are we one game under .500??? It just seems there’s no fire, there is no Paul O’neil getting pissed because they lost the game or not the big hit. People can tell me what they want about how all that stuff goes on behind doors but maybe as a fan, I want to see Jeter hit a water cooler once in a blue moon because they didn’t win a game. Someone get fired up in that clubhouse! I know it’s a long season but they got to get this ship headed in the right direction. And no, we don’t need a third baseman. It’s a stupid move, who are you going to give up for a guy like Brandon Wood and when the best player in the league and on the team comes back in two weeks? What is brandon wood going to do? And another thing, we’re sitting here watching Teixiera (who I love by the way) get paid crazy amounts of money. I’m sorry but 1-3 with a single doesn’t do it for me anymore. Start producing. I know it’s early but somethings gotta give.

another thirdbaseman is the least of the yankees concerns think outfield. do you still want damon running into walls and getting nothing. maybe what the yankees really need is theo epstien he would be a great aqusition wouldnt he, so what if yankees spent 400 mill in the offseason, he spends 12 mill and creates a better team. Fail yankees. Total Fail. its been fail since 2001. notice how the payroles kept getting bigger. for somereason the yankees brass keeps thinking money buys championships.

lmao funny, true, jeter instead of smiling all the time get your team to hit with risp LOOOL.

I’ve seen Lowell play and the fact he had trouble bending down to field a few ground balls worried me! I mean imagine the whole in the left side of the infield if he can’t bend to field a simple grounder! Get a 3rd baseman who can bend and let A-Rod DH.

Wow. It was a horrible weekend, but when you start ragging Jeter for a lack of leadership, that’s getting bit out there, don’t you think? Jeter has never been a hit-the-watercooler-type of guy, and that’s not necessarily the brand of leadership the Yanks need.

Besides, those comments imply that somehow it’s a result of not trying or not caring enough. That’s both insulting and baseless. As frustrating as it was to see them tee it up over and over with nothing to show for it, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes you just don’t play well.

To jmmccuva. My point that i’m trying to make is that whatever their doing isn’t working. They have the best player in baseball in Alex Rodriguez, granted he hasn’t played a lick this season but arguebly the best staff in the MLB and they still find a way to be in games with teams they shouldn’t be. I completely agree with you that sometimes you don’t play well but how can you keep making excuses about how they “just don’t play well?” Sometimes you have to put your foot down and say, enough is enough. The point with the watercooler is that we need to get some fire back in this Yankee team. I know Jeter isn’t the watercooler hittin type but maybe they need to start playing with more fire instead of being complacent like they have been. Instead of smiling all the time and being happy being Derek Jeter should change.

Does anyone wonder why the Yankees have obtained the biggest stars in baseball only to see them fail and then revive again after they leave the team? It is really very simple. The Yankee management puts so much pressure onto these players via outlandish salaries and the aura of just being a Yankee that they cannot function at their best level. Lay-off them management and you’ll wi n another world series pronto.

Does anyone wonder why the Yankees have obtained the biggest stars in baseball only to see them fail and then revive again after they leave the team? It is really very simple. The Yankee management puts so much pressure onto these players via outlandish salaries and the aura of just being a Yankee that they cannot function at their best level. Lay-off them management and you’ll wi n another world series pronto.

Does anyone wonder why the Yankees have obtained the biggest stars in baseball only to see them fail and then revive again after they leave the team? It is really very simple. The Yankee management puts so much pressure onto these players via outlandish salaries and the aura of just being a Yankee that they cannot function at their best level. Lay-off them management and you’ll wi n another world series pronto.

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