Down with Mitre, brawling, rivers in Thailand

mitre02.jpgWHAT CASEY SAID
Forgive me if I’ve used this quote before in talking about Sergio Mitre. When the Yankees lost a miserable home game, ten-time pennant-winning Yankees manager Casey Stengel had a saying: “The attendance was robbed,” by which he meant, “We didn’t give the fans fair value tonight.

Each time the Yankees start Mitre, the attendance gets robbed. After Mitre’s last start, Joe Girardi claimed that the defense had undermined what was otherwise a good start. This time, Mitre allowed four home runs in five innings of work. With all respect to Girardi, who has largely done a fine job this season, if he says that Mitre pitched well but the stadium was too small to contain his genius, I’m going to be sick.

The Yankees don’t need these wins, or at least they don’t right now, though if they somehow lose home field advantage in the playoffs, you can start pointing fingers at whoever has authorized Mitre to make start after miserable start. Still, even if they end up with pole position in the postseason, simple professionalism should dictate that Mitre doesn’t get any more games.

Even if these starts rank as throwaways for the 2009 season, surely there is some deserving young hurler — perhaps Trenton’s Zach McAllister? — who deserves a chance to show what he can do so the Yankees are more informed about their options for next year. The more the Yankees know about what they have on hand for 2010, the less they have to sweat subsidizing Chen-Ming Wang’s decline or making any other needlessly expensive moves. At this point, all Mitre is telling them is that he’s currently not a Major League pitcher. What he’s telling the fans, or what the Yankees are telling them by pitching him, is a very different matter.

OVERHEARD
I was drinking coffee in a bookstore recently when I heard a fellow at the table next to me say, “Denial is a river in Thailand.” I’m still not sure what he thought he was saying.

THE BRAWL
It seems like just about every observer of last night’s fracas has come to the same very reasonable conclusion, which is that whatever the offense Jorge Posada thought he had suffered — and having someone throw behind you is worse than having someone throw at you, because you can duck the latter, whereas you’re more likely to duck into the former — the fight was not something the Yankees needed. The risk of serious injury to a key player is too great, and with the team needing to protect both the division title and home-field advantage, even a small suspension can be ruinous.

This is particularly true in the case of Posada, who is sure to be seen as the primary instigator of last night’s action. The drop-off in offense from Hip-Hip Jorge to Hic-Hic Jose Molina or the non-alliterative Francisco Cervelli is so huge that an ICBM couldn’t carry the distance – although let’s give all due credit to Molina for his .320 on-base percentage, which is easily a career high; Molina has never cleared a .300 OBP in any season of more than 81 plate appearances. Sadly, his newfound selectivity does not erase his other offensive deficiencies, so he’s literally about half the hitter that Posada has been this year.

Jesse Carlson is a busher, a 28-year-old sophomore spot reliever on a nowhere team. He was wrong to throw behind Posada, even to deliver a message, and he was out of place on the play at the plate during which Posada (needlessly) elbowed him. We talk about players like this playing spoiler, but usually they do that by beating a contender, not taking a beating so that the contender loses its best players to disciplinary action. Tempers can flare, people will fight — that’s all understandable and human. The Yankees have to be smarter than base instinct if they want to win a pennant and eventually a championship. Girardi was right to tell them so after the game. There’s more at stake than masculine pride.

6 Comments

“OVERHEARD
I was drinking coffee in a bookstore recently when I heard a fellow at the table next to me say, “Denial is a river in Thailand.” I’m still not sure what he thought he was saying.”

I think he was trying to say “De-Nile is a river in Africa”

De-Nile is a river in Egypt. As far as Posada is concerned, that was a really dumb move on his part. You could see it coming, Carlson was out of position backing up the catcher, it was almost as if he was there on purpose, as if to instigate a collision. That’s the way I saw it, and I am sure that is the way Posada saw it. With the throw coming in from right field, Carlson should have been on the third base side of home plate, if he didn’t have any intentions of a further confrontation. It still doesn’t excuse Posada’s actions. If he had time to think about it, I doubt he would have done it. Two or three days suspension at this juncture is really going to hurt, unless he can serve the suspension while the Yanks are playing Kansas City. I hope Bob Watson takes a moment to consider Carlson’s actions as well.

Egypt is in Africa. And anyway, the Nile isn’t just located in Egypt.

So, “Denial is a river in Thailand,” huh? I’ll have to remember that one.

I saw Sergio Mitre start at Trenton and he got bombed there, so why is Girardi sticking with this guy? He’s obviously not ready. Girardi should have sent him packing a long time ago just like Cody Ransom, that guy was terrible. As far as Posada, he should have elbowed him in the mouth but not in the middle of a playoff run. Well now he can really rest his finger!

Mcallister is > than Mitre.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: