Showing posts with label Joe Girardi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe Girardi. Show all posts

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yanks Leave Sweep on the Table

This weekend's series could not have been going better. Friday's game saw Andy Pettitte looking as good as ever over 7 strong innings of work. The Yankees won the game 4-1 on the back of Pettite's strong effort. 

It was more of the same on Saturday as CC toed the rubber looking to make up for his opening day hiccup. And makeup he did. He pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in another easy Yankee victory, this time by the score of 6-1. This game also saw continued hot production at the plate from Nick Swisher. Swisher went 2 for 3 with a homer and 3 RBI. The only downside was that Mark Teixeira was scratched from the lineup due to a sore wrist. 

That brings us to today's finale with the Royals. Joba Chamberlain took the hill for his first start against Royals ace, Gil Meche. Joba pitched was shaky at times but got through six innings of work while allowing only one earned run. He was in line for the win as the Yankees took the lead from the Royals in the 7th, scoring 3 runs in the inning to put the score at 4-3. Damaso Marte started the eighth inning on the mound and breezed through two batters, throwing only 11 pitches. However, he was removed from the game in favor of Jose Veras right hander Billy Butler, and that is when the wheels started to fall off.  Veras walked the only batter he would face. Girardi then brought in Phil Coke to face switch hitter Brayan Pena, who was 0-3 batting left handed during the game. By bringing Coke in, Pena switched to the right side. Coke went on to allow a double, single, and another double consecutively and the Royals plated 3 runs.

In my view this was a case of over managing by our beloved skipper Joe Girardi. Why remove Marte after retiring the first two batters with relative ease? The two batters Marte retired were left handed, but Marte is very capable of getting right handers out. Is he only going to be used as a lefty specialist? Not only did he over manage with Marte, he did so with Veras. OK, it's not Joe's fault Veras walked Butler. However, it is his fault that he brought in Coke to allow Pena to turn around and hit right handed when he was struggling to hit left handed all day long. Why give a struggling switch hitter a fresh start on the other side of the plate when he had shown he was struggling batting left handed? Phil Coke has got terrific stuff, but is he any better than the proven vet, Marte? What makes Marte strictly a lefty specialist and Coke not? I'm going to give Joe the benefit of the doubt. It's still early. But, these are the types of losses that teams look back on in the end of the year saying, "We should have won that game."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oh My God! The Sky is Falling!

CC Sabathia choked! He’s washed up! He can’t throw strikes! The Yankees just flushed $161 million down the drain! The Yankees should have signed Derek Lowe instead!

Mark Teixeira choked! He can’t take the pressure of playing in New York. He can’t even take the pressure of some boos in Baltimore! He can’t get a big hit!

Joe Girardi can't manage! The Yankees can't win with this guy! He doesn't know how to handle a pitching staff! If the Yankees get off to a slow start, he should be fired!

This pretty much sums up what I have read/heard after the Yankees dropped their season opener against Baltimore. To all of you ridiculous sports writers and radio hosts, please, SHUT THE HELL UP!

It was one game.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Official: Jeter to Leadoff

Joe Girardi announced on Wednesday that as of right now, Jeter will bat leadoff in Monday's season opener in Baltimore. The move should payoff as Jeter as it should cut down on Jeter's propensity to hit into the ground ball double play. Other than that, the move won't have any major significance in my opinion.

It was also announced on Tuesday that Jonathan Albaladejo will begin the season in the bullpen for the Yankees. This means that the Yankees will not have a "long man" in the pen to start off the year. The inclusion of Albaladejo is a curious one in my opinion as you wouldn't imagine Girardi using him in a big spot. Which in case, you should have a mop up guy such as Brett Tomko, Alfredo Aceves, or Dan Geise. In Joe Girardi, we trust.

The only remaining roster spot to be determined is the uitility infielder role off the bench. The two finalists seem to Angel Berroa and Ramiro Pena. Whoever wins this spot will only hold on to it until that A-Rod guy returns. In that case, why not Pena. Lets see what this kid can do. He is an excellent defensive shortstop with speed. He is also a good situational hitter who is able to lay down a bunt if needed. Lets see what the kid can do.

-Favad Ali

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rivalry Renewed

Yankees vs. Red Sox: Position by Position

With the Yankees falling out of playoff contention last year, the rivalry took a bit of a year off. With the moves the Yankees have made this offseason I believe they have closed the gap with their bitter rivals and the war is back on for 2009! I am no way discounting the Rays because they are the defending division champs and they will battle the Yanks and Sox all year long. This post is just purely to highlight the special rivalry the Yanks and Sox share.

C-Yankees. If Posada is anywhere near 100% his offensive production should be head and shoulders above the woeful Varitek

1B-Yankees (Barely). Tex is primed for a big year in the Bronx, but Youk is also an offensive force, especially in Fenway Park. Tiebreak goes to the Yankees because they ended up signing Teixeira away from the Sox, who so desperately wanted the slugger

2B- Red Sox. Reigning MVP Dustin Pedroia will probably come down to earth a bit from last year but Cano’s inconsistency gives Pedroia the edge.

3B-Yankees A-Rod Returns in May. Enough said.

SS-Yankees. Jeter may be headed into decline but I’d still take him over the combo of Lowrie and Lugo anyday.

LF-Push. Bay fit into the Red Sox clubhouse nicely, but Damon continues to be a force coming off of another great year.

CF- Red Sox. Ellsbury is exactly the type of player the Yankees hope Gardner turns into this year. Excellent defensively and on the bases.

RF- Push. Drew still has yet to put together a complete season in Boston. While the combination of Nady and Swisher should be comparible to Drew's production.

DH- Red Sox. Papi had a down year in 08 while Matsui could barely stay on the field. Papi takes it on pedigree.

Bench: Push. The Yankees will feature a bench with Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera on it. While the Sox have Rocco Baldelli and Mark Kotsay on the bench.

SP- Yankees. Top 3 are a push. Sabathia, Wang, Burnett are just as good as Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka. 4-5 Starters give the Yanks the edge. Pettitte and Chamberlain over Wakefield and Penny easily.

Middle Relief- Red Sox. The Yankees should be improved but the Sox have the proven bullpen arms.

Closer- Yankees. Rivera is still the greatest of all time but Papelbon isn’t far behind.

Manager- Red Sox. Francona has shown a winner’s touch while Girardi has yet to taste the champagne.

Front Office- Red Sox. You can’t argue with their success in mixing solid vets with young players from within. A lot like what the Yankees did back in ’94-’01. Yankees are slowly getting back to that formula.

Final Score: 6-6

It should be a fun year.

I’m sure these will be hotly contested opinions. I’d love to hear your comments/arguments. So please Post ‘em!

-Favad Ali

Brett, the Best Bet for Center

Before Sundays win against Pittsburgh, skipper Joe Girardi named Brett Gardner as the team's starting center fielder. We are happy for Brett and think that his speed and defense will help the team immensely. Brett should be given the green light to run at his own discretion and if so he should rack up upwards of 40 stolen bases this year. The Yankees haven't had a speed threat like that since Alfonso Soriano.

My only concern was that maybe Joe could have held off with announcing the winner of the battle between Gardy and the Melk Man until the last couple of exhibitions against the Cubs christening the new Yankee Stadium. Gardner, being a young player could let complacency slip in much the way we saw with Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera in the past. However something tells me that Gardner will not let this oppurtunity go to waste and will play every game like he's competing to keep the job. Because in all essence he will be. If he falls into a prolonged slump I'm sure we'll see Melky or someone else trying their luck in conquering the center field position.

-Favad Ali

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yanks Need a Fast Start

You can hear it now, The boos raining down from the upper deck of the brand new Yankee Stadium.  That's precisely the sound we will hear if Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees don't get off to a hot start. The zoo like atmosphere that will ensue during this first week of spring training can only be left behind if the Yankees, and especially A-Rod have a fast start. Otherwise, the media circus concerning steroids, big money free agents, and Joe Torre's, and not to mention Selena Roberts' new books won't be leaving town anytime soon. 

The only way out of this for the Bombers will be to win. Win now and win fast. Sabathia and Burnett must be the Aces they were signed to be. Teixeira must combine with A-Rod to become the one-two punch in the middle of the order the Yankees were missing last year. Role players like Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano must come into their own and prove that last year's dreadful performances were abberations. Joe Girardi must prove to the fans and management that letting Saint Joe Torre go was the right decision. Even Derek Jeter has something to prove coming into the season. There has been much talk about his decline both offensively and defensively throughout the offseason.  Jeter must bounce back from last year and prove the critics wrong.  

Will all of this happen? Not likely. However, enough of it must in order for the Yankees to play out the year while leaving behind the circus like atomsphere we have seen throughout the offseason and we will continue to see during spring training. The Yankees have a lot to prove, no doubt about it. If they start off slow, don't expect them to recover. The division is too good. They cannot afford to fall behind or they face the same fate as last season. Only this time it could mean Girardi's and Cashman's jobs. 

Yankees News and Notes from the AP:
Posada, coming off shoulder surgery, isn't likely to catch in exhibition games until mid-March, Girardi said. He probably will catch 100-110 games during the regular season if there are no setbacks, down from Posada's September estimate of 120-130. ... With spring training expanded by a week to 7 1/2 weeks because of the World Baseball Classic, Mariano Rivera isn't likely to pitch in exhibitions when they start Feb. 25. Rivera, coming off minor shoulder surgery, has a preference to pitch eight-to-10 innings each spring training. ... Matsui, coming off left knee surgery, probably will be a DH for much of spring training. ... Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner was in attendance for part of a pre-spring training workout at the minor league complex that included Posada, SS Derek Jeter, 1B-OF Nick Swisher and RHP Chien-Ming Wang. Burnett arrived two days before the first official workout for pitchers and catchers and played catch in the outfield with reliever Brian Bruney. ... The highest number, 94, was assigned to RHP Kanekoa Texeira.

Monday, February 9, 2009

BOLD Predictions for the 2009 Season:

(Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez)

  • The Reds will eek past the Cardinals to finish 2nd in the NL Central and they will contend for the Wild Card. Youngsters Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto will become a solid 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation. Combined with their power bullpen, they and the Reds will finish with their first +.500 season since 2000.

  • The A’s make it interesting the AL West for a change. After winning the division by 7.5 games in ‘07 and 21 games in ‘08, the Angels, minus Mark Teixeira, Garrett Anderson, and Francisco Rodriguez will feel the heat from Oakland. I don't expect Oakland to win out, but they will sure make it a tight race.

  • The Rays have only improved and will stay on top of the AL East. Plus, they are still the most athletic team in the Bigs. The addition of Pat Burrell and a full year from David Price won't hurt either. I wouldn't consider this as that bold of a prediction but I know most others do.

  • Joe Girardi becomes the first manager fired. Entering a brand new stadium after spending $400+ million on the free agent market, he will fill the role of scapegoat when the Yankees are not leading the division come June.

    Of course this is as of right now, February 10th and with so many free agents still left unsigned I may want to retract these statements come April 5th.

-Robb Lennahan

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2009 Full of Expectations and Pressures for Yanks

With each day that passes we get another day closer to the first pitch of the 2009 season being thrown. And I for one could not be more excited. With expectations never higher, the Yankees have loaded up for a run at the ever-elusive championship number 27. But with great expectations come great pressure. It can be argued that the pressure of a successful campaign falls heavier on three Yankees more so than others.

Manager, Joe Girardi
Patience from the powers that be will be wearing thin as Girardi has been given stars such as Sabathia, Teixeira, and Burnett over the offseason with which to work with. If he cannot deliver a title with these additions, you can almost guarantee he will be on the hot seat come season’s end. Unfair? Perhaps, so. But considering it was under Girardi’s watch the Yankees missed the postseason for the first time since 1993, another “failure” could mean Girardi’s job.

Pitcher, CC Sabathia
Since 2001, the Yankees have been on a quest to acquire a stud of an ace that could deliver World Series number 27. We have seen the likes of Mike Mussina, Javier Vasquez, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, and Carl Pavano come and go with no luck. In fact, all but Mike Mussina can be considered complete and utter disasters. Some would argue that these pitchers with the exception of Mussina just could not handle the pressure of being the Yankee ace. With the scrutiny of the media and the fans bearing down on him, it is Sabathia’s turn to face the mob. Whether it is fair or unfair, the pressure of past failures will also be weighing down on the shoulders of the hefty lefty. Will he be up to the challenge? Or, will he wilt under the new stadiums bright lights?

Third Baseman, Alex Rodriguez
If the pressure of the richest contract in sports history, the toughest fans in the world, and the vicious piranha like media weren’t enough. A-Rod will now have to feel the added pressure that has been bestowed on him by his former manager, Joe Torre’s book, “The Yankee Years.” There is no doubt that Alex will hear A-Fraud chants rain down on him from the crowds at Fenway, Arlington, Seattle, and the rest of the league. He may even hear it from the Bronx faithful from time to time. The fact of the matter is that A-Rod will try to prove wrong each and every word in the chapter devoted solely to him; which would be a near impossible task. By season’s end, the numbers will be there. They are always there. But the only thing that can exorcise the pressures that are haunting A-Rod is a championship; nothing more, nothing less.

-Favad Ali