Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Genius Maker 2010/2011 off season 4

I don't normally just grab an article and copy it because I usually try and give you my thoughts and perspective, but because this was a press release about Rivera and it had some great stats, I made an exception.

The Yankees just made the Mariano Rivera signing official. Here’s the press release.

The New York Yankees today announced they have signed right-handed closer Mariano Rivera, the American Leagues all-time saves leader, to a two-year contract.
Rivera, 41, owns 559 career saves, the most in franchise history and the second-most all-time behind Trevor Hoffman (601). His 394 saves over the last 10 seasons are the most in the Majors, while his 978 career appearances are the most-ever by a Yankees pitcher and place him in 17th place on Baseball's all-time list. Among pitchers with at least 250 save opportunities, Rivera's 89.3 percent career conversion rate (559-for-626) is second-best all time, behind only Minnesota's Joe Nathan (89.5, 247-for-276).

Since earned runs became an official statistic in the National League in 1912 and the American League in 1913, Rivera's 2.23 career ERA is the second-lowest all time among pitchers with at least 1,000.0 innings pitched, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, trailing only Eddie Cicotte's 2.20 career ERA over the span.

In 2010, Rivera was 3-3 with 33 saves (in 38 opportunities) and a 1.80 ERA in 61 relief appearances for the Yankees. It marked the eighth consecutive season he reached the 30-save plateau (since 2003) and the 13th time in his last 14 seasons (1997-2001, 2002-10), surpassing Trevor Hoffman (12) as the only pitcher in Major League history to record at least 30 saves in 13 different seasons.

An 11-time American League All-Star, Rivera has posted a sub-2.00 ERA in seven of the last eight seasons since 2003. From 2008-10, Rivera became the only pitcher in Baseball history to record at least 60 appearances and a sub-2.00 ERA in each of three consecutive years after the age of 35. He has pitched in at least 60 games in 13 different campaigns, tying Mike Stanton for the most such seasons all time.

Rivera's 42 postseason saves, 18 in the ALDS, 13 in the ALCS and 11 in the World Series and his 94 postseason appearances, are all Major League records, while his 0.71 ERA (139.2IP, 11ER) in postseason play is the lowest all time (minimum 30.0IP). He was part of his fifth World Championship team in 2009, recording the final out in each of the Yankees three clinching wins en route to the clubs 27th World Championship. Rivera has allowed just 1ER over his last 23 playoff appearances (30.0IP, 0.30 ERA) since the 2005 ALDS vs. the Angels.

The Panama native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on February 17, 1990, and is currently the longest-tenured Yankee (15 yrs, 105 days)."

The one and only Genius Maker!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Genius Maker 2010/2011 off season 3

Well, I am sure by now all of you are aware that Cliff Lee has chosen to go back to the team that dumped him for prospects in the middle of negotiating a long term deal. Of course, some people had made the comments at the time that they can get him back and keep all the prospects and lo and behold this is what happened. Now even though I said that at the time, I did not think the Phillies were part of the discussions for Lee, but it makes perfect sense. It is also in line with why I thought it was silly for them not to keep Lee when they got Halladay. The Phillies are without question the team to beat; they are the best team in the majors right now.

Boston is also much better than last year and should be very tough this year with a healthier lineup.

That being said, I am not down on the Yankees or Cashman. There was something about Lee that didn’t seem to be “Yankee” to me. I also was not fully comfortable with signing a guy at 32 for 7 years, especially a pitcher who was in the minors just a few years ago and had some straining issues in his back. I am not saying Lee doesn’t make a team much better, he does, but I am saying that I am much more comfortable opening up the checkbook to get a guy in a 5-7 year deal when he is 27 instead of 32. I want him for his prime years, not the diminishing ones. It also looks like Philly actually spent more for Lee than the Yanks offered and they have a lot of money committed. It is smart though as they have built a dynasty over the last few years that will continue at least 2 more.

If the Yankees continue to make the Tex and CC signings the Yanks will be better in the long run and while this is a setback for this upcoming year, I think it is actually better for the Yanks in the future years.

Now what do we do? First, I would let Andy know we really want/need him back. Second, I would explore trades with teams with quality arms. But, our team is still good. While Swisher played above expectations, I am not sure anyone else did on the offense. Gardner overall will not play worse and in fact before he hurt his wrist, Gardner was a star so maybe he is that guy? ARod and Jeter should both be better and Granderson and his new hitting style should be a little better. Posada should not be better, but as a DH he should be better than what we had this year (Thames was good though). Burnett can’t be worse and Nova should be able to step into the starting rotation and not be worse than Vazquez. Pettitte, even if he comes back won’t be as good and this is a concern, but Hughes should be better. Mitre right now would be the 5th guy. Obviously, Burnett needs to get back to a low 4 ERA guy or the rotation has holes.

Overall, my point is that this team should be better than last year IF Pettitte comes back and we spend the rest of our money wisely. One area that I am not thrilled we are looking is Russell Martin. I have to admit I have not watched him play, but his bat for the last 2 years has been weak and while his defense is reportedly good, I have no scouting on him to confirm. The point is that I had heard that some large dollars were being thrown around and this only works if the Yanks are trading Montero for a top pitcher. Maybe this is in the works, but if Montero is as good as advertised we could use him in the lineup and I don’t see why the money for Martin?

We will be fine, we just need to look at every solid player and target a few than fit our needs. We don’t want to spend all our money just because we have it, wait and spend at the right time!

At least we only have to worry about Lee in the World Series!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Genius Maker 2010/2011 off season 2

Rivera shows great class and things work out well.

"A deal came together, perhaps expedited because Rivera had recently received a three-year deal and more money (believed to be in the neighborhood of $17 million per year) from another team, according to the source. The source added that Rivera wanted to maintain his ties to the only team he has ever played for, and went with less money and fewer years to continue wearing pinstripes.
"'He wanted to stay loyal to the Yankees,' the source said.""

Hmmm, he took a 2 year 30 mil deal while Jeter is thumbing his nose at a deal that is way over market value. I don't have a problem with trying to get a good deal, but the Yankees did not come in at a low number, they paid him far above market value.

Now, who is more important to the Yankees winning next year? Jeter just had a bad year and we made the playoffs and won one series; if Rivera had a "Jeter" year, we wouldn't have made the playoffs.

Mo, you are The Genius Maker and make me proud to be a Yankee fan.

Now Derek it is time for you step up and be the boy scout you have been your entire career and take an over market deal to keep your image as one of the great all time Yankees!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Genius Maker 2010/2011 Off Season #1

I just wanted to get out my opinion on the Jeter situation as a few of you have asked. I think the Yankees offer is a very good one and Jeter should sign on the dotted line immediately. Maybe he wants another year and at that point I would say that if he plays in 300 games in the 1st 3 years of the contract he gets the 4th year guarantee. I think Jeter would hang it up if he were playing so terribly anyway. Jeter at 15 mil a year would be the highest paid SS in the game and at 36/37 coming off of his worst year that is an offer that is at least 50% higher than he would get anywhere else IMO. How is that not incredibly fair? The Yanks have said if you don’t think that is more than fair, see what is out there. Skip Bayless (I think he is on one of the ESPN shows) said the Red Sox would give him more than that. After thinking about that and throwing up, I would say that would be the best thing for the Yanks because I believe that would hamstring Boston a lot more than it would hamstring us. I don’t think he would get more than 35 Mil for 3 years and honestly I think it would be a 30 mil deal for 3 years at most. That being said, I do expect him to be better offensively this next year, while continuing to slip defensively. I know he won a GG, but either nobody has a clue how to really judge defense or there must be some awful defensive SS’s everywhere in baseball. My opinion is Jeter won the GG in the same way Palmiero won the GG a few years ago when he DH’d 75% of the games.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Genius Maker - End of year

The ride is over! I do think though, it ended prematurely due to a lack of preventative maintenance and some poor short term decisions.

That being said, Texas deservedly moves forward while we go home. I thought Texas’ offense was very good all series. They fouled off pitchers pitches and waited for mistakes and took advantage of them. Somebody asked me about what I thought would happen before last game and I said Texas is getting great AB’s from almost everyone; they contributed GREATLY to our pitching looking bad. That being said, Hughes AND Colby Lewis were both pitching awful through 4 innings; so bad in fact, I sent out a text after 4 innings stating, “It is shocking the score is 1-0 with such horrible pitching…so many hittable pitches.” At that point, we had 3 hard hit balls and unfortunately we hit them right at people, but it was crazy we didn’t knock Colby out of the game…our bats were simply worse. It was one of the worst hitting performances we have had. Many people will say good pitching beats good hitting and throw that out without any context…the same people will incorrectly talk about the "gem" Colby Lewis threw against us as his line 6 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER, 3 Walks and 7 k’s, looks great…they would be so off base it is comical though. The guy was throwing meatballs all night and we just stunk the joint up. He couldn’t even get his soft stuff over for strikes, so he resorted to throwing his straight 89 MPH fastball over the plate and I mean over the plate. The only time all game he threw some off speed stuff for consistent strikes was against ARod as he threw a not-great-moving slider that ARod eventually doubled off. BTW, ARod hit the ball on the screws all night.

I think the story of the game was how bad the Yankee bats were…

It is a shame Hughes came up so short too. No command at all and he didn’t even cover 1st twice. The 1st time, Berkman got back, but the 2nd one was the one Cano ranged to his left and threw wildly to 1st. I am not sure whether Hughes would have caught it if he were on the base like he should have been, but he might have and he was clearly late (the angle was not good).

As for the rest of this game, I didn’t think Girardi did much wrong, I think he pulled Hughes at the right time, although I would have had more faith in Joba than Robertson after Robertson was lit up so bad in the series. We caught a terrible break when the 1st pitch to Vlad was called a ball after we correctly intentionally walked Hamilton (yes I agreed with his intentional walks because he averages more than a base every time up against a righty). That put Hughes in a 1-0 hole in a tie game (1-1), with 1st and 3rd and instead of throwing a fastball for a strike, Posada and Hughes decided to go with a breaking ball strike (not really a wrong choice). Unfortunately, Hughes hung it and Texas took advantage of a bad pitch for a double that opened up the game. One call can make a huge swing in a game, but the main difference was that Texas took advantage of that mistake and the incredibly horrible pitch Robertson threw to Cruz in the next AB (why not put it on a tee for him Robertson?) while the Yankees bats missed similar pitches all night long from Lewis. I will say that Feliz made some great pitches in the 9th against us though.

First, let’s step back and say that making the final 4 is not too bad. I have said many times that advancing in the playoffs is a crap shoot; many times the hot team can ride you to victory…Texas batters really hit well all series and the Lee outing was special as he did not leave hittable pitches over the plate almost at all.

We will be making a lot of changes because I expect (and hope) Montero will be up at the major league level splitting time with Jorge. I think we will probably drop Berkman, Nick Johnson, Kearns and make some moves with guys like Cervelli and Mitre/Moseley and possibly even Robertson or Joba.

I think I would hold onto Joba unless I got some good value for him. I think he will be a solid arm.

I would keep Thames as he does what we need and that is a good bat against lefties. While he did a good job against righties this year too, that was just a good groove and in general he is too susceptible against the slow stuff from righties.


If we step back and look at his track record, he has won a WS in 3 years and not made the playoffs in the one of the years and then this year. That is not bad. I don’t think Girardi is a terrible manager, however, I think he was terrible the final 1/3 of the year and in the playoffs…simply awful. He was inconsistent in every one of his approaches and he had no clear direction. I also don’t like his disingenuous way of acting and he rubs me the wrong way and honestly I don’t want to root for the guy very much. You have recently read some of my views and there are many examples I have, but one that stands out was the time where ARod was coming back from his injury and he was babying ARod to the point where he might have cost us some important games and then when ARod got on base where it was clear he should have been pinch run for, he left him out there to risk injury (if he was as bad as Girardi had been saying). He then answered the questions as to why he left ARod in to run, only to take him out the next inning for Nunez or Pena (I forget) to play the field, when they could have just pinch run and stayed in the game, by saying, “I thought if we batted around ARod could have gotten up again.” What? Talk about being FOS! That was the start of Girardi losing his mind the final part of the season.

One other point is that if you look back on the moves made down the stretch and in the postseason with 20/20 knowledge, Girardi pushed every wrong button and was behind Washington at almost every turn in this last series. The moves he made never worked and the non moves didn’t work either, therefore he could have only hurt us.

So my answer is that while I think many times the grass is not greener and a change just to change is actually a bad thing usually with managers, I would be OK with replacing Girardi because he rubs me the wrong way and he was awful down the stretch. That being said, while Joe may still always rub me the wrong way, he has some good qualities and could improve as he is still relatively young in his coaching career. I do not know of any good options out there (although I am sure there are) and more important I would be extremely surprised if Cashman would replace him just because of the way he talks about him.

The hardest part in sitting in my chair is I don’t how much Cashman gets involved with Girardi’s decisions and how much is made by Cashman. In other words, who made the decision to leave a 2nd lefty off the post season roster? I get the feeling it was Girardi because Cashman said that Ring pitched extremely well all year in the minors to get lefties out. As for his other moves, I have agreed with most of them so I can’t criticize them in hindsight. Vazquez didn’t work out, but I thought it was worth the move as we didn’t give up much…we also got Logan in the deal and while he failed to get Hamilton out twice he did pitch 1.2 innings allowing a hit and a walk in his other postseason work and was extremely valuable all year. Obviously, I didn’t like the Kearns trade right away and was vocal about it and that was not a smart deal, but I liked getting Wood and Berkman and they both were valuable. I would expect Wood to be retained, but I doubt Berkman unless he is willing to take a little less to be part of the team.

I liked the Granderson deal, but I still don’t think the team recognized his weakness against lefties and I am still not sure whether they do. He was better against lefties down the stretch, but he still wasn’t good; overall his OPS was .240 points lower against lefties…a huge difference.

Overall, Cashman knows what he is doing and I like his work with our minor leagues as well; he is a keeper, even if he failed to get a lefty killer or a lefty pitching specialist.


It is early so a lot can happen, but I hope Andy wants to come back and I hope lee is open to pitching here…I would go get him.

Mariano should be given whatever he wants; he is the Genius Maker and once again did his job brilliantly.

Jeter; the toughest answer. I tend to think he is better than he played this year (which was not good). Even when I was hoping to see something new out of Jeter ion the postseason he didn’t deliver again posting a weak OPS of .709. I think you go to Jeter’s agent and some arbitrator and get a number that they feel is what Jeter would get on the open market if he were a free agent. I would then say we will give you a 50% premium on that and sign him for that deal. So if he could get 3 years at 20 mil then you give him 3 years at $30 mil and be done with it.

Swisher – I am only bringing him up because he struggled mightily in the Texas series with an OPS of .473 (ouch). He was putrid. He did well in the Minnesota series, but overall his postseason numbers are .162/.302/.314 OPS=.616. That is not good and while it is not anything about clutch, he is a guy who hits mistakes (and fastballs) and in the postseason you will have less mistakes and more breaking ball pitches. In fact, when I did my review about how well Nick did in the regular season I made a comment, “I hope he keeps this up.”

A lot of guys struggled in the postseason and while Lee pitched, I think the Yankees offense was just bad. No, I don’t want to fire Kevin Long, sometimes these things just happen.

Tip your hat to the Texas hitters and Lee and they deserve to be going to the WS.

I will get out an update on some of my thoughts throughout the year to see how I did...

One last thought though…what would have happened if Seattle didn’t screw us out of Lee at the last second?

I hope you have enjoyed my rantings and I will update the site and via email as I get some thoughts.



Friday, October 22, 2010

The Genius Maker Pre ALCS #6

I want to go through something about game 4 before we go onto game 5.

I think it is abundantly clear that Girardi stuck with AJ entirely too long. It was one of the most illogical decisions in post season history (I am sure top 10, with Mussina being pushed back in game 4 against the Red Sox atop the list). But, the part I want to discuss was the decision to bring in Thames for Teixeira. I didn’t thoroughly expand on my reasons but I did list a few, however, the main point was this was another decision that was made by Girardi that just showed a lack of understanding of the moment.

I don’t usually post other people’s articles and I honestly don’t read too many…maybe Joel Sherman read my blog before he wrote his, but this is what he wrote after I wrote my blog (I pulled out some superfluous stuff):

“I wrote in this column about Joe Girardi’s faulty decision making in sticking with A.J. Burnett at the critical moment of Game 4. Buck Showalter always used to tell me that one of the key elements of managing is having your head comfortably hit the pillow at night. Translation: How do you sleep if you let someone you don't trust get into a situation in which trust is everything? If a player you trust fails, so be it. It is a game of human beings and failure is inevitable. But at least under that scenario you can sleep.

How does Girardi sleep? Burnett has established himself as the least trustworthy Yankee. You cannot let him decide your season. CANNOT. This was as close to an elimination game as the Yankees could play short of an elimination game. I had asked Girardi before the game about this and he said he would manage aggressively, with the sense that the game could not get away. Thus, if Burnett were in trouble in the first inning then he needed to be lifted. This had to be Girardi’s thought process. Yet, with the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the sixth inning, Girardi stuck with Burnett. Would Joba Chamberlain have retired Bengie Molina? Who knows?"

Steve comment: One could argue sticking with Burnett in the 5th was a bad move, but just because it worked does not excuse it...what it actually shows is that Girardi gambled and stuck with Burnett more than once

But the worst decision, the absolute you can’t do it decision, was leaving Burnett in. Girardi said he liked how Burnett was throwing. (Steve’s comment, he almost threw a wild pitch during the intentional walk for crying out loud) But what does that matter. Burnett does not think well under duress. So how he is pitching at this second has nothing to do with the next second…
He tried to throw a fastball away off the plate and missed inside off the plate. That is essentially a two-foot mistake at the pivotal moment of this game. Molina hit a three-run homer. Burnett, though, was just being Burnett, embracing his loser gene.
This falls on Girardi for letting him be out there to have that gene infect a whole team. It seems to me that under pressure that Girardi does not think clearly. “


“Consider the situation that occurred the previous inning: Mark Teixeira went down with a hamstring injury. Girardi had to get a pinch-runner in and have a new first baseman in the next half inning. At that moment, the Yanks led 3-2, first and second, one out. Girardi picked Marcus Thames to run at first in place of Teixeira, which I think was the wrong move on three levels: 1) Greg Golson is faster than Thames and gives the Yanks a greater chance to score a valuable run. 2) He is a far better right fielder than Thames, who went into the game in right with Nick Swisher moving to first in place of Teixeira. Remember the Yanks led at that moment, so having the better defender in place was of great value. 3) By installing Thames in that spot, Girardi lost the ability to use his best righty bat off the bench when he wanted against a team that has four lefty relievers. So, for example, when Berkman came up as the tying run in the bottom of the eighth and had to bat from his far weaker right side because the Thames option was gone.”

I also want to quote something from Girardi that is really crazy. This is why I think the guy is out of his mind of late…This was before the CC game…
Facing elimination, Joe Girardi said he’s prepared to manage today’s game much differently than any game we’ve seen this season. He might have a quick hook if he sees CC Sabathia heading toward a repeat of Game 1, and he’s willing to go with Mariano Rivera and Kerry Wood in earlier innings — and for more innings — than usual.
“I don’t think you can hesitate to make a move,” Girardi said. “If you have to use Woody and Mo somewhat unconventionally today, you got to do it.”
Girardi went so far as to say Phil Hughes is available out of the bullpen today. “

Ok, so you stick with the guy who has been atrocious all year long and give him leeway one day earlier, yet with our best pitcher on the mound you are willing to pull him quickly to ensure we win the game???…OK Joe…yeah, that makes sense…you think you might have wanted to use the "I don't think you can hesitate to make a move" during the Burnett game???Seriously, am I the only person who is having trouble rooting for the guy?

Girardi should have managed the way he says he will for the CC game in the Burnett game.

As for our chances of winning the series, probably only about 20%, but all we need to do is win 2 games in a row and this can happen. Our offense needs to be better and be able to hit with RISP. Even for the CC game, we were I believe 2-11 and we scored mostly from the HR and a couple of bad fielding plays by Texas. Unfortunately for us Texas is swinging the bats well, they are fouling off a lot of good pitches and seem fairly locked in. A very important pitch for us will be the changeup. I was asking for more from Burnett, but when he threw it, it was extremely effective (he threw it to Hamilton on the key fly out in the 5th). Hughes will need to use it against this team.

One other note, while it is not a good thing, losing Tex might not be horrible in that he was really struggling at the plate and against a righty Berkman at 1st with Thames DH’ng might actually get us more offense. Obviously, we lose Tex’s glove, but hopefully we can dodge that bullet. Against Lee it is more of a problem because Swisher will most likely move to 1st base.

We have the players, it is time to execute…(and hopefully not our manager.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Genius Maker post game 4 ALCS

I will apologize in advance for any expletives on this blog, but I have not been this upset with a manager since Torre decided not to start Mussina in game 4 against Boston up 3-0 in 04’.

I also want to point out the series is not over, but the odds are clearly against the Yanks winning.

I think I threw out about as many expletives, at my friends house no less, as I have in, well, I am not sure if I have ever thrown out more. Every time they showed Girardi I said one…

Let me go through the progression here because Girardi went from being a manager I thought did a good job with the pen, a decent job overall but someone who I just didn’t like his smugness, to a guy I would like off the team as skipper right now. In all my years of not liking the X and O style of Torre, I never made a statement like this. I did think it was time for Torre to leave at the end and “let someone else drive the Lamborghini,” and I also thought Girardi was the better choice between he and Mattingly (only because Mattingly didn’t have experience). But I am done with Girardi and have trouble rooting for him, which will be my own issue.

Going back, the way the team handled Joba was almost criminal, moving him all over the place. They changed their mind continuously and did a horrible job with Joba. This year, down the stretch, Girardi did an even worse job never sticking to any plan and constantly changing his mind time and time again and accomplished nothing. AWFUL job by Girardi down the stretch.

Cashman deserves some blame here as well because we needed a lefty killer and we needed another lefty (how many times did I say this?). When he got Kearns, I hated the move and stated as such…he didn’t do what we needed and he never got us another lefty, until Ring. But, while every team in baseball understands how significant it is to match up and allow flexibility in doing so (Texas added 2 lefties to make FOUR out of their pen), we decided we needed Moseley and Mitre on the team instead of a 2nd lefty that could give us flexibility and also make it harder for the opposing manager.

ON TO THE GAME…As you know, I have stated I wanted to pitch all of our guys on 3 days rest and I was very much against starting Burnett in game 4. I also wanted CC to pitch in game 4 no matter what so that he was available for game 7. When I heard they were starting Cervelli, the expletives started pre game in numerous texts. Against a righty Cervelli is a bad hitter. Not only that, how good of a “personal” catcher is Cervelli when he “managed” AJ to the worst ERA in the league? How much did his awful throwing to 2nd help the situation? How about his poor pitch calling ability? Why in the world would you want Cervelli in the game when we are struggling to get the offense going? This decision exacerbates an already horrible decision by Girardi and was pure idiocy.

Pre game, we had a discussion about the tough decision Girardi had to make going into game 4… I don’t disagree that this wasn’t an easy decision, but that is your fn’ job. IF, and again I don’t agree, you felt you had to start someone game 4, it would have been Moseley and not AJ…but again, it would have been CC if it were me. AJ could have been really good, but the odds of this were slim…but with his stuff you could never know. Either way, I made it clear in my blog that AJ needed to have a short leash and my brother put it well when he said “if AJ has a chance to allow 5 runs in the game Girardi is a jack hammer” (I might have cleaned that up).

So with that in mind, the thought was don’t allow him to get us too far behind and have an incredibly quick hook. Burnett did OK actually, and in the top of the 5th inning, my brother sticking to his guns (and I agreed) I would have taken out AJ when the score was 3-2 Yankees and there were 2 outs, 1st and 2nd and Hamilton up. Of course I would have brought in Ring here, but he was not on the roster. Girardi stayed with Burnett and he did get Hamilton out…whew! Big out. Now the Yanks get a nice rally going in the bottom of the 5th but in the long inning Tex goes out with a hammy and ARod hits into a DP and we get no runs in a long ½ inning.

I will now switch to my texting messages that were sent in the game and prior to anything happening…I wanted Moseley to start the 6th and 2 of my friends agreed, when Burnett came back out Girardi was REALLY pushing the limit. Remember last inning, he allowed 2 singles and a walk. 2 runs in 5 innings with AJ and I am thrilled. In fact, one would have to say that given what happened starting AJ was the right move…but take him out and say good job, let’s not push it.

BUT NO, Girardi decided to leave Burnett in. My comment was that if one guy gets on he is out of the game.

Oh, I need to go back and state that when Tex went out, I wanted Golson to go into the game because Golson could pinch run for Tex at 1st base and stay in for good defense. With a lead and he wouldn’t get up for 2-3 more innings it made sense and hopefully we had extended the lead by then (we had 2 men on and Golson could help get a run that inning. Girardi put in Thames instead. My feeling was if we gave back the lead and had a really big spot Thames could pinch hit with all the lefties they had.

So Burnett allows a lead off soft liner to RF that Thames didn’t move on and while he didn’t come close to the ball, Golson would have been playing a little more shallow and it was possible he would have caught the ball…maybe not, but possible. BTW, maybe Golson’s speed would have forced ARod’s DP to be mishandled too??? I may be grasping here, but clearly the moves Girardi made or didn’t make have long term impact. So while I want Burnett out of the game, he does get the next guy out on a fielder’s choice and then Kinsler flies out to CF and Cruz makes an excellent play to tag up and get to 2nd. I would have liked to see Granderson get behind that ball and make it tougher, but this was the play that turned Girardi into an absolute #%@$!!!! Murphy is up and he is a lefty platoon guy. I would bring in Ring if he were on the team to face Murphy, but we know this can’t happen. So I would bring in Logan (and said/texted as such) Logan was the move here and the only thing I can think of is that Girardi didn’t want to waste his one bullet of Logan in this spot…again, previous decisions rearing their UGLY head. So instead of pitching to Murphy, he decides to walk him??? I was livid over this and let everyone know. There are a few times putting the tying run on base makes sense…there is not a chance in heck this was one of them. For one, Burnett walks a lot of guys and hits them…that is one of his downfalls, but his stuff is good so why intentionally walk the guy? I know Molina is a not a good hitter, but he got a hit off of AJ already and has been swinging well. Burnett should never intentionally walk a guy IMO. So after the dumb move to walk him, every one knew Joba was coming in…right? For some asinine reason he sits Joba back down (I think he had been up twice already) and leaves Burnett in. We were all saying NO WAY, THIS IS STUPID. First pitch is a fastball away, but Burnett who has now thrown about 95 pitches misses and the fastball comes inside and Molina perhaps ends the Yankees season with a 3 run homer. That was it folks…Girardi for some reason stuck with AJ??? The guy with the highest ERA!!! I have no idea why and I am sure his comment will be “we” thought the matchup was blah blah blah…you know what Joe, you are an idiot! You took a top team and screwed it all up. You should lose your job because your job is to put your players in the best position so that they can be successful and you have failed miserably at it!

The offense deserves some blame here as well as they scored about the least possible runs you can score when you have 7 hits and 4 walks with a HR, a triple and a double mixed in…3 runs.

…the 8th inning said it all when the Yanks had bases loaded one out and Swisher got hit by the pitch, but they didn’t call it…this was huge non call as Swisher popped out only to have Berkman come up against the lefty. Here is the perfect time to bring in our lefty killer, but instead we have Kearns…Berkman who is simply awful against lefties stayed in the game because Kearns wasn’t even worthy of pinch hitting for a guy with an OPS of .517 against lefties (batting .171). Great pickup that Kearns (again decisions made previously)…Berkman did a nice job and hit the ball hard but a nice play by Young (give Texas credit, they have played very well in the field) ended any hopes.

We have our best 3 going and all we need to do is have each of them win, not out of the realm of possibilities, but the odds are slim folks and Girardi sucked the life out of me. It is inexcusable to for Girardi to allow Burnett to allow 5 runs in this game…absolutely inexcusable! Of course, he shouldn’t have been starting anyway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ugh! I have been saying that the offense needs to do a good job and they were awful. I was at the game and therefore have a much worse perspective on how Lee pitched than if I watched on TV, but is looked like the Yankees simply took too many fastball strikes. I will go back and look, but swing the bats boys. They were not called out on too many off speed pitches, although I thought I saw a called 3rd strike on a cutter or 2. Obviously, he was keeping them off balance and had movement on his pitches because they only squared up a few all night. That being said, if you are swinging the bat well, you don't take called 3rd strike fastballs from Cliff Lee, in fact, you shouldn't be watching too many called strikes on fastballs. You also don't swing at balls out of the strike zone (I am talking to you Jeter)...the no out and Gardner on 2nd AB was a critical one in the game in my opinion and Jeter took the wind out of us.

I also want to point that Texas has fielded very well this series. They have made all the plays. the catch on ARod was a good example, but they have flashed some leather as well on 2 other infield plays.

We have been outplayed this entire series and unfortunately, our hopes to not have to win 3 straight are riding on the worst pitcher in the AL this year. I would have thrown all my guys on 3 days rest as none threw a lot of pitches (Andy was the highest). But that is not going to happen...all I can say is that if Burnett allows more than 3 runs in the first 4 innings, Girardi did an awful job. You have an incredibly short leash on him. 3 guys in a row get on and I am probably taking him out, but 4 is a guarantee.

Tommy Hunter is pitching against us and it is time for our offense to do their job!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday morning

We are down to a best of 5 series where we play the 1st 3 games at home. This is a pretty good setup when you think of it that way. Of course we are starting our#3 pitcher and they get to start their #1, but let's see what Andy has in store for us. A perfect scenario is we beat Lee 2-1 so that he (and we) know Lee can pitch in Yankee stadium well (for our signing) yet we still win.

I also wanted to point out the Freddy "Sez" passed away this weekend. I have a picture to the right if you are not sure who he is. Freddy is the guy who walked around with a pan and a spoon and let all the kids take turns hitting it...kind of cool to watch. Not sure Freddie ranks up there with George or even Bob S, but he was an icon at the stadium for a very long time.

I assume if we win it all it will be for George and the rest, but if we lose, it will be forgotten.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Genius Maker Pre game 3 ALCS

We have played like a team that had a long lay off...CC looked like he hadn't pitched in 9 days as an example...Big picture, we did the minimum positive result and split on the road, we now need to win 2 of 3 at home and split on the road again. I do think we will win 2 of 3 on the road, but we need to hit better and of course our starters need to pitch better.

So far we have had one really good inning, but outside of that Texas has outplayed us.

That being said, we look like we can hit any reliever they have and this is with ARod and Tex really struggling, especially Tex. Posada is another who can play better.

This team has been very hard to predict, but I think we are an overall better team than Texas. One thing we need to do is get ahead of their leadoff hitter Adrus and keep him off the bases, so far we have not done that well. Texas also has not hit the off speed pitches well and we need to learn that. Finally, our bullpen has looked good and that is a big positive. Joba really threw well and would have gotten out of the man on 3rd with nobody out situation if the batter didn't get a fortunate stroke (even though he went with it) through the hole.

I don't think they pitched that well, I think we hit below expectations. I also think Texas batters hit above expectations which added to the poor command CC and Hughes had. I heard many people talk about the cutter messing up Hughes. I do know that when his cutter is good, it is very effective for Hughes. the problems was his command. that being said, the bigger problem was he should have thrown more change ups; I think he threw only 2 or 3 in the game.

I still don't get handcuffing us with only 1 lefty, but I guess I will have to deal with the stupidity.

BTW, I start both CC and Hughes on 3 days rest. No need to start Burnett when he has been the worst starting pitcher in the AL (true). Now, could he pitch well, sure, but that is a gamble not worth taking. I would rather gamble out of the pen with ONE batter at a time IF needed. CC threw 93 and Hughes threw 88 pitches. I think they will be fine.

If they need a starter that isn't CC, Hughes or Pettitte, I would also go with Moseley or Mitre before Burnett for the same reasons as above.

I still think the offense needs to be the offense that is the best in the league for us to win!

Looking forward to Monday night!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Genius Maker Pre ALCS #2

So we caught a little break with the TB/Texas series going 5 and then having Texas win. The advantage is that Texas just threw Lee Tuesday night and he threw 120 pitches. He probably won't be available for Saturday's game, which means that his first game would be game 3 in Yankee stadium on Monday. He would then pitch game 7 (if needed). Lee could pitch on short rest game 2, but he still would only pitch one other time so I would expect them to give him normal rest after the 120 pitch gem he put up Tuesday night. Contrast that to CC, who could pitch game 1 Friday and then pitch game 4 on 3 days rest and then again game 7 on 3 days rest. Of course this still leaves an issue unless everyone pitches on 3 days rest (which is what I would do as there are 3 days before the WS starts. Again so many days off between series...

I also like that Texas has lost 2 of their last 3 games and they have yet to win at home in the playoffs. My hope is that we take at least 1 in Texas and then never go back to Texas (with a victory in the series of course)

I still want Ring on the roster against Texas and could do without the 3rd long man in the pen. The real question is if you don't start Pettitte and Hughes on 3 days rest then who starts game 4? In this case, if we were fortunate enough to be up 3-0 then I might throw a non big 3 pitcher out there as we would have each of our 3 best available on normal rest for 5,6,7. It depends on how the series goes, but I would look to put everyone on 3 days rest at the start.

I will post a Texas team breakdown before Friday!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Genius Maker Pre ALCS

Great job boys!!! Nice to take Minnesota down again…they must really hate us…9 in a row against the Twins!

Hughes was fantastic, but I have to say Minnesota did not swing the bats very well. They had some hittable pitches’ and did nothing with them. Posada called a great game, he didn’t get cute when there were times I know Cervelli would have. A couple of pitches Posada did not frame well, but outside of that he called a great game.

The only point of debate between myself and the other 11 people watching with me had to do with the 8th inning and who should start. I was in favor of taking Hughes out while some of the people (it was probably 3 for taking him out, 4-5 for leaving him in and the others just enjoying the game or enjoying our spirited debate 

My take was a simple one. I have Rivera waiting if needed, we have a 6 run lead and Hughes has not pitched into the 8th inning all year and the last thing I want to do is extend him even more than we are already (remember he is over his innings limit). I don’t want this to be construed as taking the “foot off the throat” or anything even remotely like what Torre did against Boston in game 4 in 2004. In fact, if the score was close I might have pushed Hughes a little more until he let a batter on, but Pitching Wood (who has been excellent) for the 8th and Rivera in the 9th is going with your best and I have no issue with it. Of course after Wood had no command the 2nd guessers didn’t like it. The part I didn’t get (and I have no clue what Girardi was thinking) was why he didn’t go to Logan to face Mauer and then Kubel? He waited for Wood to walk Mauer before letting Logan face 1 lefty? This is simply stupid. But fortunately Logan did his job and then Robertson did his job as well to get us out of any further trouble. Nice job guys… and then it was only time to crank Enter Sandman and watch the Genius Maker take us take us to the “final four.” Rivera has now pitched in 91 postseason games throwing 136.2 innings (about 2 seasons worth) and has only lost ONE game. He has blown a few saves but only once did he lose the game for us and not give us a chance. Of course that was game 7 against Arizona and it took his own error and a broken bat hit with a drawn in infield to make that happen. He is The Genius Maker!!!! Enjoy every pitch he throws as you are watching the best ever!!!

We now have to wait all the way until next Friday to play the winner of the TB/Texas series, but at least it went 5 as both Price and Lee will go. I have no idea why we go from Tuesday until Friday between the two series…again just makes no sense at all and we have to wait 6 days to play the most important game of the year when the most days off you have all year are half that amount??? Common sense is just lost. The games should start on Thursday at the latest and of course game 5 should be played tomorrow (Monday) instead of Tuesday and then I would be starting the new series on Wednesday.

I will wait until the winner to analyze the opponent…but after we won I was asked who I wanted to play and my answer was I wanted the series to go 5 and then probably Texas. My main reason was that Texas would have lost 2 of their last 3 and I would rather that than TB winning 3 in a row going into our series…as for the teams themselves, they each represent a formidable opponent and I honestly don’t have a preference.

Series Date Network Game Time (ET)
Game 1 - NYY @ TB/TEX Friday, October 15 TBS TBA
Game 2 - NYY @ TB/TEX Saturday, October 16 TBS TBA
Game 3 - TB/TEX @ NYY Monday, October 18 TBS TBA
Game 4 - TB/TEX @ NYY Tuesday, October 19 TBS TBA
Game 5* - TB/TEX @ NYY Wednesday, October 20 TBS TBA
Game 6* - NYY @ TB/TEX Friday, October 22 TBS TBA
Game 7* - NYY @ TB/TEX Saturday, October 23 TBS TBA

3 down 8 to go!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Genius Maker Post Game 2

It is very odd the Yankees last 8 victories against Minnesota have all been come from behind wins. I remember some announcers stating a few years ago how critical it was to get the lead in a game so that you can dictate the game...well I guess that is not correct. It also goes to show how wrong the announcers can be and watching this year on TBS, I can't imagine a worse group of announcers. Wow, they are boring, cliché and clueless about the teams (at least the Yankees). They need to go back to having a front man (maybe a Joe Buck or someone like that) and then get a local commentator from each team as someone who knows what has been going on all year.

OK, on to the important item...the game. Pettitte being sharp is the most exciting item to take from the game. Without 2 quality pitchers it is very hard to win in the postseason. I was also very happy with Rivera having excellent movement on his pitches again and the power strokes delivered by Berkman! Many people have asked about Berkman and whether he would be worth anything and even when he struggled I had said I think he will help us in the postseason...and he delivered. I also read that he worked with Kevin Long and they made a slight adjustment to the point where Berkman told Andy (they are good friends) he was launching balls in BP...Granderson has been hot at a good time and everyone else is at least contributing. This is a good sign, although Minnesota is the weakest team in the AL playoffs.

I predicted a 4 game victory for the Yanks, but I would like to sweep tonight as every game in a 5 game series is the most important one. I expect Hughes to be effective and think we will close it out tonight. If we have the opportunity to close it out, you go ahead and do it...this includes Rivera for 1.1 if needed.

A few other notes from the game:

I would like to see Granderson come up with that ball in CF. He just misses a few of them a year and it keeps him from being a great defensive CF'r. I also feel that Gardner would get that one...somewhat ironic after Gardner came up short on a dive in LF in game 1. In general, both guys can get to the ball very well, both guys have average receiving ability though and Gardner has that little extra speed/gear. Gardner has thrown very well this year, but I would think their arms are pretty close.

A lot was made about the non call against Berkman, but what is not discussed was the ball that was about 8" outside called a strike against him earlier in the count. With the ump calling a fairly consistent strike zone that didn't call strikes on the inside (to lefties) corner, but routinely called pitches 4-6" outside a strike, it was the right call. When I say consistent, I mean the strike zone he was trying to call was consistent (even if odd), but he also missed a lot of calls even with the strike zone the way it was. Berkman had a very good read on the ump and said, "all game the ump was giving a generous outside strike, but was not giving the inside pitch which is why I took the pitch." It is a huge play because of what happened afterward, but this is why all pitches are critical. In fact, take a look at the pitch Andy threw to Hudson before his HR; it was a curve that was a clear strike that was just missed. You can also look at plenty of wide strike calls that were made that hurt the Yanks. Overall, I think the ump behind home plate was awful, but according to the stats who track every pitch, he helped Pavano more than Andy and that makes sense when you think of all the outside strikes (that should have been balls).

The Yanks are facing Brian Duensing tonight he is a 27 year old lefty that has been extremely tough on lefties (.162/.217/.239 =.457 OPS ). He sports a fantastic 2.62 ERA in 130 IP. The concern I had during the season was we needed a lefty killer for pitchers like this and instead we got the extremely mediocre Kearns, who I stated at the time was the wrong pickup. Now we have to play Granderson and Gardner because at least you are sure that you get good defense. I also should note that I stated Granderson was a platoon player and the sooner the Yankees understand that the better we will be. Right now, while I still think Granderson will always be a lot better against righties, the adjustments he and Long made during the season, coupled with being hot, makes Granderson (and Gardner) the correct option(s) to play even against a tough lefty the way the roster is situated.

Let's get a solid 6 or more from Hughes allowing 3 runs or less and wrap this thing up.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Post Game 1 ALDS

Down 3-0 after 5 innings I was getting a little concerned and started to think about why Girardi didn't allow CC to pitch Friday like he wanted. CC really struggled with his command walking 3 guys and hitting Thome in 6 innings pitched. he also allowed 4 run so that was not a good performance and while CC didn't get it done, you wonder why he didn't listen to CC?

It was up to the offense who left guys on early in the game to come through and the best in baseball didn't disappoint. Tex started things off with a double, ARod walked and Cano plated tex with a single. After Thames struck out, Posada had a big single to score ARod and then Granderson hit a towering fly ball off the upper wall scoring two and ending up at 3rd base with a huge hit. Gardner was not able to get Granderson home.

Unfortunately CC was not able to hold the lead as he allowed one hit and walked 3 guys...he was clearly off his game, but he dug down deep enough to strike out hardy with the bases loaded and only allow the tying run.

After Swish singled Tex was able to keep an inside hanging curve ball fair on another towering fly ball. I thought it was foul live, but was psyched it stayed fair. The 2 run lead was all we needed as Logan, Robertson and Wood all did OK and none of them did poorly and we worked our way out of jams, but did need the Genius Maker to do his thing in the 8th with 2 men on and then closing out the 9th!

Great to see Rivera break 3 bats in the what a pleasure he is.

Every starting Yankee got on base via a hit or walk so it was a consistent effort and we got 2 big hits from Tex and ball to Rivera and Tex though.

1 down 10 to go!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Genius Maker Pre Game 1 Playoffs

Sadly these series' have too many days off and you can pitch only 2 starters in 80% of the games. With all the issues people have about the game, this is the one I would fix asap and play all 5 games back to back. This way you judge a team just like you did over the regular season where you use your entire team. Having Rivera has been a huge difference for us, partially because he can pitch in every game and not be tired...kind of silly.

OK, so what do we know about Minnesota?

Their two closers are Capps and Fuentes they picked up from the Dodgers. Capps is a mediocre closer (42 saves for them with an OPS against of .688),…Fuentes is a lefty killer having an OPS of under .400 against them (.696 righties), although most was in the NL. He is the guy who was on the Angels squad

First, Morneau is out for the entire this is a blow to Minny's offense. That being said, Minnesota has played a lot better since he went down and they have been without him for awhile so the impact is really not that big. Of course, the reason why they have been playing better is not because of his absence as Morneau was having a great year with 18 homers and an OPS of 1.055 in 80 games. Cuddyer moved from RF to 1st base, but his OPS is about .750 so obviously others have stepped up.

One guy in particular is their DH…Jim Thome. He has a huge lefty righty split with a mediocre .769 against lefties, but a dominating 1.153 against righties. At his age the back has been giving him some problems, but he has been hitting great with a 1.158 OPS in the 2nd half...yeah, that is incredible. This is NOT a guy you want to be facing a rigthty in a key spot. Overall, his numbers in 131 AB's since the All Star game are .313/.448/710! And yes that is against both righties and lefties. Makes you wonder why Cashman didn't get Thome for 1.5 million...

The Twins rough lineup:

Denard Span CF – bats Lefty and usually leads off and I am not sure why? This is one of those let’s get our fast guy at the top of the order even though his OPS is .679 (OBP of .331). He only has 26 SB’s but has only been caught 4 times (that is very effective). He hits both lefties and righties the same. Span previous to this year has been a little better against lefties

Orlando Hudson 2B – Switch Hitter - Hudson is usually at the top of the order as well and he shouldn’t be as well. .710 OPS (.338 OBP) who hits both the same as well.

These two guys are weak at the top and must be kept off the bases.

Joe Mauer C – STUD – Mauer is a lefty who is better against righties. His OPS this year was .871 and he had a large discrepancy against lefties with an OPS of .711/.978. In past years the OPS differential was 100 points; either way getting a lefty on his makes sense.

Thome DH (see above for stats) Having a lefty to face him or keep him on the bench is smart.

Delmon Young – Bats righty - LF – Solid .826 OPS hitter who really hits lefties (.927) but has an acceptable .780 OPS against righties…

Kubel RF – Bats Lefty - .750 OPS who has a .792 against righties and .655 against lefties.

Cuddyer 1B Bats Righty - .753 OPS who hits lefties very well. .875/.700 shows a very large split.

Valencia 3B – bats Righty – this guy has played well for Minnesota since he grabbed the job. OPS of .799, he has crushed lefties in his 100 AB’s batting .374 with a .966 OPS (.713 righties)

Hardy SS – righty .714 OPS who hits righties better than lefties (.615 L) and (.759 R), but in previous years he was .140 OPS points better against lefties. I would not worry too much about the matchup game against him.

Outside of Hardy, and the top 2 guys, the matchup game works very well, this is why it is asinine to not have 2 lefties in the pen…even if just for Kubel, Thome and Mauer…I could see every time Thome gets up and our starter is out to have Ring face him and then later have Logan face him…I just don’t get why the Yanks want Burnett as a long man to leave Ring off the roster. Isn’t one long man enough with Mitre? I mean truthfully, if you are going to a 2nd long man you are probably in some trouble, let alone a 3rd. Mitre has pitched very well out of the pen and I would have kept him and dropped Moseley or AJ for Ring. I can promise you there will be many times where Ring would make sense, while AJ and Moseley collect splinters (even if I did say AJ would probably be a good reliever). BTW, Mitre as a reliever has an OPS against of an excellent .598 in 138 AB’s and has been a little better against lefties. Logan is really a one man pitcher or maybe 2 lefties out of 3 as he really struggles against righties but has been great against lefties. Still amazed with our payroll this has not been taken care of??? Let me repeat, why keep both AJ and Moseley on the postseason roster instead of Ring? My roster would drop Moseley and keep AJ and Ring.

Our lineup in brief with lefty righty OPS splits:

Jorge Posada C (.833/.799)
Mark Teixeira 1B (.941/805) Big split this year – usually even
Robinson Cano 2B (.857/.944)
Alex Rodriguez 3B (.747/.899) Alex is usually better against righties
Derek Jeter SS (.872/.633) Liability against righties this year
Brett Gardner LF (.726/.778) 47 SB’s – play him all the time (could pinch hit later)
Curtis Granderson CF - .646/.866 – Been better of late, bad matchup game 1
Nick Swisher RF – (.848/.877) please keep this up!
Lance Berkman DH (.517/.846) should not see a lefty
Marcus Thames DH (.812/.896) yes, this was surprising, but I would start Berkman against righties

Cervelli, Kearns, Golson and Pena are the bench guys. This is correct, although Nunez for Pena has been talked about. I am OK with this though.

Kearns doesn’t get up unless an injury or a possible pinch hit for Granderson against a tough lefty or if we need a homer and Gardner is up against a lefty killer in the last inning with 2 outs. Oh, also if Berkman is up against a lefty. That being said, if Cervelli is not in, I would pinch hit his .845 OPS against lefties.

The game 1 starters:

Liriano - .670 OPS against and an ERA of 3.62. He throws hard, but his best pitch is his slider, it is a top notch pitch. He is really tough on lefties as they have an OPS of .517 against him compared to the righties OPS of .713.

CC – pretty close against both sides of the plate (overall .656 OPS against).

What do I think?

We have won the last 3 series against the Twins dropping 2 games while winning 9. But, the Twins are 53-28 at home (41-40 on the road) so they are very tough there.

We have been playing so poorly and Girardi has been so off that it is hard to say, but I do think we are better than Minnesota and our offense is clearly better as is our defense. Our #1 starter is better so I predict us winning in 4. Obviously, the CC game is critical; if we lose game 1 we probably will not win the series.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Genius Maker #133

Game 1, outside of the Yankees leaving a lot of guys on base, the decision that stood out to me as bad was Girardi's decision to bunt before stealing Gardner in the 10th inning. The Boston catcher, has NO arm and I don't think it is possible for him to throw out Gardner, especially with Papelbon on the mound. The move is even worse when you consider that the Yanks are on the road and one run may not be enough (even though you have The Genius Maker). You steal Gardner and then bunt him over if you still want to. Of course, it worked out as Jeter had a check swing that luckily found its way past the pitcher and then was misplayed by Hall.
Then The Genius Maker looked really sharp with very good movement...this was great to see.

The 2nd game was about leaving too many guys on base and starting Kearns in RF instead of Swisher. Kearns has just been awful, simply awful. Replay: Kearns bases loaded 1st inning, 2 outs Matzuzaka on the ropes and he K's; 3rd inning, bases loaded and nobody out, Kearns strikes out, 5th inning, Cano on 1st with one out, Kearns strikes out swinging at ball 4, 7th inning, 1st and 2nd 1 out and kearns pops out. I would much rather Golson play than Kearns (if Swisher isn't playing). At least you know you are getting good defense. Can Kearns all of a sudden, get a big hit, sure, but so could Golson. With all the crazy stuff that happened, you could really say if Swisher were in the lineup the Yanks would have won...probably the same with Golson as he wouldn't have struck out with the bases loaded

Not sure why Cervelli simply can't throw anyone out anymore; his throws have been awful for 2 months...and dropping the pop up was embarrassing

Kearns has an OPS of .690 for the Yanks and has been dreadful of late.

Girardi should never use Ring against a righty unless you have a 5 run lead and 3 lefties follow. Ring came in and got Drew out to end the 7th inning; why let Ring start the 8th against a pinch hitter righty? You go to Nova right there. That being said, knowing the bullpen was shallow of stars, why not let Mitre face Drew with 2 outs and nobody on in the 7th and hold Ring for Kalish...if needed? Mitre looked good getting 2 outs so why take him out with a 2 run lead??? This was a huge mistake by Girardi!!! Girardi has really had his head up his ass (BTW, I wrote rear at first and the realized, that this is my blog and his head has been up his ass so that is what should be written).

Now we need to win and TB lose to get home field advantage...Man, you think Girardi would like to have some of the games he gave away?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Genius Maker #132

I thought this article/comment was interesting...

Epstein acknowledged that the Red Sox were close to acquiring reliever Kerry Wood at the deadline, but ultimately got outbid by the Yankees.

"That was an important decision," Epstein said. "We scouted [Wood] on rehab, we liked what we saw. He was available last minute at the deadline ... and we put in what I thought was a pretty aggressive financial bid for him and we were outbid by the Yankees when they were willing to take on just a little bit more of his salary. It ended up being a great move for them and cost us."

Wood has been excellent for us this year. Here are his numbers:

25 IP 14 Hits 1 run 15 walks and 29 k's.

Only allowing 14 hits in 25 innings is fantastic. Only 1 run is also fantastic and also a tribute to the relievers after him. The 29k's are really good also. The one thing that scares me are the 15 walks in 25 innings; that is a very bad number. I hope he can come through in the playoffs, because if he doesn't, we better hope that we had a large enough cushion to absorb it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Genius Maker #131

If Girardi really wants to win the division then maybe he should take his head out of his rear end and realize that Javy didn't have squat yesterday and get him out after he allowed 4 runs in the early innings. Instead with 2 guys on and 2 outs instead of taking him out, he stuck with him and waited for him to allow a 3 run homer and put the game out of reach before removing him. Girardi has been awful of late; it is simply the truth.

The positives in the game were that Royce Ring came in to get a lefty and got him out. I think he should be on the postseason roster and he should be used every game for one or a string of lefties.

Congratulations to ARod, I was very excited that he earned his 30th HR as I did not think he would get there earlier in the year. He has hit 12 HR's in his last 92 AB's! That is a crazy pace of about 80 in a year. he has now hit 30 HR's and 100 RBI's in a record 14 times (he has done it 13 in a row). Tip of the hat to you ARod!

Cervelli had 3 singles and a walk and after his hot start and a very poor period has found a hot stroke again. He is hitting .382 over the past month (34 AB's) with an OPS over .900 almost all because of 10 walks in that period. His OBP is about .500 with a slug of about .400 (these are appx numbers). The key is that he is a good hitter against lefties (.848 OPS) and a bad hitter against righties (.598 OPS). Posada should start against all righties, but Cervelli could start against most lefties and you couldn't argue too much. Wow, I can't believe I just wrote that.

Still half a game out...thank to Joe and Vazquez (who pitched himself off the postseason roster) Not to get too negative but Cashman paid a lot of money for Vazquez and Burnett this year and neither should be on the postseason roster (again, I would work Burnett out of the pen the next 3 games to see if he can do it)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Genius Maker #130

Welcome to the playoffs!

I don't understand why the Yanks didn't pitch CC on Friday as he said he would rather go into the playoffs on normal rest; I think Girardi panicked...again. I also don;t get why he would pitch CC in the 9th? I can only hope that not listening to your most important pitcher doesn't screw up CC. I would imagine he will throw in between, but why not give him his rest now and pitch him Friday. Keep in mind he pitched great last night and my comments are only about the postseason. In situations like this I ask my pitcher what he would rather do and I go that route as it makes zero difference to anything else.

I want the Yankees to win the division, but certain guys better get time off. Cano could use a few games as an example.

BTW, who was that team playing last night? Sacrificing to move runners over and actually delivering on 3 sac flies.

Some notes:

Burnett is 4-13 with a 6.67 ERA since the end of May. He really has been awful and I would not start him in the 1st round of the playoffs (ALDS). Does anyone really have faith in him over the other options we have? Could he pitch well? Sure, but look how bad he has been for almost 4 months...the worst pitcher in the AL with enough starts to qualify...yes the worst. You have a better chance of getting lucky with Nova or even Vazquez/Mitre/Moseley. As I have said a few times, his stuff would play well out of the pen, but his head might not have it. I would move him to the pen for the last week and see how he responds, otherwise he is off my ALDS roster.

Other Notes:

The Yanks have now lost their last 8 games against lefty starters. How many times have I stated I wanted a righty who hits lefties, instead of Kearns?

The ALDS isn’t hard to figure out based on the game schedule I see:

Game One – Sabathia
Game Two – Pettitte

Game Three – Hughes
Game Four – Sabathia

Game Five – Pettitte

CC pitches on 3 games rest but Pettitte gets 4 based on off days.

I will break down the playoff opponents in the next week, just like last year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Genius Maker #129

This was one of the Burnett games where you need to recognize he doesn't have it and have a quick hook. He allowed a run in the 1st inning, but this was only because Gardner was not in LF, kearns was. It was a slicing fly ball down the line that Kearns couldn't get to, but Gardner would have and instead of an out, it was a double. This is also why Gardner has more value than just his offense and SB's. Anyway, after 2 groundouts we were down 1-0. In the 2nd inning, Burnett allowed a solo HR. No need for the hook there yet. In the 3rd, Burnett walked the leadoff hitter. Now, my eyes were wide open to see what Burnett was going to do. With such a deep pen now, I would have a very quick hook. The first pitch plunked Escobar and if I were managing to win the game, Burnett would have been out right there...I said it at the time. It isn't like you would be burning the bullpen out as we have 3 long guys in the pen. Anyway, Girardi sticks with Burnett (it is understandable...even if wrong) and Burnett gets Bautista to just miss a HR and hit a long fly out. That didn't scare Girardi and he allowed Burnett to hand a first pitch curve ball to Wells, who made the score 5-0. OK, have you had enough Joe? Nope, let's leave Burnett out there long enough to ensure the game is out of reach. After a double to Overbay, I was convinced Joe would pull Burnett. Nope. After Buck almost took Burnett's head off on a line drive up the middle to make the score 6-0, Girardi had to take out Burnett, right? Wrong! Finally, mercifully, after allowing a single to Lind, Girardi goes to the mound to take the ball from Burnett??? Sarcasm alert: I guess Girardi has never seen Burnett blow up like that before? I guess Joe was surprised that when things go bad for Burnett they get really bad?

Albadejo came in and allowed a sac fly but then got out of the inning, but the Yanks were down 7-0 and the game was pretty much over. The Yanks did get a 2 run HR by Granderson and a 3 run bomb by Tex, but they weren't able to get the job done.

One note, i would like the Yankees coaching staff to put a take sign on once in awhile. Jeter was up to leadoff the 9th and had a 2-0 count on him and I would like to take a strike in that spot. Instead Jeter grounds out to lead off the 9th on a 2-1 count. Especially for a guy who is not swinging don't swing on a 2-0 count when you need a baserunner. Posada was up with a 3-0 count in the 8th also down by 2 runs and even though there were 2 outs, you have to get the tying run at the plate. he had a check swing on a 3-0 count for an out...that is mind boggling. First, why swing at all? Second, if you are going to be dumb enough to swing, you better have a zone and pitch in mind and get a good hack.

5 games to go...the magic number is 1 for the playoffs and we are .5 games behind TB for the division (which I would like to win) and Minnesota is a half a game behind the Yanks for the best record (which I would also like to win). Minnesota has lost 4 in a row as everyone in the AL limps across the finish line.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Genius Maker #128

So after managing 100 different ways of resting guys and not going to extend anyone, Girardi hits the panic button and decides to throw Hughes instead of Moselely. Of course, Hughes is the one guy in the rotation you don't want to screw around with (more than they already have), but, surprisingly, I agreed with the decision. When you can close it out, you let your guys get you the comfort as long as you don't stretch them too much; Hughes was fine to pitch as he had a full 4 days rest.

However, I disagreed with some of the decisions Girardi made later in the game.

The ump called a strike zone where strikes were called 6 inches toward the righty batters box, but pitches on the corner of the lefty box were left as balls. That was pretty odd and later in the game, I had no idea what he was calling. I don't think the players really knew either.

That being said, Jeter took 2 strikes for strikeouts on pitches that were no doubt strikes. The Yanks missed a ton of very hittable pitches by Dice K. I thought Dice threw some very good off speed pitches but he made a lot of mistakes with his fastball that the Yanks just didn't put good swings on the ball.

But, all of that was window dressing until the 8th inning. ARod had given us a 2-1 lead on his 29th HR (I remember thinking that ARod would not get to 30 this year for the 1st time in 13 years) as 30 HR's is now a strong possibility. Wood was pitching the 8th and got 2 outs but had 1st and 2nd when Girardi came in to bring in Rivera. Now, I hated this move from the beginning. I know Girardi is going for the win and if this were a playoff game, perhaps it was the right move...perhaps. But, the weather is nasty and Wood is the guy who should have the 2nd most confidence in along with the fact, I don’t want Rivera going more than 1 inning and I would have left Wood out there. Rivera did get the job done, but he still had to sit down and rest in the weather and then pitch the 9th...where he and the Yanks forgot how to slow down a running game. That was embarrassing. Stealing 2nd is one thing, but not paying attention to 3rd was absurd...and it happened twice. ARod did fail to make a play that Beltre did in extra innings, but you can't allow 4 SB's in one inning? Wake up guys.

So after Rivera threw 29 pitches (too much) the Yanks had to try and bail out the Genius Maker (who has looked his age of late)

Jeter leads off the 9th trying to get on, but goes to the plate with the mindset that he is looking for a fastball to put a good swing on the ball...he gets the fastball but hits a routine fly to RF. Swisher comes through with a single and Girardi correctly pinch runs for him. But, for some reason he uses Nunez instead of Golson??? Now, can someone shed some light on this for me? Golson is going to play RF anyway and he is blazing so why wouldn't he pinch run and stay in? Why waste the runner? From the looks of it, one would guess it was because Girardi wasn't planning on stealing so he didn't want to put Golson in that spot. I understand trying to give Tex the hole, but the only situation where you could use Golson in a stealing spot would be if Tex hits into a force out? Very stupid logic on his part because all the other situations are far more likely and nothing says you might not want him to steal or run a 3-2 pitch. Just silly. Interestingly, Nunez stoles 3rd and Girardi pinch ran for Tex with Pena on a 3-2 count? Again, why not use Golson in this spot? Why waste Pena when you might want him for pinch running for Posada next inning or something? Again, if anyone can shed some light, please do so? Interestingly, Cano singled and Robby, I get everyone thrown out at home with less than 2 outs, Thompson held Pena up on a play I thought he would send him. Posada and Berkman failed to get him home. it might have been the right call, I honestly did not see where Pena was and what kind of jump he got, but with 1 out he held him up.

In extra innings, Golson went into right so my last hope that Girardi was not a total moron was based on thinking Golson was sick or something...Oh well.

Joba gets 2 outs and then Girardi over manages to bring in Logan to face big poppy and what would have been big poppy only. In an extra inning game and nobody on and 2 outs, I am OK with Job pitching to Ortiz. Logan did his job and the Yanks pushed a run across in the 10th to win the game...Girardi managed the 10th well… asking Gardner to bunt was the right move and we caught a break on a bad throw by their catcher Martinez. 1st and 3rd with nobody they walked Jeter to pitch to Golson. Girardi decided to pinch hit with Thames (he could have let Golson hit as well and let Thames pinch hit for Miranda and I would been OK with that as well), but having the strike out person up with nobody out was fine by me as well. After Beltre made his great stop I was worried with Miranda up, but Okijima screwed up and walked us into a guarantee tie for the WC.

We are not playing well, but we still have a little time to get straightened out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Genius Maker #126 (pitchers)

My 11 postseason pitchers right now:
CC, Andy, Hughes, AJ, Mo, Joba, Wood, Logan, Robertson, Nova and Ring

I would take Nova over Mitre/Gaudin/Moseley and I want a 2nd lefty badly...even if he is there as a deterrent

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Genius Maker #126

I will only make one comment about last nights game...

This is why why you don't give away a game that you can win! Girardi could have used better pitchers in yesterday's game and he didn't have to abuse anyone. They might have won and maybe even took the wind out of TB instead of giving them some momentum (which I honestly do believe can be a little overblown).

The Genius Maker #125

I only have 3 comments:

The offense really didn't swing the bats well today and it was not because the pitching against them was all that good. The Yanks just missed a lot of very hittable pitches.

I was glad to see Ring get into the game and I think while he was taken out with lefties coming out it seems like he was a short reliever so this made sense. It was obvious how well lefties can do against TB because Ring didn't throw a single breaking ball fro a strike and he still got them out with his 85 MPH fastball (which was spotted well). He must get his breaking ball over to be effective long term though. I think he could be used against lefties and I would be fine with him on the postseason roster.

I have NO idea what in the world Girardi was thinking using the relievers he did (Ring excluded because of the lefties). It was as if he really didn't care if we won the game yet he played all our regular hitters??? I mean in the biggest games left of the regular season, after Ring, he brings in Moseley who hadn't pitched in 10 days, Gaudin (if he is lucky the last guy to make our postseason roster) and Albaladejo??? If we were losing 5-0 maybe that is OK, but it was 1-0 for crying out loud. And then twice we came back after out weaker pitchers allowed runs to close to 2-1 and 3-2 into the 7th??? We could have been ahead if Girardi didn;t have his head up his rear. I don't want to keep criticizing Girardi, but that is asinine (no pun intended)...I really can't fathom what is going through his mind? We have plenty of pitching on the staff right now and the idea you use Moseley so you can get some length is idiotic. There are so many pitchers on the roster, length is not even a remote concern. Mitre was still in the pen and if anything as a sinker baller he would have been a better choice as they need work to stay sharp. I mean why do we want to get work for Albaladejo? For some reason he just hasn't been able to get it done at the major league level and right now we can't worry about it as he has almost no chance of making the PS roster. We may need to start calling Girardi clueless Joe (two managers in a row)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Genius Maker #124

I was at the game last night and was treated to our A lineup for the 1st time in, well, I don't remember the last time we had our A lineup in? Not coincidentally, we scored 8 runs in 8 innings (7 of them with 2 outs). Although, it would have been nice if we tacked on some runs after scoring 5 in the 1st a little earlier, it was a good display of offense.

Hughes, struggled the entire game, except for the 6th inning, but he held TB to only 2 runs in 6 innings and his night should have been done at that point. Decisions like starting Hughes in the 7th inning are the ones that are so inconsistent with Girardi and really drive me nuts. One minute we are talking about conserving his innings and the next minute you are throwing him out there after 100+ pitches in a game where he pretty much struggled the entire time and was pitching in stressful situations for 5 of 6 innings. It just does not make sense.

The other (non)move I didn't get was in the bottom of the 7th inning when Swisher got on base, 1 out and we had a 5-3 lead; I would have brought in Golson for pinch running (to steal a base) and also for defensive purposes...Tex forced Swisher at 2nd rather than letting Golson steal a base or at the worst force the pitcher to be worried about it. I screamed to Girardi to make the move but I don't think he heard me :) The Yanks did score 2 runs in the inning and possibly could have scored more if Golson were in, but even after a 4 run lead Swisher remained in RF. As it turned out Swisher didn't have any tough plays and Swisher did get up again as the last batter of the 8th and grounded out...Golson then went in for defensive purposes in the 9th. While it didn't matter, it surely could have and the only reason why Swisher did get up again was because we scored 3 runs after he got makes for even more reason to get the better defensive player out there. Bad job by Girardi.

Vazquez allowed 3 hits in one inning but really did a decent job because 2 were cheapies. Conversely, Joba, pitched 1.1 innings with only 1 hit and got the job done, but was fortunate as he was hit hard, but the balls went right at people.

Tex didn't get a hit but hit the ball well and just missed a HR to CF. Hopefully his thumb is starting to feel better, although you could also look at it and say because of the thumb he didn't have the power to drive the ball out of the park? Berkman even got the ball in the air on his line drive over Upton's head in CF; first time in awhile, even though he has been hitting line drives.

So I hear the Yanks finally brought up another lefty!!! This is great news and shocking it didn't happen earlier, especially with September callups. Maybe someone realized that TB has 6+ lefties in their lineup and having an extra lefty may be a good thing? Royce Ring has not established himself at all in the major leagues and is almost 30, was signed by the yanks as a free agent (league minimum) and had good numbers in AAA this year. I honestly know little about him, but I could see him getting an opportunity against some of the lefties TB has. I hope he can be decent and I look forward to seeing him. Just think of games where Logan is not available how much we are hamstrung and a guy like Brad Hawpe who hits righties well and can't hit lefties can be used without fear. Not only that, is everyone sold on Logan? I mean he has done extremely well this year since coming back from the minors, but it wouldn't be shocking if he reverted to the guy he was prior.

Overall, it was a nice win and a great night to see the game. I want to thank Atlantic Beverage and Domino for bringing me to the game!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Genius Maker #123

Another grind type of game. Granderson got us on the board with a 2 run dinger and then the Yanks tacked on another 2 runs, but blew a big chance to blow the game open. The AB I was really annoyed with was Berkman's. You have an umpire with a very tight strike zone (who was also missing real strikes for us - The Kerry Wood breaking ball was a joke that he missed that strike out) and he had a 3-1 count and Berk swung at a high inside pitch (probably a ball) and did nothing with it. You have to be real selective in that spot and only swing at a specific zone. Bad job by Berkman, but we still led 4-0 with Nova cruising.

Nova had really been creamed in the 5th inning in his outings, so you have to keep an eye on him especially after a long inning. After falling behind 3-0 to the 1st batter and allowing him to get on and then walking the next guy, I would have had Logan in the game to face 4 lefties in 5 batters. As it turned out it wasn't bad to leave Nova in even though the lefty got on, he did get the next guy to hit into a DP. Then Girardi went to Logan...who stunk. This is VERY important. TB has a huge hole on their team with a lot of lefties who can be exploited, unfortunately, we only have 1 lefty(which is just mind boggling to me that the Yankees can't get 2 lefties in the pen - Cashman deserves a lot of criticism for this) and if he is bad, we are SOL. At he end of the inning the score was tied in an ugly inning showcasing the tight strike zone by McLelland (the ump). I just want to say he was tight for both sides and was fairly consistent, however, of the 5 noticeable missed pitches in the game, 4 of them were against us.

The Yanks offense kept coming back as Granderson showed why I was excited to have him hit against righties as he hit a monster 3 run home toward the top of the right field fair pole.

The Yanks led 8-5 going into the 9th, but Mo was uncomfortable to watch as he struggled with his control...we better hope he can give us enough in the postseason as he didn't look good tonight (and it was not the umps fault). Even so, he did break 3 bats, which is pretty hilarious, and he did save the 3 run lead with an 8-6 victory and a 1.5 game lead.

Gardner needs to work on his bunting...a guy that fast better bunt with more consistently. He came up with 1st and 2nd and nobody out, a clear bunting spot and he pushed the bat into a pop up DP.

Cano, ARod and Tex did nothing. Jeter, Granderson,Cervelli and of course Granderson had good offensive games to carry us.

Last point on Logan, he was trowing 91 and I hope that was just a off day...being our only lefty (still don't get it), he better be ON!

It was a grind...but a win

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Genius Maker #122

The game was looking like one of those games where we would have been lamenting our 0-9 with runners in scoring position, the failed bases loaded opportunity early in the game, another worthless performance by Kearns (especially with RISP), and Jeter watching 2 called strikeouts against himself. I received a text from a friend that said, "we r pathetic."

But, a fantastic AB by Posada started it all off in the 9th inning. This was one of the better "battle" AB's you will ever see. Many times when a guy fouls off a lot of pitches and works a walk or get a hit, you will see many hittable pitches that they just missed. Posada is one of guess hitters in the league. It is why he is way out in front of some pitches and also takes called fastball strikes right down the middle. The Baltimore closer, Uehara, had one blown save all year and that was the Swisher HR against him. Uehara has excellent control so walks are rare against him, he has a 90 MPH fastball he spots well and he has a very good change up that he throws with a splitter grip (80 MPH). Posada took a fastball down the middle for strike one. Then took a change for a ball followed by a change up he was way out in front of for strike 2. Posada then barely fouled off 2 change ups as he was out in front of them. Posada is definitely fighting this here but was probably fortunate when the next fastball was a ball high. Euhara then came back with another fastball that Jorge fouled off and was a little behind on an upper strike. The next pitch was a change that Posada just caught a piece of with the end of his bat to stay alive. The 9th pitch was a fastball that was a very close pitch that was just a little low and now the count was 3-2. The next fastball was on the corner but Jorge fouled it off. On the 11th pitch of the AB Jorge took the change up and dropped it into LC for a huge single to start things off. That AB got me really excited as the closer used a lot of energy and now we had the leadoff hitter on with the top of the lineup coming up. Unfortunately, Jeter had a terrible AB where he swung at ball 2 up high and probably ball 3 as well before taking strike 3 on a very hittable pitch. 4 straight mediocre fastballs 2 or 3 were not even strikes and Jeter takes the best one for a called strike 3...very disappointing. While that did take the wind out of me a little bit, we had 3 really good hitters coming up (Granderson is a really good hitter against righties and even having an off year he has a .828 OPS against righties). After taking 2 fastballs for balls Granderson got a fastball over the plate and drilled it to right where a deep playing Markakis let the sinking liner drop in front of him (I was actually worried Posada may get thrown out at 2nd base). The ball had a lot of top spin but if read really well off the bat I think a catch might have been made. Anyway, we are now in business with Tex up and ARod on deck as long as Tex didn't hit into a DP (I think we have seen too many of them of late). After taking ball one, the ump called the next outside pitch a strike (definitely was a ball) and the count was 1-1. Obviously a big difference, but Tex had an incredibly hittable pitch next and times it right but just got under it and hit a mile high pop up. While ARod was coming up, that pitch was the one they gave us and we didn't take advantage of it...story of the last 10 games. Now up comes ARod. The first pitch to ARod was a little in, but the ump called it a strike (on the border). The next pitch was definitely in and called a ball. The next pitch ARod got a pretty good pitch to hit but fouled it off (he had a mean cut on it). It should be noted that Uehara has thrown 3 straight fastballs inside and you have to wonder when he uses his changeup? the next pitch is another fastball that was just inside. This pitch was more inside than the first called strike on ARod and was correctly called a ball. At this point ARod had a little smile on his face and I didn't see any post game reports as to why, but I think he was feeling the moment and enjoying the competitive nature of a close call. The next pitch was similar to the 3rd pitch that ARod had a great cut on, but this one was centered and ARod crushed a 3 run homer to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead, a Mariano save and coupled with Boston and TB losing, 1st place and a great victory! ARod accounted for all our runs with the 2 HR's tonight!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Genius Maker #121

was really hoping I would be able to say that the last 2 wins were about as frustrating big wins as I could remember. Unfortunately the frustration from horrific men on base hitting, some poor pitch selection and a consistent bad job by the umpire makes me, well, frustrated.

A couple of points…First, why is Kearns starting? The guy has stunk of late and is only average anyway and isn’t a good defender. If you want to rest Gardner and Swisher to get them better, I could understand that, but play Golson, at least he will play good defense and probably could hit better than Kearns. I don’t know the numbers with the Yankees, but If Kearns has gotten more than 1 guy in from 3rd base in his last 10 tries, I would be surprised. He struck out 6 times in 2 games yet Girardi sticks with him in a big spot…and even though I was screaming to my family that Kearns should be sitting on NOTHING but a changeup, he swung at the changeups in the dirt for strike 3…I still don’t know why they can’t hear me? Colin Curtis…ditto! Dude they won’t purposely throw you a strike over the plate in a big spot and they don’t have to if they can throw balls in the dirt and you will swing at them.

So the Yanks have 7 hits to none and they are only up 1-0 because they left 2 guys on in every inning and would have left 3 if the bases loaded one out DP didn’t happen. I said to my friend that you know one swing of the bat will tie this game…well I was almost right; one swing of the bat gave them the lead. And why pitch Dan Johnson with an inside fastball? The guy looks for nothing but a fastball…Coming into the game the guy was hitting .200 with moderate power…3 HR’s in 65 AB’s. He is a mediocre player at best and we give him pitches he loves…

On Dan Johnson 2nd homer of the game, he stepped to the plate after we should have thrown the curve, but we didn’t and they got a single. When they started Johnson with a curve I said out loud at least we made the adjustment and of course he just took the curve...then a fastball missed and I said, OK they are just trying to show him the fastball. Then they throw another fastball away but it was a strike to everyone, except the ump. I went on GameDay and it confirmed it was a strike (the TB camera is awful and I wasn’t 100% sure, even though Al Leiter thought just like me). Now instead of 1-2 it is 2-1. That is OK, I said, he didn’t swing, just throw a curve ball here. No chance I am throwing this clown another fastball because you know that is what he is looking for and wants…but not only do they call a fastball they come inside with it??? Uh, he is looking for it…and boom 2 run shot and 1 run lead is lost and the game…and 1st place.

Some other notes:

I believe Jeter was hit with the ball and it redirected ever so slightly off his elbow pad into the knob of the bat. I watched this in my own super slow mo and the ball changed directions before it hit the knob. Jeter’s eyes on the replay made me think he was faking it though; I am curious what is said tomorrow. (UPDATE: Jeter's comments stated he was faking it - this surprises me. Is it possible he didn't feel it hit his elbow pad a split second before the knob of the bat? I know what I saw and I thought I was going to be watching it only hit the knob of the bat, but it did switch directions??? Who knows, but why would Jeter say that and make the umps looks bad anyway?)

Cano tagged out Upton on a throw from Posada and this is a perfect example of what I have been saying about the quick tags of Cano compared to Jeter. The previous day a guy was just safe on a Jeter tag and today the runner was out on a Cano quick tag…this is not a coincidence.

Why was Kearns batting in the 8th inning? I mean Miranda would have been a much better choice or let Swish hit.

Meanwhile, Balfour threw Thames a fastball out of the strike zone and then threw 4 straight curves to get him out…Maybe we should learn something there?

Yes, I am upset, more because we have played stupid and our manager is making some decisions I don’t agree with. I am really OK with resting our guys now…getting them healthy is more important than winning these games. I do want home field advantage but again getting us healthy is more important and I do think we will be ok if our guys are healthy. We already know Tex has a broken toe, but he seems to be able to play through it.

Boston is only 6 behind us now. I really feel we are fine in terms of making the playoffs, but we better start winning some games.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Genius Maker #120

Let's celebrate a very good offensive performance and an exciting finish on a tremendous throw by Golson and a very good catch and tag by ARod. Just as Gardner's play was a bad one getting thrown out stealing 3rd base with 2 outs last night, this was also a bad play by Crawford for the same reason. Golson should have gotten himself in a little better position so he didn't have to throw flat footed, but he made a very strong and extremely accurate throw to nail Crawford and win the game!

Now, onto what is really bothering me.

Girardi has officially become a manager I am extremely unhappy with. He is just so inconsistent it drives me crazy. This game was important and after Jeter K'd with the bases loaded and the Yanks up 6-0, I was happy, but felt we should have been able to really blow open this game...

Nova starts getting in trouble (EVERY hit was a on a fastball) in the bottom of the 5th as he allowed a leadoff HR and then a double but then got a K. After a single making it 6-2 (on another fastball) he gets a ground out and the score is 6-2 with a man on 1st and 2 outs. Nova then walks the next guy. Obviously, he has lost his stuff, but Girardi decides to let him go one batter and try and get out Longoria. This is risky, but for some reason Girardi sat down Robertson so then it didn't make sense to bring in Logan to face Longoria. TB has 3 lefties in a row so it makes sense to bring in Logan to get in some pinch hitters and force TB's hand-after Longoria. Nova starts out Longoria with a great curve and I am telling the friend I am talking with that he needs to throw all curves. Cervelli, not listening, calls for a fastball and Longoria rips a single up the middle and now the score is 6-3 and they have 1st and 2nd and 2 outs (all with 2 outs and on fastballs). Logan must now get the lefties...but wait... Girardi inexplicably lets Nova face the lefty Joyce??? I am sorry, Girardi has been a moron of late; but this takes the cake and makes NO sense. Girardi has shown that he will take a guy out before getting a win (pitching 5) if it will cost the game and Nova has now allowed 3 runs in the 5th inning and has 2 runners on...the tying run is coming to the plate for crying out loud. To make it worse, Joyce is almost a 100% platoon guy so at the worst you are forcing a move and at the best you get a guy who is 1-20 against lefties for the year. Later in the game their lefties in the lineup would be gone and we would have our
all” righties pen get them out...but no, Girardi lets Nova go after Joyce (BTW, Nova had an OPS against lefties of .819 compared to .651 against righties coming into the game), who hits a fastball for a single and now the score is 6-4 with 2 guys on and we bring in Logan to face the lefty who gets pinch hit for Aybar. Aybar hits a 3 run HR and now we are down by one. Yes, you can say Logan didn't do the job, but you don't know what would have happened in the AB prior and while they probably would have pinch hit for Joyce, that uses a big move for them and makes them more vulnerable later. People say the manager doesn't make much of a difference...well they are wrong at times like this because it was a huge difference and this was an AWFUL job by Girardi. Let him go to Chicago if he is going to manage this poorly.

Fortunately the Yankees rallied to tie and Posada hit an absolute bomb as a pinch hitter to give us a 1 run lead in the 10th and Rivera was able to get out of the 10th with a little help by Golson.

Big win, but that bottom of the 5th was disgusting.

BTW, Granderson had a couple of doubles and made a fantastic catch in CF fully diving for a ball. Cano had a big day as well with a few hits and an HR. On the negative side Kearns has been awful (he is really mediocre and this is why I was not in favor of the signing...even if he does add some value as the team is constructed now...I would have signed/traded for someone else though. Also Colin Curtis can't get a hit for us and Miranda hasn't been much better. It would be nice if someone from our minors could hit.

Finally, I have to say great job by Joba, Wood and Robertson each pitching a shut out inning. Joba was really impressive sporting a great curve. The fun AB was watching Joba to pitch to Longoria. They started him off with a sharp curve that was a little low. But then came back with the slider and Longoria was a little out in front for a swinging strike. Now, the batter has no idea what is coming and Joba nails a 97 MPH fastball on the outer upper part of the strike zone (looking). With the count 1-2, what would you throw? This is why starting him off this way gives you so many options. What I loved was he came back with the pitch I had talked about earlier in the season; the fastball over the plate but a little up just above the strike zone. This is harder to lay off than the one inside or outside at the same height. What made it even more impressive was that it was clocked at 98!!! That was great!

The expanded rosters are pretty silly right now if you ask me. The key pennant games and you can slice and dice any way you want, doesn't make sense. The only thing that makes less sense is that we don't have a 2nd lefty in the pen right now.

Back in first despite our manager.