Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Requiem for the Yankees

I feel bad for piling on and no Yankee fan should mistake my opinion as sincere criticisms designed to improve their ball club but Joe Torre’s managing in this post season was so horrendous I see no way that he could keep his job. I could talk about a lot of things. There is the head scratching choice of Clemens in game 3 over Hughes which predictably burned out the pen for game 4. And Matsui with a recently drained knee over Giambi who Torre mysteriously refuses to give post season at bats to despite having excellent numbers. But the most glaring is his decision to pitch Wang over Mussina in the deciding game. I don’t think Wang could have looked any worse in his game 1 start and had never pitched on 3 days rest in his career. Yet Torre decides to start Wang over Mussina who hadn’t pitched since September 28th and had looked good to average in his last few starts. Add to that that Mussina’s good post season stats and the choice is even more queer. As much as I enjoyed the Yankee batter futility with the exception of Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano you really can’t say too much about their failure. They faced some very good pitching and didn’t come through. It happens. Perhaps this year will finally deflate the last few bloated Yankee fans who have always thought of the World Series as an entitlement rather than a gift. As I heard many angry Yankee fans over the weekend say on WFAN this team seemed more designed to sell 4 million tickets than to win a World Series. And Yankees fans should be very pissed off. They were the second best team in all of baseball this year and they won just a single game in the playoffs. And for those of you keeping track of such things the Yankees are 4 and 10 in the post season since game 4 of the ALCS in 2004 and have lost 13 of their last 17 playoff games despite have very good teams every one of those years. Now that is a curse!

There is one thing I will gloat on a bit and that is Jeter grounding into the double play in the 7th inning which really buried the Yankees.


Dan said...

never one to pile on.

akboognish said...

I've been looking for a good analysis on why Torre should be canned and this was the first. I heard him say something like "these are the guys who got us here, so...," which somewhat explains his long-standing problem (with Mussina being an anomaly which I still don't understand).

Couple of questions:

What about Torre's regular season management? Didn't he right that ship and bring the team back from extinction?

What happens to Damon? Matsui goes away and he comes back as the left fielder? Giambi goes away and he becomes DH? Is either that good? Doesn't he have 3 more years on his contract?

Dewy24 said...

It seems to me that Torre is loyal to a fault and his 'these are the guys that got us here' attitude repeatedly gets him in trouble in the playoffs. I think he felt like Clemens deserved the start in game 3 even though Hughes might have been the right choice. It must be killing any thinking Yankee fan that Torre decided to use Hughes for 5 2/3 innings of essentially mop up duty and he was brilliant (1.59 ERA, 3 hits, 6 K's, 0 BB). How he didn't play more prominently in the playoffs is a very legitimate criticism of Torre. It's not Grady Little in 2003 bad but it’s pretty bad.

As far as Torre's management of the regular season he did the right thing by not panicking despite the Yankees rough start. The Yankees were always playing like a 90-ish win team by their Pythagorean record but had very tough luck in 1 run and extra inning games early in the season. Eventually that evened out. So I don't think he did anything spectacular except to trust that his team would come around. That was the right thing to do but all this talk of manager of the year is undeserved as far as I'm concerned. Any manager of the Yankees, Sox or Mets should never be considered for manager of the year simply because of their payroll.

I haven't really thought much about the Yanks in 2008 other than wonder if Posada stays or goes. Unfortunately I think the Yankees future looks pretty good with their young talent. Fortunately the Sox look good as well. I keep hearing these Coco/Lester/Buchholtz for Johan Santana trade rumors that get me excited.

Dan said...

Are we going to get some World Series coverage on the Avoiding Work?