Sunday, June 7, 2009

Did Joe Girardi dis Mariano Rivera - or vice versa?

There's a whole to-do in the papers today about Joe Girardi having Mariano Rivera intentionally walk Evan Longoria to face B.J. Upton, and Rivera being not exactly pleased about it.

Newsday's Ken Davidoff writes:
...Rivera, who complains about as often as Girardi contemplates getting a mohawk, made it clear that he disagreed with his skipper on this call.

....What stood out on this lazy Saturday was Rivera's unhappiness.
The New York Post's Larry Brooks notes: playing percentages with the closer an indication that the manager doesn't have faith that the Great Rivera can still get anybody out at any time, because it sure appeared that way yesterday?

That walk to the mound and the instruction to intentionally walk Longoria sure seemed like a vote of no confidence from the manager, even to Rivera, who came as close to saying that as possible without actually using the words.
Was it a vote of no confidence? Maybe. But sadly, I don't think it would have made any difference if Rivera had pitched against either Upton or Longoria. Either one would have gotten a big hit off him. The Rays seem to totally have his number.

Remember, Ben Zobrist had hit a leadoff triple off Mariano, and Joe Dillon followed that up with a single. Rivera had already given up the lead when he had to intentionally walk Longoria. He just looked terrible out there yesterday. And he was out of the game after the Upton hit.

Speaking of which, that was disturbing as well. As the Post's Brooks writes, Rivera was "pulled in the middle of an inning for the second time already this year after suffering that fate once over the previous three years and three times total over the last six seasons." That's pretty depressing to hear.

Seeing Mo's stats against Tampa Bay this year is even more depressing - 0-2, 13.5 ERA, with 5 earned runs (including two homers) over 3.1 innings. The Rays definitely have his number.

On the bright side, after a shaky outing by CC Sabathia, the Yanks did tie the game in the eighth inning with one of their patented rallies. And they scored two runs in the ninth as well. Too bad they couldn't pull out a win yesterday.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Anonymous said...

I guess they didn't have Mo's number in today's game. Why do people keep forgetting that Mo is human? He seemed to handle Longoria fairly easy...maybe Joe should have listened to Mo yesterday. Nobody knows Mo the way Mo does. Unlike Lisa I think things might have turned out differently. I have every faith he will be there when we truly need him October ... :o).


Go Yankees 2009 !!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Girardi is not a good manager: he is the one with less experience. I highly disapprove of his handling of the pitching staff. His assessments of pitching is weak and often wrong. Longoria is pinch-hitting and he cannot run. He has to get the hit. If he does, so be it. You do not ask your closer to give an intentional walk in that situation: it is the regular season first of all, not a playoff game, in which case you might. Why didn't Girardi have someone get up when Mo's pitches were so flat? That's his job, not to tell Mo to walk Longoria. Also, today's request that Jeter bunt was similarly weak and wrong-headed. In that situation, I trust Jeter to make that decision. I trust him to work out a walk count and go to right field above almost any player in baseball. Girardi is a proud fool, and that does not make for good coaching. Why doesn't he do something to help and teach Cano? He is falling into bad patterns again. He needs to be sat down. Send Mr. Berroa down and let us see Kevin Russo.

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