Thursday, June 11, 2009

Should Joe Girardi take Chien-Ming Wang out of the starting rotation?

Unlike Tuesday's loss against Boston, the Yankees - or at least Mark Teixeira - did show a little fight last night, but the end result was still the same. And Sox fans can still gloat over their team being undefeated against the Bombers. If the Yankees don't win tonight, we're going to hear an awful lot about that record over the next few months. What joy.

What was the quote from Mark Teixeira earlier this year - that the Yankees kept on finding different ways to lose each night? Unfortunately, every time Chien-Ming Wang starts, the result is the same way each time - he puts them in a big hole early. And unless the Bombers can score a whole heap of runs, they are going to lose.

Granted, the Yanks were 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 runners on base last night. But their starting pitching was the number one reason they lost.

One of our Facebook readers noted that even though Chien-Ming Wang gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, his ERA actually went down last night. How sad is that?

I feel terrible for Wang - he looks like a broken man out on the mound - and it's shocking and sad to see somebody who twice won 19 games look so terrible.

However, according to the Journal-News' Peter Abraham, Jorge Posada said Wang deserved another start due to those two 19-win seasons.

And given that Wang's next start would be against the Nationals, writers like the New York Times' Tyler Kepner think that Wang should get one more chance.

I disagree. If I thought that all it would take is one good start to put Wang on the right track, I'd agree that it was worth it to give him a shot against Washington, the most woeful team in baseball. But what if the Nationals beat up on him? What happens to Wang's already fragile psyche then?

Some think that the Yanks made a mistake in calling Wang up too soon after Joba Chamberlain got hit by a pitch. I don't think it really mattered. Remember, Wang was looking decent in the minors, and was expected to only make one more start then. And the Yanks would have been in the same situation.

So what now? In today's New York Post, Joel Sherman jokes about fake injuries for the Yanks to claim for Wang, like "sprained right eyebrow," "contusion of the left pinkie nail," or "hyper-extended ERA."

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Yanks put Wang on the DL for an anxiety disorder, the way Dontrelle Willis, Zack Greinke, and Khalil Greene were. It would actually make a certain amount of sense.

Sherman goes on to say:
There is no acceptable answer for sticking with Wang. Hughes may not be perfect. He still may have a lot to learn. But he is at least competitive. Wang, on the other hand, is making Kei Igawa look good by comparison.
Other than the homer to Kevin Youkilis, Hughes impressed me last night (incidentally, what is up with Youkilis' booty-shaking at-bats? He has one of the weirdest batting stances ever!)

while Hughes' overall record of 3-2, 5.26 ERA could be called middling mediocrity, he's had some great individual starts. And he's shown a lot of potential.

What potential has Wang shown in any of his starts this year - the potential to give up a lot of runs?

The Yanks can't afford to throw Wang out there, until he starts throwing well again. And I'm guessing getting him right is going to be a long journey.

Should the Yankees give Chien-Ming Wang another shot as a starter? Leave us a comment!


NAM said...


You are right; Youk does have one of the strangest batting stances. I love to watch him at bat because he is so unusual.

Bklynfan said...

Should the Yanks give Wang another shot as a starter? I say Hell to the No!! Send him back down and get him straightened out. He is not going to miraculously get better by his next start.

Speaking of broken down men, no one looks more broken down than Ortiz. I ALMOST felt bad for him when we was shuffling his feet with his head hanging down going back to the dugout after striking out, but I ended up laughing. I thought - would Sox fans feel bad for ARod or Tex or Jeter if they were slumping? No -- they would be laughing their butts off too!! I also don't think it helps Ortiz' teammates to see him act like that.

I have a good feeling about tonight. I think CC is going to get us the win - hopefully!!

Go Yanks!!

Bklynfan said...

One more thing - you beat me too it Lisa - I was thinking the exact same thing about Youk last night!!! I find his batting stance very weird and disturbing. His body looks twisted and the bouncing up and down and the arm wiggling is very distracting.

Uncle Mike said...

Woody Allen once said, "Ninety percent of life is just showing up." On Tuesday night, the Yankees may have been present at Fenway Park, but they sure didn't "show up." Last night, they showed up. They came back from 4-1 and 6-3 to make it 6-5. In the 9th inning, A-Rod actually got on base. There was hope. But the Yanks couldn't push him across.

Check the standings: No, the Yankees did not get credit for 90 percent of a win just for showing up and fighting. Ninety percent is not enough. Useless scrubs. (I really, really wanted to use another word there, but for Lisa's sake I'll keep this rated PG-13.)

Now 0-7 against the Sox this season. (Again, I wanted to use another word.) Wang is obviously not back yet. We can't beat the Sox. They still hold the hammer over us.

And after tonight's what's-the-point game, we have to defend the George M. Steinbrenner Memorial Coliseum against The Other Team. The boys from the House of Wilpon. The Blue and Orange. At least they're not doing so hot, either.

On the one hand, I think the Washington Nationals are just what the doctor ordered for Wang. On the other hand...

Remember in 2006, when the Yanks went down to Washington and blew an 8-2 lead at RFK Stadium and the Nats won, 9-8? I was there. Long way to go to sit in an outdated football stadium to watch your favorite baseball team lose to a crummy team. The next day, I was at the Newark Bears' ballpark, watching them get pounded (though they won the Atlantic League Pennant in the next season), and had the Yanks and Nats on my Walkman. Wang was asked to go the distance to help out the Yanks' exhausted bullpen, and he did pitch all the way, taking a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 9th. But the Nats got a runner on, and Ryan Zimmerman hit a walkoff home run. A crushing loss, and I wasn't the only Walkman-wearing Yankee Fan in the Newark ballpark that hot Sunday afternoon to groan over it.

Youkilis' at-bats look ridiculous, but he's not as distracting as Gary Sheffield "waving his magic wand." Still, how would the "Queer Eye" guys have reacted if Youk had been on the Sox at the time of their episode with that team?

Then again, Ortiz has a weird stance and a weird swing, and so did the very similar Mo Vaughn. But it's not how it looks, it's the results you get. It's about time the Yankees stopped giving Youk and Big Sloppy and the rest the same kind of results.

Anonymous said...

I would give Wang another shot BECAUSE it is the Nationals and he needs something to boost his moral ..he actually looked like he had decent stuff at times just that he couldn't locate it. Have him on a short leash and if he doesn't do well then the Yankees should figure out what to do after that. Hughes is looking quite good...anyone can make a mistake pitch but he picked himself right up after it and did well. Either way ..Wang or Hughes I'm fine with the Yankees decision...not that they really care anyway .. :o).

Lisa ...quoting Joel Sherman and agreeing with him leaves me shaking my head at you ... lol. He's toward the top as far as turning into a gossip columnist as opposed to a TRUE sports writer (if there actually are any of those left anyway).

Nam...I think it's his batting stance that makes me like Youk even less...he looks like a nervous nutjob and with his ugly puss (although I didn't think he looked as bad when he had the thing on his chin shaved a few months ago) I just want to look away when he's at the plate (especially when he gets hits off of us...haha).

Anyway ...I hope we can take the game tonight and start our own streak. I won't be able to watch it as I won't be home but I'll be following along on my phone (thank God for cell phones). Never know what can happen ...if one team can win 7 in a row so can another...especially a team like the Yankees (heck they aren't the Nationals now...right?)


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

The hell with giving him another start. They should fire him into the sun.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a sane article. This orginzation has zero guts to make a big move. The let Wangf get DESTROYED at thje beginning of the year and now he is physically and mentally shot. Put him on the DL like Boston put Dice K on the DL for a "tired arm".

Dennis Tampa

Anonymous said...

Wang is still injured. If you watched "Baseball Tonight" last night, you would have seen pictures of Wang's pitching in 2008verse 2009. He seems to be angleating away from his back foot... the one he broke last year and has taken almost 1 year to be fixed. He is not driving off of the foot/leg and his pitches suffer. He is hurt. He tries to get off of the foot as quick as possible. Steve Philips did some commentary. Have his re-examined and when better, do a very long stint in the minors.

Even when healthy, he is over-rated IMO. He typically chokes in big games.

Everyone knew that he was going to get killed yesterday against the Sox. How stupid is it to purposely go that route?

Ezra Dedde said...

Ortiz is garbage. Another AROD "cousin" loving steroid likely user. Who among us will rub creame on his nuts? Manny can't anymore. So sad. I feel sorry for the SilverBack also.

NAM said...

Hi Peggy,

Youk may not be a pretty boy, but as long as he works hard and hits homeruns off Yankee pitchers he will remain a Fenway favorite :)

P.S. A-Rod's face twitching, gum chewing, blue lipped mug is pretty annoying to watch and Teixeira's face at bat is pretty weird too. But they are all top notch players so like Uncle Mike said, it's the result.

Anonymous said...

Wang needs to return to AAA somehow and work on his confidence. He is certainly not getting what help he needs from Girardi & Eiland. Speaking of Eiland, does anyone know who he is related to--how on earth is he keeping his job--what a joke! At this time he does not belong in the starting rotation. In addition A-Rod and Cano are doing their usual nothing in Boston. Two or 3 balls hit past A-Rod he should have gotten. I wonder if Mark T. realizes yet he signed with a team that chokes big time in important games.

Anonymous said...

As usual Nam...we agree to disagree ...IMO...nothing is as yucky as Youk at the plate but he is a heck of a player when he isn't whining about something. The thing with Tex and Alex no matter what faces they make is the fact that when they walk away from the plate they do look a heck of a lot better than Youk...hands down. On the other hand we have Gardner who looks like an alien with that big bald head of his...of course if he hit as well as Youk I'd probably think he looked pretty damn good

Anyway is in the eye of the beholder ...and ...the batting average of the player ... :o)


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...


I commend Boston fans for standing behind Ortiz (although I have been told he's been booed at home in other games). I guess it's to impress Yankee fans and I WAS impressed by the way the Sox fans treated Ortiz because I do think standing behind your player no matter what instead of booing them is the way to go (unless your name is Carl Pavano that is ..). I'm embarrassed by the way Yankee fans treat some of our players when they don't do well ...the last straw was booing Mo ..totally disgusting IMO. I never could understand anyone booing their own players's pathetic.

Actually I was feeling sorry for Big Papi ...that is until he hit the homer on Tuesday.. :o).

Just one thing ...a little hypocritical of the steroid chants for Alex after the Sox knowingly took a steroid user on to the team in Gagne. Of course I'm sure Manny NEVER took any while on the Sox. Unfortunately in baseball it's all over INCLUDING the Red Sox even if Mitchell wanted to sugar coat that fact and just go after New York teams. Too bad the other 103 names weren't released ...maybe fans of other teams would be too embarrassed to say anything when they saw it was in their own house.
Alex just has to do his thing ...get his hits ...the one sure way to shut them up fast. Actually it would shut up our fans too...those pathetic Yankee fans I mentioned previously that boo their own players ..

Hope the weather is ok in Boston ...I can't believe I'm going to miss the game but I'll definitely have the DVR humming while I'm out.


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

NAM said...


You are so right. The chant was awful. There isn't a team out there that doesn't have or had steroid users. I said to my Mom, why do they do that stupid stuff. I still don't think they booed Ortiz at home, but the boos are also in the ear of the beholder!

A Yankee friend of mine just stopped in the office to predict a 4-3 Yankee win. I never liked him much :)

NY Sports Jerk said...

I have no idea why they would even consider giving him another start at this point, he's broken.

Just from a personal perspective, his next scheduled start would be Tuesday, June 16, which happens to be my 30th birthday. I will be at the Stadium that night, and I can't have Wang ruining that night for me.

Anonymous said...


I bet that Yankee friend is a heck of nice guy Smart too ... :o)


Go Yankees 2009!!!

Anonymous said... friend Jim who lives in Boston and goes to many games told me Big Papi has been booed. If Yankee fan told me I wouldn't have mentioned it knowing how fans can be biased. That's why I was surprised when I saw the ovation for an OUT by Big Papi. I guess we can go overboard in both directions.

As I have said many times...I don't think ANYONE should boo their own players and I'm disgusted with the fans at that Stadium when they do it to our guys. I don't even boo opposing players...not even the Red Sox players I'm not particularly fond of (I think we know who they are by now)... :o).

As you can tell ...I'm not very busy at work with all this typing...I just hate the fact after I push the comment button my posts are looking like Uncle Mike's...LONG..hahahahaha. I have too much time on my hands today...


Go Yankees 2009 !!

Anonymous said...

I am with you regarding booing players. Never boo your team's players. I remember the awful booing Rich Gedman took on opening day 1987. I was there and it was a terrible, crushing thing. I have never booed a player (Red Sox or opponent) since then and I never will.

Now, booing umpires is a whole 'nother thing!

Go Sox!

NAM said...


booing umps is always appropriate!

and Peggy,

My friend is smart and funny, a nice boy from Brooklyn!

Paul from Boston said...

If Wang gets lit up by the Natinals (or did they correct their jerseys?) then I have to think that's going to be far worse than any boost he'd get out of a good performance. This one's a tough call.

Uncle Mike - you beat me to it! I find Youk's stance very odd as well but Sheffield's is downright distracting (Millar did that to a degree as well and it always bugged me).

Peggy/NAM - I wouldn't be surprised to know that there were some boos directed at Papi, but still a vast minority. More than the fans, I really like how genuinely psyched the team gets for him when he shows signs of life (and not just against the Yankees).

Cheers everyone!

Subway Squawkers said...

Thanks to everybody for commenting! Good to see some new faces as well.

A few thoughts:

* If Wang's foot is still hurting him, he needs to speak up now or forever watch his career go down the tubes.

* I always found Sheffield's batting stance, and all the wriggling, entertaining, but that's me.

* Re: The Yanks/National games in 2006 - I was at the Saturday and Sunday games in DC. Two National walk-off hits in a row. What a nightmare!

* I think if Wang is removed in the rotation, Joe Girardi should say it's because he didn't want to ruin Squawker reader (and fellow blogger) New York Sports Jerk's 30th birthday!


The Emperor said...

My opinion: Wang to the bullpen; Hughes in the rotation. Anything else is just retarded.

I just KNEW, KNEW, KNEW that Wang was going to get lit up last night. Even when he was doing well, he'd still get smacked around up in Fenway.

I like Wang, I really do, and I'll always appreciate those back-to-back seasons with the 19 wins. But this is 2009, and we cannot give games away anymore.

I hope CC will have his A-game tonight. This streak of losses to Boston is going to give me an ulcer!!

As for weird batting stances, no one -- I mean NO ONE -- has a stranger stance than Craig Counsil. He holds the bat straight up in the air like a torch while he stands straight up with his back arched like a peacock!! How he falls into his mechanics to swing the bat and get hits is remarkable.

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