Friday, June 19, 2009

Washington Nationals bring the pain to the Yankees

A woeful Washington team beats the mighty Yankees? As my writing partner noted, are we watching a real-life revival of "Damn Yankees" or what!

It was bad enough watching John Lannan play mind games on the Yanks in person Wednesday night. But I can only imagine how miserable it must have been to be at Thursday's game. Waiting for 5 1/2 hours through the rain, only to see such uninspired baseball? Getting shut down by Craig Stammen, a pitcher whose name sounds like a flower part? Even getting to sit in the lower level seats and getting a raincheck for a future game wouldn't have made up for that misery. Come to think of it, if the fans had known exactly how uninspired the game would be, maybe they would have rushed for the exits instead of down to the field level seats!

To top it all off, Brett Gardner had to be carted off the field after hitting his head against the left field plexiglass while making a play. What a nightmare.

The saddest thing about this series is that I'm not the least bit surprised at how the games turned out, partly because I still have bad memories about witnessing the Nationals getting two walkoff wins in a row against the Yanks in 2006. Here's what I wrote before this week's series:

I am not as confident as some other Yankee fans that the Bombers will kill the Washington Nationals this week. Yes, the Nats are the worst team in baseball. But they have three pitchers the Yankees don't know, and they have a bunch of guys, like Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman, who could very well hit an awful lot of homers in the new Yankee Stadium.....

So, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Yanks lose a game or two (or, heaven forbid, three!) to the Nationals. Well, they probably won't lose three. But two isn't out of the realm of possibility.

The Yanks can't even blame the long ball on the loss - it was the first homerless game of the year.

I was also peeved by the postgame. There was way too much praise of the Nationals, instead of self-criticism, going on, most notably when Joba Chamberlain seemed way too pleased with his efforts:

"They had some good at-bats," he said. "It's not always me. They do a great job of knowing their plans."

Good grief.

Joe Girardi ticked me off as well. He was asked when Alex Rodriguez would be getting a game off, and he didn't seem interested in doing so any time soon, suggesting that he would just have to play through this.

What planet is Girardi on? A-Rod is coming off major surgery, yet he hasn't gotten a single game off in the 38 games since returning to the lineup. He's only gotten to DH once since coming back. And his numbers are tumbling - he's gotten exactly three hits in his last 10 games, something he himself has blamed on "fatigue more than anything."

So why in the world hasn't Joe given him a day off? Heck, since the Yankees mailed it in for the Nationals series anyway, they might as well have rested A-Rod then!

Now the Yankees are off to Land Shark Stadium (yes, that is the park's new name!) to play the Florida Marlins. Why am I thinking there's fins to the left, fins to the right, and the Yanks are the only bait in town?

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts - and gripes - about the Yankees!


NAM said...

I hate the new name: Land Shark Stadium. It's where the Dolphins play.


Anonymous said...

Does anybody know who is really responsible for the 5.5 hour rain delay? Daily News reporting rules that it is the home manager; Reliford says he had nothing to do with it and YES last night had Kay swearing up and down that it was MLB. Any ideas?
I had tickets, didn't bother even heading north to the stadium b/c this was classic Yankee nonsense.


The Emperor said...

I just do not know what to say. Last night's loss was simply embarrassing and disgusting.

I'm sorry, but I've had enough of the Yankees making pitchers they haven't seen before look like the 2nd coming of Sandy Koufax.

This is utterly ridiculous!!

And it doesn't make any difference whatsoever that new guys come aboard each year to join our team; the result is always the same: Never seen a pitcher, can't hit him.

These pitchers obviously have ERAs, so SOMEBODY is hitting them!! How come it's always OTHER teams that hit these unknown and unseen pitchers but not the Yankees? How come after two or three times through the lineups other teams can get reads on arm slots and delivery angles, but not our mighty Yankees??

So, waht does this mean for our trip to Miami? Will this trend continue? Surely the Yankees have never seen these new Marlin pitchers they are about to face, so I guess we can expect another sweep, right?

I mean, Boston figured them out, and they play in the AL East just like we do. How come THEIR hitters can get reads on these unknown pitchers but not our guys?

I'm sick and tired of this ineptitude bull****. I don't to hear crap about playoff contention and World Series berths when we can't even take two out of three from THE WORST team in Major League Baseball.

I understand losses happen and baseball is unpredictable, but the Yanks have been performing this way with new pitchers for years now, and it's disgusting. Again, how come other teams can give those guys ERAs but not ours??

Someone have any idea at all?? Intelligent and objective answers only, please.

Uncle Mike said...

Who's the Yankees' scouting director? He's not getting the job done. Fire him.

Who's the Yankees' guy in charge of telling the umpires and other MLB officials to bag it and reschedule this game because the conditions are unplayable? He's not getting the job done. Fire him.

Who's the Yankees' guy in charge of deciding whether to put Joba in the rotation or the pen? Is it Girardi or Cashman, or somebody else? Whoever it is, he'd better change his mind, or I'll begin saying to fire him.

I have the answer to the Nationals' problem. People in the D.C. area won't like it, but at the rate the Marlins and A's are going, they may have other options. The Nats should move to New York. They can play at Citi Field when the Mets are away, for three years, until a new ballpark gets built. Say, in a Borough that doesn't currently have one. I have the perfect location, too: Atlantic Yards. That'll keep the Nets in New Jersey, and it will finally fulfill the site's original 1950s intention, as a home for baseball. I have the perfect name for the team, too: The Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Mets don't like it? The Yankees don't like it? They'll like the terrorial indemnity fees they'll get. The Los Angeles team doesn't like the name? They can change their own, as they were using the name "Dodgers" immorally for half a century.

"Land Shark Stadium"... The people of South Florida waited SO long to have major league baseball after March. Sixteen years (and two World Championships) later, they're still waiting.

Maybe the Yankees can talk the Marlins into signing Jeff Weaver.

Anonymous said...

At what point are the 'mighty yankees', as you refer to them, not the mighty yankees? isn't that an earned title? if not for rain in boston, nyy would likely be four games out. seems unworthy of either 'mighty' or 200+ million.

The Emperor said...

Not to belabor this issue excesssively, but again I don't understand how brand new players that have never played on the Yankees all of a sudden come over to the Yankees and fall into the exact same idiosyncratic patterns of ineptitude againat unseen pitchers as the otehr Yankee players who've already been withus for a while.

I mean, when we acquire those players, are there some interview questions that are asked of these prospective players that must be answered correctly before a contract is offered in order to be a Yankee?

Cashman/Hal/Hank: "So, so-and-so, if you come to the plate and bat against pitchers you have not seen before, do you usually get a good read on them after seeing them two or three times and then do well against them?"

Prospective Player: "Um...nope."

Cashman/Hal/Hank: "Super!! Awesome!! Here's a contract for $150 Billion over 40 years!!! Just sign on the dotted line and WELCOME ABOARD!!!"


The Emperor said...

"At what point are the 'mighty yankees', as you refer to them, not the mighty yankees?"

When we lose 8 games in a row to Boston in the same season.

Jonah Falcon said...

Girardi also stated on The Joe Girardi Show he didn't want to "embarrass" his players by calling them out.

What, they're not being embarrassed now?

NAM said...


I'm so worried about you, I'm almost wishing for the Yankees to win. I know very well how badly it sucks to you have your team lose games and series they should win. We came out of a slump recently (with our wins, ahem, against the Yankees) and we will have more before the season ends. The Yankees always seem to get theirs over before the All Star break. Try to have a good weekend. This too shall pass.


The Emperor said...

Thanks, Noreen. I appreciate what you said.

I'm just frustrated as a lot of us Yankee fans are. I mean, I take nothing away from the great games we won so far this year, but for about six years now it's been the same song-n-dance with the Yanks going up against pitchers they haven't seen and not being able to produce.

The reason why it's such a mystery to me is because other MLB teams seem to get a read on a new pitcher after a few at-bats. With our line-up, no matter who it is and when they signed with us, they can see the same pitcher three or four times in a game and not do a damn thing, and it just does not make any sense to me at all.

Is it the result of bad scouting, laziness on the players in studying the pitchers' mechanics and delivery, or does the team have this collective mindset that they can never do well against a new pitcher and therefore subconsciously sabatoge themselves because of it?

Six seasons: same old crap. It makes no freakin' sense whatsoever.

NAM said...

I can't deny that I have noticed the same thing about the Yankees for about the same time period. It's like there some kind of malaise in the organization. But I think that happens to every team for periods of time. The Yankees have the talent and money to get it done. I feel like the Red Sox finally got it right with the ownership, management, coaches and players. And I am well aware it won't last forever, nothing ever does so I am just trying to enjoy it for now. I know we won't win it all every year, but I think fans of powerhouses like the Yankees and Red Sox have the right to expect a competitive and exciting season of baseball with all the money the teams, the cities and the fans spend; but the reality is that sometimes small market teams with pathetic budgets get a hold of some kind of magic and put it all together. And sometimes I think that is what is missing is a little magic, that certain something that makes it a joy to watch.

Good luck this weekend. At least its not raining in south Florida. Our game got called last night. That sucked!

Paul from Boston said...

Emp, I can appreciate how you must of been feeling earlier today. I think the Jays outdid the Yanks though - or should I say out-didn't? The Nats held the Jays to 1 run over 11 innings - and that was while making THREE errors!

Now THAT'S bad!

NAM - It didn't really strike me until just now how silly it is for the Dolphins to play in a place with the word shark in the name. Since I knew it was named after the beer I didn't think any deeper. That's kind of funny.

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