Monday, August 31, 2009

On Joba, the White Sox, Mark Cuban, and the state of the Yankees

Sorry I haven't been squawking much. Between being out of town, and writing for The Faster Times, I haven't had much time as of late. I should be able to get back on a regular squawking schedule this week.

I did write a new piece for The Faster Times called Some New Joba Rules for the Yankees. Check it out.

And I got to watch most of the games this weekend. The Chicago White Sox looked dead, dead, dead. I don't get why Ken Williams broke the bank last month for this team in picking up Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.

And how about A.J. Pierzynski? He continues to be one of the more annoying players in baseball by knocking Sergio Mitre - who was pitching a one-hitter - Saturday with a batted ball. Granted, it was an accident. But A.J. is like the Forrest Gump of mayhem - he always seems to be in the middle of such things.

Did you see the way Mark Teixeira's eyes lit up just before his homer Sunday? That was hilarious.

Jose Contreras looks like he's at the end of his career. I felt a little sorry watching him Saturday.- I rooted for him hard to succeed when he was a Yankee - I was at the first game he pitched with his family back (he beat the Mets!)

Did you see this quote from Ozzie Guillen this weekend?
"I’m always going to say the way it is. Some people have some guts, some people don’t, some people say maybe it’s Ozzie being Ozzie, my honesty takes me to a lot of problems, but nobody is going to change me. And I will keep my head up because I know I was telling the truth. I never lied. The only time I lie is when I tell my wife I love her every day. That’s bull (bleep). But everything else, I’m straight up.
I think Ozzie's going to be sleeping on the couch for a while after that remark. Sheesh.

One of the cool things I did get to do this weekend was to go on New York's 1050 ESPN Radio Friday night. I spoke with Bill Daughtry about my article on why I think Mark Cuban ought to buy the Mets. It was a lot of fun. Thanks to Bill and his producer for putting me on the air.

Coming later today - I actually agree with something Kevin Youkilis said! But in the meantime, please tell us what you think of the state of the Yankees!


Uncle Mike said...

Ozzie Guillen is the kind of guy you put up with while he's winning, but not when he isn't. Like Kevin Costner said: If you win 20 in The Show, you can have fungus on your shower-shoes, and people will say you're colorful; until then, it means you're a slob!

Ted Turner, while he was running the Braves, said, "There's a fine line between being colorful and being an (I'll replace the word he actually used with 'jerk'), and I hope I'm still just colorful."

I'm thisclose to saying the Yankees should get rid of Joba. Not because he can't get the job done, but because they won't let him get the job done. What good is a starting pitcher if you're only going to throw him for three innings? What kind of strategy is that?

Even Billy Martin never tried a stunt like that! A pitcher batting 7th as a DH? Check (1988 -- I was there, and it worked, Rick Rhoden hit a sac fly in a Yank win over Baltimore). A good-fielding pitcher as an emergency outfielder? Check (Ron Guidry in the pine-tar replay in '83 -- I wasn't there for that one). Best home-run hitter of the era on the bench until a righthand reliever comes in and then send him in as a pinch-hitter? Check ('77 Pennant-clincher in Kansas City, Billy didn't want to risk Reggie against lefty Paul Splittorff, but Reggie hit an RBI single off Doug Bird). It was Lou Piniella rather than Billy who put Don Mattingly in at third base in an injury-caused emergency in Seattle in '86 -- and, unlike the Yankees when Curt Schilling had that ankle injury in '04, the Mariners bunted on Mattingly! And it didn't work: I was watching it on TV and he spun around and fielded it just fine. (And the Yanks came from 12-5 down to win the thing, 13-12! Late night.)

But this... Joba only pitches three innings? For what? Saving his arm? Isn't that like giving a car a "jackrabbit start"? It's one thing if he gets knocked out of the box, but he was pitching fine!

Yankee management -- and I mean the Steinbrenner sons, Gene Michael, Brian Cashman and whoever else makes these decisions -- has got to decide what to do with Joba. Either make him a real starter, and ask him to throw 6 to 9 innings every start, never mind how many pitches or innings he throws, just do the best you can on that day; or make him a reliever; or trade him to someone who thinks he can help them and get someone useful in return.

Because, right now, the Yankees are messing up a kid who could still turn out to be one of the defining pitchers of the 2010s. Either use him as a real starter, or use him as a reliever, or get rid of him! Fish or cut bait! Maybe some other team will do him some good, but, right now, the Yankees are doing him no favors!

Curious said...

I confess my ignorance about the Joba Rules. I mean, I know what they are, but are they really just Joba rules? How do other teams deal with young pitchers without wasting their arms? At what point in a young pitchers career is he a starting pitcher in a regular rotation. Is there a special reason they are being overly cautious with Joba or is this the normal route.
Thanks for any info out there.

Steven said...

Look at it this way, keeping Joba's inning count now means that he will be that much fresher in the playoffs. The 6-game lead gives them a fair amount of leeway.

That said, it is a bit of a circus, but as long as the wins keep on coming, not the end of the world.

Anonymous said...


Search This Blog