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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The importance of being Andy Pettitte

The Yankees may have had yet another loss in Anaheim, but at least Andy Pettitte seemed to pitch okay. So how valuable is Andy Pettitte? Not only is a healthy Andy (which he appeared to be last night) a vital part of the Yankees' rotation, but his absence from the Houston Astros is being blamed for the team tanking.

Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle has an article today about the firing of Houston Astros manager Cecil Cooper. He and others think that the club's downward spiral began when they didn't re-sign Andy Pettitte:
No right-thinking baseball man would even put Pettitte and Jason Jennings in the same sentence, much less swap them in his rotation. That's what the Astros did.

“I believe you can trace this current situation to the failure to re-sign Andy,” Berkman said. “That's the one thing that has happened over the last four years that has caused this organization to be where it is today. That was the beginning of a chain of events."
That wasn't the only Yankee-related thing that put the Astros in the hole. Players criticized Cooper for the following things:
Two veterans say that on the day Aaron Boone tearfully told his teammates he was to undergo heart surgery, Cooper used the moment to get on his guys for not playing harder. To say his timing was bad would be an understatement.
And when Pudge Rodriguez broke the all-time record for games caught, Cooper didn't offer congratulations until the next day.
Very interesting. After watching all the good stuff happening with the Rockies after Colorado replaced Clint Hurdle with Jim Tracy, I don't know why more teams don't try a change in management in the middle of the season, when it might actually make a difference. Obviously, it's too late now for a new Houston manager to fix things this year, after the year is out of hand, and out of reach.

As for the Yanks, I went to bed after Brian Bruney did what he's been doing best as of late - giving up homers!

In other news, I wrote a piece for the Faster Times on Milton Bradley, if you'd like to check it out.


What do you think? Leave us a comment!

1 comment:

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Managers and their influence are overrated. Unless of course, we have Joe Torre running a Bigelow spa with his inner circle, instead of running a team.
The Aaron Boone instance was horribly managed, but usually manager don't have much of an influence. GM's do.