Monday, April 5, 2010

Joel Sherman concedes - kind of - that his Opening Day column was a bit over the top

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman got a lot of grief today from Yankee fans - including myself - about his column "Curtis fails to get the big hit in first test", regarding Curtis Granderson's performance in last night's Yankees-Red Sox game. So after fans were squawking about the article, Sherman wrote an explanation of sorts on his piece, via his Hardball blog. Here's some of what he had to say:
There are few columns I enjoy writing less than the post-game one after the season opener. You feel forced to make huge proclamations based on a single game. It is one of the elements of my business I would change if I was elected newspaper czar. Alas, the job is not open and I am not running.
 Hmmmm. Sherman is not only one of the biggest names at his paper, he's one of the top stars on the New York baseball beat. Is there any reason he should "feel forced to make huge proclamations based on a single game"? Absolutely not. Nobody's putting a gun to his head and making him extrapolate such ridiculous pronouncements based on one game. (Incidentally, if any player gave such a "blame the system" response to crititicism, he'd get ripped to shreds by the likes of Sherman for not taking responsibility. Just saying.)

In the scope of things, Game 1 matters as much as Game 111 does. Which is to say, it's silly to read much of anything into it. Granderson, Sherman continues, "filled a lot of columns in Day 1, but obviously no conclusions should be drawn on anything." Gee, ya think?

However, Sherman still argues that "Granderson is going to have to compete this year against the ghosts of Hideki Matsui and, especially, Johnny Damon." I still don't get this logic. Granderson is technically replacing Melky Cabrera, although I can understand why he's perceived as essentially replacing Damon on the team. That makes sense. But it doesn't make sense to have it that he's replacing Matsui as well - that's Nick Johnson's spot. Unless Granderson becomes Albert Pujols overnight, he would never be able to replace both Matsui and Damon, and to suggest that he is is dooming him for failure.

One other thing - in both pieces, Sherman talks about clutchness, although in the blog entry, he further explains his point about Grandy's last at-bat of the night.

That Granderson grounded out to end the game does not mean he was afraid. Most people make out against Jonathan Papelbon. There is no shame in that. But this is the beginning of the evidence about how Granderson will handle how major situations by which Yankees are defined: On the road at Fenway in the ninth inning, who do you want up?
What, is Sherman looking for a new "he's not clutch" scapegoat, now that A-Rod has gotten that monkey off his back? The writer suggested in his column this morning that Granderson "does not have a clutch rep for his career." But according to Baseball-Reference.com, 63 of Granderson's 103 career homers have come with the game being within one run or less, and a 91 of his 300 RBIs came with two outs.

Anyhow, why don't we wait a week or two (or three or four!) before we decide whether the Curtis Granderson Era is a failure yet? Just a thought.


What do you think? Tell us about it!

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