Viewer Mail 5.17.2011

Books, Fantasy/Roto, Games, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players

Patrick writes RE the Yankees:

In fairness to Joe Torre (and those are not easy words for me to type) Rodriguez had been about 4 for 45 in the playoffs since his game 4 3rd inning HR at Fenway Park in 2004. All singles too. He was not getting it done and he was a complete distraction.

Girardi is not exactly a great communicator, he very easily could have found the means of bringing Jeter (the Captain) into an early meeting with Posada and said something along the lines of “look, we’re not getting it done collectively right now, and I need to shake up the line up as we are short and bat you 9th, I’d just as soon give you a couple of days off to clear the cobwebs, but we only have a three man bench.”

To me some of this is on Cashman for giving Girardi 12 regulars three of whom are catchers by trade. No flexibility in bats.

You can back up the Alex Rodriguez batting 8th maneuver statistically, but if they were going to make a drastic change in batting order, I’d have done something that would’ve been outside the box and not embarrassing to a player of A-Rod’s stature and ego like batting him leadoff.

Making the player angry used to work with the Darryl Strawberry-type, but A-Rod’s a notorious baby; conscious of his image and perception; batting him 8th was a form of public castration and that’s exactly what Torre wanted to do.

Joe Girardi has handled this situation brilliantly; he’s dealing with former teammates and navigating their steep decline while trying to keep his team in contention amid a tattered pitching staff, rampant injuries and a crisis-a-day atmosphere.

Girardi is under no obligation to explain anything to anyone, but he could’ve talked to Posada beforehand and tried to defuse the situation before it was triggered; I certainly wouldn’t have brought Jeter into the office to explain it. These are grown men and need to act like it.

Regarding the bench, it’s not good. As much the signings of Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez were lauded before the season, neither can provide much of anything considering Jones’s own fall and Chavez’s injury history.

Cashman tries to save a buck here and there—for reasons that are and will continue to be a mystery to me—and it shows in their roster.

The 2011 Yankees are echoing the 2009 Mets.

And that’s not good.

Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE the Yankees and Jorge Posada:

Well said. I think the whole thing has reached Planet Ridiculous, mostly because the fans and media have put he (and the other three of the “core four”) up on such a pedestal that they’ve become god-like. I hope it doesn’t happen this way for Jeter too.

It’s unavoidable. The Yankees front office isn’t precisely innocent here. It’s one thing to get into the back and forth of contretemps with Posada…*

*Incidentally, in the discussion group I run on (self-promotion alert), someone responded to my reference to “Jorge Posada and the Contretemps” that they’re going to start a band of the same name; I want a piece of that action.)

…but they’re using the slumping Posada to phase him out completely; they’ve had enough of him and he’s not long for the roster.

Joe (statmagician on Twitter) writes RE Carlos Beltran and Jesus Montero:

I could see a team surrendering a little more for Beltran than he is worth, if they need him. But Montero is stretching it. And the Yankees already have three outfielders…I know, Beltran could DH, but Montero is too much.

You can’t account for desperation. We don’t know what’s going to happen especially if Beltran is still hitting. The Indians got Carlos Santana for a pending free agent (and very good player) in Casey Blake; the Nationals got Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps.

These things happen.

Montero might be a bit much and Brian Cashman most certainly wouldn’t do that deal, but the Hank and Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine have not been shy about interfering in baseball operations (thus far to nightmarish results with Rafael Soriano), so if things spiral and they need a splashy headline and a bat to try and save the season? Anything’s possible.

40-Oz Liz writes RE R.A. Dickey‘s love for Lord of the Rings and the correction for the NYT link I posted last week—click here:

So there is someone out there who is a baseball fanatic, as well as a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit nut? And I thought that stuff was like water and oil! This is fantastic!

Now please show me someone who likes to turn National Geographic TV specials into drinking games, and please show them my way.

I’m like Randal from Clerks II. There’s only one return and it’s not of the King, it’s of the Jedi.

If any ballplayer started to suggest a drinking game based on Nat Geo or Lord of the Rings, he’s getting duct taped and left in a locker somewhere.

They’re not as evolved as you or me. Most of them anyway.


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