Allow Me A Moment

I have nothing much to say about the Yankees at this moment, other than are we really getting Billy Traber again?  But, I do have something to say about a former Yankee, Willie Randolph, and his firing by the Mets this morning.

To force your manager to fly across the country, manage a game and then fire him when he returns to the hotel is probably (I am searching my memory here) worse than anything Steinbrenner did.  It certainly seems like the kind of move he might have made in his prime 25 years or so ago and I simply can’t believe that the Mets stooped to that level.  To further try and hide it by sending out a fax at 3-something in the AM New York time is disgusting.  

You can certainly make a compelling case that Willie deserved to be fired.  The end of 2007 was hideous, 2008 hasn’t been much better.  But, he deserved to be fired and allowed to walk out the front door.  Joel Sherman said it best in his blog post today:

"Mets ownership, Fred and Jeff Wilpon, completed the impossible: They have made Hank Steinbrenner appear the level-headed baseball owner in town." 

Wow 

Hank Is Priceless

You have to love Hank, check out this quote that the AP is reporting.

“My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century.  They need to grow up and join the 21st century. Am I (mad) about it? Yes. I’ve got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He’s going to be out. I don’t like that, and it’s about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.

This is always a concern of American League teams when their pitchers have to run the bases and they’re not used to doing it. It’s not just us. It’s everybody. It probably should be a concern for National League owners, general managers and managers when their pitchers run the bases. Pitchers have enough to do without having to do that.”

Now as an AL guy, I agree with him, watching pitchers hit is like watching paint dry.  And, since the leagues got rid of their respective Presidents and the All-Star Game is now a farce, why keep the difference?   I wonder if the price of pitchers might convince the NL owners to change the rule? 

It’s The Lisfranc

The worst fears of the Yankees came true today, Wang has a Lisfranc and some other problems with his foot.  Best case and I stress best case, is he is out of a boot in six weeks.  That would be July 28th and then you have to build up his strength because he hasn’t done much for that time period.  So figure a minimum of a month for rehab and you probably can say September 1st is the best case scenario. 

You can read all about the Lisfranc injury here.  The injury is more common in football which makes sense and being a Giants fan, I remember Michael Strahan hurting his a few seasons ago.  I just wonder, what are the odds that the Yankees would have two of there (Bruney) in one season?

They can’t be good, much like the odds of the Yankees getting to the playoffs right now.  It’s amazing, 60% of the rotation at the start of the season is on the DL.  If I had told you at the start of the season that Mussina and Pettitte would be the Yankees two healthiest starters, how quickly would you have laughed me out of the room?

I am not sure what plan D is right now, I imagine the Yankees don’t either.  I would guess it is to rehab Kennedy as quickly as possible and get him back in the rotation.  In the interim, Dan Giese I guess?  One things for sure, the Yankees are very fortunate to have Joba in the rotation right now.   

Great Trip But….

All the good feelings about this road trip went up in smoke in the sixth innning when Chien-Ming Wang pulled up lame.  He is going for a MRI tomorrow, but so far they just say that he has sprained the top of his foot.  Kim Jones speculated it was a lisfranc injury, but Girardi wouldn’t bite.

If it is a lisfranc, you can probably kiss Wang goodbye for the year.  That’s what Bruney hurt in April and while he avoided surgery, if he comes back in July, he still missed three three months.  The Yankees will have to hope that it is just a sprain, but a trip to the DL seems highly likely.  

What a way for Wang to score the first run of his career.  Ugh. 

Duncan Down/Gonzalez Up

The Yankees sent Duncan to the minors today which is a long-overdue move.  Duncan wasn’t doing the team any good and maybe he can find his stroke again back in Scranton.

In other news, Albie is out for the season which is too bad and Phil Hughes won’t be back until August at the earliest. I know it is getting ahead of the game, but the 2009 Yankees rotation currently has Joba and Wang in it and then three big question marks.  Even if Hughes comes back in August, he is going to not come close to 100 innings pitched this year.  That means he is going to be capped next year and depending on when Kennedy gets back, he may be too.  

Lastly, RIP Tim Russert.  You brought class and dignity to an ugly arena and you will be sorely missed. 

The Yankees Pick Up Another Fan

Seems like the Yankees are developing quite a following in the NBA.  You may remember that last year it was LeBron James, now it is Kobe Bryant.  To be fair, Kobe was only responding to comments that Curt Schilling wrote on his blog,  (sidebar: can you think of a bigger attention whore than Curt Schilling in recent history?  The guy makes Reggie Jackson look like a wallflower.) but it is a good get.  Now if only one of them could pitch….

Good News

Scroll way down in this piece, but according to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are aggressively shopping LaTroy Hawkins with the idea of bringing up Cox.

I know everyone who reads this blog will be excited to hear that news.   

Questions, Questions

It seems like a lot of people have two big questions from last night’s win.  First, why was Wang lifted in the 8th and second, why did Betemit start at first over a lefty?  I think you have to stop and think a little deeper before you ask those questions. 

Wang looked much better last night and he lifted after only 83 pitches which is unusual for him.  But, consider the cirumstances before he was lifted.  The only reason he got out of the 7th with a lead is because Kurt "double play" Suzuki hit a grounder to A-Rod.  Before that he had given up two singles and a walk.  Starting the 8th, he induced a pop-up that should have been an out, but then gave up a deep flyball to Damon for the first out.  I can’t disagree with Girardi’s thinking that it might be time to get him out of there with a 1-run lead.  Sure, Veras could have blown up and everyone would have been screaming, but I think Girardi’s reasoning was solid in this spot and it did work out.

As for playing Betemit, it makes no sense to play him against a lefty pitcher, that is certanly true and you also forced Matsui to the bench with the move.  But, with Wang on the mound, you want the best infield defense you can find and while it pains me to say this, Betemit is the best option on the team.  The bigger question to me is what role does Duncan have on this squad?  He is not a very good defender and his bat is AWOL.  What value does that add?  Joe Girardi made a terrible move Monday, pinch-running for Posada with Moeller and he escaped criticism because Moeller got hit by a pitch in the ninth instead of striking out to end the game.  If Girardi wants to pinch-run, the Yankees should get someone who can actually do it on the bench.  How about Brett Gardner joining the club?  He has 25 steals and an .852 OPS in Scranton.  I am not sure how much more he needs to prove down there and the questions about his lack of power won’t be answered until he gets to the majors, so why not give him a shot?  

The Yankees will have a spot opening in the near future when they decide to go with only 2 catchers, could that be a chance for Gardner?  They already have 12 pitchers, so I would guess it will be unless they recall Gonzalez.  We shall see….. 

Has Girardi Gotten Smarter?

Did anyone notice who didn’t come into today’s 6-3 win in the 8th inning?  That’s right, Kyle Farnsworth stayed on the bench while Jose Veras came into the game and recorded a perfect 8th.  Now, maybe Girardi didn’t feel the need to use Kyle with a 3-run lead, but he did use Mo with that same lead in the 9th, so it made me wonder if he has rethought his use of Farnsworth?  Veras was warming up in the 7th with the game 4-3, so maybe Girardi is going to try him in a bigger role.  I think it is worth a shot, the guy has impressive stuff and his numbers haven’t been bad.   

Now, the Yankees need to win tomorrow.  Taking three-of-four against KC is expected from teams that want to make the playoffs.  Then it’s on to Oakland and Houston, the last two teams on the June schedule with records over .500.  It’s time for the Yankees to make some noise.   

You Can’t Lose That Game

Saturday’s game was an amazing, wonderful, breathtaking win, but the fact of the matter is, the Yankees had to win it.  Imagine if they had lost that game.  Imagine if they had dropped two-straight to KC, especially after coming back from 5-1 and 10-6. 

No, this was one they had to have, and there are a lot more they have to have if they are going to climb back in this race.  This was a nice win, but it means nothing if the Yankees don’t follow up with a streak, it’s time to say goodbye to .500 now.