The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WWWMW

Back in the early 2000s, I stumbled upon the site Baseball Primer, which is now known as Baseball Think Factory.  Although I have several friends who are big baseball fans, they’re either a) Mets fans or b) not statheads.  It got pretty annoying to have discussions that begin with “Ty Wigginton is playing some ball” followed by me trying to describe how his OBP wasn’t very good, so it was refreshing to find fellow Yankee fans who were as passionate about baseball as I was, but were also interested in objective analysis and logical thinking.

Around that time, we came to the collective realization that it seemed like every year Mariano Rivera had a stretch of games where he struggled and the papers would run their “What’s Wrong With Mariano?” headlines and then it would end and we’d forget about it, until it happened again the next season.

We coined the phrase WWWMW™, which stands for What’s Wrong With Mariano Week.  The earliest reference I can find to is in this post from the first generation of this blog.

Of course, we know now that whenever it happened it was a short-term thing that was not cause for alarm.

That doesn’t mean that Rivera’s not going to lose it at some point, and when he does it could happen quickly.  But I don’t think a few shaky games over the past week are cause for alarm.

Reminder
As a reminder, our very own fgaspirini has a screening of his movie Pelada tonight.

September 21st, 2010 - 8pm - Legends Bar and Restaurant
Doors open at 7:00pm
*Seating is first come, first serve - so come early!
*Kids are welcome and encouraged

Introduction by Ethan Zohn, Q&A with Directors to follow screening

Legends Bar and Restaurant
6 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 1001-3321

--Posted at 9:31 am by SG / 39 Comments | - (0)

Comments

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Mo gave up a few bleeders last night. And McLelland had a tight strike zone. Mo usually gets the 4 seamer on the outside, but he didn’t get it last night. He still got the job done.

When you are a professional athlete a few months away from your 41st birthday a drop in performance late in the season is always a cause for alarm.  I’m not going to say he can’t be counted on but the timing of WWWMW coupled with his lower K numbers all year do have me much less likely to ignore it than if this happened in May.

it was refreshing to find fellow Yankee fans who were as passionate about baseball as I was, but were also interested in objective analysis and logical thinking.

Zing?

I have this sinking feeling Chad Gaudin is going to appear at a pivotal moment in the middle of fgasparini’s movie premier tonight and competely ruin it.

congrats fgas. Wish I could make it.

[4] To be fair, the pitch he walked in a batter on looked like a definite strike to me on the replays.
Not that he’s not utterly fungible.

fgas, I asked before, but would there be an issue regarding at the door ticket sales and if friends show up after the movie starts?

If I’m counting right, there’s 12 games left in the season?

As I told my wife last night, Mo usually has two one week stretches every year where he’s less than invincible, and then he’s completely fine. The first is typically in late April or May, and then it happens again sometime in August. It’s a little late this year, but as far as I’m concerned it’s completely expected and no cause for alarm. I remain convinced that Mo is not human until proven otherwise.

On a slightly more serious note, is there any actual evidence to back up this assertion, and if so is there a logical reason for it? Maybe it’s related to the distribution of his workload throughout the course of the year?

Francesa raises the almost unthinkable: If Girardi went to the Cubs would the Yankees consider bringing Torre back (since Hal was behind the Torre invitation to last night’s ceremony)?

IMO, nfw.

[8] Correct.  Rays have 13.

[10] Agreed.  One I don’t think Girardi is going anywhere, but even if he were I don’t think Hal wants the circus, and I’m *sure* Cashman doesn’t.

What performance issue c/would the FO have with Girardi, leaving aside money and years? Seems Girardi buys in with most of what the FO is doing, and even when/if he isn’t in favor, he doesn’t complain too loud to the press.

What performance issue c/would the FO have with Girardi, leaving aside money and years?

Were you watching last night’s game?

All joking aside, I think Girardi has done a good job overall.  There have been some pretty epic Binder fails, to be sure, but I prefer Girardi’s tendency to distribute work over more players over Torre’s tendency to (often irrationally) trust fewer to do the job.  For the most part, Girardi gets it right.  But when he doesn’t, you wonder who the f*ck coded the Binder, and how the hell he got a job at Yankeesoft.

[13] I think it’s about whether or not Girardi has a desire to go back home to Chicago.

[13] I think it’s about whether or not Girardi has a desire to go back home to Chicago.

So ... money then?

Regarding the binder, has the radio/tv voices or print media made reference to it?

[16] Good point. The famous George Young quote applies to managers as well.

[17] I’m talking strictly about the heads around here (mine included) that tend to explode when, say, Chad Gaudin’s brought into high leverage situations.  I am in no way making reference to general media/publicized FO opinions on the Binder.  I get the impression - totally pooma/fwiw - that Girardi and Cashman get on quite well.

I personally like the idea of Binderbot.  I just sometimes take issue with whoever wrote the code.

I would be pretty surprised if Girardi left, unless the Yanks FO showed somehow that they didn’t really value him much. I mean, the Yanks will pay more than the Cubs, win more than the cubs, and he has as much of a legacy in the Bronx as he has in Chicago. I think that the Cubs position is mostly just a way for him to get some leverage in case the Yanks play hardball. But the Yanks rarely play hardball, for better or worse. He’ll be back, and though he confounds me at times, I think he is still a very good fit.

[7]  Tix will be on sale at the door, that should be no problem.  As far as late arrivals, how late?  I expect the film to start not exactly on time as is customary at these events…no matter what happens I don’t think we’d turn away audience.  I will send you my phone and email so we can sort this out off teh boards.

Hope to meet many of you tonight, and thanks to SG for helping get the word out!

I thought the rumor was that Bobby V was coming to the Bronx.

[17] If they have, it’s been in passing.  AFAIK.

For the most part, Girardi gets it right.  But when he doesn’t, you wonder who the f*ck coded the Binder, and how the hell he got a job at Yankeesoft.

I actually think a lot of the ones that make people wonder that, are explainable.  Many times I read the game-chatter the next day, and there were constant complaints about why so-and-so wasn’t used as a pinch-hitter (usually accompanied with, “f**king Binder strikes again!”)  Next day you find out so-and-so had a hand problem, and trainers thought it best to not play for a day or two.  However, next time a player isn’t used as a PH/reliever, the complaints start again.  Even though there is usually - not always but usually - a really good reason the player isn’t in the game.

Girardi’s not perfect.  He does have some head-scratching plays.  Some of the bunting in recent weeks, even though his track-record w/ the Yankees is not bunt-happy.  But I feel pretty confident saying if Girardi were to leave the Yanks after this year, most everyone would be missing him by this time next year.

Many times I read the game-chatter the next day, and there were constant complaints about why so-and-so wasn’t used as a pinch-hitter (usually accompanied with, “f**king Binder strikes again!”)  Next day you find out so-and-so had a hand problem, and trainers thought it best to not play for a day or two.  However, next time a player isn’t used as a PH/reliever, the complaints start again.  Even though there is usually - not always but usually - a really good reason the player isn’t in the game.

The most vivid recent case is not pinch hitting with Posado, which later turned out to be precaution against possible concussion.

I brought up the binder thing mainly because it would be amusing if the paid media made mention of it. I’ve no criticism for or against it. At least not until the season ends, then either the Binder is genius or sucks.

But I feel pretty confident saying if Girardi were to leave the Yanks after this year, most everyone would be missing him by this time next year.

Do you really think any manager has that much impact? If the team remains healthy, most players (particularly the aging ones) perform at or near career norms, and they pitch well, almost any manager would look pretty good.

Tix will be on sale at the door, that should be no problem.  As far as late arrivals, how late?

Not sure, folks getting off work late, coming after meditation/gym/yoga, or just being lazy asses. Yeah, I’m just trying to project how much of a hassle, because I asked a number of friends to join. No worries.

Do you really think any manager has that much impact?

Depends who most everyone is and who the replacement is, I’m assuming. Girardi seems so rationale and reasonable, at times to me. Sort of like the type Beane would want, but much more high profile.

Do you really think any manager has that much impact?

Tough to say.  Especially as short term as a year or two.  Billy Martin was rather famous for turning teams around quickly, but after a couple of years they start to implode.  One of the reasons is likely that he rode his pitchers too hard, so in the short term of a couple of seasons, they won more.  But after that, they burned out/got injured.  So for the short term, say next season, maybe at most 4 games?  Which could be a lot of course.  Longer term, if what Girardi is doing helps his pitchers stay healthy, if he uses younger players in a manner that allows them to develop fully?  IDK.

My point was less about how much impact he would have, as to how the group here would react.  That is, if the next manager throws Robertson 3 days in a row and 4 of 5 - twice with large leads - the team may still be winning, but many here would be, “WTF?  Did we bring Torre back?  Girardi wouldn’t burn pitchers out like this!”  Etc, etc…

[26]  I’ll just make sure everyone knows abut possible later arrivals.  Thanks for spreading the word!

I think there are lots of examples of managers having a short-term impact—probably teams that had some talent and needed to be shaken up, or could be inspired to play above their heads.  Look at the O’s this year, or the Rox a couple years ago—who was it that took over?  That guy who sucked with the Dodgers, and they went on a major tear.

If a team is playing around its true talent level, a good manager probably couldn’t improve it much but could definitely have a negative impact.

[28] I completely agree about Billy Martin. Over a short time horizon, he may have been the best manager ever. Over a longer one, maybe the worst.

What I want to see from any manager/pitching coach is continued, sustained development from Hughes, Nova, and…Joba.

[31] Definitely.  Hard to say right now how successful Girardi/Eiland have been.  Though many don’t think so, I believe Hughes has taken a big step this year, to pitch a full season as a roughly average pitcher.  Joba seems to have finally rediscovered his FB, and his confidence.  Arguable if they were missing because of his shoulder injury.  Nova still has a big step to take, getting into later innings.  Robertson and Logan seem to be working out nicely, with a few hiccups.

Not sure yet if the Yankees will have room for a young, unproven starter in the rotation next year.  E.g. if they get Lee and Pettitte, they’re full, to start the year.  If they get only Lee - or fail and only Pettitte - I think they’d be willing to let a youngster try out the 5th spot.  Whether Joba again, Nova, or even Phelps.  Ace, Mitre, and Gaudin may technically be in the chase again, but I don’t think any has a realistic chance.

[32] I have a feeling it will be Pettitte or Lee, not both (just a feeling).

Also accompanying Brackman in the “ML experience” will be Montero and Betances. I imagine that Banuelos is not there because he’s slated for the Arizona Fall League.

What’s the Party line on Joba… do they still see his future as a starter? I would guess that if he can’t crack the starting rotation next year, he never will, as long as he’s a Yankee.

Senior varsity lineup tonight

[34] I think it’s pretty obvious that the Yankees should start him again. But what do I know?

I agree that if he doesn’t make the rotation next year Joba the Starter is dead and gone. Until the Yankees trade him/let him go and someone decides that pulling a Wainwright/Morrow with him is a good idea.

On a slightly more serious note, is there any actual evidence to back up this assertion, and if so is there a logical reason for it? Maybe it’s related to the distribution of his workload throughout the course of the year?

I was going to look up the game logs but didn’t have time, but I’d still like to do it at some point.

My guess is it has almost always happened for the same reason, his mechanics getting out of wack.  Mo is so reliant on command that anything less than perfect mechanics probably affects him more than it would someone else. 

It’s not like he always gets hit hard either, I mean if you see his line last night you’d be unimpressed but I don’t think the Rays hit a single ball all that hard.

Of course, the mechanics getting out of wack is probably symptomatic of several different underlying causes.  Could be fatigue, could be nagging injuries, could be the fact that playing baseball at a Hall of Fame level every single time out is really difficult, or a myriad of other reasons.

What’s the Party line on Joba… do they still see his future as a starter?

You know what’s interesting to me?  If Joba had been a dominant lights-out reliever this year, I have a feeling he’d have sealed his fate as a reliever(at least for the Yankees). 

I wonder if his early struggles combined with what seems to be a resurgence in his stuff means he may have a better chance to start next year?

I know everyone seems to think Cliff Lee is destined for pinstripes, but there are a lot of teams that could use Lee so I’m not so sure that’s true.  If you assume CC, Hughes and Burnett are entrenched in the rotation next year, then you have to find two starters plus depth.  I’d like to see Pettitte come back, but I’m not sure he would.  I’d like to see Javier Vazquez pitching anywhere else, so I’m sure he’s not coming back. 

So I guess it depends on Lee.  Seems to me they should ask him to prepare to be a starter anyway.

I know everyone seems to think Cliff Lee is destined for pinstripes

This year K/9 7.8, career 6.9, in pinstripes? 6.1? 5.8? or much worse?

This year K/9 7.8, career 6.9, in pinstripes? 6.1? 5.8? or much worse?

K rate peaks really early, like 25 I think.  So we should expect any free agent the Yankees sign to have a lower K rate than they’ve had.

So figure like 5.6.

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