Doug Glanville, who has no interest either way in helping or hurting Alex Rodriguez, writes one of the best defenses of him that I’ve read. In the New York Times today:
How would this scheme have been missed for Alex’s entire career? We all know that every time he plays, the camera zooms in on him. Opposing teams watch him obsessively, studying film endlessly. The “A-Rod cam” is on full tilt all the time. So, over a period of years, did the best in the business, the brightest analysts and teammates, miss that he was doing this for his roommate from the year before, or maybe for his cousin’s favorite player? Or did they know it but were afraid to come forward? Is it possible that all of these experts had their heads in the sand?
A more likely scenario for how he may have been tipping pitches: he was sending signals to his own team, something that could easily be stolen by a sage opponent. Just as we knew when certain pitchers were throwing a curveball (based on their glove habits, or the way the catcher crouched), or throwing home instead of picking off to first (the pitcher may have turned his front foot inward, or widened his base).
As players, we know a lot that we aren’t supposed to know.
Peter Abraham, take notice. This is Duke Lacross all over again.
So I am watching the Yankee pregame today (vs Sox) when the following thought occurred to me:
When did the Yankees go from being an institution of winning, a paragon of power, to…..this? When you watch the Yankees, do you get a sense that they are inherently better than their opposition? I don’t. I remember watching them against the Rays, the Royals, the Tigers….all this season….wondering if they were going to win THAT game? I see them tonight against the Sox wondering if they’re going to win THIS game!
Can you remember…not all that long ago….being surprised when the Yankees lost a game where the star pitcher was starting? Cone…. Pettitte….. Wells…. Guidry…. whoever. Now when Sabathia takes the mound, we think “Can they win this game tonight?” No matter who they are playing. It’s kinda like Team USA in Basketball….the world caught up. Only with Team USA, they actually DID something about it. They got hungry. They got angry. They dug in and played HARD….even when they lost. (did they lose in the Olympics? I don’t think they did, but I think Spain gave them a run, if memory serves).
It just seems like a corporate, stuffy, bloated, non-cohesive atmosphere, ya know?
A couple of years ago, the whole “Corporate” atmosphere led to the team being in line. There was no one individual who was “above the team”. Now the “Corporate” atmosphere makes them seem cool and insulated from losing; like they think “oh, well…tomorrow is another work day. Punch the clock. Work more tomorrow.” Girardi has not infused any Fire… grit… determination into this team. Instead, he has melded into it. He’s become a younger version of Torre, with better bullpen management.
I wish I could say this team has got to be torn down to start again, but the atmosphere in New York will never allow that to happen. The Yanks aren’t the Pirates. They can’t grow their own talent, they’re only going to buy it. Still….it sure seems like they need an overhaul, doesn’t it?
You kinda wish….(Prepare yourself…this may be blasphemy) that the Yanks would deal for a guy like Piniella was who would come into the locker room and punch Jeter in the teeth. Something….ANYTHING….to fire this team up. This .500 team is boring. Where is Willie Mays Hays?
There’s a lot I don’t agree with:
- We CAN grow our own talent; we just need to give them a chance instead of locking them behind major long-term FA acquisition
- Looking back on our heroes is dangerous; we tend to remember only the highs
- I do think the Yanks tried to do something about it. Sabathia is a natural born leader and while he’s struggled this Spring, I am not worried. I am looking forward to seeing the real Teix (which will coincide with ARod’s return). Both are younger, in the midst of their primes, not Randy Johnson/Kevin Brown-types.
I do wonder about Girardi, though. I expected a bit more passion, at least that’s visible to me, the fan. I also think Jeter’s quiet leadership has either gotten tired, lost or something. This team needs more guys like Swisher and Sabathia, guys who can keep on everyone. I was really into Orlando Hudson (even though there was no obvious position for him) simply because he’s a non-stop go-getter and I think this team is devoid of them. I don’t think Jeter is that guy any more. Now, he’s the classy vet, a guy to look up to, but not the guy to lead and rally the troops.
What’s been tough for me is that I am in perpetual conflict: I root for the laundry but I find the ownership/leadership ugly and offensive. The Stadium snafus have become such a profound turn-off to me, I am having trouble finding the words to explain it. The otherworldy slide of ARod into this comical, embarrassing caricature of a MLB hero is staggering. That Hank allowed himself to be held up at gunpoint by Boras and ARod into paying MORE than he opted out of will never, ever make sense to me. I should stop now, I’m veering off a cliff. The point is this: The team can be hard to root for with all of the background noise.
But I think the thrust is this: The team is lacking that “desperation to win“. Not sure how you get that back, but the team sure needs it.
Thanks for the email, joeorange31.
Sweeny Murti of WFAN radio is reporting that Jorge Posada, who injured him hamstring last night, will be placed on the DL with a strain. No word on how long he will be out or who is likely to replace him on the roster, but the 2 most likely candidates are Scranton catcher PJ Pilittere and Trenton catcher Francisco Cervelli.
Cervelli has the advantage of being on the 40-man roster already, but Pilittere has the advantage of experience at a higher level, and is hitting better than Cervelli so far this season (.317/.349/.488 vs. .190/.266/.310 for Cervelli). Neither guys are expect to be much offensively, but both call good games and are solid defensively. Regardless of who is called up to replace Posada, the Yankee offense just took a big hit, and hopefully Jorge is not out long. The Yankees will need A-Rod back and healthy even more than before. Time for the pitching and Mark Teixeira to step up.
EJ – Update 4:38 PM From Peter Abraham:
UPDATE, 3:46 p.m. Francisco Cervelli was called up from Double-A Trenton.
UPDATE, 4:06 p.m.: The Yankees are saying officially that Posada will be out 2-3 weeks. But within the clubhouse, the fear us that it could be more like 3-5 weeks.
Sharpe’s Peril release The international free agent signing period doesn’t begin for another 2 months, but it is always fun to keep track of the rumored signings and the mysterious top prospects. There is rarely much reliable information out there, and most of the info often comes by way of subscriber sites such as Baseball America and scout.com. However, there is a new blog called Dominican Baseball Universe (no relation to our site), whose writer appears to be very in touch with the Dominican amateur scene, that looks like it will have some good information on the potential amateur signings.
The writer for DBU, speaks highly of Mark Newman (the Yankees’ senior VP of baseball operations and scouting director) and the Yankees’ international scouting team as being among the best at what they do (along with the international scouting team from the Red Sox, Rangers, and Padres).
You know that someone here is well known because of the way people refer to them, Mark Newman over here is just Newman, people talk of him as he was their neighbor, some guys even think that Newman is living in the Dominican Republic, any day you can find Newman in his short shorts old NBA style talking in Spanish with just about anyone, even if the Yankees are the richest team in baseball you can’t say that they just sit down and let money talk, those guys do their jobs.
As the first piece of news, the writer for DBU is reporting that the Yankees will sign “super prospect” Gary Sanchez. I have no idea how credible this information is nor what type of prospect Sanchez actually is, but I will be checking in periodically to see if there is new news. It should be good reading, and hopefully there will be first-hand info.