Girardi keeps cool amidst slide

Now obviously I’m not a fan of small ball or having base runners moving just for the heck of it, but my appreciation for Girardi’s comments here go far beyond my relief that Robinson Cano isn’t going to be laying one down to advance the runners anytime soon. More importantly, it’s good to see that the manager of the team isn’t letting the fact that his team has gone from leading their division by 10 games to leading by just one, with a one-day tie in between, radically affect the way the team is going to approach the game over the last month of the season. I’m not a big believer in the power of intangibles by any means, but I think it’s just a universal truth that people need to go to work in a productive, relatively calm environment to be at their most productivity, and having your boss dramatically change the way you’re doing business, especially when you just aren’t built for the new approach, is a recipe for disaster. Aside from the fact that it creates a new level of chaos in what is already probably a tinderbox of emotions, the last thing Girardi needs to do right now is get the idea in the players’ heads that they need to go up to the plate looking to win the pennant with every swing.

Now, that’s not to say there might not be a time and a place for a different approach, given that the Yankees’ lineup is a little shorter than we’re accustomed to it being, and you certainly saw that work out in the seventh inning last night. Jayson Nix comes up with two on and no one out? Sure, go ahead and move the runners over, and give Derek Jeter a chance to strike the big blow. Jeter’s standing on second base with one out and gets a good jump on the pitcher? By all means, try to steal third. But that’s much different than playing small ball just because the approach that’s been working for them for most of the season suddenly isn’t over the past 2-3 weeks. The Yankees were the best offense in baseball earlier in the season, and they’ll be working with essentially the same lineup once Mark Teixeira returns from his calf injury. Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and the other key pieces of the offense are (probably) going to start hitting again sooner or later. Best of all, there will still be 22 games left in the season no matter what happens this weekend in Baltimore, so the Bombers will have plenty of time to try to straighten out their act at the plate.

And remember, even though they small balled their way to the two run margin of victory last night (helped out, I should add, by a really atrocious throwing error by Elliot Johnson), the other four runs in the game were all driven in by extra base hits.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

7 thoughts on “Girardi keeps cool amidst slide

  1. Good Lord. I know – Jason told me not to – but I just read a guy with the initials W.M. — Good grief – yesterday, the Yankees wouldn't win another game; this morning, he has a thouroughly rationalized bit explaining how the Yankees WILL indeed win the AL East.

    Yo-yo, anyone?

    • Assuming you mean Wallace Matthews, the guy's a hack who delights in writing negative articles about the Yankees. Heck, they could go 162-0, win every game by 100 runs, pitch a perfect game every time, and he'd still find a away to bash them.

  2. Off topic: Can someone tell me why Cano is "not himself" as Jon Heyman says? Maybe he's in a little slump but I don't understand why that should impact signing him long term. The guy's having just as good a season as the past three. Its either his best year or second best.

  3. Sorry, I can't agree. Playing "small ball" doesn't meant the Yankees have to turn into the Go-Go White Sox of the '50's. Last night's game was a great example. Bunting to move runners over, like Nix did, playing hit and run, stealing a base once and awhile that, to me, is smart baseball. Stop relying on the three run HR all the time. In other words, diversify the offense. No one is saying they should have Cano lay down a suicide squeeze. Given their offense struggles the last few weeks, scoring runs anyway they can should be the priority.

    • The real question that should be asked is why haven't they been doing these things all along……..?????

  4. Girardi's done a good job not panicking..

    remember in 2008 u could FEEL his tension and it hurt the team (not that they wouldn't made the postseason anyways)

    he's channeling his inner Joe Torre.. and despite what some misguided souls on here may think, that is a good thing