On Joe’s Need To Mend Fences With Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury WC Game

Courtesy of the AP

It doesn’t exist.

Sorry for the lack of intro, but I wanted to make sure I wrote this while it was still fresh in my head.  I saw that Joe addressed it at his end-of-year presser last Friday, and I’ve seen it mentioned a few other times around the blogosphere and Twitter, and I really don’t get it.  Joe doesn’t owe Jacoby Ellsbury anything.  Not an apology, not an explanation, not a phone call, nothing.

Joe did what he thought gave his team the best chance to win by sitting Ellsbury in the Wild Card game.  And he had every reason to do so given the way Ellsbury had hit in the second half and given Ellsbury’s physical condition leading up to that game.  Those two things were linked in some capacity this year, as Ellsbury was clearly not the same player post-knee injury.  He and the team swore he was fine, but his contact rates, low slash line, and lack of steal attempts in the second half say otherwise.  …

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Quick Hit: Will No Help Ever Come To Second Base?

While the slumps at the top of the batting order were largely to blame for last week’s offensive power outage, it is worth looking down at the bottom and pointing out that second base has become a black hole again.  The Yankees did nothing to address the position before the trade deadline, seemingly viewing Dustin Ackley as more of a bench outfielder, and now they are reaping the rewards of that decision.

Since the deadline, Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan have combined to go 5-28 with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk.  Only 2 hits have gone for extra bases and both of those came from Drew over a week ago.  In the games against Boston and Toronto, these 2 had 1 total hit.

At what point does that become unacceptable for the Yankees?  At what point is having an automatic out in the lineup every single day something that they’re going to address?  It’s great that they’ve been good enough everywhere else to ascend to the top of the division, but to still be sticking with these guys is insane.  …

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Quick hit: Is Gordon Edes kidding me right now?

Now, let me preface this mini rant with some information. I do not follow Gordon Edes on Twitter but someone I follow from the @IIATMS* account retweeted this into the timeline, I saw it in Tweetdeck and I had an interesting reaction to it.

Here’s the tweet in question:

My reaction was as follows:


No, really, is he serious? One pumped up reaction from CC Sabathia after a pretty hairy in-game scenario cancels out over a decade of David Ortiz posing like a statue every time he hits a home run? One reaction from Sabathia getting a big strikeout cancels out Ortiz taking three minutes to round the bases after those home runs? One measly fist pump/scream/roaring-like-a-lion incident cancels out everything Ortiz has done? Nope.…

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Trying (And Failing) To Make Sense Of Ryan Over Refsnyder

This was supposed to be a long post analyzing the decision to send Rob Refsnyder down and keep Brendan Ryan up on the active roster.  I was going to try to be fair and rational and logical and come up with an explanation that made sense for the team and the players involved.  But after thinking about it for the last 18 hours or so, I can’t do it.  I can’t.  I really don’t have the energy or the desire to try to rationalize this move, and after 18 hours I still can’t figure out why the Yankees made it.

No matter what way I try to look at the decision, it doesn’t make sense to me.  Keeping Ryan over Refsnyder makes the team weaker and worse than it was before.  Refsnyder might not have the defensive flexibility that Ryan does, but he looked good enough at second base.  Wouldn’t the team be better off with him at second and Stephen Drew on the bench as the utility infielder?  …

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And the winner of the factually irresponsible Tanaka article of the year goes to…

…Kevin Kernan, for this stunning piece of overly-sensationalized, factually devoid, panic-pandering trash. In a season filled with back seat doctoring, Mr. Kernan has somehow leapt them all with this take. Let’s feast on this buffet of goodness, shall we, with Mr. Kernan’s opener:

This was the sound and the fury.

And the Yankees better take this warning to heart as the decline of Masahiro Tanaka continues.

“…as the decline of Masahiro Tanaka continues“? We’ve been through this before, with the second guessing of the doctors, but hey, facts don’t seem to be a prerequisite for Mr. Kernan or The Post, who pays him to grind his pencil into the paper with a ferocity and anger which should be better applied to warcrimes.

Yes, our favorite elbow ligament surrounded by the body of Tanaka is a source of angst and nervousness for us all, but let’s sneak a quick peek at his last three starts since returning from the DL:


That’s right: Three starts, 1.71 ERA, a grand total of 4 earned runs over 21 innings (an even 7 IP/start).…

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Quick Hit: Are The Yanks Going To Use A Sixth Starter Or Not?

With another “20 games in 20 days” stretch underway and a pitching staff that’s a coin flip at best right now, the Yankees have reportedly been kicking around the idea of going with a 6-man rotation for a turn or 2 as a way to manage workloads and give everybody enough rest.  It’s really not a bad idea and something Matt discussed on this very site last week.  All things considered, I could live with a 6-man rotation plan for the short term.

What I can’t live with, and what doesn’t make me feel good about the possibility, is how the Yankees are going about it.  Or rather, how they’re not going about it since there’s no real plan in place.  Chad Jennings had a quote from Joe in his pregame notes yesterday, and what Joe had to say really didn’t give me a warm, fuzzy feeling:

“We’re playing with some ideas, so I don’t have anything for you yet.

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On Using These Off-Days To Plan For The Near Future And Improve The Roster

The Yankees had their first scheduled off-day since April 30th yesterday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  At the end of a stretch that saw them play 30 games in 31 days, they were playing baseball like a tired team that needed a rest.  The bats had gone cold, the bullpen had been worked hard, and there wasn’t much energy to their losses during their 1-5 week last week.  Despite that long stretch and rough finish, they still wake up today in first place in the division, with a respectably positive run differential (+15), and with another scheduled off-day on the horizon before they head home for the weekend.

The Yankees are still in a good spot, and they’re going to hopefully get some more pitching help back in the weeks to come.  I’m confident that 2 days off this week will help bring some life back to those old legs and cold bats.  But to make the most out of this now friendly off-day schedule, I think the Yankees need to do more than rest.  …

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Read ALL Future “Player X Disappoints Me” Columns, Right Here!

When real news is sparse — say, the week of opening day, when there’s no further news about roster construction, yet no valid signs yet of who’s performing above or below expectations — beat writers often fall back on a favorite genre piece: “Player X Disappoints Me and Hey Look How Much He’s Getting Paid Whaaa?!” I figure I’ll save us some reading time, and save beat writers their modest effort of writing “new” columns, by pre-writing all future pieces in this genre, just by pasting together text from past pieces in this genre. Following is a 500-word article I “wrote” just by cobbling together quotes from ten different articles about various Yankee free agent signings who made a beat writer really sad. That is, each below paragraph is an exact quote from the hyperlinked article. Each quote expresses disbelief, anger, and other stages of grief about one of the last half-dozen major free agent Yankee signings, all of whom at some point struck a beat writer as either disappointing from the start (McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury) or disappointing at the end of a long-term deal after providing several years of strong performance (A-Rod, Sabathia, Teixeira).…

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McCann And Teix Talk About Dealing With The Shift (And I Rant About What Teix Said)

With more and more players getting into camp, there have been some more stories trickling out among the A-Rod nonsense; meaningful, baseball-related stories.  Like Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira being asked about their thoughts on facing the shift this season and the approaches they want to take to beat it.  Quotes via Chad Jennings.


“I want to hit the ball where it’s pitched. It’s not necessarily that I’m going to try to go up there and hit the ball to left field. If it’s away from me, it needs to go to left field. If they come in on me, I need to be able to pull it, but pull correctly. If you pull correctly, you create back spin which is going to help you hit home runs. … If I hit two or three singles in a row to left field, they’re going to continue to play the shift because that’s where my power is. That’s just the way it is and whether that takes a couple of points off my batting average, if I take the approach I have day in and day out for 500 at-bats, at the end of the year things will be there.”

Pretty reasonable if you ask me.  …

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