Friday, August 24, 2007

Hold Those Tigers?

The Yanks got out of rat-infested Los Angeles of Anaheim having lost only one net game on the Mariners and Red Sox, which is as good as fiascoes like that series get. I hate the Angels. It's like the whole team is designed specifically for the purpose of giving the Bombers fits (which it may well be). That said, the Yanks were in Monday's game and won Wednesday's game, only really getting outclassed in Tuesday's 18-9 pelting. A few random notes:

  • On Monday, we saw the first casualty of the Joba Chamberlain rules, since Joba's nine pitches on Sunday disqualified him from entering the game at any of the big points where a win could have been salvaged. Publicly announcing that there are special rules on how you're going to use Joba (or Jon Papelbon, or Mariano Rivera) are fine bits of public candor, with the side benefit of shielding management's backside when things don't work out, the old "We couldn't use him in that spot. My hands were tied by the rules." But you have to wonder the strategic cost of telling the other team which pitchers aren't available ahead of time in any game. Wouldn't you rather keep them guessing?
  • At some point the need to protect a young bullpen arm from Torre (and Joba needs the protection--just ask Scott Proctor, Paul Quantrill or Ron Villone what happens when you become Joe Torre's favorite toy) will have to be balanced against the fact that this team does have a shot to win this year, and that flags fly forever. When will that happen? Last week of the season? In the playoffs, when one ace reliever can really make a difference?
  • OK, I know I'm starting to sound like Michael Kay, who seems to bring up the Joba Rules thing each game, asking the exact same questions, as if Al Leiter and John Flaherty are suddenly going to change their answers. I have to say, I'm impressed by the way Kay sounds freshly flabbergasted about this issue each and every time he raises it.
  • BTW, the Joba Rules means that the Yanks carry three relievers with special care tags on their usage--Chamberlain, Rivera, and Farnsworth--which, added to the fact that two of those pitchers are their best relievers, is a managerial straightjacket.
  • Tuesday's matchup of Mike Mussina's slow fastball against Garrett Anderson's slow bat was just a perfect nightmare. Mussina's still a good enough pitcher to get you through the regular season, but as things stand right now, would anyone be comfortable with him making a start should the Yankees make the playoffs?
  • Has anyone considered that maybe the crap that Orlando Cabrera has on his batting helmet might be contributing to Angels Stadium's rodent problems? I guess to some people, the giant craplike smear of pine tar says "valued member of the 2004 World Champions." To me it just says "slob, and a possible Health Code violation."
  • One more Joba point. He needs a nickname. Given the fact that he's a big guy, this "Joba the Hutt" thing is just waiting to blow up in our faces the day he shows up to Spring Training 20 pounds overweight. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, like naming your girl-child "Britney" or "Paris" these days. We've got a lot of creative energy amongst the Yankees Faithful--someone needs to find a better name.
  • I wrote a small bit on the (for the moment) demise of the Puerto Rico Winter League on BP's Unfiltered blog. Take a moment to check it out.
  • Despite a horrible series against the Angels, the Yankees are still in a spot where, with a little help from the Tigers and White Sox, next week's series against Boston could be very interesting. More on this (I hope) over the weekend.

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