Andy Pettitte is the topic of sports radio today and the concern is the veteran lefty going on short rest. He said he wasn’t going to go out there and try to blow the ball by people, he is just going to approach it as he always does and try to get people out.
Here’s some food for thought Yankees fans. The only Phillies starter to have W’s in this series isn’t pitching tonight. Pettitte is going up against 37-year-old Pedro Martinez. No one is talking about Pedro’s age, Why? Why is Pedro getting a pass here and Andy Pettitte the most winningest pitcher in post season history being underestimated because he is on three days rest?
Some more food for thought, I hope your hungry. This will be just the fifth start for Pettitte in the last month. He has thrown four postseason games in 30 days. That is plenty of rest. That means on average he has had over seven days of rest if you factor in all the off time. You may think I’m crazy or weird, but it’s fact. I know he has only had three days of rest between his last start and this start tonight, but it’s not like Pettitte has been on a regular workload. He has had ample rest. He clinched in Game 6 of the ALCS on October 25th, then didn’t pitch again for six days in the World Series. That’s an extra day of rest and Pettitte wasn’t sharp. He said he didn’t have it, so you can sit here and argue and try to make a radio show on this topic, but I am calling you all out.
By the way, Pedro is 37.
Also as far as the decision to go with the Three Horseman who got the Yankees to the game clincher here tonight, Joe Girardi absolutely made the right decision. Why put Chad Gaudin in to start against Cliff Lee and basically forfeit a Game 5 when you can have A.J. Burnett on the mound? No one knows his players better than the manager. If he didn’t think Burnett didn’t give the Yankees a chance to win Game 5, he wouldn’t have been on the hill.
By the way, Burnett was hitting 95 on the gun. He had problems locating. If you followed this team all year, Burnett had problems locating on regular rest. Why didn’t these guys on sports radio just tell Girardi to have Derek Jeter go up to bat in the top of the first with a white flag tied to the top of his bat?
By the way, Pedro is 37.
One more thing before I punch out. Was Nostradamus a Yankees fan? Check this out:
Quatrain 23? Don Mattingly’s number. What number did Mattingly wear when he began his Yankee career? 46. It ends tonight.
May 12, 2009 – Yankees lose 5-1 to the first place Blue Jays – drop to 15 – 17 and 6.5 games out of first place.
May 21 – Yankees win their ninth straight game, 1.5 games out of first
May 29 – Yankees beat Indians 3-1 in Cleveland, take over first place by .5 game
June 11 – Yankees lose their eighth straight to the Red Sox, 2.5 games back
June 17-23 – Yankees go 1-5 and get shut out in the first game in Atlanta – five games back
June 24 – July 9 – Brian Cashman visits Atlanta and Yankees win 13 of next 15
July 10-12 – Yankees swept by Angels, three games back
July 17-27 – Yankees win 10 of 11, in first place by 2.5 games
July 28 – August 1 – Yankees lose four of five and their lead drops to five games over Boston
August 2-15 – Yankees win 12 of 13 including a four-game sweep of the Red Sox, 6.5 up
August 28 – September 9 – Yankees win 12 of 14 increase their lead to nine games
September 11-21 – Yankees lose 6 of 10 – lead down to five games
September 22-27 – Yankees win five straight – including another sweep of Boston, AL East Champs
Do me a favor, take this timeline and live by it. It perfectly illustrates the highs and lows of a very long baseball season. A little over six months to be exact. Time and time again this season, people on Twitter, people in the blogosphere, and people calling into radio shows, acted as if the sky was falling. These people hang on every pitch, of every inning, of every game, like it was the last pitch of the season. I give them all the credit in the world for being the kind of fan they are, but please whenever you doubt a Yankees team go back to this timeline and remember the end result. Print it out. Put it on your bulletin board, your fridge, your computer monitor, or your favorite Yankees poster. Let it be a nice little friendly reminder from yours truly, “The Lighthouse of Hope.”
Is winning the division nice? Of course it is. Is winning the division after dropping eight in a row, then winning 9 of 10 against the Red Sox, including the clincher at home nice? Absolutely! However, there is still some work to be done boys and girls. The Yankees haven’t been to an ALCS since 2004 and we all know what happened in that series. Joe Girardi established three goals in Spring Training: Make the playoffs. Win the AL East. Win the World Series. Two down, one to go.
The talk of the previous couple of weeks was of the Yankees magic number. In case you’re wondering, one still remains and it resides squarely on Girardi’s back – 27.
By the way, be the lookout Friday for an Off the Wall chat session here on YESNetwork.com with yours truly. See you then!
I was on recently with Lori Rubinson of WFAN and she asked me to give my mid-season grade for the Yankees season. I hate grading professional athletes and here is why. Usually the teacher is superior to the student and the teacher is the one who hands out the grades. I know this is how reporters and talk show hosts gauge a team at certain points of the season, but I feel uncomfortable “grading” professional athletes.
Well I did it, because I was asked to do so, and I gave the Yankees an overall B+. This is an entire grade higher than Ralphie received in A Christmas Story for his theme on wanting a Red Ryder BB gun. Lori disagreed with my assessment after I was off the air, which is fine, but I don’t like not being able to defend my grade.
So here we go, your honors, ladies and gentleman of the jury, honored guests, here is my defense of the B+.
Think about this, the Yankees are 14 games over .500, they are just three games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. They lead the Wild Card by two-and-a-half games over the Rangers. I know they have gone into spells where the pitching and hitting both go into the tank, but guess what, that’s baseball. It’s a long season. I think its 162 games the last time I checked. Baseball is cyclical. If you have ever played the game you would understand that sometimes the ball looks like a pebble and your trying to hit it with a toothpick, and sometimes it looks like a beach ball and you have that big fat red whiffleball bat. Pitchers make mistakes too and professional hitters take advantage of mistakes
Bottom line — the Yankees are 14 games over .500, leading the Wild Card, and just three games back in the division. Last year at this time — they were six games over .500 and trailing the Wild Card by five games. Which team would you rather have?
Neither, I know, because every year Yankees fans want a first-place team, 25 games over .500 and bludgeoning the Red Sox every time they play them. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s unrealistic though. The Red Sox have caught up and have a great team and a great system. Deal with it. It’s a reality.
I was watching the Sunday Conversation with Lou Piniella and he said something about Chicago that rings true with New York. He said if the Cubs win three in a row they’re going to the World Series, if they lose three in a row they’re a last-place team. Well, the same thing could be said about the Yankees. About a week-and-a-half ago, people were calling for Joe Girardi’s head. Then the Yankees won nine of their next 11 and the chirping stopped. I’m down in South Carolina on vacation and I can’t hear the callers today, but I could only imagine what they are saying after getting swept by the Angels. JJD and BJD much? (JJD — Janet Jackson Disease or “What have you done for me lately disease.” BJD — Billy Joel Disease or “I go to extremes disease.”)
Look at a schedule…please. There are 73 games left, 73. That’s almost an entire NBA or NHL season. What? I’m gonna worry? GLASS HALF FULL PEOPLE. I said this last year and I’ll say it again. If you don’t like rooting for a team that consistently runs out players that are fit to win championships ever season, there’s always Pittsburgh, Kansas City, or Washington. Pledge your allegiance to teams and owners who put money into a new yacht instead of putting money into their team.
Now, I couldn’t possibly give the Bombers an “A,” after getting swept away by the Red Sox in the first half, but to be in the position they are in right now at the break is “B” material to me. Could they have been better? Absolutely! Big picture, people. There are 73 games left — 14 games over .500 — leading the Wild Card — in striking distance of the Red Sox.
If I can’t calm you down with my glass half-full optimism, seek professional help.
By the way if you think this team doesn’t drive me crazy sometimes you are 100 percent wrong. They do. I’ve been around them though. They expect to win every time they take the field, but even THEY know that isn’t possible.
And you were worried about swine flu? I’d be more worried that JJD is spreading at an alarming rate and it affected all those in attendance at the Yankees’ latest loss to the Red Sox.
Fans were chanting, “We Want Torre?”
Really?! You really think this has to do with the manager? You really think Joba Chamberlain going out and giving up four runs in the first inning (even though he rebounded for a strong finish the damage was already done) had nothing to do with the Yankees latest loss? You really think Jorge Posada being on the DL had nothing to do with the Yankees latest loss? You really think not having A-Rod has nothing to do with the Yankees getting out to a mediocre start? You really think Chien-Ming Wang basically forgetting how to pitch has nothing to do with the Yankees and the position they’re in right now? You really think the bullpen instead of being a bridge to Mariano Rivera is The Bridge on the River Kwai after the explosion has nothing to do with the Yankees being 500 after 26 games? You really think Mark Teixeira’s slump, hitting out of the three hole, has nothing to do with the Yankees not being able to stay consistent? Really?!
The Bombers are now 0-5 against their arch rivals (which is more fan driven now, the players are too huggy kissy for me these days). Their record matches the Munsters’ address number, 13-13, and there seems to be just a general malaise floating through the air.
And you know what that general malaise is called boys and girls. Yup I am going back to the well until its bone dry. You can all say it with me, Janet Jackson Disease.
While the only cure for Bruce Dickinson’s fever was more cowbell, the only cure for the spread of JJD is, quite simply, winning.
Seriously though people, you want Joe Torre back? The same Joe Torre most of you wanted out of here? The same Joe Torre that you were fed up and disgusted with? This is why the city of New York will always be single. It’s impossible to be in a relationship with this place. It falls out of love too damn fast.
No one is more prepared, and no one gives more attention to detail than Joe Girardi. Who, by the way, is a former Manager of the Year…with the Florida Marlins. Just chill out, we haven’t even played a quarter of the season yet and the Yankees haven’t had their full team on the field once.
For some comic relief and to ease your Yankees tension check this out it always makes me laugh…RIP Dom DeLuise.
Nick Swisher is making the trip to Port Charlotte today to take on the Rays and will get some time at first base.
Hideki Matsui – his health concerns are not going to go away. He ran three days in a row and Joe is feeling better and better about him every day. He said once you have a knee problem you always have a knee problem. Hideki is off today. Johnny Damon also has the day off. Joe said he gave some guys days off last week and he will do the same this week as well.
As for the Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera centerfield battle, Joe said they are still fighting it out – we still have two weeks – we want to have our lineup situated by the last week so we have another week to play with it and we’ll see where we are then. Joe was asked if both could make it to New York and he said they haven’t made their 25 man roster yet, he couldn’t promise that both would be on the team, but said they CAN carry both.
Damaso Marte will start to work his way back into getting some innings starting tomorrow.
CC Sabathia is great for the clubhouse; he is comfortable in his surroundings and bringing people together. Like any team, the Yankees will have to face some adversity. But he knows that the closer the club is, according to Girardi, the easier it will be for them to get through. Joe was also asked to compare someone to CC on his clubhouse persona and he gave two names, Alfredo Amazega and Tim Raines. Joe also said it is harder in his position as a pitcher as opposed to a position player to hold that kind of a role down. Sweeny Murti from WFAN playfully said to the skipper that CC sounds like he would make a great opening day starter and the manager replied with a laugh and said, “I would say that he is lined up real well for that.”
I asked how Phil Hughes took the news when he was sent down to Scranton yesterday and Girardi said he thought he was pretty good about it … he understood … he said they ran out of innings for him here. He was proud of the way Hughes approached Spring Training. He was looking for improvement and he saw it. I also asked about Phil Coke’s deep left thigh bruise from a liner he took in Kissimmee last Wednesday and he said it was much, much better than it was and should pitch tomorrow in Clearwater against the Phillies.
I talked to Coke after meeting with Girardi and Coke thinks Yankees Trainer Gene Monohan may not let him throw in a game and the bullpen-hopeful lefty will be relegated to a bullpen session here at “The Boss.” Girardi saw the bruise today and said, “That’s nothing catchers get them all the time.”
Joe hopped on the bus after our meeting for the game in Port Charlotte. Pitching coach Dave Eiland and Bench coach Tony Pena will hang back in Tampa to watch Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada do some battery work in a minor league game against the Pirates at the Yankees minor league complex in the shadow of Raymond James Stadium.
Today’s Lineup vs. Tampa