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wilson
04-28-2007, 03:34 PM
ESPN is reporting that, according to multiple New York media sources, he's on the hot seat pending the outcome of this weekend's Yanks-Red Sox series. I'd be shocked if the Boss fires him midseason, and I think it'd really be a mistake. Make no mistake, I've got little love for the Yankees and I take a certain amount of joy in seeing them struggle so mightily. But I think a) the Yankees are obviously not really this bad, and b) Torre deserves better than even a whisper of his being fired, after his track record of the last decade-plus in the Bronx. Does anyone think he might actually get canned? And if so, who in the world becomes manager? Mattingly?

ehdg
04-28-2007, 06:07 PM
I think before Torre gets fired the Pitching Coach Ron Guidry would. The pitching has been a disappointment so far. Also Brian Cashman the GM probably would go before Torre. I still don't understand thier signing of Kei Igawa. I think they way over paid for him!! Also shockingly Mariano has not been good at all early in the season. This is very unlike him. Also hasn't helped that Mussina, Wang and once again Pavano have all been hurt and on the DL.

jimbonelson
04-28-2007, 07:04 PM
they also payed andy pettitte 15 million for this year there

Olympic Fan
04-29-2007, 10:34 AM
As a Yankee fan, its moments like this that make me hate "The Boss."

Look I admire his passion for winning and the fact that he's willing to plow back his profits to make the team better (just as an aside, I'd think there would be more national outrage at owners like the Chicago Tribune that pocket their profits. Instead, everybody whines about the Yankees spending. They should be whining about the Cubs NOT spending).

But George basically doesn't understand baseball. Torre is the best manager he's ever had because he's a buffer between the team and the owner's hysterics. Jeez, how often have we played this same silly story out over the last decade -- the Yankees are struggling and George panics and Torre just shrugs it off. He lets the idiot owner scream and shout -- without shouting back, then sooner or later, the team's talent kicks in, the Yankees start winning again and all's right with the world.

There's another thread on this board about the Yankees struggles. I'll repeat what I said then. In the first place, it's still April, folks ... and in the second place, you think losing three of your top four starters to injuries might cause a bit of a problem with our pitching staff.

Wang just came back and Mussina is on the verge of returning. It shouldn't be too long for Pavano. The Yanks will be okay as long as George doesn't do anything stupid.

wilson
04-29-2007, 10:49 AM
Wang just came back and Mussina is on the verge of returning. It shouldn't be too long for Pavano. The Yanks will be okay as long as George doesn't do anything stupid.

I agree that this is not the time for the Boss to do anything "stupid". But I think that, in contrast to other recent Yankees teams, this one has some serious chinks in the armor. The lineup is obviously amazing, but the pitching looks like a serious problem. Wang is very good, I'll give you that. But Mussina, good as he has been, is starting to show his age via some durability issues. While Pettitte is the supposed most dependable starter, the Yanks got bombed in his most recent start (11-4 on Friday night). Pavano, I'm sorry, is just not that good. He'll have a decent enough ERA (4.50-4.75) to win most of his starts and a total of 16-18 games behind the bashers up and down the lineup, but he certainly isn't playoff hero material. Then, in the bullpen, you've got Mariano and not much else (Farnsworth? Yeesh). Even Mariano has shown some signs of decline the past couple of seasons (especially this year).
The Yankees will win their share of games and be in the thick of the playoff hunt. Once they arrive there, however, they look to me like another first-round exit waiting to happen (and frankly, in the worst-case scenario, I could see them finishing as low as fourth). As I said in another thread, the Yankees are of course not this bad. On the other hand, I don't really think they're all that good, either. A midseason acquisition (Clemens?) would of course change things, but of late, that hasn't been the done deal it once was.
If I'm a Yankees fan, I'm sweating right now.

Olympic Fan
04-29-2007, 11:06 AM
I AM a Yankee fan and I'm not sweating. I'm sorry if that disappoints you.

Sure, I'd love to have Santana or another stud in the rotation. But, Wilson, I think you are looking at things through cloudy glasses.

You mention Mussina starting to show signs of age through durability issues ... well, he is coming off a short stint on the DL, but he's also coming off his most productive season in four years. Pavano, I agree, is a question mark who hasn't had a quality season since 2004, but he was effective this spring and he's still just 31 years old. You cite a bad start for Pettite -- he'll be fine -- not a shutdown ace, but a solid, consistent starter (and he was never projected as the No. 1 guy in the rotation).

Injuries are a part of the game -- not just the old guys like Mussina, but for young studs like Nelson Liriano or Mark Prior.

But even if the current problem wasn't the result of injuries, I'd caution patience before writing my guys off. You mention Rivera's early struggles ... he struggled early last season too before he found himself. It's just that he's been so good for so long, we can't accept it when he goes through the normal cycle of struggle that EVERY player goes through.

I repeat, the Yankees will be fine ... nobody can predict a World Series champion -- in baseball, anything can happen in a short series and you have to win three short series in a row to win the ring -- but over the long haul, this team will do fine. I remind you that its been a decade since the Red Sox finished with a better season-long record than the Yankees -- I'm willing to bet that we'll do that again in 2007.

If we're still struggling in mid-June, then get back to me.

wilson
04-29-2007, 11:11 AM
I'm by no means writing the Yankees off. Like I said, I still expect them to make the playoffs. But this is not a vintage Yankees squad.
And if the Yankees finish ahead of the Red Sox, I'll eat my shorts. Injuries or no, the Sox are obviously a more complete team. Just my 2 cents.

pfrduke
04-29-2007, 10:10 PM
Injuries are a part of the game -- not just the old guys like Mussina, but for young studs like Nelson Liriano or Mark Prior.

Merely for the record, Francisco Liriano is the young left-handed ace from Minnesota who's sitting the season out with an injury. Nelson Liriano was a middle infielder who came up with the Blue Jays in the late 80s and then bounced around the majors and minors before hanging up the spikes in 1998. In case any of you are curious, here's (http://www.baseball-reference.com/l/liriane01.shtml) a little info (http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=liriane01) on Nelson Liriano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Liriano).

Olympic Fan
04-30-2007, 05:48 PM
Oops, sorry to get my Liriano's mixed up ...

Back to the topic of Yankees-Sox. Wilson, I can see where you might think the Sox are better, but I can't agree that Boston is (in your words) "obviously a more compete team"

Start with the everyday lineup. Where do the Red Sox have an edge?

Well, Ortiz>Giambi at DH, but it's not a huge advantage ...
Same in leftfield where Ramirez>Matsui (at least at the plate -- Matsui is a far better fielder) ... but again you're talking the difference between a 1.000 OPS and a .950 OPS.
At first base, Yoikilis>the Yankee platoon (although Miekowicz is the superior defensive player)

Everywhere else, the Yankees are superior --

Damon>Crisp
Abreu>Drew
A-Rod>Lowell
Jeter>Lugo
Cano>Pedroia
Posada>Varitek

Offensively, the Yankee 9-man lineup is superior -- one of the best in baseball history. Defensively, it's a push -- the Yanks are better at several positions, the Red Sox at a few ... I can't see that either is a spectacular defensive team.

Obviously, pitching has been the Yankee downfall this season. And with the injuries, it very well may play out that the Red Sox are better, I think it's too early to suggest its "obvious"

Compare young starters -- Wang and Beckett are almost the same age. Wang has been hurt, but he's coming off a better year (19-6, 3.63 ERA) than Beckett (16-11, 5.01 ERA). Compare older starters -- Mussina is 37, coming off a 15-7 year with a 3.51 ERA; Schilling is 39 coming off a 15-7 year with a 3.97 ERA.

The Red Sox added Dice-K, an unknown, while the Yankees added a pretty proven commodity in Andy Pettite. Maybe Dice K will prove to be as effective as he was in Japan, but he hasn't been overpowering yet, while a lot of experts wonder how he'll do the second time around the league?

When you look at closers, Rivera has a great track record, but he and Papelbon had very similar seasons last year. Pap had four wins, 35 saves and a 0.92 ERA ... Mariano had 5 wins, 34 saves and a slightly higher 1.80 ERA (reflective of his April struggles).

I concede that its possible to argue that Papplebon is surging into his prime, while Mariano may be showing his age -- last year they may have been equals, while this year Pap will blow pass him. We'll see -- as I noted Rivera struggled early last year too.

My point is not that the Yankees are better or even should be better than the Red Sox. I'm just making the case that the only way to argue that the Red Sox are "obviously better" this year is based on the last two weeks -- and the last two weeks are tainted by the injuries to the Yankee starting staff.

Now, those injuries are supposed to be short term. If not, then, yes, the Yankees go in the dumper. But if Wang, Mussina, Pavano come back soon (I mean get back in form), then we'll see which is the better team.

I'm not ready to concede the race ...

wilson
04-30-2007, 06:07 PM
Olympic, I gotta say I respect your dogged commitment to your boys. Such loyalty is a rare thing indeed. You're of course right not to concede, but even in April, 6.5 games is quite a hole, especially when the Yanks have already lost 5 of 6 to the Sox. In recent years, the Sox have been undone in large part by their inability to make enough hay against the AL weaklings, though, and I suspect that will tell the tale again this season.
As for your statistics, your analysis is solid, but you also have to look at the season's first month (a decent enough sample), which is much better for the Red Sox. Furthermore, most of your counterpoints are best-case scenarios for the Yankees. The odds of all of those shaking out are slim. We'll see how things play out, but I still think the Sox have a demonstrably rosier outlook for the season. That doesn't really make me happy; I don't like the Yankees, but I've actually arrived at a point where I dislike the Red Sux, I mean Sox, more.
Of course, one great advantage the Yankees have in the situation is that the Sux have to play the Braves during interleague play (barf). That's an automatic 3 L's for the Boston boys.;)