A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Heart and Soul of the Yankees?

Since the Mets game was going nowhere fast on Monday I decided to check out the Yankee game as it was on its way to becoming the worst shut out in the history of their storied franchise on the road or some shit like that. There were a few things of note that jumped out at me while I was watching the game.

1) Michael Kaye is still an utter and complete douchebag.
2) Al Leiter does color commentary with a smattering of anger. You really get the feeling he hates Kaye, hates being there, or hates someone in his general vicinity. I am not sure if his sarcasm is an attempt to be funny, but I much preferred his early days of broadcasting as a guest on FOX.
3) Methinks Alex Rodriguez getting away from the Yankees in 2008 will have much greater consequences than a lot of people think.

Though seemingly innocuous and possibly an attempt to build up a Yankee player, Kaye was talking about how Cano and Melky are usually following A-Rod around. They get with him and work out before the game and are always talking to him trying to pick his brain.

While this discussion was going on, the cameras were on the dugout where Melky and A-Rod were talking. Sure enough, Robinson Cano comes into the screen and joins them where the remained talking for a while. Despite all the things we have read about Rodriguez and the young guys in Texas, it seems that A-Rod has become a role model for these two and someone they could impart knowledge from.

I have not exactly been studying the Yankees over the last few years and the dearth of young guys makes this harder to actually evaluate, but it does not seem like there are many leaders on the team. Sure Jeter goes out there and does his thing and is media darling, but you get the feeling not everyone is behind everyone and it has been kind of a loner atmosphere where everyone does their job on the field and that is where it ends.

Maybe things have changed and they are more team oriented, but I am not sure I see that. As for A-Rod, not only has he possibly emerged as the leader of the Yankees, but A-Rod is 1st in the AL in homers (has 28% of the team's homers), runs (15% of team's runs), OPS, RBIs (17% of the team's RBIs), and SLG, 3rd in OBP, and 5th in walks. He has carried this team for long stretches this year and without him, the Yankees would have no shot at the wild card this season.

The Yankees now have three guys on their roster in Matsui, Damon, and Giambi that are borderline useless in the field and are making about $50 million between each other in '08. I think Pettitte will be back, but Mussina, who is signed through 2008, is baked and Clemens has been OK. Even if Clemens does come back, it will not be until mid-season. Hughes has not been dominant nor appears to be able to be that difference maker just yet which leaves them with a potential rotation of Pettitte, Wang, Chamberlain, Hughes, and Mussina/Igawa/Clippard/Kennedy. Not a bad rotation, but nothing amazing.

Throw all of that on top of A-Rod's possible lost production that they simply will not be able to replace if the lose him compounded with the possible loss in leadership and the Yankees could be headed for a few years of struggling. They will not be battling it out for last place anytime soon, but seeing them not in the playoffs in 2007, 2008, and 2009 is not out of the question until they have more time to retool.

That is not a bad thing mind you. Rebuilding a team the right way can pay big dividends, but even if they wanted to do it faster, the free agents just are not there to fill in their needs and their mentality has seemingly changed anyway. Imagine the Mets opening their new stadium after three straight playoff appearances and charging to the playoffs in their stadium's inaugural season while the Yankees come off three straight seasons in which they fail to make the playoffs? Times could be a changing and it is pretty clear the Yankees need to bring back A-Rod at all costs or else things could get very interesting.

* * *

  • I was just perusing some stats and I checked out Barry Lamar's stats. One thing I found rather exceptional was that from 1992 through 2007, Barry only had below a 1.000 OPS once. That was 2006 when he posted a .999 OPS. That is fourteen straight years of an OPS over 1.000 for those of you keeping score at home.

  • Sweet Jebus... If it exists, you can fry it.

  • Pedro tossed six shut-out innings and gave up five hits, one run, no earned runs, and two walks while striking out four. Of course it was against A ballers again, but that is his choice which is increasingly becoming a curious one.

    He threw 88 pitches and seems to have his arm strength, but as they were saying on the broadcast on Monday night, you never know where your stuff is until you use it at the higher levels. The young guys will swing at everything whereas the AA and AAA guys will be more adept at laying off some off-speed or breaking pitches not in the zone. It stands to reason that he should of moved up to face a tougher challenge instead of taking on kids again.

    I know I should never question Pedro being he is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, but jumping from A-ball to the bigs is a big jump after not having pitched competitively for long time.

  • Lastings talking about the Braves...

    "They can have our number all they want," Milledge said. "If they don't win the division they're not going to get into the playoffs, and we don't have to worry about it."

    I think it is important to not let the Braves or the Phillies get the best of the Mets again so this thing is not closer than it needs to be and Tuesday's game outlines that. The Mets let an important game get away that opens the door for the Phillies and gives them some unnecessary momentum. The Phillies and Braves can certainly make things more interesting this week and I am sure the Mets are not taking that lightly.

  • SI's John Donovan mysteriously has the Mets ranked 7th overall, which seems criminally low. Dayn Perry has them ranked fifth.

  • Phil Humber picked up his 11th win on Monday in five innings of work. He gave up two hits, no earned runs, and one walk while striking out two to lower his ERA to 4.27.

    Really...if the Mets are looking for bullpen help, they should give him a hard look in September out of the bullpen.

  • Pelfrey was pulled early and I'm not sure why. Maybe they were getting him ready for Saturday and just wanted to him to get a little tuneup since he would be going on short rest?

  • Here are some interesting links you have the time...

    Nothing gross at all...

    The hipster olympics...
  • Labels:

    8 Comments:

    Anonymous benny said...

    All that about the Yankees and they beat the Red Sox today. Wow.

    Al Leiter is an amazing broadcaster on FOX. On the YES network? ehhhh, not soo much, he's very boring and ignores Michael Kay atleast half the time. He just doesn't acknowledge him, haha.

    I wanna see A-Rod on the... Montreal Expos and bring them to the promised land.

    Mike, I don't need to "study" or keep track of the Yankees to realise its a dead and boring clubhouse. They just LOOK like they're not having fun and like they can't stand each other. It's kinda obvious its an every man for themselves clubhouse. Its got nothing on the Oakland A's or Mets clubhouse where its obvious there's alot of love.

    In regards to the Yankees and rebuilding, I think they can get that done quickly. They already have some pieces with Mely, Cano, Hughes, CHamberlain, and Kennedy. That's a nice group of guys, with more on thier way form thier drafts.

    More players should think and speak like Lastings. Its true. Who gives a shit if the Braves constantly beat you? When it comes down to it, they're not gonna be there!

    Phil Humber should be up for the start on Saturday and then shifted to the pen when Pedro is activated. For as "bad" as his stats look he's among the league leaders in the PCL in ERA, K's, and actually has the best WHIP. He's one of the best PCL pitchers right now, it just doesn't seem that way. Humber has earned it. He is a top prospect after all. He has some sort of pedigree, this isn't Brian Bannister or any other fringe prospect from the past.

    "The Fried Avocado went over so well, and I think people like guacamole even more than they like avocado," Weiss said.
    - Best part, haha.

    12:40 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The #5 starter for the Yankees next year would be Joba Chamberlain, unless they feel he is too good in the bullpen to move back to the rotation. It's where he was pitching from until about 1 1/2 months ago, and I'm sure it's where he'd rather be.

    7:42 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    Humber is the only logical decision to start on Saturday. So of course, the Mets will call up Pelfrey for the start.

    And Mike, Pelfrey only pitched 2.2 IP yesterday because the Mets had him on a pitch count of 40 so that they could leave open the option of starting him on 3 days rest against the Braves on Saturday... Nope, not kidding.

    Horrible loss last night. I would prefer not to revisit it. I am still waiting for Reyes to get hot again. He's been consistent, but he hasn't had a scorching month since April. Let's hope September is that month.

    8:29 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, I’m not so concerned about the Yankees winning this series all that much. They are fighting for the Wild Card this season, but my point was next season will be a big struggle without A-Rod.

    Benny, they have a good core, but they are young and they might need some seasoning. And there just is not much out there in regards to free agency this off season to make a huge impact. And Cabrera and Cano have been very nice for the Yankees, but they are far below the impact level of Reyes and Wright. They are more supporting guys for me than centerpieces. Joba can flat out be a centerpiece. That guy is a freak.

    Agreed on Humber. Really though, he probably would have done much better than Lawrence and I get that they wanted a full year at AAA for him and wanted to take it easy, but enough already. The Mets have a need and they have a possible replacement. Get it done.

    The #5 starter for the Yankees next year would be Joba Chamberlain, unless they feel he is too good in the bullpen to move back to the rotation. It's where he was pitching from until about 1 1/2 months ago, and I'm sure it's where he'd rather be.

    I think I already penciled him into the probably rotation didn’t I? Read again….Chamberlain should start unless he proves to be mediocre and more effective out of the bullpen, which I do not see as being the case.

    Danny,

    That’s kind of what I though. I’m not all that upset as long as Humber gets a shot at helping this team that has a glaring need in the bullpen. Hey, at some point it has to click for Plelfrey…right?

    I agree with ube. The kid needs to rest. Shit, give him two days. He is struggling out there.

    9:00 AM

     
    Anonymous joe said...

    Didn't Pelf's last start gets skipped? Maybe they just held him to a pitch count to keep him well rested. I'd really like to see Humber on the big league team...regardless of in what role. Willie even mentioned him on the Fan yesterday.

    11:36 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I think they will both be called up, but the question remains if Humber's call up is dependent on the end of the New Orleans season as they might not call him up (as silly as it sounds) because of the pennant race since they see Pelfrey as a viable option.

    12:42 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Last night’s loss spurred a renewed discussion of Willie’s use of his relievers by posters on other blogs. Generally it breaks down into two different view points. One is that Willie does not put his relievers (outside of Wagner) in positions where they are most likely to succeed. While the other’s claim that Willie can only play the cards that Omar has dealt him and has no choice but to proceed as he does. The first group tends to backup there allegations with fact while the others point to the Mets position in the NL as sufficient proof that Willie is pushing the right buttons. While both sides can claim some validity to their assertions I look at Scott Schoeneweis and see that his numbers against left handed hitters is quite impressive and conversely his numbers against right handed hitters is quite poor. Yet he has more innings pitched against right handed hitters than against left handed hitters. If this is an indication of how Willie uses his bullpen (and I did not research all of our relievers) I would have to agree with the group that criticizes Willies use of his bullpen. All I can say is that last night when Mota was permitted to pitch to Howard I yelled out loud “games over” and switched the channel. It was later that I found out the Howard did indeed end the game.

    6:12 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Furthermore...it seems that Mota is done in more by his pitch choices than a lack of talent. Granted he only has two pitches to use since scrapping his breaking pitch, but why in the good name of baby jebus did he not throw him another off speed pitch off the plate?

    6:42 PM

     

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