After last night's loss to the Tigers, I think the Yankees front office should start to think the unthinkable. The Yankees are going to lose today and there will be a MASSIVE house cleaning in the off season. Before yesterday's game I predicted a loss (I really wanted to be wrong -- I want to be wrong today too), but I still felt we could win this series -- but that was before Kenny Rogers pitched a shutout. At this time yesterday I thought we'd lose, but still score five runs.
We didn't score any!
With Jaret Wright on the mound, we'll be down 5-0 by the third inning. The Tigers will win this game going away and we'll look like shit.
Is it time to consider firing Joe Torre? I think it is. I can't believe that a team with this kind of talent could fail to score a run since Thursday, so I think it's valid to start looking at how these games are being managed. The talent is there, but the moves aren't making sense to me. Melky Cabrerra has done a fine job all year in left field, so you bench him and put in Matsui, who only played about 40 games this year. In the first two games Torre puts in Sheffield at first base, a position he's only played for ten days. Torre's going for the big homer instead of going with guys you can play small ball with. He benched Sheff last night, but Sheff will probably be back in today and Jim Leyland will take advantage of that by trying to entice pickoff moves like he did last night. If Sheff throws the ball into left field on one of those plays, things will get ugly.
I think Torre's time has passed. We had a really great run with him and I DO appreciate the six World Series appearances and four rings, but he has a different set of players now and either they're not responding to his managerial style, or he's gone away from what brought him success. Or he just doesn't care so much anymore.
I know that the primary problem we haven't won since 2000 is that we're not trotting out a starting pitching rotation of Clemens, Wells, Pettitte and El Duque. We don't have Jeff Nelson, Mike Stanton and Ramiro Mendoza for middle relief. All we have is Chien-Ming Wang and Mariano Rivera. But our inability to score ANY runs with a talented lineup like we have speaks to something else.
Let's put it this way -- since we started losing series in 2001, we've changed everything but the manager. We've brought in new relievers and starters. We've brought in hitters that were more powerful and we've brought in hitters that had higher on base percentages. We got new pitching coaches, new batting coaches and new bench coaches. And we've still lost.
So change the one thing that hasn't been changed -- the manager.
I hate Lou Pinella. I hated him as a player and I hated him as a manager, but Steinbrenner always liked him, so he has the inside edge for the Yankee job. I also have to grudgingly admit that Pinella may be the only thing left that can salvage A-Rod's Yankee career. He'd get in his ass and demand excellence, and that's not Torre's personality.
People will also suggest Joe Girardi as a replacement, but that's a mistake. He has no experience.
Larry Bowa, the current 3rd base coach, may be another candidate. I doubt they'll interview any black or Hispanic candidates for the job. That would be a shocker. Oh, I forgot -- Pinella's Cuban.
As for the other two series on the air today, unfortunately, both are over. Even if Maddux holds the Mets to three runs, the Dodgers are still going to lose.
The Padres... wow, what the hell happened? I picked them to sweep. The Cards are a bad team! But they will complete the sweep today.
UPDATE: The Padres survived today by winning 3-1, with Pujols going 0-4.
5:25. Meanwhile it's the bottom of the 3rd and the Tigers are ahead 4-0. A-Rod has made an error that led to a run. Jaret Wright is already out of the game. The Yankees have been held scoreless for 20 innings. So much for the best lineup in baseball.
5:45. Top of the 5th. Bonderman is pitching a perfect game. I'm so tired of this.
5:54. Bottom of the 5th, no outs. 6-0 Tigers. We're getting blown away like I predicted. Cory Lidle has been replaced by Bruney. It's gonna be a long horrible winter.
6:00. Torre has inexplicably lifted Bruney for Proctor after one batter, following a fly ball that scored another run. WTF? Why bother? It's 7-0 anyway.
6:10. Top of the 6th. Cano got a hit. Thank God. At least we won't have a perfect game hanging over our heads.
6:26. Bottom of the 6th. 8-0 Tigers, two outs. Stop the bleeding, please. The only thing that can console me now is if the Mets somehow blow 3 games in a row to the Dodgers and get bounced in the first round too.
6:37. Top of the 7th. Hits by Jeter and Abreu and an RBI by Matsui. We won't be shut out, but this is still a stank day for the Yankees. Another hit -- Posada. But there's two outs and it's late in the game, literally and figuratively.
7:04. Bottom of the 8th. Farnsworth is pitching. That ought to be good for another run or two. The Tigers are 3 outs away from facing Oakland in the ALCS. Fox flashed a stat -- in this series Giambi, Sheffield and A-Rod only had one hit a piece.
7:08. Sheffield dropped a sure double play ball. E3. But no runs scored.
7:24. Leyland finally lifted Bonderman after a hit by Abreu and a catch by Monroe on Sheff that killed any thought of a rally by the Yanks, otherwise he'd have had a complete game. Then Posada hit a 2 run home run!
7:25 It's over. Ground out by Cano. Leyland just kissed a drunken male fan holding a Bud. What was that all about? Champagne everywhere. They're sharing it with the fans.
Final score 8-3 Tigers.
Time to watch the Mets game. :(
Technorati tags: Joe Torre | Jaret Wright | Yankees | Tigers | Steinbrenner