Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just Fire Girardi Already

I’ve had enough of the Joe Girardi era in New York. Last night’s loss was downright embarrassing and I can’t imagine any Steinbrenner being able to let that one go lightly.

Who’s to blame here? Wang, the once staff ace who can’t throw a pitch to save his life? The dicey bullpen? Nope. It’s the coach.

My personal soapbox for a long time has been the long reliever. The Yankees desperately needed one last year when Hughes and Kennedy were unable to give quality starts. This year we’re having the same problem with Wang. A long reliever would ideally be able to come in and pitch 3 or 4 innings in the middle of a game, hopefully keeping things from getting too out of hand.

Girardi likes to micro-manage his bullpen. He over maneuvered 2 nights ago by bringing in the late innings and cost his team the game. When a reliever comes in and pitches well, leave him in for a full inning. If a guy is struggling, then you can pull in someone else who has a more favorable matchup. When you’re in a high leverage situation, the youngest guy in the pen is not your go-to guy. Phil Coke is not ready for the big time and is certainly not ready for the high pressure situations.

Albaladejo and the rest of the bullpen were almost as bad as Wang last night and before long, Joe had used up all the arms he had. The end result – Nick Swisher comes in to pitch. Throwing innings as a pitcher can wreak havoc with a fielder’s arm and is something you should hope never to see. Swish handled it well, kept a smile on his face and sadly, was the most effective pitcher the Yankees had all night.

Meanwhile Dan Giese is long gone, claimed off waivers by Oakland, Brett Tomko is throwing shutout innings as a closer in the minor leagues and I’m scratching my head as to why we chose to have Albaladejo in the pen over one of these long men.

Another aspect of the Yankees’ play that really bothers me lately is the poor defense. The large number of errors and bonehead plays seem to be a big part of the last few games. These guys just aren’t playing like a focused, disciplined team. Again, Girardi is my whipping boy here. It’s the manager’s job to get these players in line and ready to play good baseball. Joe Maddon had his guys giving 100% long after the game was officially a blowout, meanwhile Girardi had players bumping into each other and dropping easy pop ups.

The season is still young, and the Yankees have plenty of time to turn things around. I think Girardi is definitely on the hot seat and don’t see him lasting very much longer this year. He’s been an absolute disaster during his (hopefully short) managerial stint. Last year he had a complete inability to motivate the team and players, an embarrassing relationship with the media giving him no credibility in the eyes of the fans and the press, and his handling of the pitching staff has been rampantly unsuccessful.

At this point, the only thing that is going to keep Girardi in New York for the rest of the season is the availability of other suitable managerial candidates.

1 comment:

Michael Isserlis said...

i couldn't agree more. i said at the end of last season he wouldn't make it out of june in 2009.. we'll see if he doesn't make it out of MAY!