Tag Archives: Girardi

Maddon, Bannister Mgrs. of Year

Joe Maddon of the Cubs and Jeff Bannister of the Rangers were named the Managers of the Year last night.

Joe Girardi of the Yankees finished fifth.

David Ortiz is apparently retiring at the end of the 2016 season.

2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

Game 144. Yanks lose, 6-3.


If this offends people, I’m sorry but I need to vent.

The Yanks missed out on a golden opportunity tonight, and I have to question a couple of Joe Girardi moves.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Girardi. I think he is a good manager. But hear me out.

Number 1. I have been advocating for DAYS to bench Ellsbury and play Heathcott in CF instead. Now Heathcott won the game last night with a HR. Ellsbury was 1 for his last 29.

Ever hear of playing the hot hand?

Nope. Joe stuck with Ellsbury, who went 0 for 4, dropping him to .251 (he was .324 when he went on the DL) and 1 for his last 33. Heathcott sat. Joe, don’t you think a minor leaguer can at least go better than 1 for his last 33? 

This…. from the SAME Girardi that credited A-Rod’s resurgence (and A-Rod now has a bone bruise in his knee) on the fact that A-Rod couldn’t play in Atlanta due to the fact that the NL has no DH and that those days off gave A-Rod the rest he needed to rejuvenate himself.

Hey, Joe (sounds like a Jimi Hendrix song here)…. don’t you think the same can help Ellsbury? Really. If a few days off rejuvenated Alex, don’t you think the same can get Ellsbury going?

How about sitting Ellsbury Wednesday night. Thursday is an off day. That is TWO days off. Play the hot hand, Heathcott, instead. If you have some balls, sit Ellsbury Friday as well. Give him three days off. See how he responds.

For God’s sake, it couldn’t hurt.

For goodness sakes, I know Heathcott is a rookie, but even he could probably do better than 1 for 33.

One other thing, Joe. Am I the only one who has noticed that Bryan Mitchell isn’t the same since he took that liner off of his nose? His ERA is over 6.00 now. You trusted him in a game where it was 4-3 Rays and you let the game get away by putting him in there. You have an off day on Thursday. Bringing in Mitchell there was a bad move.

Since getting hit by that liner, Mitchell has given up 8 R in 4 1/3 IP.

This loss really hurt because the Twins lost and the lowly Braves beat Toronto. The Yanks stay 3 back of the Blue Jays where they could be 2 back. The magic # to get into the wild card game was reduced to 15.

The Yanks went up 1-0 in the first on an A-Rod HR. #32 meant that A-Rod would be the Yanks HR leader this year since it passed Teix and Teix is done for the year. Career HR #686 was hit #3061, passing Craig Biggio on the all-time list.

Warren, making his first start in a while, gave up single runs in the first and second, but considering the rust, did Ok. 2 runs in 4 IP.

Bird hit a 2-run HR in the fourth (6) to put the Yanks up 3-2. A-Rod was on board so his two runs scored left him two shy of 2000 runs scored for his career.

Nick Rumbelow gave up a two-run HR in the sixth and Mitchell the two in the eighth to lose it for the Yanks.

Warren 4 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 3.33
Pazos 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 0.00
Rumbelow (L 1-1, 3.95) 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K.
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.40
Pinder 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 2.39
Mitchell 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 6.04
Martin 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 6.00

Game 143. Cum On Feel the Noize! Slade wins it for Yanks in 9th, 4-1


CC Sabathia had pitched perhaps his best game since 2012 (maybe he should have worn the brace all year instead of being stubborn and wearing a sleeve instead?), but the Yanks were one out away from losing 1-0 on a two-hit shutout.  Ouch. Heck the Yanks did not get their first hit until the eighth inning. 

In the ninth, PH Dustin Ackley singled to start the inning (just the Yanks’ second hit of the game) but was erased when the slumping Jacoby Ellsbury GIDP. One out away from a heartbreaking loss, Gardner walked on four pitches,

and A-Rod doubled to tie the game. Hit #3060 tied Craig Biggio on the all-time hit list at #21.

Now if you remember, for the last couple of days I have advocated giving the slumping Ellsbury (1 for his last what, 29 now? Down to .254) a day off and to play Slade Heathcott. Well, Ellsbury started the game…




Heathcott got into the game. After Beltran got the first Yankee hit of the game in the eighth, he was PR for by Rico Noel. The Yanks didn’t score, but Heathcott went out to RF, replacing Noel.

So after A-Rod’s double tied the game in the ninth, and Brian McCann was intentionally walked, guess who came up to bat?

Slade Heathcott, who promptly hit a 3-run HR (2) to win the game.

Ummm…. sometimes I DO know what I am talking about. Vindication is sweet.

Caleb Cotham got his first MLB win. Usually sure-handed defensive whiz Brendan Ryan made two errors (Chase Headley made another one).

But the Yanks won to go to 79-64, and they cut the Jays’ margin to 3 games. They also reduced their magic # to just get into that wild card game.

Every win now is huge.

Maybe tomorrow night Girardi takes my FULL advice and gives Ellsbury a day off and starts Heathcott. We’ll see. It couldn’t hurt, could it? After all, the other guy IS 1 for his last 29 or so. Why not?

Nice to see some of the old CC tonight, too.

Sabathia 6 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 walks and 6 K. 4.93 (nice to see it get under 5.00)
Wilson 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K 3.23
Cotham (W, 1-0) 1/3 IP, 0 r, 0 h, 0 walks and 1 K. 7.50
Miller (33rd save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 h, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.83.

Game 142. Tanaka’s gem helps Yanks avoid sweep, 5-0.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpgThe Yankees, now 3 1/2 out with 20 games to go, still have a slim chance of winning the division, but it looks more likely that they will be playing in the one-game playoff for the wild card.

It’s apparent who should start that game.

After losing the first three games of the four-game series to Toronto, and seeing their pitchers give up 30 runs in those three games, Masahiro Tanaka threw seven shutout innings Sunday as the Yanks blanked Toronto 5-0. The Yanks are now nine wins away from 10000 in their history.

The Yanks scored two runs in the second on a couple of walks, a single, and SFs by Ackley and Gregorius.

Ackley’s 2-run HR in the fourth (7) made it 4-0.

A double by A-Rod in the eighth accounted for the final tally. It was RBI 2050 of his career. He is just four runs scored of 2000, and is just one hit (3059) behind Craig Biggio on the all-time hit list.

The Yanks are now 78-64 and begin a nine-game road trip to Tampa Bay (3), then after a day off, back to NY to face the Mets for three, then up to Toronto. They are three up on Texas for the first wild card spot and four up on Minnesota for the second. The magic number to get into the play-in game is 17.

I do hope Girardi sits Ellsbury and plays Heathcott in CF soon. (Tonight?) Ellsbury could use a day. He’s something like 1 for his last 25 and is down to .257. He’s hitting just .214 since coming off the DL. Maybe a day off can get him going again. The Yanks need him to set the table.

Tanaka (W, 12-6, 3.40) 7 IP, 0 R,  4 H, 0 walks and 7 k.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.46.
Pazos 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00
Cotham 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 7.94.

Games 140 and 141. Yanks division title hopes dim after getting swept in DH by Jays.


The Yanks may have to settle for the wild card after getting swept by the Blue Jays today, 9-5 in 11 innings in Game 1 and 10-7 in Game 2.

The one bright spot was three HR by Brett Gardner today.

One bad spot: Jacoby Ellsbury was 0 for 9 in the doubleheader. He is down to .259. When he went on the DL he was at .324. That shows you how bad he has been since coming back. He hasn’t been setting the table. Maybe Joe Girardi should bench him tomorrow and play Slade Heathcott in CF to give Ellsbury a day off?

The Yanks are now 4 1/2 behind Toronto with just 21 games left. They are 77-64 and as of this writing are still three up for WC #1. But they have lost five in a row and need to start winning again soon. The Yanks are 77-64.

With a Twins loss, the magic number just to get into the wild card game is down to 18.

There were a couple of questionable decisions made today.

Game 1. 

The Yanks got off to a 4-1 lead but Michael Pineda could not hold it.

Gardner homered in the first (14) to put the Yanks up 1-0. Headley homered in the second (11) to make it 2-0.

But Pineda gave up a HR to Bautista in the fourth. 2-1.

A-Rod hit a 2-run HR (31, 685 career) to make it 4-1 in the fourth. But Pineda could not hold that lead, giving up two homers and three runs to make it 4-4.

Toronto got a HR off of Dellin Betances in the eighth. 5-4. I am worried about Betances’ workload and recent outings. He seems to have tired and his outings lately have not been sharp.

The Yanks tied it in the eighth, but here is where they may have lost the game. Ellsbury and Gardner walked, and after an out, there was a WP. Ellsbury moved up but Gardner didn’t. Why not? Because when McCann singled, it tied the game instead of putting the Yanks up. The Yanks loaded the bases with one out when A-Rod walked, but they could not get the run in as Headley popped up and Bird’s sharp grounder was stabbed and Bird was thrown out on a nice play by Toronto’s second baseman. The failure to score that second run was fatal.

It was brutal how the Yanks lost this game in the eleventh. Toronto scored four runs on only one hit. Five walks and a HBP. Sheesh.

Pineda 5 1/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 walks and 5K. 4.25
Wilson 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.12
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.48
Miller 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 1.87
Mitchell (L, 0-2, 5.47) 1/3 IP, 3 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 1 K.
Shreve 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 walks and 1 K. 2.44
Goody 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.45

Game 2.

Ivan Nova had nothing and was knocked out in the second inning when he gave up six runs. I don’t know if it is the adjustment or fatigue from coming back off the Tommy John surgery but in his last seven starts, Nova’s ERA has jumped from 3.10 to 5.11.

Brett Gardner hit a 3-run HR (15) in the fifth to cut it to 6-3. A Didi Gregorius double in the sixth cut it to 6-4 but with runners on second and third and one out the Yanks couldn’t get the hit to tie the game. Young PH and popped up and the slumping Ellsbury lined out.

The Blue Jays immediately responded with four in the top of the seventh. Here is something else I find questionable. Girardi let Chris Capuano start the seventh inning. Granted he had pitched three scoreless innings prior to the seventh, but…. it’s Capuano. He was DFA’d FOUR times by the Yanks in the last month, cleared waivers all FOUR times, was optioned down to AAA, well, you get the point. A fourth inning for Capuano in the biggest series of the year? Sorry, I don’t get it. Sure enough, the game got away. Four Toronto runs to make it 10-4.

Brett Gardner’s SECOND three-run HR of the game (16) and third of the doubleheader cut the lead to 10-7 in the bottom of the eighth but that was all she wrote. Gardner drove in six of the Yanks’ seven runs in the game.

Nova (L, 6-8, 5.11) 1 2/3 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 1 walk and 1 K.
Rumbelow 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 2.84
Capuano 3 2/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 7.91
Pinder 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 2.45
Pazos 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00

Boston’s David Ortiz joined the 500 HR club today.

Game 132. Yanks outslug Boston 13-8.


The Yanks jumped out to an early 11-1 lead and held on for a 13-8 win over Boston up in Fenway yesterday. They remain 1 1/2 back of Toronto in the AL East (don’t the Blue Jays ever lose?) with a 74-58 record.

The Yanks hit five HR in the game.

After Masahiro Tanaka gave up a run in the first, the Yanks bounced back with eight in the second. Greg Bird (3) hit a 2-run HR and it was immediately followed by John Ryan Murphy’s solo blast (2).  Chris Young’s single made it 4-1, A-Rod’s single 6-1 and then Carlos Beltran’s 2-run HR (14, 387th career) made it 8-1.

Stephen Drew’s 3-run HR in the third (17) made it 11-1 Yanks.

In the fifth, Didi Gregorius’ solo shot (8) made it 12-1.

Then the Yanks had to hold on. The one thing I didn’t like was that after taking a 12-1 lead, the Yanks still had to use Wilson, Betances and Miller because some middle relievers struggled. Oh well, today is a day off anyway, but how nice it would have been to give Wilson, Betances and Miller all two days off.

Tanaka gave up a run in the fifth, a HR in the sixth…. 12-3.

Boston got two in the seventh off of Tanaka and Andrew Bailey, who was making his first MLB appearance in over two years. 12-5.

Jose Pirela singled in a run for the Yanks in the eighth. 13-5, then Boston tacked on three late runs for the final score of 13-8.

Gregorius, after a slow start, is on fire, getting his average up to .272. Even Drew, way under .200 for most of the year, is now at .211.

It was Joe Girardi’s 800th career win as manager.

Tanaka (W, 11-6,  3.73) 6 1/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 5 K.
Bailey 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 0 K. 27.00
Wilson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.17.
Mitchell 1/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 4.56
Betances 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.30
Cotham 0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 12.27
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walks and 1 K. 1.86.