Tag: Joe Girardi

The 2019 Yankees It’s Not What You Want Meter, Revisited

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As the 2019 season has reached its conclusion, I figured it was time to revive my It’s Not What You Want guide. You may remember it my last post at River Avenue Blues before it went to the great blog in the sky.

If you’re unfamiliar, the concept is simple. Remember that catchphrase for Joe Girardi, It’s not what you want? The one he said at countless pressers and has continued in his time as a broadcaster? Well, it can be used to describe anything in life or baseball.

So with the Yankees bowing out in the ALCS, it’s time to rank parts of their season and the surrounding accouterments on a scale of 1-5 Girardis. One Girardi means It Actually Is What You Want, Five Girardis means It’s ABSOLUTELY NOT What You Want. Let’s get to it.

The Yankees’ Absence from the Fall Classic: Five Girardis



Like many of you, I haven’t quite been able to process Saturday’s defeat. I’m writing this during early stages of World Series Game 1, but I have Pelicans-Raptors on instead (Side Note: Go Pelicans!). I’ll put the Fall Classic on eventually, but I can’t quite bear to watch the Astros go for their second ring right now. There’s a silent force preventing me from changing the channel.

Houston was the better team in the ALCS, but the Yankees had a real opportunity to win that series. Games 2, 3 and 6 were all within reach, and even Game 4 featured early opportunities to seize control. The Bombers were outscored by just one run over six games and won just two.

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The Offseason Outlook: 3.5 Girardis

If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to the season, then buddy, I have a heck of a painful time in store for you. CC Sabathia has retired. Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius and Dellin Betances are all among the Yankees’ free agents, and none of that trio have a certain future in the Bronx.

You can talk yourself into this being a chance for the Yankees to get Gerrit Cole — Believe me, we’re gonna write about that a ton — but 29 other fanbases want Cole, too. A couple of handfuls have realistic hopes, but there’s no clear favorite. Not even the Bombers.

If this winter is anything like the 2018-19 edition, it could be slow and painful. The Yankees could make shrewd acquisitions without adding Cole — DJ LeMahieu, James Paxton and Adam Ottavino come to mind from last year — but it’s most likely going to be a slow burn.

The Hicks Homer and the Good Memories: One Girardi

This postseason wasn’t all bad just because the ending was the Sudden Departure mixed with taking a Louisville Slugger to the skull.

I’m going to choose to remember some other things even as Altuve’s homer is burned into my retinas. Gleyber’s go-ahead double in ALDS Game 1. Didi’s grand slam. Gleyber and Tanaka dominating to start the ALCS.

Even towards the end, the Yankees provided two near iconic moments: Aaron Hicks hitting one off the foul pole to finally hand Justin Verlander a loss to the Yankees in October, and DJ LeMahieu’s tying blast in Game 6. I already wrote about the LeMahieu dinger, so here’s the Hicks video for the fun of it.

Joe Girardi the favorite for managerial gigs: One Girardi

This IS What You Want.

Look, Aaron Boone was a Manager of the Year candidate and was uniquely equipped to deal with the Yankees’ rash of injuries this season. He’s an improved manager from Year 1 and overall rates out well in my book.

But if you follow my Twitter account, you’ll notice some clear Girardi affinity. His catchphrase truly stuck with me, plus he was a legitimately good manager in the Bronx. Sure, he was too rigid with certain issues, but he kept the Bombers going through some rough stretches just like Boone.

Whether he joins the Phillies, Cubs or crosstown rivals, it would be nice to see the manager back in action. It’ll be a shame to lose him from broadcasts, where he brought plenty of fun to the booth with AJ Pierzynski in the Division Series.

But yes, I am looking forward to some more #INWYW.

The 155 Days until Opening Day: Three Girardis

Would I love to watch some live Yankees baseball today? Of course. The offseason always features the notable absence of baseball, which is what we set out calendars to from March through October. Waiting five months for regular season games means getting through the aforementioned offseason and hopefully a healthier Spring Training.

But we could also use some distance from the end of 2019. Some time to process the devastating ALCS. A chance to find renewed hope in a championship and further remove from what some might consider a failure. Enjoy the next five months. Get reacquainted with family members you’ve ignored. It’s a chance for us all to make new hobbies that we’ll promptly give up come the spring.

News & Notes: Sign stealing, the ones that got away, Tanaka, Reddick, Girardi

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I don’t know about you, but it feels like time has crawled since the end of Game 3. The rainout yesterday obviously hasn’t helped, but I can’t wait until it’s Tanaka time come 8pm or so. I’m exhausted from rehashing what went wrong in Games 2 and 3 and there’s been too much free time to do that. It probably hasn’t helped that the NLCS ended quite quickly; the Nationals sweep of the Cardinals hasn’t allowed for any distractions over the past couple of days. For now though, to kill some time between now and first pitch tonight, here’s a news and notes roundup.

The Yankees and Astros argued back and forth over Houston’s alleged sign stealing

Honestly, I’m so over talk of this and pitch tipping. Sure, the Astros have developed a reputation for this kind of gamesmanship, but I have a hard time getting up in arms about it. Especially because, as Andy Martino reported, the Yankees were enraged by Houston’s behavior in Game 1, when they handled the Astros with ease 7-0.

Sign stealing is part of the game, but apparently, Houston drew ire because they went too far in the Yankees’ view. Apparently, whistling to relay information is wrong, but other more subtle methods are OK. Whatever. The Yankees need to just beat the Astros on the field. As long as Houston’s not cheating with some sort of advanced technology, which there’s absolutely no evidence of, the Yankees need to do better. Just beat them on the field.

Just to close this out — MLB found no wrongdoing:

The Astros and Nationals have reminded the Yankees of pitchers that could have donned pinstripes

“Gerrit, you know we were almost Yankees.”

Lindsey Adler of The Athletic (subs. required) gave a good overview of where the Yankees’ pitching staff stands with Game 4 upcoming and no days off the rest of the series. Even though the Yankees’ pitching staff as a whole has done a great job suppressing run scoring against Minnesota and Houston, we’re starting to see the toll of not having starters capable of giving length. Aside from Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees’ starters have struggled to go more than three or four innings.

The issues with getting five or six innings regularly from the rotation is in stark contrast of not only the Yankees’ current opponent, but also the National League Champion Nationals. And of course, both teams have workhorse starters that the Yankees could have had, as Adler notes. Justin Verlander could have been had as a waiver claim in 2017, Patrick Corbin could have been a Yankee had the team been willing to offer him six instead of five years, and Gerrit Cole could have been acquired via trade following 2017. Max Scherzer, who is not mentioned in this piece, was signed by Washington before the 2015 season in free agency. The Yankees theoretically could have (should have!) signed him too.

Now, the lack of starters who regularly give length doesn’t mean the Yankees can’t overcome this 2-1 deficit against Houston. It just provides an added challenge.

What makes Masahiro Tanaka so good in the postseason?

ESPN’s Marly Rivera wrote about tonight’s starter, Masahiro Tanaka, and what makes him so successful in big moments. He now has a 1.32 ERA in 41 postseason innings, which is just absurd.

There are a few good quotes in here, mainly from Yu Darvish but also from Aaron Boone. The forthcoming Darvish quote takes the cake:

“If anything, Tanaka has posted better numbers in the postseason than myself, so I don’t think I have much advice to give him,” Darvish told ESPN. “It may be because his sense of personal responsibility is strong, and he competes with the mentality of going to kill his opponent.”

Yu Darvish

With Tanaka going tonight, you have to feel pretty confident about leveling this series at two a piece. I never, ever, want to hear anyone complain about his regular season ups and downs ever again.

Josh Reddick takes exception to Yankee Stadium crowd

Yankee Stadium in October isn’t the most welcoming environment for road teams. We’ve seen this time and time again, whether in prior years or as recently as the ALDS with the “Uber” chants directed at Twins’ starter Randy Dobnak. It’s come up once again in the ALCS, with this time Josh Reddick taking the brunt of it.

For what it’s worth, he doesn’t seem to be upset about anything said to him. He even seems mildly impressed with some of the comments received. But, he rightfully took exception to things being thrown on the field. That’s definitely dangerous and over the line.

Joe Girardi expects to manage in 2020

The one time player and manager for the Yankees stepped down from his gig with USA baseball yesterday, perhaps hinting at things intensifying for him on the managerial front. Girardi looks like a plausible hire for the Mets, Phillies, and Cubs.

News & Notes: Aaron Hicks, ALDS Fallout, Yankee Stadium, ALCS Schedule, Old Friends, The Other ALDS

The first of four off days is upon us. As expected, there was very little news coming out of Yankeeland today as the team travels back to New York following last night’s celebration. More to come in the following days, obviously. The Yankees will begin playing for the pennant on Saturday. They have 8 wins to go to reach the promised land for the first time since 2009. I believe in them.

You’ve probably been watching highlights all day, but I do want to flag one thing that I found positively hilarious: Brett Gardner beating the shift last night. Watch the video here:

Look at that. Sanó slides over right before the pitch and Gardner slapped the ball right to where he was. It was a huge hit–a 2-out RBI to make the lead 2-0 after Sevy left the bases loaded in the 2nd–and a classic Gardner hit. One of those hits that remind you of an earlier era. In one million years, you’ll never convince me that Brett Gardner didn’t do that on purpose. As we say a lot around here, and a longtime favorite phrase of RAB, Brett Gardner Forever. (As it happens, Matthew Trueblood wrote a whole post about this play today over at Baseball Prospectus, which you should check out.)

Anyway, Gardner aside, here are today’s headlines.

ALDS Fallout: Reactions, Injury Updates, Aaron Hicks Sighting

The Athletic (subs req’d for all) had a series of good articles about the Yankees today, as is expected. First, Ken Rosenthal profiled Luis Severino with a story about how he made the Yankees fall in love with him way back in 2011 during a series of workouts in the Dominican Republic. As Rosenthal tells it, Severino was being courted by the Rockies as well, but what made the Yankees truly commit was a commitment to pitching during his second workout for the team.

Sick with a stomach bug and throwing up in the dugout, Severino insisted on pitching anyway, and Rosenthal reports:

Two innings, same fastball, same slider. Now, Rowland was even more impressed. Sure, the kid was motivated – he had grown up a Yankees fan, and he wanted to get signed. But Rowland was struck by Severino’s character, his fortitude. This was a pitcher who might develop into the type of stopper he was on Monday night, pitching four scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory to help the Yankees complete their three-game sweep of the Twins in the Division Series.

As I mentioned, the piece is behind a paywall but Rosenthal told this story on last night’s broadcast so I’m not sharing anything new here. Check out the whole thing here.

Lindsey Adler also had a nice piece covering the continued growth of Gleyber Torres that is worth checking out, too. Cashman is quoted as saying Gleyber is talented in a way that few other players are, and I have to say: I agree. Good stuff from Lindsey as always. The Athletic is worth the subscription, in my opinion.

Dellin Betances traveled with the team to serve as a “big cheerleader” for his buddy Severino, he told the Times’ James Wagner. That just warms my heart.

Finally, there is no news about Aroldis Chapman (injured wrist from a bottle in the celebration) or Zack Britton (ankle) but both injuries are still expected to be minor. We’ll update once we get something concrete.

However, there is one new piece of information: Aaron Hicks feels healthy and “definitely ready to go out there and play” according to Mark Didtler of the Associated Press. Huh. That’s an interesting an unexpected development! He’s working out in Tampa, facing live pitching, and throwing. Who knew? More to come as it develops. The link also has updates on a few other Yankees on the taxi squad, if you’re interested.

Yankee Stadium Strikes Again

In another piece for The Athletic, Marc Carig profiled the 2019 Twins and it featured some…rather interesting (and familiar!) quotes about Yankee Stadium. Said Tyler Duffy:

“I’m trying to think of a nice way to say it,” Duffey said. “They [Yankee Stadium fans] hate you for no reason, which is what you want. They take full advantage of whatever they paid for that ticket and they get their full money’s worth.””

Duffy said more–he went into some vague detail about the nature of the heckling he received that, of course, mentioned some women in his life–but that’s not the part I want to focus. The Twins are now the second team in the last three postseason series at Yankee Stadium to speak publicly about the role the crowd has played. That seems…kind of embarrassing for the other teams!

But to be fair to Duffy, he personally played a big role in the Stadium’s noise. I mean, check out his performance here:

I’m trying to find a nice way to say this, but I have to be blunt with ya, Tyler: if you surrendering a towering grand slam to a fan favorite player in a close playoff matchup, the crowd might get loud! Don’t like it? Try getting an out. That might help.

Anyway, I say the Twins are the second team because the Astros also made similar comments following Games 3-5 of the 2017 ALCS. So said Dallas Keuchel, “”New York is no joke. Yankee Stadium is a tough place to play.” And Carlos Correa: “I never heard anything as loud as it was yesterday when Gary hit that double. Loudest I’ve ever been a part of. It was crazy.” And George Springer: “This is a wild place to play.”

It still hurts that the Yankees weren’t able to close the door on that series because, let me tell you, I’d still be gloating about it. But hey, whatever, baseball is fun even when you don’t win. Don’t remember? Enjoy this trip down memory lane:

ALCS Schedule

Speaking of the ALCS, the Yankees are returning there! Possibly even in a rematch of the Astros! We don’t have times yet, as that depends on the eventual winner of the other ALDS–imagine still playing in the ALDS?–so we can only share dates. But here’s what we do know so far:

  • Game 1: Saturday, October 12
  • Game 2: Sunday, October 13
  • Game 3: Tuesday, October 15
  • Game 4: Wednesday, October 16
  • Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, October 17
  • Game 6 (if necessary): Saturday, October 19
  • Game 7 (if necessary): Sunday, October 20

Long series are fun, but I’d prefer it if the Yankees were dousing themselves in champagne next Wednesday. Sound good? Good.

Old Friends

Two old friends are linked to the Mets’ managerial job, a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Former Yankee skipper Joe Girardi, who last managed a game in the 2017 ALCS, is said to be interested in the Mets job and the feeling is mutual. The same is true for Carlos Beltran, who of course played for the Mets and was fantastic as a player there.

I’d love to see Joe back on his feet as a manager, but like I said, the Mets? Meh. And as for Beltran, I want to see him get a gig but would rather he stay in the right borough as a special advisor, thank you very much.

The Other ALDS

Finally, Game 4 of the Other ALDS is about to get underway at Tropicana Field in Tampa. The Astros will look to punch their ticket back to the ALCS for the third consecutive season and set up a rematch of the 2017 series. The Rays will look to continue to play spoiler and keep things interesting. Justin Verlander will be taking on Diego Castillo at 7:07 pm on FS1. Check it out and go Rays! And then on Thursday, we root for an extra-innings slog in which every single pitcher on both teams must throw. Seems achievable!

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