Monday, April 30, 2007


An entire weekend of NFL draft and Miller Genuine Draft, and it's safe to say that in the spirit of Kwanzaa, I've got a problem with most of you people.

I really don't want to get into the Philly draft, mostly because I can't really comprehend what was going on. The 2nd-round QB has me mind-bent, and while I realize I'm slightly less risk-adverse than most (HI POKER), passing on Bush was hilarious, even for the current Eagles regime and their stodgy (and successful) personnel strategies.

Instead, let's talk about firing Joe Torre - one more reason why I could never be a Yankees fan. The Dan Duquette administration had more than its fair share of bizarre moves and reactionary drivel (hellooooooooooo Mike Lansing/Dante Bichette), this is certain. However, the sheer amount of drive shown by the NYC press, along with Steinbrenner's zeal (which, while commendable, works as a detriment as much as a positive - see: the 1980s), lead to such ridiculous situations that I can't really get over it easily.

Firing Torre would be just surreal - there's absolutely no chance you can blame him for the team's start. The Yankees are near the top of the league in runs scored (lead AL/2nd MLB), and their bullpen (while tattered) is not the glaring weakness most are claiming, in spite of Rivera's noted problems. The problem is mostly starting pitching, and specifically injuries. While research has shown a correlation between injuries and certain staffs, the Yankees have never really had problems - most of these are probably flukes.

Certainly, you cannot blame overwork here - Torre's bullpen usage is remarkably inefficient and suboptimal, but with possible exception of not controlling Wang's innings somewhat better, his use of starters has been flawless for years. He's willing to adapt (throwing starters from the pen on their throw days) and doesn't overwork needlessly. The starters, quite simply, cannot blame Torre, nor can the offense.

He also shouldn't be punished for Karstens sucking, or Igawa adjusting slowly, or Chase Wright being a punching bag. There is no alternative that is clearly more desirable. To reward a guy who has done great things with this team by using him as a scapegoat (all this after 1/8th of a season) is horrifyingly shortsighted at best, and borderline negligent at worst.

On an unrelated note, I've watched all of Matsuzaka's starts this year - I have absolutely no problem with his pitch selection or use of multiple types . . . so Ryan, I think you're 100% wrong. Unless you can identify which of his breaking or off-speed pitches are actually below-average offerings, I can't see anything specific that gets him into trouble other than locating the fastball early.

The only flaw with Daisuke so far is that he loses a little bit of command out of the stretch, so teams are taking a little more against him to try to get him out of the windup. He'll have to adjust - however, with his borderline-retarded 10+ K/9 and almost 4:1 K/BB ratio, color me unconcerned - exactly half of his earned runs have come against the Yankees, who have the best hitting lineup in modern baseball history, and he's still only at 4.38 ERA. All good in this hood.

Also all good: this Diplo remix of TV on the Radio's "Starting at the Sun" - just unreal. This whole Baltimore gutter scene has me super excited, in a scared white boy way.
TVotR - Staring at the Sun (Diplo Hollertronix mix)


Mitch Kayak said...

Touche batman.

I figured his loss of control down the stretch was pitch selection.

you are correct though, I can't actually pick out which one is giving him trouble. So I will bow to the master.

RC said...

Word guy - here are Matsuzaka's splits right now (AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS):

No one on:
.247 .284 .364 .648

Runners on:
.234 .351 .298 .649

So he's clearly giving up more walks with runners on (losing some command), but he's giving up fewer extra base hits, keeping his OPS the same. So really, I'm thinking it's nearly a wash . . .