This is an off the cuff rant about a recent Sports Guy podcast. If you don’t listen to him, feel free to sit this one out.
I really don’t know why I do this to myself, but once again I listened The Sports Guy’s podcast on ESPN.com where he had his Yankee fan friend JackO on. Actually, I know why I do it: they’re funny guys. But it’s painful when they actually talk baseball because they know absolutely nothing. I disagree with them on every single point. It’s unreal.
I’m not going to post a transcript of their conversation, because that would take forever, but you can find the audio here.
Every week The Sports Guy gives Jack-O a call to ask him how worried he is about the Yankees season. Well, after the Yankees’ rough weekend in Fenway, he’s ready to throw in the towel. I’m not even joking. He says the season is over, the Yankees are an 80 win team, and he’d trade any player on the roster for Kevin Youkilis. Oh yeah, and they should “blow the team up.” Oh it gets better.
– To get it out of the way, he and The Sports Guy both say how dumb it is not to have Joba in the bullpen. I can’t talk about this issue much more without quitting my job and devoting my life to it. On what planet does it make sense to use one of your best players in the least important role? Supposedly the Yankees have instead turned Joba into a “mediocre” starter. What is your definition of mediocre? Doesn’t Joba have an ERA under 3 as a starter? If you put all his starts into one season, he’d be a Cy Young contender.
– JackO wants Girardi fired because he’s a stats guy, always using his computer. Um… not so much. If you haven’t noticed, Girardi insists on bunting at every possible opportunity. Which, of course, is statistically hardly ever the right move. I could go on, but I think that’s enough.
– They discuss the credentials of Dave Eiland versus those of his predecessor, Ron Guidry. Supposedly, Guidry was run out of town and Eiland is awful. Why is Guidry superior? Because he is a name that JackO knows. That’s the exact kind of logic that ruins teams. Go ask the Lakers how well Magic Johnson worked out as a coach. Ron Guidry was a terrible hire for precisely that reason: the Yankees hired him because Yankee fans know who he is.
– Of course, both the SG and JackO discredit Brian Cashman as the real reason for the Yankees “troubles.” Of course, I vehemently disagree with this. JackO keeps mentioning how they’re “abandoning their plan” for youth, which is also not even remotely true. The plan was, why trade away our top players to sign a declining Johan Santana for top dollar, when we can just sign the more durable CC Sabathia for the same money? It made sense then and it still does, even if CC is off to his usual slow start.
Oh and no mention of Brian Cashman absolutely stealing Nick Swisher? Of course not.
According to the SG, Cashman is around because he’s nice to the press. Again – insane. The whole reason Cashman agreed to come back was because he didn’t want to be written off as having brought down the Yankees – because that’s the way the media spins it. In reality, Cashman has overcome many terrible decisions that were made by those above him (Jaret Wright, Tony Womack, Sheff over Vlad, Randy Johnson, etc) to make the Yankees annual playoff contenders. He has reinvested the Yankees in the draft and youth. He stepped in and called up Cano and Wang in ’05. The Yankees drafted Hughes, Joba, Kennedy, and all the talented players the Yankees now have in their farm system thanks to this reevaluation.
– They discuss the Yankee bullpen, which I have already discussed at length. Apparently the Yankees should have gone out and bought some bullpen pieces. Did you guys ever see Kyle Farnsworth pitch? That’s what happens when you try to sign middle relief. Yeah, I’m so sorry Cashman didn’t sign Bobby Howry, Scott Linebrink, and all the other high priced middle relievers of the past few years. Notice the trend? They are all terrible and their teams always regret signing them. Guess what happens if Jose Veras or Edwar Ramirez can’t cut it? We put them in the minors and try someone else. Can’t do that when you’re on the hook for a lengthy major league deal.
I’m gonna stop there, but I really just hope they go back and replay this podcast later in the year so we can all laugh at how ridiculous it is.
EDIT 12:22pm: I almost forgot the worst part. JackO calls Mariano Rivera the “most overrated player.” He’s correct that closers are overrated in general (and this is the same guy calling for Joba in the 8th!), but calling out Mo? Blasphemy. JackO, you have had the privilege since 1996 of watching the greatest relief pitcher ever. Stop your whining. Yeah, you mentioned some of his blown saves, but the amount of failures he’s had for his career are like 1 or 2 seasons for someone else. 2004 was more Tom Gordon’s fault anyways, but still – 2003 Mo pitched 3 shutout innings to win the game. His postseason ERA is under .8. But yeah, Rivera’s definitely the problem here, because there are so many closers that could shut down the Red Sox in Fenway with 100% certainty.