Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who Should Be On The Hot Seat?

"Hold on, I'll have Girardi's Christmas gift in a second."

Joe Girardi has been getting a lot of crap thrown his way. Although I don't think it's all justified, though. It does bother me than Joe keeps putting Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez into the lineup, when Chris Dickerson has earned the chance to get some regular at bats and playing time. And while Joe Torre had a knack for knowing when to put on the hit and run, I could probably count the number of times Girardi has called a hit and run this season on one hand.

I understand fan frustration, as I almost ruined my 56" flat screen tv Friday night by throwing my remote through it. People are always looking for a scapegoat... somebody to put all the blame on when things aren't going well. Bobby Valentine is not somebody I'd want coaching my team, but I think the Red Sox problems go much deeper than Bobby V. But it's Valentine that's on the hot seat.

So the question is... should Joe Girardi be fired? River Avenue Blues is actually running a poll on this subject. And my choice was "he shouldn't be fired and he won't be".

Relax, buddy, your ax will taste blood.

Managers have been the scapegoat for struggling teams for as long as we can remember. Face it, they can be replaced a hell of a lot easier than the players can. And more often than not, it's the players that are to blame for the team's struggles. That's not to say managers mean nothing to Ws and Ls, but you can't tell me that the Yankees' issues over the last month or so is the fault of Joe Girardi.

From the beginning of August through last night, the team is hitting .258/.329/.425. That batting average would currently be 8th in the American League, while that on-base percentage and slugging percentage would both be 5th. And in 14 games so far in September they've hit .238/.323/.395. So it's not like the offense is really doing "their thing". Oh, and I won't bother bringing up the infamous #RISPFail hash-tag.

I tried to get #RISPFlouder to catch on, but was unsuccessful.

So what should the team do? Nothing? Just go into the 2013 season hoping things work out better? Before I tell you my idea, let me ask a few questions...

  • Why has a guy with a career batting average of .260 been scraping and crawling in order to get above the Mendoza Line (Russell Martin)?
  • The last 2+ seasons Mark Teixeira has not been close to the guy the Yankees signed before the 2009 season. Here's a guy that hit .306, .308, and .292 between 2007 and 2009, and in the past 2+ seasons he's hit .253. What's up with that?
  • Why is it that ARod had an OBP of .392 or higher between 2005 and 2009, but the last 2+ years Alex hasn't been above .362? Not to mention that the guy hasn't had a batting average above .278 the last 2+ seasons. By the way, I don't think you can attribute that drop all to steroids.
Fans probably have other questions regarding batters, but I'm going to add one more thing...
  • At the beginning of the 2011 season, when his batting stance was changed, Derek Jeter was hitting .206. .206! Sure, it was not a huge sample size, but we're talking about a guy that's in the hunt for the batting title here in 2012, and has a career batting average of .314. 
Does this look like a guy that bats .206?

The one constant through all of these things is Kevin Long. The only good thing Kevin Long has seemingly done is turn around Curtis Granderson in August of 2010. Curtis was especially struggling against left-handed pitchers, and this season he has the 2nd most home runs against lefties. Then again, the Grandy Man is currently batting .234 with a .322 OBP, so that "turn around" didn't last very long. Except for Granderson's home run production.

Kevin Long has one more year left on the 3 year deal he signed to be the Yankees hitting coach before the 2011 season. Part of me wants to see the team eat that last year and find somebody else. Sure, the offense has had plenty of success in the past with Long around, but lately it seems like things aren't working out. There shouldn't be that many questions surrounding hitters, especially a perennial all-star, a possible Hall of Famer, and a definite Hall of Famer.

Remember... nothing lasts forever.

Well, except for Joan Rivers face.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)