Saturday, November 18, 2017

All Talk and No Action...

Credit:  Rich Schultz, Getty Images
Moving on to the Next Round?…

The Baseball off-season continues to move at a snail’s pace. Of course, things will change as we get past the Thanksgiving holiday and move into December and closer to the Baseball Winter Meetings.

In the meantime, we continue to pick apart every little thing that happens ad nauseum.  We learned this week that Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner not only supported GM Brian Cashman’s decision to sever ways with former manager Joe Girardi, he agreed with it and it has been something that they’ve had talks about for the past several years. Of course, that leads me to believe that it was Steinbrenner’s call and there are details that we may never really know. We do know there were perceived communication issues and that Girardi had failed to connect with the clubhouse, particularly over the last couple of seasons. Given how vocal both Cashman and Steinbrenner have been about the Girardi situation, it seems like there are more issues at play than just communication and connectivity to players. Steinbrenner implied that the Yankees would have made this decision even if the Yankees had won the World Series.  

Although Girardi lasted a decade in the Bronx, he’s now been fired twice by ownership groups that gave scathing departing remarks. Girardi was NL Manager of the Year for the Florida Marlins in 2006, yet he was fired after the season. Then-owner Jeffrey Loria almost fired Girardi on the spot during an August game when Girardi told Loria to stop heckling the home plate umpire. Girardi may have done a decent managing job for the Yankees but you have to think that future teams will take a more cautious approach when/if considering him for managerial openings. I don’t know Girardi so I cannot attest to his personality beyond what I’ve seen during his pre- and post-game interviews but there’s something there, if I was an owner, that would give me pause about Girardi. I have no hard feelings against the man and I hope that he gets another opportunity in MLB but it was clearly time for a change.

Credit:  John Raoux, Associated Press
Upon the conclusion of the GM Meetings in Orlando, Florida, this week, GM Brian Cashman resumed his managerial interviews.  

Former Yankee Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens was in the Bronx on Thursday. I really like Meulens. I know that a lot of people have scoffed at the guy and he has no managerial experience, but I like his communication style (handles himself very well in interviews) and he is clearly a guy that knows baseball and relationships.  He is fluent with multiple languages including a little bit of Japanese which gives him the ability to talk directly to the majority of players without the assistance of interpreters. He enjoys a great relationship with shortstop Didi Gregorius, whom he managed in the WBC Classic. Meulens has been part of three World Series championships in San Francisco.  

Credit:  ESPN Internet Ventures
Cashman also spoke with former Yankee Aaron Boone on Friday. Boone is best remembered for his home run to the beat the Boston Red Sox in the 2003 American League Championship Series, a year before the Sox finally ended the Curse of the Bambino. It was Boone’s 2004 knee injury, suffered in a pre-season basketball game, that led the Yankees to their acquisition of Alex Rodriguez and the drama that ensued. Boone, as everyone knows, comes from a family rich in MLB tradition, with a grandfather, father and brother that were all Major Leaguers. There’s  no doubt he is an intelligent guy but like Meulens, no managerial experience, and unlike Meulens, no coaching experience.  

I think either Meulens or Boone could do a good job if they are surrounded by the right coaches. I kind of like the idea of using either Al Pedrique or Eric Wedge as the new manager’s bench coach. I would not be disappointed to see Rob Thomson return to that role. It appears that Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward is next up for a managerial interview. I don’t really know much about Woodward so I don’t have any opinions about him.  At this point, I clearly prefer Meulens and Boone over him. Not sure if Woodward will be the last of the candidates before we start Round 2 or if there will be more guys paraded through the Bronx.  The next round will feature a trip to Florida to meet with the Steinbrenner family.  I’d probably take the candidates by Trinity Memorial Gardens in Trinity, FL. If the ground rumbles (the Boss turning over in his grave), you know the candidate is probably not the one.  

I am anxious for the Yankees to make a decision, but I understand they are under no pressure to hurry and can afford to take their time. Outside of Shohei Otani, they do not figure to be big players in Free Agency despite the greedy nature of us, the fans. CC Sabathia has already said that he’d return despite not knowing who the next manager will be. So, for now, we wait…

All Rise for the Judge!…

Congratulations to Aaron Judge for being named AL Rookie of the Year, as expected, and his second place finish in the AL MVP voting. I expected the AL MVP vote to be much closer than it really was. Jose Altuve took 27 of 30 first place votes with only two going to Judge. There was some outrage from the media but the class exhibited by Judge was so professional and heartfelt (as we have come to expect with the big slugger). After Altuve won, Judge tweeted: “M-V-P!!! Nobody more deserving than you!! Congrats on an unforgettable 2017!! @JoseAltuve27”. Judge makes me proud that he is a Yankee every day.

Yankee Dreams extinguished…

The Yankees lost a long-time farmhand and one-time top prospect when outfielder Mason Williams signed a minor league free agent deal with the Cincinnati Reds. I am sorry that it never worked out for Williams in Pinstripes. I had very high hopes at one point that never came to fruition. Hopefully, for his sake, the change of scenery helps him achieve some the success that had once seemed inevitable for the talented 26-year-old.  

Credit:  Jim McIsaac, Getty Images
Another former Yankees prospect, a few years removed from the organization, pitcher Manny Banuelos, has signed a minors deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when Williams and Banuelos were the top prospects with the Yankees. Of course Banuelos was part of the Killer B’s (the trio of Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman). 

The only Killer B that made it was Betances. Like Williams, I hope that Banuelos can find success in Chavez Ravine. He has failed to impress the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Angels so maybe fourth time’s a charm. I really liked Banuelos as a young prospect and had hoped to see him achieve MLB success. 

And we continue to wait. Go Yankees!


  1. My wife and I totally disagree with your opinion on the search for Girardi's replacement. In our opinion, the decision not to resign Joe was a mistake that was rooted in ego; ironically, not analytical. After making the decision not to resign Joe -apparently during the season according to Hal - it is inconceivable that they did not have a specific plan in place to sign his replacement. Now, we are told that they are putting candidates through a "car wash of interviews". Please tell me they had a plan before embarking on this disaster !!! The candidates they are entertaining have either no, little or marginal managerial experience. Translation: Unproven & Unqualified! Joe was a winning Manager (200 games over 500).And he never embarrassed himself or the organization in the media. Cashman sure did! The decision not to resign Joe was a mistake. If the Yanks go 45 - 55 in the first 100 games, Hal & Cash should avoid coming to the Stadium. Cashman sucks.

    1. I think they do have a plan. The plan is to find a "Yes" man that will do whatever Cashman says. This is clearly his team, and I think he wants to make every single decision associated with it. I'm not saying it's a good plan, but I think it is the plan.

    2. I agree with you Levin. I don't like this plan as I still am not sold on the elf. He made some good trades recently and the drafting has been a little better, but still no ace has ever been drafted and developed by the elf. This group of people that were interviewed made my stomach cringe. If elf wants this to be his team then make himself the manager. I think when this blows up in his face he will blame the manager and get a reprieve.

  2. I must respectfully disagree with you guys on many levels.
    Most of you complained about Joe and how he handled the team for the last few years.
    Maybe some fans think they are smarter than the GMs' around the baseball game, in very few cases you may be right but not in this case.

    The first thing to remember is why Cashman was put in the job he has...
    Watson/Stick was NOT good at organization work, but they had an assistant. that was very good at it by the name of Cashman. Thus, when they walked out they turned it over to Cashman and "King George" ok'ed it.
    As you all may remember, George ran the team his trading away all young talent and making our Farm System the bottom feeder of the baseball world. Hal/Hank took over and it was impossible to make any deals without getting the ok from the front office.
    Then a funny thing happened, (I believe) Cashman got through to Hal...if you want to save money and get under the Cap use the players down on the farm. So, about 4+ years ago we saw the start of the new direction with the Farm System. People being let go and new blood coming in at the minor league level.
    Now, drafting, along with some damn good trades, we have the makings of a dominant team for the
    It was time for Joe to go, as far as having a yes man or Cashman having an Ego trip try this on for size...Hal is the BOSS Cashman now works with him and does what he is told. Working with your Boss is not the same as doing everything you are told without discourse.
    No Ego, just sound baseball. Cashman takes the heat for his decisions.

    1. I wasn't slamming Cashman Reed. Simply stating an opinion that this was now his team, and wants a manager that's on the same page as him. Don't you think that if this was a decision that was a couple years in the making, according to Hal, that they would have a better idea of who they Wanted? It seems to me that this is the biggest hodge-podge of random candidates that I've ever seen.

    2. Jeff, I didn't mean to imply you were wrong or that I was right. I was just showing another side of the penny.
      Besides, everyone has their own opinion, who is to say which of the many are right?

      I don't comment to denigrate anyone, this is a free exchange of ideas and opinions Blog.

    3. Hypocrisy runs wild among Yankees fans. They say they don't like a guy, but when he's no longer around they mourn for him. It's pathetic. You want to see an example of "the grass is always greener on the other side"? Watch a conversation about the Yankees. They are right up there with people loving the backup QB.

    4. Joe G., never said a bad word about him, didn't agree with him many times. When you think about it, we as fans know what we know from the newspapers and stats (I like to watch and see if stats/sibermaticts(?) add up to what I see) and reports of the (So Called) experts.
      We sit at home or Bar watching the game and yell at the tube (Manager really) for something he did in the pinch-hitting for the best clutch hitter at the wrong time. But we don't know our hitter jammed his finger in the outfield in the last inning. So, it is us that made the wrong decision, not the manager...what one doesn't know can hurt you even in everyday life.
      Not saying I am sad to see him was time to change things up. This is going to be a team of young players not the vets he has been use to...he is old school (play the vets). I think...I know, I am old school but I use the best people for the situation at hand.

  3. Ken Reed summed up exactly how I feel about this. I should have done a better illustrating the points and the history like he did.


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