Musings on Joe Giradi and the coaching staff, Plan 189, 2013 and moving forward.

A few voices are are questioning the return of Joe Giradi. Some of those voices would also like to see Kevin Long gone as scapegoats for this past summer. I'd like to see the pitching coach Rothschild go. I've seen too many young pitchers regressing since he's arrived that should have been progressing. A hitting coach is only as good the players he's working with. There's simply nothing you can do with a guy that has lost his skill to hit for whatever reason i.e. Wells, Ichiro. Or guys that simply don't have the ability to hit i.e. Stewart, Nix, the only thing you can teach or reteach them is where first base is and what to do with the bat and their feet if they do happen to luck into one.

Joe is a good manager of the talent he is given. He's not an exceptional manager but he does have a understanding of the game and certain situations within the game so he's capable enough but he has glaring weaknesses from my observation;
(1) he's too safe in going exactly by the book that he seldom uses gut feeling. The Binder works more than it doesn't but in a larger way the best player is not always in the line-up.

(1b) This also leads to being safe when it comes to handling players as I definitely feel this year (a) Adam Warren should have been stretching out by May as it was evident every one in the starting rotation not named Kuroda was struggling. (b) Phil Hughes by July should have either been in the bullpen, sent to the minors and or traded. (I understand a lot of that decision making process is front office but Giradi privately could have been more vocal). If he does come back I would hope he would be more vocal in saying he would rather manage with Almonte/Soriano than suffer with Ichiro. Sometimes it seems as if he doesn't have final say in whom he pencils in everyday.

(2) The exceptionally great managers of the game Weaver, Anderson, LaRussa, Stengal, Mack, Durocher, LaSorda is that all had the ability to light a fire under a struggling player's ass. Joe is too passive and almost dismissive of a player's poor play.

These are his weaknesses. What do they cost in terms of wins per year is hard to say. But this year I don't think it
would have matter it was just a shitty team partly due to injuries but that's part of the game. The Yankees survived other years of recent memory with injuries and remained competitive but those teams had suitable back up options available and not the garbage that some one else had thrown out. Sometimes another man's garbage is just that garbage. More than anything this dismal season is the doing of the front office and ownership. Surely we didn't acquire Vernon Wells to lead us to October any more than having Stewart, Overby, Nix, Revolving Door SS, Ichiro and Hefner for the entire year.

I think way back in March front office should had have a serious conversation with the coaches and honestly discussed where the Yankees would be September 29th. Because for all practical sense the boat had been taking on water for sometime and in March instead of putting down new planks of wood management opted for the cosmetic wallpaper. I understand the push for Plan 189 and honestly think the Yankees can build and sustain a competitive WS team for around 125 million a year but scouting and development have to improve at all levels. A good part of a players development is on a ML team. Sure David Adams, Zoile Almonte and Austin Romine looked absolutely horrid at times this year. But as a season ticket holder who already knows the season is a wash and that I am not watching a truly playoff competitive team I am more willing going through growing pains with Romine, Murphy, Warren, Claiborne, Joseph, Flores and Almonte than enduring the futile last gasps of Ichiro, Wells, Youkilis, Overby and so on.

In the end the Yankees not only miss the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years but the opportunity was missed to expose and develop on the ML level some of our more serious top prospects. Looking ahead at the free agency class of this winter there is not a lot of outstanding players in it. And more specifically last year we said goodbye to Martin and Swisher because of Plan 189 we didn't pursue other more significantly better options because of Plan 189 even when Granderson, Texiera and Jeter went down during ST Plan 189 was the focus. So if Plan 189 is still a goal and as a season ticket holder who had to sit at the stadium this past summer with the noxious smell of dung piles overpowering the stench of dead bodies in the outfield I don't want the Yankees to so conveniently dismiss Plan 189 as a bad idea. Because the idea once implemented has better benefits than wanton spending i.e. the ability to have better roster flexibility. But I regress what is good in this winter's free agency doesn't keep us under 189.

Trading up is a diminished option due to lack of any real pieces to trade on the ML roster. And any trade again involving using the farm system depletes said system. So we're back to square one. Square one is using in house options. And dragging Wells, Ichiro, Overby, Youkilis etc, etc, out again for 2014 will in no way improve the fragrance of the rotting corpse and simmering dung piles from drifting to the seats. 189 million is still a lot of money at your disposal Mr. Cashman to build and sustain championship winning baseball anywhere including New York. The only proper way to get to that figure and have the ability to sustain it given the current situation of the Yankees handicapped by several large immovable and aging contracts is going to be reached from within the organization for the greater part. Yes, occasionally there will be times when going outside the organization will have to be done but the fans should not be further subjected to pickings from the trash pile. With that said I adamantly feel that a year was lost by not giving several prospects more playing time for seasoning. Yes, this year was full of adversity and it's how one faces adversity is what people (customers) will remember. The Yankees took the easier path albeit a very putrid one of using past-prime plug-ins and stop-gaps instead of trusting the pieces that are their future. The future began in March and it is clamoring all the more loudly now.

I look back on Thursday as Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte came out for their friend Mariano Rivera all Legends of great Yankee Lore but in the background I see Murphy, Betances, Almonte, Nova, Warren, Joseph, Phelps and more who will put on those Pinstripes and say, 'I want that moment.' Because more than all the stats, records, money or championships that moment when all the world recognizes you as the best and with honest heart felt spontaneous out pouring of emotion say 'THANK YOU' I think you understand why you play baseball. For players like Wells, Overby, Hafner it's too late for them to get this lesson that came because of the excellence and commitment of Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Derek Jeter. To me when the Yankees play cast-offs instead of decent prospects it's like they're not passing on the torch of what Yankee greatness is and how it is achieved. So yeah I say keep Giradi because in that one moment of sending Jeter and Pettitte to the mound he showed to all the prospects what it truly means to excel under the lights of Yankee Stadium. You only have to look into the eyes of JR Murphy to see that a torch has been lit.

Still makes me cry.

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