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Wha' Happened?

There are tons of Yankee fans wondering, in the voice of Fred Willard in A Mighty Wind, "Wha' Happened"! O.K., maybe it's just me doing that. But many fans are concerned. A couple of crushing losses in a row could be directed at Joe Torre and his management of the bullpen. The Yanks pen pitched 12 innings over three days prior to yesterday's loss. Farnsworth was injured and Mariano Rivera and Scott Proctor were unavailable to close.

This has happened before. Recently Wang himself was called in to save a game because the pen was too worn down that day. Our starting pitching has been adequate and our offense has survived many injuries and slumps and stayed productive. The big concern of course is the way Torre is handling the bullpen. Tanyon Sturtze, Joe's "guy", is thankfully on the DL. So is our other enforcer Farnsworth. Rivera is asked constantly to pitch more than one inning, and even in non save situations, and Aaron Small is not nearly as effective as he was last season.

Ron Villone has been a standout, allowing 6 runs in 27 innings. Unfortunatly, inexplicably, he is not used as often as he should. The Bombers' only saving graces are the recovering arm of Otavio Dotel and motley crew in the minors. Torre's over-extension of the pen will hurt later in the season and come playoff time. Because the injury laden line-up, though solid, doesn't pose nearly the threat it used to the Yanks are feeling the effects of Torre's baffling pen management. In his head he's got a plan, but I'd hate to be at the end of another unsuccesful season attemting to answer "Wha' Happened".