The Yankee brass chased Joe Torre out of town because they wanted someone who was more than a baseball guy. When Joe Girardi was hired we were told we were getting a baseball lifer who could think creatively too.
And yet, all season long all I've seen is Joe Torre with a buzz cut.
Clearly, there's not much a manager can do about injuries. The team came to camp in great shape and every pitcher under 35 has faced time on the DL.
Also, I don't hold the manager particularly responsible for Robbie and Melky's slumps (though I do hold him responsible for playing them so often, especially Melky).
I despise the hit-and-run (forces the batter to swing at a pitch he might not otherwise, puts runner at added risk), and we've seen more hit-and-runs this season than I care to remember. But that's "baseball smart," so not really a fireable offense. Ditto bunts, the righty-lefty matchup, not using the best reliever in history in tie games on the road, and batting a speedy guy at the top of the lineup.
But we've seen Yankee relievers serve up grand slams on consecutive days.
Not necessarily a fireable offense, until you dig into the context.
Edwar Ramirez served up a grand slam to Mark Teixeira on his 26th pitch of the inning, following a 7-pitch walk (the second of the inning).
Damaso Marte's salami came on his 30th pitch of the 9th, his 42 of the night, and following a 6-pitch walk to Josh Hamilton. It was Marte's third walk in the inning!
Remember how we used to watch Joe Torre on autopilot while Farnsworth melted down? You could feel the entire Stadium staring at the dugout begging Joe to wake up from his green tea educed nap. That's how I've felt during these last couple of games.
Yes, I understand Joe wants to trust his players. But when a reliever issues his second walk of an inning, I want to go get him. This is especially true for Edwar- he's proven to me that when he's on it's sick and when he's not right it's sickening. I feel just as strongly about Marte tonight: multiple innings, not an easy two-thirds in the 8th, control issues (including a great save by Pudge to avoid a go-ahead wild pitch).
Like Edwar last night, Marte didn't just fail tonight- he was set up for failure by the manager. After walking Hamilton (a lefty), there's no excuse for Marte to face the righty having thrown that many pitches.
The Yanks overcame mismanagement yesterday, but they couldn't do it tonight. They missed a golden opportunity to pick up a game on both the Red Sox and the Rays.
There are 50 games left, and then I hope the Yankee brass takes a good hard look at whether they have the best man for the job running the team.