I will admit I was immersed in the NFL Draft this weekend (just ask my wife!), cranking out posts like crazy over at Big Blue View. I did happen to notice, though, that our New York Yankees spent their weekend getting embarrassed by the Boston Red Sox.
This, of course, means that the bridge-jumpers are out in full force around Yankees Universe. There are calls for Joe Girardi's job. Calls for Kevin Long's job. There is John Harper of the Daily News blabbering about how the Red Sox have stolen Yankee Pride.
I know that today is not a great day to be a Yankee fan. Especially if you happen to share an office with with a diehard Red Sox fan or two. But, the world hasn't ended. It' April 27th. Eighteen games have been played. The Yanks are 9-9. There are 144 games to play, so there is no need to panic.
Listen to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News.
The Yankees aren’t panicking, and neither should their fans. Eighteen games -12 of them on the road, no less - is too soon to start the Girardi watch, especially with Chien-Ming Wang’s situation and Alex Rodriguez’s injury. Let’s see where this team is on June 1 before we decide who needs to be traded, fired, released or put to sleep.
Or, you can listen to the players' themselves.
You know the drill: The Yankees visit Fenway Park early on the schedule, and things don't go well. And before your superego can scream "Small sample size!" you're calling for the jobs of Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, Andy Pettitte, Angel Berroa and, for a few moments in the bottom of the eighth, Mark Melancon.
A 4-1 loss to the Sawx, an embarrassing straight steal of home by Jacoby Ellsbury off Andy Pettitte and a series sweep, and suddenly the Yankees, at a pedestrian 9-9, are under siege once more.
Not really. Actually, two of our most reliable excitable types, Pettitte and Jorge Posada, both appeared rather calm about the big picture, although Pettitte took accountability for Ellsbury's big moment and the game as a whole.
"For me to get concerned, it's going to take an awful lot more than that," Pettitte said.
Added Posada: "I think we have a great ballclub. I think we should be all right. We just have to pitch a little better."
Umm, yes, that they do. The Yankees have the worst ERA in all of baseball, an amazingly unsightly 6.26. We have seen enough to know that the bullpen is a concern, although I think Girardi's mis-handling of it has something to do with that thus far.
Cross your fingers that Mark Melancon can step up and fill the Brian Bruney role. That Girardi starts to trust Phil Coke more, and that he stops burning through his entire bullpen in 2-3 innings every time the game is close. That David Robertson and Jonathan Albaledejo can get some key outs. That Girardi forgets about Jose Veras in close games.
I think the bullpen will be fine, provided Girardi settles down -- and the Yankees stop needing 7-8 innings out of the 'pen.
Third base is a concern until A-Rod gets back. It took two games for us to realize why Angel Berroa cannot be this team's utility infielder. He is a butcher with the glove. At least Ramiro Pena can field. And, for the umpteenth time, I have to ask why Brian Cashman thought Cody Ransom or Berroa could fill the utility role.
There are other concerns. The lack of clutch hitting, the alarming number of injuries.
Yet, it has only been 18 games. It's not time to abandon ship yet.