Hello from Arlington!

Flaherty’s first words to us today were these: “You have to update the blog.”
The man knows whereof he speaks.

Hello from Arlington, where little, tiny, light brown bugs are taking over the universe! But it’s not raining and there is no threat of rain, so no one’s complaining.
 
nick_052709.jpgSpeaking of not complaining: Guess who checked in via email? Polly! Wearing her perfectly pink do-rag, she visited us at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday and captivated the clubhouse. (Polly wrote that she was “VERY nervous.” We don’t believe her. LOL) She also wrote, “Words can’t even begin to express what the day meant to me. It was one surprise after another! … It was all just incredible! I don’t think I have ever smiled that much. I think Nick Swisher had a lot to do with that! His attitude and love for life is contagious!” Polly rocks! One reason we got along so well was because we both love exclamation points! Stay in touch, Polly. And keep fighting.
 
The return of Posada, (temporary) departure of Melky: Melky is day-to-day with a bruised right shoulder and is headed back to New York to see team doctor Chris Ahmad. If Ahmad believes Melky can be back within a week, Girardi says the Yankees can live with that. If not, Melky might be DL-bound and the Yanks would need to call up an outfielder. (And they might have to do something with Berroa one of these days.) Meanwhile, Posada will rejoin the team Friday, after catching five innings in Tampa today. But don’t expect Cervelli to go anywhere. At least not yet. The pitchers love him, which could create some interesting dynamics. Stay tuned.
 
Joba, Joba, Joba: Joba is a big kid who was fooling around in the clubhouse with a little laser that A.J. bought him at a gas station here. Seriously, a gas station. He got a kick — a big kick — out of pointing a red dot at unsuspecting teammates. Joba’s big personality extends to the mound, as we all know, but he just seems more natural in the 8th-inning than in the starting rotation. At least that’s our view. It would seem an athlete who can dominate at a position helps a team more than an athlete whose results are, so far, a mixed bag in another role. Obviously there are two sides to this, and both can make relevant points. But there are plenty of voices in the clubhouse who agree with us, but it’s a silent chorus. At the moment. (If Bruney’s flexor mass strain in his elbow leads to a long — or painful — absence, you might start to hear the chatter.)
 
Food fight: The press dining at Rangers Ballpark features chicken and pork tonight, along with a salad bar and (very) soft-serve ice cream. The zucchini was tasty. M&Ms made the ice cream better. And something tells us there will be a lot of food consumed on the team charter bound for Cleveland later tonight. On days like these, the will power wanes when the Twix bars are getting passed around. Sigh.
 
Coke and a slider? Coke was still disgusted with himself today for throwing a slider to Chris Davis last night. The ball wound up in the seats. “I threw a slider to a guy with slider bat speed,” were Coke’s words. “Right in his barrel.” We asked Coke if it reminded him of the slider Morneau deposited among Yankee Stadium fans. “No, that was a hanging slider,” Coke said. “I thanked Morneau for hitting that pitch – because that’s what it deserved.”
What?!?

“Yeah, I said thanks during BP the next day,” Coke said. “He just smiled and pointed at me.”

In his next outing Coke got Morneau to strike out on a series of fastballs away.”Tino Martinez told me to do that,” Coke said. “We were talking during BP and he said lefties at Yankee Stadium hate fastballs down and away because there’s nothing they can do with them.”

That Tino is full of advice.

“I like talking to him,” Coke said. “He knows the game, and he knows how the stadium plays.”
 
Since he mentioned Tino
: We’re still accepting a FEW more questions for the Tino Q&A. He’ll answer him during the Tampa series of the next homestand and we’ll post them. Like we did with O’Neill.

39 Comments

Thanks for all the updates Flash…err I mean Kim. lol
The team is starting to really hit over the past 15 games. When Jorge gets back, it’ll be even better I hope.AJ tonight reminds me of Victor Zambrano, effectively wild. It’s like AJ has no clue where the ball is going but everything is working out fine so far. I was hoping for 7 innings out of AJ so that looks promising right now.I, like everyone else, can’t figure out why Berroa is still here. He must have Girardi’s retirement fund hidden in Central America.

My question for Tino is this: What does it feel like to get plunked in the back by a 95mph fastball? I’ve always been amazed how ball players come back so quickly from those. How long do the bruises last?

I want to know what Tino’s pro and cons are regarding Joba in the pen. That’s where Joba rules!!!

“It would seem an athlete who can dominate at a position helps a team more than an athlete whose results are, so far, a mixed bag in another role.”

What? It really is a baseball IQ test. Joba is a starter.

And it’s beyond obnoxious that the media continues to discuss this so-called debate.

KIM – THE YANKEES ARE STARTING TO SCARE ME. THEY ARE STARTING TO TREAT THEIR PLAYERS LIKE THE METS. THEY HAVE TO PUT WANG BACK IN THE ROTATION AND PUT JOBA IN THE PEN FOR THE EIGHTH INNING. JOBA HAS ALREADY LOST HIS INTENSITY AND INTIMIDATION FACTOR. WANG HAS TO BE WONDERING – WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE YAHOO’S THINKING. ITS STARTING TO GET ALITTLE EMBARRASSING.
HATS-ALL-FOLKS.COM

Kim-

Great post game as always really enjoyed the interview with Kevin Long much like the one you did with Dave Eiland the other day in the post game. It brings a different perspective hope you do more with them in the post games think it adds a lot. I mean I like hearing JOhnny but every day it does get a bot tedious lol/

You better tell Joba not to point that laser in anyone’s eyes or he just might cause some damage…Sometimes I wonder about Joba’s maturity – it’s like he right out of middle school. Anyway it looks like he is a year or two away from being the starter everyone thinks he could be.

Kim,

first time writing on your blog, which I enjoyed, until today. I can’t believe you would bring up the Joba to the pen debate. Seriously, you just lost all credibility with me.

For God’s sake when will people realize Joba has been a starter his whole life except for 2007 when the Yanks wanted to control his innings. He said himself he wants to be a starter.

He is inconsistent, so is Phil Hughes, so should we move Phil to the pen too? Look at Lincecum, Lester, Bucholz, David Price and a whole host of other young pitchers (look at Greg Maddux first two years in the big league’s- UGLY). They are inconsistent, they are still l-e-a-r-n-i-n-g.

So what do you say after Joba dominates as a starter? Do you change your tune after every start? If he is so great as a reliever what happened in the playoffs in 2007?

This argument is so ridiculous. Joba will only get better and more inconsistent as a starter by STARTING. If they move him to the pen this year it will cause injury and hurt his innings next year.

Wow I am disappointed in you

Hey, Kim! Just love this blog. I was wondering if there might be someone at the YES Network who could tell FLASH to just shut up for a few minutes each game. I couldn’t stand listening to him for one more minute last night so I flipped over to ESPN. Needless to say, I was back after the last out for your on-field interview, but things are bad when I prefer ESPN to YES. Michael, Kenny, Paulie O, and Al are so much easier on the ears.

Hi Kim,
Question for TINO: After playing WITH Joe Girardi for a while, do you think you would be able to play FOR him? Do you think it’d be difficult to have a former teammate as your manager?
Thanks!

LOVE your blog Kim! Keep up the great work! So excited for the Tino questions, he is and always will be my favorite Yankee that I ever got to see play.

Questions for Tino:
1.) Would you ever considering managing or coaching the Yankees or another MLB team? You know so much about team, and just being in the position you are now, are helping the team loads, so if you were to manage or coach I think it would be a great fit.
2.) Do you feel like returning in 2005 and retiring as a Yankee was the right ending to your career and really capped off your legacy as a Yankee?
3.) Do you feel like you could have played another year in 2006 and did the Yankees offer you another year?

-Ally

Couldn’t agree more on Joba. I know that you’re foolish to expect consistency from a young starter like Joba, or Hughes or Kennedy, etc. But if he can dominate the 8th inning, that is where he best serves the team. The league is full of guys who came up as starters and became relievers. There is no shame in that, and I don’t get why some folks use that as the reason he should be a starter now.

I blame Francesa. This is ridiculous.
EVERY hard-throwing starter would have better stats in relief, pitching fewer innings in shorter stints.
Joba will go deeper – there IS a learning curve, he’s young, he will learn to be more economical, and you can’t get length from him until he builds it up.
Why don’t we hear this about Price in TB? About Halladay and Santana being wasted, when they could have virtual zero ERAs in the pen?
Joba’s career ERA as a starter (at least until his last start, I haven’t checked) is WELL UNDER THREE. You’re talking about an ace starter. The value of an ace far, far outweighs that of a closer, let alone an eighth inning guy.
Jeeeez, enough already. There are NOT two reasonable sides to this – why choose the “Joba is less valuable” option over the “Joba is more valuable” option?
Let it go, already.
They’re not doing it, anyway (thank God)!

I COULDN’T AGREE MORE WITH NYY722046 – PLEASE TELL ME FLASH IS NOT GOING TO BE DOING MORE PLAY BY PLAY . HE NEVER SHUTS UP AND THINKS HE KNOWS EVERYTHING. I HOPE HE WAS JUST FILLING IN FOR SOMEONE. MY EARS WERE BLEEDING –
HATS-ALL-FOLKS.COM

Kim – great job as always. I’m glad that you are keeping in touch with Polly. She is such an inspiration.

Wow – people are really bitter about this Joba thing. Look, I believe he should be a starter because he has four viable pitches to work with. But I understand the argument that he could best help the team right now in the bullpen.

He has lost a bit of his edge as a starter. That is undeniable. Maybe he’ll regain that as he gets more experience. However, I really believe that it should be up to him – where he feels comfortable. Regardless of the talent level, things never work out if the player isn’t comfortable with his role. The Red Sox were smart enough to let Papelbon make his own choice. That’s worked out pretty good for them.

P.S.: I hate when people question Joba’s maturity. I would think that with his family circumstances he was forced to grow up a lot faster than most people. Maybe now he’s finally got the opportunity to have some fun. I don’t begrudge him that at all.

Patience is a virtue and it takes time to develop a truly top starter with a few exceptions like Doc Gooden who came up and dominated right from the beginning. Go back and check some of the beginnings of players like Randy Johnson, Maddux etc. They weren’t dominate, had losing records but look what happened after a few years. Joba has 4 plus pitches so why use him in the bullpen? His velocity will rise eventually. We have seen it in some of the games hitting 97. Of course he will totally dominate pitching one or two innings with his stuff but a true ace is hard to find and if he is allowed to develop into that role Joba could just be that ace.

I say leave him alone, don’t mess around with his head anymore and let him develop. In the meantime the Yankees have to find that setup man in our system which is supposedly filled with great arms. Bruney looked like the key but unfortunately he’s injured. If the starters go deeper, the hitters do their thing then the bullpen shouldn’t be so taxed and they will show improvement. Actually they already have the past week or so …

Hoping for a Cleveland sweep or at least a series win ….

GOOOOOOO YANKEES !!!

Questions for Tino, what is he up to nowadays and which of his old teammates does he keep in touch with?

Kim,

Love the blog! And your reports form the games! Keep up the good work.

Question for Tino: His family business while growing up was cigars. Does he smoke them now and if so, what are his favorites?

Thanks!

I like Flash! I mute ESPN…

Is it possible that Girardi and his staff are considering using Wang as Ramiro Mendoza Redux? Think about it: a groundball pitcher with “ice in his veins”; he throws hard and can get a strikeout. He can also be a long man and spot start! Sound familiar?
And we have Hughes and Joba (and, if necessary, Aceves) for the rotation. I know, I know, Wang is a 19 game winner and, to some eyes, being mistreated by the Yanks. But the name of the game is winning. And, if Wang in the bullpen means more wins (I admit, that is a decent-sized “if”) then so be it.

First my question for Tino Martinez is Yankees haven’t had a great first baseman since he left until now with Teixiera does he see alot of himself in Tex and how would he compare the things he did offensively and on defense to the way Teixiera plays now?

Ok now to Joba.I believed he should have been put in the rotation and kept there so he can develop but he’s been too inconsistent. He has a hard time throwing strikes and can’t go deep into games. There’s just no intensity to his game right now. They got Wang who looked great last night and just about ready to go back in the rotation and Hughes flat out dominant Monday. Bruney and Marte are huge question marks right now and if Joba keeps throwing over 100 pitches in 5 IP or less he can’t stay in the rotation. Francesa was way overboard screaming about Joba the way he did but he’s right, he needs to go back to the pen because it’s what the team needs him to do.

My impression of Joba is that he is trying to extend himself as a starter and not throwing as hard as he could or should to gain innings but this is suppressing his talent. In my opinion, until he matures, he is better off in the bull pen, probably middle relief but I would prefer to see him as a set up man where he can fire the ball for an inning or two and hopefully down the road apiece take over for Mariano. That by the way is the day I dread. My long time favorite was Joe Page who could relieve for one inning or seven (look it up) but I haven’t seen anyone with the control of Mariano,man, he’s like a surgeon on the mound.

I don’t understand the logic of getting on Joba that he should take to the pen. He has simply hit a rough patch his past two starts. Against Baltimore he was hit with a line drive and taken out for precautionary reasons after going 0.2 IP. Then his last start he was trying to put it back together but was a little wild with 4 BB and taken out after pitching 4 IP. He had only thrown 85 pitches and probably could have gone another inning and on top of that there was the long rain delay which can throw off his preparation for the game. Four of his nine starts have been quality ones where he has gone 6 or more innings and his 0.2 IP appearance can be discounted so that would mean half his starts he has gone the distance. He hasn’t given up more than 5 runs in any game this year, but his biggest problem is the walks that need to be cut down.

The bullpen really isn’t in as serious trouble as people are trying to make it out to be. Aceves and Coke are really solid and should be used primarily in the 7th and 8th innings. Robertson has had success in the past and looked good last night. The Yankees have a number of guys between the bullpen and minors they can swap in an out to have a successful pen. The biggest pitching issue is Hughes vs Wang. When is Wang ready to start again and when that time comes where does Hughes go? Part of me says put Hughes back in Scranton where he gets regular work, but another part of me says he can’t really learn much more in the minors so why not add him to the bullpen like David Cone suggested. Then Hughes in the pen can learn more at the major league level while being an asset late in games.

Kim, has the management discussed what they do to get Wang sufficient work and what happens with Hughes when Wang returns to the rotation?

Kim, how long does it usually take to do all the post-game interviews in the clubhouse? What do you do on an off day like this in Cleveland? It’s a tough day without Yankee baseball. I’m looking forward to the updates with Posada tomorrow. Do they keep both Cervelli and Cash with the team? If I had to pick just one it would be Cervelli, but they are both valuable. They could drop Berroa down and cary 3 catchers for a bit. I’m also curious to see if they make any additional pitching moves for the pen to bring up or send anyone down. Any chance we can get a Melky report today? I really hope he’s not out long. At least we know all our outfielders are willing to play hard to make any play, but I’d prefer they learn how to run into walls without getting injured. Why doesn’t MLB have a 7-day DL like MiLB? Then Melky could be replaced for a week without weakening the bench.

Kim, first of all let me just say that I LOVE your blog. Love the YES network and all of the Yankees shows that go with it. My favorite part of your blog is always the clubhouse insights. Love it.

I am very happy to hear that many people that follow your blog believe that Joba should remain a STARTER!!! I completely agree!!! His arm would be a waste in the bullpen. I also believe that alot of Joba’s problems have to do with Dave Eiland. In my opinion he does not know how to handle young pitchers. Just my opinion. Can’t stand him as our pitching coach. I wish Mel was back…or Guidry for that matter. Joba is just developing as a starter in the big leagues. And if people are so worried about his consistency…what do they have to say about Hughes and Burnett? They haven’t been very consistent either. Burnett is actually kinda a shock to me but then again I blame that on Eiland as well. I think that if people are going to get on Joba about consistency and velocity they need to be riding AJ and Hughes as well. I really hope that Cashman and Girardi stick with what they have said and LEAVE JOBA AS A STARTER!!! I will be devastated if he ends back up in the bullpen. And what is going to happen if they do in fact send him back to the pen and one of our starters get hurt? Send Joba back out as a starter? They can’t do that. They will blow out his arm. I want Joba around for a LONG time. I don’t want his career ruined.

Kim, when MY9 has the games – I wish there was a way you could still broadcast the postgames on YES. I’d still like to see the postgame interviews for those games.

Keep up the great work Kim. My family and I always look forward to your pregames and postgames. We just love your insight. Thanks for being so awesome!

Mariano was the best player on the Yankees in the championship period – because the starters came and went, because they didn’t have a Pedro.
It was a team of really good parts, without a lot of all-time great superstars.
If they DID have Pedro Martinez on that team, he would immediately have become their best player. Every possible measure of out-prevention ability would put the value Pedro’s 180-220 innings far, far above the value of Mariano’s 75. Not even close.
And almost every starter would throw harder and have a lower ERA pitching fewer innings as a closer.
Pedro would have been a lights-out eighth-inning guy.
Randy Johnson would have been a lights-out eighth-inning guy.
Santana would be a lights-out eighth-inning guy.
Halladay would be a lights-out eighth-inning guy.
Lester would be a lights-out eighth-inning guy.
Price would be a lights-out eighth-inning guy.
The only reason to make a really good pitcher pitch fewer innings as a reliever is if his body simply cannot handle starting – as was the case with Papelbon; or if his stuff just doesn’t stand up as a starter – as was the case with Mariano. Neither is true of Joba.
This debate has to die and go away. Unfortunately, Mike Francesa may have to die before that can happen.

Joba has a 3.25 career ERA as a starter, I wouldn’t call that a mixed bag.

He isnt have an OUTSTANDING year, but he is doing very good for a #5 starter, and he is still only 23 who will continue to develop.

Either way, lets not only look at this year, a 3.25 career starting ERA for a man who isn’t even 25 is very good. Keep him in the rotation!

I too cannot stand to listen to John Flaherty broadcast. He has no personality it is just — that’s exactly right Michael — you said it Michael. Then has to explain every play like we are all stupid. He has no personality or sense of humor and I dread the games where he is broadcasting.

JOBA—Join Our Bullpen Ace

Hi Kim; I just have two suggestions, Joba in the bullpen and Wang in starting rotation. When will Cash & Giradi get it right!!

For all you Flash haters out there if you didn’t notice, Flash and Singleton were rotating play-by-play each inning or so. It was nice to see this being done. IMHO, this is the best team that YES has to announce a baseball game. They stick to the game without any unnecessary slapstick humor you get with Kay and O’neill. Be realistic, how much can you take of Kay talking about O’neills’ Diet, and O’neill talking about the size of Kays’ head, waist, or whether or not Kay is going out clubbing after the game. Luckily O’neill hardly ever does a game let alone a complete series. The jokes between Kay and O’neill are getting old. There are times during a half-inning where there is no baseball being discussed. Instead, it becomes the Kay and O’neill variety show. Please, Kay has enough shows, he does not need a show within the game.

Both Singleton and Flash stick to the game on the field and their knowledge from thier respective playing careers. Flash has only been broadcasting a few years, so their is room for improvement and working with Singleton is the best way to do that.

Flash is beyond dull. As much as I like listening to Ken I had to mute the volume as well. He is a real chatter box and a bit condescending. Sorry Flash. You’re better in the Studio.

Hi Kim,
QUESTION FOR TINO:
Since you’re working in upper management now, here’s a question to you about the whole Joba-to-the-Pen conundrum. Do you view this strictly as a one season issue or do you see this is a much more long term issue. When making such a decision, do you only see whats best for the organization, for Joba or a mixed-bag? The one thing that makes me sick of hearing is what everyone wants to do about the Joba situation but no one wants to talk about what Joba himself wants to do. Does he feel comfortable as a starter or closer? He’s 23 but people seem to see him as an under-drinking-age minor who cannot make decisions for himself. Doesn’t the whole Bullpen-to-Rotation-to-Bullpen-to-Rotation do harm to a pitchers confidence/psyche? In addition doesn’t Joba have to the right to think long term future for himself? (think CC like contracts vs. Mo like contracts)
Thanks,

Kaz (NY)

Hey Kim,

Question for Tino–I’d really like to know how ********** he was losing the Gold Glove to Palmero, who only played about 10 games at the position all year, if that.

I’m also on board the “Shut Up Flash” train.

It’s like diarrhea of the mouth. He yammers and yammers, basically repeating what Kenny or Michael just said, in that droning monotone of his, and it makes my ears bleed. Not to mention that it’s hard to take a third-string catcher seriously when he’s giving Alex Rodriguez “pointers” on how to hit.

YES has such quality announcers in Kenny, Michael, Paul and Al. And as much as he could bore me with his old-time stories, I wish they’d brought Jim Kaat back instead of giving the air time to this motor mouth.

Question for Tino: When you were with the Yankees, it was well-documented that you were very close with Derek and Jorge. How did the three of you manage to go out after games without getting mobbed? And do you still get together with them a lot?

I am stunned at some of the comments on this blog. There is a way to state your opinion without being disrespectful or rude. Whether it is Al, Paulie or Flash, I like former Yankees in the booth and value their insight on the game. I don’t need a great play by play guy, because. . I AM WATCHING THE GAME! It’s the extra stuff that makes it fun.

Having said that. . Tino – You would make a great addition to the booth! Any chance we will see you doing a few games?

can someone find a picture of Nick Swisher’s
Swish-hawk and send it to my email?
halomaster8898@yahoo.com
His hairstyle is awesome and i wanna get the the some thing done.

Kim, I think I need to thank you. Michael occasionally gives the pitcher’s line on-air now after he leaves the game, and sometimes he gives the batting averages of the hitters. So I have to assume that you mentioned my request to him.
Enough with the food talk. I don’t care what you’re eating, and Michael could eat a lot less anyway.
Have you ever approached an after-game interview with a pitcher with “What the hell were you doing out there today?”. You definitely needed to ask that of AJ last night. Tell him Yankee fans want, no need, him to beat the damn Red Sox every single time. That’s why we got him. And he can’t do it!!!!! What the devil??????

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