Still reeling from the Rangers beating the Yankees in the ALCS? Yeah, me too. I was planning in blogging about the series but I decided not to. Instead, I'll wrap that up in one short sentence: The Rangers were/are the better team and deserved to go to the World Series. OK, maybe not a short sentence. I think the Yankees were better than they played in those 6 games but looking back on the final month or so of the season, I'm not so sure. September was a struggle and in hindsight I think they team ran out of gas. I'll probably blog about the season at some point this offseason, but not today. As for the World Series, go Giants! I have no real vested interest in who wins and don't really care either way. I'd just like to see the "claws and antlers" go away. I think those are highly absurd. And at least it's not Philly. I think we can all agree we're happy about that.
Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi met the media today and answered a bunch of questions and dropped a bomb or two on everyone. I was following along with some of the beat writer's accounts on Twitter while it was happening. Fun stuff. The LoHud Yankees Blog has a bunch of tidbits on the meeting. Here are my thoughts on the major stuff:
- The biggest bombshell dropped today was that the Yankees have fired Dave Eiland. It was Cashman's decision and he described the reasoning as "private." He also said it had nothing to do with performance. Interesting. Something seems a little off on this, don't you think? Bottom line for me is that Eiland just didn't get the job done. Too many struggles from too many pitchers. But wouldn't that be performance based? Yeah, I don't get it either. After I read about Eiland's dismissal, a thought popped into my head: What if Dave Eiland gave A.J. Burnett his black eye? Yeah, I'm reaching, I know. But then again who really knows? I'm sure it has to do something with the personal leave Eiland took in June. You'd think Cashman's decision would be related to that, right? Almost has to be? I know there were rumors that Eiland was in rehab on his LOA and I don't want to get into that. Bottom line, regardless of the "private" reason is that he's out as pitching coach. No big loss. Again as I mentioned, too many pitchers had too many struggles, namely A.J. Burnett and Joba Chamberlain. I have no problem with the Yankees bringing in somebody else to take on that role.
- Cashman plans to talk with Joe Girardi's agent ASAP to try and lock Girardi into another contract. Both sides want the deal to happen which means that it will. It'll probably happen soon. I'd expect it to be signed, sealed and delivered by the end of the week. Hiring a manager should be and is Cashman's top priority. You can't really move on without one. I have no issue with the Yankees bringing Girardi back. He does make some boneheaded moves but by and large he's doing a decent job. Then again, it's the Yankees. I could guide that team to 90+ wins.
- The team views Joba Chamberlain as a back-of-the-bullpen pitcher and not as a starter. That should forever put to rest that debate as it sounds like Joba will always be a reliever as long as he's a Yankee. Works for me. Yeah, I'm not a Joba guy. Never really have been. He's had flashes of brilliance but for the most part I think he's a middle-of-the-pack pitcher. I wouldn't be surprised if he's traded before Spring Training.
- Andy Pettitte pitched hurt during the playoffs. During the ALDS Andy felt tightness in both his back and his hamstrings. Pettitte's injuries were the driving factor in the Yankees' decision to pitch him in games 3 and 7 of the ALCS. I can respect that and have no problem with their decision to do so. The part of have minor issue with is people, mainly certain media members, hammered Girardi for not disclosing that info. C'mon now. If Girardi dropped that on everyone that could change everything. You don't want your opponent knowing your weaknesses. Why would any logical mind think that he should have to disclose that? Oh yeah, we're talking about the media, and again, it's only certain ones.
- The Yankees don't plan on picking up any player options, of which there are only 3. Kerry Wood @ $11 million, Lance Berkman @ $15 million. Nick Johnson @ $5.75 million. Yeah, I'm with the team on that. There's no need to drop that much coin on any of those guys. I like Wood, but who needs an $11mm set-up guy. $15 million for a part-time DH? No thanks. Nick Johnson? We won't go there.
- Cashman admitted he had a bad offseason. Nick Johnson was apparently plan C, behind Johnny Damon @ plan A and Hideki Matsui @ plan B. Yeah, Cashman blew that one. Trading for Javy Vazquez was almost as bad. The big plus in that deal was that they got rid of Melky Cabrera, which I think made Robinson Cano a better player.
That's the main stuff. There were some other nuggets dropped but nothing major. This should be a very interesting offseason. Cashman has a lot of work to do and he's already attacking it. I don't think it will take long to re-hire Girardi and then re-sign Mariano Rivera & Derek Jeter. I would expect the Yankees to move pretty quick on bringing back those guys. The Hot Stove is heating up. Won't be long before it's raging.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,