Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"The Yankees Are Doomed"

Like we were anticipating, there has been an bloom of ignorant Yankees articles and blog posts of late foreshadowing their postseason demise, and since I don't have anything better to write about, here we go again.

This one comes from a writer who thinks he is blogging because he posts the first thought that comes to his mind on a website. I guess no one ever told Jeff Pearlman that even though it's a "blog" you probably should still be concerned with "reality" and attempt to do some "research" instead of spouting off pitching clichés that Walter Johnson would probably think were outdated and citing irrelevant facts that tenuously fit your argument.
(Headline:) The Yankees are doomed

OK, maybe doomed is too strong.
Then you probably should have changed the headline, huh? You didn't write this on a typewriter, did you?
But, once again, I don’t think Brian Cashman has built a team made for the playoffs. Mainly, the problem is pitching. Starting pitching.
You're right. What the fuck was Brian Cashman thinking when he acquired the two best starting pitchers on the market this offseason and brought back a solid veteran lefty in Andy Pettitte? What a collection of terrible moves that was!
As the Atlanta Braves showed us throughout the 1990s, having a load of B+ starting pitchers is fantastic for 90-plus regular season wins … but doesn’t really work so well in the post-season. Generally speaking, the teams in the best shape have two ass-kicking starters with rubber arms and angry demeanors (think Johnson-Schilling, ‘01).
That's one team. Do you have any other examples? I have one, the 2002 Diamondbacks. Same two guys... how did that work out for them? Oh yeah, they got swept in the NLDS.

In '98, the Yanks best two starters were Cone and Pettitte, not exactly "angry". In '99 & '00, The Yanks were exactly the Braves teams Jeff is talking about, with a bunch of B+ starters and no real standout "ass-kickers". In fact, in 2000, only Clemens had an ERA under 4.00 and their 4th starter was Denny Neagle in October.

How about 2002? The Angels started Jarrod Washburn, Kevin Appier, Ramon Ortiz and John Lackey. Any ass-kickers in there? And 2003? The Marlins had Josh Beckett and Brad Penny, only one of those guys is perceived as "angry" and neither is "rubber-armed".

Schilling and Pedro in '04? Okay, sure. That's two in the last 10 years.

In 2005, the Astros were the ones with Clemens and Oswalt, but they get smashed by the White Sox. Chris Carpenter and Jeff Weaver were the best pitchers for the Cardinals in the '06 WS. Beckett was around again in '07 but by all accounts, Jon Lester pretty mild mannered. Brett Myers beats his wife, but Cole Hamels posed with his lady in these ads with kids that he doesn't even have. He's no ass-kicker.

Or he could have just said, "Generally speaking, the more good pitchers a team has, the better shape they are in".

Okay, so I just spent way too long parsing one offhanded remark, but there's more dumbassery, I promise.
CC Sabathia: Great starter. Elite starter. Worth the big bucks thus far—but in five postseason games with Cleveland and Milwaukee, the man has a 7.92 ERA over five starts. Please, read that again—
Five starts?
...seven point nine two.
Oh. The part that can be dismissed as an extremely small sample size.
Can he be masterful? Of course. Will he be? Seems sort of unlikely.
That's some strong language, Jeff. They're DOOMED!
A.J. Burnett: I’d argue (as would many) that, come playoff time, Burnett has the chance to be New York’s stud. He still throws extremely hard, still possesses lightning stuff—plus, he’s already won a World Series with the 2003 Marlins.
Yes, he "won" a World Series with the Marlins in 2003, the year in which he made a grand total of four starts before getting Tommy John surgery and missing the rest of the year, including the postseason. Extremely relevant... the guy knows how to win!
Joba Chamberlain: [...] I mean, seriously, what they’ve done to this kid is, in a baseball sense, criminal. If I’m a Yankees fan, and it’s Game 7, do I want Jona[sic] or Phil Hughes starting?

Me, I take Hughes.
You'd take Hughes, the guy who has been in the bullpen since June and before that had a 5.45 ERA as a starter? So you'd somehow stretch him out in the major leagues over the last 11 games from a one or two inning pitcher and have him make a start in the postseason? If you were a Yankee fan, or knew anything about the team, you'd be choosing Chad Gaudin over Joba because he's the only other viable option.

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