Larry Mahnken and SG's

Replacement Level Yankees Weblog

"Hey, it's free!"

The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog has moved!  Our new home is:

Larry Mahnken
Sean McNally
Fabian McNally
John Brattain

This is an awesome FREE site, where you can win money and gift certificates with no skill involved! If you're bored, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!


Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

August 10, 2005

Revenge of the Enigma
by SG

Last night, Jose Contreras showed why the Yankee signed him for 4 years and $32 million. I was not a fan of trading Contreras at the time it happened, but given his inconsistency I could understand it. The Yankees were able to dump him to clear salary space, which was used to sign Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, and Randy Johnson.

Contreras was great last night, and I hope the people who attacked him for being a wimp and not being able to "pitch in New York" took note. He'll likely never be more than a 4th or 5th starter, but I thought he was not given a fair chance in New York, so I don't mind seeing him have some success. My thought with someone like Contreras is that as a 4th or 5th starter he is an asset, even with his inconsistency. Plus, it's kind of cool to have a guy who could pitch a no-hitter every time out in the rotation. I wouldn't want him starting a playoff game, but I wouldn't want Jaret Wright or Kevin Brown doing that either.

Even though Contreras pitched a gem last night, the Yankees were very much in the game thanks to Shawn Chacon almost matching him pitch for pitch. Aside from one pitch that Tadahito Iguchi was able to hit for an opposite field homer, Chacon allowed only 2 hits in 7 innings. He's been a brilliant pickup so far. His peripherals are still not outstanding, but I've liked what I've seen.

So, trailing 1-0 heading into the 8th inning, Joe Torre resisted the urge to use Tom Gordon and brought in Felix Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who has faced 1 batter in 7 days, allowed a leadoff single and was promptly pulled. This was asinine. Torre obviously doesn't like Rodriguez for some reason, and is not giving him the regular work he needs to find consistency, then using him to face one whole batter for consecutive appearances? So obsessed with handedness at this point, that he brings in Alan Embree. Embree did his job to pitch out of the inning, but then Torre left him in to face the best right handed hitter on the White Sox. What happened to the obsession with handedness there Joe? Konerko led of the ninth with the HR. This move was so bad, that even George Steinbrenner criticized Torre. Then Torre brought in Tanyon Sturtze again. Here's a news flash for Torre, Felix Rodriguez is a better pitcher than Sturtze historically. It behooves you to learn this before Sturtze's arm falls off.

That insurance run turned out to be the difference in the game. Alex Rodriguez led off the bottom of the ninth with what should have been the game tying HR, and a late rally fell short when Bernie Williams lined into a hard out to end the game with runners on first and third and two outs.

Boston's win has dropped the Yankees to 4.5 out. I'd like to think that this is not an insurmountable deficit, but we're seeing that Joe Torre may not be the right manager to lead a team that is trailing a playoff race. He's managing every single game like a playoff game, and in the process he's going to risk burning out the very players that he is relying on to get him to the promised land. It's not just the bullpen now either, he's starting to ask his starters to throw more pitches too. We'll see how Mike Mussina and Chacon recover from their 120 pitch outings next time around.