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May 10, 2006

by SG

In an ugly game, the Yankees were mauled by the Red Sox last night, 14-3. It was a rough game to watch, to the point where I did something I rarely do, and turned off the game after the Manny Ramirez homer off Aaron Small. Checking the box score, it doesn't seem like I missed anything particularly good.

There was plenty of blame to go around in this game. Alex Rodriguez's two errors were huge. Rodriguez has made seven errors of his 28 career errors as a Yankee against Boston. In other words, 25% of his errors have come against a team that he has played 11% of his games against. If there's any validity to the thoughts that he feels pressure in certain situations, this is pretty telling, although the two errors yesterday were both on somewhat tricky hops.

Melky Cabrera made an error on his first chance, misjudging a high pop, although it seemed that the wind had a lot to do with it. More impressive for me was that Cabrera was able to get two hits despite that, on a night when the Yankee bats failed to show up after the first inning. Errors happen. The mindset that wants to blame Melky and run him out of town for this is the same mindset that has a past-his prime Randy Johnson making ace-like money for fifth starter performance right now. Fear and lack of patience with youth and inexperience leads to an overpriced team full of players whose best days are probably behind them.

Johnny Damon again failed to do anything against his old team, and Bernie Williams has finally convinced me (not that I really had much doubt at this point) that he is completely done. I've never seen Bernie show the kind of frustration that he did when he threw his helmet back towards the umpire after getting called out on strikes. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a suspension, and honestly, I wouldn't be disappointed about it either. At some point, Bernie either has to make a decision about whether he can continue, or the Yankees have to make it for him, but he's not helping the team in any way right now.

Aaron Small's magic 10-0 pixie dust has all but gone, like most people who have a more than basic understanding of statistics understood and expected this season. For those of you who hate statistics and statheads, maybe you should listen to us once in a while. I think Small should be sent back down to the minors to see if he can recover whatever it was he was doing last year. I'd doubt it at this point, but it wouldn't hurt to try it.

Tanyon Sturtze continues to suck, which to me was the best thing to happen last night. He's going to make what should be a ridiculously easy decision a no-brainer.

Honestly, while all the things I listed are disheartening, none of them really concerns me that much because they are all probably just blips or can be dealt with. While Alex Rodriguez's performance against the Red Sox has me somewhat concerned, I don't think it's anything that a few good games can't fix.

The only thing that I am concerned about from last night's game going forward is the continued ineffectiveness of Randy Johnson. He is chief to blame for last night's debacle. Randy Johnson should not be walking Alex Gonzalez. Randy Johnson should not be throwing nothing but 3-2 sliders out of the strike zone. Randy Johnson should not be walking nine people in his last 15.1 innings. Randy Johnson should not be lasting fewer than six innings in half of his starts.

The good stuff from yesterday was Jason Giambi pulling a 96 mph fastball for a homer and Ron Villone pitching two effective innings. While I don't think Villone is a world beater, is there any reason he is not pitching more often than Sturtze?

It's just one game. The overreaction by some Yankee fans is really amazing. I've always felt it's better to get your ass kicked than lose a nail-biter. Let's hope Moose is on his game today, because Schilling is usually on his against the Yankees.