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May 16, 2006

Where's the offense?
by SG

Eleven runs in five games have convinced me that the March to 1000 runs is no more. Now, with Jason Giambi wrenching his neck, it could get even worse.

I love the double-standard in the press regarding Melky Cabrera's defense. When Bernie Williams misplayed a ball down the RF line that ended up costing the team a game, I didn't read anything about it. When Melky bobbled wet ball down the line on what was already a hit, he is getting the full blame for a loss on a night when the team scored two runs. It's not just the press either. Joe Torre threw Cabrera under the bus the other night:

Cabrera brushed against the outfield wall attempting to rob Payton, but unlike Thursday night when Bubba Crosby brought back Mike Lowell's homer to left with a leap at the fence, Payton's ball made the seats.

"I didn't think (Payton) hit it that well," said Joe Torre, before adding that Cabrera "didn't get back to the fence like Bubba did the other night."

In addition to this, Torre has continually been pulling Cabrera for defense while leaving Bernie Williams, who is a worse defender in every way, in the games.

It will be interesting to see how Torre handles the current roster. Tim Marchman wrote a very good article about Torre's strengths and weaknesses. I have no faith in Torre managing this situation well, and fear that he will be more tempted than ever to give up outs with the current lineup struggling to score.

Bernie Williams is currently on pace to get 513 plate appearances, despite hitting .238/.274/.324, which translates to an OPS+ of 57. Only 4 other players on pace to have 500 plate appearances or more are worse. If Bernie continues to hit the way he has over the remainder of the season, he would be 31 runs BELOW AVERAGE. I still don't fault Bernie for wanting to play, but all evidence shows he should not be playing full-time, and he is. This is a management problem, on both Torre and Brian Cashman.

Tanyon Sturtze has a rotator cuff tear. Despite Sturtze's struggles, I can't help but feel bad for the guy. I did not want him on the team anymore, but I didn't want this to be the way for it to happen, and replacing him with Scott Erickson isn't going to help. Nice to see Scott Proctor pitching again last night too.

I'm really discouraged about this team right now. I don't feel sorry for the Yankees and their injury problems because other teams have them too. I'm just annoyed that instead of using this opportunity to see what people like Cabrera, Kevin Thompson, and Andy Phillips could do, they are continuing to run people with no upside out there.