(Courtesy of The AP)
There are an abundance of different managerial/coaching styles when it comes to professional sports. Some guys are real good at the people level, like Joe Maddon, and get the most out of their players through basic human motivational tactics. There are guys like John Tortorella who yell and scream and curse and act like dicks to the media to try to keep the focus solely on their players and off of them. And then there's Joe Girardi. I've spent plenty of time and space on this blog questioning some of Joe's tactics, mainly his reliance on his bullpen matchup binder and his love for the sacrifice bunt, but overall I think Joe does do a good job managing the Yankees. One thing I don't think he's good at, however, is providing useful commentary and explanations in situations where the Yankees are playing poorly, like what has happened over the past 3 games.
Joe after Tuesday's 5-2 loss to Baltimore-
“There’s good pitching in our division. There’s no doubt it about, there’s a lot of good pitching in the American League and you’re going to see it day in and day out and you’ve got to sometimes find ways to score runs.”
"Some days you go 6-for-8 and then other days you go 1-for-9. You’d like to say you can get three or four every night, but it’s not going to happen."
Joe after Wednesday's 8-1 loss to Toronto-
“Guys have got to find a way. You’ve got to find a way to get a hit in that situation and see if it can become contagious."
“Guys have got to do it, that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to get it done.”
Joe after Thursday's 4-1 loss to Toronto-
“I just think it’s going to happen. I think, ‘This is the time it’s going to happen. This is the one hit we’re going to get.’”
"As a team, we’re not collectively getting it done, and we need to get better.”
"We just haven’t done it. ... The guys don’t look like they’re having a lot of fun, but they’re doing their work, and they’re preparing and it’ll change.”
I understand wanting to stay positive, I understand not wanting to say anything to stir up the media and create more controversy over a 3-game losing streak 38 games into the season than is necessary. But Jesus tap dancing Christ, man, say SOMETHING! That collection of nothing comments is about as bland and as useless as it gets, and to me it paints a picture of a manager not really doing much management and just waiting around for his players to start playing. Or worse, a manager that isn't sure what he can or should do to try and shake things up.
These are facts:
- The Yankees have scored 4 runs in their past 3 games combined
- They have scored 2 runs or less in 9 of their last 17 games (over 50%)
- They have scored 1 run or less in 9 of their 38 games this season (a little less than 25%)
- They are 3-41 with RISP over their past 5 games
- Mark Teixeira has a .228/.283/.386 batting line and a .291 wOBA
They paint a very ugly picture. And it's a picture that we don't need re-painted for us. We know your guys aren't getting it done, Joe. We know they've got to get it done. We're not looking for you to tell us these things. We're looking for you tell us what YOU are going to do to help try to get it done and HOW you're going to do it. You've got a center fielder slumping with the bat who's played every single game without a day off. You've got a first baseman not hitting worth a damn who's out on the field hacking up his lungs. You've got a third baseman making $29 million this year hitting in a run-producing spot in the lineup who's just slapping singles all over the field. Simply swapping Ibanez for Jones at the DH spot to match up against the opposing pitcher or giving A-Rod a day at DH and hitting everybody in the same spots in the lineup isn't getting it done right now. Your team is struggling and they aren't hitting themselves out of their struggles. DO SOMETHING!!!
I'm not asking Joe to become Joe Maddon and start playing Jeter at 2nd base, hitting Jayson Nix leadoff, and dropping Teix to 9th in the order. But I am asking to stop laying these "ho-hum, some days you aren't going to get hits," and "we'll get 'em next time" cliches on me after every piss-poor offensive performance. As beat up as the bullpen is right now, I actually think Joe has done a great job managing the 'pen. It's time to start doing some managerial work with the lineup to at least attempt to get them going again.