Monday, August 11, 2008

Yankees Demote Kennedy And Other Stories

  • Yankees send Ian Kennedy back to the minors:
The New York Times is reporting that the Yankees have shipped Ian Kennedy back to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with the instructions to throw his breaking pitches regardless
yankees logo.jpg
of the score and game situation----Article. Kennedy also backtracked on his laissez-faire comments about his heinous big league performances after the negative reaction in the clubhouse and media. Kennedy will learn about dealing with the media because that was a case in which he said something stupid, which isn't unexpected in a 23-year-old who's experiencing on-field adversity for the first time; but the important question is: will he learn how to pitch effectively in the big leagues?
After all the hype accompanying the three young Yankee pitchers----Kennedy, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain----it was at best unrealistic and at worst baseball malpractice to think that they were going to walk all over big league hitters the way they dominated in the minors. Now Kennedy has been the one to take the most brutal beating and is paying the price on and off the field. He's been told that he's going to be back in September, which may or may not be true; but unless the Yankees fall completely out of contention, Kennedy's return doesn't mean he's going to be participating in any meaningful games unless there's an emergency.
This season is a write-off for Kennedy and Hughes and shouldn't be seen as an indictment
braves big three.jpeg
of their futures as big leaguers; they could still become useful if not the reincarnation of the 1990s Braves or other great rotations. Chamberlain has shown the promise to be a future Cy Young Award winner. The Yankees problem now is that, among many other things, they didn't expect the injury to Chien-Ming Wang to rob them of his 19 wins; they didn't expect to have to deal with a Rays team that matured so quickly, rode a hot start to prominence, and also overcame their seven game losing streak going into the All Star break to recover beautifully. Instead of only having to worry about the Red Sox in the AL East, they're scrambling for a Wild Card berth that looks increasingly like it's not going to be available. The Yankees may be discovering, as the Braves did when their string of playoff appearances ended, that it's not as easy as it looked all those years; that barrelling down the road while making drastic changes isn't always a smooth and easy process and things don't always mystically end with the Yankees in the playoffs.
Everything ends. The dynasty from the late-90s ended; the George Steinbrenner-era is ending; the Joe Torre-era ended; and the automatic ticket into the playoffs may be on life-support now. They're still in position to make another run, but they're running out of time and with the way their direct contenders are playing, the Yankees may have run out of tricks and the last post-season at Yankee Stadium and intentions of a historic finale may not exist at all.
  • White Sox 6-Red Sox 5:
The Red Sox haven't been playing all that great either and despite all the numbers that are being quoted as to how Jason Bay's stats can reasonably replicate Manny Ramirez's so that
jason bay.jpg
Manny's departure won't be such a big loss; and that Bay will be a better outfielder; and that Bay will run out ground balls; the Red Sox are going to feel the loss of Manny Ramirez as the season winds down. I completely understand the decision to get rid of him at all costs, but it's not going to be a simple matter of inserting a different piece into Manny's slot and ending up with another championship.
With the way the Yankees are scrounging for starting pitching, even if the Red Sox don't catch the Rays, they have enough pitching in the rotation and bullpen; and should score enough runs to hold off the Yankees and whichever of the two teams----the Twins or White Sox----fades out in the end in the AL Central. If things hold as they are and the Red Sox have to play the Angels, that's when they're going to truly feel the effects of not having a happy or unhappy Manny in their lineup.
  • Padres 16-Rockies 7:
It's one thing to extol Livan Hernandez's value as an innings-eater who'll stay out on the
livan hernandez pic.jpeg
mound for 145 pitches or more, but there's no possible way to defend yesterday's performance in his first start as a member of the Rockies. The Padres can't hit and they gave Hernandez a brutal beating with nine runs (including two homers) in 2 2/3 innings. The Rockies got Hernandez for nothing and were desperate for starting pitching; and I've been trumpeting Hernandez as a pitcher who could provide something to someone; but if yesterday's an example of what he has to offer, then there's no point in putting him out there.
  • Scott Rolen to the disabled list:
Who (other than J.P. Ricciardi) didn't see this coming? A couple of weeks ago, I compared
ricciardi 2 pic.jpeg
Scott Rolen and Troy Glaus based on their contracts and production----Blog 7/31/2008. Is it still possible that the work of Ricciardi in the past seven years is being lost on the Blue Jays ownership and that he's going to be back? He should've been fired three months ago so the new GM could get a head start on next season, but he's still there.

No comments: