Monday, September 21, 2009

THE JOBA RUINATION (Continued...And Continued, And Continued, And Continued)

  • A blueprint to making a mess:
Regarding this "mechanical flaw" with Joba Chamberlain that Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland discovered last week, um, did he bother to fix it? Or did he fix the one "mechanical flaw" while creating a whole host of other problems?
Yesterday's brutal beating at the hands of the Mariners was another stumble in the Yankees self-destructive RUINATION OF JOBA. Read Joba's linescore if and only if you haven't eaten yet and/or are still drinking the Kool-Aid that the Yankees have some sort of plan in maximizing their young pitcher.
Here it is:

3 innings; 6 hits; 7 runs; 7 earned runs; 3 walks; 2 strikeouts; and 1 home run allowed; 69 pitches, 37 strikes.

Chamberlain wasn't just bad. He was atrocious. He looked clueless like he didn't know what to do next. All the pressure that's been thrust upon him from being this savior who can't be jeopardized in any way is crashing down on him; he's afraid to throw the ball as the Yankees rampant paranoia has penetrated his mind until he's unable to function.
Do they not see what they're doing?
Do they not understand?
They have put it into this kid's head so inextricably that he's both fragile and invaluable that he can't pitch; and they compound this nonsense with a series of floating rules that have emanated from some stat zombie that GM Brian Cashman has put his unending faith in as they try to be all things to all people.
They let him pitch----but only under a strict innings limit and/or pitch count, depending on the angle of the sun and wind currents.
They protect him----but he pitches horribly.
They tweak his mechanics----but neglect the fact that the idea of the game is for a pitcher to get hitters out.
Joba Chamberlain has been jerked around and built up to the point that it's no wonder he's become a disaster. They're making this up as they go along and hoping they hit on some strategy that works so they'll be able to crow about having been "right".
There's the catch right there.
Since Moneyball and the rise of the "genius" of Billy Beane; and the credit doled out to Theo Epstein for the success of the Red Sox, Cashman's main focus has not been on winning, creating the best possible organization or developing players; it's been about getting credit.

"Oh, Cashman was right."
"Brian's smarter than everyone thought; it's not just about the endless money the Yankees spend."
"Brian built a club using his scouting/stats acumen; he's on a level with Beane and Epstein."

It's all about him and the desire for accolades while shielding himself from blame. Nothing more. It's obvious and it's failing. They've instituted these ridiculous JOBA RULES to protect themselves, not to develop the pitcher.
Everyone around the organization----from the beat writers to the broadcasters all the way down through the organization----maintains the public bullet points of why they're doing this. It never ends. Last week we read repeatedly about how Eiland discovered a mechanical flaw. Did he bother to fix it? Or was it another in the long line of excuses of why Chamberlain can't get anyone out? During the broadcast yesterday, David Cone said he thought Joba looked "too strong". Yeah. That's it.
Cone----the most honest ballplayer anyone had ever spoken to when discussing his own career and assessing his teams----has joined the likes of Michael Kay in the sycophancy.
It's like there's an indoctrination camp for Yankee employees or acolytes that hypnotizes them to say, repeat and believe this garbage.
They're destroying this young pitcher just as effectively as if they let him throw 260 innings; what's worse is that they're putting out this cover story of doing what's "best" for Chamberlain. And sadly, people are still buying it. It's about arrogance. It's about selfishness. It's about deflecting blame. Don't accept one single word that's said about this travesty any longer. Only when people stop listening; stop taking every computer printout as to the "optimal" way to use Chamberlain as gospel; stop blindly accepting what the "experts" say extolling the Yankees use of Chamberlain as "right" will the truth come out. Either that or he'll be so completely demolished by the time they're done with him that no one will remember him past a brief, "oh yeah, him" while sipping a beer.
They're ruining him. Until someone in the Yankee organization with some power and some courage to speak to this issue honestly appears, it's not going to end until Chamberlain is little more than another name added to the list of "what might have been" and was unraveled by the egos of his employers.
The Yankees will deserve their fate. Chamberlain won't.
  • Cubs suspend Milton Bradley for the rest of the season:
In yet another incident in the checkered career of Milton Bradley, the outfielder was suspended for the rest of the season by the Chicago Cubs after criticizing the organization in a newspaper interview----ESPN Story.
I'm not going to get into a Selena Roberts-style bout of armchair psychology. I don't think a team of the best psychiatrists in the world----working round-the-clock with a mandate to discover what Bradley's problem is----could come up with a viable diagnosis. It's unlikely Bradley knows why he's like this. In fact, he probably doesn't understand what he's done wrong not just in this incident; not just this year; but throughout his entire career.
After his brilliant and well-behaved season with the Rangers in 2008, I'd honestly (and obviously naively) thought that Bradley would behave himself with the Cubs; that manager Lou Piniella would bond with the volatile player and coax a big year from him leading the Cubs to their long-awaited World Series. But, just like in Montreal; Cleveland; Los Angeles; Oakland; and San Diego, Bradley has detonated his bridges in Chicago as well.
There's no way he's a Cub next year. If they have to resort to eating the remaining two years on his contract or taking the unprecedented step (one I would explore) of negating the contract legally because of insubordination, they're going to do it. The clubhouse poison that is Milton Bradley has been excised from the Cubs for the rest of this season. He won't be back and I can't imagine any team willing to take a chance on him now or ever.
  • Viewer Mail 9.21.2009:
Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE Aaron Heilman:

When Heilman comes in a game to pitch against the Redbirds, we (Cardinal fans) get a great big communal hard-on, much like we did when LaTroy Hawkins was blowing games for the Cubs back in the day.

That's a bit more information than I needed about Cardinals Nation Jeff. I prefer your references in such matters to stick to Allison Stokke and Erin Andrews.

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE my Twitterings from Saturday:

Jim Leyland needs a cigarette! HAHAHAHA! Good one.

I think he'd rather have a cigarette cough than Brandon Lyon.
In all fairness to Lyon, he hasn't pitched badly this year; but he gives up a lot of home runs and most are at inopportune times----a problem for the playoffs. If they make it, that is.

Chris writes RE my prediction of a Patriots blowout over the Jets yesterday:

love your work very insightful and written in a very entertaining way. Kinda went the wrong way on the jets call tho.

You're right. I'd better stick to baseball. Although I doubt anyone can blame me for having the backwards faith in the Jets for doing what it is the Jets do on a regular basis.

Gabriel wrote via Twitter RE Ken Griffey Jr's impending at bat against Joba Chamberlain:

If there's justice, Griffey will slam Joba.

Then, following Junior's blast:

It counts as if I called it?

It counts.
Your request for promotion in the "family" has been received and granted. Say hello to the new Tex-Mex Capo, Gabriel "Rockbard" Gutierrez.


She-Fan said...

I agree that the Yankees' "plan" for Joba has gone horribly awry, and I also agree that it hasn't been all about what's best for Joba but also what's best for the Yankees. But I'm not getting the Cashman thing - about how he has to be "right." The only thing that will make him right is if the Yankees win the World Series.

Jeff said...

Oh boy, Prince. Rumors circulating that there may be an Oliver Perez for Milton Bradley trade during the offseason. I'm sure the Mets could get Bradley to behave (that's a lie).