By Tony Mangia
CASHMAN CLAIMS HE IS NOT SHOPPING FOR STARTER
Yankee GM, Brian Cashman has stated the Yankees will not be looking for a starting pitcher to fill in the holes left by a healing Andy Pettitte, a reeling Phil Hughes and off-keeling A.J. Burnett. It's hard to believe that Cashman, who last month almost went all-in for Seattle ace Cliff Lee, will put all his trust in a pitcher with eleven starts over the last two seasons.
Sergio Mitre is returning to the starting five after injuring his oblique in June. He was pitching well before the injury (2.88 ERA) but has a history of fading before the fifth inning. Mitre is a bleak 13-24 with a 5.42 ERA as a starter and only averages 4 2/3 innings---not a good prospect, considering the hot-and-cold Yankee middle relievers and a sub-par Joba Chamberlain is waiting in the wings for another eighth inning melt-down.
Pettitte has a groin pull and is optimistic about returning to the lineup in three weeks--not the 5-6 weeks the team first claimed. A lot easier said than done for a 38 year-old. He is positive this means he will be well-rested for the stretch run. Ahh, the optimism of age.
Phil Hughes got raked over the coals last night by the Angels. He does not do well after resting and manager, Joe Girardi---the pitcher's sandman (not in a Mariano Rivera way)---will continue to limit Hughes' outings. He already has thrown 106 innings this season---more than any other year in the majors, so Girardi is fluffing his pillows already. For the next few weeks, Yankee fans may be seeing Javier Vasquez---4-2, 2.55 in his last 8 starts---as the team's number two starter. Who would have pictured that scenario six weeks ago?
Cashman would be as much of a head case as door pusher/puncher, Burnett, if he doesn't explore what's available before the July 31 trading deadline. Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly, and Don Haren are all worth a peak, all of them are good, but not Cliff Lee good for a short-term fix and a pillage of Yankee prospects.
More Like Taken Out of Bounds
I'm getting a little tired of politicians, celebrities and sports personalities using the old "It was taken out of context" excuse. Last week it was Dwayne Wade with his 9/11 remark and now its gasbag Tim McCarver comparing the Yankee organization to two of the most murderous regimes of the last century. McCarver announces his games like he's some college professor and viewers will be popped quizzed afterwards.
McCarver said, "You remember those despotic leaders of WII...where they used to take those pictures of former generals who were no longer alive, they had shot them." He continued," They would airbrush them out of the pictures, in a sense, that's what the Yankees have done with Joe Torre."
I know he's good friends with Torre from their Cardinal playing days and feels that the ex-Yankee manager got a raw deal when he was let go by the Steinbrenners, but it's unbelievable that anyone---especially in front of a national television audience---would compare a business decision and a slight at the last game at the old Yankee Stadium to Hitler---I just got a chill typing that name---and Stalin. I guess history wasn't this professor's major.
A few days later McCarver recanted---somewhat. "My analogy was inappropriate," he admitted, "In my opinion the underlying point remains true." He should never do another Yankee game again.
Forget Me Nots
Sorry to hear about the legendary former-North Carolina coach, Dean Smith, is suffering from memory-loss. He had too many great moments to forget everything...I hope. I'm just wondering if it is contagious? Seems like some of the football staff at NC can't recall any cases of improper recruiting violations and the same seems true at South Carolina. We already know that Pete Carroll has amnesia since he left USC.
I know George Steinbrenner had plenty of non-fans, so I had to laugh when I heard one of his most vocal detractors, ex-Red Sox pitcher and resident hippie, Bill Lee's gut response after The Boss's death. The Spaceman's bluntly said," When Hell freezes over, he'll be skating."