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Did the Yankees rig the fifth starter's race?

Apr 2, 2010, 11:15 AM EST

That’s what Joel Sherman of the Post says. Except, contrary to what I thought when I read his headline, he doesn’t think it was Joba Chamberlain who got short shrift, it was Sergio Mitre. Sherman suggests that Mitre’s superior spring training stats would have won him the fifth starter’s job over Hughes had things been on the up-and-up. Which assumes that you chose your starting pitchers based on spring training stats alone as opposed to the long term well-being of the team, which Hughes — and Chamberlain — represents far more than Sergio Mitre does.  If Cashman had made his choice of fifth starter based on spring training stats alone he’d be doing the organization a massive disservice.

Sherman likewise calls the centerfield competition between Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner “rigged.”  Which is likewise silly because it’s not at all clear that there ever was a proper competition. The Yankees wanted to make sure Granderson could still handle center, sure, but I don’t recall anyone connected with the team declaring it an open competition.  Gardner had the same chance of starting in center this year that my backup propane tank had in grilling my steaks last night: they could be deployed if necessary, but as long as the primary option was up to the job it wasn’t gonna happen.

Gardner is like my propane tank in another way too: both I and the Yankees could do better. Next spring I’m going with a proper charcoal grill. Next spring the Yankees are going with Carl Crawford. I think we’ll both be happier because of it.

  1. ecp - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    What a silly question. Of course they rigged it; the Yankees rig everything!

  2. gumbercules - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Good, Craig. I was about to have a charcoal intervention for you until I read the last paragraph.

  3. Joey B - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    “If Cashman had made his choice of fifth starter based on spring training stats alone he’d be doing the organization a massive disservice.”
    You have to assume it’s an April’s Fool joke. Mitre is 13-26 with a 5.56 lifetime. He had a 6.79 last year with a 1.626 Whip.
    “Sherman likewise calls the centerfield competition between Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner “rigged.” Which is likewise silly because it’s not at all clear that there ever was a proper competition.”
    Maybe not so much on this one. Sherman makes a reasonable point. It’s not really a question of starting, but rather which position to play. Gardner is probably a better CF, so from that perspective, the ‘fix’ was in. I don’t think it makes too much difference since NYY LF is a fairly large area to play in, and Gerdner should do well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Gardner is not more deserving than Granderson.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Well, whose money is it anyway? The highest per-player payroll in any sport, and we can’t decide who goes where without parlour games?
    All this with personally being impressed with Mitre this spring- c’mon what if something happens to Andy?I’m happy with Hughes, the Toad can come in for an inning or two, Granderson is a very impressive CF and human bei9ng, Gardner can work through whatever challenges present him and prove that he has hitting abilities as well as speed.
    Now, on an important topic: When making brisket, or ribs, dry marinate overnight, moisten in aluminum foil with beef broth, place on medium gas grill for 30 minutes, while charcoal is graying, place on charcoal grill for 2-3 hours. Make sure you get a charcoal grill where adding bricquets is easy. Serve with beer and bourbon.
    Captcha: smears had- always been used in the New York Post

  5. Yankees Gameday - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    If you’re thinking long term about the future of the organization and your target for next year really is Carl Crawford (as I desperately hope it is) then your outfield for 2011-2015 will be Crawford in Left and Granderson in Center. In that scenario it makes zero sense to move Granderson out of the position that he is going to play for at least the next five years just to provide the illusion that Brett Gardner had a real shot at the job.
    Unless Gardner’s situational hitting improves a ton this year then his real value is only as a pitch hitter to bunt or pinch runner to swipe an important bag late in the game.
    http://yankeesgameday.blogspot.com/

  6. OldNo7 - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Next spring? That deprives you and your family of an entire baseball season of real flavor! Gas is great for wintertime and when you’re in a hurry, but seriously, Craig. Even a little Weber can get you through this year, then be used for camping/tailgating when you invest in a sweet flatbed unit for ’11.
    I’ve never known anyone who made the switch to charcoal who regretted it.
    “photo vanguard”

  7. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    You have to assume it’s an April’s Fool joke. Mitre is 13-26 with a 5.56 lifetime. He had a 6.79 last year with a 1.626 Whip.

    It’s Joel Sherman, he and the rest of his ilk like Wallace Matthews and Ian O’Connor, are terrible writers who still make comments about things such as “true yankees” and “mystique and aura” and all the crap. At least they are stuck writing for 4th rate newspapers and not such wonderful places like the new ESPN NY
    Oh wait, FML
    http://espn.go.com/new-york/

  8. Hank Hill - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Craig, you do not know what you are talking about, charcoal indeed
    Hank Hill

  9. RM - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Of course it was rigged. Alfredo Aceves had a much better spring than CC Sabathia.

  10. Charles Gates - Apr 2, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    In related news, Tim Lincecum and his 6.94 spring training ERA are fighing for a spot in the San Fran rotation.

  11. Joey B - Apr 2, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    “It’s Joel Sherman, he and the rest of his ilk like Wallace Matthews and Ian O’Connor, are terrible writers who still make comments about things such as “true yankees” and “mystique and aura” and all the crap.”
    I had the misfortune of reading Ian O’Conner when he wrote in the Westchester paper. They didn’t get much worse. To be honest, a lot of the quality writing that NY papers used to have is mostly gone. And that gets coupled with better writers being accessible via the net. It used to be top-notch. Last night, I read a BB preview and one of the writers wrote that the Red Sox were rebuilding. Talent level is always a fun debate, but rebuilding? I think we’re getting a lot of journalism majors that spent more time in the library than in the schoolyard.

  12. Bill - Apr 2, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    How do you rig you’re own internal personnel moves? There is no logic to this story. You choose whoever you think will do the best job and if you base that choice solely on spring training performance then you are a fool, just like the idiots who write these types of stories.

  13. Big fan - Apr 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    But why is it that guys like Sherman (and even worse Lupica – the most arrogant and bitter writer ever) get to keep their jobs? Isn’t there some way for a paper to judge its writers and get rid of the ‘Minor leaguers’ and has-beens and replace them with something better? Or are all the better guys and gals too smart to take a job with a 19th century industry?

  14. smokehouse - Apr 2, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Hell, all the time I thought the field manager determined his rotations and starting lineups. Some managers would twll Cashman to mind his own business.

  15. smokehouse - Apr 2, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Hey Big Fam, don’t you know Lupica is a wizard and know it all plus an Obama boot licker? I don’t watch the Sunday morning ESPN “Sports Reporters” any more because of that moron….

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