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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rafael Soriano: Felix Lopez said I should take a couple weeks off to rest my arm-Davidoff

5/16/11, "There's already enough tension and lunacy around the organization. Ailing reliever Rafael Soriano said after the game that George Steinbrenner's son-in-law, Felix Lopez -- whose background is in gardening, not medicine -- advised him to take
  • a couple of weeks off to rest his ailing elbow.

Tough, tough times for the Yankees. "This is where you're tested as a team," Girardi said.

In that case, the people who run this operation need to study harder....

Successful industries, be they baseball, banking or bagels, place their personnel in a position to succeed. And calibrate their expectations accordingly.

Both on and off the field Monday, the Yankees failed at that skill. They can blame only themselves for the intensifying storm surrounding them.

Even an early knockout of Rays ace David Price couldn't give the Yankees a much-needed victory. A.J. Burnett's sixth-inning meltdown at Tropicana Field led to the Yankees' sixth straight loss, 6-5, to Tampa Bay....

At 20-19, three games behind the Rays in the American League East, the Yankees feel like a team in crisis. Of course, most teams carry that aura when the results stink.

The problem with the Yankees right now, however, is that they're behaving like a team in crisis. Joe Girardi and his superiors made highly questionable decisions on players with established track records Monday.

Could Girardi really have been surprised when Burnett, handed a 5-1 lead by his teammates -- how about the amazing Curtis Granderson, by the way? -- threw it all back and then some, as B.J. Upton's two-run homer capped a five-run sixth? Burnett set off all of the proper warning flares,

  • including two wild pitches earlier in the sixth.

And what in the name of Thurman Munson was Yankees brass thinking when it interrupted Derek Jeter's day to discuss the comments he made Sunday about Jorge Posada's Saturday boycott?

First, Burnett. He entered the game having pitched very well in 2011, and when the Yankees pounced on Price, you thought that OK, Burnett will be the stopper.

"Of course you have confidence he's going to shut them down," Girardi said.

This is still A.J. Burnett, however. He's 34 years old, and a good eight-start run shouldn't wipe out his 13-year profile. He tends to crumble.

That certainly appeared to be the case in the sixth, as Sam Fuld smacked a two-run homer and, two outs later, Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce singled. Burnett threw his pair of wild pitches to accompany the rally.

Nevertheless, Girardi said, he didn't consider lifting Burnett with Upton coming to the plate: "That's his guy to get out. He got him out twice."

True, but this was no longer a competent, confident Burnett. The Upton homer hardly surprised.

Speaking of not being surprised, you could have set your watch to Jeter's comments on Sunday. He defended his longtime friend and teammate while standing clear of Posada's feud with the Yankees' front office.

Of course Posada received preferential treatment from the team captain. Of course Jeter wouldn't have been so effusive had this been Alex Rodriguez or Nick Swisher pulling themselves out of a game against the Red Sox an hour before first pitch.

This is who Jeter is. He isn't much of a captain. The Yankees knew this when they agreed to bring back the iconic shortstop last winter for an over-market deal. So as long as Jeter isn't planning a rally on Posada's behalf,

  • it probably would've been better to ignore Jeter's comments."...

5/16/11, "Decision-Makers off-target again," Ken Davidoff, Newsday (Newsday is subscription)

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