Sunday, April 15, 2007

Flaherty and Company

What a game. The Yanks and A's are putting together quite a string of dramatic innings aren't they? Some thoughts on the last game beginning with John Flaherty.

John Flaherty isn't very good in my opinion. I don't know how other people feel about this, but I think he's bad. First, he has absolutely no chemistry with Ken Singleton in the two man booth. The broadcast is quite stiff. Kenny Singleton is a fairly able broadcaster and a very good on air personality. I like him with Kitty or Bobby Murcer, as a duo especially, the last few years. Flaherty is a zero in the booth. No personality. Cliche delivery. Very little thoughtful analysis. I disagree with a lot of the old baseball cliches he keeps in his little novice color commentary kit. We've moved past some of the old myths about the game as fans, but "Flash" hasn't figured that out himself.

One such instance that got my goat, was his statement that the A's had some sort of momentum from their extra inning win the night before. I don't remember the inning, or the exact context, but he mentioned that the A's were looking to capitalize on momentum from their 11th inning walk off victory in Game One. Is this serious? Haven't we all moved beyond the idea that some kind of metaphysical momentum propels a team to a winning streak from a "dramatic win"? The very idea of it annoys me. Nevermind that Scutaro and Stewart played in Game Two instead of Ellis and Kielty. Forget that the starting pitchers were completely different people. Disregard the fact that one game was played on a Friday and the next on a Saturday (two totally different days, if you're not keeping track). Momentum is a factor. Ugh.

The other thing he said that bugged me was something about Tanyon Sturtze giving the Yankees quality middle relief for a good period of time. Huh? John, didn't you catch the guy? Didn't you see the crap he was tossing around up there? Remarkably, Sturtze managed an 11+ year Major League career with a 5.21 ERA and a 1.531 WHIP, primarily out of the bullpen. For the Yankees his ERA was 5.26 and his WHIP was 1.410, so he basically stunk up the joint.

Anyway, Flaherty is neither here nor there. The game was played on the field, and you have to be pleased at the work that Rasner did. He was unlucky to have the garbage defense the Yankees seem intent on putting out there every night, but he picked up the team and shut down the A's after the rocky 1st inning. Flaherty said something about Rasner not being a guy that the scouts like, but his catcher does. Whatever. If the scouts didn't like him, he wouldn't have been competing for a spot in the rotation this season. Flaherty's reasoning was that scouts only like guys who throw hard. Maybe some of the guys stuck in the Stone Age, but the Yankees spend a lot of money on scouts that will tell them who can pitch and who can't. (I seem to be fixated on Flaherty).

Can someone please get Melky out of there. I love the kid, but he looks like he's in awful condition this season (+10 pounds by my eye) and he hasn't hit a lick. Kevin Thompson could hardly do worse, and he's just sitting on the bench. Give him a shot at the job for a few days. Cano is on fire, as is Jorge. The bottom part of the lineup is solid as a rock, as long as those two are hitting down there. Giambi finally contributed with the bat. Remarkable. I was beginning to think his hitting went to the same place as Carl Pavano's balls. Finally, A-Rod is a beast. He looked bad in his at bats late in the game, but 7 home runs at the midway point of April is one of the main reasons we're not in the cellar of the AL East. Give 'em hell A-boogie.

See you tomorrow. Go Yankees.