Joe Girardi Strikes Again

October 19, 2010

Hi, my name is Kevin, and I think Joe Girardi is an idiot.

No, this is not a blog for recovering baseball manager haters, although I understand how you might have gotten that impression. I’m simply introducing myself because my dashboard is telling me that I am getting many, many new readers tonight. I know why that is, of course. During tonight’s Rangers-Yankees game, Robinson Cano hit a high fly ball to right field. Nelson Cruz went back for the catch, but got his glove entangled with the outstretched arms of three fans. The TBS broadcasters floated the idea of fan interference, and just like that, my hits went through the roof. I love when that happens.

But back to the main point, which is that Joe Girardi is a horrible manager. My regular readers will tell you newcomers that this is a hot button for me, and they are absolutely right. The man is a disaster. Before getting into the specifics, you need to know that I know the following:

  • the Yankees lost tonight because AJ Burnett is a crappy pitcher
  • the Yankees are behind in the series because their offense has vanished
  • the Texas Rangers are a good team

So, to be clear: it is not all Joe Girardi’s fault. But he does have control over several aspects of his team, and it is in those areas that he routinely and disastrously errs.  Read the rest of this entry »


Fan Interference’s 2009 MLB All-Stars: American League

July 8, 2009

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Ever since the end of my childhood (this occurred around 2000), I’ve watched Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game with less awe and more conviction. My interest in the game has become more self-righteous as I root for the game’s more overrated players to fail and the under-appreciated stars to succeed; or, in last year’s case, I root for the game to end. Not all inclinations are based on my ongoing quest for the accurate evaluation and perception of players. Yankees receive cheers no matter what, Red Sox remain vilified – that goes for any Met not named Carlos Beltran, too.

I find the All-Star selection process much more interesting than the game itself. Fans, players, and managers contribute to varying degrees in setting the 33-man roster. Each group – much like any group – has its idiots, its intelligent voters, and a group that falls somewhere between the two. Ultimately, the final rosters provide a useful glimpse into which players embody the intersection of popularity and skill. As you might expect, I prefer that the selectors look at the latter almost to the total exclusion of the former. More difficult is the question of which player is more deserving: the one-half wonder, or the (probably) more talented player with a consistent track record? I lean more towards the established player, although certain cases allow for the rewarding of an incredible first half, even if it is unlikely or unsustainable. There’s a fair argument on both sides.

Now that I’ve bored you with my philosophical musings, I’d like to share my picks for the American League’s 33-man roster. The actual roster can be found here, although they do not yet include the winner of the Final Vote. I’m loosely following the prescribed format: eight starting position players, 13 pitchers (distributed arbitrarily between starters and relievers), and 12 bench players (with a backup at each position). The National League will follow in the coming days. Here we go: Read the rest of this entry »


A Thank You & An Apology

April 30, 2009

I never thought I’d still be maintaining this blog over two years after its founding. My friend and I started Fan Interference that fateful day in college for three reasons: we were bored, we were cranky, and we had serious crushes on Fire Joe Morgan. It would appear that I am still bored, cranky, and enamored, because just over two years later, Fan Interference is still here. I mention all this because April 2009 saw the most hits of any month since the blog’s inception. Ever since the Lull of 2008, hits have been steadily increasing. I think it’s no coincidence that this has happened just when the quality of both the content and appearance improved. Ultimately, this is just a long-winded “thank you.” I’m grateful to the readers for supporting this site, however regularly. I’m grateful to a certain graphic designer in Florida for our awesome logo that has provided an increased feeling of legitimacy. I’m grateful to my Roosevelt Island traveling buddy for challenging me to write consistently and well about the things that interest me. Most of all, I’m grateful to broadcasters, columnists, players, general managers, coaches, scouts, and fans for providing endless material. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Now that that’s done, I want to apologize to Jorge Posada and you readers. On Monday, I wrote a fairly serious indictment of Posada’s effort and character. This came after he apparently failed to hustle to first base on a double play in an important situation. It turns out that Posada’s hamstring was bothering him, preventing him from running at maximum speed. This development means I was very wrong, and I should have withheld judgment until something like this could be ruled out. It just goes to show that no matter how smart or observant or right I think I am, there will always be information that, as a fan, I will never know. I think it’s important to issue such an apology in this space, particularly given the nature of this blog. I have spent lots of time ridiculing people for overreacting and not following up when more information becomes available. It appears that I am capable of the same folly as those I criticize.

That’s it for now. I hope you stick with me here at Fan Interference. I enjoy doing this a great deal, and as long as that’s the case, I don’t see myself stopping. At least not until Joe Morgan uses VORP in an argument. Then I’d have a bigger task before me, like preparing for the apocalypse.


Jorge Posada Adds “Hustling To First” To List Of Things Upon Which He Frowns

April 27, 2009

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EDIT: This piece was written before I learned of Posada’s hamstring injury. An apology can be found here.

The majority of readers may not take any interest in this post, but it’s not the first time that will have happened, so no hard feelings. But for the Yankees fans who find themselves reading this, I write to confirm what you undoubtedly saw in tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers; namely, that Jorge Posada is kind of a disappointment.

The Yankees entered the top of the 9th inning down 4-0. Tigers’ reliever Fernando Rodney – who is often accompanied to the mound by a barrel of gasoline – replaced Bobby Seay and was slated to face the Yankees’ 5-7 hitters. Robinson Cano led off with a double. Nick Swisher followed with an RBI single, making the score 4-1 with nobody out. Then Melky Cabrera singled, sending Swisher to third with still nobody out. Manager Joe Girardi rightly pinch-hit Jorge Posada for Jose Molina. Seasoned Yankees fans everywhere at this point probably feared Posada grounding into a double play, which he does with some regularity. But Posada has pop in his bat, and an extra-base hit would have made the game 4-3 Tigers with no one out. You take the good with the bad. And boy, did Posada go out of his way to put forth the bad.

On the third pitch of the at-bat, Posada grounded weakly to the left side of the infield. It just made it by Rodney, which meant that the Tigers’ third-baseman would have to charge it hard to have any chance at turning two. Brandon Inge did this successfully, throwing it to Placido Polanco at second to record the first out. Polanco negotiated the disruptive Cabrera and threw to first to nail Posada by half a step, completing the double play. Swisher scored, making it 4-2 with no one on and two outs. I was grudgingly accepting of this outcome. That is, of course, until I saw footage of Posada running to first base. Read the rest of this entry »


Fire Jerry Crasnick?

May 11, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, we have found the single laziest answer by an “expert” analysis in “expert” analysis history. I present to you, from yesterday’s ESPN.com chat with Jerry Crasnick, the new nadir of sports insight:

Patrick (Brooklyn, NY): Jorge Posada: Overrated, Hall of Famer, or somewhere in between?

Jerry Crasnick: Patrick, My initial knee jerk reaction is, “Somewhere in between.” But I haven’t checked him out on Baseball-Reference.com lately.

It is definitely way too demanding to ask Mr. Crasnick to check out Jorge Posada’s statistics during a chat in which he is asked baseball questions about baseball players. Apparently, if you don’t catch Mr. Crasnick on a day when he happened to look at a certain player’s numbers, you have no chance in hell of getting your question answered because, well, he just hasn’t seen the player’s numbers lately. But wait!

Ravi (NY): Hi Jerry- I’ve never had a question answered, and I’m hoping you can end that streak for me….Ryan Church: Is his fast start a fluke, or is his production vs lefties (.324/.405/.514) a product of playing everyday? I know Hojo has worked with him to reduce the uppercut in his swing.

Jerry Crasnick: Ravi, Welcome to the chat. Ryan Church has a .752 career OPS against lefties, so it’s not as if he’s been an automatic out against them. If Church says that Howard Johnson has had a positive impact on his performance, you have to believe that’s the case. In Washington, the Nats always thought Church had potential, but they were frustrated with his inability to stay on the field because of nagging injuries. I think this is just a combination of maturity, health and opportunity. (emphasis mine)

I can guarantee you that Mr. Crasnick did not know, off the top of his head, that Ryan Church has a .752 career OPS against lefties. He looked that up on a website. The type of website he visited also probably had Jorge Posada’s career statistics that he could have used to answer Patrick from Brooklyn’s question. But no, that is way too much work. Shame on you, Patrick from Brooklyn. Shame on you.

Fire Jerry Crasnick?


Factually Incorrect

September 15, 2007

During this afternoon’s Yankees-Red Sox game, FOX broadcaster Tim McCarver brings up the ridiculous year Jorge Posada is having. Discussion quickly turns to his defense, and McCarver says:

“His throwing this year has been superb.(emphasis his)

I’m assuming McCarver is talking about Posada’s throwing out basestealers, not returning the ball to the pitcher every pitch. Let’s take a look. Posada is 18th out of 22 qualified catchers in CS% this year, at 24%. In fact, it is his worst year in this respect since 1997. Yes, 1997.

So, no, Tim McCarver – you are wrong.

EDIT: The Red Sox stole two bases (on two separate steals, not a double steal) shortly after McCarver said this.