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Hey Joe, What’s the Rush?

Doesn’t make sense to me…with the All-Star break a week away why not finish out the week with the team in place and bring Jeter and Hughes back after the break? There is absolutely no need to rush them back for a week of games and then three days off. The extra time can only be beneficial for both of them and allow them to settle in during a time when the rest of the Major League is on vacation and working on their own mid-season issues. (Thanks Andrew!)

There are quite a few Yankee fans that woke up yesterday and read Joel Sherman’s article about how the team is putting statistics ahead of team goals. Joel is just stating the facts – and they are in black and white. This team was humming and had put together a streak that we have all been waiting for. Yankee fans were feeling good about Eduardo Nunez and his young legs and healthy pop in his bat. Watching him contribute to setting the table; knock in runs and hit a key team goal in the process was exciting to watch. Just in case some of you didn’t know this; the team did decide to adopt the rule of 5 and had been making it a point to score 5 every game; and in the process, ran a 14-3 record into first place in the testy and sometimes turbulent American League East. Something that all of us Yankee fans need to understand; there are four teams in that division that would be vying for first place in any other division in baseball if they could pick and choose where they wanted to be. And as proof; take a look at the winning percentage of the AL East versus the teams outside of their division in the AL or across the border in inter-league play. They are simply dominating.

The other issue is the move to place SuperNova back in the minors after posting eight wins by halftime in this brutal division. I don’t know of any pitcher in the majors that have entered their rookie year posting the kind of credibility and toughness that this kid has shown. If SuperNova was on the trading block; the Yankees would finally have a chip that a competitor would give up their current ace for. SuperNova is the real deal – and I love how brash he was yesterday in speaking to the Star Ledger. “I don’t think it was the right decision,” said Nova with EIGHT wins. “but, there is nothing I can do about it.” He went on to say there are no hard feelings but I can guarantee you this; the distaste in this young man’s mouth will most likely send many agents and suitors to his door. And even though Girardi and Cashman have him by the balls now; they will regret this move when the Yankees turn the page at the end of the 2011 campaign. These kind of stellar pitchers don’t come along every day; and with him speaking out; and not out of turn, the Yankees better realize right now that retaining his services after sticking it to him for a short arming pitcher with a 13.00 ERA is not going to make it easy to sign him. In fact; I’m in the process of writing to Ivan to offer my services as his agent in 2012. I believe this kid is the future Ace of the Yankees; especially with CC having enough and hate to say this folks, moving on to a NL team where he can hit and reach his own personal goals. I believe CC has loved his time in NY; but it’s foolish decisions like these and the calamity in that clubhouse that has his mind elsewhere for 2012. So hang on to your seat; but this move may have sent our current Ace over the edge. He loves Nova and through contacts in the Yankee organization, he has voiced his personal displeasure in regard to Nova’s fate.

Back to Joel and Derek; Joel makes a great point and he sounds similar to my last article about what is best for the TEAM and Derek. Joel is taking a team first approach; and if you really study, watch and understand the dynamics which Joel does, rushing Derek back to the one hole makes no sense.

Proof? With Derek rejoining the team and SuperNova being demoted; the Yankees have lost two straight. Not to stop there; but those two games are the first time in 17 games where they failed the rule of 5. And not to belabor the point; but Derek is so off his game that he had another “O” fer where he failed to even push the ball out of the infield. He is struggling – the same as he has struggled since the All-Star break in 2010. At 37 years old; he is wearing down and the rigors of a 162 game schedule; the intense media pressure in NY and the chase for 3,000 hits are making him press like never before in his career.

If you go back to my article about what is best for Derek; from the heart, I believe the solution is right there. I want him to go out on top. I want him to be immortalized for all the great things he has done for our beloved franchise. At 37 years old; time waits for no one and his time to accept the changes that need to take place for him; the franchise and a future star like Eduardo Nunez has finally arrived.

And as for “The” swap; the ill conceived and poor decision to move an 8 game rookie winner back to the minors for a short armed; short term train wreck shows what CC already knows – it’s not only about winning games but it also revolves around selling seats. In the end; the major problem may be selling Derek on his new role or trying to sell SuperNova on remaining a Yankee.
Whichever way it goes; us fans lose, Derek will lose, Eduardo will be hurt and we may end up losing our future Ace because he never feels the same. I always tell my kids; sometimes when you lose you really win. And sometimes when you win the game; you lose your real goal in the long run.

Sorry to say this to Joe and Cashman; but you guys not only lost, but the repercussions on this team and their ability to “just let these events go” will be tested over the coming months. I won’t be surprised if the Yankees take a nose dive after coming back from the All-Star break. Why not; they are taking one now.

Michael Antoniotti
Staff Writer