However, in your latest write-up of one of Joe's ESPN chats, the following exchange takes place:
Joe Morgan: Unfortunately, everything seems to be riding on A-Rod. When he's up they're up, when he's in a lull, they are. The biggest mistake they made was getting rid of Sheffield. He's been the leader on that team offensively the three years that he was there, except the year A-Rod was the MVP. He and A-Rod carried the team. Matsui and Jeter were contributors, but those two carried the team. Now they just have A-Rod. He's played great all year, and he's carried the team to victories. But I'm shocked when I did their game against the Mets three weeks ago and they had won 11 of 12 and looked like they were on a roll. Now they're back to where they started from.Now, Ken, if you truly believe, in your heart of hearts, that the Yankees' pitching, and not their offense, is their real problem, then you are simply not paying attention (and I know you're a Red Sox fan, so maybe that's the case). Yes, the rotation has struggled at times, and the bullpen is comprised of Mariano Rivera and five or six arsonists, but come on. This is a team that scored five runs in three games at Coors Field. A team that was one-hit by Chad Gaudin. A team that has been consistently dominated by mediocre pitching. A team that starts decaying piles of horse manure at first base and centerfield. A team that has averaged 2.5 runs a game during the crucial stretch beginning June 19.
KT: Hey, kids! Here's a game you can play at home. What did Joe leave out in his analysis of the Yankees' struggles? (Here's a hint: there are three aspects of baseball -- hitting, pitching, and fielding.)
Some Yankees' WHIPs/ERAs:
Mussina: 1.35/4.98 (65 IP)
Clemens: 1.42/5.09 (17 IP)
Igawa: 1.61/7.13 (35 IP)
Farnsworth: 1.65/5.16 (29 IP)
Bruney: 1.50/1.97) (24 BB in 32 IP)
Vizcaino: 1.54/5.35 (37 IP)
Now Ken, you say. Aren't ERAs kind of a coarse way to evaluate pitchers? Yes, you arrogant dicks, they are. That's why I included WHIP as well. But also...many of these guys are relievers. Do you know what it means when a lot of your relievers have high ERAs? It means they are letting a ton of guys on base, and then their reliever buddies are letting them score.
The Yankees have scored the 3rd most runs in all of baseball. Losing Sheffield is not their problem. They have the 16th best team ERA in baseball. That is their problem. They have Wang, and Pettitte (who I swear to you all is going to come back down to earth soon), and that's about it. Proctor is unreliable. Rivera is steadying after a shaky first few weeks, but it's June 26 and he's had eleven save chances. Eleven. That's bad.
What is the point of all of this? The point is: how do you get asked a question about what is wrong with the Yankees and not mention their pitching? Answer: you are a terrible analyst.
And yes, I know some of their overall offensive numbers are fair, but that's losing the forest for the trees. The simplest way for this team to improve is by upgrading first base, centerfield, DH and back-up catcher.
Although...Joe Morgan is still an idiot.