Loyal? Stubborn? Or Just Plain Stupid?

When Freddy Garcia walked off the field in Fenway Park this past Saturday, there was a sigh of relief mixed in with the disappointment that fans felt.  Garcia  had just been shelled for the third time in as many outings this year.  The Red Sox took what looked like batting practice off of Garcia, chasing him after just 1 2/3 innings, collecting 7 hits and 5 runs.

Garcia had just run his ERA to an unsightly 9.75 in three horrific outings.  Worse than the numbers  was Garcia’s stuff on the mound.  While Garcia’s fastball had left him long ago, this year’s version seemed slower than slow.  His pitches seemed to be lobbed rather than thrown this year. The changing of speeds that Garcia relied upon last year while compiling a respectable renaissance season with the Yankees? Well, its hard to change speeds effectively when everything is just so slow.

It was simply obvious to anyone who witnessed Garcia’s third consecutive disaster that he needed to leave the rotation and needed to leave it immediately. To send Garcia out there every five games to get shelled and give the bullpen a hard workout obviously wasn’t going to work, not even until Andy Petitte returned.

The consensus among most rational folks was that David Phelps, who had been very impressive in relief this year, would fill Garcia’s rotation spot in the short-term.  After all, there was no way Girardi would elect to keep Garcia in the rotation after those debacles right?


Just yesterday this was Girardi’s quote when asked about Garcia “We’re not sure what we’ll do, if we’ll put Freddy there or bring CC back on his normal rest,” Girardi said. “But Freddy is going to pitch again, if that’s the question. Freddy’s going to start again.”

Folks, he just doesn’t get it. What kind of message does Girardi send to his team, especially the other pitchers on the staff, when he acts like this? What an incredibly hypocritical and contradicting stance to take in light of the fact that Girardi has mentally abused every young pitcher underneath him during his tenure with constant “every start is a referendum on your job” tactics!

It’s just unfathomable that a pitcher could be so dreadful and have his job declared safe by Girardi. It’s not as if Garcia has been unlucky, “just a hair off on his location”, or having slight mechanical issues. Garcia has been getting crushed and giving his team absolutely nothing.

Is it possible that Cashman is influencing this decision? I suppose it is possible that a General Manager who makes what looks like a bad signing would want to encourage his manager to give that guy every possible chance.  In the end though, it’s Girardi’s decision and the decision he’s made is the wrong one.  He’s sending a simple message here, and it won’t be lost on his players. The message is “if you’re old and I like you, you get unlimited chances. If you’re young and you’re not one of my guys, you are pitching for your job every time you go out there.”

That’s just no way to run a team or a clubhouse.

About Michael P.

I am a Saratoga Springs, Ny resident whose been sports obsessed since I was 5 years old.

Posted on April 24, 2012, in Personal Opinion. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Interesting view on this Michael……I’ve been wondering if that’s how Cash thinks as well. I hate to say it but Garcia is probably done as a starter, and maybe as a pitcher. His stuff just isn’t there. But knowing Cash and his loyal sidekick Joe Girardi, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him get 2, 3, maybe even 4 more chances.

    At least Andy is coming back. And we don’t even know what to expect from him. Ay-ya i-yai….

    • Brian, the rule of thumb under the Girardi/Cashman reign of terror seems to be if you are over 33, no matter how poorly you pitch, it’s all good.
      If you are young? You must be jerked around and also made aware that each and every appearance is a referendum on your slot in the rotation or place in the bullpen.
      They’ve driven Joba, Hughes, and Nova insane(he cried last year when he was sent down to Scranton for no good earthly reason) and Kennedy also. Kennedy thrived when he was just handed the ball every 5 days, given a pat on the back, and told “go get em kid”.
      Burnett’s first start this year was a GREAT effort, I watched every pitch and he was really throwing well.
      This paranoia starts and ends with Girardi. Torre never operated like that, thank God.
      Yet the paranoia doesn’t extend to washed up, clearly finished guys like Garcia. Nope, he’s going to get more chances. Its INSANE!!!!
      Then again, he’d only make Phelps a mental case too if he inserted him.

  2. First off, the Cash/Girardi team will always give too many chances to the vets making money. How many chances did AJ get? Last yr when AJ was wetting the bed, they sent down Nova.

    Andy will be back in 3 weeks so a move doesn’t have to be made yet unless you are willing to make a move on Hughes when Andy comes back.

    I’d skip Garcia this week with Thursday’s off day and give him 1 more start. It wouldn’t be right to put Phelps in the rotation for 2 weeks then pull him back to the pen when Pettitte is ready. Phelps wouldn’t be totally stretched out anyway.

    Let’s see where we stand in the next 8-10 days……Hughes will have 2 more starts and Garcia 1 more. If both are still struggling you eventually make the move to Andy & Phelps with Hughes to the pen and Garcia out the door.

  3. I dont know if we can say he is definately done yet. Giving him another start or 2 to find out isnt the worst thing in the world. I’m sure if he is a bad as he has been, he wont get another chance. He is being paid $5m and thats alot of money to give up on after 3 starts. Either way Petite is almost ready and the real decision is whether he is released or made the long man. My guess is he is made the long man, and given a chance to work out his issues in this marginal role. Phelps in my opinion will be sent to the minors and stay stretched out and get the ball every 5th day. He will be used as insurance to Hughes/injuries.

    The last thing we want to see is the Yankees release Garcia, deplete their depth even further, and have him find his stuff in Boston while the Yankees pay for it.

    • Good point Fin. It’s a long season and we might be glad to have Garcia in a few months. Def don’t cut Freddy. If someone will trade for him it’s a consideration but no way do you eat that $4M and let anyone take him for nothing.

  4. Fish I understand you can’t just cut Freddy lose, Cashman foolishly gave him 4 million and thats not chump change. He won’t accept a minor league demotion and the only option is to hide him in the bullpen in long relief spots/emergency starter/rain delay starter roles.

  5. These things tend to work themselves out , Garcia will start until Pettite is ready. After that he will be traded or move to the pen. Rapada will be the odd man out.

  6. Cashman and Joe G., get the shank in the back right? Everyone has an opinion and as armchair managers we are always right.
    Cash and joe are good and have things they must do, they may not like but, Money is money. One doesn’t throw $4 mil over the fence without giving the person every chance to earn his money.
    As for Garcia to the BP and Phelps to the starting rotation, think of this…who would you rather have pitching in a close game, between 6th and Mo time?
    See one must think about things like that, remember; for every action there is a reaction. Phelps has not been stretched out very much, not enough to join the starters. Andy coming back may make it ok to send Garcia to another team.

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