Frankly Frankel: May 21, 2016

21 May

Joe Girardi needs therapy, Carlos Beltran doesn’t know the rules of baseball, Phil Jackson continues to underwhelm as President of the Knicks, the Celtics are going to miss out on Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram, and Mets fans should be very concerned about Matt Harvey.  This is Frankly Frankel on this Saturday, May 21, 2016.

  • Joe Girardi needs therapy, and he needs it now.  The fact that he pulled Nathan Eovaldi after he allowed just one hit and threw 85 pitches after six innings during Wednesday’s game against the Diamondbacks, and then pulled Ivan Nova after he had thrown just 62 pitches and allowed one run after six innings the very next night against the A’s is one of the most incomprehensible displays of managing in recent memory.
  • Girardi is so attached to whenever the Yankees have a lead after six innings, that the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings must be pitched by Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Arolids Chapman.  No matter the situation, no matter how many pitches the starter has thrown, Girardi is going to use his “Run BMC” trio every chance he gets.  No exceptions.
  • I could understand if the starter is laboring or has been pitching his way out of trouble, but Nova and Eovaldi were both cruising, and in my over 20-year history of watching baseball at any level (I’m talking all the way back to tee-ball and Little League), I’ve never seen a starter pulled when fully healthy and pitching well after throwing just 62 pitches.  If that isn’t a blatant cry for help from Girardi, I don’t know what is.
  • I get it, and as a matter of fact, I’m the most well aware person in the world that wins are at an ultra-premium for the Yankees this season since let’s face it, the team just isn’t very good with the clear strength of the team being the back-end of the bullpen, but that doesn’t mean Girardi has to overreact every time the Yankees get a lead.
  • Once Girardi enters and completes therapy, which I strongly recommend, his stint there shouldn’t take too long because his issue is very easy to resolve.  He’ll learn it’s OK to allow a pitcher to pitch past the sixth inning when the Yankees have a lead, and Betances, Miller, and Chapman won’t each have over 100 appearances on the season which is exactly what it feels like is on track to happen right now.
  • One would think after being a Major League Baseball player for 19 seasons, Carlos Beltran would be able to recognize simple situations, like knowing how many outs there are in an inning, for example.
  • With two outs and Beltran on second in the top of the third inning during Thursday night’s Yankees game against the A’s, Brian McCann hit a somewhat routine fly ball to right field, but Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick inexplicably dropped it.  In a normal situation, Beltran would have took off for third at the crack of the bat, but in this instance, he held up before realizing the ball had fallen to the ground.  He was only able to take one base.
  • I swear knowing how many outs there are in an inning is the very first thing they teach you in Little League, and there’s zero excuse for someone like Beltran, who again, has been a Major League Baseball player for 19 seasons, to have this type of mental lapse.  It was truly baffling.  The next batter, Starlin Castro, lined out to third to end the inning.  Opportunity wasted.
  • Luckily for Beltran, the Yankees don’t win Thursday’s game without him.  He drove in three of the four Yankees runs, and he hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to provide much need insurance runs for Aroldis Chapman to shut the door.
  • I’ll never forget when Luis Castillo dropped A-Rod’s pop-up in a game during the 2009 season allowing the Yankees to miraculously win a game over the Mets they should have lost.  However, Castillo’s drop would have meant nothing if Mark Teixeira wasn’t busting it from first base at the crack of the bat.  Teixeira was able to score the winning run from first, and if you don’t know anything about Teixeira, he’s one of the slowest base runners in the sport.
  • Imagine if Castillo dropped that ball and Teixeira wasn’t running?  Instead of Castillo being the goat on that play, it would have been Teixeira.  That’s why you always put your head down and run when there are two outs in an inning.  Never again Carlos, never again, but at least he made up for it later in the game and the Yankees didn’t lose by one run or else I probably would have lost my mind.
  • Phil Jackson has made his second head coaching hire as President of the Knicks (Derek Fisher was the first), choosing former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.  My stance on this all along was if Kurt Rambis was going to be the guy, he would have been hired months ago, and the fact Carmelo Anthony came out publicly and essentially said he didn’t want Rambis meant Rambis wasn’t going to get the job because of the vast amount of power players in today’s game have over these types of decisions.
  • Just because Carmelo didn’t want Rambis though, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be satisfied with Hornacek who’s coaching resume isn’t that impressive (he went 14-35 before Phoenix fired him last season), but because it’s Phil Jackson and he has 11 rings as a coach, he knows exactly what he’s doing!!
  • There’s no doubt Phil Jackson is the most overpaid person in sports.  For a comparison, Theo Epstein, who turned the Cubs from irrelevant into the World Series favorite in the National League, is making $3.5 million this season as the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs.  Phil Jackson on the other hand, who continues to lose with the Knicks, is making almost four times that at $12 million per season as President of the Knicks.
  • It’s evident Jackson being President of the Knicks hasn’t and isn’t going to lure any big-time free agents to New York, and the hire of Hornacek doesn’t appear like it’s going to change anything either.
  • It’s gotten to the point with the Knicks that it feels like both sides would be better off parting ways so Phil can go back to Los Angeles so he can spend all his free time with Jeanie Buss and our long national nightmare of Jackson being President of the Knicks can be over so we can move on with our lives.
  • For strictly selfish reasons, I was hoping Jackson would have settled with Rambis just to hear how the fan base would have reacted.  Rambis is the ultimate Phil Jackson ‘puppet’ with his ties to the infamous ‘Triangle offense.’  Not that the Hornacek hire is any better, but the reaction would have been so much more comical if Rambis were hired instead.
  • If you look even closer at Jackson’s tenure with the Knicks, if he didn’t hit a grand slam by drafting Kristaps Porzingis, there’s now way he’d be able to safely walk the streets of New York (not that he would ever do that anyway because he’s never in New York to begin with, but still).  The Porzingis pick has allowed Jackson to salvage at least a tiny amount of credibility during his reign as President.
  • Phil Jackson is arguably the greatest coach who ever lived.  No one can deny that.  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for him as an executive, and the sooner the Knicks come to that realization, the better off they’ll be.
  • Thank goodness the NBA Draft Lottery is over, and the Boston Celtics did not get the first pick in the draft.  As a Nets fan, I don’t know how I would have been able to deal with that.  The third pick in the draft was as low as I was willing to go for Boston, because as long as they don’t have the opportunity to draft Ben Simmons from LSU or Brandon Ingram from Duke, I’m happy.
  • Saying that, it’s beyond crucial that the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers, who are picking first and second, don’t screw this thing up.
  • I really don’t want to hear all the question marks about Ben Simmons’ desire and about whether he’d be able to handle the environment that’s been created around the 76ers.  There’s a reason why he’s looked at as one of the best NBA prospects since LeBron, and Philly would be beyond foolish to let him pass by.
  • As for the Lakers, their decision with the second pick will be very easy with the Sixers drafting either Simmons or Ingram that they won’t (or shouldn’t) have any decision to make.  They’ll just draft the guy the Sixers decide not to take.  These teams really can’t mess this one up.
  • It’s gotten to the point with Matt Harvey and the Mets that a change of scenery might be best for both parties.  It feels like Harvey is always in the news for all the wrong reasons, and his numbers have steadily gotten worse and worse every year he’s been in the Majors.  For all the hype surrounding him and given how talented he is, one would think Harvey would have a better career record than 28-24.
  • On top of that, his average fastball velocity has dropped from 96 MPH in 2015 to 94 MPH this season.  That doesn’t sound like it would be too big of a deal on the surface, except for the fact batters are hitting .435 off Harvey’s fastball when it travels less than 94 MPH and .208 off of it when it travels greater than 94 MPH (according to ESPN Stats & Information).  Red flag city.
  • I also found Mets manager Terry Collins’ comments on Harvey’s struggles to be troubling.  “It’s scary when you don’t know how to fix some thing because he’s never had to,” Collins said.  Based on Collins’ comments, Harvey is going to have to reinvent himself as a pitcher at some point with the fastball no longer being his No. 1 pitch.
  • He should be talented enough to make that adjustment, but a lot of times when pitchers begin losing velocity on their fastball, it can take years for them to get back to their dominant form, if they ever do.
  • I didn’t get the chance to write about it this last week since it happened on a Sunday, and let me preface my comments by saying in no way do I condone a baseball player or anyone for that matter ever punching anyone in the face, but you can’t tell me with a straight face Rougned Odor punching Jose Bautista wasn’t good for the game.
  • For the first time all season, baseball was the No. 1 story in sports, and after going so long without any bad blood, the sport finally has some between the Blue Jays and Rangers.  Unfortunately, these two teams don’t face each other for the rest of the regular season, but there’s no way the ratings wouldn’t be through the roof if they meet in the playoffs.  That would be must-see television.
  • Be sure to tune in next week for another edition of Frankly Frankel and make sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.


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