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Annals of Bad Headlines


Someone at the Post's sports desk needs a political sensitivity chip installed.

100 replies on “Annals of Bad Headlines”

Reminds me of the Lin Biao (Mao’s presumed successor in the early ’70s) jokes we made in 8th grade upon learning that word had come out that Biao had “run out of gas over Mongolia”.
WAY too soon to say that about Wang.
He has certainly run out of gas, but not over Mongolia………..just the AL East.

i hate him….along with the rest of the team. except teixiera and ace. everyone else can go.
it’s embarassing to be a yankee fan. this team is pathetic and unfortunately, wang is only one pathtetic loser on a roster full of them.

As it’s the New York Post we’re talking about here I think it is safe to substitute “Everyone” for “Someone” in your post SF. I believe a big part of their ethos is in fact to revel in political insensitivity.
As for the discussion Atheose and I were having on the game thread – which now takes 10 minutes to get to via the links – I’ll bring it here: the theory on sinker-ball pitchers overthrowing in big games and getting shelled may have some merit, but before his horrid ’07 ALDS starts, Wang faired pretty well in two starts in the ’05 and ’06 ALDS – going 6.2 innings in each game and giving up 1 and 2 ER respectively against the Angels and Tigers so I’m not sure. Admittedly it is a small sample size, but then again, it’s the same sample size as the two eggs he laid in October ’07. I do think they should start him vs. the Nats and only if he blows again there should they swap him and Hughes’ positions.
Also, on an intersting Lar/Ath in-game discussion re: balks, if balking-action with no-runners on-base were ever called, Mo would get called on every pitch. With no runners on he never comes set for more than a millisecond – he taps his foot and brings the glove to his waste and then start his motion almost immediately.

It gets worse. If you look deep into the crowd of that picture, you can find a very disappointed Chiang Kai Shek photoshopped in there, next to a big fat guy in a Pedroia shirt.

Sorry – that should have read 1 and 3 (not 2) ER respectively – still good for games in which he went 6.2 IP.

Good point IH, it’s easy to forget those first two starts. I do remember in 2007 they pitched him on short rest in the 2nd game because the theory was that sinkerballers who are a little more fatigued will throw less hard, which will make it sink more. Either way it didn’t work.
Also interesting regarding balks: if the pitcher is not looking at home plate when he throws, it’s a balk. So Okajima could be called for one every time.

I find it hard to believe that the Post would stoop to such a thing – especially as Rupert is probably a big Chiang fan…………
If we have to keep the theme of “ousted leaders of China”, Wang may end up resembling the Last Emperor, Pu Yi, most of all.
Kicked out and ignored.
I’m a sox fan and all, but I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for him…… must suck to feel that you have let down the entire population of Taiwan.

if the pitcher is not looking at home plate when he throws
Is this during the motion or at the start of the pitcher’s motion? In this case, Pettitte balks every time a runner is on first on this basis alone, much less his illegal leg move. So he double-balks.

If I remember rightly from the movie, Pu’s pu was revered.
Wang’s pu (or wang, for that matter), not so much……………

From Wikipedia:
it is a balk when the pitcher… pitches while facing away from the batter;
That could be interpreted many ways I guess.

Look…wang is garbage. always has been. I don’t care that the guy won 19 games back to back. Check out his run support? Who did he beat? He seemed to pitch everygame that I went to in Tampa, back when they sucked. He was HORRIBLE in the playoffs the last time we made it, which was what, 2000? The guys needs to go. Get rid of his ass. We cannot keep throwing him out there, it’s an automatic loss. His side sessions are good, he was good in AAA, he has LOST IT! what little he ever had. Screw him, send his sorry-ass back to taiwan on the first flight today…he is kei igawa to me now. I would rather see Tomko start. At least our high-priced studs are working out so well or we would really be in trouble…haha, not. Burnett is garbage and CC is OK. Great investments Cash. Pitching is/will kill us once again…

Sabathia has been more than OK, Krueg. 3.56 ERA, 1.128 WHIP, on pace to go 244 innings this year. His strikeouts are down a bit, and his walks are up, but his hits and homers allowed are at career bests. And he’s already thrown two complete games.

The exact language from the MLB rules is that a balk occurs when “the pitcher delivers the ball to the batter when he is not facing the batter”. To me the intent of this rule is pretty clearly not to forbid something like what Okajima does, which is to drop his head in the course of the motion and after having “addressed” the plate and the batter in the first part of their motion. That isn’t deception, whereas what the rule seems to imply is the deception of a pitcher looking to his manager, or to a base, while throwing home. At least that’s my take.

I love your in-game reverse-jinxing efforts, but I think you’re overboard on Wang. Over the ’05-’08 seasons, Wang’s ERA was 3.79 and he averaged 6.5 IP/game. As you know, NO ONE on the Yankees’ pitching staff went into – let alone beyond – 6 IP on a regular basis from 2005-2008. His value to the Yanks has been deeper than a win-total based purely on high run-support.
I don’t see him at all like Igawa, who never did anything remotely close to what Wang has done to contribute to the Yankees and so gets zero benefit of the doubt. I think Wang still deserves some of it, especially since all he needs to be is – at best – a number 3 starter.
The problem with the guy is that he is entirely feast or famine and the line between the two is razor-thin. If either his velocity, command, or sinking action are off, he goes from an excellent starter to utter meat. There is no scraping together a 3-4 run 6IP performance to keep the team in the game when he doesn’t have his best stuff. It is 1-2 ER over 7 or 8 IP or it is a 14.00 ERA compiled over 2-inning starts.
On the one hand that might lead you to say get rid of him but to me – especially seeing his velocity return – I think giving him a shot to start on this come-back effort against a starting line-up OTHER than that of the Rangers and the Red Sox is more than worth the shot.
And I can’t see putting Sabathia, Jeter, or Melky on anyone’s black-list this year, just to name a few…

RAB adopted a “No Tabloids” rule. Could you guys seriously consider the same?
“No Sterling or Waldman” would be nice too.
I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t make it through two innings innings for two nights in a row.

a “No Tabloids” rule? What are you, nuts?
More seriously, we rarely link to the tabs, and we don’t really engage in much media criticism of their writers at all, but this headline seemed to good to pass up.

On the whole I just don’t think they’re value-added. The negativity and rank stupidity far outweighs anything positive. If you want a superficial take on events, watch the Daily Show or, heck, the Evening News.

All I know is that I’d much rather have Wang out there struggling than Burnett. Wang blocks no one. Burnett blocks out a spot for the next four plus years. And at $16 million per. Just a terrible signing. At least Wang might re-discover what made him fun to watch. Burnett has never been fun.

I agree completely, I think the intent of the rule is to forbid something like what Pettitte does, where he stares at first base almost the entire time while pitching to home. But I could see some douchebag deciding to step in and call it for the sake of calling it.
I agree with IH, give Wang some more time to find that command. The velocity is there, and if I recall correctly that was his big problem when he came back last year. Of course, as a Sox fan I hope this doesn’t happen.

Sticking point with me, Ath, is how everyone says Pettitte has a “great move to first”.
To me it’s like saying Eliot Spitzer was really successful with the ladies.

Wang is, I believe, still getting his legs back. It might take some time but I think he’ll eventually be fine. He seemed to have no confidence at all last night.
And I do think the Yankees can afford – for the time being, anyway – to trot him out there every fifth day with Hughes in waiting – as long as he continues to show progress. The only way he’s going to get better is to pitch. I don’t think comparisons to Ortiz are out of order.

Wang is awful. Stop trotting him out there.
Still very confident in this team, they are very good. Best part about this is even with the losing streak against the Sox, the Yankees are one win away from being tied once again. It’s June and we are in a very good place. This Yankee fan is not in panic mode. Just get Wang out ASAP.

SF, I’m not sure I get you here. Are you saying that Pettitte is not getting called for something that other pitchers are getting called for or are you saying that what Pettitte is doing is techinically against the rules and therefore should be enforced (but that anyone else would likely get away with the same since the rule is not being applied to the letter of the law).
If it’s the former than I’m not sure what the possible explanation would be for this – a league-wide umpires’ conspiracy to allow him to get away with something no one else is?
If it’s the latter, then it is no different than the liberties taken with traveling in the NBA, and anyone could get away with it. He just happens to be doing it better than most right now.
I am not at all sure that his not looking at the batter at the start of his motion is really relevant. I’m having trouble thinking of a pitcher who is not looking down or somewhere other than directly at the batter when he starts his motion. Would it make any difference if – after he came set – he looked at the batter, then turned back to stare at the runner throughout the start of his motion? I don’t see how this would make anyone who thinks he is now balking “with his eyes” feel any better. The rule seems to say nothing about not looking at the runner. It only addresses looking at the batter which again, many pitchers do not after an initial look – and certainly not at the start of many of their motions.
Anyone who could be said to have one of the best pick-off moves in the game will have honed that move to be within a hair’s breadth of what the ump’s will call a balk – because to have such a great move you have ot be decieving the runner and the balk rule is aimed at preventing such deception. Given this, I think it is entirely appropriate to say that Pettitte has one of the best.

NoMass pointing out (with a great Photoshop of The Count on the number 7):
Yankees’ pitching is the 4th worst in the AL, with an ERA+ of 93.
When you dig a little deeper, it seems that walks and home runs are killing this staff. Yankee hurlers are worse than league average in BB/9 (3.9), K/BB (1.89), and HR/9 (1.4).

Now that’s where I start to worry as a Yankee fan. The pitchers get spooked about the ballpark and so are afraid to throw strikes. They can survive it with a good offense over a long season. But against the best pitchers and as seen more often in the playoffs?
Isn’t that funny? All that money spent on pitching and it’s gone to waste with through pricier means of obtaining it.

I actually don’t object to where Pettitte is looking, but rather that the expressly written rule that states if you break the plane between the rubber and first base you must go home, which he breaks constantly. I’ve been to games and seen this myself, in fact last year I was at a game sitting in the first row on the first base line at Yankee Stadium and it was beyond clear that Pettitte breaks this rule almost every time he goes to first. This is a rule that tends to be enforced, but Pettitte is never called on it. It’s really quite glaring if you are lucky enough to sit in the right seat. Even my YF brethren took note.

Pettitte and about 10,000 other lefties SF. So I would have to disagree on it being solely a Pettitte issue. Lefties are somehow given a pass when it comes to this. I never understood this at any level. They have the largest advantage by far, but yet they are given the most wiggle room. Honestly though on the whole, the balk in the big leagues is definitely not called as much as it should be. Unless of course it’s blatant and the violator is not a lefty.

Sabathia is going to dominate??? That would be the absolute best case scenario…and this YF has not seen a best case scenario from this team or a big player in years…
More likely? He makes it through 7 innings…gives up 4 or 5 runs and we lose again.

I’ll defer to your experience as a coach, but having been to a lot of games pitched by lefties (albeit not as many while sitting in perfect view of the pitcher and the first base bag), I don’t think there is nearly as much dancing across the line as there is with Pettitte.
Regardless, my point wasn’t that it should be called for everyone, but moreso my peeve that Pettitte is given lavish praise for (what you seem to admit) is breaking the rules. Again, Eliot Spitzer and swordsmanship comes to mind. He bought it, which is how I see it with Pettitte.

The headline is a little off, but it doesn’t really merit so much high dudgeon here. I mean, how old was Wang during the Cultural Revolution? -10?
Maybe YFSF should provide the Post with a full list of words and phrases with historical connotations which are forbidden in headlines about players of Chinese descent. Let’s nail down the border between good and bad taste. Can the rest of the Yankee rotation be referred to as “the Gang of Four”? Can Wang be sent down to AAA for “re-education”? Is Cashman a running-dog capitalist?
Where does it end?

SF, you will never hear me praise a lefty for having a good move…ever! I can’t think of a more humorous comparison then you have already come up with…spot on. Honestly on all levels lefties are given this unneeded wiggle room. They already have a distinct advantage, then on top of it umpires allow them to bend the rules. It drives me NUTS. Then the same umpire will nitpick a righty. This issue and the time in between pitches not being enforced drives me nuts.

Krueg, are you overly pessimistic for luck purposes? If that’s not an act and you are being honest, why do you continue to watch my friend? They are a good team, probably 25 other teams/fan bases in the game would switch spots. They have flaws, they have overpaid players, so what, that’s part of rooting for a team. If they were a superteam, what fun would that be? Minus Wang, this team is a very good team. I am sure someone will want specifics, but I stand by my statement, this is a very good team and I will not panic.

I’m pessimistic as a sports fan in general…need I remind you I grew up in Buffalo?
Yes, negative reinforcement is 90% an act for luck purposes…I am more depressed then angry. I watch because they are my team. I watch pretty much every game of all my big three, always will.
I expect the Yankees to be a “superteam”. I guess watching them suck for most of my childhood, followed by the good years made me that way. I much prefer the 90’s to the 80’s and it would seems we could be heading back to the 80’s at this point…except now we make the playoffs, only to choke and lose in the ALDS every year.

Serious question for Rob (and others), as Rob was questioning Farrell’s job security, in a way, several days back. What about Dave Eiland? Wang has been awful, Burnett underwhelming, Hughes up and down. Is this the pitching coach or the players, or both?
Asked without comment.

More likely? He makes it through 7 innings…gives up 4 or 5 runs and we lose again.
With Penny pitching the Sox are going to need a lot more than 4 or 5 runs.
And Rob, I think we all would rather have Buchholz right now than Penny. Thankfully Penny bought us enough time that we’re able to salivate over Buchholz’ improved fastball command!

Eiland gets more wiggle room because of the new stadium. Everyone is still trying to figure out what, if any, are the safe parts of the park. The smaller those are (and they seem to be) the less room there is for error.
If they haven’t turned it around by the end of the year, Eiland should certainly be first on the chopping block. But he’s not the one who spent $180 million on Pavano, Igawa, and now Burnett.
That said, if Eiland brings Joba and Hughes to quality outcomes he gets a lot of rope going forward. At least in my mind. He’s less responsible for Burnett (who’s always sucked) and Wang (who we knew was dancing a tightrope).

Here are the Yankee pitching splits:
Home: .272/.352/.457
Away: .248/.336/.426
If those numbers at home were more like the road, they’d be in first place by a few games. If they were better at home (like Sox pitchers are at home) the margin would be even wider.

Not as crazy as these:
Home: .253/.325/.389
Away: .272/.349/.423
That’s about 250 innings in each line. Certainly significant. Why, we have know idea.

The pitching is going to work itself out. Its better than it was at this point last year.
For all the talk of how bad the Yanks are its surprising that the team is only one game back from the Sox and first place at this point. What excuses other that Poppi can you account for their record?

What splits are those, Rob?
Mayor, we’ve been over this: our starting pitching has been atrocious, and is just now finding its groove. Please no trolling; nobody here is bashing the Yankees for the sake of bashing the Yankees.

in other news – the sox took the grandson of one Carl Yazstremski in today’s continuing MLB draft….

What’s crazy about them, Rob? They seem somewhat normal to me. Most teams pitch better at home than on the road.

Lots of good topics today, but I would like to add one.
If the Yankees dropped the first 7 games of the season to the Red Sox while The Boss was still at the helm, how many of these guys would have been fired already? There is a good chance we would be looking at an entire new slate of from GM to manager to coaching staff.
Moving on…
You Yankees fans need to calm down, this Yankees team is still VERY good, this run by our guys is a fluke, most of the games have been razor thin victories, it doesn’t in any way demonstrate one team is much better than the other.

He’s only 18 – but apparently the scout was impressed with him, and didn’t know who he was before looking at the program… as with any high round youngster – who knows!

Also, I’m watching game 5 of the 1986 ALCS between the Angels and the Red Sox on the MLB network and I have to say… Jim Rice’s bat speed is ABSURD, I forgot just how absurd it was. I watched this game with my dad too, so cool to relive this. Thanks MLB Network!

I haven’t been around this boar all that long…. is Krueg always like this? Even when the Yankees are 10 games ahead in the standings?

“Even when the Yankees are 10 games ahead in the standings”…uhhhhh, you mean like, nine years ago?
Not that I’m in Krueg’s state of hysterical depression (yeah, I know – that’s sort of an oxymoron) but the Yanks haven’t had a large and comfortable division lead in many years.
John, I’m a little surprised at your anti-Wangness. I really don’t think they should stuff him in the bullpen until he gets one more shot against a line-up that is something less than one of the top 3 in the league. I could be very wrong, but even if I am, the team is 1 game out of the division with nearly the best record in the AL. As much as Wang is killing us, and as much as I like Hughes, I’m hoping they don’t drop Wang just yet.

I’m torn about the Wang situation. In my mind, the Yankees have made two mistakes:
1) Activating Wang in a panicky reaction to Joba being hit by a liner
2) Plugging Wang into the rotation instead of leaving him in the long relief role until he’d really shown he was consistently the Wang of old.
Part of me wants them to swap Hughes and Wang now. Part of me thinks that’s mistake #3, because it’s yet another panicky move.
Wang has shown flashes of his old self, but he’s clearly not gotten his mechanics to be consistently right. Hence a nice 94mph sinker down in the zone, followed by a 58-footer, a ball two feet outside, and a fastball w/no sink right down the middle.

if you must consider Wang’s struggles, then you need to lump Hughes’ bad starts in there too because if Wang is healthy then Hughes doesn’t make a single start.
I think I have to go with Brad’s answer. Though Papi seemstp be turning it around, whereas Wang may or may not be.

I don’t know about that. At least Wang doesn’t play every day. On the other hand, when he has played he has virtually handed games over.
And thanks for the ’06 reminder IBM – memories of yet another expedited exit from October ball that year blanked it out from my memory…

I tend to agree. But then Wang was replaced (for a while) by Hughes who, while he wasn’t great, was passable. He won some games, and kept the team in others.
Ortiz hasn’t been replaced. There really isn’t an internal replacement is there? Whereas if Penny had been Wangawful, you have Buccholtz (sp?) available at any time (like we have Hughes).
[note: I am aware that Papi has shown some signs of life. My response is that for the most part, he’s done his hitting against the Yankees, who apparently can’t pitch for shit]

IH, I have never, ever been a Wang fan (Check the YFSF search engine). On a team where I like just about every player (2009) except Wang, he has given me zero reason to change my opinion. He’s a one trick pony that has defied baseball logic for many seasons. His K/9 has always been dangerously low, but he has ducked disaster because of his GB%. Let him right himself in SWB. If that can be done, then by all means come back to the big club. If that can’t be done, then thanks for everything. I believe in my heart and in my head that this team is a very, very good team and with the addition of some bullpen help they could be as good if not better than any team in baseball. I hate to see them lose, or have to pressure the offense into 5-8 run holes everytime he takes the field. It’s going to come back and haunt them.
As for Papi, same can be said for him. He needs some time against subpar pitching (Insert Yankee joke here) to get himself back on track. They showed him in dugout after his groundout last night and he looked beside himself. It’s surely a physical issue right now, but the mental aspect of it has to be taking it’s toll for sure. Send him down, let him play 7-10 games in AAA and regain some of that Papi swagger.

I don’t think Wang can be sent down w/o clearing Waivers. Somebody would claim him as a reclamation project, and he’d go all Pavano on us…

There were some pretty aggressive Wang debates here over the lest few years, I’m sure some of you remember. Most of it was centered around a group of Red Sox fans that said his good luck would catch up to him and Yankees fans saying he was the real deal, watch out. John was never part of that Yankees fan group, from what I can remember. In fact, most of the Yankees fan defenders of Wang no longer hang out here or have been shown the door for other reasons.
(In case anyone is wondering where the hell I have been for almost 6 months, my company went out of business and I just don’t spend as much time online being a childless house husband, which is a sweet gig if you can get it.)

More damaging to their teams so far:
David Ortiz
Chien-Ming Wang

None of the above.
It’s all A-Rod’s fault–for both teams.

childless house husband, which is a sweet gig if you can get it.
You’re my hero.

SF: Between the headline and the statement “Someone at the Post’s sports desk needs a political sensitivity chip installed,” no, I wasn’t joking.

Krueg –
It’s hilarious mostly, I’m just wondering if we need to send someone by your place periodically to move sharp objects out of your reach.

You mean the Trials and Tribulations of Krueg? It’s like the diary of a crazy person! Sometimes when I’m bored at work and it’s a slow day I’ll read the Yankees gamers and give myself a good laugh.

Thanks for the love boys…tonight should be epic seeing as god-OUT-za is playing again for some reason. Not to mention flusher in RF…i can already feel the misery.

I really hope Penny is watching and reading all the sports media that’s basically saying he doesn’t have a chance tonight against CC. Let’s not forget, Penny has been a good pitcher in the past.

I can’t wait to see Krueg’s reaction to Penny coughing up 5 runs in the first inning…

I don’t think that anyone – SF or YF – can point to a situation where Wang has lost mph and/or control and claim it as vindication that what they considered to be Wang’s 2.5 year run of good luck has finally run out. If the kid gets his control and ball-movement back as he seems to have gotten his velocity back and still get pounded that would be a different story.
I’d agree with anyone who says he should not be considered an ace given the percentage of balls that get put in play against him and the low K/9, but that’s a different story from reviving the Wang-is-just-lucky argument. The guy consistently gave them length when no one else was and compiled an ERA pitching in the AL East that was more than good enough to qualify him to be a #3 starter – at least.

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