The Media

Newsflash: Stephen A. Smith is a Blowhard

According to Stephen A. Smith, the Yankees have somehow done wrong by Jorge Posada.  Terribly wrong.  True to form, Smith expounds with great conviction about something, although in this case, perhaps because this is not professional basketball, he has no clue what he is talking about.  Smith's foray into baseball analysis may simply be an indication that he is prepping himself for the prospect of an entire year without professional basketball to holler about.  If so, he needs a lot more prepping.

Smith writes that the Yankees have begun "humiliating [Posada] at the most inopportune and conspicuous of times" – so much so that "there is no doubt some belligerence [on Posada's part] would be justified at this particular moment in time".  While acknowledging that Posada didn't have a leg to stand on back in May when he opted out of the line-up rather than face the ignomony of batting 9th, Smith asserts things are different now, noting that Girardi "yanked" Posada out of the lineup and "exiled" him to the bench.  (I just love how yellow journalism plays with such words — Posada "pulled himself" out of the lineup while Girardi "yanked" and "exiled" him…of course we could also describe the same events as Posada "threw a temper tantrum and refused to play" while Girardi simply "sat" him).

The most perplexing part of Smith's "analysis" is this: referencing Posada's .205 BA with 0 HR and 4 RBIs in the 26 games leading up to the benching, Smith concedes "There is no way to argue the substance of Girardi's decision".  OK then, so what is he talking about?? 

Smith says that the Yankees should show more patience with Posada based on his track record of success and his role in the Yankees' most recent dynastic stretch.  Never mind that Posada has played in no fewer than 90 games this season and racked up over 300 PA.

Perhaps now is the time to point out the obvious: every minute of playing time you give Posada takes away from someone else's playing time - in this case primarily Eric Chavez whose performance has been leaps and bounds ahead of Posada's this year and Andruw Jones, who has been mainly swapped out for Posada against LH pitchers, and with good reason:

Posada in 317 PA: .230 BA; .309 OBP; .372 SLG, mediocre to poor 1B skills, worst baseurnner on team

Chavez in 70 PA: .310 BA; .380 OBP; .423 SLG, strong fielder, mediocre baserunner

Posada in 64 PA vs. LH pitching: .103 BA; .188 OBP; .121 SLG (I would laugh but am too busy crying)

Jones in 100 PA vs. LH pitching: .264 BA; .360 OBP; .506 SLG

Maybe Smith's most annoying leap of logic is this: "Posada…needs to talk about his love for the Pinstripes. How being a Yankee has meant so much to him, and how things just aren't what they used to be. But more importantly, how things need to be, if you don't want more players to react like Cliff Lee did last winter when he demonstrated his belief that there may actually be better places to play than in the Bronx."  He even goes so far as to propose that maybe the reason Posada hasn't been treated better is because George Steinbrenner is now gone.  George Steinbrenner.  The paragon of treating employees with respect.

No one knows what factored into Lee's decision.  Maybe it was the prospect of slotting into a starting rotation with the chance of being one of the greatest of all time.  Maybe it was the prospect of playing in the NL East instead of the pitcher-brutalizing AL East.  Maybe it was his 4-year old son's leukemia condition and the fact that Philadelphia is home to arguably the best Children's Hospital in the world.  Or maybe the reports that Lee's wife hates the city of New York and loves Philadelphia are true.

One thing I'm certain of: Stephen A. Smith hasn't got a clue.

32 replies on “Newsflash: Stephen A. Smith is a Blowhard”

Jorge Posada is being wronged? SAS is a blowhard, know-it-all…He’s basketball’s version of Mike Francesa. I appreciate Yankee history and what a huge part of that Posada has been, but you don’t continue to be loyal to history when history is history. Listen if the Yankees want to overpay for history (Jeter) that’s fine, but when it comes to playing time that needs to be based on the best available players. The Yankees don’t owe Posada playing time, they owe him a gold watch and a spot on the Old Timer’s Day roster. Nobody wants to get old. Nobody wants to be told there’s someone younger or better at what they do, but this is life.
Flat out the Yankees need more production out of the DH spot. Eric Chavez is not the answer. Eric Chavez can’t DH everyday, his body is just not going to allow for that. Please bring up Montero, let the kid hit and let’s see what we have. Kipnis, Ackley, Hosmer and on and on…they were all given a shot to showcase their talents and done fairly well…Montero by all accounts is the best prospect in the game yet to be called up…If the reports are correct, he should be able to handle the bigs just fine.
How does SAS feel about AJ Burnett? Are the Yankees treating him wrong too? ;) Meanwhile Nova could finish the season with 15 wins and be the odd man out.

Steven A. Smith has to earn his salary some how. But I thought the same thing. Just wait until next year when Jeter is hitting .250 with a .625 OPS…
That said, I have no faith in Yankee management. Cervelli is a joke – as a hitter and as a catcher. They insisted that Posada was done, but I see no reason he can’t catch three times a week, especially when they’re letting their best prospect rot in AAA and when Martin is clearly overworked. I would not be surprised in the least if Posada took a one-year deal with the Nationals. He’s never been successful as a DH. They were foolish to assume he would be.
“Meanwhile Nova could finish the season with 15 wins and be the odd man out.”
Exactly why I hate this organization at times. Arodys Vizcaino just got called up in Atlanta. Not only did they trade him for a disgusting Part Deux of Vazquez, but he’s utterly lapped Betances and Banuelos. This organization would sooner re-sign Burnett to an extension than trust a rookie with a rotation slot. The last time they did (2008), the kids got hurt but they missed the playoffs more because their offense sucked.

Yeah, the Yankees are so incredibly rude for benching a player who has an OPS of .681 (and declining: he has an OPS of 5.02 since July 1). That’s so incredibly mean of them. /sarcasm
Like IH said, Posada has had 317 plate appearances. They’ve given him plenty of opportunity to perform better and he hasn’t, and he turns 40 next week. Aside from Carlton Fisk, how many catchers perform well at that age? The Yankees are doing what’s best for the team in order to win, and this article is pretty stupid.

Posada to the Nationals, James? They’ve already got their aging, past-his-prime catcher in IRod ;-)
I just looked up Montero’s minor league stats, and am shocked they haven’t brought him up sooner.

Re: Montero, they deemed him unready to catch and they have a backlog at DH and corner infield. He did not look great in Spring Training. Given all this, I haven’t had an issue with them not calling him up yet, but as rosters expand, I fully expect him to come up now and look forward to how he’ll do.

If Posada had any pride, he would just retire. He is clearly done and does nothing to help us win. Period.
I read this article yesterday and just laughed.

I would not be surprised if Posada says F-U and continues his career. I would also not be surprised if one team takes a chance that he can still catch. I would also not be surprised to see Posada come back with a .850 OPS in a Victor Martinez role, especially in the NL.
All of that would disgust me given Cervelli’s hitting and catching this year. Worse, he’s CC’s personal catcher. That could be anyone, especially the kid n Scranton.

I’m sorry but he’s always been deemed unready to catch. At this point either he will or he won’t. Starting him out as CC’s personal catcher would be one way to go. He hits his spots, his off-speed stuff is manageable, and he does a decent job with runners on base. Two pitchers and Martin is getting the rest he clearly needs.
As for the DH backlog, that’s simply untrue. Chavez was hurt all year. Montero could have easily been a C/DH and instead of Cervelli on the roster. They’ve fricken started Nunez at DH three times!

“I will be glad for Jorge Posada if he continues his career. Elsewhere.”
So would I. But it will be a damn shame if he has something left and they elevated Cervelli above him and without the benefit of developing Montero. It’s a classic Yankee decision.

Lapped? Vizcaino (#16 BA) is a nice prospect, by all accounts top 20 in the game. He has not however “lapped” Banuelos (#13 BA). Banuelos is still the better prospect. I’d even argue that I really like Betances (#26 BA) upside much better as well. I like chances of a 6ft8 strikeout pitcher succeeding.
Do you like anything about the Yankees? There’s being objective and then there’s just being a flat out pessimist.
Let Posada go wherever he wants. He’s done as a catcher and he’s done as an impact hitter. His lack of hitting has zero to do with not catching. He’s aged, aged players have problems with bat speed and continuing to do what they’ve done for years with regularity. Him playing defense at this point might only compound his issues. If the Yankees resigned him next year to be their backup catcher to Montero there’d be an UPRISING…but if the Nationals do it, they are brilliant. I am not the president of Cash’s fan club, but good lord man he’s not the mess you make him out to be.

“They’ve fricken started Nunez at DH three times!”
No they haven’t. Nunez has had a total of 3 ABs as a DH. On each of those occassions he had been subbed in as either a PH or PR late in the game and then slid into the DH slot in the batting order.

John – Where was Vizcaino when the Yankees traded him? Where was Banuelos and Betances? Who arrived in the majors first? Moreover, which org do you trust more in developing young pitching – the Braves or the Yankees? No, Vizcaino is going to burn for a long time especially since we got a “full” season of Vazquez. Nah, that was brilliant!
What makes you say Posada is done as a catcher and as a hitter? His offensive and defensive stats last year were significantly better than Cervelli (8% CS) this year. So why the change? Posada could easily be this team’s backup catcher. Hell, the Sox have extended Varitek’s career doing exactly that. Posada never hit as a DH. But yet they forced him into that role and that role alone. Why?

I should have titled this post “Steven A. Smith is a James YF”.
It’s too beautiful of a day to stay in my office. I just bought a first row seat in the nosebleed section behind homplate. Going to get a bird’s eye view of Bartolo, though I think he loks pretty much exactly the same from every angle…will comment from the game…

Wow, birds of feather…when you guys have nothing better to say you throw insults.
One thing I’m certain of: Ironhorse YF can dish out criticism but he can’t take it.

First one to the majors wins? I didn’t realize that’s how this game worked. Me personally I like to think big picture and the “experts” tell me that Banuelos is the better prospect and Betances ain’t far behind. The trade was sh*t I already said that, no denying that but I am sure there are many trades even the best GM’s wish they had back. Again, not a Cashman fanboy, but I don’t want him castrated either.
What makes me think Posada is done as a hitter? Ummmm, his stats and my eyes. Listen I get no pleasure out of his failure. Actually quite the opposite. I really like Posada, but I like the Yankees better. I said nothing of Cervelli YOU DID. I could give two sh*ts about Cervelli. We have 2 if not 3 catchers in our system that long term are better options than Cervelli, not a concern. My concern is the below average production we are getting when Posada (and Jones) DH.
As for DH’ing…Hitters hit. Doesn’t matter where they do or do not play in the field. That’s an excuse and that’s all that is. It should work the opposite way in that he’s not getting foul balls off his throwing hand and a bruised up catching hand. He can no longer hit at the level he once did. There’s no excuse for that other than age.

Steven, no I don’t have a problem with Nunez getting 3 ABs as a DH as a result of late-inning substitutions for his speed on the basepads, nor do I have a problem with Jeter getting same when Girardi wants to give him a break from the field but doesn’t want to lose his bat and baserunning.

You didn’t insult me, John.
As for Vizcaino v BnB, I just point to their numbers this year and the orgs they pitch for. The Braves at least have a history of developing young pitchers. But I don’t want to dismiss Banuelos. That he’s a southpaw and throws hard make him a big prospect, especially at his age. I just don’t trust the Yankees to handle him well. They messed up all of Hughes, Joba, and IPK. They just sent Nova down for being the third-best pitcher on the team. And they’ve completely killed Noesi’s development by sticking him in the back of the pen.
As for Posada, have you looked at his career numbers as a DH? Compare those to his numbers as a Catcher. They castrated HIM. Why? Posada should have been the backup. I have no doubt he’ll do well in that role for another team next year. They’ve handled him horribly. Some players can’t be DHes just cause the team wants them to be. Hell, just last year Posada had an OPS 90 points higher as a catcher than as a DH.

“nor do I have a problem with Jeter getting same when Girardi wants to give him a break from the field but doesn’t want to lose his bat and baserunning.”
Don’t want to lose his “bat”?

> So why the change? Posada could easily be this team’s backup catcher. Hell, the Sox have extended Varitek’s career doing exactly that.
You know, this one time, I lit my face on fire and put it out with a rake.

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