General Yankees

Pin-Headed Pt. II: Kay on Randy

It seems Michael Kay is less than enamored with the deal that sent the Unit back to Arizona, or at least thinks Randy’s 17-win performance last year was a mark of excellence, a pitcher who “knows how to win,” nevermind his league-best run support and lousy ERA. As he told a caller on his radio show, “he’s a veteran pitcher that knows how to pitch to the score so his ERA is going to be higher. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is if he wins and loses.” This is pretty much bunk, as Rich Lederer points out on Baseball Analysts, with an assist from a savvy respondent on Kay’s show. I would ask Kay, was Randy using his veteran know-how when he blew a 4-0 lead against Toronto in April? Yes, pitchers pitch to the score, and there’s a sabermetric argument to be made about Randy’s peripherals—it’s not a good argument though, and, in any case, Kay isn’t making it here. In fact, he is dismissive of “statheads.” It’s exactly this kind of warped logic that makes the wins leader the Cy Young winner, regardless of more meaningful standards. Feh. Someone send Kay the new Bill James handbook and a copy of Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

22 replies on “Pin-Headed Pt. II: Kay on Randy”

Although I worry some about how the 200 plus innings and 17 Wins will be replaced, this is a surly 43 year coming off back surgery. During the season in 2006 I always repeated the same mantra before every RJ start, “which RJ is going to show up today?”.
I should not be asking that question before every start for a $16 mill a year pitcher. Finally, I’ll never forget a story I read on Pete Abe’s blog a couple weeks ago. Johnny D was in the clubhouse before a game in early August, everyone seemed lethargic and dead so Johnny yells out “come on motherfu**ers, get up off your asses and get pumped” or something to that effect. Immediately after he did that Damon saw RJ across the room boring a hole into him with a Mad Dog stare. I don’t want a bastard like that on my Yankees. That hard ass RJ might have flown with me when he was speeding 99mph heaters by batters and throwing that wicked slider with every start but that RJ is gone. So Kay can take his position on Randy and shove it up his backside. I hate Kay anyway, loud self-righteous blowhard. I’m w/you 100% on this YF.

Not to excuse RJ, but I imagine Jeter probably just sat there and smirked, like he needs Damon to get him fired up. To me that story makes JD look like kind of an ass (and Johnson too, for that matter). And would that kind of speech have an impact on A-Rod, or Moose? I mean, who was he trying to fire up, Melky Cabrera?
Who is he, Richard Simmons?

Say what you will about Johnny’s attempt at jolting awake a sleepy clubhouse. From what I gather it was probably in said in jest with a honest message within it. The great thing about Johnny Damon is that he could give a shit about what Jeter or anyone else might think. I seriously love the the type of personality JD brings to the Yankees. Who knows how that incident went down anyway or what Damon’s intentions were? That’s a pretty cynical view on it SF. The story was meant to show an example of RJ being an ass. Why throw in a barb at Damon for something that has nothing to do with the subject matter of which I was talking about?

Look, I LOVED JD when he was on the Sox, for the same reasons. But he was kind of an ass when he was here too, a lovable, say-anything kind of ass. It’s what makes him who he is, as you say. It’s part of his persona, part of what makes him easy to root for. But I think it’s funny that our position is now your position, and perhaps your position is now our position.
I also think it’s fun to try to imagine what guys like Jeter and A-Rod are doing while Johnny D is doing his rah-rah rock’em sock’em get out yer ya ya’s shouting. I imagine RJ wasn’t the only guy glaring or rolling his eyes.

Well, like Damon said before the ’06 season, the Yanks clubhouse was boring and “afraid to win,” or something like that. I’m sure he was just trying to make it more exciting and help them realize that winning is an OK thing to do.
Back on topic: Add Michael Kay to the Joe Morgan Honorary List of people who don’t know the fundamentals of analyzing baseball.

The best part of Kay’s argument was when he started supporting his opinion by saying his 25+ years of watching baseball. Another highlight was saying that if Jason Marquis had the same performance Jason Marquis had LAST SEASON, but in the AL, Michael K would have been impressed.
It’s hard to take anyone seriously that argues with that logic at work.

In all honesty SF, I agree with you on the Jeter take. I honest to God can see his smirk right now after something like that is said by JD. And Paul, you should add the douche Hawk Harrelson to that list too. I’m pretty damn sure every time a Red Sox player gets rung up by a White Sox pitcher and that guy yells “he gone!” you want to jump through the TV like I do.

Hawk Harrelson is just about the most ear-splittingly bad announcer I have ever listened to. Ever. He’s worse than my close friend in college TJ, who tried to do play-by-play for our hockey team in college, having never ever done play-by-play before. Somehow the college radio station let him do it (once!), and the results will never be forgotten from the annals of sports broadcasting for their ineptitude. And Harrelson is worse. At least what my friend TJ did had comic value.

No, TJ was the “and…it’s out of the zone…silence….oh!….up the right….oh!…it’s out of the zone…” guy.

“I imagine Jeter just sat there and smirked”
“I imagine RJ wasn’t the only guy glaring or rolling his eyes”
Key word in these two remarks? Imagine.
Since you weren’t there SF, you have no idea how Damon’s attempt to fire up the team was received by the other players, other than what you’d like to believe, as a Sox fan who dislikes the Yankees.
And if this incident did take place in early August, perhaps it did have a positive effect on the Yanks, considering their total dismantling of the Sox in the 5 game series at Fenway starting August 18 in the 2006 version of the Boston massacre.

See, I portray Jeter as the self-motivated, serious, needs-no-motivation-to-be-the-ultimate-competitor and I get crap. You guys are just impossible to please!
Even BY agrees with me, as a point of fact. So I can’t be completely crazy!

Now SF, the point of your comments wasn’t to portray Jeter in a positive light, but rather to take a swipe at Damon, as bloodyank78 pointed out earlier in the thread, and is what motivated me to question what you said.
Damon spent 4 years in Boston, and considering the universal disappointment among the Sox players and Tito when it was learned Damon would be leaving, leads me to believe Damon is a great presence in the clubhouse, and I heard nothing to the contrary in his 1st year with NY, other than the RJ story, which is just par for the course with Mr. Asshole.

I’ll say this for Hawk Harrelson: he has the finest collection of plaid sportscoats in broadcast television. And he introduced me to the term “ducksnort.” Aside from that….

how soon we forget…if damon had been on the sox and trying to fire up the team [al a kevin millar], we’d be hearing about what great spirit and camaraderie there is in the sox clubhouse…i don’t doubt that jeter and arod don’t need a cheerleader to get them fired up, but i also don’t think they looked upon his enthusiasm with any disdain…they knew what they were getting with damon, and from what i hear, they welcomed it…i’d much rather have damon’s good natured kick in the ass, than have paul o’neill stare me into getting my act together…if rj is as much of a dick as i’m hearing, then good riddance…we ain’t gonna miss him…

Ol’ Hawk, who used to do Yankee games awhile back, used to talk about his extensive wardrobe of Nehru jackets, which were in style for about 45 minutes back in the early seventies.

…i’d much rather have damon’s good natured kick in the ass, than have paul o’neill stare me into getting my act together…
Without a doubt, dc. I haven’t forgotten anything – re-read my comment at 12:33 and you’ll see that.

Totally different clubhouses, at any rate — Damon was part of a group with Pedro, Millar, etc, who loved to have fun and all that assery was good for the chemistry, and clearly good for on-field performance. The Yankees don’t strike me as the same team at all, but what do I know? Maybe Jeter DOES give A-Rod noogies when we’re not looking…

you’re right paul…the yankees have prided themselves on a more “business-like” approach which may have taken some of the fun out of it, and turned some of them into tight-asses who can’t perform simply because they don’t enjoy the tense atmosphere…the exact thing they’ve tried to accomplish may be to their detriment…

Michael Kay is an ass. I don’t remember him being this bad in the 90s. He’s gotten worse. Ugh.

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