The Schmatta Kid

Tyler Kepner fleshes out the Miller firing here, in a superb piece of beat writing. Say all you want about Cashman’s re-established power, his revised plan for the Yankees and their future (sound, clear, and positive), but everything about this story seems to expose an absolutely colossal error in judgment by the Yankees’ GM in this hiring, retaining the services of the wrong guy for the wrong team. 

[ED: The Times thinks equally highly of the piece, placing the story above the fold on the front page of the print edition]

17 comments… add one
  • Agreed on all fronts.

    YF May 3, 2007, 8:09 am
  • Your hyperbole is a bit much, no (superb, absolutely colossal)? Please, come on. It was a mistake, but I have little doubt that Miller knows his stuff. It just didn’t take with the team, and each injury made the perception of him worse.
    Sure, the obvious answer is: Country Club? But before you answer, check out the duds filling the same positions on other clubs.
    Meanwhile, isn’t Mean Gene the real point person on all things injury related and prevention? Miller no doubt fell below him.
    There’s nothing to see here. Move along.

    jim - YF May 3, 2007, 8:16 am
  • ED response – It must be a slow news day. Indeed, USA Today has a huge Tiger and Jordan on the front page – you know, a golf exhibition making the front page of the largest subscription paper in the country.

    jim - YF May 3, 2007, 8:20 am
  • I’ll defend SF here. Leaving aside the adjectives, it’s pretty clear that this was an error in judgment on Cashman’s part. Miller may not be responsible for the injuries–either through his program or by failing to get players on board with it–but he certainly didn’t prevent them. That’s fact, and given the perception about the guy within the clubhouse, the move needed to happen. He was the wrong man hired at the wrong time, and he was hired by Cash. We’ll give him kudos for the good stuff he does and a pass on things he can’t control, but he’s gotta face the music for bad decisions. Miller falls into that category.

    YF May 3, 2007, 8:23 am
  • YF – the adjectives are what got my goat. If you’re going to be a writer, even on a baseball blog, you might as well use words to accurately represent reality. You know instead of sounding like a Grade B movie marketer (Superb! Absolutely colossal!)
    Otherwise, I agree with everything you say.

    jim - YF May 3, 2007, 8:27 am
  • Except “face the music”. This isn’t Trainergate. They hired someone who wasn’t right for the job. They realized it and fired him. Happens all the time. Pavano falls into the same category. Unfortunately, it’s easier to fire Miller than Pavano.
    And me, I’m no Cashman defender.But he deserves very litle “music” for this.

    jim - YF May 3, 2007, 8:31 am
  • Seems more like he was scapegoated than genuinely responsible for this swarm of injuries. As for the reason that the Yankees are hitting so many of them, I’d attribute it more to roster construction and bad luck than anything else. Damon battled injury on the Sox, Pavano’s just being Pavano, and many of the other players are getting up there in years. Then you have random, freak injuries like Karstens getting hit by a Lugo comebacker.

    Andrew F May 3, 2007, 8:36 am
  • Wow, that’s something coming from you, Jim. Though I guess you would recognize hyperbole considering the general tenor of your own comments at this site.
    To explain: I chose those words because I believe they conveyed my personal sentiments about this hiring. It was an utter misread of the situation by Cashman, the article points this out very well. I agree with YF, it’s hard to know if Miller caused anything. Nonetheless, this was an important hire, and clearly the wrong hire. The Yankees have suffered because of it. It was a big mistake, and the Yankees have smartly and relatively quickly taken care of the perceived problem.
    And calling Kepner’s beat writing “superb” in this case is completely fair: this article is one of the best pieces of investigative beat writing I have seen in a while, sourced well, with on-the-record comments by big names, and entirely objective – this is a rare piece of clubhouse journalism, as far as I am concerned.

    SF May 3, 2007, 8:37 am
  • Absolutely colossal!
    Just a teeny bit too far, no?
    Even a “big” mistake?
    He was the performance coach. They didn’t get performance.
    Move along kids.

    jim - YF May 3, 2007, 8:41 am
  • Inevestigate beat writing. Now there’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever seen one.

    jim - YF May 3, 2007, 8:42 am
  • Giving Cashman the “high hat” there, SF?

    Columbus-SF May 3, 2007, 9:07 am
  • I’ll say this: the “schmatta” reference is over my head.

    YF May 3, 2007, 9:16 am
  • Maybe he means smarter, but where does that fit in?

    Andrew May 3, 2007, 9:18 am
  • Miller’s Crossing, YF.

    SF May 3, 2007, 9:25 am
  • his hire clearly was a judgment error by Cash.
    Regarding the hyperbole: This is the Yankees, not Tampa Bay. The hyperbole is not wholly inappropriate.
    If Cash believed Miller contributed enough the the hammy problem to fire him a few months into the job, than he should have thought about this a bit more before he made the hire to begin with.
    All of you know I have a lot of respect for Cash. So upon learning Miller’s background, I’m surprised to learn he even hired the kid to begin with. If you’re the NYY, don’t you want someone with a bit (OK, a LOT) more baseball experience?
    Yeah, bad judgment call. But in the long run not one for which he should be castigated.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 3, 2007, 11:00 am
  • First word should be This.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 3, 2007, 11:01 am
  • I was struck by Torre’s quote, which seemed to indicate he also did not like Miller, or at least did not like the job he was doing:
    “The knowledge that Marty had certainly was impressive,” Torre said. “Now, does that mean he knew a lot about the body as it related to baseball? That’s what we don’t know.”
    Wow. That seems to be a pretty basic question, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t that be the first step in the interview process? “So, Marty, I see you have a great resume, but how much do you know about players’ bodies when it comes to baseball?”
    If Cashman didn’t ask that, then it truly is a “colossal error.” That said, I also doubt Miller had anything to do with the rash of injuries. In New York, of all places, perception is reality, however.

    Paul SF May 3, 2007, 11:11 am

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