I am a big Manny Acta fan and he is certainly closer to the issue than any of us but would fighting for some pitches really hurt?
Hey Manny, hope to see you on the top step of the dugout Sunday...It could be fun and rewarding!
How about the fact that they are the youngest team in MLB. They are striking out more than they should, not going deep enough into pitch counts, and certainly not getting many calls at the plate. When a team is very young, it is up to the manager and his staff to fight for them until they earn the respect of not only the other teams, but of the umpires as well. What was the line about Ted Williams? If Ted Williams didn't swing at a pitch, the umpire called it a Ball. It is going to take Manny Acta and Tim Belcher a few ejections before the playing field is completely level. They should be on the top step every time one of our hitters gets two strikes on them. They should be jawing from the dugout from the start of the game to the last pitch. You have to love what Manny Acta has done with these guys. Did you see him go after Girardi? The umpiring in the NY series has been so inconsistent that batters on both teams kept turning back and looking at the umpire as if he left his guide dog in the kennel. But truth be told, the Yankees are expert at "getting" calls. They bellyache so much, they get over on many calls. Case in point; During Sunday's game, Orlando Cabrera hit a 2-hopper sharply to Derek Jeter at Short. The ball took off after the 2nd hop and skipped over Jeter's right shoulder and into left field. Pretty quickly announcer Rick Manning speculated that the play would be ruled a hit and Cabrera would have career hit #2000. Prior to a decision on the play by the scorekeeper, Jeter could be seen mouthing "Wow!" over and over as if it was such a cleanly hit ball. Ruling; Base Hit. I thought Jeter should have fielded the ball but apparently he and the scorer felt differently. I believe that Jeter had much to do with the play being ruled a hit.
When Fausto Carmona pitches, I wouldn't care if he walked every other batter until he starts getting the low strike calls, as long as he induces ground balls to every other batter. Think of it; Fausto is trying to pitch his game. He is most effective when he is keeping the ball at the bottom of the strike zone, inside or outside. He can walk the first batter, get a ground out, walk the second batter, get a ground out, walk the third batter, then induce a 3rd out ground out with no one scoring. what can help him is Belcher and Acta complaining about called balls. Instead, Fausto gets into trouble and changes his location then Wham! He has lost control of the game and gives up 3 to 5 runs. I don't have the confidence in Carmona because he lacks so much in self confidence. Too bad, he is very talented. He needs Acta and Belcher jawing at the ump.
This is the team, minus Hafner, that was the best team in major league baseball until a little over a week ago. They have faced Tampa Bay, Texas, a Minnesota team that they should have beaten more than once, and the Yankees to cause their demise of late. Look at the standings, they are still in first place by .001 point!
Tonight they finish the series with a win over New York if Acta and Belcher fight for the guys instead of letting them fight and get frustrated on the field. They are too young to do what the Yankees do...Situational Bellyaching!
Tomorrow they face the Tigers and they need to beat 'em 2 out of 3.
What if they don't?
These guys have already exceeded our expectations for 2011. However, they will get back on track and make the rest of the season very interesting.