New York Yankees: The Binder

The Binder: Missed matchup

April, 21, 2012
4/21/12
4:58
PM ET
In a recurring blog feature, The Binder, will present all of the major decisions by Joe Girardi, a.k.a. Joey Looseleafs. We will not only evaluate The Binder's choices, but we will track The Binder's win-loss record.

It didn't take long for The Binder to get into the act in today's Yankees-Red Sox game.

In the bottom of the first inning, with Freddy Garcia having already given up a run on doubles by Ryan Sweeney and Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox had two out, a man on second and Joe Girardi had a clear choice: Have Freddy pitch to the lefthanded hitting David Ortiz, who was 5-for-10 against him last season with two doubles and a HR, or walk Papi and pitch to Kevin Youkilis, a righty who has hit just .188 against him in his career.

The decision seemed pretty obvious but for some reason, Girardi chose to overrule The Binder and pitch to Ortiz.

The result? RBI double, a 2-0 Red Sox lead and a loss for The Binder, which now stands at 3-3.

Of course, it probably turned out not to matter since Garcia never got out of the second inning, getting bombed for three more runs and giving way to Clay Rapada.

The Binder Record: 3-3

The Binder: Gotta go to Mo?

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
8:50
PM ET
In a recurring blog feature, The Binder, will present all of the major decisions by Joe Girardi, a.k.a. Joey Looseleafs. We will not only evaluate The Binder's choices, but we will track The Binder's win-loss record.

In the ninth inning of a game the Yankees seemed to have well under control leading 6-2 over the Red Sox with a runner on base, none out and the bottom of the order coming up-- Joe Girardi suddenly decided to pull Cody Eppley after a leadoff single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and bring in Mariano Rivera.

That's right, the 42-year-old gem of the bullpen, who the manager has said he would handle as if made of glass this season. In a non-save situation. It made no sense at the time, and it makes no sense now that the game is over and the Yankees held on to win.

Mariano, of course, came in and did what he does best, striking out Cody Ross and pinch-hitter Nick Punto before getting Mike Aviles to ground out to end the game.

Technically, The Binder gets a win here, but really, was this appearance absolutely necessary?

"We told him if one guy got on we were going to bring him in,'' Girardi said. Our thought was if we don't have to use him we're not going to use him. But this park can be difficult sometimes. The wind is blowing out today so I made sure I gave him some wiggle room.''

The Binder record: 3-2
In a recurring blog feature, The Binder, will present all of the major decisions by Joe Girardi, a.k.a. Joey Looseleafs. We will not only evaluate The Binder's choices, but we will track The Binder's win-loss record.

Joe Girardi wanted to give Robinson Cano a day off, saying that Cano is not a kid anymore. In his place on Thursday against the Twins, Girardi put in Eduardo Nunez at second.Cano was given a half-day as the DH.

While Nunez may be the most exciting player on the team, he probably is the club's worst defender.

OK, not probably.

In the first, Nunez couldn't make a routine throw to first and Phil Hughes went on to give up four runs. The first two came on a Ryan Doumit's grounder that would have been an inning-ender if The Binder had Derek Jeter playing in the normal shortstop position instead of shifted behind second base.

Even though Hughes was throwing at 93-plus, Girardi had Jeter rotate to his left and Doumit went the other way. It cost the Yankees two runs.

Thus, The Binder is awarded a loss.



THE BINDER RECORD: 2-2


The Binder: 2-1 on the season

April, 15, 2012
4/15/12
10:30
AM ET
In a recurring blog feature, The Binder, will present all of the major decisions by Joe Girardi, a.k.a. Joey Looseleafs. We will not only evaluate The Binder's choices, but we will track The Binder's win-loss record.

Eight games into the Yankees' season, The Binder is 2-1. In the opening game of the season, The Binder lost big time when it chose to have ace CC Sabathia walk the weak-hitting Sean Rodriguez in the first inning to load the bases for Carlos Pena. The Binder liked the lefty on lefty matchup. Pena turned on a 3-2 mistake for a grand slam that led to a Yankees'and Binder loss.

The Binder stayed petty quiet until Wednesday in Baltimore. With the score tied in the ninth and runners on first and second, Girardi decided to move a runner to third and load the bases. He reasoned that lefty Nick Markakis had a better matchup than the right-handed hitting Adam Jones against Rafael Soriano. Jones had been 0-for-6 against Soriano.

Soriano blew Jones away, striking him out.

“I am sure I am going to be asked about it if it doesn’t work,’’ Girardi said afterward.

It worked and The Binder evened its record on the season.

On Friday, with Alex Rodriguez homer-less from the cleanup spot. Girardi instituted a new world order by announcing that A-Rod would be moved to third and Robinson Cano would bat cleanup against righties.

"We just feel with some of these clubs that have two left-handers, or even one left-hander, it makes it a little bit more difficult to navigate through,'' Girardi said. "So we're gonna go with this and just try to make it more difficult when to bring the left-hander in. This is what we're gonna use.''

A-Rod went 3-for-4 with a homer and The Binder sat very pretty on Girardi's desk.

The Binder Record: 2-1

* Credit to ESPN NY Yankee contributor Mike Mazzeo for the initial idea of The Binder.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .291
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 60
OPSB. Gardner .786
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135