Hank Stienbrenner is an idiot

The new genius running the Yankees had this to say recently:

The Yankees are missing starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, who likely will miss the rest of the season because of a foot injury, and Joba Chamberlain, who hopes to return from right rotator cuff tendinitis. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy have missed most of the season.

“I think it’s very simple, we’ve been devastated by injuries. No team I’ve ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team,” Steinbrenner said. “Imagine the Red Sox without [Josh] Beckett and [Jon] Lester. Pitching is 70 percent of the game. Wang won 19 games two straight years. Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can’t lose two guys like that.”

New York also is missing catcher Jorge Posada, out for the year after shoulder surgery, and left fielder Hideki Matsui, out since June 22 because of a knee injury.

“It’s not making excuses. It’s reality. That’s part of the game. That’s clearly our problem,” Steinbrenner said.

Make an excuse, and then claim you’re not making excuses. Brilliant. Also, in Hank’s world, no other team ever had it this bad. Huh?

Of course, Steinbrenner doesn’t address his own complicity regarding Joba Chamberlain. He pushed hard to have Chamberlain moved to the rotation from the bullpen. The Yankee coaching staff tried to be patient with Chamberlain, but eventually they made the move.

The problem here is that you had a hard-throwing reliever who was conditioned to work short relief. Of course it was tempting to put this huge talent in the rotation, but they had a great thing going with him in the bullpen. He was a dominating force. Moving him to the rotation was risky. You always risk arm trouble with hard-throwing pitchers when you increase their innings dramatically.

It may or may not have been a smart risk to take, but the risk was there. His injury, therefore, wasn’t a matter of bad luck. It was a calculated risk, and Hank and the Yankees took the risk and got burned. Hopefully the injury won’t be too serious.

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