I wrote this post almost two weeks ago and never published it because when I read it to a friend and my father they both said I was being oversensitive about my theory of what could happen to Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda.
So, I wimped out.
And now look what happened…last time I don’t listen to my gut because I totally regret it now.
So here it is the theory I did NOT publish, just a day late and a dollar short.
Everyone in Yankee Universe remembers the disasters of 2008.
Not making the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons was not exactly the ideal sendoff for the historic old Stadium that the franchise had called home since 1923 but that is not what I am talking about.
In 2008 the ‘Big 3’ was deemed the “future of the franchise” and the New York media had a field day with them, especially Chamberlain after throwing the infamous “bug game” in the 2007 ALDS in Cleveland.
The problem came when dealing with the pressure and relentless attention paid by the New York media vultures. The press hounded these kids and made everything that much harder, as there was no room to fail.
If you don’t think that the media wasn’t one of the major culprits that hindered the trios development you are crazy.
Yes, everyone is well aware of the media that comes with playing in New York but it should have been more controlled by the Yankees front office, or some veteran players could have stepped in.
Regardless, what happened to Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain seems to be getting repeated with the Yankees new young pitcher Michael Pineda.
It is only the second week of Spring Training and Pineda has already stated a few times that he is very uncomfortable with the 20 or more media that surround his locker.
The 23-year old hails from the Dominican Republic; English is his second language and like most who are bi-lingual, it doesn’t flow out as easily. Add that to the fact the Pineda is already shy by nature and you have a recipe for trouble.
I get that the media hounds come out in droves for anything and everything Yankees related, but there has to be a better solution to protect guys like Pineda; at least for Spring Training so they can get adjusted.
There is no fine line drawn between reasonable and merciless regarding young, imports like Pineda. Having five reporters is reasonable, but having 30 is not and considering the detrimental effects that added anxiety can have on someone’s psyche it has to be fixed.
Regarding Pineda, if the Yankees front office or managers continue to allow this crap to go on again… it is on them because Pineda has openly expressed himself.
And the effects of losing Pineda to Triple A, a mental breakdown or an avoidable injury due to distractions could land the Yankees right back in 2008 again.
Stop the headlines saying that Pineda could start down in Triple A because of his fastballs velocity; you sound ignorant and desperate to make drama. Just yesterday, Pineda pitched just shy of four-innings vs. the Nationals and allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Pineda’s newly added change-up looked awesome in his third spring outing. And if he can master that third pitch to go with his fastball and slider, watch out.
Skipper Joe Girardi seems to think the media attention is good practice for Pineda so he gets ready for life in the Bronx, but I disagree.
Let the kid adjust slowly and distract the media from bombarding him so he can get to where he needs to be.
This is not a soap opera; this is Pineda’s future and he is the Yankees future and it is time to learn from the mistakes made in 2008 by embracing him instead of exploiting him.
Pineda is the real deal, like Chamberlain was, Kennedy is and Hughes still might be, so now all you can do is hope the Yankees take note this time. And that means now. The end.
Fast-forward to today, and Pineda is not one of the five pitchers in the Yankees 2012 starting rotation.
Instead Pineda will start the 2012 season on the 15-day DL, as an MRI confirmed that the soreness he felt in his shoulder is actually tendonitis.
Now if this doesn’t sound all too familiar you should get your head checked.
The question I can’t answer is why the Yankees did not make sure Pineda was training, or playing Winter Ball during the off-season?
Obviously the Yankees front office did not learn anything from the Hughes and Joba mistakes, or they didn’t care too and that is their own fault.
This is the new generation of pro-athlete. And it seems these youngsters need to be guided with a firm hand at first or else they will fail from either thinking they are untouchable, or like in Pineda’s case, try too hard because they are scared.
Either way everyone loses.