Joe Girardi Should Break Out His Rain Dance

A rainout would give the Yankees an easy solution to their Chien-Ming Wang problem

The Yankees shouldn't start Chien-Ming Wang in Boston on Friday night. That has nothing to do with the rivalry with the Red Sox. He shouldn't be making his next start if it was in Toronto, Minnesota or Seattle, either. There's something wrong with Wang, either physically or mechanically, and it needs to be fixed before he starts again.

You can't just write his poor starts off as isolated events. He's releasing his pitches from a different spot than in better times, and they are getting to the plate higher in zone. That makes them more hittable, although that part of the equation probably isn't something that you need to be reminded of at this point in time. He's not right, and skipping his next start to get him right is essential for the long-term health of the Yankee rotation.

Ideally, you'd send him to the minors so he could work on the problems without getting tattooed in games that count. He's out of options, though, which means skipping him for A.J. Burnett is the best choice. Thursday is an off day, so the rotation will be fine, and Wang can use the time to work with pitching coach Dave Eiland.

All good, right? Wrong. Wang doesn't think there's anything wrong and wants to pitch on Friday. Beyond that, the Yankees seem reluctant to just go ahead and say they're skipping him, which has to be an outgrowth of Wang's years as a nominal ace because there's no reason to keep sending him out there if he hasn't changed his approach. That's where the weather comes into play.

It's supposed to rain and rain hard, which is a blessing in disguise for the Yankees. CC Sabathia is set to go on Tuesday, and you want to keep him in line to start on Sunday. Andy Pettitte would then move to Wednesday, Joba Chamblain to Friday and Burnett on Saturday. Wang's still being skipped, of course, but weather can be the culprit instead of his own dreadful performance.

That would put Wang on track to start in Detroit, where the Tigers play in spacious Comerica Park. It's an imperfect solution, but it is one that would give the Yankees a week to tinker with Wang's game before he has to face another firing squad.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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