Is making hard, consistant concact pointless in today’s game?

This is really starting to baffle me.

As much as people talk about Abreu and Giambi being one-dimensional players, or men deteriorating in skills, they sure do want to replicate players like them in the batting order

I know baseball is becoming a Saber metrics world, where OPS+ explains all!!11!! and OPS is amazing, and batting average is overrated, and intangibles mean nothing, and on base percentage means everything…. but sometimes people have to take a step backwards and look at the game of baseball for what it is: A game of baseball; not a science experiment.

We’re not studying the theory of relativity here for chrissakes.

I know on base percentage plus slugging is important, as is how many pitches a player sees per plate appearance. But are some of you really convinced this is more important than players who make hard contact with the baseball consistently? Whatever happened to the Paul O’neill type of player, who smashes doubles into the gaps and bats .330 any give season?

Do people really want to put Ryan Dunn in our lineup, because he gets his lumbering ass on base often and because he runs into 35 home runs per season? And Nick Swisher? And Jack Cust? Really?

Do you not see rallies snuffed out by these types of players?

Slow-footed, high OBP players who strike out a ton and do not bat for average can be a nightmare: They’re prone to striking out; prone to banging into double plays, because they try to pull the ball; not fast enough to break up a double play; never beat out singles; never score from 1st; never move from 1st to 3rd; don’t make hard contact with the baseball when men are on; and to top it all off, they’re usually hideous defensively.

But somehow, that skill set, in today’s game, means more than a Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Paul O’neill or Mike Lowell type of player.Oh, please.

Give me the gap-hitting player who doesn’t strike out often over these Dunn type’s of players any day. Give me the guy who slams doubles, and who’s OBP is tied directly to his batting average, any day. Give me the guy who pops 15-25 home runs and knows how to play the defensive side of the ball. Give me the guy who has some inkling on how to run the bases. Give me the guy who puts the ball in play with RISP, instead of watching strike three sail past them when they’re trying to work a walk.

Some folks really need to reevaluate the manner in which they view this game.

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Filed under MLB, OBP, OPS+, Yankees

The GM meetings wound up being pointless

What is the point of the General Managers meeting, again? Are these meetings designed only to stoke the hot stove?

What was accomplished: Yankees signed Mitre to a minor league deal.

There was talk of the Yankees sitting down with CC’s agent. There was talk about the Yankees wanting Teixeira, and how he’d be a perfect fit for the Yankees. There was talk about Manny Ramirez, and how Scott Boras is trying to secure the aging slugger a contract which brings him to the age of forty-two.  There was talk of Jake Peavy being traded, and how the Yankees might or might not be suitors.

Most of all, there was what we see every single time at these ridiculous meetings: The entire game of baseball trying to use the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets as leverage. Is anyone besides me getting tired of this? Sure, I like hearing anything baseball during the off-season, because I’m in love with the sport, but can we accomplish something here for once?

The only thing that came out of these General Manager meetings, is a couple of basketball games played by the GM’s, ridiculous he-said-she-said rumors from sports writers, and bloated Yankee fan blogs ripping sports writers apart for talking about such ridiculous topics.

With that said, it was a non-ridiculous fan site which has posted a simple–yet logical–scenario on one of the pieces the Yankees should retain. From NoMaas:

11.06.2008 To reiterate

If Pettitte wants to return, it makes a ton of sense for the Yankees to re-sign him.  We’ve already stated that we want him back on a 1-year deal, but even a 2-year deal (which he supposedly wants) wouldn’t be the end of the world.  It wouldn’t be optimal, but we could work with it.  Detractors shout, “He had 14 losses and a 4.54 ERA!11!!” However, that argument displays a mere surface level understanding of pitcher evaluation.  Let’s recap some of the points we’ve made about the large-nosed Texan:

1. Only 11 MLB pitchers have thrown more innings than Pettitte over the last two seasons (419 1/3 IP).  Innings are kind of a big deal.

2. His ERA was 4.54, but his FIP was 3.74, which shows he was a victim of some poor defense and bad luck.

3. His groundball rate, K/9, and K/BB were all better in 2008 than in 2007.

4. His line drive percentage was only 0.5% higher in 2008 than in 2007.

Andy is still a quality starter.

I did not agree with bringing back Andy initially, I guess because it was my knee-jerk reaction to his record and ERA. The point they raise on their blog is legitimate and should not be over-looked. Andy ran into a lot of bad luck last season, mostly due to the sloppy defense; still he pitched well over 200 innings and won 14 games.

If the Yankees shore up the defense with a solid glove at first, whether it be Mark Teixeira or Nick Swisher, and a solid glove in Center Field, whether it be Brett Gardner or Mike Cameron, this will improve the likelihood of Andy and the rest of our pitcher’s chance at success.

This gives the Yankees a very strong top three of Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte.  Add to that another big-name pitcher(hopefully CC Sabathia), and the Yankees are in good shape to go to war.

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Filed under 2009 Yankees, GM Meetings, hot stove

Stop whining about baseball broadcasters

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that so many baseball fans feel the need to whine and complain about certain baseball broadcasters? Does anyone else find it annoying that, while heading to one of the top Yankee blogs for news or analysis, they instead see someone moaning about how horrible an announcer is?

Yankee fans and Red Sox fans are the worst with this nonsense. Both fan bases are paranoid enough to believe that everyone working for ESPN and FOX is anti-Yankee or anti-Red Sox. Can we stop with the woe-is-me stuff, please? Stop acting like it’s the life-long goal of these people to “hate on” your team. Oooooh, such a conspiracy!

  • Yankee fans hate Joe Morgan, because he’s disrespectful, talks about himself too much and  he hates the Yankees.
  • Yankee fans hate Jon Miller because of his home run calls, and because he hates the Yankees.
  • Yankee fans hate Tim McCarver, because he says extremely goofy things, and because he too hates the Yankees
  • Yankee fans hate Joe Buck, because he’s too “Robotic” and he, of course, hates the Yankees.

This is absolutely ridiculous–nothing but mere paranoia. The same people who complain about Jon Miller’s spirited home run calls, are the ones who whine and moan because Buck is too “robotic”. All four of these men broadcast every single game the same way; there’s no difference between a Yankees VS Orioles game and a Brewers VS Padres game. None. Get over it.

Quit whining; if it’s really that bad, hit the doggone MUTE button. You sound like a bunch of cry babies.

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Filed under Joe Buck, Joe Morgan., Jon Miller, Tim McCarver

It’s a Phillies/Rays World Series

Who predicted this? Anyone?

This is why I love the game of baseball; you cannot truly predict anything. It’s much too long a season, and there’s too many variables. This is the one sport where the most absurd-seeming occurrences happen on a daily basis. For those of us who understand and love the game of baseball and all of it’s quirks, it’s very special to see this, no-matter which team it is you’re pulling for.

Now that I’ve just got done saying how much I love the oddity we call baseball, and that we cannot truly predict what’s going to happen, I’m going to contradict myself and make a prediction: Tampa Bay will sweep Philly.

The Rays are a AL East-hardened franchise which has seen nothing but savage beatings handed to them by division rivals-particularly the Yankees and Red Sox. This is a Rays team which went from “Worst-to-First” ,  winning 97 games in a division which had 3 other teams possessing records at least 10 games above .500 and payrolls their franchise cannot even fathom.

Their rotation: fantastic; their offense; well-balanced and fantastic; their defense: superb and very athletic; their bullpen: solid. The Rays have one missing piece, and that is a lock-down closer. But it doesn’t look like that will be stopping them anytime soon, especially since young Phenom David Price looks to be exactly what they were searching for.

Good luck Tampa Bay Devil Rays. And thank you oh so much for squashing any thought of Dynasty out of Red Sox Nation’s collective mind.

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Filed under Phillies, Philly, Playoffs, Rays, Tampa Bay, World Series

Joba Chamberlain arrested for driving under the influence

Peter Abraham reports it.

Drunk driving is a terrible thing. I’ve seen it take lives of those I know personally and I’m just as against it as anyone you will ever meet in your life.

Joba’s a young man, so I’m not going to judge him based on a mistake so early in his life. I  hope this is the first and last time he drives while under the influence. Joba should be suspended, but his life should not be dragged through the mud for this. People do make unfortunate mistakes, but everyone deserves chances to redeem themselves.

Does Joba deserve discipline? Of course. But I hope the media and general public don’t start butchering his life. It doesn’t better any situation. People can only try to move forward and try to do better. If and when they don’t move forward and keep repeating the same mistakes, that’s when you tear them to pieces.

Thankfully no one was harmed.

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Filed under Driving under the influence, DUI, Joba arrested, New York Yankees

The Yankees have eyes that are looking at everybody

Jon Heyman in a recent article published on SI.com says the Yankees are looking at all premier possibilities–this includes a possible trade for Jake Peavy.

Ed Price of The Star Ledger says“Yankees would have to convince Peavy to leave  NL”

The Yankees are exploring all options: CC Sabathia, Jake Peavy, Mark Teixeira, Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, AJ Burnett, Manny Ramirez, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina.

If this is the case, then the build within and cut payroll plan is kaput. There will be no $180M payroll and there will be nobody not named Joba Chamberlain safe from the trading block. These Yankees are going to go all out–the front office is embarrassed by the Yankees’ October absence and seems willing to do anything to avoid this two consecutive seasons.

Since it looks like they’re going to exhaust all resources to get the best possible players, they should go at it like this:

  1. Sign CC Sabathia
  2. Sign Mark Teixeira
  3. Trade for Jake Peavy
  4. Resign either Mike Mussina or Andy Pettitte

Trade Hughes and Kennedy or any of our top prospects for Peavy and then extend his contract? You betcha.

I love Phil Hughes and have been an avid supporter of his, but this is a move that you’d have to make. Jake Peavy was born in 1981. He’s been the most dominating pitcher in the National League for the past five seasons. If this was an older veteran on the downside of his career, there would be no way I’d consider this trade; that’s not the case: Jake Peavy is just entering his prime.  The kid has electric stuff and outstanding control. With that kind of stuff and control, you’re going to post killer numbers no-matter which division or league you’re throwing in.

  1. CC Sabathia
  2. Jake Peavy
  3. Chien-Ming Wang
  4. Joba Chamberlain
  5. Andy Pettitte or Mike Mussina

Think for a minute: Let that rotation sink into your head and try to imagine…Now, can you even comprehend how unfair that is to opposing ball clubs? That’s a rotation that makes the current Rays, Blue Jays and Red Sox rotations look fragile. Heck, that makes the 1998 Yankees’ rotation look wimpy.

The offense wouldn’t be equally insane, but it would not be lagging far behind. If my scenario plays itself out, you’d have the return of Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada. You’d have what should be a rebound season from Robinson Cano, and the addition of the Gold Glove-winning, switch-hitting slugger Mark Teixeira. That’s a ton of production.

  1. LF-Johnny Damon
  2. SS-Derek Jeter
  3. 1B-Mark Teixeira
  4. 3B-Alex Rodriguez
  5. DH-Hideki Matsui
  6. RF-Xavier Nady
  7. 2B-Robinson Cano
  8. C-Jorge Posada
  9. CF-Brett Gardner

I know I have laid out other scenarios and options since the end of the ’08 season, but those were before I knew the Yankees were willing to exhaust all  options. That was before I knew Manny Ramirez was looking to get a six-year contract. And that’s before I knew the Padres were willing to trade Jake Peavy.

I keep hearing “If the Yankees are going to trade for Peavy, why didn’t they just do it for Santana?” Three answers: Peavy is younger, Peavy is cheaper and the Yankees made a mistake.

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Filed under 2009 Yankees, CC Sabathia, Jake Peavy, Mark Teixeria

Everyone wants answers

The organizational meetings have started, the World Series hasn’t even started yet, yet Yankee fans want answers and they want them now. There’s a mess of options, and people are confused on what, when and how the situation is going to play itself out. I’m going to give a quick run-down on what I’m guessing will happen.

Starting Pitching-

  • Andy Pettitte will sign a one-year deal in the eight-to-twelve million-dollar range
  • Mike Mussina will return for at least one season, with a contract similar to Pettitte.
  • Joba Chamberlain will start(thank God).
  • CC Sabathia will be in Pinstripes
  • There will be no Lowe or Burnett.

If Mussina doesn’t return,  Phil Hughes will take his place in the rotation.  If Mussina does return, we will see one of the craziest AAA rotations of all time: Phil Hughes, Al Aceves, Ian Kennedy, Chase Wright, Jeff Marquez/Alan Horne. This will give the Yankees a deep rotation at the Major League Level and a deep pool of talent to choose from, if an injury does occur(one will occur).

This is the best scenario for Yankee starting pitching, because it will be one of baseball’s top rotations and it will give the youngsters a chance to stretch their innings out and become more seasoned.

Relief Pitching

  • Mariano Rivera Closer
  • Brian Bruney RHSU
  • Jose Veras RHSU
  • Edwar Ramirez RHSU
  • Damaso Marte LHSU
  • Phil Coke LHSU
  • Dan Giese Long Relief

There’s a significant chance Damaso Marte’s option could be turned down. In that case, he would be offered arbitration. If and when he is offered arbitration, he would most likely turn it down and look to sign elsewhere for multiple seasons. Yankees will get the picks. In this case, Mark Melancon would most likely take his place in the bullpen. Also, in the event a relief pitcher struggles and is optioned to AAA, Melancon would replace them.

As far as the offense goes, it’s hard to make sense of. I’ll give it a try-

  • Abreu will be offered a two-year contract, or he will be offered arbitration. Chances are he’s gone.
  • Teixeira could be signed, but is a client of Scott Boras and is reportedly looking for a ten-year contract. Plus the Angels love him in the lineup with Vlad.
  • Manny Ramirez is also a Scott Boras client, could be signed, but is also looking for a ridiculous six-year contract which has him playing until he’s forty-two. No chance.
  • Gardner could play center, Damon could play center, Melky could play center, or a trade could be made for a David Dejesus type of player.
  • A trade could be made for a 1b like Prince Fielder or Derrek Lee. Or Miranda could be used in a platoon with Ransom. Or another aging veteran like Millar could be brought aboard…Or Giambi might be back. Impossible to tell as of now.
  • Cano, Damon and Matsui could all be traded, but I doubt any of them will.

What I’m looking forward to is the return of a healthy Jorge Posada and a healthy Hideki Matsui, plus a rebound season from Robinson Cano. Those three should combine for 50-70 homers and 250+ RBI. Add to that any of the aforementioned big bats and the Yankee offense is poised to return to juggernaut form.

People need not be excited over organizational meetings in October seeing as nothing legitimate ever comes out of them. Hank will probably start running his mouth, but the man is not to be taken seriously. In all reality, we’re all pretty much clueless until November the earliest.

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Filed under 2009 Yankees, Uncategorized