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Texas Rangers
2008-06-30 12:01
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Texas Rangers

2007 Record: 75-87 (.463)
2007 Pythagorean Record: 78-84 (.483)

2008 Record: 42-41 (.506)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 40.5-42.5 (.488)

Manager: Ron Washington
General Manager: Jon Daniels

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (100/100)*

Who's Replacing Whom:

Josh Hamilton replaces Mark Teixeira and Brad Wilkerson
Milton Bradley replaces Sammy Sosa
David Murphy inherits the playing time of Kenny Lofton and Victor Diaz
Brandon Boggs replaces Nelson Cruz (minors)
German Duran replaces Jerry Hairston Jr. and Travis Metcalf (minors)
Chris Davis replaces Jason Botts (minors)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is filling in for Gerald Laird (DL) in the lineup
Max Ramirez is filling in for Saltalamacchia on the bench
Vicente Padilla reclaims Edinson Volquez's starts
Scott Feldman is filling in for Jason Johnson (DL) who replaced Kameron Loe (minors)
Luis Mendoza is filling in for Doug Mathis (DL) who was filling in for Brandon McCarthy (DL)
Eric Hurley replaces Robinson Tejada (minors)
C.J. Wilson has inherited Eric Gagné's save chances
Eddie Guardado replaces Ron Mahay and Wilson's set-up innings
Josh Rupe replaces Wes Littleton
Jamey Wright has ceded his starts to the gaggle of starters listed above and moved to the bullpen to replace Willie Eyre
Warner Madrigal the latest reliever to attempted to fill in the remaining innings pitched by Mike Wood, John Rheinecker (DL), Akinori Otsuka and others last year.

25-man Roster

1B - Frank Catalanotto (L)
2B - Ian Kinsler (R)
SS - Michael Young (R)
3B - Ramon Vazquez (L)
C - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (S)
RF - Josh Hamilton (L)
CF - Marlon Byrd (R)
LF - David Murphy (L)
DH - Milton Bradley (S)

Bench:

R - Brandon Boggs (OF)
L - Chris Davis (1B/3B)
R - German Duran (UT)
R - Max Ramirez (C)

Rotation:

R - Vicente Padilla
R - Eric Hurley
R - Scott Feldman
R - Kevin Millwood
R - Luis Mendoza

Bullpen:

L - C.J. Wilson
R - Joaquin Benoit
L - Eddie Guardado
R - Jamey Wright
R - Frank Francisco
R - Josh Rupe
R - Warner Madrigal

15-day DL: L - Hank Blalock (3B), R - Gerald Laird (C), R - Jason Jennings, L - Kason Gabbard, R - Doug Mathis, L - A.J. Murray
60-day DL: R - Brandon McCarthy, L - John Rheinecker, R - Thomas Diamond

Typical Lineup:

R - Ian Kinsler (2B)
R - Michael Young (SS)
L - Josh Hamilton (RF/CF)
S - Milton Bradley (DH)
L - David Murphy (LF/RF)
R - Marlon Byrd (CF)
L - Frank Catalanotto (1B)
S - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C)
L - Ramon Vazquez (3B)

Quick, what team has the best offense in baseball? Okay, maybe the headline was a giveaway. Easier question: what team has the worst pitching staff in the game? In both cases the answer is the Texas Rangers team that just showed up in the Bronx for a three-game series. Sure, their ballpark* has played its part in those rankings, with the team's runs scored and allowed per game each swelling by roughly one full run at home versus their road marks, but the Rangers' offensive attack is very nearly that good and their pitching really is that bad.

Three of the first four hitters in the Texas lineup--Milton Bradley, Ian Kinsler, and Josh Hamilton, in that order--boast three of the top four VORP totals in the American League. The fourth member of the quartet atop the Rangers order is Michael Young. He's 34th in the AL in VORP, but first among AL shortstops. Ramon Vazquez, a 31-year-old futility infielder pressed into duty at third base in the wake of yet another Hank Blalock injury, is having something beyond a career year and ranks above Young at 31st in the league in VORP despite having less than two-thirds as many plate appearances. Vazquez is hitting ninth on reputation rather than performance (he's hitting .319/.359/.542 this month), and thus gives the Rangers five mashers in a row when the lineup turns over. David Murphy, who was picked up from the Red Sox in the Eric Gagné trade at last year's deadline, is fourth in VORP among AL rookies. He hits fifth, giving Texas six notable performers in a row.

Then again, Murphy is 26 and won't take a walk (he has just three since May 10), and the top four hitters in the order all experience a significant decrease in production on the road. Still, the Rangers' still boast the best road offense in the league, plating 5.02 R/G away from Arlington, and with professional lefty hitter Frankie "The Cat" Catalanotto, switch-hitting catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the improved plate discipline of former washout Marlon Byrd rounding out the lineup, the Rangers aren't a whole lot of fun to pitch too. Kinsler, Young, Hamilton, and Bradley, all legitimately excellent hitters, make them outright dangerous.

The Rangers pitchers are dangerous as well, but only to the Rangers. The state of their rotation can be best summarized by the fact that the most effective starting pitcher the Rangers have had this year will pitch against them as a Yankee on Wednesday, and he's Sidney Freaking Ponson. They have received more reliable individual performances out of the bullpen, but the sum total of the Rangers' relief work has been the worst in baseball by a fair margin.

What that all adds up to is, surprise, a .500 ballclub. The Rangers were terrible in April (.370 winning percentage), great in May (.655), and are dead even in June (13-13).

Tonight the Rangers send Scott Feldman to the mound. Feldman is a 25-year-old side-arming righty who spent most of his pro career as a reliever before being forced into the rotation when Jason Jennings hit the DL at the beginning of May. Since then, he's been roughly league average, turning in five quality starts in ten tries. A low-strikeout groundballer, Feldman has been giving up way too many fly balls this year, but managing to survive nonetheless. That doesn't bode well for his future performance. He'll face off against Mike Mussina, who will be making his first start since having his work against the Pirates erased by rain last week.

The Yanks have swaped Justin Christian out for Brett Gardner, which makes a lot of sense given that Joe Girardi had taken to starting Christian, a bench outfielder at best. Gardner starts in left field tonight with Jorge Posada at DH, Jose Molina catching and Johnny Damon on the bench.

Meanwhile, I'll be joining Alex, Steve Goldman, Peter Abraham, Jay Jaffe, Joe Sheahan, Will Carroll, Derek Jacques, and an apparent cast of thousands at the Baseball Prospectus pizza feed at Foley's on 33rd street at 8pm tonight. Hope too see some of you there.

*I take my park factors for these team summaries from Baseball-Reference, but something's clearly awry about B-Ref's factors this season. B-Ref has Rangers Ballpark as a slight pitchers' park, but ESPN.com lists the Rangers' park as the fifth most extreme offensive environment in the majors.

Comments (495)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-30 14:55:10
1.   cult of basebaal
well, to be fair, girardi was starting christian since the yankees faced a string of LHP. i think that if the handedness of the opponents was reversed, we would have seen gardner last week.
2008-06-30 15:03:20
2.   Shaun P
Wish I lived in the greater NYC area so I could make that pizza feed tonight. Sounds like it will be sweet; Pete Abe said he'll be there too.

1 Gabbard is the Rangers' only lefty starter, but he's on the DL, so we'll have to wait until Lester's start on Thursday to see if Gardner will get to face a LHP or not.

I love Melky, but I'd like to see him not start for a little while, presuming Damon is A-OK and Gardner does well.

2008-06-30 15:08:41
3.   monkeypants
0 "Gardner starts in left field tonight with Jorge Posada at DH, Jose Molina catching and Johnny Damon on the bench."

Posada at DH after playing 1B yesterday? This is very, very worrisome. Either Girardi is confused (why have Damon on the bench when Molina is in the lineup) or Damon is hurt.

2008-06-30 15:15:05
4.   monkeypants
0 "but something's clearly awry about B-Ref's factors this season."

Why do you trust ESPN's park factors more than BBR's? After all, ESPN lists Yankee Stadium as the 9th most hitter friendly park, and Comerica as the 3rd most hitter friendly.

2008-06-30 15:18:44
5.   monkeypants
BTW, according to Pete Abe:

"AAA catcher Chris Stewart was DFA'd to make room for Gardner on the 40-man."

More kookyness. So, instead of DFAing Moeller, they DFA their insurance for Moeller getting claimed on waivers. So now, they more or less have to carry 3 catchers. Bizarre.

2008-06-30 15:35:25
6.   williamnyy23
3 I think you've touched on something very worrisome, but it might not only be about Damon. Posada has not thrown well since returning, so it is very possible that his shoulder is still ailing. So, maybe this lineup is a sign that both Damon and Posada are far from 100%? If Johnny can't play and Posada can't provide leverage as a catcher, the lineup will be weakened. It might still be solid, but certainly not strong enough to compensate for the Rasner and Ponson starts as well as for when the Yankees face a quality pitcher.

Losing Wang and Matsui is a big enough blow as it is. If Damon and/or Posada are limited or minimized as well, then I think the post season is a long shot.

2008-06-30 15:37:16
7.   dianagramr
6

if the post-season is a longshot, could we then root for a Cubs/Rays World Series?

2008-06-30 15:39:23
8.   ChrisS
I dunno, but I'd certainly like to have an inside look at what Cashman is thinking.

I swear I won't tell anyone, Cash!

2008-06-30 15:39:46
9.   williamnyy23
4 Park factors have always been something that bothered me. I accept them because I think not accounting for park effects is worse than applying an incorrect formula, but I still swallow hard whenever I use ERA+ and OPS+.
2008-06-30 15:42:04
10.   williamnyy23
7 I am still rooting for the long shot. If it doesn't come through, I think I am rooting for the Phillies (I like that team for some reason). It's kind of mean, but I don't want to lose the Cubs as lovable losers. Something tells me a good portion of Cubs fans wouldn't want to lose that distinction either.
2008-06-30 15:50:20
11.   RIYank
I'm betting it's Posada who's still hurting. Mainly because Damon's injury was to his foot, and he sure doesn't look like he's slowed down. Of course, that's the more worrisome alternative. Argh. I'm hoping Girardi is just being hypercareful.

10 I agree about losing the Cubs' status -- 'lovable loser' doesn't quite do it for me in this case; it's more like Tragic Figure. But then again, if you don't root for them that sort of spoils it. So I'd be rooting for them, but in a conflicted way.

2008-06-30 15:56:23
12.   nick
4 what's stranger is that B-Ref's multi-year park factors have Arlington at exactly 100--so it's not a one-year thing. Arlington offense-neutral? I don't get it, either....maybe it adds HRs but suppresses other hitting?

When you depend on a bunch of 34-yr olds, you have to hope to get lucky. And we've actually not been especially unlucky with the health of our older guys. It's the injuries to young/prime pitchers that have been unlucky.

2008-06-30 15:58:07
13.   ChrisS
11 In HS ball, I strained a ligament in the arch of my foot and I could sprint on it, basically by blocking the pain for those 90 feet between the bags. Once I was standing on the bag, it hurt.

If it's the same kind of thing, Damon can probably still sprint, but then it tightens up and feels like a charlie horse in his foot, which could make running around the OF bothersome after a few innings.

2008-06-30 16:01:44
14.   mehmattski
Cliff- welcome back! I missed your wit about Ponson, but I'm sure you'll come up with something good for Wednesday's game...

Our first look at Josh Hamilton and Brett Gardner. Nolan Ryan's in town. Mussina on short rest. I smell 11-10 tonight.

2008-06-30 16:02:52
15.   mehmattski
13 I also strained that ligament in HS, but while running track. Oddly the only time it would hurt was during deceleration. My track coach's advice: don't slow down!
2008-06-30 16:03:35
16.   Vandelay Industries
10 11 I wish I could root for them. However, I find myself in Ozzie's camp here. I spent all of 2004 and 2005 in Chicago. Throughout the 2005 campaign and well into the fall it remained difficult to find a bar more willing to air the Sox if the Cubs were playing, or to see expressions of Sox fan-dom on the streets in the "mainstream" part of the city. The team was well on its way to a historic season, and most of the city could have cared less. I love me some Lou, but I find it difficult to root for a team that plays in a stadium full of fans who 95% of couldn't tell you what the infield fly rule is, or express any less happiness on days in which the Cubs lose rather than win. Cubs games are an event to get drunk and hang out and party, very few fans care one way or the other what happens to the team, and that isn't a team that deserves to win anything.

I live in LA now after moving out from NY for work, and I refuse to pull for the Dodgers, not because I am a life long Yankees fan, but because, again, the fans, most of which treat a game at Dodger Stadium as a picnic with the game as background noise, don't deserve a winner.

2008-06-30 16:08:36
17.   Shaun P
3 Isn't is possible that Molina catching and Jorge DHing (and Damon sitting) is nothing more than an opportunity to get guys some rest? Particularly in light of the heat/humidity, that the Rangers' pitching is brutal, and there is a big 4 games series against Boston this weekend?

Oh yeah - and Molina has basically become Moose's personal catcher.

I'm hoping this is a case of the simplest explanation being the most likely.

2008-06-30 16:08:53
18.   Chien Music
Posada may still be injured, but Molina may be in there because Moose is pitching. If I'm not mistaken Molina has caught most of Mussina's games at least lately. Moose likes his personal catchers and I get the feeling he has a problem with Jorge.
2008-06-30 16:10:06
19.   RIYank
Yeah, that's a good point about Damon, it could be hurting but the kind of thing you can sprint through. Hm.

I'm sniffing a surprisingly low-scoring game (though I refuse to give numbers). I think Moose plus the Stadium will keep the Rangers down, and, well, this is not the kind of pitcher our guys actually manage to beat up on...

2008-06-30 16:10:08
20.   Chien Music
Damn..slow typing.
2008-06-30 16:10:47
21.   cult of basebaal
7 i'm rooting for a Rays V Diamondbacks World Series, just 'cause it's what Fox deserves ... and because it would be a great series between 2 well built teams
2008-06-30 16:10:50
22.   RIYank
Oh, right, Moose & Molina! That makes me feel better.
2008-06-30 16:11:29
23.   RIYank
21 Yeah, except the D-Backs aren't good. The Rays are.
2008-06-30 16:12:25
24.   cult of basebaal
16 i dunno, for me it's more that the Carpetbagger and the ignorant stooges that compose the LA media deserve to suffer ...
2008-06-30 16:12:47
25.   mehmattski
Classic picture on the front page of mlb.com right now. Let's hope the Sox and Rays beat the crap out of each other- literally, and on the field.
2008-06-30 16:13:37
26.   Shaun P
17 PeteAbe says:

"Johnny Damon is just getting a day off, by the way. He's fine."

Moose is off to a good start.

16 To each his own, but I think the folks over at Dodger Thoughts would take a lot of offense at your last statement. To say it another way: would you like to be lumped in with the lugnuts who think Brosius is a better player than A-Rod, or who boo'd Hawkins wearing #21? Me neither.

2008-06-30 16:13:45
27.   RIYank
Ooooooh. Almost.
2008-06-30 16:13:54
28.   mehmattski
I guess that it's a little to late in Derek's career to suggest that, just maybe, he could get a better throw by planting his feet first?
2008-06-30 16:14:42
29.   cult of basebaal
21 well, we disagree, i don't think the d-backs are as good as their start, but they're a solid young team that's only going to get better ... well, if they figure out the concept of plate discipline

besides, everyone else in the NL West sucks.

2008-06-30 16:14:43
30.   Yankees Brasil
Horrible call.
2008-06-30 16:15:14
31.   cult of basebaal
27 yeah, the ump almost got the call right.
2008-06-30 16:16:53
32.   RIYank
29 They're not as good as their start, and their start is .500. To me, the undeniable conclusion is that they aren't good.
2008-06-30 16:16:53
33.   Yankees Brasil
So, tight strike zone and a blind ump at first base. As if facing the best offense in the majors wasn't challenging enough.
2008-06-30 16:17:18
34.   cult of basebaal
26 forget it, he's rolling.
2008-06-30 16:19:13
35.   mehmattski
32 Plus they're right in line with their Pythagorean record and their record based on raw hitting/pitching, according to BP.
2008-06-30 16:19:29
36.   RIYank
Moooooooooose!
2008-06-30 16:20:41
37.   cult of basebaal
wow, michael kay is just ... wow ... words fail me ... right now he's describing how bradley's been a "perfect citizen this year", well except for the incident where he had to be restrained from going to the broadcast booth to confront a Royals broadcaster whose comments he took exception to ...
2008-06-30 16:20:59
38.   mehmattski
Think the Red Sox regret losing Murphy when they traded for a known steroid user?
2008-06-30 16:21:52
39.   RIYank
38 Yeah, but they got that first round draft pick!

Oh. Wait.

2008-06-30 16:22:12
40.   RIYank
Brett Gardner, ma man!
2008-06-30 16:22:37
41.   mehmattski
And Brett Gardner is in the record books. Perfect fielding percentage!
2008-06-30 16:24:15
42.   mehmattski
"If you live in Holly Hill it's big news if you even come to New York and go to a Yankee game..."
~Brett Gardner
2008-06-30 16:24:28
43.   RIYank
41 If he homers in his first at-bat, they should pull him from the game and option him immediately, and he should retire from baseball.
2008-06-30 16:26:15
44.   RIYank
Oh, man, that would have been cool. (If he'd won that footrace to the bag.)
2008-06-30 16:26:58
45.   nick
kids shows patience...how fast does he look?
2008-06-30 16:27:26
46.   cult of basebaal
45 VERY
2008-06-30 16:27:26
47.   ChrisS
well, at least he saw 6 pitches, I guess, instead of Melky's 3.5
2008-06-30 16:28:09
48.   ChrisS
47 or Jeter's 2.
2008-06-30 16:28:10
49.   RIYank
45 Very. He almost beat out the grounder to Davis.
Of course, my comparison class is a pretty slow bunch of guys.
2008-06-30 16:28:56
50.   RIYank
How the hell does Abreu do this? He genuinely seems to repel pitches.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-30 16:31:25
51.   RIYank
Jeez.
I thought Salty couldn't throw.
2008-06-30 16:31:55
52.   OldYanksFan
9 The ESPN Park Factor is based on Runs Scored. Adjusting OPS based on RS is a poor idea. I calculated PFs based on OBP and SLG (OPS) and correlated it to ESPN's RS PF. THe OPS PF was 10% higher at max and 7% lower at min.

If OPS+ used a PF based on OPS as opposed to RS, the numbers, in some cases, would be radically different.

2008-06-30 16:32:18
53.   ChrisS
tell me that was a botched hit and run.
2008-06-30 16:33:52
54.   Yankees Brasil
53 No. Bad jump by Abreu.
2008-06-30 16:33:52
55.   Yankees Brasil
53 No. Bad jump by Abreu.
2008-06-30 16:35:26
56.   RIYank
Mooooooose!
2008-06-30 16:35:55
57.   mehmattski
Looks like Good Moose so far... just being extremely careful with Hamilton and Bradley, and wisely so.
2008-06-30 16:36:36
58.   nick
I love the way Moose will throw any pitch in any spot at any point in the count...
2008-06-30 16:36:50
59.   cult of basebaal
i do love that madduxian 2 seamer
2008-06-30 16:37:10
60.   SF Yanks
Wouldn't that be 14 letters?
2008-06-30 16:37:20
61.   Yankees Brasil
That's more like it Moose!
2008-06-30 16:37:47
62.   mehmattski
Isn't Saltalamacchia 14 letters? Guess we can add "can't count" to the list of Michael Kay deficiencies....
2008-06-30 16:38:02
63.   cult of basebaal
MMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSE!
2008-06-30 16:38:48
64.   RIYank
I never thought of Michael Kay as dumb. Huh.
2008-06-30 16:41:22
65.   RIYank
So, does that count as an 11-pitch walk? (Counting the four he saw last inning!)
2008-06-30 16:41:25
66.   mehmattski
0-2 and worked a walk. One of the less appreciated awesome things about A-Rod.
2008-06-30 16:42:30
67.   mehmattski
So, with the third baseman covering second, why not run to third?
2008-06-30 16:42:39
68.   cult of basebaal
so ... if giambi hits a long homerun, can we call it a 'stache mash???
2008-06-30 16:43:08
69.   RIYank
Sure, A-Rod, steal a base when Giambi's going to walk. Pointless stat-padding.
2008-06-30 16:43:47
70.   SF Yanks
50 Giambi is the true inventor of ball replant FWIW.
2008-06-30 16:44:29
71.   RIYank
70 He is.
67 Posada's going to walk, so it's irrelevant.
2008-06-30 16:45:02
72.   SF Yanks
70 Or repellent. Which ever works.
2008-06-30 16:45:25
73.   mehmattski
That's 10 strikes, 20 balls. That's, uh... not a good percentage.
2008-06-30 16:46:18
74.   RIYank
Not for nuthin', but James Shields is associated with a lot of circular ascii characters right now. Middle of the third.

Dang, Jorgie, out in front of that one.

2008-06-30 16:49:12
75.   RIYank
OUCH!

Upper deck foul for Robbie. Just foul. Creamed it.

2008-06-30 16:53:20
76.   Yankees Brasil
So much for the competition thing, Melky still sucks.
2008-06-30 16:53:51
77.   cult of basebaal
well, no competition bounce for melky's bat yet
2008-06-30 16:54:38
78.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
late checking in, haiku-update time anyone?
2008-06-30 16:55:27
79.   RIYank
Six feet to the left and he would have had two rbi. Well, Giambi, hm. At least one rbi.
2008-06-30 16:55:50
80.   mehmattski
74 Scrappy McDustalot is the first baserunner for the Sox, an infield hit.
2008-06-30 16:56:10
81.   RIYank
Dustin Pedroia breaks up the no-no.
2008-06-30 16:56:31
82.   mehmattski
Jim Kaat! Man I miss him.
2008-06-30 16:56:48
83.   RIYank
Yeah. Wait, how are you following the game, mehmattski? I'm listening to it.
2008-06-30 16:57:11
84.   nick
I want Gardner in center tomorrow.
2008-06-30 16:57:53
85.   mehmattski
83 Flipped to it on Extra Innings after Melky grounded out. NESN feed.
2008-06-30 16:59:35
86.   mehmattski
That fastball is something else for Mussina tonight. Just awesome movement, right to left.
2008-06-30 16:59:54
87.   mehmattski
86 And by right to left I mean left to right. D'oh.
2008-06-30 17:00:14
88.   RIYank
Crud. Nice hit. Who is this Hamilton guy, how come we never hear anything about him?
2008-06-30 17:01:15
89.   RIYank
87 Of course, you were thinking of it from Moose's perspective.
2008-06-30 17:01:28
90.   Yankees Brasil
Bad luck for Moose. Made a good pitch.
2008-06-30 17:01:59
91.   SF Yanks
Moose with 5 K's through 3 and lookin good doing it.
2008-06-30 17:02:55
92.   Yankees Brasil
91 Now if only we could get a hit to help his cause.
2008-06-30 17:03:27
93.   ms october
86 yeah tons of movement tonight - moose is looking pretty good. texas is going to hit and score runs - hopefully the yanks will as well.

i guess jim kaat didn't get the official shirt for the night.

2008-06-30 17:03:51
94.   RIYank
No more circles for Shields.
2008-06-30 17:04:37
95.   mehmattski
94 I would appreciate fewer circles for Feldman...
2008-06-30 17:05:39
96.   RIYank
86 93 Kind of like Mo's cutter on Ludes.
2008-06-30 17:08:48
97.   mehmattski
Above the belt called strike 3? Tough break, rook.
2008-06-30 17:08:55
98.   Eirias
Who were that talking about... "might be the best of them all... struck out the side..."? I missed it.
2008-06-30 17:09:21
99.   Mattpat11
The Yankees are being no hit by Corey Feldman.
2008-06-30 17:10:17
100.   cult of basebaal
2 abs, 13 pitches seen for gardner
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-30 17:10:26
101.   mehmattski
98 David Price, they were talking about a spring training outing. Kaat said he watched a hyped-up minor league game between Price and Pedro Martinez.
2008-06-30 17:10:30
102.   Mattpat11
I miss Jim Kaat
2008-06-30 17:10:48
103.   SF Yanks
This Cy Feldman is one helluva pitcher.
2008-06-30 17:10:53
104.   ms october
98 david price for the rays

i hope moose gets this strike zone going forward

2008-06-30 17:11:28
105.   ChrisS
95 I'm starting to think that teams are calling up journeymen starting pitchers just to face the Yankees.
2008-06-30 17:11:55
106.   nick
it really, really seems, and I know annecdotal bla bla bla, but it really seems to me that we take ABs off against 2nd rate pitchers with disturbing frequency...
2008-06-30 17:13:09
107.   Yankees Brasil
105 Why wouldn't they? Our hitters seem to forget how to hit when they face guys they've never seem before.
2008-06-30 17:13:25
108.   mehmattski
Trivia question (Which two Texas Rangers have won the batting title), without looking it up: Juan Gonzalez and A-Rod?
2008-06-30 17:14:21
109.   Mattpat11
There's no reason to walk David Murphy.
2008-06-30 17:14:26
110.   mehmattski
108 Swing and a miss on both accounts. Whoops.
2008-06-30 17:14:38
111.   JimCobain
{108} Also without looking it up, Michael Young and Pudge.
2008-06-30 17:14:43
112.   SF Yanks
Moose needs his 11th W tonight, and if he gets through this inning with relative ease, I have good feelings.
2008-06-30 17:15:16
113.   ChrisS
108 I wanna say Julio Franco won one.
2008-06-30 17:15:34
114.   Mattpat11
108 Nope.
2008-06-30 17:15:38
115.   cult of basebaal
108 al oliver?
2008-06-30 17:17:47
116.   OldYanksFan
TB up 3-1 on a Gross HR.
2008-06-30 17:18:16
117.   cult of basebaal
115 toby harrah?
2008-06-30 17:18:17
118.   Mattpat11
Deserve that for walking David Murphy.
2008-06-30 17:18:25
119.   mehmattski
It's Michael Young in 2005 (.331) and Julio Franco in 1991 (.341). No Texas player has ever led the league in OBP. A-Rod, Juan Gone, and Ruben Sierra have led the league in SLG.
2008-06-30 17:20:58
120.   RIYank
Julio Franco!
That was gonna be my 67th guess.
2008-06-30 17:21:39
121.   mehmattski
Michael Kay really likes saying Saltalamacchia
2008-06-30 17:22:47
122.   RIYank
I might have to define a macro to type 'Saltalamacchia' for me. It would save about 15 hours of my life.
2008-06-30 17:23:36
123.   RIYank
Two more runs for TB on a Gabe Gross homer.

Who are those guys?

2008-06-30 17:27:44
124.   nick
the bats are dead again....
2008-06-30 17:28:01
125.   nick
....thanks Alex!
2008-06-30 17:28:09
126.   ms october
yay arod - damn,that is a beautiful swing!
2008-06-30 17:29:30
127.   RIYank
The ball traveled a lloooonnnngggg way.
2008-06-30 17:32:02
128.   mehmattski
Well that's a good way to end the no-hitter. All I had to do was go get some dinner.
2008-06-30 17:32:17
129.   RIYank
Another two-out walk, and another run for TB.
2008-06-30 17:35:05
130.   Yankees Brasil
That's a little better from the offense, but they should be crushing this guy.
2008-06-30 17:38:06
131.   mehmattski
So if the Rays call up David Price and make him a reliever during the stretch run, will there be national media outcries about how Price should remain a reliever for the rest of his career?
2008-06-30 17:41:01
132.   mehmattski
123 BTW, Gabe Gross came over in a trade with the Brewers near the end of April. Rays sent away their second round pick from 2006, Josh Butler. Butler currently has an ERA of over 5.35 in the Florida State League. Gross is hitting for a 99 OPS+ for the Rays.
2008-06-30 17:41:17
133.   RIYank
"Get outa my way, rookie!"
2008-06-30 17:43:20
134.   RIYank
Solo homer for Drew, 4-2.
I knew Drew was going to be a force this year.

And MOOOOOSSEEE! (But it's time to start thinking about our bullpen, with his pitch count.)

2008-06-30 17:44:37
135.   nick
if Moose can give us a scoreless 6th that'd be one hell of a job against this offense...
2008-06-30 17:45:01
136.   cult of basebaal
better be careful Milt, or you'll spoil your "perfect" behavior record for the season
2008-06-30 17:45:21
137.   Yankees Brasil
So much for that perfect citizen.
2008-06-30 17:46:30
138.   ms october
134 so did i for some reason re: drew

if moose can get through 6 innings giving up 2 runs that would be great, hopefully that's not pushing it

2008-06-30 17:47:29
139.   SF Yanks
What's wrong with Melky? He hasn't had a hot stretch all season...
2008-06-30 17:48:19
140.   RIYank
138 Well, he's a good hitter. I figured last year was an aberration.

And speaking of aberrations, an infield hit for Molina...
Now how about a 13 pitch walk for the new kid?

2008-06-30 17:48:24
141.   SF Yanks
Can we put Gardner on 1st and have Molina bat again?
2008-06-30 17:48:44
142.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
132 great example for anyone who doubts the importance of ownership & GMs who "get it"...to think the Rays once signed Canseco and Vaughn! (er..and we once traded for Ken Phelps..)
2008-06-30 17:49:28
143.   SF Yanks
141 Close enough I suppose.
2008-06-30 17:49:35
144.   mehmattski
There's the speed!
2008-06-30 17:49:44
145.   RIYank
Jesus.
Kid really is fast. That ball had "GIDP" in boldface all over it.
2008-06-30 17:49:53
146.   SF Yanks
Steal!!
2008-06-30 17:51:14
147.   Eirias
Fly little man! Fly!
2008-06-30 17:51:20
148.   RIYank
Uh.
Well, shall we say that he pressured Saltalamacchia into a bad throw?
2008-06-30 17:52:04
149.   SF Yanks
Didn't look like he had a great jump, combined with the pitchout, he would have been gunned.
2008-06-30 17:52:31
150.   mehmattski
148 And Kinsler was so amazed by Gardner's speed that he forgot to cover second.

Hey Derek, this pitcher's not good. Stop grounding out to short.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-06-30 17:53:17
151.   cult of basebaal
awesome game, cap'n!!!
2008-06-30 17:53:32
152.   SF Yanks
Alright Moose, hang in there for one more and hope the pathetic O decides to show today, and lets get you W #11.
2008-06-30 17:53:54
153.   RIYank
We need something like tinyurl for Saltalamacchia's name.
Tinycatchername.
2008-06-30 17:54:31
154.   williamnyy23
I am ashamed to say that I am a little jealous that it's the Rays battling the Red Sox for first place, while the Yankees struggle with the Rangers.
2008-06-30 17:54:38
155.   SF Yanks
I think for the first time in baseball history, Jeter has seen negative pitches in one game.
2008-06-30 17:55:34
156.   RIYank
Masterson survives a potentially nasty inning. Still 4-2.
2008-06-30 17:56:09
157.   Yankees Brasil
Our lineup is hitting like the Padres' lineup.
2008-06-30 17:56:54
158.   SF Yanks
157 The Padres' A club.
2008-06-30 17:57:07
159.   RIYank
154 The first step is admitting it.
2008-06-30 17:57:26
160.   OldYanksFan
Moose has amazing movement on his pitches. Great outing. 1 run on a bloop.
2008-06-30 17:58:00
161.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
154 I feel your pain...
2008-06-30 17:58:05
162.   RIYank
That Padre A club has a hell of a third baseman, in that case.
2008-06-30 17:58:22
163.   williamnyy23
I've always been a bigger Moose fan than most, but his performance this season has cemented an overwhelmingly positive feeling I have about his career as a Yankee. He has really adjusted and battled all season and stepped it up at a time when so many others on the team have not.
2008-06-30 17:58:48
164.   OldYanksFan
8 Ks in 6 IP. Amazing fo Moose.
2008-06-30 17:58:58
165.   Eirias
153 Only 13 letters! Michael Kay could get behind that.
2008-06-30 17:59:00
166.   mehmattski
What a great game by Moose. Let's see if they can't scratch across a run or two this inning.
2008-06-30 17:59:23
167.   williamnyy23
161 That pain will be greater if we're still looking up at both teams down the stretch.
2008-06-30 17:59:27
168.   SF Yanks
Moose is at 103 pitches. I say if the offense can't muster up a measly 2 runs this next inning, Moose should go out for the 7th.
2008-06-30 17:59:48
169.   RIYank
If only Moose had been a little more efficient. And if only our guys had taken just a few more pitches, we'd be into the bullpen already.

Well, I think it's time. The Yanks have seen plenty of Feldman by now, the URPness has worn off.

2008-06-30 18:00:17
170.   OldYanksFan
163 Moose might be the teams MVP this year. Too bad our offense has let him down a few times.
2008-06-30 18:00:40
171.   mehmattski
163 I agree, although I admit I've been a Moose skeptic over the years. This year he has won me over by doing exactly what you describe. Even with less velocity he has reinvented his game. That moving fastball and changeup are unreal against lefties, and he's got like six pitches that he throws any time he wants.
2008-06-30 18:00:47
172.   RIYank
Yeah, I'd give Moose a chance. I mean, Girardi should ask him how he's feeling.
2008-06-30 18:01:10
173.   Eirias
156 But is still in line for a loss. Oh Happy Day.
2008-06-30 18:01:23
174.   OldYanksFan
Sox, 1 on, 1 out in the 7th. Sheilds out.
2008-06-30 18:02:01
175.   williamnyy23
169 I wish I could say I'm shocked that the Yankees have been shackled by another mediocre pitcher.
2008-06-30 18:02:04
176.   RIYank
And James Shields leaves the game with one on and one out in the seventh, Trever Miller in relief.
2008-06-30 18:02:47
177.   mehmattski
171 I remembered, with 172 what the turning point was in my opinion of Moose. It was that game last season when Torre tried to come out of the dugout to take Moose out in the ninth inning, and Moose shooed him away with his glove, and Torre backed down the steps with his hands in the air, saying "Okay, okay, fine!"

That was awesome.

2008-06-30 18:04:10
178.   SF Yanks
Ugh! I am getting increasingly frustrated with each silly out recorded by the anemic O.
2008-06-30 18:05:56
179.   mehmattski
TRIPLE!!!!
2008-06-30 18:06:30
180.   williamnyy23
178 I've stopped getting frustrated. In the past, the Yankee lineup would have its slumps, but I can't recall a year when there were so many anemic stretches. The Yankees have been shut down by so many underwhelming pitchers that you almost have to accept it.
2008-06-30 18:06:56
181.   Eirias
Run big man! Run!
2008-06-30 18:07:04
182.   cult of basebaal
not a STACHE SMASH ... but a STACHE DASH!!!
2008-06-30 18:07:12
183.   nick
STERLING YOU $#@@ YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN WITH YOUR HOME RUN CALL
2008-06-30 18:07:22
184.   Just fair
Dear 2 out with RISP God,
Some love here please.
Regards,
JF
2008-06-30 18:07:48
185.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
did Giambi just TRIPLE?? wow, how did he look running the bases? like a Llama on mescaline?
2008-06-30 18:07:55
186.   mehmattski
I think Brett Gardner gave Giambi some running lessons before the game. Either that or the 'stache reduces drag....
2008-06-30 18:07:56
187.   cult of basebaal
OXYGEN, OXYGEN!!!
2008-06-30 18:07:58
188.   Yankees Brasil
Can't believe my eyes. Too bad we won't score.
2008-06-30 18:08:35
189.   williamnyy23
How ironic would it be if the Yankees swept Boston in the final season series and knocked them out of the playoffs in favor of the Rays? Talk about not what the schedule makers had in mind!
2008-06-30 18:09:23
190.   OldYanksFan
Sox, 2 on, 1 out in the 7th. Another pitching change.
Legs Giambino!
2 out in Tampa.
2008-06-30 18:09:25
191.   williamnyy23
183 Sterling's "it is high..." doesn't even get my hopes up anymore. He is so awful with that call.
2008-06-30 18:09:51
192.   ms october
185 he actually looked faster than normal - it was a 182 stache dash as he kept licking his stache while running

alright jorge please get a hit.

2008-06-30 18:11:08
193.   Just fair
Dear 2 out with RISP God,
F.U.
From
JF
p.s. Bollocks
2008-06-30 18:11:14
194.   ChrisS
In other news, Cano is a mere .002 away from passing Melky's BA.
2008-06-30 18:11:22
195.   williamnyy23
Wow...Posada of all people goes way out of the zone.
2008-06-30 18:11:36
196.   SF Yanks
Fuck. Ing. Shit.
2008-06-30 18:12:09
197.   Eirias
193 Aren't the Yankees something like 4th in BA w/ RISP and 2 out?
2008-06-30 18:12:29
198.   RIYank
Sox don't score.

Varitek and Lugo do make for a big hole in that line-up. (Kind of a familiar hole, come to think of it.)

2008-06-30 18:13:20
199.   RIYank
197 Is that a significant stat? I always thought it was basically noise plus BA.
2008-06-30 18:13:37
200.   mehmattski
Still three innings left. And the Rangers' bullpen isn't exactly deep or stellar. I like the Yankees' chances against CJ Wilson and Jamey Wright.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-06-30 18:13:52
201.   Yankees Brasil
0 for 6 tonight with RISP. Another great night for our offense.
2008-06-30 18:14:30
202.   Just fair
197 Not tonight. : )
2008-06-30 18:14:39
203.   williamnyy23
Yikes...Edwar time.
2008-06-30 18:14:44
204.   RIYank
200 If Edwar can hold the Rangers, yeah.
2008-06-30 18:14:51
205.   nick
depending on what "clutch" is you can make the Yanks look anywhere from decent to awful, as I recall...
2008-06-30 18:15:08
206.   Yankees Brasil
Yeah, I have no confidence Edwar can hold them here.
2008-06-30 18:15:21
207.   ChrisS
200 unfortunately, I don't like Edwar's chances against a bunch of fastball hitters.
2008-06-30 18:17:02
208.   mehmattski
That slide was a little too Salty.
2008-06-30 18:18:02
209.   RIYank
Very dumb strategy. Bunt attempt, steal, against Edwar Ramirez with a great line-up? Sure, it's a 1-run game in the seventh, but still.
2008-06-30 18:18:21
210.   Yankees Brasil
Better be lucky than good. That horrible pitch kinda helped.
2008-06-30 18:18:41
211.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
198 saw Varitek on tv here over the weekend, his swing looked awful..Sox lineup definately has holes...
2008-06-30 18:19:02
212.   mehmattski
203 , 206 , 207 Edwar Ramirez will accept your apology:

Edwar Ramirez
c/o New York Yankees
E 161st St & River Ave
Bronx, NY 10451

If you send a SASE, he will respond with a signed picture of him giving you the finger.

2008-06-30 18:19:56
213.   ChrisS
Good job Edwar, I take back everything I said about you. Kinsler had to know the change was coming, and couldn't do anything with it.
2008-06-30 18:20:21
214.   RIYank
198 He's been in decline for a while, but he's dreadful this year. Of course, RSN insists that they want him playing "even if he doesn't hit at all."
But the line-up still scores a lot of runs. Even without Ortiz. It's unpleasant, but true.
2008-06-30 18:21:10
215.   cult of basebaal
yup, peteyabe sure can scout pitching, major league hitter just turn up their nose at edwar's one-trick pony act
2008-06-30 18:21:14
216.   RIYank
By 198 I meant 211 , which referred to my 198 .
2008-06-30 18:22:37
217.   RIYank
Chris "Who?" Smith walks two Rays, one out in the seventh. It's Crawford on second.
2008-06-30 18:22:53
218.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
214 well, he is the "captain" and a "leader" who "knows how to call a game and manage a staff"...
you are right though, i hate to admit it but Dustin McDirtyUniform and Youkillus really do get good atbats in front of Manny, etc..
2008-06-30 18:23:03
219.   nick
without Manny and Ortiz the Sox will employ nothing but gritty gutsy meatheads and JD Drew--they will become just transcendently hateable....
2008-06-30 18:23:04
220.   Eirias
Edwar is cool on Gameday. Even his fastballs curve backwards.
2008-06-30 18:23:26
221.   RIYank
Smith walks the bases loaded, still one out.
2008-06-30 18:23:27
222.   Eirias
220 Or slide. Whichever is correct.
2008-06-30 18:23:50
223.   OldYanksFan
TB with bases loaded, 1 out.
2008-06-30 18:24:34
224.   RIYank
218 219 Yuck. Can't stand to think about it.

Manny's a little off this year, too. Not bad, but not Manny-nificent.

2008-06-30 18:25:31
225.   williamnyy23
Even with a crappy middle pen and bottom end of the rotation, this season's culprit remains the offense. This game is a perfect illustration.

Of course, the above begs the question: Why on Earth is a healthy Johnny Damon on the bench? And why would you not use the lefty Betemit in this game?

2008-06-30 18:25:33
226.   mehmattski
You shouldn't be allowed to have two of the same name, even if it's in a different language.

Matt Mateo
John Juan
Miguel Michael
Frank Fransisco

2008-06-30 18:25:49
227.   nick
ph betemit here!
2008-06-30 18:26:40
228.   cult of basebaal
off topic, what's the site where they've got the searchable pitch f/x data?
2008-06-30 18:26:57
229.   RIYank
226 William Carlos Williams.
Billy Williams.
I guess the extra 's' saves them.
2008-06-30 18:27:10
230.   nick
225 offense and pitching injuries--but yes, collectively it's hard to say our staff has underperformed when healthy....
2008-06-30 18:27:42
231.   cult of basebaal
227 seriously, WTF is the point of having 3 catchers if you don't use that to your tactical advantage
2008-06-30 18:28:18
232.   RIYank
Oh, they can't finish the DP on Gomes' ground ball and the Rays score.
2008-06-30 18:28:58
233.   Yankees Brasil
225 Barry Bonds might help with that problem.
2008-06-30 18:29:03
234.   williamnyy23
230 The staff has underperformed for several seasons now. The past few Yankee teams could outhit their other weaknesses. This one can't and really everyone but Giambi, Damon and Arod can share the blame (assuming you assign blame for injuries).
2008-06-30 18:29:45
235.   RIYank
I feel confident that we'll hit in the eighth. Starting with the new kid.
2008-06-30 18:29:59
236.   williamnyy23
233 You'd think, but Cashman apparently has a reason for not signing one of the two or three best hitters of all-time.
2008-06-30 18:30:24
237.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
226 you just made me collapse with laughter..what about Mitch Mitchell?
2008-06-30 18:30:28
238.   Jeb
damn I suddenly hate Melky.
2008-06-30 18:31:14
239.   Mattpat11
236 Cashman has a "reason" for half the stupid assed shit he does. I think he's just not any good.
2008-06-30 18:31:34
240.   nick
234 william, I'm agreeing with you--my point was that our staff has not underperformed reasonable expectations this year; reasonable expectations were right around league average imo...
2008-06-30 18:32:03
241.   Jeb
239 I think you're right.
2008-06-30 18:32:42
242.   mehmattski
225 Huh? The Yankees are seventh in the majors in AVG, seventh in OBP, and ninth in SLG. By comparison... They are 16th in ERA.
2008-06-30 18:32:50
243.   williamnyy23
The problem with the Yankees bullpen is one of them might pitch well on any given day, but the chances of getting two to perform seems remote.
2008-06-30 18:33:05
244.   Jeb
240 our team ERA+ is 96 so I'd say we have underperformed.
2008-06-30 18:33:29
245.   williamnyy23
240 I know you were...I was just piling on my point.
2008-06-30 18:33:29
246.   nick
so we're gonna lose a home game with the starting pitching edge--not something this team can afford...
2008-06-30 18:33:35
247.   RIYank
234 Have Abreu and Posada really underperformed? I wouldn't say so. (You may have very high expectations for them.)
2008-06-30 18:34:38
248.   RIYank
243 That's true of nearly every bullpen.

RANG Principle (Relievers Are Not Good).

2008-06-30 18:34:59
249.   mehmattski
228 http://baseball.bornbybits.com/php/2008_tool.php

Um... I guess it's... good the Yankees have three catchers?

2008-06-30 18:35:01
250.   williamnyy23
242 What don't you get? In the past, the Yankees have used a top offense to overcome poor pitching. This season, they have a pretty good offense that can't make up the difference. I think the numbers you cited make the point very clearly.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-06-30 18:35:03
251.   cult of basebaal
and that's why you wear your cup, kiddies!
2008-06-30 18:35:46
252.   Just fair
IF they kept track of cross-ups, the Yankees may be near some sort of record this year.
2008-06-30 18:35:54
253.   williamnyy23
248 But usually not ones on a pennant winning team.
2008-06-30 18:35:57
254.   Yankees Brasil
If 1 run seemed a lot, imagine 2.
2008-06-30 18:36:55
255.   Shaun P
Does anyone know if, on Gameday 3D, the hitters are to scale in terms of height?

Because, if so, that first pitch was a strike.

Of course, the ump made up with the 4th pitch, but still.

2008-06-30 18:37:14
256.   nick
244 fair enough--my point was given the total # of innings from Wang IPK and Hughes, you'd expect a mediocre staff ERA.
2008-06-30 18:37:17
257.   Yankees Brasil
Good play by Jeter.
2008-06-30 18:37:49
258.   RIYank
Induce more hard line drives to our infielders!
2008-06-30 18:38:03
259.   williamnyy23
247 I added the caveat about injuries. Posada's absence has been a key reason why the offense struggled. Abreu's offense has dropped a bit from his historical norm. He hasn't been a major culprit, but he has a few very bad stretches so some blame can be passed his way.
2008-06-30 18:38:34
260.   OldYanksFan
How many times do see see a guy catch a FB directly in the cup? Ouch! How about a time out so Molina can throw up.
2008-06-30 18:38:36
261.   Jeb
244 Wanger was surprising low at 99. This staff is a work in progress.
2008-06-30 18:38:38
262.   cult of basebaal
249 thanx!

too bad they don't get data for every game, makes it hard to draw conclusions this early in the season

2008-06-30 18:38:45
263.   51cq24
255 i thought it was a strike at first but it looked low on the replays
2008-06-30 18:38:58
264.   mehmattski
250 Granted, the Yankees dug themselves a big hole with the 20-24 start, when they scored 4.06 runs/game. But then A-Rod came back and the offense has been stellar... 5.36 runs/game. Were you really expecting the offense to score nearly six runs/game as they did last year?
2008-06-30 18:39:39
265.   williamnyy23
260 As much as it must have hurt, it sure beats taken one square off the knuckles.
2008-06-30 18:40:07
266.   RIYank
255 It looks to me like they try at least. Hamilton's picture is significantly taller than Bradley's.
2008-06-30 18:40:34
267.   OldYanksFan
TB is 3 outs away from wrapping this one up.
2008-06-30 18:41:05
268.   51cq24
265 seriously?
2008-06-30 18:41:22
269.   OldYanksFan
265 Yeah, but what do you need your knuckles for?
2008-06-30 18:41:26
270.   mehmattski
Anyone else thing that throwing the bat at the ball should mean an automatic ejection?
2008-06-30 18:41:29
271.   RIYank
Yeah, what 264 mehmattski said. (I just didn't feel like looking it up.)
2008-06-30 18:41:37
272.   Jeb
Mr. Bradley, we have a lovely sombrero for you....it's made of gold...
2008-06-30 18:42:05
273.   ChrisS
If Veras can strand Young at 3B with 0 outs, I'll be rather happy.
2008-06-30 18:42:10
274.   Yankees Brasil
Nice sombrero, Bradley!
2008-06-30 18:42:45
275.   Jehosephat
What would be the best way to determine if the Yankees have a knack for making mediocre pitchers look good or if it just seems that way?
2008-06-30 18:43:06
276.   mehmattski
271 I had already done the research earlier today for a blog post. May 20 really does seem like a turning point for the Yankees, especially on offense.
2008-06-30 18:43:19
277.   cult of basebaal
ah, joey joe joe and his love of the IBB
2008-06-30 18:43:23
278.   williamnyy23
264 Yes...I thought they could, and feel they need to if they want to make the playoffs. Even though the offense has been very good (I wouldn't say stellar) since Arod's return, they have lost 5 games in June when they've yielded 4 or fewer runs, and 4 games giving up 3 or fewer runs. That's a pace for 24 and 30, respectively, when last year the season totals were 12 and 18.
2008-06-30 18:43:31
279.   RIYank
Speaking of cruddy bullpens, the Sox are hurting these days too. Okajima looks very bad. Lopez just put the first two Rays on in the eighth (though the second was poor fielding). Now a GIDP and he's almost out of trouble.
2008-06-30 18:43:36
280.   Eirias
So will Bradley get the Texas Star?
2008-06-30 18:44:04
281.   RIYank
Ah, he heard me 258 !!!
2008-06-30 18:44:13
282.   williamnyy23
268 A broken hand ends his season, so I'd imagine Molina would prefer his fate.
2008-06-30 18:44:43
283.   Knuckles
Nice. Now capitalize on that.
2008-06-30 18:44:55
284.   Jeb
wow I thought only the Yankees could get a guy to third with nobody out and not score.
2008-06-30 18:45:00
285.   mehmattski
275 First you have to create the cutoff between great/good/mediocre/bad pitchers, and determine what the league is hitting against each category. Then see what the Yankees do against each group, and see if:

1) any deviations from league average are statistically significant.
2) any deviations from the Yankees' offense overall are statistically significant.

2008-06-30 18:45:14
286.   nick
ok, time for the kid's Yankee story to really begin....
2008-06-30 18:45:31
287.   ChrisS
Starter ... check.
Bullpen ... check.
Defense ... check.
Offense, you are go for launch.
2008-06-30 18:46:05
288.   RIYank
275 I can think of ways, but they're laborious. But I'm certain it's true, absolutely certain.

Say. Are you new here? You aren't one of Brett Gardner's relatives, are you?

2008-06-30 18:46:17
289.   Jeb
276 Mehmattski, was that the second O's game as I predicted that night.
2008-06-30 18:46:17
290.   williamnyy23
279 There saving grace is very good starting pitching.
2008-06-30 18:46:49
291.   51cq24
282 yeah if you qualify 265 by adding "if the ball square to the knuckles does more damage" then i agree with you. but if you ask me going in which i'd prefer, i'd prefer the chance of missing the rest of the season to the chance of losing my balls.
2008-06-30 18:47:12
292.   OldYanksFan
282 Yeah... but what about Mrs. Molina?
2008-06-30 18:47:43
293.   cult of basebaal
i guess that's N'Everyday Eddie Guardado
2008-06-30 18:49:26
294.   williamnyy23
291 Of course...I just went with the assumption that a 95 mph fastball flush on the fist would break some bones. At least the cup prevents a direct hit.
2008-06-30 18:49:29
295.   mehmattski
278 So you're not speaking about offensive ability, you're speaking about offensive consistency. I don't think my own results are conclusive in any way, but when I did a study on the 2006 statistics, I found no significant correlation between a team's rate of getting 4 runs in a game and their winning percentage.

http://mehmattski.blogspot.com/search/label/DYJS

And really, when you think about it, it's a silly premise- that a team has some control over it's own run-scoring ability on a day-to-day basis, that they can somehow spread their offensive production out. I'm not surprised that there's no significant correlation between "consistency" and winning.

2008-06-30 18:49:56
296.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
what happened? injury before pitching?? damn Gameday...
2008-06-30 18:50:21
297.   Jehosephat
288 I've been enjoying Bronx Banter since the beginning of last year, but I think this is my first post. I've destroyed all the pictures of me an Brett Gardner...

I've been supremely frustrated at how it seems that the Yankees don't seem to win games that they should (or used to).

2008-06-30 18:50:26
298.   Yankees Brasil
Yankees' offense with the cycle.
2008-06-30 18:51:06
299.   nick
pinch hit here? nuts to that!
2008-06-30 18:52:10
300.   williamnyy23
295 I am talking about overall production and consistency. A team that scores 10 ,8 and 6 might be inconsistent, but it's stellar. The Yankees over all drop in offense from last year has made those bad games more likely to be 2 or 3 runs instead of 4 or 5.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-06-30 18:53:11
301.   cult of basebaal
okay, i guess damon's a decent PH here ...
2008-06-30 18:54:12
302.   RIYank
297] Well, welcome.
2008-06-30 18:54:22
303.   monkeypants
278 The Yankees scored 968 runs last year, 5.98 R/G. That is their highest offensive output since the 1930s (just a tick better than the 1998 team's 965 R 5.96 R/G). To expect such a performance again this year seems to me unrealistic.
2008-06-30 18:54:41
304.   williamnyy23
301 Was hoping for a BB, but he hit it hard.

I was kind of thinking a Gardner bunt would have taken everyone by surprise after the long delay.

2008-06-30 18:54:45
305.   RIYank
301 Nope.
(But I agree, really.)
2008-06-30 18:55:17
306.   mehmattski
295 Of course, when I go back and read what I actually wrote, there was a big correlation between my made-up-stat and win percentage. I forgot to publish an updated version of the chart... the data was unfairly skewed because games where the team scores 0 runs are not penalized. I need to add one run to each game scored, and when I did that the correlation dropped to .35. I need to update that post.
2008-06-30 18:55:27
307.   OldYanksFan
Sox rally in the 9th. 1st and 3rd, 1 out. 5-2 TB.
2008-06-30 18:55:44
308.   51cq24
nice cutter
2008-06-30 18:55:51
309.   ChrisS
Oh captain, my captain.
2008-06-30 18:56:27
310.   51cq24
that pitch was like a foot outside!
2008-06-30 18:56:35
311.   OldYanksFan
Jeez. Moss Double. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out. 5-3 TB.
2008-06-30 18:56:39
312.   cult of basebaal
ugh. way to disappoint the parents, cap'n.
2008-06-30 18:56:49
313.   RIYank
By the way, 19 .
Thank you.
2008-06-30 18:57:01
314.   OldYanksFan
Jeter goin' fishing.
2008-06-30 18:57:21
315.   cult of basebaal
c'mon LEMMIWINKS!!!
2008-06-30 18:57:41
316.   ChrisS
well, at least the meat of the order is coming up in the bottom of the ninth.
2008-06-30 18:57:44
317.   51cq24
i'd use mo here
2008-06-30 18:58:12
318.   williamnyy23
303 But they scored 5.74 in 2006 and 5.47 2005 and 5.54 in 2004. Going off 2006 and 2007 with the optimism that Melky and Cano might actually improve doesn't make a repeat performance in 2008 seem unrealistic.
2008-06-30 18:58:17
319.   RIYank
Line drive... caught. But the runners advance, tying run at third with one out. Casey pinch hits (Varitek with a good clout for the sac fly).
2008-06-30 18:58:54
320.   RIYank
317 So would I. Good call.
2008-06-30 18:59:04
321.   OldYanksFan
Deep sac fly by Tek. Man on 3rd, 2 out, 5-4 TB.
2008-06-30 18:59:37
322.   RIYank
Percival may be hurt. Madden wants to pull him -- Percival is arguing with him!
2008-06-30 18:59:56
323.   Jeb
Gentlemen, I give you the 2008 New York Yankees, the Bland Bombers.
2008-06-30 19:00:29
324.   williamnyy23
Percival pulls up lame with the tying run on 3B. It sucks being on the undercard.
2008-06-30 19:00:43
325.   RIYank
By the way, if the Rays didn't play in a dome, the game would be over. There's an electrical storm raging outside.
2008-06-30 19:01:00
326.   monkeypants
Why is Giese in the game? Is he no longer a starter, or will his turn get skipped because of an off day. And in any case, if he is the long man no, why use him for the 9th?
2008-06-30 19:01:25
327.   RIYank
Interesting -- Casey was not officially brought into the game, so Lugo will stay in to bat against Howell.
2008-06-30 19:01:58
328.   williamnyy23
326 I can't answer all those questions, but it does seem odd to use the man who just pitched his way out of the rotation in the 9th inning of a one run game.
2008-06-30 19:02:24
329.   RIYank
326 Girardi won't use the good pitchers when we're behind. Even by one run.
It's wrong, but that's him, get used to it.
2008-06-30 19:03:23
330.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
325 I'm going for a Guinness if the Sox come back to win that one and we go down to Texas..TEXAS!!!
2008-06-30 19:03:30
331.   Yankees Brasil
328 Girardi clearly believes A-Rod will tie this thing up with a solo shot and we'll go to extra innings, so he'll need somebody to give him multiple innings. Crazy, I know.
2008-06-30 19:03:35
332.   williamnyy23
329 A mistake that will be compounded when Mo pitches in a blowout because he needs work. Girardi's honeymoon period over...he has been very dissapointing as a manager.
2008-06-30 19:03:44
333.   Jeb
326 dunno, but it spares us from seeing kyle.
2008-06-30 19:04:10
334.   bobtaco
Not a bad inning for Polter there...
2008-06-30 19:04:15
335.   51cq24
325 did anyone else see the design proposal for the new tb stadium? it's pretty awesome, not just some retro bullshit.
http://tinyurl.com/4mprvf
2008-06-30 19:04:35
336.   williamnyy23
330 If losing to the Royals, Pirates, Reds and Mets didn't drive you Guinness, why Texas?
2008-06-30 19:05:03
337.   monkeypants
326 I understand that he won't use good pitchers. I just question the extra confusing decision to use the long man for one inning. Why not the Whacker or some other usual candidate?

That Girardi, he surprises, just not the way we'd like.

2008-06-30 19:05:37
338.   Jeb
so with a lefty on the hill, will clueless joe pinch hit for Giambi and Cano (if reached)?
2008-06-30 19:06:01
339.   RIYank
I was reporting the other day (during a lousy game, I think) that Bill James did an interesting study, using simulations, to see what's the best way to use an "ace reliever". He determined that the era before this one almost had it right. You use him in a tie game seventh inning or later, when you're up by one, and then if he has more innings and isn't tired when you're behind by one. You should never use him with a three run lead late.

Interesting.

2008-06-30 19:06:09
340.   mehmattski
318 Expecting Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez to regress a bit would also have been realistic. Not sure if you read Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, but here are their pre-season projections, based on combining five different projection systems:

http://tinyurl.com/2fv6pw

The Yankees were projected to score 5.70 runs/game. And that's without significant injuries to their two best hitters.

2008-06-30 19:06:26
341.   OldYanksFan
TB Wins (barely)!
2008-06-30 19:06:26
342.   RIYank
Lugo lines out to short hard, game over!
2008-06-30 19:06:50
343.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
336 It's been building for awhile..and following the games in the morning doesn't help, feel ticked off all day after an ugly loss..
2008-06-30 19:07:09
344.   bobtaco
and the Sox lose.
2008-06-30 19:07:17
345.   RIYank
335 Wow. Cool.

I think.

2008-06-30 19:08:13
346.   williamnyy23
340 I'd sign up for 5.70.
2008-06-30 19:08:18
347.   RIYank
341 342 And OYF beats RIY by less than a second!
This preview of the Olympic 100 meter sprint has been brought to you by Rolex.
2008-06-30 19:08:26
348.   Jeb
342 I bet lugo hit his wife harder than that.
2008-06-30 19:08:33
349.   Yankees Brasil
And down goes our chance of scoring.
2008-06-30 19:08:38
350.   51cq24
345 the sail thing folds up when it isn't raining. the official tb site had more photos but the new stadium info link doesn't seem to work anymore.
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-06-30 19:09:38
351.   Jeb
For the record, I hate our team.
2008-06-30 19:10:42
352.   mehmattski
351 Then you will be excluded from the festivities should they make the playoffs.
2008-06-30 19:11:03
353.   51cq24
351 i'm pretty sure william owns that record
2008-06-30 19:11:10
354.   OldYanksFan
from RLYW:
Incidentally, here are some splits on Melky:
Through May 4: .291/.359/.505
From May 5 on: .220/.284/.266

That's a .550 OPS since May 5.

2008-06-30 19:12:07
355.   RIYank
353 Oh, well played, sir.
2008-06-30 19:12:16
356.   Jeb
352 why? it's always a team hate fest come the ALCS? We ALL end up hating them by then.
2008-06-30 19:12:20
357.   monkeypants
354 That's Cairoian. The spirit of Miggy lingers on!
2008-06-30 19:12:30
358.   williamnyy23
So, the Yankees follow-up their 7-game streak over the Stros and Padres with a 4-6 run against the Reds, Pirates, Mets and Rangers. Instead of making hay, they've dug a deeper ditch. Pretty soon, it will be time to start throwing the dirt on top.
2008-06-30 19:12:33
359.   Mattpat11
The Yankees have been dominated by Corey Feldman and the Texas Rangers pitching staff.

That's lovely.

2008-06-30 19:12:36
360.   RIYank
Who was that genius who predicted a low-scoring game?
Oh, that's right, now I remember, 19 .
2008-06-30 19:12:43
361.   Just fair
Not very inspiring, Gentlemen. 4 hits. Cripes!!!
Make that 2 and 35 when trailing after 7 innings.
2008-06-30 19:13:09
362.   williamnyy23
353 I don't hate the team...I've never come close to stating that. I just don't think it is very good.
2008-06-30 19:13:27
363.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Grrrr!!!! perfect chance to make up ground on Boston and they get 4 hits...
2008-06-30 19:13:29
364.   51cq24
i can't believe this team lost to bizarro kramer
2008-06-30 19:13:56
365.   Jeb
well, yet again, we've managed to make a team with an absolute bullshit AA pitching staff look like a collection of Cy Youngs. I am so sick of this piece of shit team and their absolute lack of effort.
2008-06-30 19:14:20
366.   Mattpat11
358 NEGATIVE. NEGATIVE. NEGATIVE. Focus on the positive!
2008-06-30 19:15:21
367.   mehmattski
Sometimes, I really wish it were possible to ignore posters on here.
2008-06-30 19:15:23
368.   Jeb
362 I do because they're a collection of heartless goats. Fuck all the damn numbers, when you swing at absolutely everything and make shitty pitchers like Feldman and Perez look great, then it's hard to "like" a team like this.
2008-06-30 19:16:09
369.   Shaun P
329 We can quibble over how BP calculates leverage (though that discussion is beyond me), or that WXRL is (I think) influenced by leverage, but here are the Yanks' best relievers by WXRL:

Mo: 2.897
Farns: 1.387
Joba: 1.025
Veras: .794
Giese: .221
Edwar: .017
Hawkins: -.577
Ohlendorf: -.829

Now here are the LEV scores, or who pitches in the most important situations:

Mo: 1.92
Joba: 1.45
Kyle: 1.3
Veras: .9
Ohlendorf: .82
Giese: .77
Hawkins: .53
Edwar: .47

(min 18 IP)

So basically the only guy who's been misused is Ohlendorf, and that's because he was the only possible long reliever on the team, so he was called upon and too some beatings. Other than that - and Girardi was kinda forced into that - by the numbers, I cannot quibble with how he's deployed the pen.

As for why Giese here? The Yanks have 1 off day over the next 2 weeks, so why not use the guy who you could easily option down? Especially against the bottom of the lineup?

2008-06-30 19:16:20
370.   Jeb
367 I'm sorry you feel that way Matt. I'm just expressing my frustration with this team's lack of effort.
2008-06-30 19:16:28
371.   RIYank
367 It's their lack of effort that bothers me most.
2008-06-30 19:16:37
372.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
367 but we want it to be the Bronx "Banter" not Bronx "Symposium", right?
2008-06-30 19:16:51
373.   Yankees Brasil
Another day, another tough loss. I totally expect them to crush Millwood tomorrow.
2008-06-30 19:17:13
374.   williamnyy23
368 I love every team that wears pinstripes with the interlocking NY. I may not think they are a playoff quality team, but that doesn't mean I hate them.
2008-06-30 19:18:28
375.   OldYanksFan
Very, very frustrating.
2008-06-30 19:18:32
376.   Jeb
368 I hate any team with this much lack of effort and non-chalance when they lose. If they just showed me they cared, I'd feel differently.
2008-06-30 19:18:44
377.   williamnyy23
369 Because you want to keep this game at 2-1 and save Geise for the very real possibility of a tie game. Using him for 1 inning hardly makes him a candidate for a demotion.
2008-06-30 19:19:01
378.   RIYank
369 Hm, I don't know enough about how the two stats are calculated to make an intelligent comment. So, here's an unintelligent one.

That doesn't show that Girardi is using them correctly. It's quite possible that there were opportunities to increase Mo's leverage advantage by a lot, for instance.

2008-06-30 19:20:01
379.   Mattpat11
367 I'm trying to tell people to focus on the positives of a 4-6 run.
2008-06-30 19:20:36
380.   williamnyy23
378 I think it also means Ohlendorf should have been demoted a long way back, and Hawkins is well past a deserved DFA.
2008-06-30 19:22:07
381.   mehmattski
All right, I regret 367 . From the perspective of someone who's got a positive outlook on this year's team, sometimes it's really tough to try and hold back the tide of nattering nabobs.

For example, you've got Jeb who curses the team for swinging at anything, and William who wants them to take more pitches. You've got Mattpat who has a conniption every time Girardi attempts a strategic move, and weeping who hates home runs. The beauty of free speech is unquestionable, but it seems like there's always some poster with a vendetta against some aspect of the team.

Sometimes it gets tiring hearing all the contradictory complaints at once.

2008-06-30 19:22:27
382.   williamnyy23
I think there is a little room for optimism and a lot of room for anger, but ultimately, I am just depressed that my better baseball senses are screaming out that I wont be watching pennant race baseball this year. I'd love to be wrong because win or lose, I'll be watching the games anyway.
2008-06-30 19:22:39
383.   Shaun P
374 You're just more pessimistic from my viewpoint, sometimes a bit much but I can be overly optimistic, so who am I to judge?

I'll bet you'll say, from your viewpoint, you're more realistic than pessimistic. =)

For me, fandom means optimism, but to each their own. The Yanks can't and won't win every game, and they'll lose some like this, but there's always tomorrow.

2008-06-30 19:24:30
384.   williamnyy23
381 I didn't realize that wanting the Yankees to return to their more patient approach made me a nattering nabob, but if so, I'll wear the name as a source of pride. I might even inscribe it into my copy of Money Ball :)
2008-06-30 19:25:19
385.   RIYank
Hm, yeah, WXRL is very heavily influenced by leverage, because it's based on Win Expectancy. When Mo pitches a scoreless ninth and we win by a run, that's a really big jump in win expectancy; when Veras pitches a scoreless seventh when we're down a run, that's a much smaller increase in win exp.
2008-06-30 19:25:34
386.   jonnystrongleg
367 I know what you mean. At the end of last year when posters were awarding their "turkeys" for the year, some classless ingrate awarded a turkey to Mariano Rivera. Couldn't believe it - Mariano Rivera. Just can't make that stuff up.
2008-06-30 19:26:27
387.   mehmattski
On the 20th anniversary of Bull Durham, a little perspective:

This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

Think about that for a while.

2008-06-30 19:26:49
388.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
381 yeah, i know you are correct. but we're all "fanatics", i lash out by using my obnoxious Red Sox friend's email address to sign up for "questionable" websites...we all have our venting to do!
2008-06-30 19:26:58
389.   Jehosephat
How much does a hitting coach really influence a lineup? I can see tinkering with swing mechanics and stuff, but I just have this image of Kevin Long saying, "Hey guys, be patient up there. See a few pitches before you start hacking away" while the guys roll their eyes and tolerate Long's "advice".

I'm sure (I hope?) it's more professional than that, but it seems that the transition from patient hitters that wear out pitchers and get into the bullpen early to the Bugs Bunny-esque three strikes on one pitch approach is complete.

I'm still holding out hope, but I'm not betting the farm...

2008-06-30 19:27:10
390.   Mattpat11
381 Nothing like a Spiro Agnew quote to lighten the mood.

And you clearly have me mixed up with someone. I constantly call on Girardi to put on some kind of play. When he does something (or nothing) for no apparent reason, I will criticize him for seemingly having no coherent strategy, not for attempting to use strategy.

2008-06-30 19:27:30
391.   williamnyy23
383 I do think I am more realistic than pessimistic, but I guess it is all a matter of perspective. To me, fandom means supporting your team regardless of what your assessment of the team tells you. Otherwise, I'd have turned off my radio/TV from 1989 to 1992 because I knew nothing much was coming out of those years coming in. It's one thing to not jump ship, but another to delude yourself into thinking it isn't sinking (I'm not saying anyone who is optimistic is delusional, but being illustrative to make a point).
2008-06-30 19:28:02
392.   RIYank
Also, I'm actually not a big fan of Win Exp Added for stats that are supposed to be useful in a predictive way (they make more sense for retrospective judgment of a player's contribution), but I kind of like it for relief pitchers exactly because it includes leverage. So, keep things like WHIP constant and juggle your use of your relievers to maximize Win Exp Added, that would be a good strategy.
2008-06-30 19:29:00
393.   monkeypants
381 That was perhaps the most brilliant post I have read here. The only thing that you left out was the complaint that the team "doesn't try."

If only this squad had the moral rectitude of the dynasty teams...

Sigh.

Keep fighting the good fight, Mehmattski...I'm with you!

2008-06-30 19:29:01
394.   williamnyy23
387 Is that really your philosophy? The game isn't that simple, at least not to me.
2008-06-30 19:31:03
395.   RIYank
(Puts hand on top of monkeypants' hand, which is on top of mehmattski's hand...)
2008-06-30 19:32:35
396.   Shaun P
380 I'd agree whole-heartedly on Hawkins, but that decision is seemingly in Cashman's hands, not Girardi's. Why Hawkins isn't gone is beyond me.

Ohlendorf, I think, was forced into a role he wasn't prepared for, long guy, and the results show it.

378 Of course, but let's be honest - modern closer usage is what it is, and its not changing anytime soon.

My point is, take Hawkins, who's been the Yanks' worst reliever (I excuse Ohlendorf). He has pitched in incredibly unimportant situations - exactly what you'd want. Mo, Joba, Farnsworth, and Veras - so far the team's 4 best relievers - have pitched in the most important situations. Giese's numbers aren't really accurate, because despite my 18 IP limit, I'm pretty sure his IP (but not his WXRL/LEV) include his time starting. Edwar, who's been OK at best, has also pitched in unimportant situations overall.

Maximizing leverage is, for this point, irrelevant. The question is, how does he deploy his best relievers? The answer seems to be intelligently.

2008-06-30 19:32:45
397.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
395 Ubuntu!
2008-06-30 19:32:51
398.   Jehosephat
395 I'm in.
2008-06-30 19:33:53
399.   williamnyy23
393 It's all well and good to be optimistic, but what I would like to see is a strong case for why the Yankees, who half way through are 7th in Runs scored and 9th in Runs allowed, are a good bet to make the playoffs? Insightful optimism would be welcomed by me, but looking on the bright side without any reason strikes me as hollow.
2008-06-30 19:35:47
400.   Jeb
386 Turkey of the year, you say? What an inspired idea! Ok, I'll start the Turkey of the 1st half nominees now:

1. Melky Cabrera
2. Robby Cano
3. Ian Kennedy
4. Latroy Hawkins

My gut is telling me Latroy, but on the other hand IPK was so smug when he got sent down the last time. Of course, Melky's been killing us for about 2 months. And Robby's been red hot, but still isn't batting .250 yet. Wow, what a tough choice. I guess I'll nominate Latroy cause at least Melky and Cano play good defense and IPK is not currently hurting us.

Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2008-06-30 19:36:09
401.   mehmattski
390 I was alluding to the "does stuff" complaint, although for you a better comparison would be drawn to William- you come on and complain whenever a hitter takes a called third strike, while William complains whenever a hitter swings at a pitch out of the strike zone.

There are plenty of posters whose vendetta is more specific, like Yankee Brasil, whose irrational hatred includes Andy Pettitte, even when he's in the middle of the most dominant stretch he's had in years. And Jeb's hatred of Shelley Duncan. And Mattpat's hatred of Kyle Farnsworth. And Kei Igawa. And Ross Ohlendorf.

You've got posters who complain about the Yankees prior inability to develop talent from within. And you've got posters who complain about the Yankees not immediately making a trade when Wang got hurt.

394 No of course it's not a simple game, but the second half of the quote is something I believe in as a baseball fan: You win some. You lose some. And sometimes it rains. I simply cannot fathom ever getting worked up by a regular season baseball game. There's another one tomorrow!

2008-06-30 19:36:16
402.   RIYank
I dunno, Shaun, I don't think the numbers show what you think they show. They do show that Girardi isn't completely nuts. It would be totally crazy to deploy, say, Edwar in higher leverage situations than Mo, on average. But the idea is to get Mo into all the high leverage situations, or failing that (because you get four games in a row with those situations), as many as possible. And I don't think Girardi has done a great job at that, frankly. Mo shouldn't be pitching when we have a three run lead. He should pitch in the eighth when it's tied, instead.

Now, I take your point that this just isn't going to happen. Bill James is still a bit of a radical, and baseball is still conservative. I'm just sayin'.

2008-06-30 19:36:25
403.   monkeypants
399 The issue is not about optimism. I am not optimistic about this team at all. But I'd like to think that I am not reactionary, so that every time an event turns out badly for the team it somehow signifies a lack of coaching or planning or a poor approach or laziness or lack of effort. Sometimes teams get beat, even good teams by bad ones. And sometimes teams are not very good. The 2008 NY Yankees may be the latter.
2008-06-30 19:37:15
404.   Jeb
381 "Jeb who curses the team for swinging at anything, and William who wants them to take more pitches"

Aren't William and I making the same argument? Take pitches, don't swing at anything, get a good pitch to hit?

2008-06-30 19:37:29
405.   RIYank
399 Well, be more precise than 'a good bet'. I'll give them a 30% chance. Does that seem unduly optimistic?
2008-06-30 19:38:31
406.   RIYank
And by the way, I have been drinking fairly heavily, so I will not be insulted if someone thinks what I'm saying here is kind of goofy.
2008-06-30 19:38:55
407.   Shaun P
395 I am with you all as well.

391 Of course. Optimism has its place too; I wasn't very optimistic from '89-'92 but like you, I watched every game. Then I'd get mad at my dad during the "dynasty years" when he'd declare a game over, even in the 9th inning, because I knew the talent was there (realism) and so I believed a comeback was always possible (optimism).

That's why I remain optimistic now - the talent is here. This is not a team trying to get by with Mel Hall, Alvaro Espinoza, and Kevin Maas playing key roles, and a pitching staff of Mssrs. Leary, LaPoint, and (Andy) Hawkins.

2008-06-30 19:39:47
408.   Jeb
401 who is this shelley duncan you're referring to? I haven't heard of that chap. We did have a Duncan on the team but I believe his hame was Duncan Hines.
2008-06-30 19:40:04
409.   mehmattski
400 FYI, the Yankees' Win Shares Above Bench, as of 6/24/08:

http://tinyurl.com/62alxl

Cano is the statistical turkey so far.

2008-06-30 19:40:38
410.   williamnyy23
401 That's a wildly unfair criticism and I challenge you to back it up. Do I criticism batters for swinging out of the zone when the team is trailing by several runs late in ball games? Absolutely. To suggest I expect every hitter to only swing at strikes is ludicrous. Being an "optimist" doesn't give you the authority to levy unfair criticism.

As for the idea that there's another game tomorrow, well, all of these game counts, and if you miss the playoffs by one or two, you can't go back and change the outcome.

2008-06-30 19:42:24
411.   Jeb
409 gobble gobble.
2008-06-30 19:44:17
412.   mehmattski
403 You found the word I'd been missing: reactionary. That's exactly how I feel about a lot of folks around here, particularly after Yankee losses. There are a lot fewer "Yeah! We're Goin All the Way!" remarks when the Yankees win, but every time the Yankees lose they're the worst team ever.

404 Yes, of course. In this case it's a similar pet peeve but expressed differently. Like I said in 401 Mattpat's anger at taking pitches makes for a better contrast.

2008-06-30 19:44:21
413.   RIYank
Wow, that's brutal, Cano's win shares above bench.
But do it again on July 31st...
2008-06-30 19:44:27
414.   williamnyy23
403 Then we are probably very much in agreement. I've constantly repeated my belief that this is simply a mediocre team and have been chided for being repetitive and uninteresting. That doesn't mean other posters aren't going to look for more sinister reasons. I think that's pretty normal among diehard fans of a team that has been dissappointing. The fact that so many here spend so much time following this team likely precludes them from having the "we'll get'em tomorrow attitude" that some are lucky enough to have.
2008-06-30 19:45:46
415.   RIYank
412 Yeah, that's it, actually, you've nailed it.
It's as if in a loss, every mistake is magnified as a kind of grand symbol of everything wrong in the Yankee universe.
2008-06-30 19:45:58
416.   williamnyy23
405 30% sounds about right to me.
2008-06-30 19:46:18
417.   Shaun P
406 I wondered if your comment about the Yanks' lack of effort was sarcasm - or induced by other factors. =)

402 And I totally agree with you, RIYank, in the hypothetical realm. I'd be ecstatic if Mo was sent in to pitch to the middle of the order in a tie game in the 7th, and I believe that's what should happen. But that's utopia, not reality (sigh) - and the WXRL/LEV suggest that Girardi is deploying the pen in the best way given the constraints (ie, closers pitch in save situations, not when they're truly useful).

399 I like the numbers, but as of July 1, the Yanks are above .500, ~5 games out, and have the talent on hand to make it to the postseason. Unless they suffer a rash of injuries, or TB/BOS/whoever leads the wild card goes on a huge tear and has a 15 game lead, I will continue to believe the postseason is possible. Of course the odds aren't great. That's what makes it fun!

2008-06-30 19:47:03
418.   Jeb
Let me just close with this. I've loved the Yankees for as long as I can remember. I still LOVE the Yankees, even this team. I am just frustrated. Games like this -- games we should win -- piss me off. I don't really hate the team.

I hate the effort, the lack of effort. I hate the INDIFFERENCE I see on the field. And I really hated the indifference when I saw the Yanks lose 2 straight to the Reds after I spend a couple of thousand dollars to come to New York City just to see them play one of the worst games of the season. I can't help but feel like Jeter owes me a refund. (KIDDING).

But really, that's baseball and I accept that. I want our team to win the world series. I want Sawx fans to quit crowing. I want the 7 year desert we've been in to end. I desperately want a title for the old ballpark.

I want our team to care. So, y'all can paint me as a pessimist and that's okay. I hope that sometimes I say thought provoking things here, I hope sometimes they're funny or provactive. But I'm a Yanks fan until the end.

And I'll drag my ass back here tomorrow night for another dose.

2008-06-30 19:47:50
419.   williamnyy23
407 Fair enough...the talent is there. That's why they have a chance. What is also still there is a very underwhelming half season combined with a roster that anyone have to admit is full of a lot of question marks. That's why I think there is a better chance they'll miss the playoffs.
2008-06-30 19:47:52
420.   monkeypants
410 I don't think that it is unfair criticism at all, because it is not clear that the complaints follow batters swinging at balls out of the zone. I made this same observation a few games ago. If it's a 2-0 count and, say, Jeter swings and misses--regardless of the pitch location--you will complain about how Jeter is hacking and needs to be more patient, and you question why he (or the team) have abandoned a patient approach. You and I sparred on this point several days ago when I pointed out that there is no statistical evidence to suggest that Jeter is swinging any more freely than usual.

But if Jeter takes the same pitch for a called strike, then Mattpat comes on and complains about how they just stand their not swinging. His complaints in this regard are aimed often at Posada.

2008-06-30 19:47:59
421.   Mattpat11
401 Joe Girardi does just do stuff. This is a man that uses Wilson Betemit as a defensive specialist.

I saw him pinch run for the trail runner down one in the ninth. This did not lead to some kind of double steal or hit and run. He just made a move for no apparent reason that was followed up with nothing.

2008-06-30 19:48:40
422.   RIYank
416 !!!
So that shows how much a matter of perspective this is. For me, at this stage, my thought it, "You know, we actually have a decent chance to make it to the play-offs!" Whereas for you, 30% is more like, "It doesn't look very likely that we'll even be in the post-season."
2008-06-30 19:48:44
423.   mehmattski
410 Hyperbole constructed to further illustrate a contrast. Mattpat doesn't complain every time a hitter takes a called third strike either. Just 80% of the time.

And for the record I agree with your particular complaint. My overall point is to explain my anger in 367 by illustrating why it's frustrating here sometimes-- not because people have negative things to say, but because there are so many different negative things that at times can be contradictory. And so never can every poster be completely pleased, at times even with a win!

2008-06-30 19:48:53
424.   SF Yanks
393 That this team doesn't try is the complaint that drives me bonkers. Other than an individual player jogging to first, or some other lackadaisically or nonchalant play, I don't see how one can consider the team as a whole as not trying. There is hardly any basis for that statement and I wish anytime someone said it, they got put in a 10 minute time-out to think about what they've done before they could post again.
2008-06-30 19:49:53
425.   RIYank
417 Oh, that was the purest sarcasm. (It was nominally about posters, did you catch that?)
2008-06-30 19:50:58
426.   Mattpat11
423 I usually only complain when its clear that the hitter is sitting breaking pitch with two strikes.
2008-06-30 19:51:50
427.   RIYank
424 Except for Manny.

Oh, that doesn't work here. In New England it's a sure-fire way to start a ruckus.

2008-06-30 19:52:57
428.   williamnyy23
420 It's an unfair criticism because you are taking one example (when I criticized Jeter in two specific game situations that I believe demanded a more patient approach) and applying it across the board. If that was the case, I should have several posts criticizing the Yankees for swinging at pitches out of the zone. I think the only thing you'll find is an expression of surprise that Posada swung at a wide ball 4.

I also don't understand your point about two different people having different philosophies. Matt and I don't have to be in agreement. Mickey Hatcher would laugh at Billy Beane's ideas about how to hit, for example.

2008-06-30 19:53:23
429.   mehmattski
Also, on a related note, I am glad we are not run by the iron fist of Jon Weisman. If this were Dodger thoughts, we all would have been banned for breaking his various Blog Commandments. Swearing, hyperbole, posting while intoxicated.... Just about the only thing we haven't done in this thread is bring up politics...
2008-06-30 19:53:43
430.   monkeypants
418 And not to pile on Jeb (trust me, man, I feel your frustration), but how can we seriously claim the team lacks effort? Just because a team loses, even when they lose to an unheralded or mediocre pitcher, does not mean they don't try or don't care. Why do we have to assume that there is some moral weakness or failing that undergirds every athletic failure?
2008-06-30 19:55:09
431.   RIYank
429 Hear hear.
Although Jon is cool. It's just that Alex and Cliff and BB fit my style better.
2008-06-30 19:55:56
432.   williamnyy23
420 I'd also point out that I've never posted something like: there goes monkey with his baseless optimism. No matter what the Yankees do wrong, no one is ever to blame. Tomorrow is always another game. I can tolerate strong optimism and even a frustrated rant by Jeb, especially in a game thread. I just don't see the point in complaining about how other post. This isn't an in depth discussion thread as much as it is a sounding board for the game.
2008-06-30 19:56:08
433.   monkeypants
429 Dear God, please not politics...

: )

2008-06-30 19:56:10
434.   Just fair
Ha. 412 Poster impression night tomorrow. That would make for some good entertainment. I have been getting far less fired up this year over crap losses like tonight. I'll still wing a pillow at the TV or whip my hat onto the floor occassionally, but the internal seething has lessened. That's progress I s'pose. Tonight after the third out I said the infamous "this team sucks" phrase to my wife and changed the channel. Do I truly believe that? No. I'm over it already and look forward to Joba's start on the morrow. And that's probably the first and last time that I use the word "suck" on this site.
Unless it somehow involves a movie and Giambii's
stache. : )
2008-06-30 19:56:52
435.   Shaun P
425 Yes, though it took me a while.

In "theory", I am doing work while peeking over here, so I'm always a little behind. =)

424 I imagine many of the players, who seem to work very hard at what they do, would take great offense at being told they are not trying.

How can one judge effort without being there 24-7? AFAIK, YES hasn't (yet) broadcast weight room sessions, training, or meals, or who's taking extra BP or fielding work, etc.

Lack of visible angry (Paul O'Neill) does not = lack of effort. Mattingly never destroyed water coolers, and I defy anyone here to tell me that man did not play with total effort.

2008-06-30 19:58:28
436.   mehmattski
433 Does my Spiro Agnew quote count as politics?
2008-06-30 20:00:16
437.   williamnyy23
430 If someone were to post that rant tomorrow after sleeping on the game, I'd be with you. Right after a very frustrating loss...well, I can let that one slide into the night.
2008-06-30 20:00:22
438.   monkeypants
432 You could never post that about me because it entirely does not fit what I post. I am generally negative when I post, not optimistic. I tend to post on tactical moves in game and personnel decisions that I think are structurally wrongheaded.

I never say that the Yankees can do no wrong, I simply reject the notion that when a player fails it is because of moral failing, laziness, bad approach (whatever that means) and so on.

i also try to find if there is hard, statistical evidence to back up claims made by fans, generally out of frustration or based on anecdotal evidence.

But blind optimism or "Yankees-can-do-no-wrong" attitude? That's not me, brother.

2008-06-30 20:01:03
439.   cult of basebaal
353 actually i think mattpatt, william and brasil all share ownership of that record, they pass it around like the Graeae did with their one eye
2008-06-30 20:01:26
440.   Shaun P
433 Would you settle for religion then, or the Great Pumpkin? =)
2008-06-30 20:01:51
441.   RIYank
438 Oh, that's right. I always get you mixed up with that other guy.
2008-06-30 20:02:18
442.   Mattpat11
438 You don't think the players fail because of bad approaches? What then? Pure luck?
2008-06-30 20:02:49
443.   williamnyy23
438 Sorry about that. I think I confused you with mehmattski here, but my point wasn't tied to the specifics as the illustration of the example.
2008-06-30 20:03:04
444.   monkeypants
434 That's funny. Mine is "well, the Yankees stunk it up a-gain tonight."

My wife pretty much just ignores me all the time, watching baseball or otherwise.

2008-06-30 20:03:09
445.   Chyll Will
Wowzers, does anyone want a hug? Cookies??

(I'm just ticked that I missed out on seeing Fearless Leader again at that BP pizza party tonight >:'

2008-06-30 20:03:26
446.   mehmattski
435 And it may be that an outlook on life is completely different for some of the players who have emigrated to this country to entertain us by playing a game. Now, I don't know the first or second or fiftieth thing about living in a third world country, but I get the impression that many players like Cano and Caberera feel really lucky to even be there, playing baseball for a living in the United States. So while Cano bashing a water cooler after a bad day at the plate may make us feel better, it's completely out of character for someone lucky to be in a country wealthy enough to pay someone millions of dollars a year to play a game.

I don't know, I admit I may have no idea what I'm talking about. Does the above make any sense?

2008-06-30 20:04:01
447.   Just fair
{439] Clash of the Titans. The eye, give me back my eye!
2008-06-30 20:04:02
448.   Jehosephat
I'll take these last 7+ years in the world championship desert over the late 80's early 90's wasteland... While no GM or Manager can make great (or even good) moves all the time, I defy anyone to say they are disappointed with the overall shift in how things are going (restocking the farm system, showing more patience with young guys, not hitting the trade panic button every time there's an injury, etc.). You gotta break some eggs to make a world championship omelette.
2008-06-30 20:04:14
449.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
Would someone please do the hard work for me and look up the following:

-The Yankees w/l record, by year, for the last 10 years, when facing a SP for the first time

My guesstimate is that it's a good deal lower than their winning % for all other games.

2008-06-30 20:04:32
450.   RIYank
442 Wait, you think that if they just all the right approach for every AB our entire line-up would slug 4.000?
Show/Hide Comments 451-500
2008-06-30 20:04:32
451.   williamnyy23
439 Or maybe we just care about the team more than others? That's a silly suggestion, of course, but so too is the notion that anyone here really hates the team. If so, you'd really have to question why you'd be spending so much time following something you hate.
2008-06-30 20:06:05
452.   Shaun P
442 Someone's got to fail, a hitter or a pitcher. Even the greatest hitter of all time failed (made an out) a bit more than half the time (OBP of .474). It happens.
2008-06-30 20:06:42
453.   RIYank
Chyll, no cookies when we're all in the middle of a therapy session.
2008-06-30 20:07:24
454.   mehmattski
443 I'm not a serial optimist either (see my posts earlier today about Brett Gardner for a more recent example). I'm just not reactionary, and like mp I like to back up my assertions with statistics and their logical conclusions rather than allegory and emotion.

You're not reactionary either, and you've been consistent in your criticisms of this team. We disagree on the importance of various methods of evaluation. But there are plenty of reactionary posters, they outnumber us probably 2:1 here and probably 10000:1 in sports forums in general.

2008-06-30 20:08:00
455.   RIYank
452 This shows that on average, pitchers have a better approach than hitters. Or else they try harder; or both.
2008-06-30 20:09:14
456.   Shaun P
449 The real question is, if you're right, is that true for just the Yanks, or for every team? Or for a few teams?

445 Did you miss the pizza feed then, or just Fearless Leader? (Alex?)

2008-06-30 20:09:29
457.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
436 any mention of Spiro Agnew is always appreciated! Now let's all sit down to some green tea and dried squid crackers, then negotiate a settlement to this ruckus...
2008-06-30 20:09:43
458.   Chyll Will
453 (Oh... shhh, I'll just sip on some STFU then... >;)
2008-06-30 20:10:47
459.   monkeypants
442 False dichotomy. I assume that they fail mostly because they are beaten by another athlete also trying very hard. It is easy to blame a player for bad approach, but this assumes that had he the correct approach he would have succeeded. For example, it is easy to "blame" a batter for sitting breaking ball and getting caught with the fastball. But for all we know, it is that hitter's ability to anticipate pitches that allows him to hit at a high level. Maybe he is successful at this 70% of the time. Does that mean his approach would "wrong" the 30% time he fails to anticipate correctly?
2008-06-30 20:10:53
460.   williamnyy23
My bottom line with a game thread is you have to tolerate a lot of raw emotion, which often leads to irrational comments (I had a bunch related to Joe Torre last season).

I like to make a distinction between the discussion points in the afternoon and the game threads at night. I don't find the discussion threads to be overbearing at all...most of the posters still make well reasoned points.

2008-06-30 20:11:30
461.   mehmattski
458 You're just jealous because your crickets have the night off...
2008-06-30 20:11:35
462.   Chyll Will
456 (Both) :(
2008-06-30 20:12:00
463.   RIYank
458 Also, pass the chocolate crickets, please.
2008-06-30 20:12:47
464.   Mattpat11
442 I think when a player goes up to the plate with a stupid plan or no plan at all, they are likely to fail.

I also think they can be thrown off their plan during the course of an at bat and fail.

I once saw Jorge Posada intentionally strike out to prove some kind of point. I'm sure when he sat down and thought about it he was kicking himself.

2008-06-30 20:14:33
465.   Chyll Will
461 (I'm jealous because I'm sure they had a better night than me... and apparently the team...)
2008-06-30 20:16:24
466.   monkeypants
464 "I once saw Jorge Posada intentionally strike out to prove some kind of point."

You win.

2008-06-30 20:16:57
467.   mehmattski
464 Was this observation confirmed by a phone call to Mr. Posada? Or can you read minds? If it's the latter, you better get yourself over to the World Series of Poker right now.
2008-06-30 20:17:28
468.   monkeypants
460 Fair enough. I too railed on Torre last year, and I had certain fixation on Miguel Cairo as well.
2008-06-30 20:20:31
469.   monkeypants
464 "I think when a player goes up to the plate with a stupid plan or no plan at all, they are likely to fail."

By the way, from a strictly logical standpoint, even if this statement is true, the converse is not necessarily true. That is, if a player fails it does not necessarily imply that he had a bad plan or no plan at all.

2008-06-30 20:21:08
470.   Chyll Will
463 (hmmm, I respond to that in the following paraphrase:
...now to sit...de' Devil picked/
on top of de' Devil shelf...
he said 'you want chok'lit crickets/
you go and get dem... by yo'self!')
2008-06-30 20:21:11
471.   Mattpat11
467 He took a curveball strike from David Wells. Turned around and bitched out the umpire. Took the same pitch for strike two. Turned around and bitched out the umpire. Took the same exact fucking pitch for strike three. Turned around, bitched out the umpire, had a little hissy fit and stormed back to the dugout.
2008-06-30 20:21:40
472.   mehmattski
I know for a fact that, in 1923, Babe Ruth once struck out on purpose because he knew that if he had gotten on base, it would have prevented Vladimir Kosma Zworykin from inventing the cathode-ray tube.
2008-06-30 20:22:49
473.   RIYank
So, no crickets?
2008-06-30 20:24:17
474.   monkeypants
472 That's what makes Ruth great and Posada a fucking chump.
2008-06-30 20:24:46
475.   Chyll Will
472 (psst... violent television and BET is Babe Ruth's fault??)
2008-06-30 20:24:47
476.   mehmattski
Chyll, why are you speaking parenthetically? I want to hear the main clause!
2008-06-30 20:27:43
477.   RIYank
Well, I'm done.
Here's to Joba! See youse.
2008-06-30 20:27:58
478.   Chyll Will
473 (nope, they're doin' the town for all I know. I bet they went to see 'Sex & The City'...)
2008-06-30 20:29:25
479.   Shaun P
462 (Sorry, Chyll.)

472 I've heard of that! The Babe's Butterfly Effect!

2008-06-30 20:30:16
480.   Chyll Will
476 (STFU can be some strong stuff; at least when I make it... >;)
2008-06-30 20:30:35
481.   Mattpat11
469 So what should they do?
2008-06-30 20:38:26
482.   cult of basebaal
480 is that like a BMW? those things are like getting hit in the head with a brick.
2008-06-30 20:39:43
483.   monkeypants
481 I don't understand your question, and i suspect that you did not understand the thrust of my comment.

You state that a player without a plan will usually fail. That may be true--for the sake of argument I concede the premise. We can put this in a logic formula:

If a player does not have a plan (A) then he fails (B), or

A --> B is True

But the converse is not necessarily true from the standpoint of logic. Therefore, you cannot conclude that when a player fails he has no plan. That is,

A --> B is True does not mean that B --> A is True.

Thus, when a player strikes out, one cannot conclude that it is because he had no plan.

2008-06-30 20:42:51
484.   cult of basebaal
483 unless of course, the hitter is not a yankee, because, as we know, only the yankees have plans and their opponents are only pawns in the game of life ...
2008-06-30 20:46:49
485.   Chyll Will
482 (From what I understand, that belongs in the FUBAR class. This stuff is less ambitious, but then I'm also in a particularly jaunty mood after a totally wasted day...)
2008-06-30 20:48:44
486.   monkeypants
484 Correct. In that case, when the non-Yankee hitter succeeds, it only proves that the Yankee pitcher had a poor plan or no plan at all.
2008-06-30 20:51:53
487.   mehmattski
484 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28khv-BydeY
2008-06-30 20:52:13
488.   cult of basebaal
i mean, when arod struck out against perez yesterday in the key at bat where he crushed that ball foul and fought off a couple of nasty pitches, was it because he didn't have a plan on the last pitch? or was it that he had a plan, got a pitch he could hit, but didn't ... maybe the pitch had late break, maybe he had trouble with the spin for a split second, maybe he's slightly off in his timing and stride, or maybe he read it all the way and just plain got beat.
baseball's a beautiful dancing duel between the batter and the pitcher and the best made plans of each can be upset by the other, or by the simple vagaries of luck.
2008-06-30 20:59:46
489.   cult of basebaal
485 yeah, drinking those is a bit like being pete the puma and being asked, "how many lumps do you take?"

"oh, two or three ..."

2008-06-30 21:03:35
490.   Chyll Will
488 (If all our pitchers could pop-n-lock like their Bronx cousins the Rock Steady Crew, then this wouldn't even be a competition. The closest we have to it is Wang doing the Funky Worm...)
2008-06-30 21:07:48
491.   Mattpat11
483 A good plan does not guarantee success. But I don't think the lack of a guarantee means they should just do whatever.

When you do something that makes absolutely no sense in that situation against that pitcher, I'm not sure how you can think they had any game plan going in.

Nothing was more infuriating than watching someone go 0-2 against David Wells because they wanted took strike one and strike two for the sake of taking pitches. And then he dropped the hook and we are supposed to be stunned that this strategy failed.

2008-06-30 21:19:38
492.   monkeypants
491 Again, I am puzzled by this response to my post 483 . I never claimed that players should "do whatever [they] want, nor did I make any reference to David Wells. I'm just not sure what this has to do with what i wrote.

Regarding Wells, however (and I assume that you are referring to Posada's at bat that you recalled in 464 ), I am again confused. You know that Posada went to 0-2 just "for the sake of taking pitches," yet in your previous description of the event, you claimed that Posada complained to the umpire This suggests that he actually thought the pitches were ball; that is, he didn't tae the pitches just for the heck of it, or to prove a point, or simply to take pitches, but because they were not (in hi opinion) strikes.

Anyway, it's hard for me to discuss this even much given that I don't remember it and therefore have to rely on your sparse and somewhat contradictory descriptions.

2008-06-30 21:24:42
493.   monkeypants
With that, I'm outta here. Sad post on The Griddle about Tiger Stadium, one of my favorite places to watch a ball game.
2008-06-30 21:29:12
494.   Mattpat11
486 The Yankees did go through that run where they kept calling for the belly high fastball against Manny. That was pretty fucking stupid.
2008-06-30 21:40:14
495.   Mattpat11
492
Two separate points that just happen to involve the same man.

Wells was a master of letting the Yankees beat themselves because he knew they would, almost without fail, take the first two pitches.

He also happened to be the man pitching when Posada threw his fit.

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