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Boston Red Sox: The Showdown
2006-08-17 21:54
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

If the regular season ended today, just one team from the American League East would make the playoffs. Indeed, with the Central Division emerging as the strongest division in baseball this year, it seems increasingly unlikely that the Wild Card will come out of the East. As a result, the closest thing we're likely to see to a playoff series between the Red Sox and Yankees this year is the five-game series in Boston that kicks off with the first game of today's double-header at 1:05.

With that in mind, I thought this would be a good occasion to drag out that old standby, the position-by-position comparison. You'll see that I do this a bit differently than most, preferring to compare the offense by position in the batting order rather than defensive position in order to avoid absurdities such as comparing Derek Jeter with Alex Gonzalez and Manny Ramirez with Melky Cabrera. That said, I'll fudge the line-ups slightly to produce closer comps. Also, I should point out that the statistics below, save for those of recently promoted Yankee relievers Octavio Dotel and Brian Bruney, are from Wednesday night. Right, on with it . . .

Leading off, the center fielders:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQASB (%)Notes
Johnny DamonCF.287/.364/.474.29121 (75%)
Coco CrispCF.276/.327/.389.25516 (80%)missed a month and a half at the beginning of the season with a broken left index finger

Both of these guys can be expected to perform better than the above numbers in this weekend's series. Damon has hit .309/.366/.505 on the road this year and is a career .309/.376/.462 hitter in Fenway Park. Crisp, meanwhile, is just hot, having hit .330/.358/.473 since July 23. No matter how you slice it, however, Damon has clearly been the better hitter both this year and over his career.

Next up, a pair of All-Star middle infielders:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQASB (%)
Derek JeterSS.341/.419/.476.31826 (90%)
Mark Loretta2B.303/.359/.382 .2633 (75%)

No contest. Jeter is a Hall of Famer having his best season since he was robbed of an MVP the award in 1999.

We'll fudge a bit with the third place in the order by compare the teams' beefy, lefty slugging, clutch-hitting, creatively facial-haired, first basemen-turned-designated hitters, despite the fact that the Yankee version actually hits fourth or fifth:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQA
Jason GiambiDH.255/.409/.593.333
David OrtizDH.287/.399/.624.333

Ortiz has far more impressive counting numbers than Giambi due to his having 75 more plate appearances, a by-product of several minor injuries suffered by Giambi and Jason's having played more first base and thus losing late-game at-bats to defensive replacements. Assume both will have equal playing time this weekend and, as their EQA's show, this is basically a draw. I'll give the edge to Ortiz as, while he's actually hit better on the road than at home this year, Giambi's home-road splits are even stronger in the other direction and he's historically his below his career averages at Fenway.

Next up two of the best hitters and most highly paid and therefore heavily criticized players in the history of the game:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQASB (%)
Alex Rodriguez3B.286/.388/.512.30711 (73%)
Manny RamirezLF.323/.432/.625.3470 (1 CS)

The simple fact of the matter is that Manny Ramirez is and has always been a better hitter than Alex Rodriguez. Consider their career numbers:

Rodriguez: .306/.388/.573 (.318 EQA), 2,023 H, 454 HR
Ramirez: .314/.410/.600 (.331 EQA), 2,052 H, 467 HR (in 122 more PAs)

Factor in Rodriguez's speed and defense and things get closer, but EQA already factors in base running and Alex's defense has been erratic this year, not quite Manny-level erratic, but enough to undermine any attempt to portray Rodriguez as anything approaching Ramirez's equal this season.

Having skipped the Yankees actual number three hitter, we'll drop him in here in a comparison of players whose primary skill is getting on base:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQASB (%)
Bobby AbreuRF.291/.430/.443~.306*25 (86%)
Kevin Youkilis1B.292/.392/.450.2975 (71 %)

*combined EQAs adjusted for all time for multi-team players are not available; Abreu had a .305 mark with the Phillies and thus far has a .342 EQA as a Yankee

Youkilis has been great for the Sox thus far this year, but comparing him to Abreu is just not fair, though it's a credit to Youkilis that this is even close.

Normally the teams' two catchers are an ideal pair for a break down like this, but with Jason Varitek on the DL, I'm going to stick with the plan and compare the two sixth-place hitters:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQA
Jorge PosadasC.267/.368/.450.286
Mike Lowell3B.287/.341/.484.280

Posada has the edge in EQA, despite Lowell's doubles-aided advantage in slugging. Given that gaudy doubles total (37), one would think that Lowell has benefited greatly from being able to knock hits off the Green Monster. Well, it's true that Lowell has more doubles at home than on the road, but it's actually a pretty even split (20/17). Meanwhile, Lowell is hitting just .249/.315/.416 at home this year. That increases the advantage for Jorge, who roughly equals his career averages, which aren't a far cry from his line above, in Fenway.

Next up a pair of righty-hitting former National League platoon players:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQANotes
Craig Wilson1B.271/.333/.482~.270Wilson had a .272 EQA with the Pirates and has a .265 mark with the Yankees
Wily Mo PeñaRF.364/.394/.669.306Peña missed nearly two months in the middle of the season with a wrist injury
Eric HinskeRF.294/.376/.575.288

Update: It appears the Red Sox plan to platoon the righty Peña with newly-aqcuired lefty Eric Hinske, thus I've updated the above chart to add Hinske. The AVG/OBP/SLG numbers for Peña and Hinske are now their platoon splits against opposite-handed pitchers only, while their EQA's remain their overall season figures.

The addition of Wilson makes this less of a landslide than it would have been with Andy Phillips (.234 EQA) in Wilson's place, but it's still an easy win for the Sox, especially now that they have Hinske to give them a strong platoon advantage. That said, Hinske is ice cold right now, going .167/.310/.208 thus far in August. Curiously, Wilson, who has hit .283 with a .478 slugging percentage as a Yankee and has a career on-base percentage 90 points higher than his batting average, has yet to draw a walk since coming to the American League and has just one walk since June 23.

The last two spots are a bit of a muddle due to the Varitek injury, particularly as the Red Sox have been suckered into giving Doug Mirabelli (.234 EQA since returning to the Red Sox) the bulk of the starts behind the plate despite their recent acquisition of Javy Lopez. No matter how you slice it, Robinson Cano, who has a .282 EQA and has hit .353/.371/.676 since being activated from the DL, is clearly better than each of the Red Sox's catchers at the plate, Varitek (.258 EQA this season) included.

That brings us to the number nine hitters:


NamePosAVG/OBP/SLGEQASB (%)Notes
Melky CabreraLF.276/.353/.408.2689 (69%)spent April in the minors
Alex GonzalezSS.277/.325/.428.2611 (100%)

Just squeaking by Alex Gonzalez doesn't reflect well on young Melky, but at age-21 he's improving on a monthly basis. Since July 1 he's hit .329/.386/.520 and is 6 for 8 (75%) on the bases. Thus far in August, he's upped that to .358/.433/.604 while smacking three of his seven career home runs. Gonzalez, meanwhile, has cooled off from a strong June and July showing to hit .186/.255/.372 thus far in August and has been forced to share his position with the lefty-hitting Alex Cora (.256 EQA) throughout the season. Thus, this isn't nearly as close as it looks.

So what's the conclusion? The Red Sox have the better big boppers in Ortiz and Ramirez (and, further down, former Yankee farmhand Peña), but the Yankees have the deeper line-up, with superior hitters in six of the nine spots in the line-up. Indeed, checking the gross totals shows just how evenly matched these two offenses are, with the Red Sox maintaining a slim lead in runs per game over the Yankees, 5.53 to 5.48, a lead that was held by the Yankees a couple of days ago.

As for the benches, faced with five games in four days the Red Sox had pared down to a three-man bench in order to add an extra pitcher, but yesterday they picked up former Rookie of the Year Eric Hinske from the division rival Blue Jays, giving them the edge here. Here are the four players on each bench along with their EQAs:

Sox:

Eric Hinske (RF/3B/1B/LF): .288 or Wily Mo Peña (RF/CF/LF): .306
Gabe Kapler (RF/LF/CF): .262
Alex Cora (SS/2B/3B): .256
Javy Lopez (C): ~.251

Yankees:

Bernie Williams (RF/CF/LF): .262
Andy Phillips* (1B/3B/2B): .234
Sal Fasano (C): ~.221
Nick Green (2B/SS/3B): ~.197 (.293 with NY)

*Update: Andy Phillips has been placed on the DL with what I suspect is a phantom rib cage injury in order to allow the Yankees to add another bullpen arm in the person of T.J. Beam, giving the Sox an even bigger advantage in this department.

With the hitting out of the way, here's a quick look at the defense, starting with the two teams' defensive efficiencies with their major league ranks:

NYY: 70.8% (4th)
BOS: 69.1% (19th)

That advantage exists despite the fact that the Yankees have committed nearly twice as many errors as the Sox, with 54 to the Sox major-league low 28.

For fun, here are the Rates of the eight starters for each team:


PosBostonRateNew YorkRate
1BYoukilis105Wilson~98
2BLoretta99Cano114
SSGonzalez95Jeter103
3BLowell112Rodriguez89
CMirabelli~87Posada110
RFPeña100Abreu~98
CFCrisp96Damon95
LFRamirez87Cabrera106

That takes care of the regulars. I'll address the starting pitchers on a game-by-game basis with my usual game previews. That just leaves the bullpens.

First the closers:


NameGIP/GK/9BB/9HR/9SV (%)ERAWXRL**
Mariano Rivera541.196.191.270.2831 (91%)1.834.589
Jonathan Papelbon531.159.301.770.4432 (86%)0.895.757

I don't think there's any denying that Papelbon has been the surer thing this year, though the difference between the two is slight to be sure. Yankee fans can point to Mo's higher save conversion rate, but Red Sox fans can counter by pointing out that Mo has five losses to Pap's two. The problem, of course, is that loses and blown saves can and often do occur in the same game. Looking over their game logs, both closers have exactly six outings that resulted in a loss, a blown save or both. Papelbon, however, has one outing on his log in which he blew a save but held on to earn the win (no, David Ortiz had nothing to do with it, he actually went 0 for 4 with four men left on base in that game), while Mo has none. But one could also point out that two of Papelbon's five blown saves have come in August, a month in which he has posted a very human 3.38 ERA. Another fun stat from the game logs is that Papelbon has had 13 outings that have lasted more than an inning, Mo has had 15. All of which simply illustrates just how slim the margin is by which the Red Sox rookie has the edge here.

Here are their support teams:

Yankees:
NameGIP/GK/9BB/9HR/9ERAWXRL
Kyle Farnsworth570.929.914.100.854.101.802
Scott Proctor601.268.213.331.073.691.106
Ron Villone (L)541.207.524.450.422.231.572
Mike Myers (L)400.476.272.890.962.890.938
T.J. Beam101.008.101.804.5011.70-0.334
Octavio Dotel20.5018.009.000.0018.00-0.049
Brian Bruney11.0027.009.000.000.000.000

Red Sox:
NameGIPK/9BB/9HR/9ERAWXRL
Mike Timlin480.964.302.340.983.131.994
Many Delcarmen351.078.442.890.244.341.108
Julian Tavarez491.225.433.771.214.98-0.953
Rudy Seanez401.138.934.371.194.17-1.162
Craig Hansen261.106.592.510.635.020.407
Kyle Snyder4*2.17*8.312.672.376.23N/A

*relief appearances only

We can see that the Yankee bullpen has a small issue with walks while the Red Sox pen has had a bit of problem with home runs, but overall the Yankees have the better, deeper collection of relievers. This is partially because of the unexpected performances of Ron Villone and Scott Proctor, the latter of whom has rediscovered his dominating April form since the All-Star Break (1.31 ERA, 0 HR, 20 2/3 IP, 15 H, 21 K, 5 BB). But it is also because Julian Tavarez and Rudy Seanez have been awful while Craig Hansen continues to disappoint, perhaps because the Red Sox continue to rush him out of desperation.

So the starting line-ups are in a dead heat, the Sox have the better bench, and the Yanks have the better bullpen. So what else is new? About the only new development here is that the Yankees have a vastly improved team defense. At least we know more about the players we'll be watching this weekend.

For reference, here's the Red Sox roster the usual way, minus the bells and whistles:

Boston Red Sox

2006 Record: 69-50 (.580)
2006 Pythagorean Record: 65-54 (.550)

Manager: Terry Francona
General Manager: Theo Epstein

Home Ballpark (2005 Park Factors): Fenway Park (101/101)

Who's Replaced Whom?

  • Javy Lopez replaced Jason Varitek (DL)
  • Wily Mo Peña (DL) replaced Trot Nixon (DL)
  • Eric Hinske replaces J.T. Snow
  • Gabe Kapler (minors) replaced Willie Harris
  • David Wells (DL) replaced Tim Wakefield (DL)
  • Jon Lester (minors) replaced Matt Clement (DL)
  • Jason Johnson replaced Josh Pauley (minors)
  • Mike Timlin (DL) replaced Keith Foulke (DL)
  • Craig Hansen (minors) replaced David Riske
  • Kyle Snyder replaces Jermaine Van Buren

Current Roster

1B – Kevin Youkilis (R)
2B – Mark Loretta (R)
SS – Alex Gonzalez (R)
3B – Mike Lowell (R)
C – Doug Mirabelli (R)
RF – Wily Mo Peña (R)
CF – Coco Crisp (S)
LF – Manny Ramirez (R)
DH – David Ortiz (L)

Bench:

L – Eric Hinske (UT)
L – Alex Cora (IF)
R – Javy Lopez (C)
R – Gabe Kapler (OF)

Rotation:

R – Curt Schilling
L – David Wells
R – Jason Johnson
L – Jon Lester
R – Josh Beckett

Bullpen:

R – Jon Papelbon
R – Mike Timlin
R – Manny Delcarmen
R – Julian Tavarez
R – Rudy Seanez
R – Craig Hansen
R – Kyle Snyder

15-day DL: S – Jason Varitek (C), L – Trot Nixon (OF), R – Tim Wakefield, R – Keith Foulke
60-day DL: R – Matt Clement, L – Lenny DiNardo

Typical Lineup

S – Coco Crisp (CF)
R – Mark Loretta (2B)
L – David Ortiz (DH)
R – Manny Ramirez (LF)
R – Kevin Youkilis (1B)
R – Mike Lowell (3B)
R – Wily Mo Peña (CF)
R – Doug Mirabelli (C)
R – Alex Gonzalez (SS)

**WXRL is a complex, but informative statistic. The acronym technically stands for Relievers Expected Wins Added, but is better remembered as Win eXpectancy adjusted for Replacement level and Lineup. The statistic tallies a reliever's effect upon his team's Win Expectancy (also known as Win Probability) then compares that to a replacement level pitcher while also adjusting for the strength of the actuall hitters faced.

For those unfamiliar with Win Probability, say a visiting team has a two run lead in the bottom of the ninth with the bases empty and one out. At that moment they have a 95.9 percent chance of winning that game. If the pitcher gives up a home run in that situation, reducing his lead to one-run, he drops his team's Win Expectancy to 90.8 percent, thus he's docked 5.1 points. If he strikes out the batter in that situation, to put his team one out from a win with a two-run lead, he improves his team's Win Expectancy to 99.6 percent, thus he's credited with 3.7 points. WXRL tallies all these pluses and minuses and adjusts them as stated above. It is a counting stat, not a rate stat.

Comments (83)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-18 00:38:32
1.   rabid stan
Great stuff Cliff. This is why all the kids on the block say "Bronx Banter is the place to be."
2006-08-18 03:31:48
2.   randym77
I suspect the reason for the drop in Craig Wilson's walks is that in Pittsburgh, he was one of the most feared bats in the lineup. They pitched around him. Not so in New York.
2006-08-18 03:43:24
3.   randym77
"Injury may put Andy Phillips on the DL":

http://tinyurl.com/hblfj

>> Andy Phillips might be headed for at least 15 days of inactivity after injuring his rib cage on a swing in the ninth inning. Phillips' playing time has dwindled to almost nothing since the acquisitions of Bobby Abreu and Craig Wilson. He strained a muscle on his left side in his only at-bat after replacing Alex Rodriguez at third base in yesterday's 12-2 loss to the Orioles.

Phillips finished the at-bat and grounded to short. With the Yankees using four relievers yesterday and a day-night doubleheader today, they could opt to promote reliever T.J. Beam as a 13th pitcher. Phillips' roster spot may have been in jeopardy anyway, so a DL stint could actually save his job before rosters expand Sept. 1. <<

2006-08-18 03:55:18
4.   Jim Dean
Wow, simply amazing stuff. What a great, informative read. Thanks.

I don't know though what WXRL means and the note for the is missing.

2006-08-18 03:58:12
5.   Jim Dean
Looks like the 'double stars' didn't take in my post. The note that corresponds to that is missing in the Papelbon-Mo table.
2006-08-18 04:01:12
6.   Jim Dean
Whoops - sorry missed it at the bottom since the 'single star' has its note right underneath its repective table. I'll shut up now.
2006-08-18 04:18:18
7.   Levy2020
Let's go, Yank-ees!
2006-08-18 04:45:24
8.   randym77
OT...movie critic on the radio this morning gave a thumbs-up to "Snakes on a Plane." He was pretty disgruntled last week, because they weren't screening it for critics, but he went on his own last night, and said it was the best movie experience he's had in a long time. The movie wasn't all that great, but the audience participation was Rocky Horror-like. He really loved it. Said it's going to be huge.
2006-08-18 05:10:43
9.   mehmattski
8 That's it! I'm tired of these Mother F**ing Red Sox in this Mother F**ing Division Race!
2006-08-18 05:22:22
10.   rbj
Other reviewers have given thumbs up to Snakes on a Plane, too. Samuel L. Jackson and snakes and they're all on a plane? I'm there.
2006-08-18 06:05:39
11.   Jim Dean
Little Miss Sunshine

Best. Movie. This. Year.

2006-08-18 06:21:03
12.   mehmattski
Simply amazing that with all the SABR-heads supposedly in the Red Sox front office, that they would continue to give significant innings to two relievers with negative WXRL.

Wait, what am I doing, making a point using win expectancy. I despise win expectancy, something about it strikes me as some sort of false idol, but I don't have enough training in statistics to pinpoint it. It just doesn't sit right with me. A grand slam in the fourth inning of a tied game(which would spike a player's WPA) is not worth more than a grand slam down six runs in the ninth (which would add very little to a player's WPA).

2006-08-18 06:37:18
13.   Sliced Bread
Got into the city early this morning, hit a diner, and my $11 barber before getting to the office.

Read the Yanks-Sox previews in the Post, Daily News, and Times, and caught a little of the heavy breathing on ESPN radio on the way in.

Nothing I heard or read comes close to the pre-series analysis you posted here, Cliff.

The thoughtful, textured, and statistically insightful stuff you and Alex consistently churn out puts everything else to shame. Thank you.

My favorite quote in the rags today is from Craig Wilson re: the rivalry.

"I have heard a little bit about it. It's my understanding they don't like us and vice versa."

Perfectly stating the obvious, that's "Snakes On A Plane," Mr. Wilson.

Let's go Yankees!

2006-08-18 06:49:20
14.   Cliff Corcoran
Peter Abraham reports that Phillips is on the DL due to that tweak in his side, T.J. Beam takes his place. If you ask me, the Phillips injury is a phantom. Under any other circumstances it would not have resulted in a roster move, but with Torre having used half his bullpen yesterday and key double header today, it provided the perfect excuse to add another reliever. I'll add Beam to the reliever chart above as soon as I can.
2006-08-18 06:57:58
15.   Sliced Bread
That's a bummer re: Phillips. Despite the evidence against him, I had a feeling he was going to do something big this weekend.

Oh well, he can join Pavano at the "Snakes" matinee.

2006-08-18 07:02:40
16.   Cliff Corcoran
15 Like what, keep the bench extra warm? Beam's in the chart, as are WXRL figures for Dotel and Bruney, irrelevent as they may be.
2006-08-18 07:04:33
17.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
15....Phillips can't pitch and with Torre burning through the pen, another arm is what is needed for a 5 game /4 day set against the lineup and ballpark...

My hope for this series is that we control what should be controlled....Alex Cora, Gonzalez, Mirabelli, etc....losing to Ortiz and Manny is one thing but allowing these ordinary players get on base and cause problems is not going to get it..

2006-08-18 07:06:34
18.   bp1
Major pins and needles here, guys. I wonder how many other fans have these love/hate relationships with these big series with Boston? I get so nervous I get grouchy toward the kids and my stomach gets upset. Geez. I need to get a life.
2006-08-18 07:06:50
19.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
how about Wilson catching a game this weekend instead of Sal Fasano ? They probably should have let him dust off his catchers mitt this week against the Killer O's but work this guy in once and awhile...he is a far better hitter that "Stinnett with a mustache"
2006-08-18 07:10:24
20.   Cliff Corcoran
19 I couldn't agree more. Fasano's actually been worse than Stinnett in his admittedly limited opportunities thus far. I still don't understand that move.
2006-08-18 07:11:20
21.   Sliced Bread
16 In my "still rooting for Andy" imagination I visualized him stealing third as a pinch runner, and then scoring on an errant throw.

Now I see him comforting Pavano during the scariest moments in "Snakes."

2006-08-18 07:15:27
22.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
21...he can wrap Pavano in bubble wrap and a helmet before they leave the house so he does not get injured with a piece of errant popcorn...

The Yanks have an option on Wright next year that is almost equal to his salary...keep him or save $2m or so ?

The guy is like a cancer to the bullpen and I would love to see him find a little league where they only play 5 innings and win the Cy Young there

2006-08-18 07:17:23
23.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
20...Fasanos limited opportunities are unfortunately not the reason he sucks...he is plain horrible on the bench, behind the plate, in his car, making a sandwich, pretty much 24 hours a day he is a bad catcher....
2006-08-18 07:19:31
24.   Sliced Bread
19 I think I read Joe is actually threatening to use Sal twice this weekend. Tonight, and again on Monday. I hope I'm mistaken or that's just crazy talk.
I'd use Posada every inning this weekend and promise Jorge he can sleep through the Seattle series if he needs to.
2006-08-18 07:20:38
25.   Cliff Corcoran
22 Because the buyout is so large ($4 million vs. $7 million if they pick up the option), I say they hold on to him. Rotation depth is crucial and they could always trade him during spring training or in May or June if someone like Hughes is ready for his close-up. And before you laught at the idea of trading him, look at what Cashman did with Chacon.
2006-08-18 07:23:06
26.   bp1
22 Pffft ....

"wrap Pavano in bubble wrap ..."

Too freakin funny. The guy is going to be the butt of jokes for years, no pun intended.

23 The shortage of quality catchers in the league is well known. If any of these guys were good, they'd be starting catchers, not backups. Can anyone think of a team w/ a really good backup catcher? I can't, but I don't know then all.

2006-08-18 07:23:13
27.   Cliff Corcoran
24 Well, you know he'll use Fasano in one of the games today. I would hope he'd use Jorge in the Wang game, going all-out for the win against the weaker pitcher in Johnson. This double header has split written all over it, so I can deal with Fasano catching Ponson with Jorge available to pinch-hit if by some miracle the game is close in the late innings. Also, tomorrow is another day game, so it seems like a lock that it's Fasano in the night cap.
2006-08-18 07:24:06
28.   yanklifer
Has anyone ever seen Wilson catch? Is he capable or another Matt LeCroy type of third catcher? I would also probably pick up wright's option unless someone big like Zito comes.
2006-08-18 07:24:54
29.   Cliff Corcoran
26 I have to give it up to Peter Abraham for consistantly posting the best Pavano-related wisecracks. I think part of the reason I enjoy them so much is that he's a beat guy who has to go into that clubhouse daily, but has no qualms about just trouncing Pavano. That should tell you something.
2006-08-18 07:25:50
30.   Cliff Corcoran
28 They'll have to decide on the option before they'll have a chance to bid on guys like Zito, which is why I say, pick it up and flip him later if the rest of the offseason goes well.
2006-08-18 07:26:37
31.   JL25and3
I don't know if it's quite fair to say that Derek Jeter was robbed of the MVP in 1999. Yvonne Rodriguez was an atrocious choice, and there were at least five guys who clearly deserved it over him: Roberto Alomar, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Jeter. I don't think Jeter was robbed any more or less than the other four.

If you think an MVP shouldn't come from a seccond-place team, you might downgrade Nomar a notch. But even if you don't like giving it to pitchers, either, Pedro is right there. That year he wasn't a mere pitcher, he was a god.

2006-08-18 07:27:27
32.   yanklifer
30 total agreement
2006-08-18 07:28:27
33.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
28

is the hope that Wright replaces Ponson next year OR that he works himself up to an avg. 5 2/3 innings next season as it will be a contract year which means a "short starter" like himself with a .500 record can command another 3 year 7m per deal ?

The guy is job sharing with a long reliever essentially and should walk out to the pen with envelopes before every start....

I have interns who put in a longer day

2006-08-18 07:31:30
34.   yanklifer
33

He is more valuable than Ponson and could fill the long/spot start role or be flipped to a team needing starters, if we dont need him. Either way it is all about options and we have more if we pick up his.

2006-08-18 07:31:50
35.   yanklifer
imho
2006-08-18 07:32:13
36.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
29...

what would Abraham be worried about being in the clubhouse ? Pavano has not been in there in two years....even if he went to Trenton and ran across him sitting in the whirpool..Pavano would not risk missing another season trying to splash the guy

2006-08-18 07:34:35
37.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
34...agreed I am just goofing on the guy...the more arms the better for certain as he and Randy can split games as Johnson is what Johnson is these days....people were still waiting for the "real" Randy Johnson to show up...unless they have a time machine that Gene Monahan can put him into to get back to 2001....this is what it is
2006-08-18 07:38:29
38.   Cliff Corcoran
36 My point was that Pavano's teammates, who in all honesty probably have no idea that Pete even has a blog let a lone know what he says on it, aren't a threat to give Pete the brushoff because he's been dissing big Carl.
2006-08-18 07:42:23
39.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
38..

I understood that, my guess is that they would help Abraham with that blog if he asked...

Is he really that harsh on the guy ?

2006-08-18 07:44:23
40.   Cliff Corcoran
39 Brutal, it's hilarious.
2006-08-18 07:45:14
41.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
40....what is the web address ?
2006-08-18 07:45:52
42.   Alvaro Espinoza
Man, would I love to see a little Yankees strut this weekend. It's been a long time, too long, since the Yanks walked into Fenway and I could smell the fear of the Sox fans through the TV. A few convincing thumpings would drive the point home. That will require the offense to click on all cylinders. We'll see.

Today could not be more of a less productive day. I have no idea why I'm at work.

2006-08-18 07:46:34
43.   Alvaro Espinoza
41 http://www.lohud.com/blogs/lohudyankees.html
2006-08-18 07:47:33
44.   randym77
And here's the lineups...

Yankees
1. Johnny Damon, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Jason Giambi, DH
5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
6. Robinson Cano, 2B
7. Jorge Posada, C
8. Craig Wilson, 1B
9. Melky Cabrera, LF
P -- Chien Ming-Wang

Red Sox
1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Mark Loretta, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Manny Ramirez, LF
5. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. Eric Hinske, RF
8. Javy Lopez, C
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS
P -- Jason Johnson

2006-08-18 07:50:36
45.   Sliced Bread
29 Yeah, Abraham's Pavano cracks remind me of the stuff you hear at a Friar's Club roast, when the punchlines literally hit the subject in the face.

I don't know if Abraham would have the cannolis to joke about Glass Carl to his face, but he's bold enough to put stuff on his blog that could get back to Pavano.

By the way, best roast joke ever was at the expense of Rob Reiner. I wish I could remember who delivered it. Goes something like this:

In his breakup with Penny Marshall, she got the talent, he got the tits.

2006-08-18 07:50:48
46.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
42...2004 has changed the world as we know it...it will be a long time perhaps a generation before the Sox fans quake in our presence...

It was 82 years since the Sox had won, as I constantly remind Sox fans....an 80 year old man living in South Boston has seen more Kennedys shot in the head than Red Sox World Series Titles

2006-08-18 07:53:15
47.   bp1
44 Hinske and Lopez starting for the Sox? Hmmm.

Time to crush!!! Go Yankees.

(Time for a rolaids)

2006-08-18 07:53:27
48.   Ravenscar
Cliff -

You haven't been told QUITE enough how damned impressive this article and the work you've put into it is, I think. Because it most assuredly is the best thing going on this series I've read. And, um, as you know here in the city there are more than a few people writing about it. They all pale in comparison.

good show

2006-08-18 07:54:22
49.   Cliff Corcoran
44 Ah, they're using Hinske in a RF platoon with Pena, of course! Both have crazy platoon splits. That doesn't change the fact that Hinske hasn't hit a lick in August, but it makes the acquisition make more sense.

Any word on who the Sox sent down to make room for Hinske?

2006-08-18 07:55:49
50.   Alvaro Espinoza
45 That is phenomenal!

46 Maybe I'm wrong but I wouldn't even give them that much credit. You can't go losing for as long as they did only to have it totally erased by one (incredible wet dream) season. Sox fans aren't happy unless they're miserable and they have serious doubts about this team right now. I would love to see the Yanks reinforce that trepidation. And you know what? Now that I consider it further, that's not even the primary reason for me, just a fringe benefit. I just want to see some swagger from this team.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-18 07:57:22
51.   yankz
Great to see Jeter above average defensively this year (significantly better than Alex "ESPN has practically given me the Gold Glove" Gonzalez).

Doesn't Hinske trounce Wang? (No pun intended)

2006-08-18 07:59:25
52.   Cliff Corcoran
51 What pun?

Hinske is 6 for 11 with two homers a double and a walk against Wang. So yes, but small sample, blah blah.

2006-08-18 07:59:41
53.   bp1
50 After what happened yesterday and the day before, I'll just take nice modest wins and save the swagger for another time. Yes, I would love to see a few crushing wins by the Yankees this weekend, but this team isn't quite "swagger worthy" yet. Hopefully on Monday when the division league is 4 1/2 (after a 4-1 series win) we can think about growing staches and walking w/ a swagger. Till then - heads down and grind it.
2006-08-18 08:00:12
54.   randym77
49 Craig Breslow was demoted.

Hinske has good numbers against Wang, so I'm not surprised to see him in the lineup today.

2006-08-18 08:01:45
55.   JL25and3
48 Absolutely right. This was great work, Cliff.
2006-08-18 08:02:44
56.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
50

I agree and would really like to see this lineup mash this weekend.

I am old enough to remember the '78 Boston Massacre when life was good and it was sensational.....4 straight and big scores...

I do wish Sheff and Matsui were here this weekend...I miss Sheff violent swing and general agressiveness

2006-08-18 08:03:48
57.   Cliff Corcoran
54 Thanks, Randy. I think that's because they need Snyder to start on Tuesday. heheh
2006-08-18 08:05:44
58.   Shaun P
54 That's straight out of the "Bernie hits pitcher X real well in 15 ABs, so he'll play tonight" playbook. I'm glad to see Francona is dumb enough to do that, instead of just playing Wily Mo and his .306 EQA.

Also worth noting that Wily Mo is hitting .350/.389/.573 at Fenway. Thanks for leaving him on bench, Terry!

2006-08-18 08:05:57
59.   Cliff Corcoran
Per 54 Craig Breslow has been removed from the above post.
2006-08-18 08:10:37
60.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
alas poor Breslow we never knew ye...
2006-08-18 08:16:41
61.   Cliff Corcoran
I've also updated the Wilson-Pena comparision to incorprate Hinske and the Sox's platoon advantage.
2006-08-18 08:20:38
62.   Travis
54 The Sox demoted the one lefty in their bullpen? I guess there's no need for the Yankees to alternate lefties and righties for this series.
2006-08-18 08:24:36
63.   randym77
Great stuff, Cliff. You're really on a roll today.
2006-08-18 08:37:01
64.   standuptriple
Yes, eggsellent piece today. It reminds me why I visit the BB often. Statty, but not overwhelming. Informative, but to-the-point.
Let's play two!
BTW, is anybody starting Wang in fantasy today?
2006-08-18 08:41:29
65.   C2Coke
63 Totally agree with you, and thanks a lot Cliff, great great stuff.

Looks like many have read Abraham's blog today, it feels like we are as fired up as those 8 boys in Pete's niece's camp if not more fired up.

Kirribilli Yankee Fan and yanklifer, to put a number link in your post, just type the number inside the brackets [].

Let's Go Yankees!

2006-08-18 08:41:33
66.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
I cannot recall a big series where the pitching on both sides is a total crapshoot...

Mussina and Schilling are probably the closest to consistent either team has now...every other starter (including Wang) is a complete wild card...

Beckett could feed his gopher....

Randy could flip back to a 3 inning start...

Even the bullpens are wide open...

Farnsworth...3 run bomb or 3 Ks ?

It should be a wild weekend...split today with essentially the Sox hitting off a tee in the 2nd game would be good as you will probably need 8 runs to win that game...

2006-08-18 08:42:53
67.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
64 I have got Wang going today on my team
2006-08-18 08:44:00
68.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
65 thanks for the tip as I am technology challenged to the point where it took a few minutes to find the brackets on the keyboard
2006-08-18 08:44:02
69.   yanklifer
Wang is going for me too. Scared by his road performances
2006-08-18 08:46:10
70.   Yankee in Chicago
What is EQA?
What is Pythagorean record?
2006-08-18 08:46:45
71.   C2Coke
68 Not a problem at all, I didn't know how to it at the beginning as well until our wonderful fellow posters offered the tip.
2006-08-18 08:53:05
72.   standuptriple
6769 If it were a different situation I'd start him. I feel he's good for a W, but I'm good with K's and need spectacular ERA/WHIP, which may be a problem. Please prove me wrong Wang (well, not about the W).
Yup, no work being done around here. Please move along.
2006-08-18 08:59:13
73.   C2Coke
70 If I get it right,

EQA is the Equivalent Average for a batter, like their carrer BA independent of the league or park.

A Pythagorean record uses a formula to calculate runs scored and runs allowed and the record can more accurately reflects a team's abilities to score and prevent runs than a team's real won-lost record. (Under normal circumstances, a team should have more runs scored than allowed on average to keep a winning record but it's not always the case)

Usually the two records (real win-loss record and Pythagorean) will be roughly the same. If a team's Pythagorean record is way better than the team's real record, though, it probably means that the team had some bad luck, or vice versa.

2006-08-18 08:59:29
74.   randym77
From the Boston Globe:

>> Torre said Bernie Williams would probably play in the second game tonight with Jason Giambi manning first. Sal Fasano will catch the nightcap. <<

2006-08-18 09:01:43
75.   C2Coke
74 Sometimes, I think BB people can predict the future.
2006-08-18 09:02:43
76.   Ron Burgundy
ESPN, can you say OVERKILL and OVERHYPE? Jeez, you would think this is Game 7 of the ALCS with the appocalypse looming. Gimme a break.

OK, screw this crap, let's Get These MotherFc*cking Snakes off the Plane!

2006-08-18 09:03:20
77.   Shaun P
64 67 69 I am pitching Wang in one league today where I am very desparate for innings and pitching numbers, even if they are bad. In another league he's on the bench because of his road numbers.

70 EQA is Equivalent Average. Very quickly, its like an updated version of batting average that includes more than just H/AB, and scales the same way (.260 is average, .280 is good, anything over .300 is great). Longer def at: http://tinyurl.com/lv5ab

Pythag record is exactly as C2Coke described it in 73.

2006-08-18 09:03:34
78.   Ron Burgundy
74 Did he mention if Bernie would be in the OF? Please tell me he is gonna DH him. I can't even think about Bern in that outfield and not throw up.
2006-08-18 09:05:31
79.   randym77
78 I assume Bernie will be DHing. Why put Giambi at 1B if you're not DHing Bernie?
2006-08-18 09:12:23
80.   C2Coke
New Game thread.
2006-08-18 09:13:01
81.   Cliff Corcoran
70 In the first chart (Damon and Crisp) the letters EQA link to the definition.

73 sort of overcomplicates Pythagorean Record. It is simply a team's estimated record based on runs scored and allowed only.

Feel free to keep this thread going for now, but I've just posted a game thread post above. Now to catch a train home from work. I hope to only miss an inning or two.

2006-08-18 11:42:12
82.   Chyll Will
Man, ESPN even rigged Gamecast to show bias; during changeovers, when the Yanks make the last out in their at bats, the screen immediately blinks to show them in the field, but when the Red Sox make their last out, the screen remains the same until the next inning begins. Does anyone else notice that, and is that home team programming or just the usual ESBS...
2006-08-18 11:53:58
83.   Cliff Corcoran
Kyle Snyder throws right-handed. Fixed that above.

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