Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
Eastward Ho, boys.
Is nozito.com available? I might have to check that out.
One year ago today, the Yankees' 2005 season ended, with a Game 5 loss to those pesky Halos...
Older Unit, Older Moose, and some less than top tier free agents.
They better go all out and get him, and he better be as good as advertised.
I still would rather have him than Zito. But then again, I always would go for what's behind Door #2 rather than the $100 that Monty Hall had in his hand...
Feels kind of like the Monty Hall paradox...
Look, sportswriters are idiots. Because none of these fools wants to write about why the Yankees have lost all ability to hit in the post season.
They want to write about soap operas and persnality clashes and all that other crap. How about writing about the fact that pitchers on opposing teams are pitching to a very specific gameplan and the Yankee hitters aren't adjusting. How about writing about that, because I guarantee you that that has more to do with the Yanks early exit than whether Derek and Jason like Alex. They can all teabag each other for all I care as long as they stop taking fastballs for strikes, and swinging at breaking balls in the dirt, in the post season!!!!
I'm going to assume you're not familiar with Goldman's work. As for his assessment regarding A-Rod, it's made without the usual fanboy bias/envy. He's just looking at performance numbers, and judging A-Rod accordingly, not only as the team's third basement, but also as a player whose exit would require a replacement. (And a resulting loss of runs created.) You want to find out what books A-Rod has in his locker? Read the NY Times. Goldman is interested in the only thing that matters. Production and how it relates to the team's success or failure.
As for the Yank's gameplan, I don't disagree. Tho' we're talking about a pretty small sample -- three games, to be exact -- and the failure of the starting pitching had as much or more to do with the end result.
Oops. Wisdom in typos?
I also think it's a bigger sample size, going back to the Red Sox debacle a few years ago. That was the tipping point, when all of a sudden the vaunted Yankee lineup lost any ability to put up meaningful offensive outbursts.
As for Game One against Detroit, I think the game plan was in place and I think Robertson didn't execute it because he had trouble with his control early.
All my ranting about scouting and gameplanning is pretty theoretical, to really prove it, I need to dive into the stats as well as probably watch pitch by pitch tape of each of the last 10 Yankee post season games.
But I don't think the Yankees have lost because they don't care, or they don't like each other, I think they have lost because they are being outsmarted, and I'm not sure it's managerial outsmarting as much as it is outsmarting at the scouting level.
Maybe, because they have superstar hitters they don't oranizationally feel the need to do a lot of advanced scouting or gameplanning, but if that's the case it's pretty clear they are wrong.
At the end of the day, I'm sick of reading sportswriters accounts of the Yankees post season failure because it seems to me they know next to nothing about the REAL reasons why the Yankees have failed.
All kidding aside. What is your definition of "reliable?" Whatever it is, I am sure it is different from Goldman's.
If I had to guess, Goldman's is "someone who performs well year to year." By that standard, A-rod is reliable. He had a down year and posted a better OPS than MVP Jeter. True, A-rod didn't hit in the post-season. But that was 3 games this year. You want to go back to last year. That was another 5 games in a year where he put up MVP numbers.
You want to go back the year before to 2004? He was THE man against the Twins and did pretty well against the Sox in the first three games. All the Yanks failed in the next four games of that series. Go back further -- he was pretty good with Seattle in the post season.
If you want to cherry pick from Game 4 of 2004 to now, that is a total of 17 postseason games where he sucked. But in the meantime, he was pretty good all the other times. And you can "rely" on him to get you to the postseason, even if he is unreliable once you get there. But getting there is important too.
Fair enuf. But the Yankees didn't seem to have any difficulty sticking to a game plan during the regular season -- in fact, their ability to do so (grinding out at bats, wearing down starting pitchers, etc.) was almost always the first thing cited about the team's ability (not to mention prospects in the playoffs).
The error in that, of course, is that none of that matters much if your starting pitching sucks.
And finally? There is no scout or gameplan in the universe that accounts for Kenny Roger's performance -- and you can't put all of that on the Yankee hitters (tho' it's tempting).
Okay, one more. Goldman's done this himself, but the numbers re A-Rod and reliability are better than you think. And believe me, when the Chone Figgins era begins?
How much do you figure that performance cost him? Could be as much as $30 Mil.
We're lucky he writes about the Yanks, and that the Yes Network doesn't shut him down given how critical of the team he can be.
BTW, thanks again for all your help this season with solving the FOX blackout paradox.
All day, the debate has seemed to settled on the notion that Zito would be okay as a #2/#3 starter, should the price be right. But we also agreed that Boras would drive up Zito's price into the "not no way, not no hell" territory, expecially if he pulls a Beltran in the post season.
But then, he lays an egg in game 1 of the ALCS, and therefore might have a lower price, which would convince many Yankees fans that the signing is worth it.
I am not one of those fans though. Can I be a contributor at nozito.com?
"Matsuzaka is still one year away from becoming a free agent."
Mike Francessa was discussing matsuzaka today and also pointed out that the Yanks may be able to pay for the rights to negotiate w/ Matsuzaka this offseason, but he won't be available to play in Major League Baseball until 2008!!!
So, looks like we're back at a Zito/Schmidt bidding war over the next couple of months.
30 I still don't want him.
That's where he throws next year.
Those guys know sports because they watch a ton of games, and have for a long time. They both have friends in high places. That's about the extent of what they know. If you ask them to do any real analysis, or want to hear the scoop on a technicality, they are abjectly clueless until their producers dig up the info FOR them.
Matsuzaka will be posted. Teams will bid. One will win. He will play for that team in 2007. Story over.
Your definitive source for all things Matsuzaka. Spread the word.
"Heading into the offseason, the Yankees must decide whether to exercise options on pitcher Mike Mussina ($17 million or a $1.5 million buyout), outfielder Gary Sheffield ($13 million) and pitcher Jaret Wright ($7 million or a $4 million buyout). The Yankees have until Nov. 5 to decide on Sheffield, Nov. 12 on Wright and Nov. 15 on Mussina."
My question is .... why the different decision dates? Is a specific date written into each contract?
41 Matsuzka is a Yankee. He wins 22 games next year, posting a 2.89 ERA. ;)
In a fit of masochism, I read through the game thread from last year on this day. When we were eliminated last season. It's almost funny, how similar the reactions were. Many of us said the exact same things last year as we said this year.
I have to say, though, last year they went down fighting. Nothing seemed to work out, but they tried. Balls died on the warning track. Torre called a hit and run, Bernie missed the signal, and Cano was thrown out by a mile. Then Bubba hit an RBI single...which would have been a 2 RBI single, if not for that botched hit and run. Later on, our pal Joe West called Cano out for running inside the line. (What a jerk that guy is.) The heart of the order could never do anything when it counted.
There were some nice plays, too. Matsui had the best one. He leaped into the stands, and came out with the ball. Unbelievable. No one even realized he made the catch until he threw it in. And Bubba stole 2B on what turned out to be a pitchout; Molina is no Posada. Jeter and Bernie ran on Vlad's arm. He was so astounded they would even try it that they made it.
And Jaret Wright, not even in the post-season roster, was waiting in Chicago, in case we won.
It's all right. I'm a Yankees fan, I'm used to overpaying.
BTW you broke that Matsuzaka story here at least 6 hours before the AP wire picked it up. Nice work man and thanks for the info and analysis.
It's amazing how much of that I'd totally forgotten but most of it made me think, "That's right, I remember that!"
You know which part I did remember, though, without prompting?
You guessed it, a certain 5-4-3 that ignited a primal bloodlust in my soul. Poor man.
And btw, what's a URP?
Though the known rookie pitchers don't do so badly, either...
It really was maddening, all the little things that went wrong. That collision in the outfield (which generated extremely heated discussion here on the Banter). That call on Cano. The botched hit and runs. And A-Rod's DP. They got three hits in the ninth inning; if not for A-Rod's DP, the game could have been won. Unlike Game 4 this year, last year, the series was in reach.
All things considered, I think it was the right way to go.
However, riddle me this. Here it Torre's take:
On whether anything could have been done to avoid the loss to Detroit: "Adjustments? I don't know. We have to see what the team looks like coming in. As far as Wang, I left him back in New York after Game 1. I said to him and Guidry, "If we lose tomorrow, you have to stay here even if we go win Game 3, we still have to send you home in case. You're gonna stay back here and a big part of that and I know there were big questions about him pitching Game 4 then who would pitch Game 5? He has never pitched this many innings in his life, so his well-being was in question. He is going to be a part of this for a long time."
This is my only real problem with the guy. I can almost deal with the bullpen management, given the junk we have out there. But why is our manager worrying about game 5 starters during an elimination game? I will go to my grave beliveing that I am right on this one. I know it might not have changed the outcome, but how you don't start your ace on 3 days rest, worrying about a game that may not happen the next day is beyond my comprehension. At least Wang gives us 4 or 5 good innings, then you can go to Wright or whomever, if injury is what you're "really" worried about. And who goes in game 5? Maybe a young man named Mike Mussina, with Bruney, Proctor, and Johnson available, sounds like a good plan to me. In fact, it sounds like the only plan to me.
Can anyone put forth an even borderlibe coherent argument to that?
Not everyone can just walk to the mound, chat a little, sit back down, and have your pitcher strike out the next two batters. Hats off to you, Mr. Leyland. Go punish the moneyball wanna bees. Mr. Beane: scouting finds the likes of Mulder, Zito, Hudson, Street, Blanton, Harden, and Haren for you, not Bill James, and that's why you win, slick. It doesn't have anything to do with those everyday players you refuse to watch play games for you.
[x58] - delete the x
58 - voila
Regardless, the Yankees playoff loss is not his fault. The blame lies mainly with lackluster pitching which was further doomed when the hitters struggled against good pitching. If Mussina had held on to the game 2 lead, the Yankees would have been back at the Stadium for game 5 with Wang on the mound. Wang was their best chance to win this series which is actually sad when you think about it. Mikeplugh's analysis of the Yankees playoff failures on Canyon of Heroes shows how the pitching has been the one consistent problem and he is right.
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