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Sole Survivor
2006-10-11 05:36
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

"You never complain about pressure because you understand it goes with what you do," Torre said yesterday at a news conference at Yankee Stadium. "With the danger of failing is the elation of winning. You can't get elated unless there's a danger."

Joe Torre was sharply dressed yesterday as he addressed the media at Yankee Stadium. His wife, Ali, was with him. After talking to several people about the situation, and then reading the papers this morning, it occurs to me that Torre needs the job as Yankee manager as much as they need him. Perhaps even more so. With two ex-wives, four kids, and more than a few houses to maintain, Torre was simply not going to walk away from $7 million. But it is more than that, of course. Torre will be paid handsomely (if not quite as handsomely) as a TV analyst and a regular on the lecture circut when he finally hangs up the spikes, but he'll never have the prestige and glamour that he currently enjoys as the manager of the Yankees.

That is a lot to give up and Torre is obviously willing to allow himself to be left hung-out-to-dry for several days by the owner as the local media speculated wildly about his future. In the past he has put-up with being second-guessed by his owner, and allowed Steinbrenner to trash his coaches, stuff Buck Showalter would not put up with (you can see Lou Piniella telling George to take-this-job-and-shove-it if he had been in the same situation as Torre was this week). Of course, the Boss at 76 is different from the man who ran the team by fear and intimidation in the 70s and 80s, and Torre has achieved far more success than any manager George had before him. Still, I can't help but feel how much the job matters to Torre, and am struck by how much he'll deal with in order to keep the position.

The other thing that struck me was the following passage from Tyler Kepner's coverage today in the Times:

"The interesting part is, when you say it's been six years, if I'm not mistaken, it was 18 years when I got here," Torre said. "And then in '98, it was: 'Hey, it's been two years since you won. What happened?' There's a lot of luck involved.

"I don't want you to think I'm backing off any accountability. I'm in charge here, it's my responsibility to make sure we get the job done, and we didn't get the job done. But there's a lot of luck."

For all the talk of the character and guts and will that the '96-'01 Yankees had when compared with the '02-'06 teams, some observers believe that the critical difference between the two is nothing more than pure luck. And here is Torre saying as much himself. He should know. Torre's monumentally bad luck for most of his career as a player and as a manager has been well-documented. Then he enjoyed one of the most improbable runs of luck, good fortune, whatever you want to call it, that any manager in baseball has ever been blessed with (certainly in the free agent era). Now, he returns to the hot seat once again, hoping to roll a lucky seven one more time before the ride is finally over.

Comments (136)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-11 06:16:18
1.   mehmattski
I just wanted to lead off this discussion by reiterating why this is the best Yankees forum on the internets. It's posts like these, which clearly illustrate respect for a man who has led our favorite team to glory, and to repeated success over the last eleven seasons. At the same time, there is no fear of criticizing that which may be going wrong with the team, as long as there is always respect to go along with that passion. Other sites, meanwhile, like to bash on everything they don't like about the team which they supposedly love, and it makes me sick. The Banter will always be a safe haven for (mostly) intelligent discussion. Thanks once again Alex (and Cliff).
2006-10-11 06:30:07
2.   jonm
There is a cynical part of me that thinks that this Torre watch may all have been a charade. Let's face some facts. We've seen that Steinbrenner does not give interviews anymore. When he faces the press, he makes terse statements that oftentimes don't quite make sense and then he is rushed into his waiting Town Car. His statements all come filtered through Arthur Richman. We saw his 23 second "you people" speech at the groundbreaking (a speech that was very quickly scrubbed from the YES website). All of these point to either a stroke or Alzheimer's-related impairment. It is in the interest of the Yankees to keep the image of the fearsome Steinbrenner somewhat alive; he keeps his dignity and the front office has a great CYA excuse. It is also in the interest of the tabloids to keep a headline generator like Steinbrenner active.

Would a billion dollar corporation really give any power to someone who is cognitively-impaired? I really doubt it. I had a strong feeling that Torre would be back the instant that I heard Cashman's statement on Saturday night.

This also offers an alternative explanation of why Torre continues to put up with the job. Dealing with a corporate front office is much easier than dealing with the old irrational Steinbrenner.

2006-10-11 06:30:09
3.   weeping for brunnhilde
1 Hear, hear.
2006-10-11 06:40:41
4.   Chyll Will
1 I second that, and though I generally have nothing statistical to add, I might also say that the comraderie among the regulars is substancial and meaningful, without becoming maudlin, melodramatic or meaningless. There is quite a lot to learn and discuss statistically, but also a depth of humanity on Toaster, with particular attention to Banter, that is unparalleled in this type of medium in the sports arena, period. Thank you, Alex and Cliff. With that, I will withdraw to the clubhouse, returning when the elements again inspire (or conspire?)a substancial contribution from me >;) and thanks for the inspiring leadoff, mehmattski!
2006-10-11 06:42:58
5.   Jimmy Clark
Doesn't Steinbrenner own the multibillion corporation and can keep himself in power for a long time? I didn't know about the video from new corporate welfare stadium not on YES. But I do know I missed the Steinbrenner interview on YES centerstage and have not seen it replayed.
How much of this was generated to keep the Mets off the radar for 72 hours? Certainly a quiet sedate ownership that owned the Yankees would look at a first round loss to see if the manager was replaced. But 9 straight hours on ESPN 1050 radio on Monday??
2006-10-11 06:46:00
6.   RIYank
"There's a lot of luck." Funny, it's not the kind of thing you want your manager to say. But at the same time, it makes me feel better to know that he knows it's true.

Also, what mehmattski said in the lead-off spot. "And the Bronx Banter is off to a good start."
And that reminds me: I heard John Sterling interviewed on the local affiliate a couple of days ago, and he was surprisingly good. It wasn't so much that he was deeply insightful as that he seemed very keenly aware of how foolish Sports Guys look, sound, and are, when they engage in long-winded pop psychology, and keenly aware also of his own limitations and ignorance.

2006-10-11 06:46:45
7.   Yankee Fan In Boston
there has been much discussion here regarding barry zito.

if steinbrenner is demanding "fire" in his players, he might not want to get entangled in the bidding war that boras has planned. (unless it is to drive up the price for the sox, of course.)

mlb.com had zito blog about his preparation for the alcs game one start. here's how he closes it out:

"Tonight, I'm just going to chill out at my house. Watch a movie, surf the Internet, play some guitar. Just relax. Same old stuff for me. It's just another start. Everything around me seems a little more intense or amplified, but my preparation out there on the mound is just about 60 feet and six inches, me and a catcher and a hitter, and if we win, we win. If we lose, we lose. Time will play itself out."

wow. there's a follow-up entry, too.

you can read the rest here:
http://barryzito.mlblogs.com/

2006-10-11 06:47:33
8.   jkay
'07 is Torre's swansong. He deserved the boot for botching the '06 playoffs. These days, Steinbrenner is more concerned with TV ratings and new stadiums.
2006-10-11 06:49:00
9.   Felix Heredia
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the "Torre is going to be fired" story originated with the Daily News, which didn't even describe the source of the information. Every subsequent report from every media outlet merely reported what the Daily News reported. Then the columnists gave their two cents.

Was Torre really that close to going? Swindal and Cashman supported him publicly before the Boss said anything. Is the Boss even still really running the show?

2006-10-11 06:55:56
10.   Shaun P
1 Well said, and well put.

2 I prefer to not try to make medicial diagnoses from afar, but I do think George isn't his old fire-breathing self. I'm willing to bet that Cashman and Steve Swindal are the real power in the organization now. I'm also willing to bet that the tabloids, and the remnants of the Tampa faction that were their sources for decades, are not happy with that, because that means they have no power. Hence, all the rumors and speculation of the last few days.

I never thought that Torre might need/want the job more than the Yanks might need/want him. I forget that ballplayers in the old days didn't exactly make millions in their careers. Does this mean Torre could actually stay on past '07? Presuming there are no major problems next season, which I'm sure his nemesises in the press will be happy to try to create.

2006-10-11 06:57:20
11.   Shaun P
9 Shorter form of 10 - I think you're right.
2006-10-11 06:58:01
12.   Sliced Bread
I don't think there's any question that Joe's job was in jeopardy.

On Monday Steinbrenner himself said "I haven't made up my mind yet."

George thought about it, got advice, cooled down, and decided to stick with Joe.

I don't think it was a media created event. Joe's job was in jeopardy after the Yanks fell.

2006-10-11 07:06:12
13.   Yankee Fan In Boston
9
i think that as soon as he was done feeding the tigers the scouting report on how to pitch to the greatest lineup of all time, curt schilling called up the daily news and planted the firing story.

(either that or rodriguez did both. when in doubt...)

2006-10-11 07:12:59
14.   Chyll Will
10 Assuming that Torre considers this his last season, and assuming that Pinella now realizes that his shot at being the manager is now closed and he takes a job somewhere else, does that mean Torre starts grooming his heir apparent this year? I couldn't possibly see him going into the next season with the coaching staff intact, at least on the bench and at first. For that matter, Kerrigan might be superflous at this point.
Mine and several others' observation was that Torre should have a bench coach who could contribute on a tactical basis in the likes of Zimmer, who had some considerable influence on his decision making during their run together, along with Mel.

Even if Torre were to stay a little longer, I would only see that occuring because there are in the opinion of the people that matter (Torre, Cashman and Swindal) no better-suited or groomed candidates available to take the reigns.

That's why I earlier proposed the Pinella-as-bench coach theory. Their personalities appear conflicting, but their competitive drive to win could theoretically supercede any conflict of interest, while also ingratiating Joe's possible successor to the old standby's and current and incoming newbies.

There's a substancial inherent risk in this, but then there is as much risk in bringing in anyone not named Mattingly, Pena, Bowa or even Willie. And even there, it's not likely to make people (even here) feel very sanguine. Such is baseball.

2006-10-11 07:13:26
15.   Dimelo
1 I agree 100%. Too many people are quick to blame someone than look at things rationally. I said as much in WasWatching yesterday -- a lot of the success the Yanks had during the championship years had to do with luck. Those teams were good, but I think the Yankees luck started to rear its ugly head when Mo threw the ball away in 2001.

Sometimes you just have to be lucky than good. I think that applies not only to baseball but in life. I remember thinking this when I was graduating from college and I saw some of my classmates getting jobs that they didn't deserve, but they were at the right place at the right time and good things happened to them. All you can do is keep putting yourself in the right situations and you'll eventually be as lucky.

I think the Red Sox philosophy for the playoff is the right one. Just get into the playoffs and anything can happen. Their motto isn't like the Yankees - "winning it all is all that matters". I'm starting to think that's the wrong approach. Just try and play as much crisp baseball during the regular season and understand that the playoffs are a crapshoot. Put yourself in the position to have good things happen and play fundamental baseball. I'm starting to see there's very little a team can control during a playoff series. A lot of strange things can happen.

Just think, what would happen if Boone and Flaherty didn't strikeout against Pavano in 2003 with a runner on 3rd? All the Yanks needed was a fly ball. How about ARod batting with Cairo on 3rd in the 2004 ALCS? All we needed was a fly ball. Or how about if Tony Clark's ground rule double had not gone into the stands, that would have plated another much needed run.

2006-10-11 07:15:47
16.   Shaun P
13 This mysterious phone call to Bonderman - anyone with video of the Yanks vs an URP could figure it out. Daniel Cabrera practically made a "How to shut down the Yanks' lineup" training video a couple weeks ago.
2006-10-11 07:18:32
17.   Shaun P
14 I have an aversion for all things Lou Piniella because, quite honestly, the man never met a young pitcher who didn't piss him off. He can't deal with young pitchers and the future of the Yanks' success lies in young pitchers. Just say no.

Now, if Girardi is really the tactician folks say he is, and Torre would listen to him . . . that would be a good fit. He at least seems to understand how to deal with young pitchers.

2006-10-11 07:19:53
18.   pistolpete
6 >> and keenly aware also of his own limitations and ignorance. >>

Well, at least he's aware of it.

2006-10-11 07:21:34
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
16
so... are you letting rodriguez off the hook on this one?
2006-10-11 07:21:41
20.   pistolpete
17 Girardi was on the bench in 2005 - we didn't exactly light the world on fire then either...
2006-10-11 07:25:31
21.   Harley
As for Madden? He's got George's number, literally, and probably called him before the last game was over. And was told in no uncertain terms that Torre was through. Madden ran with the scoop. But in the days that followed, cooler heads prevailed.
2006-10-11 07:28:32
22.   Peter
I somehow get the feeling that unless something drastic happens next year (like the Yankees finish third), Torre will be back in 2008 for the Stadium's last season.
2006-10-11 07:31:10
23.   RIYank
I fully expect a certain Karim Garcia to be the bench coach in 2007. Mark my words.
2006-10-11 07:34:42
24.   unpopster
did anyone hear Joe Morgan's comments on the Dan Patrick Show about the Tigers' "gameplan" in the ALDS and the lack of a "gameplan" by the Yanks?

Guys, I hate Morgan as much as the next guy. I can not stand listening to him when games are on ESPN, but OMG were his comments a devestating indictment of Torre.

Look, it's done with and Torre returns in '07. I guess, given the alternative of a Piniella-led Yankee team, I am happy about that. But it doesn't mean that we can't continue to question Torre's ineffectiveness over the last 3 postseasons.

Does anyone know where we can get a transcript of Morgan's comments? They are very damning!

I need to read it again. If someone here has ESON Insider, I think it might be available on the Dan Patrick Show page.

2006-10-11 07:35:11
25.   Chyll Will
21 Madden used to have a direct relationship with Steinbrenner when he was a beat reporter for the Yanks, but as he alluded to in an article sometime during the season, that relationship broke down and poor Madden found himself on th eoutside looking in. What is likely is that Madden still has the ear of long-time insiders, or at least someone from the Tampa faction with a similar disfavor for the way the stars have aligned, and conspired on a potential scoop. There's no law against reporting on potential events or speculation, but there are ethical standards implied that, to me, were ginored for the sake of nothing more or less than bottom-line economics and cutthroat competition.
2006-10-11 07:36:14
26.   Chyll Will
23 Hee-hee, stop that, that tickles!!!
2006-10-11 07:37:28
27.   Chyll Will
24 Who is Joe Morgan? (sigh)
2006-10-11 07:40:04
28.   RIYank
24 Speaking personally, I would never, ever question Torre's ineffectiveness.
2006-10-11 07:40:29
29.   Bama Yankee
23 Funny. He could also be used to fire up the bull pen when needed...
2006-10-11 07:43:08
30.   RIYank
29 See what I'm saying???
But don't use "fire" and "bullpen" in the same sentence.

26 What's that sound coming from the corner?

2006-10-11 07:43:34
31.   Shaun P
27 firejoemorgan.com

Great article on Moose there, BTW.

23 LOL!

20 No, but who says Torre actually listened to him?

2006-10-11 07:50:56
32.   Chyll Will
30 I dunno, I'm in the clubhouse now.

31 With all these fires going on, yah think George would feel a little better now.

2006-10-11 07:51:52
33.   pistolpete
31 Girardi's not settling for a bench coach position, IMO. Not sure why Maz swallowed his pride and came back, but I don't see Joe G. doing the same.
2006-10-11 08:03:41
34.   Jimmy Clark
Bill Madden (who saw Don Larsen's perfect game as a 5th grade assignement) pretty much told Mike Francesa on Sunday's "NFL Now" that Steinbrenner was as mad as he has ever seen him. I presume they have patched the lines of communication up. Madden was a little too certain Torre was gone but there are newspaper (Sunday issues especially) deadlines.
Joel Sherman in his excellent interview here on his "Making of a Dynasty" book (any more chance of getting more interviews with Sherman. Or even a sequel of "1997-2000" to rival the Venerable Bede?) says George often agrees with the last person he has talked to, even if it contradicts what he just said.
2006-10-11 08:04:29
35.   RIYank
Wow, firejoemorgan is awesome. I'd never seen it. I love the Eckstein suicide squeeze article.
2006-10-11 08:15:19
36.   Chyll Will
34 "Bill Madden (who saw Don Larsen's perfect game as a 5th grade assignement) pretty much told Mike Francesa on Sunday's "NFL Now" that Steinbrenner was as mad as he has ever seen him."

Did he actually say he spoke one-on-one with Steinbrenner? I don't actually see how the frame of references correlate, but unless he meant he spoke to him face-to-face, one could assume that he saw him on his way out the door to the Town Car; which is often reportedly how Steinbrenner conducts many his personal interviews with writers now.

2006-10-11 08:19:48
37.   Chyll Will
31 Access Denied. Dagnabbit! Stupid work computer-that's-actually-faster-than-my-home-computer-which-has-access-to-everything...
2006-10-11 08:27:08
38.   Chyll Will
33 Going back from the Baltimore Orials to New York?

That's kind of like what one comedian once said about welfare; he heard a lady saying 'ohhh, I could never swallow my pride and go on welfare...' "Swallow my pride?" he said, "Lady, I don't need to swallow my pride. I be swallowing steak, lobster..."

2006-10-11 08:29:09
39.   Chyll Will
38 Baltimore Orioles... just another way that Pater Angelos has really f@#%d up a decent situation...
2006-10-11 08:36:42
40.   Chyll Will
Yuh-duh dehdedededuh dah-duh-dah... okay, I'm going back in the clubhouse...

(cricket,cricket...)

2006-10-11 08:46:36
41.   DarrenF
Luck and short sample size play a big part in the playoffs. The difference this year is that the Yankees did not even go down swinging. That is why it felt sad rather than just disappointing.

I think it's time for Torre to go because he's bored with the regular season and even the playoffs. It shows in his managerial decisions and in the way the players approach the season and the playoffs.

I thought the decsions with Wang, Rivera, Sheffield, and ARod demonstrated that Torre did not take the ALDS seriously. Sheffield at first base seemed like an attempt to get in some fielding practice before the ALCS.

When you tell the world that you can pick your lineup out of a hat and that you won't need Mariano for more than one inning, you're setting yourself up for a fall.

2006-10-11 08:46:37
42.   dianagramr
1

Thank you Alex, for your skill as a writer, and for this forum.

Now, as far as Boss George goes ... I feel a teensy bit ashamed to admit I have him in my "Dead Pool" for this year. :-O He IS 76, but do we really know anything about his health issues aside from that fainting spell a few months ago?

2006-10-11 09:16:31
43.   C2Coke
1 I just wanted to second that as well. A lot of thanks to Alex and Cliff (I cannot believe Cliff is not back yet, at least, I hope he's having the best time for his honeymoon.)

It's funny how not many media outlets seem to be paying as much attention to the other NY team that is still working hard towards a WS ring like they are to all the rumors and stories of the Yankees.

2006-10-11 09:21:27
44.   Drake
Did anybody else read Jason Stark's article on ESPN.com: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2006/insider/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2620662&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1

I think every Yankee should read this and take a good, hard look in the mirror before next season.

2006-10-11 09:31:30
45.   3rd gen yankee fan
44 Drake -- tinyurl.com is your friend.
2006-10-11 09:36:12
46.   Chyll Will
44 http://tinyurl.com/gwa5w

and for more related statistical bliss, check with Mike's Baseball Rants

2006-10-11 09:36:15
47.   JL25and3
45 Our friend, too. That screws up the format...Will it help if we get to 51 posts and can hide the first group? If so, I'm doing my part to help.
2006-10-11 09:36:21
48.   RIYank
{44} Drake, why should they read that?
Stark has the good sense to label each section as 'useless information'.
2006-10-11 09:37:29
49.   weeping for brunnhilde
34 I just did a double-take when I saw your reference to Bede. I'm a medievalist and his is perhaps the last name I would ever have expected to pop up on a blog about baseball.

Nice job.

:)

2006-10-11 09:42:23
50.   Shaun P
44 tinyurl.com is your friend!

And if its not, makeashorterlink.com is.

Honestly, other than being interesting in a "useless info" kind of way, I think that article just enforces what so many of us have said: the current postseason is a crapshoot.

To put it another way: since the playoffs expanded to 4 teams in each league in '95, the team with the best record in MLB has won the Serious exactly once - 1998.

In the AL, the team with the best record has:
Won the Serious: 3 times out of 12 ('98, '99, '05)
Gotten to the Serious: 5 times out of 12 ('95, '98, '99, '03, '05)
Gotten to the ALCS: 8 times out of 12 ('95, '97, '98, '99, '01, '03, '04, '05)
Not advanced beyond the ALDS: 4 times out of 12 ('96, '00, '02, '06)

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-11 09:43:09
51.   Shaun P
47 Sadly, I believe we have to get to 60 posts first.
2006-10-11 09:46:03
52.   RIYank
I'll pitch in. I think the Venerable Bede would have wanted it that way.
2006-10-11 09:46:26
53.   RIYank
Someone make a good Venerable Bede joke.
2006-10-11 09:47:55
54.   JL25and3
51 No, this seems to be enough. "Show/Hide" can be your friend, too.
2006-10-11 09:49:12
55.   JL25and3
53 I wouldn't know where to start...with such a zany, madcap figure there are just too many humorous anecdotes to choose from.
2006-10-11 09:51:33
56.   RIYank
Did you know that 'VENERABLE BEDE' can be anagrammed to BABE, RED ELEVEN? This connects Ruth to Barry Larkin. The relation is, admittedly, rather esoteric.
2006-10-11 09:53:11
57.   pistolpete
44 'Useless' is right - just seems like fodder for the haters is all.

Early exits aside, to have a stretch run of division titles and playoff appearances such as they have is still nothing to sneeze at.

2006-10-11 09:55:41
58.   weeping for brunnhilde
55 56 You guys are killing me over here!
2006-10-11 09:55:43
59.   RIYank
Wait, I've cracked the code.
'BARRY LARKIN' anagrams to 'LIBRARY RANK', and everyone knows that three, the Babe's number, was the Venerable Bede's library rank at the, uh, monastic something library.
It's all revealed in The Game of the Rose, a well known gambling handbook by Umberto Eco.
2006-10-11 09:56:00
60.   Chyll Will
53 Would that have anything to do with Saint Twikki in the 25th Century?
2006-10-11 09:58:09
61.   RIYank
Good lord, what does it take to kill this thing????
2006-10-11 10:01:15
62.   Chyll Will
A clever Karim Garcia reference somewhere would help.
2006-10-11 10:02:56
63.   dianagramr
Ding dong the url is dead ...
2006-10-11 10:04:01
64.   Chyll Will
...and around 9 comments on ANYTHING else...
2006-10-11 10:06:07
65.   Chyll Will
63 Ironic timing.
2006-10-11 10:17:30
66.   Bama Yankee
53 Venerable Bede and Karim Garcia walked into a bar...
2006-10-11 10:26:02
67.   dianagramr
66

... and discovered Joe Morgan calling the Mets/Cardinals game on the TV ....

2006-10-11 10:30:20
68.   SF Yanks
NEW YORK YANKEES anagrmas to KEY: SNEAKY OWNER
2006-10-11 10:34:39
69.   Chyll Will
69 Who, Steve Swindal?
2006-10-11 10:37:16
70.   Chyll Will
67 ... and then Karim Garcia says to Venerable Bede...
2006-10-11 10:47:13
71.   RIYank
... "Who is Pedro Martinez?"
2006-10-11 10:48:37
72.   Chyll Will
70 multiple choice:

A.) "Did you actually attend classes or was "Doctor" an honorary title?

B.) "I hear they could usea man like Joe Morgan in Wearmouth..."

C.) "Anything red just really pisses me off..."

D.) "Who am I?"

2006-10-11 10:50:45
73.   Chyll Will
71 That was E.)
2006-10-11 10:51:03
74.   Bama Yankee
71 & 72 LOL ("Who am I?" is a classic, Chyll)
2006-10-11 10:52:24
75.   RIYank
72 (A) Is Karim mistaking Joe for Rex?

It's gonna be a loooooong off-season.

2006-10-11 10:53:55
76.   Bama Yankee
73 F.) "You know I'm famous over at Bronx Banter"
2006-10-11 10:55:43
77.   Chyll Will
75 Is the Space Pope reptillian?
2006-10-11 10:56:25
78.   Chyll Will
77 G.)
2006-10-11 10:59:50
79.   JL25and3
OK, I'll bring it back around, a little, with some comments to 46.

I often have problems with the analyses on Mike's Baseball Rants and other similar sites. I could comment there, but I'm not much interested in a conversation there; so you guys are the lucky ones.

It's a very precise analysis, but precise isn't necessarily the same as informative. First, if I read him correctly, he's correlating various predictors with the W-L% of series winners. But W-L% isn't a good measure of postseason success. Are we really interested in predicting whether a team wins 4-1 or 4-3? Or whether a team wins or loses the series?

SEcond - and this is true in many such analyses that I read - the whole concept of "statistical significance" seems to have gone out the window. The highest correlation he reports, .28, is almost certainly not significant; that means it's indistinguishable from random variation. There are no degrees of insignificance, and you can't analyze differences between those correlations as if they're meaningful.

I know that's a lot of pedantry. But it bothers me that so much analysis is presented as informative when it is, in fact, meaninglyss.

the whole concept of "statistical significance" seems to have gone out the window.

2006-10-11 11:01:17
80.   JL25and3
AArgh. That's what I get for not previewing.
2006-10-11 11:06:56
81.   jayd
Our illustrious history:

http://blog.nbx.com/2006/10/ny_yankees_liar.html

2006-10-11 11:12:31
82.   Chyll Will
79 I know; "related statistical bliss" was sarcasm, I should have put that in quotes.
2006-10-11 11:20:06
83.   JL25and3
82 Phew. I'm glad I'm not alone.
2006-10-11 11:27:31
84.   Chyll Will
83 Whoa... JL; dude, crack a window will ya? >;)
2006-10-11 11:33:16
85.   Chyll Will
84 (Bobcat Goldthwait; 'Space Ghost Coast 2 Coast', season 1 episiode 4)
2006-10-11 11:36:01
86.   pistolpete
BTW, does anyone else have "Holy Diver" by Dio stuck in their head now because of the title of this post? Argh, I've been humming it all day long...

Great quote over at 'Bleeding Pinstripes', btw, in regards to the premature ending of our season - didn't know if anyone saw it:

"The Yankees and their fans are never eliminated as an afterthought. They are always taken down in a public execution. They are led to the gallows to the raucous cheers of the gathered crowds. They are read the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors against them, and they are always the same. Their misdemeanor? Gluttony. Their high crime? Nobility. And then they are very publicly hanged while the throngs roar with approval. The masses will not be denied their opportunity to watch the mighty fall. And that's okay. It's part of what we Yankee fans sign up for. Some of us make a choice. Some of us are born into it. But all of us wouldn't trade it for the world."

2006-10-11 11:43:13
87.   Chyll Will
86 Well, you sunk my battleship. I was thinking more of Pete Rock's Soul Survivor instead of that episode of South Park where they were mocking home-schooled kids... was that the one?
2006-10-11 11:43:42
88.   dianagramr
86

The "supergroup" ASIA had a song called "Sole Survivor" back in the mid 80s.

That's the song that has been stuck in MY head.

2006-10-11 11:45:13
89.   Chyll Will
87 " C'mon down to Banter, gonna have ourselves a time..."
2006-10-11 11:45:26
90.   Shaun P
86 I didn't before, but I do now. Alex's titles usually reference hip-hop, not Dio, though nothing would surprise me.

81 Just because yankees.com glosses over the early days doesn't mean everyone does. Glenn Stout's history of the team, IIRC, gets into detail about Big Bill Deveny and the 'illustrious' beginnings of the team. At least I know I've read the story about the origin of the interlocking NY somewhere else before . . .

2006-10-11 11:47:27
91.   Shaun P
89 Who said it was going to be a long offseason? They were right.
2006-10-11 11:48:57
92.   Chyll Will
81 Fartface from Once Upon A Time In America, except IMAXed.
2006-10-11 11:52:22
93.   pistolpete
90 You actually won't find the words 'sole survivor' on any official lyrics sheet - it's more of a throw away line to rhyme with the chorus as the song fades out. But considering the song recently popped up in my Party Shuffle, that's what I associated it with..
2006-10-11 11:53:34
94.   3rd gen yankee fan
81 Wow. That was cool. The logo's always annoyed me, pain to draw due to the imbalance in its curves.

86 No I was thinking Sole Survivor by Asia.

2006-10-11 11:54:39
95.   Chyll Will
91 Aw, c'mon... If you'd rather conspire to run A-Rod and Torre out of town, I'll go back inside the clubhouse.
2006-10-11 12:01:08
96.   JL25and3
86, 87, 88 I hadn't looked too carefully at the title until I read that first post about it. When I did, I got an entirely different tune stuck in my head - "Expressway to Your Heart," by The Soul Survivors.
2006-10-11 12:05:03
97.   pistolpete
81 I'm sure Devery got away with using the logo because the copyright laws back then couldn't have been as stringent as they are now.

As well, I'm sure the original artist didn't even bother to copyright the emblem. If it's not copyrighted, it's fair game. Seems like Cleary is stretching his history a bit to paint the Yankees in a bad light. Just because one of the original owners had a bit of a shady past doesn't mean the organization as a whole was corrupt.

On a side note, "Gangs of New York" was a fantastic movie - I'll stop on it every time it comes on AMC...

2006-10-11 12:10:32
98.   Chyll Will
Bad news folks, there was a small plane crash in a high-rise in Manhattan (e72nd)...
2006-10-11 12:21:10
99.   Start Spreading the News
79 I was assuming that he did a logistical regression. If so, the values he gave were measures of the parameter's (aka regressor) contribution.

So .28 would be measure of impact that winning % has on the likelihood of winning a series. Now whether this measure is significant or not can be assessed by doing additional analyses like a Wald test.

The author could have printed out the results of that if he used SPSS since it done automatically for each regressor.

So I may be wrong, but I don't think you can say that .28 is random until you see the additional analysis. It could have been significant after all.

2006-10-11 12:21:17
100.   The Mick 536
What does anyone have to say about Murray's article blaming Moose for the failure to win? 7-8 in the post season.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-11 12:26:51
101.   Peter
Speaking of the early Yanks and a thuggish past, I found this picture a while back: http://tinyurl.com/hrnko
It's the official team photo of the 1910 Highlanders. I wouldn't want to run into them in a dark alley.
2006-10-11 12:29:38
102.   Yankee Fan In Boston
101
yeah.

they would've made paul o'neil look like richard simmons.

2006-10-11 12:34:55
103.   pistolpete
101 Seems like every photo I've seen from that era makes everyone look like a hardened steel worker. We're all little sissy boys by comparison.

I can only imagine what photos 100 years from now will look like...

BTW, the plane incident is in midtown, around 70th street. Looks like an accident (although that's what we heard on 9/11 as well), but be advised if you're traveling anywhere nearby.

2006-10-11 12:36:03
104.   JL25and3
99 OK, that makes sense. Thanks. It would be nice if he'd give some indication of which results were significant; that's much more relevant than the raw numbers.

I'm still not sure what the outcome measure is. First it sounds like he's using the playoff winning % of the team that wins the series, which would be an odd choice - but an relatively easy one to run stats on. But it's not very clear

2006-10-11 12:37:32
105.   RIYank
102 So you're saying they look like a bunch of very talented make-up artists?

On the serious note: 98 Latest report says crash 'does not appear' to be linked to terrorism.

2006-10-11 12:39:19
106.   JL25and3
100 Murray Chass is an idiot. That column wasn't even as bad as the one he wrote a few days ago - that when the Yankees win the first game of an ALDS, they're more likely to lose the series. It doesn't hold for the ALCS or the World Series, mind you - just the ALDS.
2006-10-11 12:47:08
107.   RIYank
Huh, I wonder why that is? (Losing the first game of ALDS makes them more likely to lose.)

It must be that this is a team that is not built to win division series after losing the first game. Now, what's it going to take to change that? More guys who hit to the opposite field? Expert bunters? Or, much more likely, players (like Cano) who bat L and field R? In any case, the first step is to trade A-Rod. I mean, fire Torre.

2006-10-11 12:55:46
108.   Shaun P
100 I agree whole-heartedly with the writers of firejormorgan.com on that one:

http://tinyurl.com/el2bf

101 Checking out the numbers for some of those guys on baseball-reference.com - wow. One of the pitchers gave up Babe Ruth's first MLB home run a few years later. Another died in 1982.

2006-10-11 13:03:02
109.   Start Spreading the News
104 I would think he is look at the likelihood of a team winning a series. The regressors would be ERA, BA, OBP, SLUG and OPS.

That's my best guess. Re-reading what he wrote, I am now more confused with what he did. How he set up the regression equation is crucial -- assuming he did regression analysis.

The guy writes for BP. So I assume he has a good grasp on stats. His explanation on the blog is lacking though. Maybe his writeup in BP will be more clear.

Let's go, anyone-but-the-Mets!!!

2006-10-11 13:06:26
110.   JL25and3
109 I have nothing against the Mets, but I definitely root against the Cards. I really don't like Tony LaRussa - but more important, I've never forgiven them for 1964.
2006-10-11 13:11:14
111.   Start Spreading the News
110 I have too many Mets friends who have been crowing about the Yanks.
2006-10-11 13:17:27
112.   Shaun P
110 I'm curious JL - why you don't like LaRussa? Feel free to say, "Its like my Sheffield hatred" and I'll leave it at that.

My own opinion of TLR went way down after what he said about Edmonds this year.

2006-10-11 13:18:51
113.   pistolpete
111 Same here, and a 10 minute sample of the Steve Somers show on WFAN last night had Mets fans lined up to join the gloat-fest.

Mets fans would pretty much root against us no matter WHO our playoff opponent might be (the one exception MIGHT have been 1996, when we had Gooden and Straw), so I feel obliged to do the same.

2006-10-11 13:42:05
114.   she
WCBS radio is reporting that the plane that struck the building this afternoon is registered to Cory Lidle. I kid you not.
2006-10-11 13:42:31
115.   domvjr
Off the topic somewhat, but the news reports indicate, that the plane that crashed into that high rise, is possibly owned by Cory Lidle. There are no indications that he was piloting the aircraft.
2006-10-11 13:43:53
116.   Start Spreading the News
I am at work 5 blocks from the burning building. Things are calm here. But the streets are all blocked off.

Cory Lidle's plane!!! Holy F___ s___ !!!!

2006-10-11 13:45:27
117.   SF Yanks
They are now saying that he was piloting the plane
2006-10-11 13:45:56
118.   Alex Belth
I just heard that about Lidle too. Oh man is that ever bizzare.
2006-10-11 13:45:58
119.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i guess he didn't like the idea of free agency.

(too soon?)

2006-10-11 13:46:20
120.   JL25and3
112 No, Sheffield's in a separate class from anyone else. It's a whole different thing, with a very specific basis.

I think LaRussa overmanages in the extreme. But it gets him hailed as a genius, and I've always had the feeling that he fosters that image. A lot of his moves look to me like they're more in the service of his genius than of the game. Three pitching changes in an inning make for the dullest possible brand of baseball, and I don't believe it really helps much. He overuses bunts and other "productive out" strategies - and gets more praise for the "aggressive" style of play.

2006-10-11 13:46:27
121.   Yankee Fan In Boston
wait... seriously?
2006-10-11 13:48:58
122.   randym77
Seriously. WFAN is reporting Lidle is dead.
2006-10-11 13:48:58
123.   JL25and3
Wow. Cory Lidle.

OK, super-grim humor alert...that'll give George the headlines over the Mets for the next few days...

2006-10-11 13:48:59
124.   Start Spreading the News
119 way too soon
2006-10-11 13:49:53
125.   Yankee Fan In Boston
124 yeah. sorry. that sucks. i suck.
2006-10-11 13:50:04
126.   she
The Associated Press is saying that a member of the Yankees organization was on the plane.
2006-10-11 13:51:56
127.   SF Yanks
I take back everything I ever said about Mr. Lidle.
2006-10-11 13:52:25
128.   JL25and3
125 Me too. Sorry.
2006-10-11 13:52:47
129.   randym77
I've been following the plane crash story all afternoon via the Internet. I came home, turned on CNN, and they have banner across the bottom of the screen:

"Plane registered to Yankees' Cory Lidle."

It was just so bizarre I couldn't take it in at first. Like two worlds that aren't supposed to intersect. I thought for a moment that I was so obsessed with baseball that I was seeing things. But no...Torre has given a statement to the press, describing the plane.

2006-10-11 13:52:50
130.   Yankee Fan In Boston
cnn is crediting torre with a quote saying it was lidle's plane.

how does he know that?

2006-10-11 13:53:51
131.   JL25and3
Lidle's passport apparently found on the street.
2006-10-11 13:53:57
132.   Travis
The Times just wrote about Lidle's flying exploits a month ago, too:

http://tinyurl.com/fldgu

2006-10-11 13:55:27
133.   randym77
Torre told them what kind of plane Lidle had. I guess he knew. Maybe he had to clear the flying with the club?

They are saying the plane left NJ with Lidle and a flying instructor on board.

2006-10-11 13:56:44
134.   she
Alex has a new thread up on Lidle.
2006-10-11 13:57:07
135.   Start Spreading the News
125 no big deal. Big news often takes a little time to sink in.

I am currently looking out my window towards the building a few blocks away. At first, I walked outside with all sorts of worries. I saw the building and saw the smoke. It didn't seem so bad. So my flashbacks of 9/11 subsided. I watched the fire engines go by and then I went back to work.

Things were slowly going back to normal here. The streets are blocked off with news crews everywhere. But now that I know who died in the crash, the silence seems very eerie.

A bad day for New York and the Yankees. They are saying he was in the plane by himself. Three people in the apartment died.

2006-10-11 13:57:20
136.   Bama Yankee
This is unbelievable. Out thoughts and prayers should go out to the Lidle family.

125 We'll give you a mulligan on that one...

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