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Your Mostly Arbitrary Guide to The AL All-Star Ballot
2007-06-13 09:52
by Emma Span
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It’s that time of year again. The season is more than a third over, the parks are crowded with sunbathers, the days are long, Roger Clemens is back in his firmament, and the smell of garbage has begun to drown out the smell of urine over on 7th Ave. Yes, it’s time to begin complaining about the All-Star game.

 

Every year intelligent fans lament the fact that fame and market size and RBIs often seem to go farther than meaningful stats or real talent when the All-Stars are elected, and that being sent to the game is not a genuine mark of excellence so much as a popularity contest. Well, yes. In fact it’s the very definition of a popularity contest. And how many legitimate electoral processes do you know of where you’re allowed to vote 15 times per email address?

There’s nothing to do but embrace the randomness: the All-Star game is best appreciated as a frivolous entertainment, not a meaningful measure of excellence. And in fact, because some people really will vote 45 times in this thing, and I’m assuming that most of you have more pressing draws on your time, your vote doesn’t count all that much anyway. So I say forget average, OBP, SLG, and HRs, to say nothing of VORP, WARP, and RATE. Logic has no place in this vote; attempts to impose it will only leave you frustrated and distraught. On that note, I present my personal 2007 AL All-Star ballot:

 

 


1B: David Ortiz
Why: Not because he’s the best first basemen in the AL – hell, he doesn’t even play first base. Nor because he's the only baseball player I’ve ever had disconcerting recurring dreams about (winter of ’04-’05). No, because of this :on May 4th, when the Mariners’ Yuniesky Betancourt tagged Ortiz out between first and second, Big Papi enfolded the guy in a big bear hug. I suspect some of you may disagree, but for my money, there’s just not enough hugging in baseball.
Alternate choice: Travis Hafner, who because he plays in Cleveland, does not get nearly the love he deserves for his awesome nickname, Pronk (a mashup of Project and Donkey), or his candy bar. Or, you know, for his hitting. Whichever. The fact that he’s having an off-year is of no concern to me under the guidelines I just made up ten minutes ago.

I should point out here that although Casey Kotchman is having a very good season, I will never, under any circumstances, vote for a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim player. Mark Texiera’s really good too, but he’s on the DL and, as far as I can tell, kinda boring.

2B: Placido Polanco
Why: He’s actually having a great season, but that’s not why I’m voting for him. He was one of the first players during last year’s playoffs to wear one of those incredibly dorky-looking head socks in an attempt to keep warm. Eventually other guys on several teams followed, but at first it was just him, and he looked absolutely ridiculous; I admire his apparent lack of self-consciousness or embarrassment. Plus, awesome name.
Alternate: Aaron Hill, just for stealing home a few weeks back. Admit it, if it hadn’t been off the Yanks, you would have thought it was awesome. And Brian Roberts, who may only have a few enjoyable years left before creeping Orioles Malaise steals him from us in his prime, as it took Miguel Tejada. Plus anyone who grostesquely mangles his elbow in a collision with Bubba Crosby, of all people, is due for a break.

3B: Brandon Inge. Just kidding! Alex Rodriguez.
Why: HA!
Alternate: Akinori Iwamura’s hit very well when not injured, and has a kind of funny blog up at mlb.com. Of course these things are always “as told to,” but here’s a sample:

“I'm looking forward to becoming a father. Right now we just have a toy poodle named Nuts. I think it will be interesting to see how Nuts reacts to having a baby around the house.”

He just sat out a few days because a bouncing ball hit him square in the eyeball and caused his actual eyeball to fill with blood and ewwwwww. Sympathy vote.

SS: I really don’t want to pick Jeter. It's so unoriginal. There must be someone else who grabs my attention here. How about… uh… well, there’s… oh, fuck it. Jeter.
Why: Because Miguel Tejada stopped being fun to watch a couple of years ago.
Alternate: Tony Pena, Jr.… what? His dad seems like a nice guy. Actually, Jhonny Peralta’s really good, with a lot of power for a shortstop, but the spelling of his first name is inexcusable. Also, I kept feeling like there was some reason I didn’t like Carlos Guillen, but I couldn’t figure out what it was; then I realized I was confusing him with Jose Guillen, who’s kind of a jerk. So my initial aversion to Carlos was totally unjustified, and now I might actually end up voting for him, because I feel bad about that.

C: Joe Mauer
Why: Joe Mauer Sideburn Night, that’s why. The Twins are awesome. Plus, he got robbed of the MVP last year, arguably even more than Jeter.
Alternate: If you want the truth, I was totally going to put Jorge Posada here, but felt having three Yankees in a row went against the spirit of the exercise. Also, I never remember that Victor Martinez is this good. Man, next time you start to complain about media bias towards the Red Sox or something, think how infuriated you’d be watching Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez kick ass year in and year out, only to get mentioned on SportsCenter three times all season.

OF #1: Ichiro.
Why: Now officially the best quote in all of baseball. He had me from "I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger." The man claims he wants to become a pitcher and learn a knuckleball at age 40 -- he gets points in my book just for thinking of that.
OF #2: J.D. Drew
Why: Just to piss off Red Sox fans.
OF #3: Tie. The outfield is tough.
-Melky Cabrera: Is Melky one of the three best outfielders in the AL? Of course not. Is he one of the best 10? No. 20? Uh, probably not. You’d actually have to write him in. Sure is fun to watch though.
-Vlad Guerrero: He’s fun to watch too. And like 35 times better at hitting. I can’t violate my no-Angels rule... but you can.

-Magglio Ordonez: All last fall his hairstyle made me think a pregnant chinchilla had crawled under his helmet and died sometime in July, but I respect the assertion of individuality.
-Gary Sheffield: Y’all think you know what he’s going to do, but you don’t. Nobody knows. That’s the mystique of Sheff.

OPTIONAL WRITE IN: Mariano Rivera, OF.
Why?!?!: Every profile I read about Rivera seems to mention how all his teammates think he’d make a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder; and if you’ve ever watched the guy shag flies, they may be right. This is actually a terrible idea -- imagine if he ran into the wall and hurt his shoulder or something. There would be rioting in the streets. But since Mo-in-the-outfield will never, ever actually happen, those concerns should not stop you from voting for him.

Phew! It turns out picking All-Stars for no good reason is more time-consuming that I would have thought. If you're in a rush, I recommend using the Japanese ballot and simply selecting the coolest-looking translated names. Rondell White, it's your lucky day.

So... who are you voting for?

 

Comments (278)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-13 10:39:26
1.   Josh Wilker
Great post. Very enjoyable. I'll get my one highly biased (non-Yankee fan) all-star thought out of the way quick. It's one word, actually, or not really a word but a sound: Yoooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuk. (He's not even on the ballot, the first baseman listed for his team the non-first baseman/designated hugger mentioned above.)
2007-06-13 10:55:54
2.   weeping for brunnhilde
Perhaps if this Adam Dunn's a hugger, I can forgive his prodigious strikeout rate.

Aesthetics, right?

;)

2007-06-13 11:05:20
3.   rbj
What, no Miguel Cairo? He's playing firstbase and the Yankees are at .500, coincidence? I think not.
2007-06-13 11:06:45
4.   Schteeve
If Posada and A-Rod don't start the All Star Game, I will continue to ignore the All Star Game. But I wil feel even more assured that I am doing the right thing.
2007-06-13 11:13:03
5.   RIYank
With Jhonny Peralta at SS and Chone Figgins at 3rd, we have the beginning of the Inexcusable Spelling Team. May as well slide Mientkiewicz in at 1st. Pierzynski can catch. Hmmm.
2007-06-13 11:20:45
6.   Shaun P
4 A-Rod will start. Posada will probably get shafted for I-Rod, again, even though I-Rod is having a crappy season (3 BB vs 34 K, you GO I-Rod!), and Posada is having a season for the ages.

Nuts. I hate popularity contests.

2007-06-13 11:21:54
7.   Shaun P
5 Grudzielanek at second!
2007-06-13 11:23:52
8.   monkeypants
Haven't paid attention to the All-Star game in years; don't even rememberthe last time I watched. I am intrigued by the "it's a poularity contest so just enjoy the silly ride" approach, except for that little thing about "now it counts" and home field in the WS being tied to the outcome of this silly exercise in popularity. Or have they stopped doing that? I really haven't paid attention in a long time.
2007-06-13 11:28:48
9.   RIYank
7 Yes! So that's the infield. Now OFs and a pitcher or two?
2007-06-13 11:31:24
10.   williamnyy23
It looks like I am in the minority here, but I LOVE the All Star Game (taking things to the extreme, I have every ASG since 1973 on VHS or DVD). Having the opportunity to watch most of the game's best players on the field at one time (and watching all of the different uniforms blended together) has always made the game enjoyable to me.
2007-06-13 11:32:32
11.   Emma Span
1 You're right of course, and I trust Boston fans will have the decency to mount a legitimate write-in campaign. I have to admit, I do like watching Youk this year... I wish someone would talk to him about the beard, but even so.

5, 7 Excellent call.

2007-06-13 11:33:29
12.   Chyll Will
5,7 Kent Hrbek would have eaten their names.
2007-06-13 11:37:23
13.   AbbyNormal821
5 - I should not have read your post whilst eating Saltines...LOL!
2007-06-13 11:39:58
14.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oooh, here's a delicious one from Ichiro:

"Explaining why he missed catching a fly ball: "The ball became the same color as the sky. So, I wasn't able to see it ... I was sending mental signals for the ball not to come my way, because during that time of day it's impossible for me to see the ball so I lacked mental signals. I lacked in that area. Usually, I don't send mental signals. So, because this is the first time, I thought, please don't come my way.""

2007-06-13 11:41:02
15.   Rob Middletown CT
Emma's right about not worrying and learning to love the stupidity, but this is the sort of thing I have trouble ever getting through my head.

For the same reason that last year's MVP vote still pisses me off, it will irritate me if underserving players are all-stars while deserving players sit home. Youkilis, for instance, is a good example of a guy who should go. He actually plays 1B, and is playing it very, very well. The bastard.

ARod, Posada and Jeter should go. Guillen is pretty good too (and shockingly, have a look at the VORP leaders and note Orlando Cabrera's rank among AL SS's. WTF?) and I wouldn't be terrible upset if Jeter didn't get picked. I think that does it for the Yanks, though. Nobody else is worthy.

2007-06-13 11:49:34
16.   RIYank
More Inexecusable All-Stars:

Podsednik.
Torii Hunter.

Wil Nieves as BUC.

2007-06-13 11:52:55
17.   JL25and3
I stopped giving a crap about the ASG at the moment I saw Pete Rose bust up Ray Fosse in 1970. I mean, I know that's supposed to be a symbol of how great it was back in the day when players really cared about it. But I remember watching it and thinking, Wow, that was a really...stupid and pointless and kind of mean thing to do in an exhibition game.

I never watch it anymore, never pay attention to the voting. In fact, I really dislike the game, because it's three days in the middle of the season without real baseball. But I do get amused each year at the outrage, same as I do with the MVP.

2007-06-13 12:00:30
18.   monkeypants
18 That's why I wasn't all that bothered by the supposedly shameful tie a few years ago, which led to the idiotic "this year it counts" solution. The managers for years were encouraged--at least tacitly--to get as many players nvolved as possible, and since Kruk batted wrong-handed against RJ (if not before) no one really believed that the players took the game too seriously. So what if there was a tie? There are ties in pre-season (that is, exhibition) baseball. Frankly, I wouldn't mind if they imposed a rule mandating that the ASG can only be 9 or 10 innings long no matter the score, and let the managers trot out the players accordingly.

But no, somehow a tie game in an exhibition was scandalous, so the WS homefield had to be tied to the outcome of the silly contest--a stupid solution to a non-problem.

2007-06-13 12:04:50
19.   JL25and3
15 No offense intended, but that's a mild version of the outrage that amuses me.

Undeserving? We don't even know what an "All-Star" is. Is it based on this year, last year, career, or who's the best player? Any of those are justifiable, though I actually think basing it on this year alone - two months - is the least appropriate.

Of course it's a popularity contest, as Emma says. Put Cal Ripken's name on the ballot and he'd probably win.

The one thing I think is important is that they continue to insist that every team be represented. Back in the mid-to-late 60s, it really mattered to me that Mel Stottlemyre was on the All-Star team. In fact, my major interest in the game was to hope that he acquited himself decently. Well, somewhere out there is a 10-year-old Royals fan who really cares about having Mark Teahen or Gil "Ga" Meche at the ASG. And if the game's not for that kid, I don't know who it's for.

2007-06-13 12:07:34
20.   williamnyy23
18 I don't see why using the ASG to determine homefield is a stupid solution, especially when there really isn't a good solution in the first place. I know that I've watched the last few ASGs with a much greater rooting interest. For some reason, people increasingly feel the need to denigrate the ASG, but it remains the best of its kind in sports and still produces memorable moments.
2007-06-13 12:16:46
21.   Chyll Will
17 I think the moment I stopped giving a crap was when Bo Jackson crushed the first pitch he saw from Rick "Big Daddy" Reuschel (and he was leading off)... the announcers were so in love with Reuschel right up to that very moment; every other word out of their mouth was "Big Daddy, Big Daddy" (and for the record, the only person that deserved to be called that was Big Daddy Kane)

(sigh) Bo... what could have been...

2007-06-13 12:17:48
22.   monkeypants
20 But there are good solutions to the WS home field advantage. You could alternate (like they used to)--arbitary but clear cut. You could use record. With interleague play you could use a series of tie breakers: head-to-head, record v. common opponent, interleague winning %, etc. You could even get crazy and creative: the first six games are split 3 and 3, and homefield in the seventh game (if needed) is determined by a tie-breaker from the first six games (runs scored, or run differential, etc--this might make the first few games even more exciting as teams getting blown out might try harder to manage the damage).

But to tie home filed advantage of the championship series to 1] and exhibition game, 2] with rosters determined by fan vote (except pitchers), 3] based on a vague combination of popularity and acheivement in the first half of the season, 4] with managers chosen on their success in the previous year strikes me as grossly unfair.

I wonder how long it will be before a bunch of smartass Yankees fans (for example) start voting for lousy NL players to increase the chances that the AL wins, on the hope that the Yanks go to the series?

2007-06-13 12:18:25
23.   weeping for brunnhilde
I never really liked the ASG, even when I was a kid. I think I found it overwhelming and a bit boring to see such a stacked, powerhouse lineup.

I won't go so far as to say it's like WWF (really, I know it's not), but still, it's always seemed a bit sideshow-ish to me.

Too much power up and down the lineup, too gaudy, too something.

I guess it's just a matter of taste...

2007-06-13 12:19:22
24.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, and I hate the homerun derby.

That's definitely WWF.

Why not have a bunting contest?

I'm serious.

2007-06-13 12:21:04
25.   monkeypants
20 That said, the ASG is the best of its kind, I think, because of the inherent nature of baseball: it's essentially an individual sport wrapped up in a team format. Pitchers in general want to get hitters out, and hitters in general want to get on base. So the natural tendency is for the game to play more or less like a regular game (there is less need for "no blitz" rules or the like to protect the players). This doesn't stop John Kruk from batting the wrong way against Randy Johnson, though.
2007-06-13 12:31:41
26.   Shaun P
24 That's my favorite part of the ASB festivities - the Home Run Derby! Even if ESPN has ruined it over the years (too much "Back Back Back Back - we got it already dude" Berman and Joe Morgan. Ugh.

My second favorite part of the ASB is the Future's Game. Then the introductions of all the All-Stars, and then the Celebrity Softball Game.

The All-Star game itself is pretty far down the list.

I don't think many people would buy tickets to see a bunting derby, weeping. Especially when the best bunters might be a bunch of pitchers.

2007-06-13 12:32:35
27.   williamnyy23
22 Again, all of the ideas you posed are just as questionable as using the ASG. The random approach of alternating between leagues is certainly no better. Using over all record dismisses the differences between leagues. Deciding Game 7 at the last minute would be a nightmare logistically and alter teams strategic decisions (e.g., sending a pitcher on to the next city). The list could go on and on. Because no system would be "fair", I kind of like the idea of placing some stakes on the All Star Game, regardless of how the players are chosen and how seriously they take the game.
2007-06-13 12:37:31
28.   weeping for brunnhilde
26 No, Shaun, they wouldn't, sad to admit.

:(

But honestly, what's more beautiful than watching that ball roll elegantly down the line, stubbornly refusing to cross it?

Or when the batter finds that Bermuda Triangle in the infield, as if by magic and winds up safely on first base without even a throw being made.

That's art, man.

2007-06-13 12:40:01
29.   monkeypants
27 Come on, though--all of the solutions I posit at least involve real games played by the players who are directly affected by the World Series. Allowing the championship home field to be decided by an exhibition game--which may potentially (though this would be unlikely) be played by rosters with not a single a player from the WS team--is in my opinion absurd.
2007-06-13 12:40:06
30.   Shaun P
16 Isringhausen to close? His name is easy to spell, but the team needs a closer, right?

Gorzelanny in the rotation. Oh, and Dice-K.

2007-06-13 12:41:54
31.   Shaun P
28 I don't know. Watching McGwire blast homers onto the Massachuetts Turnpike in '99 was pretty frickin' incredible, and elegant art in its own way.

Not as subtle as a bunt, though.

2007-06-13 12:43:10
32.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i stuffed the ballot box at 2 games this season, and i wrote mr. youkilis' name in each and every time.

emma, i recommend carl crawford for your OF pick. he's not an angel, and he's a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

2007-06-13 12:45:56
33.   JL25and3
As someone named John, I find Jhonny Peralta's name unacceptable in a way that none of those others are. They're just foreign names that look kind of funny in English; Jhonny is a crime against humanity. It's like Micheal.
2007-06-13 12:46:53
34.   Peter
Do they still use the USA vs the World setup for the home run derby? I haven't watched it for a couple of years, but that really bothered me for some reason.

I'm also in the camp which says WS home field advantage should go back to the way they used to do it.

2007-06-13 12:50:40
35.   weeping for brunnhilde
31 You know what, you're right. I must confess, watching Alex's homeruns has given me a new appreciation for the art. His swing is just so beautiful.

Hmmm...maybe it's that once the ball is in the air, I lose interest and that the swing is what gets me off.

But that's not entirely true, because I remember how thrilling I found Mattingly's upper deck jobs, with that lightning swing of his.

Ok, ok, I admit it!

There's room enough in this game for bunts, linedrives up the middle, and even homeruns!

There, I said it.

2007-06-13 12:57:29
36.   williamnyy23
29 Just because they involve direct participants doesn't necessarily make them fair. Also, I believe MLB needs to have the 7th game decided at least somewhat in advance of the October. That's pretty much why the alternating/random approach was used. My basic argument is: If your only other option is alternating, then why not add a little juice to the All Star Game? Higher ratings means more $$$, while no team is really put at a disadvantage because the other methods used to determine homefield aren't merit-based anyway.

32 Youk is having a nice season, but I am not sure why so many are advancing his cause. Sure, he is having a good season, but guys like Hafner and Ortiz are much better hitters and much more attractive names. It is, after all, the All Star Game, not the best first half of 2007 awards.

Also, for those who argue Hafner and Ortiz haven't played 1B, how does that jive with the general feeling here that any "bat" can be placed at 1B.

2007-06-13 13:02:12
37.   Yankee Fan In Boston
36 youkilis is also good in the field. unlike hafner and ortiz. i like watching him, so i voted for him. i doubt he'll win anyway, but i wanted to vote for someone who actually played the position.
2007-06-13 13:07:08
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
36 i just saw your concluding thought... i think anyone who's been upset with phelps' defense this season would want someone who can field at worst an average 1B.
2007-06-13 13:23:18
39.   JL25and3
36 Because if a game has no intrinsic meaning, adding "juice" to it is just a pretense. It's still just an exhibition, and not even really baseball. The players and managers don't really care about the home-field advantage, so why should anyone else?
2007-06-13 13:31:12
40.   williamnyy23
39Who says the game doesn't have intrinsic meaning? By it's very nature, the ASG is an entertaining showcase that puts most of the games best players on one field. I would think that would have "intrinsic value" to most baseball fans. I also think it's presumptuous to state that the players and managers don't care, but if they didn't, I can easily understand why the fan of a team in contention would. When Michael Young got the game winner, he may not have cared, but I sure did.
2007-06-13 13:32:42
41.   williamnyy23
40 Its very nature...not it's very nature!!
2007-06-13 13:36:06
42.   mehmattski
If the All-Star Game has no value, don't tell it to Hank Blaylock, whose 2003 game winning homer off of then-invincible Eric Gagne has carried him for years. I've even heard Yankee fans talking about ditching A-Rod for a guy with a career OPS+ of... 100. His hype is almost certainly based on that one at bat four years ago.
2007-06-13 13:42:42
43.   Chyll Will
30 Shaun! This just in from The Griddle:

Re: Toronto - "The mellifuously named Lee Gronkiewicz, a righthanded reliever, was recalled from AA New Hampshire."

He's just made The List.

By the way, Sal Falsalarmo was just DFA'd by said Blue Jays, if anyone has absolutely anything to say about it... >;)

2007-06-13 13:46:00
44.   Yankee Fan In Boston
ken rosenthal says that michael barrett will likely not be resigned by the cubs this offseason (he and the pitching staff have some issues).

http://tinyurl.com/2vnw7j

how'd everyone here feel about grabbing him?

he's 6 years younger than posada.

it'd allow jorge to DH a bunch and extend his productivity even further.

i haven't looked at any numbers, but i know he can hit.

he wouldn't likely want to share catching duties, but i can daydream, can't i?

2007-06-13 13:47:14
45.   Yankee Fan In Boston
43 oooh... the fasano era begins again... speaking of daydreams...
2007-06-13 13:55:35
46.   mehmattski
44 That's assuming Posada re-signs ith the Yankees:

http://tinyurl.com/287o54

Says Jorge:

"I'll treat every team the same. That's what free agency is. It's my first time as a free agent."

I think the BUC argument is moot when the starting catcher argument has to finish first...

The Yankees without Jorge in 2008? Shudder...

2007-06-13 13:56:44
47.   Yankee Fan In Boston
46 talk about a buzzkill... that stung.
2007-06-13 14:00:46
48.   Emma Span
32 You're right, Crawford's a good pick. He'd be a star playing almost anywhere else.

44 I was just wondering about him. Read some rumor that the Cubs might even trade him, since he just had his second altercation with a starting pitcher in a 10-day period (though at least this one didn't get physical). I have no idea if there's any chance of that actually happening -- probably not -- but it's an interesting thought. This is the same guy who punched out Pierzynski last year, so, you know, clearly some issues there. But I'd like to see the catcher crazy enough to try and start a fight with Roger Clemens.

2007-06-13 14:05:25
49.   randym77
Hmmm. I don't think I can bring myself to cast a vote for Brian Roberts. That collision with Bubba was horrendous. (And they show it again, whenever there's a close call at 1B. Ugh.) He was a real class act after it happened, too. He had only one visitor in the hospital that night: Bubba Crosby. And he wouldn't let Bubba apologize, saying it was "just baseball."

But...there is the steroids thing. He was named by Grimsly, and, well, his stats are kinda suspicious-looking. He never hit more than 4 or 5 home runs in a season, even in the minors. And then, the season he got injured, he suddenly jumped to 18 homers. (Probably would have been 20 if he hadn't put his elbow between Bubba and 1B.)

2007-06-13 14:17:31
50.   Shaun P
46 Meh. Talking points from his agent, designed to gain leverage in their negotiations with the Yanks. Mo says the same kind of thing when he's up for a new contract. Everyone does.

I think Barrett could be a good signing. And his crappy year this year might mean he's cheaply available! But is this year an outlier, or the first warning sign of decline on the horizon?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-13 14:21:34
51.   yankz
There's no way a guy like Barrett- both in terms of personality and talent- signs up to be a BUC. Unless you want to let Jorge walk, or let him be the full-time DH? Haven't we learned that full time DH's suck?
2007-06-13 14:22:24
52.   yankz
51 Well, not in theory (Ortiz, Hafner). But Giambi and Damon will still be on the team.
2007-06-13 14:23:46
53.   RIYank
Hm, 48, punching out Pierzynski is a big plus in my book. Let's go for him!
2007-06-13 14:43:48
54.   randym77
The Newark Star-Ledger reports that there was a Reds scout at the Yanks-Dbacks games. Supposedly, the Yanks are interested in outfielder Adam Dunn and setup man/closer David Weathers.

I dunno, do we really need another outfielder? Dunn can't play CF. And the Reds tried to convert him to 1B and he was awful.

First baseman Scott Hatteberg might be a better fit, even if he is a lot older. He's great on defense, got a good bat, and he'd be just a rent-a-player, so we wouldn't be stuck with him if he sucks.

2007-06-13 15:26:20
55.   standuptriple
28 I loved watching Brett Butler when I was a kid. He was a master. Sadly I doubt there will be another one like him in the MLs. I've had my hopes up that Tavares would do it and Gathwright, but none of them seem committed to the art.
2007-06-13 15:30:18
56.   Reader11722
Sounds like you are advocating censoring the public by banning their vote. Let's not follow the gov't down the path of censorship. After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and Wikipedia, shut down Imus and fire 21-year tenured, BYU physics professor Steven Jones because he proved explosives, thermite in particular, took down the WTC buildings. Free Speech forever (especially for All-star ballots).
Last link (before Stark County District Library caves to pressure and drops the title):
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0
2007-06-13 15:39:08
57.   yankz
I've missed this guy.
2007-06-13 15:42:48
58.   standuptriple
It has been a while. Speaking of banning/censoring, can we ban/censor Reader11722? How about if we put it to a vote? Would that be democratic enough?
2007-06-13 15:47:08
59.   mehmattski
That reads a lot like the spam e-mail I just got whose subject line is:

malagasy perspiration theocracy

2007-06-13 15:55:08
60.   DarrenF
I was at a boring Yankee game a couple of Saturdays ago and the most enjoyable experience was watching my buddy fill out his AS ballots. Purposefully picking the worst NL players -- Alejandro De Aza? -- and ignorantly picking some awful AL players.

Since the ASB "counts," his point was that a true Yankee fan would try to sabotage the NL team.

Throw in his general baseball ignorance and general inebriation, it was kind of fun to watch.

The write-in vote for Mientkiewicz was nullified by (a) the unfortunate spelling of Mientkiewicz and (b) also selecting Giambi at AL 1b.

Oh, well.

2007-06-13 16:08:59
61.   Zack
Come on, you have to give Reader11722 credit for tying that all in to All Star voting...
2007-06-13 16:09:55
62.   mehmattski
No Melky tonight. Boo.
2007-06-13 16:10:08
63.   Schteeve
54 We cam to blows earlier discussing the Dunn thing. Check the previous thread.
2007-06-13 16:10:28
64.   Shaun P
58 I second.

60 That's a brilliant idea! How come no national sports writer has taken up this angle to attack the "This Time it Counts!" baloney?

15 votes for Juan Pierre, Willy Taveras, and Nook Logan, coming up!

2007-06-13 16:14:48
65.   Shaun P
54 Scott Hatteburg, away from the hitters' paradise of the GAP:

.227/.322/.347

No thanks. One Miguel Cairo is enough for this team.

And Dunn could be a rental player too! Nothing says the Yanks have to re-sign him. The best part is, if Dunn leaves, the Yanks will get another 1st round pick in next year's draft!

2007-06-13 16:15:45
66.   mehmattski
64 Last season, some fans tried to get a middling, bruser of a forward elected to the NHL all star game. They actually succeeded, but then suddenly less than a week before the final tally, some name player overtook him with a couple thousand votes at the last minute. Kind of shady. Deadspin was all over it, I remember.
2007-06-13 16:17:57
67.   Shaun P
66 The NHL? What's that?

/sarcasm off

2007-06-13 16:19:14
68.   Simone
Steve Phillips actually making sense about the Yankees being hurt by Nieves catching Mussina and Melky on the bench.
2007-06-13 16:23:13
69.   Zack
I know people love Cairo and all and believe in his intangables and John Sterling quoted "situational hitting" and all, but come on, there is no way he can be a starting 1B, even if he does play better D than Phelps. I am sure that all sorts of stats back that up, but even if you don't buy into stats, come on, you have to know that deep down...
2007-06-13 16:24:29
70.   Zack
How the heck can hernandez still be getting guys out?
2007-06-13 16:27:09
71.   mehmattski
65 One could point to Adam Dunn's lifetime ZR of .780 at 1B, and say: "No thanks, I don't want another Giambi."
2007-06-13 16:28:20
72.   rbj
70 What's more amazing is that Jeff Weaver still has a major league job. Now that just ain't right.
2007-06-13 16:28:30
73.   randym77
63 Thanks. I missed that.

I like Dunn. The K's don't bother me. He gets on base. But I don't really see where he'll fit into this team. We already have too many players like him.

As for what the Reds might be seeking...I have to think that most of the players who were playing last night are too pricey for them.

They might be interested in Melky. In spring training, it looked like they had more outfielders than they knew what to do with, but they traded Denorfia to the A's and Bubba's on the DL until at least the end of July. Freel's on the DL indefinitely, so if they trade Dunn, they'll need to get an OFer to replace him.

They might be interested in Farnsy as well. They desperately need a closer. Their bullpen in general is just killing them.

2007-06-13 16:28:45
74.   RIYank
71 Well, but having Giambi on the team is a good thing, so that's not exactly parallel.
2007-06-13 16:29:52
75.   Emma Span
The only reason I'd support a Dunn trade is that it would bring a much-needed fresh infusion of headline puns.

Dunn Deal! Git-R-Dunn! Over and Dunn! Easier Said Than Dunn! Dunn For! Well Dunn!

Okay, okay, I'm... must resist... done. Phew.

2007-06-13 16:30:15
76.   Zack
Is Moose throwing a bit differently, like maybe a different arm angle? Am I just crazy?
2007-06-13 16:32:43
77.   randym77
75 LOL! The home run call for him is "Dunn and Gone," I think.
2007-06-13 16:33:30
78.   mehmattski
74 I was coming from the Devil's Advocate position of believing that Giambi's first base defense is a major weakness, and that Dunn would be similar.

Now, if Dunn is the DH and Damon plays 1B, that could work out, but who says that Damon can put up more than a .780 ZR at 1B? The alternative is Phelps/Cairo at 1B and Damon back in CF, but CF defense is WAY more important than 1B, and Damon is awful these days.

And, if you trade for Dunn, what happens after Giambi comes back? Then you have two of the same player, and you're only allowed one DH.

2007-06-13 16:35:18
79.   Zack
78 Right. ALl the people claiming that Stinky Minky/Cairo should play b/c of their D yet with craptastic O, need to factor that in. Its a stupid argument, of course.

Boy, Melky sure would have been nice in CF there...

2007-06-13 16:35:43
80.   mehmattski
Damon illustrates my point. If Melky's in CF, it's still a tie game.
2007-06-13 16:35:43
81.   monkeypants
73 The two questions with Dunn (assuming the asking price is reasonable):

A] Can he play 1B at all?
B] Can he outhit Damon?

If the answer is yes to either, then he should be added and made the starting 1B (ideally) or DH (less ideal). Of course, this assumes that Torre:

A] Doesn't insist on Damon at DH
B] Doesn't insist on Damon at 1B
C] Doesn't insist on Cairo at 1B
D] Doesn't insist on Cairo at DH
E] Doesn't suddenly develop man love for spurned 1B/DH Phelps and leave Dunn on the bench

2007-06-13 16:35:46
82.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wait a minute, what the hell is Damon doing out there?

Damn it.

2007-06-13 16:36:21
83.   RIYank
78 Well, I'd just put Giambi on first and be pretty happy with it (when he returns).

Hmmmm. Would that run have scored on Melky?

2007-06-13 16:37:22
84.   monkeypants
78 "And, if you trade for Dunn, what happens after Giambi comes back? Then you have two of the same player, and you're only allowed one DH. "

First, Giambi is not coming back this year.

Second, if Giambi comes back, you start one at DH and one at 1B and suffer through the defense, because the offense will pay off.

2007-06-13 16:39:03
85.   mehmattski
82 It's all because of Cairo. Torre recognized that putting Melky, Cairo, and Nieves at the bottom of the lineup is almost like playing with only 2/3 of a team. But he can't take Cairo out because Phelps killed Torre's dog or something. So then Melky's gotta come out. It's stupid because there's a day game tomorrow and it would have been perfect for Posada to get a full day off.
2007-06-13 16:39:11
86.   monkeypants
82 According to Kay, because Nieves is starting, Torre was compelled to keep Damon's bat in the line-up, so no Melky. Kay negelected to comment on why the Yankees have Nieves on their major league roster, and why all of this concern for offense does not extend to first base.
2007-06-13 16:39:17
87.   RIYank
The Rox are not exactly intimidated by Mr. One Hitter this evening.
2007-06-13 16:40:28
88.   RIYank
Jorgie Juiced One!
2007-06-13 16:40:35
89.   Simone
Jorgie!
2007-06-13 16:40:51
90.   mehmattski
85 I retract my statement. Terribly sorry for doubting you.

Hip Hip!

2007-06-13 16:40:59
91.   monkeypants
Jor-HA Posada!
2007-06-13 16:41:33
92.   mehmattski
84 Okay, you've convinced me, I've got no more Devil's Advocate in me:

Farnsworth for Dunn!

2007-06-13 16:41:48
93.   randym77
Hip, hip Jorge!

81 Dunn was horrendous at 1B when the Reds tried him there. Some think he was bad intentionally, because he didn't want to move, but I think he's not cut out to be an infielder.

2007-06-13 16:42:06
94.   weeping for brunnhilde
Ahhh, I see, because Jorgie's DH'ing.

Well, that's the perfect test case for the offense/defense debate.

So far it's a wash then, no?

Damon cost one (sort of--the run still might have scored) and Jorgie got it back.

2007-06-13 16:42:30
95.   RIYank
Just out of curiosity, is anyone besides me skeptical of the idea that you have to sub Damon for Melky because other parts of the line-up are crappy?

Why is it more important to have the better bat in there on a day when Cairo and Nieves are in? I doubt that it is.

2007-06-13 16:42:41
96.   rbj
Cashman, you better resign Jorge in the off season. Besides, there is no better option available in the off season (and you do not trade Phil Huges for Joe Mauer -- maybe Johann Santana + Mauer)
2007-06-13 16:43:26
97.   rbj
95 No. You sit Damon & rest his legs.
2007-06-13 16:44:16
98.   weeping for brunnhilde
74 :)
2007-06-13 16:44:28
99.   mehmattski
96 Farnsworth for Mauer and Santana?
2007-06-13 16:46:19
100.   RIYank
Miggymania!
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-06-13 16:46:25
101.   Simone
Darn, if only Damon hasn't run there. Nice, Miggy.
2007-06-13 16:46:48
102.   weeping for brunnhilde
All right, so that's a mark against Cairo, the failure to execute the hit and run.

Like his failure to execute that sac bunt the other day.

But then he gets a hit.

So, does he suck or not?

2007-06-13 16:46:57
103.   monkeypants
So, does Mr. Winning Baseball Cairo get on demerit for missing the ball on the hit and run, costing an out with Matsui--or does he only get credit for the double?

This question is posed in the context of the previous thread/discussion today.

2007-06-13 16:47:28
104.   monkeypants
102 Dammit Weeping, you beat me to it!! : )
2007-06-13 16:47:57
105.   rbj
99 Pavano for Mauer + Santana
And it could even be Carlos at least he can play, even if it's the guitar.

Heck, the way Miggy's swinging, Yanks don't need to worry about having Nieves in the line up.

2007-06-13 16:48:17
106.   RIYank
102 I don't think the H&R is his fault.
However, yes, he sucks. ;-)
2007-06-13 16:50:39
107.   RIYank
I think Torre gets credit for aborting the rally, not Cairo. Man was that unlucky, though: single, double, walk, homer, one run!
2007-06-13 16:51:43
108.   mehmattski
105 Since becoming a "starter" on June 4:

28 PA .296/.286/.333 Wooooooweeee!

He does have a knack of having an OBP lower than his AVG.

2007-06-13 16:52:06
109.   Zack
102 Miggy is supposed to be the "situational hitter!" Obviously, and to no one's surprise, Sterling's and other's claim to such a bogus concept fail to be borne out...
2007-06-13 16:53:05
110.   weeping for brunnhilde
104 106 :)

107 Torre gets the demerit, then. But still, that's the kind of thing each and every player should be able to execute.

That really wasn't such a tough pitch or anything.

Not the perfect pitch, to be sure, but it was hittable.

2007-06-13 16:53:10
111.   RIYank
108 Uh.
Okay, this is embarrassing, but how is it possible to have an OBP < AVG???
2007-06-13 16:53:35
112.   mehmattski
108 Oh, and an Adam Dunn-like 6 strikeouts in 28 plate appearances.
2007-06-13 16:53:41
113.   randym77
Hmmmm. Some in the Cincy media are hinting that the Yanks are interested in Hatteberg, not Dunn.
2007-06-13 16:55:00
114.   mehmattski
111 Sac Flies are counted against you not getting on base, but do not count as "at bats."
2007-06-13 16:55:40
115.   RIYank
111 Never mind, I get it: the sac flies.
2007-06-13 16:55:45
116.   weeping for brunnhilde
Btw, why are there no stats for such things as "execution of the hit and run" or "moving runners over"?

Shouldn't there be?

If there were, it would help us to better evaluate players' abilities in these areas, no?

2007-06-13 16:56:08
117.   RIYank
114 115 Dang, seconds too slow.

Good inning for the Moose.

2007-06-13 16:56:17
118.   monkeypants
113 Oh dear God.
2007-06-13 16:57:32
119.   monkeypants
116 I thought there was some talk recently about trying to record "productive outs" as a stat (even if not an 'official' stat), but I don't know if any organization actually defined and recorded them.
2007-06-13 17:03:36
120.   RIYank
Ha!!!
2007-06-13 17:03:50
121.   rbj
119 I've tried formulating a "Productive Plate Appearance", but it isn't easy.
Guy on first, you get a hit, so it's first & second. That's good, and better than grounding out to move the guy up, and they're both better than a fly out, or a double play.

The answer should be to the question: "did your PA help the team to score a run?" Advancing a runner does, but if you take up an out it's not as good as not using up an out.

2007-06-13 17:03:57
122.   mehmattski
(Mouth wide open)

Wow.

Also: HA!

2007-06-13 17:04:07
123.   randym77
Holy crap. What a hit!
2007-06-13 17:05:17
124.   monkeypants
Situational hitting, or bomb off the upper deck? You make the call.
2007-06-13 17:07:29
125.   RIYank
121 Here's a start. Look at the run expectancy (say from a BP matrix) before the AB, and then again after. A productive AB is one in which the expected runs are higher after the AB.

No, I see, that's not what you want, because a sac fly that scores a run wouldn't count as 'productive' by that standard. So, yeah, hard problem, good point.

2007-06-13 17:08:02
126.   RIYank
124 Yeah, but it would have been cooler not to say it.
2007-06-13 17:08:13
127.   rbj
"Obviously Alex Rodriguez can't handle the pressure of playing in NY. Yankees are going to have to trade him, if not now, then in the off season."

And that's why Steve Philips is no longer a GM.

2007-06-13 17:09:26
128.   mehmattski
121 Stats that are calculated after the fact can be misleading. You need to know whether a given result given situation is "productive" regardless of whether the team scores the run. If Cairo makes contact with a hit and run ball and lines into a double play, is that a productive out? If he dribbles a grounder down the line and Matsui goes to third, is that a productive out?
2007-06-13 17:10:40
129.   weeping for brunnhilde
Btw, have I mentioned lately that Alex Rodriguez really can hit the baseball hard?

I mean, my God.

2007-06-13 17:10:54
130.   RIYank
If there had been two outs, both runners would have scored! A very rare situation in which more outs would have been better.
2007-06-13 17:11:53
131.   rbj
125 So you have to amend the RE matrix to add a +1 (or something) for when a run does score.
2007-06-13 17:12:01
132.   Zack
So are we happy with a "situational" sac fly here?
2007-06-13 17:13:27
133.   Zack
Cairo=awful...
2007-06-13 17:14:37
134.   RIYank
132 Would have been.

125 Hmm. How about this: any PA more productive than a K counts as 'productive'. And 'more productive than' is measured by run expectancies.

ARGH. See, it would have been much better if there had been two outs when Robbie hit that drive.

2007-06-13 17:14:40
135.   rbj
Nerts & rats
2007-06-13 17:15:39
136.   monkeypants
95 That's why.
2007-06-13 17:16:24
137.   Zack
Why is it that an awful day in the field is enough to bench Phelps forever, yet awful days at the plate aren't enough for Minky or Cairo. Smae goes for Farns vs. Bruney in terms of bad inning...
2007-06-13 17:18:12
138.   RIYank
136 ???
It's always better to have the better bat, when you're batting! So that's no answer.

My question was (meant to be): why is it more important to have the better bat when the rest of your order is weak?

2007-06-13 17:18:40
139.   mehmattski
127 Hey remember when Steve Phillips traded his best pitcher (Kevin Appier) for Mo Vaughn?
2007-06-13 17:18:49
140.   RIYank
137 You've forgotten: Miggy doubled earlier.
2007-06-13 17:21:05
141.   RIYank
Another terrific inning for the Moose.
2007-06-13 17:22:28
142.   weeping for brunnhilde
Do you guys think Mike is trying to win back Joe's trust?

He remarked last time, on being taken out, "Well, I guess I have to earn it."

Maybe he's a bit more motivated now, wounded pride and all?

2007-06-13 17:25:08
143.   rbj
142 Maybe. Sometimes you just need to have the coach kick you in the butt a bit.
2007-06-13 17:25:13
144.   monkeypants
138 What I meant is that when you stack up "automatic outs" at the bottom of the lineup, it becomes much harder to score runs--especially to sustain rallies and score runs in bunches. So, if you sacrifice outs at one spot in the line-up, it is probably wise to add better hitters if possible at another spot in the line-up.

Of course, it's all dependent on how much one believes defense is worth. Anecdotally tonight, Damon's weak arm may have cost one run (it's not sure that Melky gets the runner at home), but twice the team has left the bases juiced, once with less than two outs when the feeble bottom of the line-up hacking away.

Put another way, a team has only 27 outs to play with--the one more or less constant (or finite) limit in baseball. If you add a batter who produces more outs than the player he replaces, it behooves you to also add another batter who produces fewer outs.

2007-06-13 17:29:20
145.   RIYank
144 Well, first of all, I think it's pretty clear that so far, the team could not be doing worse with Melky than it has with Damon, since Damon has done nothing at the plate and may have cost us a run in the field.

But in general, I see what you mean about stacking up easy outs. Only I have a feeling it's not right. Try it this way. Suppose Damon is 100 OPS points better than Melky (if Johnny were in good form it would be more, but whatever). So if you swap Melky in, you're giving up that many OPS points. Now, under which circumstance does this cost you more expected runs: when your line-up is otherwise strong, or when it is otherwise weak? My bet: it costs you more when your line-up is otherwise strong.

2007-06-13 17:30:29
146.   RIYank
Hey! Now I'm giving Torre credit for that run, since he sent Abreu. So he's even now.
2007-06-13 17:31:02
147.   weeping for brunnhilde
Beautiful!!

Two outs, single up the middle, stolen base, hard basehit through the hole!

Something for everybody, eh?

Versatility!

2007-06-13 17:32:11
148.   Simone
Eric Brynes is a dope and has been since he was an A.
2007-06-13 17:33:06
149.   3rd gen yankee fan
Wow, this game is fuh-nee. I'm really enjoying this. Don't come to the American League and embarrass yourselves, Dbax.
2007-06-13 17:33:40
150.   mehmattski
Can the Yankees move to the NL West, please? Or better yet, NL Central?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-06-13 17:35:28
151.   RIYank
HA!!!

This is a good, good game for us.

2007-06-13 17:35:44
152.   Simone
Matsui-san!!!! Alex!!!!!
2007-06-13 17:36:23
153.   weeping for brunnhilde
Fucking beautiful!

All with two outs!

I love this.

Just love it.

2007-06-13 17:36:29
154.   mehmattski
The answer to Zack in 70 is:

He can't.

2007-06-13 17:36:30
155.   RIYank
147 Now we've got something for everyone this inning. :-)

So that's a solo, a two-run HR, and now a 3-run dinger. We need a salami for the HR cycle.

2007-06-13 17:38:07
156.   3rd gen yankee fan
HA!!! indeed.
2007-06-13 17:42:02
157.   cult of basebaal
man, i hate it when we have to rely on homeruns to win games ...
2007-06-13 17:43:46
158.   rbj
Jetes!
2007-06-13 17:49:25
159.   RIYank
Not for nuthin', but here we are again in an Emma Span non-game game thread, and once again it's an excellent game for the Yanks.

More than a coincidence??

2007-06-13 17:51:05
160.   RIYank
Whoa, Rox have put up three more against Schilling in the fifth, and Curt finally finishes the inning with his 98th pitch. This day is really shaping up well.
2007-06-13 17:51:19
161.   cult of basebaal
another grind-em out ab for Belly of Guts Miggy
2007-06-13 17:53:32
162.   joejoejoe
159 Emma is having as good a year as Posada.
2007-06-13 17:55:50
163.   rbj
Emma for BB MVP. She's at least making the All-Star team.
2007-06-13 17:56:55
164.   RIYank
162 Uh oh. Is it a contract year for her, too? I'm not sure we can afford to re-sign her.
2007-06-13 17:57:10
165.   3rd gen yankee fan
Kay just said "worm-burner," huh huh huh

weird

2007-06-13 17:58:51
166.   RIYank
(May I point out, by the way, that Cairo's scoop saved a run?)
2007-06-13 17:58:52
167.   weeping for brunnhilde
Ok, in all seriousness, it seems to me that Cairo makes above average plays routinely. Every night, say 1 to 2 such plays, sometimes more.

How many such plays justifies light hitting?

2007-06-13 17:59:04
168.   rabid stan
Check out A-Rod's HR spray chart. 12 homeruns at the stadium perfectly distributed from left to right.
2007-06-13 17:59:43
169.   weeping for brunnhilde
157 You should, because we're not going to get those homeruns in the postseason or otherwise off of good pitching.
2007-06-13 18:00:16
170.   Simone
Gawd, Johnny Damon is trying to kill himself. Let him take 2nd base, Johnny. It is okay.
2007-06-13 18:01:21
171.   murphy
i know it was a HR, but i am sick and tired of watching balls go over matsui's head. he needs to hustle or DH.

i guess i have been spoiled by melky's play in the OF.

2007-06-13 18:02:20
172.   RIYank
167 He's justified it tonight, I agree -- and we'd be better off with Melky in CF tonight too, for sure.
But in general, you'd have to rely on some defensive measure or other to count up runs-prevented, and that's going to be controversial no matter which measure you choose.
2007-06-13 18:02:27
173.   rabid stan
169 Actually, Arizona's pitching has been good enough that there's less likely things than seeing Livan pitching in the World Series.
2007-06-13 18:06:21
174.   RIYank
173 It kind of looks that way, but I bet you they don't come close to making the play-offs. (Look at their Pythagorean record, which is weak.)
2007-06-13 18:07:18
175.   Mattpat11
Before that inning kind of went to hell, I would have let Mussina finish the game. I'd still let him finish the seventh and at least start the 8th
2007-06-13 18:07:40
176.   RIYank
In relief (at Fenway) Kyle Snyder walked the first batter he faced on six pitches, the second on four pitches.
2007-06-13 18:08:35
177.   Mattpat11
174 Much like ours virtually ever year. Pythagorean record is creating a stat for the sake of making one.
2007-06-13 18:10:19
178.   rabid stan
174 We're talking about the NL here. Arizona is tied atop the wild card and for the lead in the NL West. They sport the fourth best Runs Allowed total in the NL. So what if the Pythag is only three games above .500? They have an honest shot considering their division, league, and hitherto decent pitching.

It worked for the Cards, even without the pitching.

2007-06-13 18:10:59
179.   RIYank
177 No, it's a much better predictor of the rest of the season than actual record. You could look it up.
2007-06-13 18:11:11
180.   rbj
Moose through 7, Villone the 8th & Viz. the 9th?

Good arms still available for when, er, if things go kaflooy.

2007-06-13 18:11:56
181.   RIYank
178 Their division is good, I thought. No? I haven't been following closely, I admit. You're right, they do kind of look like the Cards last year, and that worked.
2007-06-13 18:12:59
182.   mehmattski
177 How many times do we have to go through this? Do you not accept at all that teams that score/allow a certain number of runs should win a certain number of games? And that teams that deviate from that expectation can be expected to correct that deviation, over time?

And further, do you not accept the main explanation for the 1998-2005 Yankees surpassing their Pythagorean record: by winning lots of close games thanks to Mariano Rivera?

2007-06-13 18:14:01
183.   rabid stan
By the way, even their Pythagorean record is competitive with other possible NL WC candidates. They only trail the Padres and the Mets significantly in that category.
2007-06-13 18:15:17
184.   Eirias
Schilling has had a good day.
2007-06-13 18:15:52
185.   RIYank
182 The Cubs are way, way off their Pyth. record this year. I think this is what happens: at any given time, esp. early in the season, there are some teams that aren't close to their Pyth. records. This makes people very skeptical of the value and point of the Pythagorean method.
The right thing to stress, IMO, is that Pythagorean record is a much better predictor of the rest of the season than is actual record. That's a plain fact, demonstrable, and shows the value of Pythagoras.
2007-06-13 18:15:58
186.   rabid stan
183 Actually, not even the Mets are that far ahead of them. 34-31 vs. 36-27.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for the Mets, huh?

2007-06-13 18:17:08
187.   RIYank
And the h&r play costs a hit by re-positioning the infield! Amazing.
2007-06-13 18:19:09
188.   weeping for brunnhilde
159 I think not.
2007-06-13 18:21:14
189.   RIYank
Nice, the Rox are now torching the Sox' pen. Kyle Snyder loads the bases with walks (including a sac bunt followed by an IBB), then Javier Lopez comes in and Helton clears 'em with a booming double.
2007-06-13 18:22:16
190.   RIYank
Moooooose!
Let him start the eighth, for SURE.
2007-06-13 18:22:40
191.   weeping for brunnhilde
Moose for POG, man!

Nice fucking job, Moose!

2007-06-13 18:23:16
192.   rabid stan
How does he not see the curve coming 0-2?
2007-06-13 18:23:27
193.   RIYank
I'll be really surprised if Joe doesn't let Moose start the eighth. The symbolism is so blatant, and I believe the message Joe wants to send is the one he sends by leaving Moose in. Kind of a tip-of-the-cap respect thing.
2007-06-13 18:28:23
194.   cult of basebaal
169 uh, sure ...

Run production as a whole hasn't had much relationship with playoff success. Neither have any of the individual offensive metrics. The A's postseason struggles have sometimes been attributed to their tendency to rely on walks and home runs, but there is no evidence that teams that play Smallball instead fare better in the postseason. Although stolen-base attempts have a slight (but statistically insignificant) positive relationship with PSP, sacrifice-hit attempts have a slight negative one. Speed Score, a composite of five different offensive statistics that provides evidence about a player's wheels, has no relationship with PSP at all. Nor do teams that hit well in the clutch in the regular season see that advantage carry forward into the playoffs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=betweenthenumbers/billybeane/060405

2007-06-13 18:34:10
195.   Mattpat11
182 I think teams that play a certain amount of quality games will win those games. I think judging a season by the aggregate numbers ans dismissing the game by game results is foolish.

I also think that when a stat is as inaccurate as this tends, its time to admit that its flawed. If a good closer can skew the numbers to such a degree that the Pythagorean percentage is a worthless barometer year in and year out for a team, than obviously its not nearly as accurate as people want it to be.

Or maybe we can just dismiss it as the "vague" they're just lucky.

2007-06-13 18:35:56
196.   Mattpat11
195 And I put the quotes around the wrong word.
2007-06-13 18:37:06
197.   rabid stan
196 "as"?
2007-06-13 18:37:20
198.   RIYank
196 And by misplacing the quotation marks, you have conceded defeat! Your argument is rendered void.
Wow. You came sooooo close.
2007-06-13 18:38:48
199.   Mattpat11
Depending on this inning, we should let him finish it.
2007-06-13 18:38:51
200.   monkeypants
195 But I didn't think that it was that inaccurate. Moreover, when a stat can be skewed by extreme conditions, that doesn't mean you have to throw the stat out--it just means that the formula requires some additional factors, or that we need to be aware of the extreme conditions and take them into account.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-06-13 18:39:11
201.   RIYank
Melky's in CF, Moose is on the hill, and God is in His Heaven.
2007-06-13 18:39:34
202.   Mattpat11
Abreu made that far more exciting than it needed to be.
2007-06-13 18:41:24
203.   monkeypants
202 He does fear the wall, and that awkward backpeddling with he glove in the air...scary!
2007-06-13 18:42:28
204.   cult of basebaal
now this is the way i like to see moose pitching ... very encouraging
2007-06-13 18:43:13
205.   cult of basebaal
plus his fastball has been sitting 86-88 pretty much the entire game ... much better
2007-06-13 18:44:13
206.   Mattpat11
200 Over the last 10 seasons, the Yankees have been an avarage of over four games better than their expected record. On any given year, thats the difference between making the playoffs and sitting at home. I consider that significant.
2007-06-13 18:44:47
207.   RIYank
Sox still trail 9-2 at the end of the seventh (they still can't score runs, even against a very weak starter and pen). Milwaukee takes the lead in Detroit! And Oakland's losing. But Cleveland is winning.

Oh, man, that would have been a nice ending to Moose's appearance. Oh well.

2007-06-13 18:45:07
208.   Mattpat11
WHY THE FUCK? WHY? LEAVE HIM IN.
2007-06-13 18:45:45
209.   rabid stan
They're not saying "Boo", they're saying "Moo-oose".
2007-06-13 18:46:20
210.   rabid stan
208 I don't mind if he lets the reliever get 4 outs.
2007-06-13 18:46:59
211.   3rd gen yankee fan
Yay Moose! way to turn it around.
2007-06-13 18:47:25
212.   monkeypants
206 OK, but what about all the other teams in the league? Do they all vary from expectations so widely, so consistently? Perhaps the Yankees (representing about 3% of the league) are a statistical outlier. Or, perhaps there is something in the Yankees context that has skewed the results. The key is to attempt to understand why the Yankees don't fit, not simply throw out the stat.
2007-06-13 18:47:28
213.   OldYanksFan
Have you noticed that Moose is enjoying his ovations more now? Acknowledging the crown more? Truly appreciating a nice ovation?
2007-06-13 18:47:41
214.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hats off for Moose, man, puss and all.
2007-06-13 18:48:30
215.   weeping for brunnhilde
213 No kidding! That was huge for him.

He kept his puss on, though.

I'll miss this lug when he's gone.

2007-06-13 18:48:59
216.   rabid stan
Bruney's gotta be a change of pace for these hitters today.
2007-06-13 18:49:46
217.   Mattpat11
{210] I don't understand why the hell we couldn't let Mike Mussina do this with a five run lead. Its making a move for the sake of making a move.

And I like Torre. But his handling of Mike Mussina is horrid.

2007-06-13 18:51:33
218.   cult of basebaal
207 we can't jump 5 teams in a single night, we've just gotta keep beating up teams we're supposed to be beating ...
2007-06-13 18:52:01
219.   3rd gen yankee fan
Bruney in the 8th???? Has Joe been reading the Banter?

We can only hope.

2007-06-13 18:52:39
220.   cult of basebaal
217 well, obviously bruney needs work, since joe doesn't actually seem to trust him in a meaningful situation ...
2007-06-13 18:52:53
221.   rabid stan
217 Relax. That was Moose's highest pitch count of the year. And Bruney has only thrown four, so he's by no means cooked (I would've rather seen Viz or Villone, though).

As long as we don't see a second reliever used today, there's nothing but good things to take from this game.

2007-06-13 18:53:13
222.   Mattpat11
212 The Mets have almost the same discrepancy without Mariano Rivera.
2007-06-13 18:55:06
223.   Mattpat11
221 It was 101 pitches. And he was rolling before a single. With five run cushion, this should have not set REMOVE HIM IMMEDIATELY buzzers.
2007-06-13 18:55:59
224.   OldYanksFan
Rox over Sox 12-2, top of the 8th.
Shrill gives up 5 ERs in 5 IP.
Sox BP in flames.
Sox in a team wide hitting slimp. Subtract 1 good game, then are batting .220 over their last 9 games.

If I was a Sox fan, I'd be scared. I'd be very, very scared.

2007-06-13 18:56:46
225.   OldYanksFan
Note: a 'slimp' is a 10 game slump.
2007-06-13 18:57:08
226.   RIYank
212 I don't think it's possible for all teams to consistently out-perform the Pythagorean estimate. Is it? I mean, it would be mathematically impossible!
2007-06-13 18:57:41
227.   rabid stan
Tomorrow's starter for the D-Backs has a WHIP of 1.64

He's walked 40 in 77 innings.

Say, can the Yanks get Andy to .500 next?

2007-06-13 18:58:43
228.   Chyll Will
224 Yummy...
2007-06-13 18:58:54
229.   Mattpat11
226 They can drastically underperform it, as the Red Sox and Mets have done in recent years.
2007-06-13 18:59:23
230.   Mattpat11
Okay I'm done being in a pissy mood. Need to celebrate competent baseball.
2007-06-13 18:59:42
231.   rabid stan
Brian, you're wasting everybody's time.
2007-06-13 19:01:08
232.   RIYank
The trickle hit is acceptable; the walk is not acceptable. Come on, Brian, let's finish this.
2007-06-13 19:01:50
233.   cult of basebaal
220 of course, walking leadoff batters with a 5 run lead tends to lend itself to mistrust ... sigh
2007-06-13 19:02:06
234.   rabid stan
If Reynolds chips one out here, Rivera will have to come in. Blech.
2007-06-13 19:02:59
235.   RIYank
234 Almost exactly what I was thinking. But BB does the job. Uh oh, here comes Joe... Myers?
2007-06-13 19:03:43
236.   Mattpat11
Are we making strategic moves with one out in the ninth and a five run lead?
2007-06-13 19:04:16
237.   rabid stan
210 Now this, I don't agree with.

Your second reliever is Rivera, Joe. Until you get to the point where you need him, no one else goes in the game.

2007-06-13 19:05:04
238.   cult of basebaal
obviously, myers needs work to stay sharp ... that joe, always thinking ahead ...
2007-06-13 19:05:45
239.   rabid stan
Myers blows against lefties.
2007-06-13 19:06:00
240.   RIYank
My last thought on the topic (for tonight):
Sure, Pythagorean estimate is noisy. But if it's predicting some teams low by four games, some high by four games, if that's about the outer range, then that's actually pretty good. Within 2.5%. And if you then adjust for, say, quality of bullpen and esp. closer, it gets better.
No prediction method is going to be perfect. Pythagorean is a whole lot better than using the team's actual record in the first half of the season. (Remember the Nationals 'great start'?)
2007-06-13 19:06:38
241.   Max
I guess the vibes were too good lately during the winning streak...Joe had to feed some red meat to the blog commenters.

I try to stay out of the bullpen management debates, but screwing around with pitchers with a five run lead in the ninth? WTF?

2007-06-13 19:07:11
242.   rabid stan
239 Oops. I meant, Myers blows by some nice junk against lefties.
2007-06-13 19:07:18
243.   RIYank
239 No, Myers is great against lefties, because of his delivery. {Covers eyes and ears, shakes head back and forth.}
2007-06-13 19:08:25
244.   rabid stan
Let's try this again.

Myers blows against righties.

2007-06-13 19:09:27
245.   RIYank
BB out, MM in, ballgame over.

Eight Straight is Great!

> .500!

HA!

2007-06-13 19:10:19
246.   Chyll Will
243 That's how they make a King Louis Martini...
2007-06-13 19:10:36
247.   RIYank
Aha, I've ferreted out Joe's pattern:

MM, BB, MM

He had to finish with Myers, for symmetry.

2007-06-13 19:10:50
248.   Mattpat11
I am pleased with the end result here.
2007-06-13 19:10:59
249.   3rd gen yankee fan
EIGHT

POINT

FIVE.

HA!!!!

The Yankees' timing couldn't be better. Get hot while the opponents cool off.

2007-06-13 19:12:16
250.   yankz
249 HA HA HA!

Seriously, could A-God be any better? (cue weeping- the poster, not the act)

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-06-13 19:16:14
251.   Mattpat11
I do think its a bit ridiculous that this five run game somehow turned into a three reliever affair. But This is a time to be happy.
2007-06-13 19:19:05
252.   RIYank
251 Go look at what the Boston bullpen did today and be happy.
Also, the Red Sox faced four > 5.00 ERA pitchers today (two of them managed to drop below 5 by shutting down the Sox) and scored a grand total of 2 runs in nine innings (it's official). I get more pleasure from Schilling's shelling, but I think the icy Boston bats are better news for us. They're under 3 runs/game over the last eight games, and that counts one ten-run bust-out.
2007-06-13 19:19:33
253.   Robinson Cano
A great baseball team is like pornography, I can't define it but I sure as hell know when I see it and the Yanks are starting to put things together.

8.5 games back in the east
4.5 games back in the wild card

2007-06-13 19:20:59
254.   Mattpat11
Mussina is now one win away from Marichal. He should pass Gibson this year.

Put the man in the Hall.

2007-06-13 19:22:50
255.   cult of basebaal
252 yeah, i'm not sure i get the love for the boston bully ... aside from Private Pyle and Okajima (who's also been getting touched up recently), i'm not particularily impressed ...
2007-06-13 19:27:14
256.   RIYank
255 Kyle Snyder has been good. Though again, he's struggled recently (and struggled mightily today).
2007-06-13 19:28:37
257.   Mattpat11
I've said this before, and people don't believe me, but fuck it. Mike Mussina is a better pitcher than Tom Glavine. Mike Mussina belongs in the Hall of Fame. Regardless of what happens this year, I want him to do well and get the ERA down so he can eventually maybe reach 300 wins.
2007-06-13 19:28:45
258.   yankz
85 Who the hell is Phelps?

(If I was that guy, I'd ask Cash for a trade. He might fetch an arm...)

2007-06-13 19:33:59
259.   BklynBmr
253 Enough with the wild card talk, Robbie. I'm talkin' 12 straight division titles here, and until further notice, that's all I'm talkin' about! ;-)

A sweet, easy, very enjoyable win tonight. We need a few of these inbetween the nailbiters.

2007-06-13 19:38:59
260.   yankz
253 Aren't you Robby's cousin?
2007-06-13 19:39:59
261.   Max
It's funny and a bit weird to see posters on blogs and forums be giddy at one game over .500 and 8.5 games back. But winning streaks and good baseball will do that.

I'll hope this continues until that brutal 10 game homestand against the A's, Twins and Angels right before the ASB, and I'll really be up to woofing if we get the deficit under six by then, and make it through the homestand with a winning record.

2007-06-13 19:54:40
262.   BklynBmr
261 You have every reason to be giddy right now. We shaved 6 F'CKING games off a 14.5 game lead in a week — in June, no less.

When this team is playing up to expectations (like it is now, finally), it's the other guys who look at the schedule and think 'brutal', not us. Well, except for the flippin' Halos, maybe, but that worm has to turn one of these days, so why not now?

Puffed chest? You bet. This season will be one for the books.

2007-06-13 19:56:13
263.   Mattpat11
261 I would hope by "woofing it" you mean " win six games"

If the Yankees can't be competitive, at home, because the other team is good, then well, this team isn't very good.

2007-06-13 20:35:14
264.   Schteeve
128 All baseball stats are calculated after the fact. Other than projections.

You are talking about KPI or Key Performance Indicators. For instance, Pitches Per Plate Appearance could be a KPI for OBP, which could be a KPI for runs scored, which could be a KPI for wins.

2007-06-13 20:45:16
265.   Schteeve
When people say "I hate that we have to hit homeruns to win games." And the pitching gave up like 2 runs in that game...it makes me want to pour sulfuric acid all over myself, then light myself on fire, then shoot myself in the head and jump off the Sears tower, all the while wishing that I had never heard of baseball, the internet, blogs, or "user generated content" before.

Yeah, home runs suck, we should all shoot to win games with three run singles and stolen fucking bases, and reach on errors, and gritty hustley baserunning, and for that fucking matter let's just sign David Eckstein because he knows how to win.

AAARRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!

2007-06-13 20:51:47
266.   Schteeve
I'm sorry, I overreacted. Can someone please tell me the average number of home runs hit per regular season game over the last 5 years. (I believe it's like 2.3)And then, the average number of home runs per playoff games, over the same period.

If anyone has that info at their fingertips, I'd appreciate it.

2007-06-13 20:56:02
267.   Max
262 We were 14.5 games back on the 29th of May. That was 15 days ago by my math, which is a little more than a "week". But hey, not to nitpick or anything...shaving 6 games in a week sounds more impressive.

Not trying to throw cold water on what's happening lately...I'm as happy as anyone. But just as I wasn't ready to blow the team up two weeks ago, I'm not ready to start talking trash to Red Sox fans about "hearing footsteps". When we get further up the ladder past .500 and shave a couple of more games off the deficit, it's a different story...and it's nice to see the team seems headed in that direction finally.

And yes, if the worm turns with the Halos, I'll be talking trash and woofing with the best of them. I can only hope this is the season, because I hate those guys more than the Red Sox...well, almost. :-)

2007-06-13 21:08:49
268.   yankz
From a Yankees.com article: "Wang goes long:"

They have to be doing this on purpose.

2007-06-13 21:19:57
269.   weeping for brunnhilde
265 Sorry, Schteeve. I hope you know, though, that my mission in life isn't to do you in, least of all in so spectacular a fashion.

Tony Soprano once wisely mused, "There's enough garbage for everybody."

In that spirit, might I suggest, "There's enough baseball for everybody."

Once and for all, though, I don't think homeruns suck, I just find an offense predicated on them unsatisfying.

Anyway, for now, stay away from matches and off the ledges of high buildings.

2007-06-13 21:44:38
270.   BklynBmr
267 OK, 15 days vs 7, point well taken. I live on 'Internet development time' (where clocks and calendars are not popular), so it just seemed like we closed a good chunk of the gap (6 games) in a snap...

That said, hey, we're all faithful fans who either go down with the ship, jump off, or hop back on at any given point — or decide to keep their powder dry for the right moment. You've stated yours. Cool.

We're family ;-)

Long live the streak!

2007-06-13 21:48:05
271.   weeping for brunnhilde
270 Let's beat Oakland's record from a couple years ago, twenty, was it?

That must have been a record, right?

Either way, twenty would be nice, don't you think?

2007-06-13 22:15:29
272.   yankz
271 Why not twenty-five!
2007-06-13 22:17:24
273.   Robinson Cano
271 The record is 26 by the NY Giants in 1916. A's won 17 in a row

18 games to go

2007-06-13 22:31:47
274.   BklynBmr
271 That was insane. Year was 2002. Even living here in the Bay Area and reading/hearing about it game by game, the enormity didn't register until it was over.

In game 20 of that streak, few probably remember that Oakland lead 11-0 after three innings, but Kansas City tied it the top of the 9th. The A's Scott Hatteberg homered in the bottom of the 9th for a 12-11 win.

Twins shut 'em out the next day, 6-0, to end the streak.

Let's finish off the D-Backs, sweep the Mutts and start thinkin' about the record book on that one ;-)

2007-06-13 22:46:02
275.   weeping for brunnhilde
274 Sounds like a plan.

:)

2007-06-14 05:22:50
276.   seamus
day game today. so i gotta listen while i work and gameday it. Should be fun.

In any case. Lets not start talking about 18 game win streaks. That is a jinx if i've ever read one.

So, with Moose we got two good outings in a row. I only watched the first 4 innings last night before tiring and heading to sleep. What would folks say about Moose's performance. Is he back tobeing good moose?

2007-06-14 08:14:32
277.   weeping for brunnhilde
276 You're right, seamus. I take it back, even though it was in jest, I still take it back.
2007-06-14 08:16:16
278.   weeping for brunnhilde
276 Oh, and as to Moose, I noticed his velocity hit 88 more often on the YES gun and generally hovered between 86 and 88. Also, he was spotting his curve pretty well, generally keeping hitters off balance, flailing a lot.

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