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The Kansas City Royals
2007-07-23 10:39
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

This just in: the Kansas City Royals don't suck. At least they don't suck as much as they usually do. The Yankees' next three series are against the Royals, Orioles, and White Sox and the Royals just might be the most dangerous of those three teams as they are currently tied in the AL Central with Chicago and just one game behind Baltimore in the overall standings, but have been much hotter than either of late.

Since the end of interleague play, the Royals have gone 13-8 while taking series from the Angels (a three-game sweep), Mariners, Red Sox, and Tigers. They also lost two of three to the Indians by a combined three runs and their only loss to Detroit came in ten innings. Over those 21 games, they've outscored their opponents 124-81, which works out to a .701 winning percentage (or a 15-6 record). By comparison, the Blue Jays are 11-13, the Orioles are 12-10 (not counting their suspended game with the Yankees), the White Sox are 14-12, and the Devil Rays are 5-20 since the end of interleague play.

Why have the Royals been so good against the league's best teams? Their bullpen has a lot to do with it. Led by a finally healthy Octavio Dotel (3.34 ERA, 10 SV) and Rule-5 steal Joakim Soria (2.34, 10 SV while Dotel was hurt), and rounded out by the setup duo of veteran righty David Riske (2.42 ERA) and 25-year-old lefty Jimmy Gobble (2.67), the Royals' pen has the sixth-best ERA in the American League, and things are only getting better as Zack Greinke is thriving in his new middle-relief role with a 1.88 ERA since June 10.

That strong performance by the pen means that the Royals can hold onto the leads handed to them by their surging offense, which scored 5.9 runs per game over that 21-game stretch. The leaders there have been veteran second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who has hit .431/.453/.510 since coming off the DL on July 6, utility man Esteban German, who has hit .371/.443/.548 while starting 15 of those 21 games (initially in place of Grudzielanek at second, and since then spotting in at third base and pushing struggling überprospect Alex Gordon to first base), and rookie designated hitter Billy Butler, another top prospect, who has hit .373/.422/.590 since being recalled on June 20.

There's something amiss, however. It seems no one else has really hit much at all over those last 21 games, and, since Grudzielanek and German essentially split second base over that span, that means the offense has been riding on two hot bats, Butler's and the second baseman's. Catcher John Buck, who leads the team with 16 homers (more than twice the total of second-place Mike Sweeney), has slugged .524 over that stretch, but with only three taters and a .292 on-base percentage. Reggie Sanders has the next-best season line on the team, but injuries have limited him to 16 starts on the season. He was just reactivated from the DL a week ago and has made just three starts since then, going 2 for 10 in those games. First basemen Ryan Shealy and Mike Sweeney (surprise) are back on the DL. Ross Gload, who seemed redundant earlier in the season, has instead been merely punchless filling in for Shealy. Despite occasionally threatening to fulfill his promise, Alex Gordon has hit just .240/.301/.320 over those last 21 games. David DeJesus and Mark Teahen have been better than that, but not by enough. Tony Peña Jr. was never supposed to hit in the first place, and hasn't, but is still outperforming Emil Brown (.228/.288/.319 on the season).

Are the Royals all smoke and mirrors? Yeah, probably. Butler is the real deal, and German is a criminally neglected player who deserves to start somewhere (the Indians should be banging down the Royals' door for him), but Grudzielanek is obviously in way over his head, Gordon is really the only hitter likely to rise up to replace his production, and it just might be that Gordon isn't as ready for the Show as the Royals thought he was. The bullpen is likely to cool off at some point as well, which leaves this team in the hands of Butler, German, and Gil Meche. There's no doubt that the Royals are a better team than they were a year ago, but they're still a legitimate last-place team (despite the White Sox's best efforts). The only real danger is that they're having a lot of fun playing the spoiler right now, and there's nothing that says that's going to stop this week with the Yankees in town. There are still eight players on this Yankee team who remember the devastating sweep the team suffered in Kansas City in 2005.

Tonight, Roger Clemens looks to get the Yankee road trip off on the right foot against lefty Odalis Perez. Clemens has a 2.63 ERA over his last three starts despite taking the only loss in the Yankees' second-half-opening series in Tampa Bay. Perez, meanwhile, has a 7.47 ERA over his last three starts, but still managed to pick up a win against the Red Sox in his last outing (5 IP, 5 R) thanks to the four runs the Royals scored off Julian Tavarez in the fifth inning of that game. The big hits in that inning? Doubles by Grudzielanek and Butler. It sounds a bit extreme, but the key to this series may be making sure those two don't get anything to hit in big spots.

Kansas City Royals

2007 Record: 43-54 (.443)
2007 Pythagorean Record: 46-51 (.473)

Manager: Buddy Bell
General Manager: Dayton Moore

Home Ballpark (2007 Park Factors): Kauffman Stadium (107/106)

Who's Replacing Whom?

Ross Gload replaces Matt Stairs
Tony Peña Jr. replaces Angel Berroa
Alex Gordon replaces Doug Mientkiewicz
Billy Butler replaces Mike Sweeney (DL)
Jason Smith replaces Tony Graffanino
Jason LaRue replaces Paul Bako
Gil Meche replaces Mark Redman
Jorge De La Rosa takes Runelvys Hernandez's starts
Odalis Perez takes the starts of Denny Bautista, Joe Mays, and Brandon Duckworth (DL)
Brian Bannister replaces Luke Hudson (DL)
Octavio Dotel replaces Ambiorix Burgos
Joakim Soria replaces Andrew Sisco
David Riske replaces Elmer Dessens
Zack Greinke replaces Jeremy Affeldt
John Bale replaces Mike Wood
Ryan Z. Braun inherits Todd Wellemeyer's innings

25-man Roster:

1B – Ross Gload (L)
2B – Mark Grudzielanek (R)
SS – Tony Peña Jr. (R)
3B – Alex Gordon (L)
C – John Buck (R)
RF – Emil Brown (R)
CF – David DeJesus (L)
LF – Mark Teahen (L)
DH – Billy Butler (R)

Bench:

R - Esteban German (IF)
R - Reggie Sanders (OF)
L - Jason Smith (IF)
R - Jason LaRue (C)

Rotation:

R - Gil Meche
L - Jorge De La Rosa
R - Brian Bannister
L - Odalis Perez

Bullpen:

R - Octavio Dotel
R - Joakim Soria
R - David Riske
L - Jimmy Gobble
R - Zack Greinke
R - Joel Peralta
L - John Bale
R - Ryan Z. Braun

15-day DL: R - Mike Sweeney (1B), R - Ryan Shealy (1B), R - Scott Elarton*, R - John Thomson, R - Brandon Duckworth
60-day DL: R - Luke Hudson, R - Roman Colon, R - Joe Nelson, R - Angel Sanchez (IF)

Typical Lineup:

L - David DeJesus (OF)
R - Mark Grudzielanek (IF)
L - Mark Teahen (LF)
R - Billy Butler (DH)
L - Ross Gload (1B)
L - Alex Gordon (3B)
R - Emil Brown (RF)
R - John Buck (C)
R - Tony Peña Jr. (SS)

*Elarton will be activated to make Tuesday's start, with Bale or Braun likely to be optioned to triple-A to make room.

Comments (364)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-23 15:26:22
1.   rabid stan
Jimmy Gobble: Stopper.

1.60 WHIP (38 hits and 16 walks in 32.2 innings)
Righties hitting .361/.414/.557 in 61 ABs
Lefties hitting .232/.321/.377 in 69 ABs

So he's not exactly been used as a LOOGY. Where the hell did the 2.67 ERA come from?

Bleh. Reminds me of Myers, except that he's a little worse and carries the right splits. ERA is useless for this guy. He's still the same old Jimmy Gobble.

2007-07-23 15:40:26
2.   Chyll Will
Uh-oh. The last time Cliff started out a post with those words, we got swept by Colorado. I'm hoping that we've learned our lesson from that and not come into this series complacently. Beating up on Tampa after the break is fun and all, but we've still got quite a bit of ground to make up, so lets buckle down and crunch those numbers, crunch-crunch (and some more opposing pitchers if you don't mind...)
2007-07-23 15:46:39
3.   rbj
What worries me is that the bats may be worn out from all that hittin' over the weekend. Here's hoping that one run is all Clemens needs and he can go 8 strong.
2007-07-23 16:33:45
4.   Start Spreading the News
I am more worried about Shelley Duncan turning into a pumpkin and giving us a Damonesque performance out of the DH spot.
2007-07-23 16:35:18
5.   mehmattski
4 He'll still be hitting against the AAA-level pitching of the Royals and Orioles the next few days, so midnight for Cinderelladuncan shouldn't be till the White Sox series.
2007-07-23 16:45:18
6.   mehmattski
PeteAbe:

"Bobby Abreu (3 of 27 against Perez) is sitting so Duncan can play. … Carrie Proctor had a baby today, a boy who was named Cooper. Scott Proctor will be away from the team until Wednesday"

I hope there's some hospital-league softball games Scott can pitch in so he doesn't feel lost while he's tending to his new boy.

2007-07-23 16:58:09
7.   Cliff Corcoran
I'm sorry, "Cooper Proctor"? Poor kid.
2007-07-23 16:59:17
8.   Cliff Corcoran
Oh, and Damon in CF over Melky, who's in RF? That better be a typo. No way Damon pushes Melky out of CF at this point.
2007-07-23 17:01:16
9.   rilkefan
7 I assume he'll be "Coop" to his friends. Coop Proctor. Everyone will hear "Coo Proctor".
2007-07-23 17:02:01
10.   Mattpat11
NO KAY!
2007-07-23 17:03:01
11.   mehmattski
I suppose "Exam" would be a good first name...
2007-07-23 17:06:05
12.   Mattpat11
COOPER? I hope that's a family name or has some significance. I don't want to think the Proctor's sat down one day and said "Yes, Cooper Proctor. This will do."
2007-07-23 17:06:56
13.   mehmattski
From the KC Broadcast, Best ERA at Kauffman Stadium:

Roger Clemens 2.03
Dan Quisenberry 2.40
Steve Farr 2.46
Bert Blyleven 2.64

Interesting... Farr sure captured lightning in a bottle for a few seasons.

2007-07-23 17:08:06
14.   rbj
Ya think Scott planned it this way so he'd be guaranteed a couple days off during the season.

"Hey hon, if you get knocked up right around Thanksgiving that'll mean (counts to nine) I can get a few days off at the end of July -- when I'll have pitched about 50 innings. I sure could use the time off."

2007-07-23 17:09:40
15.   rbj
Good news is that Jon Lester is pitching again. Bad news is that he's winning.
2007-07-23 17:10:37
16.   mehmattski
8 Sadly, not a typo, Yahoo confirms, and the in-game lineup as well. I guess because Damon is familiar with Kauffman's centerfield?

I really don't know. Although Cabrera is definitely the best choice to fill in for Abreu in right field, as runners could walk to third on hits to Matsui or Damon in right.

2007-07-23 17:11:05
17.   Mattpat11
What's with this whacky lineup music?
2007-07-23 17:11:47
18.   mehmattski
17 They were fireworks.
2007-07-23 17:12:35
19.   Mattpat11
8 They probably feel more comfortable with Melky in right than Damon.
2007-07-23 17:13:49
20.   yankz
Frankly, I'm disappointed the baby's name isn't "Everyday."
2007-07-23 17:14:06
21.   mehmattski
Let's just pretend that Damon never batted and Melky led off the game with a walk.
2007-07-23 17:15:21
22.   Mattpat11
20I'm still mildly terrified that a Cooper Proctor will go through middle school.
2007-07-23 17:18:36
23.   mehmattski
Looking about 20 years into the future:

"Daddy, who's the all time home run king?"

"That would be Alex Rodriguez, son."

"Didn't he play for the Yankees? Why did they let him go?"

"That's a good question. You see, there were these newspapers called tabloids..."

"Daddy?"

"Yes son?"

"What's a newspaper?"

2007-07-23 17:20:03
24.   rbj
Yay Matsui!
2007-07-23 17:20:04
25.   ny2ca2dc
Good "Cooper Procter" jokes ladies & germs, actually got me to chuckle a couple times.

re: Damon in CF vice Right, it's gotta be about the arm, I mean, a deep single to right with Damon there could be a frigin triple. CF hides his arm best.

2007-07-23 17:20:23
26.   Mattpat11
Player of the month. Yankees have a stranglehold on it this year
2007-07-23 17:21:09
27.   yankz
You know, this CNN/YouTube debate is a pretty cool concept.
2007-07-23 17:21:40
28.   ny2ca2dc
26 huh?

mlb.tv's Royals feed is putting me to sleep. is anyone at that stadium?

2007-07-23 17:22:20
29.   Mattpat11
The whacky music is back. How many fireworks do they shoot off?
2007-07-23 17:22:52
30.   mehmattski
It's the midwest, they're easily excited.
2007-07-23 17:24:19
31.   Mattpat11
26 Matsui is going to win player of the month at this rate.The Yankees would have three of the four PotM this year
2007-07-23 17:25:47
32.   Mattpat11
Nice camera work there
2007-07-23 17:25:52
33.   mehmattski
OMG he runs into walls! (swoons)
2007-07-23 17:26:12
34.   BklynBmr
Nice play, Milkman. Bobby let's that drop...
2007-07-23 17:26:30
35.   ny2ca2dc
31 gotcha.

also, no way abreu makes that catch....

2007-07-23 17:27:00
36.   BklynBmr
33 ;-)
2007-07-23 17:27:20
37.   mehmattski
34 Hey, Bump Bailey died running into a wall. And Bump Bailey was easier for The Judge to pay off.
2007-07-23 17:29:57
38.   OldYanksFan
Roger is overwhelmed at getting 2 runs in the first. He's not quite comfortable with it. He just asked Torre if he could give one back.
2007-07-23 17:31:30
39.   ny2ca2dc
Shelly Duncan hits a bomb. Called it.

OKOKOKOK, or he strikes out. or gets a hit. or walks, or perhaps makes an out while putting the ball in play. but will not get HBP, no way.

2007-07-23 17:31:37
40.   mehmattski
To anyone watching the Royals broadcast: the pre-pitch positioning of Tony Pena Jr on that play caused him not to get to a ball that is in the traditional SS "Zone." And that's why I have a problem with Zone Rating.
2007-07-23 17:32:37
41.   BklynBmr
37 Thanks, it's about time for me to dust off that DVD and give it another look...
2007-07-23 17:33:36
42.   BklynBmr
Hmmm, the KC announcers prep is legendary. That "8 or 9 game lead the Red Sox have..."
2007-07-23 17:33:43
43.   mehmattski
41 It was on AMC yesterday, twice.
2007-07-23 17:34:41
44.   OldYanksFan
Bottom of the 4th. Sox up 5-2.
Cleveland with 1st & 2nd, no out.
2007-07-23 17:35:05
45.   OldYanksFan
Cleveland with 1st & 2nd, 1 out.
2007-07-23 17:35:47
46.   BklynBmr
Last month that ball was foul by 2 inches...
2007-07-23 17:36:07
47.   mehmattski
This just in:

Odalis Perez: Still Terrible.

2007-07-23 17:36:19
48.   OldYanksFan
WOW! JD hit the ball further then 200'.. what gives?
2007-07-23 17:36:35
49.   pistolpete
Damon! I hope he's back too....
2007-07-23 17:36:43
50.   rbj
When's the last time a team scored 17+ in three straight games? And no fair counting pre-glove base ball games.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-23 17:37:14
51.   ny2ca2dc
40 Further, you'd need to know if he was shading of his own volition, or was ordered to do so? The rationale being if the fielder is shading a certain way based on his own knowledge (or percieved knowledge) of a hitter, and his peeking at the catcher's signs, that's a skill he should get credit for. Conversly, if the manager is playing the infield in, or whatever, it's not to the fielder's credit or fault... make sense?

Man, Shelly running is quite a sight.

2007-07-23 17:37:26
52.   pistolpete
44 The good thing is - as long as we win all our games, we're going to gain ground on someone...

Signed, Captain Obvious.

2007-07-23 17:37:42
53.   OldYanksFan
Cleveland with bases loaded, 1 out
2007-07-23 17:38:28
54.   ny2ca2dc
50 does slow-pitch softball count?

bases loaded, one out against lester...

2007-07-23 17:38:48
55.   Vandelay Industries
Lester is getting out of it.
2007-07-23 17:38:53
56.   mehmattski
Wow. Get over the damn pine tar game, Kansas City. The ruling was overturned and you won the game, for chrissake.
2007-07-23 17:39:13
57.   vockins
Anyone been to Kaufmann? Any recommendations if you have?
2007-07-23 17:39:34
58.   Vandelay Industries
Now Steve Phiilps is an expert on perspective on life?
2007-07-23 17:40:14
59.   OldYanksFan
Cleveland with bases loaded, 2 out
2007-07-23 17:41:05
60.   pistolpete
55 He is or he did - Fox reads Sizemore up with bases juiced...
2007-07-23 17:41:49
61.   Vandelay Industries
60

Not yet, but its Sizemore, so I expect very little here.

2007-07-23 17:41:59
62.   rbj
54 HA!
Nope, gotta be a pro game.
2007-07-23 17:42:24
63.   Vandelay Industries
Like I said.
2007-07-23 17:42:33
64.   OldYanksFan
Cleveland sucks!
2007-07-23 17:43:28
65.   Vandelay Industries
But I thought Sizemore was the nexy Bobby Crosby according to Gammons. Wait, he is the next Bobby Crosvy.
2007-07-23 17:43:46
66.   mehmattski
62 Considering that last night was just the 9th time since 1900 that teams scored 38 runs in two consecutive games, I'd wager that no team has ever scored 17 runs in three straight games.
2007-07-23 17:46:22
67.   mehmattski
DIAF, Herm Edwards. I hope Mangini knocks you out of the playoffs for ten years in a row.
2007-07-23 17:46:23
68.   ny2ca2dc
Man, Lester struck out Sizemore with the bases juiced on high heat, and did the same with two on to Pronk Hafner earlier, both with two outs...

Damn, nice Rocket.

I know it's stupid to even broach the topic, but if Roger puts up a solid #2/3 starter type year, maybe even better than that, like a 3.6-ish ERA, what does he do next year, and do the Yankees go around one last, last, last time? Probably only if Moose could get disappeared, too many good kids that will need spots (who'da thunk!)

2007-07-23 17:47:57
69.   rbj
66 Then let the Yankees make history tonight. And if Scott's away for a few days, does that operate like the bereavement list and someone (Edwar) can come up for a few days.
2007-07-23 17:49:02
70.   mehmattski
Hey guys... there's a baseball game going on over here. Don't let that distract you from your football discussion though. Guys?
2007-07-23 17:50:24
71.   Vandelay Industries
How did Grudzelanik make it to KC? Werent the Dodgers paying him like 12 million per or something?
2007-07-23 17:50:30
72.   ny2ca2dc
70 Dude, their team is the Royals, cut them some slack....
2007-07-23 17:51:44
73.   OldYanksFan
Manny hits a liner into the gap in left-center. He watches a moment then starts jogging to 1st. 1/2 way there, he watches the ball take one hop off the wall. He starts running hard, takes a big turn, and goes back to first. SINGLE!

Why, when a guy makes $20m/yr, can't you fine him for lazy, shitty-ass play? I hate watching these guys shit on the game.

2007-07-23 17:52:14
74.   BklynBmr
70 Better than NESN's in game borrowed interest sploogefests. Still maddening, but at least it's pro football...
2007-07-23 17:57:32
75.   OldYanksFan
Great play by Robbie. The kid is smoooooooth.
2007-07-23 17:58:26
76.   weeping for brunnhilde
Evening, Team.

I see things are going our way (knock on wood), but what the hell is Melky doing in right?

2007-07-23 18:00:46
77.   mehmattski
NESN Aflac trivia question revealed that the last time the Red Sox had two pitchers in their rotation that they drafted was 1991.

For the Yankees the answer is 1995 with Pettitte, Hitchkock, and Kamieniecki.

2007-07-23 18:01:51
78.   mehmattski
76 I've come to terms with it. Abreu needed a day off, Torre wanted Duncan to play, and Damon in right would be worse, methinks.
2007-07-23 18:02:23
79.   fansince77
You wudda thought the Royals just won a playoff game with that base hit.

Was impressive ab by Penito

2007-07-23 18:02:53
80.   yankz
77 Not this year (Pettitte and Hughes)?
2007-07-23 18:02:54
81.   BklynBmr
76 What the hell is Damon doing in center was my question...
2007-07-23 18:03:10
82.   yankz
Or Clippard, Karstens, DeSalvo, etc?
2007-07-23 18:05:22
83.   yankz
Wow, small markets are really different.
2007-07-23 18:07:03
84.   BklynBmr
56 No sh*t, huh?
2007-07-23 18:07:51
85.   weeping for brunnhilde
81 Heh heh. That was my first question. I heard Sterling say something about Damon in center and screamed out loud, in my car, "Why the fuck is Damon in center???"
2007-07-23 18:08:29
86.   mehmattski
Well, the NESN question had dealt with when was the last time that happened, before Lester and Gabbard. So 1995 is the last time since Pettitte and Hughes on the Yankees.

The Royals AFLAC question is kind of lame though: name the three managers who won an MVP and a Manager of the Year.

Joe Torre
Frank Robinson
Don Baylor

2007-07-23 18:08:29
87.   OldYanksFan
The KC announcers have a really nice box.
2007-07-23 18:08:36
88.   BklynBmr
Freddy Patek. Crybaby.
2007-07-23 18:09:36
89.   BklynBmr
87 The wall hangings are fabulous...
2007-07-23 18:09:46
90.   Vandelay Industries
83

There are over 2,000,000 people in the KC Metro area.

2007-07-23 18:11:39
91.   mehmattski
90 And many of those folks would come out to see their team in droves if the third richest man in the US would spend a little money on his team, instead of eating his revenue sharing money with a side of 100 loss seasons.
2007-07-23 18:11:48
92.   BklynBmr
86 I must be getting a different feed here. The Royals AFLAC question was "Who was the Royal player involved in 'The Pine Tar Incident'...
2007-07-23 18:13:10
93.   yankz
90 Kansas City, MO has an estimated population of 447,306.

I got it from Wikipedia, but the actual Census Bureau source is here: http://tinyurl.com/2wokk8

2007-07-23 18:13:31
94.   weeping for brunnhilde
How adorable!
2007-07-23 18:14:28
95.   fansince77
Melky do his best Damon...I like it.
2007-07-23 18:14:43
96.   Vandelay Industries
91

Tell me about it. We had this discussion the other day. It would be great if the fans could actually organize a true boycott. There are two minor league teams in the area, if the fans want to watch baseball of the same caliber as the Royals. It is really the only way anything will ever change in KC.

2007-07-23 18:15:03
97.   OldYanksFan
The 'All-you-can-eat' seats?
I'll bet you meet a lovely class of people.
No comments guys?
2007-07-23 18:15:12
98.   BklynBmr
Melky tried to pop that up in the infield twice, but was successful on his third attempt...
2007-07-23 18:15:15
99.   mehmattski
93 Further, this site shows estimates for the "KC Metro area" which has slightly fewer than 2 million.

http://www.thinkkc.com/3_locating/3a_kc_profile/3a02_population.htm

Also, having one of the most storied franchises in the game across the state dips into that a bit, I would imagine.

2007-07-23 18:15:25
100.   Vandelay Industries
93

Metro my friend, "Metro." In other words, short driving distance to the stadium.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-23 18:16:34
101.   yankz
100 99 has my back.
2007-07-23 18:17:07
102.   weeping for brunnhilde
Damn.

Derek gave it a ride...

2007-07-23 18:17:31
103.   Vandelay Industries
99

As of 2000, estimates are across the board that KC Metro has grown considerably since then. That, without taking into account the significant number of undocumented persons who don't need an ID to get into the game.

2007-07-23 18:18:57
104.   weeping for brunnhilde
86 Baylor was an MVP?

With California?

2007-07-23 18:21:00
105.   Vandelay Industries
The Chiefs generate huge revenue. I guess what I'm saying is that KC being a "small" market has nothing to do with why they suck balls.
2007-07-23 18:22:14
106.   mehmattski
101 Well, I guess I'm somewhere in between. KC, as a metro area, is not huge, but there are a lot of people, and a lot of sports fans, as the Chiefs sell out every game. If David Glass could man-up and get some impact players, or at least show significant progress in the farm (there's Teahen, Gordon and.... Buehler... Buehler...), then the people would come.

Look at tonight. Almost a sell-out for the Royals, and the crowd doesn't appear to be ridiculously pro-Yankees as it has in other Yankees road games. If there is a reason for fans in KC to go to a baseball game, they will.

Still, a team in my area (Raleigh-Durham) would have a comparable fan base and yet has never been discussed as a site for relocation. Sometimes population doesn't dictate fan base size (see: Marlins).

2007-07-23 18:23:12
107.   weeping for brunnhilde
Agggggggh!
2007-07-23 18:27:34
108.   Vandelay Industries
106

I used to think that about the Marlins too, until my brother noved down there. It rains almost every day at that stadium, game or no game. And although that is not the entire reason for poor attendance, who wants to sit in the rain at every game?

The Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater Metro area has quite a few people, and sell more tickets that does Florida because they play indoors. Not that I am defending that monstrosity, but they could field a decent team there too, with better ownership.

Either way, it doesn't matter until the fans stop believing the propaganda that its their market that is to blame for their ineptitude. But that will be difficult to accomplish. As you know, the Russian's are coming, Socialism is bad, Al Queada is in your home town, and the Canadian medical system is broken. Ahh propaganda, thy aim is always true.

2007-07-23 18:29:38
109.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wow.

Dave Duncan just said Shelley probably has more plate discipline than he ever had.

Imagine that.

2007-07-23 18:30:57
110.   Vandelay Industries
106

Agreed in part. I live now in a County with more than 10,000,000 people, and they couldn't fill an NFL stadium here, while pulling nearly 80,000 to 100,000 to two different stadiums each week to watch the Bruins and Trojans.

2007-07-23 18:31:32
111.   mehmattski
108 Haven't we always been at war with Eurasia?
2007-07-23 18:32:01
112.   fansince77
at whose knees? David Ecksteins?
2007-07-23 18:32:16
113.   weeping for brunnhilde
I think Jorgie's bigger than he used to be.

His shoulders or something...

2007-07-23 18:32:48
114.   Vandelay Industries
111

Very funny.

2007-07-23 18:34:13
115.   mehmattski
109 According to baseball-reference.com, the hitter most similar to Dave Duncan is: Ron Karkovice. That sounds about right.
2007-07-23 18:34:39
116.   BklynBmr
OK. This game is demanding a tad more attention than I need to allow it right now. Let's ring up some numbers here, Yanks...
2007-07-23 18:35:09
117.   weeping for brunnhilde
What a jackass.

Why did he dive after that?

What a terrible play.

And what's Jorgie doing taking third?

2007-07-23 18:35:16
118.   Vandelay Industries
Posada a triple! Yikes man, he is going to get ribbed in the dugout.
2007-07-23 18:35:59
119.   BklynBmr
Georgie clearly safe at third! Knock him in, Robbie...
2007-07-23 18:36:09
120.   Jim Dean
A triple!
2007-07-23 18:36:10
121.   OldYanksFan
Are you supposed to do that with 2 out?
2007-07-23 18:36:23
122.   Vandelay Industries
Cano is creep creep creeping toward .300.
2007-07-23 18:36:25
123.   fansince77
Talk about an ump being right on the call!

Talk about a guy needing a water break around second...Posada is slooooow.

2007-07-23 18:36:27
124.   mehmattski
Posada's last triple was less than a year ago.
2007-07-23 18:36:58
125.   BklynBmr
%$#@!
2007-07-23 18:36:59
126.   weeping for brunnhilde
122 Hard to get there when you keep pulling that outside pitch.
2007-07-23 18:37:32
127.   Vandelay Industries
121

Posada is on the movie poster for "Adventures in Baserunning." The rating is R for extreme bad judgment in almost any circumstance.

2007-07-23 18:39:25
128.   fansince77
one pitch, one out.
2007-07-23 18:39:30
129.   Vandelay Industries
Can someone tell me why Joey Gathright is playing in the Royals' minor league system? Is that Barry Bonds they have playing LF? Why the hell would they have Gathright down there?
2007-07-23 18:40:19
130.   weeping for brunnhilde
127 No kidding.

It's been awhile since he made a doozie, though.

I have a hazy recollection of a game maybe in April or May where he did something preposterous.

Did he try to take third on a grounder to the left side?

Can't recall, but man was it egregious.

2007-07-23 18:40:29
131.   fansince77
126 I am with you Weeping- it's not that Cano isn't very good- it's that he could so easily be great...maybe even better than that.
2007-07-23 18:41:04
132.   mehmattski
126 According to ESPN.com's scouting chart, Cano is hitting the following on pitches classified as "outside":

Up and away: .386 (highest of any zone)
Middle outside: .382
Down and away: .208

He doesn't hit very well on balls down in the zone, in general. In fact, Down and In is his worst zone of all, which is weird for a lefty.

Just a few more numbers to mull as you continue your assertions about Cano.

2007-07-23 18:42:11
133.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nicely done, Roger.

Cruising along.

2007-07-23 18:42:28
134.   BklynBmr
127 Wasn't the co-feature "Adventures in Left" starring Godzilla?

The 2 minute short to open was Kay's "A-Rod Has Trouble With Pop-Ups" 'RainMan' performance, which was an Emmy nominee, btw...

2007-07-23 18:42:29
135.   fansince77
How many pitches that inning? 5 or 6? Rocket is great.
2007-07-23 18:42:39
136.   weeping for brunnhilde
131 Yup.
2007-07-23 18:43:32
137.   Vandelay Industries
134 I like it.
2007-07-23 18:47:03
138.   weeping for brunnhilde
132 Thanks, mehmattski.

Those numbers don't mean a whole lot to me, but I'll keep them in mind.

I'll try to be attentive to what he does with up and away v. down and away.

Where was that last one?--the reason I brought it up is because he pulled the outside pitch (middle-up?) for a weak bouncer to first with a Jorgie hanging out on third.

2007-07-23 18:47:38
139.   rbs10025
127, 130 Didn't I see Jorge steal a base over the weekend?
2007-07-23 18:47:59
140.   Mike T
Duncan's picture on Gameday has him looking like that dude from Goonies that the kids found in the basement.
2007-07-23 18:48:08
141.   Jim Dean
Anyone point out that Cano is hitting .292 now?

.375 this month

2007-07-23 18:48:54
142.   weeping for brunnhilde
139 I think he did, and uncontested, at that.
2007-07-23 18:50:00
143.   Jim Dean
140 I was thinking Corky from "Life Goes On"
2007-07-23 18:50:18
144.   weeping for brunnhilde
Remember those rundowns we fucked up on consecutive games about a month ago? Jorgie and Alex were involved?

Man, we were playing some contemptible baseball then.

2007-07-23 18:51:57
145.   Vandelay Industries
141

See 122

2007-07-23 18:54:49
146.   mehmattski
138 Gameday says the grounder was hit on a ball down and over the plate, maybe outside by an inh or two. Note also that in his first at bat, Cano singled on an outside pitch that he took to left field. He then popped out to the left side on a pitch that was middle-down.

Cano's spray chart, which can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/yqzmad

Does suggest that Cano hits a greater percentage of his grounders to the left side. It does not break down singles by grounder/fly ball, but the spray of his singles seems pretty even. His extra base-hits are mostly pulled, which suggests that Cano might be sacrificing the chance to get a single (by poking it the other way) for the chance to get more than that (by pulling it). The singles chart also suggests that he is capable of hitting the ball anywhere on the field.

2007-07-23 18:55:27
147.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, come on.

I don't want this game to become interesting.

Please.

2007-07-23 18:56:06
148.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice!!!

Woo-hoo!

2007-07-23 18:56:33
149.   BklynBmr
Cano = best 2B gun in MLB. Period.
2007-07-23 18:57:26
150.   BklynBmr
Sweep scoop by Andy, too! Mmyejjek who?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-23 18:58:10
151.   weeping for brunnhilde
146 Cheers!
2007-07-23 18:58:26
152.   ChrisS
150 we can only hope.
2007-07-23 19:00:49
153.   RIYank
Yo.

Looks like I missed most of a pretty interesting game (just caught the infield hit, DP, groundout in the bottom of the sixth).

2007-07-23 19:00:51
154.   BklynBmr
Nurse! I need baserunners! STAT! And a few gappers. Like now...
2007-07-23 19:01:19
155.   weeping for brunnhilde
Good old Captain 1-3.
2007-07-23 19:02:07
156.   Vandelay Industries
150

Yep. So, will Joe actually dump at least one useless middle reliever when Giambi comes back in two weeks to keep Duncan on the squad? I will venture a guess and say no.

2007-07-23 19:03:11
157.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice fucking hustle by Derek.

God, I like Derek more all the time, if that's possible.

2007-07-23 19:05:08
158.   BklynBmr
153 Looked like the Yanks were going to put it on Snooze Control early on, but they've let Perez channel Koufax since...

And speaking of, how about 'Entourage' last night...

2007-07-23 19:05:56
159.   ChrisS
There goes A-Rod clogging the bases with a walk again.
2007-07-23 19:06:06
160.   Vandelay Industries
Derek is the anti-Manny. I keep hoping Manny will end up with a complex fracture as some pitcher decks him with a bat for showing him up. Alas it hasnt happened yet.
2007-07-23 19:07:40
161.   Vandelay Industries
Red Sox putting it away in the 9th.
2007-07-23 19:08:04
162.   RIYank
I like Manny.
He's a little NYC in the midst of RSN.
2007-07-23 19:10:57
163.   OldYanksFan
He's a little asshole in the midst of RSN buttocks.
2007-07-23 19:11:59
164.   Vandelay Industries
162

I lived in NYC for a while, and I don't remember it being filled with whiny pussies who love to show pitchers up but act like you tried to shoot them with a Glock when you get within 2 feet of their heads with a fastball, but I could be wrong.

He may have grown up there, but he sure as hell wouldn't have made it very far if not for the babying he recieved as a result of his ability to hit a baseball.

2007-07-23 19:12:32
165.   ChrisS
Awww, and I was just gonna leave the game in the hands of the bullpen and start reading my book.
2007-07-23 19:12:43
166.   OldYanksFan
Roger has really surprised me.
I believe he is on a mission from God.
Oops.
Well anyway, I think when he met with George, he saw his own motality.
2007-07-23 19:13:36
167.   weeping for brunnhilde
162 I gotta say, I sort of agree.

I went to a game years ago at the Stadium against Cleveland and Manny had his own cheering section behind me. It was pretty endearing, though at the time I was kind of annoyed. El Duque got shelled, capped by a grand slam off the bat of Thome.

It was an awesome shot.

He swung the bat so nice and easy, so effortlessly that I was shocked as the ball kept carrying and carrying to left-center.

It was like Thome didn't even put his whole body into the swing, but looked like all arms.

It was something to see.

But yeah, I do like that Manny's from Washington Heights. I think he actually went to the same high school as my dad.

2007-07-23 19:13:46
168.   Jim Dean
Who's the first out of the bullpen?

Cooper or Flame?

2007-07-23 19:13:57
169.   BklynBmr
161 That's OK. Tonight, the WC looks better. Tomorrow night, hopefully the division. Either way, we need to take care of biz.

— Cap'n Obvious's sidekick...

2007-07-23 19:14:00
170.   ny2ca2dc
Damn. This game isn't Farnsworth-proof yet; strap em on boys, lets get some insurance runs.
2007-07-23 19:14:12
171.   RIYank
Manny's spacey. And it's true, he doesn't take the game as seriously as...

Ah, the heck with it.

2007-07-23 19:15:35
172.   Jim Dean
Any one think we'll see Torre start pulling Jorge for Molina? I know I wouldn't be surprised.
2007-07-23 19:15:56
173.   weeping for brunnhilde
Videlicet getting up...
2007-07-23 19:17:01
174.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, dear God no. If this game gets away from us I just might hang myself.
2007-07-23 19:17:12
175.   RIYank
173 Good.
But I think Rocket has a few outs left in him.
2007-07-23 19:17:28
176.   ChrisS
I was kinda hoping that Rocket would be his own setup man, but it's looking pretty iffy now.
2007-07-23 19:17:54
177.   RIYank
174 Ah, that's it! Manny doesn't take the game quite as seriously as you do.
2007-07-23 19:18:08
178.   Vandelay Industries
Hey, just be happy Farnsworth isnt warming. If the rat gets shocked often enough, even the rat can learn.
2007-07-23 19:18:34
179.   BklynBmr
174 I'll join you...
2007-07-23 19:18:36
180.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice job, Roger.

Nice job.

2007-07-23 19:18:38
181.   RIYank
Yeah, Mr. Splitty!
Whoa, dangerous battage.
2007-07-23 19:19:09
182.   Vandelay Industries
I actually think Roger should start the 8th. A wild pitch and a solo shot. Its not like he is getting roughed up.
2007-07-23 19:19:24
183.   OldYanksFan
Not bad for a 5 inning pitcher.
2007-07-23 19:19:41
184.   RIYank
178 Geez. That might be worth a try. A small device in Torre's cap?
2007-07-23 19:20:12
185.   Vandelay Industries
183

Yea, he's been washed up for years. He and Jorge both, junk, junk I tell you!

2007-07-23 19:20:34
186.   weeping for brunnhilde
177 ha ha hah ah ah ha hah !!

Indeed.

2007-07-23 19:20:48
187.   Vandelay Industries
184

He used to have one, only he wore a WWII infantry helmet.

2007-07-23 19:20:53
188.   RIYank
182 I agree. Though with Vide and Mo I feel a strange, unfamiliar feeling when I think about our bullpen. What do you call that feeling?
2007-07-23 19:22:21
189.   Vandelay Industries
188

It better not be confidence.

But seriously, give me Roger over anyone out there but MO, today, last week, tomorrow, and right now.

2007-07-23 19:22:46
190.   OldYanksFan
188 Acid reflux?
2007-07-23 19:22:50
191.   RIYank
185 In New England you can always get a rise out of the locals by pointing out that Rocket is in "the twilight of his career."
2007-07-23 19:24:43
192.   weeping for brunnhilde
See, that was a great swing by Cano. First pitch 94mph, outside corner, he went with it, but aggressively.

He fouled it off.

That's his A-swing right there.

2007-07-23 19:25:09
193.   BklynBmr
Walk is as good as a hit, Robbie...
2007-07-23 19:26:04
194.   mehmattski
Wait, was that a hit to the left side? On an inside pitch???? Weeping, what say you?
2007-07-23 19:26:04
195.   RIYank
Dammit, Robbie, you have to pull those pitches. Come on.
2007-07-23 19:26:22
196.   Jim Dean
Cano = .294
2007-07-23 19:26:26
197.   BklynBmr
Nice. Now keep the line movin', Andy...
2007-07-23 19:26:35
198.   weeping for brunnhilde
Night and day with this kid.

Funny, too, because that one was more over the plate than the one he bounced out on in the previous ab.

This one was a much better candidate for pulling, yet he put his A-swing on it.

Who can figure this kid out?

2007-07-23 19:28:18
199.   weeping for brunnhilde
194 Exactly. I can't figure this kid.

It wasn't inside. It was pretty fat, but it was pullable, yet he chose not to.

2007-07-23 19:28:56
200.   mehmattski
198 See, I think your perception is weighing on you more than the evidence is showing. The GB to the left side on the previous at bat was on a pitch that was low, but the very definition of down the middle.

That hit came on a pitch that was half a foot inside. He DerekJetered the ball into left field.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-07-23 19:28:56
201.   RIYank
I just hate to see Cano wasting those opportunities. Just turn on the ball and put it out! What are you gonna do, wait there on first base for Andy or Shelley to knock you in? Homers, baby, homers. Singles are for sissies.
2007-07-23 19:30:20
202.   weeping for brunnhilde
201 :)
2007-07-23 19:31:44
203.   Jim Dean
What's so hard to figure out about Cano?

He's 24 in his second full season. He's still learning. And that's scary.

Meanwhile his defense is fantastic.

2007-07-23 19:32:22
204.   weeping for brunnhilde
200 Huh. Maybe I'm watching a different game or maybe my eyes don't work.

I don't know. The previous ab was clearly outside to my eyes and this last one didn't look nearly so inside as you think it was.

Hmmm...

2007-07-23 19:32:49
205.   RIYank
Wow, Farns seems to have lost his job.
2007-07-23 19:33:13
206.   OldYanksFan
Lester's parents were in the stadium and the camera was on them a lot. Considering what they have been through, it was kind of cool watching them celebrate as Lester got out of jams.

The kid looked good. 2 runs, 6 hits.

2007-07-23 19:34:22
207.   weeping for brunnhilde
203 No, I get that, Jim.

I mean literally, I can't figure him. I don't get why those two ab were so different.

How would you analyze those two ab?

2007-07-23 19:35:12
208.   RIYank
206 I didn't see it, but I was listening to the first few innings, and Castiglione and Mr. Snoozy seemed pretty excited.
2007-07-23 19:39:39
209.   Jim Dean
207 I didn't see them - listening to the game.

But I would guess that he doesn't have much of a plan. He sees the ball and hits the ball. And he just has good instincts.

That caused problems when he was jumping at the first pitch because pitchers started throwing junk early in the count. Now that he's being more selective (BB and K up), I think you're really going to start seeing better results.

But he's still learning about what pitches are "his".

2007-07-23 19:39:45
210.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wow.

Beautiful, Viz.

2007-07-23 19:40:11
211.   RIYank
207 My wife says she volunteers for the job of analyzing Cano's abs.

Uh oh. Isn't the umpire going to warn Vizcaino now? You aren't allowed to throw so many strikes in the eighth inning, right?

2007-07-23 19:40:59
212.   Vandelay Industries
210

Hear the dumb fuck in KC say it was 10 inches outside?

2007-07-23 19:41:36
213.   BklynBmr
V.I.Z.
2007-07-23 19:41:47
214.   Vandelay Industries
Bye bye Farny.
2007-07-23 19:42:42
215.   RIYank
Let him be seen!
2007-07-23 19:42:56
216.   BklynBmr
212 Ended with "the stike zone got a little wide there, they were just trying to protect it"... Rube, pleeze...
2007-07-23 19:43:33
217.   tommyl
214 Please, he can compete with Mike Myers for mop-up man.
2007-07-23 19:44:12
218.   BklynBmr
C'mon, Yanks. Plate 2 here and everything's everything...
2007-07-23 19:44:22
219.   RIYank
Good job Johnny. 3 hits this evening.

Now let's see if we can solve Nolan Ryan Braun.

2007-07-23 19:45:54
220.   BklynBmr
217 Only in 17+ run games, unless we can get a few pizzas for him...
2007-07-23 19:45:56
221.   weeping for brunnhilde
209 Fair enough.

Except that it's more than just seeing the ball and hitting the ball; it's seeing the ball and choosing which swing to put on it.

The thing I don't get is why, in that last ab, he just let'er rip with an opposite-field swing on that first fastball on the outer half of the plate, which was a textbook swing, and couldn't have pleased me more, whereas in the previous ab he couldn't apply that same swing to the pitch he grounded out to first on.

I guess it's hard for me to figure out if he just can't tell which part of the plate the ball is and guesses or if he just decides when he comes up to the plate: "I'm going to pull the ball, no matter what." or "I'm going the other way, no matter what."

Because this last ab, he came out first-pitch opposite field and indeed, ended up with a hit to the opposite field, like it was his plan all along.

You know what I mean?

Nice hitting by Melky there, btw.

2007-07-23 19:47:00
222.   RIYank
Wow, very very nice. Melk shows bunt, then looks for the fastball. That's excellent. I have to say I'm as happy with him these days as I am with Cano.
2007-07-23 19:47:09
223.   weeping for brunnhilde
212 Yeah, it could have been outside. I wouldn't want that called on us, but it was close enough.
2007-07-23 19:47:46
224.   RIYank
Weeping, did you appreciate 215? That was mainly for you.
2007-07-23 19:48:06
225.   nemecizer
2 on + no outs + Jetes at bat = insurance runs

That should be as mathematically sound as general relativity.

2007-07-23 19:48:22
226.   tommyl
Jeter bunting? Seriously? giving up an out and taking the bat out of both Jeter and A-Rod's hands?
2007-07-23 19:48:33
227.   nemecizer
DON'T BUNT!!!
2007-07-23 19:48:42
228.   tommyl
225 No no no no no, no more physics today.
2007-07-23 19:50:24
229.   weeping for brunnhilde
224 Yes, I did. :)
2007-07-23 19:50:42
230.   nemecizer
it's not my fault, he bunted. don't bunt. it breaks mathematics it's so bad.

no bunting.

2007-07-23 19:50:46
231.   BklynBmr
A-Bomb time...
2007-07-23 19:51:08
232.   RIYank
Ahem.

I think we discussed this in an earlier thread, right? In this situation, I think the bunt was a strategically correct move. It seriously increases the win expectancy, if successful.

2007-07-23 19:52:35
233.   RIYank
HA!!!!
Sweet. Big rbi, very very big.
2007-07-23 19:52:44
234.   tommyl
I heart A-Rod
2007-07-23 19:52:49
235.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, my man Alex!

Thank the maker.

2007-07-23 19:53:45
236.   nemecizer
That's one Insurance Run. C'mon Gojira!
2007-07-23 19:54:27
237.   BklynBmr
233 Definitely a big ribby.

Don't stop now, Bombers...

2007-07-23 19:54:31
238.   tommyl
232 Well, in this case, you know that if Jeter bunts they will IBB A-Rod. So you are both giving up the out and taking the bat out of your best hitter's hand. Not sure its as simple as we talked about this morning.
2007-07-23 19:55:34
239.   tommyl
Man, are any of these Royals kids available? They have one hell of a bullpen.
2007-07-23 19:55:35
240.   nemecizer
232 Really? Because I have a hard time understanding how something that can, at best, give a single (i.e. bunting) is better than something that can, at best, give a HR (swinging).

I would love to read the logic. Not saying I doubt it, but would just love to see the numbers.

2007-07-23 19:55:50
241.   BklynBmr
Alex is amped. Carry us, brah. Carry us!
2007-07-23 19:56:28
242.   RIYank
238 True, but then they have the bases loaded with one out and Matsui steps up to the plate. I like that situation very, very much. Braun tends to have trouble throwing strikes, and this is a situation in which he would have to throw strikes, and Matsui just creams righty fastball pitchers. And like that. (I have this thing against walking the batter with men on second and third and first base empty. I think it's not such a good move.)
2007-07-23 19:57:53
243.   BklynBmr
239 That worked well in the 50s ;-)
2007-07-23 19:58:10
244.   tommyl
240 The basic argument is that the run expectancy of 1-2 0 out, and 2-3 1 out is close to the same. However, one can surmise the reason they are the same is that 1-2 0 out tends to lead to more runs, but less often. So, if you are playing late in the game and just want a single run or so, 2-3 1 out is the more likely to get that to you.

Of course, that's all things being equal (i.e. neutral batters, pitchers etc.). I'd argue any move that takes the bat out of A-Rod's hands at this point (not to mention Derek's) is not as high percentage, but I can't really back that up.

2007-07-23 19:58:40
245.   RIYank
240 Well, you shouldn't evaluate a move solely on the basis of what is the best case scenario.

I'll give you the numbers in a few minutes.

2007-07-23 19:58:43
246.   nemecizer
Is this pitcher really named "Jimmy Gobble"?

That should be illegal.

2007-07-23 19:58:49
247.   tommyl
243 Huh? I'm too young for that one.
2007-07-23 19:59:00
248.   BklynBmr
Good AB, 'Zilla!
2007-07-23 19:59:04
249.   OldYanksFan
231 Maybe an H-Bomb?
2007-07-23 20:00:00
250.   nemecizer
245 Dude, don't do any work on my part, it's late. Just wondering, but I trust & submit to the wisdom of the Banter :)

The whole numbers obsession is that math degree.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-07-23 20:00:02
251.   tommyl
Hmmm...bases loaded, 1 out, but now Jorge up. That good enough? ;)
2007-07-23 20:00:20
252.   weeping for brunnhilde
Jorgie's going to get it done.

I have a good feeling about this.

2007-07-23 20:02:01
253.   tommyl
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually going to be happy to see Ron Villone pitching.
2007-07-23 20:02:17
254.   BklynBmr
247 Royals were the unofficial "farm team" for the Yanks back in the day. Interesting stuff, if anyone can post a link or two now, I'll dig some stuff up, too...
2007-07-23 20:02:33
255.   Jim Dean
221 I think you overestimate how much "choice" there is.

Find a book called the Physics of Baseball.

Basically, the hitter has to choose to swing when the ball is 1/3 of the way to the plate.

In order to be successful, the hitter has to be be very good at pitch selection as the pitch leaves the pitcher's hand. And that's where I think Cano is still learning.

His choice is swing or not swing. That doesn't mean he can't make adjustments. It just means those adjustments are based on where he "thinks" the ball will be, not where it ends up. The hitter is mid-swing when the pitch is 20 feet from the plate.

So pitch identification is where alot of the learning is, especially if a guy has depended on a bit faster hands and now has to start to learn to read pitchers and their offerings. Cano, in trying to hit everything, has a much harder time, I think, at pitch selection. By contrast, a guy like Bonds knows his quadrant and what pitches will look like as they either come into it or away from it. Cano has to learn to identify pitches better and be more selective (by knowing the strengths of his swing). Right now I think he's further along on the former than the latter (i.e., he still swings at bad pitches rather than identifying them and letting them go by).

Long story short: Where it looks like he changes his swing, he simply hasn't figured out which pitches he should be swinging at.

2007-07-23 20:02:35
256.   weeping for brunnhilde
246 I know. Gobble's just a preposterous name.

How great is Jorgie?

Hmmm?

How great is he?

He's just so balanced, every time he swings.

Remember how easy it used to be to get him off-balance?

He's really a different hitter.

2007-07-23 20:03:00
257.   nemecizer
Nice!

Them's insurance runs!

2007-07-23 20:03:07
258.   nick
all right, evening off for Mo!
2007-07-23 20:03:16
259.   RIYank
Okay, in the ninth inning, the win expectancy for visitors in the ninth with a two run lead, runners on 1st and 2nd, nobody out: .965.
With second and third, one out: .970.

Minimal difference.

Check it out, here's the win expectancy finder:

tinyurl.com/yqjgz2

All academic now, huh?

2007-07-23 20:03:25
260.   OldYanksFan
Where was their SS playing. That was a patented JP DP ball.
2007-07-23 20:03:39
261.   Chyll Will
246 Didn't we discuss this last night, or at least a Banterized simile of it?
2007-07-23 20:04:09
262.   Jim Dean
Too late for 17 runs?
2007-07-23 20:04:35
263.   nemecizer
4 >> 3 right here.
2007-07-23 20:04:36
264.   tommyl
Oh, here comes that Duncan stat padding again
2007-07-23 20:04:58
265.   nemecizer
262 Greedy! :)
2007-07-23 20:05:22
266.   BklynBmr
Wow. Now Shelly can dunk one...
2007-07-23 20:05:25
267.   Jim Dean
Think Joe puts Edwar in?

Oh wait...

2007-07-23 20:05:28
268.   tommyl
A-Rod yelled HA! from the dugout
2007-07-23 20:05:44
269.   RIYank
That was really fun, and almost all of it happened while I was diddling around with the win expectancy finder.

Okay, the idiotic error wasn't that much fun. I thought KC didn't suck Cliff lied to us.

2007-07-23 20:05:50
270.   Schteeve
Boy oh boy this is a great win. No HRs!!! This is how you play ball!!
2007-07-23 20:05:58
271.   Chyll Will
I take it that we're winning. Good, that takes the edge off an interesting day. That and Brownie Sundae with cold milk, yum >;)
2007-07-23 20:06:21
272.   Schteeve
Although I am a bit concerned that they are using up tomorrow's allotment of runs. :(
2007-07-23 20:06:29
273.   Jim Dean
258 Wait, Mo has to get his work in. Right?
2007-07-23 20:07:01
274.   Max
268 Grudzielanek wishes he had that excuse. That error was pure Little League.
2007-07-23 20:07:18
275.   Jim Dean
271 Following the vaporizer?
2007-07-23 20:07:26
276.   RIYank
263 7>>>3.
2007-07-23 20:07:42
277.   nemecizer
This Duncan guy hasn't had a two-HR game in awhile. I think we trade him.
2007-07-23 20:07:48
278.   weeping for brunnhilde
255 Thanks, Jim, that's pretty illuminating.

I'll think that over.

2007-07-23 20:08:25
279.   BklynBmr
This just in: Police escort for Proctor I-40.
2007-07-23 20:08:34
280.   nemecizer
276 Now that was an insurance inning.

Who is coming in in the 9th for us, Villone?

Yep, Villone.

2007-07-23 20:08:58
281.   RIYank
272 Don't worry. Because we have all these runs with no homers, you know that we can reliably get another seven tomorrow.
2007-07-23 20:09:19
282.   weeping for brunnhilde
270 It is, it is!
2007-07-23 20:10:35
283.   Chyll Will
275 ?? I don't get it...
2007-07-23 20:11:24
284.   OldYanksFan
You guys are all aware that ARod is 2 away from 500? After he hits 499, I wonder if ALL the following games will be sell-outs.
2007-07-23 20:11:24
285.   OldYanksFan
You guys are all aware that ARod is 2 away from 500? After he hits 499, I wonder if ALL the following games will be sell-outs.
2007-07-23 20:12:45
286.   OldYanksFan
I know we are all in love with FrankenShelly but I am looking forward to sliding Giambi in the 5 spot behind ARod. ARod will see better pitches. It should be great fun.
2007-07-23 20:13:14
287.   Chyll Will
284... or if all the followers will be sell-outs...
2007-07-23 20:13:41
288.   weeping for brunnhilde
281 No, silly, we won't reliably get 7, but I'd be stunned if we failed to score 4.

The big ab was Alex going up the middle.

That was the key.

As long as they do that, they can't be held down.

2007-07-23 20:14:59
289.   BklynBmr
Host Los Rangers beating up Seattle, 8-4, top 7...
2007-07-23 20:15:06
290.   OldYanksFan
So... how many runs have we scored over the last four games? We must be approaching record territory.
2007-07-23 20:15:19
291.   nemecizer
259 That's a really, really cool tool.
2007-07-23 20:16:06
292.   Schteeve
I'm really starting to develop a crush on Andy Phillips' arm.
2007-07-23 20:16:08
293.   weeping for brunnhilde
All you can eat of what?

Those disgusting "nachos" with cheeze-whizz on them?

2007-07-23 20:17:18
294.   weeping for brunnhilde
All you can eat of what? Those disgusting "nachos" with cheeze-whiz?
2007-07-23 20:17:21
295.   OldYanksFan
289 And Minn. loses also. The WC is looking pretty close.
2007-07-23 20:17:34
296.   RIYank
288 Damn. It's hard to get the hang of this.

But that A-Rod rbi was indeed my favorite of the game, so with you there.

291 Yeah, huh?

Ah, now I can relax! V&V finish for us, I like. Mo rests, Rocket rocks, the boys finally rake at the end... real real nice.

2007-07-23 20:17:50
297.   Chyll Will
290 If we scored 45, that would make cosmic sense. I know we've scored more than 33-1/3...
2007-07-23 20:18:14
298.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice win, Team, nice win!

Here's to a homerless night!

More hits tomorrow!

2007-07-23 20:18:20
299.   Schteeve
288 Weeping, I do not follow. Are you saying that if the yankees do not hit any home runs, you will be stunned if the yankees don't score at least 4 runs a game?
2007-07-23 20:18:25
300.   nemecizer
Nice game. 5 back from Cleveland, 6 games above .500, 4 in a row.

Where's that miracle youtube the RLYW guys always link to?

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-07-23 20:18:56
301.   OldYanksFan
Man.... 6 games above .500 never looked so good.
2007-07-23 20:20:14
302.   RIYank
299 Hah! Very nice way of putting it. I'm actually laughing out loud!
2007-07-23 20:21:04
303.   Jim Dean
278 Take a look at that book. There are lots of other good things in there.

But hitting comes down to "three eye blinks".

That is, blink your eyes three times as fast as you can. That's how quickly the ball gets to the plate in MLB as it leaves the pitcher's hand.

The hitter has the first eye blink to decide whether to swing.

The second eye blink to make smaller adjustments.

By the third eye blink there's no time.

(Each eye blink is about 200 millisecond).

So the pitchers who better hide their pitches have an advantage. I think the book mentioned Maddux. He's perfected making his fastball and changeup motion identical. The worse pitchers do a worse job of hiding these things.

By contrast, the hitter has to "see" the pitch as it leaves the hand. There are lots of tricks they use - spin, finger placement, arm motion (direction, speed). And I bet the better hitters have a better "dictionary" of what to look for in a given pitcher.

Of course, great movement on a pitch makes it that much harder to read. But even then the hitters make adjustments. That's where the pitchers has to adjust back.

As an example, I think of all the hitters against Mo who started setting up away from the plate so the fat part of the bat would be more likely to hit the cutter as it cut. In response Mo learned to throw that straight fastball on the outside corner.

Any case, this is the stuff I love about baseball.

2007-07-23 20:21:33
304.   Chyll Will
294 Brownie sundaes with cold milk?

292 As long as it doesn't involve his hand, sounds cool to me >;)

2007-07-23 20:21:45
305.   RIYank
299 Of course, if Matsui and A-Rod both go yard, all bets are off. They could be shut out.
2007-07-23 20:22:06
306.   OldYanksFan
Wow... over the last 10 games, we have gained exactly 3 full games on ALL 4 of the top WC teams.
2007-07-23 20:23:05
307.   Jim Dean
283 Just the discussion from earlier in the day. The brownie sundae would be the perfect nightcap with "munchies".
2007-07-23 20:23:18
308.   weeping for brunnhilde
299 I'm saying that if the team scores 9 runs in one game, on say two or three homeruns (and probably aided by walks), and 9 runs in another, on no homeruns, but singles and doubles, I'd feel more comfortable with performance number two going into the next game.

Homeruns are great, but they're a cruel mistress. Here today, gone tomorrow.

2007-07-23 20:24:21
309.   BklynBmr
The Bronx is a tinder box. Look out MistakeTown, BeanTown, WhoEvahhhDaFu*ktown. We are coming for you...
2007-07-23 20:24:49
310.   tommyl
306 It helps a lot when they are all playing each other and splitting.
2007-07-23 20:26:17
311.   tommyl
308 Um, well for A-Rod you mean here today, and most likely here tomorrow, right?

I know RBIs are a stupid stat and all, but A-Rod is on pace for close to 170 or so. When was the last time someone had 170 RBI in a season? Manny was up around 165 or so when he was with Cleveland iirc.

2007-07-23 20:26:27
312.   seamus
hi all. checking in from vacation. asthma issue and nothing to do but log in. IN any case, lookslike another big win. Good to see Damon with 3 hits. ANd hell, nice to be only 5.5 games out of the wild card. just keep winning so we can gain on cleveland or boston. love it!
2007-07-23 20:27:06
313.   weeping for brunnhilde
299 Basically I'm saying I prefer line-drive, contact hitters to sluggers because I think they're harder to shut down and thus their performance is more steady and consistent.

At any rate, if I were drafting a team, that's the kind I'd try to create.

2007-07-23 20:28:21
314.   weeping for brunnhilde
299 I mean Jorgie's a case-in-point.

He's been uncannily consistent this year, though his homeruns are down.

I'll take this model Jorgie to the homer-hitting, .265 Jorgie any day of the week.

No contest.

2007-07-23 20:29:30
315.   Chyll Will
307 Ohhhh... duuude... >;)

309 I grew up in that third town. It had it's pros and cons, but whatevah...

2007-07-23 20:33:47
316.   weeping for brunnhilde
311 Yes, but that's the point about Alex going up the middle. A homerun would have been nice, but I'm overjoyed that he just had a nice and easy basehit up the middle to plate the run.

Again, I feel like last year he wouldn't have done that. He'd have struck out instead, or popped up or whatever. I didn't feel comfortable with him up last year because he could be pitched to.

This year he's a different hitter and I feel quite comfortable having him up there.

2007-07-23 20:35:34
317.   Jim Dean
313 I wonder if the difference is hitters who are better at recognizing "their" pitch versus hitters that recognize "hittable" pitches. The former follow through on a ballistic movement for power. The latter just put the bat on the ball to make good things happen. That's always the trade-off between SLG hitters and AVG hitters. The former are more likely to drive the ball but also more likely to get fooled. The latter make contact more often, but are less likely to get solid wood.

What's most amazing to me is that these things are really just very, very subtle differences (in vision, approach, learning). But I know growing up I always preferred the Mattingly approach - line drives all over the field.

2007-07-23 20:37:37
318.   seamus
316 yeah, but isn't that more likely related to his fitness. Last year he was larger and had trouble turning on that high fastball. This year he is slimmer and appears to be quicker. His ability to turn on that pitch alone makes him appear to be less pitchable. Doesn't that explain the difference as much as, if not more, than "trying to get a homerun"?
2007-07-23 20:37:46
319.   RIYank
I just noticed that every Yankee had a hit again today. Is that three days in a row? I know yesterday all the starters had rbi, too.
2007-07-23 20:38:07
320.   Chyll Will
316 I dunno Weep, I'd rather have a slugger who hits line drive doubles a lot than a line drive hitter who hits singles a lot. Where do you get the most production from if you had to choose one over the other?
2007-07-23 20:38:55
321.   Schteeve
308 I'd like to see the proof of that cruel mistress characterization.
2007-07-23 20:39:37
322.   RIYank
I just noticed that every Yankee had a hit again today. Is that three days in a row? I know yesterday all the starters had rbi, too.
2007-07-23 20:39:41
323.   weeping for brunnhilde
317 Mattingly is indeed my archetype.

He was impossible to pitch to and even his outs tended to be well-struck.

And he never, ever struck out.

After growing up with that, everyone else kind of pales.

I loved watching him just hammer that outside pitch into the left-field corner.

He was the real deal.

2007-07-23 20:40:39
324.   seamus
321 Don't you think that is accurate? Homeruns are all or nothing. It seems to come with the territory. Does he really need proof?
2007-07-23 20:41:32
325.   weeping for brunnhilde
321 I don't know, didn't we handle Texas no problem back in the 90s like two or three years in a row, despite their powerhouse lineup?

Not offering that as "proof" so much as suggestion.

2007-07-23 20:43:08
326.   Chyll Will
G'nite >;)
2007-07-23 20:43:30
327.   weeping for brunnhilde
318 Yeah, good point. Could be. Still, he seems to flail much, much less at sliders off the plate, which seems to be a product of a shortening of the swing in general, but I don't know.
2007-07-23 20:44:31
328.   weeping for brunnhilde
320 From Jack Clark, of course, and his 22 homers!

;)

2007-07-23 20:47:19
329.   Vandelay Industries
324

And the better pitching you face, say in the playoffs for example, the even more nothing the nothing becomes. Great pitchers on playoff teams can do a whole lot more to prevent the HR, so having enough guys who handle the bat well and hit balls all over the zone, are more likely to get hits and ultimately score runs. You must also have power threats in your lineup, but it is near impossible to pitch to a lineup with 6 hitters capable of putting the ball in play almost every PA. Just my two cents.

If I am facing a Pedro circa 1998 or Haren, or Carpenter, or even Clemens, I'd sure as hell rather have 6 Derek Jeter's or 6 Don Mattingly's, rather than 6 Jim Thome's or 6 Adam Dunn's.

2007-07-23 20:49:35
330.   weeping for brunnhilde
329 Well said.
2007-07-23 20:50:20
331.   markp
The great Yankee teams weren't called "Murderer's Row" or "The Bronx Bombers" because they had a lot of line drive hitters. I'd rather have an Arod or a Mantle than a singles hitter with a big average any day of the week.
2007-07-23 20:53:09
332.   Mattpat11
Are these post game interviews being done on a camera phone?
2007-07-23 20:53:28
333.   Vandelay Industries
331

Not to be overly punctilious, but, umm, Arod is both a line drive hitter, doubles hitter and a power threat, as was Mantle, which wasn't the discussion they were having. I am fairly sure everyone would rather have 9 Arods or Mantles rather than 9 Ichiros.

2007-07-23 20:54:45
334.   weeping for brunnhilde
Holy shit. Viz hasn't allowed an earned run since 1 July!

So Farns is officially outta there?

2007-07-23 20:55:02
335.   Vandelay Industries
330 Thanks. I do have something to say occasionally, in between overly emotional rants.
2007-07-23 20:55:56
336.   weeping for brunnhilde
331 The guy to invoke would more be someone like Giambi.
2007-07-23 20:56:25
337.   Vandelay Industries
336 Exactly what I was going to say.
2007-07-23 20:59:54
338.   weeping for brunnhilde
337 And in fairness to Giambi, he did hit those two dingers off of Pedro to keep us in striking distance in Game 7.

Of course, as good as Pedro was, he was no longer the pitcher he was in 1999.

2007-07-23 21:00:08
339.   Mattpat11
334 He is? They traded him?
2007-07-23 21:03:20
340.   weeping for brunnhilde
And speaking of Mattingly, is there anyone comparable to him in baseball today?

35 homeruns and 35 strikeouts?

If so, that's the first player I'd go after.

2007-07-23 21:03:22
341.   Vandelay Industries
336

Scary thing is, he comes back in a couple of weeks. Am I crazy to wonder if his return will help or hurt the club? What will happen with CF? Will Damon move to 1B, and bench Phillips, while sending Duncan back to AAA, or can we dump some useless reliever and keep Duncan as our PH (assuming he plays well for the next two weeks, otherwise this is moot), and Phillips as late inning defense. Then what the hell to do when Dougy comes back?

These are the questions I should not have to ask but for the fact that almost every club now carries three more pitchers than they should, while citing not one spec of anything other than anecdotal evidence that pulling these starters and using a five man rotation is preventing injuries. This whole carrying eight relievers, four of which on most every club are useless, just drives me batty.

2007-07-23 21:03:38
342.   markp
Arod's main claim to fame is HRs, as was Mantles, Ruth's, and a whole lot of other Yankee hitters. Nobody describes him as a more of a line-drive hitter than a slugger, and calling Mantle a line-drive hitter is just plain wrong. He was a fly ball/strike out hitter (he went a whole season without ever grounding into a DP).
HR hitters tend to draw more walks than line drive hitters which brings their OBPs up to (and often beyond) the higher average singles hitters.
2007-07-23 21:05:35
343.   weeping for brunnhilde
339 No, no. Oh God, sorry to get your hopes up!

Alas, no, I just meant outta the 8th-inning role.

Has The Cruel and Unusual Reign of Kyle "8th-Inning Guy!" Farnsworth officially come to an end?

2007-07-23 21:09:05
344.   weeping for brunnhilde
341 Oh, I know. I'm sort of in denial about his coming back. I don't know if it will help or hurt either, but it sure feels like his absence was a plus for the team.

I don't know.

2007-07-23 21:12:13
345.   Vandelay Industries
342

I'll give you Mantle. I understand your point there, but don't agree completely. Further, Arod's claim to fame is not HR's. Hr's are what people focus on, most notably the media. Considering he is on pace for well over 3000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 SB's and a BA of over .300, I'd say he's a lot more than just a power hitter. All this without mentioning stellar defense, and great instincts and work ethic on the basepaths.

2007-07-23 21:14:31
346.   Mattpat11
343 I hate you.
2007-07-23 21:20:59
347.   Vandelay Industries
344

Well, I guess it is only July. They have some time to figure out roles, unlike the plug and play approach to Sheffield and Matsui last year.

Truth is, I don't know either. I enjoy watching Duncan and Phillips play hard with youth (well sort of in Phillips case), and enthusiasm while the team wins, it might not be as much fun if we were losing. Then I might be begging for Giambi.

I just hate middle relievers I suppose. I mean you have one resource in baseball, and each team shares it, twenty five men. It only makes sense to make the most of the one thing all teams share, and have the highest quality player in each of these twenty five spots. That should appeal to Bill James worshipers. So, you shouldn't have thirteen pitchers, eight of which are relievers, and four of them have little or no value, whilst shipping a Duncan or Phillips, or Melky back to the minors. It makes no sense to me, and in terms of mathmatics, I bet dumping three releivers and adding three position players of value would result in more of the commodity everyone seeks, wins. Dump the fifth starter, as he is garbage on most every club, and rotate that spot around between your best relief pitchers. Dump three of them, and see what you have in the minors in terms of talent at MLB level.

2007-07-23 21:23:05
348.   Vandelay Industries
347

Wait, they did try something like that once, for I don't know, 100 years or so.

2007-07-23 21:30:08
349.   weeping for brunnhilde
348 ha ha hah ah ah !!

I like the idea, especially since, as you point out, half the bullpen rots on the pine.

2007-07-23 21:37:13
350.   markp
You'll "give me" Mantle? Gee thanks for giving me a guy you described as a line drive hitter who was the complete opposite.

Arod may hit 800 HRs. I think that puts him in the "sluggers" list. He strikes out too much to be a "line-drive contact hitter" (130 per 162 games). A lot of his doubles are long fly balls. Meanwhile his carer BA is 306, which is behind quite a few "line-drive contact hitters" of his generation.
His defense and baserunning have zero to do with him bring a slugger or not-a lot of sluggers were also good defenders and baserunners (Mantle, Ruth when he was young, etc.)
The great Yankee teams led the league in HRs/SLG most of their championship years.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2007-07-23 21:43:52
351.   Vandelay Industries
350

I don't want to argue. We agree, but look at it differently.

I would add a question about your HR/SLG league leader stats in Championship years, you mean like 1996-2000?

2007-07-23 21:44:47
352.   BklynBmr
333 Punctilious. Kudos for helping keep the King's English, via Latin, alive ;-)
2007-07-23 21:49:16
353.   Vandelay Industries
349

It is just a horrible misuse of a valuable resource, especially on a team like the Yankees, who can afford to fill those bench spots with value over and above what most any middle reliever will provide. But I keep hope alive that just because "this is the way it is," that doesn't extend that this will always be the way it is. Quite frankly, because it is a misuse or resources, and eventually it will change. Baseball cannot continue to pay pitchers that should be shuffling papers in Tommy Maddox's insurance office around forever. And every game that is put in their hands is a disservice to the fans which support that particular team. You wouldn't ask Tiger Woods to play with some 20 year old McGregors, so you shouldnt put a baseball game in the hands of a third rate pitcher.

2007-07-23 21:50:28
354.   Vandelay Industries
352

Anytime bro, anytime. Have a great night, and brace for the fireworks coming across the bay at you from Newsome's office.

2007-07-23 22:02:02
355.   monkeypants
313 I'm late the party, but a for line drive hitters versus sluggers, I don't have a preference. What I prefer is the hitter who produces the most, as obvious and pedantic as that may sound.

People who like line drive hitters tend to focus on batting average, and they tend to see a consistent high BA as the mark of a hitter who can't be easily shut down. While intuitive, this misses the real issue. The most important offensive statistic in baseball is On Base Percentage, which is essentially the measure of the number of times a player doesn't make an out. In the most extreme case, a team full of players with 1.000 OBP would never make outs and score an infinite number of runs, even more than a team full of BArry Bonds with all the magic juice they could ingest.

It generally doesn't matter whether high OBP comes from hits or walks, so while a Giambi may seem to be less consistent than an Ichiro because the former bats only .250 and goes into prolongued power slumps, he actually gets on base as much or more than his slaphitting counterpart. Thus, Giambi is every bit as consistent as Ichiro.

Now, one could argue that it's better to have a base hits than walks, and in extreme cases this is true. It is obviously more productive to have a hypothetical player with a .400 OBP whose BA is also .400, than a player with .400 OBP/.300 BA., or even the hypothetical extreme of a .400 OBP/.000 BA. But in the real world that's not the case. Most players experience more fluctuation in .BA (which is dependent to a degree on luck) than on walk rates. Thus, a player with a high BB rate will tend to have a more consistent OBP than a high BA low BB player. In this case, your line drive hitting Mattingly (who never walked all that much) will actually, over the long hall, be less consistent than swing-and-miss specialist Giambi.

2007-07-23 22:25:22
356.   Vandelay Industries
355 Yikes you said that well.

I agree with your analysis insofar as Mattingly vs. Giambi is concerned, but what statistic (or God forbid, there isn't one, Runs is an inadequate measurement, and any other lacking efficacy is specious at best, as are many new measures which baseball folks may embrace, but mathematicians dismiss. OPS for example, which is simply the dumbing down of two seperate and different measures, which most outside of baseball dispute as not mathematically sound), to account for what the player does when he is on base. Giambi for example is a horrid baserunner, cannot take advantage of many passed balls, and cannot steal bases, and generally suffers from a dearth of intuition and skill on the basepaths. While Ichiro and Giambi may have equivalent OBP numbers, I would argue that Ichiro will score more runs, have an effect on the game which cannot be measured accurately, and put players in a position for RBI that Giambi would not. Further, Ichiro can confuse and distract pitchers with his baserunning, while if Giambi would only go station to station, he would be adequate, but because he cannot even do that correctly, he is less than adequate once reaching 1B.

Interesting debate, and when Giambi was in his prime I would take him over Ichiro hands down, but because he is nothing more than an occasional power threat who walks less often, who can cause more harm than good on the basepaths, I'd take Ichiro on my team. I think this is where I depart from many who believe that if it cannot be neasured it should be ignored. While many aspects of this game can be measured accurately, many cannot, and in my opinion should not de dismissed because they cannot be plugged into a formula.

2007-07-23 22:32:12
357.   Vandelay Industries
355

And what to do if you are down by one run and a runner is at second? In that case you want Ichiro right? The walk generally means nothing, in fact, it makes the defense's ability to make an out during the next AB more likely. I think over the course of a seson, the instances where a walk will be meaningless greatly outnumber the situations where a hit will produce a run. While Giambi's OBP is wonderful to have, in terms of production and limiting outs, I think the .300 hitter with the .400 OBP is more valuable than the .250/.400 hitter.

2007-07-23 22:47:25
358.   monkeypants
356 OPS is a nice, easy stat to use, but certainly flawed--especialy at the extremes. I think I read somewhere that OBP*1.3 + SLG would be a more accurate weighting of the relative offensive contributions. No one doubts that Ichiro does more on the bases and thus "maks more happen" than Giambi, but at the same time you would also have to grant that Giambi has more of a chance to move runners around the bases quickly with his long hits. Comparing Giambi now to Ichiro is a bit unfair, since Giambi is older an injured. even so, their season numbrs are pretty close. Giambi blows Ichiro out of the water in most every previous year not 2004. But then I think that Ichiro is one of the truly overrated offensive players in the game.

I disagree with your assessment f Giambi a an occasional power threat who walks less often. If you look, his BB rates are pretty steady, except in his two injury seasons:

2007: 25 (45 games = 83/ 150 games)
2006: 110
2005: 108
2004: 42 (80 games = 78/ 150 games)
2003: 129
2002: 109
2001: 129
2000: 137
1999: 105

As for "occasional power threat, with the Yankees he has been pretty steady there too except in injury seasons. SLG: .598 (2002), .527 (2003), .379 (2004), .535 (2005), .558 (2006), .436 (2007).

When healthy, Giambi is still very potent and gets on base a ton. Just about the only reason I would choose Ichiro over him is age and health, not inherent offensive skill set.

2007-07-23 22:50:27
359.   monkeypants
357 But what about the time when there is a runner on first and you are down by one run? or better yet, the bases are empty? Then you want Giambi for sure, because he gives you the much better chance of scoring with a long hit.
2007-07-23 22:59:36
360.   monkeypants
356 " but what statistic ... to account for what the player does when he is on base."

I've though about this a fair amount lately. Actually, I got thinking about baserunning when I learned that in teh 1880s players were creditied for stolen bases when the advanced extra bases on a hits (for example, if you went from first to third on a single, you got a SB). I wonder if that isn't better than the current practice of awarding SB more restrictively.

So, I was trying to cook up a stat that tentatively called "bases obtained". A plyer would get one BOBT for each walk, each base earned on a hit (this would reward speedy guys who picked up doubles and triples, but overvalues HRs), each base advanced on a SB or sac fly, and each additional base obtained on a basehit. You would then subtract one base for every caught stealing or thrown out trying to advance on a fly ball, fielders choice, or extra base on a hit.

I'm not sure this would prove anything, but it would be interesting to add up the numbers for a bunch of players for a whole season, to see how much they varied, or if they conformed to our expectations of whose a good baserunner.

Of course, there are all kinds of problems with the methodology. Maybe basehits shouldn't be included. Or maybe only doubles and triples, since those require more base running skills. This stat also wouldn't measure the impact that a runner has on the opposing pitcher, but then again I'm not sure how one could determine that obectively. Also, for all we know it's just as distracting to a pitcher to walk a batter like Giambi (or maybe it tires him out more) than it is to have Ichiro dancing off first base.

2007-07-23 23:01:10
361.   monkeypants
357 "I think the .300 hitter with the .400 OBP is more valuable than the .250/.400 hitter."

No one would argue that's not the case, assuming their SLG is similar enough.

2007-07-23 23:22:34
362.   monkeypants
OK, I know that I'm being 'that guy' by posting so much. Cano is a potential counter example--a line drive hitter who is very inconsistent. He doesn't walk much, so his OBP is almost completely dependent on his BA, which seems to vary wildly. So, maybe it's not the case that line drive hitters are more consistent. Rather, consistent hitters are more consistent.
2007-07-24 08:22:03
363.   weeping for brunnhilde
362 Excellent point.
2007-07-24 12:41:53
364.   Vandelay Industries
362

Don't worry about being "that guy." You have given me quite a bit to think about. I appreciate the discussion, I'm just sorry I dozed off last night before reading your posts.

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