Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
It's cold and rainy in New York today as we Yankee fans moan about last night's game. At least, the Yankee fans I've spoken to have been whinning (and none louder than me). Here's a couple of links to break the mood. Okay, first, Steven Goldman 'splains why Scioscia-Ball works more than it should; Mark Lamster writes that sometimes nice guys finish last, Hank Waddles interviews Jayson Stark and Baseball-Reference's Stat of the Day blog notes that Jorge Posada is on his way to having the best season ever for a 35-year old catcher. And for something completely different, check out this series of recordings by former Yankee organist Eddie Layton. Ed Alstrom, the regular weekend organist at the Stadium these days (who is also a Bronx Banter regular), posted the Layton recordings, which are from the 1950s. Don't sleep, peep.
Off the top of my head -- since I can't remember when Scioscia took over the team,and who predated him on the team, and am too lazy to look it up -- I'd argue that he benefited, in 2002, offensively from players like Anderson and Tim Salmon, who he inherited, (no?) and who don't fit the Scioscia-ball philosophy.
Interesting btw that the only Halos series victory came against the Dusty-managed Giants. IMO Baker is one of the few managers worse than Scioscia at constructing an offense. Wouldn't want all the slow home-run obp guys clogging the bases, would we Dusty?
In Scioscia's first season, the Angels hit 236 homers, 3rd best in the AL. They went down to 158 the next year as they got rid of Mo Vaughn (good idea!) and Jim Edmonds (not so good idea). Eckstein joined the team in 2001 and the Angels were off to their pesky ways!
Not sure if the Goldman piece adequately explains the Angels' ownership of the Yanks, but his historical perspective is always interesting.
The Eddie Layton album covers are dope. Great stuff, Hoppy Stone.
For some reason, I still feel pretty good about this series in beautiful downtown Hell. As long as Moose doesn't stink up the jernt..
I'm bouncing back from a cold/flu'ish thing, but fug it, I'll put on a pot of coffee and stay up for the redemption game.
With Boston unlikely to lose more than one game of three, and Seattle clicking like Tony Stewart's crew chief just rebuilt its engine, this is no time to let rookie pitchers and aggressive offense strangle the team.
The change of scenery/management seems to have done him good.
I like Shelley, but considering we already had him on the team...
I don't think the Yankees are making up five games on Boston in 37 games. But the wild card is readily attainable. Check out Seattle's schedule.
Of their 40 games, 23 are on the road and 23 are against teams .500 or better. That includes an 11-day road trip that takes them to Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Detroit for 10 games.
Their 17 home games include three against the Angels and four against the Indians. If Seattle can get through that schedule, then good for them. They would deserve the wild card.
(BTW, to answer your question from the last thread, I'm sure I'll be taking my son to that movie when it comes out)
Apparently Cash admitted to corking his bat throughout his career, not just in 1961, so that doesn't realy explain his fluke season much.
How's this for a month: in June of that year Cash hit .416/.512/.901
I do dislike Scioscia however. And not only b/c because he's so ham-handed in his creation of an offensive team, nor because the Sutcliffes and Morgans of the world eat up that small-ball, we put pressure on the other team, gritty, belly-full-of-guts crap, nor even b/c Scioscia buys into all that bs.
Mostly I think the guy's an egomaniac. The game becomes about him and his supposed genius, not about the fact that he's had some great power arms in his starting rotation, or that he's had a ridiculous bullpen, possessing in Shields a set-up man with a rubber arm that not even Torre could destroy, and with the luxury of K-Rod to close it out, or that for all the crappy "fundamentally sound" joe-hustle hitters who litter his lineups he's always had the Vlads, Salmons, and (in his prime) Anderson.
So we're treated to the spectacle of 20 throws to first when the runner is clearly going nowhere, punctuated by a further dozen throws behind the runner by the catcher. And every time there's an even remotely close play, or heck, even a play that isn't close, as in the runner Jorge threw out at 2nd last night, tubby waddles out of the dugout to show his gob to the tv cameras.
Meanwhile, if he constructed his team around guys who get on base and hit for power -- and the Angels have the cash to do that -- with the pitching he's had, they'd be a team which beats more than the Yankees.
But I won't lie, it also kills me that the scrubbiest glorified AAA hackmeisters in his lineups are the ones that kill us -- witness last night when one crap hitter drives in 3 runs in the 2nd, and another even worse hitter drives in the winning run.
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