Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Elimination Day
2008-10-04 12:33
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Brewers and Cubs try to stay alive tonight. As I write in my preview, I'm not optimistic about their chances. Here's how the last 54 best-of-five series to start 2-0 have ended:

Team down 0-2 wins713%
Team up 2-0 wins 3-235%

2008-10-04 13:56:18
1.   OldYanksFan
"Team up 2-0 wins 3-2 3 times/5%"
I'm pretty sure we were at least 1 of these 3... with Oakland. Who were the other 2?
2008-10-04 14:17:41
2.   Cliff Corcoran
1 Yup, the Yanks did that against the A's in 2000 before becoming the only team to come back from losing the first two games at home the next year against the A's. As for the other two, sorry to say, I can't remember, I only noted the total.
2008-10-04 16:23:49
3.   Just fair
Since the Cubbies are just about buried, I'm going to have to throw my hat in of the Phillies. In my own head they seem the least of all Evils. Or Maybe I just want to hear the Rocky theme played during the World Series.
2008-10-04 16:30:43
4.   thelarmis
3 i can deal w/ the Phils. i went to penn state so i have lotsa ties to philly...

abreu apparently wants 3 years, minimum. we should offer him arbitration and get picks for him. i understand his shortcomings, but i've always been a fan of his and will miss him.

from tim at mlbtraderumors: Speculative possible suitors for Abreu this winter: the Rays, Royals, Braves, Mets, Cubs, and Reds.

i concur.

2008-10-04 17:33:27
5.   Preston Bannard
Don't mean to be picky, but I just wanted to let you know your math is off a bit in the SI article; you may, of course, have been rounding, but the chances of one of the teams coming back from 0-2 to win the series are 43% (.87^4). More importantly, the fact that no one came back last year has no bearing on the chances of someone coming back this year - similarly, if you flip a coin heads 10 times in a row, there's still a 50-50 chance it comes up heads the 11th time.
2008-10-04 18:46:34
6.   monkeypants
5 Not be too picky, as well, but the coin toss comparison is not really valid. A coin toss is a random event, each independent, so prior tosses have no bearing on subsequent ones. But the games in a baseball series are not unrelated, nor do they involve random outcomes. The fact that so few teams historically have come back from down 2-0 suggest just how difficult it is.
2008-10-04 19:21:38
7.   OldYanksFan
Are there any games today?
2008-10-04 19:29:09
8.   OldYanksFan
Cubbies = Toast
2008-10-04 19:35:36
9.   Eirias
Was Judas a Cubs fan or something? I mean, God must seriously hate them.
2008-10-04 19:56:53
10.   Bruce Markusen
I read that Abreu wants a three-year deal to stay in NY--or to go elsewhere for that matter. IF that's really the case, it's time to say SEE YA!
2008-10-04 20:38:58
11.   OldYanksFan
What is a 3 yr deal for Bobby on the FA markey worth? $40m? He could accept Arb from us, get $15m-ish, and then look for a 2 yr deal the next year. Could make sense.
2008-10-04 21:13:03
12.   Chyll Will
11 I think Bobby's making it clear he's more concerned about the longer-term security than the dollars; three years is probably a number he and his agent agreed would give him the combination of max money and max years considering his health and declining ability, without scaring everyone away. They may be right, but not at the Yanks' expense in terms of roster flexibility.

If he takes arb, it's definitely because he doesn't get what he's looking for, which puts us in a bind once again with a very unstable outfield defense and diminishing offensive potential. Plus, his trends are similar to Bernie at this age... do we really want to go through that again??

2008-10-04 22:42:16
13.   Preston Bannard
When I was using the coin toss comparison, I was referring to each individual series as an event - meaning that the results of one series have no effect on the likelihood of an upset in another series. In particular, the fact that no one came back last year is irrelevant for calculating the odds that someone will come back this year.

Interestingly enough, though, the chances of coming back from being down 2-0 historically - 13% - are almost identical to the chances of flipping tails 3 times in a row (12.5%).

2008-10-04 23:20:56
14.   monkeypants

When I was using the coin toss comparison, I was referring to each individual series as an event - meaning that the results of one series have no effect on the likelihood of an upset in another series.

This is of course true: games in one season have no "effect" on games in the next season (unless there is some psychological effect, that players' performances are influenced by what they saw the previous season even if on TV).

In particular, the fact that no one came back last year is irrelevant for calculating the odds that someone will come back this year.

But, this statement is not necessarily true. By citing the "odds" (ie, the number of times out of the total chances) that a team has come back from a big deficit, one is making a historical argument. As such, chronological factors are not "irrelevant."

For example, it may be the case that no recent team has come back down 0-2 (in other words, the comebacks happened in the olden days). If so, that may indicate that contemporary strategy or player usage (for example, more specialized bull pens preventing late inning comebacks) has in fact lessened the chances of a big playoff comeback.

So, I agree that no teams coming back last year does not have a direct effect on the series this year, we cannot conclude that the fact is "irrelevant" to predictions about deficit-facing teams this season.

2008-10-04 23:23:30
15.   monkeypants
12 I don't really see offering arbitration as much of a risk. He would almost certainly not accept it. But even if he did, Abreu will still likely put up acceptable albeit declining numbers next year.

I would take that chance for the opportunity that he walks (very high probability) and the teams gets draft picks.

2008-10-05 04:03:57
16.   OldYanksFan
Calculating statistical odds are funny.
If 1 flip a coin 1000 times, I believe 'odds' say it will be heads 500 times. Yet we might all guess it probably wound not be 'heads' 500 times.


Heads: 469
Tails: 531

Guys, I must make a historical case that the odds (Hads/Tails) are NOT 50/50 but: 46.9%/53.1% (lets call it 47/53)

Calculating Odds is based on mathimatical probabiltity.... which may have little to do with reality, due to the RCNU (Random Chaotic Nature of the Universe) thingy.

Bobby Abreu - lets says he accepts arb. He made $16m last year. He had a good year. Would he end up getting $15m? More? Less?
Lets say he gets $15m. What's a 3 yr contract worth? $40m? If so, to breal even, after playing he tear as a Yankee, he would then need to get a 2/$25m contract.

So.... there may be some variables here, as Bobby WANTS to stay with the Yanks, and I think the Yanks want him for 1 more year.

The truth is the yanks OF situation sucks. Unless they can get Holliday or another stud, they could use Bobby, especially if they rotate 4 OFs, and Bobby DH's sometimes.

It may be the same with Jason. It would to nice to dump these guys, but only makes sense if we get better replacements.

And can anyone verify if this statement is true of false: Miranda STINKS at fielding 1B. Worse then Giambi.

2008-10-05 04:06:30
17.   OldYanksFan
16 Sorry EMTIS (early morning typing illiteracy syndrome). ICFW2CC.
2008-10-05 06:33:52
18.   monkeypants

Would he end up getting $15m? More? Less?

I'm not sure you under stand how baseball arbitration works--or maybe I don't. The player and team agrees to go to arbitration. The player submits one figure, the team submits a figure. The arbiter chooses which side wins.

So, he would get as much as either Abreu or the Yankees wrote on a piece of paper.

It would to nice to dump these guys, but only makes sense if we get better replacements.

Or if the team gets draft picks. That's why (IMO) keeping Giambi makes more sense than keeping Abreu. Giambi will not garner any draft picks, but Abreu will. Plus, we know how much Giambi will cost, while Abreu would be somewhat of a crapshoot (look how Posada leveraged a great big deal last year).

Abreu will probably post an OPS+ of around 120 next year, and quite likely lower. He will play increasingly atrocious defense. His production is not irreplaceable.

2008-10-05 06:37:58
19.   monkeypants
16 Following up on the OF situation next year. Yes it does stink. But they are already set at the corners (Nady and Damon). The question is CF, not RF.

Yes, having Abreu (and Matsui) as the #4 and #6 OF for some elaborate rotation is a nice idea, but I seriously doubt it will happen.

The Nady and Abreu situation is very similar to one with Sheff and Abreu. So it is possible the Yankees sign Abreu and trade one of them. However, I am about 150% sure they will offer him arbitration, he will walk, and the Yankees will collect the draft picks.

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