Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Wednesday Night's Game: Half-Assed Running Commentary, Rivalry Edition!
2006-03-22 21:02
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

With the Yankees and Red Sox playing a night game live on YES, I thought I'd do a running commentary on the game, at least until Becky switches over to the new episode of Lost.

The Yanks are hosting the Red Sox at home at Legends Field. As expected, the YES broadcast is non-stop Johnny Damon for the first 15 minutes. Nauseating. The one bit of "relief" is footage of Jorge Posada being hit in the face with a throw from Kelly Stinnett while playing catch during BP before the game (to bad they haven't started BPTV yet, or whatever it's called). Posada was distracted by another ball and Stinnett's throw hit him in the nose, catching a bit of his left eye socket as well, knocking him down and bloodying his face. He was helped off the field in a daze and pulled from the line-up.

During a terrible version of the national anthem, the camera catches non-roster invitee Enrique Wilson in his Red Sox uniform. Hilarious.

Top 1

Here's the Red Sox's line-up:

Adam Stern CF
Alex Cora SS
J.T. Snow 1B
Manny Ramirez DH
Mike Lowell 3B
Wily Mo Pena RF
Dustin Mohr LF
Ken Huckaby C
Alejandro Machado 2B

Jonathan Papelbon P

Shawn Chacon is on the hill for the Yanks.

Stern steps in wearing a red jersey, looking like he's still on team Canada. He singles through the right side on Chacon's second pitch.

The defensive alignment shows Bernie in center with Damon, who was seen throwing during fielding drills before the game, as DH. Sigh. I imagine it would make Torre's brain ache to write one of the Kevins in the line-up with the rest of his starters.

Stern takes second on Chacon's second pitch to Cora, Stinnett's throw is up and away to Jeter, thankfully missing his nose. Chacon makes Cora look bad on a slow 12-6 curve for the first out.

J.T. Snow is the first of three former Yankee minor leaguers in this line-up. Chacon gets ahead 0-2, wastes one high and away, then gets Snow swinging on a harder curve over the outside corner.

Manny forgot his uniform and is wearing number 95 with no name on the back (the rest of the Sox have their names on their jerseys). Manny's look this spring is a homeless-man beard and light orange dreads. He works the count full and draws a walk on a fastball just barely low and away.

Mike Lowell, ex-Yankee farmhand #2, is next. Stinnett makes a nice stop on a pitch in the dirt away, 1-1, then again 2-1. Chacon's fourth pitch to Lowell is popped straight up, Stinnett, who wears a regular cap rather than a helmet or nothing at all under his hockey-style mask, makes the catch with his left foot in the right-handed batter's box.

Bottom 1

The Yankee line-up, sans Posada:

Damon DH
Jeter SS
Matsui LF
Sheffield RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Williams CF
Cano 2B
Stinnett C

At least Torre bothered to move Stinnett down to ninth rather than just subbing him in Posada's spot (the original lineup ended Posada-Cano-Williams).

The Sox are wearing caps with red bills and buttons with their red BP jerseys. Whatever. The Yanks are in their blue BP jerseys and pinstriped pants.

Damon shows bunt on Papelbon's second pitch, fouls off a 2-2 pitch, then takes ball three to go full. He chops the seventh pitch to third, Lowell stops it but doesn't field it cleanly, but still recovers to get Damon by a half-step.

Jeter falls into a quick 0-2 hole then works it back full. He then hits a half swing chopper to second and is thrown out easily.

Papelbon looks a bit like a younger Mike Timlin from the back. A big country boy (Timlin's from Texas, Papelbon from Baton Rouge) with a large, square back and skinny legs that taper to the ankle.

Matsui draws a five-pitch walk. Sheffield hits a pitch high and over the plate to center for the final out.

Top 2

Wily Mo (ex-Yankee farmhand #3) sends his bat flying into the stands striking out on another tremendous Chacon curve.

Mohr swings about a half-hour early on a couple of change-ups for Chacon's fourth strikeout of the game. Makes you think that if Chacon had a strong fastball to go with his curve and change he'd be unhittable. Unfortunately, that's the one pitch you can't teach.

Save for Stern's lead-off single, the Sox have yet to hit the ball fair. As I type that, Huckaby laces a double down the third base line past Rodriguez for a double and makes a Willie Mays Hayes head-first slide into second, nearly stopping short of the bag as Jeter turns to apply the tag. A moment later, the YES camera's catch Jeter rotating his left shoulder with Huckaby lurking to his left.

A grounder to second and a flip to Chacon ends the inning.

Bottom 2

Rodriguez makes a nice swing on the first pitch he sees, flying out to the warning track in right center. Jim Kaat argues for Ortiz's 2005 MVP candidacy. Sigh.

Giambi puts a nice swing on a fastball up in his eyes and pops it to center.

Bernie then crushes a ball over the foul pole in left. I can't remember the last time I've seen Bernie hit a ball that hard or show that much bat speed. It would be a lot of fun if Bernie proves me wrong this season. 1-0 Yanks.

Cano grounds to second to end the inning.

Top 3

Cano bobbles a nice play to his left but stays with it to retire Stern. Cora pops to Jeter. After 2 2/3 innings, Chacon has thrown 68 percent of 41 pitches for strikes. Solid.

Bernie standing in center is clean shaven, hiding the grey in his beard. Having homered in the previous inning, he looks ten years younger.

Snow works a full-count walk.

Kay and Kaat are talking about how Enrique Wilson and Manny are best friends (though they fail to connect the dot back to their days as youngsters with the Indians—remember when Enrique was considered to have potential? Zoinks!) At any rate, the Sox are apparently dreading telling Manny that Enrique isn't going to make the team. Pathetic.

Full-count fastball inside corner Ks Manny, who spins out of the way.

Bottom 3

Stinnett doubles. Damon goes 3-0 then singles through the hole into right to put runners on the corners with no outs. A grounder right to the third-base bag by Jeter catches Stinnett taking a step toward home. Lowell chases him down the line and makes the tag himself, holding Damon and Jeter to first and second. Mastui walks on four pitches to load the bases with one out for Sheffield. After 2 1/3, Papelbon has thrown 47 pitches and barely more strikes then balls.

How old is Roger Clemens? One of his closest friends is Al Nipper. Zoinks!

Sheff creams a line-drive foul. Then lifts a rainmaker sac fly to left and all three runners tag and advance, 2-0 Yanks.

Kaat misquotes Yogi: "You can see a lot by observing." I've always enjoyed Kaat, but he's either too rusty or too old right now.

Papelbon walks Rodriguez to reload the bases. Not a good night for the Sox's best young pitcher. Giambi tops one to second. If anyone else was running it would have been close, but Giambi looks like he's running in oatmeal on his way down to first. I may have stolen that simile from Steve Goldman. He can deal, I'm driving him (and Jay Jaffe) to Philly tomorrow (today for those reading this) for our Baseball Prospectus event at the Walnut Street Barnes & Nobel (plug!).

Top 4

Lowell hits one into the right-center gap, Bernie cuts it off, but with his momentum going away from second, his lollipop throw is too late to catch Lowell, who slides in for a double. Question is, we know Damon's arm is no better, but would his wheels have made the difference there? The play was closer than I would have expected (though not so close that Jeter bothered making a tag).

Wily Mo cracks a two-run homer just as our new puppy pees in the living room. Pardon me for a moment . . .

Okay, 2-2 game, Machado is on with two outs. Stern doubles him home to make it 3-2. Cora grounds out to Giambi to end the inning.

On the penultimate pitch of the inning, Cora lines a hard foul down the right field line that bounces into the Yankee bullpen where Mike Mussina snags it showing off his gold-glove hands. Kaat must not have been looking and as the shot lingers on Mussina joking with catcher Ben Davis, who's wearing Flaherty's number 17, he remarks "as we see Mike Mussina holding a ball in the bullpen." This is just not Kitty's night.

Bottom 4

Bernie doubles into the RF gap, another nice swing. He shows his age running the bases, however, and makes an ugly slide trying to avoid the throw. He's lucky he didn't hurt himself. After all that effort he's stranded.

Top 5

Brian Cashman joins Kaat and Kay in the booth after they inform us that the result of Posada's pre-game accident was a fractured nasal passage that was reset at the hospital. Cashman says Posada will avoid the DL and at worst will miss a week. When last Posada's nose was broken (by an Alfredo Amezaga throw in 2004) Posada missed just four games. Ah, but will it rob him of his power again? Cashman also tells us that Pavano threw 35 pitches in batting practice today and is projected to be activated in late April.

Bottom 5

Jeter leads off bottom of the fifth with a single. Lost comes on. Hey, it's spring training.

[an hour later]

Top 9

With a 5-3 lead thanks to a two-run Luis Garcia homer (yes, this one), Kyle Farnsworth comes on to shut the door for the Yanks.

A group of kids can clearly be heard chanting "Let's-Go-Red-Sox."

Machado hits a grounder to Phillips, who flipips to Farnsworth for the first out (yes, I'll be using that joke all year).

Adam Stern creams a hanger over the right field wall to make it 5-4. If Alex is watching this he's cursing a blue streak over Farnsworth throwing junk with a two-run lead and no-one on. For what it's worth, his fastball is coming in at 93 miles per hour. Now 95.

A comebacker hops right into Farnsworth's glove for the second out.

Ian Bladergroen walks. The last out is a fly out to center. Yankees win, 5-4.

Subs: Andy Phillips 1B, Miguel Cairo 2B, Russ Johnson 3B, Omir Santos C, Luis Garcia RF, Bubba Crosby CF, Kevin Thompson LF, Kevin Reese DH, Felix Escalona PR

Pitchers: Shawn Chacon, Mariano Rivera, Mike Myers, Tanyon Sturtze, Kyle Farnsworth

Comments (53)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-22 22:17:28
1.   joejoejoe
Is it just my imagination or does Bernie frequently hit long home runs? He's never had monster HR totals but in my mind the ones he does hit travel high and far.
2006-03-22 22:35:03
2.   brockdc
I hope I'm wrong, but I have a really ominous feeling about Bernie this year. Either:

A. Joe will give him at least 400 at bats (regardless of his performance - yes, Joe will still run him out there if he's only hitting .230 in August)


B. He will perform miserably, thereby further tarnishing his legacy as one of the great centerfielders of his era.

I realize this is pretty pessimistic. I hope I'm wrong.

By the way, Cliff, I'll take your half-assed commentary over the troika of Kay, Singleton, and Kaat ANY day.

2006-03-22 23:59:26
3.   Zack
Ian Bladergroen, now there is a name...

Cliff, thanks for the commentary, I couldn't watch most of the game, but I had the exact same reaction to Manny's new look: wow, he looks like he just rolled out of a dumpster! And then I realized I am a terrible person and made amends, but still...

Seems like we should have scored more runs of Papelbon than we did, and I still can't really figure out how Chacon does what he does. He just seems (knock on wood) to get guys out despite throwing eight thousand pitchers per game...

2006-03-23 03:29:22
4.   Shaun P
Thanks for the commentary. I too missed a big chunk in the middle, as my wife and mother insisted we watch 'Deal or No Deal' (which had been Tivoing; Lost also got Tivo'd and we'll watch that tonight. Wonderful thing, that Tivo).

FTR, that homer by Luis Garcia was a bomb. You knew it was gone the moment it left the bat. It actually got Rem-dog and Orsillo back into the game. They were as out of it as it sounds that Kitty was.

The first NESN post-game interview was with Johnny Damon. Does everyone have to obsess over this guy?

2006-03-23 05:00:50
5.   bp1
If I see one more "hairy Johnny transforms into baby faced Johnny" photo montage, I'm gonna freak out. Just freak out.

I laughed out loud when Sturtze hit Lowell. Spring Training or not - it's still Yankees vs Red Sox. He's probably still steamed that he got his face scratched in that fight a couple years ago, when he officially became Tanyon the Manyon.

3 Chacon is amazing to me. It's like he has some sort of Jedi force working. "This is not the pitch you're looking for", and the batter just sort of glazes over and swings at air. Good for him. Good for us!

Is A-Rod hitless this spring?

Cliff, I thought of you as soon as Bernie hit that shot. He looks like a man on a mission. His play will be one of the more interesting sub plots of the season for me.

Poor Posada. That must have hurt like crazy. I mean - yikes. A ball square in the face. I had in-law visiting last night, and when they showed that I told about how he got hit in the face running to 2nd base and everyone in the room had the same "Ewww" reaction. The guy is going to look like he went 15 rounds with Apollo Creed if he keeps this up.

Less than two weeks, guys. Whoo hoo!


2006-03-23 05:06:08
6.   Jeteupthemiddle
Michael Kay and Jim Kaat make me want to cut off my ears and mail them to YES.

I can usually tolerate Kaat for 3 innigs...last night after about 3 minutes of my watching the game, I had it on mute. By the by, the second I clicked mute, Bernie homered...literally, the second.

Apparently I will be watching every game on mute this season.

2006-03-23 05:15:35
7.   Jeteupthemiddle
So in 6, I didn't mean to indicate that I will watch every game on mute because of Bernie's HR, which I realized, is how it sounds.

I will watch every game on mute because I can't stand any announcer in that booth with the exception of Singleton.

2006-03-23 05:43:20
8.   KJC
// the Sox are apparently dreading telling Manny that Enrique isn't going to make the team. Pathetic. //

Are you serious? Where did you read/hear this? I think it's pretty unlikely that Manny -- or Enrique or anybody -- thinks that Enrique has a real shot at making the team (barring an injury).

2006-03-23 06:00:51
9.   rbj
Jeteupthemiddle #7.
Just hit the mute button everytime Bernie steps up.
2006-03-23 06:06:36
10.   Dimelo
I just read Francona's comments on Riske's plunk of Jeter. He said (paraphrasing here),
"it wasn't intentional and everyone in the ballpark knew that because it was a split finger fastball, as for plunking Lowell I felt that was intentional but you'll have to ask the pitcher who threw the pitch".

Why is that every time a Sux pitcher hits a Yankee batter that it wasn't intentional? But anytime a Yankee pitcher hits a Sux batter that it's intentional. F- them. It's war mother f'ers....Sturtze just made that contract signing worth every penny. F- DA SUX!!!!!

2006-03-23 06:23:31
11.   Knuckles
Tito and the rest of the Sox are lying little b1tches, but they play the gamesmanship card better than the Yanks. Here's to Yankees hitting Sox early and often this year, get the benches warned, and put Boston in the unenviable position of deciding whether it's worth it to escalate or not.
2006-03-23 07:10:38
12.   Shaun P
Dilemma - when I get the YES feed on Extra Innings, do I mute the TV and ignore the commentary altogether? Or do I pony up for XM and listen to Sterling/Waldman?

Or is there just no good solution?

2006-03-23 07:15:12
13.   bloodyank78
I can't wait to see RJ buzz one of the Sox if this thing continues throughout the season. In an interview w/ Dan Patrick once, Tori Hunter was asked what scares him the most; he said snakes and Randy Johnson. On another note, call me the glass is half full type of guy, but I feel good about Big Bern right now. His bat speed last night was better than anything I saw last season.
2006-03-23 07:57:12
14.   Dimelo
I just read this on deadspin and couldn't help but think of Rob G-Money.

2006-03-23 08:04:48
15.   Peter
When I read about Posada's nose last night (, this quote from Stinnett really stood out: "I thought he was looking at me. It's too bad it happened."
I know it was an accident but an image popped into my head of him rubbing his hands like Mr Burns and adding, "Now the starting job is mine! All mine!"
2006-03-23 08:15:12
16.   gattling
12: Shaun, I wonder if you went the XM route, would the video and the audio be completely in sync. If it weren't, I know that would absolutely drive me nuts. Me, I mute the TV, and listen to music. Sounds dorky, I know, but when the only option is either NESN, FOX, or ESPN (I don't live near NYC - yet)...well, sanity is pretty important.

15: Peter, I was thinking roughly the same thing. What I thought was funny was that if you saw the rest of Stinnett's quote, he starts to sound really defensive in a nervous kind of way: "We've become pretty good friends. I don't want anything to happen to Jorge."

2006-03-23 08:23:37
17.   Knuckles
Audio from AM, or internet radio will never match up with a TV feed, no matter what the setup is. I've had EI for the past 4 years and MLB online radio for a few, and they've never been in sync. I recently got XM but have yet to set it up in the house as opposed to the car but I don't have high hopes.

FOX was so bad during the playoffs the last few years that I would play music during the game with TV on mute.

2006-03-23 08:27:46
18.   gattling
17: Good to know someone else uses the mute+music technique! My wife was starting to call my sanity into question.
2006-03-23 08:37:07
19.   Freddy Toliver
Why would you want to listen to Waldman? She's the female version of John Madden - she simply restates whatever Sterling says immediately after he says it. But she always seems to 1) mispronounce a name or 2) be completely wrong. XM and DirecTV MLB feed's don't match up, I've tried it. But if you're on TiVo, you can maybe work it so it's close enough.

Posada can't get any uglier, that's for sure - my wife calls him "The Sneech".

Maybe Bernie did something different this winter, knowing it might be his swan song. Either worked out more or worked out less, maybe rested more or studied more film. I don't know, but I'd like to see him get 300 ABs if he hits 10 hrs, drives in 60, and hits .285. I'd take that as the 4 OFer from him.

2006-03-23 08:39:42
20.   Zack
I had my Fantasy Baseball draft on Tuesday and it came my turn in the mid to late rounds and look who was sitting there all along, our boy Milton Bradley. Well, in a moment of irony and fun, I couldn't pass him up. Now I will have to track him day by day, and hope for the best. I must become like rob gee, I must become like Milton, I must...

Well, anyways, I thought of you Mr. Gee and I suppose the world of fantasy baseball, is just that, a fantasy where we can come together and root for him...

2006-03-23 08:43:12
21.   Rob Gee
10 Someone here did the very interesting analysis of HBP's by and against teams last year? Who was that? Weren't the Sox at the top of the league in HBP's but low on BB's? The combination argues it's not just lack of control but intent. And against us too? Gotta love the trash - keep it coming!

12 Shaun - Last year I liked watching the video feed with the other team's announcers. Some good, some funny, and some just as critical of their own teams - it was fun to learn a bit more about the league. Of course this strategy fails when we're playing the Sox. But then it seems the KKK (Kay, Kaat, and Ken) were more amped about the rivalry and so their stupidity was less apparent - maybe better preparation? During the playoffs I tolerated the delay and did Susan Sterling (the SS) with Fox. (Disclaimer: Chosen monikers do not represent fascist, terrorist organizations)

14 Who doesn't love the old wig under cap gag? Good times! (And nice try D)

Note: With significant restraint this post leaves out the Back-up Catcher rant that is drilling a hole in my brain today. Go Kelly!

2006-03-23 08:55:56
22.   Dimelo
Rob Gee showing "significant restraint"....God bless us all!!!

G-Money, after I heard about Posada's injury I thought I'd see comments from you plastered all over the place. Glad you are showing restraint and not busting a nutty telling us how this is a sign of things to come.

2006-03-23 09:07:04
23.   Dimelo
WasWatching had a link to this piece on Jim Kaat.

Thought Alex would appreciate this line from Kaat:
As for his chances of getting to the Hall of Fame, Kaat said, "It might happen someday," but he doesn't worry about it. There are others, such as Rich Gossage, Curt Flood and Marvin Miller, all of whom he believes are more deserving.

Alex, you might want to send him a copy of your book on Curt Flood.

2006-03-23 09:41:49
24.   Dimelo
Olney thinks the Yanks and Sawx will have a lot of fireworks this year. I also liked the piece on Wily Mo - you'll have to scroll down a little bit.

2006-03-23 09:54:47
25.   Count Zero
5 Chacon is amazing to me. It's like he has some sort of Jedi force working. "This is not the pitch you're looking for", and the batter just sort of glazes over and swings at air.

OMG -- that's the funniest thing I've read all month! Thanks bp1 -- brightened up my day. I'll never be able to watch Chacon again without doing an Alec Guinness impression.

10, 11 Dimelo -- I read that garbage this morning and thought the exact same thing. They bean our guys twice as much as we bean theirs, but when we do bean them they act like we're the instigators. IMHO, one of the biggest things this team lost over the past five years was its self-respect. I don't give a shit who gets tossed -- they hit Jetes, or Alex or whoever, we hit them back...HARDER...TWICE. That's one thing guys like Ozzie Guillen get right. There ain't no team unless you watch each other's backs. F#@* Francona and the sack o' lies he rode in on -- you go Tanyon!

2006-03-23 10:09:40
26.   Knuckles
Quick synopsis of my HBP/BB "research"...

I looked at team HBP and BB over the 2001 to 2005 timespan. Because Sox fans will invariably argue that Wake hits more guys due to throwing the knuckleball, I took out his HBP and BB, and adjusted the Sox totals back upwards based on what was left in relation to how many innings Wake made up over that time period (about 13%). Note, I also backed out IBB for all cases.

Over the past 5 years, Boston (adj) has hit the 2nd most batters, trailing only Tampa (Victor Zambrano anyone?) yet has walked the 3rd fewest batters over the same time period. Tamps follows up their HBP crown by also having walked more hitters than anyone else in the big leagues.

BB and HBP are positively correlated, to the tune of 0.23 across the MLB for the timespan. Take out the Sox, and the correlation jumps to 0.39...

Sox average 1 hit batter for every 5.1 walks given up. The average for the league is around 8.2 to 1. The Yanks are actually the 3rd 'naughtiest' in their own right here, but bunched with a handful of other teams and nowhere near the degree of Boston. In terms of Standard Deviation from the mean, 27 teams are within 1 StDev, SF and Atlanta tend to hit far fewer batters in relation to their walk rate, lying 2+ StDev outside the mean on the non-plunking side. And Boston is 1.9 StDev outside the mean on the HBP-happy side of things, pretty far out there on their own.

I don't know how else to chop the data, but it all comes down to Boston hitting a lot more people than the rest of their control stats indicate. (Of course, as Schilling says, maybe Sox opponents fail to get out of the way often enough, curiously only when they're playing Boston.)

2006-03-23 10:19:18
27.   Rob Gee
26 That's great Knuckles! I'm loving it and SD too - too bad there's not a way to throw a graph up to show how much of an outlier the Sox actually are. Bitches...

I'm feeling this this should be a separate piece with it's own link on left and everything. So every time this season we have to deal with the nonsense - here's the facts...

2006-03-23 10:22:00
28.   Rob Gee
Hey Knuckles - any way to see what our head-to-head on that metric (HBP:BB) looks like with the Sox? Maybe via retrosheet or something?
2006-03-23 10:23:29
29.   KJC
// Sturtze said it was unintentional. "I've struggled with my command all spring." //

F#@* Sturtze and the sack o' lies he rode in on

// Sox average 1 hit batter for every 5.1 walks given up... The Yanks are actually the 3rd 'naughtiest' in their own right here //

Just out of curiousity, what's the Yanks' ratio as 3rd 'naughtiest'?

2006-03-23 10:31:30
30.   Knuckles
I've got a spreadsheet of stuff if anyone wants to take a look at it- there's a billion ways to graph this sh1t.

KJC, here's some BB per HBP figures, followed the number of Standard Deviations each team is from the mean...

1, BOS, 5.08, 1.92
2, PHI, 6.61, 0.97
3, NYY, 6.71, 0.91
4, TAM, 6.81, 0.85
5, WAS, 6.96, 0.75
6, STL, 7.1, 0.66
7, HOU, 7.11, 0.66
8, TOR, 7.21, 0.6
9, ARI, 7.39, 0.49
10, COL, 7.42, 0.47
11, PIT, 7.58, 0.37
12, OAK, 7.7, 0.29
13, SEA, 7.75, 0.27
14, MIN, 7.76, 0.26
15, CHW, 7.82, 0.22
16, DET, 8.02, 0.1
17, TEX, 8.07, 0.07
18, LAA, 8.2, -0.01
19, BAL, 8.35, -0.11
20, SD, 8.43, -0.15
21, KC, 8.49, -0.19
22, CIN, 8.56, -0.23
23, LAN, 8.69, -0.32
24, CHC, 8.79, -0.38
25, MIL, 9.08, -0.55
26, CLE, 9.1, -0.56
27, FLA, 9.14, -0.59
28, NYM, 9.36, -0.73
29, SF, 12.86, -2.88
30, ATL, 13.3, -3.16

2006-03-23 10:31:35
31.   Simone
Dimelo, I'm with you. I hope the Yankees' pitchers bring it on this season. Let's have some timely reliation. Between Farnesworth and Sturtze, the Red Sox hitters should be hurting big time.
2006-03-23 10:36:42
32.   gattling
Knuckles - That's a great analysis! I had one question that either you or one of the sabermatricians reading this might be able to answer. You mention that HBP and BB are correlated with a coefficient of 0.23 (0.39 without the Sox). In looking at baseball numbers in this manner, what kind of a coefficient acts as your threshold for saying "hmmm...something's going on here"? In the type of research I do, if I fit my data to a model where the corr coeff was 0.23, I'd be told to go get myself a new model.
2006-03-23 10:48:25
33.   Knuckles
To be honest with you, I'm not sure what levels my stats would have to reach for a true math geek to take them seriously. Most of my work is financial in nature and is based more on finding trends and making judgements based upon the relative magnitude and direction of them. I showed correlation for the entire MLB and MLB exBoston for a reason, because you can see that taking the Sox out, the relationship between BB and HBP grows significantly. If you want to be fair and balanced and take out all 3 teams that fall outside of one standard deviation, correlation coefficient rises to 0.55.
2006-03-23 12:17:27
34.   Ben
Yeah! What he said.
2006-03-23 12:17:55
35.   NetShrine
If you really want to know what pitchers are throwing at people on purpose, you can use the formula in this essay:

2006-03-23 12:41:24
36.   rilkefan
Knuckles, good stuff. One point you might consider is the frequency of retaliation. I.e., consider only the first HBP per game (rather harder data to come by, obviously), though you'll cut a lot of data that way.

Another point might be to throw out the outlier HBP batters - it might be that, say, Jeter lunges into the zone so much that his HBPs are dominated by simple collisions.

2006-03-23 12:51:27
37.   BobbyBaseBall
12: Shaun,
Just as a heads up, with XM you will only get Sterling and Waldmann for the Yankee home games. All away games will be the home team's broadcast. I have XM and LOVE it, and it's interesting to get a different spin on some of the other teams around the league. Also, you get access to Vin Scully.
2006-03-23 12:52:39
38.   Rob Gee
Goldman has in today's blog that the Dodgers look like they'll cut Hee Seop Choi and suggests he'd be a good power-lefty to have on the bench.

Is anyone else the least bit in favor of this move? Realistically it sounds good, but I don't see who we'd cut to make room.

2006-03-23 12:52:48
39.   rilkefan
35 - I'm a bit skeptical of that formula. Pedro has a freakish control rating, due in part to the use of Ks to calculate control. Back in the day at least he got a lot of strikeouts simply because he had too many good pitches. And I was surprised to see Maddux that high.

I can well imagine that a good pitcher is inherently difficult to pick up and hence the batter is less likely to be able to get out of the way of inside stuff. It might be interesting to compare RJ's HBP against righties and lefties, for example.

2006-03-23 13:06:14
40.   Shaun P
Thanks, BBB 37 - so XM is like Extra Innings in that regard. I thought you could get both home and away broadcasts for each game. I've been itching to get XM, just haven't been able to convince myself yet. That's good info to know.

Rob re 38 - to get Choi, how about cutting whoever the Yanks are going to carry at the end of the bench in lieu of a 12th pitcher? That works for the first few weeks, and then I'm sure you'll have rotating injuries among Small, Pavano, and Wright for a few more weeks . . .

Of course this would force the Yanks to carry only 11 pitchers, which is rare for them to do.

2006-03-23 13:21:35
41.   murphy
regardless of how many pitchers are in the pen, joe is only gonna use 2 of them; so let's pick up choi.
2006-03-23 14:15:16
42.   Count Zero
39 Absolutely true about Pedro's control and it's why he's so far out in front...but if you ask any MLB player for the names of the top five active headhunters I will bet you Pedro will be on 95% of their lists. Pedro has always been a headhunter -- the intimidation is part of what makes him so good.

Remember him plunking Sori and then Jeter to start off a game a few years ago -- knocking Jeter out of the game? If his control is so good, can you honestly tell me that was an accident? LOL Pedro has always thrown "inside" with purpose.

2006-03-23 14:48:35
43.   Marcus
All this Pedro talk has me nostalgic for when he was on the Red Sox. I miss having a villain like that to root against. Headhunter, old man assailant, trash talker extraordinaire; the guy had it all.

There's Schilling now of course, and now that he's proclaiming that he will pitch inside this season, it should set up some great possible confrontations. But he seemed like such a poseur when he hit that guy in the head from the Pirates the other day, like he's trying too hard to be tough. With Pedro it just came naturally. Maybe Schilling will step up this year, but his hate ceiling seems to have been reached and he was never that much fun to begin with.

Anyway, speaking of the HBP/BB ratio stuff, the Red Sox also had quite a bit of animosity for the Devil Rays the past few years, at least since Kazmir got to TB. That whole bit with Brazelton and Nixon going at it, I think last season, and Ortiz almost getting beaned in the head. I wonder if that plays any role in both teams' high ratio.

2006-03-23 15:26:40
44.   joejoejoe
5 Obi-Shawn Chaconi?

July 18, 2006 -
'Yanks reacquire journeyman Tony Womack for pennant drive'

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

2006-03-23 16:18:57
45.   jalexei
"Is it just my imagination or does Bernie frequently hit long home runs? He's never had monster HR totals but in my mind the ones he does hit travel high and far."

I remember watching batting practice from the Fenway bleachers some years back and Bernie hit one over the Boston pen and up about 10 rows. Admittedly not a game situation, but it had to be the longest ball I'd ever witnessed to that part of the park.

2006-03-23 18:15:35
46.   bp1
44 Heh heh heh ... too funny. I think we already had the "millions of voices cried out in terror" moment when Damon was signed.

Oby-Shawn Chaconi. I like that.


2006-03-23 20:09:45
47.   yankz
Proctor has had a good spring...that's pretty good, right?
2006-03-23 21:09:10
48.   tom yf
Extry! Extry! Read all about it! Colter Bean pitches a perfect inning with one strikeout!
2006-03-23 21:19:15
49.   brockdc
44: Ha!
2006-03-23 21:22:16
50.   brockdc
I agree about Pedro. The guy's naturally sinister. Schilling's just fat and annoying.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-23 21:36:34
51.   Zack
rob, we should cut anyone we can. Choi would make our bench way better than it is. Cut Villone, cut Bernie, hell, cut Cairo!
2006-03-23 21:43:14
52.   brockdc
Does Choi play amazing defense or something, because his stats are fairly, um, boring. Think I'd rather keep Thompson or Reese on the roster than give a spot to a third 1st baseman.
2006-03-24 07:27:13
53.   Knuckles
Anyone bored this afternoon and want to join a Sabermetric style fantasy league? Draft is at 3pm, gonna be a casual league...

League ID#: 280012
Password: baseball

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