Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
That's a Wrap
2006-10-01 14:52
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yanks lost their final game of the season 7-5 to the Jays (thank you very much, Kyle Farnsworth). They finish the year 97-65 tied for the best record in baseball with...the Mets. Go figure that. The Tigers lost today while the Twins won, meaning that Detroit will play the Bombers starting Tuesday night at the Stadium. This is a match-up that many Yankee fans wanted, especially with the Tigers limping into the post season. But careful what you wish for, right? They still have a lot of pop in their lineup and a nasty bullpen.

Derek Jeter went 1-5 and lost out on the batting title to Joe Mauer who had two hits today. Mauer .347, Jeter .343, Robbie Cano,.342. Congrats to Mauer, who becomes the first catcher to ever lead the American League in batting. A truly remarkable season for Mauer, who is one of three MVP candidates on his team (Santana and, the favorite, Justin Morneau, are the other two). What a wonderful year for out boy Jeter, the future Hall of Famer, who was a beast.

So, the match-ups are all set. Yanks vs. Tigers. A's vs. Twins.

Let's Go Baseball!

Comments (102)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-01 15:37:01
1.   Felix Heredia
What do we think about Bernie pinch hitting himself for the (potentially) last at-bat of the season? Seemed odd, although he was probably egged on by the dugout. The YES crew also quoted him as saying before the game that his "secret weapon" off the bench would be A-Rod . . . .
2006-10-01 15:48:00
2.   randym77
He hit a double. Can't complain about that.

Why didn't he pinch-hit A-Rod for Andy, though?

2006-10-01 15:52:03
3.   BklynBmr
2 I'm waiting for the 'Williams Losses' on
2006-10-01 15:52:58
4.   singledd
What an amazing stroke of luck to get the Tigers instead of the Twins.

Lets just hope Santana isn't slated to pitch 3 games in the ALCS.

The Tigers lost 5 in a row.. including a 3 game swee AT HOME by KC. The 2004 Yankees will forever be known as the #1 chockers because of the ALDS to the Sox. But losing FIVE in a row, ALL at home, and three against KC is a far, far worse offense.
I'm surprised Leyland didn't have a heart attack. It might cost him Manager of the Year.

I feel really good about the PS now.

2006-10-01 15:53:27
5.   markp
Marcus Markey Thames had a 730 OPS from 2003-2005, but has an 882 this year. His month by month OPS are 989, 1.113, 985, 683, 966 (in only 46 ABs), and 595 (in 55 ABs). He spent substantial time in the minors right up until last year at age 28 (265 Ab vs. 107 in MLB), but his career OPS for the minors is 844. I doubt he's arrived at age 29-he look like Shane Spencer to me.
Chris Shleton from May on has really been lousy: 703, 642, 730, 549. He's another guy who was still in the minors into his mid-20s.
2006-10-01 15:55:12
6.   randym77
Man, Boston is beating up on Baltimore.
2006-10-01 16:04:38
7.   randym77
ESPN is reporting these matchups:

Game 1: Wang-Robertson
Game 2: Mussina-Verlander
Game 3: Johnson-Rogers
Game 4: Lidle/Wright-Bonderman

Probably Wright for Game 4...

2006-10-01 16:09:11
8.   vockins
Thank God and Baby Jesus for ALDS vs. the Tigers! Thank God! Beautiful!
2006-10-01 16:14:39
9.   Jen
1 That was Joe's call. On the post-game (radio version) they said that Torre had taken over some of the decisions towards the end of the game.

I'm guessing Andy stayed in because he needed to get at-bats. He hasn't really played in a while.

2006-10-01 16:16:57
10.   wsporter
If anyone has MLB.TV I suggest you get to the Pods game. Hoffman just gave up back to back taters. 7 - 6 1 out.
2006-10-01 16:25:31
11.   wsporter
The D-backs and Dodgers just got jobed. Oh my.
2006-10-01 16:26:17
12.   randym77
11 What do you mean?
2006-10-01 16:42:13
13.   yankz
Tigers at home? With Unit squaring up against the man we all want to face? I want a sweep.
2006-10-01 16:46:55
14.   underdog
12 Read DodgerThoughts for more (and watch ESPN tonight) - though my general feeling was bad call or not the Dodgers would have been division winner had they fared better vs. SD not because of a bad call.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers will be coming to NY along with the Tigers. ;-) Good luck!

2006-10-01 16:49:36
15.   wsporter
12 Two outs Chris Young on first, Alberto Collapso batting Callapso hits a sharp grounder wide of first that's fielded deep in the hole by Josh Barfield. Barfield attempts the play at first but his throw is no where near the bag so the first baseman Adrian Gonzalez pulls himself off the bag and tries to get the lead runner and makes a nice throw to second. The shortstop Khalil Greene takes the throw and neither touches the bag nor tags the runner. The umpire called Young safe. The Pods bitched the Umps caucused then called Young out. Still don't know why.
2006-10-01 17:02:42
16.   randym77
Thanks. Can't wait to hear the explanation for that one.
2006-10-01 17:28:01
17.   Simone
1 Joe urged Bernie to pinch hit so the crowd could acknowledge what is possibly his last game as a Yankee.

Will FOX be showing the Yankees/Tigers game?

2006-10-01 17:47:20
18.   markp
It's Fox, which is good news. I don't care much for Buck, but the ESPN team is horrible.
2006-10-01 17:48:12
19.   randym77
17 According to Yahoo TV, yes, the Tuesday night game is on Fox. Day game on ESPN.

Wednesday it's ESPN.

Broadcast schedule here:

2006-10-01 18:35:02
20.   markp
Fox isn't covering any games on Wed-Fri are they?
2006-10-01 18:46:35
21.   Simone
19 Thanks.
2006-10-01 18:51:49
22.   SF Yanks
Anyone with a time machine please fast forward to Tues. night. I don't think I can wait that long.
2006-10-01 19:09:37
23.   yankz
22 mikeplugh, update us on the score.
2006-10-01 19:39:13
24.   nick
is Morneau really the favorite? I mean, he's maybe the 10th most valuable player in the league.....Jeter, Santana, Mauer, Dye, Thomas, Ramirez, Ortiz, then maybe's like, 25 years since the first Bill James abstract and these morons still think RBIs are a pure individual achievement?

OK: here's definitive proof. Of the Baseball Tonight crowd, only Steve Philips thinks Morneau is the God, Philips is a moron...

2006-10-01 19:40:41
25.   nick
John Kruk actually understands what statistics measure better than Steve anybody watching this nonsense? I could send this tape to any front office in America and Steve Philips would be unhirable as GM....
2006-10-01 20:10:23
26.   yankz
24 Is Jeter the frontrunner according to those clowns?
2006-10-01 20:15:27
27.   markp
Morneau is this year's anti-Jeter or anti-Yankee guy.
Just like most years since 2000 we've heard about all of the SS that are "better than Jeter" (Tejada, Young, Vizquel every so often, even Guzman for part of a year) and remember how there were so many "reasons" Arod wasn't the MVP last year, they need somebody to be the "better than Jeter" or "better than any Yankee" guy.
This year, since Ortiz and the Bosox fell off a cliff, it's a pedestrian corner OF having an above average year who has a stat they can use as "evidence" he's more valuable.
(As far as RBIs being enough to result in a travesty, don't forget the absurd Sosa over McGuire vote.)
2006-10-01 20:36:49
28.   yankz
Anyone who thinks Jeter shouldn't be the MVP b/c he didn't reach 100 RBI is a total fool. Just check out his insane numbers with runners on and RISP. He can't control how many times he comes to bat in those situations.
2006-10-01 21:09:59
29.   nick
26 no real consensus among the insane clown posse....
2006-10-01 21:14:09
30.   Mike T
I told my friends who otherwise root for other teams, like the White Sox, that I make annual exceptions for the postseason, and would let them into my cheering section if they want to root for the Bombers. This doesn't make them Yankee fans of course, but since they can't join their teams at the country club for their tee times, I figure I'd give them the chance to root for the Yankees for a month.
2006-10-01 21:16:31
31.   C2Coke
27 I think the voters have to figure out why not to give the MVP to Jeter rather than the reasons to give the MVP to any of the other guys mentioned. And I know I am completely biased like most of us here, but there really isn't any reason not to name the Cap'n as the MVP of this year.

I am wearing my Wang shirt tomorrow as a celebration...for a great finish...and big cheers to a best start of the real journey!

2006-10-02 01:24:19
32.   joejoejoe
The following MVP votes killed any interest I ever had in the award.

Ron Guidry 25-3, 248K, 1.74 ERA
Led AL in Wins, Win%, K, WHIP, Shutouts, Ace of Pennant winner

Jim Rice .315/.370/.600, 121R, 139BI, 46HR
Led AL in Hits, HR, RBI on 2nd Place team

MVP Jim Rice

Roger Clemens 24-4, 238K, 2.48 ERA
Led AL in Wins, Whip, 2nd Win%, 2nd K, Ace of Pennant winner

Don Mattingly .352/.394/.573, 117R, 113BI, 31HR
Led AL in Hits, SLG%, OPS, 2B, Runs created, Gold Glove 1B, on 2nd Place team

MVP Roger Clemens

In '78 the writers said Guidry couldn't get the award because he wasn't an everyday player and discounted the fact that he was on a pennant winner. In '85 the same writers said Mattingly wasn't on a pennant winner and Clemens had an all-time great season. Nevermind that 9 '86 Mattinglys would have generated 111 more runs than 9 '78 Rices over a season or that the '78 Guidry was better pitcher than '86 Clemens by nearly every measure. One year the criteria was winner, one year it was stats. There is no rhyme or reason to who gets the votes in the MVP race.

Ever since Mattingly got robbed of that '86 MVP I've never cared who won. I'm with Jeter, it's about winning games, not awards.

2006-10-02 01:45:15
33.   mikeplugh

Game just underway over here in Japan. Wang allowed a lead off single to Placido Polanco, but induced Craig Monroe into a 5-4-3 double play, and retired Sean Casey on a ground out to Jeter.

The Yankees got a leadoff homer by Johnny Damon, followed by a sneaky little bunt single by Jeter, a walk by Abreu and a 3-run bomb by A-Rod. Leyland has been ejected and Jason Giambi is coming to the plate with nobody out and a 4-0 lead.

I'll keep you posted.
H.G."David" Wells

2006-10-02 01:48:14
34.   mikeplugh
32 great post joe
2006-10-02 03:41:17
35.   Jim Dean
32 Great post indeed, joe.
2006-10-02 04:16:49
36.   The Mick 536
Could not have predicted the end, except for finishing first. Guess that is why they play them and why I be a fan.

Great way to follow baseball. Thanks to Cliff and Alex and to all the rest of you.

2006-10-02 05:27:25
37.   rbj
33 Thanks Mike. That sounds about right.
2006-10-02 05:31:39
38.   GoingDeep
32 Hear Hear.

The MVP is a subjective award, intwined in politics and bias.

A World Series title however is a concrete fact.

That is why intelligent, competitive men like Jeter dowm play the MVP. Not only is it an individual award but it is out of the players hands. HE cannot 'win' the MVP, but rather it is given to him. Jeter however can 'win' another ring.

Bring on 27.

2006-10-02 06:26:20
39.   Dimelo
I want Jeter to win the MVP so badly. For me, he represents everything a great athlete should be. I was huge Mattingly fan, but as a kid I don't think I had the same affection for him as I do with Jeter. Maybe cause Jetes is actually using his looks to bang supermodels too. He also plays great baseball and is a winner. I guess if I had that power I'd use it to my advantage too. Plus so many f'ing people hate Jeter's guts and it drives me nuts defending the guy. I hate the Jeter haters. I don't get mad reading the haters when it's about the Yankees or even ARod, but Jeter and Mo are like my brothers - at least it feels that way with me. They are like family and when people that don't understand their true value hate on them then I just want to beat'em down.

On the flip side, Jeter winning the MVP and the Yanks winning the Serious will only make life that much harder for ARod. For example, imagine the compare-and-contrast that will go on. 2005 MVP ARod, BUT no Serious. 2006 MVP Derek Jeter AND Yanks win the championship.

That could potentially be the last piece of the puzzle that drives ARod away.

2006-10-02 07:07:27
40.   Sliced Bread
I was at a wedding the other night, smoking cigars with a couple Yanks fans, trying to allay their fears about Farnswacker.

I know a lot of fans are down on Farns going into the playoffs, as evidenced by Alex's "thank you very much, Kyle Farnsworth" line above.

Despite his discouraging postseason resume, I maintain unjustified confidence in Farnswacker. He had a decent September. 11 innings pitched, 11 hits (including 2 yesterday), 6 runs (including 2 yesterday), 15 k's, 1 walk. When his back isn't locked up, he hits 100mph. That's more of a weapon than a liability.

The game-losing home run he surrendered in yesterday's meaningless game came on a 1-2 pitch, against a kid who was hitting .367 in September. I think he and Posada should have wasted a pitch on that count, but instead tried a fastball in. Farns served it straight up, and it went straight out. End of meaningless game. Learn from your burns.

Going forward, the Stadium crowd has to help Farns. It tends to fall silent when he falls behind in a count. He's a power pitcher who feeds off the positive energy of the home crowd. If you go to the games, support your Farnswacker!

Joe will keep the junkyard dog on a tight leash the rest of the way, and Mo will be called on for mostly 5 and 6 out saves, just as he was required to do with Flush Gordon.

The Yankees pitchers who make me most nervous are Villone and Lidle. These are the guys who can kill us.

Villone's September: 6 innings, 14 hits , 18 runs, 27.00 ERA, 3.83 WHIP

Lidle's September 13 innings, 22 hits, 9.45 ERA.

If Unit was healthy, you could argue that Villone and Lidle don't even belong on the postseason roster.

Unit is not healthy. Watch out for Villone and Lidle.

Also watch out for the Tigers hot hitters.

Magglio in Sept: .354/.418/.576 6 HR, 19 RBI
Guillen in Sept: .395/.477/.592
Pudge in Sept.: .319/.375/.500 14 RBI
Polanco in Sept: .308/.379/.462 in 26 at-bats

Nate Robertson in Sept: 2.76 ERA 1.38 WHIP

This might not be as easy as you think.

2006-10-02 07:19:37
41.   wsporter
40 Slice I coudn't agree more. All this unrestrained joy over drawing the Tigers is making me very nervous. Oh what the the hell, I'm always very nervous in October anyway. We could be playing the Royals and I'd have that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. Although all the happy talk does seem like asking for it from a superstition POV. Be careful what you ask for ....
2006-10-02 07:20:25
42.   singledd
There are many problems with the MVP award. My main grip is that the 'Hand Aaron Award' (HAA) is mentioned as an afterthought, and is barely considered by the media.

If the HAA was on the exact level of the MVP, and was always mentioned along with MVP, then we would have clearer deliniations of these awards. One would simply be best offensive season, one would be based on total contributions (offense, defense, running, throwing, value on the field, leadership, intangibles).

Secondly, this needing to be on a winner is absolute bullshit. If the last 3 days had gone differently, and Houston had edged out the Cardinals, should our feelings about how valuable Pujols was be different? Winning is a TEAM stat. What other award is based on what team wins?

And we never know when to consider a pitcher or not (as 32 points out). I would like to see another award; 'Greatest Valued Pitcher' (GVP). Cy young is very WINS oriented. The 'GVP' award could give equal considerations to Relievers. Last year, Santana was clearly Cy Young. But Mariano was most clearly GVP.

To me (and remember I do hate the Sox) Ortiz had an outstanding (AL) year. 10 more HRs then anyone else, RBI leader, 3rd in RS (only 3 behind Jetes), 3rd in OPS. All this, while the Sox were in total collapse for almost a month. And he certainly was VERY valuable to his team.

He should be in consideration for the MVP, but he is a one dimensional ballplayer. How do you compare Ortiz to Jeter? This is Apples and Oranges. We should hear commentators say: "Ortis looks like the HAA and Jeter looks like the MVP".
We should NOT have to choose between overall 'value' and a great 'offensive' contribution.

Really... how many of YOU even consider the HAA? How many times a season do you hear it mentioned? ESPN does pre-season 'predictions' on ALL the other individual awards, but NOT the HAA.

Its quite clear. For example:
AL MVP - Jeter
AL HAA - Ortiz
AL CyY - Santana
AL GVP - Papelbon

However, these awards NEED to have EQUAL prestige.

2006-10-02 07:21:35
43.   pistolpete
32 I could almost see the reason behind the Guidry choice, because the season came down to the absolute wire, and Gator was a big part of why we edged out the Sox that year. He was the textbook definition of a 'stopper' in '78.

That said, I don't think the MVP should ever be awarded to a starting pitcher, but IMO a solid closer should be under careful consideration - any time someone comes in 3-4 times a week and pretty much determines the outcome of a game, you have to throw him in the mix.

2006-10-02 07:27:31
44.   jonnystrongleg
40 & 41 The Tigers just got swept by the Royals in a must win situation, are 12-16 since September started and the Yanks are 5-2 against them (and should have been 7-0 if not for two non-Mariano blown games with 2 outs in the 9th).

Anything can happen in the baseball postseason, but this has got to be the best matchup the Yanks have had since they played Texas in 1999. This is a huge break for the Yanks and hopefully they take advantage with a dominant series while the A's and Twins play an epic.

2006-10-02 07:34:37
45.   mehmattski
40 Your thoughts are similar to mine: I think all the Yankee fans who prayed for relief from the Twins in the post season may get a healthy dose of "be careful what you wish for." I wonder if any of those fans are the same ones who curse at the scrappy Angels hitters who slap singles all over the field and give the Yankees trouble. Because that's exactly what the Tigers hitters do: they put the ball in play, they get a few runs across, and then their good pitchers give way to their excellent bullpen. I had been saying all along that I'd rather face one elite starter and two garbage guys (Minn) rather than three good starters (Tigers). I can see this going five really frustrating games. Nothing is certain in a five game series.

I've said it before about the Yankees' bullpen. Outside of Mo, when was the last time Yankees fans felt safe in the 7th and 8th innings during the postseason? It probably goes back to the Stanton/Nelson/Lloyd years, and even they were quite vulnerable by 99/00. Still, the Yankees' bullpen ranks a solid fourth out of the four AL playoff teams, and this may be a problem. I'd put our starting pitching third, ahead of Minnesota, and our defense second ahead of the Twins and A's. That's not very encouraging, but then you look at the offense: none of the other three teams can boast more than one position where they are definitively stronger than the Yankees. And that's why the other teams are more scared of us than we are of them.

2006-10-02 07:39:48
46.   Zack
Having been on a somewhat 2 week hiatus ever since the Yanks clinched due to various reasons such as health, work, etc, and now coming back full force for the playoffs, a few things:

The Tigers being very cold doesn't matter at all now. Remember 2000? We were terrible going into the playoffs, yet still won it all. I'm sure that has already been rehashed, but the point is, what got the Tigers here, good pitching, better bullpen, and a potent lineup is still there, slump or not. And in a short series, well, two good starts and a slugfest can get you far.

That being said, I sure am glad we got the Tigers, on the one hand becuase I am oh so sick of the Twins, their owners, those stupid hankies, and all of the small market stuff that seems to go with them. A change is nice.

Here's hoping for a Padres-Yankees WS so I can get tickets!

2006-10-02 07:45:41
47.   JeremyM
46 I agree that a slump going into the playoffs is irrelevant, but I think some people feel the Tigers played over their heads all year, and their collapse has been steady throughout the second half.
2006-10-02 07:46:19
48.   jonnystrongleg
46 Huge difference between the 2000 Yanks and the 2006 Tigers. The 2006 Tigers were still playing to win. The Tigers threw the kitchen sink at these last few games and came up with zilch and a date with the Yanks. I would be shocked if there is not a lot of self doubt in that locker room right now.

But anything can happen, one solid win at Yankee Stadium and the Tigers are in business. Can't be overconfident, but this is set up as well as it can be for the Yanks.

2006-10-02 07:58:48
49.   mehmattski
48 Not sure what you mean about "playing to win." When the 2000 Yankees started to tank the season, it was September 13 and the Yanks sat at 84-59, just 2.5 games behind the White Sox for the best record in the AL. Over the next two weeks, the Yanks proceeded to win all of three games (and lost their last 7), and ended up with the worst record of any Yankees team in the Derek Jeter Era. Both the 2000 Yanks and the 2006 Tigers didn't have a whole lot to play for in September as both had about the same chances of keeping a playoff spot. And if Boston won a few more games in September, 2000, they could have slipped in and stolen the AL East. It was not a pretty situation. But you're right, I'm sure both teams lacked a bit of confidence going into their first round matchups. As for the 2006 Tigers playing above themselves; they actually finished under their Pythagorean Record (97-65 versus 95-67 actual).
2006-10-02 08:17:04
50.   jonnystrongleg
49 good point, the sow were closer than i remembered in 2000. i still think there is a big difference between the 2 time defending world champions experiencing a bad september and the tigers falling apart, coughing up a division and playing the most undesirable opponent in the first round.

once the 2000 yanks started the playoffs, they had a resevoir of confidence available to them that the tigers do not.

all in all, the tigers are a dangerous opponent, as any team capable of winning 95 games would be, but a team the Yanks should handle.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-02 08:29:41
51.   Chyll Will
42 Who is Hand Aaron? And what about this Ortis guy that makes commentators think he's so doggone funny??
2006-10-02 09:06:17
52.   Shaun P
I'm going to take a day off from worrying about matchups and momentum and all that and just enjoy this. Not only are the Yanks in the playoffs, they have homefield throughout. I didn't expect that after the first couple of months of this season.

Congrats, guys - tomorrow the real fun begins!

And mike your 33 had me laughing out loud - well done! I only hope it really goes that way.

2006-10-02 09:34:32
53.   mehmattski
Random stat of the day:

A week ago or so I went through all the box scores to investigate if the 9/22/06 game against Tampa was indeed the shortest game of the season, and by how much. This gave me a mostly useless database of the Yankees' game times, and I pass some facts on to you:

The average Yankee game in 2006 took 3 hours, 8 minutes. Or as Michael Kay used to say on the radio "a... manageable 3 hours, 8 minutes." This works out to a grand total of 504 hours, 54 minutes for all 162 games. And if you watched every minute of every game, that would account for 11.6% of the 4,368 hours that have passed since April 3 (opening day). The longest game was of course the 4:45 marathon against the Red Sox on August 18, and the shortest was the game against the Rays on September 22 (2:17).

... less than 32 hours until first pitch!

2006-10-02 09:47:40
54.   pistolpete
53 I thought anything over three hours was 'UN-manageable'.
2006-10-02 09:51:06
55.   C2Coke
40 Sliced, I'm gonna take your word for that regardin Farns. And frankly speaking, I know you are right in a sense that we don't have other choices so we might as well back him up.

52 Hear, hear! I took a moment and sat back to had some good thoughts. And I realized that this is quite amazing...both NY teams with the best record in baseball. At this point, I feel more excitement than worries about tomorrow.

2006-10-02 09:55:57
56.   C2Coke
Pete Abraham is great, on his blog:


"American League

Yankees over the Tigers in 3 games: Too much offense for staggered Tigers.

Twins over the Athletics in 5 games: Excellent series decided by Johan Santana.

Yankees over the Twins in 6 games: Well-rested Yankees too strong."

And I think he's serious...

2006-10-02 09:58:40
57.   C2Coke
And then Pete went on about the following:

"World Series
Yankees over the Padres in 5 games. Chien-Ming Wang wins twice and holds shortest ever postgame interview on Fox after being named MVP. Joe Torre cries. Brian Cashman breathes a sigh of relief and George Steinbrenner issues a statement praising his team and announcing his intent to compete in the Ironman Triathlon. "I'm a heck of a swimmer," he tells spokesman Howard Rubenstein."

I think we are lucky to have bloggers like Alex, Cliff, P.Abrham, mikeplugh, and etc. for making baseball even more fun.

2006-10-02 10:48:59
58.   jkay
WFAN says Sheff hits 4th, A-Rod 6th.
2006-10-02 11:08:52
59.   domvjr
Full lineup:
Interesting that they dropped A-Rod to 6th in the order. Is this a slap at A-Rod? Certain talk radio personalities,seem to think so. I also think it is. I am surprised that Torre would do this.
2006-10-02 11:11:30
60.   Shaun P
58 Cool. However Torre wants to do it.

I don't think it matters who hits where in that lineup, as long as the lefties aren't all in a row, which they won't be.

2006-10-02 11:15:46
61.   Shaun P
59 "Is this a slap at A-Rod? Certain talk radio personalities,seem to think so."

Certain talk radio personalities also need a story to fill the off-day. "Yanks will crush Tigers" - which all of NY expects to happen - is a non-story. "Mets may be in trouble vs Dodgers" - which all of NY believes to be true - is also a non-story. So where could a story possibly come from . . . hmmmmm . . .

A-Rod had an OPS of .977 vs LHP this year; lefties are due to start Games 1 and 3 for the Tigers. Who cares where the guy bats? Just so long as he's playing!

2006-10-02 11:26:10
63.   domvjr
60, I agree with you to a point, but the fact that he batted in the 4th spot 90% of the year, and he is suddenly dropped to the 6th spot is problematic. Hopefully, A-Rod comes out to prove that he should be batting clean up.
2006-10-02 11:26:17
64.   Sliced Bread
WFAN also reports Torre says Mo will only pitch 9th inning.

Hopefully, they can stick to that plan throughout the series.

The lineup is sick no matter how they stack 'em.

2006-10-02 12:04:01
65.   Simone
59 I don't like that line up. A-Rod should be hitting 4th with Sheffield and Giambi behind him.
2006-10-02 12:06:13
66.   Simone
I also am not thrilled that Sheffield will be playing 1st, but c'est la vie.
2006-10-02 12:09:20
67.   Jim Dean
I think Joe saw this (AB AVG OBP SLG OPS):

4th: 437 .286 .388 .494 .883
5th: 118 .339 .436 .686 1.122

3rd: 2731 .304 .398 .604 1.002
4th: 1273 .291 .378 .531 .909
5th: 398 .334 .422 .641 1.062

And those splits are worse for his time in NY. If anything was the problem this year, it was that he left A-Rod at 4th for too long. He just doesn't seem to hit as well in the run producing slots. Since Joe wants to maintain his LRL lineup, A-Rod goes to sixth. A-Rod will still get his RBI opportunities but maybe with some of the "pressure" off.

2006-10-02 12:10:16
68.   joejoejoe
59 Is Torre batting Shef higher in anticipation of pulling him for Phillips late in games? If the 4 spot comes up in the 7th or 8th with the Yankees leading I don't see Sheffield going back out to take the field. Give Shef his 4ABs and then sub for defense if you are winning - that works for me.

Dropping A-Rod also balances the speed across the lineup a bit which has it's benefits.

2006-10-02 12:10:53
69.   LI yankee
A-Rod hitting 6th? With this lineup, I don't think it'll make much of a difference.

I'm shocked ESPN hasn't picked up on this. By now I'd expect a cover article psychoanalyzing A-Rod hitting 6th and how this effects the rotation of the Earth.

2006-10-02 12:11:59
70.   Simone
I have redone the lineup:


Now it is perfect. Alex, please pass this on to Joe. Thanks.

2006-10-02 12:20:50
71.   C2Coke
No matter how the opposing team slice it, there is no hole in the lineup, and that should be fine by anyones' standards.

As long as they get the ring in the end, I don't think the players care where they are batting at all.

2006-10-02 12:21:17
72.   rsmith51
I would probably bat Cano higher, given the season he is having. I would move Sheff down since he hasn't played until recently.


2006-10-02 12:21:25
73.   LI yankee
Everyone check out Alex wrote a great article for the Yanks.
2006-10-02 12:28:07
74.   RIYank
I have a more radical change:


I want our best on-base guys up top; Giambi batting third for his slugging, of course, and Jeter after Abreu because you want walks before hits. Robbie is on fire, so I have him much higher. And let's face it, Damon is lately the weakest hitter in the line-up.

I'm ignoring all psychological considerations, but I did attend to L/R alternation.

2006-10-02 12:29:45
75.   Sliced Bread
I think the move is mostly to prevent A-Rod from ending a top of the order rally by striking out, or grounding into a double play, and he does both more than anybody on the team. Nothing against him personally, mind you, this is just business.

It seems strange that Joe would wait until Game 1 ALDS to move him to 6th, (perhaps he could have done it last week, when the lineup became whole again) but I think it makes a lot of sense. I hope A-Rod's cool with it, and I imagine he is.

Unfortunately, it gives the carpet-pissing poodles in the media something to chew about for the next 24 hours, and chew they will.

2006-10-02 12:34:23
76.   Sliced Bread
75 It should also be noted that A-Rod leads the team in RBI, and even batting 6th in this order he'll have plenty of opportunities to keep doing that.
2006-10-02 12:36:03
77.   RIYank
73 Thanks for that heads-up; a typically juicy entry by Alex. Slurp.

Also check out David Pinto's Baseball Musings, this entry:

where the always-reasonable Pinto runs through the Win Shares leaders and their deservingness for MVP. (BB readers will like Pinto's verdict.)

Or go straight to Hardball Times' Win Shares ranking:

2006-10-02 12:46:19
78.   DarrenF
75 It may be coincidence or it may be my imagination, but ARod seems to have made a concerted effort over the past month or so to strike out less and hit the ball up the middle or to the opposite field. Torre's likely reasoning is avoiding back-to-back righties vs. Zumaya and Rodney. If so, I'd personally prefer ARod 4th and Sheffield 6th.

Torre will not be second-guessed, I can guarantee that. If ARod goes 0-for-5, it's because he can't handle playoff pressure. If ARod hits 2 homeruns, it's because he was allieved of the pressure of batting cleanup.

2006-10-02 12:47:58
79.   Schteeve

[i]It seems strange that Joe would wait until Game 1 ALDS to move him to 6th, (perhaps he could have done it last week, when the lineup became whole again) but I think it makes a lot of sense. I hope A-Rod's cool with it, and I imagine he is.[/i]

Moving him down in the order now means it's not a story if A-Rod goes 0-4 in game 1 and people start calling for Joe to drop him in the order then.

It's brilliant, if that's really the lineup.

2006-10-02 12:54:12
80.   Sliced Bread
79 That's really the lineup according to several sources: Larry Bowa on WFAN, Peter Abraham's LoHud blog.

I agree it's a good move. Let's see how it works.

2006-10-02 13:09:43
81.   pistolpete
75 Mad Dog, in particular, is probably having a field day.
2006-10-02 13:11:45
82.   Sliced Bread
81 He's been making some noise, but I don't know what he's saying. I don't speak poodle.
2006-10-02 13:13:09
83.   rsmith51
The more I think about it, the more I like the move. It is a win-win if ARod struggles or succeeds. I like the idea of moving Damon to 9th, but that is probably much too radical. The way Cano has been hitting the ball, it seems weird to bat him ninth...
2006-10-02 13:20:58
84.   Sliced Bread
83 Yeah, the lineup works in reverse, and in random shuffle mode, and it will change throughout the series.
2006-10-02 13:22:42
85.   pistolpete
83 Taking into account this monster lineup, Joe should consider constructing the order as if there were two sets of 1-4 hitters, with Giambi or Sheff right in the middle.


Crazy? Thoughts? Obviously A-rod in the 8-hole is a little odd, but does overall batting order really matter beyond the first time through?

2006-10-02 13:24:16
86.   markp
A line-up that is based on logic can't have Damon leading off.
2006-10-02 13:29:53
87.   choirboyzgirl
Well my worst scenario came true (Tigers v. Yankees in the first round). I'm feeling a little like A-Rod these days (most around can't understand why I would root for the Yankees in stead of the Tigers). LOL Okay most it is in the jest instead of mean spirted like Alex's situation. But I can't help root for the Yankees...I want to see them win #27 LOL (Kinda like a mom rooting for her fav child :) ).

I don't think Alex will have too many problems adapting to hitting 6th. He seems to be in a fairly relaxed state these days (hopefully that will carry over as he seems to do better when he's relaxed). Even when he grounded into a dp on Saturday and got booed he came back and crushed a home run next ab.

I do find it a little strange that he got moved right after coming off his best month of the season but yeah maybe Joe knows a few things I don't.

In any case the batting line up doesn't always make that much of a difference especially in this line up (after all Cano is batting 9th!!). Anyone can end up with the bases loaded, final at bat, man on third no outs etc.. I think Alex and the Yankees will be just fine.

2006-10-02 13:30:18
88.   RIYank
86 Ahem, 84.
2006-10-02 13:30:44
89.   RIYank
ARGH, I meant, Ahem, 74.
2006-10-02 13:37:12
90.   Shaun P
86 In all seriousness, Torre could pull a Billy Martin in Detroit and pull the names out of a hat and hit them that way. Except for stacking the lefties to be susceptible to Jamie Walker, it really doesn't matter who hits where. I would take any of the lineups posted above.

Imagine for a moment if Torre hit Matsui leadoff, Posada second, Damon third, Jeter fourth, Cano fifth, A-Rod sixth, Giambi seventh, Sheff eighth, and Abreu ninth - in a playoff game.

The reaction of most of the world would be priceless. I would pay to see it, and laugh as the Yanks still won.

2006-10-02 13:52:48
91.   mehmattski
Good writeup on Deadspin, Alex... I don't have posting rights over there and I'm glad of it... So many normally hilarious posters devolve into irrational cliche spewing idiots when the Yankees are involved... ah well, tis the season for Yankee haters and their "OMG PAYROLL!!!1!1!!!" banner, I guess. :-\

Great discussion on lineups... the lineup that produces the most runs is generally one organized in descending order of OBP. But it's never a huge increase, compared to a lineup constructed in the traditional speed-contact-power order. The Yankees' lineup is going to score runs regardless of who is batting near whom. I agree with Shaun P 90 that Joe should mix it up just for the heck of it.

On a related note: I hope I see zero sacrifice bunts for the Yankees in the playoffs. Unless it's a tie game in the bottom of the 9th with a runner on second and no outs. And even then, we'd probably be better off swinging away.

2006-10-02 14:04:31
92.   wsporter
Just threw 9 names in a hat and drew them out for a batting order (I had 10 minutes to burn)


I think we can win with this. This is sick. Note lowest OBA in 9 hole. Oh my.

2006-10-02 14:15:43
93.   singledd
17 'Experts' at ESPN predict the WS Winner
Minn (7)
Yanks (6)
A's (2)
Mets (1)
LA (1)

Basically the consensus is this is a 2 horse race.

WS MVP to:
Rivera (3)
Mauer (3)
Santana (4)
Nick Swisher (1)... but that's Steve Phillips

2006-10-02 14:18:02
94.   Schteeve
This lineup is genius the more I think about it. With OBP machine Giambi right in front of him, and Abreu two spots in front, either Sheff cleans the bases or A-rod is up with plenty of chances to drive in runs, but hitting sixth takes the perception of pressure off of him.

I think this could pay huge dividends. It's probably more likely that it won't really make much difference at all, but the potential upside is way better than the predictable downside.

Torre it seems is being proactive in building this lineup. It will be interesting to see if he stays with it.

2006-10-02 14:18:49
95.   Schteeve
Trying to pick a WS MVP right now would seem to me to be a colossal waste of time.
2006-10-02 14:23:09
96.   jonnystrongleg
93 I did some quick counting of the 16 ESPN experts (maybe they've updated to 17 since).
Yanks over Tigers 16-0
Twins over A's 12-4
Twins win ALCS 9
Yanks win ALCS 5
A's win ALCS 2
Twins win Series 7
Yanks 5
A's 2
Dodgers 1
Mets 1

Main thing that stood out to me is that 11 experts picked the Twins and Yanks to play each other in the ALCS. 9/11 picked the Twins to win that series.

Bring it.

2006-10-02 14:28:48
97.   jonnystrongleg
sorry, looks like 9/12 picked the twins over the yanks. still a bit much for my tastes.
2006-10-02 14:44:02
98.   Shaun P
95 I wonder if they'll review the predictions at the end of the Serious.

On the football side, I've always admired that TMQ (Tuesday Morning QB Gregg Easterbrook for those that don't know) always reviews his each of his predictions at the end of the football season.

The 3 ESPN guys I trust the most voted like this:

Alleged Boston-lover Peter Gammons: Yanks win Serious over Mets in 7

Keith Law: Yanks win Serious over Mets in 6

Rob Neyer: Dodgers over Twins in 7, but to his credit, that was his preseason pick and he's stuck to it all year

2006-10-02 15:08:40
99.   Jim Dean
98 Neyer also 'predicted' the Yanks are home golfing now.

Can we play the games already?

2006-10-02 15:10:57
100.   rbj
Is it Tuesday yet?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-02 15:21:21
101.   mehmattski
100 Everywhere east of Madrid, it's Tuesday already.

mikeplugh should be waking up soon to give us another update on the future, I bet. Another option would be to post-reference the future:

530 the Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first.

2006-10-02 15:22:51
102.   cliffy6745
I don't know if anyone here is from Philadelphia but I recently moved to Philly and am looking for a good place to watch the Yankees playoffs games. Regular season games are one thing but I have to be at a bar for at least some of the playoffs and if you know Philly fans its probably not a great idea to be in a lot of local bars during the playoffs. Does anyone know of any places to watch the games with hopefully other yankees fans?


2006-10-02 15:33:50
103.   BklynBmr
This is definitely the longest day of the season. Even the distraction of Monday Night Football does not cut it. I'm busting out my VHS collection of the '96 and '98 postseason to get that October pinstripe mojo going tonight.

25 hours, 20 minutes, 10 sec...

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