Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
We Ain't Got Nuthin' For Ya Man
2007-02-01 05:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Mel Stottlemyre will not be at spring training in Tampa with the Yankees this year. Speaking of Mel, just where would you guys place him on a list of the greatest starting pitchers in team history?

Comments (96)
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2007-02-01 06:03:07
1.   OldYanksFan
I haven't done the analysis, but I will guess Mel's career spanned the WORST Yankee years in history.

His first year was 1964, the last year of the Yankee Dynasty. His last year was 1974. I'm guessing, but during that 11 year span, I think the team played well under .500 baseball. The was a 3 year period in there, where the Yankees were one of the 2 or 3 worst teams in the game.

Yet Stot compiles a 164/139 won loss record, with an ERA under 3. I have to believe if he came up at the same time Wang did, that he would be the ace of our staff for years.

2007-02-01 06:12:52
2.   OldYanksFan
I stand corrected.
During that 11 year span, the Yankees were 907 / 867 for a 51% winning record. Stot had a winning% of 54%.
Must be an old age thing. These numbers don't confirm my memories.
Score one for the statheads.
But the guy was still pretty good.

He was 21/12 with a 2.45 ERA in 1968, when the Yankees finished 83 / 79.

2007-02-01 06:16:52
3.   rbj
I'd probably put him in the top ten, definitely in the top twenty -- but this is strictly off the top of my head, haven't looked at any stats, still on my first cup of coffee.

And Pitchers & Catchers in 2 weeks! Woo Hoo!!

2007-02-01 06:22:06
4.   OldYanksFan
Compare that to Whitey Ford, who posted a 236 / 106 (.690) record, in a span where the team played approx. .600 baseball.
2007-02-01 06:27:14
5.   OldYanksFan
OK. Next time I get coffee BEFORE I post. In comparing Stots to Whitey ERA wise, you have 2.97 vs 2.75 career records. So going by comparative W/L% (compared to team W/L%), Whitey looks significant better. However, looking strictly at ERA, they aren't that far apart. Anyone know what year they raised the mound? Would that be a factor in Stots Starts?
2007-02-01 06:30:45
6.   Shaun P
3 I was thinking top 10 too. Whitey, Lefty Gomez, Red Ruffing, Gator, Mel, and Mo are all in there . . . Jack Chesbro probably too. I'm not even sure what kind of order to put them in.
2007-02-01 06:35:09
7.   OldYanksFan

Obviously, I have NOT a clue what stats to use to compare guys, and what influent the years pitched factors into the equation. Maybe someone intelligent can look at the 2 links and make a reasonable comparison between Whitey and Mel.

2007-02-01 06:52:39
8.   OldYanksFan
6 I chose to compare Whitey and Mel because they pitched in the same relative era. Their careers overlapped 4 years. I don't know how to compare these guys to guys like Lefty and Red, who pitched in very different eras. All low paid white guys who pitched in rediculously shaped stadiums, spend half their lives on buses, and played with funky little gloves.

It would be interesting to discuss some of the issues of the post 1990's players compared with the pre WWII players. I read somewhere, that in the early days, the managers primary job was to keep players from drinking too much every night, in hopes that they could play the next day quasi-sober. 'Bed checks' was Job #1.

Did ANY of these guys work out? Did they live on hot dogs? Did they have 'a girl in every port'? Relief pitchers? As Bouton talks about (as late as the 1960's), was partying and getting laid more of the focus then playing?

There were soooo many differences in the game between those 2 eras. I don't know how you can compare stats.

2007-02-01 06:52:52
9.   kylepetterson
5 1968
2007-02-01 06:58:55
10.   markp
Whitey's career ERA+ (132) is tied for 28th all-time. Stott (112) doesn't make the top 100 (121 needed to get into the top 100).
Ford's career was longer, too. He also had the WS scoreless inning streak record and is part of the triumvirate for the most successful baseball team ever.
2007-02-01 07:18:52
11.   williamnyy23
Baseball-Reference ranks the following top-10 Yankee pitchers in terms of their ERA+ (the first number) with the team. Of course, that has to be placed in the context of innings (the second number).

Clearly, Whitey Ford is the top pitcher in Yankee history. After that, there is room for great debate.

Personally, from the grouping below, I think Rivera, Gossage, Chandler and Gomez all merit inclusion along with Ford in any top-10 list. Ruffing, Guidry and Pettitte also seem to be definite top-10 guys. After that, two more from a group of Stottlemyre, Lyle, Lopat, Shawkey and maybe even Mike Mussina would round out the top 10. Now, how you rank 1 to 9 is another story. Top-10 Yankee Pitchers – ERA+/IP
1. Mariano Rivera 200 881.7
2. Rich Gossage 180 533.0
3. Sparky Lyle 147 745.7
4. Whitey Ford 132 3170.3
5. Spud Chandler 132 1485.0
6. Tiny Bonham 129 1176.7
7. Dave Righetti 127 1136.7
8. Russ Ford 127 1112.7
9. Lefty Gomez 125 2498.3
10. Jimmy Key 124 604.3

2007-02-01 07:20:40
12.   williamnyy23
11 In the above, I meant "how you rank 2 to 10 is another story."
2007-02-01 07:32:56
13.   alsep73
What about Allie Reynolds? I always thought of the Superchief as one of our best starters, but I've done exactly zero research on that, so I can easily be persuaded that I'm wrong.
2007-02-01 07:39:50
14.   Cliff Corcoran
Using RSAA (Runs Saved Above Average) from the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia we get the following list (which is by no means definitive, nor is RSAA a preferred stat, it's just the easiest single-stat sort I could produce on short notice):

1 Whitey Ford 321
2 Lefty Gomez 242
3 Red Ruffing 239
4 Mariano Rivera* 202
5 Ron Guidry 166
6 Bob Shawkey 157
7 Spud Chandler 154
8 Waite Hoyt 141
9 Andy Pettitte 130
10 Ed Lopat 118
11 Herb Pennock 115
12 Tiny Bonham 109
13 Dave Righetti 107
14 Goose Gossage 103
15 Allie Reynolds 99
16 Mel Stottlemyre 97

*through 2005, Mo averages around 20 RSAA per year

Here's a quick snapshot of some of the names that immediately follow Mel:

17 Sparky Lyle 93
18 Russ Ford 92
19 Carl Mays 88
20 David Cone 72
21 Vic Raschi 70
T22 Mike Mussina* 62
T22 Roger Clemens 62
T22 Hank Borowy 62

*since this is through 2005 Moose likely passed Cone last year and may have moved even farther up the list than that.

2007-02-01 07:42:10
15.   Shawn Clap
5 9
I think they actually LOWERED the mound in 1968.
2007-02-01 07:52:11
16.   standuptriple
15 See, I thought 1968 was the last year of the high mound.
2007-02-01 07:53:50
17.   Bama Yankee
16 Yes, 1969 was the first year of the lower mound. They lowered it after "the year of the pitcher" 1968.
2007-02-01 07:55:18
18.   markp
They lowered the mound in 69, mostly because of what happened in 68.

I think a different standard should be used for RP ERA+. Their ERA+ is always higher than SP.

Shawkey, Bonham, and the other Ford-Russ are underrated pitchers in NYY history.

2007-02-01 07:57:10
19.   Fred Vincy
Great info, Cliff.

Ranking relievers is so hard, but it seems plausible that by the time he hangs 'em up there may be at least a plausible argument that Mo was the greatest Yankee pitcher....

2007-02-01 08:12:19
20.   Chyll Will
18 "They lowered the mound in 69, mostly because of what happened in 68."

And you thought Bob Gibson wasn't exactly a shiny-happy kinda guy to begin with...

If Bud were commissioner back then, he'd probably try to introduce language to the regulations that determine the mound's height, just to make it go away.

2007-02-01 08:23:18
21.   Shaun P
14 Thanks Cliff. I'm not a huge fan of RSAA either, but that's a thought-provoking list. Rags ahead of Goose? (Must be due to Rags having started for a little while). Where's Jack Chesbro? And who the heck is Hank Borowy?
2007-02-01 08:24:43
22.   williamnyy23
18 Agreed on ERA+ comparison between starters and relievers. That is why innings must be taken into account. Then again, a closer usually pitches higher leverage innings, so that opens up another debate.
2007-02-01 08:50:53
23.   standuptriple
20 I've wondered if they should raise it (slightly) in recent years. Maybe split the difference? An inch or two would be an interesting start, IMO.
2007-02-01 08:51:08
24.   williamnyy23
21 Rags is ahead of the Goose because he pitched twice as many innings in a Yankee uniform.

Chesbro probably didn't make the list because he only had two very good seasons.

2007-02-01 08:54:11
25.   Shaun P
FWIW - WARP3 is a stat that lets us compare players of any era, across time. I used Cliff's RSAA list above for reference; the only prominent names I could think of that was missing were Jack Chesbro and Joe Page, so I added them for the heck of it.

According to total WARP3, here are the greatest pitchers in Yankee history, in order:

Whitey Ford 94.3
Red Ruffing 88.2
Mariano Rivera 85.3
Ron Guidry 75.4
Mel Stottlemyre 64.3
Bob Shawkey 63.0
Lefty Gomez 62.9
Andy Pettitte 57.6
Dave Righetti 54.6
Waite Hoyt 49.4
Herb Pennock 47.8
Allie Reynolds 45.3
Spud Chandler 43.5
Mike Mussina 41.7
Goose Gossage 38.8
Vic Raschi 36.9
Ed Lopat 36.3
Sparky Lyle 35.7
Roger Clemens 33.1
Jack Chesbro 32.2
David Cone 30
Russ Ford 29.3
Tiny Bonham 27.2
Joe Page 25.4
Carl Mays 25.1
Hank Borowy 16.7

Notice that 4 of the top 5 pitched only for the Yanks. In fact, they are the only pitchers on this list that pitched just for the Yanks.

Notice too that WARP3 treats starters and relievers equally, so you don't have the IP or ERA concerns.

And finally, with one and a half more typical Mo seasons (Mo averages 7.1 WARP3/season), Mo would pull ahead of Whitey into the #1 spot.

2007-02-01 08:55:35
26.   Shaun P
One last thing - if Pettitte had stayed with the Yanks the last 3 years, and had 3 typical Pettitte seasons (he averaged 6.4 WARP3/season with the Yanks), Pettitte would be 4th on the list with 76.8 WARP3.
2007-02-01 08:57:07
27.   Chyll Will
21 I think I know him. Doesn't he live in lower Manhattan just below Houston between Broadway and Chrystie?

From Baseball Reference:
Hank Borowy
Henry Ludwig Borowy

Bats Right, Throws Right
Height 6' 0", Weight 175 lb.
School Fordham University

Debut April 18, 1942
Final Game September 14, 1951
Born May 12, 1916 in Bloomfield, NJ
Died August 23, 2004 in Brick, NJ

He pitched for the Yanks during WWII, then was sold to the Cubs in 45. From the stats it looked like he gave what was left of the league during the war hell until the stars came back. As long as we're talking about different eras, we might as well consider the eras when MLB stars were off in big wars as well. What kind of impact did that have on the game during and afterwards?

So he was a Jersey kid, I wasn't far off. >;)

2007-02-01 09:04:29
28.   jonm

Cliff, I'm not disputing you, but just out of curiosity, why is RSAA not a preferred stat? What would be your preferred single number metric?

2007-02-01 09:21:00
29.   kylepetterson
15 sorry, it was raised in 1903.
2007-02-01 10:12:34
30.   singledd
A few random thoughts:
25 I like the WARP3 list, as my gut tells me that Mel is in, or very close to the top 10. While 17 years is certainly more valuable then 11, in comparing raw 'talent', I prefer 'average' stats to 'counting' stats. After all, we all know Koufax was one of the greatest talents of all time, but not by evaluating counting stats.

Also, when comparing pitchers to their league, you must account for the fact that the 2 expansions (1964 and 199?) did water down the pitching talent... making the best pitchers look better by comparison. Of course, LOWERING the mound put post 1968 pitching at a fair disadvantage. Was '68 the year Yaz lead the MLB in batting with a .301 BA?

Also, comparing stats of SPs to RPs is a little like comparing Oranges to Graphfruits... especially post 1990, when RPs become even more specialized. One thing that made Goose so great is that he often pitched 3 innings in relief, and had stints of 4,5 and 6 innings.

I would love to see a WARP3/season average of a pitchers BEST 10 years.

I find it hard to believe any stat that has Pettitte better then Mel.

2007-02-01 10:14:54
31.   Sliced Bread
As bad as the Yanks were in 1966 (last place!), the year I was born, they beat the Tigers 7-2 on the day I was born, behind Stottlemyre who went the distance.

He made 37 starts that year and pitched 250 innings, 3.80 ERA.

He was a horse. But even in Yankeeland horses get shot.

Lest anybody really believed the party-line that Cash is completely in charge and unencumbered, consider this quote from Mel in today's NY Daily News.

"I would have gone to spring training if I had heard from Cash earlier," said Stottlemyre. "He apologized for being so late to call, and said he was putting me on a list to be submitted for George Steinbrenner's approval."

"But when he said he had no room for me (beyond spring training), I told him I wasn't interested."

Now, did Cash just pin the blame on George, or is George still calling the shots, even determining which Old Timers get an invite to Spring Training? Cashman doesn't have the authority to make that call? Hmm.

I also find it remarkable that Mel wants to keep working.

Some Yankee horses refuse to die. Right, Mel? Right, Roger? Right, Bernie?

2007-02-01 10:40:54
32.   Shaun P
30 Believe it or not, only 10 of the 26 guys on that list actually pitched for 10 or more seasons with the Yanks. Pettitte will make it 11 of 26 once this year is done.

Here is the WARP3 list again with number of years pitched for the Yanks and average WARP3/season, ranked according to avg/season:

Mariano Rivera 85.3 12 7.11
Mike Mussina 41.7 6 6.95
Roger Clemens 33.1 5 6.62
Andy Pettitte 57.6 9 6.4
Goose Gossage 38.8 6.5 5.97
Whitey Ford 94.3 16 5.89
Red Ruffing 88.2 15 5.88
Russ Ford 29.3 5 5.86
Mel Stottlemyre 64.3 11 5.85
Allie Reynolds 45.3 8 5.66
Carl Mays 25.1 4.5 5.58
David Cone 30 5.5 5.45
Ron Guidry 75.4 14 5.39
Waite Hoyt 49.4 9.5 5.2
Sparky Lyle 35.7 7 5.1
Bob Shawkey 63 12.5 5.04
Dave Righetti 54.6 11 4.96
Jack Chesbro 32.2 6.5 4.95
Lefty Gomez 62.9 13 4.84
Ed Lopat 36.3 7.5 4.84
Hank Borowy 16.7 3.5 4.77
Vic Raschi 36.9 8 4.61
Herb Pennock 47.8 11 4.35
Spud Chandler 43.5 11 3.95
Tiny Bonham 27.2 7 3.89
Joe Page 25.4 7 3.63

I don't think WARP3 is slanted towards the modern era, though you might think that when reading the list. Its possible that some of the best seasons ever by Yankees pitchers have occurred in the last few years. Which is possible - for example, the top 10 strikeouts in a season list is at least half populated by seasons in the last 10 years.

I'll try to do a list of the top WARP3 seasons by Yankee pitchers sometime this afternoon.

2007-02-01 10:57:18
33.   ToyCannon
Where is Bouton or Downing? Shame those great young arms didn't last.Just watched the 63 series again. Whenever I'm down I just need to watch that. Being a Dodger fan it beats watching the 66 series.
2007-02-01 10:58:05
34.   YankeeInMichigan
20 30 To put the "year of the pitcher" in perspective: Stottlemeyer's 2.45 ERA was 10th in the AL.
2007-02-01 11:00:19
35.   jayd
Amidst the discussion of Yankee pitchers, am I the only one getting all warm and fuzzy because Andy is back home and his records will now be where they belong?

Yes? Well, then, to hell with you all.

I wonder how much Mel played in the development of Wang, sinker ball type pitchers that they both are.

I found it amazing in yesterday's posts that there are a number of bantererers who think the sawks are going to have an offensive presence that will rival the Yanks this year. I see 3-4-5 in their order but after you posit Arod-Giambi-Matsui with BigPoopi/Manny/JDDrew the rest of their team barely competes with the DRays while the Yanks still have Jeter/Cano/Posada/ Damon/Abreu. The sawks have one upgrade in their lineup from last year (JD). They are still playing with the highly suspect Dustin Pedroia and the breakfast cereal merchant in center -- guys who will be lucky to break .250. Not to mention another year of Manny being Loser -- ready to pack it in if the team is not going the way he wants.

The pitching? MatsuBaka (Baka means nitwit in Japanese, thank you, I thought it clever, too) )/Senator Schwilling/ Josh "Bring It ON" Beckett/the irrepressible Mattie Clement/Wake with the possible addition of a half year of Jonathan Popplearm? Who's coming out of the pen is the drama of the 2007 Sawks.

No, #2 is the Jays; while #3 is a real battle between the sawks and the d-rays.

Granted our pitching is not settled yet but we are so far ahead at this point that the AL East is not an issue.

2007-02-01 11:04:40
36.   OldYanksFan
32 Hey Guy, thanks (what a great site!)
A few WOWs:
Moose is the #1 starter.
Pettitte is #4?? I think of him as above average, but not great.
Whitey is 6th.
Mel is #9. Non-Wow. Feels about right
Ron Guidry is only 13th.
Lefty Gomez is only 19th.

Can you post a link to the WARP3 formula/methodology? How does Roger (3.99 ERA), Moose and Pettitte finish higher then Whitey?

2007-02-01 11:05:25
37.   OldYanksFan
A nice write-up on Hughes, and some 2007 projections.
2007-02-01 11:10:58
38.   Shaun P
32 To do a comprehensive list of "top WARP3 seasons by Yankee pitchers" is going to take a lot of time. WARP3 isn't sortable on the BP site, so I'd have to go through the pages for each season, and look at only pitchers - that's over 100 pages to look at right there. I don't have that kind of time.

So just using the 26 guys from above, I've made a list.

Who would you expect to be all over this list? The two greatest Yankee pitchers of all time, Whitey Ford and Mo, right?

Actually, neither falls in the top 10. In fact, Whitey appears only once in the top 20 (1956). Mo does appear 3 times (2001, 2004, and 2005). And, Mel Stott, who Alex used to start this whole discussion, does not appear in the top 20 even once.

So who does?

The two best Yankee pitcher seasons (according to WARP3) are pretty obvious - Jack Chesbro in 1904 is first, and Guidry's '78 is a very close second.

Third is Lefty Gomez in 1937; Lefty is the only guy to appear in the top 10 twice, and the only guy to have two seasons of 10 WARP3 or more.

Fourth is Russ Ford in 1910. I never heard of him until Cliff put up his list in 14.

Those four are the only Yankee pitcher seasons with more than 11 WARP3.

So - who comes in fifth? You'll never guess (well, Cliff might). I'm still shocked, and I like the guy.

I'll just post the list and leave it at that.

1. Jack Chesbro 1904 12.7
2. Ron Guidry 1978 12.5
3. Lefty Gomez 1937 12
4. Russ Ford 1910 11.6
5. Mike Mussina 2001 10.2
6. Spud Chandler 1943 10
7. Lefty Gomez 1934 10
8. Herb Pennock 1924 9.7
9. Andy Pettitte 1997 9.7
10. Red Ruffing 1932 9.6
11. Red Ruffing 1938 9.6
12. Spud Chandler 1946 9.5
13. Bob Shawkey 1916 9.4
14. Carl Mays 1921 9.3
15. Mariano Rivera 2004 9.3
16. Mariano Rivera 2005 9.2
17. Whitey Ford 1956 9.1
18. Bob Shawkey 1920 9
19. Ron Guidry 1979 9
20. Mariano Rivera 2001 9

2007-02-01 11:12:37
39.   its430
Sorry to go off-topic for a second,

but can anyone remind me, when sitting in the bleachers - are the double letter rows closer to the field than the single letter rows?

i.e. is row HH closer than row K, and if so, which is closer: AA or ZZ?


2007-02-01 11:16:08
40.   Shaun P
36 That was just in WARP3 per season, as opposed to the total amount, which is above in 25 (Whitey is in first for now).

Here are BP's glossary pages for WARP1, WARP2, and WARP3. I know the formula is out there somewhere, but I don't know where . . .

2007-02-01 11:20:31
41.   standuptriple
35 I agree, but there's always a Sox love-fest pre-season (or could it just be Yankee hate-fest/wishful thinking?). I can't even tell you how many "experts" have ranked the Sox above the Yanks in the AL East in the past decade. And how many AL East titles have they brought home? Bottom line, they're perenial underachievers and no longer have the testicle fortitude to withstand a setback. I do think for the most part that TOR and maybe even BAL might be better than last year. Unless everything breaks right for Beantown (let's hope that miracle has fulfilled it's cycle this century) they could be relegated to another 3rd place finish in the East.
2007-02-01 11:34:31
42.   markp
Spud Chandler pitched 11 seasons in the majors, all for the Yankees.

I don't know if I can agree with a list that puts Chandler behind Stottlemyre and especially Andy Pettitte.

2007-02-01 11:39:46
43.   Jim Dean
35 41 Not for nothing, but you guys need to lay off the Kool-Aid.

The Sox offense got better. The Yankee offense didn't.

The Sox have the better rotation (by a little bit but maybe a bit more depending on Paps and DM and Phil Huge). The Yanks have the better bullpen (by alot).

I still think the Yanks win 95 to 100 games. But it should be closer than last year. Most likely the race will be decided by three to five games. Even more problematic as you indicate - Toronto is better too.

2007-02-01 11:58:19
44.   Shaun P
42 The WARP3 list surprised the heck out of me, too.

As for Chandler, I just looked up his stats. He pitched 11 years, 1485 innings, with a very good ERA, 2.84, a very good ERA+, 132, and an outstanding W-L% (109-43, .717).

But in those 1485 IP, he struck out only 614 (3.72 K/9), and walked 463 (2.81 BB/9); that's a K/BB of 1.33. He didn't give up many HRs at all (.39 HR/9). I don't know his groundball rates, but he's starting to sound like the Worm Killer.

What I'm guessing hurts him in terms of WARP3 is that he pitched 2/3 of his career innings in years affected by WWII (1941-1946), including his three best years (1942, 1943 - when he won the MVP!, and 1946).

All that said, he is one of the few guys to appear twice on the top 20 WARP3 Yankee pitcher season list.

2007-02-01 12:00:37
45.   markp
Instead of no Sheff or Matsui most of the year and Abreu for only half a season we have (barring cataclysm) Matsui and Abreu all year.
Our 1B situation wasn't much different last year (hence trading for Craig Wilson at the deadline and even Cairo getting 1B starts.)
Arod had an off year (at least by his standards) and it's quite possible Melky and Cano improve a bit in 2007 compared to 2006.
I think just the games we have Abreu instead of Terrence Long et al is a pretty nice improvement, and having Melky right out of ST won't hurt either.
2007-02-01 12:06:56
46.   markp
If we're going to modify stats for WWII, just how much becomes a big question. How big a hit does Stan Musial (for instance) take. He had a couple of monster seasons in the war years.
I don't know if 46 should be considered a war year. The war ended in the summer of 45, and most of the players were back by ST 46 (even Teddy Ballgame).
All that being said, I still don't see Andy Pettitte very high up on any list of all time Yankee pitchers. Stottlemyre would rate higher to me if he pitched very effectively for a longer time.
2007-02-01 12:08:34
47.   williamnyy23
43 The Yankees offense didn't get better? In 2007, the Yankees will have approximately 900 more PAs from Matsui and Abreu. In 2006, those PAs were sucked up by the likes of Long, Thomson, Bernie, Guiel and Melky. That difference alone is a big improvement. Also, Cano should assume roughly 100-150 PAs from Cairo, which is another massive upgrade.

As for the Red Sox improving, you might be right if J.D. Drew stays healthy (although limiting Pena's ABs could mitigate some of the gain). While Lugo is also an upgrade (only because Gonzalez/Cora were so awful), I don't see how you could expect much improvement from the rest of the Red Sox lineup.

Oh yeah…let's also not forget that in 2006 the Yankees scored 110 more runs and had an OPS+ of 117 to Boston's 101. As you can see, the Yankees are starting with a huge advantage.

As for pitching, the Sox staff might have more initial upside (subtracting Hughes from the equation), but it also has many more question marks. Schilling is now over 40, Paps has never started in the majors, D.M. has never pitched in the majors, Beckett was truly awful for an entire year and Wakefield is coming off a poor/injury plagued season. If that's a strength, then who needs weaknesses.

2007-02-01 12:19:17
48.   standuptriple
43 Well if I'm drinking the positive Kool Aid must your version be ALWAYS half-full? 47 Is correct, but you'll never admit anyone is correct but the all-knowing Jim Dean. Maybe sharing intials with Drew has you high on him, but I'll take a full season of Abreu (who has shown he can handle the pressure cooker) and Matsui over a Nancy/Lugo upgrade. I think you'll have a hard time finding unbiased people to disagree. Besides all it takes is one tweak while Papi runs out a double to turn that team into shambles.
2007-02-01 12:20:39
49.   standuptriple
48 correction- half empty
2007-02-01 12:21:03
50.   williamnyy23
Another thing to consider with WARP3 is it normalizes pitcher's seasons and defines replacement level (i.e., doesn't use a league average as a baseline).

Intuitively, it seems to me as if adjusted stats work better when comparing players in similar eras. In other words, pitchers in the 1960s are simply not going to be as impressive in terms of ERA+/WARP3 when compared to pitchers in the 1990s.

In Koufax's best season, his ERA+ was only 190. The reason for that was because the league average ERA was 3.28. Clearly, if everyone else is better (relative to opposing hitters), it is harder to standout. As the baseline gets closer to 0, the marginal value that a pitcher can have also diminishes. In cases such as these, one needs to be more subjective in doing an analysis.

Having said that, stats such as ERA+ and WARP3 are a great starting point for a discussion, but not a conclusive barometer.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-01 12:43:48
51.   Jim Dean
48 49 Isn't half empty and half full the same thing?

Of course, you are correct. And I too look forward to a full season of Abreu anf Godziller.

That said, I still think the Sox have improved more overall. But I don't see how it makes me pessimistic about the Yanks' chances. I just said:

"I still think the Yanks win 95 to 100 games."

I just think the race will be closer, and I think most rational folks would agree.

That's probably why I'm so down on 1B and the bench - because I don't think there's as much breathing room as last year led us to believe. But also because the Jays improved too (Big Hurt) and especially if everyone is healthy (Doc, Burnett, Chacin).

2007-02-01 12:51:49
52.   dianagramr
OK ... since the topic of whether Stot was pitching in the worst Yankee era came up, I decided to run the #s:

Worst 10-year stretches (year listed is last year of period):
.444 1917
.444 1916
.451 1915
.453 1914
.458 1918
.466 1919
.468 1913
.471 1920
.483 1912
.486 1921
.498 1974
.503 1975
.504 1973
.508 1995

And just for kicks, the best 10-year stretches:
.636 1943
.634 1941
.633 1957
.633 1942
.632 1956
.631 1958
.630 1940
.629 1939
.629 1944
.626 1955
.625 1936
.623 1961
.622 1945
.620 1962

(statgrrl to the rescue)

2007-02-01 13:02:44
53.   Chyll Will
31 Hmm, was that a subtle hint to look up the date and remember to wish you a Happy Birthday later on? Pret-ty sneaky, Sliced...

(crash of checkers landing indiscriminately all over the tabletop)

For what it's worth, I always think of one of my favorite lines from an epic movie whenever someone in my family reaches that age: "Go back to your oar, 41!" >;)

2007-02-01 13:05:05
54.   YankeeInMichigan
50 All stats work better when comparing players in a single era. The primary purpose of adjusted stats is to compensate for era effects. Stottlemeyer's 2.45 ERA of 1968 looks Santana-esque by today's standards. But Bob Gibson posted a 1.02 mark that year and six AL pitchers (Luis Tiant, Sam McDowell, Wilbur Wood, Dave McNally, Denny McLain, Tommy John) were below the 2.00 mark. Stots was not even the best Yankee, as Stan Bahnsen's ERA was 2.05.

Adjusted stats assume that a simultaneous improvement of pitchers is not a coincidence. Something else must have been going on (dead ball? large strike zone?).

2007-02-01 13:06:04
55.   mehmattski
31 Oh yeah, well... on the day I was born, the Yanks won 7-1 on eight strong innings from Ron Guidry. Does that mean that you and I are connected on some cosmic level that involves Yankees pitching coaches? I might need to think about this... Connected to us would be whoever was born on September 2, 1968, a day which featured the only major league start by Stot's predescesor, Billy Connors.
2007-02-01 13:10:57
56.   YankeeInMichigan
52 So the Stots decade was clearly the worst of the post-Babe era.

I still find the 80s to be more frustrating. In 1965, the team just crashed and then waddled for a few years before they started climbing. In the 80s, they teased and sputtered and eventually crumbled.

2007-02-01 13:12:02
57.   dianagramr

Updated through 2006

Top 25 Yankee pitchers in RSAA

First Last RSAA W SV
Whitey Ford 321 236 10
Lefty Gomez 242 189 9
Red Ruffing 239 231 8
Mariano Rivera 223 59 413
Ron Guidry 166 170 4
Bob Shawkey 157 168 26
Spud Chandler154 109 6
Waite Hoyt 141 157 28
Andy Pettitte130 149 0
Ed Lopat 118 113 2
Herb Pennock 115 162 20
Tiny Bonham 109 79 6
Dave Righetti107 74 224
Goose Gossage 103 42 151
Allie Reynolds99 131 41
Mel Stott 97 164 1
Sparky Lyle 93 57 141
Russ Ford 92 73 3
Carl Mays 88 79 11
Mike Mussina 80 92 0
David Cone 72 64 0
Vic Raschi 70 120 3
Roger Clemens 62 77 0
Hank Borowy 62 56 3
Johnny Murphy 61 93 104
Urban Shocker 61 61 5
Monte Pearson 61 63 2

2007-02-01 13:12:10
58.   Sliced Bread
53 Connect Four! Nice, Chyll. It's May 18. Same as Reggie, and John Paul II (a "holier than thou" connection?)
I'm drawing blanks on the "oar" line though.

55 dude, we're like brothers!

2007-02-01 13:13:22
59.   Chyll Will
31, 55 "Connected to us would be whoever was born on September 2, 1968, a day which featured the only major league start by Stot's predescesor, Billy Connors."

Wowzers, do I feel bad for whomever that is. Hell of a place to be the middle child >;)

2007-02-01 13:13:43
60.   Yankee Fan In Boston
43 the race will definitely be closer this year than the 10 games we saw last time. i think that was misleading.

seeing as much of the sox as anyone in this area does, it looked like the sox packed it in mid-september. manny sat out a few weeks down the stretch with mysterious injuries, etc. there wasn't any hustle to be found. they lost the division lead in a debacle that instantly left them 6 games out.

if they're even close down the stretch, which i think everyone would agree is a good possibility, i'd expect a different attitude. (even with jd and manny in the same outfield.)

2007-02-01 13:13:58
61.   dianagramr

and a tip of the cap to mehmattski for some nice analysis on team offensive consistency on his website

(tell them where to find it dear sir)

2007-02-01 13:18:01
62.   Chyll Will
58 Any movie buffs wanna take a guess? I'll wait for ten more comments from here...

57 I always liked that name, Urban Shocker. I put that right up there with Flavor Flav.

2007-02-01 13:20:23
63.   Sliced Bread
62 Yankeeography: Karim Garcia?
2007-02-01 13:25:42
64.   Shaun P
58 No MLB game has ever been played on my birthday (as far as I know). From going through retrosheet's logs though, I did learn that I share the same birthday as a certain new RF for the Phillies . . . can anyone guess who?

We were born in different years, though.

2007-02-01 13:27:05
65.   Chyll Will
63 Close... you're thinking of "The Godfather Part II". Bama?
2007-02-01 13:31:58
66.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i was born on the same day as ted lilly.

if i had held out for just two more days, i could've shared a birthday with comeback carl pavano himself.

2007-02-01 13:41:33
67.   Chyll Will
67 You'd have to earn our respect back if you wanted to post again. Train hard, throw strikes, no booze. And if you can finish the NYT crosswords, you get to be the number 2 commenter behind Ol'YanksFan.
2007-02-01 13:42:22
68.   dianagramr
On my birthday, Whitey Ford out-dueled Mickey Lolich (making his 5th career start).

Born on my birthday (different years of course):

Bill Virdon
Dave Parker
Randy Winn

and the lovely-named
Scarborough Green

2007-02-01 13:47:07
69.   Bama Yankee
65 You rang? BTW, imagine what would have happened if you had typed "Oh, Bama?" instead of just "Bama?" you might have gotten a reply from a certain presidential hopeful. ;-)

63 & 64 I got nothing...

53 Great job on the connect four reference.

2007-02-01 13:50:23
70.   ToyCannon
All this talk about great Yankee hurlers and not a mention of the 22 year old who slagged 270 something innings and helped pitch the team into the 63 series as a 21 year old.

Just curious but for you Yankee historians how many Yankee starters had betters years as a 21/22 year old then Bouton?

2007-02-01 13:52:57
71.   jonnystrongleg
38 My favorite year by a Yankee pitcher was Mariano Rivera's 1996. To me, it was the best by a Yankee since Guidry's 1978.
2007-02-01 14:01:04
72.   Chyll Will
69 That, my friend, was a deliberate avoision (to paraphrase Alex's dips into local colloquialism). It's good your name isn't Sama.

Thank you for {53}, but that one practically wrote itself.

64 Rob GeeohImean Jim Dean?

2007-02-01 14:01:06
73.   Shaun P
70 The day BP unveils a searchable WARP3 database is the day I answer your question in full, ToyCannon.

For now, I can tell you that Bouton's WARP3 in 1963 was 6.5, and he was 24, not 21/22.

Pettitte, who was 24 in 1996, bettered that with a WARP3 of 8.6. Bouton beats Whitey though, who had a WARP3 of 6.1 in 1953, his age-24 season.

So Bouton's '63 isn't the best, at least by WARP3, but its probably up there. So many of the great Yankee pitchers either got started 'late' (ie, after age 24) (Guidry, Chandler, Mo) or didn't come to the Yanks until well after they were 24 (Moose, Clemens, Goose, Pennock).

2007-02-01 14:02:44
74.   Cliff Corcoran
62 Ben Hur (Chuck Heston version)
2007-02-01 14:11:50
75.   Chyll Will
62 Time. Okay, that movie reference was from Ben Hur, when Judah Ben Hur was a galley slave (#41) on the Roman warship; he was sent into the Roman centurion's cabin and questioned about his stubborn desire to live and his strong faith in one God, and when Judah said something that touched a nerve, the centurion dismissed him with, "Go back to your oar, 41!"

I always get a big kick out of that line for some strange reason. Probably because I always dream in color, I dunno...

2007-02-01 14:17:26
76.   kylepetterson
66 I get Don Zimmer, Maury Povich, Muhammad Ali (who I am only 2 degrees from), and Andy Kaufman.
2007-02-01 14:18:52
77.   Chyll Will
74 Cliff! You win a root beer, buddy!
2007-02-01 14:37:15
78.   Bama Yankee
68 Stottlemyre lost to the A's 3-2 on the day I was born (Rollie Fingers got the win). There are no major leaguers listed as being born on that date (which leads me to believe that I was supposed to fill that slot and I blew it). As a matter of fact, the best player I can find who even shares that birthday is probably Hank Bauer.

Other notables:
Leon "The Bull" Durham
Dean Cain
Wesley Snipes
Curt Gowdy

But my favorite is:
Jason Joseph Furmaniak (he is a PETA protest waiting to happen)

2007-02-01 14:38:42
79.   Chyll Will
76 Me and:

Billie Holiday
Bobby Doerr
Alan J. Pakula
James Garner
Francis Ford Coppola
Jackie Chan
Russell Crowe
Bill Bellamy
Ricky Watters
Gianluca Grignani (same year)
Tiki Barber
Adrian Beltre
Hiroko Shimabukuro (Mike P, do you know who he is?)

All on the same day that for a long time was Opening Day.

2007-02-01 14:59:05
80.   Orly Yarly NoWai
On my birthday, the Yankees beat the Tigers 3-2 on a ninth-inning homerun by Claudell Washington.
2007-02-01 14:59:34
81.   yankz
I posted this once, the Yankees got cranked on my bday, by the f'ing Twinkies.
2007-02-01 15:03:03
82.   Chyll Will
79 ...but naturally, when I actually came on the scene, Opening Day was a week and a half later. I think it was pushed back to my day in the eighties. Whatever...

Interesting note: Baseball Almanac lists Felipe Alou as the highest-paid player on the Yanks, playing 95 games at 1B! (umm, what about Murcer and Mel?) I hope no one uses that information to justify Bernie's continued dalliances with fantasy lately.

2007-02-01 15:03:44
83.   standuptriple
Yanks didn't play on my birthday, but they had a good year '77.
2007-02-01 15:25:47
84.   Bama Yankee
82 You get opening day, I get the non-waiver trade deadline...
2007-02-01 16:25:25
85.   OldYanksFan
Alex has posted some excellent threads here, but the 'who was born on my birthday' stuff is REALLY EXCITING!
2007-02-01 16:27:51
86.   OldYanksFan
By the way, I agree with the Sausage King to some extent that the Sox and the Yankees are very close, and if DMats and Schill are good in 2007, the Sox have a slight edge.
2007-02-01 16:28:17
87.   Start Spreading the News
On the day I was born, the Yanks won 3-2 over the Indians at Yankee Stadium in a "packed" house of 9,177. Steve Kline pitched a complete game.

Along the way as I searched for this info, I found out that I shared a birthday with Nick Johnson, Jim Abbott.

Of the more famous ball players, I share a bday with Joe Morgan and Duke Snider.

In the cool category, I share with William Golding (Lord of the Flies author), Roger Angell (baseball essayist), Adam West (Batman) and a wrestler named "El Samurai"

2007-02-01 16:40:06
88.   yankz
You mean Mayor Adam West?
2007-02-01 17:27:44
89.   Jim Dean
86 And your wife agrees that this Sausage is King.
2007-02-01 17:31:43
90.   mikeplugh
79 Hiroko Shimabukuro is a semi-popular pop music idol in Japan. She doesn't do the tradition media circuit to many of the variety shows, but she remains quite popular nonetheless. She is rumored to be dating one of the premier comedian/talk show hosts in the country.

More information than you ever needed about Hiroko Shimabukuro.

2007-02-01 17:38:29
91.   mikeplugh
Also born on my birthday:

Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor)
Erik Estrada (That is too great!)
Flava Flav (48 years old in 2007!)
Jerry Lewis (Don't tell Rupert Pupkin)
Todd McFarlane (Spawned on March 16th, 1961)
Chuck Woolery (Also too great!!)
Henny Youngman (Take my wife, please.)

Among others....

2007-02-01 17:41:12
92.   OldYanksFan
89 Well... it's my EX-wife... but it wouldn't surprise me.
2007-02-01 17:47:55
93.   OldYanksFan
No need to thank me.
2007-02-01 18:45:08
94.   mikeplugh
BTW, I initially typed next to Flava Flav's name in 91 "I ain't got nuttin' for ya man" without regard to the title of this post, before changing it to "48 years old in 2007!"

The fact that Flava Flav will be 48 years old this year trumped my oddly coincidental convergence to the name of this thread. I now bring it full circle.

2007-02-01 23:10:04
95.   Chyll Will
90 She is kinda cute... but she's far too young for me. If that rumor is true, is he/she young enough for it not to be icky? I'm also not big on May-December relationships, having been at both ends. But that's my own doggone opinion.

BTW, hate to be a bug, but Flav's chorus was actually "I can't do nuttin' for ya man!" (House Party-Kid N Play version, Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet)

2007-02-02 05:21:45
96.   Yankee Fan In Boston
does this improve former yankee charlie hayes' slugging pecentage?

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