Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
It's, Like, Better Than Losing
2007-06-14 17:46
by Emma Span
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Supposedly the Diamondbacks are a pretty good team this year, but I've mostly watched them get pummeled by either the Red Sox, Mets, or Yankees, so - while acknowledging the small sample size - I can’t say I'm overly impressed. At least they ditched the purple and teal uniforms. The Yankees beat them 7-1 today behind a very strong eight-inning, four-hit performance from Andy Pettitte. By the way, why doesn’t Pettitte have a better nickname? We've got Moose, Rocket, Worm-Killer, the Yankee Clippard, and…. Andy. You guys need to get to work on this.

Anyway, the Yankees' offense was actually a bit frustrating today – seven runs is nothing to complain about, but they left a bushel of runners stranded in between their 12 hits and 6 walks. Every Yankee besides Cano and Cairo had a hit, with the bulk of the RBIs coming from Alex Rodriguez (surprise) and Hideki Matsui, each 3-4 on the day.

The Diamondbacks also made three errors, but that doesn’t even begin to describe the unfathomable abyss that was their defense; they really should have made at least three or four additional plays. Some of this can probably be blamed on starting pitcher Doug Davis, who, apparently determined to resuscitate Steve “Human Rain Delay” Trachsel’s tarnished reputation, was taking his sweet, sweet time before every single pitch, throw to first, and cup-adjustment, while his infielders lolled around with glazed eyes knitting elaborate holiday sweaters. His sluggishness was so frustrating that Michael Kay and John Flaherty, dying up in the booth, got peeved enough to start attacking his personal appearance -- though I don’t think they can have been totally aware of all the connotations of the phrase “landing strip.” Davis threw 105 leisurely pitches in his five innings, of which 57 were strikes, and was lucky to escape with just four runs allowed. It was a bad day all around for the Snakes: they also had to watch the eminently likeable Orlando Hudson limp off the field with an apparent (hopefully minor) leg injury.

So it was only half of a pretty game, but Andy Pettitte is a pleasure to watch this season – Arizona’s only run scored on a groundout - and so is a ninth straight win. Pettitte probably could have finished the game, but, get this, Scott Proctor needed to get some work in. No, really. No – really. Who are these people and what have they done with the Yankees?

The Subway Series this weekend may actually live up to the hype; neither team can afford to lose right now. Actually, the Mets technically could – they’re still in first after all – but after losing five in a row and nine of their last ten, they need to stop the bleeding. They’re a much better team than this, and way past due for a breakout game.

Ah, an important Subway Series featuring Roger Clemens! I feel young again.

Comments (92)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-14 18:13:43
1.   RZG
A bad looking win is better than a good looking loss.

BTW, Mike Hargrove is the original "Human Rain Delay"

2007-06-14 18:19:04
2.   Shaun P
Oh Jorge Julio - could you possibly get out of this mess without giving up 8 runs? What is Clint Hurdle doing bringing in someone as bad a Julio with 2 on, no outs, and the top of the order due up?
2007-06-14 18:21:38
3.   Sliced Bread
Love that shot of Melky and Cano levitating over Jeter.

Along the lines of that inadvertent use of "landing strip" mentioned above --
tomorrow Clemens really begins earning his next Hummer.

2007-06-14 18:25:07
4.   Shaun P
2 Wow, he got out of it. I'll be.
2007-06-14 18:39:00
5.   underdog
Eh, the DBacks aren't as strong on the road, and obviously the Yankees are playing better than them right now, or maybe just better in general. Either way, congrats. And never mind the DBacks, break up the Rockies! Not a team to overlook, as the BoSox obviously did.
2007-06-14 18:40:19
6.   underdog
Oh, and I forgot to add... Thanks! and Ha!
2007-06-14 18:41:51
7.   weeping for brunnhilde
Colorado over Boston 6-1 in the 7th!!


2007-06-14 18:41:54
8.   RIYank
Ghost of Varitek.
2007-06-14 18:42:36
9.   RIYank
6 Ha!
And good luck with your new movie.
2007-06-14 18:45:29
10.   underdog
6 Thanks. I think it's gonna suck, though, and am petitioning them to remove my name from it. "Alan Smithee" should be the new name.
2007-06-14 18:46:32
11.   underdog
(oops, I meant 9) And the presence of Jim Belushi doesn't bode well for it, though maybe Amy Adams mitigates that.
2007-06-14 18:48:27
12.   RIYank
10 You thanked yourself. But that's okay. And hey, few things are better than talking dogs in movies.

Josh Beckett getting shellacked, however, is oe of those things.

2007-06-14 18:50:17
13.   Shaun P
12 Josh Beckett getting shellacked the day after Schilling got lambasted is even better!
2007-06-14 18:56:29
14.   RIYank
13 Mmmmmmm, good.
Reading Emma Span's recap of today's game was icing on the cake.
2007-06-14 18:56:35
15.   unmoderated
i dont want to sound like a kiss-ass, or like i don't love and appreciate the other banter headliners, but ms. span's posts always seem to jive with my thinking and make me laugh.

perhaps it's the way she makes it OK to kinda like the mets, too.

2007-06-14 19:15:38
16.   rabid stan
0 I'm not so sure the "landing strip" line was unintentional. Remember, this is the same guy who suggested the nickname "Pocket Rocket" for Phil Hughes all the wayback in Spring Training.

Michael Kay: Baseball's Marv Albert?

2007-06-14 19:16:02
17.   weeping for brunnhilde
15 I hated the old Mets, the ones we beat led by Bobby V.

But these new Mets are emminently likeable, especially because of Willie.

How can you not root for Willie?

El Duque, too. I'll always have a soft spot for that guy, plus, he's just so much fun to watch pitch.

So those are the two Yankees who make it ok to root for the Mets, and the rest of their cast of characters isn't too bad either.

And they've got an outstanding broadcast team in Darling, Hernandez and Cohen.

That said, let's crush them into the dirt this weekend.

2007-06-14 19:16:27
18.   JL25and3
Emma, I understand what you mean about Andy's name. But his coming back served, in part, as a throwback to the '96-'00 teams - excellent teams, but not real strong in the nickname department. Paulie, Scotty, Tino, Jetes (daring, that one), Jorgie, Knobby, Bernie, Coney, Nellie, Lloydie...
2007-06-14 19:19:44
19.   RIYank
Tyler Clippard vs. Tom Glavine. Ulp. But maybe we can put up a couple of crooked innings early and let Tyler pitch from a lead. I like the other match-ups.
2007-06-14 19:22:47
20.   OldYanksFan
So..... at 7.5 back, are we officially back in the pennant race?
2007-06-14 19:23:19
21.   weeping for brunnhilde
7 1/2!
2007-06-14 19:23:46
22.   RIYank
7 1/2, brothers and sisters!
2007-06-14 19:24:46
23.   RIYank
Okay, 21 you beat me, but 20 you must have jumped the gun on the strikeout...
2007-06-14 19:26:43
24.   RIYank
We've eaten half of their lead in, um, 16 days? (Not quite half, I guess.)
2007-06-14 19:27:44
25.   weeping for brunnhilde
18 True, that. The cool nickname from that bunch is pitching for the Mets right now.

A damned shame.

Should've kept him and should've kept Andy.

2007-06-14 19:31:31
26.   Chyll Will
3 Good to have you back, Sliced. Now if you can convince wsporter to forgo his self-imposed exile, this will be a red-letter day...

I for one am glad to have Emma bantering it up here. There is something to be said for relaxed consciousness, or a relaxed conscience in any respect >;)

2007-06-14 19:34:33
27.   yankz
Wow. This is like...worldview changing, or something. I don't even know. If they can pull this off...
2007-06-14 19:35:28
28.   Chyll Will
25 Yes, but it's a shame they always had a hard time pronouncing it.

"El Dookie" What have you been calling me??

2007-06-14 19:39:52
29.   weeping for brunnhilde
23 Hee hee!
2007-06-14 19:42:32
30.   Shaun P
27 I would like to see a Jayson Stark column now about the number of teams who were 7.5 games back in the division after 63 games, and how many of them came back to win the division.

Can't wait to see BP's adjusted standings in the morning.

2007-06-14 19:46:11
31.   weeping for brunnhilde
Btw, monkeypants, if you should read this, in response to something you said in the previous thread re: scooping at 1B: "Except that if there is any play a back-up middle infielder playing first should make, it's a short hop bounce, no? "

I was thinking about this and, while I'm obviously no expert, it occurred to me that as an infielder (and yes, of course, I'm talking little league) I was taught to field short hops by getting my body in front of the ball and using my throwing hand to knock down bad hops.

First basemen, however, have a much different technique, because they have to stretch, keep one foot planted, and use but one hand.

And it's do or die, so they have to decide whether and when to come off the bag.

It doesn't seem like run-of-the-mill infield work to me.

What do you think?

2007-06-14 19:47:12
32.   weeping for brunnhilde
Anyone know off hand how many more we've got against Boston and when?
2007-06-14 19:52:57
33.   RIYank
32 Could it be as few as six?

I see three at the end of Aug and three in the middle of Sept.

2007-06-14 19:54:00
34.   yankz
Yeah, it's 6.

Sweep, and it's only 1.5 back...

2007-06-14 19:57:32
35.   weeping for brunnhilde
34 Too much to ask.

We need to be in a position where 4 of 6'll do the trick.

Or at least if we can hang around where we are now, say 6-8, then at least we'll have some control over our own destiny.

Glad it's a season again!

2007-06-14 20:07:01
36.   OldYanksFan
23 I happen to have a very special mental gift for seeing the future.
Its called ESP......N
2007-06-14 20:12:56
37.   weeping for brunnhilde
36 Hardy har!


2007-06-14 20:35:30
38.   Shaun P
So . . . anyone think the NBA Finals will have a team with greater than 90 points tonight?
2007-06-14 20:39:37
39.   JL25and3
25 Even his nickname was ripped off - his father was the original "El Duque."

"Boomer" Wells was also stolen, from Greg "Boomer" Wells. I'm very disappointed that baseball-reference doesn't even list that nickname.

2007-06-14 20:41:06
40.   weeping for brunnhilde
39 Wow, is that true about Orlando?

Who knew?

2007-06-14 20:45:41
41.   JL25and3
40 Here's one citation:

"Baseball seemed to come easy for the son of the former Cuban national team member who originally carried the nickname of "The Duke." Orlando Hernandez's father, Arnaldo "El Duque" Hernandez, was known for his electric pitching style and equally flashy sense of fashion."

2007-06-14 20:54:02
42.   3rd gen yankee fan
21 22 7 & 1/2, ay-men!

Really nice write-up, Emma. Love your sense of humour.

2007-06-14 21:00:46
43.   Max
38 I'm a basketball fan when it's not fashionable to be one, but this was the suckiest NBA Finals ever. Cavs were truly one of the worst teams ever to be in the finals.

The real championship series was between the Spurs and Suns, and even that felt like a cheat, for obvious reasons.

Thank goodness baseball is back. :-)

2007-06-14 21:05:43
44.   weeping for brunnhilde
So, as should be abundantly clear to everyone, I have no sense for numbers.

I'd like to understand what the following numbers tell us:

Boston has scored 65 more runs than they've allowed (328-263) and they are 41-24.

The Yankees, for their part, have also scored 65 more runs than they've allowed (390-295) and yet they're 33-31.

What does this mean?

2007-06-14 21:17:08
45.   JL25and3
It means that Boston has been much more successful in close games. The Yankees have had a lot of 7-2 wins and 3-1 losses.

If a team does especially well in one-run games, it's either (a) because they're a clutch, winning team, or (b) largely a matter of luck. Depends on who you ask.

2007-06-14 21:23:20
46.   yankz
45 I think we all know which one weeping thinks.
2007-06-14 21:51:29
47.   Schteeve
44 Luck. As expressed by an uneven distribution of runs scored and allowed. Luck as fueled by the fact that their starting pitching was decimated by injury in the first month of the season. And that A-Rod cooled off in the second month, and because he cooled off, there was nobody to carry Abreu and Cano who were atrocious.

Things seem to be regressing to the proverbial mean. Let's hope it ain't too late.

2007-06-14 21:55:21
48.   thelarmis
if we sweep the muts, we'll have the same record as them and will have won the season series.

i know that doesn't mean much in the long run, but it would be 3 more wins and most likely an advance in both the division and wild card races.

i like the pitching matchups for the weekend. i think the yankee clippard can do well and glavine is winless in his last 5 starts, i believe.

we will then rake at coors field and get our road record to a respectable level. let's keep the train a-rollin'!!!

2007-06-14 22:12:11
49.   weeping for brunnhilde
45 47 Thanks.

Schteeve, I'm not sure I'm following your explanation--either that, or it doesn't seem to explain anything, I'm not sure which.

The explanation is luck? Perhaps my question is actually the mechanism through which that luck works, in which case JL's explanation is more cogent.

So JL, basically, there's no real disagreement, right? The explanation is the same (one-run games) but the explanation as to why one team wins those games and another loses is in dispute.

Is that right?

And am I to understand, then, that there's a school of thought that holds that one-run games are decided by what amounts to a coin flip?

I can't imagine anyone holds that view, and I don't want to caricature that view, so am I missing something?

46 You're right, yankz, I'm inclined to think that winning one-run games is more than just a matter of luck, but I don't pretend to know the argument(s) for luck.

There's much in this world I don't understand...

2007-06-14 22:13:46
50.   weeping for brunnhilde
48 We get ahead of ourselves, alarmis.

A sweep would be nice, to be sure, but beware of hubris.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-14 22:26:56
51.   bartap74
15 I love Emma's work too (I think I'm writing her in for the All-Star team), but it's NEVER ok to like the Mets.
2007-06-14 22:31:08
52.   yankz
51 Amen.

Also, I have issue with something she wrote yesterday. You're telling me you'd really like to see Jeter or A-God stop to hug Ian Kinsler or something?

2007-06-14 22:47:07
53.   rilkefan
49 - imagine you got to distribute the Yankees' runs scored and runs allowed over games. You'd do it in such a way that they'd win every game by one run or more except for losing a few blowouts. That's the best way to work within the constraints. But that's a very unlikely state of affairs (aka very small phase space) - a team that had the same run scored and runs allowed ought to be about 0.500, but in that scheme they could be 161-1. A 0.600 team should probably win something like 60% of games decided by one run, and big deviations from that are most likely just luck (or Vizcaino closing). Boston has little control over their RS/RA distribution - after all, they're trying to maximize the former and minimize the latter all the time - so they've gotten lucky this year.

There's probably an argument to be made that 1-run games are decided on the basis of fewer individual random events (esp. if it's the case that 10-9 games are less likely among 19-total-run-games than 2-1 among 3-run-total-games) and therefore suffer larger statistical fluctuations and are therefore in fact more like coin-tosses. Also, imagine the Yankees are playing your Little League team - you'd expect them to do worse in 1-run games than in blowouts.

Finally, note that X+65/X vs Y+65/Y is worse for the X>>Y case, as is obvious from the limit where Y=0. In this case, over about 65 games, that translates to a record of 65-0. A team with 10^6+65/10^6 would certainly have a 0.500 record.

2007-06-14 23:50:16
54.   Marcus
49 It's not exactly that it's a coin flip. Think of it this way. In baseball, the offense of a team is pretty much completely independent from defense of that same team. So when games are close, it's merely coincidental; both teams happen to be matching run scoring and run prevention in that particular game. You can conjure up some explanation that an offense can be more "clutch" because the score is close, but it's more a matter of the skill of the opposing pitching staff and skill of the batters. A truly good team should be beating its opposing team by more than one run, or else it's not really all that better than their opponent.
2007-06-15 02:39:10
55.   TokyoTom
I apologize, but this is a totally self-serving post that doesn't follow the thread. I'm taking my family to a Yankee game on June 30 (Swingin' A's). I haven't been to the Stadium in 2 years, but I've heard that security has become Draconian (Bushonian?). Would somebody be kind enough to tell me what one is allowed to bring in and what's not allowed? I'll be with my five-year old daughter and I'd hate to be stuck at the gate with an unlawful backpack or something. Thanks for reading this far.
2007-06-15 04:50:42
56.   jedi
55 no backpacks allowed. you can bring in pretty much anything as in food into the park, but it must be in a clear see through plastic bag. I bring my kids all the time and I know sometimes my kids can be picky eaters. I've brought subway sandwiches, gatorade and sometimes popcorn into the stadium but it's important that you "declare" it in a see through plastic bag. Even a regular plastic shopping bag they will deny you. trust me, I had to go back to the car or sometimes throw away food because of this. They will poke around inside the bag of course, but they always let you go in with the stuff you have in there if it is not considered dangerous (pocketknives, harpoon, blaster, etc). Where do you get a see through plastic bag? Well that's a different story. I usually let my wife handle that part.

p.s. you can put your umbrella, personal radio, cameras etc. for example in your see through plastic bag if you need help carrying those items into the stadium

2007-06-15 04:53:55
57.   jedi
55,56 I reread my post. a better description of the kind of bag you might need is not only see through, but perfectly clear. Hope that helps ya.
2007-06-15 04:58:30
58.   monkeypants
31 OK, just got around to the new thread!

That's a good point, and I'll to think about it more. If true, then maybe we have to rethink the whole defensive position scale. It is commonly assumed that, say, SS or CF are much harder to play than 1B--so, light hitting but defensive SS or CF is more acceptable than the same at 1B. But, if 1B (or any position for that matter) rquires a distinct set of skills that are not translatable between positions, then the defensive value of 1B must be considered de facto higher than usually assumed (since the pool of potential radequate replacements would shrink).

2007-06-15 05:44:30
59.   RIYank
53 Bravo.
Two minor addenda. First,

"X+65/X vs Y+65/Y is worse for the X>>Y case"

The important ratio is

(X+65)^2 / {X^2 + (X+65)^2}

and this will magnify the difference you're talking about.

Second, teams do have some control over the distribution of their runs. Here are two factors: Closer (and bullpen in general), and (yes, I'm afraid it's true!) small-ball skills. If two teams score the same number of runs and allow the same number of runs, but one has a better closer and four really good bunters, that one is likely to win more of the close games and have a better record.

2007-06-15 06:02:11
60.   monkeypants
59 Not arguing, but asing for more clarification. Could you explain a little more how the two factors identified allows some teams to control their run distribution more? It seems that the good closer has already factored into a team's RS/RA. So in your hypothetical, two teams with the same RS/RA, one has a much better closer--so presumably the other has an advantage at some other position (perhaps starters are stronger). So, just as having agood closer allows you to control run distribution, so too would having a strong starter with whom you control RA by leaving him in longer.

(On a side note, I know that it is popular wisdom that the Yankees have done better than their pythgorean expected win total under Torre because of the excellence of Rivera. But Mo's real excellence has been in the postseason; during teh regular season he has been excellent and consistent, but not always historically so (think Eckersly or Gagné). I wonder if the it is not the opposite--Torre's penchant for relying on middle relievers who manage to squander bigger leads and create more close games that Mo saves. I would never do this study myself, but it would be interesting to compare how close games are created--having a ten run lead that slowly gets wittled to a 10-8 win (maybe a on three run homer with two outs in the ninth) sems to be a different beast than a game that is contested and close throughout. Or maybe not.)

Second, could you explain a little more how having four bunters will help a team win more close games? I thought that bunting a player from first to second (with no outs) actually decreased the chances of that team scoring. But I don't know anything about bunting a player from second to third with no outs--does 3B w/one out represent a higher chance to score than 2B w/no out? I'm talking statistically, not anecdotally.

2007-06-15 06:27:22
61.   Yankee Fan In Boston

--- 0.5165 0.2796 0.1075
1-- 0.8968 0.5487 0.2370
-2- 1.1385 0.6911 0.3502
12- 1.4693 0.9143 0.4433
--3 1.5120 0.9795 0.3718
1-3 1.8228 1.1830 0.4931
-23 2.0363 1.4144 0.6073
123 2.3109 1.5279 0.7485

2007-06-15 06:30:56
62.   Yankee Fan In Boston
61 i was afraid the formatting wouldn't translate....

runners and corresponding bases on the left, with the other columns representing chances of scoring with 0, 1, or 2 outs with runners in those positions.... higher the number, better the chance.

i don't remember where i got this from, but i cut and pasted it into a word document when someone here gave a link to this information.

2007-06-15 06:33:31
63.   TokyoTom
[56,57] Jedi, thanks a lot for that. So basically, everything has to be in a clear bag, like a Zip Lock. No backpacks. What about women...Can my wife bring a purse in? Like a big purse? We we will be on holiday and shlepping around the city in the summer. I guess we're going to have do some careful planning. Cameras and binoculars strapped on the belt...sheesh.
2007-06-15 06:34:21
64.   mehmattski
60 Let me give it a try. Rivera's Runs Allowed (or lack therof) is of course always factored into the RS/RA differential. However, if you look at it from the perspective of Win Expectancy, Rivera's particular moment of not allowing runs is crucial to performance in close games. Sure, runs are runs, but there is slightly more importance to individual runs in the ninth inning with a close lead. So if a team whose Pythagorean Record is, say, 88-74 (as in the 2004 NY Yankees), but their actual record in one run games is 26-14, that's going to go a long way towards the Yankees actual overall record (101-60). A major contribution to that has to be the performance of Rivera (1.94 ERA) and Gordon (2.21 ERA) at the end of games. They contributed so much to the win expectancy that close games were tilted way towards the Yankees than would be expected based on the RS/RA differential.

Second, Rivera has been that good. Especially since 2003: ERA of 1.69 in over 300 innings with 264 strikeouts.

Third, RIYank said "baserunners," not bunters. Bunting might have an effect on outperforming the pythagorean record if a team is exceptional at scoring one run in a tie game in the ninth. Baserunning, meanwhile, was one of the factors identified by Bill James as potentially skewing the numbers one way or the other. Having exceptional baserunning ability would allow teams to maximize runs for a weaker offense. Similarly, an exceptional defense would be able to minimize runs allowed for a weaker pitching staff.

2007-06-15 06:36:30
65.   Count Zero
56 I was at yesterday's game with my seven-year-old daughter. They allowed me to bring in what was obviously a small child's backpack (the little cuddly bears on the outside being a dead giveaway) -- one of the security guards questioned it, but his supervisor said it was OK. According to

"Diaper bags, small children's backpacks, small women's purses, and backpack purses will be permitted but are subject to inspection."

2007-06-15 06:36:36
66.   RIYank
61 That matrix gives expected runs, which is not the same as chance of scoring.
Bunting typically increases your chances of scoring one run, at the expense of your chance of scoring many. This means that your expected runs decreases when you bunt, but if you can do it well in the tenth inning you increase your chance of winning the game. So that (I think) answers the second part of 60, right?

Now for closer. Sure, having a great close just cuts the number of runs you give up, and in that way it's just like having a great starter or a great SS, and that's reflected in the Runs Against parameter in the formula. But when you have a great closer, you also have leverage. You can decide exactly when you're using your best pitcher. This means that the runs you give up will tend to be in the innings that don't matter as much.
Suppose Manager Joe uses his closer really well, while Manager Grady uses his equally good closer badly. The two teams then give up the same number of runs, but Joe's team gives up runs in blow-out games while Grady's gives them up in tight games, so Joe wins more games.

It's much harder to leverage your starters.

2007-06-15 06:40:45
67.   RIYank
64 Good baserunners can help increase runs scored over the expectation (given hits, etc.). But it won't increase wins over Pythagorean estimate (given runs scored and runs against). So that's a different issue.

One formula takes the elements of run-scoring (hit, walks, steals, homers...) and predicts runs. One formula takes runs and predicts wins. Each of these predicts incorrectly, sometimes way off, and we'd like to know why. Good baserunning explains discrepancies in the first formula. Closer, small-ball ability, those might (MIGHT) explain discrepancies in the second.

2007-06-15 06:41:51
68.   TokyoTom
65 Thanks. So Hello Kitty is OK. L.L. Bean and North Face are no-gos. I appreciate the info greatly.
2007-06-15 06:55:28
69.   TokyoTom
One more self-serving question. Has anyone used an "e-ticket". I purchased some Yankee tickets from an online vendor and when they arrived (via FedEx) I was suprised to find that the "tickets" were merely sheets of paper with bar codes and information printed on one side. It all looks official, but I've never seen a ticket like that, and I started worry that the tix might be bogus.
2007-06-15 06:55:32
70.   Yankee Fan In Boston
66 thanks for clearing that up. those numbers make more sense to me now. i love this place.
2007-06-15 07:10:25
71.   mehmattski
67 Good points, and I admit I was starting to confuse myself with the baserunning points. One further bit of information I find interesting is this:

I can't find it for earlier years, but basically it goes one step further than Pythagorean Record, and bases expectations on EQA. Clay Davenport explains the principles here:
(BP Subscription required). In part, he uses aggregate player performance to predict, for example, that the 2003 Royals and Expos, who had started hot (article written May 1), would come back to earth- they may have acheived well, but their performances suggested .500 teams.

Further, for those inclined and who have BP subscriptions, this article is highly reccomended:

After more digging at BP, I found this article, also from 1999: In it, Keith Woolner (now assistant to the GM in Cleveland) explains that having a good bullpen could sway the Pythagorean differential as much as 2 games. The real kicker is towards the end, where Woolner finds a 0.56 correlation between a teams' one-run game performance and its deviation from Pythagorean record. He also notes that a .600 team is not supposed to win 60% of its one run games; in fact, bad teams could be expected to have more close games because that's the only way they're going to beat good teams.

Anyway, if performance in one-run games is going to determine the deviation, and there are specific reasons why a team struggles (or overachieves) in one-run games, there's the explanation for the deviation. In the case of the 2007 Yankees, it's because the Yankees started the season 2-11 in one-run games, because of a bad bullpen (including Rivera). That has apparently straightened out, and the Yankees have a much better record to show for it.

2007-06-15 07:12:13
72.   jedi
69 those sheets of paper for e-tickets are common. ticketmaster does the same thing when they email your ticket.

looks like you will be treking it around the city. if you absolutely need to have a backpack for your previous excursions i believe you can check a backpack outside the stadium at certain spots. I never done it, but I see signs for it. Maybe someone who has done it can give you more info.

63 i hope you are not trying to find a gigantic ziplock bag for your stuff. I dont even know if it exists or if it would be feasible. What i meant was like a shopping bag type of plastic bag, except that it is clear and see through without any advertisement on markings to obstruct the view of the bag. If you find a bag like that you are set. If you happen to bring in children's bags or diaper bags, they still have a right to refuse you. Go with the clear plastic bag and check in a backpack outside of the stadium is how I would do it. Better safe than sorry.

2007-06-15 07:24:33
73.   DougP
72 You can check your bags at Stan's bowling alley or at one of the Yankees t-shirt stores across the street from the Stadium. They're not hard to find. I think it's either $5 or $6 for a bag.
2007-06-15 07:32:15
74.   pistolpete
It's easy to not be completely annoyed by the Mets because of Willie, but even his true colors come out in time of crisis - Willie sounded more than a tad perturbed & defensive during his last few calls to MATMD, and his team's been in first place the whole time...

And here's Joe, calm & collected during the entire ordeal in late April & May, not being testy or snapping at any members of the media.

This is why you can't fire the man - he's truly the eye of the hurricane that is this team.

2007-06-15 07:43:29
75.   AbbyNormal821
68 I have also seen women carrying around large clear fashion tote bags and back packs at the last 2 games I went to. I know stores like Old Navy carry them. So you may want to check out that store and maybe some of the other chain stores like that one.

...that's my $.02

2007-06-15 07:45:57
76.   monkeypants
64 I'm pretty sure that reads "really good bunters" at 59, but if "baserunners" was intended, I see your point. 61 shows that it's better to have a man on second with no outs rather than a man on third with one out--at least in terms of run expectancy. However, as 66 points out, in the ninth or extra innings, the additional runs are less important than the first single run, so teams should (always in the case of the home team) sacrifice the potential for additional runs for the surity of one run. So, now the big question: is there any statistical evidence that suggests the runner on second with no outs scores less frequently than the runner on third with one out. If so, then bunting pays off in that specific context.
2007-06-15 08:06:47
77.   williamnyy23
69 The e-tickets are fairly common place. You should have no trouble with them...the usher will scan it just as a standard ticket.

If you need to check your bags, you can use the nearby bowling alley, which is located along River Avenue (under the elevated subway and across from the bleacher's entrance.

As for clear bags, all of the local stores (even McDonalds) have them on hand. If you aren't purchasing things near the stadium, there are actually free clear bags available near the entrances to each gate. Simply grab a few and transfer the contents of your non-clear bags.

2007-06-15 08:09:18
78.   RIYank
76 I did mean 'bunters'. As I added later, good base-running could give you an advantage in turning run components into runs, but not turning runs into wins.

As to your big question, yes, there's evidence for that. You can check out the Win Expectancy Finder (google it). Look at the situation with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth. First look at no out, man on second: the winning chance is .798. Now look at one out, man on third: the winning chance is .831.

There must be a more direct way of checking, but I'm too lazy to find it.

2007-06-15 08:11:26
79.   monkeypants
78 That's OK, I asked because I was too lazy to find it myself too!!
2007-06-15 08:12:48
80.   williamnyy23
69 One other note on security...while some security officials are very strict (they check under your hat, make you open your phone and sip your water, and rifle through all your bag's contents), most are much more lax, especially as the crowd grows in size. Sometimes you can slip an old navy type bag in, and other times you can not.

Also, does anyone else think the security measures at sporting events are a joke? A terrorist could have several pounds of explosives strapped to their body, but as long as they have a working cell phone and empty cap, they're permitted to walk right through.

2007-06-15 08:13:54
81.   JL25and3
69 I've used those e-tickets several times. I had the same reaction the first time I used one, but there's no problem using them.
2007-06-15 08:26:21
82.   monkeypants
80 I think that sporting event security is probably a joke for stopping terrorists, but if it has teh side effect of disuading yahoos from bringing other stupid shit into the stadium, I'm all for it. When I go to the park, I bring me, my cell phone, and a digital camera, and I never have problems with security. Of course, I don't have kids...
2007-06-15 10:46:11
83.   Start Spreading the News
80I sometimes used to go to the Stadium straight from work. I work on the eastside so I would zip up straight on the green line and be in my seats in 40 minutes.

Now I have to throw in an extra 30-40 minutes. 15 minutes to pay someone $5 to hold my bag and 25 minutes (assuming it is the Royals in town) to get frisked. It is so annoying to go thru all this extra trouble and extra money for no additional safety.

Meanwhile Shea was much more pleasant. You are allowed to bring bags in -- you just have to allow them to be searched. The guys looked thru them quickly and didn't give anyone any hassle. At the Yanks/Mets game, they were genuinely welcoming. The guy who check my bag, saw my Yankee hat, smiled and said, "I hope you come back to visit." I was very impressed.

Meanwhile, given the 20 games I used to go each year, the yankee security is much less friendly. I would usually carry a small bag that held a newspaper, water bottle and food in. If one guy said "no" (though not so nicely) to my bag, i would just stand on a different line who would let me in. The easiest was to go with a woman and have her pretend the same bag was her purse. She would always get in.

Stadium security is a main reason why I go to less games each year.

2007-06-15 10:56:33
84.   Yankee Fan In Boston
the diamondbacks left their scouting report on the yankees on the dugout floor. it was found by a reporter.


2007-06-15 11:10:55
85.   seamus
is that real?
2007-06-15 11:23:17
86.   Bama Yankee
84 They left this one out:
Miguel Cairo: "Best .224 hitter in AL... has belly full of guts."
2007-06-15 11:40:28
87.   Bama Yankee
84 Another one:
Wil Nieves: "BA lower than Mojave Desert temp... keep glove open, ball will find it... runs til you tag him out."
2007-06-15 11:49:55
88.   Yankee Fan In Boston
85 i think so.

86 87 nice.

2007-06-15 11:51:33
89.   RIYank
Josh Phelps:
"No film -- has he ever had a plate appearance?"
2007-06-15 11:52:54
90.   Yankee Fan In Boston
Karim Garcia: Who?
2007-06-15 12:05:04
91.   Bama Yankee
88 Thanks.

89 Good one.

90 LOL. Why didn't I think of that one?

2007-06-15 12:50:09
92.   Max
84 This is pretty generic, though, isn't it? And the scouting report on Melky seemed on the money to me. ("Hacker throughout count.")

The one liners spawned by Banter regulars from this report are priceless, though.

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