Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Is It Over Yet?
2007-07-24 20:52
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I don't mean to seem ungrateful, after all, the Yankees won 9-4, but did it have to take four hours?

The Yanks scored six runs off Scott Elarton before making their sixth out, driving Elarton from the game after 1 2/3 innings. Lefty reliever John Bale then walked the first three batters he faced (two of them on four pitches) to push across the one runner Elarton had left on base. That made it 7-0 after an inning and a half. When he got a chance to pitch, Chien-Ming Wang wasn't at his best, but he didn't need to be, and one can forgive him a lack of sharpness considering the amount of time he spent waiting for his team to stop hitting. Wang, who actually got more outs in the air than on the ground, gave up two in the second and two in the fifth and yielded to the bullpen after six innings and 98 pitches. By then the Yankees had tagged on two more runs to set the score at the eventual final. Derek Jeter had the big night going 4 for 6 with a double (though oddly he drove in no runs and scored only one), while Robinson Cano tied a career high with three walks.

In total, the Yankees put 23 men on base (13 hits, nine walks--six of them by Bale--and a hit batsman) and forced the Royals to throw 224 pitches (Elarton and Bale threw 109 pitches in a combined three innings). The only inning in which the Bombers were retired in order was the eighth (by Joel Peralta) which was the first time the Yankees had gone down in order since Al Reyes' 1-2-3 eighth inning in Saturday's nightcap, a streak of 24 innings with at least one base runner. Somewhere around the seventh inning I gave up and watched The Daily Show. The game was still in the eighth inning when I flipped back.

Updating Mike Carminati's statistics, the Yankees have now scored 56 runs in their last four games, which is the second-highest four-game total since 1950 when the Red Sox scored 1,027 runs in 154 games, one of just two 1,000-run seasons since 1936 (the other being the 1999 Indians, who scored 1,009 runs in 162 games). Those 1950 Sox scored 6.67 runs per game, the fourth-best average of all time (the 1931, '36, and '30 Yankees being the top three). The current Yanks have now scored 5.72 runs per game on the season, which remains second in the majors to the Tigers' 5.82.

More importantly, the Red Sox beat the Indians again, which is exactly what the Yankees want to see as they're gaining much faster in the Wild Card race, where they're now just 4.5 games back. If they can get within three by August 10, they'll be in position to take the lead by beating the Tribe head-to-head.

Comments (206)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-24 22:04:02
1.   yankz
Ah, another night owl post. Five in a row, hell yes!
2007-07-24 23:32:25
2.   Mattpat11
Mussina's going today. Yay.

If there's something to look forward to, its the Gil Meche bubble has to burst at some point.

2007-07-25 02:38:05
3.   Jim Dean
From Tyler (and for all you Cano philosophers):

Most impressive of all, though, was Robinson Canó, who drew three walks in a game for the first time in his career. Canó, who walked just twice in all of May, was given the lineup card as a souvenir.

"That's something I need – be patient, see strikes," Canó said. "That way I can become a better hitter."

The hitting coach Kevin Long now tells Canó to take some pitches during batting practice, to sharpen his eye. It is tough to learn selectivity in the majors, but for now, it seems to be working. Canó is batting .500 (21 for 42) in his last 11 games.

"When you swing at strikes, your numbers go up," Long said. "I can't even remember the last time he swung at a ball blatantly out of the zone."

2007-07-25 05:31:21
4.   williamnyy23
3 Knowing that Cano is aware of the problem and is actively working on it with Long is encouraging. Even without further development, Cano is a useful player whose raw talent can lead to flashes of brilliance. Should he develop just a moderate amount of patience, his ceiling with jump to perennial All Star.

Incidentally, Melky Cabrera is also once again showing the same patience that made him very useful in 2006. If that development continues, Cabrera should factor into the teams' future in a significant way.

It might seem silly on a club with so many big names, but Cano and Cabrera have had and will have a lot to say about how good the Yankees can be. Not only do they have potential at the plate, but both are now providing a high level of defense at two skill positions….all for around league minimum.

2007-07-25 05:58:14
5.   unpopster
I still want the division! The WC would be nice, but it's too early to surrender the AL East to the Sox.
2007-07-25 06:00:28
6.   williamnyy23
5 The Wild Card is the beachhead from which to launch an assualt on the division. It would be nice to come down the stretch with the WC as a safety net. Such a scenario would take a lot of pressure off the Yankees and shift all of the burden to the Red Sox.
2007-07-25 06:03:45
7.   ChrisS
I don't think there's much evidence showing free-swingers that learn to walk, but Sammy Sosa, another hitter from DR, kinda did. But, it'd be nice if Robbie can continue to draw more walks.

In any event, Robbie has now surpassed his season BB total from '05 & '06. Even if he gets up into the 40-50 BB a season, that would be great for a guy that doesn't strike out all that much.

A few more doubles & HRs for Melky as he matures and you're looking at an excellent defensive CFer with an .800+ OPS, which would put him in the top 5 for the AL.

2007-07-25 06:12:14
8.   Shaun P
I had to watch both kids last night alone, so I go upstairs to put my daughter to bed around 8:40; the top of the second inning was a few batters old. By the time I did that, came back down, and fed the baby, it was 9:15. I was sure my sleep-deprived eyes were tricking me, saying that the second inning had just ended, and Damon was going to lead off the 3rd (after leading off the 1st and 2nd). A Trachsel start in Baltimore would have been less tedious, but I'm glad for the win. Now if only the Sox had lost . . .
2007-07-25 06:14:34
9.   seamus
7 I don't beleive that Cano needs to learn to be Bobby Abreu. What he needs is enough selection to prevent the bad swing and misses on bad pitches. If he can marginally improve his selection on swings he can possibly explode.
2007-07-25 06:18:59
10.   RIYank
7 Pujols did add a whole lot of walks a few years into his career, so there's precedent.

Hey, click over to Catfish Stew where A's fans are complaining about their team's scoring its runs by a string of walks and singles and an error! Grass is always greener, I guess.

2007-07-25 06:27:52
11.   JL25and3
5 I'm with you. There shouldn't be any thought of aiming for the wild card, not yet, because it's still too early for that, and it takes away a little of the urgency. Aim directly at the Sox, win every game with that intention - and at the end, the wild card should still be available.

The idea that the Yankees should be happy to see the Red Sox beat the Indians - in July! - is just wrong.

2007-07-25 06:28:44
12.   JL25and3
7 I'm not sure I want to see him explode.
2007-07-25 06:36:26
13.   Alex Belth
Cliff, I'm with you. I'm very happy that the Yanks won last night but the game was brutal to watch. I confess, I fell asleep in the seventh inning.
2007-07-25 06:39:30
14.   bp1
11 I don't think the Yankees are worrying too much about anyone but themselves. They need to win games regardless of who is in front of them. I can't imagine Joe, Jeter, or anyone else on the team saying otherwise. Keep winning as many games as possible and sort out the standings at the end of the season.
2007-07-25 06:41:14
15.   ny2ca2dc
7 Jose Reyes?
2007-07-25 06:48:25
16.   williamnyy23
7 Sure there is. While free swingers may never develop the patience of Barry Bonds, there are lots of cases of hitters who develop enough patience to avoid offsetting their other contributions. Cano doesn't need to walk 100 times, but 50 would be nice. I don't see any reason why he can't reach that level with only minor adjustments to his approach.
2007-07-25 06:50:28
17.   williamnyy23
10 Pujols isn't a great example because he was never a free swinger. Also, a good portion of his increase in BB can be attributed to intentional walks, much as the case with Vlad.
2007-07-25 06:52:37
18.   mehmattski
11 How about just: "Win every game." Why does there need to be a team to "aim for"? I think too much is made of whether or not the Yankees "pick up a game" by happening to win on days that the Red Sox lose. If the Yankees continue to win between 67% and 75% of their games the rest of the way, that's really all you can ask for, and all that the Yankees themselves can control.

For example: Imagine if the Yankees won their next seven games and the Red Sox lost their next seven, giving a tie on August 1. Now imagine that the seven games are made up over the course of the next 30 games, and the division is tied on September 1. Does it really make all that much difference? I don't think so; the only standings that matter are the ones on October 1.

2007-07-25 06:56:27
19.   rsmith51
I think Pujols and Vlad just encouraged pitchers to pitch more balls.

How did Hughes do last night?

2007-07-25 06:56:52
20.   mehmattski
Man, I really wish we kept this guy. He's so dedicated, and would have definitely helped the Yankees this season. There's no doubt that if they didn't trade him, the Yankees would be 400 games ahead of the Red Sox right now....

2007-07-25 06:59:56
21.   markp
Most players walks increase as they mature-some drastically. A hard worker like Cano is a lot more likely than a guy like Soriano (for example) since he'll work on it and Alphonso ignored it.
2007-07-25 07:00:15
22.   mehmattski
19 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K

Only inning of trouble was the fifth: double, walk, then unsuccessfully tried to throw out the lead runner at third on a bunt. Facing a bases loaded situation for the first time in his professional career (really!), he induced a pop-up and then two strikeouts to get out of the inning. According to Dave Eiland he was fantastic in those at bats, completely dominating one hitter with a knee-buckling changeup followed by an up-the ladder fastball.

He's ready. After tomorrow, Quest better not start for the Yankees the rest of this season.

2007-07-25 07:02:53
23.   Start Spreading the News
Jose Reyes learned how to walk. He went from 27 walks and 300 OBP in 2005 to 53 walks and 354 OBP last year.

This year, he already has 51 walks and 382 OBP.

And the way Jose played in the beginning, I was sure he would be useless because he wasn't patient.

2007-07-25 07:03:58
24.   ny2ca2dc
18 that's a very level headed, and obviously correct way to look at it. And if you can remove yourself from the day to day, lets pick one up on the /whoever/ race, then you sir, i admire!
2007-07-25 07:05:32
25.   Jim Dean
Aprops of nothing (okay, maybe Vizcaino's Mo-inspired "resurgence" to league average):

I heart Chris Carter.

2007 (AAA): .333 .394 .532 (402 AB)
2006 (AAA): .303 .395 .483 (509 AB)

24 yo and stuck behind Conor Jackson.

Now if Mark Teixeira requires Ian Kennedy (according to some), what would Chris Carter cost?

2007-07-25 07:07:40
26.   ChrisS
22 Bases loaded for the first time in two and a half seasons? Yikes.

16 Oh, I agree, that's basically what I was trying to say.

I don't think Cano will ever approach 80+ BB, but 20 more walks works out to probably 14 less outs. And that is just fine to go with his bat.

2007-07-25 07:09:17
27.   markp
Start-good example. Mine is a lefty 2B who had 30 walks in 459 ABs at age 23 and had 5 seasons of over 90 and 2 of over 100. (He also had 1, 4, and 6 HR his first three full seasons, but was in double figures every full season thereafter with a 162 game average 40 2b and 10 3B.)
2007-07-25 07:16:32
28.   Jim Dean
20 No problem here trading him, but that was quite a package they got in return!

Let's revisit, shall we?:

Vizcaino: 103 ERA+ 52 IP 31 BB 38 K
Dorf: 4.90 ERA 60.2 IP 22 BB 50 K .290 AVG
Jackson: 6.08 ERA 71.0 IP 33 BB 50 K .322 AVG
A-Gon: .259 .309 .358 344 AB

That's quite a haul! Surely the Yanks couldn't have done better than 3 mL scrubs and a league average reliever!

2007-07-25 07:19:04
29.   mehmattski
The player to whom Cano is most readily compared also improved his walk totals during his career.

Rod Carew's Walk %:
67 6.7
68 5.3
69 7.5
70 5.4
71 7.2
72 7.4
73 9.7
74 11.0
75 10.7
76 10.0
77 10.1
78 12.1
79 15.1
80 9.8
81 11.0
82 11.4
83 10.8
84 10.8
85 12.6

Sure, he was never really as bad as the rates for Cano (3.0%, 3.6% and 5.2% this year), but he did improve. Also of note is that Cano walked in 6.7% of his minor league plate appearances.

2007-07-25 07:19:24
30.   JL25and3
18 I entirely agree. Someone said the other day that the Yankee win was meaningless because the Red Sox also won, and that's bass-ackwards. The Yankees just have to win, and the rest will (or won't) take care of itself). AS I said o sunday, the Yankees now have a 16-game stretch against bad teams, and they should win 13. So far, so good.

What I really meant above is that, at this point, there shouldn't be any calculations about the wild card race. If you want to watch the scoreboard, look for the Sox to lose.

2007-07-25 07:24:16
31.   JL25and3
28 Jim, I'm not going to argue about the trade, but I think your assessment of Vizcaino is deceptive. Sometimes a straight average isn't a useful way to judge someone, and this is one case - because he hasn't been an average reliever at any point this year. He's been an excellent reliever who was abysmal for a month or so, but that doesn't make him an average pitcher.
2007-07-25 07:33:45
32.   Jim Dean
31 Right - it's bimodal distribution. He was absolutely horrid for the first two months. And he's been wonderful for the last two months.

By the way, his career ERA+?

103 ERA+ in 462 IP.

That's the definition of an "average" pitcher.

2007-07-25 07:48:43
33.   rbj
28 Jim, given Unit's age and medical history and the fact that the Diamondbacks had to extend him two years, what makes you think Cashman or anyone else could have gotten better players for him?
2007-07-25 07:51:24
34.   Nick from Washington Heights
it's almost inconceivable (Wallace Shawn voice here) that we're arguing the merits or demerits of the Big Unit trade. At this point, the Big Unit is the Big Useless. In a rather predictable development, Johnson has had injury issues that have prevented him from doing the one thing a major league player is paid to do: play. Meanwhile, Vizcaino has actually be useful for the last month, displaying the skill that many Yanks scouts saw in him. It's encouraging that he has adjusted and become useful. Plus, who knows what those scrub propsects will become? There hasn't been a final verdict. The Big Unit? Well, it looks like his career is done, and the D-Backs will be paying him a lot to do nothing.
2007-07-25 07:56:13
35.   Jim Dean
33 Well, as I said at the time, how about one decent prospect, rather than four scrubs?

And, the D'backs didn't give him an extension - they merely restructured his deal from 1 year at 16 million to essentially two years at 26 mil (salary and signing bonus paid over the next four years). And they got 2 million from the Yanks.

Long story short: If the D'backs were willing to send four scrubs to the Yanks AND give Randy an additional 8 million of their own money, there's no way the Yanks could have gotten one decent player in return?

2007-07-25 08:01:07
36.   Jim Dean
34 Ohlendorf and Jackson are both 25 yo. The time is very short to show they're worth more than Brett Smith or Jason Jones.

A-Gon is 24 yo and recently demoted to AA so 29 yo Andy Cannizaro could get playing time at The Office.

And Brian Bruney (who the Yanks got for free last year) had a pretty outstanding summer too. It happens with relievers. It also happens that they revert back to who they really are. Problem is, Joe will still depend on them (see Sturtze, Tanyon).

2007-07-25 08:05:25
37.   JL25and3
32 Actually, two excellent weeks followed by six horrendous ones, then two superb months. But not once did he enter a game as an average pitcher.
2007-07-25 08:06:15
38.   JL25and3
And please, please, PLEASE let's not rehash the RJ deal.
2007-07-25 08:14:37
39.   Cliff Corcoran
Unit: 10 G, 56 2/3 IP, 119 ERA+
Viz: 51 G, 52 IP, 103 ERA+

The fact that Johnson may be done and Vizcaino is the Yankees second best reliever (after Mo) and the Yanks got three other players in the deal (regardless of how they perform), I'd say that's a fair return.

Turn the tables for a second. If Cashman had traded Vizcaino, two pitching prospects, and a slick-fielding mL shortstop for a broken and likely finished Randy Johnson, then given Johnson a two-year extension. How irrate would you be? Don't you think the D'backs could have gotten something better for that package, like, perhaps, a player that could make it through a full season?

Meanwhile, on the "learning to walk" discussion: Chili Davis. He was never as indescriminate as Robby either, but he improved considerably at the major league level.

2007-07-25 08:15:07
40.   Jim Dean
37 Actually, his career amounts to an average relief pitcher. So, at the very least, his first game he would have "entered" as an average pitcher.
2007-07-25 08:15:59
41.   Cliff Corcoran
38 Oops, sorry. You're 100% right. I've been away from comments so long I forgot the rules.
2007-07-25 08:21:08
42.   Jim Dean
39 Good to have you join in the fun!

1) Let's see what happens the rest of the year.

2) I was fine with trading him. But I would have much preferred one decent prospect to three crappy ones and an average relief pitcher.

3) Tables turned - Andy Cannizaro, Brian Bruney, and maybe Brett Smith and Jason Jones. I'm not sure I'd be too upset. It was a risk for a organization that needed pitching.

4) They didn't give him a two year extension. They restructured his 1 year/16 million deal to essentially 2 years at 26 million (bonus paid over 4 years) with 2 million from the Yankees.

2007-07-25 08:23:04
43.   williamnyy23
38 knew ground has been broken in this thread, so it's not likely anyone's mind will be changed on the subject.
2007-07-25 08:23:56
44.   williamnyy23
25 Don't lose sight of the fact that the D-Backs AAA team is in the PCL. I think everyone in that league has at least a .800 OPS.
2007-07-25 08:25:03
45.   Jim Dean
38 41 The problem is people coming out of the closet now with "the news" 20 and that it coincides with Vizcaino's Brian Bruney tour. None of that changes that it was an awful deal by a guy who just wanted to cut bait with players he didn't acquire (see also Wright, Jaret and Sheffield, Gary).

Too bad he never been willing to cut bait with the scrubs he has acquired (see Pavano, Carl, Farnsworth, Flame, and Damon, Jesus).

2007-07-25 08:28:02
46.   williamnyy23
45 The news is very relevant though. I think it adds to what I thought was already a good deal. The point is, however, that with nothing new to discuss, it isn't worth rehashing this debate.
2007-07-25 08:33:13
47.   Jim Dean
43 Well, we are seeing how crappy the three prospects actually are. That was very much in doubt by many in December.

Vizcaino's average performance could be predicted by his average career numbers.

44 Easy to say, much harder to prove. Regardless, he's one of the youngest players across the top of leaderboard in that league. And if we use your lame Grade A "standard", he was hitting better than Daric Barton (#67 in 2007) in that league.

2007-07-25 08:37:08
48.   Bama Yankee
The big rumor down here in Braves country is that Atlanta could be trading Salty for Teixeira. An alternate deal would be Jo-Jo Reyes and Elvis Andrus for Teixeira.

There goes my plan for moving Posada to first and getting Salty as our catcher of the future...

2007-07-25 08:37:36
49.   JL25and3
40 Jim, as I recall, just over a month ago you weren't describing him as an average relief pitcher. You were dismissing a couple of good weeks and calling him the worst pitcher on the Yankee staff. Now that he's been lights out for two months, you're willing to concede that he's average.

Frankly, this is a good argument against the pure objectivity of statistics - the stats themselves mey be objective, but they can be presented in distorted ways for polemic (or sophistic) purposes.

2007-07-25 08:37:40
50.   Jim Dean
46 Again, let's look up at the end of the year. It's too easy to jump out of the closet now.

The three crappy prospects are going to have a hard time turning it around, but maybe against inferior competition since two just got demoted.

Vizcaino has been an average pitcher his whole career. Maybe he's discovered his inner Mo or maybe he'll rediscover his crappy self.

And Unit pitched with the same problem last year. Let's see if he can return to his best approximation of a LAIM.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-25 08:37:52
51.   NJYankee41
To change the subject... I would like to comment on what Cliff wrote about Jeter getting 4 hits and only scoring once. Does anyone find it weird that the last couple years Jeter's OBP has been quite high coupled with hitting in front of A-Rod and his run totals haven't spike or even went down slightly? It would seem like a lock having a good OBP, being a good baserunner and hitting in front of some good run-producers would lead to really high run totals. Any thoughts?
2007-07-25 08:38:14
52.   williamnyy23
45 Also, it is a tad bit ironic that you think a 27 year old first baseman only rates a handful of low level prospects, but a 42-year old pitcher, coming off of back surgery and a poor season as well as having a price tag of $24mn/2 years merits a good prospect.

I can't come close to figuring out that logic. I am just gald the Yankees were able to dump the salary and get anything back in return.

2007-07-25 08:40:49
53.   williamnyy23
51 Jeter isn't that far off his pace. Perhaps those weeks when Abreu was an automatic out has caused him to drop slightly from his pace.
2007-07-25 08:42:34
54.   Jim Dean
48 If they can get Salty they should jump. But I have a hard time believing that. Why would Atlanta do that trade?

Andrus and Reyes is much more believable.

49 A few months ago he was the worst pitcher on the staff. Now? He's rediscovered his league average suckitude with a Bruney Bruney tour of duty.

And you would know on the stats - like presenting two months of his career as representative of the entirety of it.

2007-07-25 08:45:29
55.   RIYank
51 Damn Joe Torre.

Seriously, I agree, it's weird. And A-Rod has so many rbi, too. He's knocking in a lot of guys, but not the guy batting two slots before him who's on base constantly? What's with that?

2007-07-25 08:45:42
56.   monkeypants
39 29 et al. On the "learning to walk" question, with regards to Slammin' Sammy Sosa--

I've thought about this particular case a good bit. Sosa's walk rates when he was young weren't really all that bad. He averaged around 30 BB/season when he was young, with some overall improvement into his early peak years:

20 y.o. 58 G 11 BB
21 y.o. 153 G 33 BB
22 y.o. 116 G 14 BB
23 y.o. 67 G 19 BB
24 y.o. 159 G 38 BB
25 y.o. 105 G 25 BB
26 y.o. 144 G 58 BB
27 y.o. 124 G 34 BB
28 y.o. 162 G 45 BB

But his improvement in BB rates as he got older corresponds with his improving power numbers. Is this cause or effect? Was he hitting more HRs because he was more selective, or were pitchers pitching him more carefully as he grew into his power. Note for example that the 58 BB at age 26 included a then career high 11 BB.

But Sosa's batting eye didn't really improve until he was 29 y.o., when he put up seasonal BB totals of 73, 78, 91, 116, 103, 62 and 56 (29-35 y.o.). Hmmm...this was the same time he started to hit 60+ HRs/year, and the when his IBB rates increased (career high 37 at age 32).

Now, I am under the impression that Sosas dramatic, somewhat late peak plateau was chemically enhanced. I wonder how much Sosa's batting eye really imporved, or how much he pumped himslef full of chemicals, starting hitting 50 HRs every year, and thus compelling pitchers to throw further out of the zone? (It's like mini-Bonds: Barry always had a great eye, but 200 BB/season is the product of his power, not his zone judgement).

2007-07-25 08:46:53
57.   mehmattski
45 To be fair, Pavano has only provided like a three month window during which he could be traded.

And yes, 46, discussing Cano is way more interesting to me. What I still don't get, after three seasons, is: Where the Heck Did He Come From? With all the hype that can be generated surrounding Yankees prospects (See: Franchise, Phil), why did we hear nothing about Robinson Cano until his contract was purchased from Columbus in 2005?

What happened that a guy who hit .278/.331/.425 in the minors suddenly became red-hot in AAA in his age-22 season after four very meh seasons at the lower levels? Then he goes to the majors and now has sustained success (.312/.340/.480). I mean, how often does a player exceed his career minor league numbers when he gets to the majors?

Man, I am really glad that Arizona took Dioneer Navarro and Brad Halsey instead of Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano. I haven't seen much from prospect watchers (with the possible exception of John Sickles) of how they got Cano so very wrong.


2007-07-25 08:46:53
58.   Jim Dean
52 Sure, leave out the fact that the 27 yo 1B will require a 75 million extension. That's not relevant at all.

But really, let's trade Kennedy and Jackson for him. That makes a ton of sense.

2007-07-25 08:48:37
59.   Chyll Will
48 Bama! We need fun and hilarity, stat! (paging Dr. Sliced...)
2007-07-25 08:49:49
60.   NJYankee41
53 I realize he isn' too far off i'm talking small numbers. Even though runs are team dependent I like to see those silly bench marks like 120 runs. I just found it fascinating that last year Jeter had an incredibly productive season and only plated 118. Not a big deal I would just think he would have 125+.

You're right that Abreu probably affected it. But another oddity is that Abreu has scored so many runs. Meaningless but weird.

2007-07-25 08:53:08
61.   Chyll Will
59 Wait... no stats! No stats! Arrgh! >;)
2007-07-25 08:53:23
62.   Jim Dean
57 Yup. But by those three months it was obvious to any objective mind that Pavano was never going to be worth it. But then, to any objective mind, Pavano wouldn't have been signed in the first place.

As to Cano - it is fascinating. But he did show:

.301 .356 .497 in 292 ABs at AA at 21 yo

And that was his first shot at AA. He took a bit of time to adjust to AAA, then did the same the following year.

I think the reason they took Navarro and Halsey had more to do with likely value. A solid switch-hitting catcher and a young lefty are likely to be worth more than a 2B and RHP. But yeah, one example where the educated guesses were wrong.

2007-07-25 08:53:47
63.   monkeypants
48 That's OK--it's probably not that good of a plan, really. I read a lot of posts suggesting that Posada be converted to 1B to save him and keep his bat in teh lineup for more years the problem is that Posada is a career 124 OPS+ hitter (though far exceeding that this season) who is 35 y.o. Now, that's great for a catcher, but not very good for a 1B. Posada's only significant value to the team is if he hits as he does AND playes catcher.

Otherwise, if they sign him to an extension and convert him to 1B, they get basically avaerage or below average production for the position; at the same time, they would probably sign a catcher who gives them less offense than Posada. So they lose at two positions.

Now, this doesn't mean that the team shouldn't start to coddle him some more, finding him ABs at 1B and DH to lessen his catching load. But this should only be predicated on the assumption that he will remain primarily the starting catcher until age ineveitably takes its toll.

This is also why the team should probably not extend him much more than two or three more years, unfortunately.

2007-07-25 08:57:28
64.   williamnyy23
58 Actually, you can choose to not extend him and still get 1 1/2 years from him. So, let's see...the going rate for 2 years of an injured, old and expensive starter is a good prospect, but 1.5 years of a young, productive and inexpensive 1B is a bunch of low level prospects. Nope...sorry...your logic still doesn't work.
2007-07-25 08:57:53
65.   monkeypants
63 Continuing with Posada, and chiming in on Jim Dean's current rant. If the plan is to make Posada the primary 1B for say three years for (probably) at least 10 million/year, they would probably be better off getting Teixera for 5 years at 15 million/year.
2007-07-25 08:59:51
66.   Bama Yankee
59 I got nothin'... but as a wise man once said "sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand"
2007-07-25 09:02:28
67.   williamnyy23
60 It's all probably mostly dependent on Jeter's OBP and the SLG% of those behind him. So, while Jeter's 2006 OBP was more in line with a season of 125+ runs scored, it could be that the lack of Matsui and Sheffield behind him as well as the relative "slump" of Arod contributed to a muted total.
2007-07-25 09:02:44
68.   ChrisS
56 The closer I looked at his numbers, the more I thought that as well, vis-a-vis the power numbers.

As far as RJ, this is my only comment, and I've made it a million times: Jim, we'd all like to have received a top prospect for RJ. But he was an old pitcher with creaky knees and back who wanted a lot of money. That Cashman got more than a bucket of BP balls for a guy that was more likely to break down than not, is a positive.

2007-07-25 09:07:25
69.   monkeypants
[57 I think the reason that Cano seemed to come out of nowhere has a lot to do with circumstance. Before 2004 the team had Soriano so 2B appeared to be sewn up for years (unless they shifted him to LF). In 2004 he was still spliting time b/t AA and AAA, and the Yankees managed to milk a career year out of Miguel Cairo. Then in 2005 the Yankees made Womack gambit, which ultimately forced their hand in calling up Cano.

It just seems that there was never much of a window of time when CAno was (or even would have been) considered the 2B of the future. But as circumstances played out, he sort of happened.

2007-07-25 09:07:34
70.   monkeypants
57 I think the reason that Cano seemed to come out of nowhere has a lot to do with circumstance. Before 2004 the team had Soriano so 2B appeared to be sewn up for years (unless they shifted him to LF). In 2004 he was still spliting time b/t AA and AAA, and the Yankees managed to milk a career year out of Miguel Cairo. Then in 2005 the Yankees made Womack gambit, which ultimately forced their hand in calling up Cano.

It just seems that there was never much of a window of time when CAno was (or even would have been) considered the 2B of the future. But as circumstances played out, he sort of happened.

2007-07-25 09:08:41
71.   Bama Yankee
59 Here's the best I can do:
Luis Vizcaino, Steven Jackson, Ross Ohlendorf, and the Attorney General walk into a bar. Vizcaino has a dove on his shoulder and Dorf is wearing a polar bear suit with no arms. The dove says: "I'm lookin' for that tall dude who killed my daddy with a baseball and the bear's looking for the guy who shot his..............."
2007-07-25 09:08:59
72.   williamnyy23
70 You can say that again...oh wait, you already did!
2007-07-25 09:09:04
73.   ny2ca2dc
64 Also, if in 1.5 years Tex walks from whatever team acquires him, he'll net them 2 draft picks. Those picks alone a probably worth more (to a large market team that leverages their $$ to get good prospects that fall due to signability) than the fringy/B prospects JD thinks Tex is worth.

Hughes & Joba are both compensation picks, no?

2007-07-25 09:09:24
74.   Chyll Will
66 Luke 1:37: "For with God, nothing shall be impossible."

Good enough, thank you good friend. Back home to seriously consider things (ka-poof!) >;)

2007-07-25 09:11:24
75.   monkeypants
72 Sorry about that--I tried to halt the submission when I saw a last second edit. That failed. You can't fight City Hall or Bronx Banter.
2007-07-25 09:15:04
76.   williamnyy23
73 Excellent's almost like prospect laundering! Low level ones go in and higher level ones come out, all for the cost of using a very productive first baseman for 1.5 seasons at below market rates. Sounds like an absolute steal!
2007-07-25 09:15:37
77.   Jim Dean
63 "Posada is a career 124 OPS+ hitter (though far exceeding that this season) who is 35 y.o. Now, that's great for a catcher, but not very good for a 1B."

What!? What about 128 OPS+ with a range of 125 to 150 OPS+!?

64 All I'm saying now is: Time will tell. Arizona decided three Grade C prospects and one average relief pitcher plus 8 million was worth two years of Randy Johnson.

Regardless of your lame Grade A standard, neither Andrus (#65!!! - who has yet to show he can hit A pitching) and Reyes (who's the better prospect at this point) are Grade A prospects. But you want to give up Kennedy (younger and better than Reyes).

68 I'm not talking a top prospect. I'm talk a "decent" prospect that copul;d have helped the 2007 Yankees. Chris Carter is at least that. Though if you use william's lame standard, he's better than Joey Votto (Grade A - #43!!!).

2007-07-25 09:18:09
78.   Mattpat11
68 And the thing that has always bothered me about that deal. Cashman was willing to deal Randy Johnson for the change in someone's sofa, but he was damn adamant about not trading Pavano without getting "equal value" and hanging on to the guy until the bitter end.
2007-07-25 09:22:43
79.   Jim Dean
73 Only if they offer arbitration. But that's why Texas may just choose to hold on to him. But it wouldn't be two picks. He's not that good.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are never rebuilding. They wouldn't acquire a Tex to let him leave for draft picks. If william were the GM he'd send Kennedy and more plus sign him for five years and 75 million.

That's absurd for a 27 yo 1B with a career 128 OPS+. He can't even crack the top five in the game. Say hello to Richie Sexson (and even his trade didn't include legit prospects).

Again, time will tell - with the traded chips (if it happens) and with the value of the extension.

2007-07-25 09:24:59
80.   Jim Dean
78 One he wanted to acquire in the first place. The other he didn't.

Ah, silly Cashman. It will prevent him from trading Moose this year too.

2007-07-25 09:26:48
81.   Mattpat11
80 That was my point.

I also suspect he feels that if he gave Pavano away, it would be admitting to one of the worst mistakes in baseball history.

2007-07-25 09:31:14
82.   williamnyy23
77 Wow...with each comment you really expose the gaping holes in your argument. I am still waiting to see the consistency in your relative price tags for RJ and Texeira, but don't expect that one is forthcoming.

While you may think that rating sources like Baseball America, and more recently BP, are lame, at least they are more objective than your opinion. So far, your argument is you think Chris Carter is a good prospect so Cashman should have gotten him. Well, Peter Gammons thinks Ohlendorf is a good prospect. I don't lend Gammons much credibilty, and am not sure why your opinion deserves much more? For example, why should I give your assessment of Andrus more weight than Kevin Goldstein, for example, who rates him as a "good prospect" (and Ian Kennedy as only "average", which is where he also rates the AG).

You are all over the map on this topic and your only support is "I think so". Well, that doesn't really cut it in a debate.

2007-07-25 09:33:58
83.   Jim Dean
81 Honestly, I think he thought Pavano would really turn it around and be a LAIM. I suppose the side benefit is no more signing FA pitchers (not Zambrano this year), just like no more trading or acquiring prospects after the Vazquez fiasco.

Instead stock 32 young pitchers and keep a whole rotation of LAIMs at The Office while MgfjketCairo starts at 1B.

2007-07-25 09:39:47
84.   Jim Dean
Elvis Andrus:

18 yo - A-: .265 .324 .362 (437 AB)
19 yo - A: .239 .326 .330 (364 AB)

Let's see him hit A pitching before they deserve to be rated as one of the top 100 prospects in the game (or even as a "good" prospect) And I feel the same way about Jose Tabata too.

Meanwhile, a pitcher that throws 400 league average innings over two years is actually worth more than a 1B with a career OPS+ of 128.

The market says so.

Shocking, I know.

2007-07-25 09:41:41
85.   Mattpat11
83 What about Pavano's career where he's rarely pitched to the league average or munched innings ked him to believe that?
2007-07-25 09:44:03
86.   Zack
Sooooo, I've been gone for about a week in the UK at a conference, did I miss anything here? Looks like the Yanks did just fine without me, Joba and Kennedy move up to AAA (please don't expose Joba to Torre's BP management!), Hughes continues on, and Cano has raised his BA by about 20 pts...

Otherwise, apart from getting rather wet and drinking lots of good cask ales, its good to be back...

2007-07-25 09:45:45
87.   williamnyy23
79 Now that your own argument has crumbled, you are creating straw men to topple. Of course, I've never said I would trade Kennedy and "more" plus sign him to $75mn/5 years as you suggested. That doesn't mean I wouldn't do it though. If I was Cashman, I would listen to my scouts on this one because Kennedy is not universally thought of as a good prospect (see the KG rating referenced in 82).

Your other assertions have already been proven to be silly or incorrect. If anyone is interested, you can refer to yesterday's thread for the details.

2007-07-25 09:50:44
88.   mehmattski
86 Missed you last night, as I was unable to sustain a no-hitter for Wang using the "Let's see how he responds to the long inning." trick.
2007-07-25 09:51:02
89.   Jim Dean
85 You got me.

87 Sure you did. You said you'd include Kennedy and you indicated that wouldn't be enough. And you already acknowledged that you'd need to re-sign him to make it worth it. How much you think he gets in his next contract?

Furthermore, you said you expect him to be a 140-150 OPS+ in the years ahead.

But you admit he's not in the top 5 of 1B?

Who's illogical?

2007-07-25 09:51:11
90.   williamnyy23
84 No other talent evaluators would come close to agreeing with, in your own world, I guess you are right.

If you really the think the market for a(stop now and read carefully) 42 year old pitcher, coming off back surgery and costing $26mn/2 years is greater than a 27 year old 1B, with an OPS+ of 128, well, then maybe you weren't joking about the websites you mentioned yesterday.

2007-07-25 09:54:52
91.   williamnyy23
89 When you have a moment from spreading misinformation, please show me where I've ever said anything different from 87. Next.

As for Tex' future...well, at 25 he did post an OPS+ of 146 and at age 27 he is working on 143. So yes, I think I have some support for the believe that Texeira can produce at a 140-150 level.

Finally, I clearly stated yesterday that if Tex isn't among the top-5 at 1B, then he is at least 6. Of course, when you look at the names involved, being 6th is nothing to be ashamed. Using the he isn't in the top-5 argument is lame off the bat.

2007-07-25 09:59:15
92.   monkeypants
77 "'Posada is a career 124 OPS+ hitter (though far exceeding that this season) who is 35 y.o. Now, that's great for a catcher, but not very good for a 1B.'
What!? What about 128 OPS+ with a range of 125 to 150 OPS+!?"

To be fair, you are misusing my Posada argument to further the case against Teixera (with which I generally agree). Posada is a 35 y.o. catcher with lots of mileage, while Teixera is a 27 y.o. firstbaseman. Posada has clearly reached his peak and is almost certainly already into his decline phase, despite this season's freaky Fiskesque quality. Teixera may be at at his peak, and we don't know how long his peak plateau will last. Finally, catchers tend to decline very rapidly (with exceptions, like Fisk), whereas the decline pattern for firstbasemen is less predictable.

So I agree with you that Teixera seems (to me) to be to great a risk given the expected cost. But that is a somewhat separate issue from argument against Bama Yank's suggestion that the team make Posada the fulltime 1B.

2007-07-25 09:59:24
93.   Zack
88 Nerts, sorry, although I think I am still a bit traumatized after what happened when I left the Hughes game. Thats way too much responsibility to put on a superstition!

Clearly, based on the last few comments, not much has changed, eh?

2007-07-25 10:02:07
94.   Jim Dean
90 91 What's the extension for Teixeira? Just call it right now. And whatever it is, you think he's worth it. I'm just glad you're not the Yankee GM.

If he's sixth, he's better than Derek Lee (177 OPS+!!!!) or Carlos Delgado (182 OPS+!!!!). And that's a hard case to make, especially since they both have much better gloves.

I may have held onto Randy too long (though I could have certainly moved him after his May for one Grade B prospect). You meanwhile would trade Kennedy to sign the next Richie Sexson.

2007-07-25 10:03:05
95.   Chyll Will
83 There is a problem if anyone couldn't already see that (He Who Must Not Be Named) was already a laim. 3 years on ther DL and you need operational proof? Laim, indeed...
2007-07-25 10:07:08
96.   Jim Dean
92 Well, Jorge is putting up a 151 OPS+ this year. So, according to william, we can expect him to put up a 150 to 170 OPS+ for the next few years.

Seriously, I agree. I'd rather see Jorge as a C (80 games) and DH (60 games). Of course that means bringing in a young catching prospect. Jeff Clement is still producing in AAA and behind Jojima. And I'd have no problem trading a Kennedy plus for Salty.

And no - a 32 year old Molina brother doesn't qualify.

2007-07-25 10:08:36
97.   monkeypants
87 89 91 OK boys, call down. I think Jim Dean is basing his conclusions on your statements at #141 and #152 in the Carry On My Wayward Son thread from yesterday, thoiugh I think he has somewhat misrepresented what you said, and perhaps conflated your opinion with that of rconn33 at #147 in the same thread.
2007-07-25 10:14:03
98.   monkeypants
94 Now I'm defending William, even though I don't agree with him:

"You meanwhile would trade Kennedy to sign the next Richie Sexson."

He might be the next Richie Sexson, or he might be the next the Jason Giambi (who peaked at age 28 and 29, and continued to dominate for years after). The issue is not as b/w as you are trying to make it (or as you are trying to make william make it). No one doubts that Texeira is right now a fine player who is relatively young. And it's not an issue of whether or not it's a gamble to sign him: all signings are gambles.

The issue is how much should the team be willing to gamble? What sort of prospects? What sort of extension/salary for a player who might be the next Richie Sexson.

And since that's the issue, we should really try to examine any data that might be used to make such a prediction. We've already beaten OPS+ to death. Are there any other relevant peripherals?

2007-07-25 10:20:09
99.   YankeeInMichigan
54 The falacy here is that very few relievers are above "league average." You have your Mo/Putz/Papplebon class, and then you have everybody else. I don't have the stats in front of me, but I doubt that you will find more than 20 relievers over the past few years that have been significantly better than Vizcaino.

The question remains: If all relievers are basically alike (and volatile), why not just rotate your minimum-salary B-squad (Bean, Beam, Bruney, Britton) instead of trading for a $2-million veteran? It's a legit question, but so far it has worked out.

But even if Vizcaino regresses to league average for the remainder of the season, he will be an upgrade over the Big Eunoch at a fraction of the cost. And if any of the prospects catch on, the trade will go down as a steal.

2007-07-25 10:23:21
100.   Jim Dean
98 Giambi isn't a fair comp and you know it. Sexson is - offense and defense.

william: "I could live with Kennedy being involved in a Texeira deal, depending on what it would cost to sign him long term."

So what's the contract?

And yup - his home/road splits which william erroneously thinks are completely accounted for by OPS+. Those suggest Sexson, not even Morneau or Lee.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-25 10:26:34
101.   williamnyy23
94 Why would I waste my time calling a contract when if I was the GM, I'd have a window to negogiate beforehand.

Once again, you prove yourself to be completely inconsistent and all over the map. So, Derek Lee is better? Even though he is 4 years older and has a lower career OPS? And Delgado...who is 8 years older? Seriously? Are we judging who had the better career or who would be the better 1B this season and for the next 3-5 years?

You have no basis for stating that Tex will be the next Richie Sexson beyond your own opinion. Of course, Sexson didn't had a good years from age 28 to 31. When you consider Tex has pretty much been ahead of Sexson at each age level, the comp would bode well for his future.

96 Still fighting straw men? or just so frustrated by your crumbling argument that you refuse to acknowledge that 35 year old catchers do not have the same career progression as 27 year old 1B. Either way, it would be nice to come up with one coherent argument if you are going to express such strong opinions.

2007-07-25 10:29:06
102.   mehmattski
I think the Yankees should just trade Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps and get it over with.
2007-07-25 10:29:51
103.   williamnyy23
100 OPS+ tells you how much better a hitter is than the average player playing in under the same conditions. If you want to claim Tex is a product of ball park, you need to explain why he has improved so much the last two years and also account for his playing many more road games in pitcher's ballparks. If you refuse to do either, your credibility citing the splits is zero.
2007-07-25 10:30:58
104.   Jim Dean
101 By your standards, Lee and Delgado are better based on their "peaks". And even though they're much older, they're both better gloves, significantly so, than Teixeira.

Meanwhile, still managing to pretend that Home/Road split doesn't exist or is corrected for...

Lalalalalalala (I can't hear .850 OPS) lalalalalalala

2007-07-25 10:31:10
105.   williamnyy23
100 You are right... Tex has been better than Giambi over his ages 25-27 seasons. It isn't a fair comp at all.
2007-07-25 10:31:46
106.   monkeypants
100 Why is Giambi not a fair comp, other than steroids?


1996 25 .291 .355 .481 113
1997 26 .293 .362 .495 124
1998 27 .295 .384 .489 129
1999 28 .315 .422 .553 148
2000 29 .333 .476 .647 188


2003 23 .259 .331 .480 103
2004 24 .281 .370 .560 128
2005 25 .301 .379 .575 146
2006 26 .282 .371 .514 123
2007 27 .300 .404 .537 143

One could argue that Texeira has been a better player than Giambi through the same point in their careers.

2007-07-25 10:33:13
107.   Jim Dean
103 1.5 years (2006 and 2007) = much smaller sample than the rest of his career. You, sir, have to explain the rest of his career.

102 william would make that trade.

2007-07-25 10:35:19
108.   Jim Dean
106 "other than the steroids"


(and that 2007 for Teixeira doesn't count. Not until he finishes the year with more than 270 AB).

2007-07-25 10:48:26
109.   rsmith51
I thought Tex won a GG.

I also didn't think that Carlos Delgado was a good defensive 1B.

I believe D. Lee is an outstanding defensive 1b.

2007-07-25 10:48:45
110.   Knuckles
Jim Dean's CORP (Comments Over Replacement Poster) is now up to a whopping 79.5 with his 26 out of the 108 total comments today.
2007-07-25 10:49:05
111.   monkeypants
108 You can do better than that. You would have to argue that basically ALL of Giambi's production from say age 29 is the product of steroids; and you have to assume that Teixera is not equally juiced. Neither of these is proveable.

Just looking at the numbers Teixera has been the better player at the same career stage. But let's grant the point that I think you are making (if I correctly interpet "Hahahahahahah!"). How about this comparison:

Travis Hafner
2002 25 .242 .329 .387 81
2003 26 .254 .327 .485 118
2004 27 .311 .410 .583 158
2005 28 .305 .408 .595 170
2006 29 .308 .439 .659 183
2007 30 .257 .387 .442 122

Or how about...

Carlos Delgado:

1994 22 .215 .352 .438 103
1995 23 .165 .212 .297 31
1996 24 .270 .353 .490 106
1997 25 .262 .350 .528 125
1998 26 .292 .385 .592 150
1999 27 .272 .377 .571 137
2000 28 .344 .470 .664 182
2001 29 .279 .408 .540 141
2002 30 .277 .406 .549 153
2003 31 .302 .426 .593 160

There are plenty of examples of players with Texeira's numbers having high and long peak plateaus, just as there are many other Richie Sexson versions of his career. So you overstate your case. The issue remains, however, just how much should the team gamble.

2007-07-25 10:52:38
112.   williamnyy23
107 Nope...I'm only interested in hi until he turns about 32-33.

111 After all the headspinning changes in his position, I am not sure that he can.

2007-07-25 11:01:29
113.   rconn23
I just don't understand the Sexon comparison to Tex. Who's to say when any player hits their peak because it varies from player to player. Jeter had the second best year of his career at age 32.

Posada is having one of the best years of his career at 35. No one can predict whether Tex will fall off the map or just continue to get better. Based on his track record so far, I think he's worth the risk if Kennedy is the highest prospect that's expected. If Hughes or Joba are asked for, then forget it.

2007-07-25 11:02:08
114.   Jim Dean
109 You know better than to trust GG.

Delgado is very good.

11 Hafner isn't a 1B.

Now if william want to trade Kennedy for a 128 OPS+ DH - that would be even dumber.

Besides the difference in glove, Delgado could work. But, at least, two problems:

1) That pesky home/road split that william wants to believe has gone away (you know the one that shows Tex as a .850 OPS hitter away from Arlington). Delgado never showed those extremes.

2) Tex has to keep it up this year. Depending on what happens, it either looks like he's still getting better, or his 2005 was a fluky early peak. Delgado, meanwhile showed steady improvement, not the crater, at age 26.

2007-07-25 11:03:28
115.   Jim Dean
113 rconn23 meet williamnyy23. williamnyy23 meet rconn23.

I think you guys could be good friends.

2007-07-25 11:06:41
116.   williamnyy23
115 Jim Dean meet facts and's about time for an introduction.

I'm sure there is anything left of your argument, so I guess we can all move on. It would be nice if the next time you put forth forceful opinion, you at least try to back it up with some objective evidence. As amusing as it is to watch you get tripped up by your won contradictions, informed debated is much more meaninful.

2007-07-25 11:09:51
117.   Shaun P
(If someone else has already said this, I apologize. I stopped reading the comments around #75 or so.)

How appropriate is Cliff's title for this thread? And could someone let me know when it is indeed over?

2007-07-25 11:14:01
118.   Jim Dean
117 I was actually thinking that - very appropriate. I'm all for confining these flame offs to one thread. william never replied there. Instead he started it anew at 52.

(he did it :)

2007-07-25 11:15:59
119.   mehmattski
I'm not a baseball GM and have never been invovled with trade talks. But I can't imagine they go too differently than when I try to make a trade in fantasy baseball. Each party starts off on a huge extreme and they work their way to a middle ground.

So: let's first assume that a) Tex is indeed going to be traded by July 31 and b) that Cash wants Tex. Here's how I envision the negotiations going.

Cash: We hear Tex is availble.
Daniels: We'll take Hughes and Chamberlain for him.
Cash: Uh, no. How about Horne, Marquez, and Gardner.
Daniels: Oh come on, he's worth more than that. How about Chamberlain, Tabata, and Gardner?
Cash: Joba's not going anywhere. We'd be more open to deals involving Kennedy.
Daniels: Okay, how about Kennedy and Cabrera?
Cash: Instead of Cabrera, how about Tabata and Horne?
Daniels: I'll get back to you.

Three days later, Daniels trades Tex to Atlanta for Salty and Buddy Carlyle, and the fire department is summoned to Jim Dean's house not long afterwards.

2007-07-25 11:16:13
120.   monkeypants
117 It's too bad you stopped--you could have seen me argue both for and against my own position!

Very appropriate, both for the game he recapped and the thread itself.

2007-07-25 11:16:34
121.   williamnyy23
114 One more…I can't resist the simplicity of refuting arguments that are seemingly pulled out of thin air.

In his first three full seasons, Delgado's OPS was on average 100 points higher at home then on the road. Texeira had a much higher difference in the first three years of his career, but has hit significantly better on the road over the past two years. In fact, if you remove Tex' rookie season from the mix (.965/.646), Texeira hits about the same at home and on the road.

Ok...I'll stop! No more facts in this thread!

2007-07-25 11:18:51
122.   williamnyy23
119 If Atlanta wants Tex and the Rangers want Kennedy (pitching instead of a catcher), why not do a three way? Yanks get Salty, Rangers get Kennedy and Braves get Tex?
2007-07-25 11:20:40
123.   Jim Dean
119 Salty for Teixiera would be a big mistake.
2007-07-25 11:30:22
124.   Jim Dean
121 For facts you have a funny way calling 1.3 years = 2 years.

Meanwhile, you have this nasty, and sneaky, way of selective averaging (if this and if that and if when and if how).

Here, I'll make it simple:

Delgado (Career - 7669 PA) :
Home: .280 .391 .564 .955
Road: .281 .382 .538 .920

Teixeira (Career - 2990 PA):
Home: .303 .379 .576 .955
Road: .265 .359 .492 .851

I'll let the actual facts (not some selective choice of them) speak for themselves.

2007-07-25 11:35:19
125.   rilkefan
Note that OPS+ isn't necessarily the right metric to consider, because a given player's strengths might mesh better with the configuration of a pitcher's park. The correct thing to do (which I didn't see in my irritated skim of the above repartee) is to project the prospective player's performance playing 50% at YS and the appropriate distribution across other parks.
2007-07-25 11:37:22
126.   fansince77
Can anyone tell me how the suspended game works- do the teams have to put the same lineups out there and have the same guys hit...I assume if there is a DL or a guy no longer on the roster you can sub? What's the format?
2007-07-25 11:39:56
127.   Jim Dean
125 Right. You want to do that?
2007-07-25 11:41:00
128.   mehmattski
126 The game restarts with everyone who was "officially" in the game still in there. If there is someone that was in the game who is now on the DL (or otherwise off the team), they can be replaced with someone else. Basically the only restrictions are that the players who previously came out of the game (before it was suspended) cannot re-enter the game at any time. As was noted when it happened, it was theoretically possible that the Yankees acquired Chris Ray, have him pitch the bottom of the 8th, and Ray would be both the winning and losing pitcher in the same game.
2007-07-25 11:41:20
129.   mehmattski
127 Sounds like a job for SG and his Diamond Mind projections.
2007-07-25 11:43:34
130.   Jim Dean
"Stephen (Iraq): What type of deal should the yanks put together to get Texeria? No hughes or joba.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) That's the problem with trying to put together prospect-for-star trades. The worth of prospects has escalated along with big league salaries. I'm sure the Yankees are saying no Hughes or Joba, too, in which case the Rangers should say no deal. Jose Tabata, who's having a down year, and some spare parts aren't going to get it done."

Hmmmm, that's real helpful...

2007-07-25 11:48:56
131.   fansince77
128 thanks for the info...How awesome would the Ray situation be...! I would shit my pants.
2007-07-25 11:52:57
132.   JL25and3
54 I did nothing of the kind. I was characterizing only this season, and I was saying that at no point was he average. At this point, he appears to be an above average reliever who had a bad stretch, at least for this year. Relievers generally don't have a lot of consistency from year to year - inherently small sample sizes - so I hesitate to make much of any prediction about their future performance.

Just look at Vizcaino's career, if you want to judge his "average" ERA+. 89, 63, 93, 134, 68, 110, 119, 133 before this year. A slow start, then four excellent seasons (and one absolutely awful) in the last five. You're really going to use the career number to predict an average season this year? The 103 career ERA+ simply does not provide a meaningful guide to current expectations.

Of course, ERA (adjusted or not) is a lousy measure of a reliever's performance. It doesn't count the runners who are on base when he enters, which is a crucial part of a relief pitcher's performance; and it does count runners that might be coughed up by the next reliever, runs that he may not deserve full responsibility for.

So let's see, that's the wrong measure, used in a misleading way, and compared with a similarly misleading characterization of this season.

2007-07-25 11:53:29
133.   Shaun P
126 128 Note too that you can shift available players around if you want. Martin did it in 1983 in the conclusion to the pine tar game, where Guidry played CF and Mattingly played 2B (which he had done some of in the minors, IIRC). (Hat tip to the KC feed's AFLAC trivia question last night, which was about exactly this.)
2007-07-25 11:57:38
134.   Jim Dean
132 An ERA+ of 110 or 119 is not "excellent" - most especially not for a relief pitcher.

133 or 134's not either, but at least it's headed in the right direction.

Meanwhile, pick any other measure. By any of them, Vizcaino's been an average pitcher for his career. And that's what he entered the season as. And even if he doesn't given up another run this year, he's still not going to be very far above average (see Bruney, Brian).

2007-07-25 12:02:27
135.   Jim Dean
132 "Frankly, this is a good argument against the pure objectivity of statistics - the stats themselves mey be objective, but they can be presented in distorted ways for polemic (or sophistic) purposes."
2007-07-25 12:07:59
136.   yankz
Are people just copy/pasting their posts from yesterday? Also, LoHud actually covered this correctly yesterday. You can't just assume a bunch of decent prospects would equal a great one. Hughes =/= Marquez+White+Jackson+etc. Same for every other team.
2007-07-25 12:17:23
137.   mehmattski
133 The KC group also noted how weird it was to see a left-handed second baseman. Mattingly's page says he did not have any chances at 2nd, but it would be weird indeed to see a second baseman field a grounder, then turn completely around and throw to first with his back to the infield.
2007-07-25 12:18:01
138.   rbj
128 Yanks should make that trade just for that possibility. Trade Ray for the PTBNL, who winds up being Ray himself.
2007-07-25 12:19:09
139.   yankz
138 The '62 Mets did that. Traded a guy to Cleveland for a PTBNL, then sent the same dude back a monthish later. I can't remember who it was.

Also, Steven Goldman has totally nailed Duncan's nickname: Shelley Long(ball)

2007-07-25 12:20:35
140.   yankz
Tabata isn't having THAT bad of a year for an 18 year old! in A+.
2007-07-25 12:21:45
141.   Start Spreading the News
texeira's away splits are not as extreme as soriano's splits were. Soriano went to a pitcher's park and thrived. So I would take those split stats with a grain of salt where good hitters are concerned.
2007-07-25 12:24:26
142.   JL25and3
An average based on subscores with as much variance as Vizcaino's ceases to be a useful predictor. Period. Given the pattern of his career, the last five years would make a more sensible basis for comparison, but I'd be perfectly willing to say that there's not enough stability in his career to provide any basis for prediction. In either case, the career ERA+ is a specious comparison point.

Look at any other statistic and you'll see similar variability. His ARP ranges from -5.2 to 27.1. Does that help you predict that he's at 11.7 this year, first on the staff, more than twice as much as anyone other than Rivera? WXRL is in a narrower range, which is to be expected, but it still roams from -1.34 to 3.7 wins. This year he's at 1.4 wins so far, second to Mo; they are the only two relievers worth as much as a win.

2007-07-25 12:24:52
143.   Raf
139 It was Harry Chiti
2007-07-25 12:26:18
144.   williamnyy23
TV salaries are out...Judge Judy has been bumped up to $30mn/year. I definitely think Arod's next contract should have an escalator ensuring he stays at least $1mn ahead of her honor.
2007-07-25 12:28:13
145.   Bama Yankee
137 Didn't Donnie play 3B in the celebrity softball game during the All-Star festivities at Safeco back in 2001?
IIRC, he made a couple of slick plays that looked kinda weird coming from a lefty.
2007-07-25 12:28:31
146.   yankz
143 Thanks. God that team was awful.
2007-07-25 12:33:04
147.   williamnyy23
It looks like the Yankees may be picking up a big time hitter as soon as next week. According to this story, Giambi is set for a rehab stint on Friday with an intent to re-join the team next week.

2007-07-25 12:34:59
148.   Jim Dean
141 Soriano is irrelevant. The point is: Teixeira is more likely to be the road guy than the home guy, since he'll be playing much less in Arlington.

142 A guy who complains about stats "presented in distorted ways" wants to only look at the "last five years"?

That's precious. Really.

And how many stats did you filter thorough before you found what you were looking for?

Coming into this year, if you were to predict how Vizcaino would do, it would be one of two possibilities: 1) Really, really, bad; or 2) Decent, not spectacular.

The start of the season was #1. The rest may still be #2.

You and william should get together - you both love this selective averaging (well, if we only look at the last eight weeks or the last five years or only the first three years of his career on the road in daylight...

2007-07-25 12:42:04
149.   Bama Yankee
144 Maybe she's worth it. Have you seen Judge Judy's VORJ (Value Over Replacement Judge)?

Especially when the free agent market consists of:
Judge Larry Seidlin (the Anna Nicole judge)
Judge Lance Ito
Judge Reinhold
and Judge Dread

2007-07-25 12:44:06
150.   williamnyy23
148 More Jim Dean nonsense. In making projections, more recent data usually carries more weight. That's common sense.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-25 12:44:15
151.   Shaun P
145 Bama, I believe you're right. That was the last one of those celebrity games that was any fun to watch.

137 I remember that too. I had honestly never thought about it before. This means every lefty hitting 2B must also be a righty throwing 2B, like Cano. Looking of the most famous 2B up, its of course true - Carew, Joe Morgan, Eddie Collins, and Lou Whitaker were all lefty hitters, but righty throwers. Makes sense.

2007-07-25 12:47:51
152.   Jim Dean
150 Riiiiii-ght. For a relief pitcher. Brilliant!

And you wanted to go back and just look at Delgado's first three years (but only because they supported your assertions).

You gotta love guys that know what they want to say, then fit the data to say it.

2007-07-25 12:49:56
153.   Bama Yankee
151 re: lefty 2B
Who is the guy that markp was talking about earlier in this thread 27? I couldn't figure it out. Maybe I missed something.
2007-07-25 12:50:08
154.   Shaun P
144 147 That just goes to show you how important context is to replacement level.

/rant on

I wish I had (free) access to Lexis-Nexis or a similar news database. I'd love to compare the number of articles bashing how much Judge Judy gets paid vs. the number of articles that will destroy A-Rod for signing a new contract or extension. I bet the number on the Judge Judy side is zero.

/rant off

2007-07-25 12:51:02
155.   tommyl
Hey guys, haven't read everything yet, but word via PeteAbe is that Giambi will be back by next week. Sooo...repeat of last season before the playoffs?
2007-07-25 12:51:56
156.   Jim Dean
154 Judge Judy deserves it. And she's just entering her peak.
2007-07-25 12:53:45
157.   Jim Dean
155 Yup. But he'll have two months to get right. And hopefully they play it better.

Still Melky and Phillips have to continue to hit.

2007-07-25 12:54:48
158.   Shaun P
153 Thanks to's PI, I figured it out - its Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer, who played 2B for the Tigers in the 20s and 30s.

He too batted lefty, but threw righty.

2007-07-25 13:04:07
159.   williamnyy23
152 You stated Delgado never had home/road splits. Not suprisingly, you were wrong. I then showed you that Delgado and Texeira both hit better at home in their first three seasons before reversing the trend. Again, more facts for you to ignore.

I have to imagine you purposely advance foolish arguments for attention. Right?

2007-07-25 13:07:23
160.   Jim Dean
159 "Delgado never showed those extremes." 114

He didn't and doesn't - unless you want to selectively choose which years to include just to try to save face.

You failed. Let it go.

2007-07-25 13:10:34
161.   mehmattski
Also, here's the list of all six games in which a lefty-throwing second baseman appeared, since 1957:

Left handed catchers have appeared in just nine games since 1957:

For shortstops, it's eight games since 1957, six of them by one guy.

That's pretty interesting stuff right there.

2007-07-25 13:10:36
162.   Jim Dean
159 Meanwhile all we have is Delgado and Tex's numbers up to this point. You can't go back and say: "Well, if I just pretend this one comes out this way and this one that way twist them around and look at 'em backwards....

Nope, that's not how it works.

Tex has extreme home/road splits. Delgado doesn't.

End of story.

2007-07-25 13:10:57
163.   williamnyy23
160 Sorry...forgot your definition of a fact is something that should be ignored. Everyone else can look at Delgado's H/R splits over his early career on can continue to pretend otherwise.
2007-07-25 13:11:53
164.   Bama Yankee
158 Thanks. I gave up after looking at about half the HOF 2B.
2007-07-25 13:14:11
165.   yankz
Can you post that website about TV salaries? I'd love to see Judge Joe Brown's, that guy is one BAMF.
2007-07-25 13:17:12
166.   Marcus
165 Judge Joe Brown will never match the career trends of Judge Judy. His home court rulings are 30% louder and favor the plaintiff 45% more of the time than when he's on the road. Judge Judy has been fair and impartial her whole career whether at home or on the road.

And Judge Wapner never should have been traded for Mills Lane and three B-level bailiffs.

2007-07-25 13:18:44
167.   Jim Dean
163 They don't have to bother:

Delgado (Career - 7669 PA):
Home: .280 .391 .564 .955
Road: .281 .382 .538 .920

Teixeira (Career - 2990 PA):
Home: .303 .379 .576 .955
Road: .265 .359 .492 .851

Oh, right, but you want to select and point out only those years he shows the trends you're after. I get it!

2007-07-25 13:19:13
168.   Bama Yankee
165 & 166 ROFL. Good stuff.
2007-07-25 13:21:29
169.   OldYanksFan
28,31,32,33,34,35,45, etc, etc, etc
Ladies and Gentlemen, please remeber a few things:
1) This is one of many DeadHorses of another color, this particular one being buried and decomposed.
2) Jim, in all the excitement of the Yankees winning, often forgets to take his meds.
3) The Thread Topic (Anyone remember what it is).

There are only 2 valid responses for this topic.
1) Yes Dear
2) You're nuts
Short and sweet, and difficult to debate.
You Too, can help keep the Banter pure.

2007-07-25 13:22:20
170.   williamnyy23

167 more scary facts...I promise.

2007-07-25 13:23:07
171.   Zack
Yawn, I grow weary of such gobbledygook, poppycock, and balderdash. I insist you speak of more acroamatic or recondite matters. I, for one, propose a Hegelian or Deridean reading of Joe Torre's use of the bench and bullpen...
2007-07-25 13:24:15
172.   Jim Dean
169 I'm still waiting for the moves you said Cashman was making in January.

Though I guess Molina counts as one.

2007-07-25 13:25:48
173.   JL25and3
142 Actually, Jim, if you read what I said, my feeling is that Vizcaino's career doesn't support much of any prediction; it's just too variable.

But really now. You want to take average as average as average - what he's done over the course of his entire career is the only thing that matters. Any effort to look at the context of that average is specious. Averages have no context; they are absolute values, fixed in stone, as the only measure of prediction.

Fine. You've defeated me with your Shaolin logic. But now let's not look at Teixeira's home/road splits (a concern I share, btw), and let's ignore the deterioration in his fielding stats. Because the onliest thing that matters is his career average, right? He is a .284/.369/.534 hitter, 128 OPS, and any effort to look beyond that is wrong.

2007-07-25 13:26:14
174.   Jim Dean
170 Thank God - the facts become scary when you selectively filter them.
2007-07-25 13:28:06
175.   JL25and3
161 Without looking - is the last lefty catcher still Mike Squires? And is Mattingly still the last lefty 3b?
2007-07-25 13:29:30
176.   JL25and3
171 Enough with the postmodern, deconstructionist mumbo-jumbo!

Besides, there are no dead horses, there is only the text.

2007-07-25 13:30:52
177.   Jim Dean
173 The home road splits in the case of Teixeira consist of over 1000 data points on each side. I'm comfortable with that split. One year here and there? No.

Not that you'd know anything about numbers so big from your day job. :)

If you can show a similar one with respect to Vizcaino's variability, I'm all eyes. Unfortunately, he just bounces back and forth between being really bad and decent not spectacular. I expect he'll do the same this year.

And that wouldn't have been a bad prediction, actually.

2007-07-25 13:32:28
178.   Bama Yankee
161 Good stuff, mehmattski. I have always understood why lefties don't play second or third, I just never fully understood why they don't get to play catcher. I guess the difficulty in throwing a runner out at third base with a righty batting is the main reason, but are there others?
2007-07-25 13:42:24
179.   Zack
And more so, there is certainly no thing as an "average," which implies a fixed, meaningful center. The amount of play between anything that could be called "good" or "bad" is such that any attempt to even pretend that such values exist is always already a failure...Therefore, any claim to certainty or faith in so called "averages", is, in a sense, merely an extension of logocentric, structuralist, and ultimately naively Western order of things...
2007-07-25 13:49:03
180.   yankz
Can someone help me with an Excel question?

Let's say Column A is "Name" and Column B is "Wins." When I select B and hit Data-Sort-Ascending, only the wins are sorted, so they no longer match up with the names. Is there a way to sort by wins so that the names are also sorted that way? Thanks.

2007-07-25 13:49:26
181.   yankz
170 Thanks.
2007-07-25 13:50:40
182.   yankz
2007-07-25 13:51:46
183.   Zack
180 As far as I know, if you highlight both rows, it should work? There may be a way to group them, however...Ok, thats not really helpful is it?
2007-07-25 13:52:48
184.   Bama Yankee
180 Did you highlight both columns before you hit sort?
2007-07-25 13:56:29
185.   yankz
183 184 Let's say there are 3 columns and I want to sort A and says I can't sort multiple selections. Is my Excel just outdated or something? Thanks anyway...
2007-07-25 14:01:04
186.   Bama Yankee
What version of Excel do you have?
2007-07-25 14:07:01
187.   JL25and3
179 Or, as some of us say, the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao.
2007-07-25 14:07:26
188.   yankz
186 MS Office 2003.
2007-07-25 14:08:11
189.   JL25and3
Well, of course you're comfortable with that, Jim. It says what you want it to say. But as long as you're comfortable, that's the only thing that matters.
2007-07-25 14:10:20
190.   mehmattski
178 Bama, you and others might be interested to learn that the six left-handed "secondbasmen" all seem to have something funky going on with them, like Mattingly's appearance. I wrote about them in detail here:

Check it out!

2007-07-25 14:24:28
191.   Raf
145,175 I believe Mattingly was the last LH 3B. Played all those games in Seattle, IIRC.
2007-07-25 14:26:38
192.   Raf
Ah, the interweb... From a 2004 interview

Steve Wrote:

I had an argument with a friend of mine. I told him that you played third base a couple of games for the Yankees. He says that there is no way a left hander played third base. Can you tell if in fact you did play third base, and against what opponents?

Don Mattingly Wrote:


I did play third, it was against Seattle. It was like 87 or 88, not sure. I started one game or two, someone was hurt and they needed someone to fill in for a couple of days.

Don Mattingly

2007-07-25 14:29:33
193.   JL25and3
161 One of the lefty hitting second basemen was Sam McDowell, in 1970. Bottom 8th, 6-4 Indians, 2 out, men on 2nd and 3rd, Frank Howard and Rick Reichardt coming up. Alvin Dark moves McDowell to second and brings in a righty, who walks Howard intentionally and gets Reichardt to ground out - 5-4, with McDowell getting the putout.

Next inning Sudden Sam moves back to pitcher, God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.

2007-07-25 14:31:40
194.   Raf



2007-07-25 14:33:55
195.   Raf
It would have been really cool if they had played some clips of Mattingly playing 3b last night.
2007-07-25 14:35:21
196.   Bama Yankee
190 Thanks for the link. Nice article (I keep forgetting that you have a blog, I need to stop by more often).

I think you answered my question about the lefty catchers. It seems to be more about tradition than anything else (I also like your theory that strong arm lefties are turned into pitchers and thus never get a shot at catcher).

2007-07-25 14:38:12
197.   JL25and3
192 He started two games and appeared in a third, all in late August, 1986, and all in Seattle (good call, Raf). I believe Pagliarulo was injured, and the Yankees were desperate - mostly, they were playing the likes of Wayne Tolleson. Dave Winfield and Gary Roenicke also made appearances at third.
2007-07-25 14:41:55
198.   OldYanksFan
Reading yeaterday's thread and listening to Willy and Jim D. go mano-a-mano, I could not help but think this has the feel of the also mentioned cock fight. As for a conclusion, however, I do think Jim has a better chance of being the 'weiner'.

132 Very Good point. While stats are valuable, there are so many different stats, it is always easy to find some that back any particular point of view. To get the best picture on any one issue, as many different stats as possible must be brought in and analyzed to see how any individual stat's strengths and weaknesses apply to the issue.

2007-07-25 14:44:48
199.   Raf
197 According to Baseball Reference

Mike Pagliarulo (143)
Dale Berra (18)
Leo Hernandez (who?)(7)
Wayne Tolleson (7)
Don Mattingly (3)
Gary Roenicke (3)
Dave Winfield(!) (2)

2007-07-25 14:50:37
200.   Jim Dean
188 There's a little box above the numbers - to the left of Column A. Click that and it should select the whole worksheet. The sort by whatever column you'd like.

Or just CTRL+A then same deal.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-07-25 14:56:44
201.   Raf
197 Yeah, I just looked it up. Pags played 8/24 then didn't start @ 3rd until 9/5. He did make appearances as a PH during that timeframe.

Wayne Tolleson, Winnie, Mattingly, Roenicke & Leo Hernandez played 3b in his absence.

Guess we should give Lou Piniella credit for being so creative with the roster?

2007-07-25 15:03:16
202.   mehmattski
196 No problem. I've been trying to pick it up with the blog, and as I go back to being a student I'm sure I'll have a lot more free time.

As for the left-handed catchers, I got my theory from the THT article I linked at the end of my post. I found that after my friend (Xenod on the blog) said he won a bet with his dad once about whether you could find a left-handed catchers' mitt in a sporting goods store. You could, but only a small kids' mitt.

2007-07-25 15:14:06
203.   rilkefan
There's no reason for catchers to be right-handed, is there? Beyond possibly pitchers being used to the target being slightly on that side. I would think the distribution would reflect the general populace, or the general throwing-armedness of fielders.

Maybe a right-handed catcher has a slight advantage in throwing out runners when a righty is batting, so a left-handed catcher would be slightly disadvantaged?

2007-07-25 15:16:26
204.   mehmattski
203 Here's the THT articles:

2007-07-25 15:17:02
205.   rilkefan
203 Oops, that stuff is addressed above in the linkage at 190.
2007-07-25 15:51:14
206.   rilkefan
Also on handedness - is there any idea what the difference in (innate?) skill between batting left vs right for right-handers is?

It's actually not clear to me from a theoretical standpoint why right-handers bat in the default orientation.

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