Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Joe Girardi: A Managerial Scouting Report
2007-11-04 23:15
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Following the lead of my fellow Toaster, Jon Weisman, who asked Alex and myself for our thoughts on Joe Torre's managing, I asked Jacob Luft, my editor at and a longtime Bronx Banter supporter who just so happens to be a Marlins fan, for his take on Joe Girardi's tendencies as a manager. Here are the highlights of our resulting conversation:

Jacob Luft: He likes to bunt . . . a lot. He used to sac bunt with Hanley [Ramirez] at first and Dan Uggla up to bat in the first inning. I used to throw a shoe across the room. Hanley at first, who can fly, gets bunted over by a guy with 30 home run power . . . in the first inning!
Bronx Banter: Does he even bunt with middle-of-the order guys?
JL: Yes, with everybody. But the guy is good with pitchers; exceptional with pitching.
BB: Really? How so?
JL: Handling a staff, handling a bullpen . . . excellent. He knows which relievers to go to, gets pitchers in the right mindset.
BB: Is he creative with his use of relievers or does he assign roles to guys?
JL: Everybody assigns roles these days, but i never had a problem with when he brought guys in. He's also a hard ass, disciplinarian, real drill-sergeant type.
BB: I wonder how much that'll change given a team of more established players.
JL: It's a weird fit, but possibly a very good one. The [Yankees] do have young pitchers that will benefit a great deal, but he's a take-no-shit kind of guy, which really worked with the '06 Marlins. Fredi Gonzalez came in [in 2007] and it was like a zoo. The other thing with Girardi is he's got a temper. The guy told his owner to fuck off. I ripped him when he left, but after seeing Fredi let the kids go nuts in the clubhouse this year, I miss the guy. Though without all the bunts our offense went ballistic this year. Girardi is also very smart, he's a Northwestern grad, so it's possible he'll learn to change his in-game offensive strategy.
BB: His entire staff is college guys save Tony Peña, which shows a preference for smart coaches. Any opinion of Bobby Meacham as a third-base coach?
JL: Uh, not really.
BB: That's a good thing, you generally only have an opinion of the third-base coach if he keeps sending runners into outs.
JL: True.

In other news, the general manager meetings kick off in Orlando, today, so that rumor mill should be a-buzzin'. For the Yankees, they'll be focusing on inking Posada and Rivera and finding a third baseman. Don't be surprised if Brian Cashman turns up a reliever or two in the process. Meanwhile, the Yankees will know by the end of the day on Wednesday if Andy Pettitte is coming back.

Comments (154)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-05 00:39:46
1.   thelarmis
great post, cliff. i'd still like to know what girardi was thinking on the rain delay game...

well, i sure hope jorgie and mo are signed, sealed and delivered soon.

it's possible Andy doesn't decide by wednesday. if he needs more time to mull it over, hank said he can take it, as long as his "yankees or retire" stance is in tact.

2007-11-05 03:39:40
2.   RIYank
David Pinto has computed this year's Probabilistic Model of Range. Guess which team had the best defense in baseball last year?

2007-11-05 04:24:56
3.   OldYanksFan
Well, Melky in CF and JD in LF gives us good range. ARod at 3rd maybe was above average. Can and 2nd. FWIW, were 8th in FPCT and 6th lowest in errors (out of 30).

Why is Andy taking so long to decide? I think this bodes badly for us.

2007-11-05 05:14:34
4.   monkeypants
I'm not thrilled by all this talk about bunting. Hopefully Girardi was just bitten by the NL bug to overmanage, and he'll play it straighter in the AL.
2007-11-05 05:22:19
5.   rbj
Buntin' Joe + Derek liking to bunt = lots more bunts.
2007-11-05 05:24:07
6.   Mattpat11
1 I fear this. Roger Clemens is the man's mentor.
2007-11-05 06:03:12
7.   vockins
4 I'm sure he'll figure it out. He went to Northwestern! That's a fine university!

I think we should replace Tony Pena with Stephen Hawking because he is a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and he has Lou Gehrig's disease. Lou Gehrig was an incredible Yankee. The Yankees need that kind of Iron Horse spirit back in the clubhouse.

2007-11-05 06:48:24
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
7 what number would hawking wear? the golden ratio?
2007-11-05 06:51:58
9.   JeremyM
6 I hear you, but I don't think he consulted him before coming back last season- do you think Clemens would go for a deal like Andy did? I'm a Clemens fan, but he'd try to get the most money possible I think.
2007-11-05 07:04:54
10.   fordprefect
8 square root of -1?
2007-11-05 07:19:22
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
10 oooooohhh...

so... scott kazmir might be available via trade. the kid has 3 years left on his contract.

i wouldn't mind seeing him in pinstripes (depending on the asking price, of course).

2007-11-05 07:25:19
12.   RIYank
Hawking's uniform number:

Golden Ratio: it's irrational. Not a good image.
Square root of -1: There is no 'i' in 'team'.

I prefer Planck's constant. It's a minor problem that Planck's constant is not a pure number (it has units). But he could just wear an 'h' on his back.

2007-11-05 07:28:33
13.   Sky
Didn't Joe have a reputation as a manager who'd overuse his young pitchers? Or am I remembering things wrong?
2007-11-05 07:28:57
14.   yankz
Ugh, bunting.
2007-11-05 07:33:46
15.   ms october
14 maybe that's reason alone for me to back off my desire to get rid of giambi
2007-11-05 07:34:30
16.   RIYank
I dunno, we do have some bunting fans here at BB.

Or how about some varied bunting, just to keep the other team on their toes:

2007-11-05 07:38:30
17.   mehmattski
16 What about Reverend Bunting, who had all his clothes stolen by The Invisible Man?
2007-11-05 07:45:08
18.   Knuckles
11 The D-Rays never complete a trade because they overvalue every guy on their roster. The day is coming when they have 9 major league quality outfielders, Carlos Pena, and 2 starting pitchers...
2007-11-05 07:54:56
19.   jeterian swing
18 I believe that was a more pronounced issue under Chuck LaMar than it has been under Andrew Friedman, but even so the price is going to be prohibitive: Is it really worth it to us to trade Phil Hughes and one or two other top prospects for Kazmir? I can't see how.
2007-11-05 07:56:45
20.   joejoejoe
The '06 Marlins led the NL in strikeouts so maybe the bunting isn't so much about the bunting as the inability of the team to put the ball in play to make good things happen. The top 8 teams in sacrifice hits in the NL in '06 were Colorado 119, Houston 100, Cubs 84, San Fran. 80, Atlanta 78, Mets 77, Nationals 76, and Marlins 76 so it's not like Girardi bunted THAT much.
2007-11-05 07:56:57
21.   mehmattski
11 I think Kazmir may be the only player other than Albert Pujols I'd be willing to trade Phil Hughes for.
2007-11-05 08:16:49
22.   JL25and3
12 That is a completely awesome post. We are not worthy.

7 Not only that, but Lou Gehrig went to Columbia, which is a fine university!

2007-11-05 08:34:30
23.   ChrisS
Just because I got to looking:

Scott Kazmir,20yo, 6'0" 170lbs (minor league career):
283IP 3.83BB/9 11.17K/9 1.12whip

Pitcher X, 22yo, 6'0" 190lbs (minor league career):
149.5IP 3.13BB/9 9.9K/9 0.97whip

2007-11-05 08:41:27
24.   Knuckles
2007-11-05 08:43:39
25.   ChrisS

Yeah, two different pitching styles, really, and Kaz is a lefty (which is huge), but I think IPK will develop into a fine starter.

2007-11-05 08:46:07
26.   dianagramr

6.02 * 10^23 ... cause we need a good mole for information on the team.

2007-11-05 08:48:50
27.   weeping for brunnhilde
Yay! Let the bunting begin!

Who's our cleanup hitter now? Maybe we can wrangle Lofton back from Cleveland and let him bunt from the four-hole! Just imagine it.

It's a new day.

But seriously, folks, I am looking forward to this. I get frustrated by weird bunting as well, but I think it's important to bear in mind that the game situation should determine its use. If it makes sense to use it in the first inning with your cleanup hitter (e.g., you're anticipating a pitcher's duel, or your guy on the hill does much better with a lead than in a scoreless game, or your cleanup hitter's just not swinging the bat well anyway, etc.) then do it!

To me, weird moves like that show you're actually watching the game, feeling the situation, etc. IMO, better to err on the side of eccentricity than formula.

Better still not to err, but to do it juuusst right.

Should be fun.

2007-11-05 08:50:32
28.   weeping for brunnhilde
7 ha ha hah aha hah!
2007-11-05 08:51:46
29.   weeping for brunnhilde
16 Har har.

Get it? Bunting?


Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.



2007-11-05 08:54:21
30.   Simone
Arggh, the dreaded bunting. I hate freaking bunting! Jeter does it too much already as things stand.

Girardi sucks with pitch counts and young pitchers' arms. This is the main reason that the Marlins showed him the front door, that and cussing out his owner.

As for Girardi being a hardass with young pitchers, this is the Yankees, not the Marlins. These young pitchers came up through the Yankees' system so they know the deal and don't need Girardi or anyone else riding their butts.

I hope that Girardi has learned some hard lessons about pitch counts and not cussing out his owner or the media or this is going to be another ugly stop on his way to the manager scrap heap.

2007-11-05 09:02:58
31.   Bama Yankee
26 Nice. That would also help the team "chemistry"... ;-)

With all our retired numbers that Avogadro's number idea might actually come into use someday...

2007-11-05 09:04:36
32.   jeterian swing
23 The similarities are striking, but the two most obvious differences suggest the comparison is off: Age (Kaz was 20 when those stats were compiled; IPK was 22) and innings pitched (Kaz put up those numbers over 283 IP; IPK did it over 149 IP). Still, I agree with your overall assessment of IPK's prospects -- even though I wouldn't mind dealing him as part of a package for Johan or MCab or straight up for Edwin Encarnacion or Garrett Atkins (or someone of similar value).
2007-11-05 09:07:52
33.   monkeypants
27 "If it makes sense to use it in the first inning with your cleanup hitter (e.g., you're anticipating a pitcher's duel, or your guy on the hill does much better with a lead than in a scoreless game, or your cleanup hitter's just not swinging the bat well anyway, etc.) then do it!"

Well, it never makes sense to have your clean-up hitter bunt in the first inning. If Girardi were to order such a thing, then my head might explode. Which could be entertaining, I'll grant.

2007-11-05 09:10:30
34.   ChrisS
Actually, and this might be border-line blasphmey, if the Yankees can get Kazmir for less than what the Twins want for Johan (prospect-wise) then I would prefer Kaz first.

On the 3B front, I'm not sure I'd give up Damon's bat for Joe Crede's average one. But I could be persuaded since it would shed a bad contract for an guy with decent D and some pop, but not much else. In fact, he looks a little like a Brosius clone. He'd be nice to slot into end of the lineup while Cano moves up to 5th or 6th.

2007-11-05 09:19:34
35.   jeterian swing
34 I think the problem you're going to face is that the Rays are going to want the EXACT SAME package for Kaz that the Twins will get for Johan. In fact, Joel Sherman (who broke that "news") seemed to indicate as much:

"An executive familiar with Tampa's thinking said if the offers for Santana grow to a substantial level, then the Rays would test to see what they could get for Scott Kazmir. The thinking is that because Kazmir is three years from free agency as opposed to one year for Santana, he might bring nearly as much in return."

Erik Bedard will presumably be available for a similar package, but I can't imagine any of the three would be in the Yanks' price range (I wouldn't part with Joba and/or Hughes period).

I too am coming to terms with the thought of Crede at 3rd (assuming he's completely recovered from surgery) IF it means dumping the last two years of Damon's contract in the process. Great glove, better-than-average pop...his OBP is still atrocious, but the market at 3rd this year is terrible, so no matter which way we go, there are consequences. At least Crede provides minimal risk for the investment.

2007-11-05 09:21:44
36.   Cliff Corcoran
30 Girardi was actually very good about pitch counts with his starters. The issue, as Shaun P pointed out a while back, is that he didn't pay attention to cumulative innings totals between the major and minor leagues. That's actually good news because the Yankees as an organization can help control total innings by telling Girardi when he can or can't start someone, or by making roster moves, while the manager has nearly exclusive control over in-game pitch counts, which wasn't much of an issue anyway. The only things Girardi did wrong in terms of in-game abuse was the Josh Johnson rain-dealy thing, which he's taken enough heat over that he's unlikely to do it again, and by pushing Dontrelle Willis past 120 pitches a bit too much, but on the 2006 Marlins Willis was the veteran horse, even if he was only 24. That doesn't make it okay, but if Girardi needs to lean on one guy to go deep into games to save his bullpen every fifth day he has Chien-Ming Wang (who will be 28 this upcoming season) and hopefully Andy Pettitte.
2007-11-05 09:35:52
37.   williamnyy23
21 I don't know. Kazmir's size and inability to avoid high pitch counts worries me. When you consider the service time, I am not sure a deal of Hughes for Kazmir is a slam dunk. Then again, he is left handed and has proven he can beat the Red Sox. I don't's interesting, but not a no brainer, IMHO.
2007-11-05 09:53:55
38.   Bama Yankee
33 Is it even possible for your cleanup hitter to face a bunting situation in the first inning of a scoreless game?

I do agree with Weeping, that in an anticipated pitchers duel (especially in the postseason) that I wouldn't mind seeing Abreu drop one down with men on 1st & 2nd and no outs (especially against a tough lefty). Maybe he beats it out. People talk about "giving up an out" on the bunt. That 3b-man still has to make a play against a fast runner. It's not always a "gift" out, IMO.

I realize that the small-ball debate is probably a dead horse and certainly not a very popular style around here (it seems like Weeping and I are kinda the Lone Rangers on the pro-bunting side) so I'll let it go. Like Weeping said in post 27 (nice number), I'm looking forward to watching what Girardi brings to the table... it should be fun to watch. Could we actually get to see more than one squeeze play per decade?

2007-11-05 09:57:33
39.   RIYank
38 For the record, I'm an anti-bunting type, but I believe the decision to have Abreu bunt with men on 1&2 with nobody out in a scoreless game in the early innings with two VG starters is a very close call.
And in general, unless a manager is really bunt-crazy, I bet the total difference in Win Expectancy for all the unusual decisions he makes in an entire season would amount to less than a single win. So none of this bothers me too much.
2007-11-05 09:58:11
40.   Simone
36 I don't buy those excuses for Girardi's bad judgment with the Marlins' young pitchers. I also don't buy that Girardi is not going to notice that Kennedy, Joba and Hughes are pitching on the mound and only see Wang and Andy. There are real issues with Girardi's management of pitch counts of young pitchers which cannot be excused away. I just hope that he has learnt his lesson and doesn't repeat his past mistakes or things will get real ugly, real fast.
2007-11-05 10:06:49
41.   weeping for brunnhilde
33 :)

If Randy Johnson in his prime were facing the Yanks in the Serious and we had Clemens on the mound, and our cleanup hitter had some holes in his swing and was kind of banged up, and someone's standing on second base with zero outs, and...wait, maybe you're right, maybe it doesn't mathematically work in the first inning.

Ok, but in the fourth, let's say.

Still and all, I'd love to watch your head explode, mp. Worth the price of admission.


2007-11-05 10:08:04
42.   weeping for brunnhilde
38 Evidently, as I walk myself through such a scenario 41 , it is not.


2007-11-05 10:19:12
43.   monkeypants
41 If he's banged up and has holes in his swing, maybe he shouldn't be batting cleanup?

If it happened in the fourth, my head probably would explode, but I might let out a loud groan or wave my arms about wildly. Still pretty funny.

2007-11-05 10:31:07
44.   Cliff Corcoran
40 "There are real issues with Girardi's management of pitch counts of young pitchers which cannot be excused away."

No, I'm telling you there are not. You can look it up. Other that Willis, no other Marlins starter threw as many as 120 pitches in a single start in 2006.

2007-11-05 10:35:49
45.   OldYanksFan
If you are talking about the 'bunt', don't you need to examine said batters ability to bunt? Mantle was an excellent bunter, expecially the drag bunt. He usually had the 1st and 2nd basemen deep, so a drag bunt past the pitcher had a good chance to be a hit, even with less then decent baserunner speed.

This would also be a good 'sac bunt' for someone like Abreu, no? It should almost always work as a sac and maybe be a hit.

Problem is our guys can't bunt. SOMETIMES then can get a sac bunt down, but as they have little control over placement, it's rarely gonna be a hit.

If our lefties could learn to drag bunt, the increase possibility of both a sac bunt and a possible hit might make that a reasonable play, no? Do I make any sense?

2007-11-05 10:39:37
46.   mehmattski
Of course, as I researched a while ago, Girardi was actually less likely to use his closer in a tie game on the road than was Joe Torre. Most people explained that away by saying that Joe Borowski is not Mariano Rivera- but if we're praising Girardi's bullpen tactics, it's a key piece of info:

(I'm not really trying to pimp my blog, since I never update it anymore... it's just in case anyone wanted to see the evidence)

2007-11-05 10:45:37
47.   cult of basebaal
44 c'mon cliff, surely you know the plural of baseless anecdotes is data, right?
2007-11-05 10:45:38
48.   ChrisS
46 I wouldn't use Borowski.

Girardi has one year of managerial data to look at, but I think that also speaks to his ability to be flexible about bullpen roles vis-a-vis situations.

44 Some people are convinced that Girardi is the devil and will not let it go.

35 Ah, yeah, that stinks. But I would almost prefer Kazmir at this point. He's either going to be phenomenal next year or he could suffer arm trouble (he had over 200ip this year for the first time, it'll be interesting to see how he responds).

2007-11-05 11:50:07
49.   Knuckles
From BP's weekly quotes article. Boldness is mine...

"The track record speaks for itself. I hope he gets us back to the playoffs. This speaks volumes about what the team is willing to do to win. I talked to Scott Proctor today. He said to be ready to pitch a lot. He likes to use the bullpen. That's fine with me."
--Derek Lowe, Dodgers pitcher (Ken Gurnick,

2007-11-05 12:08:14
50.   Bama Yankee
49 Yeah, the guys over at Dodger Thoughts need to get used to the following phrase:
"A starter, then Proctor and pray for a good doctor"
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-05 12:13:03
51.   Yankee Fan In Boston
49 priceless.
2007-11-05 12:24:57
52.   rbj
50 Any truth to the rumors that Proctor's arm has gone into the witness protection program, or that it's fled to Canada and applied for asylum?
2007-11-05 12:42:55
53.   jamesej
--His entire staff is college guys save Tony Peña, which shows a preference for smart coaches.--

As a college graduate I can safely say that your 'college = smart' theory is sketchy and simplistic at best. A college graduate may simply be book smart, may be a product of better opportunities, or he might indeed be "smart". He also may be an idiot. And some of the most intelligent people I've ever met never stepped into a college class room.

2007-11-05 12:55:39
54.   Bama Yankee
52 Scott Proctor addressed reporters after the Torre press conference:

Proctor: "I only regret that I have but one arm to give to Joe Torre"

Torre: "But Scottie, you've got two arms"

Proctor: "Oh crap!"

2007-11-05 12:55:46
55.   YankeeInMichigan
Just saw this in Rich Lederer's review of this year's Bill James Handbook on

"The author proceeds to ask if Derek Jeter (-90) is the worst defender? 'Well, Jeter's poor numbers do not have a caveat like Manny's do. There are no significant park effects clouding his stats. The numbers suggest that Jeter has hurt his team defensively as much or more than any other player in baseball. Having said that, you can still make a good case for Jeter being the best shortstop in the game. Given all that he brings to the team – hitting, baserunning, leadership, overall baseball savvy (including as a defender) – nearly every baseball general manager would prefer Jeter over almost any other shortstop. But, defensively, he's not the best. Do I personally think he's the worst defensive shortstop in baseball? No, but he's far from deserving to be a guy who will probably win his fourth Gold Glove in as many years. He's a below-average defender who should never have received a Gold Glove in the first place.'"

2007-11-05 13:03:05
56.   yankz
"Do I personally think he's the worst defensive shortstop in baseball? No, but he's far from deserving to be a guy who will probably win his fourth Gold Glove in as many years. He's a below-average defender who should never have received a Gold Glove in the first place.'"

I can live with that.

2007-11-05 13:16:17
57.   OldYanksFan
Derek Jeter (-90)
Is there an approximate in what this means in runs given away? A solo HR generates 1 run. We are pretty sure of that. But 1 error or 'missed play' can lead to multiple runs. Maybe be need a stat like RAE (runs allowed by errors). I'd kinda like to know what Jetes glove is costing us.

"Do I personally think he's the worst defensive shortstop in baseball? No."
Oh? OK. Name 3 who are worse and why.

This -90 is based on what stat(s)?
Is throwing part of this?
Jetes has a plus arm, but has he been making a LOT of poor routine throws in the last few years?

2007-11-05 13:24:56
58.   JL25and3
55 In most years, I'd agree with that assessment. This year he may well have been the worst fielding shortstop in the league.
2007-11-05 13:27:32
59.   Jake Luft
A better way to look at the bunting thing is to break it down by pitcher and non-pitcher bunts. Here are those same 2006 NL leaders cited in reply No. 20 above in terms of non-pitchers sacrifice hits:

2006 NL Bunting Leaders
Rockies: 63 nonpitchers (56 pitchers)
Astros: 45 nonpitchers (55 pitchers)
Marlins: 40 nonpitchers (36 pitchers)
Mets: 38 nonpitchers (39 pitchers)
Nationals: 38 nonpitchers (38 pitchers)
Giants: 35 nonpitchers (55 pitchers)
Braves: 25 nonpitchers (53 pitchers)

On the Marlins, Dan Uggla (7) and Wes Helms (6) bunted way too much considering the type of years they had and the type of players they are. Hanley bunted 5 times but at least he's fast and maybe can beat out the play at first.

Not sure what the Rockies were thinking bunting that much at Coors. Nobody said Hurdle was a genius.

On the Astros, Everett and Ausmus combined to bunt 19 times. I'd have them bunt every chance possible too since they can't hit a lick.

Also, Braves pitchers have always known how to bunt under Bobby Cox -- Smoltz and Hudson combined for 32 successful sac bunts.

2007-11-05 13:28:55
60.   51cq24
57 if a ss makes an error with 2 outs and the pitcher proceeds to give up 4 runs, why should it be any different than if the pitcher gets the next guy out? it won't predict anything any more, and it doesn't tell us anything more about what the ss does defensively. not that i don't think it can be a stat, but i don't think it would tell us anything about jeter.
2007-11-05 13:34:11
61.   Comrade Al
Scott Rolen is said to be "open to waiving his no-trade clause". Do we care?
2007-11-05 13:35:23
62.   rbj
The worst defensive shortstops get moved in the minor leagues or they get released and never make the majors. Being the worst defensive SS at the major league level is still a pretty good SS.

Any reason why Derek wasn't moved in the minors? IIRC, his first year in A ball he made about 50+ errors, why didn't someone in charge of the minors suggest that the Yankees move him to OF or second or first?

2007-11-05 13:38:44
63.   Shaun P
61 It depends. Would Scott Rolen's right shoulder, on seeing Scott Proctor's right shoulder, shout out: MY LONG LOST COUSIN! and break down in tears?

If so, than I think the Yanks best pass on Rolen.

But IF Rolen is healthy - a huge IF - I say hell yes. He's a righty, he's a "big bat", he's a great defender, and if the Yanks are willing to eat all his remaining salary ($36M over 3 years), the Cards might not ask for much in return. Clippard and, say, Karstens maybe?

(It will also destroy any chance Boras has at using the Yanks to leverage a better deal for A-Rod - not that that should matter. But it'd be sweet anyway.)

2007-11-05 13:41:25
64.   Comrade Al
63 But it would prevent Boras from using the Yankees to raise the price for other teams.
2007-11-05 13:41:50
65.   Shaun P
62 The obvious place to move him would have been CF, but Bernie was just coming into his own, and I think even back then it was assumed his bat was so special, it would more than make up for his glove.
2007-11-05 13:44:44
66.   RIYank
So, is there serious talk about trading Damon for Crede?
2007-11-05 13:52:11
67.   OldYanksFan
60 Well... we track UnEarned runs.
This would be unearned runs attributable to Player X.
I guess I'd just like to know how many runs Jeters arm/glove are giving away. Wr have Runs Created for Offense. I guess I'm looking for Runs Givenaway for Defense.
2007-11-05 13:55:11
68.   ms october
62 Here are a few lines from Joel Sherman's book:

"It [his defense] was so unsightly that some sentiment grew within the organization to shift Jeter to center field."

Word for word from Sherman: Clete Boyer, then a Yankee coach who would later become part of the anti-Buck Showalter faction and the leave organization angrily says, "I don't care what they say now, I am telling you the goddamn truth, every person who had some power said Jeter should be moved to center field."

Sherman then goes onto to say that Stick thought he would get better and be able to stay at ss. And the work he did with Briab Butterfield when his wrist was hurt was a big part of him staying at ss.

66 I think the deal was mentioned by a beat writer in Chicago and it has gained traction from there. Not so sure about it myself.

Supposedly the Marlins want to trade Cabrera within the month.

2007-11-05 13:56:25
69.   ms october
* 68 - sorry, should get people's names correct - brian butterfield
2007-11-05 13:58:40
70.   YankeeInMichigan
57 From David Gassko's review of The Fielding Bible (March 10, 2006) on The Hardball Times (

"For each year, Dewan finds the probability of fielding a ball based on where it went (distance, direction), the batted ball type (fly ball, line drive, etc.), and whether the ball was hit hard, medium, or soft. So if on a hard ground ball to Vector 17, the shortstop only has a 10% chance of making a play, and he does, then he is credit with 1 -.1 = .9 plays above average. If he does not make the play, he is credited with 0 - .1 = -.1 plays above average. Dewan runs this analysis on every ball put into play in each of the past three seasons, and adds up the results for every player in the major leagues. The resulting rating is the player's plus/minus."

I presume that fielding a ball means converting the play into an out, in which case throwing is considered.

Later on in the review, Dewan writes:

"On the other hand, such unawareness (or disregard) of fielding analysis leads to some errors in the book. For example, both Dewan and James state that every 'extra' play made is worth around half-a-run. That's just not true: In fact, an extra play is worth around three-quarters of a run. (See an explanation for why at the end of this review.) Now this may not be too big a deal, but it will cause casual baseball fans who are seeing a play-by-play fielding system for the first time to underestimate the true impact of defense."

In the "explanation at the end of the review," he actually derives that a fielding play corresponds to .78 runs (just over three-fourths). So a -90 score would correspond to yielding 70 extra runs. Using the rough 10 runs/game correlation, Jeter's defense cost the Yankees 7 games.

2007-11-05 14:06:01
71.   YankeeInMichigan
70 The derivation .78 ratio seems to regard all "missed plays" and "made plays" equally. Certainly a missed play by a shortstop will have less of an effect than a missed play by a center fielder. I would guess that, for a shortstop, no more than half of missed plays would turn into runs. Still, Jeter's defense could have cost 4-5 wins.
2007-11-05 14:06:59
72.   Shaun P
66 68 Gosh I hope not. Crede would be the LHP-hitting part of a platoon with Betemit, correct? His career numbers vs LHP aren't exactly inspiring: .273/.330/.460 (685 ABs).

I'd much rather see these numbers vs LHP as part of a platoon: .284/.406/.530 (560 ABs).

Or even these: .254/.342/.481 (792 ABs), because this guy can play a little 1B and the corner OFs too.

Or even this guy: .280/.354/.494 (629 ABs).

2007-11-05 14:11:08
73.   Shaun P
71 By VORP at least, Jeter was worth a little over 5 wins this year (53.5 VORP, at 10 runs/win, is 5.35 wins), so it might have evened out.

FWIW, and again this depends on what you think of Clay Davenport's fielding numbers, but WARP1 has Jeter at 6.1 wins above replacement; the fielding component is 16 FRAR/-6 FRAA, which would be the 3rd best season of his career.

2007-11-05 14:14:00
74.   RIYank
71 Well, maybe no more than half would turn into runs, but some of those would turn into more than one run. Also, some SS errors cost two outs -- essentially no CF mistakes cost two outs. So the expected runs given away by a muffed play could be that high for a SS.
I would have guessed lower. But Gassko actually checked, and we should probably believe him!
2007-11-05 14:15:16
75.   RIYank
Okay, Shaun 72 , who are those guys?
2007-11-05 14:18:26
76.   ms october
72 In addition to the fact that his numbers are paltry - his coming off back surgery scares me quite a bit. I do think the Yanks need a few defensive upgrades, but I don't see Crede being the answer.
And then Matsui is sure to be in lf the bulk of the time barring other trades or signings.
2007-11-05 14:22:50
77.   yankz
If you believe BP's Rate, Crede has been excellent the past 3 years: 111, 117, 124.

Compared to Arod: 97, 88, 101.

2007-11-05 14:24:06
78.   Shaun P
75 OK, in order:

Morgan Ensberg

Casey Blake (who could be non-tendered by the Indians)

and (I still don't believe this) Ty Wigginton

2007-11-05 14:30:25
79.   ms october
77 Yeah - his defense has been very good - but back injuries can be so tricky - so who knows, but his defense (as well as his hitting) could fall off.
2007-11-05 14:46:45
80.   weeping for brunnhilde
45 Yes. Some guys can't bunt. An inexcusable fact of life. How one can earn millions of dollars playing professional baseball and yet be so fundamentally inept is beyond me. Literally, I don't understand what goes on in the minors if not fundamentals.

But Girardi, if he's the taskmaster he's reputed to be, could simply stress fundamentals in spring training. Embarrass your big stars who feel fundamentals are beneath them. Laying down a bunt isn't a mysterious gift, it can be taught if only the player has the humility to learn.

2007-11-05 14:52:10
81.   ChrisS
68 Buster Olney reported on it as well. It can mean a couple of things, but what Buster wrote was accurate, the Yankees have one too many OFers. Shedding Damon gets rid of poor contract and taking on Crede gets the Yanks a good defensive 3B (if he comes back from surgery OK) with some pop and lets them keep their big 3 pitching prospects. He ain't A-Rod by a long shot with the bat, but he's decent stop-gap that solves some other problems.
2007-11-05 14:57:25
82.   ChrisS
81 Of course Pete Abe just said that trading Damon for Crede would be lunacy. The only reason being that Crede is coming off back surgery. That kind of statement tends to grate on me, especially from a journalist.

Trading Joba & Hughes for Crede is lunacy. Trading your overpaid 4th OFer to fill a key defensive position is not lunacy, risky maybe, irrational and insane it is not.

2007-11-05 14:58:58
83.   rbj
68 Thanks for the info. And while Derek might have been blocked at CF by Bernie, and RF by Paul O'Neil, he'd probably have beaten out any of the rotating LF'ers.
2007-11-05 15:14:10
84.   Bama Yankee
82 Especially since Damon has not exactly been the picture of health himself...

I'm not too sure what to think about Crede, but our old buddy Hawk Harrelson seems to like him:

"I'm gonna tell you somethin right now, and mind you, many folks wont agree with this, but I'll take Joe Crede over anybody right now. I'm talking A-rod, Rolen, anybody."

2007-11-05 16:00:54
85.   51cq24
the baseball world cup starts tomorrow in taiwan. i'm assuming that youlieski gourriel will be playing for cuba, since he's their best player. i wonder if he knows that now would be a great time to defect if he wants big bucks from the yankees. i wonder if they have people there to somehow let him know.
2007-11-05 16:16:47
86.   Schteeve
Crede is a slick defensive 3B, with a .305 career OBP. In other words he's like the 3B version of JT Snow or Doug-out. Pass.
2007-11-05 16:22:28
87.   Schteeve
81 .305 career OBP. .3 - 0 - 5. That is VERY VERY BAD. He's never OPBd higher than .333. He's coming off back surgery.

In 2006 when he hit 30 home runs his EQA was .276. If you hit 30 HR and only have an EQA of .276 you have problems. Namely, you make outs like it was your job.

Again, pass on Crede.

2007-11-05 17:03:25
88.   yankz
Via Pete, Cash says he has a "good hunch" on Pettitte. Hooray!
2007-11-05 17:39:55
89.   Simone
ESPNews is reporting that Andy declined the option. Damn, when it rains it freaking pours!
2007-11-05 17:41:05
90.   Simone
I guess, Andy can still decide to play, but why does everything have to be so difficult.
2007-11-05 17:50:48
91.   monkeypants
Yeah this one could sting, but I guess we can look at it this way: Andy would have been gone after next year, as will Mussina and Giambi. Next season is looking more and more like a real transition (and maybe even a write off). If that's it, so be it--let's hope the team begins really strategizing for 2009.
2007-11-05 17:57:18
92.   Zack
Guys, don't panic, its just Pettitte wanting more time:
"I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season," Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.

"If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time."

2007-11-05 17:59:05
93.   tommyl
92 But that means that signing Mo, Posada and Pettite are our three type A free agents, no? Or is there some rule that if a player resigns with the same team it doesn't count against the total?
2007-11-05 18:05:10
94.   Shaun P
92 I agree, but I think what Pettitte is really doing is all about leverage.

The free agent pitching market is very thin. He's probably the best available pitcher. So Andy waits until January, and sees what Schilling and Silva and the rest get. That tells him whether he asks for the $16M he was going to get anyway, or a bit more. The Yanks will of course say yes.

I'm not worried, because the Yanks have made it very clear they want him back, and Andy has reciprocated that. No big deal.

2007-11-05 18:05:45
95.   Shaun P
93 I think JL debunked that theory the other day.
2007-11-05 18:08:44
96.   OldYanksFan
94 You think Andy is doing this to maybe get an extra million or 2? Doesn't sound like his style. Sounds like he's done. Lets hope this doesn't effect Mo or Po.
2007-11-05 18:12:58
97.   monkeypants
96 FWIW, the payroll right now is around $60 million less than last year. I know--who cares if they spend money or not. But if next season is to be a transition year, it would be oddly nice if their salaries were not 50% higher then the next most free-spending club.
2007-11-05 18:13:44
98.   JeremyM
96 Or maybe he's waiting to ensure they resign Posada and Mariano? Man, Cashman better move fast on those two, I honestly will never forgive him if they lose those guys and don't quite get why at least Mariano wasn't extended in the spring. I'm sorry, but there are some guys worth overpaying for- do it!
2007-11-05 18:15:44
99.   monkeypants
98 The Yankees never extend in the spring. One could argue that waiting was the correct thing, since Mo had an off year (though his peripherals were not as bad as his ERA).
2007-11-05 18:16:39
100.   JeremyM
99 I think by letting them hit the open market, they'll still overpay.

Didn't they extend Jeter in the spring? Or am I crazy?

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-05 18:18:02
101.   JeremyM
100 Ugh, that response was poorly worded. I guess I'm saying one could argue it was incorrect, since they're going to overpay. Or something.
2007-11-05 18:18:23
102.   Zack
Between Pete's comment about Cash's smile and the roster spot bit and Andy's loyalty, i am 100% confident this is purely Pettitte just taking his time, thinking things over. It doesn't change my complete confidence in him returning at all...
2007-11-05 18:19:56
103.   monkeypants
100 Hmmm...I can't remember with Jeter. You might be right.

As for "letting them hit the open market"--you're assuming the team was planning to resign them regardless. They didn't extend them in teh spring because they wanted the option of NOT resigning aging players if they began a steep decline. They calculated that a closer and catcher both on the wron side of 35 were too great a risk to extend without looking at their last season first, and I for one can't complain too much about that assessment.

2007-11-05 18:25:25
104.   monkeypants
100 Re: Jeter's contract.

There was something weird about his contract extension, if I recall. Didn't they NOT extend his contract, then A-Rod signed the big chalupa deal, and the Yankees moved quickly to extend Jeter (and ended up paying much more than originally planned because A-Rod's deal inflated the market)?

2007-11-05 18:28:58
105.   tommyl
95 Care to share the debunking with me? I've been away.
2007-11-05 18:29:13
106.   JeremyM
104 That all sounds right, I know Steinbrenner was pissed. See, they should live and learn, some guys I think you just extend when you're the Yankees:)
2007-11-05 18:33:40
107.   monkeypants
106 Of course, extending a 26 y.o. star is a little different than extending a 35 y.o.
2007-11-05 18:35:37
108.   OldYanksFan
104 IIRC that's correct. I believe they offered Jetes around $12m and he wanted a bit more. Then ARod got $25, and they jumped quickly at Jeter for $17. I wonder if Jeter ever thanked ARod :-)

102 I'm not sure why you are optimistic. If Andy wanted back, he'd be back. Leaving is harder, because I'm sure he didn't want to disappoint the team. Now that he's announced, my guess is he's relieved. Maybe he'll have a last minute change of heart, but it seems unlikely.

97 If you get lemons, eh?

2007-11-05 18:43:13
109.   JeremyM
108 I think you're being overly negative on Andy, but we'll see. He hadn't even decided on pitching again until like December last season. I think he'll be back. And no, I don't think Jeter did thank him:)
2007-11-05 18:44:04
110.   RIYank
Check out this Baseball Musings posting:

According to Pinto's model, Chien-Ming Wang had the best defensive support of any pitcher in baseball. (The percentage of his balls in play that were turned into outs was 1.08 times the predicted percentage. Pinto predicts the percentage based on the difficulty of the balls in play, factoring in direction, GB/Line/Fly type, and speed.)

There's a chart further down the page that shows the percentage of balls fielded broken down by 'vector', meaning direction. It's extremely counterintuitive. The balls hit just on the SS side of second base are fielded much more often that predicted! (See vectors 34 and 35.) Small sample size???

2007-11-05 18:45:10
111.   mehmattski
105 I dug around in the 2007-2011 CBA and found:

"Notwithstanding the foregoing, the free agent and his former Club may engage in negotiations and enter into a contract during said period. Should they enter into a contract during said period, the Club shall be deemed not to have signed a free agent for purposes of paragraph (5) of this Section B."

This "period," defined in the previous section, is 15 days from the conclusion of the World Series. So then the Yankees have until November 12 to sign Pettitte, as well as Mo and Po, before paragraph 5 is activated:

"Clubs shall be limited in the number of Type A and B Players, as defined below, they may subsequently sign to contracts. The number of signings permitted shall be related to the number of Players electing free agency under this Section B.... If there are from 39 to 62 such Players, no Club may sign more than three Type A or B Players."

This paragraph goes on to mention that if a team has more than three A and B free agents, it may sign as many as it loses.

What I am unclear about is how this relates to arbitration- if November 12 passes without the three of them signed, they all supposedly count towards the quota. But, if any of them accept arbitration, do they no longer count?

2007-11-05 18:47:00
112.   monkeypants
108 "If you get lemons, eh?"

Maybe. I just see next year as a transition one way or anaother--whether they squeeze out more or fewer wins. If it must be an off year then at least the payroll will be lower, so we don't have to hear about it as much. Then...I'm drooling about the possibilities for 2009, with a loaded war chest, aging duds jettisoned, and (hopefully) the young guns rounding into form.

2007-11-05 18:49:18
113.   tommyl
111 But do they count as one of the "lost" ones?
2007-11-05 18:53:59
114.   mehmattski
113 I would guess if a player re-signs with his former team via arbitration (or any other way), he doesn't count as "lost." The "sign as many as you lost" rule would only apply to the Yankees this year if A-Rod, Pettitte, Rivera, Posada, and Vizcaino (type B) all signed elsewhere. Since Pettitte said he's not signing elsewhere, that leaves a maximum of four type A/B free agents the Yankees can sign, and only if all four of those guys don't sign with the Yankees. If one of them does sign, hes not lost, and so the Yankees' quota is three.

(No more, no less. Three is the number of free agents, and the number of free agents is three. Four thou shalt not sign, nor shalt thou sign two, excepting as thou proceedeth to three. Five is right out...)

2007-11-05 18:55:02
115.   Shaun P
105 Aw shoot. I was afraid you'd say that, and I was hoping JL would chime in. =)

OK, I dug through the archives, and here it is:

It started like this:

"23. mehmattski
Great stuff Cliff- maybe my 1991 Fleer Dave Eiland rookie card will spike in value!

Over on The Hardball Times, a great article today about a Yankees' off-season plan:

I don't agree with the lot of it (trading the farm- minus JobaHughesKennedy- for Johan Santana, Richie Sexon, and Jack Wilson), but there is a really interesting point I did not know:

"If 39-62 players qualify as Type A and B free agents, no team may sign more than three, with the limits increasing accordingly for higher totals."

So if the Yankees re-sign Posada and Rivera, they can only sign one more type A or type B free agent. That means if both come back, the Yanks can only sign ONE of A. Jones/Lowell/Bonds/Colon/Rowand/Hunter/etc."

And continued:

"39. mehmattski
30 I've never heard that rule before today, but see:

Under "Limits on Free Agent Signings"

"47. mehmattski
I dug some more to find the real rule, from the 2007-2011 CBA, and also find this paragraph:

"Irrespective of the provisions of subparagraph (a) above, a Club shall be eligible to sign at least as many Type A and B Players as it may have lost through Players having become free agents under this Section at the close of the season just concluded"

Worst case, the Yankees lose: A-Rod (A), Posada (A), Rivera (A), Vizcaino (B), and possibly Abreu (A). That means they could sign five if they wanted to. But if they re-sign Posada and Rivera and pick up Abreu's option, then they can sign only one more A or B free agent. If only one of Posada and Rivera, then the Yanks could sign 2 A or B free agents."

And JL responded with this:

"147. JL25and3
47 I think THT and Cot's got the rule wrong. Here's the CBA language:

"Clubs shall be limited in the number of Type A and B players...they may subesequently sign to contracts. The number of signings permitted shall be related to the number of Players electing free agency under this Section B. If there are 14 or less such players..." etc.

So the limits aren't determined by the number of Type A and B free agents but the total number of free agents on the market.

There are also two loopholes. One is the one you mention - if they let Rodriguez, Minky, Molina and Villone walk, they can sign a fourth. Also, if they offer arbitration and the player accepts, that doesn't count against the limit. So, theoretically, they could work out a deal whereby they offer Posada arbitration and he accepts; then, before the hearing, they miraculously reach agreement on a deal to avoid the hearing."

Full thread is here:

2007-11-05 19:03:31
116.   Nick from Washington Heights
I don't understand the significance of the open roster spot. This is the official reason given for Andy declining the option but it seems like b.s. to me. If Andy was undecided about returning next year, he could still pick up the option, let the Yanks know that he's still mulling the decision, and then when the time came, he could just retire. The Yanks wouldn't have to pay anything. As it stands, the open roster spot means nothing to the Yanks until Andy tells them otherwise. The main reason to decline the option is renegotiate his contract for more money and security. Declining the option does not signify that he's not committed to returning to the Yanks. He could have picked up the option and still not be committed to returning.

I'm probably wrong here but I'm not sure why.

2007-11-05 19:09:18
117.   mehmattski
115 Excellent copy-pasting. I unfortunately wasn't able to respond to JL, but my further digging here brought up another loophole, seen above.

Further, I don't think THT and Cot's were too off- since there are way more than 62 players listed as Type A and B free agents, they probably did a best guess as to how many would actually file for free agency (versus retirement or quick re-signing with their teams). I think that the correct number will indeed fall in the 39-62 range that activates the three-type-A/B quota.

Also, JL does not appear to be correct in saying that the Yankees can have a larger quota by not signing Molina, Minky, and Villone, since none of them are Type A or B. Only A-Rod, Pettitte, Posada, Rivera, and Viz count.

Anyway, if I'm interpreting this right, and Hendricks feels good about negotiating a new deal within 24 hours (or at least before Sunday), then Pettitte will not count towards the quota.

2007-11-05 19:12:19
118.   JL25and3
115 I was wrong about Minky, Molina and Villone. That exception only applies to A and B free agents.

The arbitration exception does apply. If one of their own FAs agrees to arbitration he doesn't count against the quota - even if they sign him to a multi-year deal the next day.

I don't know if re-signing your own FAs - after they've declared free agency - counts against the quota. I can't parse the language quite that well.

But, most important, there won't be a quota of three. The quota depends on the total number of free agents - not just A and B FAs, but all of them. There will easily be more than 62.

2007-11-05 19:13:06
119.   OldYanksFan
Right now, Barry Bonds looks awful good to me.
2007-11-05 19:13:07
120.   weeping for brunnhilde
84 Ha ha ah ahah ah ah!
2007-11-05 19:18:54
121.   weeping for brunnhilde
If Andy again walks away from us, especially in this of all years, I just might never stop crying.

I remember that cold fucking Iowa day when I discovered Andy had signed with Houston. I was stunned and demoralized.

Let it not happen again, please God, not this year. Have mercy on my constitution.

2007-11-05 19:19:45
122.   weeping for brunnhilde
119 Nooooooooo!

Although, he can hit a baseball...

2007-11-05 19:21:24
123.   monkeypants
121 Wow. What are you going to do after next year when he retires, even if he does come back?
2007-11-05 19:25:57
124.   mehmattski
122 Ah, but can he bunt?
2007-11-05 19:29:01
125.   Chyll Will
116 Nah, Nick, at least I don't think you're wrong (for whatever good that is>;)

Given the actual state of the team at the moment, it certainly gives Andy more flexibility about deciding his future, and it allows the Yankees (or rather puts the onus on them) to be flexible as well.

You COULD look at it either way as previously stated, or you could also look at it as a way for both sides to be financially creative.

I see it as a way for Andy to objectively observe the off-season moves and decide whether those moves are motivating enough to pitch another season (or two?) and the Yankees to decide in what tact they'd like to take for 2008 (rebuild, reload, stay the course) not to mention see how bringing back Mo and Jorge plays out (if either of them go, I don't see Andy coming back either)... this is a smart move on his part from a business standpoint.

If he likes what he sees and decides to stay, he'll at least get what he was going to get before. At any rate, Andy's making the decisions, which any player of his stature would love to be able to do at this point in his career.

Again, I think his final decision hinges on Cash's off-season moves, particularly with Mo and Jorge.

early call time tomorrow, Yankz; g'nite, Zzzzz...

2007-11-05 19:31:10
126.   Chyll Will
119 zzzZZ Why, what do you think he's taking now? Zzzzz...
2007-11-05 19:32:30
127.   JL25and3
116 It enables them to hold on to Bronson Kiheimahanaomauiakeo Sardinha.
2007-11-05 19:32:51
128.   mehmattski
118 Cool, I read it a bit wrong, about all free agents count towards the number... so the quota will likely be four or five. I also missed paragraph 3, which stipulates what you mentioned, that players signed via arbitration don't count towards the quota. So even if A-Rod re-signs with the Yankees (HA!) via arbitration, he doesn't count.

And according to what I've now read, re-signing your own free agents without arbitration does mean they count towards the quota.

2007-11-05 19:47:08
129.   tommyl
128 So lets say they bring back MoPoPet. That's three A's right there. Doesn't that mean they can't sign another A this year? So no Bonds, no A-Rod (not that that's happening anyway), no Lowell, etc.?
2007-11-05 19:51:34
130.   JL25and3
129 See 118 above. There isn't going to be a limit of three.
2007-11-05 19:58:18
131.   OldYanksFan
130 If 129 happens, is there any limit to the number of A/B FAs we can get?
2007-11-05 20:01:10
132.   tommyl
130 Remembering why I didn't go to law school...
2007-11-05 20:17:20
133.   mehmattski
131 It will depend on how and when MoPoPet sign. If it's before Noveber 12, they don't count. If it's after they've accepted salary arbitration, they don't count.

But if they sign the old-fashioned (since 1977) way, by negotiating with may teams and then signing wit the Yankees in like January or whatever, then they do count. As JL has pointed out, the limit is likely to be four or five given the number likely to file for free agency.

We're guaranteed to be able to sign at least as many A/B free agents as we lose, no matter the quota. Since we picked up Abreu's option, the most we can lose is five.

2007-11-05 20:29:12
134.   tommyl
133 Abreu doesn't count against the total, does he?

Can I just say how impressed I am with everyone here. We're discussing the intricacies of Type A free agent signings in regards to the current CBA. I'm sure fans on other sites are still saying we should trade Melky Cabrera for Miguel Cabrera straight up.

2007-11-05 20:35:29
135.   mehmattski
134 No, he doesn't count.

What, not every fan has a printed, bound, and laminated copy of the 2007-2011 CBA ready to whip it out at parties?

2007-11-05 20:54:52
136.   tommyl
135 BTW, this is one data point, but I'm currently in Toronto for work and I met some guys in the hotel bar and they knew baseball. I mean, I was having a discussion about the post 2003-era ERA+ of the Yankees starters and the guy knew about the kids on the Dodgers. And he's a Twins fan. I was really impressed.
2007-11-05 21:05:03
137.   JL25and3
135 I do have a copy saved in My Documents. In fact, I still have a copy of the old CBA there as well.

134 Are you kidding me? Melky for Cabrera straight up? Melky's got a great arm, and lots of enthusiasm. Besides, we don't need a superstar at every position - what about Scott Brosius?

2007-11-05 21:08:23
138.   OldYanksFan
This Bill James article on Jetes is pretty deadly.
Defense is pretty hard to measure, but this video method is pretty sharp. The article also included ZR and other stats.
Some highlights:
"One of their conclusions was that Derek Jeter was probably the least effective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position." (bold mine)

"That being said, watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease."

"Jeter, in 40 plays, had maybe three plays in which he threw with his feet set. Everett set his feet with almost unbelievable quickness and reliability, and threw off of his back foot on almost every play"

"Many or most of the good plays made by Jeter were plays made in the infield grass, slow rollers that could easily have died in the infield, but plays on which Jeter, playing shallow and charging the ball aggressively, was able to get the man at first."

"What I am saying is this: that watching that video, it was very, very easy to believe that, if Adam Everett was on one end of a spectrum of shortstops, Derek Jeter was going to be on the other end of it. "

"I will be absolutely astonished if there is any other shortstop in major league history whose Relative Range Factors are anywhere near as bad as Jeter's. I'll be amazed."

"While virtually no other recognizable name at shortstop had had even one season in which his team had 40 fewer assists by shortstops than expected, Jeter had season after season after season in that category."

"In one way of looking at it, it makes intuitive sense that Derek Jeter could be the worst defensive shortstop of all time."

But the guy still rates at the top for getting laid by namebrand chickies.

2007-11-05 21:14:51
139.   yankz
137 Yeah, I was like, WTF?

Clippard- maybe. But looking at his minor league stats, I think we've got another Nolan Ryan on our hands guys.

2007-11-05 21:18:41
140.   mehmattski
138 The article and methods seem pretty thorough and the case against Jeter pretty damning. James doesn't come across like a Sox hooligan like many here sometimes paint him... he gave Jeter the benefit of the doubt multiple times, and multiple times the data just worked against Jeter.

One final word on the Free Agent quota. At this time there are 138 players who have filed for Free Agency. Therefore the quota is likely to be at least five, and unless the Yankees want to sign Bonds AND Jones AND Lowell AND Rowand, I don't think the quota is going to really affect the Yankees too much this year. Also, if it IS going to be a problem, and the Yanks are trying to sign multiple Type A guys when the arbitration deadline comes around, they can just have Mo and Posada agree to arbitration while they iron out the details.

So, in the end, much ado about nothing. But I did enjoy reading the CBA in all its legalese glory, and I blame THT for my time wasted.

2007-11-05 21:20:00
141.   yankz
138 I'm sure that would be Jeter's internal response to Bill James.

"Stat geeks. I think I'll call up Alba and see if she's up for some fun tonight."

2007-11-05 21:31:32
142.   JL25and3
140 Wasted???? That's like calling questions about baseball history "trivia."
2007-11-05 21:32:16
143.   JL25and3
140 One of the things I like best about reading the CBA, btw, is the capitalization. It's all about the Player and the Club.
2007-11-05 21:45:26
144.   weeping for brunnhilde
124 Ha ha ha hah aha!

Indeed, can he?

123 I can deal with retirement, that's a natural part of life. I can't stand the thought of him pitching somewhere else, is all.

The very idea seems wrong.

Sick and wrong.

2007-11-05 21:46:24
145.   weeping for brunnhilde
126 :)
2007-11-05 21:46:29
146.   mehmattski
143 The Germans would be proud.
2007-11-05 21:48:31
147.   weeping for brunnhilde
135 Surprisingly not, O Keeper of the Book.
2007-11-05 21:52:29
148.   weeping for brunnhilde
138 At any position.


That's decidedly un-good. Seems somehow implausible, too--he's literally the worst fielder in baseball?

You'd think that on sheer talent alone he'd be at least mediocre.

But I watch all those "sixteen hoppers" (as Leiter calls them) dribble meekly past his outstretched glove and I can't say I'm that surprised.

2007-11-05 22:16:33
149.   DadinIowa
Weeping, are you a fellow Iowegian?
2007-11-05 22:54:52
150.   weeping for brunnhilde
149 Adoptively, yeah. I spent a lot of time there for school. Two stints, about 7 years total. First Grinnell, then Iowa City. I grew up in Yonkers and when I went to college I wanted to get as far the fuck away from New York as I could, someplace exotic.

Needless to say, Iowa fit the bill.

I miss it a lot. The earth, the rolling hills, the farmhouses.

Is this heaven?


Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-11-05 22:56:30
151.   weeping for brunnhilde
I do not, however, miss the winters.

Not even a tiny bit.

2007-11-05 23:48:01
152.   thelarmis
136 yeah, the batters box, is a great bb website. it's linked here on the sidebar under AL East blogs - it's toronto. there's some really baseball savvy folks there. i did a ton of reading there last offseason. one of the writers is a yankees fan! : )
2007-11-06 04:04:38
153.   RIYank
I'm not convinced by the B James anti-Jeter stuff.

I already posted it, but this analysis is the reason I'm dubious:

Defensive goodness still seems to be very measure-sensitive.

2007-11-06 07:53:11
154.   Schteeve
It's pretty funny that a guy who is the worst defensive player at any position was clearly the right statistical choice for MVP a year ago. Go figure.

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