Quick Hit: I’m As Cool As Derek Jeter Now

Didn’t take long for The Captain to get the retirement jitters, huh?  2 days in and he’s already launching his own blog.  And don’t let all the flowery language on the new homepage fool you:

“So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.

 

I am working with other athletes, with editors and with producers to create a platform that gives us a chance to say what’s on our minds. It’s called The Players’ Tribune. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing a strong core of athlete editors and contributors who will shape the site into an online community filled with first-person stories and behind-the-scenes content.”

That’s a blog.  A straight up blog.  Derek Jeter has retired from his 20-year awesome job to start doing what I do to get away from my crappy job.  …

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Health Not All That Ails Yankees

All signs point to Brian Cashman returning as New York Yankees general manager. My feelings about that are mixed. You cannot deny Cashman’s overall success over a long period of time, and he did make several key pickups this season to keep the Yankees in contention.

On the other hand, his farm system has been not been good enough for awhile and it’s clear that the Yankees have to change the way they do things in order to compete in MLB’s new world. Cashman has been GM since 1998, which may be too long for anybody. Sometimes you just need a new voice and new ideas.

If the Yankees did try to replace Cashman there’s no guarantee they would find someone better. However, a recent Cashman quote is concerning to me.

“I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times you would not get this result,” Cashman said to John Harper of the New York Daily News

“You’ll see the real Carlos Beltran next year,” he said.

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It Could Be Worse, Gang. The Yankees Could Have Ned Yost As Their Manager

Ned Yost

Every page in his binder says “Sac Bunt” in size 150 font. Courtesy of Getty Images

If you didn’t watch last night’s AL Wild Card game, you’re probably bummed out that you missed an all-time postseason classic and you should be.  It was an incredibly dramatic, entertaining game.  If you did watch it, you’re probably wondering how the Royals managed to win that game against such insurmountable odds.  Not the odds put against them by their opponent, oh no.  The odds put against them by their own manager.

Ned Yost put on a clinic in how to lose a winner-take-all game last night.  He lifted his ace starting pitcher early despite him pitching pretty well, went to a rookie starter in relief who had thrown 70+ pitches only 2 days ago, and watched as that rookie gave up a go-ahead home run.  When that 6th inning started to spiral, he elected not to go to his best reliever in the ‘pen to shut down the inning.  …

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Beltran Has Successful Elbow Surgery

Well that’s good news.  This story came out yesterday afternoon and it’s the first positive one we’ve read about Carlos Beltran‘s right elbow in a long time.  Doctors successfully removed the pesky bone spur along with some other assorted “loose pieces” yesterday, and Beltran is now on the 12-week road to recovery referenced by Feinsand.

You can call me crazy for this, and considering my thoughts on Teix maybe I am, but I really feel like this is going to help Beltran have a better year next year.  Probably not 2012 or 2013 better, but somewhere between the .350-.360 wOBA he put up in those years and the .310 he put up this year.  Hey, he might even be able to play some games in the outfield and not clog up the DH spot too.…

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Guest Post: Girardi and Pythagorean Winning Percentage Or What Happened to The Yankees in 1986?

(** Editor’s Note**- This guest post comes courtesy of commenter and friend of the blog Professor Longnose.  It is about historical Pythagorean win expectancy and what it might say about Joe Girardi’s managerial skills.)

As manager of the Yankees, Joe Girardi has his boosters and his detractors, which is no surprise.  Few Yankee fans have been happy with the results of the last 2 years, but there are arguments about how much of the blame is Girardi’s. One of the arguments I hear quite a bit is that the teams Girardi has managed weren’t very good, and were hit with injuries on top of that, so that even being in the hunt for playoff spots shows how good a job Girardi did. This is more or less the “company line” among Yankee broadcasters.

One stat used to promote this view is that the Yankees in 2013 and 2014 have outperformed their Pythagorean winning percentage. In 2014 they were 7 games better than the Pythagorean formula suggested they should have been, and in 2013 they were 6 games better.…

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AL Wild Card Game Thread: OAK vs. KC

Baseball season continues for those who were lucky and good enough to make it to the postseason tonight when the Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals face off for the right to play in the divisional round.  Jon Lester and James Shields are the starting pitchers, both brought in to pitch in this exact type of game by their respective teams and both pitching for a big payday in the upcoming offseason.  I wouldn’t mind seeing the Yanks pursue either, but I don’t think they need to be all-in on either of them with all the pitching depth they have.

Here’s your thread for tonight’s game if you’re interested.  You can also use it to discuss Carlos Beltran‘s successful elbow surgery, continue to debate the merits of the Yankee free agents and their returning players, or as a suggestion box for more season review ideas.  We’ll start with the official review, “The Best & Worst of the 2014 Season”, next Monday.  …

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Quick Hit: Baseball America’s 2014 Top Prospects Lists Are Rolling Out

I’m a little late on this, but Baseball America is in the process of releasing its 2014 “Top 20 Prospects” rankings for each Minor League.  They posted the top 20 for the Gulf Coast League last week and the NY Penn League earlier this week.  Yankee farmhands nabbed 2 spots on the GCL list, shortstops Jorge Mateo and Angel Aguilar at #4 and #15 respectively, and catcher Luis Torrens came in at #4 on the Penn League list.

Mateo is a 19-year-old shortstop who hit .276/.354/.397 with 14 R scored and 11 stolen bases in 15 games for the GCL Yanks 1 team (65 PA).  Aguilar, also 19, hit .311/.373/.536 with 7 HR, 34 R, and 31 RBI in 39 games for the GCL 2 team (167 PA).  Torrens hit .270/.327/.405 in 202 PA for the Staten Island Yanks after an early appearance in Low-A Charleston and a shoulder injury.  He’s still only 18 years old and arguably the Yankees’ best low-level prospect.…

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Report: Yanks And Cash Working On A New Deal

Well that didn’t take long.  Via Buster Olney, the Yankees and Brian Cashman have “begun the process of constructing a new contract” only a few days after the end of another disappointing postseason-less season.  There had been reports for a while that the Steinbrenners were committed to bringing Cash back and this newest report certainly confirms that.

Cash’s current contract was not up until the end of October, so there was time for ownership to explore other options if they felt the need.  The quickness with which they are beginning talks for a new deal suggests they support Cash fully and are more interested in getting down to the real offseason business.  I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing considering how poorly constructed these last 2 teams have been, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.  The Yanks can’t do anything this offseason without a GM and it sounds like they’re on their way to locking their incumbent one up.…

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The End Of Mark Teixeira

Teix vs BAL

The perfect visual representation of Teix’s 2014 campaign. Courtesy of Getty Images

I don’t know how I missed this, but holy crap did Mark Teixeira have a terrible final month of the season.  I have no excuse for missing it, since I wrote a post at the beginning of the month about how awful his August was, but I really didn’t realize he was THAT bad in September.  82 plate appearances, a .178/.256/.301 slash line, a 28.0% K rate, only 5 extra-base hits (2 HR), 4 GIDPs, and -0.3 fWAR.  Perfectly healthy or completely beat up, that’s bottom-of-the-barrel bad.  It’s the type of production that usually gets guys DFA’d.

Obviously Teix was not going to suffer that fate, not when he has multiple years and $45 million remaining on his contract.  But looking back at those numbers, it’s fair to say he probably should have been shut down for the year much earlier in the month.  All the evidence I referenced in the earlier post that suggested his body had had enough came to even greater fruition this month.  …

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