Obstructed-view seating not worth $12

Here’s what Yankee COO Lonn Trost had to say, yesterday, when asked about the partial-view bleacher seats in the new Yankee Stadium: Is it true there are seats in the bleachers from which you can’t see parts of the field? “Yes, but we will have TVs in the walls there.” That’s not the same thing as seeing it live, is it? “We had a choice of selling it to somebody or not. If you come to the stadium you’ll see there are TVs in the walls. [Some views are obstructed] a little bit, but for $12 it’s a choice of Continue reading Obstructed-view seating not worth $12

A-Rod Called His Shot?

According to Pete Caldera of The Record, Alex Rodriguez told the Yankees PR director he would hit a home run in his second at bat. [W]ord from Yankees P.R. man Jason Zillo that Alex Rodriguez called his home run in the dugout. During batting practice, A-Rod told Zillo that he’d hit one during his second at-bat — and then he did. Within the same post comes word that Mr. Invisible Hank Steinbrenner told Reggie Jackson to relay a message to the embattled Yankees third baseman. The message? “Hit the damn ball.” What a master of motivation: [A] few minutes ago Continue reading A-Rod Called His Shot?

Power Arms

Here’s the rotation with each pitcher’s average FB velocity (2008): CC Sabathia — 93.7 mph Chien-Ming Wang — 91.8 mph A.J. Burnett — 94.3 mph Andy Pettitte — 88.5 mph Joba Chamberlain — 95.0 mph Although Pettitte’s fastball is becoming Mussinaesque, that’s still a very powerful group. At the same time, one can argue that velocity really means nothing, especially when you consider that one of the hardest throwing starters on last year’s team, Sidney Ponson (91.4 mph), was probably the worst, whereas the soft-tossing Mike Mussina (86.4 mph) was definitely the best.

Playing The Over/Under

Vegas Watch has the MLB team wins over/under odds for the 2009 season up. The numbers, and my picks: Arizona- 86.5 – Over Atlanta- 84.5 – Over Baltimore- 74.5 – Under Boston- 94.5 – Under Chicago C- 94.5 – Over Chicago W- 76.5 – Over (though its about right) Cincinnati- 76.5 – Under Cleveland- 83 – Over Colorado- 76.5 – Over Detroit- 79.5 – Under Florida- 75.5 – Under Houston- 74.5 – Under Kansas City- 75.5 – Over LA Angels- 87.5 – Over LA Dodgers- 84.5 – Over Milwaukee- 85.5 – Under Minnesota- 79.5 – Over NY Mets- 90.5 – Continue reading Playing The Over/Under

Posada's Awful Defense

Defensive statistics are not something that I relish using, being that they are still very inexact and constantly being altered. That being said, the hardest position to analyze using advanced metrics is catcher, as there are various parts to a catcher’s job defensively. He must catch the ball, call the game, and throw out baserunners. We know that Jorge Posada is decent at throwing out runners and calls a solid game. However, it seems that he is incredibly awful at that third facet of his position, catching the ball. Check out this Fangraphs article, which uses various criteria to analyze Continue reading Posada's Awful Defense

Why Joba Can Make 30 Starts In ’09

There’s a particular fragility and concern associated with Joba Chamberlain‘s workload as a starting pitcher. And, due to his outlandish skillset, there is good reason for the Yankees to handle with care. There is, however, a notion that Chamberlain would be unable to up his innings total by any more than the emboldened 30 innings increase over his career high as is dictated by the consistently effective Verducci Rule. This mode of thinking would have the Nebraska flamethrower shut down around 140 innings in 2009. This simply is not accurate. At least according to Baseball Prospectus injury guru Will Carroll, who addressed Chamberlain’s Continue reading Why Joba Can Make 30 Starts In ’09

Advertising on IIATMS

This posting is for two audiences: the readers and potential advertisers.

First, the readers: I have been very reluctant to place ads on the site. There is one fixed ad and only recently have I been testing small ads here and there on the site (mostly at the bottom). I’m sensitive to clutter and the site’s already pretty busy. It’d be nice to collect a few nickels though I have no aspirations of anything significant. I’m contemplating adding some ads just see what they bring. If it’s only a few dollars, then I won’t do much. But I promise that if I do indeed add some banners and such, I will do my best to keep things to the borders and not interfere with the content. The reason for this is that I have gotten a few inquiries (some still awaiting an answer, my apologies) and I’d rather than do this than constant one-offs.

Also, if any of you have prior experience with online advertising and have an interest in helping, by all means, please lend a hand. I know my limits and I’ve about maxed out my abilities in creating what you currently see.

Potential advertisers: Please email me your proposals. Operators are standing by. Continue reading Advertising on IIATMS

Fool's errand: Separating clean from dirty

Talk about a fool’s errand, trying to read skull growth, acne, bicep size and temprament to ascertain who was “clean” and who wasn’t during the Steroid Era is nearly impossible. We know of many, many names. Some obvious, most less so.

I didn’t give Rick Reilly’s crapfest of a “let’s give Pujols 5 MVP’s” article any pub because it’s silly and based upon a house of cards worth of logic (I’m not even linking to it). So when I read Tom Verducci (a writer who I really think very highly of) discuss the stature of Carlos Delgado, I thought it was worth pointing out. Verducci ran the list of HR hitters from 1996-2003 (graphic below).

So I ran the numbers for the greatest home run hitters of the heart of the Steroid Era to find the lost slugger. This list is a terribly sad one, because it is a veritable rogues gallery. It is likely that anywhere from nine to 11 of these top 14 home run hitters from 1996 through 2003 were dirty — at best, a crime rate of about two-thirds.

When I ran down the list, Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado stood out as the guy most pushed into the shadows. This season, be it anything close to ordinary for him, Delgado will become only the 11th player in baseball history with 500 home runs, 500 doubles and 1,500 RBIs. It is a club with no back door. The others: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray, Griffey, Ramirez, Palmeiro and Bonds. And yet Delgado never is talked about as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and is rarely discussed as a Hall of Famer at all. He started only one All-Star game (and made only one other, while a juiced Giambi started three), never won an MVP award (he was robbed of one by a juiced Rodriguez) and never won a home-run title (he once finished second to a juiced Rodriguez), even though he hit between 38 and 44 home runs seven times.

I am firmly in the guilty party who have never been a huge Delgado supporter. Maybe it’s because he’s too quiet. Maybe for his silent objection to standing for the singing of “God Bless America”. Maybe because he’s pretty vanilla and not exciting. Maybe I need to re-evaluate the way I look at players.

Reading Delgado’s comments below, I just want to believe him. I almost NEED to believe him. But can I, without a shadow of a doubt, believe him? No. Sadly.
“Health, No. 1,” he said. “And No. 2, it’s cheating. I take a lot of pride in my preparation and my ability to understand the game and try to get any edge by watching the game or taking advantage of what’s in my head.

“I guess, if by doing the right thing, should you get extra points for it? I guess so. In this society, all the bad things, the controversial things, get most of the exposure, and I kind of understand how the system works in that way. It’s not news that some guy did it the right way.”

Bonus related reading: Shysterball’s take on this. Continue reading Fool's errand: Separating clean from dirty

For all the screw-ups, at least this went well

No misspelled, awkward, strong-armed emails from the ticket office discussing relocation plans. No blocked sight lines. Just the calm re-establishing of one of the better Yankee traditions:

The transfer began at 7 a.m., when workers loaded the monuments by forklift into a massive steel box, each legend encased in a plywood box, the contents identified by simple black marker. “The Babe,” it said on Ruth’s. On the 9/11 box, someone wrote, “We Will Remember.” The steel box was strapped down onto a flatbed truck. The truck trundled two blocks north. At the new Stadium, a crane rig picked up each monument – they weigh 5,500 pounds apiece, except for the one for the diminutive Huggins, which weighs 7,100 – and gently lowered them over a wall, into Monument Park, where they were hoisted again and moved to their appointed spots.

The Yanks, as an organization, rankle many with their attitude. As do many fans. I get it. I hear it from the Haters. And they are often right. Some of the things the Ownership group does and says if flat out absurd and insulting. But, what the Yanks do well -if not better than anyone else- is celebrate and embrace their history. This is another example of that.
“This is our legacy,” [Tony Morante, director of Stadium tours and the Yankees’ in-house historian] said. “People will come here not just for ballgames, but for our history, and a big part of that is these icons, and 9/11.”

Continue reading For all the screw-ups, at least this went well