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 taking it or not.”

It appears as though Trost is signing a different tune, today:

The price of watching a fraction of Yankees games dropped to a fraction of its original cost yesterday, with obstructed-view bleacher seats abruptly falling from $12 per game to $5.

Lonn Trost, the team’s chief operating officer, made the announcement during an interview on WFAN.

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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 Reggie Jackson related a story from his dinner with A-Rod last night. On Tuesday afternoon, a stern Hank Steinbrenner told Mr. October to relay a message to Mr. Rodriguez: “You tell him to hit the damn ball, and hit it when it matters.”

Reggie’s advice was a bit more practical:

“My dad said you can control the story as long as you have a chance to hit.

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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.… Click here to read the rest

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 – Under
  • NY Yankees- 96 – Over
  • Oakland- 81.5 – Over
  • Philadelphia- 87.5 – Under
  • Pittsburgh- 66.5 – Over
  • San Diego- 67.5 – Under
  • San Francisco- 77.5 – Over
  • Seattle- 72.5 – Under
  • St. Louis- 83.5 – Under
  • Tampa Bay- 89.5 – Over
  • Texas- 81.5 – Over
  • Toronto- 81.5 – Under
  • Washington- 68.5 – Over

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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 catchers and their ability to prevent wild pitches and passed balls. Posada’s name comes up near the bottom no matter the measure that is used. It seems that Derek Jeter has a fellow overrated defender in the infield with him.… Click here to read the rest

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 potential innings limit for 2009 in a recent post last month.

Chamberlain’s ‘09 then would seem equally limited, but here’s where I think a change in his preparation is going to factor in. He threw about 60 innings as a starter and 40 more as a reliever [in 2008]. Some work on “leverage” in relief innings has indicated that it may have significantly more stress on the arm, allowing us to make a simple doubling conversion factor for those taking a year to year role change.

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