Quick Math Lesson

I have seen the same mistake crop up lately in a number of places, including a Bill Madden column, so I just wanted to nip it in the bud. Madden suggested that if the Yankees had just taken 4 of the games against Boston, they would be up 6.5 rather than 2.5 games. While this sounds intuitive (4 more wins + 4 Sox losses= 4 games in standings), it greatly understates the truth. In actuallity, the Yankees would lead Boston by 10.5 games!!

How does this work? Well, the key is identifying the error. The mistake is that Madden is adding the 4 games without first removing them from the current standings, thus double counting them. To properly make this calculation, first you need to remove the actual results from the teams records. You do so by subtracting 4 wins from the Red Sox and 4 losses from the Yankees. Thus, had the games never been played, the Yankees would be up 6.5.… Click here to read the rest

Washburn wants to be a Yankee

After losing their last three games and falling further below the Angels and the Rangers in the AL West (they’re now 7 1/2 games out), Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi (FOX Sports) note that the Mariners are heading into sell mode. According to an unnamed official from a contending team who spoke with KR and JPM, “They’re about ready to do some things.” All of this, of course, is speculation, however, Jarrod Washburn—who is scheduled to start tonight against Toronto—has long been a Yankee target. Last year, the Yankees tried to acquire him but balked at the Mariners’ asking price. This year, the rumors continue to swirl around the crafty veteran and he knows it.

Washburn, of course, was in play last year at the trade deadline as well, and nearly was dealt to both the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.

“I guess my feelings are a little different,” he said. “Last year, I was hoping something would get done.

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Cashman's Management Philosophy

In an article from ESPN about Billy Beane and the Moneyball concept, Brian Cashman shines with a number of interesting quotes, including the following (h/t NSI):

“Essentially, the decision-maker needs to have a very successful management team that exposes him to all sides,” Cashman says. “I think you have to have a team that scouts, because the bottom line is players with big tools win championships. Statistical analysis comes into play in defining the reality of the performance. Trends that show risk, injury, regression — maybe you can catch that earlier because it’s definable … But I don’t think you need a former player or an Ivy Leaguer. You need someone with a high degree of common sense that surrounds himself with a strong team to run an efficient business. You have to have a blend, and he’ll gravitate toward the best possible solutions.”

I think that this is about as perfect as a job description for a GM can get, and it is heartening to see that Cashman has a good grasp of his role.… Click here to read the rest

AJ Burnett's Excellent Attitude

After his second awful start against the Red Sox this season, AJ Burnett vowed to improve:

“Terrible,” Burnett said when asked how he would characterize his season. “There have been glimpses of greatness, but I’m not very consistent right now. I’m not a negative guy, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. When I do get on that run, it’s going to be impressive. I promise you that.”

In the 8 starts following that one, Burnett is 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA. He has pitched deep into each game, and last night saved a bullpen that was extremely shorthanded. However, when asked about his turnaround, he was anything but satisfied:

Still, asked if this was what he envisioned when he signed there, Burnett let it be known that while stats are nice, his ultimate vision can’t be fulfilled for three more months.
“It’s not over, so it’s not what I had in mind,” Burnett said. “When we get to October, that’s what I had in mind.”

This reiterates what AJ said back in spring training:

For years, Jeter has preached that the season is a failure if you’re not the last team standing.

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Game #99 Recap

Thumbs Down:

Albaladejo: In .2 innings pitched he gave up 2 hits, 2 runs and a walk. He also hit Longoria with a pitch. Albaladejo wasn’t helped by Upton’s grounder down the third baseline, which appeared to take a funky hop off third and over A-Rod’s head for a double.

Runners In Scoring Position: While the final score may make this hard to believe, the Yankees were 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

Team LOB: The Yankees stranded 10 batters on base. In fact, the ninth inning was the first inning where the Yankees did not leave a batter on base – thank you Johnny Damon.

Thumbs Up:

AJ Burnett: When the Yankees signed Burnett in the off-season Yankee fans were mixed, particularly given his age, injury history and the crazy cash he is banking. Time will tell if he was worth the investment, but right now I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints. AJ picked up his 10th win, pitched 7 innings, gave up 2 hits, 1 run (unearned), 2 walks, and had 5 strikeouts.Click here to read the rest

Heath Bell on the Yanks’ radar

From Joel Sherman (NY Post):

An NL official said not to believe that San Diego closer Heath Bell is only available at an exorbitant price. “I think the Padres realize that this is the moment when you can get your best deal for (Bell). He gets expensive next year, and there is no reason to have an expensive closer on a bad team.”The Yankees are among the teams that have been interested in Bell. The addition of Bell would allow the Yanks to more comfortably move either Alfredo Aceves and/or Phil Hughes into the rotation if an injury struck the Yanks’ suddenly thin rotation.

Bell is an expensive commodity, so trading for him is unlikely. The Yankees would have to give up at least one top-tier player from their farm system in order to get him (along with others). Still, he would probably cost less than a Jarrod Washburn (player cost and financial cost), though, and as Sherman notes, the smart play could be for the Yankees to trade for a shutdown reliever (e.g., Bell, Qualls, etc.).… Click here to read the rest

Minors Recap, 7/27

Scranton blanks Toledo, 4-0

  • Zach Kroenke started, giving up 4 hits and a walk in 4 shutout innings, and striking out 4.  He also picked off 2 runners, helping his cause.  Kroenke has an 0.94 ERA through 47 2/3 innings this season.
  • Eric Wordekemper got the win, giving up a hit and fanning 2 in 4 scoreless.
  • Kevin Whelan gave up a hit in 1 shutout inning.
  • Kevin Russo was 3 for 4 with 3 doubles.
  • Ramiro Pena was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles.
  • Austin Jackson was 2 for 5 with a double.
  • Shelley Duncan was 1 for 3 with 2 walks.
  • Juan Miranda was 0 for 4.
  • Yurrell de Caster and Colin Curtis were 1 for 4.

Trenton falls to Harrisburg, 9-1

  • Ryan Pope got roughed up, giving up 9 runs (8 earned) on 12 hits and 2 walks in 5 1/3 innings.
  • Kanekoa Texeira gave up 2 hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings, and struck out 2.
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