More Mediocy: Peter Golenbock's MVP Ballot

This is from Golenbock’s Facebook page, which may explain all the horrific spelling errors. He does not actually have an MVP vote, but is representative of a large segment of the voting population. It is quite possibly the most perplexing ballot in the history of ballots. There is no unifying theory, and most importantly, no Derek Jeter:

My pick: Mark Tiexiera. After him, I had in order: Joe Mauer, Ichiro, Dustin Pedroia, Michel Cabrera, Carl Crawford, Kevin Youkelis, Aaron Hill, and Evan Longoria.

The quickest and easiest way to illustrate how ridiculous this ballot is is to use WAR, which encapsulates offense and defense. It is not perfect, but it is probably the best statistical measure to use to determine MVP.

The listed players have the following WAR’s, in this order:

5.1, 7.7, 4.8, 5.0, 5.2, 5.1, 5.0, 3.5, 6.8.

So his number 1 pick is statistically indistinguishable from players 4-7, player 9 should be 2nd, and player 2 should clearly be first.… Click here to read the rest

Pearlman: Yankees Are Doomed

From noted Yankee-hater Jeff Pearlman:

OK, maybe doomed is too strong. But, once again, I don’t think Brian Cashman has built a team made for the playoffs. Mainly, the problem is pitching. Starting pitching. As the Atlanta Braves showed us throughout the 1990s, having a load of B+ starting pitchers is fantastic for 90-plus regular season wins … but doesn’t really work so well in the post-season. Generally speaking, the teams in the best shape have two ass-kicking starters with rubber arms and angry demeanors (think Johnson-Schilling, ‘01)

Let’s start here. Any writer who refers to the Braves of the 90’s as having had a B+ rotation should have his credentials confiscated. There were 3 surefire Hall Of Famers in that rotation, with Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz giving the Braves the starting pitching edge in every series they played over that span. The problem with those teams was their decent offense and typically awful bullpen, not their all-time great rotation.… Click here to read the rest

Game 151: Yankees 2, Angels 5

Bronx Cheers:
Cano: Robbie went 0-4 and left four runners on base.

Bruney/Albaladejo: Each pitched an inning after the Yankees finally scored and immediately gave back the runs. It is hard to feel like you can build some momentum when your bullpen just gives it right back.

Swisher: Swish went 0-4 and left three runners on. He left two runners in scoring position in a game where the Yankees rarely had anyone in scoring position.

Curtain Calls:
Pettitte: The first inning wasn’t pretty, but Andy settled down nicely and put in a good outing. He went six innings, threw 91 pitches and said his shoulder felt fine, so Yankee fans can breath a sigh of relief. He gave up three runs on five hits, but retired 11 in a row after giving up two runs in the first.

A-Rod: Alex went 2-4 with a homerun.

Jeter: Also went 2-4. His batting average is up to .330 now.… Click here to read the rest

Pettitte Feeling Good

(I could have gone with “Andy Feeling Dandy,” but then I would be forced to start writing for the NY Post).

From Marc Carig:

Loss to the Angels aside, the Yankees scored a major victory on Monday night when Andy Pettitte emerged from his start feeling good.
“Physically, everything was good,” the lefty said after pitching six solid innings. “Joe (Girardi) pulled me, he didn’t want me to push it. I felt things went well as far as me being healthy.”
Grumbling about being pulled after 91 pitches: Does that sound like somebody who’s still dealing with shoulder fatigue? For a team that will need Pettitte once the postseason rolls around, the news couldn’t have been better.
“The command was there after that and that is a great sign,” Girardi said.

As I noted yesterday, the Yankees need Pettitte to be healthy in the postseason to succeed. He is their only starter with positive postseason experience, and gives them an advantage over most #3 starters.… Click here to read the rest

Predicting free agent contracts, pt. 2

In the previous installment of this mini-series, I took a look at Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, and John Lackey. In this installment—with two more on the horizon—I now analyze the predictions offered by Jon Heyman, an unnamed GM and an anonymous scout, in relation to the following free agents: 1) Chone Figgins, 2) Bobby Abreu, and 3) Jarrod Washburn. While some are more interesting than others, all three are truly noteworthy names that may generate interest in the Yankees’ front office. First, we begin with Figgins.

4. Chone Figgins, Angels infielder. Versatile player is expected to draw interest from many teams. The White Sox and Yankees might top the list.
Agent: $40 million, 4 years (or $30 million, 3 years).
GM: $35-40 million, 4 years.
Me: $50 million, 4 years.

Chone Figgins is a solid offensive player. He’s a speedster that hits for a high average and, although he took a step back in ’08, he has generally improved upon his on-base abilities since 2006.… Click here to read the rest

Game 151: Recap

So last night I liveblogged an entire Yankee game for the first time since last May. Good times ensued, and several players even stopped by, including last night’s starter, Andy Pettitte. How Pettitte was able to toss a quality start while simultaneously commenting on a random Yankee website is beyond me, but still very impressive.

Anyway, the Yankees lost last night’s affair 5-2, in a game which the usually patient Yankees allowed Angel starter Joe Saunders to pitch into the 9th inning. The team’s approach was clearly first-pitch swinging, and it looked like the strategy might work way back in the top of the 1st, but Saunders would get out of trouble and end up allowing almost no runs outside of solo home runs by A-Rod and Matsui. Otherwise the Yankees barely made Saunders work, and as a result the game flew by in a very un-Yankee like two hours and a half.

The Angels took advantage of a shaky Andy Pettitte in the first, plating two runs, but Pettitte really settled in afterward and ended up turning in a quality start.… Click here to read the rest

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Series Preview 9/21-9/23


Team wOBA: .346. 3rd in MLB, 3rd in the AL.

The Angels lineup is one of the best in baseball. They can really do it all, and will present match-up problems with several switch hitters and no real ‘outs’ at the back end of the order (unless they insist on giving Gary Mathews at-bats.) They lead the majors in batting average, and at one point in August, every regular was hitting above .300. In addition to that, the Angels are second in all of baseball in steals. Chone Figgins leads the team with fourty-two, but they’re getting healthy contributions from Bobby Abreu (twenty-nine,) Torii Hunter (seventeen,) and Erick Aybar (fourteen.) LA can also play longball. Kendry Morales has done a fantastic job of replacing Mark Teixeira, and he leads the team with thirty homers. Torii Hunter and Juan Rivera also have more than twenty, with Mike Napoli and Vladimir Guerrero not far behind. Abreu and Figgins are tied for the team lead in OBP at .394.… Click here to read the rest