Additional payroll means little, say smart people

For whatever it’s worth, the Yanks, despite the gargantuan spending in the 2008-09 off-season, actually lowered their payroll in 2009 versus 2008 (where were the cries for the salary cap after the Yanks missed the post-season in 2008?):

Median salary Total Payroll

*h/t to Pete Toms of Biz Of Baseball fame for the linkClick here to read the rest

Create A Team From The Free Agent Class

Go check out Pete Abe’s new blog, where he is running a fun contest. The objective is to create a 25 man AL roster, with 12 pitchers, 13 position players, and an available manager from this season’s free agent class. I thought it would be fun to do one here, and hopefully you guys will put together your own clubs in the comments. The free agents pitchers and position players can be accessed by clicking the links.

1B: Adam Laroche
2B: Felipe Lopez
3B: Adrian Beltre
SS: Marco Scutaro
C: Bengie Molina
DH: Johnny Damon
CF: Mike Cameron
LF: Matt Holliday
RF: Jason Bay
SP: John Lackey
SP: Ben Sheets
SP: Andy Pettitte
SP: Jarrod Washburn
SP: Randy Wolf
Closer: Jose Valverde
RP: Brandon Lyon
RP: Mike Gonzalez
RP: Rafael Soriano
RP: Joe Beimel
RP: Justin Duchsherer
RP: Darren Oliver
Backup catcher: Greg Zaun
Backup infielder: Nick Johnson
Backup outfielder: Coco Crisp
Utility: Mark DeRosa

Manager: Bobby Valentine… Click here to read the rest

And the whining has begun

Or, is the definition of “best pitcher” clouded in its definition much like the “most valuable” phrase is? Lincecum might be the best pitcher with the best “stuff”, but maybe Wainwright or Carpenter had the best year. Not saying this is the case, but perhaps that’s how voters voted. This is not black and white and for voters to raise such disdain for Law and Carroll for daring to think differently (and show their work: Law here, Carroll here) is amazingly hypocritical.

For eons, fans have been asking for transparency in voting, in all sports. We want those voting to care as much as we do, to look at things as closely as we do, to do the work requisite with such an honor of voting for a high profile award (or ranking, as the case might be). We rarely got it. With Carroll and Law, we did. I won’t skewer them for their decisions. I might disagree, but at least they provided the insight required to understanding their views, whether or not we choose to agree with them.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankeeist Interview with Replacement Level Yankees Weblog's SG

For this latest edition of the Yankeeist Interview series, I am once again pleased to bring you a stalwart of the Yankee blogosphere, SG of Replacement Level Yankees Weblog.

I found RLYW — which was founded by Larry Mahnken, who is a hell of a baseball analyst himself — shortly after discovering Bronx Banter in 2004, and have been reading the site on a daily basis ever since. As Larry began posting with less frequency as time wore on, eventually the day-to-day posting was taken over by SG.

During the last five seasons RLYW has been a revelation, essentially responsible for the transformation of the way I enjoy the Yankees. I no longer just watch baseball games, I now mentally statistically analyze every single pitch of every at-bat, armchair managing the hell out of every move along with the rest of the sabermetrically-inclined portion of the Yankee fanbase.

SG has been at the forefront of advanced Yankee statistical analysis, even creating his own projection system, CAIRO, which has routinely been more accurate than several of the more well-known systems.… Click here to read the rest

Chapman Sweepstakes between Boston and NY

According to Frankie Piliere (FanHouse), the Aroldis Chapman Sweepstakes is an expensive one. Therefore, most mid-market teams will bow out of the proceedings, leaving the Red Sox and Yankees to battle it out for Chapman’s prized left arm. The situation seems pretty simple to me if this is the case, though. The Yankees want Chapman and have more money to spend than Boston. Therefore, I think he’ll end up in pinstripes by the end of the year.

He’s rumored to command anywhere between $15-50 million. What do you think? Is he worth it?

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesClick here to read the rest

Take a moment to admire Mariano Rivera

Everyone at my college agrees that Professor Hazeltine remains the institution’s best professor. During his prime, Professor Hazeltine was so popular and good at his job that he won the teaching award every year. In response, the school named the teaching award after Professor Hazeltine. It gave him the highest honor it could, so that the institution could better honor the achievements of others. In so doing, the school stopped honoring Professor Hazeltine with any regularity. There was no need. He’d been honored already in perpetuity. As great a decision as that was, it meant that Professor Hazeltine would be somewhat taken for granted afterward.
The baseball media regards Mariano Rivera in a similar fashion. At a certain point in Mo’s prime, when he was routinely saving anywhere from 35-50 games a season with an ERA under 3, or under 2, and a WHIP at or below 1, the media almost universally decided he was the greatest closer ever. The decision to honor his career as it was unfolding is the highest honor Mo could receive.
Click here to read the rest

…before selling ONE ticket…

Manfred did tell us two variables, one important:

Manfred, however, indicated that Boras’s revenue sharing numbers were grossly out of whack and that the five largest recipients of revenue sharing are “25-35 percent” lower than the figure Boras referenced. Manfred also said there were only 10 teams with $200 million or more in revenues.

Given that the range comes (reportedly) from Manfred, we can now peg that the five largest recipients of revenue sharing are receiving between $50 and $60 million each year, before selling one, single ticket. So when the Marlins pare their roster to HALF of what they have received in revenue sharing –BEFORE SELLING ONE TICKET– and crying poor at the same time, we have a problem.

You can pound your chest for all of eternity, but until something is done about the low-end teams, nothing should be done about the high-end teams. Want to keep taxing the rich? Fine. Do it. They’ll pay, or not, their choice.… Click here to read the rest

2009 Season in Review: The Bullpen

This is the third in a series of five Yankeeist 2009 Season in Review recaps. Please be sure to check out 2009 Season in Review: The Infield and 2009 Season in Review: Starting Pitchers if you haven’t already done so.

As happens every year for every team in baseball, the Yankees’ opening day bullpen was a considerably different beast than the unit that finished the season with the team and that manager Joe Girardi took into the playoffs. It’s easy to forget that the Yankees began the year with the likes of Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez and Brett Tomko in the ‘pen, none of whom would make it through to the end of the season. In fact, the only two pitchers that spent all 162 games in the bullpen were Mariano Rivera and Phil Coke.

The bullpen was of the few things that went right for the 2008 incarnation of the Yankees. As Mike Axisa notes, last year’s bullpen posted the seventh-lowest ERA (3.79) and second-lowest FIP (3.82) in the league.… Click here to read the rest