If the Orioles' entire schedule consisted of games against Boston they would go 0-162

Since it came up in the comments of this morning’s post, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at just how awful Baltimore has been against Boston since the unbalanced schedule was introduced in 2001:

Two-and-sixteen last season. That is absolutely and utterly shameful.

Additionally, the Orioles have had exactly one winning campaign against the Red Sox in the last nine years, and even during that year they still lost to Boston nine times. I wonder if any other team in Major League Baseball sports a winning percentage against another team over the past nine seasons that is worse than .353?

Basically, if you are the Red Sox you can pretty much expect that Baltimore will contribute to more than 10% of your season victory total in any given year (and 17% last year!). Thank you, Orioles.… Click here to read the rest

Stories like these warm the cockles of my cold, cold heart

We’re still one day away from the official start of Spring Training, and already reports of Yankees showing up to camp early are coming in. And thank goodness, because another morning of Goddamn snow in New York today is about a million percent not what the doctor ordered.

According to AM New York — which doesn’t appear to post its sports stories online because they are mostly an amalgamation of (behind the pay wall) Newsday pieces, and so I don’t have a link — Curtis Granderson, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin are already in camp.

Burnett really sticks out to me more than anyone here. Everyone else in that group of pitchers is young and has no guarantees, each hoping to establish themselves in a particular role with the team. Burnett is the owner of an $82.5 million contract as well as the #2 slot in the rotation, not to mention a newly minted World Champion.… Click here to read the rest

Discussion: Have Sabermetrics Gone Too Far?

This morning, John Sickels posted an article in which he suggested that sabermetric analysis has become too granular to be interesting and fresh:

The newest stuff is becoming so granular that I’m having problems making sense of it. I’m a humanities guy, and the most advanced math is beyond my ability to completely comprehend. My personal opinion is that the many of the newest metrics (at least in regards to hitting and pitching) are just more complicated ways to say the same basic truths…..

But I’m finding that as I read the most advanced sabermetric stuff regarding major league players, my eyes glaze over and I start to get the grad school feeling again: why am I reading this? I’m not enjoying it. I want to watch a baseball game.

So am I just entering my dotage prematurely? Or is advanced sabermetric analysis becoming so specialized that no one but physics and math majors can understand it, leaving us humanities majors behind, let alone the average fan?

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What to expect from Melky in 2010

Here’s Dave Cameron of FanGraphs, offering an “optimistic” outlook for Melky Cabrera‘s 2010 prospects.

He’s been around long enough that its easy to forget that he’s just 25 years old. He gets labeled as a tweener, because he’s not a great defensive CF or a great offensive LF, but guys like this are often better than people realize, and there’s still upside left with Cabrera. He’s a really good contact hitter and strong enough to add to his current gap power levels. He doesn’t even have to add all that much power to turn himself into a legitimate 20-20 threat.

He may not look like a classic corner outfielder, but Cabrera can play, and I think Braves fans will be pleasantly surprised with what he offers. His defense is going to be a solid plus in a corner, and he’s not far from being a quintessential #2 hitter. Given his physical skills and age, don’t be surprised if he locks down an outfield spot in Atlanta for the next several years.

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Granderson not a Damon “clone”

In a piece written for Fantasy Baseball purposes, Troy Patterson compares former Yankee, Johnny Damon, to his “replacement,” to new Yankee, Curtis Granderson, and finds that while Damon might have had better overall numbers in his peak years, the two are currently similar – he calls them “clones” – in terms of offensive production given Damon’s declining skills. Patterson writes, Granderson “would be behind Damon in runs, steals and batting average in their prime, but now it’s much closer,” though he does acknowledge that Granderson’s innate power, which will be ultimately supplemented by the move to Yankee Stadium, is a valuable asset that may separate the two outfielders.

Speaking of Yankee Stadium-driven power, I think Patterson fails to acknowledge the extent to which Damon’s offensive decline might have been lessened had he stayed in the Bronx in 2010 and beyond, creating a larger gap in expected production between he and Granderson. Believe it or not but, despite all the talk about Damon’s power at home, the 36-year old actually had more power on the road for the majority of his Yankee tenure.… Click here to read the rest

Of Regressions and Rebounds

In 2009, the Yankees got a good “rebound” seasons from a few different players.

Jorge Posada missed plenty of time in 2008, but recovered to have the fourth highest OPS+ of his career.

Derek Jeter was bothered by a hand injury for a good portion of 2008 and added 100 points to his OPS.

Hideki Mastui also saw a big jump in his OPS, 81 points.

Finally, Nick Swisher rebounded in the biggest way. 2008 was a career worst for Swisher, whereas 2009 was arguably a career best and the same goes for second baseman Robinson Cano.

In 2010, it’s fair to wonder if these same players will have years like they did in 2009. The team is also hoping for a bit of a “bounceback” year from Curtis Gradnerson; though he hit a career high 30 home runs, he had a career low OBP and the second lowest SLG of his career. Randy Winn had a career worst year, especially against LHP, but his role is much smaller so his rebound is less necessary.… Click here to read the rest

Should MLB Eliminate The All-Star Game?

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From MJR at Yankeeist:

And that’s the major problem with All Star games. No one cares. The fans don’t care. I consider myself to be as big a sports fan as you’ll find anywhere. I care so little about these exhibitions that I would rather they not be played. I’ll wager that most serious sports fans are at best indifferent to All Star games and at worst willing to join me in circulating a petition to end them. The owners probably don’t care, and certainly don’t want their investments getting hurt. That leaves the players, and they positively do not care because, and I’ll go out on a limb here, Deron Williams has never forgotten the score in the last thirty seconds of a tie game that counted in the standings……

If the leagues want to give their players some time off in the middle of their seasons then they should do that. If they also want to recognize the players who are having the best seasons at the halfway point, then do that too.

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Eliminating All-Star Games

I’ve felt this way for sometime, but let me now state for whatever posterity exists online that the All-Star Game in every American sport needs to be eliminated. These exhibition games are a waste of time.

The NBA All-Star Game hits this home the hardest. This is meant to be the NBA’s flagship annual event, so much so that this year’s game is being played in front of the largest audience in NBA history. If that’s the case then the NBA’s dire financial situation should come as a surprise to no sports fan. It’s a big enough problem as it is when your largest showcase is something other than your league’s championship, but you’re throwing gasoline on the fire when that event is boring, and last night’s game was boring … like really boring.

Some readers may argue that last night’s game wasn’t boring because it was close. I counter that it was boring because – and this is only one of three possible examples – Deron Williams cared so little about the game in which he was playing, for the first time in his career, that he LOST TRACK OF THE SCORE and put Dwyane Wade on the line with a tie game winding down.… Click here to read the rest

Could Posada’s heir be Frankie Cervelli?

It’s not as crazy as you might think. Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News did a piece on Cervelli this morning, which included some insight into how the powers that be feel about Cervelli. He writes:

Cervelli, who turns 24 next month, was a revelation last season for the Yanks as a fill-in when Posada and former backup Jose Molina got hurt. From May 7-31, he appeared in 15 games. Overall, he hit .298 with a .309 on-base percentage and .372 slugging percentage in 42 games. He hit a noteworthy homer in Atlanta to key an important rally – his first career blast – and knocked in 11 runs. He also appeared briefly in the division series and ALCS.

But what really impressed the Yankees was his catching and handling of pitchers. Joe Girardi said he believed Cervelli could one day be a No. 1 catcher and pitchers such as CC Sabathia raved about him. Not bad for a guy who is generally skipped over when folks talk about Posada’s eventual replacement.… Click here to read the rest