Should Gardner Be Playing Against Lefties?

[image title=”Picture 7″ size=”full” id=”16654″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] He should, says Greg Fertel after running the numbers: Over 35 games(similar to the 150 PA I used earlier), Gardner stands to save 6.07 more runs in the field than than Thames. That is a significant amount over such a short period of time, but it sounds about right to me. The difference in range between Gardner and Thames is remarkably wide. The play we saw last night was an example of one that Gardner would make, and Thames turns into a double. Overall, this gives Gardner a 0.72 run advantage over Continue reading Should Gardner Be Playing Against Lefties?

Yankees 2015

Five years down the road is a bit difficult to predict. The following is just a story, but like all stories, there are lessons to be learned from it.


It’s finally time again for official baseball. Spring Training is a time of excitement and optimism, but one can only spend so much time in sunny Tampa without getting a bit stir crazy. It’s time for a new season to start again, and we can only hope it ends a little better than the last few.

Big contracts became a big problem last season. Fifteen million was tied up Carl Crawford, whose knees haven’t been able to hold up for two years running (no pun intended). Twenty-three million was tied up in CC Sabathia, who was solid (14-8, 4.01 ERA in 181 IP) but not close to being worth his weight in gold (that one was a bit). Twenty-one more were given to Alex Rodriguez, who hit pretty well (.261/.361/.431) but didn’t play enough games (129) because of those deteriorating hips. Another fifteen became part of Adam Wainwright’s property, but he responded by giving up 28 home runs as his stuff has regressed since his glory days in St. Louis. The final twelve million (Final? We’re up to $86 million already) went to Ricky Nolasco, and while he pitched splendidly (11-4, 3.58 ERA), he didn’t do it enough (145 IP). To regain the division, these Yankees need to regain some production.

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Fun with small sample sizes, part II

Following up on our initial Fun With Small Sample Sizes post, here’s a look at the individual wOBAs for the Yankees’ offense after six games: Scary to think of the damage this team will inflict once the top of the order starts kicking it into gear. Nick the Walk (BABIP .200) and Tex (BABIP .158) have two of the worst BABIPs in the league; we all know that won’t last.

Game 6: Yankees 7, Rays 3

Looking for another series win on Sunday afternoon, the Yankees sent A.J. Burnett to the mound against Tampa Bay ace James Shields.  Burnett struggled in the first inning, giving up a single to Jason Bartlett who stole second.  Carl Crawford then hit a RBI single up the middle and stole second on a pitch out.  Ben Zobrist bunted Crawford to third and Evan Longoria walked.  Carlos Pena brought Crawford to the plate on a fielder’s choice and the Rays held a quick 2-0 lead over the Yankees.  Curtis Granderson got the Yankees on the board in the top of the second when he hit a RBI double with Alex Rodriguez on first.

Burnett settled down after his messy first inning and held the Rays to just two runs over seven innings.  The Yankees struggled to score on Shields, but really broke through in the sixth.  Cano started things off with a double to right and Posada smacked a two-run homer, giving the Bronx Bombers the lead.  Granderson followed with a single, stole second base and moved to third on Nick Swisher’s ground out before he scored on a passed ball.  With Jeter and Teixeira on base in the seventh, Alex Rodriguez doubled them in to give the Yankees a 6-2 edge.

Nick Swisher added a solo homer in the eighth, but the Rays got that one back as Joba gave up a single to Bartlett and a triple to Crawford.  He settled down and the Yankees took their 7-3 victory as they head back to New York. Continue reading Game 6: Yankees 7, Rays 3

Tampa Series Wrap Up

The Yankees took the second series of the year, two games to one, over the Tampa Bay Rays when they won today’s game 7-3 with some late runs and a “grind it out” type performance from starter A.J. Burnett. Game One wasn’t all that great, as the Yankees lost 9-3. Javy Vazquez’s return to pinstripes was pretty bad and David Price looked downright unhittable. Game Two featured a near miss with history, as CC Sabathia threw 7 2/3 of no hit ball before his former teammate Kelly Shoppach knocked a single to left. The offense also came alive, with everyone Continue reading Tampa Series Wrap Up

Learning MLB’s financial lingo

We are doing our best to get the most accurate data out to you, specifically with regards to the financial side of this great game. Larry has been posting early and often about this stuff. Today, I’m happy to link to a FOTB, Maury Brown from Biz of Baseball, who tries, again, to set the masses straight on this stuff:

  • “In the initial seven years of the Luxury Tax plan the Yankees have paid $175 million in revenue-sharing

FALSE – Adding in that “revenue-sharing” part is where matters have gone sideways in the press. As I clarified earlier this week (see MLB’s Luxury Tax, Revenue-Sharing, the Yankees and the Randy Levine Story), the Luxury Tax is not part of revenue-sharing. Total revenue sharing figures for each of the clubs have not been published for some time, but BizofBaseball.com does have the last figures that were available (2002-03, 2005) and the Yankees, in just those three years, shelled out $26,640,289 in 2002, $52,650,000 in 2003, and $76,000,000 in 2005, for a total of $155,290,289 in 3 out of the 7 years of revenue-sharing. So, in fact, the Yankees, while paying $175 million in Luxury Tax money, have paid considerably more in revenue-sharing, if you consider the growth rate of revenue-sharing each year since 2005. For 2009, $433 million in revenue went from haves to have nots in MLB.

  • … that’s 92 percent of the total revenue-sharing…”

FALSE – This is perpetuating the falsehood from the Luxury Tax figures. It is true that the Yankees have paid 92 percent of the total Luxury Tax money, but then that simply says that the Yankees are willing to ignore the system and pay the price by not being fiscally restrictive. The Yankees want to win, and have been willing to pay extra each year (because they can) than other clubs, minus the Red Sox (2004-07), Angels (2004), and Tigers (2008). In fact, based on those last revenue-sharing figures that were available, the Yankees paid 16 percent of the total in 2002, 24 percent in 2003, and 24 percent in 2005. At the most, (and this is a finger in the wind guesstimate), the Yankees have paid no more than 30 percent of the total revenue-sharing since its inception. Remember… The revenue-sharing that Levine and Attanasio are discussing is based on net local revenues from sources such as ticket sales, local broadcast deals, concessions, parking, etc.

Maury is the lead sled dog here, but we’re doing our best to pull our fair share and help right the sloppy and lazy errors made by the MSM Continue reading Learning MLB’s financial lingo

The RSN scribes want to mess with Fire Marshall Clay “Joba-style”

My dear RedSox fans/readers, does this sound like a plan worth endorsing:

When Daisuke Matsuzaka returns this month, the Red Sox will either need to employ a six-man rotation (not going to happen) or move someone to the bullpen. They have three choices: Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield or Clay Buchholz.

The decision is easy. Buchholz should shift to the ’pen.

The decision is easy? No, your decision is wrong. Writer John Tomase uses the following rationale to support this idea:

  1. Clay hasn’t been sharp: “He’s better than yesterday’s performance and will undoubtedly prove it soon.”
  2. The bullpen is a mess. Each game revolves around getting the ball to Daniel Bard or Hideki Okajima [stats] in the eighth, but even they haven’t been super reliable.”
  3. Wakefield doesn’t belong there. At age 43 and coming off back surgery, it would be borderline disrespectful to pitch him on back-to-back days or warm him up randomly.”
  4. Then there’s Matsuzaka, who could be a disaster in relief. He nibbles like a field mouse and his “three-ball counts for everyone!” approach does not lend itself to close and late situations.”

Rather than put Wakefield into middle relief because he’s a) old, b) oft-injured and c) an elder statesman, Tomase wants to treat Fire Marshall Clay like a RSN-colored Joba Chamberlain yo-yo. How short-sighted is this idea?

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Notes from yesterday’s win

Burnett mixes in the Change– Posada said he remembered five changeups from Burnett, and he expects even more as Burnett continues to get used to the pitch. “It’s a swing-and-miss pitch, it really is,” Posada said. Jorge Posada credits Burnett with using the new Change up he tinkered with in Spring Training for getting him some key outs yesterday’s game. That gives him what is (effectively) a 5th pitch, going with his 2 seam and 4 seam fastball, and his hard and soft Curveball. Some Tropicana Catwalks are in play? When Longoria’s ball hit the catwalk, Girardi argued that it Continue reading Notes from yesterday’s win

Notes from yesterday's win

Burnett mixes in the Change– Posada said he remembered five changeups from Burnett, and he expects even more as Burnett continues to get used to the pitch. “It’s a swing-and-miss pitch, it really is,” Posada said. Jorge Posada credits Burnett with using the new Change up he tinkered with in Spring Training for getting him some key outs yesterday’s game. That gives him what is (effectively) a 5th pitch, going with his 2 seam and 4 seam fastball, and his hard and soft Curveball. Some Tropicana Catwalks are in play? When Longoria’s ball hit the catwalk, Girardi argued that it Continue reading Notes from yesterday's win