A closer look at the Yankees getting owned by pitchers making their Major League debuts

After spending a lot of time discussing Josh Tomlin‘s annihilation of the Yankees last night while continuing to bemoan the team’s performance against pitchers making their Major League debuts, I was encouraged to take a look back at previous instances to see whether the stigma that the Yankees always get owned by rookies in their first career starts held true. I used Baseball-Reference’s Play Index tool and came up with eight such instances during the past 10 seasons in which the Yankees have faced a starter making his Major League debut. Admittedly I’m not quite an expert with the PI, Continue reading A closer look at the Yankees getting owned by pitchers making their Major League debuts

Game 99: Yankees 1, Indians 4

The Yankees’ offense continues to be fooled by rookie pitching, as the Cleveland Indians’ Josh Tomlin had almost no problem working through the Bombers during his major league debut.  CC Sabathia had a mediocre start in his old home park, and the apathetic offense did little to help as the Indians tied up the series with a 4-1 win.

Sabathia got into some trouble in the first inning.  With two outs, Shin-Soo Choo singled and stole second.  Austin Kearns followed with a single to left and Brett Gardner gunned down Choo at home.  The second and third innings were relatively uneventful, but the Indians threatened in the fourth.  Asdrubal Cabrera singled to start the inning, moving to third on Choo’s double.  Kearns grounded the ball to Alex Rodriguez who threw home in time to get Cabrera, but Cervelli was unable to hold onto the ball, giving the Tribe its first run of the game.  The bases loaded when Jhonny Peralta grounded to short.  Jeter started the double play attempt, but Robinson Cano came off second early before throwing to first, where the umpire called Peralta safe.  Matt LaPorta followed with a sac fly to score Choo and the Indians had a 2-0 lead.

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AJ Burnett-You’ll pry that pie from my cold, dead hand!

Mark Fiensand of the NY Daily News caught up with AJ Burnett before last night’s game and asked him if he plans on curbing his pie-throwing antics in light of a recent mishap with the Florida Marlins. Here’s the story: CLEVELAND – Celebrating has become dangerous in baseball, but don’t expect A.J. Burnett to curb his pie throwing. Florida‘s Chris Coghlan tore the meniscus in his left knee on Sunday as he jumped to deliver a celebratory pie in the face of Wes Helms following his walk-off single. Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, might require surgery that Continue reading AJ Burnett-You’ll pry that pie from my cold, dead hand!

AJ Burnett-You'll pry that pie from my cold, dead hand!

Mark Fiensand of the NY Daily News caught up with AJ Burnett before last night’s game and asked him if he plans on curbing his pie-throwing antics in light of a recent mishap with the Florida Marlins. Here’s the story: CLEVELAND – Celebrating has become dangerous in baseball, but don’t expect A.J. Burnett to curb his pie throwing. Florida‘s Chris Coghlan tore the meniscus in his left knee on Sunday as he jumped to deliver a celebratory pie in the face of Wes Helms following his walk-off single. Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, might require surgery that Continue reading AJ Burnett-You'll pry that pie from my cold, dead hand!

Derek Jeter Is The Biggest Bargain In Baseball (A Rebuttal)

Last week, Jason wrote a post here titled “Does Jeter’s 2010 performance *really* matter?” In this post, Jason considered how much Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter should be paid after his current contract expires at the end of this year. Jason is my buddy, and as far as this blogging thing is concerned, Jason is my boss. But Jason suggested that it is possible for the Yankees to pay Jeter more than he is worth.

That’s crazy talk.

To be more specific, Jason said that Jeter might be worth less than $15 million a year, or more precisely, that it would be “above market” to pay Jeter $60 million for a 4-year contract. Jason even quoted ESPN’s Buster Olney, who said that “in a vacuum” a shortstop with Jeter’s current production is worth something like $5 million a year. In other words, Derek Jeter <= Marco Scutaro (Marco Scutaro is making $5.5 million this year).

To give Buster Olney the benefit of the doubt, I will step into a vacuum for a moment and see if I can see things his way.

[cough cough. Can’t breathe! Damn vacuum, let me out of here! DEEP BREATH. Much better!]

Personally, I find that I don’t do my best thinking in a vacuum. So I’m left wondering which planet it is where Buster Olney is currently resident, where Marco Scutaro is more valuable than Derek Jeter, even in a vacuum. For his valuation of Jeter, Olney wins this year’s Picard-Riker Double Face Palm Award (pictured above).

To be fair, I think even Buster Olney gets that Jeter is worth more than $5 million a year. And there were plenty of comments on Jason’s piece by folks who appreciate the value of Jeter’s contributions (both historic and current) to the Yankees.

But if someone questions Jeter’s value, there’s something that needs to be said in response. As no one else has said it, I’ll say it.

Derek Jeter is the biggest bargain in baseball.

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Yankees do their thing against starting pitcher making his Major League debut, which is to say, absolutely nothing

Can someone please explain why the Yankees — currently in possession of the best wOBA in Major League Baseball (though maybe not for much longer after tonight’s fiasco), not to mention one of the top two offensive teams in the American League every year except 2008 (when they were 5th) since the 2002 season — get completely shutdown seemingly every single time they face a rookie starting pitcher making his Major League debut? Pretty much every Yankee fan I know jokes about this all the time, but it long ago ceased being funny. While I have to imagine there have Continue reading Yankees do their thing against starting pitcher making his Major League debut, which is to say, absolutely nothing

Mythbusters: Joba and A-Rod Edition

Every so often, a characterization of a player made by a handful of fans or media members takes on a life of its own, spreading with reckless abandon until most fans believe that unsupported conclusions are incontrovertibly true. That is how you end up with people claiming that Jesus Montero has a bad attitude, or believing that nobody but the ballboy wants to throw to Jorge Posada. Two of my least favorite chestnuts involve Joba Chamberlain’s work ethic and A-Rod’s general impact in the clubhouse. Joba has constantly been assailed from all corners for being lazy and entitled, as people Continue reading Mythbusters: Joba and A-Rod Edition

Thoughts Inspired by Last Night’s Game

Though it wasn’t high scoring, last night’s game was quite exciting. Here’s what I was thinking during and after the game. –I really liked the way Javy Vazquez pitched last night. I thought he mixed his pitches well and his breaking stuff had good movement. The 7th inning at bat versus Travis Hafner. Despite missing badly on the first pitch and then throwing ball two going down 2-0, Vazquez battled back and struck Hafner out swinging on a well placed fastball. He may not have gotten fantastic run support last night, but Javy pitched well nonetheless. –I know it’s just Continue reading Thoughts Inspired by Last Night’s Game

Has Jon Lester become the best pitcher in the American League?

At the present moment, only two pitchers in the American League have a higher WAR than Jon Lester and his jaw-dropping 4.2: Francisco Liriano (5.1!) and Cliff Lee (4.3). Before I go too much further, I have to admit that I’ve been a huge Lester fan for a while now. I know that sounds like anathema to a lot of Yankee fans, but how can you not root for a guy who beat cancer? Plus, he’s flat-out awesome at pitching. If I were a Boston fan I would be giddy every fifth day getting to watch this guy pitch. Anyway, Continue reading Has Jon Lester become the best pitcher in the American League?