Revisiting The Debate About The Wave

"I'm the President! Do you really expect me to do the Wave?"

During last night’s game, some fans at Yankee Stadium started the Wave in the 7th inning of a 9-3 game, spurring some debate between myself, Sean McNally (@SeanMMcNally), and Ben Kabak (@bkabak) about the etiquette of the Wave and whether it is ever appropriate. I defended it as allowable in certain circumstances, while Sean and Ben suggested that it is never appropriate. I wanted to open the discussion up to the readers here, and I conveniently found a debate that Larry Koestler and I had on this very topic last season. I’ll provide a key excerpt from each piece, and then I hope you’ll chime in with your take in the comments:

My defense of the Wave:

My position on the wave is much the same. Although it may not have any inherent value, it makes the game more fun for casual fans and children. While the ideal situation would be for all fans to take attending a game as seriously as you and I might, that is simply not realistic.

Click here to read the rest

There’s no such thing as too many catchers

The Yankees minor league depth at catcher has been well documented. Jesus Montero is knocking loudly on the door to the Bronx. Austin Romine is having a fine start to the season. Gary Sanchez has Montero-type upside at this point. J.R. Murphy‘s bat is hot in Charleston right now. This is definitely a position of strength for the Yankees. With Russell Martin looking a bit revived so far in 2011 and Montero and Romine relatively close to the Majors, there might be a logjam that needs clearing soon.

I’m against the idea of trading Jesus Montero, but wouldn’t be completely opposed to it if the return was right. I’ve said many times that I don’t think Austin Romine will be in the Yankee organization by this time in 2012. That doesn’t mean I want Romine to get traded, but if there’s one to go, I think it’s him. If he gets traded, he’d probably be part of a package that would hopefully bring back a good return.… Click here to read the rest

A Groundball Problem

Have pitchers changed their approach to Jeter?

It would be hasty to immediately attribute all variation in Jeter’s performance to him alone, so it’s necessary to determine whether or not pitchers are simply throwing to him differently. A large part of pitching is pitch selection. Thankfully, there are a few great resources available that measure pitch selection. One such resource is the Baseball Info Solutions data available at Fangraphs.  An advantage of BIS data is that it dates back to 2002, which is great. Unfortunately, the pitch classifications are performed by – get this – humans. Gross! In all seriousness, this is not a good classification system because the individuals who actually manually classify the pitches are doing so by watching the same video feeds that we as fans use to watch the games on tv. The problem here is that most stadiums use an offset camera for tv broadcasts. This has the unfortunate effect of distorting the appearance of pitches, and the ability to determine depth is also compromised.… Click here to read the rest

CC Sabathia and the Yankee bats pound the White Sox 12-3

After torturing fans with three consecutive low-scoring, dull games, the Yankee bats came alive against Chicago Thursday night, tagging the White Sox for twelve runs and thirteen hits. But the box score doesn’t tell the full story of this game. There were at least four separate storylines.

It all went away tremendously, but Edwin Jackson actually had an ugly Edwin Jackson style no-hitter going against the Yankees through the first four innings of the ball game. For those who don’t remember, Jackson actually recorded a 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter last season with the Diamondbacks. He started out this game in similar fashion, only worse. In the third inning he walked four consecutive Yankees, giving Nick Swisher an RBI and then gave up a sac fly to Robinson Cano. At the end of the inning Jackson had yet to allow a hit, but was losing 2-0. Through the first four innings Thursday’s game looked like a bad version of the previous three, an ugly, low-scoring affair.… Click here to read the rest

Game 22: White Sox 3, Yankees 12

The Bombers’ hitless streak did not last for long, however.  Gardner led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer.  Nunez lined a double to left and Granderson tripled him in. Nick Swisher then singled to right, bringing Granderson home.  With the Yankees up 5-0 and Jackson having gone from no-hitter to batting practice in a blink of an eye, the White Sox pulled him and brought out Tony Pena.

Cano singled and Rodriguez doubled, scoring Swisher.  Pena intentionally walked Eric Chavez and Russell Martin singled to left, plating Cano. Jorge Posada worked a walk, scoring Rodriguez and the White Sox made another pitching change, as they continued to search for their first out of the inning.  By the end of the fifth, the Yankees held an 8-0 lead.  The half inning had lasted 32 minutes, and 22 minutes had elapsed between Gardner’s first homer and when he struck out for the first out of the inning.

New York wasn’t done yet. … Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Yankees v. White Sox

The Yankees look to salvage a split of their 4 game series with the White Sox tonight, with CC Sabathia throwing the first pitch for the Yankees at 7:05. Here is the Yankees lineup:

Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Eric Chavez 1B
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada DH
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez SS… Click here to read the rest

Must-Read Links: The Value of a Split Second, The Importance Of A Farm System

There were two baseball stories that I read today that I found incredibly interesting, and I wanted to highlight them here.

The numbers behind a catch and a just-miss

Mark Simon had a great post this morning comparing the hang time on a game-changing bloop double the Yankees allowed to the Twins a few weeks ago to Brent Lillibridge’s catch of a Robinson Cano liner that ended a game this week. The takeaway:

Young’s fly ball had a hang time of 4.4 seconds. BIS was able to determine that a ball hit to a spot within a 10 foot by 10 foot zone of that hit location was a base hit approximately 57 percent of the time at that hang time within the last year. So Swisher wasn’t the only player to miss out on a ball hit into that zone.

To show you the impact that the hang time of a fly ball has on a play, check out the chart on the right, provided the day after Young got his game-tying hit.

Click here to read the rest

Minor League Update

AAA- Scranton


Until the unfortunate “ball meets balls” incident, Jesus Montero was still raking albeit still without any walks. He’ll miss a few games to nurse his “situation” back to health… Justin Maxwell has been on fire. The way he’s getting on base and his streak of HRs is pretty impressive. The strikeouts also are really impressive. This is a guy with a lot of holes in his swing and the 49% K rate tells you all you need to know… As Mike Axisa points out, Kevin Whelan has been pitching pretty well for Scranton. He’s benefited from some BABIP luck it looks like so far but the K rate is substantial.

AA- Trenton



So far, Austin Romine has been a bit better with taking some base on balls in 2011. That’s a good sign and hopefully he’ll be able to keep that going. Brian Anderson has looked good in the handful of innings he’s thrown so far… Manny Banuelos is also starting to round into form as his blister problem recedes

A+ Tampa



Luke Murton hasn’t slowed down much since the beginning of the year.… Click here to read the rest