Orioles Down Yankees 5-4 in Extras

That one stung a bit. These past few days have not been kind to the Yankees. The weather has conspired against them and the scheduling of day games and makeup games just compounded the worn out feeling surrounding the whole club. With the impending west coast trip following this game, I think we all knew this one could get weird. It certainly did. After a quiet 1st inning, the Yankees struck in the 2nd when they loaded the bases with nobody out. An infield single by Eric Chavez scored Alex Rodriguez and kept the bases loaded with nobody out. Cervelli Continue reading Orioles Down Yankees 5-4 in Extras

Game Thread: Yankees at Orioles 9/8/2011

Same matchup, different location. The Yankees are sending the following lineup to the field: SS Jeter CF Granderson 1b Teixeira DH Rodriguez 2b Cano RF Swisher 3b Chavez C Cervelli LF Gardner SP Nova Montero sits while Alex gets a half-day off. Martin also sits. The good news? No rain! Let’s play ball.

Collecting my thoughts on Mariano

H/T to Bexy of You Can’t Predict Baseball for vaguely inspiring this post. Make sure you check out that site if you haven’t, and follow the site’s Twitter account @cantpredictball. In the next few weeks, Mariano Rivera will break the all-time saves record. We’ll make a big deal of it and so will the other members of the Yankees. Rivera will humbly accept all the congratulations and be thankful for his health and his great teammates that allowed him to rack up this many saves. He’ll be modest, but the modesty will not be false. While we can whine about Continue reading Collecting my thoughts on Mariano

Why can’t Hughes put batters away?

Phil Hughes has seemed to struggle with finishing batters off when ahead in the count since at least May of last season, and today Larry at TYA has the numbers to back up the observation. If you haven’t seen it yet, go now. It’s a must read. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you.

Larry’s run the numbers and presented them, so I won’t try to ape that here. I’m more interested in why Hughes can’t seem to finish batters off. Here’s Larry’s take:

So what’s going on with Hughes? For one, as many have noted, his fastball velocity — though better than it was back in April — still really hasn’t been what it once was. For two, as everyone under the sun knows, he still lacks a true secondary offering that can be counted on to regularly put hitters away. To Phil’s credit, we’ve seen what appears to be a slightly more aggressive curveball in a handful of his starts since returning from the DL, but it still doesn’t feel like a put-away pitch. For three, his cutter, which he introduced in 2009 to great effect, is essentially gone. He’s used it quite a bit less, and the lack of fastball velocity is subsequently impacting the cutter’s velocity.

That sounds about right. I’ve long thought Hughes that Hughes was a little too enamored with his cutter. It was an effective pitch for about a month when he rolled it out last year, but after hitters adjusted to it, it just seemed like a very ineffective pitch. It didn’t have the movement to fool hitters, and the velocity didn’t differ enough from his fastball to really slow down the bat. Based solely on observation, it seemed like hitters would foul it off a lot when Hughes went to it in 0-2 or 1-2 counts.If Hughes is going to take the next step in his development, he needs to improve those secondary offerings, and give himself a more diverse set of offerings to take advantage of when he’s got batters in a hole. Continue reading Why can’t Hughes put batters away?

The Continuing Story of Bungalow Phil

As noted in the the Tuesday night game recap, Phil Hughes‘ continued inability to authoritatively shut down hitters after reaching favorable pitchers’ counts — he seems to have particular trouble putting guys away after reaching 0-2 on hitters — was on full display after surrendering a long two-run home run on an 0-2 count to Matt Wieters. The home run in and of itself isn’t a huge deal, except for the fact that his issues dispensing with guys with two strikes in the count has been an ongoing problem now for the better part of two years — even when Continue reading The Continuing Story of Bungalow Phil

Game 141: Orioles 5, Yankees 4 (11 Innings)

Having ended their last game at 2:15am, the Yankees lineup was far from typical on Wednesday afternoon. It was a sloppy game from the start, as both teams combined to commit six errors.  In the end, the Yankees had one error too many, as they took an extra inning 5-4 loss to Baltimore.

The Orioles were the first to score, as Matt Angle singled off A.J. Burnett to start the game.  He stole second and moved to third on a groundout to Eduardo Nunez, who bobbled the ball before throwing out Robert Andino at first.  A groundout from Nick Markakis sent Angle home and the Orioles held a 1-0 lead.

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Yankees lose to O's 5-4 in extras

During a wet, incredibly sloppy afternoon (the Yankees and Orioles combined for six(!) errors), A.J. Burnett turned in what can really only be deemed a Burnett-esque performance at this point. He didn’t get killed, but he gave up four runs in six innings on seven hits — including a two-run homer to Nolan Reimold, giving Burnett 27 home runs served up on the year, the second-worst total in the AL — and four walks, which is altogether far too many baserunners in a six-inning appearance, not to mention the fact that the leadoff man reached base in five of Burnett’s Continue reading Yankees lose to O's 5-4 in extras

WAR Is Not the New RBI (but It Has Its Own Flaws)

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Is WAR the new RBI? That was the question asked in a thought provoking post at IIATMS, which is sure to draw a new battle line in the statistical debate over the value of composite metrics. At the heart of author’s argument is the suggestion that WAR, like RBIs, is context-based because so many elements of performance are interconnected. To illustrate this point, Adrian Gonzalez’ higher career OPS with men on base is offered as one of the exhibits. In this case, the implication is that Gonzalez’ performance benefits from his teammates getting on Continue reading WAR Is Not the New RBI (but It Has Its Own Flaws)


“The quality or state of being exactly as purposed: neither spurious nor false” — Webster Dictionary

“Drafting a constitution is only the first step. The constitution has to be granted legitimacy by open discussion and a fair, representative referendum.” — Emma Bonino

“Government loses its claim to legitimacy when it fails to fulfill its obligations.” — Martin Gross

These are all excellent definitions and/or descriptions of the word “legitimacy”, but I’ll give you an easier one. Legitimacy is never fearing being questioned. Whether you look at this from a religious, political, or baseball perspective, legitimacy implies having power and/or being right, so let’s think about this logically. If I believe I am right, I must have a reason to think so. If I have a reason to think so, I must have a basis for my belief that I am right. If I am right, no question can harm me because I am right. If I am actually wrong, my legitimacy was false to begin with, and the world can change for the better. This is terribly simplistic, but it is sound (go ahead, ask).

Here’s the problem, however, with legitimacy. It implies power, and people like power. When they become legitimate, they gain power, and whenever a new thought, question, or challenge arises, it threatens that power, if only temporarily. For a long time, sabermetricians were that threat, constantly questioning the baseball intellectual hierarchy. Sabermetricians, however, have begun to gain legitimacy and, thus, power. They, of course, have not gained total legitimacy, but they have gained significant in-roads as the mainstream begins to take on, acknowledge, and accept these new ideas and eschew some old ones. Significant resistance remains, and sabermetricians continue to fight for the legitimacy of their ideas.

But they have some, and they are obviously very protective, even to the point of becoming close to what they fought against. Hippeaux’s post yesterday was thought-provoking, and while I didn’t agree with all of it, the purpose of questioning WAR was well-intentioned. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I thought that’s really what sabermetrics was all about–continuously questioning the accepted. I didn’t think it was simply questioning traditional strategies and notions, but by some reactions yesterday (go to Hippeaux’s post from today to see), you would have thought otherwise.

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