How bad are bunts?

Of course, such research would be very difficult to do, but I’m not sure it’s even necessary, since it seems as though even Moshe concedes that the Yankees probably lost runs to the sacrifice bunt this year. His conclusion seems to simply be that the effect wasn’t extremely pronounced, though as I said at the beginning of the post, I think that leaves us pretty much where we were yesterday. It might get forgotten at times, but it’s still largely true that managerial decisions don’t move too many wins and losses, so long as we assume a base level of competence and a reasonably high degree of conformity with prevailing strategic wisdom. Still, I’m a little miffed by Moshe’s final sentence:

Taking into account the fact that the actual runs scored was about the same as the number of runs expected, it seems clear that Joe Girardi’s bunting problem was not much of an detriment to the Yankees in 2011.

With all due respect, that’s a pretty meaningless sentence.…

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Stopping the fools

The problem with both ballots should be obvious enough that I’m not going to spend much time on that. Rather, I’m interested in what the BBWAA can do to fix these problems, and to keep future voters from similarly insulting the process and embarrassing the awards as well. There are two obvious answers I see that could go a long way to doing just that.

The first is making voting rights revokable in the event a voter casts an indefensible ballot. I’ve put this idea forward for Hall of Fame voting, where the problem is more stark at the margins (though not as impactful, because the voting pool is much larger), but the basic idea is that you would have to sign your ballots, and there would be some sort of peer review process by which fellow voters could review ballots and punish any voter who submits an obviously indefensible vote. I think this is a good idea for the Hall of Fame balloting, where some really absurd ballots get cast every year, and mostly by people who aren’t terribly engaged in following baseball, but I’m not sure how well it would work in practice here.…

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Examining Possible Eduardo Nunez Trade Matches With The Braves

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

The biggest story to come out this past weekend was probably the “Braves being interested in Eduardo Nunez” rumors that sprouted up after the infamous “sources” stated that Atlanta was interested in the Yankees’ utility infielder as a replacement for...

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Stats to Watch: Rafael Soriano

I was not a fan of the Rafael Soriano signing. It didn’t seem necessary and it was for too much money. Sure, it made the 2011 Yankees better (before the season started), but it was still a short sighted move. Regardless of my misgivings, the Yankees are “stuck” with Soriano (oh how...

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An Ugly Rumor Better Left Forgotten

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

Lou Gehrig puts his arm around Babe Dahlgren, the first baseman who replaced him when his consecutive games streak came to an end.

Ellsworth Tenney “Babe” Dahlgren would be an anonymous figure in...

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Too many homers!

The crux of the argument, as you might imagine, is that the Yankees just didn’t get enough timely singles this year and that, to be successful in the postseason, you need to eschew the longball in favor of the timely hit. Is there any validity to it? Of course not.

Thankfully, we have a stat that measures basically exactly what we’re looking for here. Isolated power takes slugging percentage, which is really a total base average that doesn’t include walks or stolen bases, and subtracts batting average to isolate extra base hits. It’s a crude measure of a hitter’s power, but in terms of looking at which teams are the most single-happy it will do quite nicely.

So how do the playoff teams stack up? Surely the ones with the most success are the ones who get the highest proportion of singles, right? Wrong. The eight teams in the playoffs ranked first, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, twelfth, and seventeenth in IsoP.…

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Finally Caving: Seriously, Don't Overcommit to Yoenis Cespedes

I’ve been resisting writing about Yoenis Cespedes for some time now. His workout video was a truly epic undertaking, and his name started to receive a lot of buzz. The Yankees were rumored to be interested in him. And now, MLB teams appear to be ready to make offers to the soon-to-be free agent. From...

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