Teixeira, Roberts, Beltran key to World Series title

You expect biting analysis from this site. Obviously, that differs greatly from analysis that bites. For anyone who studies the game, the hope is for an “aha” moment. I had one this morning and I could not wait to share it with you. This is one of those dope statistics that is going to land me on all the lists of writer geeks of all time. Here it is: Data suggests Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts and Carlos Beltran all have to play significant time for the Yankees to win the World Series.

Whoo…that sounds good, doesn’t it? So what is the data that is going to shake the world? Every Yankee World Series champ in the Jeter-era featured at least three significant contributions from switch-hitters. Therefore, Teixeira, Roberts and Beltran all have to make significant contributions this season for the Yankees to win the World Series.

You are stunned, right? Brilliant, eh? If I do this right, now I have to throw a bunch of data at you to prove that I am a full-fledged Saberboy. Wait…that’s Bill Parker. Anyway, here is the data:

Teixeira, Roberts and Beltran are all switch-hitters just like all those listed above in the World Series champs list.

Now let’s look at the teams that did not win the World Series:

  • 2013 – This team did not even feel like the Yankees. There were games without switch-hitters. It was strange. Teixeira was out all season. Except for Zoilo Almonte, there was nothing.
  • 2012 – Only Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira.
  • 2011 – Teixeira, Swisher and a very old Posada
  • 2010 – Teixeira, Posada and Swisher…uhh…this is starting to break down a little bit…
  • 2008 – Melky Cabrera, Posada missed a lot of time and Wilson Betemit‘s name is an oxymoron for his fielding.(hardly a better mitt)
  • 2007 – Posada and Melky.
  • 2006 – Posada, Melky and Bernie, who was in his last season.
  • 2005 – Posada, Bernie and a 39-year-old Sierra who was not much of a contributor.
  • 2004 – Posada, Bernie, Tony Clark and Sierra. They would have won if not for Dave Roberts and that stolen base…
  • 2003 – Posada, Bernie. Sierra only played 63 games.
  • 2002 – Posada and Bernie
  • 2001 – Posada and Bernie
  • 1997 – Bernie and Raines. Posada was the back-up catcher. You can count Mark Whitten I suppose.

Eight of the thirteen teams did not have major contributions from at least three switch-hitters and at least one of those teams was good enough to win the World Series. Okay, you’ve got me. It’s not exactly scientific. There goes my dreams of saber-stardom.

The truth is that switch-hitters limit the amount of compromising other managers can do to the Yankees based on the bullpen. If you bring in a lefty, three guys can turn around and neutralize the move and vice-versa. It just makes the lineup that much more flexible.

If you want to match up a lefty for Brian McCann, you will have to burn two relievers. If you want to bring in a right-handed pitcher for Jeter, you’ll have to burn two relief pitchers. Having those three in the lineup limits the damage or disruption guys like Buck Showalter and Joe Maddon can do.

All kidding aside, switch-hitting has been a hallmark of Yankee teams in the Jeter-era. If all three of their current roster of switch-hitters can offer something significant in 2014, the more optimism I will have on how far this team can go.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

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