IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

Author Archives: @Jason_IIATMS

No surprises here, Yanks are not getting Darvish

While I am certainly disappointed that the Yanks won’t be able to fit the young, 6’5″ pitcher for very long pinstripes, I can only hope some other team feels financially strangled by this latest breach of the “Yanks buy everyone” contract we all signed so long ago. I just hope they didn’t bid to win out of fear from prior Japanese pitching acquisitions.

Take that, competitive balance.

Oh yeah, for those wondering about videoboy Yeonis Cespedes, says Marc Carig, again:

The Yankees have scouted Cespedes and came away believing him to be an everyday major league center fielder. But even that belief won’t be enough for the Yankees to be a factor in the bidding.

Remind me again, who are the Yankees if not big spenders?

(h/t to HBT)

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Can we drop the “But Irabu and Igawa failed” line of reasoning?

Players are investments, pure and simple. Like investing, we root for our investments to “win” for us. Some pan out, some fizzle. You and I hope to make some sound investments to help cover those that failed, and at the end of the day, we strive to be better off than when we started. Prospects resemble the penny stocks that we hope explode and make us all rich/successful, but really, most don’t. The top free agents are those larger equities who have already enjoyed a run up in price and we’re hoping their stock still has some legs left for us to participate in. Some do, some don’t. It happens.

If you bought a stock ten years ago and it failed, or at least didn’t live up to your expectations, does that mean you no longer invest in the stock market? Well, maybe if your risk profile changes due to age or other circumstance, but otherwise you continue to seek the best assets to invest in.…

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Your 2011 Anti-IIATMS HOF selections

Albert Pujols

According to Bob Nightingale, the Marlins attempted to match Alex Rodriguez‘s second contract (grrrr, don’t get me started) with a similarly sized deal. Instead, Albert opted for ARod’s first deal:

@BNightengale: The Miami #Marlins actually outbid the #Angels for Pujols,offering 10-year, $275 million deal, sources confirm.

My dearest Marlins fan(s), you will not regret Albert taking this deal. You would, however regret it in about year five, just as Albert’s 10-5 clause will kick in. However, given that Albert Almighty left some $20-25M on the table, he gets the first 2011 anti-IIATMS selection.

C.J. Wilson

At least this guy just came out and said it, which I dig:

“If it was about the money, I’d be a Florida Marlin.”

Evidently, the Marlins were willing to go to $100M for Wilson, which in corporate finance terms, is called “bat-shit crazy”. Your newer text book might refer to it as something else. Nonetheless, props to Wilson for taking what appears to be a lesser offer to draft behind the Pujols big-rig.…

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A bit about the new CBA rule about maple bats

Jason: What’s your official, on-the-record stance on the new CBA rules about maple bats and your thoughts if the new limits on low-density wood have a material impact on the # of instances?

Phil: I do not feel that outlawing “low-density” maple will solve the problem of injuries on and off the field. It’s obvious that bats are still breaking at an alarming rate as cited by numerous players, yet upper management says it’s reduced breakage by fifty percent. Where are the statistics and numbers? Are we supposed to “blindly” believe that everything is under control? I believe my own eyes and see just as many broken bats fly into the stands and on the field as they have in the past. The only thing that has changed is that they have muzzled the announcers from talking about it and do not show the bats going in the stands after they break during game-play. This propaganda tactic can only last for so long until there is a death on the field or in the stands.

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Bernie Williams headlines the 2012 HOF nominees

ESPN’s SweetSpot force majeure David Schoenfield was making the case that Bernie is worthy of HOF consideration. While I agree he’s worth considering, Schoenfield really created the case why Bernie should not be in the HOF:

At his peak, Williams was a terrific offensive force, even though he reached 30 home runs just once in his career. From 1995 through 2002, he averaged .321/.406/.531 with 105 runs and 102 RBIs per season. He won four Gold Gloves, despite his weak throwing arm; the defensive metrics never matched his reputation and Baseball-Reference.com grades out Williams as a below-average center fielder over his career. He sure seemed smooth and effective out there, however. It’s an extremely strong peak, punctuated by starring on four World Series champions, arguably the most valuable player on those teams. (From 1996 through 2002, Derek Jeter had 35.1 WAR according to B-R, Williams 34.6, Andy Pettitte 27.3 and Mariano Rivera 24.3.)

Williams had seven seasons with an OPS+ of 130 or higher — OK, that’s a lot fewer than the all-time great center fielders like Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle — but it’s the same total as Hall of Fame center fielders Duke Snider and Earl Averill, the same number as Andre Dawson (who had seven such seasons, but three as a right fielder), and more than Larry Doby and Kirby PucketT.

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In a big coup for Cashman, Sabathia chooses to stay before hitting the market

CC Sabathia has agreed to, in essence, forgo opting out in lieu of an extra year of guaranteed cash from the Yankees, with the chance to vest an option if his arm is still attached after 2016. From ESPN:

The total deal is for five years and $122 million, which is instead of the four years and $92 million remaining on his original contract. Sabathia, 31, will be paid $25 million in 2016, which is the final year of the new contract, the source said. The deal contains a vesting option for $25 million in 2017 with a $5-million buyout solely on the condition of his shoulder since the Yankees have some concern about a pre-condition. Sabathia, who also retains a hotel suite on trips, a no-trade provision and the right to buy tickets, will qualify for the vesting option as long as he spends less than 45 days on the disabled list with a shoulder injury in 2016.

To which I say: Bravo, Brian Cashman.…

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Debunking the “lack of killer instinct” argument

Thanks to the beauty of B-Ref’s Play Index, we can go back and illustrate the existence or lack thereof of a “killer instinct” as evidenced by the Yankees’ record when trailing after the seventh inning.

WITNESS:

Year / W-L / W%

  • 1995: 7-49 .125 (Lost ALDS)
  • 1996: 7-54 .115 (Won WS)
  • 1997: 9-46 .164 (Lost ALDS)
  • 1998: 8-43 .157 (Won WS)
  • 1999: 9-55 .141 (Won WS)
  • 2000: 5-64 .072 (Won WS)
  • 2001: 18-45 .286 (Lost WS)
  • 2002: 7-51 .121 (Lost ALDS)
  • 2003: 2-49 .039 (Lost WS)
  • 2004: 7-51 .121 (Lost ALCS)
  • 2005: 13-58 .183 (Lost ALDS)
  • 2006: 9-46 .164 (Lost ALDS)
  • 2007: 6-57 .095 (Lost ALDS)
  • 2008: 4-59 .063 (Missed playoffs)
  • 2009: 9-55 .141 (Won WS)
  • 2010: 9-56 .138 (Lost ALCS)
  • 2011: 4-49 .075 (Lost ALDS)

What does the above array of numbers and tell us? Anything? I tried graphing the winning % and they show what we already know.…

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Lowe for AJ? DeJesus over Jesus? It’s that time of the year…

Yes, a less fly-ball prone pitcher in Yankee Stadium is a good thing, generally speaking. Yes, a guy who is a near lock to make 34 starts a season is good to have, but 34 CRAPPY starts is not so good. And you know what, AJ Burnett hasn’t hit the DL during his Yankees tenure either, so despite all initial fears of him being an injury-risk, he’s taken the ball every time (with mixed results, like 70/30 bad/good, using the eyeball test only. Am I being too generous?).

Let’s peek at Lowe’s 2011 season, because really, it’s pretty awful:

Split G R H HR BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 Totals 34 110 212 14 70 137 1.96 .285 .347 .406 .754
I Split W L W-L% ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
2011 Totals 9 17 .346 5.05 34 34 0 187.0 212 110 105 14 70 137 1.508 6.6 1.96
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table; Generated 10/12/2011.

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