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.

Author Archives: William Tasker

Early Yankee BABIP Problems

Can you judge a team’s offense after just eight games? Probably not. But you can look at trends to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. According to most statistics I am looking at, the Yankees are a middle of the road offense. The one thing lagging behind everything else is the team’s batting average on balls in play or BABIP.

The Yankees are ninth out of thirty teams in runs scored. No doubt that fourteen-run explosion the other night helped that out quite a bit. The team is seventh in ISO, so the power numbers are decent. They are eleventh in wOBA. And they are fifteenth in on-base percentage.

Looking further at the numbers thus far, the team is ground ball / fly ball neutral. In other words, they are not leaning heavily in one batted ball type or the other. The team hasn’t hit a lot of line drives to this point and are 28th in that category.…

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Transition and Tradition

Judge ST

How long until Judge-ment day? Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

I have to admit that I am a bit lost. I don’t know how to love these Yankees. Oh boy…that doesn’t sound very journalistic. Well, heck. I’m not a journalist. I have always written from the point of view of a fan. My name on Twitter should give you a clue. On my site, I stay neutral and write as a fan of baseball as a whole. When I write for IIATMS, I am a Yankee fan. That’s what I am. And as such, I don’t know how to feel about this 2015 team.

Oh, there are plenty of writers that will tell me how I should feel. The team is old. Our writers have already blown up that notion. The starting pitching is a time bomb. Excuse me, but every rotation in baseball is a time bomb. Any rotation can blow up in the blink of an elbow. I should be dissatisfied because there were no big deals this off season.…

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Didi Gregorius hurts wrist

Didi Gregorius dove for a ball in the infield today during the Yankees’ Spring Training game against the Orioles and hurt his wrist. The Yankees’ Twitter account is calling it a sprain and precautionary x-rays will be taken. If any further information is available, we will post it here.

**UPDATE** X-Rays were negative (exhale) and Gregorius will rest until at least Tuesday.

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Spring Training Game 27 – Orioles at Yankees

The Baltimore Orioles (9-15) come to George M. Steinbrenner Field today to play the Yankees as Spring Training enters its final stages. Scott Baker will get the start for the Yankees and Tyler Wilson goes for the Orioles.

Despite his 4.32 ERA in a very short sample size this spring, Baker has thrown well. He hasn’t given up a homer nor has he walked anyone. To be honest, I like him better than Chris Capuano. He is still someone in the mix for the fifth starter that everyone expects Adam Warren to win. Baker is not a bad option.

It will be fun to see Tyler Wilson. He is one of the best Orioles’ prospects and has had a great spring.

The Lineups:

The Baltimore Orioles:

  1. Alejandro De Aza – LF
  2. Manny Machado – 3B
  3. Jimmy Paredes – DH
  4. Chris Davis – 1B
  5. Travis Snider – RF
  6. Everth Cabrera – CF (?)
  7. Steve Clevenger – C
  8. Ryan Flaherty – SS
  9. Jonathan Schoop – 2B

The New York Yankees

  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Chase Headley – 3B
  3. Carlos Beltran – RF
  4. Mark Teixeira – 1B
  5. Alex Rodriguez – DH
  6. Chris Young – CF
  7. Stephen Drew – 2B
  8. Mariekson Gregorius – SS
  9. Austin Romine – C

The game starts at 1:05 ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB.TV  Enjoy and feel free to chat here during the game.…

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IIATMS Top Moments #9: The Tino Martinez Grand Slam

By the start of the 1998 World Series, the animus of New York Yankee fans to Tino Martinez for replacing Don Mattingly was long gone. A title in 1996 and Martinez’s second place finish for the AL MVP in 1997 had pretty much taken care of those things. The only real problem remaining for Yankee fans was that Tino Martinez had not come through in the post season. And he was hearing about it.

It did not help that he had just come off of a tough two for nineteen 1998 ALCS against the Indians with a 30% strikeout rate. That dismal series for the Yankee first baseman brought his accumulative triple slash line of .188/.292/.291 to his Yankee post season resume. The .291 slugging percentage was particularly galling considering the 97 homers Martinez had hit for the Yankees during the last three regular seasons.

A lot of great hitters have bad post season performances. Mike Trout is the latest. People often forget the randomness of post season numbers on top of the fact that nearly all teams make it to the post season because they have great pitching.…

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IIATMS Top Moment #16: Joe Girardi’s Triple

Many who lived through and experienced the “Dynasty” and the “Core Four” consider 1996 the sweetest memory of them all. After all, it was the first World Series title after a long drought and it did not even seem possible after the first two games of the 1996 World Series. There were so many heroes of that World Series and during the course of these “Top Moments” posts, many of them will be recounted. This “moment” concerns the deciding Game Six of that Series and a dagger placed in the hearts of Atlanta Braves fans by catcher, Joe Girardi.

We hear a lot of the Core Four. To me, at least, it should have been a Core Five or Core Six to include Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill. But the term does include catcher, Jorge Posada. And the one misnomer about his inclusion (not to belittle his accomplishments) is that he was not really a part of the 1996 and 1997 story.…

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Who’s on first? Not Sabathia

Sabathia vs TB 2014

Courtesy of Getty Images

I fully understand that CC Sabathia gets paid to pitch. And him having a bounce-back season or even a somewhat decent full season is what is important for the Yankees in their quest for a playoff spot. I get all that. I also fully appreciate what Brad wrote yesterday about the big man’s weight. He was a great pitcher as a big guy and can be a good pitcher as a big guy. The one irritant for me during Sabathia’s tenure with the Yankees is that he pitches with only eight fielders because he is not one of them.

During Sabthia’s abbreviated season in 2014, the Yankees’ pitcher recorded only one putout. That would be an unfair statement if 2014 wasn’t the fifth time in his career that he recorded only one putout for a season. He has a string of three of those seasons in a row. Sabathia does not cover first base very well.

The only putout Sabathia recorded in 2014 was on a Robinson Cano dribbler to first.…

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Drew and Morales lost boatloads of money

After the 2013 season was over, thirteen players were given qualified offers where the players could choose that option and receive $14.1 million for 2014. After all thirteen turned down the offers, five of the players did not sign long-term contracts: Hiroki Kuroda, Nelson Cruz, Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales. The first three made out just fine as we shall see. But Drew and Morales both lost a ton of money.

Kuroda was a special circumstance. I believe he knew he was only going to pitch one last season of MLB and left his situation to the highest, one-year bidder. The Yankees re-signed him and Kuroda came out ahead on the deal by $900,000.

Nelson Cruz was coming off of a PED suspension and read his market well and signed a one-year deal with the Orioles. While the one year cost him $6 million, his calculated gamble paid off with a big season and just signed a four-year deal that will pay him $14.25 million per season.…

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Wednesday morning news and notes 12/24/2014

It’s Christmas Eve and all through the Net, not a rumor is stirring whom the Yankees might get…

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your gang here at It’s About the Money. While we celebrate the season, we will keep a half an eye on what is going on in the world of baseball. Don’t expect much to happen in the next couple of days at least.

The only news to mention this morning is that the Miami Marlins have claimed Preston Claiborne off waivers from the Yankees according to Joe Frisaro.. We wish Claiborne well as he moves along to Miami.

Claiborne was somewhat useful out of the bullpen the last couple of seasons with a dead-on career FIP of 4.00. He picked up three vulture wins for the Yankees in 2014 and had four holds in 2013. Claiborne pitched a total of 71.1 innings for the Yankees in 62 appearances between 2013 and 2014 and was the designated go-to guy when the Yankees had to dip into the minors to get an arm.…

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