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

Pettitte less than convincing as prosecution witness

The presiding judge in the case, Reggie Walton, said that Pettitte’s testimony was conflicted and Pettitte doesn’t really know what Clemens said concerning use of HGH. The bottom line here seems to be that Pettitte’s testimony for the prosecution did more aid for Clemens’ case than it did against it and perhaps that will make Andy Pettitte sleep a little better.

Whatever the outcome, my opinion on the entire thing has not changed. This is a colossal waste of taxpayer money that resulted from congressional hearings (after the Mitchell Report was published) which were themselves a waste of the government’s time and resources. Those hearings were political grandstanding at its best.  Major League Baseball was clearly on the PED case as the Mitchell Report showed and though the league’s actions were a decade late, it was clearly making up for lost time. There was no need for Congress to get involved and spending all this time to try to prove that Clemens lied to them costs a phenomenal amount of money that we taxpayers would rather spend elsewhere.…

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Reliever mentality – another viewpoint

I am a big believer in body language. Frankly, Hughes’ mound presence and body language have left much to be desired. We have heard often that Hughes is a California dude with not a whole lot of tenacity in his mindset. Word was that this past off season, he put more effort into his conditioning and that was encouraging. Young players have to invest in their own careers at some point and Hughes seemed to be doing that. But then the season started and much of that investment seemed to go the way of a 1929 stock portfolio.

Much was also made last season of Hughes’ loss of velocity. That was the problem we were all told. What used to be a fastball in the 92 to 94 MPH range died down to 89-90. But his velocity is back. And yet the results are not. You can blame the lack of secondary pitches to put batters away and keep them off balance, and sure, that has a lot to do with it.…

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Basking in the glow of C.C. Sabathia

Mike Mussina once said that a very good pitcher will win half of his starts. And sure enough, Mussina can count himself among those as he won 270 of his career 536 starts–just a tick above half. Roger Clemens won 354 of his 709 starts. Just a tick over half. Andy Pettitte has won 240 of his 479 starts. Just a tick over half. C.C. Sabathia has made 106 starts for the Yankees and has won 62 of them. So, by the Mussina-scale, Sabathia is doing pretty darned well as a Yankee.

In his Yankee career, C.C. Sabathia has now gone 62 – 23. That is an unbelievable winning percentage of .729. Whitey Ford’s winning percentage with the Yankees was .690. Ron Guidry’s was .651. Andy Pettitte’s is .644. Roger Clemens with the Yankees was .664. Lefty Gomez’s was .652. Mike Mussina’s was .631. Herb Pennock’s was .643. C.C. Sabathia has been as sure of a thing as a pitcher the Yankees have ever seen.…

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Freddy – What it is and what it isn’t

Using the data from Brooks Baseball, the following are Garcia’s pitches and velocity with 2011 listed first and 2012 listed second:

  • Four-seam fastball – 87.77 (2011), 87.48 (2012)
  • Two-seam fastball – 87.64, 87.30
  • Slider: 80.46, 80.89
  • Curve: 71.63, 72.19
  • Change: 80.89, 79.97
  • Splitter: 79.51, 81.00

Unless you want to consider the small hair he is off on his fastballs, Garcia isn’t throwing that much slower than a year ago. And according to the same Brooks Baseball data, his revolutions per minute (RPM) are up on most of his pitches over a year ago. That would seem to bury speculation that there is something wrong physically with Freddy Garcia (unless the Yankees come up with some mystery illness to put him on the DL).

Personally, the problem seems to be mechanical. Of all the data Brooks Baseball provides us, the only real change in anything I see is in Garcia’s vertical release point. Last year, his vertical release point was for his two fastballs and slider were, -1.27, -1.29 and -1.27.…

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Alex Rodriguez – the teammate

That transformation was never more evident than last night’s game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. The Yankees had done something few teams have been able to do. They nicked up Justin Verlander for four runs in six innings. But Ivan Nova, through a series of unfortunate events. coughed up the lead and allowed the Tigers to go back up by two runs. The Yankees would trim the lead to one thanks to an error. This is where Alex Rodriguez begins to really shine.

After hitting a homer off of Verlander and driving in another run earlier, Rodriguez came up in the eighth and faced the really tough Joaquin Benoit. In a terrific at bat, Rodriguez took what Benoit would give him and laced an opposite field single. Good base running then took him to third on Robinson Cano‘s single through the first base hole. And this is where Alex Rodriguez, the teammate took over.

Mark Teixeira hit a deep fly to center.…

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