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

Is Granderson that bad a center fielder?

According to Fangraphs, currently, Curtis Granderson is the worst fielding center fielder in baseball with a UZR of -9.7. Baseball-reference.com pretty much agrees and assigns him a -6 runs lost in fielding thus far. Baseball Prospectus has him at -2.7 thus far but rated him in the “horrendous” category last year. In fact, Fangraphs rates only Angel Pagan worse than Curtis Granderson if you combine last year with this one. What gives here? Is Granderson that bad?

A loss of range seems to be behind a lot of the B-R evaluation. That site says that Curtis Granderson’s range in center field was 2.81 as recently as 2008 and was above 3.00 in years previous to that. This year, Granderson’s range is rated at 2.16 or below league average. Has he lost that much of a step as a player? But then you get a play like this. Granderson’s stolen base totals are down and he only has one triple. So maybe his wheels aren’t what they once were.…

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Happy Andy Pettitte Day

We all know what the heart wants. The heart wants this to be a festival for Mothers Day with nostalgia meeting current needs. Heck, if Phil Hughes can pitch seven-plus innings and only give up a run, anything seems possible. But this is the Andy that gave the Yankees nineteen post season wins. He was there for every one of the five championships since 1996. Now he is back like the return of an old war hero. His return is like putting on your favorite pair of jeans. The heart wants the outing to be a celebration of all those good times and all those memories.

But this is not Old Timers Day. This is not a guy trotting out to the mound so that we can get misty-eyed and nostalgic. This is a guy going to the mound when every game counts in a tough American League East where at least two teams and possibly more are going to give the Yankees every run for their money they can devise.…

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Two straight aces – Yankees beat Felix Hernandez

It did not take long for Kuroda to give up his first run of the game. On his third pitch, Dustin Ackley lined an impressive shot to the opposite field that easily cleared the left field fence for a lead off home run. It was Ackley’s second homer of the season.

The Yankees scored a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Derek Jeter led off and hit a soft liner to right. Ichiro Suzuki got a good jump on the ball and made a nice sliding catch. Curtis Granderson then singled and stole second as Alex Rodriguez struck out looking. With two outs, the hottest hitter on the East Coast, Robinson Cano singled and drove in Granderson. Cano assumed Ichiro’s throw would go to the plate and headed toward second. But Justin Smoak cut the ball off and Cano was a dead duck between first and second. Fortunately, Granderson scored before Cano was tagged or the run would not have counted.…

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Thoughts on Joe Girardi

As far as I can tell, there is no statistical way to quantify a manager’s affect on wins and losses. Some say that managers have no bearing, that only performance by the players leads to victories and losses. Others lay of lot of credit to the guy that makes out the lineup card, makes pitching changes and is somewhat responsible for the way the team is run. It seems that most managers that have managed a long time have those value decisions made for them. But what do you go by? Many times, a manager’s overall record over time is considered. But again, a guy could get four jobs managing really bad teams. Does that make him a lousy manager? Joe Girardi has an overall managerial record of .570 and is .591 with the Yankees. That’s impressive. But how much credit can you give him?

I have often wondered if the Pythagorean won-loss record is any indication of a manager’s ability.…

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