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

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.…

Read more

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.…

Read more

Stronger than Dirt

Tidrow came to the Yankees via one of the best trades in the team’s history. The trade happened on April 26, 1974, 38 years ago from this very date! In the deal, the Yankees got Tidrow, Chris Chambliss and Cecil Upshaw from the Cleveland Indians for Steve Kline, Fred Beene, Fritz Peterson and Tom Buskey. Peterson was the only “name” the Yanks traded in the deal and he was pretty well broken down by then. Tidrow’s first year with the team was mostly as a starter. The next three seasons, he was mostly a relief pitcher. He would be mostly a starter again in 1978. The Yankees would trade Tidrow to the Cubs for Ray Burriss. That was a bad trade as Burriss didn’t do anything for the Yankees. In 1976, Tidrow pitched for the Yankees mostly from the bullpen. He made only two spot starts during the season and pitched seven innings both times and only allowed two runs in each.…

Read more

Game 18 – Battle of the once was

Both pitchers have had very good success as bullpen pitchers. But both would prefer to start and who can blame them. A good start by Feldman could pique the interest of other teams for trade possibilities. A good start for Hughes will allow him to keep his doubters at bay for a little while longer.

Tonight’s lineups:

Yankees:

Derek Jeter SS

Curtis Granderson CF

Alex Rodriguez 3B

Robinson Cano 2B

Mark Teixeira 1B

Nick Swisher RF

Raul Ibanez LF

Eric Chavez DH

Russell Martin C

Rangers:

Ian Kinsler 2B

Elvis Andrus SS

Josh Hamilton CF

Adrian Beltre 3B

Michael Young DH

Nelson Cruz RF

David Murphy LF

Mike Napoli C

Mitch Moreland 1B

Game time is 8:05 and will be televised on the YES Network.

Read more

Getting the big hit

Before we do, I want to first present to you the at bat by Curtis Granderson, the first batter in the bases loaded situation yesterday. The box score says he struck out. Epic fail, right? But it was actually a decent at bat that could have gone a different way. Granderson battled Darvish for seven pitches. Only one of the strikes in the at bat was actually in the strike zone. See the below chart from Brooks Baseball:

Click on the picture if you want to see it better and then come back. You will see that two of the called strikes against Granderson were actually outside the strike zone. That’s the way it goes sometimes. If you make those pitches balls, then Granderson walks and we would have something else to talk about today.

Anyway, back to the original thought. The alleged failure of the Yankees to produce with men on base is largely false and in this year’s statistics, too small of a sample size to quantify.…

Read more

Pedro Gomez and the Hall of Fame quagmire

My stand, one which I have taken for a long, long time, is that the Hall of Fame should be about the best players of their generation. To refuse players of the PED generation access to the HOF makes that institution a moot point. You can’t whitewash an entire generation of baseball players simply because of what happened when they played. Doing so also allows the voters the McCarthyism of keeping “suspected” players out who are guilty without having any burden of proof. The Hall of Fame used to be something that was very cool to me. Sure, there were stupid votes in the past that sort of stretched that love a bit. The Bruce Sutter vote comes to mind. Now, the institution is a mockery where three quarters of the 600 voters are allowed to be the moral compass for all of us.

I’m not going to get into the “cheating” dialogue. As far as I am concerned, baseball players have been cheating since time began.…

Read more