Random baseball thoughts on a Friday

It has been a while since I’ve written one of these posts but if you’re a longtime reader, you know the drill and if you’re new to the blog, welcome and enjoy the journey into my brain: the thoughts are random and can be silly.

And away we go:

  • I missed Travis Ishikawa‘s walk off last night because I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face before bed, though I did say to my brother that the Giants would walk off in that ninth inning.
  • And how about that walk off? Remember Ishikawa’s time with the Yankees? Probably not because it only lasted two at bats in a game against the Royals in 2013.
  • Mike Matheny really screwed up a lot during this NLCS: he made very questionable decisions and poor Michael Wacha didn’t deserve to be in the position he was in last night.
  • The Giants are unbelievable.
  • I’m also getting sick of seeing them in the World Series every other year.
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The 2014 IIATMS End-Of-Season Awards Post

I know I said last Sunday that the 2014 season was over and we’d be moving on, but the season isn’t really over until you do your year-end team awards post.  Staff voting was held over the last 2 days and the results have been tallied.  Without further ado, I’d like to announce the winners of the 2014 IIATMS end-of-season awards.  The envelopes, please…

MVP- 3-Way Tie (Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner)

The vote: Betances 3 (Scott, Matt B., Tamar), Ellsbury 3 (Katie, Stacey, Dom), Gardner 3 (Matt I., William, Kenny), Masahiro Tanaka 1 (Brad)

In what will surely go down as one of the most controversial votes in IIATMS history, the team MVP award will be split 3 ways.  Betances’ gaudy numbers, the league-high workload in which he accumulated them, and the consistency with which he pitched lights out in big situations all combined to garner him a sizable chunk of staff support.  Ellsbury and Gardner, as the 2 best and most consistent hitters for the whole season and the top 2 WAR guys on the team, did the same.  …

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Quick Hit: You Can’t Predict Baseball, Royals Edition

arod-300x3007

The Royals have just gone 8-0 against three of the best teams in baseball, and they’ve done it under the brightest lights on the most important nights. This team is flat out fun to watch, and more fun to root for, precisely because they are, in fact, significant underdogs (the last eight games be damned). You’ve heard this so often that it’s nearly cliche: The playoffs are a crapshoot. This Royals team is the most clear example of that meme that we have seen in my lifetime.

Consider a few statistics:

Athletics Angels Orioles Royals
Team WAR 23.4 30.3 29.0 22.6
Team OFF Runs 10.4 68.7 23.3 -40.8
Team ISO .137 (13th) .140 (11th) 0.166 (2nd) .113 (30th!)
HR per game PS 1.0 1.3 0.9 1.0
R per game in PS 8.0 2.0 4.7 5.3
FIP (AL only) 3.67 (6th) 3.57 (3rd) 3.96 (11th) 3.69 (8th)
Run Differential 157.0 153.0 112.0 27.0

The Royals were the bottom quarter of the league offensively, and flat last in power, well behind the Angels, O’s and A’s.…

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Open Thread: Royals vs. O’s Game 4

Greetings, everyone!

I thought that if you were watching Game 4 of the 2014 ALCS, you’d want a place to discuss the events and well, here we are. It’s your open/game thread for the day.

This has been some series for the Royals. They have that 2007 Rockies thing happening which could be a good thing with regards to LCS but a bad thing if there’s a long layoff between the LCS and WS. They have a chance of sweeping the O’s out of town with a win this afternoon/evening and after 29 years, the fans in KC are pumped up.

I’ll admit I’ve been watching the games with an eye on the TV and my better eye on my computer so I am only paying half attention BUT I will watch today’s game intently because it could be a clincher.

And if you’ve been away from your computers, well, you’ve missed the whole hullabaloo surrounding Jeremy Guthrie’s t-shirt last night.…

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10/15/01: A playoff game with dad

[A note: Tonight marks the 13th anniversary of what turned out to be a fun night for me and since I'm in the mood to reminisce and write about the happy memories of my father, I thought I'd share this story with all of you.

It was originally published on my Aerys Sports Yankees' blog back in 2011 for Father's Day and I've gone in and edited it a tad. Hope you enjoy it. ~Stacey]

***

My dad, Gus Gotsulias, is the reason I like sports so much and why I root for the New York Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Giants.

He took me to my first Yankees and Rangers games. He bought me my first pair of Knicks tickets but, at the time, I was 19 and wanted to go with my best friend. She ended up watching Madonna the entire time – she was sitting courtside right below us – and the Knicks beat the Heat by 35 points (Yes, it was a very long time ago.) And it always seemed that whenever my dad could get us Giants tickets, they were for November or December and he didn’t want me to freeze which, while considerate of him, still annoyed me as a kid, so I didn’t get to attend my first Giants game until 2009 when I was well into my 30’s.…

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Season Review Recap: The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees

This past week was 2014 season review week at IIATMS.  We reviewed the 162-game results roster group by roster group to highlight the best and worst things that each group did.  Not only were the worsts more plentiful, they were also the more impactful happenings of the season for the Yankees.  That’s how you spend half a billion dollars in the offseason and finish with a worse record than you did the year before.  If you missed any of those review posts this week, here’s your chance to catch up.

- The Infield

- The Outfield

- The Rotation

- The Bullpen

- The Bench

Tomorrow we start shifting the focus forward, to the upcoming offseason.  Dom’s going to continue to evaluate the team’s biggest positions of need, I’m going to break down the qualifying offer candidates in greater detail, and Stacey will be making her long-awaited return to the rotation.  We’re also introducing a new writer tomorrow, so make sure to be around for that.…

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Behold, the Nerd-cast is upon us!

RobNeyerFellow baseball NERDS, PJ-wearing basement dwellers, know-it-all-number-crunchers-who-never-played-the-game… REJOICE, a baseball broadcast specifically designed with YOU in mind is now here.

The main broadcast of Saturday’s opener between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals will be on Fox. Cable channel Fox Sports 1 will also show it, with extended replays and statistical analysis of batter-pitcher matchups, umpiring tendencies and defensive shifts.

Kevin Burkhardt will call the game from the studio alongside Gabe Kapler, CJ Nitkowski, Rob Neyer and San Diego Padres manager Bud Black. The broadcast will sometimes use a ”double box” to show the commentators and live action at the same time.

Long time readers might remember that it was the esteemed Rob Neyer who had the audacity (read: stupidity) to ask me to be his Yankees blog back when the ESPN SweetSpot Network was being formed in 2009. I will never forget to thank him for that kickstart, for without him, this site might not be up and running today, manned by these excellent writers around me.…

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R.I.P. “Gus” Gotsulias

Friends of the site, as many of you know, Stacey’s dad, Constantine “Gus” Gotsulias, had been fighting some pretty serious illness the last few weeks. Which, understandably, is why you haven’t seen or heard from her much. She’d been too busy by her Mom’s and brother’s sides, trying to nurse Gus back to health. Unfortunately, this weekend (10/3/14), Gus succumbed and passed away. Although, Stacey told me they watched Jeter’s last game together in the hospital and was able to point up at the TV when Jeter doubled in the first inning, before falling asleep before the end of the game.

I’ve been reluctant to write about this out of concern for Stacey’s privacy, but at the calling hours last night, Stacey told me it was OK to post something. It’s worth noting that Stacey and her brother had a tremendous “NY” flower arrangement last night, and her brother James had on display a 1941 style Yanks cap in honor of the year of Gus’ birth.…

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The 2-Year Hangover: Comparing The 2013 And 2014 Offenses (Part I)

McCann K vs TB

Courtesy of Getty Images

The story of the last 2 seasons in Yankeeland is one of offensive disappearance.  Once the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees have fallen off the run-scoring map and they’ve found drastically different ways to make the fall.  Last year it was cheapness, plain and simple.  They tried to cobble together a half-decent lineup under the restriction of a flawed budget plan and they failed.  This year it was the exact opposite.  The checkbooks opened, the money flowed, new better players were brought in, and the lineup was completely rebuilt.  They failed again.

2 different strategies, same terrible results.  How could that have happened?  Might as well look at the numbers to try to figure it out.  First up, the basics.  The counting statistics.  How did those stack up for the 2013 and 2014 Yankee teams?

Standard Counting Statistics (Team):

2013:

Batting Line- .242/.307/.376
Runs Scored- 650
Home Runs- 144
Stolen Bases- 115
BB Rate- 7.7%
K Rate- 20.1%
Total PA- 6,045

2014:

Batting Line- .245/.307/.380
Runs Scored- 633
Home Runs- 147
Stolen Bases- 112
BB Rate- 7.4%
K Rate- 18.6%
Total PA- 6,082

Advanced Counting Statistics (Team):

2013:

OPS- .683
wOBA- .301
wRC+- 85
ISO- .133

2014:

OPS- .687
wOBA- .305
wRC+- 92
ISO- .135

The big takeaway here is how distressingly similar these numbers are.  …

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