Quick Hit: I’m As Cool As Derek Jeter Now

Didn’t take long for The Captain to get the retirement jitters, huh?  2 days in and he’s already launching his own blog.  And don’t let all the flowery language on the new homepage fool you:

“So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.

 

I am working with other athletes, with editors and with producers to create a platform that gives us a chance to say what’s on our minds. It’s called The Players’ Tribune. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing a strong core of athlete editors and contributors who will shape the site into an online community filled with first-person stories and behind-the-scenes content.”

That’s a blog.  A straight up blog.  Derek Jeter has retired from his 20-year awesome job to start doing what I do to get away from my crappy job.  …

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1994: The Yanks coulda been a contenda

I really enjoyed Domenic’s piece yesterday about the 1994 Expos and Yankees playing each other in the 1994 World Series. As Domenic mentions, much has been written about the 1994 Expos and how the labor stoppage not only killed the Expos’ greatest chance at post season history, but perhaps killed the franchise as well. While the Yankees franchise has survived the labor unrest quite well, the team was poised to erase twelve years of post season inaction and it was quite possible the Yankees’ great dynasty at the turn of the millennium might have started two seasons earlier. What if the 1994 Yankees were able to complete that 1994 season?

The more I thought about this piece, the more variables I came up with. I am not going to present simulations. Number one, I’m not that savvy. Number two, Bill James did that for us back in 1995. What interests me more is the individual seasons it cut short and whether the team would have actually made it to the World Series.…

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What if: The 1994 World Series

There is little that I could write in this space that has not already been written about the lost 1994 season. The Expos fielded the greatest team in the tumultuous history of the organization, yet never had the opportunity to test its mettle in the playoffs. The Yankees were a dominant force in the American League, fielding what may have been the most balanced team in Don Mattingly‘s career. And Matt Williams‘ chase for 61 and Tony Gwynn‘s quest for .400 were cut a few dozen games short.

While the tragedy of the Expos receives significantly more publicity than the Yankees abbreviated season (and deservedly so, I might argue), it is nevertheless intriguing that two teams seemed to stand above the rest on the mountaintop – one at the beginning of a dynasty, and one within a fingertip’s grasp of greatness that was forever out of reach. How would a match-up of these titans of 1994 have played out?…

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Quick Hit: David Ortiz Sees Your Lightheadedness And Raises You…

… “Wet playing surface.”  That’s a new one.  Blows Teix right out of the water.  Because someone who’s not exactly in possession of cat-like quickness at first base, hardly ever runs hard on any ball hit to anywhere, and has one of the slowest, if not the slowest, home run trots in all of baseball is a prime candidate to be affected by wet ground conditions.  You could be playing baseball on an ice rink and chances are good that Big Sloppi wouldn’t stumble once.  That’s the benefit of moving that slowly.

Far be it for me to question the strategy, but that probably doesn’t help your cause in getting those last 2 team option years picked up in 2016 and 2017, big guy.  And we all know how much you love your money.  That’s why we at IIATMS came up with a helpful solution to make sure wet playing surfaces aren’t an issues again.  …

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Quick Hit: “Owning” a Hitter

Yesterday, I ventured into the depths of Baseball-Reference to see which pitchers the Yankees hitters have “owned” over the course of their careers. Today, I will use the same parameters (minimum of 10 PA) to see which hitters the Yankees pitchers have most thoroughly dominated. Unfortunately, Messrs Tanaka and Betances have not faced a single batter ten times in their careers.

Chris Capuano – .000/.000/.000, 1 K in 10 PA v. Shawn Green
Shawn Kelley – .182/.182/.182, 4 K in 11 PA v. Adam Jones
Hiroki Kuroda – .000/.077/.000, 2 K in 13 PA v. Gerardo Parra
Brandon McCarthy – .000/.067/.000, 5 K in 15 PA v. Jedd Gyorko
Ivan Nova – .000/.100/.000, 4 K in 10 PA v. Adrian Gonzalez
David Phelps – .000/.111/.000, 1 K in 10 PA v. Desmond Jennings
Michael Pineda – .091/.167/.091, 4 K in 12 PA v. Jose Bautista
David Robertson – .000/.000/.000, 3 K in 11 PA v. Colby Rasmus
CC Sabathia – .000/.000/.000, 6 K in 11 PA v.…

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Quick Hit: “Owning” a Pitcher

When Tony Gwynn passed away, one of my favorite statistics of his wonderful career was brought up by dozens of writers – his .415/.476/.521 slash line against Greg Maddux, complete with 0 strikeouts in 107 plate appearances. These match-up specific numbers are oftentimes disregarded, and with good reason, as the sample sizes are generally quite small and spread out across several seasons. However, that does not prevent them from being a blast to discuss.

Last night, Brett Gardner took Yu Darvish deep twice, raising his career line against the Rangers’ ace to .455/.500/1.545 with 4 home runs in only 12 PA. Only two other players have taken Darvish deep four times, and both play in the same division (Mike Trout and Brandon Moss). And, perhaps most interestingly, Gardner does not have more than two home runs against any other pitcher.

All of this made me wonder – what pitchers do other Yankees hitters “own?” So I set a baseline of 10 PA, and ventured into a Baseball-Reference wormhole to find out (using OPS as the measuring stick).…

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The IIATMS/TYA ‘At the Break’ Awards

The season is at its (artificial) midpoint, and you know what that means – it’s time to hand out some imaginary hardware! Eleven of our writers, myself included, cast their ballot yesterday, choosing the AL and NL MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year, as well as the Yankees Offensive Player (meaning the best position player, and not the most abominable) and Pitcher of the Year. This is a change of pace from last season, where we did not distinguish between position players and pitcher, and included an “award” for the least valuable Yankees.

Without further ado:

AL MVP: Mike Trout – .310/.400/.606, 22 HR, 10 SB, 181 wRC+, 5.5 fWAR, 5.5 bWAR

Trout is currently leading the league in on-base percentage, wRC+, OPS+, fWAR, bWAR, total bases, runs created, and extra base hits. He is also in the top-five in home runs, runs, RBI, doubles, triples, and walks. And, by most measures, he is on-pace to post the best overall offensive numbers of his young career – which may be the most telling, considering the sheer ridiculousness of his career to-date.…

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The Girardi name game

If you have not read this article by Daniel Barbarisi this morning, it is well worth a look. The article is all about how Joe Girardi gives all his players nicknames. You will want to read it just to figure out why Dean Anna is called, “Raccoon.” The article received a lot of traction in our staff e-mails this morning and I decided to play this Girardi name game for our staff generals and soldiers. Here is what I came up with.

Some of them are not real original, but then again, some of Girardi’s are either. “Jeets,” is rather bland is it not? Therefore Stacey Gotsulias simply becomes, “Gots.” Without further ado, here are the rest of our staff in Girardi form:

  • Jason Rosenberg = “Skip.”  I’d call him, “Rosie,” but I like writing here.
  • Larry Koestler = “Coast.”
  • Moshe Mandel = “Mosh.”
  • Brien Jackson = “Jackie.”
  • We’ll just call Michael Eder, “E.”
  • Tamar Chalker = “Tam.”
  • E.J. Fagan already has one in, “EJ.”
  • Brad Vietrogoski = “Veet.”
  • Domenic Lanza = “Major,” as in Major Domo.
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The best Yankees by uniform number

I really enjoyed an article on ESPN’s SweetSpot Network by Diane Firstman on uniform numbers. I have written about uniform numbers quite a bit over the years and have enjoyed those written by others–especially those numbers that are retired around the league. Firstman’s article made me think about Yankee uniform numbers and the...

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