New voting criteria proposed for HOF Veterans Committee

Craig over at HBT has a posting up, calling attention to the maddening in-room debate from the HOF Veterans Committee voting. It’s absolutely worth a read. You don’t need to be as out on the other limb as Stacey’s newest crush, Brian Kenny, is, but there’s room to stray a bit from Murray Chass-dom.

First, from the original article from Bruce Jenkins:

At one point, someone asked if it was necessary to bring WAR, a trendy new stat, into any discussion. There was a bit of mumbling, mostly silence, and it never came up again . . . Whatever. I certainly didn’t feel dated or out of touch hashing out a man’s Hall of Fame credentials with Robinson, Fisk, Herzog or anyone else involved. I’m sure the brilliant Hirdt could have backed his opinions with WAR, WHIP or any other statistical measure known to man, but he spoke of traditional numbers and criteria of considerable weight: character, temperament, clutch performance and other intangibles, such as how it felt to witness the greats, and how they were viewed by other icons of the game.

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The Most Important News Of The Offseason So Far

I know sometimes I write things here that may come across as a bit ridiculous, and I’m the first to admit that there are instances where I intentionally add a dash or 2 of hyperbole to my posts to spark a reaction and discussion in the comment section.  But believe me when I tell you that I’m being 100% honest when I say this.  The idea of Brian Cashman and Jay-Z working together directly, 1-on-1, to negotiate Cano’s new deal is the most fantastically entertaining possibility in the history of MLB hot stove season and if you don’t agree then you have no sense of humor.

Just picture it.  Cash sitting there in his khakis and team polo shirt, Jay in a $10,000 suit and a pair of designer sunglasses with Memphis Bleek and Beanie Siegel flanking him, one of those giant bottles of Spades champagne on ice and a few Cuban cigars on standby to celebrate the new deal when it’s reached.  …

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The Astonishing David Price, or Fun with Semi-Arbitrary Endpoints

On May 15, David Price was pulled from his ninth start after only 2.1 IP, having allowed four earned runs on five hits and a walk. It was only the second time in his career he had failed to make it through three innings pitched, with the previous outing occurring way back on July 4, 2009 … or the eighth start of his still-young Major League career. The next day, Price hit the disabled list with a strained triceps injury in his pitching arm – he would remain there for forty-seven days, missing forty-four games along the way. His numbers at the time were rather disconcerting (at least when taken at face value) – 9 GS, 55 IP, 65 H, 14 BB, 49 K, 8 HR, 5.24 ERA, 4.02 FIP.

To some, this was merely a fluky stretch featuring a healthy dose of bad luck. Price’s unsightly ERA was, after all, well above his FIP, and his walk and strikeout rates were right in-line with his career norms.…

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Quick Hit: Hey, That Home Run Celebration Looks Familiar

A-Rod HR Celebration vs BOS

Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who absolutely loved Alex Rodriguez aping David Ortiz‘s HR celebration when he crossed the plate in the top of the 6th last night.  That’s trolling of the highest order, on national TV no less, and it’s brilliant.  After hitting the deepest Yankee homer of the season off the pitcher who’d plunked him in his first at-bat and pimping it around the basepaths with fist pumps, hand claps, and some trash talk, A-Rod still had the wherewithal to put that troll cherry on the “Eff You” sundae.

It was almost as if A-Rod was daring Ryan Dempster to hit him again.  It was the ultimate heel move and it was freakin’ awesome.  I know there are a lot of Yankee fans out there who still hate A-Rod, won’t cheer for him, think he’s a bum and the devil and a disgrace to the pinstripes and all of that.  But if you can’t get behind Heel A-Rod, even strictly from an entertainment standpoint, then I don’t know what to tell you.…

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The All-Homegrown MLB

On August 6, Donnie Collins pondered what an entirely homegrown New York Yankees team would look like. It was an endlessly intriguing exercise, to say the least, which predictably led to an infinite amount of second-guessing and back-patting. Was there a lesson to be learned? That Brian Cashman is a genius? That the Yankees can’t draft? That prospects are undervalued? I’m not quite sure. The clearest lesson, assuming it even is a lesson at all, is that the Yankees wouldn’t be very good if they were entirely homegrown … although, they likely would not be much worse than they are right now. But I digress.

This article also, of course, led to a discussion regarding what other teams would look like under the same conditions. Are the Rays really that great at drafting? Have the Pirates and Marlins really traded away an All-Star team’s worth of talent? And, from there, it led to one of the most repetitive bits of research I have ever constructed in preparing any non-legal bit of writing, in my quest to answer these questions … by constructing entirely homegrown rosters for the other twenty-nine teams in Major League Baseball.…

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A Sunday in New York with a sprinkle of Matsui magic

When my alarm went off at 8:26 a.m. yesterday morning, I was excited. The game was I going to wasn’t your regular run of the mill game, I would be heading to Yankee Stadium to see Hideki Matsui‘s retirement ceremony and hopefully, I would be getting my second bobblehead of the season – I already have Derek Jeter‘s bobble head which I got at a game earlier this month.

I had some coffee, showered and then woke up my brother. I wanted to get to the Stadium right as the gates opened so I could get the bobble head. I had a feeling the crowds would be larger than usual.

We had timed our trip to the Bronx perfectly and the 4 train arrived at the Yankee Stadium/161st Street station at 11:02 a.m. When my brother and I saw the crowd we said, “Holy sh*t!” simultaneously and my heart sank.

The whole world was outside of Yankee Stadium or so it seemed.…

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Random Yankees box score of the week: July 18, 1993

While we’re still in the midst of the long and laborious All-Star break, I thought it would be fun to take a look at a random Yankees box score from a game in the past. I was also thinking about maybe turning this a weekly post. I would choose a game’s box score to examine and then write about it, pointing out all of the key plays, stars of the game, etc.

So I went to baseball reference, clicked on box scores and my eyes happened to focus on 1993. I figured it was 20 years ago (and if you read this blog regularly, you know how I am with round numbers, especially when it comes to anniversaries of any kind) so I picked that year. Then I decided, I might as well make it exactly 20 years ago and chose July 18, 1993.

And boy, did I luck out with this one.

The Yankees were facing the Oakland Athletics on a steamy Sunday night in the Bronx – it was scheduled at 8:06 p.m.…

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Visualizing the Yankees Offensive Futility

Over the first three months of the season, much has been made of the Yankees inability to score runs – and for good cause. As of today, the Yankees rank 23rd in the Majors in runs scored, and 28th in wRC+ (ahead of only the White Sox and Marlins). Yankees clean-up hitters are batting a combined .210/.288/.344, with 11 HR … which is roughly 37% worse than Major League average (by sOPS+). On a whim, and with the help of our own Jason Rosenberg, I sought to visualize this futility, and share it with the masses in an easily digestible format – broken down by position and using OPS as the statistical hammer. Without further ado:

Or, viewed through a more tactile lens:

In short – or, at length, as it is difficult to be much shorter than an image (particularly with one as verbose as myself) – center-field is the only position that hasn’t seen a rather dramatic drop-off in production.…

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Looking back at my Subway Series history

When the Mets and Yankees first started playing Subway Series games way back in 1997, I was actually excited about it. I think everyone in New York was. Instead of talking about a rivalry that actually didn’t exist — because honestly, how can there even be a rivalry when the teams never play games against each other  – There would finally be one.

Growing up, the Yankees and Mets didn’t play each other in anything other than the Mayor’s Trophy games which were exhibition games that didn’t mean much to anyone other than George Steinbrenner who, as we all know, overreacted to almost every single game no matter how insignificant back in the day.

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Since interleague play began, I have been lucky enough to attend 16 Subway Series games (15 at Yankee Stadium and 1 at Shea Stadium – 15 regular series and 1 World Series) and the Yankees have won 14 of them. The only losses I witnessed in person occurred in 1999 and 2008.…

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