Bernie Williams should be celebrated with The Core Four

BernieWilliamsThe Core Four.

New York Yankees fans aren’t going to escape this all season as the final member of this group plays his final season. Derek Jeter. Mariano Rivera. Andy Pettitte. Jorge Posada. Great players who have given Yankees fans countless memories.

But one beloved former Yankee has been forgotten throughout the celebration – Bernie Williams. At least they could have had him play the national anthem at the home opener, but the Yankees went with a Broadway actor with no ties to the ball club instead.

Williams spent his entire 16-year career playing for New York, and was there long before the dynasty began. He was just a 22-year-old kid when his career began in 1991 in the Bronx, and it ended less than 10 years ago. However, it seems as though the New York Yankees have gotten his contributions. He still won four World Series with New York and was the foundation of the Yankees and its fan base when New York finally began to win in the Bronx again.… Click here to read the rest

Countdown to Spring Training: 29

Now, we’re just 29 days away from Spring Training. It’s so close we can practically taste it. Today, I wanted to talk about someone who gets a bit overlooked in recent Yankee history. The (ugh) Core Four is always referred to as Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada. There is one player who’s constantly overlooked in this discussion: Bernie Williams. He was every bit the hitter Derek Jeter was/is and just as important to the Yankees’ turn-of-the-century dynasty. The end certainly came quick for Bernie. Involuntary, Bernie ended up on the “burn out” path rather than the “fade away” path. Appropriately, however sad, his Hall of Fame ballot “career” took that same path; he didn’t garner enough support this year to stay on the ballot. While Williams was not a Hall of Fame player, he certainly deserved a better fate than falling off the ballot after one voting cycle.

So why did I pick day 29 to honor a guy who wore 51?… Click here to read the rest

A retired number measuring stick

Yesterday, all of our rooms got a little dusty between 11 AM and noon as Jorge Posada announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. There is no doubt that Posada was a great Yankee. He gave us so many incredible memories and I cannot wait for the day when Jorge is brought back to Yankee Stadium and given the honor of a plaque in Monument Park. As I was driving to lunch, my iPod died (as it usually does) so I flipped on sports radio (yes it sucks, but it’s better than FM) and Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts were talking about the possibility of the retirement of Posada’s number. They alluded to the fact that Bruce Bowen, he of the defensive prowess, is getting his number retired by the San Antonio Spurs; both hosts found that a little ridiculous and had a quick discussion of the standards for number retirement. Part of this is obviously an emotional discussion, but the empirical side of me had a thought.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankees and Pitching Prospects

Before I get into this, my first post at The Yankee Analysts, I’d like to thank everyone here for giving me this opportunity and for welcoming me so fully to the team. I have accepted this position knowing that TYA is not only among the best Yankees blogs on the internet, but among the best team centered blogs in all of baseball, and I hope I have something worthwhile to contribute.

I thought I’d introduce myself to the readers by exploring a phenomena I’ve been considering for quite some time now. Given plethora of young arms in the system – Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Hector Noesi, David Phelps, and Adam Warren – ostensibly close to their shot with the big league club, it’s worth noting how little success the organization has had developing starting pitchers during Brian Cashman’s tenure as general manager. In fact, since Cashman took over before the 1998 season, his system has succeeded in developing exactly one front of the rotation starter.… Click here to read the rest

Post DH All-Yankee Lineup

Though I didn’t watch the show, it did get me thinking. All three of the outfielders mentioned in that article, Reggie Jackson; Bernie Williams; and Paul O’Neill, are some of the finest the Yankees have had in the post DH era. Back when this blog was still (partially) The Yankee U, I ran the run scoring projections of an all time Yankee team that included the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and what not. To limit the ridiculousness (even the worst configuration of that lineup would break the run scoring record), I decided to go to the post-DH era Yankees and see what I could come up with. The rules: You had to play for the Yankees for at least five years to qualify for this “honor.” The lineup I came up with was:

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Bernie Williams, CF
3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. Reggie Jackson, DH
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6.… Click here to read the rest

Hall of Fame Ballot Fun

Every year, I tell myself that I’m not going to get worked up over the Hall of Fame Ballot. I’m not going to get into it. I’m not going to get riled up. Nope, I’m not going to do it. And every year, what do I do? I break that promise to myself. During the doldrums of the Hot Stove Season, it is something fun to discuss to pass the time before the coals get raked properly. You can see the ballot here. The most players you can have on a single ballot is ten. Here’s whom I’d vote for if I had a vote:

(Alphabetical)

1. Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell had a .406 career wOBA (149 wRC+) and racked up 83.9 fWAR (79.9 bWAR) and he belted 449 homers. On merit alone, Bagwell should’ve been elected last year, but the writers were able to scare up just enough steroid suspicion to keep him out. Sad, really.

2. Barry Larkin. The Cincinnati shortstop hit to a .366 wOBA (122 wRC+) for his career.… Click here to read the rest

On Center Field

This article was inspired by great friend of the blog, and all around great person, @SherriPizza.

There was an article on ESPN yesterday–which I will not link to because I don’t want to give clicks to an article with a poor premise–about how Curtis Granderson leading the Yankees in home runs and RBIs is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because, well, I don’t know how it’s not. It’s a bad thing because it wasn’t, according to the author, the plan. She argued that someone like Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, or Alex Rodriguez should be leading the team in HRs/RBIs. That’s certainly what we expected coming in to 2011, but just because that’s not happening doesn’t mean there’s something bad going on. In fact, it’s great that Curtis Granderson is leading the team offensively.

Why is it so great? It’s so great because of the position Curtis Granderson plays. Center Fielders are not, historically, offensive minded players.… Click here to read the rest

Fielding Data, the Yankees and WAR

Recently I was thinking about fielding data, something that’s admittedly an unperfected area of sabermetrics. Debate over just how imperfect the data is has been raging for some time now. I think most of us know that UZR and the likes have serious flaws- prone to sample size issues the data can skew analysis in a variety of ways when used improperly. That being said, it’s currently the best we have. I think it can all be used as long as we keep in perspective the myriad problems with the data- I think of it as a legitimate asterisk when looking through fielding data.

So with all that being said I got curious and wanted to look at the Yankees defensive data that’s available. As you’ll see, I ran into some problems though that I think should be addressed. So keeping in mind that this is a pretty imperfect study and just conversation fodder, away we go.

Did you know the Yankees have had the worst fielders in baseball since 1980?… Click here to read the rest