Slowey Not A Good Fit For The Yankees

Yesterday, the Twins announced that Kevin Slowey would begin the season in the bullpen serving as a longman, and various reports suggested that Slowey can be obtained for relief help. This prompted Dave Cameron of Fangraphs to say the following:

This guy ranks 56th in ERA among starters (again, 400 IP minimum) since 2008, one spot ahead of Josh Beckett. He ranks 41st in FIP, one spot ahead of Gavin Floyd. He ranks 48th in xFIP, just ahead of Paul Maholm. Yet, despite being peers with some pretty well regarded pitchers, Kevin Slowey has found himself slotted in as the Twins long reliever, if they can’t find anyone to trade for him.

Slowey would represent a legitimate upgrade over at least one member of nearly every rotation in baseball. Over the last three years, the only pitchers in baseball with a better strikeout to walk ratio are Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Dan Haren, and none of those three have pitched exclusively in the American League during that stretch.

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Discussion: Etiquette Of The Wave

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A ongoing discussion that I have been having recently with a number of people on Twitter has regarded “The Wave,” a much derided stadium tradition that purists hate. Every time the wave is done, someone at the Stadium or noticing it at home sends out a frustrated tweet, decrying its existence and ripping those who participate. To be honest, I used to be one of those people, and when I am at the Stadium while the Wave is done, I occasionally tell the people in front of me to stop doing it. However, I have recently had a change of heart on this issue.

The case against the Wave is simple. It is a distraction, as it has thousands of people jumping up while many of us are attempting to focus on the game. Furthermore, it shows a lack of interest in the events taking place on the field, which suggests that those doing the wave might be better served finding another source of entertainment.… Click here to read the rest

Taking Advantage Of Yankee Stadium

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The ESPN park factors for 2009 were released, and Yankee Stadium actually comes in at .965, 20th in baseball. What does that mean? The legend on the ESPN data page explains:

Park Factor compares the rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher.

Yankee Stadium, after all of the complaining, turned out to be a slight pitchers park in 2009. Breaking the data down further, the new ballpark in the Bronx was a home run haven, with a home run factor of 1.261, good for first in the majors. If so, how was the overall run scoring environment relatively neutral? Tom Tango clarifies:

In a great article in Hardball Times annual, Greg looks at the batted balls at the new Yankee Stadium and Citi. The interesting finding is that while Yankee Stadium turns long flyballs into HR, it also turns almost-long flyballs into outs.

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Yankee Stadium Open For Game 3

From The NYT Bats Blog:

The Yankees announced Sunday that they will open the stadium field level, along with the Great Hall, on Monday afternoon to allow fans to watch the team’s game against the Angels in Anaheim. The decision to open the stadium was made after the Yankees consulted with Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president.

“We wanted to provide a place for our fans to come together to cheer for our team even if the game itself is taking place across the country,” Hal Steinbrenner, the team’s managing general partner, said in a news release. “This is a way of saying thank you for their continued support.”

The team said that turnstiles between Gates 4 and 6 will open at 3:30 p.m. for the 4:13 p.m. game. Food and concession stands will be open. NYY Steak and Hard Rock Café will also be open.

This is a nice gesture by the Yankees. I wonder how large a turnout there might be, considering the cold weather.… Click here to read the rest

New Stadium set to witness first historical moment

Sometime this week, Derek Jeter will break Lou Gehrig’s record for all time hits as a Yankee.

When Jeter does so, he will have accomplished the feat at the New Yankee Stadium–and it will be the first historic Yankee moment unrelated to the Stadium itself to occur there.

The selling point of the old Stadium, to many, had less to do with the physical building itself, but more to do with all of the historical (in the baseball world, anyway) events that occurred on it. The knock against the New Stadium, by some, was that it had none of the history, none of the emotion, none of the memory of the old park.

Thing is, new ballparks can’t be built with history already made, like a frozen meal.

History has to be created.

The more history you want, the longer it takes to make.

Right now, the very first of what we hope will be many historical moments is right at the doorstep.… Click here to read the rest

RLYW: Yankee Stadium Boosting Offense Just 2%

From RLYW:

According to wOBA, New Yankee Stadium is now boosting offense by only 2%. And interestingly enough, there have been more runs scored per game in Yankee road games (10.45 per game) than Yankee home games (10.34 per game).

I really do not have much to add. While home runs are up in Yankee Stadium, the problem seems to be exacerbated by the fact that the Yankees are a ridiculous home run hitting team. There would be plenty of home runs flying out in most ballparks with this lineup, and the Yankees proliferation of power/strikeout pitchers means opponents are going to run into one fairly often as well. That being said, the new ballpark is limiting doubles and triples, softening the impact of the increased number of home runs. All of this means that the new Stadium is playing like a slight hitter’s park, and that the screaming and lamentation on the part of some fans and the media is overdone.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Playoff Tickets Not That Pricey

From Darren Rovell:

Those expecting to hear of a price gouge for Yankees postseason tickets might be surprised.

It’s not coming.

CNBC has seen the final face value prices that the Yankees submitted to Major League Baseball and increases will be much smaller than the jump season ticket holders saw for home games played at the old Yankee Stadium in the 2007 postseason, the last time the Yankees were in the playoffs. In fact, some 2009 postseason seats will cost LESS than this year’s regular season prices.

Wow. The big bad Yankees are not raising ticket prices on most seats for the ALDS, and had to be forced by MLB to have a minimum ticket price of $50 on bleacher seats for the World Series (fingers crossed). I wonder if this story gets as much play nationally as the original Yankees ticket price stories did, or if it becomes a note at the end of a few stories in tomorrow’s dailies and then fades away as if it never happened.… Click here to read the rest

In the new Yankee Stadium, it’s not the wind…

Michael Salfino of SNY has a piece up reviewing a study done by Alan Nathan from the Department of Physics of the University of Illinois. The study was inspired by the idea that there is something of a wind tunnel in the new Yankee Stadium, which is affecting the number of Home Runs being hit there. He used Pitchfx data and batted ball data plus Greg Rybarczyk’s hittracker data to estimate the trajectory of fly balls and figure out how balls are carrying in all stadiums across Baseball, and to look at where the new Yankee stadium fits in. He explains:

The analysis begins by recognizing that in a vacuum, all balls hit with the same initial velocity and launch angle will travel the same distance. In reality, the ball will travel more or less than that, depending on the influence of the aerodynamic effects of drag and the Magnus force, including any influence of wind. One way to define the “carry” is the ratio of the actual distance to the distance it would have traveled in a vacuum.

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Baseball Is The Greatest Sport In The World

After an always exciting, often euphoric weekend, I have so many thoughts jumbling around my head that it has taken a while for me to distill them into some reasonable, conveyable thoughts. There are two in particular that I would like to share about the greatness of baseball.

1) I was at the game last night, and the Stadium was electric from about the 4th inning forward. Once Pettitte got Jason Varitek to fly out with the bases loaded in the fourth, the buzz in the building began to slowly grow, to the point where the fans were just ready to explode each time the Yankees came to bat. When A-Rod homered to lead off the 7th, the ballpark got as loud as the I ever remember the old place across the street getting. When Phil Coke served up a two run bomb in the 8th, some of the euphoria dissipated, but there was still a buzz in the air, as if the fans knew that the game was far from over.… Click here to read the rest