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Tag: "Yuck the Fankees"


[ 27 ] July 23, 2012 |

I don’t care how good a deal it is, or that Ichiro is barely a replacement level outfielder. It breaks my heart.

The Yankees have acquired Ichiro Suzuki for RHPs DJ Mitchell and Danny Fahrquar, a source said. Yanks also get undisclosed cash in deal.



Elimination Day

[ 76 ] October 6, 2011 |

…for someone. Hopefully the home team. If I wanted to be optimistic, I could point out that while the Yankee starter in Game 4 was a better bet than the basic numbers might indicate, Nova is worse. 5.4 K/9, with a less than 2-1 K/W ratio, ain’t that good, and his low HR rate in that park screams “fluke.” The Tigers do have some power and might be able to get to him. Fister isn’t a great bet either, but he gets a few more Ks and has much better command. What I don’t like about the game is that the Yankees have a very deep and very rested bullpen, so if Nova doesn’t have anything the Yanks aren’t a lot worse off. They can use their ace and the Tigers can’t, Rivera is better than Valverde, Roberston better than Benoit, etc. It’s hard to think this will work out.

It’s also NHL opening Night; congrats to the Bruins fans out their on banner-raising day and performing such an invaluable service to humanity last June. I have to object to the characterization of the Flames as “most likely to disappoint.” This implies that someone expects them to be good…

And on that second optimistic note, let’s call this an open thread.

…Giradri managing like he’s in a Tony LaRussa wet dream. I actually think cutting bait on Nova was a good idea but platoon matchups with 1 on in the 4th might be a bit much.

…Trying to watch hockey to avoid watching the Yankees take lead you really absorb the fact that the mean Yankee half-inning is about 90 minutes.

…would feel better about this lead if Tigers didn’t strike out on terrible pitches at least twice an inning. And 3 runs ain’t going to hold up if they need 5 innings from the bullpen.

…49-for-49 my ass, this is terrifying. And I think we can be pretty safe in assuming the Yankees won’t be first-pitch swinging.

…woo-hoo! Congrats Tigers, and time to break out the good stuff.

Wedding Gifts

[ 37 ] October 4, 2011 |

Take lessons from Farley, because he’s doing it right.

It’s especially appropriate that this arrived in time for what might be the greatest day of the year, Yankee Elimination Day! Although the pictured quantity is not nearly sufficient for any game involving Jose Mesa Valverde and a 1-run lead.
Superficially, the elimination seems likely to occur — an elimination game at home against Mr. A.J. Burnett seems like a great scenario. The problem is Rich Porcello, who’s just as bad as Burnett. Actually worse, since while Burnett at least misses bats and has some upside, Procello is the kind of Twins-style pitch-to-contact guy the Yankees specialize in beating the shit out of. This seems like a battle of bullpens, and the Yankees have an edge there.

Prove me wrong again, Tigers, prove me wrong!

…could Leyland ease up on the damn bunting? They may let Burnett off the hook even if he doesn’t have any command.

Rivera’s Value

[ 57 ] July 15, 2011 |

There has been an interesting discussion in the comments about the value of Mariano Rivera to the Yankees.   On one level, I don’t disagree with the arguments of the skeptics.   While has value is almost certainly understated by WAR — which, if I understand correctly, doesn’t take leverage into account, hence understating the value of a close, I certainly agree that in the regular season Rivera has obviously not been nearly as valuable as Jeter, Posada, Williams, A-Rod, et al.    Another way of looking at the question is Tom Tango‘s study in this year’s Hardball Times book, which assesses Rivera’s value as only about 2 wins a year more than the rest of the Yankee bullpen, which can’t be considered to be significantly more valuable than an ordinary closer and is probably less. Having said that, I think this underestimates Rivera’s value to the Yankees for two reasons:

  • As I assume is widely understood, what makes Rivera by far the best closer ever is not exceptional single-season performances but his remarkable consistency.   His peak value is no higher than the man he replaced, John Wetteland — an excellent but obviously not Hall of Fame caliber closer.    What makes Rivera extremely valuable to the Yankees is that he’s healthy and pitches about as well as any closer in baseball every year (2002 aside.)  Brad Lidge, in his best years, is about as good as Rivera — except that his ERA+ in a given year ranges from 225 to 60.    (Yeah, they made it to the World Series in his worst year anyway, but won only 93 games with an outstanding offense and good rotation; in a good division it would have cost them.)   Rivera may only be a game or two better than an ordinary closer, but he gives the Yankees that edge every year.   They haven’t had to worry about a closer blowing up on them (a la Keith Foulke in 2005), costing them several games.    That’s real value, more than his value in any given season reflects.
  • And, obviously, when assessing his value one has to take into account his postseason record — 139 2/3 mostly high-leverage innings with a 0.71 ERA and 109/21 K/W.   I don’t think there is any serious question that he’s by far the most valuable postseason performer ever, surely relevant when assessing his overall value.   The Yankees don’t win five World Championships with a Joe Nathan or Trevor Hoffman doing an Incredible Shrinking Closer routine in the playoffs.


[ 31 ] June 8, 2011 |

Apparently, the team that signs Joba Chamberlain’s paychecks is upset that a player of actual accomplishment is too demonstrative.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving. To Other Teams.

[ 12 ] May 25, 2011 |

A correspondent writes:

I have been wondering whether the Indians are going to vote Bill Bavasi a playoff share if they make the playoffs.  He deserves one.

I dunno, Eduardo Perez could still surprise you!

In a vaguely related note, I’m very happy to today not to be an NBA fan, because if I was I’m pretty sure it would have turned an already horrible sports night into something well beyond horrible. (Note to the Perennial Chokers of San Jose: I’ll listen to your complaints about blown icing calls when your alternate captain can be bothered to check whether or not there’s an empty net before dumping the puck with a minute left.)

Lee To Yankees: “It’s Not Me, It’s You.”

[ 74 ] December 14, 2010 |


Granted, this conflicts with my non-resentment-based rooting interest — if the Mets showed any sign of being competitive in the near future, this would bother be.  But as it stands…Lee taking his talents to South Philly is the lesser evil.

“They Aren’t Paying Jeter, They’re Paying Off Jeter.”

[ 12 ] December 5, 2010 |

That’s pretty much right. And yet, given that it’s not actually going to prevent the Yankees from signing anyone they really want, and that there aren’t exactly a lot of young championship-quality shortstops lying around, they might as well.

“We’ll Pay For Your Intangibles With Intangible Money.”

[ 16 ] November 23, 2010 |

Shorter Brian Cashman: “Dear Derek: if you don’t like being only significantly overpaid rather than grossly overpaid, feel free to go out and see if Michael Kay has been made the general manager of another wealthy major league team and I haven’t noticed.”

My question: where does Jeter play once the Yanks figure out that he’s no longer even playable as a major league shortstop? The Yanks taking a relatively hard line makes sense, especially on contract length. And it’s hard to imagine a mainstream columnist being willing to say this even two years ago.

Update [Paul]: This is a pretty interesting situation in terms of straight economic analysis and game theory. As Scott notes it’s likely that the Yankees’ offer (reportedly $45 million over three years) is probably much more than what Jeter could expect to get as a free agent. Why would the team do that, and even more mysteriously, why would Jeter’s agent react by going into hurt-confused-offended mode? As to why the NYY would pay considerably more than any other team would for Jeter’s services at this point, the argument can be made (and no doubt his agent is making it at length) that Jeter is worth a lot more to the Yankees than any other team, because he’s an integral part of their current “branding,” to put it in MBA-speak. But how good is the evidence for this argument? The alternative for New York is to pay something like $15 million over the next three years for a shortstop of similar likely quality to Jeter over that time, or perhaps $30 million for a significantly better player (not necessarily a shortstop). In the former case they save $30 million, and have the same odds of having successful seasons in terms of actually winning games. In the latter case they save a lot less money but marginally increase their chances of winning big (and even a couple of wins at the margin are especially valuable to a team that’s very likely to be in championship contention anyway).

Are the economic benefits that the Yankees get from having Jeter in their lineup likely to outweigh the benefits of either of these alternative approaches? It seems at least questionable that they would . . . Which leads to the real possibility that Brian Cashman is playing a subtle game of chicken in game theory terms, where what he’s hoping for is precisely that Jeter rejects his final offer in an operatic huff, thus allowing the Yankees to play the “egotistical zillionaire athlete with no gratitude for the team and fans who made him what he is today” etc etc.

My guess is that Jeter and Casey Close understand this well enough, and that after a little bit more huffing and puffing they’ll take something very much like the offer on the table.

Pasta Diving!

[ 35 ] November 9, 2010 |

Derek Jeter, after one atypically mediocre defensive season, this year was back to being the 32nd best defensive shortstop in the majors according to the +/- rankings, with similar evaluations in other metrics.    So, of course:

I have to get this out of the way … Yes, Derek Jeter has just won another Gold Glove.

It’s his fifth, which means he’s now won at least four more Gold Gloves than he’s deserved. By any stretch of the fever-crazed imagination.

It’s not exactly news that the Gold Glove voters are incredibly lazy, but Christ. As Neyer says, what’s especially strange about this is that while there used to be a major discrepancy between his reputation in the media and his performance, I get the impression that even among his fawning lickspittles in New York nobody thinks he’s much of a shortstop at this late date. At least they didn’t give one to Posada…

…the full list, verbatim from the best.  website.  ever.:

2010 Gold Gloves

Pos American League
P Mark Buehrle (CHW-2nd)
C Joe Mauer (MIN-3rd)
1B Mark Teixeira (NYY-4th)
2B Robinson Cano (NYY-1st)
3B Evan Longoria (TBR-2nd)
SS Derek Jeter (NYY-5th) We can’t believe it either
OF Ichiro Suzuki (SEA-9th)
OF Fr. Gutierrez (SEA-1st)
OF Carl Crawford (TBR-1st)

Game 6

[ 29 ] October 22, 2010 |

In an homage to the completely impartial commitment to the principle that no pundit can ever be fired for expressing views their employers find objectionable recently displayed by conservatives,  I am proud to renew my eternal, deeply principled support for Dallas area sports franchises.

UPDATE:  This is…not good enough for a game of this magnitude.

UPDATE II:  I didn’t know the Rangers were now being managed by the late Gene Mauch.

UPDATE III:   Don’t keep insulting the Impaler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE IV:  Personal to Joe Girardi:  David Robertson in an all-hands-on-deck elimination game:  a superb choice!    How about a little Mitre for the 6th?   I also can’t resist pointing out that he would appear to be above the greatest pitcher athlete in Yankee known human history on the depth chart.

UPDATE V:   In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t write the post I was planning saying that I didn”t expect Lewis to have much.

UPDATE VI:   Two words:   Woo.   Hoo.   Anybody got one of those perpetual GIFS of Slappy taking the called third strike yet?

Game 5

[ 32 ] October 20, 2010 |

I see no reason why this needs to go back to Texas.

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