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Tag: "Yuck the Fankees"

The Ghost of Jeffrey Maier

[ 48 ] October 19, 2010 |

Is there some stipulation in the rules that fan interference rules don’t apply when the Yankees are batting or something? And do you really have to try to give them a second fake homer in an inning?

UPDATE: I agree with commenters that, at least, the call was defensible, although I think his glove was touched on the field of play the umpire may have been right to award the homer anyway.

UPDATE II: Bengie the wonder catcher!

UPDATE III: As I said before the series, Hamilton is clearly too injured to contribute much. This latest homer is central to my point.

UPDATE IV: Joba rules!

I Know It’s Petty In The Aftermath Of A Wonderful Beatdown, But…

[ 26 ] October 18, 2010 |

Can anyone explain why Washington would use Feliz to mop up an 8-0 game, but not with the game on the line in Game 1?

Meanwhile, a comparison while waiting to ponder if Girardi will actually pitch Burnett in Game 4. The decent, far-from-dominant Cliff Lee in the postseason:

7-0 1.26 ERA 64.1 IP 40 H 7BB 67K

Sandy Koufax, no adjustment for era:

4-3 0.95 ERA 57 IP 36 H 11BB 61K

Although hopefully it won’t be necessary, I’ll take my chances in a Game 7, thanks…

Beat ‘Em Before You Join ‘Em, Cliff

[ 9 ] October 18, 2010 |

The fact that Yank uberhack Michael “Bubba Crosby is the fastest man in baseball!” Kay is preemptively accusing Lee of cheating has to be a good sign…

Those Who Forget the Lessons of History…

[ 20 ] October 15, 2010 |

While I try to figure out why TBS was showing a replay of Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS tonight, I thought this quote might be relevant:

Tony, when you get into the playoffs this year [sic], tone down the aggressive baserunning a little bit. Aggressive baserunning does not work against a good team…

[...]

The White Sox lost five runners in the four games; the Orioles lost one. Of the five runners they lost, four were in scoring position before being cut down.

And if you keep talking about your baserunning being the edge in the playoffs, Tony, that’s going to keep happening to you. It doesn’t always happen, but it happens more often than it ought. It happened to the 1976-78 Royals. The Royals were a better team than those Yankee teams, but they couldn’t beat them because they kept farting away baserunners going first to third on infield outs. And you look on back through history — the Brooklyn Dodgers against Casey’s Yankees, Ty Cobb’s Tigers against the 1907-8 Cubs — and you’ll find that teams that live by the extra base, die by the extra base.

–Bill James, 1984 Baseball Abstract

One remaining question: Yankees in 4, or Yankees in 5? I’m undecided — Lee might be able to squeak out a game, but probably not.

…I agree that bringing in Oliver to face two switch hitters who are better against lefties was the worst part of Washington’s imitation of Herzog ’77.

see also.

Deep Thought

[ 15 ] October 15, 2010 |

You know the Yankees are a great team when they can have the greatest pitcher athlete in Yankee known human history pitching long relief!

…well, my praise of the Ranger bullpen certainly was prescient.

Well, That Was Pathetic

[ 37 ] October 9, 2010 |

Um, could someone else please win the AL Central next year? I think we’ve seen enough of this.

It being fairly obvious early on that the Twinkies had no intention of competing or anything, I decided in the middle of the game to watch the recent ESPN documentary about the 2004 ALCS I had saved on the DVR. Much more entertaining! In light of the appalling umpiring of the last two seasons, I’ve been thinking about Game 6, in which the umpires got together to overturn two blown calls and get them right. That was the height of the Alderson era; I very much doubt that this would happen today, and it could have had a huge impact on baseball history. I also learned new stuff about the key plays: 1)Since I heard the play on the radio coming home from teaching a night class, I didn’t see the ultimately decisive Bellhorn homer live, and I apparently didn’t absorb from subsequent replays just what a clear homer it was — the initial call was a Phil Cuzzi/Richie Garcia caliber instance of incompetence. By — I had also forgotten — a little someone named Mr. Jim Joyce. (Buck, to his credit, has it right on his initial call.) 2)I had forgotten them massive shower of debris after Whinin’ Cryin’ Slappy Rodriguez was called out on his cheating in the 8th, which underscores how gutsy that crew was to get the call right. I miss those days.

Bad Umpiring And Bad Whining

[ 19 ] October 8, 2010 |

This year’s playoffs have reminded us once again that the quality of major league umpiring is unacceptably bad.   Obviously, Hunter Wendelstedt is a nepotism hire who has no business umpiring in the major leagues, let alone being behind the plate in a crucial playoff game.  I’m glad that many prominent sportswriters are pointing this out, and not retreating into nonsensical mush about “the human element” or whatever.

Having said that, when people actually start blaming bad calls for the Twins losing, I get off the bus.    It was bad enough last year, when they were legitimately screwed by the hapless Phil Cuzzi.   As I said at the time, Nathan’s whining about it was particularly unseemly, because if he had done his job Cuzzi’s ineptitude wouldn’t have been an issue.    (His attempt to shift blame may provide some clue as to why he’s 90% of the pitcher Rivera is in the regular season and .000001% of the pitcher Rivera is in the postseason.)   And even after the bad call the Twins had the bases loaded with none out against the back end of the Yankee bullpen and came up with bupkis, and the Yanks made up the run that Cuzzi probably cost them before the Twinkies retired a single batter in the 11th.    But this year it’s worse, because (unlike the Braves and Rays) the Twins have been the net beneficiaries of bad umpiring in the series.   Last night, Pavano may have been on balance the beneficiary of Wendelstedt Amateur Hour (and to his credit, he didn’t blame the umpire).   But the biggest blown call of the series was, of course, the fourth out the Twins received in the bottom of the ninth in game 1, which was almost as bad as the Cuzzi call and much worse than the blown call on Posey’s “steal.”

So the Yankees got a break last night — and they immediately took advantage.   (It’s also worth noting that Berkman illustrates a difference between the Yankees and Rays.    The Yankees filled a hole with a guy who had a 140 OPS+ just one year ago for no talent and not much money; the Rays decided to start the playoffs with a guy who frankly — and tragically — should have retired three years ago hitting fifth, with predictable results.)   The Twins got a huge break in Game 1 — and popped the first pitch up to the third baseman.    That’s why the Yankees are where they are and the Twins are where they are, and the bad umpiring is neither here nor there.

Nobody Could Have Predicted (TM)

[ 10 ] October 6, 2010 |

The Twins gag up a lead against the Yankees — who saw that coming?

The Minnesota Twins Boldly Approach The New York Yankees

Meanwhile, for those of you who missed this thread, a handy summary:

2010 Playoff Picks

[ 35 ] October 6, 2010 |

Phillies v. Reds: I’ll be rooting for the Reds, but…this is probably the biggest mismatch in the first round. This isn’t about the Reds, who you could argue enter the playoffs as the second-best team in the NL. But the Phillies are not merely easily the best team in the league, but with a power offense and three aces they’re particularly well-built for the playoffs. Unless Lidge takes another downward turn, their main vulnerability is against lefthanded starters…and the Reds won’t be starting one. Admittedly, Arthur Rhodes did have an excellent year and maybe you could spot him against Utley and Howard in a high leverage sp…whoops, sorry, the homer that Dave Justice hit off Rhodes in the 2000 ALCS just whizzed by my head. PHILS IN THREE.

Giants v. Braves. In terms of performance, the Braves were probably the #2 team in the NL, but with their infield decimated and Hanson running on fumes it’s not clear that they are now. Neither team has an impressive offense, although the Braves are definitely better, and given how much of the Giants’ surprising return to offensive mediocrity was driven by veterans who were horrible last year I like their bats going into the series more. Starting pitching, obviously, is an edge for the Giants. So it’s pretty much a wash, and I’ll pick the Braves on the grounds that it’s time for Cox to catch a break in the postseason. BRAVES IN 5.

Rays v. Rangers : Although I hate the region and the market that has never merited a major league team, I like the Rays a lot, and would love to see them win another pennant. They have deep pitching, and their offense was 3rd in the league in runs in a pitcher’s park, a very impressive combination. The odd thing, though, is that the Rays’ offense doesn’t do anything especially well except 1)walk, and 2)run the bases. Since the Rangers’ ace takes the first out of the game and teams based on aggressive baserunning have a bad postseason history, I’m not sure if the offense can be expected to be as good as it looks in the playoffs. At a minimum, they’d better finish the Rangers off before they have to face Lee in a Game 5…and I’m not sure that they well. This may be overcompensating for being utterly wrong about Texas before the season, but I smell an upset here. RANGERS IN 5.

YANKEES V. TWINKIES
: For the sake of argument, let’s leave aside the Twins’ horrible record against the Yankes under Gardenhire — as the Angels showed twice last year, teams have hexes over another until they don’t. Let’s just compare the teams. Offensively, it’s a huge mismatch. Only two Twins would start for the Yankees, and in one of those edges the Yanks have a Hall of Fame-caliber player coming off a good year and the Twins star doesn’t seem close to 100%. Worse, without Morneau the Twins are mostly composed of the kind of tweeners who are unlikely to beat good pitching, and Thome — one of the exceptions and the other Twin good enough to start for New York — doesn’t hit lefties very well, which is a problem when you face 4 in 5 games. And, oh yeah, the fact that he doesn’t deserve the Cy Young shouldn’t blind us to the fact that the Yankees still have the best pitcher in the series, and he figures to match up especially well against the Twins. If I try to be optimistic, I can wonder about whether Pettite will be able to get through six innings, and also note that in Game 1 the Yankees will have to choose between having too many lefties in their lineup and blowing up their outfield defense. But still — the Yankees have a much better offense that’s much better suited to post-season baseball and a much better closer, and while the Twins have the better of the secondary starters Pavano, Duensing and Blackburn aren’t going to scare a good offense either. Even starting on the road, it’s easy to see where this is heading. MOST PROFOUND MANIFESTATION OF EVIL IN THE WORLD WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF MICHAEL BAY IN 4.

Was That Good News?

[ 15 ] October 4, 2010 |

The Yankee-hater had a real dilemma yesterday — it’s not clear whether their losing the division was actually a good thing or not. Having thought about it, the difference between the Twins and Rangers (who are almost dead even when you adjust for everything) is virtually nil. With Hamilton playing and Morneau not, I think the Rangers are a little better team, and there’s the fact that the Twins are 0-200 against the Yankees under Gardenhire, but that’s largely counterbalanced by the home field advantage. (I know it hasn’t appeared to mean much in recent playoffs, but I think it’s implausible that the home field advantage that is a durable feature of the regular season completely vanishes at playoff team.) Many people would also cite Lee, but I think Liriano is of similar quality. The Yankees should be substantial favorites against either, but…I guess we’ll get to that in the playoff previews.

Elsewhere, if for some reason you were writing a novel about a high-payroll but desultory wrapping up another mediocre season, it would definitely have to end not only with a 14 inning snoozer against an even worse team (perhaps it could be called The Food at This Place is Really Terrible, and Such Large Portions) but with the loss going to the expensive, atrocious pitcher wasting a roster spot because he won’t go to the minors and the owners don’t understand the concept of “sunk costs.”

And finally, I think Neyer is 100% right about adding a second wildcard. Assuming that wildcards are necessary (and they’re here to stay no matter what) it’s the best solution to the problem of teams not really caring if they win the division: it creates a guaranteed play-in game, gives a very substantial advantage to the team that wins the division, and doesn’t do much to dilute the quality of playoff teams. It’s an unassailably good idea, which means MLB probably won’t do it, but they should.

Sad, But True

[ 10 ] August 9, 2010 |

A Yankees fan friend (to the extent to such a thing is possible) comments:

Definition of a masochist: Mets’ fan who watches his team lose a one-run game to the hated Phillies, then hopes the Red Sox will beat the Yankees to make up for it.

Although I suppose one could just stop with “Mets fan.”

Meaningful AL East/Wild Card Race

[ 10 ] August 9, 2010 |

R.I.P. Dustin Moseley wins the Kei Igawa memorial award as the replacement-level pitcher who looks like Pete Alexander in a crucial game against Boston. And yet — I may have more than this when I revisit my pre-season picks this week, but while the Red Sox offense was the biggest concern going into the year, as it turns out the biggest issue has been that Lackey and Beckett haven’t done the job.

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