Friday, April 28, 2017

Competition.

"I'm not pitching against so and so. I'm pitching against the opposing team."

Phooey on that:

"Masahiro Tanaka got the best of an exquisite pitchers' duel against Chris Sale in a Thursday night thriller at Fenway Park, leading the Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox. Neither team had an extra-base hit.

Tanaka was machine-like with his efficiency, firing a three-hit shutout that required just 97 pitches, aka a 'Maddux.' The sinkerballer walked none and struck out three for his second career shutout, giving the Yankees two straight wins at Fenway in a series that was abbreviated by a postponement on Tuesday.


'I enjoy the competition,' Tanaka said through an interpreter. 'I think a lot of people thought with how well he was pitching up to this point, that probably Chris Sale had the upper hand. But I wanted to go in there and beat the odds.' "

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chris Carter is already a bargain

Finally?

It's April.

He finally hit a late-inning, pinch-hit, go-ahead HR:

"Maybe the Yankees should hold onto that Chris Carter guy after all.

Carter, regularly lambasted by the fan base -- many of whom had regularly called for his release on social media -- due to his early struggles at the plate, delivered a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the eighth inning that broke a 5-all tie and allowed the Yankees to secure another unlikely come-from-behind victory on the road.

Talk about a big first bomb in pinstripes. Carter had been signed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract in the offseason. He came into Saturday's game hitting .148."

I had no idea Carter has been regularly lambasted by the fan base. The fans have been regularly lambasting a bench warmer with 27 at-bats?

If so, the fans need to figure out a consistent criteria for their derision. A one-year, $3.5 million contract is the same as free. It's a good signing no matter what happens.

He's not that bad.

"With an infield single in the fifth inning, Jacoby Ellsbury reached base for the 23rd consecutive game dating back to Sept. 26, 2016, the longest active streak in the majors."

Batting .323 with 6 stolen bases and 10 runs.

High on-base%, low slugging%, a mere 3 RBIs.

Writers love Josh Hamilton

Fraud, cheater, criminal, one of the worst contracts in the history of things:

"Josh Hamilton was out of work on Friday after a new knee injury, and there’s your further evidence that Hamilton, like all ballplayers, like all people, are made up of icky, gooey, gross stuff that no one wants to see and eventually doesn’t work anyway. We just saw a little more of Hamilton’s, is all."

No.

I am a better person than Josh Hamilton by standard societal standards such as integrity, honesty, and general avoidance of illegal behavior.


"For a few years there, Josh Hamilton was just about the best in the sport. He was that in spite of all he’d experienced, all he’d inflicted upon himself, all the sickness he’d incurred. It won’t ever be what it could have been, whatever that is, and it is not heroic. It just is, or was, whatever he decides. It can’t ever be what was expected of him, a past he had no choice but to ignore. It was, however, every bit of what he had in that moment. So, if the baseball is over, then there will be just Josh and his girls and the life he chooses. There’ll be some memories of a young man hounded by – and chasing – darkness, of course. But there’ll also be that man who for a short time had tamed it all, and who can again, a day at a time."

So let's say you totally forgive alcoholism, like it's the flu. That's fine.

You don't care about the PEDs? When he was "just about the best in the sport," it's because he was juiced.

I am not a particularly judgmental person, but the general consensus hypocrisy is staggering.

You know, maybe alcoholism doesn't make one a bad person ... but it also doesn't make one a saint.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Felz Stat of the Day

Greg Bird has one more hit this season than Mark Teixeira.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Let's ignore what happened in the game and just blame the bullpen.




"Masahiro Tanaka scuffles in two straight starts and you know the reaction, the sky is already falling on the Yankees’ sketchy starting rotation, even before the bullpen blows two straight leads in Baltimore."

The sky is not falling on the Yankees' sketchy starting rotation because it has already fallen ... just got your verb tense wrong. The AL hitters are waiting in anticipation as decision day approaches: Will the Yankees name Chad Green or that AAA Lefty Guy as the #5 pitcher in their rotation?

The Yankee bullpen is not going to have a 0.00 ERA. The bullpen gave up 3 earned runs in Baltimore over the course of 8 innings. I think it's the only runs the bullpen has allowed this season.

The starting pitching, the typical 19 runners left on base, the garbage fielding: those are your problems.


"The other night I watched Chris Sale make his first start for the Red Sox at Fenway, a start even more anticipated than Harvey’s would be for the Mets on Thursday. Sale threw his first pitch of the night at 97 and then spent most of the game against the Pirates in the low and middle 90s. Sale was still brilliant. He is smart, he works both sides of the plate, he mixes sliders with his fastball, he so clearly has an ace’s makeup and mentality. You don’t have to have the biggest fastball in the world to be that kind of ace. You just have to have attitude, and big stuff."

Lupica watched a baseball game, everybody.

What is Lupica doing? Explaining how pitching works?



"There was the Saturday afternoon in a Subway Series game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, two years ago, when Harvey seemed almost happy that the Mets had lost on Friday night, so the next day’s game put even more pressure on him, and was all about him. He threw fastballs past Alex Rodriguez that day that made Rodriguez look as if he were ready for the assisted hitting home."


Oh, yeah, doesn't everybody remember the time ARod struck out two years ago? I still think about it often.

Harvey struck out 80-year-old ARod, a man who only struck out only 2,287 times in his career.


Yeah, we get it. You lose velocity and you have to change your pitching strategy. Suzyn Waldman has been trying to explain this to CC Sabathia for 5 years.



"Wait a second, I thought the game was supposed to be over when the Yankees took a lead into the late innings."

Nope, the game isn't over just because the Yankees take a lead ... and the fifth inning doesn't qualify as "late." Blaming the bullpen is very lazy.

Wait a second, I thought Aaron Judge was supposed to hit over .200 and have a higher career OPS than Ronald Torreyes.

Wait a second, I thought the Baby Bombers were supposed to stay healthy just because they're young.

Wait a second, I thought Michael Pineda had plus-plus stuff.

Wait a second, I thought starting pitchers were supposed to occasionally pitch more than 4 2/3 innings and keep their ERAs under 9.00.
 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

"Bullpen falters."

Bullpen allows 1 earned run in 4 innings.

Starting pitcher allows 4 earned runs in 5 innings.

Which faltered?

Walking Jones in the 5th inning with a 5-1 lead, setting up Machado's 3-run HR, should have been enough for Girardi to walk out to the mound and hand Severino a bus ticket to Scranton.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Redemption is easier to find than I thought.

Beating the Braves in front of a half-empty stadium in April.

ARod will be at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day!

ARod foresees 45 HRs per season for Judge. ARod also foresees multiple batting titles and a Yankee captaincy for Bird.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Yup, he's a lot like Jimmy Breslin alright.

"And so you know?"

Please let us know what you think, Mr. Lupica.

It's a nice way to ruin the optimism that surrounds Opening Day.


"I believe Commissioner Rob Manfred got it right with Jeurys Familia, giving him 15 games instead of the 30 he gave Aroldis Chapman a year ago because of an incident involving the mother of Chapman’s child. There was a gun involved with Chapman, even if all he did was, according to police reports, fire off shots in his garage. Doesn’t matter. He could have taken aim at the moon. A gun being anywhere near a domestic argument presents both the opportunity and the danger of a far greater tragedy."

Plus, I don't like the Yankees.


"And the Mets’ starting third baseman, Jose Reyes, was also suspended at the beginning of last season, when he was still with the Rockies, because he had been arrested by police in Maui the previous October – the same weekend, as it turns out, that Chapman’s girlfriend ended up hiding in fear outside his house – over an incident involving his wife."

And the NY Daily News sports investigative team was busy that weekend ... doing what?


"This isn’t steroids, or performance enhancing drugs, where if you test positive, you’re automatically gone; or when there was so much evidence against you, as there was with the world’s most expensive mentor and man-about-town, Alex Rodriguez, that you end up losing three times what Reyes got from Manfred, which means a whole season. With the exception of Ray Rice or Joe Mixon, where there was video, most of these cases involve two people, sometimes two versions of things, one bad moment. Sometimes a terrible moment that changes lives forever."

No.

It isn't "steroids or performance enhancing drugs." (Which reminds me: You can just use "steroids" or "PEDs" as shorthand for both. Nobody who reads this column is a chemist.)

It's a helluva lot worse than "steroids or performance enhancing drugs," wouldn't you say?


"Sometimes in a guys’ world, it’s not how you acted against a woman, it’s how much the guys in charge of hiring think you still have left in the tank. Whether they think you can still pack a punch or not. So to speak."

"Pack a punch."

Nice.

When are you going to retire?



Imagine if Gary Sanchez had started his career 2-for-35, then followed that with a monster month.

The fans and writers would have made up their minds about him based on a small sample size; McCann might still be on the Yankees; Sanchez's post-pennant race September surge would have been dismissed; the general consensus for the 2017 Yankees would probably be 70 wins instead of 85 wins.

Or maybe there would have been no chance for a rebound 20-HR surge in September because he would have ridden the bench ... in Scranton.


Gosh, I hope Sanchez is the next Jorge Posada. A lot of observers believe he will be even better.

I'm just stuck with the nagging feeling he's the next Joba Chamberlain.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I am not denying Gary Sanchez's popularity and the fans' thirst for a new pinstriped hero ...

It's just way too early to fast track his enshrinement at Cooperstown.

This is Sanchez's career in a nutshell:
  • Batted .389 in August 2016
  • Batted .225 in September/October 2016

The next Jeter has a whole 1/3rd of a season under his belt. 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Gardner isn't any better.

I think it's only against lefty starters, but:

  • Sanchez batting second?
  • Gardner leading off instead of Ellsbury?
  • Ellsbury batting fifth instead of Gardner? 


Statistics don't support any of this.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Likely story.

I don't think Pineda can blame the language barrier on his cheating.

Also, this is a three-year-old forgotten story.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chase Headley had one good year.

Stop with the mechanics and confidence nonsense.

Headley had 31 HRs and 115 RBIs one year for San Diego. His career 162-game average? Try 15 HRs and 68 RBIs ... and that includes the 31/115 anomaly.

Cashman was hoping for another Brosius/Swisher bargain basement find and Cashman got burned:

"The Yankees gave the switch-hitting 32-year-old third baseman a four-year, $52 million two seasons ago after acquiring him in a trade with the Padres in July of 2014.

In 2015, Headley committed 23 errors and posted a .693 OPS. In 2016, he got off to a miserable start at the plate, contributing to his team's miserable start in the standings."

25 HRs and 113 RBIs isn't so bad for a third baseman playing at Yankee Stadium and making $13 million.

Oh, wait.

Those stats are for two seasons combined?


"On May 3, Headley's batting average was .147 and the Yankees were 8-16.

'Mechanically, I had a little too much forward movement in my swing and I was a little too pull conscious,' Headley said. 'And when things are going that bad and you have some poor luck, your confidence gets a bit shaken. Because of my past track record, it never got to the point where I was like I'm not going to hit again, it was when am I going to hit again.'

Eventually, he rebounded to hit .268 the rest of the way."

Wow. A whole .268 "the rest of the way."

If Ellsbury hits .268 "the rest of the way," the writers want to run him out of town.