Monday, June 18, 2018

In the month of June, Stanton has played in 16 games and struck out in 15 of them.

"Stanton struck out twice in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Rays, both in crucial spots. He has a .608 OPS with runners in scoring position, and is 4-for-34 in “late & close” situations."

Yikes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Dark Knight of Cincinnati.

Matt Harvey update.

With Cincinnati: 6 starts, 1 W, 2 L, 5.04 ERA, 30.1 IP, 30 H, 17 ER, 8 BB, 24 K, 7 HR.

Still stinks.

Cowardly and gutless.

This guy may just be trying to drive the price down.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Greg Bird looks like he should be a good hitter.

This is the only reason I can think of that he is batting third in this Yankee lineup.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Underachiever.

It's a tough label. Maybe he's just slumping. Gardner and Didi just slumped and they weren't called underachievers.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of this situation is that Sanchez's backup is hitting .344.

This probably won't go on much longer, but he brings up some good points.

He can't play and he's a bad guy:

"4. Those able to pardon both those things have a hard time — rightly so — forgetting the only reason Reyes was available for his encore as a Met is because he was a pariah in the sport following a domestic-abuse suspension handed out by MLB in 2016, the details of which remain chilling."

Sunday, June 10, 2018

It doesn't ruin my day if the Yankees use five pitchers.

"Over the past 18 months, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has been all but begging major league players for ideas and input on ways to make the product better. He seems ready to discuss even radical ideas, whether it’s some restrictions on defensive shifts, a pitch clock or maybe -- eventually -- an electronic strike zone.

 Here’s a fundamental change that would improve the game on many levels: Limit managers to the use of four pitchers per nine innings, with exceptions built in for injuries and blowouts."

Define "injury" and "blowout" for me.


"Major league baseball desperately needs to get off the growing front-office addiction to relief pitchers, which is helping to destroy important components of the game."

Funny, I actually think it's a natural strategic evolution which makes the game better.


"Among those: the essential pre-eminence of starting pitchers, who need to be marquee-worthy not only for the teams and their marketing departments but also for the players’ union; the scoring of runs by means other than a home run; and batters making contact and putting the ball in play."

1. The "essential pre-eminence of starting pitchers" is diminished, I suppose. On the other hand, the few remaining studs are worth more than ever.

2. The scoring of runs by means other than a home run?

3. Batters making contact and putting the ball in play [sic]? As opposed to, of course, the recent explosion of players putting the ball in play ... without making contact.

Point #1 I largely disagree with. I agree that it's hard to market a middle reliever, but the top relief pitchers have been marketed as superstars for a long time. Sure, you might be disappointed if you show up in a Rivera tee shirt, but the odds of seeing your favorite players are still better than 1 in 5.

Points #2 and #3 both boil down to superior pitching overall. Superior due to specialization and the realization that it's better to go full throttle for a shorter period of time.


"None of this is meant to challenge the analytical wisdom behind the parade of relievers overrunning the sport. It's been demonstrated beyond any doubt that there are statistical advantages in the growing number of reliever/batter matchups and in the strategy of yanking the starting pitcher before he's exposed to the opposing lineup a third time. Smart people are making smart decisions to create effective seven- and eight-man bullpens."

Which side are you on?


"But this trend is affecting the game in ways that will never attract the young fans baseball wants and could also alienate longtime fans.

Few starting pitchers concern themselves with getting through five or six innings these days. Rather, they're increasingly trained to throw as hard as they can, and when their work is finished, they're followed by relay teams of relievers who also throw really, really hard. The number of pitches of 96-plus mph has more than tripled in a span of just four years, and quite frankly, a lot of hitters -- especially older hitters -- are getting crushed."

Oh, the ineffectiveness of older hitters is the problem. Maybe we can pitch underhanded to Adrian Gonzalez to make the game exciting for the youngsters.

I can see where this is headed, but it's a dumb solution to a non-problem.

The batters have to figure this out and adjust (or hit against the freaking shift once in a while). Did you know the total MLB batting average is just .246?

Yeah, the balls will surely be put in play by over-the-hill batters if the pitchers are all out of gas. Sounds like an over-correction and not lots of fun.






Felz Stats of the Day

  • Gary Sanchez is batting .194 this season.
  • Greg Bird is batting .221 in his career.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Pitcher's can't hit.

I'm surprised that Tanaka's injury is drawing so much attention. I doubt it will be a tipping point, and it shouldn't be. This argument should have been settled a long time ago:


"Sure, these are professional athletes and they should be able to run 90 feet once in a while without injuring themselves. 

But why take the chance anymore? Why is MLB still putting players of such importance at any unnecessary risk if it’s at all avoidable?

The Players’ Association for years has been in favor of an expanded implementation of the DH to both leagues because it would translate into several more high-paying jobs, but there hasn’t been much indication recently from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred towards the NL finally making the switch.

Please spare me the baseball purists’ argument that such a move would eliminate too much of the strategy from the game, or that Bartolo Colon once leaned into one and ripped a home run for the Mets. Entering the weekend, pitchers also were hitting a collective .113 this season. How exciting.

Ask any Yankees fan if they’d rather see Boone execute a double-switch or have Tanaka available for every start the rest of the season, especially with Jordan Montgomery already undergoing Tommy John surgery this week.

It’s a simple answer. And it’s a common-sense change that’s long overdue."

Tim Tebow has a future career in politics.

I have no idea what his actual opinion is regarding whatever he's talking about:

“I think when people believe in something and they stand for that, I don’t knock them for that. Even if I agree with some or disagree with some, I appreciate it when people have convictions and they stand for that. I think it’s important how we do that as well. So I think there’s a lot of players that I’m friends with that have been on both sides and I understand it and I think what’s more important is to know their heart and where they’re coming from and where the conviction stands in their heart and what they really want to share."

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

I think Bumgarner is my favorite player.


" 'You just gotta find a way to get a guy in, bases loaded and no outs,’' said Bumgarner, who fouled off a hittable 2-0 fastball. 'There’s no excuse for it, pitcher or not. Or at least a better opportunity than striking out.' "

I would honestly say that the only player on the Yankees’ roster who understands this is, like, Ronald Torreyes, and he’s in the minor leagues.

I think Gary Sanchez, for example, is disappointed when he strikes out with RISP and less than two outs, but it’s hard to tell the difference, because he’s always disappointed when he strikes out and slowly trudges back to the dugout.

I think nearly 100% of all major league batters think of this situation as a chance to get 4 RBIs, regardless of the score, regardless of the game situation. The hitting coaches and managers can explain that you can get 1 RBI the easy way … maybe even 2 easy RBIs with the shifts … but it simply doesn’t register.

Four is better than one, coach. That’s how I get paid.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

The Boston Daily News.

"By the way?

We keep hearing about the Yankee starting pitching, and I happen to think it’s better than what the Red Sox have, even though the Red Sox have Sale, Price and Porcello at the top of their rotation.

Maybe one of these days Price will make you believe he could ever get a game off the Yankees in a big moment. He just hasn’t done it yet."

Mike Lupica writes about David Price more than he writes about any player on the Yankees or the Mets.

He also writes about the Red Sox as if he was writing for a Boston newspaper.


"After this season, Major League Baseball needs to take a look at the Wild Card system, as a way of making it more fair."

Get rid of it.


"There is great fun, for sure, in having do-or-die games in both leagues for the two Wild Card teams.

So often games like that have provided great drama."

Cheap thrills.


"At the end of it, if you have won 95 games or 100 or more than that, you should earn the right to do more than go up against a hot starting pitcher and lose to him the way you can lose to a hot goalie in hockey in a one-game season."

Boo hoo. Sports aren't fair sometimes.

If you want real drama, imagine the 2018 season with no wild card.Every game would be precious and you'd check the out-of-town box scores for three months.

I think it's great when a 100-win team misses the playoffs.

When Lupica complains about this situation, I can't help but think he's just worried about his beloved Red Sox getting knocked out by Seattle in a one-game playoff.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Mike Conforto missed a cutoff man.

Happens just about every game, but I guess it can't hurt to remind pro ballplayers that they're expected to execute the fundamentals. Conforto is maybe identified as a player who can shrug off the criticism, or whatever, but it sure seems like a misdemeanor in the scheme of things.

Friday, June 01, 2018

In order to have a career-defining moment, you need to have a career.

"Six years ago today, Johan Santana threw the first and only no-hitter in Mets franchise history. It took him 134 pitches, the most controversial foul ball Carlos Beltran had ever hit and a career-defining catch by Mike Baxter."

Just for kicks, I looked up the "career" of our favorite Archbishop Molloy product:

.228/.333/.331, 4 HR, 28 RBIs.

Career WAR of 0.4.

So, yes. That time he made a nice catch in a big spot was undoubtedly the highlight of a career full of lowlights.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

This game proved the Yankees need better ... defense.

The Cy Young Award front-runner faces the Yankees' #5 starter (maybe #6 or #7, depending on how you look at it) and each of them allow one HR and that's about it. The other runs allowed by German were arguably not his fault.

But, yeah, even if he got bombed out of the park ... as mentioned in the article ... a better gauge would be Severino vs. Verlander.


The Yankees' rotation is not great. The Yankees should probably not be the favorites to win the World Series. But this particular game was not a great demonstration of the difference between the Astros' rotation and the Yankees' rotation.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Fast Forward to the Playoffs.

Other than #4, I wouldn't be surprised if all of these things are wrong:

"Even though the baseball season is barely two months old, it is not too early to draw some conclusions about this fun-to-watch (but otherwise possibly doomed) Yankee ballclub and they are these:


1. They will very likely win 100 games and, because of the extraordinary competitive imbalance in baseball, could even possibly surpass the team record of 114 set in 1998.


2. Presently leading the majors in homers, slugging and OPS, they are on pace for 272 homers, which would easily break the 1997 Seattle Mariners' all-time record of 264 homers in a season.


3. They are also on pace to become the first team in history with four players hitting 40 homers or more.





4. They are not going to the World Series with this starting rotation."

Let's see:
  • The Yankees will probably not win 100 games, forget about 115.
  • The imbalance of baseball is not extraordinary in any way. It's lame how everyone gets worried about this whenever the Yankees are good.
  • They are not going to easily break the all-time homer record.
  • At least one of the players on pace to hit 40 HRs will get hurt.
  • Starting rotations may not even matter in the playoffs anymore ... and the other teams are worried about their lineups and bullpens.

No one knows what will happen in the playoffs, even if one can semi-accurately predict what will happen in a longer stretch of games (June - September).

What bugs me about this subject matter is that it's not really a baseball analysis, it's a pointless search for a problem. Which is what many fans like to do.

The Yankee starters are not great, but it may not matter. Or they may pitch great in October while Chapman sits on his hands in the bullpen.

"That means that I'm vey outspoken."

Teixeira just seems like one of those Hall Monitors who lack self-awareness. He rushed to dump on Girardi and Cano. I'm not sure what he's paid for, actually. He says he's paid to speak his mind, but I haven't heard say anything interesting or informative.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thirteen hits, zero runs.

Brace yourself for this one ...

PED users are already in the baseball HOF. I am 100% sure of it. A lot of time is being spent discussing the potential future occurrence of something that has already happened.
 
Lupica tries to reconcile his hatred of the Yankees/ARod with his unwillingness to admit he was wrong:

"It is not as if Robinson Cano is the first Yankee or former Yankee to end up in a story, or even a suspension, about performance-enhancing drugs. Fact is they could start to think about fielding a team on Old Timer's Day for guys like Cano."

So could every team.


"He goes for 80 games now. Alex Rodriguez, who gets treated like the mayor of baseball on television now, went for a whole season once, after lying about his own use of baseball drugs from here to Cooperstown and back. Roger Clemens was one of the stars of the Mitchell Report. And Andy Pettitte says he used human growth hormone, but only to get better and be an even better teammate. Jason Giambi was one of the BALCO All-Stars back in the day."

I like how Cano is suddenly a "former Yankee" instead of a "current Mariner."

The Mariners gave this guy $240 million and hoped he would be the centerpiece of a resurgence of Seattle baseball. While he has played quite well in Seattle overall, they haven't even made the playoffs during Cano's tenure.

Aside from that, you can easily list all the Seattle Mariner offenders ... including ARod Himself, for cryin' out loud.

Remember when Bret Boone drove in 141 runs?

Remember when 37-year-old Edgar Martinez put up a .324/.423/.579 slash line and drove in 145 runs?

Jay Buhner had three straight 40-HR seasons which I don't consider legit, but which most holier-than-thou writers ignore as they gleefully pounce on the Yankees for the Ken Phelps trade.

Nelson Cruz?

 
"So it's not just a former teammate of Cano's like Mark Teixeira saying he's not surprised by what happened to Cano. No one should be surprised about Cano. Or anybody else. As one big baseball executive said to me once, 'They use this stuff because it works.'
 
Now he loses $12 million of that. You'd have to be a dope — literally, figuratively — not to make a deal like that for yourself."

Ha ha, right. Lupica is such a punk. Suddenly, out of nowhere, when the circumstances change, Mike Lupica is the Voice of Pragmatic Reason rather than the Hand-Wringing Keeper of Baseball's Soul.

The same goes ARod, Clemens, Giambi, Pettitte, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Bonds and all the others ... at least they're not dopes.

Which also means Lupica has wasted column space on this topic for the past 20 years.


"[ARod] went to Bosch and Biogenesis for the same reason that Cano surely went to whomever he went, here or in the Dominican Republic: He went looking for something that would work for him. He ended up with a $270 million contract with the Yankees. Cano ended up with a $240 million contract from the Mariners after the Yankees wouldn't give him the years or the money he wanted. A-Rod lost a 10th of that money, or thereabouts. Cano loses a fifth of his contract with the Mariners. Again: You'd have to be a dope not to make a deal like that, in a game Cano now says he wouldn't cheat for anything"

12 divided by 240 is 5 percent, not a fifth, you squid. A fifth is 20 percent.

But it doesn't matter, anyway, does it?

Math isn't Lupica's strong suit. Neither is ethics. Neither is sportswriting.


Lupica got caught, simple as that.

He was wrong about Cano. The Yankees were smart to avoid signing Cano.

So that's the first thing that's impossible for Lupcia to admit. The Yankees were right, which means Lupica was wrong.


It's also impossible for Lupica to admit the obvious truth about his decades-long dismissal of the "BALCO All-Stars": He is not really upset about PED use at all.

He just picks and chooses based on his personal tastes and uses his column to hammer out personal grudges.


Lupica hates the Yankees.

In particular, Lupica enjoys ridiculing Yankee decision-makers.

So Cano was "supposed to" embarrass the Yankees by leading Seattle to the Promised Land while the Yankees descending into irrelevance in a Mets Town Renaissance.

It didn't work out that way and, to add insult to injury, now Cano is revealed as a PED fraud.

Lupica's only way out?

Immediately soften his stance on PED users.

 

The Red Sox are paying JD Martinez $24 million this season.

"Through the first quarter of the season, adding J.D. Martinez to the middle of the Red Sox lineup has been way more important than adding Giancarlo Stanton to the middle of the Yankees lineup."

J.D. Martinez is not an unknown entity.

He wasn't first in NL MVP voting 2017, and the expectations for his offensive output are certainly somewhat lower than Stanton's.

But Martinez was 14th in NL MVP voting, despite playing half the season in the AL

Perhaps that demonstrates typical boneheaded inconsistency by the voters ... I don't feel comfortable using MVP votes to support of reject any argument ... but it also demonstrates general awareness of Martinez's abilities.

Has Martinez been way more important than Stanton?

Probably a little more important.

Stanton has been kinda underwhelming, but also kinda productive in terms of HRs, RBIs, runs,

I think for $24 million, the Red Sox were expecting a great player.




Tuesday, May 15, 2018

It's May and we're talking about the Yankees' playoff rotation.

Things must be going really well.

"Is this the kind of rotation you'd love in the playoffs? Against Boston? Or Houston? Or even Cleveland? The three starters with the American League's lowest ERA -- Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton -- all pitch for the Astros, with Dallas Keuchel (3.10) ranked 12th. The Indians also have three starters -- Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger, and Trevor Bauer -- in the AL's top 10 in ERA. (Severino is the only Yankee with at least 40 innings pitched who is in the top 30 in ERA.)"

Five months from now, we have no idea if the Yankees will make the playoffs or who will be in their rotation. Injuries or unexpected ineffectiveness could suddenly affect all five Yankee starters.

The best news, though, is that, if the Yankees make the playoffs, their opponent will be another professional baseball team in the American League.That team also has weaknesses in their starting rotation.

Verlander sure seems to have the Yankees' number. Last year, the hero was what's-his-name ... the guy whose father pitched for the Yankees ... Lance McCullers.

Verlander is intimidating, but maybe he has a bad game ... or maybe he's the one who's suddenly ineffective after too many innings.

"ERA on May 15th" is not much of a predictor of October performance.

Giancarlo Stanton has made one error this season.

He has played eight games in the outfield.

That's because he's a DH.

Maybe all the sportswriters will remember this simple fact when Stanton loses a few balls in the Florida sun during next year's Spring Training.