Saturday, April 30, 2016

Easy solution ... hit the ball on the ground to the left side of the infield.

Did anybody on the Yankees take note of how the Red Sox "hitters" beat the Yankees last night? Lefties hitting to the opposite field?:

"What has given the Yankees such a home advantage for nine decades — the short right-field porch — is now a detriment.

In the age of ever-expanding shifts, the Yankees’ lack of offensive diversification has made them arguably the most easily defended team in the majors.

'It definitely hurts us,' general manager Brian Cashman admitted."


Ummm ... you sound stupid.


"Before the heavy shifting, the Yankees could fill their lineup with pull-oriented lefty hitters and gain the advantage in their home park of not only plenty of homers, but also when a ball was hit well, singles and doubles.

But put five defenders to the right of second base and try to find a hole, especially at Yankee Stadium. It is one thing to have three infielders and two outfielders shading that way in a roomy right side like at Kauffman Stadium or Turner Field. It still is effective, but not like at Yankee Stadium, which has the least square footage of any right-field area in the majors. Thus, opponents have more defenders arrayed in a small space and, well, good luck to a Yankees lefty pull batter getting a hit that does not land over the fence."


I can't think of a solution to this problem.

Can anybody think of a solution to this problem?


"But what already is entrenched could not be changed. Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley, Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira are among the 30 lefty hitters shifted against most often (all shift stats provided by Baseball Info Solutions)."


What is already entrenched could not be changed.

Or ... just throwing this out there ... cuckoo idea ... all those guys can occasionally hit the ball on the ground to the left side of the infield?

The book!

"With lefty Chasen Shreve and Betances throwing in the bullpen, Joe Girardi opted to stick with Tanaka to face the left-handed hitting Bradley after he gave up consecutive one-out, opposite-field singles to left-handed hitters Travis Shaw and Brock Holt.

'The split really didn’t do much, and he hit it off the wall,' Girardi said of Bradley’s double that erased a 2-0 Yankees lead.

...

Girardi had stayed with Tanaka against Bradley, who was 0-for-2 and 1-for-13 against the right-hander."

99th pitch of the night. Easy call to go to the bullpen. I truly think Girardi paid attention to the previous 1-for-13.

Yes, it would be different if the useless offense could score easy runs that rookie pitchers and inept defensive teams attempt to give away ... if these batters were trained to hit for the situation ... but that point of emphasis is long overdue and now it's too late.

Girardi is lucky to still have his job.

Friday, April 29, 2016

"A streak of light on a baseball player ..."

"The real drugs to talk about with Dee Gordon, the son of a Major League ballplayer, aren't exogenous Testosterone and Costebol. The drugs to talk about, now that another star player has been banged for 80 games because he was dumb enough to believe some chemist or doctor or some guy he met at the gym, are these: entitlement and insecurity and greed.

That is the drug cocktail for any athlete who thinks he is going to be the one to cheat the game and beat the game at the same time, and it remains both powerful and addictive, even in a sport like baseball, where testing works."

The real drugs are Testosterone and Costebol.

Testing doesn't work in baseball.

Other than those minor corrections, you are right on, Mike Lupica.


"And the only thing dumber than the belief from someone like Gordon -- a streak of light on a baseball player, the defending National League batting champion -- that you will never get caught is the statement you release after you do get caught."

I think it's funny because Gordon only has 8 career HRs.



"You also have to know something else: They take it thinking that if they do get caught, as shocked as Gordon was this week and Colabello was last week, they will ride it out and come back and still get paid. It happened that way with Melky Cabrera. It happened that way with Jhonny Peralta, a Biogenesis All-Star. And the players who don't take the stuff look at this and see ballplayers getting rewarded for a form of fraud. The word Bob Costas uses about the numbers put into the books by guys using the stuff is 'inauthentic.' He is absolutely right.

One of these days, you wonder if the cost of getting caught using drugs will be one simple act that might actually get everybody's attention once and for all: Your contract going from guaranteed to unguaranteed. Jim Duquette, a former baseball executive, now a broadcaster, once again talked about that on Friday. Because, really, what law has ever been passed in this country that says a guaranteed contract in sports is supposed to survive a nuclear attack?"

It's embarrassing to get suspended 80 games. Gordon lost some of his $50 million. From a cost-benefit standpoint, the benefits seem to outweigh the costs.

The Yankees rebounded from a 4-6 start by going 4-6 in their next 10 games.

 The Yankees are not 10 games out of first place ... yet:

"The Yankees enter the weekend ranked 14th in runs scored, slugging percentage and hits and dead last in extra-base hits. They have scored three-or-fewer runs in 15 of their 20 games, going 3-12 in those contests. Even worse, they’ve been held to two-or-fewer runs 10 times already this season, losing all 10 games.

'It’s been a struggle for the last 15 games, hitting the ball,' Girardi said. 'I think our at-bats were good (Wednesday), and if you put good at-bats, eventually that’s going to change.'

If there’s a silver lining for the Yankees, it’s that their awful start — which has guaranteed them their first losing April since 2008 — hasn’t buried them in the standings. They left Texas trailing the first-place Orioles by only four games, so they’re not facing the type of massive holes that teams such as the Twins (nine games out in the AL Central) and Braves (10.5 games out in the NL East) have already dug for themselves."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Great news, Yankee fans. It's not September.

These excuses are lame.

Come back and talk to ARod after 80 games:

“If it doesn’t break us, it’s going to make us stronger in the long run,” said Alex Rodriguez, who went 3-for-3 with a home run as he returned to the lineup after missing two games with a minor oblique injury. “It’s tough, but we have to keep perspective... If it was 80 games, it would be a lot tougher to swallow.”


Not our fault:

“You usually go through stretches throughout the season where things go this way,” said Chase Headley, whose 0-for-3 left him with only two hits in his last 24 at-bats. “This one has been prolonged a little bit; some of it our fault, some not our fault.”


Girardi's players don't play hard for him:

“Do you want me just to flip it upside down? What do you want me to do?” Girardi said. “Twenty games is one-eighth of the season. If every manager changed the lineup after three or four guys were struggling, you’d be changing the lineup all the time. That’s why it’s a long season and you go by numbers over a long period of time. I think it’s way too early for that. I don’t know what your ideas are. Do you want me to hit (Ronald) Torreyes fourth?”


It's not September yet:

“Obviously, you hope to be over .500 every month, but I’d rather have that in April than September,” Headley said. “We’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to play better. We know we are. Hopefully it’s sooner than later.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Self-serving.

Maybe the Yankees batters would bat over .250 if the opponents weren't allowed to use the shift:

"Joe Girardi employs infield shifts regularly, doing his best to give his infielders a chance to defend against hitters of all kinds.

But if it were up to the Yankees manager, those shifts would disappear like a Mark Teixeira grounder in short right field.

Asked whether he would make shifts illegal if he were the sport’s commissioner, Girardi wasted no time in answering, 'Absolutely.'

'I think it’s an illegal defense, like basketball,' Girardi said. 'Guard your man; guard your spot. If I was commissioner, they would be illegal.'

'As long as it’s legal, I’m going to play it.'

Girardi’s shift on Nomar Mazara Monday night helped the rookie outfielder shoot a ball through the hole at shortstop, ending Nathan Eovaldi’s no-hitter in the seventh inning. Girardi didn’t second-guess his decision, though he hated to see Eovaldi’s bid for history end in such fashion.

'I think the field was built this way for a reason,' Girardi said. 'Two on one side, two on the other.'"


I don't follow Girardi's logic. It's embarrassing that Yankee batters can't figure it out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A player in the AL who plays home games at Yankee Stadium.

Approximating a full season with 600 at-bats:

AB: 607
R: 69
H: 146
RBI: 65
2B: 20
3B: 2
HR: 20
SB: 17
CS: 4

BB: 64
K: 136

BA: .241
OB%: .316
SL%: .379

RISP BA: .190
2 OUT RISP BA: 154


What do you think of this player?

Strikes out way too much for the rather weak power output. Pretty good speed. A decent number of walks, boosting a low batting average. Good stolen base percentage.

It's basically Brett Gardner without the good fielding and without any ability to hit in the clutch.

It's the cumulative 2016 Yankees.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rhetorical question ...

... why is Chase Headley in the major leagues?

Highlighting some of the horrors of Headley '16:

- No extra-base hits
- .296 OB%
- .455 OPS
- 37 OPS+

Friday, April 22, 2016

Thanks for the three hits yesterday.

Seems almost impossible that it's really going to be a platoon, but maybe it will be. Humiliating for Ellsbury and Cashman.

I'm losing optimism. Excuses don't help much.

McCann aka "Mac":

"No one's looking at the standings at this point," McCann said. "We're trying to play better baseball, trying to have better at-bats and play better defense"


Gardner aka "Gardy":

"We'd much rather be 9-5 than 5-9, but we'd also rather go on a rough stretch like this in April than September."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Attendance

The Mets are better than the Yankees.

The Mets are more exciting than the Yankees.

Attendance numbers are dubious and it's very early in the season.

But ... so far ... the Yankees are #1 in AL attendance and the Mets are #9 in NL attendance.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Everybody is going crazy about ARod's home run.

Let's go crazy! ARod hit HR #689!:

"Let's not get too crazy about No. 689, OK?"

OK.

 
"Sure, Alex Rodriguez went deep in the second inning Sunday, crushing an 86 mile-per-hour fastball from Hisashi Iwakuma into the left-field seats on the same day Joe Girardi demoted A-Rod from third to sixth in the lineup.

The homer snapped an 0-for-19 skid -- just two outs shy of matching the two longest droughts of Rodriguez's career-- and gave Masahiro Tanaka a lift in a win the Yankees' sorely needed after all their recent offensive stumbles.

But does it change the overall conversation about the Yankees' 40-year-old designated hitter?"

Yes?


"No, not yet."

Drats. Wrong again.


"He needs a few more blasts like that one before it's easy to believe he's fully out of his slump and will again be the lineup force he was for much of last year when he authored a comeback season from his drug suspension that included 33 home runs."

Sure, I guess you're right.

But, hey! Don't 41-year-old sluggers get the benefit of the doubt?


"Hey, sluggers with baggage who will be 41 during the season don't get the benefit of the doubt all the time. Sorry."

:-(




ARod is old and bad.

Hasn't been great in a very long time:

"This is fast turning into the Yankees’ worst nightmare. Not that Alex Rodriguez is finished but he’s hitting .100 now, after going 0-for-5 on Saturday, and no matter how many times a player has been through a slow start, the ugly numbers make them start squeezing the sawdust from the bat and press like crazy.

For A-Rod, in particular, he has a history of being at his worst when he wants it a little too much and tries too hard, as he did in so many postseasons for the Yankees before he got hot and carried them in October of 2009."

His postseasons have been worse post-2009 than pre-2009. Not that facts matter in the least to John Harper when discussing ARod ... or baseball ... or things on Planet Earth.


"Now he’s 40 and he knows a slow start makes questions about his age inevitable. The thing is, his numbers regarding line-drive percentage and hard-hit balls were good going into Saturday, which indicated he had some luck coming to him, but none of that matters once a slump gets in your head."

We know what to expect by now.

Trying to hit a HR every time up, striking out way too much, low batting average, low on-base%, little impact on the base paths, no fielding.


"Now he’s 40 and he knows a slow start makes questions about his age inevitable. The thing is, his numbers regarding line-drive percentage and hard-hit balls were good going into Saturday, which indicated he had some luck coming to him, but none of that matters once a slump gets in your head."

ARod's bat started slowing down a long time ago.

Don't throw him a fastball down the middle of the plate. If you do, he can still do damage.

But if you throw a pitch that appears to be a fastball ... and it isn't a fastball ... which, in baseball parlance, is known as a "pitch" ... he will start the bat early and try to hit a HR and miss the pitch.

Strike one, strike two, strike three, grimace, walk back to the dugout.

 
"Anyway, the point is it can’t be all about A-Rod.

Then again, if A-Rod is hitting bombs, even at 40, everyone up and down the lineup tends to relax a bit, and chances are in that case they wouldn’t be leaving entire villages on base every day."

Oh, jeez.



"However, you also can’t ignore the fact that A-Rod seemed to run out of gas late last season, and had a very quiet spring training as well.

Still, I think it’s a slump that’s largely mental now, not because it’s A-Rod but because that happens in April. It’s just that for him, especially — and the Yankees — that’s the worst-case scenario."

He's going to hit better than .100. Let's all agree on that. You could blindfold a pitcher and send him to the plate with a bat in his hand and he would hit better than .100.

But ARod is a DH who is batting third.

Look around MLB.

He may be the worst DH and the worst #3 hitter.

If the Yankees are relying on a serious resurgence ... .900 OPS or something similar over an extended period of time ... then the Yankees are doomed.

He is going to slowly be demoted down the lineup and I am guessing DiDi and Castro will be promoted. It's not much of a plan if Ellsbury and others don't contribute, but it's the only plan.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Designated hitters need to hit.

How's Alex Rodriguez doing so far this year?

Let's take a gander, far from the spotlight of a disinterested fan base and media. (He's yesterday's news.)

Anchoring the Yankee lineup from the #3 spot in the batting order, as a designated hitter.

AB: 22

R: 3

H: 3

RBI: 2

BA: .136

OB%: .269

SL%: .273

K: 8

BB: 4

HR: 1




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Nice throw!

Six months too late ... but nice throw!