Sunday, May 24, 2015

Significant place in baseball history.

The real ace of the city?

It's Mike Lupica.

Now put on your typewriting shoes and write us a New York article, you wondrous dandy.

New York, New York
It's a helluva town
The Bronx is up
But the Battery's down

"You know, the new guys for the Yankees aren’t doing nearly as well as they were a couple of weeks ago."

There are no new guys on the Yankees, other than Didi Gregorius, who is doing better than he was a couple of weeks ago. Like, now he has been upgraded to an F instead of an F-minus.

I suppose a bunch of anonymous bullpen pitchers are also new, but who cares?


"And by the way?

One 16-strikeout performance from Michael Pineda didn’t turn him into the ace of the city."


Because there is no such thing as ace of the city.


Objectively speaking, now that you bring it up, Pineda has had a better 2015 quarter-season than Matt Harvey -- the supposed ace of the city you're implicitly referring to.

Pineda: 5-2, 3.59 era, 57.2 ip, 5 hrs, 59 k, 4 bb.

Harvey: 5-2, 2.91 era, 58.2 ip, 6 hrs, 60 k, 10 bb.

Pineda has the disadvantage of home games at Yankee Stadium, pitching to a designated hitter, and horrible defensive support.

Am I right or wrong?


I caught a bit of the Mets game yesterday and I saw Harvey walk the bases loaded. Cervelli was the batter.

The next batter was A.J. Burnett and I changed the channel. How can NL fans deal with this garbage game after game?

Turns out, Burnett had a sac fly and the next batter doubled in a couple of runs.

But anytime a pitcher strikes out another pitcher, that stat should be stricken from the record.


"The bottom line for baseball New York right now? 

We’re not riding quite as high around here as we were a few weeks ago."

First of all, don't say "we."

It suggests a collegiality and rapport that simply doesn't exist. You bridge and tunnel it back to Lawn Guy Land and act like you're raving at after parties in the Meat Packing District.

But even in the collapsed universe of New York baseball writers, don't say "we." You don't care about baseball, you couldn't name the Yankees' starting rotation, much less their current leader in OPS.

The Yankees have lost 9 out of 10, just gave up 25 runs in back-to-back games to the lamentable Rangers, Ellsbury and Tanaka are on the DL, and they are no longer in first place.

"Not riding quite as high around here as we were a few weeks ago." Thanks for the insight, sport.






Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The New Teixeira

ARod has 10 HRs and 22 RBIs.

I was thinking that 22 RBIs is kind of light for a guy with 10 HRs.

Turns out, 9 out of his 10 HRs are solo HRs. Some of them have certainly been clutch and memorable, but the goal is to drive in runs, not just drive in yourself.

His BA with RISP is .161. Two outs RISP, he's 1-for-10.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

McCann has had a year and a quarter to adjust to New York.

The horror: 613 AB, 143 H, .233 BA, approximately .298 on-base%.


On a side note, according to baseball-reference.com, McCann's nicknames are "Heap" and "Fun Police."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The most important stat.

Gardner's strikeouts are way down.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Get well soon, Dillon Gee.

"Gee first felt the strain in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Washington and wanted to take the cautious route after fighting through a lat injury last year and missing almost two months. He will undergo an MRI today, and expects to return when he’s eligible to."

I could be wrong, of course, but I don't believe him.

I believe he has been pitching ineffectively and the Mets wanted to start Syndergaard instead.

This DL nonsense happens all the time in MLB.

NYY/SEA Data Check

  • Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances: combined 33 1/3 innings with a 0.00 ERA for the first place Yankees.
  • Robinson Cano: .691 OPS, 1 HR, 8 RBIs for the 12-17 Mariners.




Yankees off to a surprisingly good start.

Bill Madden picked the Yankees to win 79 games. Third place.

Six weeks into the season, guess what?

The Yankees are comfortably atop the AL East and should rumble to the AL East crown:

"Can anyone else win this division? Six weeks into the season there is little evidence of any of the other four teams having the right stuff — their only hope being sustained injuries to the Yankees’ key veteran operatives, such as the previous two seasons, equalizing things."

I see it as an overachieving team that is 3 games up and 5.5 games out of last.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

There is no answer for Stephen Drew.

Aside from finding a time portal to the past and refusing to sign him in the first place, it's clear the Yankees made an awful decision. No sense in playing him. That is just throwing good money after bad.

Monday, May 04, 2015

I think I miss old-fashioned newspapers with editors and stuff.

''There's still a long way to go, but you can't feel any better than that,'' said Miller, who saw Ortiz win plenty of games as a Boston teammate from 2011-14. ''He's got a flare for the dramatic. That's been the most important part of his career. It's not how I drew it up and wanted to do it.''

Flair for the dramatic. Not flare.

It isn't Miller's fault, because he simply said the phrase, he didn't misspell it.

Yahoo is a big company ... every responsible person at yahoo signed off on this? Or is there simply zero review whatsoever?

Sunday, May 03, 2015

New York Mets Data Check

Granderson batting average: .233.

Michael Cuddyer batting averagae: .231.

Throw in some power and some walks and their offensive output hasn't been totally useless so far this season. But maybe these numbers will dispel the weird notion that hitting coach Kevin Long will help Granderson and that Cuddyer will hit like he did in Coors Field.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

I thought they might have paid him his $6 million just to shut him up, but also pointedly refuse to celebrate his achievements.

"Just when it looked like everyone was playing nice, getting along better than ever, and even celebrating with one another, along comes Saturday afternoon.

"It's a drama that refuses to end.

It's A-Rod. It's the New York Yankees. It's the Mayweather-Pacquiao of baseball.

Rodriguez hits the most historic home run Friday since Barry Bonds became the home-run king in 2007, tying Willie Mays with the 660th homer of his career, but the moment is now shrouded in controversy."

Now it's shrouded in controversy. The controversy started Saturday afternoon.


"The Yankees, who were supposed to hand over a $6 million marketing bonus to Rodriguez once he tied Mays, came out publicly for the first time Saturday, saying they refuse to pay it."

The Yankees came out publicly, surprising zero people.


"The marketing dispute is the first wrinkle in this newly repaired relationship with the Yankees and Rodriguez, and although it won't boil over lawsuits, surely it will lead to further distrust."

ARod is playing pretty well so far.

That doesn't mean the relationship is repaired.

It just means ARod is playing pretty well one month into the season.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Strikeouts and Solo HRs: A New York Yankee Data Check

  • Alex Rodriguez: .232 batting average and 23 strikeouts in 69 at-bats.
  • Mark Teixeira: 2-for-19 with RISP.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The keys are: positioning, cadence, internal clock, and steroids.

Don't strain yourself.

"The Yankees bullpen is so good, it needs a nickname.

It certainly has proven to be a difference maker in April for the first-place Yankees — even after they let David Robertson walk away to the White Sox.

Perhaps Miller Time?"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Felz Stat of the Day

Andrew Miller 17.3 k per 9 IP.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Say the words "Chien-Ming Wang," because I want to see if you can say those words or if you have a mental block.

"You ask Brian Cashman what has surprised him about his baseball team in April, which has already seen the Yankees start 3-6 and then play the way they have since, and he says, 'A-Rod would be the surprise.' "

"Biggest surprise" is an odd compliment. He thought ARod was going to stink. So he's surprised that he's doing okay.


"He means A. Rodriguez, the designated hitter and occasionally fill-in infielder who has hit four home runs this month after spending last season in the penalty box for being the top star juicer of Biogenesis. Two of those home runs came last Friday night against the Rays, when the Yankees badly needed a win, not to turn a season around, just April."

Oh! He means Alex Rodriguez, the Yankee player.

I thought he literally meant "a rod." That is why I was confused. What is so surprising about a rod and why is he mentioning this to a sports writer?

But if you ask a dumb question, you might get a dumb answer.


"So Rodriguez, everybody’s All-America, is the biggest surprise to his general manager, at this time when the last nine games look so vastly different than the first nine, and when there is so much on the line, for Cashman and the Yankees and the people who own them. But there have been other surprises, as well, starting with Cashman’s starters."

I think Lupica is so unable to write favorably about a winning team, that his entire paradigm has shifted to chat up the underdog Yankees. After 20 years of derision, that took about two weeks.

I mean, the Yankees are 10-8.

ARod is hitting .250 and striking out once every three and a half at-bats.

The starting rotation is 7-6 with three good pitchers and two bad pitchers.


"This isn’t about who 'owns' the city in baseball or who rules it now that the Mets have started hot and look like they are going to be contenders, not just for this season but maybe for a long time. That is something for the stands and the media, unless you really think that Yankee players and Mets players feel they are engaged in some epic battle for the heavyweight baseball championship of New York City."

What??????????

What the hell did you just say???????

So after DECADES of pushing this nonsense about which baseball team "owns" New York, you've just swept aside your entire foundational premise in one paragraph.

I need a drink.


"Right now the Yankees — whose farm system hasn’t produced a star starter since Andy Pettitte — have four starters under the age of 27."

Chien-Ming Wang was a star until he got hurt. Almost won a Cy Young Award.


"If Tanaka’s arm holds up — and that’s an 'if' as big as Yankee Stadium — and if Sabathia’s legs don’t give out, this has a chance to be one of the best rotations in the American League, certainly the best in the AL East. Without Max Scherzer, who got his stupid contract from somebody else."


Well, there's your trouble.

You're relying on Sabathia. 0-4, 5.96 ERA, has not won a game in a calendar year, has been a liability for three seasons in a row.

Still, it's fascinating, if somewhat alarming, to see Lupica's sudden change of heart. Go Yankees! Mets are so last week.


"This has been the Mets’ April, hands down, however the rest of this weekend plays out at the Stadium. They have Harvey and they win an entire home stand and are putting noise and fun and life into Citi Field, really for the first time. But the Yankees have made some noise, too. The position players are still old. But in front of your eyes, the pitching has gotten younger. A lot younger. As young as the guys across town. You want the real baseball surprise in New York this April? There it is."

Tanaka and Pineda are not surprises. Eovaldi and Warren are hardly trustworthy in the long run. Nova will come back and hopefully regain some of his early form. Sabathia had one good game and a whole bunch of postgame excuses in his other games ... get used to hearing them.

The Yankee team ERA is pretty good, but a lot of that is the bullpen.

So Eovaldi is the only surprise so far. He has a horrible WHIP of 1.7 and has managed to keep his ERA in the low 3.00s ... for now. I wouldn't get too excited about him.

Besides, Lupica, the last thing this team needs is your curse. If an ignoramus like you praises a player, I'd sell that stock right away.







Saturday, April 25, 2015

We have Tanaka and you don't. Na na na na na.


"A Yankees fan can say whatever he wants about the current state of the two teams. The Mets fans' retort is six simple words: 

'We have Harvey and you don't!' "

Where is the army of overly optimistic Yankee fans who are bragging about the current state of their team?

The Yankees are mediocre at best and everybody knows this.


"That didn't happen. Still, his 102nd pitch to Alex Rodriguez was a 98-mph fastball that the designated hitter — off to a much-trumpeted good start — swung right through. The Harvey-Rodriguez matchup was supposed to be the best thing since Clemens-Piazza in this rivalry, but A-Rod was a meek 0 for 4 with two Ks and two groundouts."

Again ... is there a human being anywhere in the world who knows anything about baseball in the year 2015 ... and this person thought that the Harvey/ARod matchup was comparable to Steroid Clemens vs. Steroid Piazza?

Honestly, it didn't even cross my mind as a compelling matchup.

I enjoyed ARod's little hot streak and am happy that he temporarily silenced the critics.

He's still a 39-year-old washed up DH and it's a bit embarrassing that he has been elevated to #3 in the lineup. (I wonder how a 39-year-old Matt Harvey would do facing a 26-year-old ARod.)

I can't think of anyone who's really a good matchup vs. Harvey, but ARod is a right-handed strikeout machine facing a right-handed strikeout machine.

Everyone knew ARod was going to strike out, which he did ... so maybe it's fun for Mets fans because ARod took steroids and is an arrogant prick? OK. Doesn't really sound like a compelling matchup so much as beating a horse that died a long time ago.



"So forget the nonsense that Harvey — a childhood Yankees fan, remember — would be lose his poise stepping to the mound in the Bronx for the first time. Harvey certainly wasn't going to do the nostalgia thing after the game, answering a question about his memories of coming to the old Yankee Stadium as a kid with a curt, 'I'm a New York Met.' "


I can't forget that nonsense because, like all other people, I never thought that in the first place.


"Maybe the Yankees will take the final game on Sunday night. It doesn't matter."

OK.

It doesn't matter.

That's good, because Mad Men is on at that time.

 
"As far as bragging rights go, the Mets fans will have the edge throughout the summer. They lead the Yankees in 1-0 in Harveys, and in the New York baseball right now, that's the ultimate trump card."

Bragging rights. 

Take them if you really want them.
 

26 years old. Coming back from injury. Team's hopes resting on his shoulders. Firing 97 mph fastballs after 100 pitches. Undefeated in 2015. 17 ks and 2 walks. Dominated in the Subway Series.

I just described Michael Pineda, by the way.



 



Maybe the short porch would ruin his swing.

"Minutes before the main event -- the first-ever Harvey/Alex Rodriguez matchup, of course -- Lucas Duda created a moment of his own, poking a line drive over the right field wall to make it 1-0 Mets in the top of the first. It left one to wonder how many home runs the big man would hit if he were a Yankee, playing 81 games in this lefty-friendly park. Forty? Fifty?"

You know, ballparks are important.

If Lucas Duda played 81 games at Yankee Stadium, he would not hit 50 HRs in one season.

If he was that powerful, he'd just get walked a lot.

Quick -- who is the most hated baseball player in New York?

Betcha didn't say Carlos Beltran:

"Carlos Beltran signed with the Yankees rather than the Diamondbacks or Royals because he believed the big city and the short right-field porch might enrich his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Instead, Beltran is in peril of putting himself in a more unusual category than those who reach Cooperstown — an enemy of both New York fan bases."

Enemy?


"Now, I always have been a Beltran defender."

Hey, everybody, guess what?

Purveyor of Taste, Joel Sherman, has always been a Beltran defender.



"I could never understand the Mets fans’ irrational distaste for the switch hitter. The overreaction to him taking a called third strike against Adam Wainwright in NLCS Game 7 in 2006 has been misplaced. He was great for the Mets in that season and that series, and Wainwright threw a hammer-from-hell curve that pretty much would have frozen every hitter in history from Aaron to Zobrist."


I think it's his aloof personality.

A lot of fans are dumb that way.

Intelligent fans realize that he played very well for the Mets (after a slow start) and he is one of the top postseason performers in baseball history.


"However, no matter the case for Beltran, there is a significant phalanx of Mets fans whose minds I am not changing. He kept the bat on his shoulders against Wainwright, and that’s that. Enemy of the Mets state."

That particular play was memorable, but I think Sherman simply doesn't understand why Beltran is disliked.

Beltran's aloof personality, like I said before, and he got off to a slow start. Intellectual laziness, intellectual inertia, cognitive dissonance. For many fans and writers, sports fandom has deteriorated into keeping score of opinions and predictions. So you form an opinion about Beltran after half a season -- "he's overpaid" or "he can't handle New York" -- and then that's that.


"It would be harder, at this point, to make a case for Yankees fans restraining their anger. Beltran was mostly injured — particularly his elbow — and ineffective last year in his Bronx debut. This season, he says he feels great, but the results so far have been even worse. He went 0-for-3 with a walk in the Yankees’ 6-1 triumph over the Mets in the Subway Series opener, dropping his season numbers to .173 without a homer."


Well, OK.

Your finger isn't really on the pulse of Yankees fans.

Beltran is a drop in an ocean of bad contracts. Beltran might prefer it if he was despised by Yankee fans because that would mean they're paying attention.