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.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spring Training doesn't mean anything.

I don't buy it:

"While Spring Training is about preparing for something larger, there occasionally are moments like this one. Afterwards, all the best quotes came from the Detroit clubhouse.

'There's pride involved,' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. 'You don't want to get no-hit whether it's Spring Training, regular season or Wiffle ball in the backyard.'

Yankees manager Joe Girardi laughed when someone asked if he'd saved the lineup card. For him, a spring no-hitter simply was another brick in a very impressive wall.

At 16-5, the Yankees hold the Majors' best record this spring. They've seen what they had hoped to see from most of their primetime players and the waves of young talent on the way."

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Who is going to start in RF for the Yankees?

"Forget five pitchers fighting for two rotation jobs."

No problem. I have forgotten the names of the five pitchers fighting for two rotation jobs. That was easy.

"The right-field competition between Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks has turned into the hottest battle in Yankees camp that may not be decided much before the April 2 opener."


"Should Hicks, 27, win the job, Judge, 25 next month, isn’t going to stick around as a bench player. That would open a fourth outfielder spot. Even as good as Dustin Fowler has looked in spring training, it’s highly unlikely the 22-year-old who never has played above Double-A would be the choice. Ditto Clint Frazier, who played 30 games at Triple-A last year. Mason Williams, who hasn’t appeared in a spring game because of a strained left patella, could fill the role if he gets healthy enough. He was limited to 43 minor league games and 12 major league tilts last year because of shoulder surgery."

Judge will get his chance soon enough.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

I don't quite see the point, maybe he's selling a lot of Spring Training merchandise.

On the other hand, I'm also guessing that Harper never noticed an on-deck circle snafu before simply because Harper wasn't paying attention:

"Maybe it wasn't quite the same as a rookie quarterback nervously lining up under the guard rather than the center to take the snap, but Tim Tebow's lack of baseball experience proved embarrassing before he ever got in the batter's box on Wednesday.

It's not often you see a hitter walk across to the other team's on-deck circle to get ready to hit. Actually, you never see that, not even in high school, where Tebow last played before signing on for this sideshow with the Mets.

It was so unusual that Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, warming up at the time, said he assumed it was a bat boy when he noticed someone in a Mets' uniform walking behind the plate to the Red Sox side of the field.

When home plate umpire Ryan Addition noticed, he had to tell the former Heisman Trophy winner to get back to his side of the field.

Afterward Tebow said he thought because he's a lefthanded hitter, he should go to that side. He said Jacob deGrom kidded him, 'I won't tell anybody but I saw it.' "

Monday, March 06, 2017

Alex Rodriguez would be pleased to hear this ...

... after a decade of slagging.

"The New York Yankees are seriously contemplating dropping the $153 Million Man, Jacoby Ellsbury, to the bottom of the batting order this season. Since Ellsbury has been a Yankee, he has nearly always hit in the first three spots of the lineup, despite being barely an average player. It seems as if his seven-year deal could go down as the worst free-agent signing in franchise history."

I believe you answered your own question. If Ellsbury has been average, then he's a lot better than many Yankee free agent signings.

Has Headley been average? Was McCann average? These are players on the 2016 Yankees. Not a huge research project. Just look around the locker room.

In 2016, Ellsbury was the fifth-best player on the whole team according to WAR.

"This season, the Yankees are paying Alex Rodriguez $21 million not to play, per the terms of his final 10-year, $275 million contract. Owner Hal Steinbrenner has shown the team will eat money if there is no better option."

Nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously, owner Hal Steinbrenner has not shown the team will eat money if there is no better option.

If so, the Yankees would have cut ARod years ago.

I can't recall any other example of Steinbrenner eating a major contract ... and he has had plenty of chances.

For example, what was Teixeira even doing on the team last year?

"Ellsbury's time with the Yankees has been downright boring, with few memorable highlights and benchings in pivotal games. He has built no equity with the team."

No doubt.

But I don't recall too many Yankee fans naming their kids after Steve Kemp or Dave Collins.

"Ellsbury’s seven-year, $153 million contract is vying for the worst in Yankees history. Its shear enormousness, an overreaction to the impending loss of Robinson Cano in the winter of 2013, will likely give it the edge over Ed Whitson's, Carl Pavano's and Kei Igawa's in Yankees free-agent infamy. (Not that anyone should feel bad for Ellsbury; who wouldn’t want to be overpaid?)"

No way.

Just account for inflation. That is all you have to do. It isn't a difficult concept.

The aforementioned Steve Kemp was the 4th-highest player in baseball in 1985. His WAR was 0.1 and he was sent to the minors before quickly being traded. Kemp's salary of $1.4 million doesn't sound like a lot 32 years later, but it's the 2017 equivalent of Miguel Cabrera's salary. Cabrera ain't exactly playing in the minors.

Similarly, Ellsbury is the 30th-highest paid player in baseball in 2017. Too much money, without question. Yet Ellsbury is still better than some of the people ahead of him on the list, believe it or not, even if he's merely average.

ARod is 31st for, you know, lots and lots of consulting.

"In his three seasons in the Bronx, he has hit .264 with a .326 on-base percentage -- far below his career totals of .297 and .439 coming into the contract. He has stolen just 80 bases -- 10 more than he stole in a single season, 2009, with the Boston Red Sox. He has hit 32 homers in three seasons as a Yankee, which is the same amount he swatted in 2011 in Boston, the one year that seemed to justify his big-bucks signing. Ellsbury chases balls down in center field, but he throws worse than a New York Jets quarterback.

On top of this, Ellsbury brings no buzz to the team. He is as invisible in the clubhouse as he is on the field. He is not a leader, typically the role of higher-paid players. When things went wrong, Derek Jeter was almost always there to answer the tough questions. It is part of the job for the top crop of Yankees to communicate to the fans. Ellsbury is rarely in the clubhouse, especially when the big-time players are being held accountable."

This is not a strong case at all.

1. "His Yankee totals are below his own career totals."

2. "He has speed on the basepaths and the outfield."

3. "No buzz in the clubhouse." Well, gee.

None of these observations explain how Ellsbury was a worse signing than, say, Pascual Perez, Jose Contreras, that weird pro-rated Roger Clemens nonsense which excited Suzyn Waldman quite a bit, or Mike Witt ... some obvious disasters who Marchand didn't even mention.

If you're worried about sheer size of the contract, then it is still nowhere near the worst when youl take inflation into account and look at ROI.

What Marchand is really doing is trying to figure out who to obsess about since ARod has retired.

We can all look forward to thousands upon thousands of anti-Ellsbury tweets while Marchand ignores similar observations about Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Clint Frazier's Hair

"The matter of Frazier’s hair speaks to a deeper issue for the Yankees and baseball in general.

Frazier, who could be a starter this season, is viewed as being central to the Yankees’ youth movement, and with his hair and provocative personality, he might offer a jolt of enthusiasm largely absent from Yankee Stadium these days.

Attendance, television ratings and the fan following for the Yankees have been in steady decline in recent years, as the team has played only one playoff game since 2012. Magnetic performers like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez have retired.

Across town, the Mets stand in sharp relief: an ascendant World Series contender and increasingly popular on television, the team is built around a dynamic young pitching rotation. The Mets’ two headliners, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, sport shoulder-length hair that is decidedly un-Yankee-like and both celebrated and mimicked by fans.

The two teams — and their hirsute styling — may stand as proxies for the push and pull that baseball is going through, trying to speed up the game to lure young, attention-starved fans without alienating older, tradition-bound ones.

How to embrace tradition without being a slave to it?"

The only thing that matters is Ws and Ls.

Shoulder-length hair is not why Mets fans celebrate Syndergaard and deGrom.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Josh Hamilton is back in training camp.

The Angels got 31 HRs for their $125 million investment.

Though the Rangers paid $4 million of that.

So the Angels got 31 HRs for their $121 million investment.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

This is why set up men leave to become closers.

Betances has been basically unhittable for three straight seasons as a setup man.

bumps in the road last season because, I guess, he's human.

Then the Yankees use his lack of saves against him in arbitration and go out of their way to trash his accomplishments.

So Betances gets $3 million because the Yankees couldn't scrape up another $2 million. Which is probably what they spend on Dellin Betances bobble head dolls.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Last place.

It sounds kind of bad when you say "nine postseason innings in the past four seasons."

Not even being snarky, when I first read the headline, "Yankees Plan a Trip to Canyon of Heroes," I thought they meant for a different event. Like a team-building trip to celebrate a parade for a World Cup soccer team, or something like that.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

If you want to start with a runner on second base, then hit a double.

Has anyone even pondered the fact that you're giving both teams the same advantage? Sure, you're increasing the chances that the visiting team scores a run in the top of the inning ... and then increasing the chances that the home team scores a run in the bottom of the inning:

"I know there's a romantic notion about extra innings, which speaks to the timeless element of a sport that isn't governed by a clock. But the reality of it is the romance goes out of your run-of-the-mill extra-inning game fairly quickly, and after the 10th or 11th it feels as if everyone in the ballpark is begging for some action."

I harbor no romantic notions about extra innings or even the timeless elements of a sport that isn't governed by a clock.

Baseball has lots of run-of-the-mill games, extra innings or not.

Baseball fans enjoy them either way. 

If you're really hoping to keep the youngsters off their iPhones, you've lost them by the bottom of the second inning anyway. You're trying to make that game more exciting for a catatonic 9-year-old in the cheap seats ... and you think they'll awake from their slumber because you start the inning with a runner on second base?

"Is it gimmicky — an artificial way to get to a speedier result? Sure, but it wouldn't change the authenticity of the competition.

Instead it would create instant drama, put immediate pressure on the pitcher and the defense, and set up a strategy decision — to bunt or not to bunt? — that all but ensures some level of second-guessing of the manager.

Is any of that bad for the game?"

Yes, I believe it's bad for the game. The reasoning is so obvious that I don't even feel like taking the time to explain. After nine innings, line up 5 players from each team and spin plates on the knob of the bat. Whoever keeps their plates spinning the longest wins the game.

You're also wildly overrating the excitement of (a) sac bunting and (b) second-guessing the manager.

"But perhaps a better comparison is the radical change another sport adopted nearly 50 years ago to bring a conclusion to the endless hours sometimes needed to determine a winner.

At the time, players and fans alike screamed in protest that installing a tiebreaker in tennis was too gimmicky to be accepted. Now, all these years later, it's hard to imagine tennis played without tiebreaker. Otherwise some of those classic Federer-Nadal matches over the years might have never ended."

It's not a good example.

Because one is tennis and the other is baseball.

So ... other than that ...  it's a good example.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

You know what would be a great idea? Starting extra innings with a runner on second base.

One of the most pressing problems with baseball is the high volume of 18-inning games where utility infielders are forced to pitch:

"Let's see what it looks like," Torre told Yahoo! Sports. "It's not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it's nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time."

Sunday, February 05, 2017

I'm gonna show those arrogant New Yorkers.

"But for now, the Patriots really do feel like the old Yankees. Not Torre’s Yankees, who took Yankee hating out of style. No, the Yankees who began with Babe Ruth and went all the way into the middle 1960s. The Yankees who were once compared to U.S. Steel. Those Yankees."

Take a thing from Boston. Red Sox, Patriots, David Ortiz, Theo Epstein.

Compare it favorably to a thing from New York. Torre-era Yankees, Babe Ruth-era Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, Brian Cashman.

You did it.

You're Mike Lupica.