Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rain? In Octember?

I got these two junk mail messages tonight:
Leopoldo Myers Where can I read more about lifting routines on the net? Sat Oct 20, 2007 2k
Martha Doherty Can I get stronger without gaining more muscle mass? Sat Oct 20, 2007 2k

What is this, are they trying to anticipate what I would type into Ask Jeeves if I wanted to get a more serious exercise routine? How does one get stronger without gaining more muscle mass? Are we talking physical strength, in which case I'd suggest kinetic energy, or intangible strength, like how a rich people control the world? Maybe I should have read the email before deleting it.

Anyway, enjoy this Dane Cook parody before the corporate attorneys make YouTube take it down. You know which show it's from.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

See ya, Skipper

In my previous post, I said the Yankees would offer Joe Torre a one year deal at four million dollars. I was a little off; it was a one year deal worth five million plus up to three million in incentives. Even without the incentives, it would still make Mr. No Bullpen Management the highest paid coach in MLB. Torre didn't accept, which is fine with me.

Tom Verducci does not approve of the Yankees' offer, and here's why:
They spent three days crafting a contract offer they thought would strike just the right balance: just good enough for public relations purposes, but insulting enough that no man of Torre's pride and accomplishments would ever accept. Torre is the most successful manager in modern baseball history. He has delivered the Yankees to 12 consecutive postseasons. The next longest active streak by a franchise? That would be one. His Yankees crashed out of the first round of the postseason this year because a swarm of bugs attacked a rookie pitcher and the winningest pitcher of the past two seasons threw a total of 5 2/3 innings in two starts in the American League Division Series. Such episodes defined the unpredictable nature of postseason play.

You know what? The second part of what he says is absolutely correct. Torre had little to do with the Yanks' loss in the first round this year. On the other hand, Torre had little to do with the Yankees 12 postseason appearances. Torre has consistently been surrounded by a top, high quality team. Always. Most of the managers in the majors could come in and win with a team of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, etc. These aren't scrubs.
Cashman has fancied himself a Billy Beane-Theo Epstein wanna-be, an intellectual GM known for running an efficient system, especially when it comes to player development, rather than just a guy who writes checks. He has traded veterans for prospects, embraced sabermetrics and surrounded himself with young number-crunchers who get jazzed about PlayStation tournaments. The more he has put his self-worth in the image of cutting-edge GM the less Torre and his old-school ways became relevant.

Agreed. Cashman understands baseball better than a guy that wants to have Derek Jeter bunt.
We've already heard Hank tell us that he personally insists that Joba Chamberlain start next season. Are these Cashman's baseball operations any more?

Um...Chamberlain should start. He's a really good pitcher and the Yankees need really good pitchers in their rotation...as I already said last post.

EDIT 10/19: Forgot to link to the Verducci article. Also, Torre is insulted with a potentially $8 million dollar offer for one year? He's lucky he got that.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My thoughts about the Yanks

Postseason numbers invariably match regular season numbers over time. Over 25 postseason series (125 games, 495 AB), Derek Jeter has a .309 batting average and a .377 on-base percentage (hits + walks). For his career regular season numbers, he has a .317 batting average and a .388 on-base percentage. Over 10 postseason series (39 games, 147 AB), Alex Rodriguez has a .279 BA and a .361 OBP. For his career in the regular season, he has a .306 BA and a .389 OBP. If both players had four extra hits in the postseason, their playoff batting averages would be identical to their regular season batting averages (.317 and .306, respectively).

Joe Torre will not be fired. The Yankees should have let him go after 2003, and they had legitimate chances to drop him after '04, '05, and '06. I doubt they'll do it now. More than likely, he'll get a one year deal at about $4 million.

George Steinbrenner is going to die. We're all going to die, but I think the Boss is on his way out soon. I was thinking he would probably die right around when the new Stadium opened, but now I'm not so sure he will make it that far. I feel he is deteriorating rapidly, and that the whole Joe Torre statement was either a small moment of lucidity or just a ploy by the organization/family to make it seem like George Steinbrenner is still what he once was. He isn't, and I think he's going to end up like Phil Rizzuto, shut away and dying out of the public eye.

The Yankees rotation needs to be young. There are no free agent pitchers that look very exciting this offseason, and those that are somewhat interesting all have options. The Yanks always bring in big name free agents, and they don't really live up to the hype. Many teams perform much better when they stick their young arms on the team, New York included. Next year, I say the rotation should be Andy Pettitte (the one veteran), Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain and Phillip Hughes. The potential there is far greater than anything the Yankees could go out and buy. The Yanks best shot to win a Series is to have that rotation work well, and if it doesn't, then they're no worse than if they went out and got a bunch of league average free agents. Naturally you do everything you can to sign Johan Santana next year, but you worry about that later.