The Baseball Exchange


The Yankees Hole at 3B by 27yankees

I’m going to start off right now with a little bit of honesty: I despise A-Rod. When he was on the Yankees, I had to root for

Alex Rodriguez

him, because it’s hard not to root for such a great player. Things were looking up, too. There was a time when I honestly thought that I was starting to like A-Rod (right). He was talking about how he was going to stay on the Yankees, and NYC was his home. He hit his 500th homer, and had such a great season, and kept on talking about how he was definitely staying. When the Yankees clinched the playoffs, he said that it felt like he had never been on any other team!

Now the truth comes out. Pay-Rod is, always was, always will be a selfish, money-grubbing player. I hope that he goes into the Hall of Fame not with a team logo on his hat, but with a dollar sign. He disrespected the game of baseball by making a selfish announcement that he was leaving the Yankees during the potential clincher of the World Series. Maybe this is my strange old-school way of thinking, but that disrespects the game.

A-Rod also disrespected the Yankees and his teammates. Robinson Cano mentioned in an interview that A-Rod didn’t even call him to let him know that he was leaving, despite all the talk about how A-Rod was trying to mentor Cano, etc, etc.

That brings me to the Yankees. How can they possibly replace the best player in baseball? Continue reading



Contenders for the Worst Day in Yankees History by 27yankees
October 28, 2007, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Alex Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees | Tags: , ,

Sunday, October 28th, 2007: Alex Rodriguez, the best player in baseball history, opts out of his contract and cripples the Yankees just hours before the Red Sox won their second World Series in the past three years and Sox Nation became the most insufferable fanbase on the planet.

Any more contenders?



N.Y. Daily News: Joe Girardi apparent leader in race for Yanks’ manager by 27yankees

Link

The Yankees apparently have reached a decision on a new manager, which they are prepared to announce Sunday or Monday, and there were increasing signs Saturday night pointing to Joe Girardi.

As has been stated by Yankee ownership, GM Brian Cashman is the one who will make the recommendation to ownership based on his interviews with all three candidates – Girardi, Don Mattingly and Tony Peña – along with advice from all his baseball people.

The recommendation then would need to be given final approval by the Steinbrenner family.

While nobody in the Yankee high command was prepared to speculate on Cashman’s favorite, sources familiar with the GM’s thinking pointed out that Girardi had all the characteristics – an analytical approach, organizational skills that come from having already managed (the Florida Marlins) and a proven ability to handle a pitching staff – Cashman is thought to be looking for.

Continue reading



Way to know what the hell you’re talking about by red

Just your anti-A-Rod-statement-not-backed-up-by-a-single-fact of the day…

It also may explain why Manny remains nice and relaxed in the postseason unlike, say Alex Rodriguez, who has trouble swinging the bat while also balancing the weight of the world on his shoulders.

It’s been said time and time again, but they just don’t get it:

2007 ALDS Individual Statistics

Alex Rodriguez: 4-15 (.267 AVG), .353 OBP, 1 HR

Derek Jeter: 3-17 (.176), .176 OBP

Hideki Matsui: 2-11 (.182), though he did have a .438 OBP with 5 BB

Really, I’m just sick of the same sort of comments being said time and time again, what don’t they realize about this? I’ve often wondered how these people get these jobs, so many of these writers just write the same stupid arguments every time. They just don’t listen…

Hey, that just means we’ve got more articles to ridicule. Good for site traffic.

-Red



Season Awards Predictions by 27yankees

That time of year has come – the playoffs, so it makes perfect sense to try to predict who wins the various awards of baseball. Keep in mind that I am not saying who I think should win, rather I am saying who I think will win. Also, keep in mind that the awards given in the offseason are voted upon before the postseason begins.

AL MVP
Alex Rodriguez. Come on. I don’t have to explain this one, do I?

NL MVP
Matt Holliday probably clinched it by getting that huge hit on the one-game playoff versus the Padres.

AL Cy Young
Josh Beckett had the most wins. Surprise?

NL Cy Young
Jake Peavy. We’re all smart people here.

AL Rookie of the Year
Dustin Pedroia may not deserve it, but he gets the Boston spotlight and the flashy numbers.

NL Rookie of the Year
Ryan Braun. Sorry, Troy. But he edged you out. To be honest, Troy wouldn’t deserve it anyways because he was only an average hitter when you factor in the Coors Effect. But the difference in defense still doesn’t quite make up for it. Smart stats aside, it’s hard for the sportswriters to ignore 30 homers.

AL Manager of the Year
Jim Leyland? Mike Hargrove? I’m kind of out of options here. There was nobody who stood out at all. I guess Eric Wedge makes the most sense, or maybe Mike Sciosia.

NL Manager of the Year
Bob Melvin virtually willed the D-Backs into the playoffs, and though I thought that Ned Yost was the frontrunner, the Brewers missing of the playoffs means that Melvin will likely take the metal home.



My Favorite Stats, including Win Shares vs. WPA by red

Ok, so maybe I am a bit of the “Bill James II” variety of bloggers. Not ashamed of it either. It amazes me how much people still put so much value on batting average, win-loss records, hustle, team chemistry, or the ability to “concetrate”. But that’s a whole different story, I’d like to present you with some of the best statistics ever invented:

1. Win Shares – A Bill James invention, just the flat-out best way of rating a player. VORP and WARP are also convenient, but Win Shares evaluates every aspect of the game, including fielding, while VORP and WARP focus on just batting or pitching. There have been some critics of it, but overall it works as a solid, reliable way to rate an overall production of players.

2. WPA (Wins Probability Added) – Sort of an alternate form to win shares, (though it does no include fielding) in which, in layman terms, rewards “clutch” hits more. Trying to find an example of this, wikipedia helps me out:

Win Shares would give the same amount of credit to a player if he hit a lead-off solo home run that turned out to be decisive as if he hit a walk-off solo home run; WPA, however, would give vastly more credit to the player who hit the walk-off homer.

In other words, WPA rates who’s the “most valuable” player, while Win Shares rates the “best” players. So, we could take this and figure out who’s “most valuable” to their team (i.e. the MVP) and which pitcher is just plain best.

Top 10 AL Leaders in WPA, as of 9/20/07:

Alex Rodriguez: 6.49

Magglio Ordonez: 5.99

Vladamir Guerrero: 5.96

J.J. Putz: 5.52

Rafale Betancourt: 4.89

Fausto Carmona: 4.14

David Ortiz: 3.97

Erik Bedard: 3.87

Carl Crawford: 3.50

C.C. Sabathia/Jonathan Papelbon: 3.49

Given WPA’s nature, it tends to like relievers a lot, given that they are often the deciding factor in games. Now, AL Leaders in Win Shares:

Alex Rodriguez: 35

Magglio Ordonez: 34

Ichiro Suzuki: 31

Victor Martinez: 30

Vladimir Guerrero: 29

Grady Sizemore: 28

Carlos Pena: 27

Granderson/Ortiz: 25

Posada/Hunter: 24

Upton/Lowell/Cabrera: 23

The first pitcher pitcher to come in is C.C. Sabathia, in a five way tie with 22 win shares, then Carmona with 21. Interesting group here. A-Rod, not surprisingly, comes in first, but the difference between A-Rod and Mags is much larger in WPA than Win Shares. Also, Ichiro, who comes third in win shares, has a WPA of only 1.98, far below pretty much everyone else on the top win shares list. My guess is that when he makes deciding plays in a game, they’re more likely to be a one RBI single with runners on first and third rather than a three-run homer from most of the other guys on the list. Win Shares also tends to give more shares to batters, as you can easily see. You can also easily see that A-Rod’s the MVP, no competition. Now, let’s move on over to the top AL pitchers. I’ll start with Win Shares, since Cy Young isn’t so much as most valuable pitcher, but just flat-out best.

C.C. Sabathia: 22

Fausto Carmona: 21

Erik Bedard/John Lackey:19

Beckett/Haren/Santana: 18

Putz/Vazquez/Escobar/Beuurle/Halladay: 17

Wang has 15. Interesting to see Beckett so low, then again Sabathia has pitched 40 more innings than Beckett. Now, we move on over to WPA, and to be more realistic wih Cy Young voting, I’ll only include starers:

Fausto Carmona: 4.14

Erik Bedard: 3.87

C.C. Sabathia: 3.49

Roy Halladay: 3.04

Josh Beckett 2.97

Given that Sabathia pitches deeper into games, as proof of his 230-some innings, you would think then that that would give Sabathia a higher WPA, but you would be wrong. Carmona is well ahead of Sabathia by .65 WPA. Personally, I think Sabathia deserves it – he has roughly the same ERA+ as every other contender, but the fact that he’s sustained that with much more innings than anyone else gives him the edge. Anyway, onwards.

3. Pythagorean Record – Another Bill James gizmo, this is possibly my favorite statistic, or at least the most fun. It basically shows how much luck a team has had in their season by calculating, using a simple formula, the record the team should have statistically. If the pythagorean record is lower than a team’s actual record by, say, five games, it suggests the team has won at least five games with the help of some luck, and vice versa. The Yankees have been unlucky all season, and only by their torrid post-all star stretch have they put the difference between their pythag record and their actual record at only four games. On the other end of the spectrum, the D’Backs have won an astounding eleven games to luck. Pythagorean record is also useful to see which teams are going to be for real down the stretch run or in the playoffs. Exhibit A: The Mariners, whose Pythagorean record is below .500 at 74-78. Ichiro should have waited until the end of the season before deciding to re-sign.

4. Zone Rating (Revised) – Way back in the 1870s, Henry Chadwick, the father of many baseball statistics, wrote this about fielding: “The best player in the nine is he who makes the most good plays in a match, not the one who commits the fewest errors.” In other words, as Alan Schwarz explains in his fantastic book The Numbers Game, “Chadwick preferred range to avoiding the occasional error.” Finally, more than a hundred years after Chadwick first came up with those words, a straight-forward statistic measures just that: Zone Rating. ZR basically measures the amount of balls in a fielder’s “zone” that he gets to. A much more in-depth description by BBTF can be fond here. Revised Zone Rating just basically counts balls hit out of a player’s zone seperately and likes double plays.

Gold Gloves aren’t always that easy to calculate, especially if you try to mix the stats up. For example, Omar Vizquel leads the NL with a .889 RZR, yet is fourth in fielding win shares, and a full 2.6 win shares below the league leader, Troy Tulowitzki. (Who, incidentally, deserves the GG.)

5. Hitting Charts – Ok, this one is really more data than formulaic statistics. Nevertheless, hit charts are both eye opening and fun to sift through. For example, take a look at this hitting chart for Curtis Granderson at Comerica. If you check “triples,” you can see he likes to pull the ball into the right field corner for a three-bagger, and the same with home runs. However, for a double he’ll hit it in the left and right-center field gaps more often than not. What does it mean? Exactly what it says it does, and that’s the beauty.

But you probably already know all of that.

In other news: GOD HELP US ALL.

Next best thing to his autograph?

Also, check out this great article by “non-prospect” Dirk Heyhurst, it’s a must-read, along with his whole archive of articles. As TwentySeven would say, “good stuff.”

-Red



The AL Title might be lost, but for now we’ve got the wild card by red
September 6, 2007, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

John McLarenYesterday: All around baseball goodness. Phillip Hughes turns in a strong start while the Yankees break out with an eight run seventh inning featuring two A-Rod homers. Result: 10-2 Yankees, as we take two out of three from the Mariners and cushion the wild card lead to three games. Intersting note: the Mariners used seven – count ’em, 7 – pitchers in that game, six of them in the seventh. Granted, Rick White was thrown out of the game, so really only 6 voluntarily, but still – one thing I’ve noticed is John McLaren (The M’s new manager, pictured) seems to have a short patience for relief pitchers. Throughout this series McLaren has substituted pitchers very frequently. Last night he used six pitchers too, and even the night before that when they held the Yanks to only one run, they still used four pitchers.

Ultimately, the downfall of the Mariners will be their lack of plate discipline, they’re last in the AL in walks. This leads to A) obviously, not getting on base often which means basically taking cheap runs away from yourself and having less chances to score, and B) streaks. The Mariners are an extremely streaky team, as Michael Kay mentioned about fifty times the last three days. Consistency is extremely important in winning lots of games. You can win a decent amount, but not as much as you could if you were more consistent. It’s good to be streaky if you’re in a bad division and can get hot in time for the playoffs. Case in point: The Cards last year. Perfect example. But St. Louis wouldn’t have been close to making the playoffs if they were contending the AL Wild Card like Seattle is. Result: missing out on the playoffs, and I’d be surprised if Seattle has enough hutzpa and plate discipline to do exactly that.

Player of the hour: Nyjer Morgan. Who? Just another light hitting speedy outfielder in the Bucco’s system. Except that he is a very good hitter, has surprisingly good plate discipline, he’s very fast (26 steals in 44 games at AAA), and he has killer, and I mean just flat out amazing Jose Cruz Jr.-esque stirrups. That alone puts him near the top of my list. Supposedly the reason he’s already 27 is because he’s been more of an after thought, being drafted in the 33rd round, and he spent some time playing hockey. Said Morgan, “It’s who I am. I always come in with a smile on my face and bring my positive energy to other people.”

-Red