The Baseball Exchange


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?



La Russa stays with Cards; Yankee fans rejoice everywhere by red

From mlb.com:

ST. LOUIS — Tony La Russa agreed to a two-year contract with the Cardinals on Monday and will return as the team’s manager for a 13th season. The deal was announced by the club and La Russa during a press conference at Busch Stadium.

Thank god that’s over with. La Russa is not only a lackluster strategic manager, I can defenitely see some personality conflicts with some of the guys in the Yankee clubhouse. Now it’s probably narrowed down to Mattingly, Girardi, and Valentine. For me, all three of them would do, though I think I’d prefer Mattingly and Valentine a bit more than Girardi. Girardi just seems to manage young and/or bullpen arms the way Joe Torre did a bit too much. Still, anything for a breath of fresh air.

And yet, like all victories, this one comes with a hint of sadness – my condolences to Cardinals fans. I often wonder if La Russa was drunk during some of the games too. You know it’s bad when you’ve got So Taguchi batting cleanup. (Though incidentally having the pitcher batting 8th was actually a good idea, but not for the reasons La Russa thinks. It was a bad idea because the reason he batted the pitchers eighth was actually sort of dumb and didn’t make sense, but it technically is a good idea, because it worked for an entirely separate reason than the one he thought. If that makes any sense.)

And day now / Any day now / A press statement announcing the new manager for the Yankees shall be released…

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In other news: World Series, Sox vs. Rox.

God, I hate the Red Sox. Sorry, I just do. Actually, I take that back, I’m not apologizing: I just do, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Hey, that’s what a good rivalry does to you. 🙂

Red



Manny Ramirez has no verve by red

Apparently, Manny has no verve, no guts, no grittiness, no hutzpa. According to the NY Times’ “Bats” Blog, Ramirez said thusly

“We’re not going to give up,” Ramirez said. “We’re just going to go, play the game and move on. If it doesn’t happen, so who cares? It’s always next year. It’s not like the end of the world.”

(My emphasis.) It’s not too hard to come to the conclusion that Manny does not necessarily put the success of the Red Sox first on his list of priorities (other things low on that list: the all star game and humility), but I think this is just a case of him trying to “relax” the team and keep it loose, and ends up coming out as finely chopped gourmet liver for sportswriters. Or, maybe he truly doesn’t care. Not too hard to imagine. And besides, maybe a fire of passion for winning doesn’t burn in his heart as strongly as some other players, but he still wants to hit the hell out of the ball, as proved by last night’s homer.

Either way, he still has no excuse for his supreme jerkness while hitting that homer, from about : 44 to :51 (or about -:20 to -:14).

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In other news: Our friends at noMaas have kindly presented an educational graphic:

I must admit that I’m surprised, happy, and annoyed all at the same time that this isn’t getting as much media attention as I thought it would. Happy, because I’d like people to focus on baseball and not the little stupid stuff in between, but annoyed also because we all know what would happen if A-Rod had done the same play. With Pedroia, it’s “hustle”, with A-Rod it’s bush league. Good definition of life right there.

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.



Mike Pagliarulo by 27yankees

Today, I’ll be taking a page out of the Fire Joe Morgan playbook and I’ll be talking a bit about the general idiocy going on over at Mike Pagliarulo’s ‘scouting’ blog the BaseLine Report. FJM has done some analysis already, so I’ll be leaving that stuff to the big guns…

This is from a scouting report on John Lackey:

Lackey is a tall, durable right hander that has become the most dependable starter on the Angels
staff – and one of the dependable starters in major league baseball. He’s an intense competitor that
pitches with a plan and executes his pitches. He works at a good quick tempo and establishes his
fastball while getting ahead in the count to most hitters.

They start off well by playing the ‘intense competitor’ card. I love it. Because John Lackey really wants to win. Unlike all sorts of other players who are really trying to lose when they play baseball. Alex Rodriguez, you know it. J.D. Drew, I’m looking at you.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll skip some of the less idiotic portions of this article… Moving right along…

Strengths
• Above aveage command of fastball, slider, curve and change-up.

Now maybe this is just me, but it seems that the easiest way to appear unprofessional is to have spelling errors littered throughout your text. Please, please, please get a proofreader/copy editor.

I’ll skip over some of the more contextually correct content and get to some more interesting stuff.

  • BEST MATCHUP
  • John Lackey is capable of overpower hitters by using his fastball to each side of the plate as well
    as up in the zone to finish a hitter off. Because of the fact that JD Drew and David Ortiz have
    holes in the strike zone highlighting areas above their belt, Lackey matches up well vs. both hitters. Look for a high hard fastballs when he’s got two strikes on these players.
  • WORST MATCHUP
    Pesky contact type hitters such as Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury that are capable of using
    the entire field and do a good job of battling with two strikes, these hitters will give John Lackey the
    most problems. Pedroia and Ellsbury both do a good job of putting the ball in play and can handle the high strike very well. They will be difficult outs for the Angels #1 starter.

So you’re telling me that John Lackey will have more trouble with Pedroia and Ellsbury than with David Ortiz? Maybe this is just me, but I don’t believe that.

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

John Lackey must establish his fastball early and get ahead in the count. He needs to hammer
the strike zone but mind the danger areas of each potential HR threat, namely Ortiz, Ramirez, and
Lowell. When he is ahead in the count Lackey maintains more weapons to put hitters away with
than most. His concentration shouldn’t be distracted by the basestealing threats of Ellsbury and Crisp, as
Mathis is quite capable of handling the running game. An umpire with a forgiving strike zone will favor Lackey, as the Red Sox hitters are more patient than the Angels offense.

So you’re telling me that he needs to get ahead in the counts? And he needs to keep fat fastballs away from the power zones of power hitters? No way, you’re kidding me, right? I mean, most pitchers try to get behind in the count and then throw fastballs right down the spots where the batter hits well? Right?

I really like how they are targeting this blog for baseball fans, and yet they seem to be explaining things to your typical tennis fan who doesn’t know much about baseball.

Pitcher Plan
For John Lackey to be effective he must get ahead of hitters early in the count by getting strike one
with his first pitch. This will enable him to utilize his variety of outpitches. He must throw strikes
allowing his very consistent defense to work at a good pace behind him. Jeff Mathis is very capable
of handling Boston’s running game which is one less worry for Lackey.

So basically the exact same thing as the ‘Keys to Success’? Not only are they being idiots, but they are repeating their idiocy to us over and over again.

I hope to have many more features of this idiocy… It’s just too good.



Top 3 Reasons Why It Doesn’t Matter If The Yankees Win The Division by 27yankees
September 22, 2007, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Baseball Strategy, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Player Draft, Top Lists

This list is a short one because I’m too lazy to actually think of five and there are only three really. This is just a reminder that we don’t need the division title to accomplish our goal.

3. If they don’t win the division, they get a higher position in the draft than the Red Sox, which is always useful.
2. The past few World Series winners have all been from the Wild Card anyways!
1. The team with the best momentum going into the playoffs wins the World Series, not the best team. The playoffs are a crapshoot and any team that reaches the playoffs can win (i.e. the Cardinals).



Top 5 Reasons Why Phil Hughes is Still An Excellent Prospect by 27yankees

I know, I know. He’s disaster zone Hughes. He’s been well, ****** so far in the majors. People have been whining about his delivery, how his stuff is all wrong, how his mechanics have been so messed up, how his fastball doesn’t have it’s usual zip.

Phil Hughes

So, here’s a breath of fresh air. Heres why Phil is still an excellent prospect.

5. 2.09 career minor league ERA
4. He’s the second youngest player in the American League… And, the third youngest in the majors overall.
3. 13 career home runs allowed… in 335 and two-thirds career innings.
2. 50/26 major league K/BB
1. Projected over a full season, he would be 12-9 with a 4.75 ERA (91 ERA+) in 187 1/3 innings; 154/80 K/BB; 21 homers allowed. Compare to the following age-21 rookie seasons:

Pitcher A: 9-4, 133 1/3 IP, 4.32 ERA (96 ERA+), 126/29 K/BB, 13 homers allowed.
Pitcher B: 2-7, 64 IP, 5.48 ERA (67 ERA+), 37/33 K/BB, 10 homers allowed.
Pitcher C: 6-14, 155 2/3 IP, 5.61 ERA (77 ERA+), 101/74 K/BB, 17 homers allowed.

Pitcher A? Roger Clemens. Pitcher B? John Smoltz. Pitcher C? Greg Maddux.

The point I’m trying to make isn’t that Phil will be as good as any of those guys (though we can hope as much). Hell, I’d be happy if Phil was as good as say, John Lackey, a pitcher with a similar repertoire to Phil. If we get lucky, we might get pitcher A, B, or C. But that’s not the point. The point is that they all struggled at a young age, and they all adapted.

In other news, the Yankees crushed the O’s and Gagne crushed the Red Sox. Cheers!

-TwentySeven