The Baseball Exchange


The Writers Screwed Up by 27yankees

The punchline here is that they didn’t screw up. The AL MVP was Alex Rodriguez, and he more than deserve it. In fact, he deserved to win unanimously. Did he? No. Why? Because the sportswriters out of Detroit are major homers.

The Detroit Tigers were several games out of a playoff spot. The Yankees barely scraped a playoff spot. In fact, considering how much A-Rod contributed, had he not been on the Yankees in 2007, replaced by an average third baseman, the Yankees would not have made the playoffs. That’s a lot of value that he provides.

There is no excuse for not voting for A-Rod. He did it all – excellent defense; consistent performance; excellent hitting out of an important defensive position, hitting in the clutch. Magglio had a great year; in a typical year he should have won. But A-Rod did not have a typical year; in fact, A-Rod had a historical year. There is a very legitimate argument that A-Rod had won of the ten greatest seasons of all time in 2007, and even an argument that, after Barry Bonds’ 2001 season, it is the second most valuable season by a hitter of all time. A year as historically amazing as A-Rod’s is just a class above Magglio’s year.

There were some other interesting things to note about MVP voting.  Mike Lowell… fifth? I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. According to VORP, there were fifteen more valuable hitters in the AL than Lowell. That’s a lot of people.

Jorge Posada ended up sixth behind Lowell. Despite the fact that Posada had the fourth highest VORP in the AL. I mean, catchers who can post and OPS+ of 154 with average defense just grow on trees, right?

In addition, Carlos Pena’s voting sadly disappointed me.  The fifth most valuable VORP-adjusted hitter in the AL got ninth place in voting.

Also surprising was Bobby Abreu receiving a seventh place vote. In perhaps his worst season ever, where he barely scrape a 114 OPS+.

Hopefully, the writers will learn. But until then, they make good blog fodder.

TwentySeven



Little Piece of Brain Leaves With Sportwriter by red

Possibly one of the most idiotic articles I’ve ever seen in the New York Times, this dandy was written by William Rodhen, called “Little Piece of Yankees leaves with Legends.” You know by the title it’s going to be bad.

This is from the same man who, after pointing out that absolutely no one wants to see the legend that is Joe Torre go, that those who do are, well, idiots, and explained that the proper way to rate a manager was by the number of world series he won flat-out, he suggested the Yankee hire Dusty Basker. DUSTY BAKER. Then promptly insinuated not only that all loyal Yankee fans are white, but insulted everyone who isn’t African-American and a Yankee fan by saying this:

Would loyal Yankees fans accept a manager of color? Loyal Yankees fans want to get back to the World Series, and that is not going to happen with the team as it is currently configured.

Thankfully, he said that they would accept “a manager of color,” but only because there is no other option with the team “as it is configured.” Seriously, why the hell did he even bring this up?

Now, he’s written this unappetizing column all about that “Little Piece” of the entire Yankee soul that has left, leaving the Yankees a disgusting, disrespectful, classless, ugly, godless organization. Yeah, that’s it. Now let’s break it down:

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. – A line began forming outside the Yogi Berra Museum at 11:30 yesterday morning. By noon, despite the rain and chill, the line had expanded to more than 100. By 2:30, nearly 1,000 fans had lined up and passed through the museum to have Don Mattingly sign copies of his new book, “Hitting Is Simple.” There were toddlers in strollers, teenagers, young adults, and men and women who had been Yankee fans for decades. They wanted to say hello and goodbye to a favorite son, the beloved Donnie Baseball.

OK, I can see that. Like everyone else, it’s amazing to meet a legend like Mattingly, looks like he’s got a good book even if the title is an oxymoron, it all sounds like a good time.

The overcast skies and somber receiving line gave the event the feel of a wake,

Uh-oh. Continue reading



Mike Pagliarulo, pt II by 27yankees

This article was one I found after I posted before, and I thought that this was as ridiculous, if not more, than the other…

Enjoy

As the New York Yankees begin an all-important four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays today, let’s take a look at how individual Blue Jays pitchers have fared against the Yankees. Yes, it’s a small sample size, so individually it’s difficult to read too much into these stats. But, collectively, we see a trend. Let’s go behind the stats and understand them.

The Yankees are a great offensive team. They lead the majors in team runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Yet within this dominance, there are weaknesses.

The Yankees are an aggressive low ball hitting club, especially their power bats A-Rod, Giambi, Cano, and Abreu. And, they are an excellent off-speed hitting team, led by their captain Jeter, Damon, and Matsui. It’s not a surprise then, that when the Yankees play against “command” types who throw a lot of offspeed pitches, they can run up the score. On the other hand, the Yankees are susceptible to hard throwers. Looking at the Blue Jays pitching stats from 2007 (diagram above [look on the actual link]) versus the Yankees, you’ll see that generally the pitchers who have done well are those with above average fastballs. Those pitchers are highlighted.

Given that the Blue Jays will be throwing three pitchers (Burnett, Hallady and McGowan) with plus fastballs against the Yankees, and only one command guy this series (Marcum), look for the Yankees offense to be mitigated.

Again, in the last paragraph they call him Hallady instead of Halladay. Copy editing, please.

So… A.J. Burnett, Roy Halladay, Dustin McGowan, Jason Frasor, and Jeremy Accardo have all been good against the Yankees? And, this can somehow be explained because they have plus fastballs? Damn! It’s genius!

Maybe this is just me, but don’t most teams have trouble against pitchers with good fastballs?

But the general idiocy of this is that those are all good pitchers. Sure, the Yankees have trouble with them, but maybe that’s just because they’re good. Take a look at their stat lines:

A.J. Burnett: 153.3 IP, 9-7, 3.40 ERA, 136 ERA+
Jeremy Accardo: 65.3 IP, 28 SV, 2.20 ERA, 210 ERA+
Jason Frasor: 54.7 IP, 3 SV, 4.28 ERA, 108 ERA+
Roy Halladay: 218.3 IP, 15-7, 3.71 ERA, 125 ERA+
Dustin McGowan: 159.3 IP, 11-9, 3.84 ERA, 121 ERA+

The irony is that the post is title, ‘Using and Understanding Stats’. It’s kind of sad, really. If the people on this site stuck to just scouting, and only focused on the main elements, i.e., what pitches so-and-so throws, or where in the zone certain batters can hit well, it would be a great blog. But no, they have to go into the ‘stats’ that aren’t really stats and they have to try to actually provide analysis.



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 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



Shelley Duncan being mean! by red
September 17, 2007, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Boston Red Sox, Mindless Twits, MLB, New York Yankees, Red Sox Suck

Aaaw, ain’t is just sad? Can’t you just see a tear coming out of his eyes? [Source]

First of all, let’s start with the title of the Herald article: “Yankee’s prank strikes out.” There’s a masterpiece in an incredibly cheesy failed metaphor right there.

Second, the fact that his mom thinks that the word “suck” isn’t appropriate for a ten year old, suggests she hasn’t been in an elementary school playground for forty years. It was a dumb joke, going to the press like that is a paragon in overreacting.

Speaking of the press, this kid has probably gotten stuff said about him on the internet a hundred times worse than just “Red Sox Suck”. If you’re so afraid about sheltering you’re kid from something like that, you’ve just made it worse. Sometimes I marvel at how much adults underestimate kids’ maturity and overestimate adults’. But that’s something completely different…

Third, for a laugh, take a look at some of the comments on the site: Continue reading