Tag:yankees
Posted on: March 8, 2010 2:37 pm
 

Preseason Power Rankings

 

1.  Yankees

The best got better this off season, upgrading CF with the acquisition of Curtis Granderson and adding another solid pitcher to their rotation with Javier Vasquez.  The World Series is theirs to lose.

 

2.  Angels

The Angels have quietly been one of the best teams in all of baseball in recent years and this year should be no different with their core players returning along with new additions Joel Pineiro and Hideki Matsui.

 

3.  Phillies

The NL champs return largely in tact with a new ace Roy Halladay at the top of their rotation.  They should be one of the best offensive teams in 2010.

 

4.  Red Sox

The Red Sox upgrade at SS with Marco Scutaro and strengthen their rotation with John Lackey.  They are doing their best to keep up with the Yankees but it may not be enough.

 

5.  Dodgers

The Dodgers retained all of their arbitration eligible players keeping together a group of emerging stars that has gelled well since the 2007 season.  If Manny Ramirez can find his 2008 form the Dodgers should contend for the NL pennant.

 

6.  Cardinals

The Red Birds resigned the top free agent position player Matt Holliday, keeping protection in the lineup for Albert Pujols. 

 

7.  Mets

The Mets were one of the most disappointing teams in baseball last year, however with key players returning from injury and off season additions Jason Bay and Kelvim Escobar the Mets look like they should be back in good form. 

 

8. Rockies

The Rockies have been the little team that could over the past few seasons.  They have done more with less than most other teams.  They have one baseball’s best short stops in Troy Tulowitzki and a very consistent pitching staff.

 

 

9. Mariners

The Mariners enter the 2010 season with arguably the best pitching 1-2 punch in all of baseball with Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee, and off season free agent acquisition Chone Figgins, along with the incomparable Ichiro gives them a very speedy top of the lineup.  The Mariners could surprise a lot of people this season.

 

10. Rays

While the Rays feature some of the league’s best young talent with players such as Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria, and Jason Bartlett, they will need their pitching to be stronger this season if they hope to compete.

 

11.  Twins

The Twins have one of the top three players in the game at a position that is the thinnest of any in the game.  They have five other batters that will hit above .280 and the amount of left handers in their lineup will give most team fits.  But none of that will matter if the pitching rotation cannot hold up their end of the bargain. 

 

12.  Braves

The Braves will again be relying on their pitchers to keep them competitive, as they don’t quite have the bats that their fellow NL East teams have.  Like the Rockies, the Braves don’t have a lot of household names in their rotation but they produce consistent outings and give the team a chance to win.

 

13.  Giants

Another team with a very strong 1-2 punch in their rotation, the 2009 wild card runner up has improved offensively with 1B Aubrey Huff and OF Mark DeRosa.

 

14.  Tigers

The Yankees got Curtis Granderson and the Tigers ended up spending $13 million on Johnny Damon for the last leg of his career.  That’s why the Yankees are the Yankees and the Tigers are the Tigers.

 

15.  White Sox

The South Siders lost a little power by letting Jermaine Dye go, but Juan Pierre should be a suitable replacement.  If Jake Peavy can stay healthy they should contend for the AL Central.

 

16. Rangers

A young team with a lot of talent the Rangers could find themselves contending for the AL West.

 

17.  Cubs

The Cubs suffered from a lot of injuries and underwhelming performances from key players.  With Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano healthy again the Cubs have reason for optimism.  But then again, Cubs fans are optimistic every year.

 

18.  Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks will need Brandon Webb to resemble his old self if they are to compete, but a few off season moves should help their offense.

 

19.  Marlins

The Marlins are unimpressive on paper, outside of a few players, but the perennial team of prospects always seems to keep themselves in the playoff hunt deep into the season even with one of baseball’s lowest payroll. 

 

20.  Brewers

The Brewers lost Ben Sheets but added a few reliable leftys with Doug Davis and Randy Wolf. Combined with the offensive upside of a lot of their young players the Brew Crew has the potential to make a run in 2010.

 

21.  Reds

The Reds probably won’t be winning the World Series this year, but with young players like Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and Johnny Cueto they should at least be fun to watch.

 

22. Indians

Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo will be the highlights on this team with low expectations.

 

23.  Blue Jays

The Blue Jays enter the 2010 season with Shaun Marcum as their ace, a far cry from Roy Halladay, who at least gave them a chance every fifth day.  The Jays are nothing more than a sparring partner for the Yankees and Red Sox.

 

24.  Orioles

Miguel Tejada will be one of the few veterans on a team that features youngsters Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis.  The Orioles should finish considerably better than the 64 wins they had in 2009.

 

25. A’s

The bright side for A’s fans is there are not a lot of players left that Billy Beane can trade away.  On the other hand, Rajai Davis better hope that he’s renting.

 

26. Astros

The Astros will need Roy Oswalt to pitch like he used to if they hope to compete.

 

27.  Padres

Look for Adrian Gonzalez to be wearing a Red Sox uniform by August.

 

28.  Nationals

This probably won’t be the year that the Nationals climb out of the NL East basement, and unfortunately like the AL East there are a few teams in the division that can spend far beyond the Nationals’ means, but with Ryan Zimmerman developing into one of the better third baseman in the game, Stephen Strasburg in the pipeline, and a few reliable veterans on the team don’t be surprised if the Nats make a run in the not too distant future.

 

29.  Royals

The Royals have Zack Greinke and uh...and uh…and uh…another long season ahead of them.

 

30.  Pirates

The Pirates have been one of the worst teams in baseball for nearly two decades.  They have not had a winning season in 17 years, the longest losing season streak of any team in the four major sports.  They have finished last in their division 10 times.  They trade away any and all of their top players and prospects at every trading deadline.  This year should be more of the same.  But Pittsburgh has won two Super Bowls and a Stanley Cup within the last five years so I guess there has to be some cosmic balance.

Posted on: October 7, 2009 12:08 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2009 2:01 pm
 

A Tale of Two Cities

It is a tale of two cities.  A  Midwestern team with a payroll of $67 million, less than 24 hours removed from a 12 inning game that was the 163rd of their season, a game played in their old, drab, domed stadium that they share with an NFL team.  An unsexy team of players largely unknown to the casual baseball fan and certainly to most of America.  A team without a true ace pitcher or their MVP first baseman that has just traveled 1200 miles in the middle of the night to take on a well rested baseball goliath that is being touted as one of the best teams in a decade.

The team that these modest Midwesterners face consists of All Stars and future Hall of Famers, playing in a newly built billion dollar stadium in the biggest city in the nation and one of the largest media markets in the world.  They’ve essentially had the division locked up for month, they boast the most storied history of any team in baseball, and they will send their free agent prize from last off season tonight to face Brian Duensing, a rookie with a $400,000 salary, 1/38th that of CC Sabathia's.

There is no reason to think that the Twins will win the ALDS against the Yankees.  They have everything working against them.  They are built on role players such as Denard Span and Jason Kubel and their best pitcher has a 4.03 ERA, not to mention that they weren’t even first in their division until last night.  Most people say of the Twins, who are they and who cares, bring on the Red Sox for the ALCS.

But scratching the surface a little there is a glimmer of hope for the Twins.  The Yankees ace, CC Sabathia, has not had much postseason success.  He has an ERA of 8.80 and 12.27 in each of the past two postseasons.  The Yankees do not have a reliable fourth starter, and when compared to the Twins, outside of Sabathia, the two team's pitching staff’s numbers are very similar, both among starters and relievers.  The Twins relievers collectively have an ERA of 3.87, the Yankees have an ERA of 3.91.  The starters numbers are listed below.

Duensing 3.64     
Blackburn 4.03
Baker 4.37
Pavano 4.64

Sabathia 3.37
Burnett 4.04
Pettitte 4.16
Chamberlain 4.75

Offensively and defensively the Twins also match up very well with the Yankees.  The Yankees have a team batting average of .283, second best in the AL; the Twins are right behind them with the third best team average of .274.  Defensively the Twins have a fielding percentage of .987, the Yankees .985

Really the only noticeable difference between the two teams is the Yankees $208 million payroll and the Twins $67 million, 23rd in MLB.  In fact, the Yankees three highest paid players make more than the Twins entire team, but as the Yankees have learned the past eight years money doesn’t buy you a World Series. It would be nice if some of the national media would remember that once in a while.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 3, 2009 11:09 am
 

The Real Moneyball

The trade deadline has passed, effectively ending the hopes of many teams for another year as they come to the realization that they are better off dumping their players than trying to compete.  The Pirates, as usual, traded anyone of any value.  The Orioles, Indians, and A’s were also again on the seller’s side of the ledger.  The rich continued to get richer, with the Dodgers acquiring George Sherill, the Phillies dealing for Cliff Lee, and the White Sox getting Jake Peavy.

It is obviously frustrating for fans of teams like the Pirates, who continually give away their players year after year, but it is also frustrating for fans of teams competing with the trade deadline gluttons.  If you are a fan of a mid or small market team that is in the division race but not necessarily a buyer, and a rival team gets an impact player at the deadline, it is very deflating.  Especially when they seem to do it every year, as is the case for the Red Sox and Dodgers.

In the AL Central the Twins are only two games behind the Tigers, who just obtained Jarrod Washburn, a great addition to their rotation.  Meanwhile teams like the Rockies, Rangers, and Twins are forced to stand pat and try and wedge their way into the playoffs with what they have.  They compete every night and battle all season only to have the teams around them get a giant shot in the arm with two months to go.

It is fortuitous that baseball has the wild card though, because it does give teams in secondary markets an opportunity to make the playoffs.  Right now there are no division leaders that are in mid or small markets, and no division leaders with a payroll below $100 million.  In 2008 there was only one smaller market team that won their division, the Tampa Rays; the other division winners were representing Chicago, Philadelphia, and LA. 

In addition to every division being led by a $100 million team, there is only one $100 million dollar that is even under .500, the Mets.  The $100 million dollar teams include the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers, Mariners, Angels, Phillies, Astros, White Sox, and Dodgers.  The statement the rich got richer definitely rings true, as six of those teams made major acquisitions

If you don’t think that money equates to winning consider this.  Four of the past five World Series have been won by teams in the $100 million club.  It doesn’t mean that the team who has the highest payroll always wins, but it does mean that to win you do have to pay.

Posted on: July 27, 2009 6:08 pm
 

American League vs. National League: The Facts

The National League has been much maligned in recent years as being vastly inferior to the supposedly dominant American League. The All Star Game was over two weeks ago, however still the media is using the AL victory as justification of the American League’s dominance. The pitching is better, the hitting is better, and the American League trumps the National League in every possible aspect of the game.  Or does it?

The NL has lost every All Star game since 2002, when they were able to somehow match the incredible AL and tie it.  So the argument prevails that the AL is better based on the fact they have won those All Star games. However, since 2002 the game has been decided by only 1 run 5 times.  To say that because the AL has won the All Star games they are superior is putting a lot of stock into the once a year exhibition game. 

AL supporters also argue that the AL dominates inter-league play and therefore it is a better league.  Since 2002 the AL has won 53.5% of inter-league games.  Is it reasonable to think that because the AL teams have a professional hitter to hit for the pitcher while the NL team must use a bench player when they adhere to the DH rule that it may allow for the AL to win a slightly higher percentage of games?  

Despite the American League winning 53% of inter-league games it has not led to American League domination of the World Series.  Since 2000 the AL and the NL each have five wins.  Exactly equal.

When you look at the individual player stats for this season it shows equality between the leagues as well.  Both the AL and NL have 5 of the top 10 players in batting average ranks and 10 of the top 20.  The NL has 6 of the top 10 in HR, and 9 of the top 20, 5 of 10 in OPS and 11 of the top 20.  The consistency shows in pitchers as well.  The NL has 5 of the top 10 in ERA and 13 of the top 20.

Is there a great dominance by the American League?  Not really.   

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 15, 2009 11:31 am
 

25 Reasons Baseball is Better than Football

1. Baseball players who are not on the field are in the dugout leaving the fans with a view of the game.  Football players who are not on the field are standing on the sidelines leaving the fans with a view of their backsides.
2. Baseball on the radio is far more enjoyable than football on the radio. 
3. Baseball has a statistic to analyze every aspect of the game and determine the effectiveness of the players. 
4. Baseball players are required to play offense and defense.
5. Baseball parks are characters; football stadiums are clones.
6. There are only two ballparks that use artificial turf, next year there will be one, and none in the United States. 
7. Baseball requires the leading team to give the opposition a chance to comeback.  Football allows the team to sit on the ball and run the clock out.
8. The baseball season is broken into mostly three game series.  It’s like having a micro playoff series twice a week.
9. Baseball’s playoffs are decided by a series, ensuring the better team will always prevail. 
10. Baseball is built on accuracy; if a pitch is off by the slightest amount it can cost a team the game.  Football is built on force.
11. Baseball is a game of anticipation; football is a game of instant gratification. 
12. Vin Scully.  Anybody in football come close?
13. The baseball season has two distinct acts and a short intermission in between the two.  The football season just runs together.  
14. Baseball still uses wood bats. 
15. The oldest football stadium is 52 years old.  The oldest ballpark is 97 years old.
16. Baseball has a two seam fastball, four seam fastball, splitter, changeup, curveball, slider, sinker, and knuckleball; Football has a spiral. 
17. Baseball requires runners to be within a six foot base path.  Football requires them to be within 160 feet between the sidelines.
18. Football has TV timeouts.
19. You get to keep score in baseball.
20. A baseball game can be infinite.  A football game is limited to 60 minutes.
21. In baseball once a player goes out of the game they don’t get to come back in.
22. Baseball has Take Me Out to the Ball Game.  There is no song dedicated to football.
23. When a player signs a five year contract in baseball, they do not come back the next year and demand a new contract threatening that they will hold out of spring training.
24. Baseball’s records can be retrieved from memory; football’s records need to be retrieved from an almanac.  
25.  People actually watch baseball’s All Star game.

Posted on: February 10, 2009 12:02 pm
 

A Roid, please just go away.

 

Alex Rodriguez was busted for steroids, is anyone really that surprised.  I had never heard that he was suspected of using them prior to this, and I was glad that he was on pace to break Barry Bond’s home run record.  When I heard the news I felt almost nothing.  No surprise, no anger.  It seems that no one is immune to steroids.

 

I really don’t even care that much.  His reputation is now tarnished, and no matter how many press conference’s he does, or how many home runs he hits from this point forward he will now be another asterisk in a very forgettable era in baseball history.  I don’t want to hear anything else about it unless he’s suspended or some other actual action is taken.  But the fact is he will suffer no repercussions outside of his damaged reputation, so what is the point of hearing anything more about it.

 

His “apology” was worthless.  He played it as if he was the victim that was prohibited from using his own free will and thought.  Everyone was doing it.  I felt pressure from my big contract.  Who cares, you put it into your body, and you made the choice.  Even if you didn’t know what it was it was still your choice to do something that you didn’t know anything about.   You signed the contract, you wanted to be the highest paid player, and you still want to be the highest paid player.  The pressure stems from your own greed, and now you will forever be known as A Fraud, A Roid, or whatever else the fans and the media chose.  A Roid chose the substance, now the fans chose his legacy.

Category: MLB
Tags: A rod, yankees
 
 
 
 
 
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