It has been nearly ten years since Dave killed HAL and we still can't get our promised flying cars.
Friday, December 31st, 2010
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
I hear they're picking on us up in Beantown, rank amateurs that we are down here in NYC when it comes to snow removal. We took it on the chin, no doubt about it; as I write, a good day and a half since the white started falling, my Brooklyn block remains unplowed, virgin powder from end to end, except for some tracks down the middle. Things haven't changed much since last night, when a boxer came around doing sprints through the snow exhorted by his trainer: run to the corner, a combination—jab, jab, one, two, three—and then back. [That's him in the picture.] Lucky he didn't keel over, because EMS would still be trying to get here.
We're not completely housebound, fortunately. SF and I did met up for some hand-pulled noodles in Chinatown this afternoon. That hit the spot. Knicks in Miami tonite. Bring on the heat.
Gordon Edes wrote a nice three-part series on the Red Sox' newest slugger over the holidays. Much of it is the usual feature fluff you do when you're assigned these kinds of things — talk to the family, dutifully report the childhood foibles, add some color and a fancy lede — but, as I predicted, it also includes the most in-depth look at the turbulent day in which the trade was confirmed, then reported to have "fallen thru," then given the George Romero treatment.
The most important thing to note: At no point in Edes' paragraphs on the matter, does he say the trade was dead, or that it had fallen through. Those phrases do not appear. (In fact, he explicitly said this shortly after Gonzalez was introduced: "At no point was the deal dead.") I think this is important because for much of the day, discussion of the Red Sox and the way they do business was driven by a completely inaccurate tweet by Jon Heyman, one he has never, to my knowledge, retracted or even addressed.
Monday, December 27th, 2010
How long does it take to check assertions like this?
If Pettitte retires, it could be devastating to the Yankees. He is not only a very good pitcher, but a tremendous postseason pitcher.
How tremendous is Andy Pettitte in the postseason?
- Andy Pettitte career ERA: 3.88.
- Andy Pettitte career postseason ERA: 3.83.
Andy Pettitte postseason ERA compared to contemporaries:
- John Smoltz: 2.67
- Tom Glavine: 3.30
- Roger Clemens: 3.75
- Greg Maddux: 3.16
- Curt Schilling: 2.23
- David Wells: 3.17
- Orlando Hernandez: 2.55
- Pedro Martinez: 3.46
The man's a good pitcher, and he's had some great postseasons series (as well as some crappy ones) and certainly his retirement could well be "devastating" to New York. There's certainly no shame in looking at Pettitte's career and saying he's had a very good one and overall pitched the same in the playoffs, which is really all you can ask. But a "tremendous postseason pitcher"? Compared to what? And to whom?
I know it's asking a lot for Nick Cafardo to do basic research to back up his unfounded assertions, but he does work for a newspaper and gets paid for the privilege.
Semi-retraction: Doing more in depth game-by-game research, I discovered that Pettitte actually has been "tremendous," at least by my definition of the word, since 2003, with an ERA in the postseason under 3.00 and a differential from his regular-season ERA by more than 1.5 runs. Though I doubt Cafardo was thinking in such nuanced terms, it appears that in this case he was more correct on this than I was. Carry on.
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Because it matters oh, so much.
A couple caveats: I'm a large-Hall guy, so I usually fill up all 10 spots, and I value peak more heavily perhaps than the typical voter. It's how I balance the "fame" aspect of the Hall with the more objective career value considerations. But one great season amid a non-excellent career (Maris, for example) doesn't do it for me either.
You can check out the eligibles, ranked by WAR, at Baseball-Reference.
They'll surprise you. Alomar is all but certain to be elected this year, yet he's only tied for ninth, and several of the guys considered borderline outrank him: Walker, Edgar Martinez, Trammell, Raines. Bagwell is second only to Blyleven. He should be inducted. But just having a great WAR doesn't necessarily cut it if a lot of other players at your position also had a great WAR, so let's take a look at some of these guys.
The Yankees won 95 games last season.
According to fangraphs, Joba Chamberlain, who pitched 71.2 innings, was the 5th most valuable pitcher on the staff. The 4th and 5th spots in the starting rotation were filled by AJ Burnett, Javy Vazquez, Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova. Together they pitched almost 400 innings and accumulated a WAR of 1.
Again, the Yanks won 95 games last season.
MLB announced luxury tax payments this week, and the Sox and Yankees were the only two teams contributing for 2010. The Sox contributed $1.5M based on about $177M in payroll and health expenses (22.5% on the $7M in money over $170M), while the Yankees paid $18M (40% on the $46M in money over $170M). So the team's payrolls played out like this, in total dollars:
- Red Sox – $178.5M
- Yankees – $234M
The Red Sox were hit by the tax for the first time since 2007. The Yankees reduced their tax burden from 2009 by a hefty margin but still managed to outspend the Sox by the GDP of Kiribati.
Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
From Extra Bases on boston.com:
My first Hall of Fame ballot was submitted today. As promised, here is who I voted for:
PA says that Alomar is the only sure-fire HOFer. Personally, I’m convinced that Raines should be considered a no-brainer for induction as well. That is not an issue with the article — since Pete voted for him — but for some reason that I can’t put my finger on, I think I will be really pissed off if Raines doesn’t get voted in. The math backs it up well enough. Heck, he deserves a slot just for his career OBP+SB. But maybe it was the collusion. Maybe its that he did a huge chunk of his best work in a part of another country that doesn’t want to speak English. Maybe it is the lack of forgiveness many have for his admitted substance abuse.
All I know is Vote Rock.
Brian Cashman says the Yankees are prepared to enter 2011 without a major pitching acquisition:
Having finished second, or maybe third, in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, the Yankees are prepared to go into the 2011 season with a pitching rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, with the remaining spots filled out by youngsters, many of whom have never pitched above the Triple-A level.
"I'm not saying I want to do it," general manager Brian Cashman said in a telephone conversation Monday morning, "but I may have to do it."
Which can only mean the Yankees are about to swing a massive seven-team trade for Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jimenez and Felix Hernandez.
Cashman also says he's operating under the assumption that Andy Pettitte will retire, which means Pettitte is finishing up a pact with the devil to become eternally young, thus ensuring his place in the Yankee rotation for decades to come.
Monday, December 20th, 2010
Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News provides a write-up of things he noticed watching game seven of the 1960 World Series — the one found in Bing Crosby’s archives earlier this year when formerly it was thought that no copy existed. I don’t currently have access to the video, but after reading that article, I hope to watch it soon.
“Games moved so much faster then. Hitters didn’t step out of the box and adjust batting gloves. They didn’t wear batting gloves. There were no strikeouts in the entire 10-9 game which, despite all the scoring and numerous pitching changes, took less than 2:40 to play.”
Any YFSF readers get to see it yet?
If this doesn't set your innards a-tingle, then nothing will:
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, 4.2 WAR (as projected by the Fangraphs crowdsourcing project*)
- Carl Carwford, LF, 6.1 WAR
- Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, 5.9 WAR
- Kevin Youkilis, 3B, 6.6 WAR
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B, 6.0 WAR
- David Ortiz, DH, 2.4 WAR
- J.D. Drew, RF, 3.4 WAR
- Jed Lowrie, SS, 3.1 WAR
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, 1.7 WAR
- Mike Cameron, OF, N/A
- Marco Scutaro, IF, 1.6 WAR
- Jason Varitek, C, N/A
- ???, IF/OF
- Jon Lester, 6.4 WAR
- Josh Beckett, 4.2 WAR
- Clay Buchholz, 3.9 WAR
- John Lackey, 3.8 WAR
- Daisuke Matsuzaka, 1.9 WAR
- Jonathan Papelbon, 1.8 WAR
- Bobby Jenks, 1.2 WAR
- Daniel Bard, 1.3 WAR
- Dan Wheeler, N/A
- Matt Albers/Rich Hill/Andrew Miller
- Tim Wakefield, N/A
- Scott Atchison/Felix Doubront
Well done, Theo.
Sunday, December 19th, 2010
Saturday, December 18th, 2010
Friday, December 17th, 2010
But we will. Sweeny Murti and CBS NY have an article that has an audio clip from Mariano Rivera, discussing the very real offer that Boston proposed to bring Rivera to the Red Sox.
Personally, I think this is fantastic. Mariano Rivera, the greatest (insert many things pitching-related here) of all time, treats this line of questioning with the same alacrity as he does with everything on the mound. Hal said it earlier regarding Jeter, and Mo now echoes it regarding his relationship with the Yankees, “This is a business.”
And business is good.