Alex Strikes Again

Serie_kapow

How hot is Alex Rodriguez? I got an email from a Bomber-rooting friend during last night’s game: “Must be better ‘n’ sex, the feeling he’s got.” This came after he reached out and parked a Boof Bonser 3-2 slider on the outside half deep over the left-field wall of the Metrodome, his sixth homer of the year. (Boof!) On the year, he’s at .357/.471/1.107, and has led the Yankees to league topping 51 runs. What’s more, after their rocky, cold-weather start, the team has allowed just 3 runs over the last 2 games, a stretch highlighted by a fine start from Carl Pavano on Monday and a 6-inning, 4-hit, 0-run gem from Andy Pettitte last night. Pettitte’s vicious sliding curve gave the Twins problems all night, especially on 2 strike counts. Tonight, Old Man Mussina tries to keep the line moving. We’re hoping for the best.

73 comments… add one
  • All I know is people claim Manny is the best right-handed hitter of his generation.
    Well, Arod just tied him for 470 bombs. And he’s three years younger.
    Oh, and he plays defense.
    Good lord, I hope this man is beloved in November. You know, right after #27.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 10:08 am
  • Somehow, I’m reminded of Chris Shelton and Kevin Mench’s similar hot streaks about a year ago. I’m pretty sure Mr. March isn’t going to hit 161 dingers this year.
    Can we Boston fans make up a list of things that don’t count for the Yankees, since according a couple of NY fans, Dice’s last start and both of Beckett’s obviously don’t, and J.D. Drew’s homer along with 7 RBI from last game should be wiped from the books since it was against Jeff Weaver?
    If so, I’ll start with the walkoff grand slam and the Sidney Ponson game.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 10:20 am
  • All I know is people claim Manny is the best right-handed hitter of his generation.
    Really? Who are these people? What does A-Rod have to do with Manny? Last I checked A-Rod was basically regarded as (potentially) the greatest player ever. Why does a discussion of his prowess have to involve another player at a different position, other than that it reveals your intent to start some sort of flamewar over any other kind of discussion?
    Why do you always insist on showing up and trying to pick a fight?

    SF April 11, 2007, 10:22 am
  • Nice, the trolling begins.

    Lar April 11, 2007, 10:23 am
  • On both sides, I must add. Yawns. It is good to see ARod starting hot though. Maybe he’ll win MVP if he can hit 50 again..

    Lar April 11, 2007, 10:25 am
  • I wasn’t trolling, just throwing a little back at the pundits who are constantly throwing “KC sucks! Seattle sucks! We’ll see when you play the Yankees!” into the Boston threads.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 10:25 am
  • OK, maybe that’s the exact definition of trolling. Heh.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 10:27 am
  • I don’t get why some fans can’t just revel in the great performances from some of our players and stop there. Why does it seem that there always has to be a qualifier, i.e. “Seattle isn’t a real major league lineup” or “it was against KC”, or “A-Rod could have won the game with a single so why all the fuss over a grand slam”? It’s BS. What Sox fan wouldn’t have been overjoyed at Papi hitting a tater in the same situation that A-Rod did? What Yankee fan wouldn’t have celebrated Kei Igawa dominating the Orioles like Daisuke did the Royals?
    This stuff has got to stop.

    SF April 11, 2007, 10:30 am
  • There is some merit to the KC/Seattle argument, and let’s not confuse ARod with Shelton. As for DMat, he pitched a great game, but one game doesn’t make a pitcher.. especially against KC. Let’s wait and see for just a few more starts first =P I mean, Braden Looper, Kip Wells, etc threw some great games last week too. Let’s put this in perspective.. which is not to say he _isn’t_ good, but one data point is too few..

    Lar April 11, 2007, 10:32 am
  • But you’re doing the exact same thing!
    Comparing Dice to Braden Looper or Kip Wells is no different than comparing A-Rod to Kevin Mench. There is no merit to the KC/Seattle argument when your team goes to town on Sidney freaking Ponson and got to play the pathetic pitching staff that is the D-Rays at home to start.
    Jesus.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 10:35 am
  • I probably added to the flames with the last comment.. but let’s just ignore the trolls on the other side – a great performance is a great performance. I’m actually in the “DMat is good” camp, just that objectively it would take more than one start (against KC) to convince me (especially with so much hype..)
    On the flip side, I haven’t paid much attention to Beckett’s starts. Ah well.

    Lar April 11, 2007, 10:36 am
  • Braden Looper and Kip Wells actually have more major league experience.. =P (tongue in cheek!)
    I don’t mean to compare, just that it’s too few data points. The difference (and you could be right in disagreeing with me) is that ARod has a track record. For sakes, he isn’t the highest paid player for nothing..
    Maybe ARod got his shoe size changed too, who knows.

    Lar April 11, 2007, 10:40 am
  • Dice has a track record, too. You don’t pay 51 mill (and the Yankee bid wasn’t exactly nothing, either) to talk to a guy who’s an unknown commodity.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 10:43 am
  • By the way, I feel the same way about ARod – it’s “cool” that he’s hitting, but it’s premature (as the papers have been doing) to say he’s having a great season. We’ll see in Sept/Oct.
    Err, where were you when the Yankee fans were complaining about how much our starting pitching sucked? Against Tampa Bay? (Though they do have some young studs..)
    Don’t think we think everything’s rosy (though I certainly don’t mind if they keep on winning..) but it’s a logical fallacy anyhow (that we can’t make fun of your team just because our team might have the same problem!)

    Lar April 11, 2007, 10:45 am
  • Of course, you have to add in the “(and the Yankee bid wasn’t exactly nothing, either)” to validate the Sox bid.. =P
    I only brought that (the track record) up because that’s the common knock on Hughes – that we’ll see when he gets here. I don’t remember all the scouting reports, but if I remember correctly, they’re on the same level (though DMat is probably higher).

    Lar April 11, 2007, 10:49 am
  • I think the biggest knock on Hughes isn’t his track record, it’s that he’s 20.
    You can count on one hand the amount of fairly recent pitchers who’ve dominated at that age, and King Felix is borderline since he’s just come around with his experience.
    Dice is 6 years older and has a few miles on his odometer. Not MLB experience, but Japan, international play, and the WBC count.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 11:05 am
  • But don’t get me wrong…I sure wouldn’t mind having a 20 year old #1 prospect on my team. I think it’s good that the Yankees are being patient with him, it’s tough to do with the fans wanting him.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 11:07 am
  • I agree with you – I don’t think Hughes will help this year (though I’ll be glad to be proved wrong!) and even if he comes up next year, I would be happy with a 4.5 ERA type of season. It’s kind of the expectations I have with Dice – he’ll be an okay 3rd starter (it is his first season, after all!) this year, and pick it up in later years. My only point is that he pitched a good game – but it’ll take me slightly longer to believe that he is good _right now_.

    Lar April 11, 2007, 11:16 am
  • The comparison begins, SF, with 470 bombs.
    Even as Arod is clearly the better player, I think a strong case can be made that Manny is a better hitter. It’s close really.
    Me, personally – I think Arod gets the nod based on age and hitting accomplishments. When it’s all done (unless they change dramatically as they age – we’ve seen that before) Manny will have the higher AVG and OBP but Arod will have all the better counting stats – because of durability and productivity.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 11:18 am
  • There’s nothing wrong with an A-Rod / Manny comparison on a site called Yanksfan vs. Soxfan. Manny is a great hitter, and would come up in any discussion of the best hitters or the best right-handed hitters. And A-Rod is now hitting fourth, like Manny. So it is interesting that he just tied Manny, while three years younger. I did not know that.
    ESPN’s passing comment on A-Rod’s homers was also valid — c’mon, they have to fill 24 hours a day with something, and a day or two later, there was A-Rod with only one player ahead of him in home runs in the first seven days. This is part of what baseball’s about.
    BTW, let’s not forget that our own Donnie Baseball is tied with Ken Griffey for the consecutive game home run streak, with 8. Does A-Rod have 5 in a row, or did he hit 2 in one game?

    john April 11, 2007, 11:24 am
  • The thing about Manny is that his game has never always been about the longball. Neither has A-Rod’s, but Manny is known as being great situationally, that’s his advantage. He can hit any ball any time. Plus power to all fields. If he needs a ground ball to the 2nd baseman, he gets it. Never swings at bad pitches. Doesn’t often take called third strikes. Takes walks whenever he doesn’t hit the ball…stuff like that.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 11:26 am
  • I’d like to see Dice-K be an okay third starter, but there are signs the Sox got more. Seeing how that plays out will be one of the interesting parts of the season.
    As I said in another thread, today is the biggest matchup in the short season so far. Dice-K in his first home game, facing the second-best young pitcher, with Ichiro stepping in for Dice-K’s first pitch in Fenway — you can’t beat that. In a few weeks, Dice-K against the Wanger might beat it though, if that situation should happen. It would be nice to see Andy outpitch him too (for Yankee fans, obviously).

    john April 11, 2007, 11:29 am
  • I call BS Steve. Manny has NEVER been a situational hitter – ever. He sees ball and hits ball. He doesn’t move runners over, trys to get a sac fly – nothing like that. He justs hits it hard and hits it often. And obviously he knows how to take pitches.
    But he’s not a situational hitter.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 11:34 am
  • And of course, A-Rod isn’t a situational hitter either.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 11:38 am
  • You can disagree all you want, but I’ve seen the guy hit enough slow rollers through small holes in the infield to score runs that I know you’re wrong.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 11:52 am
  • you know what’s going to be amazing…when both A-rod and Manny hit 500. 500!! this is going to be a fun season for baseball.

    m.g. yanks fan April 11, 2007, 11:55 am
  • And he *intended* to hit it there, Steve? How do you know that? Because he told the press all about it afterwards?
    Like I said, Manny is not a situational hitter.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 11:57 am
  • I said facing the second-best young pitcher
    Geez, I thought he was better than 4.52 last year. My bad. There are a number of young starters ahead of him, and Papelbon is obviously better too.

    john April 11, 2007, 12:06 pm
  • You can’t tell by looking at a player’s swing? Have you ever even picked up a bat before? I sure can tell if a guy is trying to pull a ball or hit it the other way, or if a hit’s a fluke. I can also tell if a player is purposely trying to hit a sac fly (take J.D. Drew in the first inning yesterday, waited for a high pitch, took a step into it, and poked it high into center.)
    But I’m sure Manny’s just up there swinging wildly, for whatever result-because you said so.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • No one said anything about swinging wildly. Indeed, that’s beyond absurd considering his lifetime numbers. He just doesn’t hit to gaps, or to move runners, or to drive them in – no matter how much your precious eyes have told you otherwise.
    Fact is:
    Ted Williams – Situational hitter
    Tony Gywnn – Situational hitter
    Manny Ramirez – NOT a situational hitter
    Maybe, you just don’t understand what a situational hitter is. Maybe your “skills” don’t translate to the use of language and categories.
    If Manny “… can hit any ball any time.” [your words] please explain to me, oh great one, how he manages to strike out over 100 times a year. Because he chooses to?

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Batting Average, career
    Manny Ramirez – .314
    Alex Rodriguez – .306
    On-Base Percentage, career
    Manny Ramirez – .411
    Alex Rodriguez – .386
    Slugging Percentage, career
    Manny Ramirez – .599
    Alex Rodriguez – .575
    OPS, career
    Manny Ramirez – 1.011
    Alex Rodriguez – .961
    OPS+, career
    Manny Ramirez – 157
    Alex Rodriguez – 146
    Runs Created, career
    Manny Ramirez – 1,623
    Alex Rodriguez – 1,497
    Runs Created Per 27 Outs, career
    Manny Ramirez – 9.08
    Alex Rodriguez – 8.05
    Rings
    Manny Ramirez – 1
    Alex Rodriguez – 0
    That is all. :-)

    Paul SF April 11, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • the vote of no confidence by torre last year must have helped. it was so odd to see the “best player in baseball” swinging from the eighth spot during the most crucial time of the year.
    “aaaaaaaaaaaabomb by aaaaaaaaarod in aaaaaaaaapril.”

    sf rod April 11, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • But, Paul : He’s three years younger! What about that don’t you understand? Geez.

    Brad April 11, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • Paul – nice of you to put avg, obp, ops, and ops+ as separate categories! How many MVP’s has Manny won again? =P
    As for Felix, the story about last year was that he was having too much success easily the year before during his rookie season, so he showed up lazy. This year he lost 20 lbs (or something like that) and is said to be a lot more fit and prepared. We’ll see though, but he’s only 20!

    Lar April 11, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • “This stuff has got to stop.”
    On this site?
    Yeah. That’ll be the day.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 11, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • Hey, me, I also look at defense. And maybe that’s why Manny isn’t considered a great *player* nor ever the *Most valuable player*.
    And like I said above, Arod will end up with the better counting stats. Indeed, he already has:
    More HR (after tonight :)
    More Hits
    More Runs
    More 3B
    More SB
    And he’ll overtake for RBI’s and 2B soon enough.
    But who’s counting?
    Oh, and Arod’s got the clear edge already in the HOF metrics (which Paul loves dearly):
    Black Ink: 65 vs. 21
    Grey Ink: 194 vs. 154
    HOF Standards: 60.9 vs. 58.1
    HOF Monitor: 277 vs. 182.5
    Indeed, in the history of the game, it isn’t even close. And Arod is 31.
    To think if your owner had been willing to pony up the money back then. :)

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 2:39 pm
  • To think if your owner had been willing to pony up the money back then. :)
    Yes, to think: you’d be coming round these parts still chanting “1918” like the 12 year old you are.

    SF April 11, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • He won the World Series MVP, Lar…(I know it’s not the same, but it is pretty cool).

    Devine April 11, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • It was a bit redundant to put OPS after putting both OBP and SLG, but AVG is a separate stat, as is OPS+. Counting stats are fun for kids with baseball cards, Jim, but those who actually know anything about statistics look at the rate stats, where Manny has a comfortable lead.
    Since we’re talking about MVPs, how many World Series MVPs has A-Rod won? None, because he’s never even gotten that far — not even in the last three years.

    Paul SF April 11, 2007, 2:47 pm
  • Not that I have any arguments with Manny’s hitting ability, but I wonder whether “rings” is an appropriate category for a Sox fan to be trotting out to compare individual players, especially members of the Yankees. Brian Doyle has more world series rings than Ted Williams, Carl Yaz, and Jim Rice combined times one trillion.

    YF April 11, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • It was a joke.

    Paul SF April 11, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • I still think this is a pretty stupid debate. Manny and A-Rod are different types of ballplayers, and both are remarkable. A-Rod is the better ballplayer, better all-around, a better athlete, a better baserunner, a way better fielder, perhaps as good a hitter, though clearly there is some debate about that that subjectivity disallows a clean answer from being reached. As far as I am concerned, there’s no question who will end with a more accomplished career, statistically speaking. It’ll be A-Rod. World Series MVPs are nothing to hang your hat on: look at Eckstein last year. Even Manny’s award was kind of perfunctory.
    The problem here for me is that Jim once again wants supplication from anyone who doesn’t share his extreme and antagonistic positions.

    SF April 11, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • i hear ya yf. donnie baseball hates brian doyle.

    sf rod April 11, 2007, 3:03 pm
  • Really, the WS MVP is just a way of saying, “Manny’s been there and won; A-Rod hasn’t even been there,” but without actually saying that. I (like most others, it seems like) don’t even think Manny deserved it as much as Keith Foulke. Of course, being there and winning it has no bearing either on the greatness of a player (witness Ernie Banks or any other great Cub — all two of them — who have played since the 1940s). A-Rod played on some truly awful teams in the 1990s, and that wasn’t his fault.
    Me, I’m rooting for him to keep hitting bombs. Makes it more likely that he opts out and leaves New York. I’ll gladly risk the damage one year of A-Rod could do to the Sox’ chances for getting him out of the division/league and off the Yankees.

    Paul SF April 11, 2007, 3:08 pm
  • personally, i can live with:
    manny > pure hitter
    alex > overall player
    i’d note they both hail from the same neighborhood in nyc. must be the water.
    anyway, let’s see who does what this year.

    YF April 11, 2007, 3:09 pm
  • I think you could’ve given that World Series MVP to Bellhorn (Game 1 winning homer, Game 2 very-important 2-out RBI double, WS OPS: 1.263(!)–Manny’s: 1.088) over Manny (whose two errors in Game 1 were pretty brutal, though one of them may have been the turf’s fault), but I don’t know about anyone else. Some people say Foulke, but I say two high-leverage innings, and three relatively low-leverage ones is not an MVP. Why the heck was this guy pitching the ninth in Games 2 and 3?
    Foulke may have deserved ALCS MVP, though. Really tough call there.
    PS A-Rod is really kicking ass right now…all the caveats and whatnot aside, what a great performance, walk-off granny included.

    Devine April 11, 2007, 3:15 pm
  • 2004?…who cares?…ancient history in light of developments over the past 2+ years…
    “…Makes it more likely that he opts out and leaves New York….”…uh, not likely paul…look for the yanks to pay him handsomely and quite willingly given the alternatives…
    …did your comparison intend to make manny look better than arod?…well, uh, well, has manny done it against major league caliber pitchers?…huh?…huh?
    “…This stuff has got to stop….”…geez, sf, most of it’s joking, i think…

    dc April 11, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • dc:
    I am referring to the incessant carping about how one team “didn’t do it against major league talent” or how one player’s clutch home run may not have been that clutch. I don’t think the comments of this nature have been in jest at all. We have to guard against double standards, and I also think there’s far too much cynicism. Not that I expect it to disappear, hardly, but I can appeal for that (naively), right?

    SF April 11, 2007, 3:52 pm
  • yep…i agree it’s getting old…if you see any of it from me, i can tell you right now that i’m kidding, honest, but, yeah, it’s getting old either way…

    dc April 11, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • Jim D, FYI, you started a debate about who’s the better RH hitter, Arod or Manny, and then you added in defense as a factor. Can I use that move sometime?
    Anyways, about the comparison, just for fun, here’s a link to a fangraphs side-by-side of the two over the last fifteen years.
    http://tinyurl.com/3dwhc7
    They’re both really really good, but overall Manny has been slightly better, at least according to the stats they use.
    I LOVE to watch Manny hit. Any situation, any game, whatever, I just love his approach. Total man-crush here, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

    Tyrel SF April 11, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • Btw, Steve, the walk-off homerun can’t be ‘discounted’, it was off an actually good pitcher.
    A true test for Boston’s lineup’ll be King Felix tonight. Hit him, and that’ll be impressive.
    Steve, I’ll give you Ponson if you give me Weaver ;)

    Andrew April 11, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • Me, I’m still waiting for Steve to explain how 100 K’s a year = a situational hitter.
    Otherwise, I’ll only disagree with the:
    “manny > pure hitter”
    It’s a nice bone to throw SF’s, but it’s wrong. Like I said way back in the beginning, a strong case can be made, but ultimately Arod’s got the years and the counting stats to show otherwise.
    And to think the Yanks are paying less for his services!

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 5:09 pm
  • A true test for Boston’s lineup’ll be King Felix tonight. Hit him, and that’ll be impressive.
    So what happens if the Sox win 2-0, or 3-1, or 4-2, and the bats don’t pummel? Will they have failed the test?
    This is the problem: the goalposts keep moving.

    SF April 11, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • “Situational hitter” is stupid. Manny’s a great hitter to be sure, and great hitters hit well in any situation.
    Now, if you’re trying to substitute “clutch” with “situational” that’s another matter. I think it’s shown that A-Rod was technically ‘unclutch’ last year, but this year and 2005 he was one of the greatest clutch hitters that year (indeed, I think he was even better than Ortiz in ‘close and late’ situations or whatever you want to call it). It would be good if Steve could bring up, say, career WPA or something similar to compare the clutchness of A-Rod and Manny, instead of stating his own opinion as fact. Of course, ‘clutchness’ is already a speculative thing as it is, and various ‘clutchness’ stats rate players vastly differently.
    Manny hits. A-Rod hits. They’re different hitters, yes, and career-wise I’d rather have Manny at the plate than A-Rod in a big situation (although so far, not this year :) ), but for building a team, I’ll take A-Rod over Manny or Ortiz every. single. time.

    Andrew April 11, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • Lest anyone forgets, Paul was arguing counting stats are so much more important when comparing Jorge to Pudge.
    And me, well, I had a different view of rate stats.
    If you really want to look at the real difference between Manny and Arod (besides years), it comes down to the walks. Manny walks more. Interpret that however you want.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 5:23 pm
  • Lets keep in mind that this is the same person who single-handedly kept the Varitek-Posada-Pudge non-debate going for like two weeks. This one’s just as pointless and impossible to settle…
    Sorry, but I’m pretty sure the “true test” of a lineup doesn’t come in one game. Ever. And especially not in a particularly chilly April. After a third of a season, or maybe a half, we can take a look and see where Boston’s lineup stands against the rest of the league. But if you’re going to judge a team’s offense based on its ability to hit a potential Cy Young candidate…not too many teams are going to come out of that looking real strong with the bat. NY included.
    And if you want to look at what’s happened thus far, it’s pretty safe to assume that Ortiz and Ramirez won’t be hitting in the low-200’s for a full season without any power. It’s also fairly safe to assume that A-Rod won’t hit 161 HR’s, and that Damon and Posada won’t be getting on at a .500+ clip. My point: It’s the second f*cking week of the season, lots of stuff is going to even out.

    desturbd1 April 11, 2007, 5:25 pm
  • Andrew:
    100% agreed on all fronts.

    SF April 11, 2007, 5:26 pm
  • No, SF, if the Sox can’t score runs off of Felix that just means their offense got shut down by good pitching. And that Dice-K pitched better :). I just don’t like how people are saying the Sox are ‘over the hump’ offensively when they have one day where they hit bad pitching. No one’s saying that about Yankee pitching. The goal-posts are there. Felix is a good pitcher. If they hit him, sure, maybe then they’ve gotten over a hump. If not, well, the jury’s still out. It favors your side, buddy.

    Andrew April 11, 2007, 5:27 pm
  • Sorry Andrew, but in the history of baseball, “situational hitter” refers to very specific types – Teddy Ballgame, Tony Gywnn, etc. High AVG, low K = constantly finding a place to put the ball in play.
    Manny need not apply.
    And actually they’re extremely similar as hitters – it’s very very close. Indeed, Alex is Manny’s 7th most similar, and Manny is Arod’s 2nd most similar.
    Me, I’ll say Manny’s *hitting* star burned a bit brighter, but Arod’s will burn longer.
    When it’s all said and done – Manny will be remembered as a great, great hitter.
    AS SF notes, there’s a good chance Arod will be seen as the best player evah.
    We should feel blessed to watch them both and remember we debated who was better. And we should be sad that not enough time was spent debating that than discussing their respective psyches.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 5:31 pm
  • Alright, if that’s how you want to define ‘situational hitter’, a guy with a high average and low K’s. But then no one on the Yankees, but, say, Cano can apply either. Except people will rightly say that Jeter is a great ‘situational hitter’, where does that put your argument?

    Andrew April 11, 2007, 5:36 pm
  • You don’t have to be a 100% contact hitter to be situational. If you don’t think Manny is situationally good, then you’re not watching him hit.
    He adapts to the situation he’s in and how the pitcher is treating him. If he hits a ball opposite field, chances are he’s trying to. Of course he’s not going to freaking sacrifice to move runners over, he’s Manny Ramirez. That might be the most retarded excuse to discount his situational abilities that I’ve ever seen. He’s going to try to drive the guys in, not move them over. That doesn’t take away from the fact that he pretty much bases his ABs around what’s going on at the time.

    Steve April 11, 2007, 5:38 pm
  • Andrew:
    I for one don’t think that one game proves any hump has been gotten over. Yesterday the Sox went crazy; I don’t imagine that will happen every night as their lineup is currently concocted. But conversely, if they only score 1, 2, 3 runs against a phenomenal pitcher then that’s no evidence that they haven’t gotten over the hump, either. If Johan Santana came in today and shut down the Sox after yesterday’s game, it would probably be because Johan Santana is a great pitcher, not much else.
    As far as tonight is concerned, I just want the Sox to win. If their bats are shut down by Felix and they still emerge victorious, then who cares? I suppose we’ll hear from a handful of naysayers saying how Daisuke shut down a lesser team, or how he was lucky to escape with a victory despite walking 5, or something else like the bats were stymied and if it weren’t for that key error from Betancourt, blah blah blah, without regard for the facts of the scoreboard and the win column.

    SF April 11, 2007, 5:52 pm
  • Come on D1. Alex is SOOO going to hit 161 homers this year. Maybe 162. I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    YF April 11, 2007, 6:06 pm
  • Using counting stats, which are what HOF voters look at, to determine someone’s potential ability to get selected to the Hall is not incongrouous with using rate stats to actually determine who the best is when comparing two players. Really, Jim, bringing up that debate just hurts your own cause and reminds everyone exactly why you are not to be taken seriously. You almost had us fooled, too…

    Paul SF April 11, 2007, 6:13 pm
  • d1- i might be wrong but jim d and jim yf are different posters.
    as for situational hitting goes, manny doesn’t lay down bunts or hit balls to the right side to move runners over…..but some of the in game adjustments to pitchers he makes are amazing. i’ve seen him intentionally look bad on a pitch just to ensure he’ll see that pitch again. he sets pitchers up like i’ve never seen before. he is a pure hitter in every sense of the word.

    sf rod April 11, 2007, 6:19 pm
  • So Steve, what situation does striking out 100 times a year fall into? How does tat fit into what’s going on at the time?
    And Jeter’s not a situational hitter either. Indeed, I think their real problem in the playoff the last six years is no one on the team can put the ball in play when andwhere they have to. That is situational hitting.

    Jim D April 11, 2007, 7:05 pm
  • Our fathers and gradnfathers had this same argument about Williams and DiMaggio.
    Except for the OPS part.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 11, 2007, 7:05 pm
  • [i]So Steve, what situation does striking out 100 times a year fall into? How does tat fit into what’s going on at the time?[/i]
    It means he swings and misses sometimes. Happens when you work a count full and try to wait for your pitch all the time.
    But thanks for trying to focus on one meaningless stat (which might be relevant if we were talking about Curis Granderson, but we’re not.)

    Steve April 11, 2007, 8:06 pm
  • Contact hitter = situational hitter ?
    Thus…
    Juan Pierre = situational hitter ?
    Can anyone bridge this gap for me?

    QuoSF April 12, 2007, 1:01 am
  • Pierre doesn’t have the high AVG. High AVG + low K = situtational hitter = They find a way to put it where the fielders aint.
    Manny never has been that and never will be. He’s a great hitter, but that doesn’t make a situational hitter. He’s more lock and load – just like Arod.
    And last night Steve, how exactly did Manny manage to “hit any ball any time.”
    See, those are your words, not mine. And they don’t apply to aany guy who K’s 100 times a year. No matter how much you think otherwise.

    Jim D April 12, 2007, 10:15 am
  • Pierre is a lifetime .302 hitter. I’ll argue to the death that he’s a player with little value. However, he DOES have a high AVG and RARELY strikes out. Those were the criterion YOU specified.
    If you had specified a specific high AVG. Well, let’s use Gwynn as the baseline, since he’s the lower of the two between him and Teddy Ballgame (he of the 5 situational hitter-like SH in his entire career). Using Gwynn as the baseline, there are NO active situational hitters. Gwynn is 20th all-time.
    Moving further, let’s go with Bob Fothergill (40th). Active players above him are Todd Helton, Albert Pujols, and Ichiro Suzuki. Helton and Suzuki don’t really have exceptionally low SO rates. So we’ve compromised now BELOW Ted and Gwynn and have one (Pujols? Really?) situational hitter.
    Let’s go down to 100th in BA all-time. Active players above this not mentioned already: Manny, Jeter, Nomar, Vlad. Vlad has not laid down a sacrifice bunt in his entire career. Nomar: 5 in his career, though he certainly meets the low SO criterion. Manny has already been “ruled out”. Jeter? Too many SO.
    Let’s go down to 200th all-time. Active players: Kendall, Polanco, Alou, Sweeney, Casey, Pierre, Abreu, Berkman, I-Rod, Chipper, Thomas, Ordonez, A-Rod, Piazza. Too many SO: Piazza (it’s close), A-Rod, Maggs, Thomas, Chipper, I-Rod (not as much earlier in his career), Berkman, Abreu. Now we’re down to Pierre, Kendall, Polanco, Alou, Sweeney, and Casey. No sacrifice bunts: Casey, Sweeney (5 lifetime), Alou (9, none since 1993).
    All right, I added the sacrifice bunt category, but I think that falls under situational hitting. To review: Career BA within the first 200 spots all-time, low SO, and ability to bunt. Situational hitter?
    Actives: Kendall, Polanco, Pierre (highest BA and sacrifice bunts).
    What have we learned? Establishing criteria for a fairly subjective term gets you nowhere. Among our three “actives” I’d say Polanco and maybe Kendall are the only situational hitters, though I’d have argued Pierre’s case before his BA (and thus OBP) took a nosedive.

    QuoSF April 12, 2007, 11:31 am
  • You the man Quo.
    I just thought I’d add that Yahoo gives its rundown of Manny’s “situational stats” here – http://tinyurl.com/24by9p
    Interestingly they don’t seem to emphasize a low-strike out right or moving runners along. Rather they talk about how one hits w/RISP, RISP w/2 outs, bases loaded, etc.
    And just for fun, here’s Arod’s – http://tinyurl.com/yvtdzo
    Again, they’re both great hitters, but Manny’s got the slight edge.

    Tyrel SF April 12, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • Thanks Tyrel. And I would say that the data you present is a much better read on whether either or both of them are situational hitters. That data specifies actual situations, rather than data spread across an entire season in every situation, like, say, SOs and AVG.

    QuoSF April 12, 2007, 2:05 pm

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