By Any Means Necessary

From the Post:

"There’s no question we need to turn it around and we have the talent to turn it around. We’ve got the team in place, and now they just have to go out and do it.
"This is going to get turned around," Steinbrenner said. "If it’s not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year,
by force if we have too." (Emphasis is mine)

Does this mean that Hank is going to drive a tank into Kei Igawa’s locker? Or punch Robinson Cano until he gets a hit?

Actually, what’s more interesting is the very un-Steinbrenneresque mention of next year. Would papa have ever talked about next year when going off on the team? Maybe Hank isn’t exactly like his win-now dad?

92 comments… add one
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When you’re guaranteed to sell over 4 million tickets this year (they already have) AND next year, it doesn’t matter how well the team on the field performs.
    That said, I’m actually surprised they’re as good as they’ve been given the loss of production. The East is shaping up to be a 92 win division. They’ll be in the hunt, esp. when the Sox swap out Beckett for Colon. :)

    A YF May 14, 2008, 7:50 am
  • Loss of production is only part of the problem. Cano looks awful. You take all that talk about he’s turning the corner, he’s hitting the ball hard, bla bla bla and stick it in your hat. In ST he said his focus was on starting off the season well and making the AST. That obviously is out the window. The Yankees have lost 2 huge pieces, but that isn’t an excuse not to win. They have the firepower to win w/o those 2. Molina, Giambi, Cano, Duncan, Ensberg have all been awful. They need to pull their weight and quick.

    John - YF May 14, 2008, 8:59 am
  • Cano in May:
    .278 .316 .500 (36 PA)
    Molina and Ensberg are awful. Giambi has been for over a year of playing time. Duncan was never suited to be a full-time player.
    Sorry, but it comes back to losing their two most VORPable players. It’s really that simple.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 9:29 am
  • Cano
    Jeter
    Abreu
    Damon
    Giambi
    Matsui
    Wang
    Mariano
    That’s eight all-stars that the Yankees are running out there against Tampa last night. Hold on, I’ll get the tissue for the missing two. Seriously, this “we need A-Rod and Posada” has merit, but it’s hardly the reason for anything. They were playing the same level of baseball before those two went on the DL. Having either or both back will be helpful, but other guys are going to have to start playing like they used to (or can).

    Brad May 14, 2008, 9:48 am
  • It’s just not “that simple.”
    Losing Posada and A-Rod is huge, no denying that. Unfortunately that is not an excuse to stop winning. The Yankees lineup is still potent enough (when all players play to their potential) to win games even without those 2 key cogs. You can use the crutch that is the loss of the 2 players all you’d like, I choose not to. This is a team game and the Yankees have a good enough team to win. I’m not asking Duncan, Giambi, Ensberg, Molina, Cano to do anything other than pull their weight. Being that they are on the roster I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
    Boy I was totally wrong on signing Casey huh? I mean why would we want a line of:
    .344/.415/.448

    John - YF May 14, 2008, 9:54 am
  • No tissue here Brad, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    John - YF May 14, 2008, 9:56 am
  • You also promoted the idea of Ensberg, John. Besides, even on this team Casey wouldn’t get playing time, because then you’re sitting either Giambi (127 OPS+), Matsui (143 OPS+), or Damon (131 OPS+). There was never a place for another 1B – especially not one that only hits singles.
    And for the impact of A-Rod and Jorge, the Sox don’t have one hitter in their VORP league historically, let alone two. I’m sure Brad would be crawling up close to his teddy if they lost the two best candidates at the same time – Manny and Papi. And neither are the same ballplayers as Jorge or A-Rod – never have been either.
    Brad’s just sore cause his very healthy team has lost four of five. Meanwhile, their forth SS in four years is about to get shipped out of town (so says Gammo) and their injury-prone RF just got injured – again. See, the Yankees have some obvious excuses. The Sox have none.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:12 am
  • Oh and who does Gammo say they’re going to replace Lugo with?
    The 41-year-old wonder named Omar Vizquel.
    So funny.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:15 am
  • “If it’s not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, by force if we have too.”
    Someone’s getting a wedgie!!!!

    SF May 14, 2008, 10:17 am
  • See, the Yankees have some obvious excuses. The Sox have none.
    Show me one instance in this thread (or really, anywhere recently) where someone is “making excuses” for the Red Sox’s poor play. You can find explanations, but not excuses. What is the deal with these kinds of comments? Can you desist with this stuff, as Gerb pointedly asked you yesterday?

    SF May 14, 2008, 10:20 am
  • Can Hank PLEASE drive a tank into Kei Igawa’s locker? That would be awesome and all of my dislike for him would immediately dissipate.

    Micah-SF May 14, 2008, 10:21 am
  • To put it another way: Raise your hand if you think the Yankees wouldn’t have four more wins with A-Rod and Jorge.
    Well, with those wins, you’d have a first place club. It’s really that simple. The downgrade to Molina and Ensberg is the definition of replacement level.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:23 am
  • Right, so I get called out for flaming but Brad’s tissue comment goes past with nary a glance. After your heinous jab at me last week, you’ve lost all credibility, SF, in mitigating these matters.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:26 am
  • I’m going to bite my lip here, but you’re wrong. I fully accept the idea that A-Rod and Jorge are huge pieces to the puzzle in NY, but to put the blame of the way the rest of them are playing on that issue is shallow. Yes, you’re right I would be complaining if the Red Sox lost Papi and Manny, who are easily as comperable in terms of importance to their clubs and whatever else comparison you can come up with, but if Youk, Lowell, and the rest were in a suck fest, I’d be sure to point that out as well.
    And, I happen to love my teddy, so I’m not sure if I should take that as idiotic flame-throwing from the mouth of a guy who has shown time and time again to be nothing more than a fire-starting troll, or a direct slap in the face of my teddy?
    Remind me again what the Yankees record was before Jorge and A-Rod went on the DL? And what is it now? And, why do the Sox need excuses? I didn’t offer any. They were beaten in good games (as was New York) lately. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose…I never mentioned the Sox at all.
    Yesterday, it was appearance of ball players, and today it’s the Sox bad contracts? What’s tomorrow?

    Brad May 14, 2008, 10:30 am
  • Funny, Brad, but across two threads this morning you’re the one flame-baiting. And based on SF’s definition of troll, you both fit it to the tee. I’m still waiting for you, and him, to add something on-topic.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:33 am
  • Granted that some of the players on the yankees arent playing their best right now, its absurd to overlook A-Rod and Posada’s absence and say their loss is really not that meaningful. This yankees offense has struggled a great deal, especially against lefty pitchers. I dont feel like looking up the numbers now, but you will see that vs. lefty pitching the yankees offense has scored VERY few runs. Saying that the loss of their two best righty bats has no baring on this is disengenuious. If the Sox lost Manny and Lowell and were essentially shut down by lefty pitching, this same argument would be made.
    I also dont see why there is an issue in citing the injuries as a factor here in the yankees start. Its pretty obvious that they have been set back by these injuries. Even a conservative estimate could see the yankees getting 2-3 more wins with ARod’s power alone. He did carry the team last april almost single handedly. When many sox went down in late 2006, many SFs felt entitled to cite this as an issue for their team. Why dont the yankees have the same privilege?

    Sam-YF May 14, 2008, 10:34 am
  • Right, so I get called out for flaming but Brad’s tissue comment goes past with nary a glance.
    John seemed to deal with that comment, certainly snarky, quite appropriately. But your comment is completely off-topic, irrelevant, and insinuates something that simply isn’t accurate, that there are “excuses” being made for the Red Sox.
    Let’s all try to stick to the topic, please.

    SF May 14, 2008, 10:35 am
  • My tissue comment? Really, man?
    Who the hell is crying for the Yankees when they’re running out no less than six all-stars on any given night against teams with sometimes none, and then complaining about the two their missing?
    Come on. Be serious for just two seconds.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 10:35 am
  • Okay, A. I wasn’t but, I’ll cease this argument by saying you win. You’re correct. You’re not a flame-thrower, and I was completely wrong. Lets be done with this.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 10:37 am
  • When many sox went down in late 2006, many SFs felt entitled to cite this as an issue for their team. Why dont the yankees have the same privilege?
    I, for one, think it is a completely reasonable complaint from YFs, that the injuries are a factor. I said so last week, say so again here. I don’t like the broad generalization that SFs are disallowing this as an explanation for the Yankees’ woes, though some obviously are. They may be playing poorly regardless of injury, but the injuries may be causing people to press, etc., it is hard to say. I don’t think there is anything incorrect in citing the injury bug as a factor in the Yankees’ struggles.
    And Brad, can you just keep it calm as well, please? You are contributing to the degradation of things along with A, it takes two to tango.

    SF May 14, 2008, 10:38 am
  • By the way, a DH isn’t very valuable relative to replacement level. And an all-hit, no-field LF also isn’t very valuable relative to replacement level.
    A better comp would be Lowell and Varitek, but then neither have ever been the hitters of Jorge and Alex. And after you DL them, Kevin Cash and Lowrie work well as replacement level.
    But where did I say that anyone WAS making excuses for the Sox? If anything I’ve made it easy for you guys! There are no excuses to be had. That’s what I said.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:42 am
  • Sam, I think we’ve all said that it’s a huge issue to be missing those two, but more accurately, we’ve stated that it’s not the only issue. Having them would clearly help, but it doesn’t solve everything. They were a .500 team three weeks ago, and they’re one now.
    Are they one on paper? No. But were they playing like one? Absolutely.
    Yankee fans are absolutely entiteled to use the injury excuse. It’s clearly hurt that team, but so have any number of other issues that are just as important. Like 20% of the rotatation going winless for a month. Or other players not playing up to the potential.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 10:42 am
  • Brad, citing the yankees record before Posada and A-Rod went on the DL is hardly indicative of anything. First of all, Posada hasnt been right all year and has been limited to a handful of games behind the plate. When he isnt catching, that forces Molina or someone else with a far weaker bat into the lineup. His injury has been a drag on the team all year. As far as ARod goes, the yankees were 2 games out when he was put on the DL. So there you have it, having him gone makes a 2.5 game difference. If the yankees were only 2 out today, this thread wouldnt have even gone in this direction. Furthermore, he hadnt even started really hitting yet and his contribution prior to the injury wasnt that great. If he had gotten hot in the last 2 weeks, the yankees could easily be in first right now.

    Sam-YF May 14, 2008, 10:44 am
  • By the way, a DH isn’t very valuable relative to replacement level. And an all-hit, no-field LF also isn’t very valuable relative to replacement level.
    Oh, it’s WOOOO!..
    We’ve had this thread before, and it resulted in someone not being allowed back.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 10:45 am
  • To me, a clear sign of flame-baiting is re-visiting a thread from yesterday exactly to cause trouble. There was no-sign of tango, this morning, in that thread. Just like there was no sign of tango here prior to the tissue comment.
    Sam – excellent point on the lefty starters. That’s exactly why the Tigers have given them such trouble this year.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:46 am
  • Sam, how is it indicative of nothing? The winning percentage of them on the team, and not on the team, man. How else could one accurately depict the difference of the two scenarios than to look at the outcomes from each situation?
    “ifs” play a very small role in baseball other than to dampen the pain of what actually is. “if this” and “if that” are huge statements, Sam. Ones that nobody here can make with any certainty whatsoever.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 10:51 am
  • A YF, what does the field of statistics say about individuals who have run-ins with a wide variety of people with diverse worldviews and communications styles? Is it more likely that the problem lies with the large diverse group or with the individual?
    On the substantive matter, Jorge and A-Rod are big missing pieces but the over-riding factor in poor Yankee performance is lack of quality starting pitching. At no time this season (as young as it still is) have we had more than 3/5s of a quality rotation and at times it has been more like 2/5s.
    The night after a 2-1 loss it is tempting to focus on the offense which has underperformed for sure, but our starting pitching is our biggest and likely most enduring problem for this season.
    As for Cano John, I still can’t throw the guy under the bus even after 6 weeks of terrible offense. I think his current numbers are more of a fluke than are his averages over each of the past 3 years. But yeah, I am sick of seeing him suck this year too.

    IronHorse (yf) May 14, 2008, 10:54 am
  • Simple question:
    How many more wins do the Yankees have with Alex and Jorge healthy?
    1 = .500
    2 = 2.5 games back (as Sam notes, same place they were when Alex got hurt)
    3 = 1.5 back (this seems reasonable)
    4 = .5 (this seems even more reasonable)
    They’re 4-8 against the Tigers and Indians. Both feature two lefty starters.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 10:56 am
  • Simple answer:
    There is no way to ever know that.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 10:57 am
  • No one knows how ARod or Hip-Hip would have hit over the last 13 games or so. Maybe they would have gotten hot…everyone knows ARod could rip off 5 HR’s and 10 RBI’s in that timeframe easily. Not to even mention what Jorge could do. When people say injuries aren’t excuses for losing, I completely disagree. Depending on who it is, how long they are out and what position they play…it makes a HUGE difference. How can anyone say the pitching injuries last year didn’t contribute to the hole they were in? How many rookies started games?
    This year, they haven’t looked great…obviously, even before the injuries. But unless I’m mistaken, we were a game over .500 when ARod went out. We were what, 8 games under .500 or something stupid last year at that time? The bats have been pretty quiet this year and having the best bat in baseball history out for three weeks definitely has an effect on run production…again, not even mentioning Jorge’s ability to get the big hits.
    Good old Brad…gotta love ’em.

    krueg May 14, 2008, 10:58 am
  • I love when folks start shit then fail to do the basic research to back up their claims.
    The Yankee pitchers have allowed 173 runs. That’s better than:
    Angels (185)
    Red Sox (187)
    Seattle (194)
    Tigers (212)
    Rangers (225)
    Pitching, while not great, hasn’t been the problem. Indeed, if it stayed constant and they led the league in runs scored (as they were supposed to), they’d have the best record in baseball.
    It’s really that simple.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 11:02 am
  • everyone knows ARod could rip off 5 HR’s and 10 RBI’s in that timeframe easily..
    Everyone also knows that he could have gone 4 for 30 in the same time frame, but I guess the only real guess is the one you want to make.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 11:03 am
  • Because Brad, its really oversimplistic to just say they were a .500 team before they went on the DL and a .500 team now. You are basing your argument on a very small sample size of 25 games or so. Players like Cano and Damon have started hitting since then but it hasnt been enough to get them over the hump. Having them in the lineup alone allows other hitters to see better pitches.
    Im not arguing that missing them is the only reason we arent a better team right now but I do think that you are underestimating the effect of their loss. Ill also reiterate my point that just because Posada went on the DL on a specific day, that doesnt mean that he was all good prior to that. The last week that Alex played he was at 75% too. I dont want to sit here and make excuses. The rest of the team needs to carry it when key players go down. But the loss of Arod and Posada has been greatly detrimental to the yankees. How could it not be?

    Sam-YF May 14, 2008, 11:04 am
  • Actually, Jorge has played in 18 games this year. And we know we wasn’t healthy for at least the last five of those. So maybe 12-14 games of 40 they’ve had a complete team.
    If you had asked me, for each of the last four years, who’s the most valuable Yankee, I would have said Jorge. The guy has been simply irreplaceable. They’re very lucky he hasn’t been hurt before.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 11:09 am
  • Apologies in advance if this is a topic I shouldn’t be touching, but I feel the need to poke things with the statistics stick.
    A-YF:
    Really? A DH who consistently finishes in the top 5 of MVP voting isn’t valuable relative to replacement level? A hitter who’s been one of the greatest right-handed hitters in the entire game of baseball for a decade isn’t valuable because he doesn’t play a very good left field? Honestly, A-Rod is a good third baseman, but not a great one – his value is mostly in his absurd offensive talent, and Posada’s fine for a catcher but his real value is in his offense as well. I think Manny and Ortiz are very much the right comparisons to make, at least in regard to last year’s Yankees team (when Posada had his ungodly fluke of a year).
    Also, extending your argument here, Barry Bonds wasn’t a very good fielder during the later part of his career in SF – was he not a valuable baseball player? (We are talking about a guy who had a VORP of ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE in 2001).
    Let’s look at some VORP numbers from 2004 on:
    2004, we have Ortiz at 17th in MLB (61.2), Manny at 18th (57.9), and A-Rod at 24th (52.3). Posada’s not around the top 30.
    2005: Big Papi is at 4th in all of MLB, with 75.8, Manny at 14th with 59.7, and A-Rod is 2nd with 91. No Posada.
    2006: Papi, 6th in MLB, 76.8, Manny is 12th at 66.1, A-Rod is 27th at 51.6. Still no Posada.
    2007: Here’s your year! A-Rod is first in MLB at 96.6, Papi is 4th at 86.2, Posada is 8th(!) at 73.4 – see why I called this a fluke year? – and Manny was injured a lot and is out of the top 30.
    Now, of the four players – Papi, Manny, A-Rod and Posada – I will happily admit that Alex Rodriguez has been the most valuable and will likely continue to be the most valuable, and losing him is a huge blow to the offense (although, as others have pointed out, there are plenty of others in the lineup who should be able to produce – he’s not carrying the team by himself, last April not included). Posada, on the other hand, is almost certainly not going to have a repeat of last year, where he had a career year in basically every offensive category in his mid-30s, which is effectively unheard of for a catcher, so even if he’s back and healthy you were still going to see some drop-off. My guess is that A-Rod probably would’ve helped a good deal more than Posada.

    Micah-SF May 14, 2008, 11:10 am
  • OK Brad, Im gonna apply your logic to a sox player lets see if everyone agrees with the results.
    Sox record when Lowell went on the DL: 4-5
    Sox record when Lowell was reactivated: 17-12
    Red Sox record with Lowell active: 11-11
    Red Sox record with lowell on DL: 13-17
    Ergo, the Sox are a much better team when Lowell is on the DL and they should DFA him immediately.

    Sam-YF May 14, 2008, 11:14 am
  • Sure Brad…but that’s my point, we don’t know since he is out. I would venture to guess that, based on his history, he would have contributed on the offensive side more so than Gonzalez, Ensberg or Meaty have at the very least. One or two runs here or there wins games and we would then have a slightly better record…would you disagree with that?
    If Varitek and Manny were out for a few weeks, it would be a pretty good excuse for losing some games in this YF’s opinion…
    P.S. Thanks for the tissues though bro! You’re always looking out for us YF’s!

    krueg May 14, 2008, 11:16 am
  • Micah – You’re missing my basic point. It’s not simply VORP in isolation. It’s VORP relative to replacement level. Molina and Ensberg are the very definition of replacement level. It’s much easier to find a decent bat for DH or LF than it is to find a decent 3B or C.
    The fact that Alex and Jorge give that production while fielding their positions goes to the very heart of their value. As a DH, Jorge is much less valuable. Same deal for Alex.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 11:17 am
  • The “record with them on and off the team” argument is both beset with flaws (it ignores the relative performance of the rest of the team) and practically the DEFINITION of small sample size right now, so it really shouldn’t be used for anything in this case.

    Micah-SF May 14, 2008, 11:19 am
  • Thank you for the sanity, Micah.
    Also, if the majority of your runs allowed are given up by two to three pitchers, thus giving yuor team no chance to win in those games, is that not a problem? Seems like that would be worse than allowing a slightly higher number of runs over a more evenly distributed pattern, where the offense actually has a chance to make up the deficit every game.
    Pitching is a problem for the Red Sox, too. But to say it’s not a problem for the Yankees is almost as laughable as arguing Jorge Posada is or has been more valuable than EITHER Manny Ramirez or David Ortiz over any significant sample size.

    Paul SF May 14, 2008, 11:23 am
  • A YF, 3 of the 5 teams you cite are the last placed teams in each of the AL’s 3 divisions. One – LA – is atop their division. What exactly did you prove?
    And what about the question on stats?? I need more edumication on that.

    IronHorse (yf) May 14, 2008, 11:24 am
  • Cross posted with A’s clarification, such as it is.

    Paul SF May 14, 2008, 11:24 am
  • Sam, I get your point, but in fairness, Lowell was replaced by a better player in Youk for most of the time, and “singles hitter” Casey went to first and did a fine job there (see above line) so the Red Sox didn’t replace Lowell with a much less talented player, the way NY did with A-Rod (though to be fair, everyone is a lower talent than him). I see your point though – all of them. It hurts to not have them, but there are other problems too.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 11:27 am
  • Micah: Jorge’s value behind the plate calling games is his best asset for the Yankees…so you calling him “fine” as a catcher is WAY off base. He only caught Moose for one game and BAM, now Moose is pitching must better. Can’t really think of a better example to refute you claims of Hip Hip’s value behind the plate…
    Varitek is the same way. He is a leader and runs the pitching staff. If he were out, your pitching staff would suffer greatly, no?
    I would disagree that Papi is one of the “greatest hitters of the last decade”…maybe the last 5 years?
    2000 Minnesota Twins .282 10 hr 63 rbis
    2001 ” .234 18 hr 48 rbis
    2002 ” .272 20 hr 75 rbis
    2003 Sox .288 31 hr 101 rbis
    you guys know the rest. Papi is mostly a recent creation of the Sox…not a all-time great as some would make him. The guy has become a beast, but he wasn’t always “Big Papi”. It’s tough to make a point based on a contrived sample size and not an entire resume…

    krueg May 14, 2008, 11:28 am
  • The Yankees seem to have a myriad of problems this year. They have been painful to watch. In terms of pitching, the Yankees clearly suffered from the Hughes/Kennedy scenario. If they had even split the games they started, you are looking at vast improvement. The Yankee hitting has been unattractive and untimely. Simple as that. They are what their record says they are.
    As far as the idea about Red Sox fans making excuses, while it might lead it might lead to attention and a high thread count, it isn’t particularly interesting. Every fan would gripe if their team lost their good players. It isn’t making excuses. Teams are not as good without their best players.

    DR May 14, 2008, 11:30 am
  • A YF:
    True – but when it comes to extremes, those get hard to replace in any adequate fashion no matter what the position is. Manny and Papi have been those extremes – yes, it’s easier to plug guys in at LF and DH than it is at 3B and catcher, but when the players you’re replacing are that good, almost anyone’s going to be a crippling drop-off in production.
    It is an excellent point in regard to Posada in particular, though – the drop-off from Posada, even an aging one, to Molina, is enormous.
    The thing is, with the way the Yanks’ lineup is designed, there really haven’t been any holes when people are healthy – you guys have been able to do things like bat Cano 8th. Most lineups don’t have that luxury, so when they lose a couple of key guys, they’re losing the absolute keys to any run production they have – imagine the Padres without Adrian Gonzalez, the ONLY person on that team who’s hit this year. Yes, there are some pretty massive drop-offs, but the Yankees’ lineup should be able to suffer the addition of a couple of holes at the bottom a bit better than it has.
    I do think this is one place that the Red Sox have done a good job acquiring some flexibility, though – the fact that Youk can play great defense at both 1st and 3rd and having Coco as a fourth outfielder lets us do a lot of stuff to hide holes when people are out. Catcher is the biggest one – Tek isn’t as good as he used to be, but he’s still a damn sight better than Cash.

    Micah-SF May 14, 2008, 11:31 am
  • Hank needs to get us some more players – by force! We didn’t need to trade for Santana. We are simply going to kidnap him and bring him to The Bronx. You got a problem with that?!

    DR May 14, 2008, 11:32 am
  • Paul, on runs volatility, I think debatably volatility actually gives more value, though that’s opposed to consistently bad..

    Lar May 14, 2008, 11:33 am
  • > if the majority of your runs allowed are given up by two to three pitchers
    I was just about to say as long as we are having an “angels on the head of a pin” conversation, I ponder what the Yankees’ record would be with a league-average starter throwing instead of Hughes/Kennedy in each of their starts. It is quite likely to be of greater impact than the every-day play of Rodriguez and Posada, but still hypothetical, which brings me to the salient, provable point that the bullpen has been a (surprise) blessing this season.

    attackgerbil May 14, 2008, 11:34 am
  • Tek isn’t as good as he used to be, but he’s still a damn sight better than Cash.
    Although, ironically, that’s actually not been true these last two months. Maybe Dave Magaden is a hitting genius who turned Cash from a career .200 hitter to something much better, but I’m still awaiting that ugly regression.

    Paul SF May 14, 2008, 11:35 am
  • DR: your first post is right on. Losing your best players hurts your chances of winning. Not an excuse…fact.

    krueg May 14, 2008, 11:36 am
  • What’s laughable is trollish behavior from another mod. How about adding something on-topic?
    The Yankees were supposed to have a top of the league offense. Right now, that failure means much more than a pitching staff that has had a few growing pains. Indeed, just giving the Yankee offense top 3 status puts them in first place. Giving them the best offense marks them as the best team in baseball. All that without one iota of improvement from the pitching.
    The problem is offense – plain and simple. Missing perhaps the two best bats at their positions will do that to you.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 11:36 am
  • He only caught Moose for one game and BAM..
    What about all those times he did so in the last two years?

    Brad May 14, 2008, 11:36 am
  • I wanted Ensberg only after Casey was shot down. Having Casey gives us a more consistent hitter and better defender than Duncan or Giambi. In hindsight its a move they should have made. Also having Casey only cuts into Giambi’s PT no one else. Keep trotting him out though simply because he makes Xmillion per.
    To bring this all back full circle, stats aside, this team is good enough to win without (short term) AR and JP. Baseball isn’t basketball, you can win games when your Lebron or Kobe goes down. Its a team game and too many members of this team are underachieving.

    John - YF May 14, 2008, 11:37 am
  • Someone mentioned the 4MM tix sold. At what point do ticket sales slow down as the team continues to underperform? Also, what is the public’s tolerance for pain when it comes to the Yanks’ total greed on ticket prices? Watching the club flounder in Tampa has to play a role in this. Even the Kays and Sterlings must be getting sick of the lack of performance.

    Yankeefan L May 14, 2008, 11:38 am
  • kreug: If you’ll note, I said ‘one of the greatest right-handed hitters in the game over the last ten years’. I was referring to Manny. ;)
    I actually greatly disagree about the greatest value being behind the plate. I think it does play a part – yes, the Red Sox staff swears by Jason Varitek and His Amazing Powers – but I really don’t think the mythical “gamecalling” ability contributes anywhere near as much as people think it does to actual on-field results. Posada’s greatest value to the Yankees has been his above-average to amazing offensive production from a position (catcher) that tends to be weak offensively. Period.
    Varitek is, honestly, the same way. I love the Captain to death, but his production has dropped in recent years and he is definitely no longer as valuable as he was, except in the sense that we have absolutely no good replacement ready for him.

    Micah-SF May 14, 2008, 11:38 am
  • Um Brad…Jorge didn’t catch Moose in the past. They didn’t get along…Fasano, Nieves and Molina have been catching him from recent memory. Thanks for playing though.

    krueg May 14, 2008, 11:40 am
  • Micah: sorry about that…i missed that! Can’t mess with Manny…
    I see where you are coming from…i am one of those who believe in the “magic” of gamecalling. I’ll take the word of the players on that one.
    Jorge had a ridulous year offensively last year, but that wasn’t the norm from him. Hes gotten big hits, but wasn’t a “force”, you know?

    krueg May 14, 2008, 11:43 am
  • So, Jorge hasn’t caught Mussina at all? Because I was fully aware of the cathcer switch, I was just refuting the idea that it only took one start..and BAM.
    Thanks for being you, Kreug.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 11:43 am
  • Sorry, but a 127 OPS+ from Giambi would not be topped by a singles hitter in Casey and especially not with him playing full-time. Defense is the last thing you need at 1B. Indeed, that’s why the worst defenders play there (or don’t – see Papi).
    To put it another way:
    Yankees are scoring, on average, 4.23 runs per game.
    Yankee pitchers are giving up 4.33 runs per game.
    In 2007:
    They scored, on average, 5.98 runs per game.
    They gave up, on average, 4.80 runs per game.
    It’s very obvious where their problem has been this year. And that ain’t pitching.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 11:44 am
  • Brad: it’s K-R-U-E-G bro..come on, you’re better than that.
    Yes, Jorge did catch Moose years ago when he first came over and Moose was still good. But they weren’t on the same page for whatever reason and Moose has had “personal” catchers aka Wakefield since…can’t recall exactly when that happened but it was a few years ago…

    krueg May 14, 2008, 11:46 am
  • P.S. I’m glad this debate is raging because i don’t have much to do at work today!!!

    krueg May 14, 2008, 11:47 am
  • how many were catchup games? How many runs have the starters given up v. the bullpen? I’d guess that a solid 80% of the runs allowed have been in that first four innings, because of late, the Yankee bullpen seems to do much more good than harm. I could be wrong though. I’ll look it up.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 11:48 am
  • Micah – You’re still misinterpreting what I’m saying. Jorge’s value isn’t that he plays behind the plate. It’s that he gives that offense WHILE playing behind the plate. The drop-off to other catchers is so steep, that’s what makes him so valuable. That’s VORP – value over replacement level. The replacement level for catchers is so low that a guy who can give a very good bat soon becomes irreplaceable. That’s Jorge. Molina is the replacement level – and even then he’s one of the better backups in the game. I shudder to think if Nieves or Fasano were still on the team.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 11:49 am
  • K-R-U-E-G
    Me either. It’s dead here. I’m actually thinking about leaving and doing some fishing and taking advantage of the 80’s that it has FINALLY reached outside.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 11:55 am
  • Wang – 59IP
    Mussina – 43IP
    Pettitte – 47IP
    IPK – 23IP
    HUghes – 22IP
    Rasner – 12IP
    Igawa – 4IP
    Other – 7IP
    Thats 217. Overall, Yankee pitching has gone 350. Wanna take a stab at where the a huge percentage of the runs allowed came from? Starters are averaging just under 5IP as a group, so the Yankee bullpen as been phenomenal overall. I’d say pitching has been a slight problem. That’s just me, I guess. Without Wang, these numbers are just horrible.
    Saying that pitching (starting pitching anyhow) hasn’t been an issue with NY ignores they have put up as a unit.
    Starters have allowed 129 runs between them averaging 5IP. Next is Hawkins and some guys that are not staple bullpen guys. Those top three bullpen guys for NY have saved them quite a bit, and made those numbers look much better than they really are in comparison to the overall pitching statistics.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 11:57 am
  • Yankeefan L –
    The Yanks picked the perfect time to try rebuilding with youth. They’re going to sell the tickets this year and next year no matter how they perform on the field. The 4 million tickets this year are what’s already been sold. Since there are no refunds, there ain’t nothing changing that.
    After the shine wears off the new place next year, I suppose they could see some drop in 2010. But by then they will have chopped about 80 million in salary while increasing revenues. After 2010 another 25 million comes off the books.
    It’s hard to imagine the Yanks going into a tailspin where attendance starts to suffer. They’re developing the farm while increasing revenues and payroll flexibility to sign whoever they want (Sabathia, Darvish, Teixeira). I’m all for growing pains if that’s what it takes for the next dynasty.
    By contrast, look at the Mets. They’ve emptied their farm and maxed their payroll. They’ll have increased revenue but a much smaller window to capitalize.

    A YF May 14, 2008, 11:58 am
  • Let’s keep it simple for Brad:
    2007 to 2008:
    Runs scored: 5.98 to 4.23 = -1.75
    Runs allowed: 4.80 to 4.33 = -0.47
    Let’s see. They’re scoring almost 2 runs fewer per game. They’re giving up about .5 runs fewer per game.
    Explain to me again how pitching is the problem?

    A YF May 14, 2008, 12:03 pm
  • I already did.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 12:03 pm
  • A YF: Actually, from your comparative stats to 2007 it appears both pitching and batting are a problem this year. My argument is that the former is more likely to be the the more enduring problem for the team this year. I expect the bats to come around.
    There are 4 AL teams with a worse team ERA than NY – and 3 of those teams are in last place in their respective divisions.
    And even that stat blurs the starting and bullpen pitching stats as you so cleverly did with the team pitching evidence you presented. I explicitly referenced the starting rotation as the primary problem – and if you look at how the Yankees rank in starting pitching the picture is even gloomier. The Yankees starting pitching ranks second to dead-last in the AL to the Detroit Tigers in starting pitching ERA.
    And frankly it would almost certainly be even worse if we had held on to Kennedy and not brought up Rasner as some so forcefully argued here.
    What was that about not backing things up A YF?

    IronHorse (yf) May 14, 2008, 12:06 pm
  • Brad: where do you live bro? it isn’t even the 80’s here in Memphis yet…which I dig after spending 7 hot years in Tampa!
    I like A YF is saying that comparitively speaking, Yankee starters have actually been better this year than in years past…statistically speaking. Which is amazing considering how BAD our #4 and #5 starters have been. Of course, our pitching has been bad for years so ANY improvement, no matter how small is an achievement. Now, add in the additional runs that ARod and Hip Hip MAY have added to the scorelines and we would PROBABLY have more wins. All hypothetically speaking of course but it makes sense to me…
    Correct me if I am wrong A YF?

    krueg May 14, 2008, 12:06 pm
  • Yeah, because I can’t really undertand all the big numbers, A. They really confuse me sometimes.
    I tend to look at what caused the results, not the results themselves. Are the Yankee bats in a funk because they’re always down in games early? Are they pressing? I’m just throwing it out there, man. I could be wrong, but if playoffs started tomorrow, would you be more worried about starting pitching, or hitting?

    Brad May 14, 2008, 12:07 pm
  • IH- but you guys seem to be totally ignoring the lack of scoring? Scoring is down and ERA is about the same. With all things being equal, offense would be the logical culprit…Our pitching is always bad!

    krueg May 14, 2008, 12:08 pm
  • On a completely different topic, who wants to bet the Sox don’t re-sign Varitek?

    A YF May 14, 2008, 12:09 pm
  • krueg – I just realized I spelled your name wrong too, sorry about that.
    A YF: I understand that and I did address it. My point is, even compared to other catchers, his VORP has not – except last year – been up the level you seem to think it has been. The VORP statistic is position-based – it is value over replacement at your position.
    Again, Posada:
    2007: 73.4. This is the one and only year where he has been quite as irreplaceable as you are painting him as.
    2006: 38.
    2005: 26.4.
    2004: 41.7.
    Yes, Posada has been one of the best catchers in baseball for a long time – but he has not been as valuable, relative to his position, as either Manny or Ortiz except for 2007. Even though those two play left field and DH (yes, Ortiz’s VORP numbers on the last page are actually calculated relative to a replacement-level DH).
    Also, in regard to the bullpen stuff, Brad does bring up one very good point – the fact that your starters are averaging 5 IP is a glaring red flag and can be the cause of some seriously damaged bullpen arms later in the year. Yes, they’re doing a pretty good job surviving it right now – but that may not last. Offense is the biggest problem right now, but to ignore pitching is dangerous, despite how nice the 4.33 runs allowed average looks right now.

    Micah-SF May 14, 2008, 12:09 pm
  • Brad: both…unless Hank “forces” some changes! I would prefer letting baseball people make those decisions but we live and die by the Steinbrenners though thick and thin…

    krueg May 14, 2008, 12:09 pm
  • Micah: it’s cool…i was just being a dick to Brad!

    krueg May 14, 2008, 12:10 pm
  • ha.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 12:12 pm
  • Exactly, krueg.
    I’ll put it this way: If the Yanks don’t start hitting, they won’t be making the playoffs. The offense was supposed to carry the pitching through the growing pains. It hasn’t. Not even close.
    Gotta run. My wife wants some offense. Have a great day every one!

    A YF May 14, 2008, 12:14 pm
  • New Haven, Krueg. It’s been cold lately, but today is absolutely gorgeous, so I’m headed home, getting my boat, and heading to the lake to do some fishing.
    Have a great day, everyone.

    Brad May 14, 2008, 12:20 pm
  • Kreug:
    “…but you guys seem to be totally ignoring the lack of scoring?”
    My original comment on this thread stated that the offense has “underperformed for sure” but that the pitching is the primary and likely most enduring problem this season.
    Kreug:
    “…but you guys seem to be totally ignoring the lack of scoring?”
    My original comment on this thread stated that the offense has “underperformed for sure” but that the pitching is the primary and likely msot enduring problem this season.
    AYF’s abrupt change of topic and then escape seems to signal that he now agrees…
    Bottom of the barrel in starting pitching in the league is a much bigger issue than offense is or is likely to be going forward.

    IronHorse (yf) May 14, 2008, 12:20 pm
  • oops. sorry for dble post.

    IronHorse (yf) May 14, 2008, 12:21 pm
  • The Yankees are an offensive team…offense gets us through the regular season. Pitching isn’t a real problem until the playoffs…usually. Maybe this is the year it catches up with us? The Sox had a throw-away year in 2005. Granted it was after a championship and the “series-which-shall-not-be-named” but I think most SF’s would agree the 2007 team was better than the 2004 team? Maybe we need a year to regroup…of course Hank won’t let that happen.

    krueg May 14, 2008, 12:22 pm
  • IH- our pitching is always bottom of the barrel. I agree its a problem but it’s an all-to-familiar one, right? If the offense doesn’t come around…we are totally finished. ARod and Jorge being out is contributing to it…that cannot be denied. If those guys come back and go off, we’ll be OK…like always being that the numbers, so far, in the pitching department are better than last year.

    krueg May 14, 2008, 12:27 pm
  • Brad: Catch some monsters…and whatever you do, don’t lose your favorite Sox hat in the lake!! ;)

    krueg May 14, 2008, 12:29 pm
  • Comparing runs 2007 vs. 2008 is not informative at all because offense is always be depressed at the beginning of a season. Pitchers are more advanced than hitters in preparation and it’s cold.
    So naturally the Yankees will be scoring fewer runs and allowing fewer runs than in the totality of last season — the league ERAs are lower, too. You need to account for the change in conditions.
    Yanks’ OPS+, 2007: 118
    Yanks’ OPS+, 2008: 104
    Yanks’ ERA+, 2007: 99
    Yanks’ ERA+, 2008: 95
    Not as big of a gap as A makes out. I don’t think anyone here is questioning that the Yanks’ offense remains the principal concern. But pitching hasn’t helped — and when your pitching stats are skewed by a terrific bullpen, that gap narrows even more. What good is not allowing any runs after the sixth when you’re starter allowed seven through five?

    Paul SF May 14, 2008, 1:38 pm
  • Ick. Your/you’re error.

    Paul SF May 14, 2008, 1:39 pm
  • Buchholz to DL according to the post.

    Sam-YF May 14, 2008, 2:22 pm
  • Then you just need to score 8 runs in those games…which is possible with our offense when it is humming.

    krueg May 14, 2008, 2:34 pm
  • I don’t get Ellsbury in RF and someone I’ve never heard of in center… Sorry to go off on a tangent but there’s no game thread.

    rootbeerfloat May 14, 2008, 3:09 pm
  • It’s very obvious where their problem has been this year. And that ain’t pitching.
    Wait, teams can’t have more than one problem!? As I see it, the Sox have several problems (erratic starting, a terrible bridge in the bullpen, a few scattered injuries – Lowell, now Drew, and, of course, a certain shortstop who is dead to me – though that’s not an injury just a lack of ability…) even as they are several games above .500. I think the Yankees have a few problems as well. It’s crazy to argue that Hughes and Kennedy weren’t major contributors to the first quarter doldrums, just as Cano has been. I don’t understand why it’s all or nothing, either offense or defense. Why can’t there be issues with both of these things?

    SF May 14, 2008, 4:22 pm
  • SF: I guess the argument is which problem is bigger? Just debate for debates sake?

    krueg May 15, 2008, 2:41 pm

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