Dear Offense,

We miss you. We’d love to see your shadow on our doorstep.

Pitching ain’t the issue. The big three in Moose, Pettitte, and Joba are going great guns. Heck, even Ponson is carrying his not insubstantial weight. Get healthy, Chien-Ming. And the pen is, for the most part, brilliant.

But where’s the beef? Throwing out the 18-plate nuke-strike launched against Texas, the run line in the last eleven reads 3, 1, 1, 2, 0, 4, 2, 5, 5, 2, 2. Twenty-seven runs in eleven games. The worst part is that with a couple key pieces in the form of Damon and Matsui legitimately injured and Posada on DH rehab, the situation may well not improve in the near future, by which point it will be too late.

The Yankees offense is not dismal. It’s merely the very definition of average, which for some reason feels even worse. Didn’t see that coming.

49 comments… add one
  • “But where’s the beef?”
    On the DL?
    An average staff plus an average offense = An average team.
    Except they’re a bit better than average. Hard to complain when two guys getting their coffee are replacing two guys with an OPS+ of 130. Even harder when the former aren’t named Terrence Long and Miguel Cairo.
    I can (mostly) deal with a rebuilding year especially one riddled with injuries. It sucks but they’re following the right philosophy. It will pay off soon enough. We still have at least a month or two of meaningful baseball. Then it’s time to say goodbye to the mothership.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 7:39 am
  • The Yankees offense is not dismal. It’s merely the very definition of average, which for some reason feels even worse. Didn’t see that coming.
    Yeah, the Yankees offense usually starts off slowly but then kicks it into gear hardcore-style. This offense, however, really is average. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve any time soon.
    Next year is going to be VERY interesting. The Yanks are going to get good pitching (CC and maybe Sheets) but what offense is available? Texiera and Dunn seem like the best options, but after that things get pretty slim.

    Atheose July 11, 2008, 10:03 am
  • Here’s my problem with the whole “rebuilding” year:
    (This is not an attack on you or your words A, just my thoughts)
    The Yankees are too good, too rich and have too much experience to just chalk it up to rebuilding. They also have too many veterans on this team to sit back and wait for youth to contribute. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that the farm system is starting to pay dividends, but that doesn’t mean we stop making moves that can help us now. It doesn’t have to be so black and white. We don’t have to purge the farm system (Mets or 80’s/90’s Yankee style) but we can certainly move a few pieces for players that can help them win now. Posada, Jeter, Alex, Damon, Abreu, Moose, AP, MO, etc…those guys love the young players and having the youth on the team I am sure, but I think they know where they stand in their careers. The window of opportunity is closing (on them.) They don’t have the luxury of being able to wait for Melancon, AJax, Tabata, etc…to be able to contribute. There has to be a happy medium. Target teams that are out of the race and have soon to be FA’s. I understand Cash doesn’t want to “Pay Twice” and respect that. There just needs to be a happy medium, that’s all.
    Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t the Red Sox both rebuilding and winning at the same time? You can do both, as they have showed. I don’t mean to come off as an entitled Yankee fan, but these core guys have done so much for this franchise, it would be nice to see them get another shot.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 10:31 am
  • “Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t the Red Sox both rebuilding and winning at the same time?”
    True, but there was the case of 2006 when they struggled.

    Nick-YF July 11, 2008, 10:38 am
  • Ath, usually you and I agree but I have to break that cycle here.
    “This offense, however, really is average.”
    I don’t think that’s the case. I think they have been average, but they have the potential to be above average. I will say that right now Melky is awful. In an ideal, injury free world BG would be in CF and Damon/Matsui in LF. But unfortunately that can’t happen right now. Abreu, DJ and Cano have all somewhat underachieved, eventually you would think that would change. Something will click (like happened with JD) there is too much talent there. Add in Posada and Alex and you really have the makings of an offense that is far better than average. They key word is “makings.”

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 10:39 am
  • Again, not to come off as “entitled” but every year since 2000 has seemed to be a struggle for the Yankees.
    I know in the end we are headed down the right path and I do not support the slash and burn treatment of the farm system, I am just looking for that middle ground.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 10:52 am
  • Of anything in the sport, offense is supposed to be the most projectable from one year to the next. That’s why PECOTA had the Yankees doing so well this year (i.e., people who know something deemed it decidedly not average). What offense they were going to lose, it would be mostly replaced due to random variation with slight regression due to age.
    BABIP: 2008 vs. Career
    Posd: .339 – .320 = +.019
    Giam: .243 – .302 = -.059
    Cano: .256 – .320 = -.064
    Jetr: .319 – .359 = -.040
    Arod: .330 – .322 = +.008
    Abru: .314 – .347 = -.033
    Melk: .260 – .291 = -.031
    DL:
    Mats: .346 – .310 = +.036
    Damo: .357 – .308 = +.049
    On the whole, it’s obvious that they’re suffering from the loss of their two hottest hitters. With them included, the starting lineup’s BABIP is down 12 points. Take them out, as now, and it’s down 22 points.
    Furthermore look at the distribution. Of the nine, you have two hot hitters (again, both on the DL), two at about what you’d expect, and five *way* below where you’d expect them to be. So half the lineup just isn’t putting the ball in play they way you could normally expect from their histories. The one anomaly in there – Giambi – is likely due to the increased use of the shift against him. And even with his production, they can’t be expected to overcome the loss of Damon and Matsui and the cold production of four full-time hitters.
    As the sample size increases on the season, BABIP should revert closer to career norms – at least team wide. Some guys will have better seasons, some will have worse. But overall the offense should stay pretty constant. If it doesn’t, and the time is rapidly diminishing for it to recover, it’s anyone’s guess as to why. What makes it such an interesting example is that the players and stadium are identical. There is not one new starter from last year.
    If I had to guess, I’d say the offense is mostly pressing. They’re simply not taking good approaches to the at-bats. Last night’s 6 pitch 8th inning is a perfect example.
    The best jolt to the system could be a new batting coach. I don’t believe these things have that much of a difference, but in this case it’s one move with little to lose and perhaps a playoff spot to gain. With offense down across board – AVG, OBP, SLG – there’s plenty to improve.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 11:10 am
  • John feel free to disagree. I’m happy to have a back and forth and without the ad hominem that often accompanies disagreement here.
    “Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t the Red Sox both rebuilding and winning at the same time?”
    What was 2006 for them?
    “Again, not to come off as “entitled” but every year since 2000 has seemed to be a struggle for the Yankees.”
    How many other teams have made the playoffs every one of those years? We all know it was because of the pitching they didn’t go further. They’re addressing that in the best possible way now – through youth and free agents.
    Indeed, how many top-flight free agent pitchers have come to market in the last six years?
    I can’t think of any. Maybe Dice-K but then his performance, overall (i.e., both seasons) hasn’t been that of the ace we all heard about. To dismiss last year is to selectively sample. In other words, the book is still out on him.
    Othwerwise, who could they have signed? Zito?
    So they’ve been doing what they could do – build from within and without trading away any talent (cause they’ve already gotten burned there- Weaver, Vazquez, Unit). Then wait to pounce when the offerings in the free agent market are good.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 11:21 am
  • As long as they “Pounce” I am fine with that strategy. I am concerned that Cash is being too passive though and too focused on keeping the farm system whole. He is a brilliant man, I know, but I would like to see a move that shows we aren’t too extreme.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 11:27 am
  • On further review, Dice-K just seems to be luckier this year. His WHIP is a tad worse (1.37 vs. 1.32) and his K:BB is alot worse (70:52 vs. 201:80). If you dig deeper, you see he actually *is* luckier:
    BABIP –
    2007 – .306
    2008 – .247
    So let me amend myself: Which top-flight pitcher has been available for only money over the last 8 years? Dice-K need not apply.
    Otherwise, they tried the trade route. And every trade looked very good at the time. Weaver looked like he was about to peak. Vazquez ever more so (and they could have had Schilling with the same package). Unit looked ageless in Arizona. I find no fault with the current approach to move away from that strategy. It took Hanley to get Beckett (and they got very lucky on Lowell). Haren cost alot to. I’d much rather hold onto youth then wait for a CC and/or Webb to hit free agency. It looks like the Yankee front office agrees.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 11:31 am
  • BABIP – that’s a good overall metric to use as a first glance, but how are they getting there? Is Jeter for instance hitting more ground balls vs. Line drives? the details behind it may get you a little more insight.

    dw (sf) July 11, 2008, 11:33 am
  • “He is a brilliant man, I know, but I would like to see a move that shows we aren’t too extreme.”
    I’m sorry, but I don’t think you can plan for world championships. All you can do is put your team in a position to get there.
    For as much as I agree with you as a fan, rationally I think Cashman has finally figured it out. To his credit, he’s been willing to learn from his mistakes even as he’s done a fine job of getting them into position to succeed. The Gagne non-trade is another great example of what can go wrong.
    Look, lots of credit to the Sox for what they’ve recently accomplished. But to be honest – some big things broke their way like Schilling, Papi, Lowell and even Youkilis. The performance they got from those guys far exceeded expectations – just like Brosius. O’Neill, and El Duque. That’s what you need and I don’t see how you can build or plan for it. The difference is so small in the post-season that luck is all the difference in the world.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 11:38 am
  • In terms of WHIP vs ERA, Daisuke has been very lucky both last year and this year. However, this could also mean he pitches much better from the stretch as opposed to the windup. There are plenty of pitches throughout history that had large WHIP’s but kept runs low. Bob Feller and Chien-Ming Wang are two that immediately come to mind.

    Atheose July 11, 2008, 11:51 am
  • Again, not to come off as “entitled” but every year since 2000 has seemed to be a struggle for the Yankees.
    I have a bit of a hard time with this statement. Yeah, it comes off as entitled. They’ve won the division seven of those eight years. “Struggle” is relative. Tell this to a Royals fan, or a Mariners fan, or a Cubs fan for that matter. The Yankees have only struggled on relative terms and in relation to your own expectations and, yes, sense of entitlement. Sox fans are now in the same boat, there is an expectation that they will win, win big, and that because of their financial clout this is a given. But it isn’t the case. Baseball seasons, almost by default (and as a coach you darn well know), are “struggles”, but I think you are saying something different, you aren’t talking about the general grind that all athletes on every team go through. Seasons are long, injury-filled, stressful at times. But it’s all relative. There is no guarantee of success, and though the Sox and Yankees both spend out the wazoo (and therefore set expectations quite high) our teams are at the mercy of regression, injury, and also the weather. But both of our fanbases have a massive leg up, and to observe about how the last few years have been “struggles” is, to me, a bit insensitive to the fact that we are g*ddamned lucky to root for these deep-pocketed teams owned by guys who don’t mind spending the money. For all of the silliness that comes out of the mouths of Lucky Lucchino and Hank, these guys are part of teams that pony up money (our own, recycled, sure, I am not naive) to keep their teams competitive.
    The Yankees haven’t struggled, in the grand scheme of things, at all. That doesn’t mean they haven’t worked incredibly hard (struggled?) to accomplish what they’ve accomplished. This year, which is by no means over for the Yankees in any way, has been tougher than the previous, but again it is all relative. I don’t think that 13 division titles and four championships, a couple of failed World Series appearances and an ALCS appearance over the past decade+ qualify as “struggling”, even if the individual seasons themselves offer moments of frustration and disappointment: that’s just the game itself.
    Sorry if this comes off a bit pedantic, but though I complain about the Sox’ in-season efforts at times, I do thank my lucky stars almost every day that I root for a team that isn’t owned by the Yawkey Trust, that spends with some responsibility and generosity, and focuses, for the most part, on winning. The Yankees do exactly the same thing. I can’t find myself complaining about much of anything except a certain shortstop or a bullpen, and that’s just baseball. We are all more than entitled to complain about that part of the sport, without a doubt.

    SF July 11, 2008, 11:52 am
  • “However, this could also mean he pitches much better from the stretch as opposed to the windup.”
    Sure, you could invent any reason you want but it should at least fit the facts.
    Last year his BABIP was about where it should have been. This year it’s *sixty* points lower. Unless he learned some voodoo magic over the winter to control the path of the ball once it’s been hit, then I don’t see how that’s possible.
    One interesting example is Brian Bannister of the Royals. He knew over the winter that he had gotten lucky with BABIP in 2007 (about 30 points lower than it should have been) and made comments accordingly about how he was going try to prove BABIP wrong. Guess what happened? His BABIP regressed to the norm, and combined with slightly more men on base (WHIP at Dice-K’s level) he’s a below average pitcher this year.
    Dice-K appears to be a league average starter. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s just not an ace. His K:BB shows that even more clearly.
    Gotta run to reality.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 11:58 am
  • Reminds me of me, pre-2004. Every time something started to smell sour I’d need counseling.
    You guys will be fine. You (almost) always are.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 11, 2008, 12:05 pm
  • They’ve won the division seven of those eight years. “Struggle” is relative.
    SF, I just have been more clear. Struggle in the sense of there was no season where I can sit back and feel real confident, a la the Sox 2007. There was a comfort level in the 90’s, the Yankees were the best team. Since then while they have continued to win, they just haven’t had the pitching or all around team to be considered the best. I don’t expect a slam dunk feeling, but the 2002-2007 teams were all missing pieces necessary to win a title. Difficult to put into words, especially when I am in a rush. I will try and clarify more later.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 12:18 pm
  • Not making the playoffs should not be an option for this team and it really pisses me off. Injuries or no injuries, this team is good enough. I don’t even think we can blame it on the pitching. All things considered, our pitching staff has done a hell of a job in my opinion. It’s the damn offense. Melky is a black hole, he can’t even bunt. Cano is turning it around it seems which will help. Fat, sorry-ass Abreu REALLY needs to step up. #2 will be hitting .300 by the end of the season. I blame Abreu for all our ills.
    unrelated note:
    Can anyone explain to me why the game last night didn’t start where the original left off??? I was bowling and didn’t see the game and was wondering…(glad I missed it actually)

    krueg July 11, 2008, 12:28 pm
  • SF: I wish more Sox fans I’ve crossed paths with were like you.

    krueg July 11, 2008, 12:31 pm
  • Krueg:
    I think there is something of a generation gap, or at least a “what age were you when the Sox lost to the Red in ’75, the Yankees in ’78, and the Mets in ’86” factor. For me, I was 7, 10, and 18 years old. I was 35 in 2003 when Grady did his thing. Someone like Paul I think may have been a blastocyst in 1978, perhaps as old as I was in 1975 when Mookie knocked one through Buckner. Not that Paul and I are that different, but Paul certainly has a different kind of perspective on the Sox than I do, and it shows up in the game threads where I am, at times, cynical as all hell. I have changed, for sure, but there is certainly the old Sox fan still in me, never going to go away fully. Many Sox fans younger than Paul maybe know about the Sox’ travails through anecdote and an oral/visual history, but experience trumps that, in curmudgeon’s terms, and now some kids have “grown up” with a Sox team that has been more successful (champions!) than not. This is something I did not experience. There are many different types of Sox fans, and I think if you hang around a lot of 15-30 year old Sox fans you’d think that the overall “nation” was one thing, if you hung around Sox fans 30-70 you’d see something very, very different. In the end, our common trait is that history, the team, and the shared experiences. For me (and to paraphrase John) rooting for the Sox (at least until mid-October 2004) was most definitely a struggle (they hadn’t won a title, they blew chances in excruciating fashion, and for the better part of my life their owners were greedy bastards for whom winning was a lucky benefit of their possession, not a goal), though still a lovable struggle. Now, there’s microcosmic struggle, not macrocosmic struggle. I welcome the change.

    SF July 11, 2008, 1:25 pm
  • I don’t expect a slam dunk feeling
    John, I understand the nuance of what you are trying to say, don’t mean to come off too hot here. But getting that “expect a slam dunk” feeling just doesn’t happen that often. I have to say this, even with the Patriots this year I didn’t have that feeling (I had it against the Eagles and the Panthers, though), and last year with the Sox, however strong they were I didn’t have it when the Rockies series started. I think there is one team that I felt that about, and that was the Yankees team that crushed the Padres — that series was a total foregone conclusion, such was the power of the Bombers that year. But otherwise, getting a “slam dunk” feeling, or believing that your team should more often than not give that to you is, at least from my standpoint, unrealistic. It is, to an extent, a sense of entitlement, to think that should occur with any kind of frequency.

    SF July 11, 2008, 1:29 pm
  • > Can anyone explain to me why the game last night didn’t start where the original left off?
    Obligatory response: ’cause that’s the rule. This would be a great time for “ump” to come visit us, but this is how I understand it:
    In the original game, the Yankees were leading 3-1 in the third when the game was delayed and eventually called because of rain.
    If a game is called after the first pitch but before 4.5 innings are booked if home is leading, or 5 innings if a game is tied or visitors are leading, the game isn’t official once the umpire calls “no game”. The stats for the game are discarded. If a game is stopped with the score tied after that point, the individual stats count but the game isn’t official and the game is replayed from the beginning. Otherwise the game is official and booked.
    I probably have one or more things wrong, but I think that’s the general gist.

    attackgerbil July 11, 2008, 1:36 pm
  • “Struggle in the sense of there was no season where I can sit back and feel real confident, a la the Sox 2007.”
    1998 didn’t do that for you, John? If anything I was overconfident by 2001, especially with Mo coming in. The last eight years have taught me to appreciate what what had. Indeed, no other team in the modern era can lay claim to the same level of sustained success.
    Worse for your comparison, I don’t think the Sox would have acquired Gagne had they been confident of their chances. That team had issues then Beckett pitched to the very best of his ability in the playoffs. Good for them. by contrast, Wang pitched to the very worst of his abilities during the playoffs. Bad for the good guys.
    “Injuries or no injuries, this team is good enough.”
    Sorry, but that’s a willful ignorance of reality. No other team could sustain the same losses and even sniff a playoff berth. It’s an excuse but it applies. Again, if you had told me on April their rotation today included Ponson and Rasner and their lineup Molina, Gardner, and Christian, I may have expected a third place team, but not one five back of the playoffs.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 1:44 pm
  • Along those lines, and I forget the situation or the player, somebody here will remember it.
    A few years ago, possibly longer, some player was reaching a HR milestone, which he reached in his first at bat in the game. In the 3rd inning it started raining and didn’t stop, the game was called, stats thrown out. So, his home run didn’t count. The only reason I remember this…
    They interviewed the poor fan that caught the now meaningless home run ball. The guy was crushed.
    Anyone remember this? It’s driving me nuts!

    LocklandSF July 11, 2008, 1:49 pm
  • One more thought on BABIP:
    Team wide – NYY:
    2008: .296 BABIP = .269 AVG .340 OBP .416 SLG
    2007: .318 BABIP = .290 AVG .366 OBP .463 SLG
    Team wide – BOS:
    2008: .315 BABIP = .282 AVG .355 OBP .450 SLG
    2007: .315 BABIP = .279 AVG .362 OBP .444 SLG
    At those samples sizes, BABIP doesn’t lie. The Yankee hitting struggles begin and end with BABIP. Problem is, explaning why.
    And notice how, because of random variation, losing one big bat (Ortiz) doesn’t anything?

    A YF July 11, 2008, 1:54 pm
  • they lost one big bat (Ortiz), but JD Drew posted higher numbers to kind of offset the slugging (notice OBP is down).
    Need to look at the underlying data- LD%, GB %, FB% and see where the differences are

    dw (sf) July 11, 2008, 2:04 pm
  • oh, lockland,
    It was A-Rod wasn’t it – suspended game with the O’s last year I think.

    dw (sf) July 11, 2008, 2:04 pm
  • “I don’t expect a slam dunk feeling, but the 2002-2007 teams were all missing pieces necessary to win a title.”
    I was referring to those teams during those years. Not prior. But truth be told, the 98 and 99 teams are my all time favorite Yankee teams.
    SF, I have some more time so here it goes. Since 2002 there has not been a Yankees team where I can look at the roster in March and say this team (on paper) has what it takes to win it all. I think there were significant holes on those teams, especially in the starting pitching and bullpen. In addition it seemed like the teams from 2002-2007 were forced. (Could be because as Cashman said most of those additions were forced by ownership) There was no chemistry, just random stars thrown together, hoping for the best. In addition they were teams filled with players I just couldn’t root for. Sure we had a few in the glory years (Strawberry, Fielder, etc…) but not as many as during 2002-2007. So part of my issue has to do with that. I guess my desire is two fold, one to have a team with players I really enjoy watching and two to have a team that doesn’t have so many gosh darn holes. I think this 2008 team is close.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 2:07 pm
  • “they lost one big bat (Ortiz), but JD Drew posted higher numbers to kind of offset the slugging (notice OBP is down).”
    That’s what “random variation” means. Drew certainly didn’t intend to hit like he has. If so, he would have intentionally hit that way last year.
    I don’t disagree on the other percentages. But at that point the complexity gets so great as to render the data meaningless, at least to me. Plus, it’s not clear to me how to differentiate a LD from a FB. Considering that difference is where most of the hits will come, again I don’t know what to make of it.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 2:09 pm
  • I also think the 2007 Red Sox (and their fans) were fairly confident they were the best team in the game. Acquiring Gagne was really icing at that point. I know how you feel about Gagne and to be honest I don’t feel like arguing this point, but I really feel the Sox were the best team in the game in 2007.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 2:10 pm
  • “Plus, it’s not clear to me how to differentiate a LD from a FB. Considering that difference is where most of the hits will come, again I don’t know what to make of it.”
    There’s data already parsed for that kind of analysis (Sons of Sam Horn did one for Lugo – it’s a pretty complex thing though).

    dw (sf) July 11, 2008, 2:15 pm
  • “But truth be told, the 98 and 99 teams are my all time favorite Yankee teams.”
    No doubt, but exclusively because of how they made us feel during the season, right? 1999 benefited from coming after 1998. Even the relative sluggish play towards the end of the year was inconsequential because of the confidence we had in their ability to pull it off. 2000 was even more so that way.
    “There was no chemistry, just random stars thrown together, hoping for the best.”
    I agree completely. But that’s what they’re trying to get back to. The problem though is that chemistry can’t be selected or signed. It just happens. O’Neill and Papi are perfect examples – the respective hearts of their championship teams that no one could have predicted when they arrived.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 2:17 pm
  • Yes and No A. I really liked those teams. They were a fun bunch to watch. I am sure it had a little to do with the 114 wins also.
    100% agree on the chemistry comment.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 2:19 pm
  • “There’s data already parsed for that kind of analysis (Sons of Sam Horn did one for Lugo – it’s a pretty complex thing though).”
    Who parsed it and how? That’s my point. By definition, I doubt hits (except homeruns – even then are they always FBs or are the lasers considered LDs?) are classified as flyballs. So in explaining the difference between FBs and LDs you’re simply explaining BABIP. So why not just stick to BABIP?

    A YF July 11, 2008, 2:20 pm
  • “I am sure it had a little to do with the 114 wins also.”
    Yeah, me too. Just a little bit. Ah, good times…even Irabu had a decent year (109 ERA+ in 174 innings).

    A YF July 11, 2008, 2:22 pm
  • A YF – BABIP do not count HR. BABIP for hitters, the following formula used is: (H-HR) / (AB-HR-SO)
    the folks at (i forget where) categorize each ball put into play as GB, FB, LD, durig the game That’s where the data comes from.

    dw (sf) July 11, 2008, 2:45 pm
  • dw:
    The Lugo info was here, I think, but the graphics links are now broken:
    http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=30618&st=100#

    SF July 11, 2008, 2:47 pm
  • dw –
    I knew the BABIP formula but thanks for adding it to the discussion.
    What I meant was:
    Consider the nature of flyballs. High and into the air.
    Now consider the nature of line drives. Lower and into the air.
    Which do you think is more likely to be a hit?
    The problem is they each have different hit probabilities. So now you’ve added a layer of complexity to explain the same thing that BABIP does. I prefer the simpler explanation when at all possible. We’ve known for some Lugo was going to regress. And he has with still further to fall. FBs and LDs don’t say anything else. If anything, they may give the illusion of “If he can only keep driving the ball”. Problem is, he’s Julio Lugo and he doesn’t.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 3:05 pm
  • right, simple stuff for a high level look. Digging into the data gives a clearer picture (potentially) as to why either really good, or really bad.
    BTW data for individuals broken down by “In play type” for lack of a better term is at http://www.fangraphs.com

    dw (sf) July 11, 2008, 3:19 pm
  • “Digging into the data gives a clearer picture (potentially) as to why either really good, or really bad.”
    I guess that’s my point, dw. I’m not sure it does. Perhaps LDs and FBs can help more with younger and unproven players, especially their 1st full MLB year. But once we have a nice BABIP sample to work off of, we already know what level they should be performing at. Over time they’ll be right around that level and when they’re not BABIP will be sufficient to show it.
    For example, let’s take Jeter. He’s way off. I’d guess it’s because his LD% is off and GBs are up. But does that really tell us something we didn’t already know from BABIP alone?
    Or, to take Bill’s favorite comp, with Lugo, does the fact that his BABIP was sky high change that we know he’ll regress, even if it appears he’s hitting, perhaps, more LDs?
    Call me very skeptical on both counts. We’ll find what we’re looking for in FB and LD whereas BABIP seems that much more reliable especially since it is so simple and relatively constant.

    A YF July 11, 2008, 3:33 pm
  • “Sorry, but that’s a willful ignorance of reality. No other team could sustain the same losses and even sniff a playoff berth. It’s an excuse but it applies.”
    Fair enough, but no other team starts with the same advantages the Yankees do (ie, an All-Star at just about every position). It’s probably one of the main reasons non-Yankee fans revel in their struggles.

    ponch - sf July 11, 2008, 4:33 pm
  • Yankees have signed Eric Milton.

    John - YF July 11, 2008, 4:49 pm
  • “Again, not to come off as “entitled” but every year since 2000 has seemed to be a struggle for the Yankees.”
    You do come off as entitled. At least, I think you do because in that comment I recognize my own sense of entitlement, which I’m still coming to grips with.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 11, 2008, 5:01 pm
  • > Yankees have signed Eric Milton
    Insert favorite Knoblach story here.

    attackgerbil July 11, 2008, 5:02 pm
  • I’ll always remember Eric Milton for that no-hitter he threw for the Twins in 1999. I remember reading about it in the papers on my way home from five days in the BWCA, a pre-wedding gift from some friends.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 11, 2008, 5:04 pm
  • AG: thanks for the explanation…what a garbage rule.
    SF: I don’t know if it’s age as much as class. Some understand that it’s just a game, some don’t…I just feel bad that I ever doubted your integrity on this site. Accept my sincere apology for any of the nonsense I may have thrown your way. The more I read your posts the more I respect you…
    *end of semi-gay rant*

    krueg July 11, 2008, 5:30 pm
  • Who the hell is Eric Milton???

    krueg July 11, 2008, 5:53 pm
  • sf makes a super delish mojito as well.
    eric milton is a career 5.00+ era guy who as of 2006 was making 10 million a year. definition of (very expensive) scrap pile.

    sf rod July 11, 2008, 6:05 pm
  • Milton was a first round pick by the Yankees and was traded along with a Christian Guzman and a couple others I don’t recall for Knobby.

    attackgerbil July 11, 2008, 6:58 pm

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