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Mark (YF)
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Yes, this might set a dangerous precedent of accountability and getting calls right! I hate this argument. It's one put forth by cowards who are afraid of having to make tough decisions and face criticism down the line. Give Galarraga the perfect game he so clearly earned.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2010 on Quote of the Night at YFSF
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Wow, what a pathetic effort from the Yankee offense. Porcello, of the near-8 ERA coming into the game, shuts them out for 7 innings on 91 freakin pitches. That's sad. At least show up for the game. And when you have Pena and Winn at the plate during your only real rallies of the game, you're probably not going to win.
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Joba certainly has the stuff and ability to be a starter. My primary concern with him is stamina and conditioning. Frankly, when you saw the difference in his performances between (the normal) 4 days' and (the extra day) 5 days rest last year, I had serious doubts about his ability to perform consistently in a rotation for a whole year. Plus out of the pen, he seems much less effective when he pitched the day before. I still think he can do it, but the Yanks really need to develop his strength, stamina, and conditioning. Hughes - I liked tis start a lot, obviously. i had my concerns after his first outing, but this was quite encouraging. Unlike last time, he attacked the zone and didn't F around with hitters. His fastball also held its velocity much later into the game, as he was still hitting 94 in the 6th-7th innings. I really like the difference between his cutter and four-seamer - great for keeping hitters off balance. Not going to go too crazy because it's early and it's the A's (seriously, that lineup is sad), but I really liked what I saw from Hughes last night.
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2010 on Oaktown Revisited: Yanks-A's Gamer II at YFSF
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"Because I know Peter Abraham as an intelligent observer of baseball" Eh, not really. He one of those guys who has great sources and tremendous access to players and teams, but is a poor analyst of the actual game. See also: Buster Olney.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2010 on This Is a Joke, Right? Rays-Sox Gamer I at YFSF
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I wasn't too crazy about Hughes's start yesterday. Velocity after the second inning was sitting at 91 mostly and he was nibbling instead of going after guys (hence the 5 BBs). He got by, and did strike out 5, which was good, but it wasn't really inspiring. Also, his mechanics looked off - he wasn't "finishing" a lot of his pitches, which resulted in many of his fastballs ending up off the plate to the (his) right - and that might also account for diminished velo. His breaking stuff did look very good though. Not gonna kill him too much, this being his first start and not having thrown in two weeks. But hopefully he'll continue to build up arm strength (and correct his mechanics) and get more aggressive.
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Yeah rough turn of events for my boy Robertson. Infield single, bunt single, that ball that just kept floating over Winn's head (was it me or was that very catchable?) then the HR, which was crushed, but really the only well-struck ball against him. Still - great day for the Yanks. Very bittersweet w/r/t Matsui-san, who was my favorite member of the team for a few years there. But a great day nonetheless.
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on Still Still Getting Used To This Thing at YFSF
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Paul's probably right about Drew, although batting order probably only means a difference of a couple runs over the course of an entire season (provided you're not doing anything over-the-top stupid). Even I'm starting to feel bad for Papi though - this is getting pretty ridiculous. 3 games means only a little bit more than nothing. Where Papi is now reminds a lot me of where Giambi was after 2003 - power and bat speed a bit diminished, trying to hit through the super-shift every at bat (probably robbing them both of about 20-30 points of batting average), and while still pretty effective on balance most of the time, prone to some horrific slumps.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2010 on 5-6-7 at YFSF
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It can sure turn around fast this early in the season. Just 24 hours ago, the Yankee bullpen sucked!
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2010 on Another way to say "small sample size" at YFSF
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The Beckett deal is good for both sides. He's making maybe a bit more per year than the Sox would prefer, but that's probably the price for not giving him the fifth year. FWIW, I would take Beckett over Santana going forward too. Santana's playing against weaker competition in a much more pitcher-friendly park, and frankly I think his stuff has declined a bit, whereas Beckett's stuff is about the same.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2010 on Beckett and Santana at YFSF
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The healthy majority of MLB umps are complete and utter crap. Joe West is not really any worse than the rank and file incompetents currently patrolling the diamond, although his gargantuan ego, sense of "showmanship," and seeming belief that he should get his share of the spotlight every game make him even less palatable.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2010 on Oops. at YFSF
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Oh well I forgot it was April 1. God I hate April Fools
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2010 on Report: Joba To Be Traded Within Next Week at YFSF
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Scratch that, I would almost definitely do it for McCutchen straight-up. Fangraphs has him at 3.4 WAR last year (his rookie season) in 108 games, and he's 23. Getting ahead of myself, but I am officially picturing him manning LF for the Bombers...
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2010 on Report: Joba To Be Traded Within Next Week at YFSF
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Wow, where is this being reported? Is it weird that I would probably pull the trigger for McCutchen straight-up?
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2010 on Report: Joba To Be Traded Within Next Week at YFSF
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Well, one of them had to be in the pen - right now they have great depth at starting pitcher. Given what we've seen of both their careers to this point, I don't think one is clearly the correct choice over the other, so going by how they're performing in spring training seems fine to me. And it's not like it's Sophie's Choice or anything - you can always move Hughes back to the pen 0 which they will probably do at some point even if he is successful, because there is no way they're letting him get close to 200 innings this year - I am betting they will cap him at about 160. And IMO this is way too early to call. They're not giving up on either one as a starter (which would be ridiculous since one is 23 and one is 24, and 2 of their current starters are FAs next year). I am betting Joba will get his chances to start this year, and probably again next year.
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If you're talking about where teams should decide to play guys, then yes - of course it does. But that goes for any sport's scouting/player development. You always have to ask yourself, "Does this guy have the tools to play position X effectively?" Sometimes you have to decide whether that 6'4" 270 pounder is a better outside linebacker or defensive end. But when you're talking about measuring how effective a player has been at a certain position, than not really, as long a a guys is making all the plays he needs to at his position.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2010 on The Ins and Outs of Infields at YFSF
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"How do you separate that variable from something like range?" You don't have to. All that matters is whether you the plays in the area designated to your position. Whether that's down to yo your range, arm strength, familiarity with scouting reports/positioning, agility, or whatever your "toolset" is doesn't matter in the end.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2010 on The Ins and Outs of Infields at YFSF
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Why wouldn't positioning be considered a skill?
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2010 on The Ins and Outs of Infields at YFSF
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Above comment, meant to quote this from Paul in Waltham's post: "If Jeter's UZR can go up so dramatically because of positioning, then I'm afraid the stat is close to worthless for the purpose it's often used in comparing players Still, that leaves an interesting use case for teams." As to the team argument, that's not really how the stats work, because the way it's measured is to divide the field up into segments that each fielder is responsible for, regardless of positioning. So if the 3B is making plays in the SS zone, it will show up as a plus for the 3B and a minus for the SS.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2010 on The Ins and Outs of Infields at YFSF
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<> This is really, really wrong. Correct positioning is a huge part of fielding. Even great athletes can have their abilities negated by poor positioning.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2010 on The Ins and Outs of Infields at YFSF
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I will say this: I like UZR. I think it's useful and gives us a pretty good idea of what a fielder is doing. There are certain areas where it's fuzzy (Catcher and First Base Defense), but I prefer it to the other systems we have. As most fielding statisticians will tell you, you can't really look at one year of metrics and make a definitive statement about a player - there's too much variation. Re: Jeter. this is the second straight year he's been above average according to fielding metrics, after several years of being bad, indicating his improvement might be real and not a flux. In this particular case, I noticed his uptick in production coincided with the beginning of Girardi's tenure and his repositioning in the infield. I think his improvement is attributable largely to that, and maybe a little to agility/lateral movement conditioning that he's spoken about doing in the offseason.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2010 on The Ins and Outs of Infields at YFSF
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Closer is probably the one position that I actually do buy the psychobabble explanations some media people tend to throw around sports stars. I really do think there is something to "closer mentality." That said, yeah Gasper is overvaluing their importance.
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2010 on Save It. at YFSF
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Swisher's pretty much the definition of a streaky hitter, so yeah, having a viable replacement for his bad slumps is very useful. Oh and Nady really kills lefties so he's valuable regardless. Wang was supposed to be the #2 starter coming into the season. I actually still think he will be good again (for the Nationals, unfortunately), too - I think the Yanks or SOMEone really effed up the rehab from his 2008 injury. I had forgotten Posada actually did miss about a month.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2010 on Pessimism... at YFSF
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Oh and we also lost Nady for the year. I don't think the Yankees were particularly lucky last year when it came to injury. it just seems like that because, oddly, they suffered most of their major losses in the first 2 months of the season. Teix also started the season with a bad wrist, although he did not actually miss time - I suspect he might have, had A-Rod not also been out and the team/fanbase in a state of semi-panic. Actually, it's funny to think about the state of yankeedom in those first 6-8 weeks of the 2009 campaign. The new ballpark was a big, expensive, empty joke. A-Rod was out (and fools like Buster Olney were saying he turned back into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight on his 32nd birthday), Wang was horrendous and then done for the year, Nady was out, Burnett and Teix were off to bad starts...the only thing people were happy about was Swisher! Then from like the end of May on everything entirely reversed course.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2010 on Pessimism... at YFSF
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Well Matsui actually had loads of issues last year - got both knees drained, missed a few weeks - it was questionable that he was going to be available for the playoffs. He still played in like 140 or so games, but his production was limited at times. We also lost Wang for the year and our best player for 6 weeks, and Gardner and Melky for a few stretches. We were certainly lucky on the Posada/Damon front though.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2010 on Pessimism... at YFSF
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I'm not following. Are you saying you took the pythag records from last year and then did a simple plus-minus based on the positions that are changing in 2010? Because that makes...not sense. You can't mix and match projection stats for the coming year with ONE YEAR (even if it is the immediate year prior) of actual stats. You have to re-project the entire team for 2010. The biggest reason is because I would doubt either the Yanks or Sox' ACTUAL 2009 pythag has exactly what their projected WAR going into the season was. Another big reason why you can't do this because WAR kind of exists in a vacuum, as a Platonic Form of how many wins a player or a team is creating. If you play in a tougher division, quality of competition will knock a few wins off your win expectancy. Pythag is actual results from what happened, so obviously the strength of schedule is a factor there.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2010 on Projecting the 2010 Yankees at YFSF
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