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Nick-YF
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Congrats krueg and Devine! Awesome news! One of the my bestest buddies just finished up a masters for library and information science at LIU in the city. Not sure if that's the program you're doing, D, but it sounded pretty interesting.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2012 on Gross. And Crap. at YFSF
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Hey krueg, the impression I get of Vasquez is he's not going to be able to get on base enough for his power to matter much in the majors. He's posting a .314 obp in triple a, with high k rates. I don't think that will translate well in the majors. I love Matsui and I like Damon for obvious reasons, but I tend to agree with John. They're old and there's a good chance they are sub replacement next season.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2012 on Yanks Trade Jesus for Pitching at YFSF
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John, did you see that Hughes for Billy Butler rumor? I assume it's made up, but I do wonder what role the Phranchise has now on this team...
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2012 on Yanks Trade Jesus for Pitching at YFSF
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This post is why I love attackgerbil. "That and the concern that every time he has to leg out a single he might run straight into Poland."
Toggle Commented Dec 30, 2011 on Good News at YFSF
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"The Yankees didn't have another player with a WAR above 6 other than Granderson, the Sox had 2. Granderson was the Yankees offense for long stretches this season. Like I said, I'll give Verlander his due, he was superb this season, but Granderson was far more valuable to his team than was Ellsbury. I don't think there is anything crazy about that." CC Sabathia had a great year which people are forgetting about. Per fangraphs he actually outperformed Granderson and Verlander. I think it's incorrect to say any one player carried this very well-balanced and talented Yank ballclub, but I'd go with Sabathia before Granderson if I had to. In general, I can't get behind John's way of thinking because of the absurd lengths you can take this to. The Tigers won their division by 15 games, so there's an argument to be made that they could have done that without Verlander. Does he lose "value" as a result? For my part, I think the writers did very well with this vote. No real complaints here.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2011 on Verlander Voted Most Valuable at YFSF
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"Looks like Darvish is out...from everything I have seen?" I haven't read anything like that. Where did you see that? I've heard Buehrle would only leave the White Sox for the Cardinals. He's a midwest guy. The Braves are shopping Jurggens. Any interest?
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2011 on Three More Years at YFSF
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The Yanks have sort of lucked out that the two players in most obvious decline play the positions they do. Jeter isn't killing them because SS is particularly weak right now. Same goes for A-Rod at third base. I don't mean to be too cavalier about this, but haven't the Yanks been old and aging forever, especially in the field? In any case, I'm not that concerned about this issue for next season if only because Montero could help a lot and they are still one of the two or three best line-ups in baseball. Longer term future, yeah it's a big issue. Hopefully Cashman can pull of some more Swisher or Granderson-type deals to stave off positional decline. Pitching-wise, I worship at the altar of Yu Darvish. I'm going all in on him. I hope the Yanks follow my example.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2011 on Three More Years at YFSF
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"I'm surprised you guys aren't talking more about the nature of Lackey's contract when discussing him pitching through injury and seemingly trying to avoid injury." I meant avoid surgery.
Toggle Commented Oct 26, 2011 on The Long Short Goodbye at YFSF
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I'm surprised you guys aren't talking more about the nature of Lackey's contract when discussing him pitching through injury and seemingly trying to avoid injury. Because he's having surgery, he is facing a 6th year in a Sox uniform at the league minimum. The contract pretty much incentivized Lackey trying to avoid surgery at all costs. I remember at the time thinking it was an interesting way to "insure" a deal. Clearly the front office's concerns about injury were warranted, but I wonder how damaging the injury clause ended up being to the Sox in 2011.
Toggle Commented Oct 26, 2011 on The Long Short Goodbye at YFSF
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AG, bravo.
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2011 on The Long Short Goodbye at YFSF
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So Cashman is midway through a Hall-of-Fame career and Theo is going to suffer a number of career-limiting groin pull injuries that will make us wonder what could have been after his great beginning?
Toggle Commented Oct 17, 2011 on (Questionable) Analogy of the Day? at YFSF
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The Sheffield comments came in this article: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/sports/features/12398/ “I know who the leader is on the team,” he says as he scratches his cartoon-villain mustache. “I ain’t going to say who it is, but I know who it is. I know who the team feeds off. I know who the opposing team comes in knowing they have to defend to stop the Yankees.” Sheffield’s wife, DeLeon, a gospel singer, sidles up next to him, pats his leg in a gentle “calm yourself” gesture. But Sheff is just getting started. “I know this. The people don’t know. Why? The media don’t want them to know. They want to promote two players in a positive light, and everyone else is garbage.” By the way, it should be noted that there are a number of players who've played with Sheffield who call him a great teammate. I mean he's been known to say some outlandish crap and maybe this is just one example. However, it does point out a pretty stark truth, or maybe it's more a modernist William Faulkner one: There is not one narrative at any one time. And if that's not confusing enough, two of the characters are names Quentin! Anyone, anyone? Yeah, but Sheffield said these things. He's not exactly likeable but there might have been some truth to it at the time. What's specifically interesting about the quote here is that Sheff was suggesting the Mariano-Jeter are leaders narrative is a media-creation. "Nick, re: guzzling beer and slamming wings in 2004 being cool but in 2011 not, I believe I addressed that directly above. Young guys might get away with that. Old guys get fat, out of shape, and start looking and playing like crap come September. It's of course fine to debate that point. But why don't we actually debate that point instead of pretending it's all just one big fat arbitrary haze? I don't doubt that a supremely talented team can pis away their potential and still win every once in a while. I do think it'll catch up with them and in this case I think it clearly has." Well, in this season's case, the guys identified as the beer and wings guzzlers are actually relatively young. I mean Lester and Beckett are not old by any stretch. Lackey is in his early 30's. Buccholz is rail thing and young. The 2004 Red Sox were actually an older club than this season's team. The reports I read didn't implicate Wakefield, Big Papi or any of the other veterans, so I'm not quite sure I understand the age argument. Of course, it's entirely plausible that the beer and chicken caught up with Beckett and Lester in September. They certainly pitched like chickenshit. By the way the players who have come out looking the best in these reports--Crawford, Pedroia, Ellsbury (and Gonzalez in Giardi's report)--are all a big part of the Sox's future because of current contract status and, in Ellsbury's case, the desire on the part of the front office to have them on the team for a while. It could be a mere coincidence that they come out looking good, but it's not exactly crazy to think that people in the front office would want to leak stories that promote these guys. Anyhow, one of the problems I have with these postmortems is they don't make room for other, more statistically-bent forms of analysis. How much of the collapse can be pinned on the Sox not hitting with runners in scoring position? How much of it can be pinned on their uneven scoring distribution? How statistically flukey were these numbers? Was there something in the way the team's offense worked that made these things more likely? (ie. they're not contact hitters, they don't hit hard throwers well, etc). I don't doubt failure of leadership, communication, etc factored into the collapse. I just don't know exactly how and I'm guessing nobody does. I'm also guessing that the effect of these things is being overstated, and more physical concrete things are being ignored.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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Darvish's numbers this season: 28 g, 232 IP, 156 H, 5 HR, 36 BB, 276 K So pretty insane.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Meanwhile at Yankees Headquarters at YFSF
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"It's like if I said - well, if Mariano had just done his typical thing for one more inning, the Yankees win the 2001 Series too, so clearly they were better than the D-backs. Well, no. Because the D-backs were good enough to break through on Mariano." This is a separate argument, but I don't think beating a team in 7-game series necessarily means the winning one was the better team. I see your point about the circularity of the argument. I sometimes feel like I'm being overly dogmatic about things like intangibles, but I guess what I dislike is the seeming arbitrariness of who gets the leadership tag. Or rather I don't trust the narratives we're given about who is a leader during a certain season. I mean A-Rod is never going to be taken for a leader of men but there have been a few years with the Yanks where he was clearly the best player, so in a real, tangible way he was actually the leader. Who led the way in 2009? At the very least, he was among those that led, and he was still A-Rod, non-leader of men, the guy who doesn't remember the back-up utility guy's name. Then you have 2004, and suddenly there is no mention of Jeter's or Mariano's leadership qualities. The embarassing ALCS happens and A-Rod is raked over the coals. Nothing about Jeter and Mo. Actually, we have Gary Sheffield insinuating strongly that Jeter is not a leader that season, but that's chalked up to Gary being Gary and relegated to the dustbin of history, or whatever the expression is. Oh, the point. The point is that right after the Sox's collapse, Pete Abraham wrote about two different responses from Sox players. He basically contrasted AGonz's religious explanation with Crawford's totally accountable talk. Crawford won in the comparison. And why not? He didn't bring God weirdly into it, he sounded like what you and I would hope to sound like after a devastating loss. Keep in mind, these are essentially 5-minute interviews, heat-of-the-moment stuff. Anyway, Pete Abe strongly implied that Crawford was the kind of player you want on a team and AGonz, well not so much. All I have to do is look at B-R and see that actually I'd prefer the weirdly religious dude on my team to the guy with the .289 obp. But there it is. Crawford is accountable. He isn't weird. He actually might have what it takes to be a leader. All based on a postgame answer.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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This is the latest tweet from pgammo Peter Gammons: "The Red Sox obit has turned into Michael Jackson"
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Reality Check at YFSF
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"Was there one negative thing said about ownership in that piece of trash journalism? Hell, the yacht thing was dropped as a positive!" Yeah, that's Obermann's argument as well. Incidentally, the yacht story is endlessly hilarious. I wish I worked at a school with a billionaire principal. Random things like that would happen.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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"The Tito BS was gross" Total understatement of the year. Anyway, Olbermann pins that leak on ownership. Who knows? I do wonder if Lucchino or Henry will feel compelled to respond to the Globe story. IH, sorry for being a little dickish about the chemistry stuff. I get what you're saying about leadership. I still basically think it's a matter of winning and spin. Drinking and eating fried chicken together in 2004 means cowboying up and being goshdarnit grrreat teammates. And now it means something else. The salient point in this thread was made by AG early on. If the Sox win two more games, most of this shit isn't coming out.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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"It will be much more fun to speculate about where the Sox go from here, what they can do with their personnel, who will man their front office, than it will be to speculate about who leaked what and why." I don't know about this. The palace intrigue is pretty fun, especially for Yanks fans who are used to stories about Jeter and A-Rod's mercurial relationship. But yeah, it's definitely interesting to think about what the Sox do going forward. How much stock does the front office put into the idea that there were bad teammates on the club. Will they sell Lackey while his stock is lowest? Could Beckett be traded? How do they deal with Youkilis' apparent decline? What happens if Ortiz wants several years for his new contract? Just a few questions that should make the offseason interesting. Meanwhile, the Yanks have to deal with the CC opt out and the rest of their starting rotation.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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The team chemistry thing is a silly point. It's so clearly a post-performance hindsight analysis that I'm surprised people put so much stake in it. I'm pretty sure Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson got into a dugout brawl during a World Series winning season. Did you know that Jorge Posada and Tino Martinez hated each other for most of the Yanks' World Series run? Olney writes that in his post-mortem of those years. Shit happens during an 8-month period, especially among athletes. Am I the only one who watched and rewatched and rewatched Major League! There was a freaking ex-con on the team! Some dude was sacrificing animals! One guy was screwing another guy's wife! And they still ended up a winning team!
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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So I guess it's being reported as a done deal: 5 years, $15 million. Good for Theo. It would be great if he managed to bring a World Series to the Cubs. There might even be a movie about him after that.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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The Francona stuff in the article is pretty messed up, and I wonder, Paul, for instance, if you would have included these rumors if you had written the piece. There is no evidence that he is a pill-popper presented. Instead, we get whispers of unnamed sources. This is unfair to Francona. This feels like a breach of journalistic ethics to me. But I've never been a journalist, so maybe I'm overreacting.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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I noticed this in the Hohler article and, perhaps, Theo won't like seeing this in print: "While Epstein has accepted blame for signing subpar performers such as Lackey and Jenks, the owners share the responsibility of unanimously approving their signings. But Carl Crawford was a different story. Ownership was divided over Epstein’s push to acquire Crawford as a free agent, sources said. At least one top executive believed Crawford’s skills as a speedy lefthanded-hitting outfielder seemed to duplicate Ellsbury’s. But the owners ultimately agreed to gamble $142 million over seven years on Crawford - a lost wager to date." Is the top executive Larry Lucchino. I wouldn't be surprised.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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Back when Theo quit for that month in 2005, Lucchino interviewed three candidates including Jim Bowden, who is from Massachusetts. You can look it up. The point being that Lucchino has a scary sense of humor. "A lot of the bloom is off the Epstein rose, I think, and the success of Tampa, Texas and Toronto show that Epstein clearly isn't the only saber-minded GM out there. So I'm not panicking" Saber general managers have become fungible! I actually agree with what Paul says here and wonder if the most important role someone like Theo or Jon Daniels can play is in starting up a new organizational plan for a team like the Cubs. I am curious what the compensation will look like. Maybe I'm underestimating the Sox's leverage here, but I can't imagine they get too much back for him. Are they really going to threaten to walk out of a deal and then have a lame duck GM on their hands for another year. I just don't seem them being too tough during the negotiations for compensation.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2011 on Epstein 'On the Cusp'? at YFSF
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I'm not surprised they lost in a 5-game series to a good team. I tend to subscribe to the idea that short series are crapshoots, which is what made the Yanks' run in the 90's special and also a result of some good luck. But I also think they were a better team than Detroit and probably by more than the two games that their records indicated. Anyway, it's academic at this point, but I'm not going to pretend that I didn't think they should have come out of the AL as the league champs.
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2011 on Yankee Bats Located at YFSF
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"I just don't think this Yankee team was all that good, mainly because of the pitching." Totally disagree. I mean, yeah, we thought the Yanks' pitching was going to be an issue, but after 167 games it was pretty clear that the pitching was a strength. The team ERA+ was 119. They pitched exceedingly well. During the regular season, the Yanks were one of the two best teams in baseball if we're measuring by run differential. The Yanks had a very strong offense, very good pitching, a very good bench. I think they were the best team in the American League and I think it's disappointing that they lost to Detroit.
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2011 on Yankee Bats Located at YFSF
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