Not the best day at the office for A-Rod, Pettitte

For one night, Garcia puts it together
Shea seats selling fast

I’m not ready to write the obituary for the 2008 Yankees. At least, not yet.

While they’re not going to overcome the 9.5 games separating them from first place in the AL East, they can still make a run at the Wild Card. After all, the team still has a combined nine games against the White Sox and Red Sox, two teams in front of them for playoff spots. They don’t play the Twins, but they do play the Angels and two series against the Rays. That’s a schedule that will force the Yankees to earn a playoff spot and stave off that 2008 season obituary.

Of course, there’s a catch: The Yankees have to start winning, and tonight’s game — a rather discouraging 7-3 loss to the Red Sox — wasn’t a stellar night for boys in the Bronx. The papers tomorrow will begin and end with one man. Alex Rodriguez, at the long end of a season in which he has struggled in the clutch, went 0-for-5 and hit into two double plays. He single-handedly accounted for 26 percent of the Yankee outs and left seven runners on base.

Topping it all off with a throwing error, Alex drew the boo birds and Bronx cheers long into the night. When he grounded into a double play with one out and the bases loaded in the 7th, the crowd expressed its collective, season-long frustration with an underperforming team. When, fittingly on this night, A-Rod struck out to end the game, whatever was left of the 55,058 fans who paid for this game booed perfunctorily. I guess they meant it.

For better or worse, though, the Yankees will rise and fall with A-Rod. Tonight’s game was a rather drastic illustration of that point, and while maybe tonight, for one night, it’s ok to boo Alex Rodriguez, he’s going to be around for the next nine years. The Yankee brass may be, according to Jon Heyman, very skeptical of A-Rod’s extracurricular activities. But they knew what they were getting when he inked his name in blood on that $275 million contract. Until death do us part.

After the game ended, Joe asked me if this was the worst game of A-Rod’s career or just the worst game of his five-year tenure on the Yankees. While Game Six of the 2004 ALCS comes to mind, at least A-Rod can only go up from there. I hope.

But forgetting A-Rod for a second, another Yankee didn’t come through when the team needed him most tonight. That man — Andy Pettitte — will get a pass in the papers tomorrow but only because of A-Rod. Coming off a strong outing in Toronto, Pettitte couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. He needed 101 pitches to record just 18 outs, and along the way, he allowed six runs on 10 hits and three walks. The Yankees needed more from Pettitte, and the lefty just didn’t come through.

So now, the Yankees will turn to Sidney Ponson, and that is never a comforting thought. Ponson as a Yankee faced the Sox at the end of July, and the results were not pretty. But that obituary just isn’t ready to go, and the Yanks shouldn’t be ready to give up. Tuesday’s game wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was probably one of the worst of the season. But later on tonight, the Yanks play again for another shot at narrowing that October deficit. There’s always more hope.

For one night, Garcia puts it together
Shea seats selling fast
  • Jamal G.

    My real issue is that I really believe that most of the hate and anger directed at A-Rod comes from this basic sentiment:

    Larry August 26th, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Cant wait to see Alex in his $300 t-shirt, $500 sunglasses, $10,000 watch, and $500 jeans tell us that he stunk today.

    I understand he had a horrible night, but as much some hate to admit it, the New York Yankees are better with Alex Rodriguez for the better portion of the next nine seasons.

    • doty

      he definitely does not put ther fear in opposing pitchers the way a super star should aka manny- ortiz- pujols! he is being paid not like a star but as a SUPER star top of the game! he is definitely not as good as the money he is being paid. he is a great player but by no strech an immortal

      • Jamal G.

        If you don’t think most of the game-planning against the Yankees’ offense is centered around Alex Rodriguez, you are mistaken.

        • bill

          He looks like a bum in the clutch, but he is a game changer. It seems every other year he hits in the clutch, witch is really weird.

        • Ben C

          gameplanning around Arod? they WALKED TWO people in front of him — yea, they were real scared of him tonight, real scared, they were so scared that they gave abreu whatever he could hit rather than walking him

          good call jamal

          • Jamal G.

            Just because some of you guys don’t care about the numbers, don’t mean A.L. managers feel the same. You do not pitch around guys to get to the fifth leading HR hitter in the A.L. and the guy that is second in the league in OPS. You can percieve it however you want, it’s just not the case.

            they were so scared that they gave abreu whatever he could hit rather than walking him

            Did you write this wrong? That’s exactly how they would go after Bobby Abreu because they don’t want to give him a free pass and then pitch to A-Rod.

            • mustang

              Your right AL Managers care about numbers they see .249 with RISP and walk Abreu to face A-Rod.

              And THEY ARE RIGHT.

              • Jamal G.

                I’ll ask you a simple A or B question. Who would you rather face as a manager or pitcher:

                A. Bobby Abreu
                B. Alex Rodriguez

                Now, I’m assuming you will relax yourself and give the obvious answer of A-Rod. Do you, or your supporters, really feel that adding a runner on second or third base makes that much of a difference between the two situations that you would rather face Alex Rodriguez instead of Bobby Abreu?

                • mustang

                  First, I don’t have supporters as much as you like to make this into a hate A-Rod vs. love A-rod thing it’s not.

                  To answer your questions yes it does. Those stats you love so much say it does and if you add a game win situation into the mix my chance of A-Rod failing only get better.

                • JohnnyC

                  The question is really whom would THE RED SOX rather pitch to. And they’re rather confident they have a successful game plan against him. They believe he tightens up in clutch situations whether you believe it or not. Last night he proved it. He gets a chance tonight to prove them wrong. But the Red Sox have been right more often than not recently, don’t you think?

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  But Jamal, the problem with your A and B question is, clearly, every single common-sense bone in your body is probably screaming out that the answer is A, but it remains the fact that, at least for 2008, A is the WRONG answer.

                  Abreu has succeeded where ARod has failed. I don’t think that many managers are truly walking Abreu to pitch to ARod, but sadly, they probably should be.

        • mustang

          “most of the game-planning against the Yankees’ offense is centered around Alex Rodriguez, you are mistaken.”

          The man is an after thought managers will pitch around Abreu to get to A-Rod.
          I don’t think many opposing pitchers lose sleep over facing A-Rod with RISP.

          • Jamal G.

            I’m sure American League pitchers are jumping for joy when Alex Rodriguez comes to the plate.

            • bill

              I think that if A-Rod had the mentality that the pitcher is the one in trouble when he comes to the plate in clutch situations, he would be successful. Its really weird that he cant but together consecutive clutch seasons. He’s my favorite player, but it gets to the point where he’s an automatic out in the clutch this year. I told my dad he was going to hit into DP with the bases loaded and he did.

            • mustang

              With RISP they are jumping around like kids on Christmas morning.

  • TurnTwo

    btw, i find it a bit cruel that you have an ad for selling saux gear on a night when they may have unofficially, but officially, ended the yankees real hopes for the postseason.

  • doty

    i would trade a-bum for soriano any day

    • yankeemonkey

      Let’s take a deep breath and step away from the ledge, shall we? ARod had a shitty game tonight, there’s no denying it. But do you seriously believe that this team would be better without ARod? Absurd.

      • bill

        Why didnt we resign Soriano in 06? We could have a monster lineup with him right now. Murderer’s Row, 2008 edition. Why didnt Cash sign him?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      “i would trade a-bum for soriano any day”

      I’m as frustrated with ARod as the next guy, but that is crazy.

  • RustyJohn

    Can they please separate ARod and Giambi in the line-up? Swap Matsui and Giambi or something but the two of them both seem to struggle at the same team and haven’t been hitting for dick with RISP.

    • JohnnyC

      That’s the least Girardi can do at this point. The back-to-back suckitude is too much for the WOE to overcome.

    • nick blasioli

      you are so right…giambi is pathetic and arod is close….

    • Ron

      While Girardi will never do it, the best line-up RIGHT NOW would be Nady 4th, Cano 5th, Alex 6th, Matsui 7th, Giambi 8th.

      Hey, Torre batted Alex 8th (in a play-off game no less), so why not?

  • Ben C

    was at the game tonight — i was sitting in section 10

    i turned to my friend as A-Rod stepped up to the plate and said, and i quote, “A-Rod will ground into a double play, and I will boo him when he does”

    sure enough, he did. whaddya know

    I know a-rod was nice with it last year, but come on, you cannot defend a guy that grounds into a double play in, yes i said it, one of the biggest AB’s of the year — i dont give a shit if hes the best player of the generation, i dont give a shit if he puts up ridiculous stats, i dont give a shit if the yankees are better off with him: tiger woods makes that putt, michael jordan makes that shot, joe montana completes that pass

    fuck you arod, fuck you

    • Patrick T

      The best putters have a better than 50:50 chance of making a putt, the best jump shooters have a better than 50/50 chance of making a jump shot, the best quarterbacks complete 2/3 of the their passes. The best hitters get a hit slightly more than 30% of the time they come to bat, get on base 40% of the time they step to the plate.

      Tiger, Michael and Montana all have much better odds, and just as importantly, many less chances to fail for us all to remember. Nobody’s arguing A-Rod didn’t suck tonight, but its telling you don’t name a baseball player in your argument – its because as clutch as Cap’n Jeter or Donnie Baseball or Ortiz or whatever hitter you think of as clutch is, I’d be willing to bet you can easily remember a big spot where they failed.

      Baseball is a much different game.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Patrick: It’s not about failing in a big spot, everybody’s done that.


  • mustang

    ” but as much some hate to admit it, the New York Yankees are better with Alex Rodriguez for the better portion of the next nine seasons.”

    Can you explain to me how? Because for the past 5 years I have not seen them better with him.
    Or for that matter Texas 3 years before that.

    • Ivan

      Hey carried the team last season. Whether you like it or not A-Rod is a big part of the team and he needs to step up. Without A-Rod lets face it, the team isn’t as good.

      • mustang

        Ok. What was the end result? Did he carry them in the playoffs?
        Without A-Rod this team won championships so I’m starting to question your last sentence.

        • Jamal G.

          Well seeing as how Chien-Ming Wang didn’t even give the Yankees a chance, I don’t see how you can really complain about A-Rod for last year’s defeat. 2006 is the same story, the entire team’s offense shut it down after Game 1.

          • mustang

            Well, he is the BIG MAN. Mr. OPS, HR, STATS Champ.

            He is PAID like I person that should play above the team’s offense shut downs.

            He is the MAN isn’t he so start playing like it.
            That’s all anyone here wants.

            • Jamal G.

              He is playing like it. He’s just having a bad season by some ridiculous statistic like hitting w/RISP. I can’t believe the backlash a player is receiving for such a craptastic statistic like hitting w/RISP. The unpredictability and flakiness of the stat is astronomical, but yet that’s the basis for the argument against Alex Rodriguez. Unbelievable.

              • Ivan

                Buts lets be fair Jamal, he has been dredful in that department. As the best player in baseball, you can’t hit less than .250 in RISP. He’s much better than that and last night with that GIDP was just deflating.

                His overall #’s are great but in spots like last night you gotta come through and he’s struggled with that.

              • mustang

                HE BATS IN THE 4TH SPOTS.

                That stat is especially important and what makes it less ridiculous then OPS.

                What’s unbelievable is that you don’t see its importance and how much you play it down.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                Jamal, stop minimizing RISP. It’s not a ridiculous stat, it’s probably the stat that’s most central to why we’re paying ARod more money than anybody in the history of North American professional sports.

                Our entire offensive strategy and organizational philosophy (just like that of every other team in baseball) is to A) get players who can hit in the 1, 2, and 3 spots in the order who are proficient at getting on base and into scoring position and then B) get players who can hit in the 4, 5, and 6 spots in the order who are proficient at driving in those aforementioned runners in scoring position. Performing well with RISP is easily the most important measure of ARod’s success or failure, and his failure there virtually dooms the team.

                Stop trying to act like it’s some bullshit, unimportant stat like hitting for the cycle or something.

                • Clayton

                  What Jamal is saying is that BA with RISP fluctuates greatly from year to year, but other the course of a career tends to be in line with the players career BA. In other words, players will hit the same with RISP and without RISP over the course their career. Year by year totals are small sample size fluctuations.

                  Arod per retrosheet
                  BA W/O RISP 0.305
                  BA RISP 0.305
                  OPS W/O RISP 0.954
                  OPS RISP 0.955

                • ceciguante

                  sample size fluctuations? bullshit.
                  the key to your post is the phrase “tends to.”

                  a-rod hasn’t been able to do it in ny. show me the splits career v. yanks, ba overall v. ba w/ risp. i’d love to see splits for clutch situations, but i don’t trust pre-fab definitions of clutch b/c that’s a nuanced category. dollars to donuts arod is well below level since coming to the yanks.

              • ceciguante

                you cannot credibly brush aside hitting w/ RISP as a ridiculous statistic. that’s what superstars are paid to do: hit with RISP. i’ve heard countless times on this site how “it’s not a repeatable skill,” but apparently you’ve overlooked that failing at the plate with RISP is repeatable.

                i’ll say it again: just b/c your favorite PhDs can’t explain something w/ statistics today doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. this is not stratomatic baseball, it is baseball, and it’s played by people, not on spreadsheets. stats essentially ignore the mental aspect of the game, which is enormous. a-rod’s clutch failures have long grown predictable.

                • Clayton

                  Its not that BA/RISP can’t be explained; its that the majority of hitters tend to fluctuate from year to year.

                  Using the hardballtimes for BA/RISP:
                  04 .281
                  05 .261
                  06 .381
                  07 .354
                  08 .315

                  04 .248
                  05 .290
                  06 .302
                  07 .330
                  08 .246

                  04 .350
                  05 .354
                  06 .288
                  07 .362
                  08 .352

                  So explained to me what happened to arod from the last 3 years to this year? What happened to Ortiz in 06? He just couldn’t handle it mentally? And Jeter just goes all over the board.

                  One year does not a career make.

                • ceciguante

                  thank you for these #s. i don’t know how to find these, but you’ve made my case for me: fluctuations aside, arod is weak when it counts across 5 years of data.

                  i averaged the BAs w/ RISP you cited (i know, # of at bats differs year to year, but just to get an idea). the aggregate BA w/ RISP, 2004-2008:

                  jeter .318. (v. .313 overall ba)
                  arod .283. (v. .304 overall ba)
                  ortiz .341. (v. .299 overall ba)

                  that’s right in line with what most writers and fans say, just from watching: ortiz is a gamer, jeter has lost some magic in recent years but is still good, and arod underperforms. and the results are more drastic than these #s show, b/c the overall ba # includes the RISP #s.

                  please spare me the “.283 is good” talk. it’s well less than what he hits, and it’s not fitting for a guy who is supposed to be *better* than everyone else. he’s had ONE year in five above average in this category. sorry, not good enough.

                  i’d love to see some results for clutch situations (i bet arod is even worse there), but these #s were enlightening, thanks clayton.

              • Ron

                “I can’t believe the backlash a player is receiving for such a craptastic statistic like hitting w/RISP”

                Um, isn’t this like, kinda important? I mean, unless I’m missing something, isn’t this the way you score runs? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the #4 hitter paid to drive in runs?

                It’s one thing to like Alex and believe that the Yankees are better off with him. It’s quite another to defend the indefensible.

        • Ivan

          He did carry the team in the Playoffs last season.

          If you honestly believe this is better without A-Rod then your mistaken.

          Plus that last statement is very unfair and you know it. I mad A-Rod too but get real here. all of sudden the yanks can’t win a championshp with A-Rod.

          Come on, be real, that last sentence was unfair and BS.

          • mustang

            All i’m saying is that they won championships before him and none with him. You are amking it seem like they need him so much and I’m questioning that.

            • Jamal G.

              And the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners won how many championships before and after Alex Rodriguez? Baseball and football are truly the two sports where one player does not a team make.

              Hell, look at the 2004 Houston Astros. Even with Carlos Beltran’s Home Run binge, they still had Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens, and Andy Pettitte fronting that rotation and they still failed to win the N.L. pennant. Have the Yankees ever had a rotation like that with A-Rod in pinstripes?

              • mustang

                Jamal, A-Rod is a stat man that’s all. A nice guy to have in a video game or on a fantasy team unfortunately winners are made on field.

    • Jamal G.

      Yes, it’s A-Rod’s fault that Javier Vazquez, Kevin Brown, and the other starters failed in the final four games of the 2004 ALCS. It is A-Rod’s fault that the Yankees as a whole failed to hit in 2006. It is A-Rod’s fault that Chien-Ming Wang tanked both games in the 2007 ALDS. It is A-Rod’s fault that the Texas Rangers had no player on their team that could classify as a pitcher during the 2001-2003 seasons. It is A-Rod’s fault that the entire team as a whole is failing to hit w/RISP at such a horrid rate.

      It is A-Rod’s fault, always.

      P.S. Last time I checked, a team is better when they have the most talented player in the game they are playing. They are not better with Miguel Cabrera at third base, or feisty Chone Figgins, or gritty Kevin Youkilis, or the gamer, Casey Blake. There is not a single player in the game of professional baseball that would make the New York Yankees better with someone else at third base other than Alex Rodriguez. I dare you to name some guys, I will argue it into the twilight because I am tired of people not appreciating what we have.

      • Ivan

        How about Albert Pujols?

        • Jamal G.

          At Third Base? Heh, I prefaced my statement by keeping it specific to Third Basemen especially for that counter by you. ;)

          • Ivan

            your smart Jamal.

            • BigBlueAL

              Didnt Pujols play 3b in the minors and even some with the Cardinals early in his career!?!?!?! Gotcha!!!! lol

              • Ivan

                yea but he sucked at 3B. Now he turn himself into a GG 1st Baseman.

      • Hater

        Actually you could make a legitimate argument otherwise. Check this out:

        A Rod puts up big stats, but based on WPA you would take David Wright, Chipper Jones, Aramis Ramirez, Melvin Mora, Carlos Guillen, Troy Glaus, Mark Reynolds or Jorge Cantu over him over the course of the season. And that probably doesn’t include today’s performance yet either, which might move him down past Edwin Encarnacion and Evan Longoria.

        So yeah, there are plenty of players that would make the Yankees better, at least in this season. You could argue that his unclutchness is a fluke and in the long term they would rather have him.

        • Jamal G.

          Well the original argument was that A-Rod makes the Yankees better for the better portion of the next nine seasons. It then boiled down to me saying there is no one that makes the Yankees better at third base. Now this is where the beauty of scouting and sabermetrics intertwine. With those numbers, would you ever advocate having any of those players on the Yankees at third base other than Alex Rodriguez? Evan Longoria and David Wright are the only players that do not entail a laughable reaction.

          • Hater

            Fair enough, but you can’t deny that he’s having a much worse season than his basic statistics show.

            • Jamal G.

              I can deny it because I believe a situational stat such as Batting Average w/RISP in unbelievably reckless to rate a player’s season on. That – and that alone – is the only argument that the A-Rod detractors have against him this season. His fucking Batting Average with a runner on second and/or third base. It’s ridiculous.

              • bill

                Do you have any idea why A-Rod cant hit in the clutch in back to back seasons? Its a mystery to me

                • Jamal G.

                  Yes. Simply put, the stat is stupid and fluky. Don’t put too much stock into it, it fluctuates and is so unpredictable it’s useless to try and rate a player based on it. You really think the Twins are in any way better than every team in the A.L. because they hit better than everyone in the league w/RISP? You really think anyone will be shocked if the Twins go from #1 in that stat to #10 next year? No. Why? Because it’s a fluky fucking stat.

                • mustang

                  That “stupid and fluky” stat cost the game tonight and how many others.

      • mustang

        What do they have? They built this team around this player and what have they gotten for it?
        The championship teams weren’t made up of one super star it was a collective effort.
        Yes all those reason you detailed lead to failure, but what was A-Rod part of the solution or part of the problem?

  • Stewman23

    Two Red Sox Fans sitting next to me in the upper deck in the middle of the 8th – “Man, these Yankee fans don’t even respect the fact that their sitting in the stadium for what could be their last time ever..we’ve never left a Sox game before it was over…”
    Shortly thereafter, Two Yankees Fans in the upper deck bathroom after I told them they should stop booing A-Rod whilst taking a leak cause I am pretty sure he doesn’t hear them and they should respect the fact that they have a player like him on their team…”I’d rather be a part of ‘Red Sox Nation’ tonight…at least they’re going to the playoffs”

    ….It’s almost depressing going to games these days, not because of the team on the field, but more so, the people in the stadium

    • JohnnyC

      But then again, Yankees fans have never littered the field with bottles and garbage during a palyoff game either. Maybe we ought to be more respectful and do that some time.

      • SG

        They did. Game 6, 2004 ALCS. I was there. The riot squad came out.

    • Travis G.

      riiiight, sawx fans have never left a game early. i’ve seen it with my own eyes.

  • bill

    Tomorrow is the biggest game of the season, and Sidney Ponson is pitching. Sheesh!

    • Mike A.

      I though tonight was the biggest game of the season?

      • bill

        It gets to the point where every game is the biggest game of the season. I’m confused. But you cant be confident Ponson will get the job done tomorrow. The only thing we have going for us is Paul Byrd. It will be a debacle if we dont score at least 5 runs of him.

        • Steve

          Season? What is this “season” you speak of?

          • bill

            The baseball season. Hello

            • Travis G.

              baseball? what is this ‘baseball’ you speak of?

  • E-ROC

    Tough game. I figured the Yanks would win the first game given that Pettitte was taking the ball. I guess that’s why they play the game.

    The Yanks should separate Giambi from A-Rod. Maybe bat Nady, Cano, or Matsui behind A-Rod.

    • bill

      I agree. Girardi has made alot of mistakes this year and having .240 and .200 hitters as your 4 and 5 hitters is one of them. Nady and Matsui are so much more clutch than Giambi, who seems to only be able to hit home runs in the clutch.

      • bill

        I meant .240 and .200 with RISP

        • Steve

          0 for 5 and 0 for 4 tonight.

          But then again, we’ve seen this all year from these two.

          • bill

            Our 4 and 5 hitters kill rallys, not build upon them. Youre not gonna win too many games that way.

      • JohnnyC

        Yeah, he should have batted Matsui 5th during the 55 games he missed with his injuries. They could have played a video montage of his clutch hits when his turn came up.

  • Ivan

    I think right now you might have to separate Giambi from A-Rod. Lets face it, you have back to back hitters hitting less than .250 in RISP (Giambi hitting less than .205) Persoanlly I would love Matsui in the fifth spot but then Giambi becomes ya 7th hitter which is a problem.

    PS: Pudge is stinking up the joint his bat.

    • Steve

      We were all saying that 2 weeks ago, and Girardi has moved on to “having a consistent lineup” because the veterans on this team wanted it. So congrats Joe, we now have a consistently bad lineup with a gaping black hole in the middle of it.

      But lets be honest, what difference does it make at this point?

  • Ivan

    How about those big bad Mets uh.

    • bill

      I was watching their game. It made my night a little better to know that the Phillies are in first place in the NL East

    • Steve

      Their fans have stopped jumping on us as they realize that team is going nowhere with that bullpen.

      • bill

        I hate when Met fans do that. We would be in 1st by alot if we played in that JV division. Man, I would pay to play the Nationals.

  • Stephen

    Where is the blame for Giambi, he has been absolutely HORRIBLE in clutch situations, except for the one walk off. Yes A-Rod gets paid the most, but Giambi has been much, much worse than even A-Rod.

    Going into this game, compared OPS of AROD and Giambi in clutch situations
    AROD Giambi
    2 out RISP: 867 656
    Late+Close: 877 476
    Tie Game: 914 959
    Within 1 R: 892 1.004

    High Leverage: .805 .650
    Med. Lge: .939 1.055
    Low Lge: 1.170 .843

    Yes, he hits better with low pressure, but Arod is not the problem with this team. Giambi can not be brought back next year with his lack of defense and declining offensive skills.

    • Ivan

      It’s hard for a team to win when your 4 and 5 are dreadful in RISP.

      • bill

        Do you think theyre done if they lose the series or get swept?

        • Ivan

          no but it will be very crushing and basically they will be on life support with the plug half way coming out.

          • bill

            I personally dont see how they would be able to come back from 7 or 8 games down barring a superhuman effort by the Yanks and and an epic collapse by the Sox. So basically the Sox would have to do what the Metsies did last year. And man, I wish we signed Soriano in the 06 off season. C’mon Cash!

  • Ivan

    Plus, one more thing, Can Pete STFU with Girardi please. He tends to be unfair with Girardi. The yanks have shown fight but hey the results are not there.

    Hey Pete how is Joe Torre doing in LA?

    • Jamal G.

      I just can’t wait to see what Fat Man Scoop will say when the Yankees announce the signing of Erickson Lianora. It would seem that the Yankees are holding off on announcing anything as of yet (could be anything from the Commissioner’s office behest or Lianora not officially turning 16 as of yet) so that’s why Brian Cashman said nothing of the signing. Will he call Brian Cashman a liar? Will he preface every Cashman quote in the future with the term “claimed”? Can’t wait to see.

      • bill

        Who is this Erickson Lianora?

        • Ivan

          reportley a 5-tool player who’s 16 from DR.

        • Jamal G.

          Potential IFA kid the Yanks might ink in the coming weeks. Venezuelan CF, reportedly a good defender already, 5-tools, and a ham sandwich. Seriously though, don’t read into the hype yet, I agree with Mike in that you should never get hung up over these kids until they do something stateside. However, if the reports are true that he will make his stateside debut at the age of 16 (see: Tabata, Jose), then my feelings will change.

          • Ivan

            I thought he was from DR lol.

          • bill

            Was he more hyped than Tabata when the Yanks signed him?

      • Ivan

        He always seem to make these slick/unfair comments about Girardi. This is Girardi second year as a manager in his LIFE. It’s like he want to say or prove so bad that the yanks letting Torre go was a mistake and etc.

        Even No Mass knows that Pete is unfair to Girardi. We get it, your not a Girardi fan, but get Torre’s cock out ya mouth.

        • JohnnyC

          Pete can’t quite forget he’s a Red Sox fan. As you know, they’re conflicted about Torre. On the one hand, he managed the Yankees to 4 championships (bad). On the other, he managed the Yankees to 7 straight championship-less seasons and authored the worst collapse in post-season history to the Red Sox (good). It’s a love/hate thing. With Girardi, it’s just hate.

  • Scott from 3 Kids Tickets

    I’ve been bitching about the Alex (formerly known as A-Rod but is no longer deserving of a kewl nickname) for months now, but I think tonight people are finally waking up. Is he the problem this season? No. Was he great last year – his contract year? Yes. Was he great any other year except last year? Not really. Will he last in NY for 9 years? Doubtful – just like the other teams he wore out his welcome with.
    Can we still make the playoffs? Perhaps, but the bottom of the order is going to have to do it, becuase Alex can’t do much besides hit into double plays, whiff, or pop up without advancing the runner with men on base. I don’t have much taste left for this season, and am ready (and have been for a while) to bring up any triple A guys to see what they can do.
    Before you call me spoiled, I sat thru the 80’s right by 3rd base when it was me and 13,000 others in the stadium. I don’t expect to win every year, but I expect it to be exciting – and excpet for 5 minutes tonight (I was there in the Tiers with the real fans) it WASN’T. I’ll be there Thurs afternoon to say goodbye with my son, and will be selling the rest of the season’s tickets.
    BTW, the Phillies have sent playoff invoices. Too bad the Yankees can’t.

    • bill

      He is great every other year. Hes won the MVP every other year for the last few years. He hits in the clutch every other year. Its weird. Its an “every other year” thing for A-Rod. So I’m predicting a monster year for A-Rod next year.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      “Was [Alex Rodriguez] great any other year other than last year?”

      …that has to be one of the most ignorant claims re: the game of baseball I’ve ever read in my life. And as someone who frequents FireJoeMorgan far more than is probably healthy, that’s saying something.

      First, he has never, EVER, produced a full, below-league average offensive season IN HIS LIFE. He has produced six season where he produced to the tune of at least a 160 OPS+ (60% better than league-average), INCLUDING this one.

      Yes, despite all his perceived struggles in “the clutch,” Rodriguez is STILL one of the top offensive performers in baseball on a rate-basis.

      But going back to the claim at hand:

      1996 (Jeter’s ROY season), A-Rod produced to the tune of .358/.414/.631 [1.045]. He was 20-years old.

      2003, A-Rod produced to the tune of .298/.396/.600 [.996], and managed to win the MVP award on a last-place team, for what that’s worth.

      2005, A-Rod produced to the tune of .321/.421/.610 [1.031]. I’d say that was a “pretty good” season.

      I chose his best three years, but I want to point out that 2004 is the only season (just eye-balling his stats now) that A-Rod posted an OPS below .900. For what that’s worth. Oh, and A-Rod completely crushed the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS that year (a Minnesota Twins team with a rotation headlined by the all-powerful Johan Santana), and – as I mentioned in the game thread – probably comes a Mariano Rivera blown save or a Tony Clark double into the stands away from leading the Yankees to their first World Series win since 2000. Of course, he gets blamed for the Yankees’ 2004 postseason failure, despite the fact that everyone else (including Hideki Matsui, who could not be stopped through the first three games of that ALCS) decided to stop hitting.

      So, yeah, aside from 2007 – which very well may have been his career year – Alex Rodriguez has indeed put up a few “great years.” Some in pinstripes. And to be honest, he’ll probably never be as great as he was in 2007 ever again – but very few players can ever reach that type of performance for ONE year, let alone three (1996, 2005, 2007). There will probably be more seasons like 2004 and 2006 to look forward to moving forward, but even in seasons like that, he’s been the Yankees’ best offensive performer.

      And we’re dissatisfied by this man? Really?

      • The Fallen Phoenix

        One last point, since no one ever really thinks about it, but Alex Rodriguez plays half of his games in a park that isn’t exactly righty-friendly.

        Again, for what it’s worth.

      • Hitman

        I think fans should be grateful for these years, 2004 and 2006 included. It’ll only go downhill from here. The only players that continue to hit home run after homerun into their mid and late thirties are guys on roids. Arod will go thru the same issues Ken Griffey Jr. is having right now. If it was so easy to be the home run king everyone would be doing it.

      • bill

        He had 48 fuckin homeruns in 05. Do you want hin to hit 50 every year? He would hit 1000 if he did that. Not even the Babe did that. Your argument that A-Rod has had only “pretty good seasons” is complete and utter bullshit.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        You know whom I’m reminded of when I watch games like last night? Shaquille O’Neal.

        Shaq is easily one of the top 5 NBA centers of all time, and he was the best player in the league for about 12 years or so. His unparalleled dominance kept his teams in contention for a title every year, and if you ever thought that your team would be better off without him, you’d be insane.

        However, he had one huge, sisyphean rock in his game – freethrow shooting. He was an absolute late game liability; he couldn’t be counted on at the end because he’d inevitably be put in a position where he’d consistently fail. Now, his teams couldn’t have possibly have been in a position to win in the first place if not for what he could accomplish in all other game situations, but it still remained a serious flaw against his ability to be not just great, but the absolute best ever , capable of carrying his teams to even more success…

        Look, I’m not saying ARod is a bum and I want to get rid of him. I undertand we would be utterly pathetic without him. I am saying, however, I’m getting legitimately concerned with his repeated struggles, and I don’t see how wer can be serious title contenders with a cleanup hitter who seems to be unable to perform when we need him to for more than a hot month here and there.

        Maybe I’m asking for too much because I’ve seen what he’s capable of and want him to repeat that on an annual basis. Maybe…

  • bill

    Its a mistake that Moose isnt pitching tomorrow. Ponson shouldnt be pitching in this series.

    • Steve

      You want Pavano in game 3? Thats not much different than throwing Ponson.

      • bill

        No, no, no. Like I said earlier, Ponson is crap and Pavano is a crapshoot

  • Ivan

    Today is a new day, and 18 hours away from game 2. A-rod needs to step up and I think he will. Hey if were gonna down, go down with the best player in the MLB.

  • radnom


  • Ivan

    one guy wrote this is how met fans feel after the philly lost

    • Steve

      When we have A-Rod and Giambi back to back with RISP, its like playing Russian Roulette having 5 bullets in the chamber.

    • JohnnyC

      Couldn’t happen to a more deserving team.

  • mustang

    By the way great thread i was expecting some spin, but I guess that would be all most impossible.

  • Stryker

    so if tonight’s loss wasn’t crippling enough (yet AGAIN the team fails to come up big w/RISP.), when is it time to “write the 2008 season’s obituary”? i was ready to send the damn thing to print when joba came out of that game in texas.

    underperforming is and understatement for this team. regardless of what they tell the media, their performance is showing that they have absolutely no heart, no leadership, and no chemistry. they’re a bunch of aging superstars who go out there everyday and play mediocre baseball.

    i have the patience of a guns and roses fan and am excited for this organization’s future – but i agree with ken rosenthal. regardless of whatever moves this team makes in the off-season they’ll be in the exact same place they’re in now. a bunch of aging superstars who go out there everyday and play mediocre baseball.

    adding sabathia and tex will do NOTHING for the lack of leadership or chemistry on this team. who knows what will. but you’ll still have aging starting pitching and aging starters who play with no heart.

    where’s the guys who play with excitement and grit? as much as i hate to say it, the yankees would benefit TREMENDOUSLY from guys like pedroia and youkilis – guys that go out there and grind through at bats and play with some kind of heart. instead practically every starting player plays the NY media games: making excuses and acknowledging that how they’re performing isn’t up to snuff and they need to be more consistent or whatever the line is that they’re feeding us these days.

    they can talk ’til they’re blue in the face – i want to see them prove that they want to win on the ball field.

    • DP

      Terrible…I’m going to address one point at a time here. First, the obituary—I’ll admit that’s soon. In fact if they don’t win both of the next two games I am ready to write it. Fine, whatever. Starting catcher was never healthy off of a career year, starting DH (and top 3 hitter in the lineup) barely ever healthy. Shortshop injured early, and suffering through various ailments (mainly from being hit) all year. Reigning MVP misses three weeks. LF misses a few weeks. 3 opening day starters get hurt. Arguably the 2nd best guy out the bullpen in April misses 4 months. I give them a pass.

      I said earlier tonight, I’m off the A-Rod bandwagon. Doesn’t mean I hate him. Just means I don’t think he can be a centerpiece of an offense–I’d say he needs a partner in crime (a la Ortiz/Manny, Babe/Gehrig, etc). He’s obviously not capable of carrying a team, but we’d be really naive to say he can’t be one of the top 2 in an offense.

      Now, here is where I’m sorry but I need to take great issue with the post I’m responding to. Grit, heart, leadership? Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Who is “Stryker”? Joe Morgan? I’d love to know who the “leaders” of the 1996 team were. 7th in the order Paul O’ Neill? Barely established Bernie Williams? Cocaine Raines? Platoon Wade Boggs? Rookie Derek Jeter? Soon to be replaced Mariano Duncan? First year as a Yankee Tino? DUI Leyritz? 24 year old Pettitte? Set up man Rivera? Grit and heart??? And you pathetically name Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. Thankfully, you back it up with “pitches per at bat”
      Kevin Youkilis- 52nd in the majors in pitches per plate appearance
      Dustin Pedroia- 102nd.
      Who’s ahead or near them?
      Well, Bobby Abreu is 4th, Giambi is 7th, Damon is 24th. MELKY CABRERA is 105th, Derek Jeter is 102nd.

      I guess Youkilis’ beard means he is “gritting out” at bats.

      Now, last stupid thing you say. Signing CC and Tex wouldn’t help this team. You wouldn’t like this rotation?

      You wouldn’t like this lineup?
      LF- Damon
      SS- Jeter
      1B- Teixeira
      3B- A-Rod
      RF- Abreu
      DH- Matsui
      C- Posada
      2B- Cano
      CF- Gardner

      4th OF- Nady.

      REALLY? Go back to the Red Sox fan site!

      • DP

        Jeter 104th* my bad

    • JohnnyC

      Grinding at bats? Situational hitting? Having a game plan against a pitcher? Hmmm. If only the Yankees had a batting coach who could facilitate that. Someone with major league experience, who knows the league. If only.

  • DP

    Winning cures all these nonsense chemistry/they aren’t trying issues. What do you think, the players are going up there with the purpose of getting out? Even the most cynical fan needs to see it this way. There aren’t too many players on the team with financial security long term. At worst, they’d be trying to hit for their own future benefits. Obviously they are trying. And in baseball, since you don’t pass or block for your teammates, if you are trying for yourself, you are trying for the team.

  • bart

    Front Office — aging team Pettit was iffy before he went to Houston — he is a great 2, asuperior 3, a devastating 4 but not an ace — neither was Wang — a horse over a season but not a one game gotta have it ace that Andy was in his prime.
    Pitching is not big game compettive – has not been since 2001 –
    The past four years the offense made the difference but were vulnerable — and proven so — to top flight or Hot pitching. Forever great pitching (when it has been available) has dominated short series — The Ynakee Offense allowed mediocre pitching to cruise or even get by in the long season — has not been compettive in the short season. Untimely injuries (over the years) and this year injuries plus a power loss (translates into clutch) have rendered the offense less than average – unable to cover the picthing when needed. JT had that right – pitchings sets the tone.

    Untimely injuries have wounded the offense this year and past years — damon, matsui, Sheffeld, Giambi — there was enough balance to get through the regular season The last hurrah was Mo with Torre’s awful managerial help blowing the saves in games 4 and 5 in 2004.

    The Front office has had three years to fix the problem and have not done so

    With Arod’s early season injury and history of serial pressure disappointments (Playoff clutch disappointmnets) – the offense needed to be younger and sharper — it has been realtively powerless and sporadic — not capable of routinely making up for poor pitching —

    check the numbers- how often the Yankees have had an early (inning 1-3) lead that offered some breathing room vs how often they have been behind putting pressure on the offense – from an Offense standpoint the questions is “what are we goona get from HIM tonight?” How many runs do we need? From the pitching standpoint it is “Is the O gonna show, I have to be at my best”. Obviously mental pressure and disharmony — it usually is unspoken – everyine scuffles but for the Yankees there has been no one to SET IT RIGHT – STOP THE BLEEDING since the early Pettit – sometimes Wells, sometimes a Clemmens. But even they were not what Andy was.

    The history of this Front Office has been the inability to get that guys the ACE who restores order –

    Cashman simply did not understand that his year and next were fragile and that Santana was the key – the ACE — who would allow everyone to relax – someone all could feed off and someone to protect 2 of the young guns.

    Before you throw rocks at me – I wrote this all winter – my fears for this year and next are being realized — and the Offense will continue to age and continue to labor under the “what do we get tonight” picthinhg pressure –

    Say it again – the One thing JT had right — pitching sets the tone for everything –

    One fear not realized the Ynakees have not panicked and traded away the future —

    this is the hope — a few Free Agents (of chracter and ability – Mussina types, Petit types, Mo types) Sabatthia / Teixeira, a few timely trades, one – maybe 2 from the minors and (barring injuries) 2009 wil be better in the new park — at least the Ynakees can be more competitive — get rid of the 3B coach.

    Doing the Math — you need Pettit and Mussina to win all their games — and get plus wins from Rasner, Ponson and ??? When Moose and Andy can’t control the game and deliver their wins – the math doesn’t work — UNFAIR!! sure — but that is the 30 game hole. ARod needs to show up but he can’t win them all – tonight the Sox 7-8-9 were the killer dinks — something the Yankees have not done much of all year – – older and slower — they may not do it next year either.

    • JohnnyC

      Yeah, but pitching hasn’t really been the problem even with Wang’s injury and Hughes/IPK being dreadful. We’re 200 runs down from 2007. You may be right that a TRUE ACE helps you in the post-season but our pitching this year was good enough to make the playoffs. The offense let us down (primarily because of age, injuries, and Cano). Even ARod’s “unclutch” performance wasn’t the difference. It was the absence of or lack of hitting from Posada, Matsui, Melky, and Cano. Jeter, ARod and Giambi’s struggles didn’t help but were not the biggest factors in the offensive decline.

  • Tim Sherman

    For those of you who do not think that the team’s failure this year rests squarely on the shoulders of one Alex Rodriguez, then you must not have been watching. His strikeout rate with runners on base is double that with noone on. He is a very talented player, no doubt about that, but he is a head case. Last night he didn’t even try to field the first ball hit to him in the second inning with two outs, then he misplayed the next one. That led to two runs. Not to mention his failures at the plate. He is pathetic. I am not a hater, by the way. I don’t care how much money he makes. I just want to see some mental toughness. I don’t want him to stand up and tell us how terrible he was. I can see that for myself. I want him to step up and do something when the team needs him the most.

  • AROD_must_go

    The Yankees will never win a World Series w. ARod.

    9 more seasons to suffer through. I’m starting to think that we are in the middle of a 20+ year WS slump.

    • bill

      We’ll win whenever we get decent pitching. The Yanks pitchers have averaged 5 innings and 4 runs the last 4 years in the playoffs, and we probably wouldve won in 04 if Mariano couldve nailed it down in Game 4. But I’ll tell you, when we do win, it wont be because of A-Rod, it will be in spite of him

  • Rich

    Yep, everyone’s right. It’s Arod’s fault that Pettitte pitched a terrible game. Way to keep things in perspective guys because 6 runs in 4 2/3 innings is stellar!

    • Ben K.

      This point needs to be made more.

      • pat

        or the fact that andy could only throw a strike if it was down the middle of the plate and apparently knuckleballer tim wakefield is paining the fucking corners.

        • pat


      • Count Zero

        Exactly Ben.

        I stated a month ago that the supposed “second-half” pitcher hasn’t exactly stepped up in the second-half this year and everyone jumped all over my shit. Twice he was given a lead early in that game and on both occasions he promptly gave it back as soon as he got back on the mound. But somehow he gets a pass.

        This is the double standard among Yankeee fans. Pettitte, Jeter and Posada can do no wrong, so whenever one of them produces a crappy game it must somehow be A-Rod’s fault. Yeah, A-Rod sucked last night — but Andy sucked large and was actually the more important factor in the loss.

        You guys may not be ready to write the obit yet, but I would say the fat lady is tuning up her voice in the dressing room right now. Another loss tonight, and she’ll be on stage front and center. But that will just be an afterthought because it was really over last night.

      • usty

        Agreed. Also every anti-Arod, we’ll never win one with him post seems to forget that from 96-01 we had: Jimmy Key, David Cone, David Wells, Roger Clemens, Pettitte in his prime, El Duque in his prime, the greatest closer of all time, and a bullpen that could do no wrong once we got to October. That’s the reason we won championships. Now that the team has been built on offense when we run into the best pitchers in the game in october, we’re screwed. Matsui and Sheffield have more to do with us not winning in the past 4 years than A-rod ever will.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Ben, the point isn’t being made as much because Pettitte hasn’t failed us as frequently as ARod has this year. They’ve probably both singlehandedly won and lost games for us in 2008, but ARod has impacted every game (for the good or for the bad). Pettitte’s only had 28 starts.

        • mustang

          Great point.

          • Zack

            No its not, its a stupid point. Arods win shares is much higher than Pettitte. In fact, in every statistical category you could possibly come up with, A-Rod has been infinitely more valuable than Pettitte. Pettitte has been the far less valuable player, period. You can’t talk about how because A-Rod has played in more games he has “cost” them more. It doesn’t work like that. In fact, if anything, its the opposite. Because he has played in more, he has been so much more valuable to the team…

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos

              But you’re agreeing with me and you don’t know it.

              Since ARod is a position player and Pettitte is a pitcher, ARod will be more “valuable to the team” virtually by default.

              Hence, all the good things ARod does are more frequent and significant and all the bad things he does are equally more frequent and significant.

              ARod’s successes and failures have lead us to more wins and created more losses than Pettitte could possibly do on his own. Player value = impact = significance to fans.

  • bill

    That umpire was the biggest douchebag and I hope he gets a staph infection. He was sucking the Red Sux all night

  • JohnnyC

    It’s strange that he could follow the trajectory of a knuckle ball well enough to give Wakefield every quadrant of the strike zone but with Andy, whose breaking stuff wasn’t sharp at all, the plate turned out to have no corners.

  • AROD_must_go

    ARod has a total of 2 RBIs in th 8th & 9th innings combined this year. He is simply not capable of perfomring in the clutch when its not a contract year.

    This is a giant hole in the center of the lineup for the next 9 years. No amount of pitching is going to be able to overcome his lack of run production in hte clutch.

  • JohnnyC

    A real concern for the Yankees with Pettitte is that he’s not throwing the cutter much and his breaking stuff lacks bite. His slider is slurvy and his curve doesn’t. He needs to do a Mussina-like makeover: take a lot of speed off his curve, ditch the slider, and throw more changeups to righties. That is, if his elbow isn’t barking. It’s a ticking time bomb. As much as I love Andy, a $15 million 4th or 5th starter should not be in the Yankees 2009 plans.

  • zack

    This thread pretty much demonstrates why it is impossible to surf around Yankee sites these days. I’m sorry, is this a Red Sox page? Are we in New England? Because the crazy, dire, absolute, know-it-all claims on this page emotionally reacting to a game/season as if it was the end of the world (or at least the Yankee organization) is really unreadable.

    Get a grip people, take a deep breath, stop acting like a$$-clowns, and try to at least show that you know something about baseball. You can complain all you want about A-Rod this season, but it just makes you look worse and worse. It’s not a question of players X and Y could equal A-Rod’s production, or, if they didn’t have A-Rod they could have gotten this player. It doesn’t work like that. 2 players don’t equal the value of 1, and you simply don’t get rid of one of the top 5 players in the league because the fans don’t like how he dresses or because, one season after putting up simply insane numbers, and continuing to have one of the top OPS in the league, the fans feel that his hitting with RISP is costing the team wins.

    Repeat after me: There is no better 3B in baseball. Teams don’t get better when they trade away superstars. ARod is the best player in New York, Period. The Yankees would suck terribly without ARod, no matter who is filling his place.

    • Glen L

      preach on man!

    • ceciguante

      it’s not about “arod vs. replacement player” or “we should replace arod.” we can’t, that’s for sure. but he’s not doing his job, and it costs the team many wins. that’s a valid gripe from many of us who have been posting about this all season, b/c he’s been awful in the clutch. if your vast baseball intelligence is so insulted by these posts, we don’t need to hear about it. quit bitching and take a walk.

  • Sam P.

    I know we’ve heard it before, but I’d really like to see Matsui at 5 and Nady at 6. Some combination of that. I know Girardi wants the LRLRLRLRL type lineup, but if he’s set on that I’d switch Matsui and Giambi. Or even put Nady at 5 depending upon who’s pitching.

    It was deflating to see the box score last night show 1-3 hitters each having 2 hits and then 0-fers at 4 and 5 … oh well.

  • Ivan

    Here this idiot

    Posted by tampayankee on 08/27/08 at 8:53AM
    Well Joe Junior is making sure he gets fired in October , should be now but anytime would be fine.
    Lets see
    Giambi who hasn’t hit Wakefield in recent memory at first, good move who want Ransom( who actually can hit home runs) or Bettamine, who can probably at least hit, playing.
    Arod still batting cleanup, where he is obviously uncomfortable.
    Johnny Damon costing as many runs as he makes in center field.
    Can somebody give Gardner a hug I have not seen a rookie so buried since… well last year with Joe Senior.
    Why have Joba throw? If he is that hurt and will not be on the Roster Sept. 1st then do not use him if he is your “future”.
    Finally! Why is Cashman still GM BRING BACK THE STICK! No trades by the deadline and complete failure of the youth movement pitching should be enough to get rid of this twit.
    It is all over but the music.

  • Cy Farnsworth

    As for Andy Pettitte’s struggles, I really hate blaming the umpires but Pettitte could not get a borderline call to save his life during the first 3 innings. It was just especially frustrating because every single knuckler seemed to flutter close enough to the zone to be called a strike.

  • JohnnyC

    He got squeezed by the ump but, let’s be real, the stuff he had last night, limp biscuit sliders and curves, very few cutters, and nary a changeup, would’ve been hit hard by the Nationals. Without Manny, Drew, and Lowell, this Red Sox lineup shouldn’t be a real problem for a league-average pitcher. It’s telling that, by his own admission, Pettitte couldn’t finish off hitters with 2 strike counts.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Okay, pull up a chair.

    Jamal (among others) maintains that it’s unfair to slander ARod for failing in RISP situations because it’s fluky and subject to luck and circumstance. While, to a degree, EVERYTHING is fluky and subject to luck and circumstance, I wanted to look at some of ARod’s numbers again, to try and convince myself that Jamal is right and I’m making shit out of nothing.

    Couldn’t do it.

    Here’s a breakdown of how much better or worse ARod has been of a hitter, year by year (with ages) in overall raw OPS vs. OPS in RISP situations:

    96/20 – 1.045 v 1.047 – negligible
    97/21 – .846 v .847 – neg.
    98/22 – .919 v .966 – 5% better
    99/23 – .943 v .870 – 8% worse
    00/24 – 1.026 v 1.011 – neg.
    01/25 – 1.021 v 1.049 – neg.
    02/26 – 1.015 v 1.224 – 20% better, and that’s just sick
    03/27 – .995 v .910 – 9% worse
    04/28 – .888 v .785 – 13% worse
    05/29 – 1.031 v .894 – 15% worse
    06/30 – .914 v .939 neg.
    07/31 – 1.067 v 1.138 – 6% better
    08/32 – .980 v .813 – 20% worse

    He’s got one season where he was wildly better than his yearly total, and one (this one) where he’s wildly worse. But more often than not, he’s been worse, markedly worse, and more disturbingly, it’s happened in his prime.

    For comparison, here’s Manny, ARod’s closest peer (I know, I know, sacrilege… keep reading):

    95/23 – .960 v 1.003 – 4% better
    96/24 – .981 v .915 – 7% worse
    97/25 – .953 v .746 – 27% worse, yeesh
    98/26 – .976 v 1.045 – 7% better
    99/27 – 1.105 v 1.247 – 12% better
    00/28 – 1.154 v 1.153 – neg.
    01/29 – 1.014 v .990 – neg.
    02/30 – 1.097 v 1.374 – 25% better and sick
    03/31 – 1.014 v 1.114 – 10% better and sick
    04/32 – 1.009 v 1.098 – 8% better
    05/33 – .982 v 1.244 – 26% better and sick
    06/34 – 1.058 v 1.076 – neg.
    07/35 – .881 v .834 – 5% worse
    08/36 – .962 v 1.069 – 11% better

    Wow. Manny’s only got two bad seasons in his 15 year pro career (injury? disinterest? MBM?). And really, unlike ARod, he’s almost never been bad with RISP and often has been AMAZINGLY GOOD in that situation. Twelve years of an RISP OPS above .950 against only three years below, versus 7 and 7 for Alex.

    Let’s go deeper.

    Here’s just the tripleslash numbers for ARod in RISP situations, for more detail… but I added in the teams he played for and their finish in the standings:

    96/20 – .349/.402/.644 – SEA, 85-76, 2nd ALW
    97/21 – .301/.361/.497 – SEA, 90-72, 1st ALW (ALDS)
    98/22 – .341/.397/.569 – SEA, 76-85, 3rd ALW
    99/23 – .288/.374/.496 – SEA, 79-83, 3rd ALW
    00/24 – .295/.414/.597 – SEA, 91-71, 2nd ALW (ALCS)
    01/25 – .307/.402/.647 – TEX, 73-89, 4th ALW
    02/26 – .364/.477/.747 – TEX, 72-90, 4th ALW
    03/27 – .278/.382/.528 – TEX, 71-91, 4th ALW
    04/28 – .248/.346/.439NYY, 101-61, 1st ALE (ALCS)
    05/29 – .290/.410/.484NYY, 95-67, 1st ALE (ALDS)
    06/30 – .302/.431/.508 – NYY, 97-65, 1st ALE (ALDS)
    07/31 – .333/.460/.678NYY, 94-68, 1st ALE (ALDS)
    08/32 – .246/.400/.413NYY, 70-61, ???

    And Manny:

    95/23 – .341/.444/.558 CLE, 100-44, 1st ALC
    96/24 – .305/.396/.519 – CLE, 99-62, 1st ALC (WS)
    97/25 – .237/.358/.388 – CLE, 86-75, 1st ALC (ALDS)
    98/26 – .309/.415/.630 – CLE, 89-73, 1st ALC (WS)
    99/27 – .383/.481/.755 CLE, 97-65, 1st ALC (ALCS)
    00/28 – .354/.500/.653CLE, 90-72, 2nd ALC (ALDS)
    01/29 – .314/.437/.553 – BOS, 82-79, 2nd ALE
    02/30 – .435/.605/.769 BOS, 93-69, 2nd ALE
    03/31 – .338/.512/.603 BOS, 95-67, 2nd ALE (ALCS)
    04/32 – .340/.444/.654 BOS, 98-64, 2nd ALE (WS)
    05/33 – .358/.471/.774 BOS, 95-67, 2nd ALE (ALDS)
    06/34 – .323/.471/.605 BOS, 86-76, 3rd ALE
    07/35 – .276/.386/.448 – BOS, 96-66, 1st ALE (WS)
    08/36 – .342/.490/.579 BOS/LAD, ???

    ARod’s best seasons with RISP almost completely dovetail with the seasons where his team is furthest out of contention. Except for 2007 where he was a monster, he’s only posted an RISP slugging percentage north of .550 one time for a team in playoff contention, the 2000 Seattle Mariners. What do 2000 and 2007 have in common? Contract years. He was a beast for last place Texas and last place Seattle, but when he came to New York, again, IN HIS PRIME, he’s fallen off dramatically (except when he’s focusing on an impending contract opt-out, apparently…)

    Manny, meanwhile, has been on teams contending for the playoffs every single year of his career, and he’s a freaking metronome in the supposedly “fluky” stat of RISP. A BA north of .320 like clockwork. An OBP in the fours and fives like death and taxes. Slugging 600 and 700 like it’s going out of style. He’s a beast every year, whether he’s about to opt out or not…

    And yes, I know there are park factors to consider… but that kinda makes ARod look worse. The only Manny-like seasons he’s been able to put up are in the Bandbox at Arlington (or in walk years…)

    Look, it pains me to say this, but ARod probably just isn’t the best player on the planet like we’ve all been making him out to be. He’s wicked good, and we can’t compete without him, but unless something clicks for him, or we much, much better around him, I’m not too sure we can compete with him either.

    Jamal, RISP production may be fluky, but you have to admit there are some dark trends there in those numbers… one of these guys seems to produce in those situations and one, by and large, doesn’t.

    Now, please, convince me I’m wrong. I’m on my damn knees begging you to convince me. I want to believe again.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos


      “but unless something clicks for him, or we get much, much better around him, I’m not too sure we can compete with him either.”

    • Glen L

      What this shows me by a very quick calcuation (adding up the raw OPS dividing by 13 then adding up OPS w/ RISP dividing by 13) is that his career OPS is .976 and his career OPS w/ RISP is .963

      what are we getting worked up about?

      not to mention this ignores sacrifices and every RBI he has with a runner on first or driving himself in

      he had a bad game last night, lets just move on

    • Clayton

      You cover 13 seasons 5 where he is worse, 5 neg. and 3 better. It shows the strong fluctuations that occur over a career in batting with RISP. These fluctuations come from a small sample size. This year, he has had 165 PA with RISP out of 480 PA, or 34% of his PAs.

      Now going to his career splits we find he has 2555 PAs with RISP out of 8962 PAs or 28.5% of his PAs. He has a career line of .306/.389/.579/.968 and a .303/.404/.552/.956 career line with RISP. Very similar numbers.

      This year makes up just 6% of his career PAs with RISP.

      I think the preception comes this year because he has had more chances and has failed more than normal, but in reality he is a similar hitter with men on base or not. Unfortunately, he has been horrible this year.

      BTW all the umbers came from bref

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      But Glen, Clayton, that’s entirely NOT the point of why I did that. Sure, if you look at career numbers, things will regress to the mean. But ARod doesn’t get to play all 14 years of his career in 2008, or 2007, or 2006, or 2005, etc… only his production in those individual years count towards games in that particular season.

      My point is, there’s three types of averages: mean, median, and mode. ARod is a great hitter, both with and without RISP, in both mean and median, but his mode is quite different. I specifically broke it down to say that, while it’s true that for the balance of his career, there’s not a significant difference between his numbers in various situations, on a year-by-year basis, there is a significant deviation from his norms. While his average RISP statline is fine, he doesn’t commonly average his average; he relies on huge statistical outliers to pull his common subpar mode back towards his more attractive mean. That’s why I contrasted him to Manny, who has far, far fewer subpar or “average” seasons . Manny’s never had a year as good as Alex’s best years, but he’s still been way, way better than an average major leaguer much more consistently than ARod has, and that’s troubling.

      Troubling becomes alarming when you also notice that ARod’s most non-superhuman seasons correspond with the seasons where his team is in contention (and the contrapositive).

      Look, I’m geeked that he was a 20% better hitter with RISP last year, but those PA’s don’t help me this year, do they? I don’t need ARod to mash like that every season, but I can’t take too many more seasons with a cleanup hitter slugging below .500 with RISP. We need consistent success, not just consistency OR success.

      • Clayton

        I agree with what you said, but in baseball the majority follow the Arod trend more than the Manny trend.

        Also, part of me thinks if you look at his two worst years (04 and 08, 05 had a large percentage difference, but still a better OPS) it is something personal rather than baseball. 04 he was booed for anything and everything and in 08 he’s going through the divorce crap. I think he can’t keep the personal stuff off the field.

  • Rick in Boston

    So since so many people want to knock a guy who has a career seasonal average of .306-44-127 (with an OPS of 148), who shows up to play at a difficult defensive position, who would you theoretically replace him with?

    David Wright isn’t an option. Would you rather have Kevin “the Gamer” Youkilis? An unlike Manny Ramirez, A-Rod at least doesn’t take time off during the season to rest up. A-Rod suffers through day-to-day injuries.

    Give it up – he’s the best option the Yankees have.

  • Victor

    Watch the games CHEER the team, and stop being whiny about numbers. If Arod is not in the lineup the team is worse. He gives people ahead of him better at bats because wether pitchers fear him or not he can change the game with 1 swing. If you want to booo the guy then booo because he failed at a specific moment and be fair booo Giambi who is a HR or nothing hitter and that if he walks it doesnt mean anything because he can’t run he can’t play defense and he doesn’t help arod get better at bats because giambis batting AVG is terrible. My point is be fair when you booo, boo jeter because he sucked all year yet you cheer him when he hits into DPs. He was PART of a great team but he was not the reason the yankees won all those years, it was because the team was much better in every aspect. Now arod CARRIED a team for a whole season then you booo him for the playoffs when he struggled and no one else played around him. if you make the that argument then that means every else in that team sucks because they die if their best player doesnt bail them out. If the yankees want to win just bring a starting rotation next year, we have th bull pen and inject speed in the lineup and therre is no team in the majors who would stop them.
    Be fair with alex people, you boo him even when he comes through and booed him in the ceremony of the last game at yankee stadium, take your heads out of your ass and stop considering yourselves the smartest fans in baseball because all you are is hypocrites. You cheer only when they succeed and dont have their back when he slumps I just dont see the difference in arod playing home or away anymore because when he plays home he cant do no right. just let the guy play baseball is not fair and if you put more pressure on a player then you are just shooting yourselves on the foot.

  • Victor

    By the way I found it pretty interesting how you all cheered for Roger Maris, when all Yankee fans did was booo the guy and hate him. Very nice all you people who boo are just hypocrites. Let’s let the players play ball, the Yankees will win again with arod but i’m sure you will say he had nothing to do with it. years from now you will cheer for him when he’s not playing anymore because that’s the kind of hypocrites you all are. I have a kid and he asks me why do they boo arod because its his favorite player, he doesnt care about stats he roots for his team and his favorite player, it puts things into perspective this game is to be enjoyed so enjoy watching it Yankee fans. Our time will come again but please just let this nonsense go and let’s cheer for the Yankees let’s cheer for every player let’s enjoy watching the game.