Sep
15

The Kevin Long Appreciation Thread

By

Kevin Long kickin' ass and takin' namesThe plan was in place a few years ago. The beloved Don Mattingly was in pupil in the Joe Torre School of Managing while doubling as the team’s hitting coach. Once phase two of Mattingly’s apprenticeship was put in place – moving him from hitting coach to bench coach – the Yanks needed someone to come in and guide their group of big name hitters.

Enter Kevin Long.

An unheralded player, K-Long spent parts of eight season in the Royals’ organization after being a 31st round pick back in 1989, although he never made it to the big leagues. As a corner outfielder he hit just .273-.322-.365 in 2,599 minor league plate appearances, eventually calling it a career in 1996. Long gradually climbed the minor league coaching ranks after his playing days were over, and found himself replacing Mattingly as the Yankees’ hitting coach after spending three years with Triple-A Scranton.

While Mattingly didn’t take over for Torre, instead bolting with him to LA, Long has remained and transformed what used to be a great offense into a truly outstanding offense. Here’s where the 2009 Yankees rank among the 30 clubs in some of the key offense categories:

Runs: 829 (1st)
Hits: 1,432 (1st)
Doubles: 294 (3rd)
Homers: 221 (1st)
AVG: .283 (2nd)
OBP: .362 (1st)
SLG: .480 (1st)
OPS: .842 (1st)
Total Bases: 2,425 (1st)
Walks: 597 (1st)

And don’t even try the bandbox defense, because the Yanks are among the league leaders in road offense as well. “But Mike, the Yankees have some of the best hitters in the world, of course the team will have great offensive numbers.” Oh yeah, well check out these individual numbers:

Johnny Damon before K-Long: .289-.353-.436
Johnny Damon with K-Long: .286-.364-.452

A-Rod before K-Long: .305-.386-.573
A-Rod with K-Long: .302-.409-.587

Jorge Posada before K-Long: .270-.375-.472
Jorge Posada with K-Long: .307-.393-.515

Those are just three guys, but Long managed to make great hitters even greater. Among other things, he’s worked in the offseason with Robbie Cano, got Bobby Abreu to stop stepping in the bucket, helped A-Rod maximize his output following hip surgery, fixed Hideki Matsui’s shoulders,  and turned Melky Cabrera into a league average hitter. He’s just that damn good.

So spill your guts here folks, and tell us how much you appreciate one of the best hitting coaches in the game.

Photo Credit: Reuters Pictures

Categories : Offense
  • Mike HC

    After our first anemic offensive performance in the playoffs, everyone will be calling for his head once again. I guess that if the fun of being the hitting coach.

    • http://AOL Sgt Krunch

      THE ROSTER: First round will see CC/AJ/Andy/Joba/Aceves/Coke/Marte/Robertson/Bruney/Hughes/Mo
      and maybe Gaudin.

      Tex/Cano/Jeter/A-Rod/Damon/Cabrera/Swish/Jorge/Matsui

      Molina/Hairston/Gardner/Hinske

      The question is for the short series do we need another pitcher (Gaudin)or a position player. I like the added pitcher unless the injury bug hits late.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
        • Makavelli

          If you met two guys named Flippy and Hambone, which would you think liked dolphins the most? I’d say Flippy, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong though, it’s Hambone.

  • Tank Foster

    As much as I like to give coaches credit and believe in stuff like this, I have to admit it’s difficult.

    I’m not saying Long is bad. I’m not saying it’s impossible that he has been responsible for everything.

    But, for instance, if he’s so good, why was Cano so bad last year? And Cabrera? Didn’t Cano have his best year when Mattingly or that other guy (can’t remember name) was the hitting coach?

    I’ll say I believe Long is probably part of it. But I think the players themselves, the work they put in every day, the whole wave of confidence they are riding, the good clubhouse ‘chemistry’ (I hate that term), the decent luck this year with injuries, have all conspired to push them ahead.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Well, isn’t the accepted narrative that Long went down to the D.R. this winter to work with Cano on his swing?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I’m not saying Long is bad. I’m not saying it’s impossible that he has been responsible for everything.

      Agreed.

      Is that what Mike was saying? I don’t think that’s what Mike was saying.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        No, but statements like the one below don’t help:

        “Long has remained and transformed what used to be a great offense into a truly outstanding offense.”

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Fair enough.

  • Cam

    I know Giambi swore by him and you just get the sense the players really take to him. During the game players are constantly seeking him out. You see it on the bench all the time. You have everyone from Gardner to A-Rod chatting him up. Yes, that’s what he’s there for. But you’d assume veteran players wouldn’t search out a coach if they didn’t like him. I think Robbie is the biggest proof that this guy knows what he is doing, and my fantasy team couldn’t be happier.

  • Josh from Utah

    Great post Mike. I agree. Kevin Long has done a fine job as the Yankees hitting coach. I also love his youthful enthusiasm. He is always positioned on the top step of the dugout watching the game, chatting/laughing with players, and high fiving players after a job well done. I think that the Yankees have done a great job assembling a managerial staff. Kevin Long appears to love his job and isn’t embarrassed to show it. Good for him…How many of us can say that about our jobs?

    • andrew

      How many of us are hitting coaches for the best team in baseball?

  • Manimal

    Can we get a anti-Dave Eiland thread?

    • Chris

      Why? The Yankees are 6th in the AL in ERA and 1st in ERA since the All-Star break. I think Eiland has done a great job.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I want an anti-Manimal thread.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Remember back in April when people were calling for his head, along with Eiland’s and Girardi’s? Seems like ages ago now, huh?

    • Doug

      yankee fans fickle? who would’ve thunk it ;-)

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        Dear Kevin Long,
        I’m sorry. I was wrong–you were right.

        Sincerely,
        Me
        (and SHITLOADS of other people)

        • jsbrendog

          king of fruitless hypotheticals: 1
          other reactionary yankee fans: 0

          ::golf clap::

    • Tom Zig

      I know a bunch of people who still want Joe Torre.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I still think we shouldn’t have fired John McGraw.

        • jsbrendog

          i can’t believe we haven’t hired billy martin’s head

          /futurama’d

        • Thomas

          Good thing we didn’t, since John McGraw managed the NY Giants.

          The Yankees had Joe McCarthy.

          • Tom Zig
          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            John McGraw played for and managed the first Baltimore Orioles in 1901 and 1902. In 1903, the Orioles moved to Manhattan and became the New York Highlanders (later known as the New York Yankees), and McGraw jumped ship to manage the New York Giants.

            Thomas Baseball History FAIL.

            • Thomas

              Thomas Baseball History Life FAIL.

              Might as well go all out.

            • Tank Foster

              So if McGraw jumped ship, we didn’t ‘fire’ him now did we?

              tsjc nitpicking grammatical and/or historical FAIL

      • jsbrendog

        seriously? wha’s their reasoning?

        • Tom Zig

          Reasoning? You’re asking for too much

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Personally, I think Scott Brosius is better than ARod, and I don’t care what anybody else says.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      I have to admit, I was wrong about him as well. I wanted the Yankees to hire Rudy Jaramillo, but I’m glad I was wrong.

      I really think you guys should do an entire coaching appreciation thread. Mick Kelleher has turned the infield defense into a huge positive, and Rob Thompson has done a great job as third base coach.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Well, it’s not like Rudy Jaramillo is a slouch. I can’t fault you for wanting that.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        You know, any coaching staff is going to look good with a team playing as well as this team has, but it really does seem like this coaching staff is very strong and has been a major positive for this team. This is something that should be acknowledged when people think about whether they like Girardi or not – the Yankees let him build his own coaching staff, and in his second season he has what looks to be a motivated, professional, knowledgeable and effective coaching staff surrounding him. I don’t always love Girardi as an in-game tactician, but he definitely gets credit for assembling and leading this coaching staff.

        So yeah, I co-sign on Andy’s comment. This coaching staff is the balls.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Makes wolverines purr.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    “and turned Melky Cabrera into a league average hitter the best hitting CF in the American League East. He’s just that damn good.”

    Fixed.

    • jsbrendog

      is this really true?

      • Chris

        Technically… no.

        By OPS:
        Jones: .792
        Melky: .771
        Ellsbury: .759
        Wells: .719
        Upton: .676

        By RAA:
        Ellsbury: 7.9
        Jones: 5.8
        Melky: 3.9
        Wells: -6.8
        Upton: -9.8

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          Jones is stuck where he is.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Well, let’s think about it for a second. Whom would you take:

        Melky or Taco Bellsbury: Melky.
        Melky or Vernon Wells: Melky
        Melky or B.J. Upton: You’d take BJ, but he’s having his worst year ever, so this year, it’s Melky.
        Melky or Eric Davis II: Davis has gone colder than Kate Beckinsale in the second half. Melky’s techincally outhitting him at the moment.

        It’s debatable, but Melky may be #1 at the moment. I’d say it’s:
        Melky/Jones = Jones/Melky >> The second best American Indian in the AL East >>> Wells > Upton

        • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

          Give me Ellsbury over Melky.

          WAR
          Melky: 1.6
          Jacoby: 1.8

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Upton’s coming in at 2.2. Gotta love that fielding, haha.

            • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

              Can’t believe Adam Jones is only a 1.8.

              My eyes tell me different.

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                -3.9 UZR/150.

          • Chris

            That’s not a really fair comparison. Melky would be ahead of Ellsbury if he hadn’t played only CF instead of in the corners a lot.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              That’s a fair point.

              • Chris

                I was only referring to the positional adjustment that Fangraphs does, but oddly enough Melky’s UZR is better in CF than in LF or RF.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  No, I get what you mean. Melky gets docked a few points for time spent on the corners and that could make up the 0.02 WAR difference. Basically, Ellsbury and Melky are the same player this year. They both play shaky defense, Ellsbury steals more, and Melky hits for more power.

          • Tank Foster

            Gosh a whole 0.2 WAR difference. How can there be any doubt that Jacoby is the better player?

        • AndrewYF

          You would take Ellsbury over Melky. Their numbers are similar, and Ellsbury is much faster.

          • Tom Zig

            Ellsbury sucks defensively in CF. But he is stuck there because he doesn’t hit for enough power to justify a corner spot, and JD Drew and Jason Bay are both not going anywhere.

            • AndrewYF

              No he doesn’t. Don’t take too much stock in UZR. It’s a flawed and unreliable metric.

              • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

                It’s a flawed and unreliable metric.

                Even if this is true and it is flawed to some degree, it is still the best metric out there to judge defense.

              • Tom Zig

                Sure it has a few flaws, but he has a -11 UZR/150. It can’t be THAT far off.

              • Chris

                Just because it’s flawed doesn’t mean you should ignore it. When a player is that negative defensively, it means they’re actually playing poorly.

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                Fine, by my eyes, when I watched Ellsbury play CF a good deal over the last year and a half or so because of being in NESN territory, he’s not that good. He plays way too deep and his speed doesn’t help him get to balls in front of him that he should. His arm is nothing special, either.

                • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

                  To pile on with Matt ACTY/BBD: Ellsbury also takes horrendous routes that his speed sometimes makes up for but sometimes doesn’t. This ups the number of “webgems” he makes but doesn’t make him a better fielder at all.

              • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

                Yes, he does. Go to any Red Sox board and they all say the same thing: the man can not take a proper route to a well-hit ball to save his life. For all the speed he has, there should be no reason for him to be constantly flying through the air to make these highlight-reel catches. He takes bad routes, and he uses his speed and athleticism to make up for it as much as he physically can.

                • Tom Zig

                  So you’re telling me that he makes the easy plays look hard?

                • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

                  I wouldn’t classify them as “easy,” but yes, essentially.

                • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

                  That’s downright Jeterian.

                • Whitey14

                  That’s okay, Jim Edmonds got away with the catch and dive for years and his defense was considered stellar. Now granted, he had a decent arm compared to Ellsbury…

            • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

              You would take Melky over Ellsbury though?

              • Tom Zig

                Tough call. I’m leaning towards Ellsbury.

                • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

                  The only reason I would even think about keeping Melky is to keep Cano happy.

                  Give me Ells and those 50 + stolen bases everyday of the week.

                • Tom Zig

                  Ellsbury has 61 steals. So basically any single or walk is a double.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  The only reason I would even think about keeping Melky is to keep Cano happy.

                  PA LA TUMBA!!!!

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related (bikini-safe)

                • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

                  And with the Yankees power offense, I believe that’s a better asset than Melky hitting for a bit more power.

          • Chris

            Melky is younger though.

        • Kilgore Trout

          How exactly is Kate Beckinsale cold?

          • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

            Her new movie I’m guessing.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
              • Riddering

                No link from you is truly safe, TSJC.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Ellsbury: .299/.349/.410
        Wells: .261/.315/.405
        Upton: .237/.308/.368
        Jones: .277/.335/.477
        Cabrera: .280/.343/.428

        By wOBA:
        Ellsbury: .349
        Jones: .343
        Melky: .338
        Wells: .317
        Upton: .305

      • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

        From a purely statistical standpoint in just the 2009 season, sure, you can make that argument; and that’s only because Adam Jones has seen his production drop every month the season has progressed.

        • Ed

          and that’s only because Adam Jones has seen his production drop every month the season has progressed.

          Sounds like what we’re usually saying about Melky this time of year.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      HTML FAIL. There were supposed to be strike marks though “a league average hitter”.

  • RCK

    I agree with the other commenters that Long’s demeanor on the bench is really appealing, and you can see how much the players like him. Every article I’ve ever read that mentions him, it’s someone saying something positive.

    Hitting is mysterious, right? It’s hard to say how much the hitting coach can do, but Long seems like a great and hardworking guy. I’m happy to give him some credit.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Agreed. It’s tough to judge coaches, especially on a team like the Yankees with so many guys who are expected to be stars. But they all seem to really like him and respect and appreciate the work he does, he seems to really care about the job and work as hard as he can, and the results seem to be there. I think that’s pretty much all you can ask for, right? So yeah, good for Kevin Long… He seems like a really good guy and it looks like he’s been doing a very nice job.

  • mos

    Fun fact: my next-door neighbor was a AAA catcher in the Royals system, and is good buddies with K-Long.

    …Ok, so it’s really only a fun fact for me. But I like chatting baseball with him, and his photo album is very cool. Lots of pictures of him (my neighbor) with guys who eventually became big names, like Kevin Long.

  • mryankee

    I would take Sizemiore 1st over anyone else. Melky has done a nice job this year but there does not seem to be much ceiling for him. Sizemore will be back healthy next year and he is the complete player. In terms of coaches how much credit should they get if as a hitting coach you have AROD-TEX-JETER-POSADA ETC in the lineup. My valuation on a coach is whate he does wih the younger players-Joba-wang-aj-(eiland) not so good-hughes and robertson-good.

    • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

      How is he doing a bad job with Joba but a good one with Hughes?

      Joba was dominant in the pen, just like Hughes has been now. Hughes struggled and showed flashes of brilliance as a starter just like Joba is doing now.

      • mryankee

        Well we will have to see how Hughes responds to returning to the rotation next year. If he stays as sharp as he is then Eiland will be credited if not then he should be questioned. With Joba I am not hearing any answers from Eiland-we all have come up with more reasons for lack of quality stuff from Joba then he has and he is the pitching coach. Why does it take Derek Jeter getting in his face to get Joba to throw harder? Is that not Eiland’s job? I mean a guy is not performing up to expectations and the pitching coach should be accountable for loack of performance. Is that not why he is the pitching coach?

    • Tom Zig

      I knew you would come in and say something about a good player who cannot be obtained

      • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

        Ya ya ya, enough about Kevin Long. What do you guys think it will take to get Verlander! That’s what we should be discussing right now.

        • mryankee

          I never brougt up his name and did a few recent posts not mention ellsbury? I was stating who I thought was the better centerfielder. Wait let me get back to blindly praising the yankees and not trying to be somewhat critical. The funny thing is if the Yankees did obtain Justin Verlander then everyone in here would be happy?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            did a few recent posts not mention ellsbury?

            Yes, they did. Because we were discussing AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST DIVISION CENTERFIELDERS. NOT DISCUSSING GRADY SIZEMORE.

            Wait let me get back to blindly praising the yankees and not trying to be somewhat critical.

            I don’t think you know what being critical is.

            • mryankee

              Ok give me an example of how you would be critical? maybe I might learn something from the professional commentors.

          • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “Wait let me get back to blindly praising the yankees and not trying to be somewhat critical.”

            You’re insinuating that everyone else around here blindly praises the Yankees and isn’t critical or objective in their analysis. But there’s no evidence that your assertion is accurate. Any reasonable person can understand that. Prove whether or not you’re a reasonable person by explaining whether you understand that or not.

            “The funny thing is if the Yankees did obtain Justin Verlander then everyone in here would be happy?”

            Nobody doesn’t want Verlander, it’s just that nobody wants to have a pointless conversation about a hypothetical trade that we have no indication has any base in reality or even any chance to happen in the future. Any reasonable person can understand that. Prove whether or not you’re a reasonable person by explaining whether you understand that or not.

            • mryankee

              I di not bring him up and the nly reason I ever brought him up was in a different discussion and for only two reasons. 1: the tigers are the likely 1st round opponet and he might pitch twice inthe series. 2: I thought he was a good model for Joba in terms of career path.

              • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Care to actually respond to my comment? Your response is completely irrelevant to what I said.

                • mryankee

                  I will respond to what I perceive your comment to be-1: everytime I bring up a reason that the Yankees are not the best team in the world or why they might not win it all-I get attacked-(fine) I will try to connect two complaints-1: I talk about Verlander to much ok fine I only do it because as I said before he on the team we will face in round 1-2 he is a major reason why the Tigers might win-note: I said might I did not say would. I Think me saying the Tigers have a good starting rotation and the Yankees after CC have some issu is factual and reasonable.

                  The other issue I harp on is Joba Chamberlain I perceive that there is a reason his velocity os down and we can all guess but to the point about the thread being about yankee coaches. I would like if the pitching coachon this team would tell the fans what he sees and why Joba has not pitched to expecations.

                • Rick in Boston

                  Why should Girardi/Eiland tell the fans what’s wrong? They shouldn’t just say “He’s out of shape”, “He’s hurt”, “He’s just not that good”. It plays into the other team having an advantage. They have no reason and you should have no expectation that the Yankees should tell anyone outside of their organization what’s wrong with a player.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Stop it. You’re playing this little game where you respond to “what you perceive my comment to be” because you can’t respond to the actual words written very plainly and without room for much wiggle-room in interpretation without acknowledging that you’re wrong. My comment isn’t vague or difficult to understand. You bring things up out of left field (there is no reason to bring up Joba in response to my comment) because you can’t answer my comment without admitting you’re wrong. Just stop it already, you only hurt your own credibility and, thus, people’s interest in even giving you a chance to make a point, by acting the way you act.

                  My words were clear. Either respond to the plain meaning of my words or don’t respond at all.

                • Whitey14

                  No matter what Red Sox fans think, nobody criticizes the Yankees better (and more accurately) than their own fans. Probably one of the more important things I’ve learned here…..

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  That, and the fact that you’re supposed to take a bath or shower every day, and not just a couple of times a year.

                • Whitey14

                  That’s not very nice. I always speak well of you.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Especially since the statement was:

        …and turned Melky Cabrera into the best hitting CF in the American League East.

        The Cleveland Indians collectively and Grady Sizemore individually: Not in the AL East

        mryankee: consistent FAIL

      • mryankee

        I heard a lot earlier in the season about Victor Martinez not being able to be obtained. The Red Sox found a way to get him. Your probably right about Sizemore but I am not sure anyone cannot be obtained.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      1. Sizemore is not in the AL East, thus he was not discussed in the conversation above (which is what I assume you’re referring to).

      2. Your point about it being tough to give coaches too much credit when they have talented players to work with is fair enough.

      3. Your point about Eiland is ridiculous. Neither Wang nor AJ are “younger players,” nor does the blame for Wang’s injury or AJ’s being AJ fall on Eiland’s shoulders.

      So you’re batting .333 in this thread. Good in baseball, not so good in commenting.

      • mryankee

        I expanded the centerfielder discussion from the east to the central. If coaches are paraised by theplayers for their successes, which happens a lot-then we should be able to discuss the coaches accountability when they do not succeed. If AJ has an issue in his mechanics and or approach, then Eiland has some responsibility to locate that issue and bring it to the players attention, regardless of age.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I expanded the centerfielder discussion from the east to the central.

          Nobody asked you to or wanted you to.

          • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

            Damn tommie, lay off a little bit. mryankee has feelings too.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Meh. He’s been spoken to about this topic before.

              • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

                Missed the Anchorman reference there.

                Ron Burgundy: Go easy on her guys, she has feelings too you know.

                Brian Fantana: Listen to Burgundy, he sounds like some school boy bitch.

                Champ Kind: You sound like a gay.

                Ron Burgundy: Hey, this is me, Papa Burgundy.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Heh, sorry.

                  I guess mryankee has really crawled up into my head.

                • Tom Zig

                  He is psyching you out. Next thing you know, he is going trick you into arguing that Joba and Hughes belong in the bullpen.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        And, let’s be honest: Point #2 is not exactly a grand-slam home run, it’s more of a weak bobbled infield single.

        So, mryankee may be batting .333, but his tripleslash is .333/.333/.333. A .666 OPS is nothing to get crazy over.

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Heh, yeah… It’s just… , Strength of the point aside, it’s at least a reasonable point that is relevant in this thread. When I said that the second point was fair and counted it as a positive for mryankee I meant it more in the Axlvelli “TSJC has given me his official seal of approval by saying my comment was less shitty than the most shitty comment ever” sense.

          (Mak – Just kidding around. You know it was funny when you pulled that stunt, you joked about it yourself when it happened.)

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            True.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      mryankee, this stops now. This thread is not about Grady Sizemore. It is not about Joba Chamberlain, it is not about Justin Verlander. It is about Keving Long. Only the second part of your comment addresses that, and even then you veer (though acceptably so).

      Stop. If you want to talk about Grady Sizmore and Justin Verlander coming to the Yankees, start your own site.

  • alex gonzalez

    “Long has remained and transformed what used to be a great offense into a truly outstanding offense.” this has to be a hyperbole. what is next saying mike harkey is the reason that mariano and hughes have been so good this year. i could have been the hitting instructor and just told tex to do whatever and he would still hit well. he contributes but not that much.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      So, it’s today, not last night. Tell me how A-Rod failed last night. I’d love to hear it.

      • alex gonzalez

        that isn’t on topic with this thread. this is about kevin long. not A-fraud.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Fair enough. I still fail to see any reason why he “failed” last night.

          • Tom Zig

            He didn’t hit a 5-run homerun.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      My retort:

      The only thing that matters is wins and losses. The Yankees win more often and lose less often than any other team in baseball, therefore both Kevin Long and Dave Eiland are better than all other hitting and pitching coaches in baseball.

      Refute that shit, I dare you.

      /argumentconclusivelyproven’d

      • alex gonzalez

        the only thing that matters is wins and looses. kevin long and dave eiland have very little impact on how pitchers and hitters really do. a professional like tex didnt become better because of kevin long. cc isn’t better because of dave eiland. isn’t there a chance the hitters and pitchers are just really good this year? and not any of the coaches.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          No, they probably don’t have a huge impact, but there are subtle things both hitting coaches and pitching coaches can do to improve the players. We rarely see those things, though, because we’re not behind the scenes watching the bullpen or hitting sessions that the players have with the respective coach.

        • Mike HC

          It is called a “team.” When things are going well, everyone on the team deserves credit, from the hitting coach to the ball boys. When things are not going well, everyone deserves part of the blame. That is what a team is all about.

          • alex gonzalez

            the ball boys deserve credit? do i deserve credit as a fan. some of my money is going to them being a team.

            • Mike HC

              Yes, even the fans deserve credit. The new Yankee Stadium has been rocking lately. I surely celebrate like I did something after big wins, ha.

              • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                You’re going too far. The team, the coaches, the people handling player personnel, they all deserve credit. The ball boys and the fans do not get credit when the team wins.

                • Mike HC

                  hahaha … I can agree with that. But are you saying that fan noise does not have a positive effect on the home team under any circumstance? Because I disagree with that.

                • alex gonzalez

                  too late. i now am partially responsible for this teams success.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Mike HC – Of course I’m not saying that, of course there’s a home field advantage. (And I said nothing of the sort in my comment above, for the record.) But you know you’re taking it too far.

                • Mike HC

                  yes you are. So don’t be so quick to hate when you see something wrong. Because you take some blame as well when Girardi gets harrassed by reporters asking questions that fans like you want to hear.

                • Mike HC

                  Mr. Congressman, yes, I definitely am taking it too far.

                • Mike HC

                  Oh yea, also, I was wrong. Jeter breaking the record on Sept 11 … not eerie at all. Not weird. Not superstitious in any way.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “So don’t be so quick to hate when you see something wrong.”

                  This, I can’t agree to. If something is wrong and I know it’s wrong, I’ll say so. Very sorry if that hurts someone’s feelings but it’s not about the person, it’s about what the person said.

                  “Because you take some blame as well when Girardi gets harrassed by reporters asking questions that fans like you want to hear.”

                  I’m not even sure what this means. Yes, of course fans can provide a home field advantage which helps the team and can also contribute to the pressure put on a team either themselves or through the media. No, this doesn’t mean the fans get credit when the team wins or blame when the team loses. There’s a reasonable cut-off point (you know this) where the credit/blame stops. If a hobo in South Dakota drops an old Yankees hat in the dirt and a kid picks up that hat and keeps it and finds out who the Yankees are and becomes a Yankees fan and 30 years later buys tickets to a couple of games and cheers his heart out, thus contributing to the home field advantage, does the hobo in South Dakota get credit for the Yankees winning because if he hadn’t dropped that Yankees hat in the dirt that poor little wretch of a boy wouldn’t have become a Yankees fan and contributed to the home field advantage for 2 days? To end an unnecessarily long argument with a very short answer: Fuck no.

                  I know you’re kidding at this point, but you’re really only half-kidding, and what you’re half-kidding (so, therefore, half serious) about is incorrect.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  That’s funny, I peed my pants the moment was so eerie. The awe inspired the urine right out of me.

                  Joking aside, let’s please not bring up that conversation ever again. We all agreed to drop it. It was highly retarded.

                • Mike HC

                  yes, you get a good read on people. I am half kidding, half serious. so I will take your response the same.

                  The Sept 11 thing, I was being serious before, not sarcastic. I was wrong and glad to admit it.

        • Mike HC

          I feel as if all the of RAB big three have alter commenting egos. I’m not saying Alex Gonzalez is one of the alter egos, but I would not be shocked. Maybe I have been listening to too many conspiracy theories lately.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Maybe I have been listening to too many conspiracy theories lately.

            http://www.thepeoplescube.com/.....ds_Isl.gif (safe, but dumb)

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        That just happened.

    • Chris

      You throw out Mike Harkey in jest, but he might be responsible for some of Mo’s success. Under Harkey, Mo has a 9.8 K/9 rate and a 1.2 BB/9 rate. That’s the lowest walk rate of his career and the K rate is only beaten by his 1996 season. I don’t think that’s the typical progression for a 38-39 year old reliever.

  • Eric S

    Regarding the comments about all the coaches doing a good job this year…I agree as well. Doesn’t this also reflect well upon Girardi?

    • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

      Yeah, I believe so.

      Girardi is the fucking man, yo!

      Manager of the year or no cause he’s on the evil Yankees?

      • alex gonzalez

        isn’t there a chance some managers have been better then him?

        • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

          None.

        • mryankee

          I vote Mike Sciossa with all the inj-tragedy they had to deal with-

        • Tom Zig

          The only one I can see would be Mike Scioscia

          • mryankee

            It will be Sciossa-the only other contender might be washington if the Rangers got into the playoffs I could see him

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              With no snark or vitriol, I genuinely would like to know your rationale for picking Scoscia or Washington for AL Manager of the year.

              Build a case for them, mryankee. I’m all ears.

              • mryankee

                I stated that if the Rangers get to the playoffs I could see making a case over Sciossa-however as it appears they will not and The Angels have had to deal with major injury losses inthe pitching staff all year, an inconsistent and hurting Vlad Guerrero and the death of Nick Adenhart. I feel that since they are probably going to win thier division and all those issues being overcome, Sciossa would be manager of the year.

                • Tom Zig
                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Okay, but, is any of what the Angels have done more impressive than what the Yankees have done? The Yankees are the better team and are winning the tougher division by the larger margin.

                  Losing Nick Adenhart sucks, sure, but the Yankees lost Wang and Nady, and had just as many injuries as the Angels did, maybe more.

                • Rick in Boston

                  You have to think of it the way the media sees it:

                  Tragic death >>>>> losing multiple players to injury

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  But they’re not talking about how the media sees it, they’re talking about who they think should win the award. The media is irrelevant.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Again, Rick, this is not a media question.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  (As TSJC said below.)

                • Rick in Boston

                  Fine TSJC, but mryankee stated why his opinion is the Angels: the injuries/tragedy. And that is his opinion, no matter how poorly worded it is. Let it go – you’re starting to come off as petulent as he is, albeit better worded. You know he’s not going to come off of it, but you’re also showing that you’re not willing to listen to his reasoning.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Fine TSJC, but mryankee stated why his opinion is the Angels: the injuries/tragedy. And that is his opinion, no matter how poorly worded it is.

                  And Rick, I wasn’t saying that he (mryankee) was wrong to have those two things as his reasons.

                  I merely said what I said to keep YOU from justifying HIS reasons by shrouding them in the cloak of media bias. You were butting into the conversation between mryankee and I with non-germane information that was muddying the waters, and I didn’t want my discussion hijacked.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Dude… No offense to TSJC, since I”m pretty sure he’d be the first person to admit that sometimes he can sometimes go after people a bit, but this is probably the least “petulant,” to use your word, that he (or anyone) can be when having a conversation with mryankee (or anyone else, for that matter). He asked mryankee for the reasoning underpinning his opinion, listened, then responded, all rather calmly and matter of factly. In his own words: “With no snark or vitriol, I genuinely would like to know your rationale for picking Scoscia or Washington for AL Manager of the year.” Then he responded without snark or condescension after mryankee explained his case. If you thought he came off petulant in that particular conversation, you might not know what “petulant” means.

              • Chris

                Are we allowed to comment without snark or vitriol? I thought that was against the commenting guidelines.

              • Rick in Boston

                TSJC, mryankee might be right, but only because of who votes for the Manager of the Year. The media will look at the fact the Angels have been banged up, suffered the tragic loss of a key young member of their team and that they’re winning that division. While the Yankees have outplayed a lot of projections and predictions, the media will still look at the Yankees and say “They’ve got the money and the stars, of course they should win”.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  The “media bias” line isn’t germane to this issue. I wasn’t asking mryankee why he thought someone else would vote for Scoscia, I asked him why HE’D vote for Scoscia.

            • Tom Zig

              nah Washington hasn’t got a chance. It is Girardi or Scioscia. But if it were up to Peter Gammons, Terry Francona would have it.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          isn’t there a chance some managers have been better then him?

          Nope. He’s got the most wins. Wins are all that matter.

          • Tom Zig

            How many wins does Arod have?

            0! Therefore he is the suck.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            A classy gentleman like yourself would agree that style points also matter, yes?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Nope. There’s only two ways to evaluate who is better than someone else: Who has more wins, and who has more money.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke9iShKzZmM

          • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

            IETC

      • Tom Zig

        No Yankee will win any award this year because all we do is spend money.

      • Eric S

        Girardi is weird because on the macro level, he’s done a good job – record is great, bullpen has been sorted out, lineup is looking good, coaches are getting the job done, team chemistry is good, etc. But you look at some of the day-to-day and tactical decisions that don’t make any sense (like Swisher’s pop-up bunt, some of the in-game bullpen moves, other small-ball moves) and have to wonder how it all adds up.

      • Jersey

        I don’t think a Yankee manager will win MotY unless a) payroll gets cut by $70 million or so, or b) the team makes the playoffs despite a series of catastrophic injuries that cause everyone to count them out of the race in May.

        • Tom Zig

          Both Posada and Molina got hurt

          Nady – Don’t even remember what he looks like
          Wang – huge sucktitude followed by season-ending surgery
          A-rod was out for the first 28 games, and needed to be rested once a week

          Bullpen falters majorly early on.
          Both primary setup men were injured for extended lengths of time.

          Yanks lose 8 straight to Boston

          Now the Yanks have a 7.5 game lead and a magic number of 12.

          • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

            What the fuck is a Nady?

          • Chris

            There are two separate, and only slightly related, discussions to have about the manager of the year award:

            1. Who is the best manager in baseball

            2. Who will the BBWAA vote for in the balloting

            In order to win the manager of the year, you need a team that succeeds with an (apparent) lack of talent. The Yankees don’t qualify because they appear to have a lot of talent. The Angels do qualify because they don’t appear to have much talent.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Exactly.

              I’m not asking people to predict what name the idiotmonkeys at the BBWAA would pick out of a non-Yankee-included hat for their awards, I’m asking who YOU PERSONALLY would vote for, if you had a vote.

              A vote they’d never give you, since you have opposable thumbs.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Your My ideas intrigue me and I’d like to subscribe to your my newsletter.

      http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-581085

      • Eric S

        I’d blame the slowness of posting to the site during lunch hour, but the reality is I just didn’t read all the comments before posting.

        Great point though! :)

        /fine’d

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Heh, sorry, sometimes I have to let my inner petulant child out to play.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      I would agree that the coaches doing good jobs does reflect well. If they get to 100+ wins, he should get some love for Manager of Year. But Girardi’s in-game decision often puzzle me. I’m not completely sold on him being a good manager. Sometimes I feel like he gets bailed out of poor tactical moves by having an extremely talented team. I guess it really is picking nits to think they’d be 1-2 games better with a manager that was a better tactician….

      Of course if they get 27 this year, well, then I’ll just suck it up and deal with Girardi’s funky in-game decisions.

  • Manimal

    Ouch, Yanks start the 2010 series in Boston for 3 games, then in Tampa, then home opener vs angels. Dont think it could get worse than that.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Bring it on. I have no problem making Mike Scoscia watch the Yanks receive their rings, I think that would be pretty awesome.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        +27

      • Nady Nation

        Plus, if we win it all this year, doesn’t that make the opener in Boston the Sunday Night game to kick off the season? It would be totally awesome to rub our world champion-ness in their faces on national TV.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Huh? What are you talking about, Manimal? You lost me.

    • Mike HC

      Not even the most cynical of Yankee fans can be worrying about the first 10 games of next season already … right?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Like I said, I want an Anti-Manimal thread.

        That guy is a habitual line-stepper.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      WTF, dude. Please keep comments on topic.

    • Riddering

      Manimal’s confidence level is divided by zero and that scares me.

  • Salty Buggah

    I appreciate Kevin Long

    • Mike HC

      ha, I liked this comment

      • Mike HC

        sorry. When in Rome …

        IETC

    • Riddering

      Dude, OT comment! I like it.

  • theyankeewarrior

    You guys and our defensive statistics all make me sick. How can you say Jacoby Ellsbury is a bad CF? I hate him with a passion but he runs down every liner known to man out there. I’m sure he’s no Willie Mays, but with the way the dam UZR ranks players, I wouldn’t be suprised to see the 1996 version of Ken Griffey Jr. coming in at a -13. Sometimes, it’s okay to use your eyes and judge their speed, athleticism and tendencies to make bone-headed plays. To me, it’s clear that Jacoby Ellsbury is not a below average CF by any means

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Did you not see my comment and the comment from Jamal about actually watching Ellsbury play? Just because he’s fast doesn’t mean he’s a good defender if he takes poor routes to the ball or gets bad reads.

    • theyankeewarrior

      Maybe UZR could rank typing skillz I would be a -1000

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Maybe UZR could rank typing skillz…

        http://icanhascheezburger.file.....llz-dj.jpg (safe)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      How can you judge Ellsbury with your eyes if you haven’t even watched 1/8 of his career games?

      • theyankeewarrior

        It must be a coincidence that I cant recall one bad play he’s made (not saying he doesn’t make bad plays but I watch these games intently and I really can’t name an error) and I know I’ve seen him play over 100 games (probably closer to a full season’s worth). I’m not saying he’s a godsend I’m saying hes a great athlete out there. How can he be taking so many bad paths to the ball if he makes diving catches on full sprints every other night? Maybe you can explain to some of the less-enlightened baseball followers how the UZR system can track every ball that’s hit in every situation, off every slugger’s bat, and how hey know the paths that terrible CF’s suck as Jacoby Ellsbury are taking to catch them…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Over 100 games? The Yankees have played the Red Sox fewer than 50 times since Ellsbury came up. So you’ve watched all those, plus over 50 more Sox games?

          As for education, that’s for you to take care of yourself. I’m not as unforgiving as some commenters on this, so here are some links.

          http://www.baseballthinkfactor.....3-03-14_0/
          http://www.baseballthinkfactor.....3-03-21_0/
          http://www.insidethebook.com/e.....t_speak/#3

          It took me literally 10 seconds to pull those up on a Google search. Please, don’t start writing off stats until you actually understand them.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          UZR doesn’t look at the paths a fielder takes to get to the bal. UZR looks at how many balls a fielder gets to, relative to how many the average fielder at the same position does.

        • Rick in Boston

          The diving catches are born of his poor route taking and bad positioning. Even if you watch the game, you won’t always see where he’s setup or the full route he takes to the ball. He gets away with bad jumps and shaking routes because of his speed. If/when Ellsbury loses a step, he’s going to be Damon without the pop.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/assessing-brackmans-season-part-i-16790/#comment-579681 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Maybe you can explain to some of the less-enlightened baseball followers how the UZR system can track every ball that’s hit in every situation, off every slugger’s bat…

          Sure, I’d be glad to. UZR does this by watching the games, just like you claim to do. Unlike you, however, UZR uses a team of cameras and statisticians to record every play immediately and place it in a database. You do the same thing, but you don’t watch every play and don’t store every play in a database, because you’re just a guy. One of them.

          Lots of guys and cameras watching and recording every play from every game, without precondition, bias or the frailty and flaw of the human memory >>>>>>>>>> you

          …and how hey know the paths that terrible CF’s suck as Jacoby Ellsbury are taking to catch them…

          UZR does not “know the paths that terrible CF’s… are taking to catch them”. UZR doesn’t give a crap about the path. It’s not about the “how”, it’s about the “what”.

          Ball X was hit to Spot Y. Player Z was in the field at the time. Player Z either did or did not catch Ball X at Spot Y. This situation is then compared to league averages of how often players in Player Z’s position convert Ball X hit to Spot Y into an out.

          There are no style points. The “Jacoby Ellsbury takes bad routes to the ball” is not a function of UZR. It’s a theory developed by people watching the game (like you and me) to explain why a fielder with such natural defensive ability potential can somehow be such a sub-average fielder.

          He has the ability to record outs on Ball Xs hit to Spot Ys, but he doesn’t. Perhaps it’s because he takes bad routes. It’s just a theory.

          UZR is not a theory, UZR is just raw results. Compared to other centerfielders, Jacoby Ellsbury converts fewer balls hit into the vicinity of centerfield into outs than his peers. Fact. The interpretation of that fact is left up to you.

          • Tom Zig

            Probably the best explanation of UZR in laymen’s terms.

          • Tank Foster

            Lots of guys and cameras watching and recording every play from every game, without precondition, bias or the frailty and flaw of the human memory >>>>>>>>>> you

            No, they’re human, so it is impossible for them to be without biopsy, precondition, frailty, and flaw. They watch plays and have to make a judgement on how hard a ball is hit, and the judgements are crude – “hard, medium, slow,” etc. They make judgements on where the player was at the beginning of the play, and exactly where and on what vector the ball was hit. There are human judgements in there. There is no mechanism, anywhere, to assess whether the stringers are reliable…meaning do they judge the speed of hit balls or the vectors the same….there is no mechanism to control for inter-observer variation. The comparison numbers between different fielders are indices, and the significance and scale of the indices is not known. Is a UZR of 2 twice as good as UZR of 1? Is the difference between 1 and 3 the same as the difference between 3 and 5?

            There is natural variance in athletic performance, and two identical twins playing in the exact same circumstances are going to get different results. So any statistic requires some sort of assessment as to its significance. Specifically, when can we be sure that the difference between 2 players is truly due to something other than just random variation?

            In UZR, we don’t know what that number is. Two players with UZRs of 5 and 8 might be equal fielders, the differences being simply chance. Or, 5 and 8 might represent vastly different ability levels.

            This is what I keep harping on, and nobody seems to get.

            The comment that “it’s imperfect, but it’s the best we have” is, I’m sorry, stupid. If the stat is flawed and is leading to erroneous conclusions, then some other stat, or other form of evaluation, would be better.

            This number appeals to everyone because it’s so complicated sounding. The methodology – watching all plays, and trying to quantify events – is sound and solid. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine whether the conclusions are valid.

            So’s ya don’t think I’m just pissing all over UZR, the reason I don’t like it is that the numbers for players vary so much from year to year. Players go from being, if you believe UZR, far below league averages one year, then way above them the next. For this degree of variation, there must be some serious slop in the system.

            That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

            • Tank Foster

              duh….without “biopsy”???? Sorry, work language seeping into baseball posts.

              *without bias….

              And “Them” in the first paragraph refers to the “stringers”, the guys watching the games and recording events.

            • pete

              I agree (almost) whole-heartedly. I don’t think that UZR is quite as inaccurate as you make it out to be – over the course of a 162 game season, positions like OF, SS, 2B, and 3B can, I believe, be judged to a degree better than that of your average joe who watches the games, because the amount of data will have accumulated so much for each player that factors like chance, velocity/vectors will even out to a degree. However, I do believe that with today’s technology it really would not be that difficult to get a much better (possibly perfect) defensive metric. When you consider the incredible precision and accuracy of PITCH/fx, it really isn’t hard to imagine a computer algorithm, that calculates things like the angle and velocity of the ball leaving the bat, wind, and other things that come into play. I would say this kind of technology/analysis is 2-3 years away.

              • theyankeewarrior

                Awesome explanation. I’ve read enough threads to have a basic understanding of UZR, I guess my point is that UZR can’t judge situations. It can’t judge whether a fielder needs to catch a ball, it can’t judge how hard a ball is hit (can it?) It can’t judge the wind conditions. It can’t judge overspin. It can’t judge how big of a swing the batter took (often drawing even the best fielders to take a step back or hesitate) upon blooping a dunker in. What I’m saying is that judging defense is like comparing apples and oranges. Every ball that is hit in every situation is completely different. (And yes, Joe, I’ve watched about 50 or more non-Yankee Sox games over the past few seasons. I tend to watch and root against them when they’re on ESPN) Maybe UZR is the best way to put defensive performance into a number but I think it can certainly be improved, and until they formulate a system to incorporate some of these other factors, they are playing with flawed stats. But if you say Jacoby Ellsbury is a garbage CF’er, and you’re right, then I’m siked. Praise me to Mo.

    • Tom Zig

      So because it challenges your view on certain things, it MUST be wrong.

  • ADam

    I’ll Admit… I wanted Long Gone Ha (get it) back in June… But my foot is in my mouth… Hes done a great job and will prob be a bench coach/mgr someday

  • Charlie

    k-long has done a real good job. but those three guys’ stats you mentioned are minor improvements, so that really doesn’t do much to prove that the reason for success is the hitting coach

  • Bo

    Can Long help them win a title before we start building the monument?

  • Riddering

    Personally, I think KLong deserves credit for the spike in OBP. It can’t all just be due to Swisher working the count and A-Rod failing the team when they really need him to swing.

    I’d also love to have a look at the notebooks where he keeps all his intel on the players. One day, they will be released, top the NYT list, be made into a film, and shock the world more than Dan Brown’s saga. Bank on it!

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    this whole melky/bellsbury thing is irrelevant: one of them is interminably stained, and the other is melky…

  • pete c.

    Great post, one problem with it though. It should be the formerly beloved Don Mattingly. Not only did he bolt to the hated Dodgers, but he insisted on “honoring” Yogi by wearing #8. I gotta think that with the animosity between the two teams during the 40′s and 50′s of which Berra was in the middle of several incidents: 1, Yogi’s probably pissed Mattingly’s wearing his number in a Dodger uni. And 2: Jackie Robinsons’somewhere laughing his ass off.