Link Dump: Jeter, Yanks-Dodgers, Torre, Balk


I was just going to do a little self-promotion in this spot, but I found enough other interesting things to serve up a smorgasbord.

Derek Jeter and the double play

Derek grounded into two twin killings last night, but before that he’d actually avoided wiping out two players at once. All this despite having the No. 9 hitter reach base more often than last year, putting the ball in play more than last year, and hitting the ball on the ground more frequently.

I tackle the issue at FanGraphs.

Revisiting the Yankees-Dodgers World Series matchups

Matt at Fack Youk is a busy dude, as he has started a series about the 11 Yankees-Dodgers World Series. He has four of them up right now. Check out 1941 & 1947, 1949, and 1952. This series illustrates why I read Fack Youk every day.

Just because he’s still alive doesn’t make him the greatest

What’s that? Mike Lupica wrote something stupid? We tend to ignore that — in fact, I don’t think we’ve once linked to a Mike Lupica article on RAB. And if we did, 1) it came in our first year, and 2) we apologize. Anyway, Craig Calcaterra couldn’t help but respond to the ridiculous claim that Torre is, in Lupica’s words, “the greatest manager Big Apple has ever seen.” I’m sorry, that’s incorrect. We would have accepted John McGraw, Casey Stengel, or Joe McCarthy as the obvious answers.

Can we get a ruling on balks?

There was a controversial non-balk call in last night’s Angels-Dodgers game. Dipping into the FanGraphs well just one more time, Jack Moore breaks down the non-call with rulebook entires and screen caps. The comments are actually pretty decent, too.

Categories : Links


  1. jsbrendog (returns) says:

    joe girardi – learns from his mistakes and is still evolving as a manager

    joe torre – has been asleep since 98

    • vin says:

      Joe Torre is the baseball version of Phil Jackson. His greatest attribute is that he can handle veteran teams and egos better than anyone else (except ARod).

      With that said, he definitely seemed to be asleep at the wheel the last few years in NY. Not sure why people feel that way – I’m sure he wasn’t. Was our judgement clouded by the lack of starting pitching, and therefore postseason success? Maybe the “magic” he had during the dynasty had disappeared in the public’s eye.

      He could do no wrong when they were winning titles. The narrative was that if he had a hunch to play a Jose Vizcaino, then Jose would produce. For the most part, the media overlooked the times he pulled the wrong string.

      I would argue that it all changed for Torre during game 4 of ’03 WS. The infamous Alex Gonzalez/Jeff Weaver/no Mo game. That was the first big time he was widely criticized, and couldn’t follow it up with a big series win.

      • I like to bash Ol’ Man Torre, mainly because he never seemed to think about the possibility that his strategies might be wrong and because he constantly burned out his bullpens and didn’t have a strategy for getting everyone to the finish line intact.

        That being said, on the whole, Joe Torre was a great manager. His success speaks for itself.

        He’s not better than McCarthy/Stengel, though.

        • deuce bag poster says:


          I also didn’t like that he wrote the Yankee Years (well, Verducci wrote it while interviewing Torre anyway).

          I mean, did Torre really have to reveal the story of how Kevin Brown was curled in a fetal position in the clubhouse in between innings? That was embarassing and unnecessary. It seemed like a betrayal of trust to me.

          • Co-sign. I already wasn’t super-fond of Torre before, but the book clinched it.

            Torre’s lauded as being a great manager despite his in-game tactical shortcomings because he’s “a great leader of men/manager of personalities”. Well, that book isn’t what a great leader of men would have written. That book was petty and backbiting.

            • deuce bag poster says:

              All this being said, in the end, Torre WAS a great manager, as you said. The success indeed speaks for itself. And I didn’t hate Torre, though I thought it was time to let him go.

              But I do think that Girardi MIGHT end up being better because he tries to take a more active role in the game, which shows that he’s really studying strategy, and he handles bullpens much better, which is a big deal. Still, Torre was pretty damn successful, so the emphasis is on MIGHT.

            • vin says:

              Another guy who wrote a book betraying locker room confidence? Phil Jackson. Yet both guys are highly respected by players. Go figure.

            • bexarama says:

              This a lot. I just lost a lot of respect for him when that book came out. The “revelations” in it weren’t that shocking (A-Rod is kind of self-absorbed! Derek Jeter loves winning! David Wells is kind of a pain in the ass! Kevin Brown is mean! [though yes, the story about him being curled up in the fetal position was too much. Sorry for the Januz-like parenthesis here.] Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte are religious and seem relatively humble!), but who does that while they’re still actively managing? I don’t think that’s right.

    • Persiphone Hellecat says:

      Lupica is an idiot. Always was – always will be. He should stick to writing books for young adults because as a sports writer, he sucks. Greatest manager NY has ever seen? Two words – Billy Martin. Torre inherited a team handpicked to win. All the elements were there. He sat on the bench, drank coffee and belched and was well known for leaving floundering pitchers in too long trying to get them wins. Biggest mistake of his career? Not listening to Roger Clemens and taking his team across the field the night the plague of locusts attacked Joba Chamberlain. Cost the Yankees majorly. Billy Martin took cellar dwellers and turned them into winners using Billy Ball. He was a passionate man who had some personal flaws, but as a baseball manager, he was a genius. And I lost a LOT of respect for Torre when he broke his own “what you see here, what you hear here, stays here” rule and wrote his whiney book about the Yankees. Glad he is gone. Just wish he hadn’t taken Mattingly with him.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        Greatest manager NY has ever seen? Two words – Billy Martin

        Gotta disagree here. Don’t get me wrong, Billy was good, very good. As an in-game strategist, he may have been the best.

        But a major flaw (in addition to his drinking problem) was that if he didn’t like a player, he didn’t think that player could help him win.

        A great manager knows how to get the best out of all of his charges, not just the ones he likes.

  2. vin says:

    “Just because he’s still alive doesn’t make him the greatest”

    This kind of reminds me how everyone was convinced that Ted Williams was the greatest hitter of all time. This sentiment seemed to reach its apex towards the end of Ted’s life.

    Ted was, in my opinion, the second greatest hitter of all time. But he was still clearly behind Ruth. You could even make arguments for Bonds (better peak) and Gehrig (more durability) being better hitters than Williams, but I’ll give Ted his due.

    I think the belief that Ted was the greatest hitter of all time stemmed from him being alive (at the time) and the fact that Babe was almost cartoon-ish in his greatness.

  3. Thomas says:

    Mike Lupica always reminds me of this:

    Mr. Lippman: Who do you read?
    George: I like Mike Lupica.
    Mr. Lippman: Mike Lupica?
    George: He’s a sports writer for the daily news. I find him very insightful…
    Mr. Lippman: No, no, no. I mean authors.

  4. pat says:

    If anybody wants a nice, quick, uplifting read I suggest this-


    • vin says:

      Laird is absolutely destroying a pitcher-friendly Eastern League. He may not be a top 10 prospect in the organization, but I’d take that kind of performance from any 27th round picks.

  5. deuce bag poster says:

    We would have accepted John McGraw, Casey Stengel, or Joe McCarthy as the obvious answers.

    No love for Miller Huggins?

  6. I think the balk rule needs to be rewritten from the ground up. There needs to be some sort of ban against a pitcher making a pitching motion towards the plate and then spinning around to pick a guy off.

    The rest of it, though–stopping and starting, coming to a complete stop, foot on/off the rubber, going to your mouth, etc.–it’s all arcane bullcrap that doesn’t mean anything and should be thrown out. They’re not real violations that trick the runner, IMO.

  7. DeadTedsFrozenHead says:

    Only one manager in the history of the game could have blown a 3 game lead to the “cursed” RedSox and that was Joe Torre. He was the biggest zero as a manager before he got to the Yankees and without Zimmer whispering in his ear what to do…..who knows what other Championship years he would have screwed up.
    I’ll never understand why Boston didn’t erect a statue of Torre in Boston Common….of that he certainly is deserving!
    That lousy… sleeping in the dugout,tea sucking fraud was like a modern day Nero in 2004.

  8. Brian in NH says:

    What? Theres no manager sabremetrics yet? Who’s on that?

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