Aug
09

Open Thread: Lefty, lefty, lefty, lefty

By

That close.

The Yankees fell to Jon Lester and the Red Sox today, which isn’t all that surprising because he is one of the three or five best pitchers in the league, but I sure hope the Yanks are ready to face some more lefties. Tomorrow they get C.J. Wilson (who’s holding lefties to a .102/.190/.133 batting line this year), the next day it’s Cliff Lee (who’s awesome), and the day after that it’s Bruce Chen (who stinks). Brace yourself for a whole lotta Austin Kearns and Marcus Thames over the next few days, I suspect they’ll play in each of the next three.

Anyway, here’s tonight’s open thread. The Cardinals and Reds are on ESPN in a matchup of the two NL Central contenders, but you can also kill some time with this. I got 180 out of 188, didn’t miss any obvious ones though. You guys know what to do, so have at it.

Categories : Open Thread

101 Comments»

  1. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    Coolest name in baseball: Sequoyah Trueblood Stonecipher

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.....pid=572171

  2. Now, now, Mike, who linked you to that Sporcle quizzicle?

    Jesus is in the three hole tonight, and don’t you dare gutter that.

  3. ZZ says:

    I saw the mailbag question the other day about Cano v. Pedroia and it really was shocking me to see Yankee fans still think those two are in the same class of players.

    If you are basing your opinion on WAR + UZR, because Pedroia has according to UZR been a much better defender in his career as a reason the gap is even close now, then you really have too much faith in those formulas. Also, you have put far too much trust in the people who created the formulas and their ability to quantify the game in such a simple and all encompassing manner.

    A huge chunk of Pedroia’s “value” is based on his UZR, so you really have to have a whole lot of trust in that statistic with its many flaws and the people behind it to put him on the same level as Cano now. The whole it has been more than 3 years worth of samples so it is reliable now is an incredibly flawed concept that is put out there in itself, but that is more a discussion of UZR and not about the main topic here.

    I hate to take the whole stat geek approach as I do appreciate the advances in baseball statistics, but when you think the gap is close based on that, it really is time to step away from the computer and just try to appreciate the game in its real manner, how teams are constructed, and what “value” REALLY means.

    Cano has become a franchise player. He has become some you can build a lineup around. Someone that you can build a TEAM around. He has become that good of an offensive player, that on a team full of HOF he is now the best.

    Pedroia is nowhere close to that. As good as he is for a 2B, he is still a complementary player. He is not someone you have on your team and you say I can build my team and lineup around him, especially in the AL East.

    With a player like Pedroia, you still need that great hitter that Boston has in Youkilis to really be on the path towards building an excellent team.

    Cano has left Pedroia in the dust this year with the improvements he has made in his game. Going forward there shouldn’t be any concerns about this staying the same, because Cano has one of the best swings in all of baseball.

    Pedroia is a great player. Not questioning. He is one of the best 2B in baseball.

    Cano though, is now one of the best players in all of baseball. He is a top 5, elite player.

    • Dustin is also very likely to have a (ahem) short shelf life. His game is all about max effort all the time, and with each injury that slows him down or saps his power a bit, his ceiling gets lower and lower. The game comes much easier to Cano. He has an easy power swing, smooth fielding style and big arm for a 2B. The likelihood of Robbie produce big numbers for the next 5 years(+) is much greater than that of Pedroia, who you can easily see burning out and breaking down.

      BTW-ZZ, have you ever considered doing any blogging? I could copy and paste this as a guest post over at TYU and credit it to you, if you like.

      • ZZ says:

        I have never really considered blogging. The main reason because of how time consuming it is and I just don’t have the time on a regular basis. Also, I am much better at responding/reacting to posts/people. Not creative enough to sit down and think of things to write about.

        I really do appreciate the work you and others that blog do. It really is a huge commitment being able to think of multiple things to write about a day is impressive.

        Thanks though. It is just not for me or something I would enjoy enough to put the work in.

        • When you’re posting replies that approach 400-500 words, you’re 95% of the way there. Just add a bit of supporting links from BR or Fangraphs and you’re there.

          • ZZ says:

            lol. My posts can get long at times. I do appreciate you asking, but it is just not something I can see myself doing. At least for now.

  4. stuart says:

    man reaqlly how bad is granderson. his success with RISP is horrible.

    does he have a clue? I do not think so… Some real clutch hitting today….

    joba loves his slider…

    jorge looks like bench behind the plate, he cannot even hit second base with a throw..

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Granderson is .216/.326/.365 with RISP and .219/.324/.469 with two outs and RISP. That’s bad, but it isn’t exactly the worst I’ve ever seen. Last season, for instance, Cano was .207/.242/.332 and .204/.250/.327 in those situations. Now he’s an MVP candidate.

      • ..and RISP numbers vary so much from ear to year it’s hard to take them seriously, especially when you parse them into ‘two outs’ and ’1 out, man on 3rd’ crap. The samples get so small they’re meaningless.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          Agreed. Another guy who’s struggled with RISP this year is Posada, yet he’s had quite a bit of success in those situations throughout his career.

          • When you get into samples that small, I’d love to see the batter vs pitcher match ups with results (BR has it). Chances are its a handful of pitchers who he’s always had trouble with and/or just hitting in some bad luck.

    • mike c says:

      granderson needs to sit a day and work on his stance at the plate, he had it going there for a minute, but his twitchy hands and feet are back … put kearns in LF and gardner in CF, and put grandyman in a room with klong for a day

  5. JGS says:

    I was at the game this afternoon and saw a #22 Cano jersey. I normally hate Yankee jerseys with names on them, but that was kinda cool.

  6. FIPster Doofus says:

    Only 156 for me on the Sporcle quiz. It’s hard to believe who some of the all-star starting pitchers were during the previous decade.

  7. Andrew says:

    A frustrating game to be at thanks to heat + tons of stalled rallies. Still though, much happier with the way the team has played since Wednesday. Hopefully they get the same # of baserunners in Texas but actually pick up some hits with men on base.

  8. JGS says:

    184 on the sporcle quiz. Nice

  9. Accent Shallow says:

    How did Hughes look today? The line isn’t bad, and all the damage came in the first two innings.

  10. Nikhil R. says:

    174 on the sporcle quiz. If I remembered Renteria it would have been 3 more, dammit.

  11. Steve H says:

    I got 175 and missed Sammy Sosa. I’m not sure if that says more about me or more about Sosa. For a guy with a Hall of Fame resume who was loved for a long time he’s been invisible (not talking about his new skin color) for the most part since retiring.

    • JGS says:

      I got Shea Hillenbrand and Mark Loretta and missed Gary Sheffield and Torii Hunter (I kept thinking “who the heck was in the Twins outfield in 2002?)

  12. Evan says:

    I got all of them but mainly because I took it before. :P

  13. http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/0.....wakamatsu/

    Wakamatsu is the fifth MLB manager to get the ax this season. Fired previously were Trey Hillman (Royals), Fredi Gonzalez (Marlins), Dave Trembley (Orioles) and A.J. Hinch (Diamondbacks).

    Fredi Gonzalez is all but the next Braves manager as it is, but it’s hard to see Hillman, Hinch or Trembley getting offers elsewhere. Of that list, I think only Wakamatsu gets another shot somewhere. He turned the team around last year before making the young manager mistake of taking on an legend (Griffey) AND having a bad year, either of which could get you fired. But he seems like a smart guy with a bit of a different approach, I could see a losing team bringing him in.

  14. Jose the Satirist says:

    I don’t believe sporcle scores on the internet. So I won’t bore you with mine. That was a good one, thanks for linking it.


  15. I suppose there’s a larger point to be made here, about spending real money on non-elite older players. I’ll bet you can find columns last winter complaining that the Yankees should have kept Matsui and Johnny Damon, because by golly they were still pretty good hitters and what’s a few more million dollars to the Yankees, anyway?

    It was never about the money. It was about getting younger and (perhaps) better. Granted, Damon’s and Matsui’s replacements — Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson — haven’t exactly hit their projections, and the Yankees might have won about as many games if they had kept the older guys. But the get-younger impulse will serve the organization well in coming years.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweets.....pty-forest
    Bravo, Rob.

    • Newbie says:

      Wow. That was impressive, Rob “Yankees don’t care about defense” Neyer.

      • UncleArgyle says:

        “Because Sabathia is clearly not the pitcher the Yankees thought they were getting when they signed him for $161 million.”

        Rob “I used to get Bill James his Bagels” Neyer

  16. VO says:

    My first try I got 117. Yikes

  17. Perhaps my favorite conversation came with a 20-year-old named Evan (I think – if I’m getting that mixed up, sorry!). We covered nearly every topic you could think of, and his curiosity and intelligence were both impressive, but one comment in particular he made stuck with me – he started getting into our brand of analysis through Fire Joe Morgan, a site that was often tremendously hilarious and brutally vicious at the same time. After a while of reading hostile take-downs of various scribes, he began to realize that the end goal of all of this shouldn’t be angry rants, but humble attempts at education.

    This wasn’t a new idea, but for whatever reason, it made more of an impact than before. As I discussed with several friends later, I have written enough things that I regret publishing, even if they were correct, true, or deserved. I don’t regret having an opinion, but I want my opinions to contain a healthy portion of respect. They haven’t always. They hopefully will more often in the future.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....-new-york/

    This just needed to be repeated. I’ve never been the biggest fan of FJM-style posts, I don’t think they accomplish anything worthwhile.

    • poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

      Fire Joe Morgan wasn’t meant to educate people. It’s meant to be funny, as are posts in their style. And you know what-they’re hilarious.

    • candyforstalin says:

      i’ve been reading the archives of fire joe morgan for the last half hour and i have to say that i couldn’t disagree more. as a former south american president used to put it, i can lose a friend but i don’t lose a good joke.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      FJM-style takedowns tend to be subpar when done by anyone other than those guys, since most people aren’t nearly as funny (or as bright, but so it goes). Besides, that was their shtick, so they could get away with condescension. Coming from just about anyone else, it’s incredibly obnoxious.

  18. candyforstalin says:

    oh, sweet sweet candy.

    a little excerpt:
    I know there are those who will accuse me of exaggeration when I say this, but, until baseball appeared, humans were a sad and benighted lot, lost in the labyrinth of matter, dimly and achingly aware of something incandescently beautiful and unattainable, something infinitely desirable shining up above in the empyrean of the ideas; but, throughout most of the history of the race, no culture was able to produce more than a shadowy sketch of whatever glorious mystery prompted those nameless longings.

  19. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    Montero with the only two hits for SWB so far.

  20. vin says:

    Got 183/188.

    Missed: Sheffield, Hillenbrand, Milton Bradley, Mark Loretta.

    Got Screwed on: Mark Buehrle.

    I play all the mlb quizzes on sporcle, and I can NEVER spell Buerhle’s name right. If he joined the yanks, then I would have to learn… kind of like Mientkiewicz. Or like when I wrote a report on Czechoslovakia when I was a kid.

    Stupid Mark Buehrle and his dumb, perfect-game-throwing, through-the-leg-toss-to-Konerko name.

  21. bexarama says:

    So I had to go after the second inning I think, so I missed almost all of the game, except I saw the inning with bases loaded nobody out. Fun times ;_;

    • bexarama says:

      Oh and is our season over yet?

    • poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

      This game sucked and I nominate it as the new Worst Loss of the Year, but the series as a whole worked out very well for the Yankees. We’ve essentially locked up a playoff berth.

      Yeah, that’s right, I’m saying it.

      • JGS says:

        I feel like “worst loss of the year” has to be a game in which the Yankees actually had a lead at some point. This was annoying, but not really gut-wrenching.

        • poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

          That bases loaded nobobdy out seventh inning was gut-wrenching. With the Thames HR-that-wasn’t.

        • bexarama says:

          That one game against the Indians

          Baaaaarrrrfffff

          • JGS says:

            Yea, that’s the one I think of when I think “worst loss of 2010″. Part of that is expectations, too. The Indians suck, and Jon Lester and Daniel Bard don’t.

            • bexarama says:

              Pretty much this. After the third or so, I only saw the bottom of the seventh inning today (no, really. Barftacular). It sucked big time, and I think other things sucked big time judging on what I’ve heard about today’s game, but I didn’t expect to win this game with the matchup.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          I’m pretty sure the Yankees have had about a dozen worst losses of the year already. It’s almost as if people overreact, or something.

  22. Kiersten says:

    147. My knowledge of NL players from the beginning of the decade, not so good.

  23. bexarama says:

    Fun fact. I got 27/29 on this quiz.

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/P.....ast_lyrics

    Hail Malthus!

  24. Josh says:

    I GOT ALL OF THEM. Honestly, I’ve taken that test at least 14 times, and did it everyday for the last two weeks of the school year during study hall. It’s the first time I’ve gotten them all.

  25. YankeesJunkie says:

    I did pretty awful on that Sporcle quiz I think I was close around 125-140.

    On the note of the game it was nice to see Hughes pitch well for a second consecutive game and see him maybe get past his tired arm period.

  26. JGS says:

    How come no one is talking about Jeter tying Mel Ott on the all-time hit list?

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      Obviously Jeter tying Mel Ott is a big deal as Jeter is about to be the most prolific hitter in the history of NY baseball. However, I don’t think that most people care about this record. It is surprising though that no NY hitter has ever had 3000 hits.

      • poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

        Those NY hitters were too busy just hitting the living shit out of the ball.

      • JGS says:

        It is surprising though that no NY hitter has ever had 3000 hits.

        Is it really? Only 13 players have ever accumulated 3000 hits in one uniform, and they are spread across 12 teams (Detroit is the only team with two)

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I’m waiting for him to pass Zack Wheat, personally.

    • bexarama says:

      That’s obviously a faulty quiz, I tried typing in “douchehole” and it wouldn’t accept it.

    • JGS says:

      22. After “Boston-born hero living the dream of playing for the team that developed him” didn’t make all 25 show up, I had to actually remember them. I kept trying Todd Walker, but he was only on the 03 team that I constantly mix up with the 04 team. douchebags

  27. bexarama says:

    (DOTF spoiler alert!!!)

    Jesus Montero just hit a walk-off HR.

  28. Carlosologist says:

    Brian Roberts hit a walkoff HR and Hawk sounded so sad when it left the yard.

  29. Kiersten says:

    These sporcle quizzes are starting to hurt my brain.

  30. Kiersten says:

    How about this one.

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/s.....s_19902009

    I got 168. The early 90s are a mystery…

  31. Pete says:

    fun night for me. Let’s just say that the fancy new knife i got…well, it works.

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