Sunday Morning Links

Yanks lose
Football Open Thread

Here are some links while we have to wait all day for the Moseley vs. Dice-K pitchers duel (good luck to ESPN selling this game).

Here’s a good read on maple bats and the potential fix to the very real problem of them breaking.  Within the piece there are several other links to good articles.  Barry Bonds being one of the first players to use maple bats might end up having a bigger impact on the game than Bonds being one of the thousands to have used PED’s.

An update on Mark Mulder and the cautionary tale of pitching . Mulder’s career is a great reason why the Yankees are cautious to lock up their young arbitration eligible pitchers early and will likely continue to do so with Hughes going forward.  Through the age of 27 Mulder already had 97 wins and seemed to be well on his way to a great, Pettitte like career. He won just 6 more the rest of his career and is now trying his hand at golf, still just 33 years old.

I think instant replay in baseball is just a matter of when, but not if at this point.  Still, the more it’s talked about, and the more awful calls that cost teams games, the quicker it will be here.  Bob Costas was recently on the Dan Patrick show and ripped Bud Selig over the lack of replay in baseball.  Here is a quick rundown of what he had to say, and here is full audio of the segment.  I certainly will celebrate the day there is a good replay plan in place in MLB.

Jon Heyman took a look at some of the question marks plaguing all of the playoff contenders.  People that focus solely on the Yankees can certainly point out their flaws, but there’s certainly no perfect team out there.  Heyman also notes that the Yankees aren’t likely to go all out for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth.  While this makes sense to anyone who’s paid attention this year, many in the MSM still are fitting Crawford for pinstripes in the offseason.  I just don’t see it myself.

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Yanks lose
Football Open Thread
  • Rob

    I don’t see Crawford but I do see Werth. They need the righty bat in the outfield, especially since he can make a few starts in CF. And for as much as I love the Yankee OF, I can be sure that any of them will be well above average next year. A down season from Swisher wouldn’t shock me. Granderson could go any which way. And Gardner could still be a 4th OF going forward. Add to those uncertainties A-Rod, Jorge, and Jeter, and I see exactly two sure-fire bats in the Yankee lineup – Cano and Teixeira.

    Werth helps with outfield and lineup depth while balancing the lineup. I don’t see how the Yankees can’t give him a serious look. This team can get old fast. Another above average bat would help greatly. And Werth will age much better than Crawford.

    • Rob

      Of course, I meant: And for as much as I love the Yankee OF, I *can’t* be sure that any of them will be well above average next year.

    • FIPster Doofus

      I love Werth as a player, but he’s two years older than Crawford – who will age just fine, IMO – and wouldn’t really fill a need (the Yankees have plenty of middle-of-the-order pop), whereas Crawford would add an elite leadoff hitter to the lineup. Not sure if we can count on Gardner to get on base 38 percent of the time going forward, and Jeter’s offensive struggles could be permanent given his age. I wouldn’t be opposed to selling high on Gardner off his big season and signing Crawford, though I don’t expect that to happen.

      Crawford-Jeter-Teixeira-ARod-Cano-Swish-Posada-Granderson-? (I’d imagine Cervelli to start and eventually Montero) would be a hell of a lineup, obviously.

      in the end, this’ll probably all be moot. If the Yankees are going to spend big in the offseason on an outside free agent, their money should go to Cliff Lee.

      • Rob

        Except Crawford has a career .338 OBP and .041 IsoP. That’s hardly leadoff material and it’s actually a downgrade from Gardner.

        And to say the Yankees have plenty middle of the order pop is ignoring the facts. They have exactly one guy with a SLG higher than Werth and three guys with a SLG higher than .500. Of those, Swisher is due for a regression and A-Rod is looking at the downslope of his career. Cano is the only one to be counted on going forward.

        • FIPster Doofus

          A big reason for Crawford’s low career OBP is his low walk rate as a younger player. In three of his first four seasons, his walk rate was 3.9% or worse. During the past five seasons, it hasn’t gone below 5.1, and has been at 7.6 and 7.1 the last two years. Not surprisingly, he has come into his own as one of the most valuable players in the AL in 2009-10 with a 12.3 fWAR.

          As for the middle-of-the-order pop debate…

          Teixeira: 32 HRs, .367 wOBA, 132 wRC+
          ARod: 28 HRs, .366 wOBA, 131 wRC+
          Cano: 28 HRs, .388 wOBA, 146 wRC+
          *Swisher: 28 HRs, .378 wOBA, 140 wRC+
          Posada: 18 HRs, .367 wOBA, 132 wRC+
          Grandy: 22 HRs, .349 wOBA, 120 wRC+

          Three through eight, that’s as productive a group as there is. Lots of power among them.

          *Even if Swisher regresses, he’ll still contribute a lot. He has a .357 career wOBA.

          • Rob

            Well, throwing fWAR out for Crawford places a great deal of emphasis on his defense and a selective sample at that. Going back three years and he doesn’t look so good. Moroeover, his OBP is carried by his average.

            None of that pop can carry a lineup. It’s circular but not spectacular. And when someone gets hurt we really notice the gaps, especially with how much they need to rest Jeter, Jorge, and A-Rod. Another bat would really help lengthen things. Crawford’s OBP should be a non-starter for this team. And if it’s a choice between him and Gardner I easily choose the cheap guy with the better on-base skills. Werth adds power to the patience.

        • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

          Swisher is due for a regression why?

          • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

            He has to go back to being a 4th OF, because that 1 year in Chicago was his true talent level

  • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

    “Heyman also notes that the Yankees aren’t likely to go all out for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth.”

    I expect that opinion to change soon considering Werth recently hired Boras.

  • bonos

    Teixeira the sure fire bat. Aah we’re talking about Teixeira the slumpus interruptus as in October through June slump, right? The hitter that doesn’t do changeups. The full effort swings in September. Oh yeah, I have total confidence in that man for next year.

    • FIPster Doofus

      You should have total confidence in Teixeira. I mean, he’s only been one of the best hitters in baseball since joining the league.

      Even his down year – 32 homers, .367 wOBA, 132 wRC+ – is a hugely productive one.

      • bonos

        This is where we part company. We both have access to the same stats. Quoting them to me is at best patronising. Rather than quoting stats as a clincher you should be questioning the stats. It’s called paper power. He looks good on paper. Teix does the non compete thing for months at a time. This year he’s been absent for half the season as in three months. This is a sure fire bat? It’s like spending quality time with your children. The team leads the Majors in come from behind wins. Why is that? I see a team that doesn’t show up until the sixth inning. They leave runners on base in horrid numbers. I see a pattern here. By the stats they are the most talented team in baseball but stats by definition are yesterday’s news.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Then we’ll agree to part company. I’m not going to bury my head in the sand to fit a narrative.

          • bonos

            Yep, the stats fail the reality check. Continue your objectivity.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              What’s more likely to be wrong, the stats that are a factual record of what happened on the field, or your narrative?

              • bonos

                Sounds like a little irritation here. It is a factual record of what happened. Facts are by definition.

                I questioned the value of a player that has input 50% of the time. Hey, his stats are great so what is the problem? The problem is that he is present half the time. You guys want me to help win a crucial game? Sorry, I’m slumping.

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

                  Yeah, but his value the rest of the time is easily great enough to make up for it. Easily. And the stats, which we agree are a factual recod of what happened, reflect that.

                  • bonos

                    Look, I’m not here to convince anybody. Baseball is the epitome of law of averages and stats are only of value for projections. The reason for the proliferation of alphabet soup stats is the struggle to reflect reality and value. As in OPS becomes OPS+ and so on. Ah we missed a factor. Reality is Teix has been a non factor in half the games and paid top wages. The object of the execise is to win games. Two HRs in a blowout are of no value but they count for stats.

                • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                  You really need to quit pulling facts out of your ass to support your silly narrative. In order for Tex to put up good stats despite a horrible month or two he must be a very, very good player in those “good” months. You saying that he doesn’t show up 50% of the time is an outright lie.

                  If you want to say he’s probably going to post the lowest OPS since his rookie year, fine. But you then at least have to acknowledge that he’s a well-above-average offensive player, which I guess doesn’t support your narrative.

                  • bonos

                    You know I thought I’d kibitz a bit. Sunday morning and so on.

                    This pulling facts out of my ass and silly narrative is tempting to reply in kind. I’m good at that, trust me. But then why bother. I won’t feel better for a string of put downs. This is like reasoning with Evangelists.

                    Enjoy your version of reality. Good day.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          How dare Tex not be Pujols

    • Rob

      Well, there’s that too.

      The Yankee offense, for as good as it’s been this year, is still only looking at a 109 OPS+. That’s good but not great territory.

      Quite simply, they need another bat. If all of Werth, Swisher, and Granderson are firing along, Gardner becomes the 4th. That’s a fine role for him even if he’s better than that. There’s certainly nothing similar they could do in the infield and with Montero, plus the need to rest Jeter, Jorge, and A-Rod, they shouldn’t waste their money on a DH type. And they

      Werth is the only logical bat out there. Crawford has neither the IsoP nor the temperament to be a Yankee. Moreover, Werth would do some damage at Fenway as a righty pull hitter. Let him do that damage for the good guys.

      • FIPster Doofus

        1. IsoP isn’t everything. Crawford may not be a power hitter, but he’s still pretty damn awesome.

        2. What’s wrong with Crawford’s temperament?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I hear he’s too “street.”

          • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

            It’s probably from his comments about the Yankees after he ended the game at 3B.

            Saying (paraphrase), “To them, it’s the end of the world- not to us”, “It’s not dumb because we always do it”, “You don’t understand so you can’t complain about it”, etc.

            • Rob

              The problem was with him getting second-guessed by the media…in Tampa Bay. Yeah, *that* would go over real well in NYC, especially with a .340 OBP.

              The real problem I have with Crawford is the Yankees already have two guys with his skillset. I see nothing he brings that they don’t have already.

          • http://www.twitter.com/jordan_smed JGS

            /Lombardi’d

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        You do know that Yankee Stadium suppresses righthanded power, right? A-Rod just makes it look easy.

        • Rob

          Werth easily has gap power. At worst, given his home/road splits, he’s another Swisher except with better defense. At best, he’s a legit middle of the order bat.

          The bottomline is the Yanks need another bat. Werth is the best fit out there. He’s been a five win player for three straight seasons now. And if he regresses, he’ll still get on-base at a .370 clip. If Crawford regresses, he’s a .330 OBP guy with below average pop for a corner OF.

      • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

        Gardner has a shit ISoP yet he’s still very valuable.

        • Rob

          Because of his Iso which is far better than Crawford’s.

      • Dalelama

        Preferring Werth over Crawford is silly in my opinion. Crawford is younger, faster, and a lefty to take advantage of Yankee Stadium.

  • bonos

    I’d like to put in an accolade for Alex. He’s playing top quality baseball. A total pleasure to watch.

  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

    I can see it now, Crawford and Werth will be the new Damon and Matsui. If we got them, we would have won 150 games!

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Just like howe we HAD to sign Bay or Holliday and Lackey last year

  • Januz

    I simply do not see the need for Crawford, and especially Werth (Particularly at inflated Boras rates). Keep in mind, they need to find a spot for Montero, and Gardner, Swisher, and Granderson are certainly not bad. The only big free agent that makes sense to me, is Lee (And it is possible they could elect to sign Darvish, if he is posted of course).

    • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Call me irrational but I have a nagging feeling Cashman will shop Montero this offseason.

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

        He better get somebody GREAT in return. Not good. Great.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        For who? The Lee deal was an exceptional case. Unless he’s going to get a similar front of the rotation starter, I don’t see it happening.

      • FIPster Doofus

        The only way this could happen is if Cash loses out on Lee and tries to round up a big enough package (TWSS) to land, like, Greinke or someone along those lines. Otherwise, I sincerely doubt it.

        • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

          I”m pretty sure you’re only using it as an example, Greinke has already said he doesn’t want to play in New York and has struggled with anxiety before.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        I heard about Cashman offering Montero for Soria. I would never trade Montero for a closer. Especially , when you could simply acquire on the open market pretty easily. I don’t know if he was actually offered, but if so, that’s would be a panic move IMO.

        • FIPster Doofus

          If you ask me, that rumor was total BS. For one, Cash is smarter than that. Secondly, I know Dayton Moore is pretty dumb, but why turn down Montero as a centerpiece for Soria? Yes, Soria is on the Mt. Rushmore of current closers; however, a.) the Royals aren’t going anywhere with him closing meaningless games, and b.) a good position player has far more value than a great closer. Acquiring Montero for Soria definitely would have further aided KC’s rebuilding effort. You can always find a closer, but prospects of Montero’s ilk don’t grow on trees.

          • Dream of Electric Sheep

            I rather pay Soriano in the off season and keep Jesus.
            I think BP arms are fickle to begin with , I understand Soria is the cream of the crop and possible replacement for Mo.
            But I rather keep a everyday hitting talent like Montero than trading him for a premium closer. That’s just my general take. I don’t value closers that high in general.

    • bkight13

      I agree about the OF. We have Gardner at 1/20th the price of Crawford or Werth and Swish and Granderson are both fine. Get Lee and some bench depth and call it a day.

      • larryf

        This. More bullpen if Wood is not coming back (at his salary) and a more (medically) reliable second lefty than Marte.

      • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

        A thousand times this.

    • Dalelama

      Get rid of Gardner for pitching while he still has value as the league is catching onto he can’t really hurt with his stick. He is fading fast.

  • Dream of Electric Sheep

    Werth has some glaring home/away splits. I think Yankees could use more RH power hitter who can actually play the field . Age and money is a concern . I understand Yankees stadium are not kind to RH hitters but I think Jayson Werth does take the ball to right field quite a bit. If someone has a spray chart of his homeruns or fly balls I would be curious if that’s the case.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      http://www.hittrackeronline.co.....ype=hitter

      Those are 2010, you can switch to other years via the tab on the top right of the page.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        Thank You Sir, It doesn’t look like he hit too many cheapies.

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/indiv.....statType=1

        And that’s his spray chart

        • Dream of Electric Sheep

          Thank you again for point the way.
          p.s. The phillies offense scares me , the addition of Polanco just makes that much better , a great situational hitters.

  • jim p

    Instant replay: maybe give each manager a limited number of chances to invoke it. Say, 9 each season, once every 18 games on average.

    That way really bad game-changing calls can be fixed, but you don’t have every single play being reviewed.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Why? Are there only 9 blown calls per 162 games?

      • jim p

        See failed reply below, please.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    The need for Cliff Lee > the need for Crawford/Werth.

    end of story.

  • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

    The MSM also projects the Red Sox to win the World Series, so…….

  • Captain Jack

    Is there an article regarding when the Yankees plan on winning their next game?

  • http://www.twitter.com/TomZig Tom Zig

    The offense should be fine if everyone is healthy, we have an all star caliber player at every single position. Some questions remain about Brett Gardner and his ability to replicate this season or something similar, but there is no need to break the bank to get Werth or Crawford. The DH problem will sort itself out if Montero is indeed ready to catch full time.

    Priorities:

    1. Cliff Lee, Cliff Lee, Cliff Lee

    2. Try and convince Kerry Wood to be a set up guy (obviously he won’t be nearly as good as he is now for the course of the entire season). Unfortunately it probably won’t happen.

    3. Add another lefty reliever if possible

    4. Upgrade the bench. This is probably the toughest job to do.

  • jim p

    The objection to replay, the one which seems to stop it from consideration, is that the game would be stopped over and over. Then limit the use so it’s available in critical situations, where the game (or no-hitter) is clearly on the line.

    • jim p

      Hmmm. Reply fail.