Jan
05

Open Thread: New Writers

By

This picture of Matt Lindstrom from the 2006 Futures Game has nothing to do with anything. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)

Back in November we announced that we were looking to add some weekend writers, and after a prolonged review of the hundred or so applications that poured in, we’ve finally made our picks. Here’s the new cast…

  • Brock Cohen: You know him from the comments at brockdc. He writes for the Huffington Post and can be followed on Twitter at @brockdc.
  • Hannah Ehrlich: She goes by seimiya in the comments and is on Twitter at @firstheart42. Oh, and she’s got one of these Tumblr thingees all the kids are talking about.
  • Stephen Rhoads: He comments as Stephen R. and also writes for TYU. He’s on Twitter at @stephen_mr.

We’re excited to have them on board and a thank you goes out to everyone that applied. We had go through about five rounds of eliminations before deciding on Brock, Hannah, and Stephen because there were so many good applicants. Look for their posts starting this coming weekend.

And now that that’s finally over with (seriously, so many applications), we can move on to the open thread. The Rangers and Nets are both in action, but talk about whatever you like. Have at it.

  • Squishy Jello Person

    !!! CONGRATULATIONS HANNAH AND STEVEN and Brock, even though I believe we have yet to meet!

    • brockdc

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Needless to say, I’m off-the-charts stoked.

      I’m, like, scratch-‘n-win stoked.

  • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Jason @ IIATMS

    Congrats guys.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    Congrats, guys!!!

    • mbonzo

      Dunno if you applied, but I was hopping you’d get the position. Matt Imbrogno too. :P

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        Awww, thanks. I know Hannah really well, Stephen fairly well, and Brock not much at all, but I’m sure they’ll all be waaaaay better than I would be because they’re great. :D

  • I Voted 4 Kodos

    Congratulations to the new writers! I look forward to procrastinating to your posts.

    Looks like the Yankees made a minor roster move today, claiming reliever Brian Schlitter (fun to say) from the Cubbies. Looks like a decent depth move.

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/201.....schlitter/

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Schlitter? Like where this offseason has gone for the Yankees, amirite?

      (It’s a joke, it’s a joke…)

      • I Voted 4 Kodos

        Sadly, someone, somewhere is complaining about this move and blasting Cashman for making it.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I went to the Cashman thread on NYYFans to see if anyone was. Sadly nothing yet, but!

          http://forums.nyyfans.com/show.....ost7113204

          • I Voted 4 Kodos

            I’m shocked there’s nothing yet.

            I can’t even read most of the threads there, they’re so full of ridiculousness.

    • TurnTwo

      if this is Brian Cashman’s answer to his bullpen woes, which he created himself by years of bad signings and wasting Steinbrenner money, it just proves that he’s clueless and should’ve been fired a long time ago.

      /WW’d

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        WW articles:

        – why Brian Cashman is terrible
        – how Brian Cashman has failed
        – why Brian Cashman should be fired
        – when I would have fired Brian Cashman
        – why the Yankees are doomed, V. 70286092860296-BQAR

        I also enjoyed how someone brought up something gossipy about a Yankee he ~likes~ in the comment section one time, and he was like “This is not a gossip website” but he’ll happily post about some time that A-Rod was supposedly out until 1 AM (OMG!!!!!).

        • Jimmy McNulty

          What the fuck is WW?

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            Was Watching

            • Jimmy McNulty

              I mean, the Yankees season doesn’t look too bright right now, but I don’t think it’s all on Cashman. The only thing that he could have done differently was the way he handled Joba. I personally think a kid should get more than 80 MiLB innings as a starter before he’s thrown into a major league rotation.

              • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                WasWatching is an absurdly, absurdly negative Yankee site. There’s a huge difference between not being optimistic about 2011 and WasWatching. Like, the morning of Game 6 of the 2009 World Series – you know, the game where we became World Fuckin’ Champions – they had an article that was like “Who to blame?” (Spoiler alert: It was Cashman.)

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  I don’t know why Steve Lombardi hates Cashman so much, I think he’s done a pretty good job. There’s a bad contract here and there and the missed move with a prospect, but over all I don’t think he’s to blame for the state of the 2011 Yankees. I guess another “2008” type season. Such is life.

                  • Avi

                    I blame him for not making a move for Halladay, Oswalt or Haren and instead trading for Vaz-crap again. But it’s not his fault, he just has poor judgement.

                    • Avi

                      Oh and signing Burnett for $82.5MM. If either the Vazquez or Burnett move resulted in a good pitcher the rotaion would be in good shape now.

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

    Congrats, folk’ll. Looking forward to reading your posts

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees J_Yankees

    Congrats to the new writers.

  • http://www.richardiurilli.com/ Richard Iurilli

    Congratulations, guys! I’ve chatted with Stephen and Hannah on Twitter before, and I look forward to reading their thoughts here on weekends.

  • Jimmy McNulty
  • Avi

    Texas is totally crazy for giving Beltre 5 years $80MM. Are they really so foolish to think Beltre is gonna produce like he did last year, and not morph back into, well Adrian Beltre?
    Also Vlad’s bat >>> Beltre’s defensive upgrade at third, at FAR less cost.
    Makes no frigin’ sense. But hey, it’s good for the Yanks.
    Congrats to the new writers. Looking forward to reading your posts and arguing with you about them!

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Well now for teams that have DH issues like the Twins, the White Sox, and Tampa there’s better DH options. Which is bad for the Yankees, IMO.

      • Sean C

        White Sox? What part of Adam Dunn don’t you understand?

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Fuck, my mistake. Crazy offseason, I forgot about one of my old favorites.

          • Sean C

            Yeah, my friend that’s a White Sox fan is drooling over the oncoming Dunn/Konerko storm.

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

        Adam Dunn begs to differ with your assessment of the White Sox DH situation.

        As to Vlad, he hit .284/.336/.461 away from the Bandbox in Arlington last year, and is another year older. I have no problem with him landing in Tampa.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Tampa will probably get Manny or Thome, neither of which (except for Thome against RHH) is the same guy he used to be. As far as Vlad goes, he hit to a .343 wOBA in his away park, player’s typically get a bump from their home park (I’ve heard anywhere from five to ten percent in overall production) so that’s a somewhat normal-ish bump.

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

            Team OPS splits for extreme hitters/pitchers park (by ESPN park factors)

            Rockies: home .866, road .654, .212 difference
            Yankees: .832/.742, .090
            Cubs: .743/.699, .044
            White Sox: .796/.709, .078
            Orioles: .729/.675, .054
            Rangers: .800/.716, 0.84
            Red Sox: .804/.777, .027

            And now, the most extreme pitchers parks:

            Padres: .678/.698, -.020
            Angels: .691/.712, -.021
            Astros: .678/.652, .026
            Mariners: .623/.651, -.028
            Rays: .726/.745, -.019

            So no, players don’t always get boosts from their home parks because they are home. They get boosts if they play in hitters parks. Four of the five best pitchers park teams hit better on the road, and most of the best hitters park teams hit much better at home (also, holy shit Colorado)

            • Jimmy McNulty

              FWIW, I think I said they “typically” get a boost from their home park. It’s their park they know who to hit there and I’d assume they’d change their approach there.

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

                But then they would hit better at home than on the road. They don’t.

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  Yes, and players do typically hit better at home than on the road. There are exceptions like PetCo, etc. And Minute Maid Park isn’t a pitcher’s park. At all.

            • brockdc

              But…but…the humidors!

              On similar note, Ubaldo had a 661 OPS against at home. So basically, he turned all batters into Tony Womack – at Coors. Dang.

      • Avi

        Meh. For the Twins Thome is stil out there anyway and Tampa can’t afford Vlad anyway. It just amazes me how supposed bright baseball minds like John Daniels can give such a foolish contract out. I don’t get it.

    • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

      Let’s compare:

      Vlad’s offensive value (over the past three years): 5.6 oWAR
      Vlad’s defensive value: -0.3 dWAR

      Beltre’s offensive value: 8.5 oWAR
      Beltre’s defensive value: 2.2 dWAR

      2.2 dWAR > -0.3 dWAR
      8.5 oWAR > 5.6 oWAR

      Beltre’s offense should be rated higher considering he plays a more difficult position, while Vlad’s played RF and DH. He also plays above average defense at third base, so you can argue that it outweighs Vlad’s offense from positions where a lot of power is expected.

      • Avi

        Vlad is a much better bet to hit well in ’11 than Beltre is. Texas already had a third baseman in Young. So the only things you compare is Beltre’s defensive upgrade and Vlad to Beltre’s bat. When you consider the $$ I don’t see how anyone with two cents in their head can go with Beltre.

        • whozat

          Except now they have one of the best fielding 3Bs in place of one of the worst.

  • ShuutoHeat

    Congratulations! Looking forward to reading your articles and then replying to them with my moronic comments!

  • http://161ststreet.wordpress.com Chris A

    Congratulations, Brock, Hannah, and Stephen! I don’t comment too often, but I look forward to reading all of your posts.

  • mbonzo

    Congratulations Brock, Hannah, and Stephen! Looks like they have some good experience. Nice to see a lady’s perspective will be here too; seimiya is a great commenter so I’m excited.

    • brockdc

      I really appreciate the good wishes. I love this blog and it’s totally an honor.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    “More of this, less Wallace Mathews and Ian O’Connor.”

    This is a comment from Rebecca’s ESPNY article. I concur.

    • Avi

      Is Rebecca Glass Bexarama?

      • mbonzo

        Nope. Too many Rebecca’s on RAB to keep track of.

        • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

          Yep. There was once so many ‘Steve’s that I decided I had to come up with something different.

      • Squishy Jello Person

        Nope.

        • Avi

          What’s Rebecca Glass’ handle?

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Squishy Jello Person.

          • Sean C

            Hint: You just responded to it.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        Nope. I’m Rebecca (LAST NAME CENSORED but it’s not Glass.). Rebecca Glass has gone by a bunch of names on here, but is now Squishy Jello Person.

        • Squishy Jello Person

          Dude, I don’t even think I know your last name, and we’ve gone to games together and such.

          • Avi

            Well Congrats Squishy on your ESPN gig! I was so excited to see an RABer there.
            I’m gonna go read your article now.

            • Squishy Jello Person

              Thank you!

    • Esteban

      Ha that was me

  • Avi

    How do the Yankees plan on replacing Kerry Wood?

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

      I dunno, the same way they acquired Wood?

    • mbonzo

      Kerry Wood’s very important 26 IP account for 1.8% of the total innings pitched by the Yankees in 2010. I think they’ll be alright with Joba or Robertson.

      • Avi

        Then why did they have to trade for Wood?

        • Sean C

          Shits and/or giggles.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          Because the cost was incredibly low and Joba hadn’t pitched as well as they hoped. There are a lot of indicators that Joba will be better in ’11 and Robertson didn’t really have any red flags (still needs to cut out the walks but the big K numbers and lack of homers help make up for it, same with an improved GB%).

          • Avi

            They payed Wood at least $3M for less than half a season. That cost is actually very high. I don’t see why they wouldn’t need one this year.

            • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

              I meant in terms of trading for him, but you make a good point.

              Anyway, I don’t think the upgrade to Wood from Chamberlain + Robertson is all that big. Wood was more than solid in his time with the Yankees, but he didn’t make the season like some say.

              • Avi

                It’s not the upgrade more than it is having another reliable arm in the pen. I don’t see how Robertson and Joba can cover all the innings themselves (even if they’re great). If the Yanks don’t bring in another quality reliever you’re going to see crappy pitchers in high leverage situations.

                • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                  They totaled a combined 132.3 IP last year and a pure set up role wouldn’t require that much of an innings bump. Also, I don’t think they’ll be doing it alone, especially with Logan and Feliciano to play with.

                  I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing in another reliever–Rauch or Fuentes–but I don’t think the need is as pressing as you’re making it seem.

                  Rivera’s obviously solid, and so are Chamberlain/Robertson. Logan may not have a great track record, but he’s still a good option against LHB. Feliciano is also death to lefties. Those four are a good place to start and the other three spots can fill out easily as the season goes along.

                  • Avi

                    They had Logan last year. Felicano doesn’t replcae Wood as he only pitches to lefties. I agree the bullpen is solid just might be one reliable arm short.

                    • whozat

                      With Wood’s peripherals, he was NOT going to stay reliable. Far, far too many walks. Also, as people have said…money is nothing to the Yanks, and they’ll almost certainly be able to find a Wood-ish arm in July for a fringe prospect and salary relief.

        • mbonzo

          1. He was available for the right price. He came very cheap.

          2. He was an upgrade from Joba or Robertson as the setup man.At the point of the signing, Logan was nothing reliable and Joba and Robertson had below average first halfs.

          3. The bullpen was weaker in 2010. I say it was weaker because Aceves and Marte were hard to replace. This year they can put players like Phelps and Sanchez in the bullpen as regular player instead of juggling them through AAA and the majors.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        They’ll also have Feliciano to navigate lefties.

        • YankeesJunkie

          True, Feliciano is actually an upgrade against lefties than Logan with a career xFIP 2.88 compared to Logan’s 3.45, however they are both terrible against righties with Feliciano being at 4.73 xFIP and Logan a 5.49 xFIP.

        • Avi

          This is part of what drives me nuts about the Feliciano signing. If you’re gonna sign one reliver for $4M a year wouldn’t you give it to a guy who can pitch to righties and lefties instead of giving it to a LOOGY?

          • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

            Sure, ideally you’d want that. Problem is, outside of Scott Downs, there are no lefties that really pitch well to both sides, and committing 3yrs to a reliever not named Mariano is 99/100 times, a bad move.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Alright but not necessarily good.

  • mustang

    Congrats to all !

    The MLBPA has to sent Scott Boras a thank you card for:

    Werth- 126

    Beltre- 80-96

    The guy is good.

    • mustang

      Rafael Soriano next!

    • YankeesJunkie

      Boras just must rake in the dough every year. How much does he make like 5% of their total salary so this year that is already 6.3 plus at least 4 million so that is over 10 million. That is ridiculous.

      • Pasqua

        And don’t forget that they make a higher percentage for their clients’ endorsement deals.

        • YankeesJunkie

          Just ridiculous! That is awesome.

    • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

      As much as I dislike him as a person, if I were a pro baseball player, I’d want him as my agent!

  • Sean C

    Congrats to the new writers! I am looking forward to your articles. So long batshit craziness of ESPNNY on my weekends(aside from Rebecca’s article).

  • gmat2

    Congrats everyone. Looking forward to reading your stuff!

  • Gregg

    No one that is associated with the HUFFPO should be affiliated with RAB…They should be euthonized.

    • Squishy Jello Person

      Um. That’s so way not cool. Your comment, I mean. I really don’t care about an RAB writer’s political affiliation

      • Poopy Pants

        RAB certainly cares.

    • Sean C

      If you’re serious, and I’m hoping you’re not, this site isn’t about politics. The day he slips a “National Healthcare in the US is financially irresponsible and insane” line into a post about how batting Jeter second in the order is irresponsible and insane, we can all cry foul. Although, that would be rather funny.

      • YankeesJunkie

        He will not only get fired RAB, but the Huffington Post!!! Not a good day at all.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        /Rose’d

        (Are we allowed to say his name yet? If we say it three times will he emerge? D: )

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          I wonder how he feels about Ohio State winning last night.

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

            That Ohio State is an oxymoron.

            • Marcus

              ICWUDT and I love it.

        • Mattchu12

          That only works if you say it in a mirror.

      • brockdc

        Ha! And yet…

    • Pasqua

      “The people that I disagree with are bad people!” C’mon.

    • Accent Shallow

      “euthonized”? Come on.

      • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

        It’s my understanding that the youth in asia love the Huffington Post.

    • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

      Uncool.

      • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

        Congrats! Look forward to reading your posts.

  • Eric

    Congrats to the new writers. Stephen has done some great stuff over at TYU, and I look forward to seeing what Brock and Hannah bring to the table.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Congrats to the new writers hopefully they will bring new perspective and more RAB posts which is never a bad thing.

    However, what do you think the chances are that the Yankees actually start the year with Mitre as a #5 starter. I would say it is about 10% in my opinion and if they did start Mitre I don’t think that would last too long.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      I think that’s a good bet.

    • Pasqua

      It’s just a hunch, obviously, but I have this feeling that something is brewing in Yankeeland. The Javy-thing came on quickly last year, so I expect something similar to happen this year.

      • mbonzo

        Cashman is ninja. Everything comes out quickly.

  • Gregg

    No one that writes for the HUFFPO should write for RAB…They should be euthonized.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      How do you really feel.

      • YankeesJunkie

        That people need to use spell check

        • brockdc

          Thanks ya’ll, but it’s all good: RAB’s where I go to escape politics. Baseball has always been my sanctuary from the real world.

          And I really do appreciate the support.

    • mbonzo

      Dejavu

    • Sean C

      Can this be strike two?

      • Mattchu12

        Shouldn’t be allowed to get to two?

        • Sean C

          Yeah. I was thinking on the third time he’d spell it right so it would actually be offensive. Third time’s a charm.

  • http://www.twitter.com/vscafuto Vinny Scafuto

    Hey Rebecca, hope your writing gig doesn’t interfere with your World of Warcraft playing. :-P Congrats to the new writers!

    • Squishy Jello Person

      I actually don’t play WoW.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Fine, Aion.

      • http://www.twitter.com/vscafuto Vinny Scafuto

        And by Rebecca I totally meant Hannah. Eesh, time to stop staring at a tiny screen.

  • Donna L

    ^

    Repeating the comment doesn’t make it any more acceptable. And if you’re going to be a jerk, at least learn to spell.

    Congratulations to all the new writers! I’m looking forward to reading your posts on weekends, to try to fill the meaningless void that is my life.

  • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

    Congrats to all the new guys and gals, I can tell you firsthand you’ll love Stephen R’s stuff. His writing is SABR-oriented, always very well though out and researched. I could see him taking slipping a small pill in Joe P’s drink one night and taking over his duties here full time after Joe becomes disoriented and falls into the east river. From the perspective of us readers we’d barely miss Joe, that’s how good Stephen R is.

  • Xstar7

    Has anyone else noticed how well the Nets are playing against the Bulls? Damn who knew they had it in them

  • mbonzo

    Yankees claimed Brian Schlitter.
    http://www.baseball-reference......hlit001bri

    He just turned 25 two weeks ago. His numbers look very good too. Besides his major league crapiness, I wonder why the Cubs dropped him.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Lack of control IMO

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

      Figure Rothschild had some input on him, so what the heck. He had all of 8 games in the bigs, so that’s nothing to go by.

  • Superking

    Congrats to the new writers! Keep up the good work RAB :)

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    congrats to everyone who got it.

  • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

    Speaking of being disoriented, anyone ever suffer a corneal abrasion? I did last week. I was shopping for supplies for work, and while bending over to grab something a cardboard box somehow went straight into my right eye.

    It was tearing and irritated all day, I could barely see and I had to drive home with my left eye. Since my right eye is dominant, that was confusing and disorienting in and of itself. Saw a Doc that night, said it didn’t look too serious and it should clear up in about a week. So far so good, pain is gone and vision is almost back to normal. But for 2-3 days my eye was constantly irritated, vision blurry and the smallest lights seemed to blind me.

    Ugh.

    • bonestock94

      At least you’re not blind, eye injuries are terrifying.

      • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

        I understand getting freaked out, but the eyes actually heal faster than your skin does. I wasn’t overly concerned, it’s pretty common among people who wear contacts and women with small children.

        But even the simple act of concentrating on something was painful. My vision was OK in the day, but at night it seemed every light blinded me. And forget about looking at my computer. The whole screen was a blur.

    • Sean C

      My friend and I were at Six Flags St. Louis a bunch of years ago, and while on a roller coaster my friend was hit in the eye by something. His eye really bothered him the rest of the day, and we had to leave early (which sucked). He went to the doctor the next day, and he had the wing of a fly stuck to his right eye. I don’t know if it was a corneal abrasion, but it was pretty crazy.

      • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

        I’d say that qualifies. If it went in the white of his eye, he may have only been irritated. But my scratch went straight across my iris. The Doctor gave me an eye chart to read, the left eye was fine, the right eye was 100% fog. I couldn’t even see the chart from 10 feet away, much less the letters.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    So am I the only one that found the pictures of Stephanie Seymour and her teenage son on vacation fucking bizarre?

  • Joey – hughes#34

    Congrats to the winners! (slash damn you for beating me! lol)

  • Xstar7

    The Nets are BEATING THE BULLS 78-65 at the the beginning of the fourth quarter. HOLY SH*T!

  • Mike HC

    Congrats to the new weekend writers. Looking forward to reading your stuff here at RAB. Good luck.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

    I had this big post on Soriano prepared and my computer erased it all. ;_;

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

      Where do you write Carlos?

      • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

        Oh it was a post that was going to be here. I sometimes contribute over at SB Nation’s Yanks and Giants blogs but it’s whenever I have free time.

        • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

          Oh, so I guess it was about Rafael Soriano? I thought you wrote for a Cubs blog and it was on Alfonso.

          • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

            Haha, maybe next time I should make it clearer.

    • Avi

      it’ll come back to you a lot quicker than it took to write it.

  • Avi

    Klaw doesn’t think steroids improve a hitters power. I think he’s nuts. I know two former professional ballplayers (minor leagues only). One told me “get a fake dick if you have to, you do whatever it takes to pass that test”.
    I asked the other “do steroids really help you hit a ball further” His response: Is that a real question?

    • YankeesJunkie

      Maybe there are other reasons for the fake dick.

    • Avi

      Here’s the Q&A from his chat today Avi (New Jersey)

      Steroids are PROVEN to increase strength and muscle mass. More strength = more power.
      Klaw (2:57 PM)

      No, more strength does not equal more power. Power comes from bat speed and leverage – from your lower half, primarily, and steroids tend to build upper body mass.
      Klaw (2:58 PM)

      But hey, I’m glad you put PROVEN in caps. That’s, like, what, doubleproven?

      • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

        Law is right here. A faster bat equals more power. The upper body mass increase really does nothing. It’s all in the core muscles. Look at guys like Granderson and Alfonso Soriano. They don’t have huge muscles, but they hit bombs like crazy. They have strong cores and legs and thus they hit for a lot of power.

        • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

          Of course strength counts. Power in your swing is generated mostly in the hips and torso area. Your wrists and forearms have to brace the impact of the ball meeting the bat. Strong legs provide the foundation for your entire swing. Getting your bat head out in front and in place to meet the ball is important, but it’s not that simple.

          • Avi

            Wow. I play a ball and study hitting and I think you put that beautifully.

            • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

              Thank you. I’m sorry, but this conversation is borderline silly.

              If anyone actually believes a swing is all about “bat speed” try this test. Go to a batting range, and swing at a pitch as fast as you can using only your upper arms and see how far that ball travels. Next, swing at a pitch at a leisurely pace, using your hips and legs to generate force. See how far that ball travels.

              • Avi

                Yes absolutely. There’s a saying: You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.

        • Avi

          Steroids don’t strengthen your legs and your core?

          • pat

            Agreed. That’s a ridiculous position to take. Steroids only strengthen muscles that aren’t important to swinging a baseball bat? That’s ridiculous. Roids aren’t going to help you are me play major league baseball. However, if you’re one of the .001% of the people in the world who can consistently put a bat on a 95 mph fastball, being stronger is most definitely going to help. I think KLaw is being a little obtuse.

          • brockdc

            Solo Flex does. I know this because the V.O on the commercial says so. Also strengthened: hips, thighs, and buttocks.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      Placebo effect.

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

      Like any hot button issue, it seems to push people into camps. You have the ‘doesn;t help your hand eye coordination’ camp that tries to argue they have no effect. The other side has grabbed their pitchforks, gathered the town folks wants these guys banned forever from the HOF.

      I’ve settled on a third way. The steroid era existed, and we have to deal with it. I prefer the ‘higher standard’ approach, where the magic numbers for induction no longer apply to those who are tied to steroids in any way. Doing it that way Bonds gets in, A-Rod gets in, Ricky Henderson…. oh, that’s right. You get my point.

      • Avi

        Yeah I agree the very best from any era should get in even if they’re proven steroid users. The numbers they put up are there regardless of weather they’re in the Hall or not. When the conversation comes up of who’s better, Ted Williams or Bonds you obviously take steroid use into account.
        Also if hitting was just about “hand eye coordination” and no physical skill why do guys lose it as they age?

        • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

          Yeah, of course steroids help. Why would players take them if they had no effect? Just to damage their long term health?

          And Bond’s wasn’t just taking steroids, if you read ‘Game of Shadows’ the guy was a walking pharmaceutical company. The anti narcolepsy drugs he was taking put the whole game in slow motion for him.

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

            Why would players take them if they had no effect? Just to damage their long term health?

            That’s a bad argument. Why do ballplayers using chewing tobacco? There’s basically no benefit to it, but they do it because that’s what all the cool kids are doing.

            • Avi

              So players think they help but us stat geeks don’t. Who do you think has more credibility?

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

                Someone who can talk intelligently about it, like a doctor.

                • Avi

                  I’m not sure why a medical doctor would be qualified to have a credible opinion on the matter but ok, which doctor says steroids don’t help hitting a baseball harder and further?

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

                    I dunno. Which one says it does help you hit a baseball harder and further?

                    • Avi

                      If they help you run faster, jump higher, lift more weight and grow stronger muscles than the burden of proof is on the school of thought that says they don’t help.

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

                      No, not really. I’m not saying they do or don’t help, I don’t know. As such, I don’t have an opinion that they definitely do or don’t help a player, as many seem to have. I’m indifferent, show me conclusive evidence that steroids make a player better, and I’ll believe it. Show me evidence they don’t, and then I’ll believe that. Until that happens, meh, whatever.

                      The burden of proof is on the people saying that steroids make a player better (in most cases). Those are the people making the accusations. It might make someone physically stronger, but “growing stronger muscles” is not a baseball skill.

                • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

                  What would a Doctor know about hitting mechanics? That’s at least half of the equation, if not more.

                  BTW-None of us are professional ballplayers, managers or GMs, but we discuss all of that stuff here on a regular basis. Why is this topic off limits?

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

                    Who said it was off limits?

                    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

                      Your previous reply to Avi seemed to imply that only Doctors should discuss the effects of steroids. If you were to apply that standard across the board, you might as well close down the comments section, and probably the blog itself.

                • Poopy Pants

                  I totally agree. Only former players (like Joe Morgan) should talk or write about baseball. Great argument.

              • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                Would you be comfortable with this stance:

                Steroids most likely help a player get better, but the amount that it helps is something we will likely never be able to grasp.

                • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

                  Well said. And how can you penalize a hitter for his steroid aided performance when he was likely facing a ton of steroid fueled pitchers? Even if steroids helped, they playing field was as level as it’s ever been in baseball.

                • Avi

                  No, cuz that’s suggesting it’s not a substantial amount it can be perhaps more likely, a very substantial amount.

                  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                    I don’t think what I said suggests that at all.

                • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

                  We can grasp the run environment from the mid 90s to the mid 2000s, and it was clearly up from the 70s and 80s.

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

                    Right, after two rounds expansion added four teams to the league (that’s ~30 new pitchers in the league that weren’t before) and about a dozen new stadiums opened. There are other factors at play here we can’t ignore.

                    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

                      The small parks got all the attention, but Petco and Safeco were built in the same period. The Marlins home is pitcher friendly, as is Comerica. Citifield is another new pitcher’s haven. The new stadiums weren’t all band boxes.

                  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                    But that could be from something else than just steroids:

                    –Expansion added teams, which added pitchers who may not have been talented enough to make the Majors pre Rockies/Marlins/D-Backs/Rays.

                    –Smaller parks with pulled in fences.

                    –More tightly wound baseballs.

                    –Better strength training.

                    –Improved bat technology.

                    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

                      I have to disagree with #3. That’s been tested a zillion times by everyone from hobbyists to universities, and winding a baseball tighter does nothing to make it travel farther. The balls weren’t juiced, the ball players were.

                    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                      Sure, but there were other factors. I’m not saying steroids didn’t help; I’m saying that it’s hard for us to know exactly how much they helped. You may call me naive for somewhat dismissing steroids, but I think it’s just as naive to say that they acted alone in creating a high run scoring environment.

            • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

              Tobacco is a stimulant, which keeps you alert.

          • Avi

            Law wasn’t just saying that steroids don’t help power he was saying that strength doesn’t help hitting. Yeah my next question to him was why do so many players spend time in the gym making themselves stronger.

          • brockdc

            Ironically, although they’re linked in long term ailments like kidney and heart disease, some help to accelerate the recovery process from intense workouts and injuries. So there’s that benefit, too.

            • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

              Sure, that’s how they work. If you’ve ever done any regular weightlifting, your body hits a wall at some point that you just can’t get past. Steroids allow you to recover faster, which allows you to accelerate your program and increase the weight you use. That’s the whole idea.

    • Mike HC

      It is completely laughable to me when people claim steroids don’t help ballplayers get better. Stamina, speed, strength, reflexes, basically any athletic activity or movement. If you take the drugs correctly, they will help. How much they help will depend on the individual player and what drugs he is taking.

      I have a feeling when you do those chats, and do so many of them, you end up writing some things you wish you could take back. To claim steroids tends to only help upper body strength is even more ridiculous.

    • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

      The thing with steroids is that they won’t make you stronger and faster overnight, they allow you to train harder and longer, which THEN leads you to be a *better* athlete. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% against their use, but there’s a lot of misconception about them.

  • Legend

    Just a crazy thought. Now that Texas has signed Beltre and ha no real place to play Michael Young, how about the Yankees trade for him and convert him to play LF. He has been an All Star at 3 different positions so why not make it four? He still can hit and is an incredible clutch player. Also, if Jeter, A Rod or Cano need a blow or are injured for an extended time, Young could fill in at any of their positions. This would turn us into a much beter offense and with Jeter and Young batting 1/2 in front of Teix, A Rod and Cano we could score 1100 runs. Trade Gardner to the Sox for Gavin Floyd use Nova as the 5th starter and still sign a right handed hitting OF that can play CF to split with Grandy and can play late inning defense in LF on other days.O I am sure it wouldnt take more then Nossi or Warren to aquire him and texas would even kick in some bucks as well to reduce their payroll. OK now I am ready to be yeled at as to why this is the dumbest thing anyone ever heard?

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

      Absolutely not. Owed $16M per year for the next 2-3, sub .340 OBP in two of the last three years, 34-year-olds moving the OF for the first time is generally a bad idea.

      No chance, I would touch Young if Texas playing half his contract.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Pass. Young’s only a good hitter. He’ll be atrocious in left field. We’ll need all the defense we can get with our meh rotation right now. The best left fielder will really help that.

    • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

      Rangers would have to eat a lot of money for us to take a guy who has no MLB experience in the outfield, is in the decline phase of his career, and flat out sucks in the field.

      • brockdc

        I don’t know why, but it always amuses me when fans call for acquiring a marginally athletic player and jamming him in a position where he’s never, ever played. “Come on! But he’s athletic! He could catch if he worked with Pena over the winter!”

        Hilarious.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      I’m a nerd so I used the Yankees’ runs scored/OPS to try and figure out what a team’s OPS would have to be to score 1100 runs (yeah, I know this is extremely rudimentary and not bulletproof at all). It’s 1.007. Teamwide. Only four players in all of baseball had an OPS of 1.007 or better last year.

      1100 runs is not happening.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        The average lineup consisting of Mantle/Jeter/Ruth/Gehrig/DiMaggio/Berra/Jackson/Lazzeri/Rodriguez would score 7.385 R/G, which would be 1,197 in a 162 game season.

        http://www.theyankeeu.com/2010.....neup-15182

        • http://www.richardiurilli.com/ Richard Iurilli

          Obligatory link when talking about Yankees lineups:

          http://youtu.be/vj434vCtNRw

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          A lineup consisting of

          1. 1999 Jeter
          2. 2008 Tex
          3. 2009 Swisher
          4. 2007 A-Rod
          5. 2007 Posada
          6. 2007 Granderson
          7. 2010 Cano
          8. 2007 Martin
          9. first half of Gardner’s 2010

          would actually score 1100+ runs.

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            4. 2007 A-Rod

            *Instant Drool*

            I feel blessed to have watched that season.

            • YankeesJunkie

              Ditto, that April was amazing.

              • Sean C

                Absolutely, and the crazy part is Cano’s 2010 April was technically better.

              • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

                You could argue his June was even better.

                April: .355/.415/.882 14 HR
                June: .402/.496/.773 9 HR

                Very fun fact: In July that season A-Rod had a .183 BABIP and still put up a .835 OPS.

  • Erica

    Congratulations to all! I’m super super jazzed to read your articles!

  • Sean C

    So, I have recently started going to baseball reference while bored at work. Looking up the all-time greats is pretty much baseball porn. And while checking out Rogers Hornsby’s insanity of a career, it provoked a thought: will anyone hit .400 ever again? It’s unreasonable to say that it is impossible, however it seems improbable. The closest (from a quick glance) anyone’s gotten within the last ten years seems to be .372 (Suzuki, Helton, Garciaparra…). Just a thought…

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      …Wrong. Watching Jose Iglesias is baseball porn. It’s much better than Babe Ruth.

      • Mattchu12

        is Jose Iglesias our new Casey Kelly? Awesome.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      I’d say yes. Gwynn in 1994 had a great shot at it. They were a losing team and they could have put him in better position to do it, hold him out against bad matchups, etc. With a great homefield I can see it happening. Ichiro actually hit .405 on the road in 2004. Boggs had a few seasons where he hit well over .400 at home. I don’t know when it will happen, but I think it will.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      Boggs page is porn to me, I had to look it up.

      1983 .397 at home
      1985 .418 at home
      1987 .411 at home

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      I bet if you put Ichiro, in his prime, in Coors Field he would have done it.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      I love looking at the splits page for Pedro’s 2000. It’s nuts.

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

        His OPS+ against was 18. 18!!!!!! Ramiro Pena 2010 (OPS+ 36) was twice as good a relative hitter as the AL East in 2000 when facing Pedro that year.

        • FIPster Doofus

          That’s mind-blowing.

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

            And that was the year after he struck out 313 in 213.1 innings (1.39 FIP, 12.1 fWAR)That 13.2 K/9 set the record which was broken two years later by Randy Johnson (13.4), but Pedro’s is more impressive. 0.2 difference is more than washed out by ALE vs. NLW.

    • Sean C

      And say what you want about steroids, Barry Bonds should be in prison solely for what he did to baseballs in the early 2000s.

    • MikeD

      I think it will happen. I’ve been watching baseball since the 1970s, and I’ve seen Carew hit .388 (still one of the more amazing seasons based on the high number of ABs), Brett’s .390, and Gwynn’s .394. I think the best chance is a Brett-like season where the players has enough ABs to qualify for the batting title, but a low enough number of ABs that he can still impact his BA more with a hot streak down the stretch. It would have been more difficult for Carew to eclipse .400 with a hot streak in September than it would have been Brett (or Gwynn).

      The one common factor among the three players is they were all lefties and all exceptional hitters. I don’t see anyone in today’s game that are in their class as pure average hitters. I mean, Albert Pujols is a greater hitter that all three when assessing the total package as a hitter, but when it comes to pure average, he’d never approach .400. Yet history says another great average hitter will be on the way, and maybe there will even be a true outlier type of hitter, someone who is so exceptional, he can hit .400 even with a ton of ABs.

      So, yes, it will happen again, but he’ll have to have the right conditions, and a little bit of luck (and, oh yeah, be really good!)

  • The Real JobaWockeeZ

    And Family Guy made fun of McCarver dissing the Yankees. Best show ever even if it’s so completely and annoyingly random at times.

  • Reggie C.

    If i’m the Rays, i’m blowing up Vlad Guerrerro’s phone right now.

    • ZZ

      If I’m the Yankees, I’m doing the same thing.

      • bonestock94

        Why, do you really think Posada’s stock as a hitter gone down that much? Or do you mean just bluffing to drive up the price. I disagree with the further and I think the latter is dangerous.

        • bonestock94

          Uh, further…I meant former.

        • ZZ

          C. Neither.

          I am both confident in Posada’s ability as a DH, but also on record saying it would behoove (to borrow a word from Hank) the Yankees to get another bat. I believe the at bats will be there for another DH on the roster and I don’t think Posada should strictly be a DH.

          I think if the Yankees do not sign another bat either Montero will have to come up and mash or they will be looking for someone at the deadline.

          • bonestock94

            If Montero isn’t ready I think they just have to deal with Martin/random defense-only C. I think we’ve seen the last of Posada catching. If they sign a DH, Posada or that DH is gonna have to ride the pine a lot.

  • ZZ

    Law really says the dumbest things sometimes because it seems he feels the need to take such hardened positions on some issues. I think Nostra-Artist covered it well in terms of how increased strength absolutely helps. I just wanted to add one more thing to the people and the many baseball writers who have said that steroids do not help hand-eye coordination.

    There have been studies that show because of the impact of testosterone on the brain increasing the levels of it (ie taking steroids) increase both processing speed thus allowing you to react quicker and spatial memory thus allowing a batter to replicate his perfect/ideal swing more often.

    • ZZ

      reply fail.

  • MikeD

    Brock, Hannah and Stephen, welcome guys…and gal! Although I guess you’ve been here all along.

  • mbonzo

    I guess im the only one that found the picture caption to this thread hilarious. Lindstrom up top for no reason. :)

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

      Mike is very funny, you should check out his tweets.

  • Fritsthestud

    CONGRATULATIOUS SON LOL YES SON YES LOL