May
22

Open Thread: Evil Bunts

By

Grandy, nooo!

The Yankees came back and won the rubber game of the first leg of the Subway Series this afternoon, pushing eight runs across in the seventh inning. Within that inning, Curtis Granderson bunted a pair of runners into scoring position with no outs, which left a number of us … baffled. Not only has Grandy hit the second most homers in all of baseball (including one earlier in the game), but the play also took the bat out of Mark Teixeira‘s hands since he was intentionally walked one batter later. Grandy and Tex have been the Yankees’ two best hitters all year, and the play took them right out of the equation with the score tied.

After the game, Joe Girardi told reporters that the bunt was called from the dugout, and they called for it because “we had some momentum going.” Face-freaking-palm. Yes, it worked because they scored a ton of runs that inning, but holy cow is that bad process. I can’t, I just can’t.

Anyway, once you’re done scratching your head, use this as your open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night game has the Red Sox and Cubs (Wakefield vs. James Russell), though Matt Garza was scratched because of a balky elbow. The Bulls and Heat are playing a little later on as well. Talk about whatever your heart desires, so have at it.

Categories : Open Thread

228 Comments»

  1. That bunt was indefensible. Second most HR in MLB, sure, lay down a goddamn bunt. So stupid.

    • Sheepmeister says:

      Now now, we all know that if Grandy would have swung, the odds of hitting into a triple play were quite high, I know thats exactly where Giardi was coming from, so he didn’t kill the rally with 3 outs but only 1.

      • NoBuntsAllowed says:

        A number 2 hitter in that situation is supposed to bunt, the fact that Granderson has 16 HR’s makes it less a slam dunk but Granderson like the rest of the Yanks haven’t been great with runners on base. Even the Mets were expecting it since it is baseball 101. Tex btw is no where near the Yanks best hitter this year since he is prone to striking out and rolling over pitches on the outside part of the plate. You can’t just look at HR’s and say someone is a team’s best hitter because of 1 stat. Tex could have hit a HR in that situation but w/AROD behind him where is the harm in taking the bat out of his hand since AROD is a much better hitter than Tex?

        The homerun is great but in this situation the Yanks played it safe and allowed a AROD (not a bad player) and Cano (not a bad player) hit w/RISP. I like the Yanks chances with AROD and Cano up in those situations as well.

    • CP says:

      The defense is that you would go from 1st and 2nd no out with Grandy up to bases loaded 1 out with ARod up (knowing or assuming they would walk Tex). The RE would go from 1.573 to 1.65. Also, the game was tied and I believe the chances of scoring at least one run would increase even ignoring the IBB.

      I still wouldn’t have done it with Granderson up (although if the bunt were a little better he would have had a hit), but that would be the defense.

      • mike c says:

        that makes sense if that was their reasoning… it also shows that still don’t fully trust granderson against lefties

        • Midland TX says:

          Not to mention the corner defenders are a greenhorn utility player at 1B and Willie Harris, a career OF/2B, at 3B.

          You can dislike the bunt, we get it, but to harp on the subject constantly even when it situationally improves the RE is a bit much.

    • hogsmog says:

      I think Girardi can’t get past the idea that ‘Granderson is a speedy, good glove outfeilder with a little pop’, and is letting last year’s Granderson get in the way of this year’s.

      I really believe the only reason he’s batting second is because he’s got speed, not because he’s second in the league in homers. Like, trade Granderson’s and Arod’s stats for a second; do you really think Arod would be batting second, even though it’s where your best hitter belongs?

      • V says:

        And what makes it even more baffling is that Granderson is NOT a high OBP guy in the best of years; he’s not a guy who goes up there looking to take a walk.

    • Rob Thomsen's Chili Farts says:

      It IS defensible…They won.

    • Kevin Ocala, Fl says:

      It must be that Giardia is feeling the heat from idiot sports writers that they’re hitting too many HR’s. What we have here is a “Home Run Crises” and a “Small Ball Gap”.

      Lions, and Tigers, and Bears. Oh my! The Horror, The Horror….

  2. A-Rod's Wingman says:

    Aren’t you like…supposed to bunt for game theory purposes? Besides, Granderson has historically struggled against lefties and it’s not like he isn’t fast enough to beat out a bunt anyways. If you aren’t going to look back at the call favorably with the bunt, why are going to look back and say the play took the bat out of Teixeira’s hands? Walking the bases loaded to get to A-Rod DOES. NOT. WORK. I don’t blame Girardi for wanting his two best hitters to come up with runners on second and third.

    • Ellis says:

      Granderson has not struggled this year against lefties, at all. 8 of his 16 HR are against lefties.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Granderson and Teixeira have been their two best hitters this year, not A-Rod and Cano.

      • Teixeira, really? Guess I don’t really notice it, but i’d argue Grandy and Cano.

      • A-Rod's Wingman says:

        Not this year, I mean, A-Rod’s struggling but I’d still give him the benefit of the doubt in my more reasonable hours. However, I’d say that him and Teixeira are the team’s two best hitters.

        • Granderson has been hotter than Roger Clemens’s balls most of the year.

          Saying that ARod has been a better hitter than Granderson, THIS YEAR, that’s a stretch. You’re going on nothing but reputation. Results-wise, it’s Granderson, easily.

          • A-Rod's Wingman says:

            I think I said “Not this year.” In 40 some games Granderson’s been better, but A-Rod’s history against lefties, May notwithstanding, it’s perfectly defensible that he’s a better hitter than Granderson. And I fucking love Curtis Granderson.

      • Evan3457 says:

        FWIW, with his 4 hits today, A-Rod has basically caught up with Tex in OPS, and with a higher BAVG, has made fewer outs. So Tex was in front of him in OPS+ going into the game, but they’ll likely be equal, more or less, when the update is posted at B-Ref.

        Thanks to two infield hits, including the mighty smash that gave the Yanks the lead.

        And Russell Martin’s right in there with Tex, although with less playing time.

      • NoBuntsAllowed says:

        I am not sure why your slurping Tex, AROD if you haven’t noticed is their best hitter right now, so getting him the AB with the bases loaded was a good move. Cano despite his struggles in May is still as productive as Tex and Tex is having a better May than usual.

  3. I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

    I threw up in my mouth a little when it happened. Simply disgusting.

  4. bunting is evil devilspawn

  5. Sean C says:

    There are times where bunting is a good idea, and it just so happens that none of those times have applied to the Yankees this year. Save it for the pitchers in NL parks.

  6. CMP says:

    I used to like Giradi as a manager but the amount of outs he gives away bunting is just obscene.

    How can you like the guy if he can’t grasp such a fundimental concept like this?

    There is a time and place for small ball late in games with a lights out starter or ace reliever on the mound but Girardi has been using this strategy more and more early in games.

  7. True or False: Bartolo Colon has been the most enjoyable player to watch this year.

    I vote true. Just love to watch the guy.

  8. The BIG 3 says:

    Home runs come and home runs go. They are perfectly hit balls that are at the whim of probability, and if you can’t score without them, you’re most likely fucked.

    Although I still believe the problem this year is starters 3-7. A Yankees offense will always produce at a top rate over 162 games.

    • Zack says:

      I’m still waiting for someone to show how Yankees compare to every other team in terms of % of runs of HR. Throwing out 51% (I think that’s what Sweeny re-tweeted yesterday) with zero context of other teams makes that number useless.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        The Blue Jays led baseball at 53% last year, and the D’Backs have the second highest rate this year at 30-something%. Saw it somewhere this morning, just forgot where.

      • The BIG 3 says:

        Statistically, I don’t know (or care) about other teams, for when the Yanks aren’t scoring via HR’s, they don’t appear, to these eyes anyway, to be scoring at all. It’s a concern, but like I said, not as much as 3-7.

        After Aj is the problem. Loving Colon but not buying that for a second. Nor the remaining chaff.

    • Home runs come and home runs go. They are perfectly hit balls that are at the whim of probability,

      List of hit balls that are at the whim of probability:

      Homers
      Non-homers

      [End of list]

      …and if you can’t score without them, you’re most likely fucked.

      The Yankees CAN score without homers. This notion that the team only scores runs due to homers is fallacious. Today is a perfect example of that.

      Furthermore, the reason the Yankees score a lot of runs is not because they hit a lot of homers. That’s a causal fallacy. The Yankees hit a lot of homers AND in an independent phenomenon the Yankees also score a lot of runs because of the same reason: The Yankees have a lot of good hitters.

      Good hitters hit lots of homers. Good hitters also hit a lot of singles and doubles and triples and work walks and put the ball in play and reach on errors and get hit by pitches. All of these various inputs, both homer and non-homer, cause a team full of good hitters to score a lot of runs.

      These phenomena are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, they’re mutually INCLUSIVE.

      • The BIG 3 says:

        “The Yankees CAN score without homers. This notion that the team only scores runs due to homers is fallacious. Today is a perfect example of that.”

        Absolutely.

      • A-Rod's Wingman says:

        The Yankees CAN score without homers. This notion that the team only scores runs due to homers is fallacious. Today is a perfect example of that.

        There’s a few problems with this statement, one the blatant SSS nature of one game and not citing any evidence of scoring runs by non-HR means. The easiest way to disprove this is by simply stating the truth that hitting w/RISP has a lot to do with luck. Since there’s quite a few batters on this team that aren’t hitting or haven’t been lately it’s easy to fall into the “can’t score without a HR” trap. If Posada, A-Rod, and Swisher were hitting at their career norms and Cano would stop swinging at every pitch in the zone everything would be fine.

    • Esteban says:

      As Girardi said in his press conference today, homeruns are hits too. If some of those homeruns the Yankees have hit weren’t hit as far and went off the wall for doubles would people be happier? I just don’t understand how a)homeruns have developed a negative connotation and b) how any complains about and offense that leads the league in RS.

      • first time lawng time says:

        I think people complain because the offense is inconsistent and a lot of guys have been struggling.

        • The BIG 3 says:

          Yeah, THAT!

        • The people who are doing that need to learn two incontrovertible facts:

          A.) Every offense in baseball history is inconsistent. It’s the nature of the game. Take the top five offenses in the game from any given year and go through their schedule, and you’ll see they get shut down on occasion by a pitcher on his game—whether that pitcher is a historical great or just a journeyman having a good day.

          B.) Every offense in baseball history always has a few guys struggling at any given time. They also have stretches where almost every player is struggling at the same time. Good offenses (like this one) are fortunate enough to have stretches where almost everyone is hitting well at the same time. (All three of those scenarios have happened for this club, btw).

          Complaining about unavoidable, routine, normal shit seems like pretty dumb shit to be complaining about.

        • Esteban says:

          Then perspective is in order. Imagine the fans of the teams that don’t lead the league in runs. I don’t think they’ve been that inconsistent anyway, even if it’s felt like it. They’ve scored between either 4,5, or 6 runs in 49% of their games.

      • Zack says:

        I just don’t understand how a)homeruns have developed a negative connotation

        Remember when the storyline was “Gardner can’t be a LF cause that’s a “power” position?” HRs have a negative connotation because the Yankees are hitting a shit load. Just like a poster said in the “When do standings matter anyways?” thread – the answer is whenever the Yankees aren’t in first place.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        They have a 15.9 percent FB to HR rate. That’s ridiculously high. I don’t know why we’re assuming if they aren’t hit that hard that they’re doubles when there’s probably a better chance those are outs especially since they play in a bandbox.

        • Esteban says:

          I’m gonna look at HR% (from bbref) for the Yankees in 2011 vs. career #s
          2011 Career
          Jeter: 1.0% 2.2%
          Teixeira: 6.2% 5.2%
          Granderson: 8.1% 3.9%
          Cano: 5.0% 3.2%
          Swisher: 1.1% 4.2%
          ARod: 5.2% 6.0%
          Martin: 5.3% 2.2%
          Gardner: 2.0% 1.0%
          Posada: 4.4% 3.9%
          Jones: 4.0% 5.0%

          There’s definitely some guys with HR% above their career norms, but it doesn’t seem ridiculous (except for Granderson). And anyway, the stadium they play in is not gonna all of a sudden have its walls moved back.

        • V says:

          This is where I wish hit f/x were open to the public to peruse the data. Fly balls are not all created the same. A lazy fly ball goes for a hit a lot less often than a scalded line drive with a higher trajectory than normal.

  9. Craig says:

    Three things:
    1) I realize I’m a little late to the party, but that MLB ’11 app is such a steal; $15 and you get every team’s radio broadcast and video highlights.
    2) Two aces on the mound tonight for the Sunday Night Game LOL JK what a joke.
    3) If I’m outta the guidelines, sorry, but how much do the writers get paid annually for contributing to this blog? I love coming here to read up on stuff, and I’ve found it fascinating.

  10. bexarama says:

    the outs in that seventh inning:
    1. this bunt
    2. that strike three called on Posada that was rather low
    3. the blown call with Jeter at 1B

    Excellent.

  11. first time lawng time says:

    Did anyone see Girardi on the post game?

    When asked about Cervelli’s bunt, he didn’t even answer the question.

    He said something like, “Now small ball and pitch selection…I’m not trying to be mean..,strategy has a special place in my heart…”

    What the heck does that even mean?!

    • That’s funny, because the Cervelli bunt is the one that is eminently defensible. Cervelli is a non-good hitter; there was still a two-run deficit at the time that we desperately needed to close; moving the base-out situation from 1st and 2nd, no outs to 2nd and 3rd, one out is historically one of the most advantageous tradeoffs you can make, thus justifying giving up the out; there was a struggling, GIDP-prone hitter behind Cervelli so bunting decreased the risk of killing the rally; trading the RISP situation from Cervelli to any one of Jeter/Granderson/Tex/ARod is an unquestionable upgrade.

      I don’t need Joe to hem and haw to explain the Cervelli bunt, that one was fine. It’s the Granderson one that didn’t make sense, and the defense of “we had some momentum going” doesn’t fly since the bunt didn’t increase the momentum in any appreciable fashion.

      We had just scored two runs and had two men on, nobody out with our 2-3-4-5 hitters all lined up. We already had all the momentum.

      • first time lawng time says:

        Yeah I understand Cervelli bunting. I just thought his explanation was a little weird.

    • Andrew says:

      No, what you’re describing is that Girardi refused to answer whether or not he called for Cervelli to bunt from the bench, or if Cervelli did it on his own.

      Marc Carig had asked about the Granderson bunt a few questions earlier, and Girardi admitted to calling for it from the bench.

      Then another reporter asked about the Cervelli bunt and Girardi played the “I don’t want to openly tell everyone what’s called and what players do on their own” card, saying he didn’t want to reveal strategy and trying to not be a dick about it.

    • Rob Thomsen's Chili Farts says:

      He’s a manager of people who hit and throw balls. He’s not president.

  12. bonestock94 says:

    Wouldn’t mind Girardi getting the boot at some point. I don’t hate him but stuff like this is dumb and pretty common.

    Also, Asdrubal Cabrera

  13. Bpdelia says:

    Wow. I just assumed granderson did that on his own. Im not as much of an anti bunt fascist as some here. I generally hate bunting s man to second but am in favor of a weak hitter bunting to get someone to third with no outs.

    However that was the worst bunt I haove ever seen. Would girardi gave asked tex, cano or rodriguez to bunt there? Of course not. Granderson has no business bunting there. It is utterly indefensible. I meam. . . with a fast lefty you had a low fp possibility there as well. Horrendous. Awful. Amazing someone with a binder that thick could keep doing this in the face of such clear evidence that it is the, wrong move.

  14. Rey22 says:

    I know Girardi has always liked bunting, but is it just me or has it been insanely often this year? Like, considerably more than previous seasons.

    • The BIG 3 says:

      At .251, the Yankees are one of the worst “hitting” teams in the AL (9th out of 14, actually). I don’t have any problem with Girardi trying to manufacture runs. The team has jeter, grandy, gardy, and even Martin on the roster for advancment runners, and with the slump the club’s been in, I don’t see why so many object. It’s as if posters believe that if that sacrifice wasn’t attempted, a HR would have been hit instead, which is simply unrealistic.

      • At .251, the Yankees are one of the worst “hitting” teams in the AL (9th out of 14, actually).

        The AL average is .250. 9 of those 14 teams are within .008 of that average one way or the other.

        The Yankees aren’t a “bad” hitting team (with hitting measured in the fairly crude stat of batting average) like your quote implied. Oakland (.234), Minnesota (.232), and Seattle (.227), those teams are bad. The Yankees are in a big clump of teams that are solidly average.

        “Average” and not “worst” should have been your adjective.

        • first time lawng time says:

          This may sound dumb or irrelevant, but it would be nice to have some players hitting .300.

          Just looks nice.

          • No, it’s not dumb or irrelevant.

            There’s nothing wrong with wanting guys who play on your team to hit well. There’s nothing wrong with being frustrated when they don’t hit well, either.

            What’s wrong is thinking that a few weeks (or even a month) of sub-elite play from your team means that all their struggles are going to continue infinitely, or that it’s somehow fundamentally flawed and will finish in fourth place.

            What’s wrong is thinking that “struggling” ALWAYS equals “irredeemably and permanently shitty” and that any cold streak ALWAYS equals “it’s over, let’s give up and this GM/manager/hitting coach/pitching coach/player needs to be fired/DFA’d/killed”.

            Struggling is a part of baseball. It happens to every player: good and bad. It happens to every team: good and bad.

            We all want [insert player name here] to hit .300, but [insert player name here] not hitting .300 is not a sign of the apocalypse nor of the Yankees finishing the year 71-91.

            • first time lawng time says:

              I know they’re not going to hit below .300 forever or the season is doomed because of it or anything like that. I just not only like the team as a whole to have good numbers, but also individual players (ie: I kinda like stat padding).

              As long as the team wins, I’m happy. But I’d be even happier if they were winning with a guy making an MVP or CY case.

        • The BIG 3 says:

          Fine. But let’s not argue about their having issues scoring runs w/o the HR. That exists presently. It won’t for the entire season, but it does now. In which case, Girardi’s just trying to find something that works.

          • List of teams who struggle to score runs without the homer:

            All of them

            [End of list]

            ————————–

            Go back and look at the AL runs scored leaders, and compare it to the AL homers-hit leaders. There’s a high correlation.

            Offense is down, leaguewide. Second year in a row. Complain less about the Yankee “inability” to score runs without the homer (which is a pretty common problem across baseball) and be thankful that the Yankees are scoring runs, of any sort (which is less common).

  15. Esteban says:

    I pointed a friend to Stephen Rhoads “Should Of” post and told him it was supposed to be a joke, and he still agreed with it. How can some smart people be so dumb about baseball?

  16. Zack says:

    Can’t wait til I see ARod or Tex square around for a sac bunt. If you see a TV fly out the window, it’s mine.

  17. Xstar7 says:

    James Russell vs Tim Wakefield? This Cubs Red Sox game looks like it’s going to be a slugfest.

  18. first time lawng time says:

    Favorite SP to watch:

    1. AJ
    2. Nova
    3. CC
    4. Colon
    5. Garcia

  19. first time lawng time says:

    There really is nothing attractive about the Red Sox organization.

    Ugly players
    Ugly fans
    Dustin Pedroia
    Ugly stadium
    Ugly uniforms

    Am I missing anything?

  20. jim p says:

    Let’s just have a game where every at bat, we bunt. Get this mad craving out of our system, then use it when appropriate the rest of the year.

  21. CMP says:

    My pet peeve is bunting a runner to 2nd with no outs and a guy like Gardner on first instead of having him steal and then bunt him to over to 3rd base. Even then, I’d rather see the batter swing away and try to shoot one to right field but at least you can make a case for the logic of moving a runner to 3rd with less than 2 outs.

  22. first time lawng time says:

    I hope Youk gets hit in the face tonight in retaliation.

    Maybe it’ll knock all the ugly out.

  23. first time lawng time says:

    Thanks for the replay of the Fukodome groundout, ESPN.

  24. Xstar7 says:

    What a gritty single by Pedroia.

  25. first time lawng time says:

    Have the Red Sox always been predominantly white?

    If so, is there a reason why or is it just a coincidence?

  26. first time lawng time says:

    Agon totally belongs on the RS.

    He just has that evil little dbag look that is emphasized by the uniform.

    Kinda like Ellsbury.

  27. Craig says:

    What’re some realistic expectations of Dickerson? Also, what does his ceiling project?

  28. Xstar7 says:

    The Cubs really need to be more patient. They look like Robinson Cano out there. Except without all the base hits

  29. Cross777 says:

    How in the world can you say Tex is our second best hitter?!? Are you watching these games? A-Roid, Cano, Martin, Jeter and even Gardner have better averages. (the only stat which puts Tex second is HomeRuns)

    With the Yankee offense sputtering all year, I had no problem with the bunt by Grandy.

  30. A-Rod's Wingman says:

    The real issue with this team’s offense:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/st.....rk-yankees

    With the exception of Russell Martin the stalwarts of the offense aren’t getting on base like they used to in their past days. Swisher, Posada, A-Rod, and Teixeira’s OBPs are all down from what they usually are. Granderson has an OBP below .330. That’s the real reason why the team isn’t scoring as many runs as the fans think they should. Too many outs, not too many HRs is the problem.

  31. bonestock94 says:

    My dad just called Saltalamacchia “Slovakia.”

  32. Craig says:

    How long of a leash does Swish have if he continues to struggle? Or rather, do you seem them trying to move him st the deadline, or just sit on the bench until they dont puck up his option?

  33. bonestock94 says:

    Remember when everyone was angry that the Yankees didn’t sign Mike Cameron. lol

    • Foghorn Leghorn says:

      remember when the sox fans razzed all of us when it was rumored that the yanks would sign cameron?

      suck on that, Sox Fans!

    • In my defense, I advocated for

      A.) trading for 36 year old, entering-the-final-year-of-his-expensive-deal and thus possibly available for a minimal prospect cost stopgap option 2009 Mike Cameron, the Mike Cameron who would go on to hit .250/.342/.452 (110+) that year and provide a +11.4 UZR in 1200+ innings of CF defense

      B.) signing 37 year old, just-came-off-those-above-numbers 2010 Mike Cameron to a one-year, stopgap option contract if he’d take a reasonable pricepoint.

      I never expressed an interest in signing Mike Cameron to a two year deal that would include being obligated to the 38-year-old, 2011 season he’s currently going through, and once Boston signed him to a two year deal last offseason, I didn’t say “ZOMG CASH MISSED TEH BOAT!” or guarantee that those two years of production would match the contract value.

      2009 Cameron was a much less risky proposition than signing on for 2010 and 2011 Cameron.

  34. Craig says:

    Joba just sent me a get well message on twitter, awesome!

  35. CMP says:

    Youkalis has one giant head. I don’t know which is bigger, his or Michael Kay’s?

  36. Steve says:

    Is saltalamachia starting to heat up? Are we sure the apocalypse didn’t happen?

    • Foghorn Leghorn says:

      you could say the same about varitek…i don’t get it…every time I’m paying attention, varitek gets a hit but when I look at his stats, they are horrible. i need to stop watching..

      • Steve says:

        Yeah but is there any chance that this is real from Salty? He was a top prospect not too long ago. I think at this point Varitek is what he is

        • Steve H says:

          It wouldn’t shock me. He just turned 26 this month. As a switch hitter and a catcher if he took longer to develop it wouldn’t be surprising. I don’t think he’ll ever reach what was expected of him(remember when the Braves had to choose between him and McCann?), but he could become a very solid player.

    • Pasqua says:

      Ugh. That article points to one of the most infuriating things about sac bunting: the idea that it is somehow an inherently selfless act. As if it signifies that the player is a “team” guy because of it, moreso than someone not adept at bunting.

      It creates an out. It’s counter-intuitive to the one job of a hitter. End of story.

  37. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    so we have to listen to the media kiss AGonz’ ass for the next 7 years? I never thought I’d miss Manny.

  38. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    Cameron really sucks. i’ll never understand why Theo signed him for two yrs.

  39. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    the salty talk got me thinking about Papi…is this what he is now? fat bitch is hitting .300 with power.

  40. Hacksaw Jim Duggan says:

    hoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

    Girardi’s love for bunting is so maddening. This is not the San Diego Padre offense here. This team is built on OBP and power. Most of the players on the team aren’t any good at bunting anyway, which should make it used even less frequently. Doesn’t Girardi realize this when he sees Swisher and even Gardner look so incompetent up there when he puts them in bunt mode? I know Gardner looks like a guy who should know how to bunt, but I’d rather he just swing away. He looks hopeless when trying to bunt. And unlike Juan Pierre, Gardner can actually strike the ball with some authority.

    The thing that irks me most about sac bunting is that there is no where close to 100% chance that the bunt will work. If you could guarantee with 100% certainty that yes, Granderson would get the bunt down, then I can sort of understand giving up Grandy’s at-bat so that ARod and Cano can take their chances with loaded bases and one-out. This could possibly increase the team’s chance of scoring exactly one run (although it probably hurts the team’s chance to put up a 3 or 4-spot).

    But how many times have we seen Yankee hitters this year (usually Gardner) start off with sac bunt attempts, work themselves into 0-2 counts, and then take the bunt off and flail away defensively with an 0-2 count and weakly ground out or strikeout? There is no where near 100% chance that the sac will be executed correctly, and when it doesn’t work, you either have a botched bunt pop out (like a pop out to the third baseman) or a batter left in a very disadvantageous 0-2 count. This seems to happen a lot when batters go for sac bunts.

    I have no clue what the true league percentage generally is. Does anybody have the info on this throughout baseball (as in, what % of sac bunt attempts are successful, perhaps split by pitcher bunts and non-pitcher bunts)?

    It seems this Yankee team is especially likely to screw up the execution of the bunt, which should make Girardi stay away from this strategy. I would imagine even a good bunter doesn’t get the job done more than 75% of the time. And I would guess that many times these Yankee batters go up there with a much lower chance of executing it correctly. I’m just speculating on those numbers, I would love to see actual data on this.

    So anyway, let’s say Grandy is a good bunter and had a 70% chance of getting that bunt down. I would much rather he swing away in that case since there is still a 30% chance he screws it up. Hell, even if he swings away there are ways he can get out and still move the runners over. There is no upside to bunting but there is plenty of risk. There is more risk with swinging away, but the potential reward is so much higher. Grandy would have to be a true-talent 90+% successful sac bunter for me to think this strategy could possibly be worthwhile. And even then I would only call it arguable at best, considering the fact that Grandy has been a complete monster at the plate since last August.

    Sac bunts just aren’t close to automatic, and I don’t know if Girardi ever really considers this before he goes by the Small Ball Book and calls for it. I hope his book considers the failure rate of sac bunting, whatever that may be (does anybody know??).

    But just wait until October. If this is driving so many of us nuts right now in May, imagine what the reaction will be when Girardi does it in October (assuming Yanks get to the playoffs). It seems inevitable. This is a huge flaw in Girardi’s managing style.

    Tough guy!

    • Foghorn Leghorn says:

      blog it

    • V says:

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

    • Phife Dawg says:

      This sounds like a “you” problem.

  41. Hacksaw Jim Duggan says:

    Papi is probably the best DH in the AL in terms of current true talent level. Or maybe he’s 2nd to Dunn.

    • MikeD says:

      Based on “current” true talent level, I think Dunn of the .190 BA, 4 HRs and league-leading strikeouts, has a difficult case.

  42. I still don’t know what’s more ridiculous: that Curtis Granderson bunt, or those Mike Miller shoulder tattoos.

    I’m leaning towards the latter.

  43. Karl Krawfid says:

    If I was blind I would swear the Red Sox were playing against the Red Sox listening to this ESPN broadcast.

    • MikeD says:

      It’s Red Sox all around tonight, as MLBN is showing game 6 of the 1975 World Series. I’ve opted to watch that, since it’s a classic game and, of course, defeat was coming to the Sox the next day.

  44. Xstar7 says:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/graph.....erid5=1834

    /screwing around with fangraphs out of boredom

  45. Pat D says:

    I cried a lot today.

    And it had nothing to do with baseball.

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