Jul
20

Looking Ahead At The Schedule: Time To Get Fat

By

Baseball is in a golden age of parity, which means there’s a lot of mediocre teams and very few elite or awful ones. The Yankees happen to be among the elite no matter what criteria you want to use. They have the fifth most wins in the game (56), the third best winning percentage (.596), the best run differential (+114), the second most fWAR (35.1), and the second most bWAR (32.2). The facts are the facts, the Yankees have been no worse than one of the three best teams in baseball in 2011.

Although they’re currently one and a half games back of the Red Sox for the AL East lead, the Yankees are five and a half games up on the Rays for the AL Wildcard. That’s a pretty significant gap considering that we’re still in July. Baseball Prospectus’ playoff odds say the Yankees have a 95.6% chance to make the postseason as of today while Cool Standings has them at 89.5%. That’s a pretty nice cushion to have at this time of the year, but the Yankees have a chance to really pad that lead in the coming weeks.

Following these last two games in Tampa, the Yankees will head back to the Bronx for a ten-game homestand against the Athletics, Mariners, and Orioles. They’ll play two against the O’s next Saturday, finally making up one of those April rain outs. After the ten-game homestand they’ll hit the road and fly to Chicago’s south side for a four-game series against the White Sox. That’s 14 straight games against sub-.500 teams, and the three teams they’ll play on the homestand are well below .500. We’re talking a combined 39 games under .500. Yeah.

Once they get through that stretch, the Yankees will play nine games against the Red Sox, Angels, and Rays, all tough assignments for sure. It’s another cakewalk after that though, the Yankees will play 15 straight games against the Royals, Twins, Athletics, and Orioles. Although just three of those games will be played in the Bronx (the Oakland series), that sure does look like a comfy two-plus weeks there. All those teams are well under .500, and the latter three have been doormats for New York in recent years. They walk all over them.

Now, of course things can change. The Orioles are playing pretty atrocious baseball right now but the Yankees could run into them during a hot streak, who knows. That’s the unpredictability of a 162-game schedule. Regardless, that 14-game stretch against bad teams followed by the nine-game stretch against good teams followed by the 15-game stretch against bad teams will take the Yankees right through the end of August. Their September schedule is pretty brutal, including two scheduled off days lost to makeup games and a west coast trip. Plus they also have to go back to Toronto, which is like baseball hell with funny accents and mayonnaise on everything.

Playing 29 of their next 38 games (after this Rays series ends, I mean) against awful teams will give the Yankees a chance to really fatten up and pad that win total, pushing them even further out in the front of the pack with regards to a playoff spot. I’d like them to win the AL East, sure, but securing a postseason berth is priority numero uno. They can get greedy after that. The Yankees will finish the season with three games against the Rays, three games against the Red Sox, and then three games in Tampa, but that light schedule during the next three weeks could have them cruising on autopilot by then.

Categories : Musings

147 Comments»

  1. stunna4885 says:

    mike, what does your gut tell you about what positions cashman will address at the deadline.

  2. Added to this, the A’s, Mariners, Orioles, White Sox, Royals, and Twins could all end up being trade deadline sellers and may be even worse than they currently are when we play them.

    What’s easier than beating the A’s? Beating an A’s team that has traded away Josh Willingham and Craig Breslow for minor leaguers, that’s what.

  3. gc says:

    More importantly, if they can fatten up through these next few weeks on the weaker teams, they’ll have a healthy Alex Rodriguez back in the heart of their lineup for the final month or so of the season when the competition gets tougher.

  4. stunna4885 says:

    this team needs a dh or a bench player that can hit right handed pitching. cashman has sat on his hands since last year and its time to upgrade this roster for the playoffs. getting to the playoffs isn’t good enough cash in case you forgot. lol

    • Ted Nelson says:

      So Cashman managed to sit on his hands the entire time he was acquiring Colon, Garcia, Martin, Chavez, Jones, Feliciano, Soriano, Ayala, Wade, Gordon, Romero? Must have really lost circulation.

      Is there a DH available at a reasonable price who hits righties at a .344 wOBA and lefties at a .375 wOBA? Cause if you take Posada from the left-side and Jones from the right-side that’s what you’ve been getting so far this season.

      Does Eric Chavez count as a bench player who can hit righties?

      What are the chances that a bench player who can hit righties better than Posada and Chavez is the difference between advancing in the playoffs and not? Is that really their biggest concern, or a marginal concern?

      • “Is there a DH available at a reasonable price who hits righties at a .344 wOBA and lefties at a .375 wOBA? Cause if you take Posada from the left-side and Jones from the right-side that’s what you’ve been getting so far this season.”

        This. I really don’t see what’s wrong with this DH tandem in an already potent lineup.

      • stunna4885 says:

        reality check time. this offense is among the best in mlb but extremely inconsistent. arod’s out, jeter , martin, texiera and posada are all struggling and ther’s no reason cash cant aquire a quality dh type to add some needed punch to this offense. and once again i like this rotation and have so even before the season when everyone said it would suck but cash cant be foolish enough to sit on his hands again like he did last year at the deadline and aquire no help for this staff. you really trust colon and hughes in games 2 and 3 of a playoff series against offenses like boston and texas.

        • eality check time. this offense is among the best in mlb but extremely inconsistent. a

          Reality check time: So is every offense in the history of baseball, even the really good ones (like the good offenses we’ve had for the past 90 years).

          • stunna4885 says:

            i completely disagree. this offense runs extremely hot and cold and you cant get away with that in the playoffs against elite pitchers.

            • CP says:

              Can you name an offense this year that is good and consistent? I mean, Seattle has been consistent all season, but that doesn’t count.

            • Every offense runs extremely hot and cold. Every offense gets shut down by elite pitchers in the playoffs.

              • stunna4885 says:

                so if im hearing you correctly u think cashman should do nothing to this offense or pitching staff at the deadline?

                • When did anyone say anything here against acquiring a pitcher?

                  • stunna4885 says:

                    well alot of people seem to be wavering on whether to aquire a pitcher. cashman even said there’s nobody on the market better than colon or hughes. i want to see cashman pull of a quality trade that gives this team a better chance in the playoffs. he seems to poo poo every possible trade opportunity in recent years.

                    • he seems to poo poo every possible trade opportunity in recent years.

                      That might be because other teams try to fuck him like Marsellus Wallace every time a trade opportunity comes along.

                      “Oh, you want Jarrod Washburn and his balky back and shitty peripherals? Give us your best prospect or kick rocks.”

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “i want to see cashman pull of a quality trade that gives this team a better chance in the playoffs.”

                      There’s a trade-off between what you get and what you give up: an opportunity cost. For a trade to be “quality” you can’t give up the farm for it.

                      You seem to be looking at only 1/2 the equation: looking at what they need to buy and not the price. When you go to purchase things for yourself, do you completely ignore the price?

                • No, you’re not hearing me correctly. My comments were confined to the nature and pervasiveness of offensive inconsistency, not about what Cashman should or shouldn’t do.

                  To answer that separate question: No, I don’t think Cashman should do “nothing” this deadline, I think he should explore the available options and see if any are cost-appropriate.

                  If none of the options are palatable, though, and Cashman ends up doing nothing, I won’t panic, because this team as presently constructed (with the reinforcements coming back off the disabled list) is good enough to compete for a title.

                  Like you, I recognize that this offense is inconsistent. Unlike you, I recognize that all offenses are inconsistent and it’s a baseball reality teams must live with, so mere “inconsistency” isn’t much of a reason to claim that trades must be made. If upgrades are available, sure. If not, fine. Baseball is full of inconsistency.

                  It is what it is.

                  • stunna4885 says:

                    ill give you that teams seem to ask for the moon and stars from the yankees but i hate seeing certain opportunities pass by when they could potentially help us now and for the forseeable future. ex… haren was a big miss on his part and so was lee. this year ubaldo may be available and if the price ends up being reasonable u gotta jump on that.

                    • stunna4885 says:

                      cc is great but every other starter they have are mid rotation guys at best. now ill grant you colon has pitched like a solid #2 this year and hughes is a wild card in that respect. but i dont want wild card’s heading into the playoffs i want sure things or proven guys.

                    • Don’t mention the Haren deal around TJSC. Skaggs is a touchy subject.

                    • A.) Haren and Lee didn’t end up here primarily because other teams had a collection of prospects that the Diamondbacks and Mariners preferred to the package of prospects we could give them. Tyler Skaggs and Justin Smoak are really, really good prospects that those organizations had likely coveted for a while. You can’t make the other team pick your offer, you can only make the offer you make and let the chips fall where they may.

                      B.) Despite missing on Haren and Lee, the Yankees were a WS contender last year, are a WS contender this year, and likely will remain a WS contender next year. And while Haren/Lee aren’t available now, Ubaldo/C.J. Wilson/etc may be available now or soon, so… those misses may not have hurt as much as you think and they’re not our only opportunities to add top-shelf pitching talent.

                      C.) We have no indication that the price for Ubaldo will be reasonable. The Rockies are not having a fire sale, they’re floating their elite talent and seeing if anyone wants to bowl them over. Don’t hold your breath.

                    • CP says:

                      The Haren deal pisses me off because the centerpiece of the deal wasn’t reported at the time.

                      The Diamondbacks got an average major league starter and a top prospect (power lefty starter) plus a couple fillers for Haren – which is very different from just getting the average starter plus filler.

            • Foghorn Leghorn says:

              aren’t all teams like that?

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “this offense runs extremely hot and cold and you cant get away with that in the playoffs against elite pitchers.”

              If you had something to back that up besides “because I say so…” people would probably be more convinced. If this really is a more variable offense than others, that would be really easy to show statistically. Showing whether variable offenses do worse in the playoffs would be a lot more work, but also easy to do.

            • MannyGeee says:

              a ‘good and consistent’ offense by your definition would theorhetically score 1300 runs in a season, which you kinda dont see often.

            • toad says:

              No. It doesn’t run hot and cold. In fact, it is one of the most consistent offenses in MLB in terms of scoring close to its per game average number of runs, at least through July 7, when Idid the calculation.

              The Coefficient of Variation measures that, and the Yankees’ is lower than all except Baltimore and Detroit. Boston, Tampa Bay, and Philadelphia are all a lot more variable, and Texas is somewhat more.

              Seattle is very variable also, by the way.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          “martin, texiera and posada are all struggling”

          Slumps happen… you can’t just re-arrange your roster every time a player has a slump.

          “ther’s no reason cash cant aquire a quality dh type”

          Whose roster spot does this DH type take? Posada’s? Jones’? Chavez’s? Nunez’s?

          If someone is available really cheap that would present a clear upgrade over Jones, Chavez, Nunez… ok. Handing over a prospect has to be weighed against simply waiting a few weeks when A-Rod and Chavez might be healthy and Montero might be able to take some C and DH PAs.

          ” cash cant be foolish enough to sit on his hands again like he did last year at the deadline and aquire no help for this staff.”

          You didn’t mention the staff in your original comment that I noticed… just DH and a lefty bat.

          A pitcher would be great, and maybe it will happen. There aren’t many obvious answers, though. I doubt the Rockies move Ubaldo for anything the Yankees would offer/the Yankees pay what it would take to get Ubaldo. After that Wandy would most likely be a rip-off. Dempster and Kuroda are about the only obvious options I see who might come at the right price. I would be all for trading for either one at the right price. If those are the only two good starters really available, though… chances are there will be several teams bidding and the price will be inflated.

          • stunna4885 says:

            to me posada is just about cooked, jones is servicable against lefties only and chavez is always hurt. a guy i seem to like is josh willingham, a right handed bat with good on base skills and power would fit this lineup nice. and a chance of scenery would really do him good because hes a much better player than his numbers show.

    • So a bench player that can hit RHP will just catapult this club from playoff team to champ?

      They’re 3rd in wOBA and 4th in wRC+ vs. RHP, so I don’t think it’s a huge issue. Plus, how often does an AL team use the bench during the postseason?

  5. David, Jr. says:

    Michael Cuddyer + Francisco Liriano = Take on the world. Bring them on and we kick the shit out of them.

  6. Matt's Mom says:

    I’m worried about Matt…has anyone seen Matt? he seemed rather distraught after last night’s loss.

  7. 10-3 is a real possibility, but 9-4 is more likely…especially with 9 of the 14 games at home.

    They also have a stretch at the end of August (8/15-29) where they play the royals/twins/a’s/o’s, gotta clean up there as well.

  8. first time lawng time says:

    The last time the Yankees lost to the A’s was last year with the Dallas Braden incident. Yeah…they better beat them.

    The Yankees have had trouble with shitty teams this year. They split with KC and Chicago; they lost to Seattle. Hopefully that has more to do with them being in a bad stretch at the time.

    Also, is anyone kinda bummed that the Twins won’t be in the playoffs? The Yankees just seem to do so well against them.

  9. first time lawng time says:

    I really hope the Yankees will be able to win some games against Boston. Those are the most important games IMO.

    • I agree, the games against Boston in the ALCS are really important games and I hope we win four of them.

      • first time lawng time says:

        No. They really gotta win some games against Boston. It will facilitate winning the division.

          • first time lawng time says:

            If they want to win the division, beating the Red Sox will make that much easier

            • Agreed. However,

              A.) The division can still be won even if the team continues to lose to the Red Sox. Yes, continuing to lose to the Red Sox makes winning the division harder to to, but “harder” and “not feasible” are still not the same thing. The Red Sox are eminently capable of continuing to beat the Yankees and still playing poorly enough in their non-Yankee games to lose the division. The Yankees are eminently capable of continuing to lose to the Red Sox and still playing well enough in their non-Red Sox games to win the division.
              B.) Winning the division is a nicety, not a necessity. Winning the division gets you nothing other than HFA for a round or two, and HFA is less important in baseball than it is in any other North American sport. Making the playoffs matters. Winning the division matters for nothing other than bragging rights, bragging rights that nobody remembers or cares about anyway years later. We’d all like to win the division, but winning the wild card is a perfectly fine substitute.
              C.) Given A and B, the upcoming Red Sox games are still not demonstrably more “important” than any of the games surrounding them. Not as long as we have the talented roster we have and the 90-95% playoff odds we possess. The first real “important” games start about two months from now.

  10. BaltimoreYankee says:

    The only problem with the idea of building on the wild card lead during this stretch is that the Rays will be pretty much playing the same teams as us.

    • CJ says:

      The Red Sox have a simular schedule left while the Rays (IMO) have a much more harder schedule remaining. Health will play a huge role come September as it will go down to the wire.

  11. Greg says:

    New blockbuster:

    Yankees get:
    Aroyds
    Hunter Pence
    Melancon

    Braves get:
    Curtis Granderson

    Astros get:
    Mike Minor
    Jesus Montero

    We undo past trades and get Pence.

    #unreasonabletradeproposalsthatinnowayimproveteam

  12. stunna4885 says:

    ubaldo, garza, dempster, wandy, nolasco, anibal sanchez, kuroda, edwin jackson. which of these potential targets do people like?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It’s not just a matter of which of those pitchers people like, but of what the asking price for each pitcher is… which ones you like is 1/2 the question.

      • stunna4885 says:

        i agree. im just curious who of those guys people think would succeed in the al east?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I haven’t done much to study it, buy I think it’s more of a marginal difference between AL East and most divisions than people give credit for (especially if you are pitching on Boston, the Yankees, or even Toronto so you don’t face one of those teams). My guess is that you might expect a decline in the AL East, but that if a guy’s ERA jumps 2 points or something there are factors besides division that would explain most of that 90% of the time.

      • David, Jr. says:

        Certainly true. Also true that one could perceive a real need:

        CC vs Beckett
        Hughes vs Lester
        Colon vs Buchholz
        Garcia vs Lackey

        CC vs Halladay
        Hughes vs Lee
        Colon vs Hamels
        Garcia vs Oswalt

        CC vs Lincecum
        Hughes vs Cain
        Colon vs Vogelsong
        Garcia vs Bumgarner

        Given this, and given how Yankee ownership usually looks at things, it is hard to see how they don’t do something major.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Just lining up starting pitcher’s names doesn’t tell us much of anything…

          • David, Jr. says:

            It sure does. If those are the likely matchups on the way to a championship, why wouldn’t you look at how we stack up?

            This doesn’t mean that we will for sure do something, but it does illustrate that another top starter would improve our odds substantially, which is what Cash saw when he made a move for Lee. If he didn’t see that, he would have never done that for a rental.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “why wouldn’t you look at how we stack up?”

              Because baseball is not an individual sport. And to a lesser extent because a season ERA/FIP of X does not mean your ERA/FIP every game is going to constantly be X.

              Why don’t we line-up the #4 hitter on each team and decide who will win the series based solely on that?

              “it does illustrate that another top starter would improve our odds substantially”

              Lining up names on paper does not do that at all. Looking at the actual performance of the Yankees’ staff is what does that. My issue is not with whether or not the Yankees could improve their staff, it’s with your assertion that lining up prospective starters next to each other is the way to determine which team will win a series.

              • David, Jr. says:

                It is a team sport, so certainly short series pitching match ups are not the entire story.

                The answers to this depend on two things, as follows:

                Are starting pitching match ups quite important?

                No – end of discussion. Doesn’t matter.

                Yes – on to second question.

                How do the Yankees match up in starting pitching compared to the other World Series contenders?

                Only three possible answers:

                They have a large advantage in that area.

                Relatively neutral. Better than some, worse than some.

                Disadvantaged. Generally not a strength.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Since it’s a team sport, I’d look at the whole equation rather than isolating part. I would do it in a more comprehensive manner, but here’s a summary:

                  The Red Sox have two good starters, one solid starter, and nothing else unless they pull a trade or a rabbit out of their hat. Lackey’s ERA is almost 7 and his FIP is almost 5…
                  They have a strong pen.
                  They have a great offense.

                  The Phillies have a ton of starting.
                  Their bullpen is bottom half of the league.
                  Their offense is bottom half of the league.

                  The Giants have great pitching (at least without adjusting for competition and ballpark), but their offense can’t hit its way out of a paper bag.

                  So while the Phillies and Giants kill the Yankees on starting pitching and could easily win a series if their guys are all on, they have major concerns elsewhere. I really don’t see the

                  You don’t have to win the SP battle to win a series in the first place, and a Tim Wakefield can go out and throw a random gem while a Lee or CC can throw a total stinker (they both did in the playoffs last season).

                  I absolutely think that if the Yankees wanted to improve their team, a #2 starter would be the best place to do so. However, I don’t think isolating the starting pitching (without even citing stats of any sort… just listing names… “Lackey” ewww great name, terrible pitcher with an injury he’s on record as saying will only get worse with use) is the way to determine who will win a series or is justification for paying any price it takes to get any pitcher it takes.

                  Therefore, I see no value in just lining up names on a paper.

                  • David, Jr. says:

                    All great points, Ted. The discussion is quite pertinent leading up to this deadline, and I certainly would not advocate paying any price. One of the New York writers (can’t remember who) today floated a deal for Ubaldo that might finally be the win-win rather than the we give away the farm. It would sting on both sides, which it should. It was Montero and Betances and Warren for Ubaldo. To me, that is getting there, and if the cost is more than that, we should walk and try for somebody else.

        • NEPA Yankee says:

          HEY! You forgot A.J.!

  13. King George says:

    Wow, David Jr. Never ceasing to amaze, except this time I’m going to call you out. Don’t post on here when you’re going to make idiotic statements, and certainly don’t post thing when you’re ripping them off BLEACHER REPORT. Shameful.

    Here’s the article link. What a joke, dude.

    http://bleacherreport.com/arti.....rk-yankees

    • David, Jr. says:

      So what. Just saved the work of looking up the whole thing. I have posting essentially this for months now, like “CC is fine against Halladay or Beckett. Who will match up against pitchers like Lee or Lester?”

      What is your point, dude? Are you eager to stand on Colon or Hughes against Lee or Lester?

      • King George says:

        I’m saying Bleacher Report isn’t a credible platform to cite and to use your own ideas rather some bloggers who have no idea what they’re talking about. I could post ideas on Bleacher Report about how I think the Yankees are going to get Pujols, King Felix, Pineda, and Ubaldo at the deadline…doesn’t mean I’m right.

        As for your intended idea regarding the pitching staff, no I don’t think Bartolo and Garcia are safe enough to pitch in the playoffs (Bart, maybe). But, I have no way of speculating which way Cash is going to go during the trade deadline. I’d like to see a solid #2, but besides Ubaldo and Garza, I don’t see it.

        • David, Jr. says:

          They are absolutely credible when it comes to just listing people from pitching staffs. A kindergarten kid is credible for that. So what?

          My point leading up to the deadline is that this is one of the few ways that the Yankees can improve their chances. They have a real chance, which is why I rate them as a 9 right now. The offense is great, the bullpen is pretty lock down and could get even more so, the defense is better than it has been in years. This is the one nagging question – pitching matchups in a short series. Teams can be constructed to win 95 or more games in the regular season, but in a short series it is difficult to overcome the Randy Johnson / Curt Schilling type of combo.

          It will be interesting to see what they do.

          • They’re not even that credible, because they assume the 4th starter will be Freddy Garcia and not A.J. Burnett, which is a very, very, very, very, very, very, very dicey assumption.

            I’d put money on Burnett getting that start over Garcia.

            • David, Jr. says:

              So say the #2, #3, #4 is what? – Hughes, Colon, Burnett? Colon, Hughes, Burnett?

              Any difference compared to Lester, Buchholz, Lee, Hamels, Cain?

              It seems as if the counter to the argument would be “No. We are just fine in short series pitching matchups. No problem on that front.”

              I sure hope that is the case if we don’t do anything, because we have a real chance.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Baseball is still a team sport.

                And you still haven’t shown why the Yankees need to be concerned about Buchholz or Lackey. Again… names on a paper are worthless. Stats. Analysis.

              • YanksFan says:

                You are focusing on the negatives of the NYY pitchers but the name of the Bosox picthers. Lackey sucks. Buchholz is even pitching right now and pitched over his FIP in 2009. He’s a real nice pitcher but doesn’t scare you going in. Beckett is pitching above his FIP this year. What happens if he regresses a little in the 2nd half. Yanks have also rocked him on numberous occassions.

                As for SF & Philly they have better staffs but their pens & offense are not as good as ours. How do we know that they can score enoough? Exhibit A being Atlanta in the 90s.

                • David, Jr. says:

                  I’m not focusing on the negatives of anything. I have them at a 9, meaning a strong but slightly flawed contender. If they do nothing, I see a 90+% chance of making the playoffs. I merely see an opportunity to perhaps get even better.

                  • YanksFan says:

                    I think you & Bleachers are though when you are looking at pitching matchups & saying the Yanks can beat any of the 3 teams.

                    It’s what TSJC & Ted are saying. There are other factors to be considered outside of the starters. On top of that the opposing starters are being overvalued compared to actual production while non-CC are being undervalued.

                    Would I love to get a #2 starter, Hells Yeah. But not at any cost.

                    • David, Jr. says:

                      I’m not saying that they can’t beat anybody. They can win the World Series as they are presently constructed. I’m saying that they can be an even stronger possibility to win it.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Again… you cannot just match-up starting pitchers to determine who will win a game. This is not an individual sport. Lining up starting pitchers names on a paper is not a legitimate form of analysis.

  14. mt says:

    Home Field Advantage this year may be more important – Boston Red Sox are better from a runs scored peer game and OPS standpoint at home and Texas is substantially better from a runs per game scored and OPS perspective offensively at home. Now Yanks may also be better at Fenway and Arlington than at Yankee Stadium (not sure about this given how Granderson and Tex use short right field porch) but I still would prefer home games against Red Sox and Texas if possible.

    Given Red Sox remaining non-Yanks schedule is very similar to us I believe, we may get fat against the Mariners and As but that may only help in terms of getting the wildcard by edging out Tampa/Angels. Red Sox may get fat against those same teams.

    As for division, six of remaining nine Red Sox games are at Fenway (although given we are 0-6 at YSII and 1-2 at Fenway -maybe we prefer Fenway :-).

    • mt says:

      That YSIII.

    • A.) The Red Sox have always played much better in their clown-shoes home ballpark than on the road. Ditto Texas. This year is no exception. If HFA didn’t earn them an auto-ticket to the WS before, it’s not going to start doing so now.

      B.) HFA doesn’t even really come into play until Game 7 anyway. If the Red Sox/Rangers get HFA in the ALCS, the Yankees will still get two of the first four games at home and three of the first six.

      In the World Series, the team with HFA is at a slight DISADVANTAGE until the series goes a full seven, as three of the first five games are on the road (and the latter three to boot.)

      HFA: tremendously overrated, fairly unimportant

      • MannyGeee says:

        unless its decided by the ASG, in which case, its vital. Thanks for that, Selig…

      • Greg says:

        The only way that factors in is if the opponent (in this case the AL) steals game one or two in the opposing ballpark.

        • HFA matters (and only minimally at that) in football, where it’s a one-game series and 100% of the action is in your building.

          It matters less in basketball, where referees are easily swayed by home crowds and there’s often a large foul discrepancy and where HFA only gets you 57% of the action in your home building.

          It matters virtually not at all in baseball, even despite the DH rule changes and the bottom-of-the-inning advantage. There is minimal correlation between HFA and series won.

          Who has the better/hotter team matters; where those teams play… not really.

          • Greg says:

            I think the St. Louis Cardinals of 1987 and the Atlanta Braves of 1991 might take exception to that statement.

            • Jim S says:

              2 teams out of the entire history of baseball? Or at the very least, out of the past 23 years?

              That’s your proof?

              • Greg says:

                I was talking about the Minnesota Twins in general. The Metrodome was very key in those series. The Cardinals said they needed to wear earplugs during that series. I could go back to the 2009 Yankees who only lost one game at home in the entire postseason (Game 1 of the WS). I could back to last year when the Rangers were forced to play Vlad Guerrero in the outfield because of the lack of the DH.

                • I was talking about the Minnesota Twins in general. The Metrodome was very key in those series. The Cardinals said they needed to wear earplugs during that series.

                  Go take a look at the Twins in the Metrodome in the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2009 playoffs.

                  The Twins won in the playoffs in the 1980s not because they did (or didn’t) have HFA, but because they had teams better/hotter than their opponents. They lost in the past decade not because they did or didn’t have HFA, but because they faced teams better/hotter than them.

                  • David, Jr. says:

                    That park generally was a huge advantage. I used to live in Vegas and bet baseball, and it was one of the best bets, with major gamblers all over it until it just became too obvious.

                    The bet was against an NL team coming to the Metrodome. You had outfielders losing balls in the roof with a background of wires. You had infielders watching balls bounce over their heads on the concrete surface. Meanwhile, the Twins were constructed for it, with all of these stumpy little gnomes bashing the ball into the ground. They looked like a bunch of jockeys.

                  • Greg says:

                    We’re talking about WS play and I dont know if they had homefield in any of those series you mentioned.

                  • Greg says:

                    You forgot to mention another aspect. The air system blowing in and out depending on who was at bat. Another home field perk (though illegal)

  15. Greg says:

    Again, the fact that the NL got homefield is very key because Boston really struggled in NL parks this year, because Ortiz couldnt be played. For us, depending on what we do at the deadline, it might not matter as much.

    But, yes we have to eat up the OAM part of our schedule: The O’s, A’s, and M’s.

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