• Homer Happy Old-Timers

    Posted by on May 12th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    Tino Martinez is 37-years-old. As of this AM, Tino has hit 9 homeruns this season. This is pretty much a 40-HR season pace.

    How many Yankees have hit 40+ homeruns in a season while being 37-years-old, or older? Just one. Some guy by the name of George Herman Ruth did it in 1932.

    Say Tino slows a tad on the big fly pace. What if he posts 30 long balls for the year? How many Yankees have hit 30+ homeruns in a season while being 37-years-old, or older? Again, just one – that Ruth fella again. Following that 1932 season where he hit forty-one, he hit 34 out of the park in 1933.

    OK, while we’re on it. How many Yankees have hit 20+ homeruns in a season while being 37-years-old, or older?

    Well, ol’ G.H. Ruth did also have 22 HRs in 1934 when he was 39-years-old. (I’m starting to think he was a pretty good hitter.) So, he’s on the Old-Timer 20+ HR list three times. And, besides him……..we have just three:

    Johnny Mize in 1950 (with 25), Paul O’Neill in 2001 (with 21) and Graig Nettles in 1983 (with 20 on the nose).

    What does this all tell us? It says if “Bamtino” can keep it up this year going yard, we’re seeing something pinstripily special.

    Comments on Homer Happy Old-Timers

    1. Jason O.
      May 12th, 2005 | 2:23 pm

      As much as I subscribe to Sabermetrics, this is a situation where I love to see Tino outperforming his PECOTA projections and confounding the gang at baseball prospectus. Forgive me stat-hounds, but Tino’s shot to tie the game 9-9 was CLUTCH!!!

      That the team is riding him, of all people, out of the cellar and back into contention is massively ironic given the circumstances of his departure and return.

    2. May 12th, 2005 | 2:37 pm

      FWIW, there just may be a thing as clutch. Bill James now says: “There is an analysis that attempts to prove that there is no such thing is clutch hitting ability, and that analysis is as follows: If you look at the guys who hit well in the clutch one year, and the guys who hit poorly in the clutch the same year, then you look at what they did next year, there is no difference. There is no predictive significance to clutch performance deviation. And I thought that that was true for 25 years, but I have now realized that the way we were studying the issue, the way we were looking for consistency, is very prone to error. A lot of consistency could be there that we’re not seeing because of randomness.”

    3. May 12th, 2005 | 3:18 pm

      Steve, you wanna translate that James quote for us?

    4. May 12th, 2005 | 3:52 pm

      LOL! Actually, in the same interview, to that exact statement, when asked:

      “What you’re saying is that even if we feel like we have an adequate sample size—100-200 at-bats, say—while looking at hot and cold streaks or clutch hitting, there are still too many variables at work to make any confident statements about any specific one? That clutch hitting could still be a batter’s inherent skill but it’s drowned out by all the other randomness?”, James continued with:

      “We all know that baseball statistics are fraught with random variations that look meaningful, but aren’t. But we thought that we had a filter for these problems by looking at large numbers of small samples, and what I am concluding is that that filter doesn’t work. We thought that randomness was a proof of nothingness, when in fact it proves nothing.”

      What he’s saying is that, when people say you can’t call someome “clutch” because of a small sample size in PA, it’s not proof that clutch doesn’t exist. It (the same small size) cannot prove something – but, at the same time, it also cannot disprove that something exists.

      Heavy stuff.

    5. Jason O.
      May 13th, 2005 | 9:30 am

      James should already be in the HOF. But he may not, because that punk Michael Lewis turned his book into an all or nothing proposition, and took shots at baseball icons like Joe Morgan. Joe can barely contain his disdain for Oakland when they’re on Sunday night. Sometimes Jim Kaat refers to SABR in disparaging terms. All because Lewis and his editor wanted to sell books.

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