• Torre & Jeter On Winning In Post-Season

    Posted by on October 16th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    From the New York Times:

    Joe Torre didn’t say much, but he didn’t have to. After his Yankees lost Monday night’s do-or-die playoff game to the Angels, Torre repeated the oft-cited difference between his team and the one still playing.

    “That’s the thing about their ball club,” he said of the Angels. “Pitches that you may have guys who are trying to hit home runs swing and miss at, they put in play.”

    “I think the postseason is a time to think small, yes,” said Torre, who emphasized putting the ball in play rather than going for home runs. “You have to really think about fundamentals and be able to think one run at a time.”

    Jeter echoed Torre. “There’s more attention to moving guys over, getting guys in,” he said. “During the regular season, all of the home runs get the highlights. But in the postseason, people pay more attention to how each game is won and lost.”

    So, the manager knows it. And, the team captain knows it. Then, why didn’t we see it?

    Comments on Torre & Jeter On Winning In Post-Season

    1. Don
      October 16th, 2005 | 1:52 pm

      Why didn’t we see it? The team isn’t built like that, that’s why.

      Said this last year and this year: Too many generals and not enough privates on the team. Everyone still wants their Alex Rodriguez/Gary Sheffield/Hideki Matsui fix. Not one of those three is a ‘little ball’ type player. Nor is Posada. Nor is Giambi.

    2. October 16th, 2005 | 2:24 pm

      If they had hit a few home runs this wouldn’t be an issue. No one would be saying, we should have played small ball and won the series a game earlier.

    3. Raf
      October 16th, 2005 | 3:42 pm

      So, the manager knows it. And, the team captain knows it. Then, why didn’t we see it?

      Because “small ball” wasn’t the reason the Yanks lost games 2, 3 & 5.

    4. JohnnyC
      October 16th, 2005 | 4:54 pm

      It’s all a smoke screen. See how much good small ball is doing for the Angels against the home run happy, pitching dominant White Sox. And the Angels didn’t exactly win their WS using small ball…they mashed their way to a post-season record offensive display. The Yankees lost because their run poducers didn’t produce runs, whether by home runs or suicide squeezes. That’s probably due in large part to Bud Black’s game plan…feed ’em breaking stuff to defeat their timing and then fastballs out of the zone when they get impatient. Torre’s Yankees didn’t catch a break: they didn’t hang many breaking balls and the umpires cooperated with a liberal strike zone. And, the complete failure of the middle relief corps caused Torre, once again, to shorten his pitching staff…without the kind of 8 and 9 inning efforts that Guillen’s getting from his younger, more talented rotation. Now, if Torre, Cashman, et al. could’ve have recognized that before the playoffs, maybe then we’d be talking.

    5. October 16th, 2005 | 10:50 pm

      Still, guys, at the end of the day, the Yankees got to a Game 5, and were two runs within tying, and had the runners on to get it done, but, they could not “get them over and get them in.”

      Crappy RP, etc., aside, they were in position to win the thing in Game 5, and the lack of small ball ability killed that chance.

    6. Raf
      October 17th, 2005 | 9:16 am

      Crappy RP, etc., aside, they were in position to win the thing in Game 5, and the lack of small ball ability killed that chance.

      No, the lack of hitting with RISP killed that chance.

    7. October 17th, 2005 | 9:32 am

      //No, the lack of hitting with RISP killed that chance.//

      And, getting in RISP is small ball, no?

    8. Raf
      October 17th, 2005 | 10:32 am

      And, getting in RISP is small ball, no?

      If “small ball” = “getting a base hit” then I’d say yes. Outs are precious. I’d rather not use them up moving runners along

      “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers.” The Earl of Baltimore (:

      The reason the ChiSox are doing well is because of pitching. Same with the Angels.

      Courtesy of mainsr @ NetShrine

      “Just looked it up: Compared to the White Sox, the Red Sox had:
      9% more hits
      5% more singles
      34% more doubles (thanks, Fenway)
      5% fewer triples
      2% fewer homers

      You’d figure that would translate into 10%-12% or so more runs.
      Instead, they had 22% more runs. Why?

      The White Sox had 53 sacrifices, the Red Sox 14
      The White Sox had 66 caught stealings (led the majors), the Red Sox 12 (fewest in the majors)
      The White Sox drew 433 walks (only 5 teams had fewer), the Red Sox 645 (led the majors)

      Ozzie Guillen’s “aggressive, small ball” techniques cost his club, I would bet, at least 75 runs this year.

      And this man will be MOY.”

      Nuff said…

    9. Josh
      October 17th, 2005 | 1:40 pm


      You seemed to have missed the point of this article, which was that the small ball “gospel” was generally wrong. I don’t totally agree but that was the point. The author, Alan Schwarz, a noted Moneyball type, argued that the easist and best way to score runs in the postseason was with the HR. He backed this claim up with stats. Also, he took a swipe at Joe Morgan, always a plus in my book.

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