• How Do You Like This Team?

    Posted by on November 24th, 2006 · Comments (8)

    I’ve always had the impression that some Yankees fans fall “in love” with a “name” simply because he wears the pinstripes.

    For example: “Mike Mussina is an ace and a future Hall-of-Famer” is something that you might hear from a Yankees fan. However, if Mussina had been with the Red Sox since 2001 (instead of New York), I would bet that many of those same Yankees fans would say “Mussina is over-rated.”

    Related to all this, for fun, I decided to look at the main players on the Yankees 2006 roster and try and find a match for him – meaning a new “name” that would not carry the pinstripe-love factor. I thought this would be a unique way to objectively look at who was good and who was really not so good on the Yankees last year.

    For batters, I’m just going to use hitting stats – and forget fielding and speed. And, I’m only going to use 2006 production for the matches. Lastly, age will not be used in finding a match.

    Here goes:

    Johnny Damon = Raul Ibanez
    Derek Jeter = Garrett Atkins
    Bobby Abreu = Jason Bay
    Jason Giambi = Nick Johnson
    Alex Rodriguez = Carlos Guillen
    Jorge Posada = Pat Burrell
    Bernie Williams = Julio Lugo
    Melky Cabrera = Nick Markakis
    Robinson Cano = Reed Johnson

    Randy Johnson = Matt Morris
    Mike Mussina = Curt Schilling
    Worm Killer Wang = Erik Bedard
    Jaret Wright = Tim Wakefield
    Corey Lidle = Jon Lieber

    Kyle Farnsworth = Ryan Dempster
    Scott Proctor = Chad Qualls
    Mariano Rivera = Francisco Rodriguez

    I wonder how far in the post-season those names on the right side of the equal signs would have gone in 2006 had they been an actual team?

    Comments on How Do You Like This Team?

    1. baileywalk
      November 24th, 2006 | 2:13 pm

      I think it’s a flaw not to strictly use comps by their position. Posada’s numbers make him much more valuable as a catcher than if he was, say, an outfielder. Same for Jeter being a shortstop instead of, say, a first baseman.

      I’m not a big fan of the pitching comps. Wang walks less than Bedard and Bedard strikes out a lot more than Wang does. Wakefield is a workhorse and Wright can barely go five a game. Mussina was much better than Schilling was this year.

      It’s an interesting idea, though.

    2. MJ
      November 24th, 2006 | 3:55 pm

      I’ve always had the impression that some Yankees fans fall “in love” with a “name” simply because he wears the pinstripes.
      I’m not saying this to criticize you, just pointing out that all fans do this. Ask a Red Sox fan about Wakefield or Schilling and they’ll tell you how wonderful they are. Replace them with Moose or Wright, and the word “sucks” will inevitably follow.

      Getting emotionally and irrationally attached to players in the home whites is what fans do. That’s why I’d never, in a billion years, trade Jeter for anyone or anything.

    3. November 24th, 2006 | 8:13 pm

      ~~~Mussina was much better than Schilling was this year.~~~

      Actually, no.

      Mussina: 32 GS, 197.1 IP, 18 RSAA
      Schilling: 31 GS, 204 IP, 15 RSAA

    4. baileywalk
      November 24th, 2006 | 10:26 pm

      Actually, yes.

      Mussina: 197.3 IP, 184 hits, 35 BB, 172 SO, 3.51 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, .241 BAA.

      Schilling: 204 IP, 220 hits, 28 BB, 183 SO, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .276 BAA.

      Okay, maybe it’s a bit of an overstatement to say “much” better, but Mussina WAS better. I’m not going to give the edge to Schilling because he pitched seven more innings. Schilling kept his awesome power/control numbers (which Moose also had), but after the start of the year he was getting banged around on a regular basis. The league hit .310 off of him in the second half.

      Looking at the numbers, I don’t think it’s even close.

    5. November 24th, 2006 | 11:56 pm

      You’re ignoring park factors – which RSAA takes into account.

      Mussina pitched 1/2 his games in a somewhat-pitcher’s park whereas Schilling did not.

    6. baileywalk
      November 25th, 2006 | 12:33 am

      Steve, I know you dislike Mussina, but give me a break. Schilling threw seven more innings than Moose. So more or less one more game. Their strikeout/walks were about the same, but Moose had a much better hits-to-IP ratio, had a better ERA, a better WHIP, and a lower BAA. And it wasn’t because Schilling pitched in Fenway. PLUS Schilling fell apart in the second half. He threw 76 innings in the second half and gave up 96 hits. 96 hits in 76 innings! That’s awful. His ERA in the second half was 4.58. His WHIP was 1.42.

      Moose slowed down in the second half too, but not to that degree. Schilling was basically useless.

      I don’t understand the point of penalizing a pitcher for unearned runs. Was it Moose’s fault Alex had the yips every time he pitched?

      Whether we have to agree to disagree or not, there’s simply no way I buy Schilling’s somewhat awful year (or at least awful half a year) as being better than Mussina’s.

    7. Yu Hsing Chen
      November 25th, 2006 | 1:22 am

      It’s hard to argue that Moose wasn’t better than Schilling, the only difference is wether it’s a lot better or a little.

    8. November 25th, 2006 | 9:30 am

      ~~~there’s simply no way I buy Schilling’s somewhat awful year (or at least awful half a year) as being better than Mussina’s.~~~

      I never said better. I said that their 2006 relative (to the league) pitching results were about the same.

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