• A-Rod: Getting It Done On The First Date

    Posted by on April 16th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Since 2002, each year, about one-half of Alex Rodriguez’ At Bats in a season have come when he is facing a pitcher for the first time in a game. Call this snapshot “vs. P, 1st time in G” for short. Here are the “vs. P, 1st time in G” stats for A-Rod, since 2002 (with 2007 being to date):


    Note that in 2004 and 2006, Alex batted like a “mortal” in these situations – whereas in 2002, 2003, 2005, and (so far in) 2007, Alex was “A-Rod!

    Perhaps, coming off bad seasons in 2004 and 2006, pitchers were willing to challenge A-Rod during 2005 and 2007 – and he made them pay for that? Related, coming off good seasons in 2003 and 2005, perhaps pitchers were afraid to pitch to Alex and that resulted in him chasing bad pitches in 2004 and 2006? These are just theories – wild guesses, actually.

    It’s an interesting stat split, nonetheless. There’s something going on here, for sure. Small sample size stuff at work? Maybe in 2007 – but, in all the other seasons we’re looking at over 300 ABs for each stat line. There’s something real here. If anyone has ideas, please do share them here.

    Comments on A-Rod: Getting It Done On The First Date

    1. Garcia
      April 16th, 2007 | 2:20 pm

      Let’s have some fun today, it’s ugly outside, Sawx up big, and the Yankees aren’t playing today.

      Here’s what I think about ARod:

      “Maybe there’s another reason why Alex is doing so well, so far, this season?”

      Unfortunately the link that’s suppose to be present with the (above) quoted text doesn’t show that well in the comments.

    2. April 16th, 2007 | 3:00 pm

      Why not just show us the URL?

    3. Garcia
      April 16th, 2007 | 3:09 pm

      Cause I figured you’d recognize the quote, it’s yours and it’s from this post:

      The joke needed way too much explaining, so it’s not funny any longer.

    4. April 16th, 2007 | 3:31 pm

      Now I get it.

    5. rbj
      April 16th, 2007 | 3:44 pm

      Random, statistical variation?

    6. April 16th, 2007 | 3:50 pm

      A hundred points in BA worth of random?

    7. rbj
      April 16th, 2007 | 4:06 pm

      Say someone has a career avg of .250 with 600 AB per year, just to make it simple.

      600 * .250 = 150 hits/year
      600 * .200 = 120 hits/year
      600 * .300 = 180 hits/year
      There are what, 25 weeks to the regular season, so if you average about one hit more a week (the sub shortstop is in there?), you are great. If instead the next year, there are better defenders out there, or your timing is off a fraction or just plain “bad luck” that year (or your head isn’t screwed on right that year) and each week one of your expected hits instead falls in a glove, you are in a slump. Baseball is a harsh game.

    8. April 16th, 2007 | 4:48 pm

      Let’s use the numbers for 2005 and 2006 here.

      A-Rod hits .323 in his 300 “vs. P, 1st time in G” during 2005. But, he hits .223 in his 300 “vs. P, 1st time in G” during 2006.

      This means that A-Rod had 30 less hits in those 300 ABs between 2005 and 2006. That’s one hit every 10 ABs. Just luck? Seems very unlucky, if true.

    9. rbj
      April 16th, 2007 | 5:31 pm

      Consider it random variation. 2002 it was .280, 2003 it was .274 both very close, so probably close to his lifetime average. Then he was down a bit in 2004 at .252, and shot way above his average in 2005 at .323 (an outlier above what he “should” hit). 2005 was sort of a correction to that outlier.

    10. JeterReggieGuidry
      April 17th, 2007 | 3:33 am

      TOO MANY DH’s

      This is a little off-topic… But can someone explain to me why the Yanks don’t have Melky as a full-time CF or LF and have Johnny Damon, Abreu, or Matsui learn to play 1st base? Will this happen next year perhaps? I know this was the unsuccessful Sheffield experiment from last year but it seems nuts that we have a decent outfielder who will spend most of the year on the bench, a lousy-hitting 1st baseman whos a good fielder but not good enough to justify his horrible hitting, and 3 mediocre defensive outfielders with great bats.

      Geez it would almost make more sense to have Giambi back at 1b so Matsui or Damon could DH and have Melky in the OF.

      It just seems like we have the worst possible scenario at the moment and our defense is suffering and our offense has this #9 hole with Doug M.

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