• ‘Tis The Season…Already?

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 · Comments (16)

    After my son’s Fall Ball Little League game this morning, the four of us ran over to Lowe’s – since I had to pick up some filters for our furnace and humidifier. My wife and son waited in the car – and my daughter and I went into the store. I was wearing a Yankees hoodie – navy with the white inter-locking “NY” on the front.

    On the way to checkout, one of the guys working in the store said to me “You better hurry home to watch that Yankees game tonight! Oh…wait…that’s right…they lost and there is no game today.” He was smiling as he said it – but, I couldn’t tell if he was playfully teasing or just being a hump. In any event, I had my 8-year old daughter with me and I didn’t feel like getting into it. So, I ignored him.

    The guy standing in front of me at the checkout heard him. And, he turned to me and said “Lemme guess, he’s probably a friggin’ Met fan.”

    I was still in a mood – but, I could not ignore a compadre. So, I replied with “Hey, what can you do? They got beat.” And, he then said “Yeah. I’m happy for Texas. Good for them and good for Nolan Ryan. They deserve to go to the Series. The Yankees played like they were dead. Did you see that thing with the Rangers coach – the list of things that he wants their batters to do? The Yankees didn’t do any of those things. They never do. So, they should have lost.”

    By this time, he was checked out and it was my time to pay. And, he was off on his way. Still, now, I’m wondering: Didn’t Paul O’Neill sort of mention this in the YES post-game last night too? It was late – but – I thought O’Neill said something about the Yankees batters putting up big numbers against so-so teams and less than great pitchers. And, because of that, when they faced great pitching, like in the post-season, they forgot and/or didin’t do the little things you need to do, in order to win, when you’re not going to be able to slug your way to five or six runs a game.

    In any event, for sure, it’s open season on Yankees fans – already – as my trip to Lowe’s this afternoon stands testament. Brace yourselves Yankeeland.

    Comments on ‘Tis The Season…Already?

    1. INAC
      October 23rd, 2010 | 2:50 pm

      I live in, ahem, “Rays country”.

      I’ll hope the tards here remember who knocked the Rays out of the playoffs before they begin their predictable tactics. Not that I care, mind you, since I (and all of you I presume) have been down both roads many times before. We’re all used to it. Doesn’t really faze us.

    2. MJ Recanati
      October 23rd, 2010 | 3:13 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I’m somewhat confused here. I clicked on that link with “the list of things” and saw the following:

      1. Get a base hit
      2. Walk
      3. Get hit
      4. Reach base on error
      5. Advance a hitter via out
      6. Advance a hitter via error
      7. Sacrifice plays

      Now, unless I’m going to the wrong website or somehow misinterpreting what is being said, how, exactly do the Yankees not do these things? Every single team in baseball does these things. I don’t think some teams go up there looking to do otherwise.

      That the Yankees weren’t able to hit in the ALCS doesn’t mean they didn’t intend to or, more likely, would’ve hit better but for the absence of such a list hanging in their clubhouse.

      Again, unless I’m misinterpreting what is being said, this just seems dumb.

    3. October 23rd, 2010 | 3:20 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      The Hurdle theory is that, if you get 17 or more of these things in a game, you’re going to win:

      hit
      walk
      sac bunt
      sac fly
      HBP/catch inf.
      move lead runner up w/an out
      move lead runner up w/an error
      8 pitch AB

      Did the Yankees get 17+ of these things in any post-season game this year? If so, did they win or lose that game?

    4. Evan3457
      October 23rd, 2010 | 3:21 pm

      Except for Lee, the Rangers have “great pitching”.

      Ok, maybe Feliz, too.

      Wilson and Lewis and Hunter are “great”. Really?

      Paul O’Neill also forgot the way the Dynasty teams beat great pitchers in the postseason: by out-pitching them, and hitting a few big HR.

      I studied this awhile back…in the four title seasons, the Dynasty Yanks hit a combined 113-500 with RISP in the post-season, .226 (I think that included 2001, if I remember right.)

    5. MJ Recanati
      October 23rd, 2010 | 3:32 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Did the Yankees get 17+ of these things in any post-season game this year? If so, did they win or lose that game?

      The point I’m making is simply that a lack of execution of these things doesn’t mean a lack of capability to execute these things or even a lack of awareness that these things are important.

      The way I read your post was that the Yanks would be wise to “do” those things and that they “never do” them. Perhaps I should be having this conversation with the guy that said this to you. Regardless, the fact remains that the Yanks “do” those things plenty. They just didn’t “do” them this week vs. Texas.

      A lack of execution will plague any team, no matter their offensive philosophy.

    6. Raf
      October 23rd, 2010 | 4:32 pm

      When these other teams can accomplish 1/2, or better yet a 1/4 of the things the Yankees have accomplished since 1993 or thereabouts, then they can talk. Otherwise, I don’t really have anything to say to them.

      Other than good natured ballbusting of course :)

    7. 77yankees
      October 23rd, 2010 | 8:07 pm

      My favorite are the embittered closet Met fans who try to pass themselves off as Red Sox fans. You know these types – I’m willing to bet there’s at least one of them at your workplace.

      Then when they blurt their “Yankees suck” Red Sox fandom, you just ask them to name the current Red Sox lineup, then watch in amusement as they look as clueless as Paris Hilton on Jeopardy.

      As far as the other tools and “med-iots” like Mike Duplica always getting off on the Yankees payroll, when they offer to earn minimum wage from their employer, I’d be thrilled to hear what their take is on companies overpaying their employees. I’m sure it would be enlightening.

    8. October 23rd, 2010 | 10:26 pm

      77yankees wrote:

      My favorite are the embittered closet Met fans who try to pass themselves off as Red Sox fans. You know these types – I’m willing to bet there’s at least one of them at your workplace.

      One? Try more than one – AT EVERY PLACE I’VE EVER WORKED. And, I’ve worked in 5 different places since 1989.

    9. October 23rd, 2010 | 10:30 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Regardless, the fact remains that the Yanks “do” those things plenty.

      Without looking, I would say yes, and agree, on:

      hit
      walk

      and, maybe
      8 pitch AB
      too

      but, these:

      sac bunt
      sac fly
      HBP/catch inf.
      move lead runner up w/an out
      move lead runner up w/an error

      well, there, I’m not so sure.
      And, when you don’t hit/walk/have long PAs…
      then you better do these things. And, that’s the point, when the Yankees didn’t get on base often in these games, they didn’t move runners when they had them on, via a way other than a H/BB, and that killed them.

    10. MJ Recanati
      October 24th, 2010 | 8:57 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I’m glad the Yankees don’t bunt more often. Although it’s not the wrong thing to do all of the time, it’s the wrong thing to do much of the time.

      I’d like to see where the Yankees rank on the sac fly list. I remember A-Rod hitting plenty of those this year and I’m sure Teixeira and others contributed there also.

      You can’t control HBP, catcher’s interference or advancing on an error so those things are stupid to even mention.

    11. 77yankees
      October 24th, 2010 | 9:45 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      I’d like to see where the Yankees rank on the sac fly list. I remember A-Rod hitting plenty of those this year and I’m sure Teixeira and others contributed there also.

      According to Baseball Reference.com, the Yanks were 8th in the American League in sac flies with 44. Tampa led the league with 57 and Texas was 2nd with 54.

      You’ll never guess which NL team tied for the MLB lead with Tampa. (Hint: Their team name rhymes with You Dork Pets)

    12. MJ Recanati
      October 24th, 2010 | 10:35 am

      @ 77yankees:
      Thanks 77yankees. What that tells me is that the Yanks do just fine in these items.

      And, as you point out, the Mets did a great job in sac flies and it still got them a mediocre offense.

      I therefore stand by my original statement that this list, or the belief that the Yankees fail this list’s test, is garbage.

    13. Evan3457
      October 24th, 2010 | 11:47 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      MJ Recanati wrote:
      Regardless, the fact remains that the Yanks “do” those things plenty.
      Without looking, I would say yes, and agree, on:
      hit
      walk
      and, maybe
      8 pitch AB
      too
      but, these:
      sac bunt
      sac fly
      HBP/catch inf.
      move lead runner up w/an out
      move lead runner up w/an error
      well, there, I’m not so sure.

      Yanks were tied for 11th/12th/13th last year in sac flies, 5 more than than they had last season; didn’t keep them from having an overwhelming offense.
      They were tied for 10th in sac hits last season with 31, 2 fewer than they had this season.
      Last year, they were 5th in HBP with 54. This year, 2nd with 73.

      So this year, the Yanks had more sac hits, more sac flies, and more HBP, and hit WORSE, not better.

      I won’t deal with catcher’s interference, as that’s NOT a logical goal for a hitter, being completely out of his control, unless he wants to stand completely behind the batter’s box and hope the ump doesn’t notice it.

      Moving the lead runner up with an error is also mostly out of the hands of the batter, and NOT a logical goal for a hitter. Last year the Yanks ROE 59 times, this year, 54.

      Last year, the Yanks had 603 opportunities to make a productive out and succeeded 187 times, or 31.0% of the time. This year, 194 out of 633, for 30.6%

      Last year’s team was better at getting a man in from 3rd with less than 2 outs. Last year: 205 for 383, or 53.5%; this year, 196 for 400, or 49.0%. Total cost to the team: 18 runs, minus a handful that probably scored with 2 outs. 10-15 runs overall.

      Moving a lead runner up on a error is more of a combination of luck and opposition defense and overall team speed than it is a hitting skill, or a hitting attitude.

      Last year’s team saw 3.88 pitches per PA; this year’s team saw 3.92 pitches per PA (probably skewed a little by Gardner getting another 200 PA; he led the league in pitches/PA). Tex, Jeter and Swisher went down significantly in this category. A-Rod was about the same. Cano did slightly better. Gardner was much more patient himself. Granderson was about equal to Damon.

    14. jvk
      October 24th, 2010 | 1:00 pm

      I wouldn’t say that the moving a runner up on an error is 100% out of the hands of a player because i could probably think of plenty of times that Gardner or Granderson stole second as the ball was thrown away and they stayed on second base. Sure the 3B coach has some to do with it, and a lot of the time they don’t see the ball because the fielder was in the way or they flat out just don’t see it. But it’s probably about 90% out of the hands of the offense.

    15. October 24th, 2010 | 4:31 pm

      SF/SF Opport. is a much better gauge than just SF.

    16. Evan3457
      October 24th, 2010 | 4:54 pm

      That’s true, but that would be within the man on 3rd, less than 2 out numbers, for the most part. And those numbers didn’t change very much from last year..

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