• The Only #’s That May Get Yanks Ownership Attention?

    Posted by on July 2nd, 2013 · Comments (131)

    Empty seats and declining ratings. Via the Times today -

    At dusk on the first day of summer at Yankee Stadium, there was a gentle breeze blowing to left field as a rim of fading sunlight marched across the bleachers in right. It was, in every respect, a sweet Friday night for baseball, with the Yankees taking on a formidable division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays.

    The only thing wrong with the picture was the number of empty seats that remained visible in the stands as the game progressed — and the missing names from the Yankees’ lineup.

    The attendance for the game was announced as being slightly more than 41,000, or about 9,000 short of capacity. That was a solid number for a regular-season game but not as robust as it might have been in other seasons in the Bronx, where the Yankees usually reign as the most distinguished name in American sports.

    Through 41 home games this season, the Yankees have drawn nearly 106,000 fewer fans than at this point a year ago, a 6.1 percent drop that is almost twice as large as the overall decline in baseball. More than half a dozen other teams have had bigger attendance losses than the Yankees, but without exception they are teams that went from good to bad, at least for a while, or from bad to worse, or that play in cities without a notably intense fan base.

    The Yankees do not fit in any of those categories, which makes their attendance falloff more intriguing. And while they also experienced a decrease in attendance the last two years, the one this season is more pronounced.

    Even more sobering for the team: the television ratings for their games have plummeted. Through June 25, the ratings on their YES Network were down 40 percent to 2.52 from 4.17 at this point last season, and from 4.08, 4.50 and 4.72 in the three previous seasons, with each rating point this year representing 73,843 households.

    Yet the sizable drop in the number of people watching the Yankees is not reflected by the team’s performance. Battered by injuries to many of their stars, they have, for the most part, played admirably, holding on to first place until late May. Even now, while in a slump, they remain in contention with a lineup filled with castoffs and call-ups, although that could be a reason fewer people are paying attention.

    For now, it is left to Levine, the forceful team president, to argue that whatever the ratings and attendance figures show, there is no cause for alarm. He has presided as the Yankees’ president for the last 13 ½ years, a period in which the team’s attendance soared to more than four million for four straight seasons, then leveled off when the newer, smaller, higher-priced stadium opened during the recession.

    Last fall the Yankees failed to sell out several playoff games, although that was generally attributed to the fact that the team had to play five postseason games in a row at home, without a day off, leaving fans overwhelmed.

    In addressing the current numbers, Levine noted the numerous instances of bad weather in April and May, the attendance drop-offs in baseball-strong cities like Boston and Philadelphia, and the Yankees’ decision to spurn StubHub and establish their own online ticket resale operation with Ticketmaster. The move was intended to encourage fans to buy more tickets directly from the Yankees, and Levine said it was paying dividends but that the initial adjustment might have hurt attendance.

    As for the larger point, the need for big names in the Bronx, he seemed as confident as Jeter normally is before a big at-bat.

    “This is the Yankees,” he said. “We’ve been around a lot of years. There will be more stars.”

    But not just yet. And when the Yankees return home Friday to begin a 10-day homestand that will carry them into the All-Star Game break, there may still be a noticeable number of empty seats at Yankee Stadium and too few viewers turning on the TV. In every respect, it has been an unusual season in the Bronx.

    The only interesting part left to this is finding out who will be the fall guy amongst the Yankees front office.

    Comments on The Only #’s That May Get Yanks Ownership Attention?

    1. Scout
      July 2nd, 2013 | 10:55 am

      Why assume anyone will take the fall? Accountability has not been a strong suit of this organization. If anyone goes, it isn’t likely to be at or near the top.

    2. July 2nd, 2013 | 11:17 am

      @ Scout:
      You took the words right out of my mouth!

    3. Evan3457
      July 2nd, 2013 | 11:45 am

      I have an awful and dangerous vision:

      The Yanks collapse out of the race. Levine, waiting for the chance to prove himself the baseball genius he knows he is, spends the 2nd half whispering “Rafael Soriano” in Hal’s ear, among other things.

      Cashman is finally fired, and replaced by Levine as head of baseball operations.

      Levine in charge of player acquisition and development!

      The mind reels, and the body gives an involuntary shudder. All the baseball acumen of Mike Burke, combined with all the personal warmth of Vladimir Putin…

      Brrrrrr…

    4. Scout
      July 2nd, 2013 | 11:52 am

      @ Evan3457:

      A sobering reminder to those of us (including me) who wish to see Cashman gone that we have no guarantee his successor would be any better. Indeed, given the lack of baseball knowledge among his superiors, the next GM could easily be worse.

    5. Evan3457
      July 2nd, 2013 | 12:02 pm

      Scout wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      A sobering reminder to those of us (including me) who wish to see Cashman gone that we have no guarantee his successor would be any better. Indeed, given the lack of baseball knowledge among his superiors, the next GM could easily be worse.

      If the Yanks want to fire Cashman, I can live with it.

      But, geez, get a real baseball man/talent evaluator type to run player acquisition and development. If that’s Cashman’s fatal flaw, then the next man picked should be chosen to remedy that.

    6. July 2nd, 2013 | 1:41 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Levine in charge of player acquisition and development!

      Better him than Jean Afterman.
      OK, seriously, it will never happen…even Randy is not that dumb.

      Scout wrote:

      A sobering reminder to those of us (including me) who wish to see Cashman gone that we have no guarantee his successor would be any better

      True. But, at the least, he would be easier to dislodge and replace, if he sucked, and it would be done more quickly, than it is to get rid of Cashman – because, obviously, it’s impossible to get rid of Cashman…as he is still here.

    7. Scout
      July 2nd, 2013 | 2:19 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      But, at the least, he would be easier to dislodge and replace, if he sucked, and it would be done more quickly, than it is to get rid of Cashman

      Sadly, we can’t count on this. In fact, it might be harder to get rid of Cashman’s successor. After all, the next GM will be the one hired by the younger Steinbrenners and Levine. They would have a lot invested in him, which could make it more difficult to cut ties.

      I’ve always taken the position that the problems with the Yankee organization go higher than the GM.

    8. Ricketson
      July 2nd, 2013 | 2:26 pm

      Scout wrote:

      I’ve always taken the position that the problems with the Yankee organization go higher than the GM.

      Of course they do; as demonstrated by the fact that Cashman was made, and remains, G.M.

    9. July 2nd, 2013 | 3:54 pm

      @ Scout: I am willing to take that chance!

    10. July 2nd, 2013 | 4:22 pm

      BTW, the three guys in the picture? They’re on Twitter, bitching about this blog.

    11. Scout
      July 2nd, 2013 | 5:25 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      So am I, but I’m not optimistic about what comes next. I won’t join the happy chorus in a rousing rendition of “Ding-Dong, the Witch Is Dead.”

    12. July 2nd, 2013 | 5:52 pm

      @ Scout: I think the powers that be ought to shake up the whole front office., including getting rid of Levine, Trost, and Cashman. How about the novel idea of hiring the best front office out there instead of sticking with clown college? Why not take a chance on something new?

    13. Raf
      July 2nd, 2013 | 11:02 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      True. But, at the least, he would be easier to dislodge and replace, if he sucked, and it would be done more quickly, than it is to get rid of Cashman – because, obviously, it’s impossible to get rid of Cashman…as he is still here.

      Obviously, he isn’t as bad as you and others seem to think.

    14. 77yankees
      July 2nd, 2013 | 11:42 pm

      Honestly, are the Steinbrenners even running the Yankees anymore, or has this completely become the “Lurch” Levine and “Secret Squirrel” Trost Show?

    15. July 3rd, 2013 | 7:33 am

      @ Raf:
      Or the Steinbrenners have no business sense, bad taste, or are so afraid of being compared to the worst of their father that they keep people on way past their expiration date?

    16. Ricketson
      July 3rd, 2013 | 12:17 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Obviously, he isn’t as bad as you and others seem to think.

      Ah, the old “Cashman can’t be as bad as you and others seem to think because he’s still the G.M.” canard. If only it were that simple an explanation…

    17. Raf
      July 3rd, 2013 | 1:40 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      @ Ricketson:

      I’ll take the actions of those in charge of those running the Yankees and are involved with Cashman on a day to day basis over the words of a few posters with an axe to grind.

    18. Ricketson
      July 3rd, 2013 | 2:54 pm

      Raf wrote:

      I’ll take the actions of those in charge of those running the Yankees and are involved with Cashman on a day to day basis…

      I’ll take 1 pennant since 2005 with $200-235 mil. payrolls in each season over the opinions of “Pud” Galvin or a few posters on one blog.

    19. July 3rd, 2013 | 10:07 pm

      @ Raf:
      What “axe to grind” are you talking about? Actually expecting the highest-paid GM in MLB to be worth it? Wanting him to have good judgment and the ability to get the best in a trade? Yeah, how dare we! Poor Brian Cashman has to deal with George Steinbrenner every day, and that’s tough enough to deal with…oh, wait.

    20. LMJ229
      July 5th, 2013 | 8:06 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Or the Steinbrenners have no business sense, bad taste, or are so afraid of being compared to the worst of their father that they keep people on way past their expiration date?

      You mean like the contract they gave A-Rod after he opted out?

    21. Raf
      July 6th, 2013 | 10:37 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      What “axe to grind” are you talking about? Actually expecting the highest-paid GM in MLB to be worth it? Wanting him to have good judgment and the ability to get the best in a trade? Yeah, how dare we! Poor Brian Cashman has to deal with George Steinbrenner every day, and that’s tough enough to deal with…oh, wait.

      Do you want to have an actual discussion, or would you prefer to keep up with the tired shtick?

    22. Ricketson
      July 6th, 2013 | 3:28 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      Raf loses this argument/discussion every few months on average or so; you might want to just dig through the archives and send him a link(s) to the most recent occasion(s)/instance(s).

    23. McMillan
      July 6th, 2013 | 8:33 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Do you want to have an actual discussion, or would you prefer to keep up with the tired shtick?

      An “actual discussion” about how a G.M.’s responsibility ends with a team making the postseason because the playoffs are just “crapshoots?” And how Clemens for Wells was one of the best trades of the Twentieth Century?

      The preference for most would be the schtick.

    24. Evan3457
      July 6th, 2013 | 9:36 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      An “actual discussion” about how a G.M.’s responsibility ends with a team making the postseason because the playoffs are just “crapshoots?”

      I sort of agree with that. And so would Billy Beane I bet. Maybe Andrew Freidman, too.

    25. July 7th, 2013 | 7:50 am

      @ Raf:Just because you have no way to refute it doesn’t make it schtick. And what are the actual reasons to keep Brian Cashman? Because he happened to be GM when a team built by Gene Michael and Buck Showalter won a slew of rings at the end of the century? Because he traded for Nick Swisher five years ago? Because he had to put up with George Steinbrenner? I will give him credit for spending $423 million for 2009, but any GM could have done that.

      And if the postseason is a crapshoot, and based on luck, then why not get a lucky GM in — something Cashman has not been in recent years? BTW, the flipside of that crapshoot theory is that the Yankees just got really lucky 27 times.

    26. Raf
      July 7th, 2013 | 9:27 am

      @ Ricketson:
      Worry about Evan3457, he’s constantly getting the best of you. If you can’t handle that, stick to ruminating on Brian Cashman’s sex life.

      lisaswan wrote:

      Just because you have no way to refute it doesn’t make it schtick.

      I can and have. Still doesn’t change that what you and others do is schtick.

      Because he happened to be GM when a team built by Gene Michael and Buck Showalter won a slew of rings at the end of the century?

      Harding Peterson…

      And you may want to take a closer look at the roster moves made from Feb 1998 to Oct 2001.

      I will give him credit for spending $423 million for 2009, but any GM could have done that.

      And yet…
      “‘09 Yanks: More Mediocrity Than Anything Else”
      http://waswatching.com/2009/06/18/%E2%80%9809-yanks-more-mediocrity-than-anything-else/

      BTW Sabathia, Burnett & Teixiera were with the Yankees in 2010 (ALCS)& 2011 (ALDS). Why didn’t they win then?

      If it’s about spending money, why haven’t the Dodgers and Phillies won more? How well did the 2010 Red Sox do? 2012 Marlins? 2013 Blue Jays (as of 7/7)

      And if the postseason is a crapshoot, and based on luck…

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-400_162-57540491/baseballs-best-rarely-finish-on-top-in-october/

      ‘”I think ideally you like to see the teams that have the best record end up there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “But as we have mentioned many times, once you get to the playoffs it does become a little bit of a crap shoot, who’s playing the best at that time. You understand that.’

      then why not get a lucky GM

      Any ideas? It would suck to get a GM that’s lucky in the postseason but couldn’t build a team to get to the postseason.

      BTW, the flipside of that crapshoot theory is that the Yankees just got really lucky 27 times.

      “That wasn’t the case in baseball during the pre-playoff days. The winner of the National League faced off each fall against the winner of the American League in the World Series. The team with the best record went 38-27 in those Series from 1903 through 1968, according to STATS LLC.

      The postseason turned into a bit of a crap shoot once the league broke into divisions, allowing four teams to make the playoffs. The best regular season team won in seven of those 25 seasons before wild-cards were added in 1995.”

      “In the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record in the regular season ended up as World Series champion just three times. The Yankees did it twice, in 1998 and 2009, and Boston accomplished it as well in 2007. That one out of six rate is little better than if the champion was chosen randomly.”

    27. Greg H.
      July 7th, 2013 | 10:01 am

      Raf wrote:

      It would suck to get a GM that’s lucky in the postseason but couldn’t build a team to get to the postseason.

      Well said. Be careful what you wish for.
      Raf wrote:

      “In the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record in the regular season ended up as World Series champion just three times. The Yankees did it twice, in 1998 and 2009, and Boston accomplished it as well in 2007.

      I guess the Yanks are twice as effective as Boston, and much more effective as the rest of baseball (since the wild card era) in building top teams that win it all. ;-)

    28. July 7th, 2013 | 8:24 pm

      @ Raf:
      Um, no. Last time I checked, the Yankees were still proclaiming their own schtick, that any season without a World Series title is a failure. Yet they continue to employ a GM who has exactly one ring to his credit since 2000, less than the Red Sox, Cardinals, or Giants. Oh, and the Yanks have had a $200+ plus million payroll each year, too, highest in the game year after year. (And nice try on the Bochy thing, but his franchise doesn’t say that any year without a ring is a failure. Cashman’s team does.)

      In the real world, when a general manager fails to achieve his department’s goals and mission statement for 11 years out of 12, even though he has a bigger payroll than anybody else, he might actually lose his job over it. Shocking, I know. If only that manager could just blame A-Rod for it!

    29. Raf
      July 7th, 2013 | 10:34 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Um, no.

      Um, yes.

      And nice try on the Bochy thing, but his franchise doesn’t say that any year without a ring is a failure. Cashman’s team does

      Doesn’t negate anything said about the randomness of the postseason. It appears the Bros Stein have a better grasp on this concept,
      than you and others do, which perhaps is why Cashman remains in charge. It would also explain why there have been two field generals since 1996. It appears other teams have a handle on this concept as well.

      Oh, and the Yanks have had a $200+ plus million payroll each year, too, highest in the game year after year.

      Correct, and they’ve won more games than the Red Sox, Cardinals and Giants, and have had more playoff appearances (12) than the Red Sox (6), Cardinals (9) and Giants (5).

      If only that manager could just blame A-Rod for it!

      Perhaps the manager also has an understanding of the concept and is secure enough that he doesn’t feel the need to place blame on A-Rod?

      Shocking, I know.

    30. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 2:46 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      You’re arguing with an individual that compares Barry Bonds to “Pud” Galvin; probably thinks Michael Vick did nothing wrong either…
      http://waswatching.com/2013/06/17/good-ol-bartolo-colon/<b

    31. Greg H.
      July 8th, 2013 | 3:38 pm

      @ Ricketson:
      It may be linear (and emotionally satisfying) to say that the most payroll should = the best playoff performance, but it clearly is neither factual or logical. That’s the difficulty in making this argument against Evan 3457 and Raf – they (shockingly) employ facts and logic.

    32. Mr. October
      July 8th, 2013 | 3:44 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Oh, and the Yanks have had a $200+ plus million payroll each year, too, highest in the game year after year.

      They win the most games because they spend the most money; since 2005 they’ve won only 1 pennant because they have become incapable of more success at the general management level, fielding teams that are not as competitive in the postseason.
      Raf wrote:

      Correct, and they’ve won more games than the Red Sox, Cardinals and Giants, and have had more playoff appearances (12) than the Red Sox (6), Cardinals (9) and Giants (5).

      Imagine that: there would appear to be a correlation between regular season games won and playoff appearances…
      Raf wrote:

      And you may want to take a closer look at the roster moves made from Feb 1998 to Oct 2001.

      Hmmm. Where have we heard this b.s. before?
      Raf wrote:

      You’ll probably want to take a closer look at the transaction list from 1998-2001 (http://waswatching.com/2013/06/05/cashman-on-the-draft-5-years-ago)

    33. Greg H.
      July 8th, 2013 | 4:21 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      They win the most games because they spend the most money;

      You’re getting warm – more accurately, they win the most games because they have the best team. Or, alternatively put, they spend the most money most effectively, based on number of games won over a season. And they have done this consistently for some time now.

      Mr. October wrote:

      since 2005 they’ve won only 1 pennant because they have become incapable of more success at the general management level, fielding teams that are not as competitive in the postseason.

      You’ve not only jumped, but leaped tall buildings in a single bound to this conclusion. (Very Machiavellian, and G Steinbrennerian, though). They’ve won one pennant because they won that playoff series in 2009 against the Angels by 2 games. If they had won two more games in 2010, they’d have had two pennants since 2005. They lost a couple LDS by one game during that span as well. So you are equating organizational failure with the loss of a handful of games. I’m no logician, but that’s got some holes in it.

      If anything, the players screwed the pooch. They were able to defeat those teams in the regular season, just not in that handful of games. There is demonstrably not much correlation between money spent and regular season victories, even less correlation between money spent and post season success, and almost no correlation between regular season success and post season success since the wild card era.

    34. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 4:24 pm

      @ Greg H.:
      Greg H. wrote:

      It may be linear (and emotionally satisfying) to say that the most payroll should = the best playoff performance, but it clearly is neither factual or logical. That’s the difficulty in making this argument against Evan 3457 and Raf – they (shockingly) employ facts and logic.

      I’ll say this for them: they don’t (shockingly) provide references to bleacherreport.com to support their contentions.

    35. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 4:26 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      There is demonstrably not much correlation between money spent and regular season victories…

      Absolute nonsense.

    36. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 4:35 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      They lost a couple LDS by one game during that span as well. So you are equating organizational failure with the loss of a handful of games. I’m no logician, but that’s got some holes in it.

      This whole exchange is substantially the same as one only last month in which you decided to no longer participate – is it really necessary to go over the same things month-after-month, especially after you dropped out of the previous discussion?

    37. July 8th, 2013 | 5:20 pm

      @ Raf sez: “Perhaps the manager also has an understanding of the concept and is secure enough that he doesn’t feel the need to place blame on A-Rod? Shocking, I know.”

      Which manager are you talking about here? The GM who had A-Rod benched in the postseason to take the heat off himself? The GM who leaked Flirtgate info to the New York Post to take the heat off himself? The GM who leaked A-Rod Biogenesis scuttlebutt to the press to take the heat off himself? The GM who picked a fight with A-Rod over an innocuous tweet to take the heat off himself? That GM?

    38. Greg H.
      July 8th, 2013 | 5:23 pm

      I dropped out because someone (I think MJ) came to the conclusion that you were essentially arguing that the Yankees should be doing more of what they are already doing. That pretty much said it all. (Except for the fact that you were blaming the Yanks GM for doing what he should be doing).

      This particular thread was first Evan3457, then Raf, (both admittedly with much better command of stats than I) have rather thoroughly established above that any correlation between money spent and performance is middling (regular season) to non-existant (post season). I was responding to Mr. October’s comment, not one of yours, although the two of you bear a (not-so-shocking) similarity.

    39. Mr. October
      July 8th, 2013 | 5:45 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      Or, alternatively put, they spend the most money most effectively…

      Absurd. If I asked you to describe in detail how this money was spent more effectively than other organizations, you couldn’t do it.

      If the postseason is nothing but a “crapshoot,” then how did the 1996-2001 team manage to win 15/17 playoff series? This might be because the best team in baseball cannot be defined on the basis of regular season wins alone in the current system.

      Greg H. wrote:

      They’ve won one pennant because they won that playoff series in 2009 against the Angels by 2 games. If they had won two more games in 2010, they’d have had two pennants since 2005. They lost a couple LDS by one game during that span as well. So you are equating organizational failure with the loss of a handful of games.

      If the queen had —–, she would be the king.

      And if the team had a better pitching staff than league average from 2005-08…

      And if…

      And if…

      The team has won 1 pennant since 2005 with $200-35 million payrolls in each season. They’re in 4th place as of Jul., 2013, and looking at a rotation of Sabathia, ?, ?, ?, and ? for the 2014 season.

    40. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 5:53 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      I dropped out because someone (I think MJ) came to the conclusion that you were essentially arguing that the Yankees should be doing more of what they are already doing. That pretty much said it all.

      It was argued that the Yankees must have one of the top G.M.s in baseball because the team has won the most games since 2005. To which it was replied that the Yankees had won the most games in the 1980s changing G.M.s more often than every 18 months. That pretty much said it all.
      Greg H. wrote:

      This particular thread was first Evan3457, then Raf, (both admittedly with much better command of stats than I) have rather thoroughly established above that any correlation between money spent and performance is middling (regular season)…

      Where was it established that there is no correlation between money spent and regular season wins? Can you provide a quote or relevant statistic?

    41. Mr. October
      July 8th, 2013 | 6:58 pm

      Raf wrote:

      “That wasn’t the case in baseball during the pre-playoff days. The winner of the National League faced off each fall against the winner of the American League in the World Series. The team with the best record went 38-27 in those Series from 1903 through 1968, according to STATS LLC.The postseason turned into a bit of a crap shoot once the league broke into divisions, allowing four teams to make the playoffs. The best regular season team won in seven of those 25 seasons before wild-cards were added in 1995.”“In the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record in the regular season ended up as World Series champion just three times. The Yankees did it twice, in 1998 and 2009, and Boston accomplished it as well in 2007. That one out of six rate is little better than if the champion was chosen randomly.”

      @ Greg H.:

      “[C]omparing the records of teams that played in completely different leagues, especially in an era in which the leagues never played each other at all, [was not signficant].

      Winning 98 in a very competitive league is not necessarily worse than winning 101 in a league without another good team. This… is why we play the World Series.

      [A]s more divisions [have been added], more rounds [have been added]… [T]he winning percentage of the team with the better record has increased to .543 since adding more teams to the playoffs…

      [S]ince the wild card was introduced in 1995, teams with the better record are 34-28 in the division series… Eight teams have had leads of 15 games or more, and they are undefeated. Teams with a double-digit lead are 10-3 and teams with a lead of five or greater are 20-12.

      A difference of a few games between teams from different divisions, in a league with an unbalanced schedule, can be due to having more games against better competition. This doesn’t necessarily mean the worse team has won, just that the teams’ final records didn’t indicate who the best team was.

      [P]redictably, as leads grow, and teams become more definitively better, they win more often. Teams with a double-digit lead win at a rate .769 — a percentage greater than any team has ever put up in the regular season.

      [C]ontrary to popular belief the [wild card and division series] are allowing teams to prove that a difference in a sample of 162 may not mean all that much. They are allowing teams that happen to be in a [more competitive division] to have a fair chance at the World Series.

    42. Raf
      July 8th, 2013 | 7:05 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      probably thinks Michael Vick did nothing wrong either…

      Well, you’d be wrong, again.

      Wrong or right, after 18 months in prison, Michael Vick was able to find gainful employment. Eagles don’t give a damn about Vick running a dogfighting ring.
      http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/Michael_Vick_an_Eagle.html

      Just like the A’s didn’t give a damn that Colon failed a PED test.
      http://www.sfgate.com/athletics/article/A-s-re-sign-Bartolo-Colon-to-1-year-deal-4006320.php

      And nary a fuck was given by the A’s and Rangers about Manny failing a couple of PED tests;
      http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7594873/manny-ramirez-agrees-deal-oakland-as

      http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/9448699/manny-ramirez-signs-minor-league-deal-texas-rangers

    43. Raf
      July 8th, 2013 | 7:10 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Which manager are you talking about here? The GM who had A-Rod benched in the postseason to take the heat off himself? The GM who leaked Flirtgate info to the New York Post to take the heat off himself? The GM who leaked A-Rod Biogenesis scuttlebutt to the press to take the heat off himself? The GM who picked a fight with A-Rod over an innocuous tweet to take the heat off himself? That GM?

      O_O

      I think you need a break, or detox or something…

    44. Raf
      July 8th, 2013 | 7:24 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      It was argued that the Yankees must have one of the top G.M.s in baseball because the team has won the most games since 2005. To which it was replied that the Yankees had won the most games in the 1980s changing G.M.s more often than every 18 months. That pretty much said it all.

      Ah, no.

      Here’s the difference; in the 80′s, the Yankees made the playoffs in 1980 & 1981. They had the best AL record in 1980. From 2005-2012, the Yankees made the playoffs 7 times. 4 times they had the best record in the AL.

    45. Greg H.
      July 8th, 2013 | 8:07 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      If the postseason is nothing but a “crapshoot,” then how did the 1996-2001 team manage to win 15/17 playoff series?

      They got hot at the right time. Especially the 200 team.

    46. Greg H.
      July 8th, 2013 | 8:08 pm

      2000 team.

    47. Greg H.
      July 8th, 2013 | 8:08 pm

      The exception was 1998 – which was widely acknowledged as the best team in a long, long time.

    48. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 8:15 pm

      Raf wrote:

      The postseason turned into a bit of a crap shoot once the league broke into divisions, allowing four teams to make the playoffs.

      Mr. October wrote:

      [A]s more divisions [have been added], more rounds [have been added]… [T]he winning percentage of the team with the better record has increased to .543 since adding more teams to the playoffs…

      [S]ince the wild card was introduced in 1995, teams with the better record are 34-28 in the division series…

      Eight teams have had leads of 15 games or more, and they are undefeated. Teams with a double-digit lead are 10-3 and teams with a lead of five or greater are 20-12.

      “So much for that.”
      Raf wrote:

      Here’s the difference; in the 80′s, the Yankees made the playoffs in 1980 & 1981. They had the best AL record in 1980. From 2005-2012, the Yankees made the playoffs 7 times. 4 times they had the best record in the AL.

      Wrong; Greg H. will be very disappointed.

      Here’s the difference: the Yankees had the best record in baseball in the 1980s (and the highest payroll), but the playoff format allowed for only two teams: winners from the A.L. East and A.L. West in the years 1980, 82-89 – as we have gone over many times before.

      And the Yankees, with one “G.M.”, have won as few pennants (1) for the period 2005-12, as the Yankees won from 1980-89 with 7 different G.M.s. What else did those two periods have in common? The Yankees had the highest payroll in each period.

      I look forward to reminding you of these “facts” once again in a few weeks…

      When are we going to get to the “Clemens was one of many great trades made by Cashman” nonsense on this thread? Should be soon based on past experience…

      Greg H. wrote:

      That’s the difficulty in making this argument against Evan 3457 and Raf – they (shockingly) employ facts and logic.

      LOL…

    49. Greg H.
      July 8th, 2013 | 8:22 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Where was it established that there is no correlation between money spent and regular season wins? Can you provide a quote or relevant statistic?

      Where was it established that there was a correlation? Just because you assert it over and over, and because it’s emotionally convenient (we didn’t get Our money’s worth, so fire the GM) doesn’t make it factual.

      The teams that compete each year with low payrolls beg to differ with the assertion that there is a correlation between pay and performance. You can look at the question from a $$ per win perspective, but I suspect that it would not show a huge correlation, because teams with low payrolls make the playoffs and teams with high payrolls miss them every year. If anything this suggests that there is less correlation. At any rate, I’m sure there is some correlation between spending and regular season performance, but I’m pretty certain it’s not as strong as you would suggest. Otherwise the Marlins would have won last year, and the Red Sox, and the Phillies this year, and the Dodgers, and the Blue Jays would be in first and not last.

      And when the manager of the World Champs 2 out of the last three years is admitting that the playoffs are “a little bit of a crapshoot,” I take that to mean that they are a crapshoot for sure.

    50. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 8:24 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      They got hot at the right time. Especially the 200 team.

      Amazing! The 1996-2001 teams won 15/17 series and 5 pennants by getting “hot” 15/17 times over 5 years!

      Greg H. wrote:

      The exception was 1998 – which was widely acknowledged as the best team in a long, long time.

      So the 1998 team won because it was the “best team in a long, long, time,” but the 1999-2001 teams, with substantially the same roster, won by getting “hot” in 8/9 series?

      And that’s called “employ[ing] facts and logic?”

      Mr. October wrote:

      Absurd. If I asked you to describe in detail how this money was spent more effectively than other organizations, you couldn’t do it.

      Well?

    51. Ricketson
      July 8th, 2013 | 8:33 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      Where was it established that there was a correlation?

      I can provide you with as many references as you would to demonstrate the existence of a correlation between a team’s payroll and the number of regular season wins it records over the long-term.

      How many will be sufficient? 5? 10? 15? more? Please let me know…

      Greg H. wrote:

      And when the manager of the World Champs 2 out of the last three years is admitting that the playoffs are “a little bit of a crapshoot,” I take that to mean that they are a crapshoot for sure.

      If you’re referring to the manager of S.F., and if such a statement was made in an interview(s), why don’t you look at the facts or statistics yourself in place of a satisfaction with what might be an expression of humility?

    52. Raf
      July 8th, 2013 | 9:23 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Here’s the difference: the Yankees had the best record in baseball in the 1980s (and the highest payroll), but the playoff format allowed for only two teams: winners from the A.L. East and A.L. West in the years 1980, 82-89 – as we have gone over many times before.

      The playoff format allowed for only two teams. The best team in either division. That means the Yankees were the best team in the AL East once, in 1980.

      The 2005-11 playoff format allows for 3 division winners and a wild card. A second wild card was added for 2012-13. Even if you want to dismiss the wildcard, the Yanks still made the playoffs as the best team in the AL East 5 times, which is 4 more times than the Yankees from 1980,82-89.

      Again, the Yanks of 2005-12 were the best team in the AL East 5 times. Playoff qualifier 7 times overall, 6 more times than the Yankees from 1980,82-89.

      Ricketson wrote:

      I look forward to reminding you of these “facts” once again in a few weeks…

      I’m sure you “mean well” but

      Raf wrote:

      stick to ruminating on Brian Cashman’s sex life.

    53. LMJ229
      July 8th, 2013 | 10:12 pm

      I don’t buy the whole crapshoot theory. A crapshoot is completely unpredictable. You know who wins the World Series? The team that consistently pitches the best. The team that gets the most clutch hits. The team that doesn’t wilt under the pressure of the post-season. That’s why the 1998 Yankee team won 3 consecutive titles. That’s why the Giants have won 2 of the last 3. It’s not a crapshoot.

    54. Greg H.
      July 9th, 2013 | 12:43 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      I can provide you with as many references as you would to demonstrate the existence of a correlation between a team’s payroll and the number of regular season wins it records over the long-term.
      How many will be sufficient? 5? 10? 15? more? Please let me know

      5-10-15, knock yourself out. Just be sure to explain why, if the correlation is so high, that it doesn’t follow that when teams spend more, the results are not better, and that teams who spend less also get great results.

      Ricketson wrote:

      If you’re referring to the manager of S.F., and if such a statement was made in an interview(s), why don’t you look at the facts or statistics yourself in place of a satisfaction with what might be an expression of humility?

      Of course its an expression of humility. Why is he so humble? Because he knows that the Gigantes were not the best team in baseball in either of those two years.

      Ricketson wrote:

      Amazing! The 1996-2001 teams won 15/17 series and 5 pennants by getting “hot” 15/17 times over 5 years!

      Correct – with the exception of the ’98 yanks, who were hot all year, and were pretty much unstoppable. The ’96 Yanks were down 0-2 after the home 2 games. Was it the special talents of the GM and the organization that led them to victory in the last 4? The 2000 Yanks were putrid down the stretch, backing into the postseason like a tired sack of straw. And they had arguably a much better team in ’01 when the lost to the Marlins. Beckett (still can’t stand him) had the series of a lifetime. Is that the failure of the GM? So go ahead an be amazed. It’s an amazing game after all.

    55. Evan3457
      July 9th, 2013 | 6:14 am

      I think I’ll avoid this one, except to point out that it’s 14 out of 16, not 15 out of 17, from 1996 to 2001.

      (1996, 1998-2000, 3-0 each; 2001: 2-1; 1997: 0-1)

    56. Evan3457
      July 9th, 2013 | 6:15 am

      Doesn’t substantially change the point, but I like to fact-check these things. Because I’m THAT GUY.

    57. Evan3457
      July 9th, 2013 | 6:16 am

      And I’m also off for the summer, so I have a lot of free time for this…stuff…

    58. Ricketson
      July 9th, 2013 | 3:24 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Wrong or right, after 18 months in prison, Michael Vick was able to find gainful employment. Eagles don’t give a damn about Vick running a dogfighting ring.

      Certainly sounds as if I was right… Do you still have an interest in dog fighting?
      Raf wrote:

      The playoff format allowed for only two teams. The best team in either division. That means the Yankees were the best team in the AL East once, in 1980.

      No kidding?

      That’s the point: the 1983-86 teams were one of the best offenses and teams in the A.L., with the team being eliminated in the second-to-last game in Toronto in 1985, and did not make the post-season in any of those years.

      The team won 1 pennant for the period 1980-89 with the most regular season wins for the period, and the highest payroll for the period. The team did not win more primarily because it failed to procure better starting pitching with 7 G.M.s.

      The team won 1 pennant for the period 2005-12 with the most regular season wins for the period, and the highest payroll for the period. The team did not win more primarily because it failed to procure better starting pitching with John Cashman’s little ——bag son the only G.M.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I think I’ll avoid this one, except to point out that it’s 14 out of 16, not 15 out of 17, from 1996 to 2001.(1996, 1998-2000, 3-0 each; 2001: 2-1; 1997: 0-1)

      Thanks.

      Raf wrote:

      The playoff format allowed for only two teams. The best team in either division. That means the Yankees were the best team in the AL East once, in 1980. The 2005-11 playoff format allows for 3 division winners and a wild card. A second wild card was added for 2012-13. Even if you want to dismiss the wildcard, the Yanks still made the playoffs as the best team in the AL East 5 times, which is 4 more times than the Yankees from 1980,82-89. Again, the Yanks of 2005-12 were the best team in the AL East 5 times. Playoff qualifier 7 times overall, 6 more times than the Yankees from 1980,82-89.

      It’s unbelievable how someone can spend so many hours a week on a very good blog devoted to the subject of baseball for so many weeks and even years, and not have a fundamental understanding of the game.

      Greg H. wrote:

      Just be sure to explain why, if the correlation is so high, that it doesn’t follow that when teams spend more, the results are not better…

      In the case of the New York Yankees, it’s because John Cashman’s son is the G.M.
      Greg H. wrote:

      … [A]nd that teams who spend less also get great results.

      In the case of those teams, it’s because John Cashman’s son is not the G.M.
      Greg H. wrote:

      The ’96 Yanks were down 0-2 after the home 2 games. Was it the special talents of the GM and the organization that led them to victory in the last 4?

      Who the hell was responsible for building a team that could win the 1996 pennant and could come back from that two-game deficit a World Series against a team like Atlanta?
      Greg H. wrote:

      The 2000 Yanks were putrid down the stretch, backing into the postseason like a tired sack of straw.

      Even the 1998 Yankees had a stretch when they were 15-16 from mid-August to mid-September? So what?

      Greg H. wrote:

      And they had arguably a much better team in ’01 when the lost to the Marlins.

      They lost to Arizona in 2001. And the 2003 team was arguably better than Florida. So what?

      I’m beginning to recognize why you find the Raf’s “employment of facts and logic” so reasonable…

    59. Mr. October
      July 9th, 2013 | 3:54 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I don’t buy the whole crapshoot theory. A crapshoot is completely unpredictable. You know who wins the World Series? The team that consistently pitches the best. The team that gets the most clutch hits. The team that doesn’t wilt under the pressure of the post-season. That’s why the 1998 Yankee team won 3 consecutive titles. That’s why the Giants have won 2 of the last 3. It’s not a crapshoot.

      100% correct.

    60. Evan3457
      July 9th, 2013 | 6:00 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      LMJ229 wrote:
      I don’t buy the whole crapshoot theory. A crapshoot is completely unpredictable. You know who wins the World Series? The team that consistently pitches the best. The team that gets the most clutch hits. The team that doesn’t wilt under the pressure of the post-season. That’s why the 1998 Yankee team won 3 consecutive titles. That’s why the Giants have won 2 of the last 3. It’s not a crapshoot.
      100% correct.

      Not always. Well, to be precise, it can’t always be seen which team that will be before the post-season takes place. Some years, that works, some years, it doesn’t.

      For example, the 2010 Giants were 15th in the NL in BAVG with RISP, 15th with RISP and 2 outs, 2nd in Late & Close, 7th in tie games, and 7th in High Leverage.

      The dynasty Yankees of 1996-2001 were not good at all in the post-season in hitting with RISP. I did a long study on this several years back, and I’ll save you the trouble of reading the whole, and give the main results:

      In 1996
      ALDS: Yanks beat Texas, 3-1. With RISP: 7-41, .171…ALCS: Yanks beat O’s, 4-1. With RISP: 10-46, .217. World Series: Yanks beat Braves, 4-2. With RISP: 10-53, .189

      Totals for 1996: 27-140, .193. You got that? The Yanks hit UNDER .200 with RISP, and won it all anyway.

      In 1998
      ALDS: Yanks beat Texas 3-0. With RISP: 2-17, .118 (This would be the lowest BAVG with RISP for any postseason series in the Dynasty era, and also lower than it was in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007). ALCS: Yanks beat Indians, 4-2. With RISP: 14-60, .233. World Series: Yanks beat Padres, 4-0. With RISP: 9-43, .209

      Totals for 1998: the greatest team of all-time went 11-2 in the postseason, and went 25-120 with RISP, batting .208.
      The Yanks hit UNDER .210 with RISP, and won it all anyway. Again.

      They did do somewhat better in 1999 and 2000. Maybe they had enough group experience advantage over their competition to do better. I don’t know. Anyway…

      In 1999
      ALDS: Yanks beat Texas, 3-0. With RISP, 5-25, .200. ALCS: Yanks beat Red Sox, 4-1. With RISP: 11-38, .289. World Series: Yanks sweep Braves, 4-0. With RISP: 10-41, .244.

      Totals for 1999: 26-104, .250

      In 2000
      ALDS: Yanks beat A’s, 3-2. With RISP, 13-43, .302. ALCS: Yanks beat M’s, 4-2. With RISP: 14-53, .264. World Series: Yanks beat Mets, 4-1. With RISP, 8-40, .200

      Totals for 2000: 35-136, .257. This is the only one of the four Dynasty champions that topped .250 with RISP for the whole postseason. For the four titles as a whole, the Yanks had nearly a season’s worth of at bats with RISP, and went 113-500. Their collective batting average with runners in scoring position in these four title runs was a resounding .226.

      I extended this to 2001:
      ALDS: Yanks beat A’s 3-2. With RISP, 8-38, .211. ALCS: Yanks beat M’s, 4-1. With RISP: 12-40, .300. World Series: Yanks lose to D’backs, 4-3. With RISP, 6-36, .167

      Totals for 2001: 26-114, .228

      Totals for the five World Series teams: 139-614, .226

      =======================
      It’s just my opinion, but it’s more accurate to say that teams with dominant power pitching who get just enough clutch hitting are more likely to win it all than others, if their power pitching can hold the opposing hitters down in clutch situation.

      =======================
      Teams with dominant starting staffs that won very little, or zipppo:

      The Hudson/Mulder/Zito A’s.
      The Maddux/Glaving/Smoltz Braves (1995 only)
      The Halladay/Lee/Hamels Phillies (The rotation that won it all in 2008 was Hamels/Myers/Moyer/Blanton.)

    61. McMillan
      July 9th, 2013 | 6:19 pm

      Raf wrote:

      “In the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record in the regular season ended up as World Series champion just three times. The Yankees did it twice, in 1998 and 2009, and Boston accomplished it as well in 2007. That one out of six rate is little better than if the champion was chosen randomly.”

      To state, or even imply, that the playoffs are random is simply ridiculous.
      People seem to point to the 2006 Cardinals with 83 wins, but that franchise went to the World Series with 105 wins in 2004, and had 100 wins in 2005; not attributable to randomness.
      People also point to the 116-win 2001 Mariners, who just happened to lose to the three-time defending world champions; not attributable to randomness.
      Since 1995, there has typically not been a lot of wins separating the team with the best record in M.L.B. from the team that won a world championship.
      Raf wrote:

      ‘”I think ideally you like to see the teams that have the best record end up there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “But as we have mentioned many times, once you get to the playoffs it does become a little bit of a crap shoot, who’s playing the best at that time. You understand that.’

      Even The Great Bruce Bochy can be wrong: a team is not necessarily the best team in M.L.B. because it had the best regular season record. The best team in M.L.B. might have been in a more competitive division or might have had a key injury to its no. 1 starter or closer, for example.
      And “a little bit of a crapshoot” is not a “crapshoot;” every series from Opening Day is “a little bit of a crapshoot – ” that’s the nature of the game.
      lisaswan wrote:

      The GM who had A-Rod benched in the postseason to take the heat off himself? The GM who leaked Flirtgate info to the New York Post to take the heat off himself? The GM who leaked A-Rod Biogenesis scuttlebutt to the press to take the heat off himself? The GM who picked a fight with A-Rod over an innocuous tweet to take the heat off himself? That GM?

      He did mean well.

    62. Mr. October
      July 9th, 2013 | 6:40 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s just my opinion, but it’s more accurate to say that teams with dominant power pitching who get just enough clutch hitting are more likely to win it all than others, if their power pitching can hold the opposing hitters down in clutch situation.

      Agreed. And the Yankees have had the resources to put together more dominant power pitching or better rotations since 2005 and haven’t done so.

    63. McMillan
      July 9th, 2013 | 7:01 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s just my opinion, but it’s more accurate to say that teams with dominant power pitching who get just enough clutch hitting are more likely to win it all than others, if their power pitching can hold the opposing hitters down in clutch situation.

      If the playoffs are “a little bit of a crapshoot,” then dominant power pitching and more clutch hitting should make the playoffs somewhat less than a “little bit of a crapshoot.” But still we have only one A.L. Pennant with Brian “I Control the Yankees and the Yankees Control the Universe” Cashman and his $200-230 million payrolls.

    64. Raf
      July 9th, 2013 | 7:25 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Certainly sounds as if I was right… Do you still have an interest in dog fighting?

      Never had an interest in dog fighting, so you’re wrong again
      http://youtu.be/1ytCEuuW2_A

      You may want to ask Jeffrey Lurie or Andy Reid, though.

      That’s the point: the 1983-86 teams were one of the best offenses and teams in the A.L., with the team being eliminated in the second-to-last game in Toronto in 1985, and did not make the post-season in any of those years.

      I’ll leave it to you to learn and understand the difference between “one of the best” and “the best,” especially in the context of making the post-season, where “the Yanks of 2005-12 were the best team in the AL East 5 times.” Perhaps Mr. October or McMillan can help? MJ may still be waiting for your call, he could probably help you with that too.

      Who the hell was responsible for building a team that could win the 1996 pennant and could come back from that two-game deficit a World Series against a team like Atlanta?

      The same ones that built teams that were eliminated in the first round in 1995 & 1997? Were there times that they lost 3 in a row? Were there times they went 2-3 over the span of 5 games?

      So what?

      It’s unbelievable how someone can spend so many hours a week on a very good blog devoted to the subject of baseball for so many weeks and even years, and not have a fundamental understanding of the game.

      Stick to obsessing over the many loves of Brian McGuire Cashman, son of John Cashman. You’re out of your depth when you discuss anything else.

    65. Raf
      July 9th, 2013 | 7:26 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      A crapshoot is completely unpredictable.

      “Well, Suzyn, you know, you just can’t predict baseball!”– John Sterling.

    66. Ricketson
      July 9th, 2013 | 8:24 pm

      Raf wrote:

      “Well, Suzyn, you know, you just can’t predict baseball!”– John Sterling.

      That’s appropriate: You’re substantiating a moronic argument with a quote from a moron.

      Just out of curiosity: do you think enough has been done to honor the contributions Suzyn Waldman has made to gender equality?

      Raf wrote:

      [I]n the context of making the post-season, where “the Yanks of 2005-12 were the best team in the AL East 5 times…”

      The same ones that built teams that were eliminated in the first round in 1995 & 1997? Were there times that they lost 3 in a row? Were there times they went 2-3 over the span of 5 games? So what?

      @ Greg H.:
      Impressive…

    67. Greg H.
      July 11th, 2013 | 12:11 am

      @ Ricketson:
      Why thank you. But not nearly as impressive as:

      Ricketson wrote:

      Just be sure to explain why, if the correlation is so high, that it doesn’t follow that when teams spend more, the results are not better…
      In the case of the New York Yankees, it’s because John Cashman’s son is the G.M.

      Ricketson wrote:

      … [A]nd that teams who spend less also get great results.
      In the case of those teams, it’s because John Cashman’s son is not the G.M.

      Substance! How well they characterize and summarize the argument. :-)

    68. Evan3457
      July 11th, 2013 | 2:07 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      It’s just my opinion, but it’s more accurate to say that teams with dominant power pitching who get just enough clutch hitting are more likely to win it all than others, if their power pitching can hold the opposing hitters down in clutch situation.
      Agreed. And the Yankees have had the resources to put together more dominant power pitching or better rotations since 2005 and haven’t done so.

      The pitching was good, for the most part, in last year’s post-season. Not good enough to overcome the historically bad hitting in the Detroit series.

      But my main point is this: over and over again, we’ve seen in the post-season that what would appear to well-constructed dominant starting staffs turn out to be not as dominant as they need to be. And even stranger, on several occasions, starting staffs that appear to be relatively weak, based on past performance and reputation, as well as mediocre regular season results, nevertheless become dominant for a post-season, leading a team to the title. And for no apparent reason. When people refer to the post-season as a crapshoot, that’s part of what they mean.

    69. Evan3457
      July 11th, 2013 | 2:10 am

      McMillan wrote:

      If the playoffs are “a little bit of a crapshoot,” then dominant power pitching and more clutch hitting should make the playoffs somewhat less than a “little bit of a crapshoot.”

      Somewhat less. But not a lot less. It’s still mostly a crapshoot, as befits an 8-team tournament in any sport.

      But still we have only one A.L. Pennant with Brian “I Control the Yankees and the Yankees Control the Universe” Cashman and his $200-230 million payrolls.

      Right. You think it’s because the Yankees have been badly run. And you may be right. I might think it’s more because in baseball, short series are not terribly predictable. And I might be wrong.

    70. McMillan
      July 11th, 2013 | 4:53 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s still mostly a crapshoot.

      No it isn’t:

      From an earlier post, for example: “[S]ince the wild card was introduced in 1995… Eight teams have had leads of 15 games or more, and they are UNDEFEATED. Teams with a double-digit lead are 10-3 and teams with a lead of five or greater are 20-12…
      PREDICTABLY, as leads grow, and teams become more definitively better, they win more often. Teams with a double-digit lead win at a rate .769 — a percentage greater than any team has ever put up in the regular season.”

      There’s NOTHING to suggest the postseason is “mostly a crapshoot,” or a “crapshoot;” and certainly not the argument that “[i]n the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record… ended up as World Series champion just three times… That one out of six rate is little better than if the champion was chosen randomly,” or all of the “we have seen” “arguments” (e.g. “weak-hitting teams ‘light up the scoreboard;’” “well-constructed dominant starting staffs turn out to be not as dominant as they ‘need to be’”).

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not good enough to overcome the historically bad hitting in the Detroit series.

      The hitting wasn’t historically bad in that it could have been PREDICTED with that lineup based on experience (Predictable: to declare or indicate in advance; especially : foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason). And Verlander, Scherzer, and Sanchez probably deserve some credit too.

    71. MJ Recanati
      July 11th, 2013 | 5:56 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      “[S]ince the wild card was introduced in 1995… Eight teams have had leads of 15 games or more, and they are UNDEFEATED. Teams with a double-digit lead are 10-3 and teams with a lead of five or greater are 20-12…
      PREDICTABLY, as leads grow, and teams become more definitively better, they win more often. Teams with a double-digit lead win at a rate .769 — a percentage greater than any team has ever put up in the regular season.”

      What about teams whose divisional leads were not ≥15, ≥10, or ≥5? I’d be curious to know what the numbers are for teams who won their division by less than five games.

      The 2012 Tigers won their division by three games and the Yankees won theirs by two.

      McMillan wrote:

      The hitting wasn’t historically bad in that it could have been PREDICTED with that lineup based on experience

      2012 Yankees vs. Tigers pitching: .287/.358/.482
      2012 Tigers pitching vs. MLB: .256/.314/.402

      How you could’ve predicted that the Yankees would stop hitting in the playoffs against the Tigers when they’d already hit them in the regular season at a rate better than what the Tigers were giving up in the aggregate would be interesting to hear about. Neither the regular season sample (402 PA) nor the playoff sample (152 PA) would be large enough to be so determinative but certainly the regular season sample is far larger and would suggest a lot more randomness than you’re accounting for.

    72. Ricketson
      July 11th, 2013 | 7:48 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But my main point is this: over and over again, we’ve seen in the post-season that what would appear to well-constructed dominant starting staffs turn out to be not as dominant as they need to be.

      It should come as no surprise to anyone that a staff generally-regarded as “dominant” was “not as dominant as it needed to be” against a team that presumably was one of the best in the league.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      When people refer to the post-season as a crapshoot, that’s part of what they mean.

      When people refer to the postseason as a “crapshoot,” they don’t know the meaning of the term, or what they’re talking about.

    73. Ricketson
      July 11th, 2013 | 7:55 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      What about teams whose divisional leads were not ≥15, ≥10, or ≥5?

      You completely missed the point.

      “A difference of a few games between teams from different divisions, in a league with an unbalanced schedule, can be due to having more games against better competition [among other things such as acquisitions or player transactions throughout the year, significant injuries, etc.]. This doesn’t necessarily mean the worse team has won, just that the teams’ final records didn’t indicate who the best team was [or which team was better constructed to compete in Oct.].”

    74. MJ Recanati
      July 11th, 2013 | 10:13 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      You completely missed the point.

      “A difference of a few games between teams from different divisions, in a league with an unbalanced schedule, can be due to having more games against better competition [among other things such as acquisitions or player transactions throughout the year, significant injuries, etc.]. This doesn’t necessarily mean the worse team has won, just that the teams’ final records didn’t indicate who the best team was [or which team was better constructed to compete in Oct.].”

      Not really. Unless you’re suggesting that the AL East hasn’t been baseball’s toughest division overall.

    75. Ricketson
      July 12th, 2013 | 11:18 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Not really.

      Really.

    76. Evan3457
      July 12th, 2013 | 1:17 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      It’s still mostly a crapshoot.

      No it isn’t:
      From an earlier post, for example: “[S]ince the wild card was introduced in 1995… Eight teams have had leads of 15 games or more, and they are UNDEFEATED. Teams with a double-digit lead are 10-3 and teams with a lead of five or greater are 20-12…

      Yes, it is.

      Mathematically, if a team played three teams it was at least 10 games better than in the playoffs (all three rounds) and had a 76.9% chance to win any of those three series (10 out of 13), the probability of them winning all three of them would be 45.5%.

      This means, even in the most optimal situation you describe, a team that was 10 games better than each of its opponents in the postseason would win a title less than 1/2 the time.

      If a team played a teams it was at least 5 games better than all three rounds, and had a 62.5% chance to win any of those series, the probability of them winning all three would less than 25%. The odds of them even winning the pennant would be less than 40%.

      And all of the above assumes those are the real odds in any particular series, rather than a small sample size distortion of the real odds.

      So, yes, it’s a crapshoot. Sorry.

      The hitting wasn’t historically bad in that it could have been PREDICTED with that lineup based on experience

      No, hitting that bad wasn’t predictable, any more than it in 1963 when the Dodgers pitching staff shut down the Yanks in a dominating sweep.

      And Verlander, Scherzer, and Sanchez probably deserve some credit too.

      Yes, they do.

    77. Evan3457
      July 12th, 2013 | 1:21 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      .
      It should come as no surprise to anyone that a staff generally-regarded as “dominant” was “not as dominant as it needed to be” against a team that presumably was one of the best in the league.

      Then that argues in favor of the crapshoot, and not against.

      When people refer to the postseason as a “crapshoot,” they don’t know the meaning of the term, or what they’re talking about.

      When people speak of the postseason as a crapshoot, they’re speaking metaphorically, and, they do know what they’re talking about. The winner of the post-season is not usually even remotely predictable until the games are played. Or did you win huge sums of money betting on the Cards in 2006, or the Giants in 2010?

    78. Evan3457
      July 12th, 2013 | 1:22 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      “A difference of a few games between teams from different divisions, in a league with an unbalanced schedule, can be due to having more games against better competition [among other things such as acquisitions or player transactions throughout the year, significant injuries, etc.]. This doesn’t necessarily mean the worse team has won, just that the teams’ final records didn’t indicate who the best team was [or which team was better constructed to compete in Oct.].”

      Which, at least partially, negates your own argument about relative records being determinative in the results of post-season series.

    79. Mr. October
      July 14th, 2013 | 2:12 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      So, yes, it’s a crapshoot. Sorry.

      Simply not correct. If you calculate the probability of a team winning in the postseason on the basis of its winning percentage in comparison to the winning percentage of an opposing team when the percentage of the former is .07 or greater, depending on the method used, that number should reflect that actual outcomes of such matchups since 1995:

      Teams with winning percentages exceeding an opponent by .07 or more in the regular season have won over 72.5% of all series (a sample size of more than 40 division, league or World Series).

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And I’m also off for the summer, so I have a lot of free time for this…stuff…

      Not all of us are off for the summer or have a lot of free time to play games like this without better things to do.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Which, at least partially, negates your own argument about relative records being determinative in the results of post-season series.

      Once again you are simply wrong, just playing games with words, or both.
      More than luck is involved in the postseason, and this team has not won more than 5/11 (.454) series since 2005 because of inadequacies in it’s makeup, not because of an inadequacy of luck.

    80. Ricketson
      July 14th, 2013 | 4:38 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The winner of the post-season is not usually even remotely predictable until the games are played.

      I’d reply, but I’m not certain what this sentence even means…
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Which, at least partially, negates your own argument about relative records being determinative in the results of post-season series.

      I’d reply, but I’m not certain of what this sentence even means either…
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Or did you win huge sums of money betting on the Cards in 2006, or the Giants in 2010?

      Without the time to revisit the data for the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals or the 2010 S.F. Giants, that would be only two teams out of how many that have participated in the M.L.B. postseason since 1995?

    81. Evan3457
      July 14th, 2013 | 8:37 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Simply not correct. If you calculate the probability of a team winning in the postseason on the basis of its winning percentage in comparison to the winning percentage of an opposing team when the percentage of the former is .07 or greater, depending on the method used, that number should reflect that actual outcomes of such matchups since 1995:

      Teams with winning percentages exceeding an opponent by .07 or more in the regular season have won over 72.5% of all series (a sample size of more than 40 division, league or World Series).

      Sorry, it IS correct, using the numbers I was given.
      If the probability of winning any one series, under the given conditions is .725, then the probability of winning three such series in a row is
      (.725)^3 or .725*.725*725, which is 0.381, and even lower than the number I orginally used based on the 10-3 record that was given.

      This means team entering the post-season with three such series lined up for them, no matter the outcome of all other series (which I doubt has ever been the case since 1995) has a 38.1% chance of winning all three of them, and the title.

      That’s simple probability.

      Not all of us are off for the summer or have a lot of free time to play games like this without better things to do.

      Then why waste that time spouting mathematical inaccuracies? No “game” was “played”. You don’t like the argument against your position? Then don’t merely gainsay it; refute it, if you can.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Which, at least partially, negates your own argument about relative records being determinative in the results of post-season series.

      Once again you are simply wrong,

      Why? Because you say so? Prove it.

      More than luck is involved in the postseason, and this team has not won more than 5/11 (.454) series since 2005 because of inadequacies in it’s makeup, not because of an inadequacy of luck.

      Actually, the fact that the Yanks have had the best cumulative record in baseball over that period in the regular season while still going 5-6 in the post-season argues against the position you’re taking, and not in favor of it.

      Since 2005, these are the teams that have won it all:

      2005: White Sox, 2nd best record
      2006: Cards, 14th best record
      2007: Red Sox, tied for best record
      2008: Phillies, 5th best record
      2009: Yankees, best record
      2010: Giants, 5th best record
      2011: Cards, 9th best record
      2012: Giants, 6th best record

      This too, demonstrates that the regular season records don’t determine who wins the post-season tournament.

    82. Evan3457
      July 14th, 2013 | 8:51 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The winner of the post-season is not usually even remotely predictable until the games are played.

      I’d reply, but I’m not certain what this sentence even means…

      What it means is that the winner of the World Series is not usually remotely predictable until they start playing the post-season. I’m fairly certain that for the last three post-seasons, the Vegas favorites to win it all, listed at the end of the regular season, were very likely not the Giants, the Cards and the Giants.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Which, at least partially, negates your own argument about relative records being determinative in the results of post-season series.

      I’d reply, but I’m not certain of what this sentence even means either…

      What that means is that you’re saying that the comparative final seasonal records of two teams going head-to-head in a particular playoff series might be illusory, because of strength of schedule, or weakness of division. Therefore, making any prediction on what should be the outcome of such series based on those records is hazardous, at best. Therefore, citing such statistics to “prove the post-season isn’t a crapshoot” is dubious, at best.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Or did you win huge sums of money betting on the Cards in 2006, or the Giants in 2010?
      Without the time to revisit the data for the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals or the 2010 S.F. Giants, that would be only two teams out of how many that have participated in the M.L.B. postseason since 1995?

      Well, there’s also:
      The 1997 Marlins, 4th best record
      The 2000 Yankees, 9th best record
      The 2001 Diamondbacks, 6th best record
      The 2003 Marlins, 7th best record
      The 2011 Cards, 9th best record
      The 2012 Giants, 6th best record.

      I don’t have the historical record to prove it, but I’ll fairly certain that of the 8 teams I’ve listed, the only one who might have been a betting favorite was the 2000 Yankees, because they’d just won 2 in a row, and 3 out of 4, and represented the largest market in the country, and the betting odds would reflect that.

      That’s 7 times in 18 seasons where the eventual winner would’ve been a team distinctly disfavored to win it all, only to prove they were the champions by actually winning the thing. And that doesn’t even count the seasons where the title was won by a team that might’ve been 2nd or 3rd favorite to win it all when it started.

      As in all playoff tournaments in most sports (NBA excluded), the true great team crushing the field is rare. As for baseball, the crapshoot theory is quite valid.

    83. Ricketson
      July 15th, 2013 | 3:15 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      This too, demonstrates that the regular season records don’t determine who wins the post-season tournament.

      Huh? That was the point: the regular season records do not determine who wins the post-season “tournament,” and should not be expected to. And because they should not, the postseason can not be called a “crapshoot” for that reason.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I don’t have the historical record to prove it…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Why? Because you say so? Prove it.

      The historical records indicate that a team with a regular season winning percentage of .070 greater than its opponent in the postseason has an approx. 75% chance of beating that opponent and this has “played out” in the post-season for the past decades. 75% is not indicative of a “crapshoot;” better teams win in the postseason most of the time.

      And I’m not sure what the hang up is about the 2006 Cardinals: just because the team won only 83 games during the regular season means it should not have won the World Series, and because it did the postseason is a crapshoot?

      The Cardinals were the National League Champions in 2004, and had the best record in baseball in 2005; it’s not as if it was a fourth place team in 2004-05 that backed into the postseason with a 14th place finish.

      I don’t recall what the explanations are for the win total and I’m not interested in investigating or researching them, but all that is heard from certain people this year are excuses on the bases of injuries to Kurtis Granderson and Francisco Cervelli.

      @ lisaswan:
      I warned you…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      [T]he crapshoot theory is quite valid.

      “Those that can do, those that can’t…”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What it means is that the winner of the World Series is not usually remotely predictable until they start playing the post-season.

      Huh?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Actually, the fact that the Yanks have had the best cumulative record in baseball over that period in the regular season while still going 5-6 in the post-season argues against the position you’re taking, and not in favor of it.

      No it doesn’t: do you even understand the argument?

    84. Evan3457
      July 16th, 2013 | 3:13 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      This too, demonstrates that the regular season records don’t determine who wins the post-season tournament.

      Huh? That was the point: the regular season records do not determine who wins the post-season “tournament,” and should not be expected to. And because they should not, the postseason can not be called a “crapshoot” for that reason.

      Excuse me?

      You’re arguing in one breath that if a team has a regular season WPCT of .070 better than it’s series opponent, that it stands a 70% chance of winning that series. In the next breath, you’re arguing that regular season records don’t matter in trying to figure out who’s going to win the title.

      Let me fill the logical gap for you: how does a team win the title?

      By winning 3 post-season series. If you’re arguing that regular season records have a very heavy influence on who wins a post-season series, then you can’t turn around and regular season records don’t have an influence on who wins the whole tournament. Either the regular season record is important or it’s not; you don’t get to have both sides of that argument.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I don’t have the historical record to prove it…

      Talking about the records of Vegas odds, post-regular season here, not the actual post-season records, which are readily available at BRef.

      The historical records indicate that a team with a regular season winning percentage of .070 greater than its opponent in the postseason has an approx. 75% chance of beating that opponent and this has “played out” in the post-season for the past decades. 75% is not indicative of a “crapshoot;” better teams win in the postseason most of the time.

      Actually, what it shows is that, over the past 18 years, in a single series, a team with a significantly better record (.070 in winning percentage is about 11 games out of 162, will win that single series 70%.

      As I’ve pointed out, well, this will now be the third time, even a team lined up to have three straight series where they have a 75% chance in each one, will actually win all three less than half the time (42.1875%, to be exact).

      And no one single team has EVER had that advantage over one of the other seven (now nine) teams in the tournament. Therefore, no one single team has ever been a better than even money (actually 40%) favorite to win it all, and most seasons, the favorite to win the title has never been better than 2-1 against.

      And that IS a crapshoot, whether you agree with the use of the term or not.

      And I’m not sure what the hang up is about the 2006 Cardinals: just because the team won only 83 games during the regular season means it should not have won the World Series, and because it did the postseason is a crapshoot?

      Yes, actually it is an excellent example. The Cards were not only mediocre; they at least .027 worse (In WPCT, 4 games, in games) than any other team in the tournament, .06 worse (10 games worse) than 4 of the other 7, and .068 worse than any AL team. By your own measuring stick, they had less than a 25% to win the World Series, much less sweep it. And even less of a chance of getting there and winning it all in the first place.

      The Cardinals were the National League Champions in 2004, and had the best record in baseball in 2005; it’s not as if it was a fourth place team in 2004-05 that backed into the postseason with a 14th place finish.

      And that means little in the long history of baseball, especially in the modern era. Teams rise quickly and fall just as quickly.

      I don’t believe in “backing in”. If you’re in the post-season, that means you were better than any other team that was in a position to claim your spot. But if there is such a thing as backing in, the 2006 Cards are the best example you’ll ever see:

      9th in the NL in ERA

      11th in the NL in runs allowed, 6th in the league in runs scored, 5 teams in the NL and 9 teams in the AL had a better run differentials.

      They were 34-19 and 5 games up on the division on May 31. From that point to the end of the season (4 months) they were 10 games under .500, meaning from that point to the end of the season, they were the 11th best team in the NL. I doubt you’ll find another World Series winner who played so poorly the last 4 months of the season.

      And they did actually “back in” to the post-season, as the parlance has it. They went 10-16 down the stretch, including a 7 game losing streak that blew all but 1/2 game of a 7 game lead with 13 games to play. The recovered to take two games against a bad Brewers team in the final weekend, and wrap up the division on the next to last day of the season.

      I don’t recall what the explanations are for the win total and I’m not interested in investigating or researching them

      It’s real simple; the Cards were unusually lucky in that they were playing in a division so bad that 83-78 was sufficient to win it. And they didn’t win it on their dominant pitching, that’s for sure.

      In the post-season they were similarly fortunate that two pitchers who were no better than mediocre by 2006 all of of a sudden got hot that post-season: Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver. They had never been big-time post-season pitchers before, and never were again, either. But it was just good enough for the Cards to get by the Mets, who were clearly a better team that whole season. And the Tigers simply crumbled against them.

      but all that is heard from certain people this year are excuses on the bases of injuries to Kurtis Granderson and Francisco Cervelli.

      Non-sequitur; par for the course.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      [T]he crapshoot theory is quite valid.
      “Those that can do, those that can’t…”

      I CAN do basic probability; it’s you who CAN’T. Or won’t. And you don’t seem to be able to distinguish between empirical and theoretical probability, either.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      What it means is that the winner of the World Series is not usually remotely predictable until they start playing the post-season.
      Huh?

      Means what it says. It’s plain English.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Actually, the fact that the Yanks have had the best cumulative record in baseball over that period in the regular season while still going 5-6 in the post-season argues against the position you’re taking, and not in favor of it.

      No it doesn’t: do you even understand the argument?

      Yes, I do; it’s obvious you don’t. If regular season record was determinative, as you claim, the Yanks would have gone 6-5 or perhaps 7-4 in those 11 series. They haven’t, so it isn’t.

    85. Ricketson
      July 16th, 2013 | 6:04 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      You’re arguing in one breath that if a team has a regular season WPCT of .070 better than it’s series opponent, that it stands a 70% chance of winning that series. In the next breath, you’re arguing that regular season records don’t matter in trying to figure out who’s going to win the title.

      Teams that have a .070 winning pct. or better than their opponent have won 72.5% of all such postseason series historically; I’ve spot-checked the data and it looks correct.

      To maintain that the postseason is a “crapshoot” because the team with the best record in M.L.B. has won the World Series only a few times since 1995 is ASININE for reasons stated previously.

      The two statements are not inconsistent; I don’t understand why someone who has supposedly “earned a living teaching formal logic ‘at times’” should have so much difficulty with them.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      By winning 3 post-season series. If you’re arguing that regular season records have a very heavy influence on who wins a post-season series, then you can’t turn around and regular season records don’t have an influence on who wins the whole tournament.

      The two statements are not inconsistent. And not all of us have hours of free time each day to write 100000+ word posts such as yours on Jun. 15 to explain every sentence written as thoroughly as possible or to the point of exhaustion as we might like.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Actually, what it shows is that, over the past 18 years, in a single series, a team with a significantly better record (.070 in winning percentage is about 11 games out of 162, will win that single series 70%.

      72.5%
      Evan3457 wrote:

      And no one single team has EVER had that advantage over one of the other seven (now nine) teams in the tournament.

      If true, that fact is completely immaterial or irrelevant, so I will not attempt to confirm it either way.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      And you don’t seem to be able to distinguish between empirical and theoretical probability, either.

      Really? How so?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Yes, actually it is an excellent example.

      Once again, how many —-ing teams have participated in the “tournament” as you call it besides the 2006 Cardinals?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Talking about the records of Vegas odds…

      Why?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Yes, I do; it’s obvious you don’t. If regular season record was determinative, as you claim, the Yanks would have gone 6-5 or perhaps 7-4 in those 11 series. They haven’t, so it isn’t.

      You really have no idea of what you’re talking about: no one suggested the regular season record is “determinative.” Why John Cashman’s son’s teams have gone only 5/11 in postseason series since 2005 has been discussed.

      “Teams that have a .070 winning pct. or better than their opponent for the regular season have won 72.5% of all such postseason series…”

    86. Ricketson
      July 16th, 2013 | 6:08 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And no one single team has EVER had that advantage over one of the other seven (now nine) teams in the tournament.

      @ Evan3457:
      After re-reading your post: the above statement, also, is wrong.

    87. Mr. October
      July 16th, 2013 | 7:21 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      This too, demonstrates that the regular season records don’t determine who wins the post-season tournament.

      That was the original assertion that was argued against: that because only 3 teams with the best record in baseball have won the World Series since 1995 – the playoffs are a crapshoot. You’re all over the map on this one. I was arguing AGAINST that position.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      No “game” was “played”. You don’t like the argument against your position?

      You don’t have an argument. All you have is your own list of several teams YOU say SHOULD NOT have won, and a “fair certainty” of Las Vegas odds.

    88. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 11:52 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      No “game” was “played”. You don’t like the argument against your position?
      You don’t have an argument. All you have is your own list of several teams YOU say SHOULD NOT have won, and a “fair certainty” of Las Vegas odds.

      Oh, rubbish. I’ve made the argument several different ways and at some length. Your refusal to engage directly on point doesn’t win the argument.

    89. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 11:55 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      And no one single team has EVER had that advantage over one of the other seven (now nine) teams in the tournament.
      @ Evan3457:
      After re-reading your post: the above statement, also, is wrong.

      Forgot the 1998 Yankees and the 2001 Mariners. One of them won it all, one of them got beaten by a team 19 games worse than they were. More support for my side of the argument.

    90. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 12:16 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Teams that have a .070 winning pct. or better than their opponent have won 72.5% of all such postseason series historically; I’ve spot-checked the data and it looks correct.

      Correct.

      To maintain that the postseason is a “crapshoot” because the team with the best record in M.L.B. has won the World Series only a few times since 1995 is ASININE for reasons stated previously.

      The reasons stated previously are largely refuted/irrelevant. To continue to assert they prove the post-season is not a crapshoot; THAT is asinine.

      The two statements are not inconsistent; I don’t understand why someone who has supposedly “earned a living teaching formal logic ‘at times’” should have so much difficulty with them.

      Those two statements are not directly inconsistent, that much is true. But you infer from the 1st that the post-season is not a crapshoot. That inference is inconsistent with the probability calculations I’ve laid out three times now.

      Your position is: Because regular season records determine who wins a post-season series, the post-season is not a crapshoot. But you also stated regular season records don’t mean much in determining who wins a title. Either regular season records mean something in post-season play or they don’t. Or maybe they mean a little something, but not enough. But if they only mean a little something, then, again, the post-season IS a crapshoot.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      By winning 3 post-season series. If you’re arguing that regular season records have a very heavy influence on who wins a post-season series, then you can’t turn around and regular season records don’t have an influence on who wins the whole tournament.

      The two statements are not inconsistent. And not all of us have hours of free time each day to write 100000+ word posts such as yours on Jun. 15 to explain every sentence written as thoroughly as possible or to the point of exhaustion as we might like.

      They are very nearly DIRECTLY inconsistent. The missing logical link is the simple, undeniable statement that to win a title, you must win 3 post-season series, without a loss (and now, possibly a “play-in game” as well)

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And you don’t seem to be able to distinguish between empirical and theoretical probability, either.

      Really? How so?

      Probabilty obtained from past events is empirical. Probability obtained from examining a sample space is theoretical. In other words, you may or may not be able to project going forward based on past events, or you may be able to with large error bars.

      Once again, how many —-ing teams have participated in the “tournament” as you call it besides the 2006 Cardinals?

      Lots. I’ve even named 6 other teams that should’ve been heavy underdogs to win it all, who nevertheless, won it all. That’s 7 in 18 years, almost 40%. Numbers of “heavy favorites” who’ve won it all? 4; maybe 6 if you count strong 2nd best teams. Another slice of evidence in favor of “crapshoot”.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Talking about the records of Vegas odds…
      Why?

      Because while that’s an imperfect evaluation of the relative strength of the teams, pre-tournament, it’s also an impartial one.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Yes, I do; it’s obvious you don’t. If regular season record was determinative, as you claim, the Yanks would have gone 6-5 or perhaps 7-4 in those 11 series. They haven’t, so it isn’t.
      You really have no idea of what you’re talking about

      Actually, I know exactly what I’m talking about.

      …no one suggested the regular season record is “determinative.”

      Yes, you are. When you say the post-season isn’t a crapshoot, and you offer as a reason:

      “Teams that have a .070 winning pct. or better than their opponent for the regular season have won 72.5% of all such postseason series…”

      …that’s exactly what you’re trying to argue. Poorly

    91. Raf
      July 17th, 2013 | 1:27 pm

      @ Greg H.:
      Impressive…

    92. Mr. October
      July 17th, 2013 | 4:12 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Your refusal to engage directly on point doesn’t win the argument.

      There’s nothing to “engage.” YOUR “argument” is that there have been 7 teams out of approximately 145 in the last 18 years that YOU THINK SHOULD NOT have WON, OR YOU THINK SHOULD have been given certain odds.

      As I had written earlier, not all of us are off for the summer with no life whatsoever, and nothing better to do than to try to play games in winning an argument on a baseball blog. You have nothing: there are no statistics that you can offer to maintain a position that the playoffs are a crapshoot.

      The other “argument” is also nonsense:
      Raf wrote:

      “In the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record in the regular season ended up as World Series champion just three times… That one out of six rate is little better than if the champion was chosen randomly.”

    93. McMillan
      July 17th, 2013 | 5:03 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Your position is: Because regular season records determine who wins a post-season series, the post-season is not a crapshoot. But you also stated regular season records don’t mean much in determining who wins a title.

      What was written was the fact that teams with a .070 winning percentage in the regular season (or better) win a postseason series 72.5% of the time seems to demonstrate across a sample size not “insignificant” and including the league division series, the league championship series, and the World Series, that the postseason is not a “crapshoot.”

      What was also written was that a team with 95 wins in not necessarily better than a team with 94 wins, for example. If there are 8 teams in a postseason, 1 with 95 wins and 7 with 94 wins, the fact that one of the teams with 94 wins wins a world championship does not mean the postseason is a “crapshoot” for the purpose of refuting the following:

      “In the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record in the regular season ended up as World Series champion just three times… That one out of six rate is little better than if the champion was chosen randomly.”

      Both points were clearly made.

      In a hypothetical postseason, a team with the best record in M.L.B. could lose to a team with the second-best record in the A.L. with a difference of less than .070 in win. pct. for the regular season and possible no more than 1 or 2 wins. All other series in which teams separated by .070 or more could be won by the team with the better record.

      The team with the best record by only 1 or 2 wins lost. All teams with a .070 or greater win. pct. won.

      The two statements are not inconsistent and both reflect the fact that a team with the most wins is not necessarily the best team, and a team with a win. pct. of .070 or greater in the regular season can be expected to win a postseason series almost 75% of the time (and has historically) thus demonstrating the postseason is not a crapshoot.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Actually, I know exactly what I’m talking about.

      No you don’t. That a team must win three consecutive series to win a title doesn’t make the postseason a crapshoot.

      And no one has written that if a team does not win a world championship the postseason was a failure – a pennant can and should be considered a success and is won with only two consecutive series wins.

      How many pennants have been won in The Cashman Autonomy Era?

    94. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 5:11 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      There’s nothing to “engage.” YOUR “argument” is that there have been 7 teams out of approximately 145 in the last 18 years that YOU THINK SHOULD NOT have WON, OR YOU THINK SHOULD have been given certain odds.
      As I had written earlier, not all of us are off for the summer with no life whatsoever, and nothing better to do than to try to play games in winning an argument on a baseball blog. You have nothing: there are no statistics that you can offer to maintain a position that the playoffs are a crapshoot.

      Let’s review here:

      Your side claims the post-season is not a crapshoot.
      I claim that, for the most part, it is.

      Your side produces as evidence that it’s not a crapshoot the fact that teams with a regular season winning percentage .070 or more higher than their opponents win 72.5% of such post-season series (and related statistics about regular-season WPCT advantage at other levels. This is the only type of fact presented as an argument against “crapshoot” your side has come up with. There has been no other evidence presented on your side, only assertions and theories that may or may not have any validity.

      I point out that even if this is true, and an accurate represntation of the probabilities going forward, that the probability of a team winning three such series, and winning a title, is considerably less than 50%. Whether you choose to accept it or not, this is a valid argument in favor of “crapshoot”.

      I further show that a number of teams have won titles who performed far worse in the regular season than others in the same post-season. Let me be clear about this: when I show this, I am not making the claim that regular season record is meaningless. I am attempting to show that it’s not nearly determinative enough to demonstrate the post-season is not a crapshoot. And any honest evaluation of those teams/post-seasons would validate my argument.

      When you say “YOU THINK SHOULD NOT have WON, OR YOU THINK SHOULD have been given certain odds” that’s a fallacy called a strawman argument. I never said they should not have won, or anything like that. I did say “regular season records don’t determine who wins the post-season tournament.”, and also “If regular season record was determinative, as you claim, the Yanks would have gone 6-5 or perhaps 7-4 in those 11 series. They haven’t, so it isn’t.” Nowhere do I say “they should not have won” or anything like that.

      I thank you for your unsolicited opinion of the quality of my life. Here’s my response: I don’t care what you think of my life. If I choose to spend an hour here or an hour there, once a day for 3 or 4 days in a week, writing replies on a blog, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m off for the summer and I get to spend my free time in whatever way I choose, and I don’t care how you evaluate that.

      Finally, I await your refutation of the basic probability calculation I’ve offered. You havn’t refuted, and I suspect it’s because you can’t. You next dodge will likely be to say it’s irrelvent, but it’s not; it’s right on point.

      In fact, it is your side who has offered one type of statistic to try to prove your side, and I’ve already kicked that to the curb in two different ways.

      =====================================
      You may respond to tell me you don’t need me to define what a blog is, but the way this works is:

      People post replies. If I agree, I’ll usually not reply. Or I may make a brief reply to augment what they say. If I disagree, I’ll post a reply. If challenged, I’ll defend my position in a reply. You can say the replies are nonsense as many times as you like, as pointedly as you want.

      Doesn’t make it so.

    95. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 5:28 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      What was written was the fact that teams with a .070 winning percentage in the regular season (or better) win a postseason series 72.5% of the time seems to demonstrate across a sample size not “insignificant” and including the league division series, the league championship series, and the World Series, that the postseason is not a “crapshoot.”

      Not correct. It demonstrates that an individual series might not be a crapshoot, given a large enough difference in the regular season WPCT of the two teams involved.

      What was also written was that a team with 95 wins in not necessarily better than a team with 94 wins, for example.

      True enough.

      If there are 8 teams in a postseason, 1 with 95 wins and 7 with 94 wins, the fact that one of the teams with 94 wins wins a world championship does not mean the postseason is a “crapshoot”

      Not even close to the counter-argument I’m making, and nowhere in the vicinity of being close to the seven cases I cited.

      That a team must win three consecutive series to win a title doesn’t make the postseason a crapshoot.
      </blockquote. Yes, it does, and for the reason I've posted 3 times now.

      If under the extreme condition of one team in the tournament being .070 better in WPCT than any possible opponent, then, even accepting the the 72.5% win probability as gospel, the odds of winning three such series is about 3 to 2 against. In the actual event, the two teams who met those conditions have split. One won it all, the other didn't.

      For teams not able to meet those conditions, the theoretical probability must be lower. Usually, much lower. Calling that situation a crapshoot is accurate.

      And no one has written that if a team does not win a world championship the postseason was a failure – a pennant can and should be considered a success and is won with only two consecutive series wins.
      How many pennants have been won in The Cashman Autonomy Era?

      Not related to the point I’m making. However, even in the extreme case mentioned above, the odds of winning a pennant (two such series wins) is only slightly better than 50/50.

    96. Ricketson
      July 17th, 2013 | 5:35 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      That’s the difficulty in making this argument against… Raf – [he] (shockingly) [employs logic].

      Raf wrote:

      [T]he Yanks of 2005-12 were the best team in the AL East 5 times. Playoff qualifier 7 times overall.

      Raf wrote:

      It appears the Bros Stein have a better grasp on this concept [of the randomness of the postseason]… which perhaps is why Cashman remains in charge.

      Raf wrote:

      From 2005-2012, the Yankees made the playoffs 7 times. 4 times they had the best record in the AL.

      Raf wrote:

      [I]n the context of making the post-season, where “the Yanks of 2005-12 were the best team in the AL East 5 times.”

      Raf wrote:

      The same ones that built teams that were eliminated in the first round in 1995 & 1997? Were there times that they lost 3 in a row? Were there times they went 2-3 over the span of 5 games?

      Ricketson wrote:

      Impressive…

      “Impressive” as in the “employment” of the following “logic:”

      The postseason is “random.”
      The Stein Bros. have a better grasp on this concept of “randomness.”
      Cashman remains “in charge” because the Yankees made the postseason 7 times from 2005-12.

      But the G.M.s that built the 1995-97 teams failed because in 1995 and 1997, the team was eliminated in the first round of the postseason, sometimes in 3 straight games. A postseason that is supposedly “random.”

      Impressive logic. Almost as impressive as:

      “In the 18 postseasons since the playoffs expanded in 1995, the team with the best overall record in the regular season ended up as World Series champion just three times… That one out of six rate is little better than if the champion was chosen randomly.”

    97. McMillan
      July 17th, 2013 | 6:24 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      If under the extreme condition of one team in the tournament being .070 better in WPCT than any possible opponent, then, even accepting the the 72.5% win probability as gospel, the odds of winning three such series is about 3 to 2 against. In the actual event, the two teams who met those conditions have split. One won it all, the other didn’t.

      Do you even understand this?

      There have been DOZENS of instances in which teams separated by .070 or more in regular season winning pct. have faced each other in the post-season, and the team with the better record has won approx. three-out-of-four contests; there have NOT been only TWO instances.

      72.5% was NOT a probability – it was the ACTUAL percentage under those circumstances that can be verified.

      If you’re focusing on the 1998 New York Yankees and the 2001 Seattle Mariners for some reason, then I am at a loss as to why.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Calling that situation a crapshoot is accurate.

      No one is talking about “situations,” or disagreeing with the notion that two evenly-matched teams might face one another in the postseason, and one team has to win, and the other has to lose. If it makes you happy to call that a “crapshoot,” then God bless you.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not related to the point I’m making.

      It would seem to be the overarching theme of the entire discussion, so I’m not sure why you’re trying to make unrelated points.

    98. Ricketson
      July 17th, 2013 | 7:00 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      They are very nearly DIRECTLY inconsistent. The missing logical link is the simple, undeniable statement that to win a title, you must win 3 post-season series, without a loss (and now, possibly a “play-in game” as well)

      There is no “missing logical link” because there is no relationship between the two statements to begin with:
      McMillan wrote:

      The two statements are not inconsistent and… reflect the fact that a team with the most wins is not necessarily the best team, and a team with a win. pct. of .070 or greater in the regular season can be expected to win a postseason series almost 75% of the time (and has historically) thus demonstrating the postseason is not a crapshoot.

    99. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 7:42 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      If under the extreme condition of one team in the tournament being .070 better in WPCT than any possible opponent, then, even accepting the the 72.5% win probability as gospel, the odds of winning three such series is about 3 to 2 against. In the actual event, the two teams who met those conditions have split. One won it all, the other didn’t.
      Do you even understand this?
      There have been DOZENS of instances in which teams separated by .070 or more in regular season winning pct. have faced each other in the post-season, and the team with the better record has won approx. three-out-of-four contests; there have NOT been only TWO instances.
      72.5% was NOT a probability – it was the ACTUAL percentage under those circumstances that can be verified.

      OK, I’m gonna assume you’re “for real” on this, and take one more try at this. What that actual percentage shows is the past (empirical) probability that a team who finished the regular season with a winning percentage at least .070 better than its post-season opponent has a 72.5% chance of winning that particular (one) series.

      And I’m not disagreeing with that. I might quibble with projecting forward using that record, but I’m not in any disagreement with that FACT.

      But when you make the logical leap to say that, based on that fact, the post-season is not a crapshoot, I am trying to say this: at the end of the regular season, and before any post-season games are played, a team with a WPCT advantage over any and all possible post-season oppenents still has less than a 40% theoretical probability of winning three straight series, and the title. And, with the exceptions of the 1998 Yankees and the 2001 Mariners, no teams have ever entered the post-season with that kind of WPCT advantage over the other 7 (now 9) teams in the tournament.

      Therefore, in most years, there is no such “heavy favorite”, and as a result, the theoretical probability for the team with the highest winning percentage in the regular season to wind up winning it all must be less than 40%; significantly less than 40%, in fact. So if the “most powerful team in the tournament has perhaps a 20-25% chance to win it all, and the weakest, perhaps a 5-10% probability to win it all, we would expect a substantial number of teams that seem weaker at the start to win it all.

      And, in fact, this is what has happened. In 18 years since 1994, 7 teams that finished no better than 6th in overall regular season WPCT (and therefore, no higher than 3rd weakest in any notional rating of the strength of the teams using this concept of ranking them) has won the whole thing nearly 40%. If that doesn’t make the playoff tournament 100% a crapshoot, it’s a helluva lot closer than it is to 100% “not a crapshoot”.

      If you’re focusing on the 1998 New York Yankees and the 2001 Seattle Mariners for some reason, then I am at a loss as to why.

      I’m not focusing on them; I’m just pointing out that those two teams are the only two in the last 18 seasons that meet a criterion: their seasonal WPCT is .070 (or greater) above any other playoff team that season.

      No one is talking about “situations,” or disagreeing with the notion that two evenly-matched teams might face one another in the postseason, and one team has to win, and the other has to lose. If it makes you happy to call that a “crapshoot,” then God bless you.

      We’re discussing a single point here, or at least I thought we were, and that is this: Is the post-season in baseball, taken as a whole, a crapshoot. I think it is, for the most part.

      It would seem to be the overarching theme of the entire discussion, so I’m not sure why you’re trying to make unrelated points.

      I don’t believe the points I’m making are unrelated to the above stated point of the discussion.

    100. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 7:44 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      McMillan wrote:
      The two statements are not inconsistent and… reflect the fact that a team with the most wins is not necessarily the best team, and a team with a win. pct. of .070 or greater in the regular season can be expected to win a postseason series almost 75% of the time (and has historically) thus demonstrating the postseason is not a crapshoot.

      But there is, because, as I’ve explained in several ways and at some length, the point above is not nearly sufficient to demonstrate the post-season is not a crapshoot.

    101. Ricketson
      July 17th, 2013 | 8:11 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I point out that even if this is true, and an accurate represntation of the probabilities going forward, that the probability of a team winning three such series, and winning a title, is considerably less than 50%. Whether you choose to accept it or not, this is a valid argument in favor of “crapshoot”.

      Where has someone suggested that what makes the postseason not a crap-shoot is a probability of winning a World Series at above 50%? Or that the discussion should be centered on, or extended to, the World Series?

      The World Series was only brought up to begin with to refute the non-sensical argument that the postseason is a crapshoot because only 3 teams with the best record in M.L.B. have won the Series since 1995.

      After that, it’s been you who have focused on the World Series for some reason. If you’ll recall, you and I have gone back-and-forth on this quite a bit in terms of evaluating a G.M.’s record on the basis of pennants, not world championships, won.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      This is the only type of fact presented as an argument against “crapshoot” your side has come up with.

      Well, what other “type of fact” would you like?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I am attempting to show that it’s not nearly determinative enough to demonstrate the post-season is not a crapshoot.

      And you’re wrong: 72.5% is pretty damn “determinative.” No one is suggesting that luck is not a factor in the postseason, but the term crapshoot is an overstatement.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      “If regular season record was determinative, as you claim, the Yanks would have gone 6-5 or perhaps 7-4 in those 11 series. They haven’t, so it isn’t.”

      I have a fair amount difficulty understanding your writing and I’m not certain of what you mean by “determinative.”

      I have not interpreted anything written by anyone to suggest that the Yankees would have gone 6-5 or perhaps 7-4 – I have no idea where you’re getting that from or coming up with it. What’s been suggested is that the Yankees SHOULD have gone 6-5 or perhaps 7-4 not on this thread and at least several others.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      In fact, it is your side who has offered one type of statistic to try to prove your side, and I’ve already kicked that to the curb in two different ways.

      What you’ve done is re-defined the argument, selectively presented certain data associated with a relatively-small number of teams to support a position, and thrown in some b.s. about Las Vegas.

    102. Ricketson
      July 17th, 2013 | 8:13 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      100% “not a crapshoot”.

      No one said that.

    103. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 9:19 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      100% “not a crapshoot”.
      No one said that.

      Well, we’re getting closer.

    104. Mr. October
      July 18th, 2013 | 8:40 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      We’re discussing a single point here, or at least I thought we were, and that is this: Is the post-season in baseball, taken as a whole, a crapshoot. I think it is, for the most part.

      Weasel words (“taken as a whole,” “for the most part”).

      With the payroll advantage this team has had, that advantage should have translated into better teams. Better teams win more often in the postseason as evidenced by these statistics.

      The reason this team has not won more in the postseason is not attributable as much to “luck,” but the fact that that even with $230-35 million spent each year, the team has not been able to win more than 45.4% of these series, and has won only 1 pennant since 2005.

      The teams should have been better for the money spent.

      What’s been discussed is the percentage of series won, and the fact that only 45.4% of postseason series have been won within the timeframe of this G.M.’s “autonomy.”

      Your attempt to recast the discussion in terms of World Series won and nothing else would seem to be an attempt to introduce a probability of “less than 40%” into a discussion where it really has little relevance.

      The issue is the number of regular season games, pennants and World Series won given the amount of money spent since 2005 and what might have been expected statistically, not the number of World Series won or the odds of winning a World Series.

      It’s been asked “what would consititute the appropriate amount of success?” The statistics would seem to suggest that more than 1 pennant should have been won since 2005 for the money spent.

    105. Raf
      July 18th, 2013 | 11:39 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      With the payroll advantage this team has had, that advantage should have translated into better teams.

      “From 2005-2012, the Yankees made the playoffs 7 times. 4 times they had the best record in the AL.”

      The teams should have been better for the money spent.

      “[T]he Yanks of 2005-12 were the best team in the AL East 5 times.”

      It’s been asked “what would consititute the appropriate amount of success?” The statistics would seem to suggest that more than 1 pennant should have been won since 2005 for the money spent.

      What would probability seem to suggest?

    106. Evan3457
      July 19th, 2013 | 1:00 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      Weasel words (“taken as a whole,” “for the most part”).

      There have been weasel words on the other side, too. But if you’re going to insist that the post-season is 0% crapshoot, then you’re going to look idiotic.

      With the payroll advantage this team has had, that advantage should have translated into better teams.

      Maybe. Maybe not.

      Better teams win more often in the postseason as evidenced by these statistics.

      Win ONE series, yes. Win them all and the title, not so much. Hence: more crapshoot than not.

      The reason this team has not won more in the postseason is not attributable as much to “luck,” but the fact that that even with $230-35 million spent each year, the team has not been able to win more than 45.4% of these series, and has won only 1 pennant since 2005.

      And as I’ve pointed out, even with a better team, even if they had that vaunted .070 WPCT advantage in every round, they’d still fail to win it all most of the time.

      What’s been discussed is the percentage of series won, and the fact that only 45.4% of postseason series have been won within the timeframe of this G.M.’s “autonomy.”

      And, as mentioned in other threads, that “autonomy” isn’t really so autonomous, and, again, the post-season winning percentage of the Yankees during that time argues for crapshoot, and not against.

      Your attempt to recast the discussion in terms of World Series won and nothing else would seem to be an attempt to introduce a probability of “less than 40%” into a discussion where it really has little relevance.

      No, if the discussion isn’t about winning titles, then the whole discussion is about nothing at all. We’re not arguing about whether the Yankees should win more ALDS, are we? They’re 3-4 in those; 1-1 in ALCS, and 1-0 in World Series in the “autonomy” era.

      The issue is the number of regular season games, pennants and World Series won given the amount of money spent since 2005 and what might have been expected statistically, not the number of World Series won or the odds of winning a World Series.

      My first response in this thread was:

      McMillan wrote:
      An “actual discussion” about how a G.M.’s responsibility ends with a team making the postseason because the playoffs are just “crapshoots?”

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I sort of agree with that. And so would Billy Beane I bet. Maybe Andrew Freidman, too.

      My participation in this thread has been limited to one point: is the post-season, as a whole, a crapshoot. I believe that in most years, it is. And I’ve seen nothing in this thread to change my mind. As to the other points, I would say: I don’t really know. Maybe they should’ve won more. Maybe.

      It’s been asked “what would constitute the appropriate amount of success?” The statistics would seem to suggest that more than 1 pennant should have been won since 2005 for the money spent.

      And I can’t answer that question, not with any certainty.

    107. Evan3457
      July 19th, 2013 | 1:09 am

      By the way, how often in the last 8 years have the Yankees been .070 better in WPCT than their post-season competition?

      Answer: Only in 2009. And they won the title that year, just as they should’ve.

      2005: Even with the Angels, exactly. Lost 3-2.
      2006: 2 games better than the Tigers. Lost 3-1.
      2007: 2 games WORSE than the Indians, Lost 3-2.
      2009: 16 games better than the Twins. Won 3-0. 6 games better than the Angels. Won 4-2. 10 games better than the Phillies. Won 4-2.
      2010: 1 game better than the Twins. Won 3-0. 5 games better than the Rangers. Lost 4-2.
      2011: 2 games better than the Tigers. Lost 3-2.
      2012: 2 games better than the O’s. Won 3-2. 7 games better than the Tigers. Lost 4-0.

    108. Evan3457
      July 19th, 2013 | 1:10 am

      Actually just one series in 2009, the first one vs. the Twins.

    109. Ricketson
      July 19th, 2013 | 1:47 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      By the way, how often in the last 8 years have the Yankees been .070 better in WPCT than their post-season competition?

      I think you’re missing the point; otherwise, I don’t understand why you’d write this.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      2005: Even with the Angels, exactly. Lost 3-2.

      Even with the Angels in winning pct. despite having a payroll of more than 100% of the Angels’.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      2006: 2 games better than the Tigers. Lost 3-1.

      Only 2 games better than the Tigers in winning pct. despite having a payroll of more than 100% of the Tigers’.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      2007: 2 games WORSE than the Indians, Lost 3-2.

      2 games worse than the Indians in winning pct. despite having a payroll of more than approx. 150% of the Indians’.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      5 games better than the Rangers. Lost 4-2.

      5 games better than the Rangers in winning pct. despite having a payroll of approx. $220 mil. to the Rangers’ payroll of approx. $75 mil.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      2011: 2 games better than the Tigers. Lost 3-2.

      Only 2 games better than the Tigers in winning pct. despite having a payroll of more than 100% of the Tigers’.

      The teams have had comparable records with the Yankees with the latter playing in a more competitive division and having a substantial payroll advantage over even division rivals.

      Despite outspending all of these franchises by enormous margins, John Cashman’s son’s team’s have not been that much better: that’s why John Cashman’s son’s teams have not won more than 45.4% of its postseason series his teams have participated in or 1 pennant since 2005 – not because of “bad luck,” “swarms of gnats,” Chien-Ming Wang, or any other reason.

      As you correctly pointed out, when John Cashman’s son was authorized to spend $423 million in 2009, “coincidentally,” the team had opposition with a regular season winning pct. .070 less and won that series – and a pennant; he’s won nothing else since 2005.

      Reframing the argument to the odds of winning a World Series is something completely different. If John’s Cashman’s son had won more pennants and no World Series since 2005, I wouldn’t be criticizing him.

    110. Evan3457
      July 19th, 2013 | 3:23 pm

      You mean like when the Phillies lost to the Cards in 2011 despite having a payroll 64% higher?

      Or when the Phillies lost to the Giants in 2010 despite having a payroll 44% higher?

      Or when the White Sox lost to the Rays in 2008 despite having a payroll 173% higher? Or when the Red Sox lost to them the same year despite having a payroll 204% higher?

      Or when the Phillies lost to the Rockies in 2007 despite having a payroll 64% higher?

      Or in 2012, when the Red Sox, Phillies and Angels failed to even make the playoffs, losing out to teams from the same divisions despite having payrolls 113% higher, 115% higher, and 179% higher, respectively to the teams that won those spots?

      ==============================
      What’s the magic number? How high does the payroll have to be?
      How much more does it have to be than the payrolls of competitors in the same division? What percentage gap has to exist to guarantee even a post-season berth, let alone winning a post-season series, let alone winning two of them in a row, and the all-important pennant?

      ==============================
      You know, Joe Girardi should change his number from 28 to 41. After all, it’s pennants that are important, not titles.

    111. Mr. October
      July 19th, 2013 | 3:31 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      With the payroll advantage this team has had, that advantage should have translated into better teams. Better teams win more often in the postseason as evidenced by these statistics.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Maybe. Maybe not.

      The $2 bil. spent by Brian McGuire Cashman since 2005 could not have been spent better?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Win ONE series, yes. Win them all and the title, not so much. Hence: more crapshoot than not.

      That’s you’re attempt to recast the argument for some reason. And in the process you’ve gone from “crapshoot” to “more crapshoot than not” to other positions and numerous misrepresentations in general.

      How many times does it have to be repeated that we’re not talking about a postseason in which all other teams have a winning pct. less than .070 of the team with the best regular season record?

      The issue is only 11 postseason series played since 2005, not more, and only 5 of those series won; the issue is not the number of World Series won as you try to recast it.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And as I’ve pointed out, even with a better team, even if they had that vaunted .070 WPCT advantage in every round, they’d still fail to win it all most of the time.

      This doesn’t even make sense. With a better team and a winning pct. of .070 or greater in every round, N.Y. should have won approximately 72.5% of the series played since 2005 based on the numbers for the last two decades, or at least more than 45.4%.

      And your “fail to win it all most of the time” is a “straw man” as you like to point out, because that isn’t the argument and no such position to the contrary was offered.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      No, if the discussion isn’t about winning titles, then the whole discussion is about nothing at all.

      I guess you haven’t been following it at all then?

      The whole discussion is about: 1. the fact that only 3 teams with the best regular season record have won the World Series DOES NOT demonstrate that the postseason IS a crapshoot; and 2. the fact that teams with a regular season winning pct. of .070 or greater than their opponents in postseason play win 72.5% of those series DOES demonstrate that the postseason IS NOT a crapshoot; better teams win most of the time.

      The discussion is about postseason play, not just winning a World Series. You’ve recast the discussion, or tried to, into one about YOUR calculated odds of winning the World Series which YOU said reflect what YOU would refer to as a “crapshoot” in YOUR opinion.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      We’re not arguing about whether the Yankees should win more ALDS, are we? They’re 3-4 in those; 1-1 in ALCS, and 1-0 in World Series in the “autonomy” era.

      Again, another attempt to recast the argument. As with this and other threads, we’ve discussed the team’s record in the postseason – not just in the World Series.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      I sort of agree with that. And so would Billy Beane I bet. Maybe Andrew Freidman, too.

      If I was Billy Beane, and I had to compete with a team with a $230-35 million payroll with a $60-5 million payroll, I’d say the same damned thing: “[I]f I’ve gotten my team to the postseason, I’ve done my job.” But Cashman has the resources to put together a much better team, a more formidable rotation, etc. and one that is capable of winning more than 45.4% of postseason series over the long-term and hasn’t done so.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      My participation in this thread has been limited to one point: is the post-season, as a whole, a crapshoot.

      The discussion started with:
      “And if the postseason is a crapshoot, and based on luck, then why not get a lucky GM in — something Cashman has not been in recent years? BTW, the flipside of that crapshoot theory is that the Yankees just got really lucky 27 times.”
      So I don’t know what your point is? Although I would have stated it differently, the poster’s comments are correct: the flipside is that the successes or victories are nothing but a product of luck as well.

      And if the postseason is, laughably, about luck, this G.M. doesn’t seem to be that lucky getting to only 11 postseason series since 2005 while spending $230-35 million each year.

      The postseason is not a crapshoot: the better team wins most of the time. With the phrase “as a whole,” you’ve again tried to redefine the “postseason” as the “World Series.” For what reason, who knows.

    112. Ricketson
      July 19th, 2013 | 3:58 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Or when the Red Sox lost to them the same year despite having a payroll 204% higher?

      LOL! And John Cashman’s son’s payroll was 57% higher than Boston’s that year when he watched the postseason from bed and with someone else’s wife.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Or when the Phillies lost to the Giants in 2010 despite having a payroll 44% higher?

      And John Cashman’s son’s payroll was not much less than the combined payrolls of both Philadelphia and San Francisco in 2010.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Or when the White Sox lost to the Rays in 2008 despite having a payroll 173% higher?

      And John Cashman’s son’s payroll was more than the combined payrolls of both Chicago and Tampa Bay in 2008 while he watched the postseason from bed and with someone else’s wife.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      You know, Joe Girardi should change his number from 28 to 41. After all, it’s pennants that are important, not titles.

      Very intelligent. I refer to pennants because once a pennant has been won, a season can be considered a success, even if the World Series is lost.

    113. Mr. October
      July 19th, 2013 | 4:03 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What’s the magic number? How high does the payroll have to be?
      How much more does it have to be than the payrolls of competitors in the same division? What percentage gap has to exist to guarantee even a post-season berth, let alone winning a post-season series, let alone winning two of them in a row, and the all-important pennant?

      At least it can’t be said your argument was kicked to the curb – you never had one.

    114. Ricketson
      July 19th, 2013 | 4:18 pm

      Raf wrote:

      What would probability seem to suggest?

      Probability would seem to suggest the “Pud” Galvin’s performance was not positively-affected by mixing drinks with dried monkey testosterone distilled from monkey testicles in 1889 in any way. And because such a practice was also not a violation of league rules, his induction into the H.O.F. by the Veteran’s Committee in 1965 was not inappropriate.

    115. Greg H.
      July 19th, 2013 | 5:50 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      If John’s Cashman’s son had won more pennants and no World Series since 2005, I wouldn’t be criticizing him.

      So, just out of curiosity, how many pennants would it take (without winning a WS) would it take for you to be satisfied with this GM’s performance?

    116. Raf
      July 19th, 2013 | 9:09 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Even with the Angels in winning pct. despite having a payroll of more than 100% of the Angels’.

      2005-2012. Angels’ playoff appearances, 4. Less than the Yankees’ 7.

      Only 2 games better than the Tigers in winning pct. despite having a payroll of more than 100% of the Tigers’.

      2005-2012. Tigers’ playoff appearances, 3. Less than the Yankees’ 7.

      2 games worse than the Indians in winning pct. despite having a payroll of more than approx. 150% of the Indians’.

      2005-2012. Indians’ playoff appearances, 1. Less than the Yankees’ 7.

      5 games better than the Rangers in winning pct. despite having a payroll of approx. $220 mil. to the Rangers’ payroll of approx. $75 mil.

      2005-2012. Rangers’ playoff appearances, 3 (I’ll give you the wildcard play-in game, since you need all the help you can get). Less than the Yankees’ 7.

      The teams have had comparable records with the Yankees with the latter playing in a more competitive division and having a substantial payroll advantage over even division rivals.

      They’ve also had less success, as evidenced in less playoff appearances from 2005-2012. The gap widens if you include the years 1995-2004. Which you won’t, because it undermines your point even further.

      As you correctly pointed out, when John Cashman’s son was authorized to spend $423 million in 2009, “coincidentally,” the team had opposition with a regular season winning pct. .070 less and won that series – and a pennant; he’s won nothing else since 2005.

      All three players acquired with that $423 million, Sabathia, Burnett and Teixiera were with the organization in 2010 and 2011. “Coincidentally,” they did not win the world series, nor did they win the pennant. Not sure as to your point. Is it about the money spent? Because if it was, it was demolished with the following;

      Evan3457 wrote:

      You mean like when the Phillies lost to the Cards in 2011 despite having a payroll 64% higher?

      Or when the Phillies lost to the Giants in 2010 despite having a payroll 44% higher?

      Or when the White Sox lost to the Rays in 2008 despite having a payroll 173% higher? Or when the Red Sox lost to them the same year despite having a payroll 204% higher?

      Or when the Phillies lost to the Rockies in 2007 despite having a payroll 64% higher?

      Or in 2012, when the Red Sox, Phillies and Angels failed to even make the playoffs, losing out to teams from the same divisions despite having payrolls 113% higher, 115% higher, and 179% higher, respectively to the teams that won those spots?

      And John Cashman’s son’s payroll was more than the combined payrolls of both Chicago and Tampa Bay in 2008 while he watched the postseason from bed and with someone else’s wife.

      2008
      NYY vs CHW: 5-2
      NYY vs TBR: 11-7

      Figured you would appreciate that, given your fanaticism about small sample sizes. You’re welcome. :D

      Probability would seem to suggest the “Pud” Galvin’s performance was not positively-affected by mixing drinks with dried monkey testosterone distilled from monkey testicles in 1889 in any way. And because such a practice was also not a violation of league rules, his induction into the H.O.F. by the Veteran’s Committee in 1965 was not inappropriate.

      Yeah, I didn’t think you had anything either. :)

      Britt wrote:

      You lost.

      U MAD, BRO?

      Raf wrote:

      Stick to obsessing over the many loves of Brian McGuire Cashman, son of John Cashman. You’re out of your depth when you discuss anything else.

      :P

    117. Evan3457
      July 20th, 2013 | 8:38 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      What’s the magic number? How high does the payroll have to be?
      How much more does it have to be than the payrolls of competitors in the same division? What percentage gap has to exist to guarantee even a post-season berth, let alone winning a post-season series, let alone winning two of them in a row, and the all-important pennant?
      At least it can’t be said your argument was kicked to the curb – you never had one.

      SS, DD.

    118. Evan3457
      July 20th, 2013 | 9:18 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      The $2 bil. spent by Brian McGuire Cashman since 2005 could not have been spent better?

      Probably. Same can be said for just about all the high payroll teams.

      That’s you’re attempt to recast the argument for some reason.

      Again, because if we’re not talking about winning titles, we’re not talking about anything at all, inasmuch as the Yankees have made the post-season 7 years out of 8.

      And in the process you’ve gone from “crapshoot” to “more crapshoot than not” to other positions and numerous misrepresentations in general.

      No misrepresentations were made. None.

      How many times does it have to be repeated that we’re not talking about a postseason in which all other teams have a winning pct. less than .070 of the team with the best regular season record?

      Because the statistic cited, one of dominance when the regular-season records differ by at least .070, is the only attempt to show that regular-season records matter in post-season play to any significant extent. I’m merely pointing out how rare that is.

      The issue is only 11 postseason series played since 2005, not more, and only 5 of those series won; the issue is not the number of World Series won as you try to recast it.

      That became the issue in the middle of the argument. It wasn’t the issue at the start.

      This doesn’t even make sense. With a better team and a winning pct. of .070 or greater in every round, N.Y. should have won approximately 72.5% of the series played since 2005 based on the numbers for the last two decades, or at least more than 45.4%.

      No, it’s YOU who aren’t making sense here. the Yankees haven’t had an WPCT advantage of .070 in all of those 11 series over the last 8 seasons. In fact, they’ve had it only once, the ALDS in 2009. And they won that; 1 for 1 or 100%.

      And your “fail to win it all most of the time” is a “straw man” as you like to point out, because that isn’t the argument and no such position to the contrary was offered.

      When you argue that the post-season isn’t a crapshoot, you can’t be arguing about one series, because that isn’t “the post-season”. You can’t even be arguing about one series in a row, three times, past series wins being a condition of winning the next one series, because that too, isn’t the “the post-season”.

      Saying “that isn’t the argument” is nonsense, because it’s the only thing I’ve been arguing here, the proposition that the post-season is/isn’t a crapshoot.

      The whole discussion is about: 1. the fact that only 3 teams with the best regular season record have won the World Series DOES NOT demonstrate that the postseason IS a crapshoot.

      Perhaps not by itself, but it’s certainly evidence on the side of the argument that it is a crapshoot; evidence you can’t merely gainsay and still be taken seriously, anyway.

      and 2. the fact that teams with a regular season winning pct. of .070 or greater than their opponents in postseason play win 72.5% of those series DOES demonstrate that the postseason IS NOT a crapshoot; better teams win most of the time.

      Except that 1) No, it’s not evidence “the post-season” is not a crapshoot, it’s evidence that one series of that post-season may not be a crapshoot, and 2) One series is not “the post-season”. The post-season consists of 3 rounds, and 3) the condition necessary for that domination is quite rare in post-season play; only 13 such series out of 126 series and 2 play-in games, or about 10% of the time. In the overwhelming majority of post-season play, the conditions necessary to show “not a crapshoot” don’t exist.

      Hence my remark that it’s not a crapshoot, for the most part. And that’s an ACCURATE description, using your sides best evidence at face value.

      The discussion is about postseason play, not just winning a World Series. You’ve recast the discussion, or tried to, into one about YOUR calculated odds of winning the World Series which YOU said reflect what YOU would refer to as a “crapshoot” in YOUR opinion.

      What you mean to say is that I’ve framed the discussion more accurately than you, because as I have stated numerous times, a single post-season series is NOT “the post-season”.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      We’re not arguing about whether the Yankees should win more ALDS, are we? They’re 3-4 in those; 1-1 in ALCS, and 1-0 in World Series in the “autonomy” era.
      Again, another attempt to recast the argument. As with this and other threads, we’ve discussed the team’s record in the postseason – not just in the World Series.

      No, actually, it’s an attempt, a repeated attempt which looks more and more like the argumentative equivalent of banging my head against a wall, that the post-season is not just one series, and the odds of winning one series under extreme difference in WPCT does not define “the post-season”, and looking at winning three series and the title does.

      But I can see why you’d want to evade the real meaning of “post-season”; it makes your side look silly.

      If I was Billy Beane, and I had to compete with a team with a $230-35 million payroll with a $60-5 million payroll, I’d say the same damned thing: “[I]f I’ve gotten my team to the postseason, I’ve done my job.” But Cashman has the resources to put together a much better team, a more formidable rotation, etc. and one that is capable of winning more than 45.4% of postseason series over the long-term and hasn’t done so.

      But I’ve just shown a bunch of other teams with significant to extreme payroll advantages that lost series, and even berths in the playoffs to teams with much, much lower payrolls. So one must conclude from that either 1) they’re all being run by terrible GMs, or 2) the playoffs are a crapshoot, for the most part.

      “And if the postseason is a crapshoot, and based on luck, then why not get a lucky GM in — something Cashman has not been in recent years? BTW, the flipside of that crapshoot theory is that the Yankees just got really lucky 27 times.”

      And that point is bullspit in two different ways:

      1) Define the characteristics of a “lucky GM” so that we can all identify them when we see them. Is Billy Beane a lucky GM? His teams are 1-6 in the post-season, 1-5 when they had the better winning percentage.
      Is Andrew Friedman a lucky GM? His teams are 2-3 in the post-season, 2-2 when they’ve had the better record. Now, I wouldn’t blame Beane and Friedman, those numbers represent very small sample sizes.

      So I don’t know what your point is? Although I would have stated it differently, the poster’s comments are correct: the flipside is that the successes or victories are nothing but a product of luck as well.

      If you don’t mind for a moment, I’ll “re-cast”:
      I’m not saying the post-season is nothing but a product of luck. In any given post-season, the team that plays the best almost always wins.

      What I’m saying is that the team that’s going to play the best is almost always not known before the post-season starts and random factors do enter into it. Hot teams go cold. Cold teams get hot. Teams whose pitching staffs look weak going in get brilliant pitching. Teams whose pitching staffs look like juggernauts going in get knocked around and bounced in the first round. Teams with top offenses have the bats go dead silent and are quickly eliminated, even against staffs that don’t look very strong going in.

      It is in that sense that I refer to the post-season as a crapshoot.
      And that’s a correct assessment.

      The postseason is not a crapshoot: the better team wins most of the time. With the phrase “as a whole,” you’ve again tried to redefine the “postseason” as the “World Series.” For what reason, who knows.

      Because the point of the post-season IS to win a World Series, not to win one round of playoffs if a team has an .070 WPCT going in.

      Sheesh. Proclaiming the post-season isn’t a crapshoot primarily on the basis of that one stat alone is particularly dense.

    119. Mr. October
      July 20th, 2013 | 12:19 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Probably. Same can be said for just about all the high payroll teams.

      No team has a payroll close to what Cashman has had to work with AND I would disagree that the records of the other G.M.s of higher payroll teams do not compare favorably Cashman’s.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Again, because if we’re not talking about winning titles, we’re not talking about anything at all, inasmuch as the Yankees have made the post-season 7 years out of 8.

      That’s what you say, because you don’t have a leg to stand on at this point. We’re talking about the postseason – that’s the division series, the league championship series, and the World Series. Since 2005, this team is gotten to only 11 series and won 5 of them.

      No one has stated N.Y. should have won 3-5 World Series since 2005, which the how you’ve been attempting to frame the argument.

      What has been stated is that the teams should have been better given the money spent, and the teams should have gotten to more postseason series than 11, and won more than 50% of them.

      The organization failed to win more postseason series or pennants because its teams were not as good as they should have been for the money spent; not because the postseason is a crapshoot.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Because the statistic cited, one of dominance when the regular-season records differ by at least .070, is the only attempt to show that regular-season records matter in post-season play to any significant extent. I’m merely pointing out how rare that is.

      The statistics clearly show that as the winning pct. margin between to teams over the course of a 162-game imbalanced schedule increases, so does the likelihood of the better team winning in the postseason. And this has been shown with more than 40 playoff series – that YOU choose to characterize more than 40 playoff series as “rare” is merely YOUR poor choice of words.
      And this is the most appropriate type of statistic to cite; you don’t like it because it doesn’t permit obfuscation.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Except that 1) No, it’s not evidence “the post-season” is not a crapshoot, it’s evidence that one series of that post-season may not be a crapshoot…

      Why do you seem to have so much difficulty understanding this simple concept? It’s not “evidence that one series of a postseason may not be a crapshoot.” It’s evidence that the better team wins a postseason series most of the time.

      If we look at teams with a smaller spread (which is what you want to do because you have no argument), we could go on endlessly about which of the two was a better team and why a particular series should have, or did in fact, come to a conclusion in a certain way. And to that end, you’ve tried to cherry-pick teams that conform to your arguments.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      2) One series is not “the post-season”.

      Once again, you don’t get it – no one has said that one series is a postseason. Please provide a quote from myself or someone else where it’s been said that one series is a postseason? Do you have the quote?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      3) the condition necessary for that domination is quite rare in post-season play; only 13 such series out of 126 series and 2 play-in games, or about 10% of the time.

      Wrong again. There have been more than 40 such series.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Hence my remark that it’s not a crapshoot, for the most part. And that’s an ACCURATE description, using your sides best evidence at face value.

      More weasel words: that’s all you got.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What you mean to say is that I’ve framed the discussion more accurately than you, because as I have stated numerous times, a single post-season series is NOT “the post-season”.

      And for the hundreth or so time: no one has said that a single postseason series is “the postseason.” Please provide a quote from myself or someone else where it’s been said that one series is a postseason? Do you have the quote?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      No, actually, it’s an attempt, a repeated attempt which looks more and more like the argumentative equivalent of banging my head against a wall, that the post-season is not just one series, and the odds of winning one series under extreme difference in WPCT does not define “the post-season”, and looking at winning three series and the title does.

      Please go back and re-read what was written, because I’m not going to explain this again.

      You want to frame that argument as winning three series, but winning two series and a pennant would constitute a successful postseason in the opinion of most, and this team has won only one pennant since 2005.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And that point is bullspit in two different ways…

      It wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. You’re the one who brought up the nonsense of Girardi’s no., and you’re the one that says winning a World Series is nothing more than winning a crapshoot, so why don’t you go explain to Girardi what an idiot he looks like wearing no. 28, since you’re so much smarter than the rest of us.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What I’m saying is that the team that’s going to play the best is almost always not known before the post-season starts and random factors do enter into it.

      How the hell can it be known which team is going to “play the best” in the post-season before the post-season starts? Random factors enter into any contest in any sport, the existence of random factors does not mean that the M.L.B. postseason is a crapshoot. This is complete nonsense.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Hot teams go cold. Cold teams get hot.

      More nonsense: How does one know that a team was “hot” and became “cold,” or was “cold” and became “hot?”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It is in that sense that I refer to the post-season as a crapshoot.

      A straw man argument (misrepresentation of an opponent’s position).

      No one has stated that there have not been times in the past where a pitching staff has performed worse than expected in ONE SERIES. What’s been stated repeatedly is that over the long-term, better teams win most of the time as demonstrated by more than 40 series historically in which a team with a regular season winning pct. of .070 or more has defeated its opponent on average three out of four times.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Because the point of the post-season IS to win a World Series, not to win one round of playoffs if a team has an .070 WPCT going in.

      Once again, you’re misrepresenting something: no one has stated that the point of the post-season is to win one round of playoffs. If you want to put it that way, then the point of the postseason is to win at least two rounds of the playoffs – especially if you’re spending $230-35 million each year.

      I would not consider a division title or wildcard appearance as a successful season for a team with a $230-35 million payroll.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Sheesh. Proclaiming the post-season isn’t a crapshoot primarily on the basis of that one stat alone is particularly dense.

      It’s not one stat alone. You have nothing, so you’re just throwing as much against the wall as you can, and continuing to make a number of misrepresentations or fallacious arguments, and offering comments like this one.

    120. Ricketson
      July 20th, 2013 | 12:57 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      In any given post-season, the team that plays the best almost always wins.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      [T]he team that’s going to play the best is almost always not known before the post-season starts…

      And the better team almost always plays the best…

      Certain commenters made moronic comments about the postseason being a crapshoot, and you did your best to help them out. Nice try; a good effort.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I’m THAT GUY.

      Indeed…

    121. McMillan
      July 20th, 2013 | 4:02 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Again, because if we’re not talking about winning titles, we’re not talking about anything at all, inasmuch as the Yankees have made the post-season 7 years out of 8.

      So there’s no middle ground here? There’s making it to the postseason and winning a title, is that it? I realize I’m only a “fourth-rate” logician, but isn’t there a logical fallacy in there somewhere?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      That became the issue in the middle of the argument. It wasn’t the issue at the start.

      Even if true, so?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But I can see why you’d want to evade the real meaning of “post-season”; it makes your side look silly.

      The “real meaning” of the M.L.B. postseason is one (1) divisional series, one (1) league championship series, and one (1) World Series.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I’m not saying the post-season is nothing but a product of luck. In any given post-season, the team that plays the best almost always wins…
      What I’m saying is that the team that’s going to play the best is almost always not known before the post-season starts and random factors do enter into it. Hot teams go cold. Cold teams get hot. Teams whose pitching staffs look weak going in get brilliant pitching. Teams whose pitching staffs look like juggernauts going in get knocked around and bounced in the first round. Teams with top offenses have the bats go dead silent and are quickly eliminated, even against staffs that don’t look very strong going in.
      It is in that sense that I refer to the post-season as a crapshoot.

      This is double-talk to the point that it’s essentially meaningless: the team that plays the best almost always wins but its a crapshoot.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Proclaiming the post-season isn’t a crapshoot primarily on the basis of that one stat alone is particularly dense.

      There’s also that fact that of two teams with a difference in regular season winning percentages of less than .070, one can be better-suited for postseason competition such as by having a more formidable frontend of the rotation or other non-random factors. While the regular season numbers or the team’s overall finish might suggest to you that the better team did not win, the team better-suited for postseason competition might have won. That argument can be applied to some of the teams you mentioned.

    122. McMillan
      July 20th, 2013 | 4:20 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Teams with top offenses have the bats go dead silent and are quickly eliminated, even against staffs that don’t look very strong going in.

      If you’re referring to the 2012 Yankees, take a look at the postseason histories of 6/9ths of the team’s lineup that Cashman sent up against three gentlemen named Verlander, Scherzer, and Sanchez. I wouldn’t call the bats of Martin, Rodriguez, Swisher, etc. going dead silent against Detroit an anomaly.

      McMillan wrote:

      This is double-talk to the point that it’s essentially meaningless: the team that plays the best almost always wins but its a crapshoot.

      Why wouldn’t the team that plays the best for 162 games play the best MOST – not all, MOST of the time, which is what was argued?

    123. McMillan
      July 20th, 2013 | 8:35 pm

      Raf wrote:

      All three players acquired with that $423 million, Sabathia, Burnett and Teixiera were with the organization in 2010 and 2011. “Coincidentally,” they did not win the world series, nor did they win the pennant.

      As I’ve explained to you before, N.Y. got to the 82.5 million head case, and his numbers dropped off substantially in 2010 before Cashman sent his no. 3 starter to Pittsburgh with $20 million of the Steinbrenner’s money.

      And Burnett is doing pretty well for the 52-38, $65 mil. Pirates, at team intelligent enough to recognize Burnett would pitch better and be more comfortable in a small market – that is the right environment for him.

      Raf wrote:

      The Pirates suck, and have sucked because they’ve done a poor job of evaluating talent.

      And $65 million Pittsburgh will be in the postseason before Brian “I would not pass myself off as an evaluator of talent” Cashman, son of harness racing great and George M. Steinbrenner personal friend John Cashman, or this once-great franchise, the $231 million New York Yankees.

    124. Raf
      July 20th, 2013 | 10:32 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      As I’ve explained to you before, N.Y. got to the 82.5 million head case, and his numbers dropped off substantially in 2010 before Cashman sent his no. 3 starter to Pittsburgh with $20 million of the Steinbrenner’s money.

      As I explained to you before, Burnett pitched better @ home than he did on the road.

      2011
      H: 7-6, 4.41, 8.2 (k/9), 2.31 (SO/BB)
      A: 4-5, 6.28, 8.2 (k/9), 1.82 (SO/BB)
      2010
      H: 5-7, 4.59, 7.5 (k/9), 2.03 (SO/BB)
      A: 5-8, 5.76, 7.3 (k/9), 2.00 (SO/BB)
      2009
      H: 5-3, 3.51, 8.9 (k/9), 2.00 (SO/BB)
      A: 8-6, 4.59, 8.0 (k/9), 2.02 (SO/BB)

      Pirates, at team intelligent enough to recognize Burnett would pitch better and be more comfortable in a small market – that is the right environment for him.

      Rubbish.

      Raf wrote:

      [Burnett's] peripherals were right around his career averages. He wasn’t as good as he was in 2009, but he was better than he was in 2010. The only thing of concern is like [MJ] mentioned, the HR rate. If it’s a spike, he’ll be fine. If not, then it will be trouble.

      Burnett in Pittsburgh,
      2012: 12.7%
      2013: 11.9%

      Both less than the 17% he posted for the Yanks in 2011, but more than what he posted in 2009 (10.8%) and 2010 (11.6%).

      Small market has nothing to do with weaker NL lineups and a home park that is easier on pitchers
      http://www.parkfactors.com/PIT

      Than the one he was pitching in before (and performed well)
      http://www.parkfactors.com/NYY

      And $65 million Pittsburgh will be in the postseason before Brian “I would not pass myself off as an evaluator of talent” Cashman…

      Good for them, it’s about time. 20 years to be exact. As I’m sure you’re aware, since 1993, the Yankees have won quite a few world series, pennants and division titles. The Pittsburgh organization has a lot of catching up to do :P

      Nice try, but you’re out of your element, Donny. :D

    125. Evan3457
      July 21st, 2013 | 12:39 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      No team has a payroll close to what Cashman has had to work with AND I would disagree that the records of the other G.M.s of higher payroll teams do not compare favorably Cashman’s.

      You can disagree all you like. His team’s made the postseason more than any of ‘em.

      That’s what you say, because you don’t have a leg to stand on at this point.

      That’s just laugh out loud funny. I’ve been kicking your side all over the lot.

      We’re talking about the postseason – that’s the division series, the league championship series, and the World Series.

      That’s right! Hey, you finally got it! The post-season is 3 rounds (3 rounds plus, now), not one. Good for you!

      Since 2005, this team is gotten to only 11 series and won 5 of them.
      No one has stated N.Y. should have won 3-5 World Series since 2005,

      An opinionated assertion you cannot possibly prove.

      What has been stated is that the teams should have been better given the money spent, and the teams should have gotten to more postseason series than 11, and won more than 50% of them.

      More assertions without any proof.

      The organization failed to win more postseason series or pennants because its teams were not as good as they should have been for the money spent

      And still more.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Because the statistic cited, one of dominance when the regular-season records differ by at least .070, is the only attempt to show that regular-season records matter in post-season play to any significant extent. I’m merely pointing out how rare that is.

      The statistics clearly show that as the winning pct. margin between to teams over the course of a 162-game imbalanced schedule increases, so does the likelihood of the better team winning in the postseason. And this has been shown with more than 40 playoff series – that YOU choose to characterize more than 40 playoff series as “rare” is merely YOUR poor choice of words.

      Wrong, the 10-3 figure adds up 13 post-season series. About 10% of them.

      Now, earlier in this thread, another state was cited. Teams with ANY advantage in WPCT have a series winning percentage of .543. Of the Yankees 11 post-season series since the Reign of Autonomy, the Yanks have had this advantage in exactly 9 of them. You know how many they’ve won? 5. You know what that means? The Yankees have performed exactly as they should’ve given ANY WPCT advantage.

      The one series they had the lower WPCT, they lost, which is right, according to that statistic.

      So now, to use the post-season record of the Yankees, you’re left to argue that the reason Cashman stinks is that they lost the ALDS in 2005 to the Angels, because the teams had the same WPCT, even though the Angels had the advantage of the extra game at home.

      And this is the most appropriate type of statistic to cite; you don’t like it because it doesn’t permit obfuscation.

      There’s been no obfuscation. The goal of the post-season is to win 3 series, not one.

      Why do you seem to have so much difficulty understanding this simple concept? It’s not “evidence that one series of a postseason may not be a crapshoot.” It’s evidence that the better team wins a postseason series most of the time.

      Most of the time is 54.3% according to the stat cited above.
      The probability of winning two such series, and a pennant, under those circumstances is 29.5%, or less than 1 chance in 3.
      The probability of winning three such series, and a title, drops to less than 1 chance in 6.

      If we look at teams with a smaller spread (which is what you want to do because you have no argument), we could go on endlessly about which of the two was a better team and why a particular series should have, or did in fact, come to a conclusion in a certain way. And to that end, you’ve tried to cherry-pick teams that conform to your arguments.

      There’s been no cherry-picking. I merely cited all the teams that support the notion that the post-season is a crapshoot. 7 times in 18 years, a significantly weaker team, measured by regular season WPCT, won the title. That’s evidence for “crapshoot”. You simply refuse to admit it.

      Once again, you don’t get it – no one has said that one series is a postseason. Please provide a quote from myself or someone else where it’s been said that one series is a postseason? Do you have the quote?

      No, YOU don’t get it. When you assert the 54.3% number or the 72.5% number as proof it’s not a crapshoot, you are citing a number that applies to one series, not the whole post-season. You need to win 2 to win a pennant, and 3 to win a title. This is so simple a point. I’m amazed you still don’t see it. Therefore the series numbers are proof that if the WPCT gap between the two teams is large enough, then THAT SERIES is not a crapshoot. It don’t prove a damn thing about the post-season as a whole, because those stats don’t apply to the whole post-season, only one series at a time.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      3) the condition necessary for that domination is quite rare in post-season play; only 13 such series out of 126 series and 2 play-in games, or about 10% of the time.
      Wrong again. There have been more than 40 such series.

      Wrong again. I’m referring there to the 10-3 number. That’s, uh, lemme use all my math skills here, uhhh…10 + 3 = 13. Well, it ain’t 40, that’s for sure.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Hence my remark that it’s not a crapshoot, for the most part. And that’s an ACCURATE description, using your sides best evidence at face value.
      More weasel words: that’s all you got.

      To repeat, it is an ACCURATE description, far more accurate than declaring the post-season isn’t a crapshoot and going home.

      And for the hundreth or so time: no one has said that a single postseason series is “the postseason.” Please provide a quote from myself or someone else where it’s been said that one series is a postseason? Do you have the quote?

      When you cite single-series number to prove a 3-series tournament isn’t a crapshoot, no direct quote is necessary. In fact, I wouldn’t expect a direct quote to that effect from any of you, because none of you is able to discern the gap in your collective logic.

      Please go back and re-read what was written, because I’m not going to explain this again.

      You don’t have to explain it again. I’ve read the statement of the case repeatedly, and it’s been incorrect, repeatedly.

      You want to frame that argument as winning three series, but winning two series and a pennant would constitute a successful postseason in the opinion of most, and this team has won only one pennant since 2005.

      …and, as I’ve said before, this is a different argument than the one I’m making. Taking this one head on:

      1) A “pennant is a successful post-season” is an arbitrary measure, and obviously cherry-picked to make the Yanks record look worse, so it can be argued that Cashman is worse.
      2) Again, unless the team is dominant the probability is less than 50-50 that even a good team wins two series in a row against other good teams.
      Now, one team in each league MUST win two series, every year. But that also means 3 (now, 4) other good teams in each league don’t do this, every year.

      It wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. You’re the one who brought up the nonsense of Girardi’s no., and you’re the one that says winning a World Series is nothing more than winning a crapshoot, so why don’t you go explain to Girardi what an idiot he looks like wearing no. 28, since you’re so much smarter than the rest of us.

      My Girardi remark was obviously a joke, too. But your side is actually serious that a win in the ALCS is a “successful” post-season, but a win in the ALDS, and a loss in the ALCS isn’t. I don’t understand where that criterion comes from. I’ve never, ever heard that before, anywhere.

      Until now.

      How the hell can it be known which team is going to “play the best” in the post-season before the post-season starts? Random factors enter into any contest in any sport, the existence of random factors does not mean that the M.L.B. postseason is a crapshoot. This is complete nonsense.

      You just stated my case in the first sentence and a half. Thanks.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Hot teams go cold. Cold teams get hot.
      More nonsense: How does one know that a team was “hot” and became “cold,” or was “cold” and became “hot?”

      Well, just to cite one or two obvious examples…

      The 2000 Yankees lost their last 7 games, and 13 of their last 15. I think that can be fairly described as “cold”.
      Then, they went 11-5 in the post-season. I think that can fairly be described as “hot”.

      The 2006 Cards lost 8 of their last 11 games. I think that can be called cold, though they did win 2 straight the last weekend. Then they went 11-5 in the post-season. That seems pretty hot to me, anyway.

      Oh, I’m sorry, was that more cherry-picking?

      Once again, you’re misrepresenting something: no one has stated that the point of the post-season is to win one round of playoffs. If you want to put it that way, then the point of the postseason is to win at least two rounds of the playoffs – especially if you’re spending $230-35 million each year.

      Already argued and answered. Multiple times.

      It’s not one stat alone. You have nothing, so you’re just throwing as much against the wall as you can, and continuing to make a number of misrepresentations or fallacious arguments, and offering comments like this one.

      If my argument is nothing, yours is less than nothing. Because you continue to cling to that stat barnicle-like, as if it proves anything about the post-season as a whole.

    126. Evan3457
      July 21st, 2013 | 1:05 am

      And now, because I’ve had enough of this, I’m doing something I should’ve done a long time ago. Fact-checking the stat we’ve been arguing about.

      In the years since the Wild Card was added, which are the years that really matter to this whole freakin’ argument (because before 1995, you only had to win one series to win a pennant, not two, and you only had to win two series to win a title, not three), here is the complete list (because I don’t want to be accused of cherry-picking) of teams which had a WPCT advantage of .070 or greater, heading into a playoff series:

      1995: Indians beat Red Sox, Braves beat Rockies, Indians beat Mariners, Indians lose to Braves. The .070+ teams are 3-1.

      1996: Indians lose to Orioles. Only such series that year. .070+ teams are 3-2.

      1997: Braves beat Astros, Orioles lose to Indians. .070+ teams are 4-3.

      1998: Yanks beat Rangers, Braves beat Cubs, Yanks beat Indians. .070+ teams are 7-3.

      1999: No such series.

      2000: No such series.

      2001: Mariners beat Indians, Mariners lose to Yankees. .070+ teams are 8-4

      2002: No such series.

      2003: Braves lose to Cubs. Only such series. .070+ teams are 8-5.

      2004: Cards beat Dodgers, Cards beat Astros. .070+ teams are 10-5

      2005: Cards beat Padres. Only such series. .070+ teams are 11-5.

      2006: Mets lose to Cards. Tigers lose to Cards. .070+ teams are 11-7.

      2007: No such series.

      2008: Cubs lose to Dodgers. Only such series. .070+ teams are 11-8.

      2009: Yanks beat Twins. Only such series. .070+ teams are 12-8.

      2010: No such series.

      2011: Phillies lose to Cards. Only such series. .070+ teams are 12-9.

      ============================================

      What to make of all this?

      1. Neither the 13 series number nor the 40 series number is correct. The correct number in the Wild Card era is 21. Actual percentage of all series is 16.4%, still a small percentage of the whole, a little over one such series a year.

      2. The 76.9% winning percentage (or 72.5% figure, whatever) is way off. The correct figure is 57.1%, and it’s off in the direction of “crapshoot” as opposed to “not a crapshoot”. One point for my side.

      3. The trend is away from such series, not toward. In the “non-autonomy” era, such series were 15 out of 70, or 21%. In the “autonomy” era, it’s 6 series out of 58, or a little over 10%. The fact that there are far fewer such series in the last 8 years is indicative of increasing competitive balance. Increasing competitive balance is another indicator for “crapshoot” over “not a crapshoot”. Another point for my side.

      4. The winning percentage for the .070+ team has also gone way down in the “autonomy” era. It was 10-5, .667, from 1995 to 2004. Since 2005, it’s 2-4, or .333. In fact, since 1998, the .070+ teams are under .500 at 5-6. The trend here is another indicator for “crapshoot” over “not a crapshoot”. A third point for my side.

      5. And you can’t blame the Autonomy Yankees for #4, either. Of the 6 such series since 2005, the Yanks have only played one of them, the ALDS vs. the Twins in 2009. And they won it. Other .070+ teams in the “autonomy” era are 1-4, .200. Helluva an argument for “not a crapshoot”, ain’t it?

      =================================
      So, how does it feel to be arguing the side that not only had the data wrong, and in the wrong direction, but it’s also trending in the wrong direction on all indicators and interpretations?

    127. Evan3457
      July 21st, 2013 | 1:06 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      In any given post-season, the team that plays the best almost always wins.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      [T]he team that’s going to play the best is almost always not known before the post-season starts…
      And the better team almost always plays the best…
      Certain commenters made moronic comments about the postseason being a crapshoot, and you did your best to help them out. Nice try; a good effort.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      I’m THAT GUY.
      Indeed…

      Now, if you’ll just define “better team”, maybe a productive discussion can begin. Doing it by regular season winning percentages hasn’t helped your side very much, if at all.

    128. Evan3457
      July 21st, 2013 | 1:12 am

      McMillan wrote:
      <blockquote
      So there’s no middle ground here? There’s making it to the postseason and winning a title, is that it? I realize I’m only a “fourth-rate” logician, but isn’t there a logical fallacy in there somewhere?

      There might be, but where is it, and why?

      Why does ALCS win = success, but ALDS win = failure? Why does ALCS win = success, and not World Series win? You’re going to have to explain that, and carefully, if you want me to re-think my position.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      But I can see why you’d want to evade the real meaning of “post-season”; it makes your side look silly.
      The “real meaning” of the M.L.B. postseason is one (1) divisional series, one (1) league championship series, and one (1) World Series.

      Actually, it’s four (4) division series, two (2) LCS, and (1) World Series. Plus now, two (2) play-in games.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I’m not saying the post-season is nothing but a product of luck. In any given post-season, the team that plays the best almost always wins…
      What I’m saying is that the team that’s going to play the best is almost always not known before the post-season starts and random factors do enter into it. Hot teams go cold. Cold teams get hot. Teams whose pitching staffs look weak going in get brilliant pitching. Teams whose pitching staffs look like juggernauts going in get knocked around and bounced in the first round. Teams with top offenses have the bats go dead silent and are quickly eliminated, even against staffs that don’t look very strong going in.
      It is in that sense that I refer to the post-season as a crapshoot.
      This is double-talk to the point that it’s essentially meaningless: the team that plays the best almost always wins but its a crapshoot.

      Thanks for missing the whole point. Again.

      There’s also that fact that of two teams with a difference in regular season winning percentages of less than .070, one can be better-suited for postseason competition such as by having a more formidable frontend of the rotation or other non-random factors. While the regular season numbers or the team’s overall finish might suggest to you that the better team did not win, the team better-suited for postseason competition might have won. That argument can be applied to some of the teams you mentioned.

      Very good. Now tell me again why that .070 stat matters.

    129. Evan3457
      July 21st, 2013 | 1:28 am

      An error in the post above. The 2008 Dodgers Cubs series should not be in the list. I used the White Sox winning percentage by mistake.

      The correct totals, Wild Card, era are 20 series, 12-8, .600.
      Autonomy era: 5 series, 2-3, .400. Non-Yankee, 1-3, .250.

      A wee bit better for the “not a crapshoot” folks on the WPCT, a wee bit worse on the frequency of such series.

      Overall points made in that post are still valid.

    130. Evan3457
      July 21st, 2013 | 1:40 am

      I seem to recall the 12-8 figure was given for the Wild Card era somewhere.
      So that data wasn’t wrong. I was wrong. I was off by one series in 18 years.

      It is interesting to note that competitive balance has increased throughout the divisional era, and continues to increase in the last 8 years.

      If the 40 series figure goes back to 1969 (or to 1903) then the WPCT of the .070+ teams must be far greater before 1995 (or before 1969), in order to get to 31 out of 40 (72.5%). Which means again, competive balance is increasing.

      Which, when you think about it, is obvious. The last several Basic Agreements have been designed to promote greater competitive balance through the use of the luxury tax and revenue sharing, allowing smaller markets to keep their top players, instead of being forced to let them go via free agency or salary dump trade.

      I would expect the slotting in the Rule 4 draft and the capping of money for international free agents to increase competitive balance further.

      And the post-season will then become even more of a crapshoot than it already is.

    131. Evan3457
      July 21st, 2013 | 1:43 am

      Hmm…when did the luxury tax come in?

      2003. And the number of .070+ series dropped like a rock shortly thereafter.