• RSAA Comparisons

    Posted by on June 23rd, 2005 · Comments (7)

    Runs Saved Above Average (RSAA) is the amount of runs that a pitcher saved versus what an average pitcher would have allowed. A negative Runs Saved Above Average indicates a below average pitcher in this category.

    Here are Red Sox-Yankees pitcher results in RSAA for this season, through 6/18:

    Sox Pitcher (RSAA) ~ Yankees Pitcher (RSAA)


    Clement +7 ~ Johnson +6
    Myers +4 ~ Gordon +5
    Arroyo +2 ~ Mussina +2
    Wakefield +1 ~ Sturtze +2
    Wells 0 ~ Wang +1
    Timlin +12 ~ Rivera +9


    Foulke -2 ~ Groom -2
    Mantei -3 ~ Stanton -3
    Miller -3 ~ Pavano -4
    Embree -8 ~ Quantrill -8

    DL’ed GUYS that should be back

    Schiling -7 ~ Brown -10

    The Red Sox also have Halama at -6, but there’s no pitcher on the Yankees active roster now to match him up against.

    The numbers here pair off nicely. So, if the Yankees pitching is “terrible” then what is the Red Sox pitching?

    The Last Ring Season

    Posted by on June 23rd, 2005 · Comments (2)

    Well, this is interesting:

    Yankees 71 Games Into The Season
    2000 vs. 2004

    2000: 37-34 record, 2 GB, +20 RS-RA
    2004: 37-34 record, 5 GB, +33 RS-RA

    Of course, two games later, in 2000, the Yankees made the trade for David Justice and then went on to play better ball for the remainder of that season.

    Yankee Pitching Trending Up

    Posted by on June 23rd, 2005 · Comments (4)

    I was just looking at the Yankees ERA and OPS allowed, for each month, and their rank for that month in each stat (in the AL). Here’s the trend, with June being to date:

    April – 11th out of 14
    May – 9th out of 14
    June – 8th out of 14

    April – 13th out of 14
    May – 9th out of 14
    June – 7th out of 14

    This makes me wonder: To all the claims of “terrible Yankee pitching” – how much of this is the result of looking at season numbers that are weighed down by some bad performance in April?

    Are the Yankee pitchers great? No – not by a long shot. But, at least in May and June (so far) they have been around league average.

    Average is not terrible, right?

    Boston Herald: Yanks Are Lost And Pathetic

    Posted by on June 23rd, 2005 · Comments (2)


    From the Boston Herald:

    While the Yankees were pounding away at the Devil Rays for 13 runs Tuesday night, one Red Sox player, without taking his eyes off the clubhouse cribbage board, said: “That is the worst team in baseball history.”

    There is a very good chance he was talking about the Devil Rays, but every day the evidence keeps piling up that the worst-case scenario for the 2005 Yankees is coming true.

    They are flops so far, the embarrassing kind. Even when they play the schoolyard bully and beat up the scrawny kid in glasses, they come back the next day and crumble when they lay eyes on the weakling the next time instead of flashing the menacing glare that should be enough.

    As incredible as the Yankees’ four-home run surge was for the 35 minutes it lasted Tuesday night, captivating the many Red Sox players who were watching it, lost in the bluster was that these were the Devil Rays, the worst team in the American League, who the Yankees were beating up.

    So Bernie Williams’ comments after the game (“If there was a turning point to the season, this should be it”) reflect just how lost and pathetic the Yankees are right now.

    Turning point?

    To channel the voice of Jim Mora when he was coaching the Indianapolis Colts and incredulously repeated “Playoffs? Playoffs?” after a particularly crushing loss, to have even a single Yankee express wistfully that this kind of effort would represent a “turning point” just goes to show how out of whack and whacked out the Yankees are this season.

    Turning points for a baseball team come, more fittingly, when the catcher stuffs his mitt in the mouth of the most highly paid member of the archenemy.

    Turning points come when a team performs a remarkable rally, shows great heart and admirable grit against a respected foe.

    You can’t have a turning point against the Devil Rays, and the 5-3 Yankees loss against Tampa Bay yesterday is a reminder of both that and just how underachieving this $206 million unit truly is.

    The Yankees are 3-6 against the Devil Rays this year, 1-5 against the Orioles, 3-2 against the Blue Jays, 4-5 against the Red Sox. After the Red Sox got through taking two of three at Yankee Stadium near the end of last month, the Yankees went out and got swept by the Royals, lost two out of three in series vs. the Twins, Brewers and Cardinals before running off six wins in a row against the Pirates and Cubs

    Does Big Stein read the Beantown rags too?

    Take A Picture……

    Posted by on June 23rd, 2005 · Comments (6)

    …….because we might not see some current Yankees in pinstripes for too much longer this season. Who?

    Here’s the list: Giambi, Gordon, Posada, Quantrill, Stanton, Stottlemyre, Tino, Torre, and Womack.

    At least one of these names will be gone before Big Stein’s birthday on the 4th of July. Yes, it’s just a hunch. But, it’s one that I feel strong about.


    Posted by on June 22nd, 2005 · Comments (10)

    As of COB today, the Yankees are in 3rd place in the AL East, with a record of 37-34. This means New York has 10 games left until they hit the half-way mark for the 2005 season.

    These 10 games are: One with Tampa Bay, 3 with the Mets, 3 with the Orioles, and 3 with the Tigers.

    Come July 3rd, when these 10 games are complete, if the Yankees have a record of 40-41, or worse, what do you think will happen? I think we all know the answer to that: Changes.

    Now, what if it’s 41-40, or 42-39, is there really much difference between 40-41 and 41-40 or 42-39? Not really. We’ll probably see changes here as well.

    The only thing that might prevent some changes would be if the Yankees win 7 or 8 out of the next ten. But, what are the odds of that happening, based on their play to date?

    I’m pretty sure that Cashman & Co. realize this as well. And, they’re probably thinking “Why put off for tomorrow, what you can do today?”

    Therefore, expect something to happen within the week.

    June 22nd vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2005 · Comments (4)


    You know, part of me wants to say that Pavano actually pitched a good game up until that 1-2 pitch to Green in the 7th. But, the reality of today is that Carl allowed 2 homers this afternoon to guys who really should be in Triple-A (and that cost him and the Yankees the game). I’m beginning to come over to the side that Pavano is basically a number four type starter and he’s going to run hot and cold (and last year was a fluke year for him in that he was more hot than cold).

    More importantly, how soon until Sturtze’s arm falls off? Torre is a killer to pen men, no question. How Rivera has survived all these years is a miracle. Actually, if Mo had remained a set-up man in 1997, maybe he would have been cooked by 1998?

    One week ago, I wrote that the Yankees magic numer was five. By this, I meant “If they lose more than 5 games over the rest of this month, it will be bad news.”

    Well, it’s now down to three with seven games to go. They better win tomorrow.

    Tony Womack

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2005 · Comments (6)

    It seems like just about everyone needs to vent some on Womack.

    Why? Could it be his .352 OPS in the month of June, so far. Yes, that’s no typo. His OPS is .352.

    I’ve just come across this photo taken on April 5th of this year:


    Could it be possible (?) that Sox 1B Kevin Millar, in this meeting, is whispering to Tony: Remember what Henry and Lucchino told you. They’ll triple, under the table, tax-free, in cash, what Steinbrenner is paying you as long as you suck.

    The Speech That Never Happened

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2005 · Comments (3)

    From MSNBC:

    On the verge of being eliminated by the Yankees last year, the Boston Red Sox owners jotted down a concession speech on a yellow legal pad.

    When the Red Sox rallied to beat New York in Game 4 of the AL championship series, the pad went into a drawer. Boston fell behind again in Game 5, and out came the legal pad.

    But it was never needed, because Boston won the next three games to eliminate the Yankees and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

    “I asked Larry (Lucchino) what happened to the legal pad,” Red Sox owner Tom Werner said Tuesday night. “And he told me Doug Mientkiewicz had taken it, along with the ball.”

    I can just imagine what was in that speech. Whining about the size of the Yankees payroll. Whining about the A-Rod trade. All that stuff that Sox management whined about in 2003 and for most of 2004…..until they beat the Yankees in the ALCS and, then, suddenly, all of that ‘unfair’ stuff didn’t seem to matter any more.

    What’s Was Up With Randy?

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2005 · Comments (3)

    Some Unit quotes from last night:

    “You aren’t going to do it every time,” Johnson said. “I felt like after the St. Louis game and after the Pittsburgh game the location was better in those games. Today it was evident that it wasn’t. But I have a chance to pitch in five days and do much better.”

    From the YES post game, Randy said: “Nothing was working tonight. I just didn’t execute. My location was off considerably.”

    Personally, I’m willing to wait and see how Randy does in his next start before I start throwing dirt on his casket. It could just be that Sweet Lou knows something about Unit that others don’t? See the last game that Johnson pitched against TB.

    In fact, if you take out Johnson’s two starts against TB this year, his ERA goes from just-slightly-over-four (4.02) to three-point-three. An ERA of 3.30 in the AL is nothing to cry about.

    This could just be like Pettitte in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series where it’s a pitch tipping thing? And, Lou is the one who knows what Johnson is doing. The next start by Johnson will tells us just as much as the start from last night.

    June 21st vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on June 21st, 2005 · Comments (8)

    It’s the first day of summer and things are heating up in the Bronx!

    To me, the beauty of this game is that the Red Sox are playing a game in Cleveland, and the O’s are in Toronto, and at some point they both look up at the out-of-town scoreboard and see the Yankees are losing, getting pounded 10-2, to the Devil Rays and the game is half over in New York.

    And, then, on SportsCenter tonight, or when they read the morning paper tomorrow, those same Sox and O’s are going to see that the Yankees won this game, 20-11.

    Message, sent.

    By the way, I actually did feel sorry for Travis Harper in the 9th. Shame on Lou to let him take that pounding. Bring in a fielder to pitch if you want to toss the game at that point. It was obvious that Harper had nothing. Why let him get undressed like that?

    Tune in tomorow for the news on Randy Johnson.

    Seeing Red

    Posted by on June 21st, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Number of managers hired, last ten years:

    Cincinnati Reds: 5
    New York Yankees: 1

    Yeah, that Big Stein is a firing mad man.

    Jorge Posada

    Posted by on June 21st, 2005 · Comments (15)

    I was listening to Joe B. and Sid on WFAN early this afternoon, and they were talking about a Yankees fans right to “boo” guys like A-Rod, when they play poorly. But, they said, the fans should not “boo” Jeter, Mo, Bernie, and Posada – because those guys have built up “equity” with their 4 World Series championships.

    You hear something like this from time-to-time. Jeter, Posada, Bernie and Mo are the only ones of the “old guard” left, etc.

    What bugs me about this is the inclusion of Posada.

    First off, he has three rings, not four like the others. In 1996, Jorge Posada played in 8 games for the Yankees with 14 At Bats. In those appearances, Posada batted .071. If Posada deserved a ring in 1996, then so does Robert Eenhoorn.

    Secondly, in 1998, the Yankees catching duties were just about split between Posada and Joe Girardi. In that season, Jorge had 409 Plate Appearances and Joe had 279 Plate Appearances. Basically, Posada was the Yankees catcher about 60% of the time in 1998. So, it’s not like he was Jeter, or Bernie, and was a FT main cog of the team.

    So, in some ways, some might say that Posada has 2 1/2 rings. But, most would say three. I’d give him three. But, in no way does he have 4 rings (like Jeter, Bernie and Mo).

    As a result, Jorge has not built up as much “equity” as Jeter, Bernie and Mo – if you believe there is such a thing as equity.

    Also – and this is just hearsay relayed to me from someone in a position to know – some say that Posada is not well liked in the clubhouse. As the story does, he’s loud and complains a lot. Now, I could counter and say “And this is a bad thing? Wasn’t Munson that way?” But, from what I am told, the other players (for the most part) do not like Jorge and if not for Jeter’s friendship, he would have been sent packing a while ago.

    If I recall correctly, Posada is one of the few Yankees without a no-trade clause. And, we know now that Randy Johnson prefers another catcher. Does all this add up to Posada perhaps being traded this year, if the right deal should come along?

    The Yankees would then need another catcher – and there’s nothing there on the farm. This is probably working in Posada’s favor – in terms of being able to stick around.

    June 20th vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (15)

    Oh, soooooooo, close. Boy, the Devil Rays sure like Yankee Stadium this year. But, having Unit go tomorrow is the best way to shake this one off.

    Two quick questions:

    1. Can somebody tell Casey Fossum that Cosmo Kramer wants his hair back?
    2. Why, oh why, is Tony Womack batting second in the Yankees line-up night-after-night?

    Speaking of line-ups, batting Posada and Giambi, the kings of swing-when-you-should-take and take-when-you-should-swing, back-to-back in the line-up kills a rally quicker than it takes to go from “A” to “B” in the alphabet.

    Lastly, something came to me in the game tonight that I hope teams don’t see. I saw it when Carl Crawford had that huge lead off first in the top of the sixth. When teams with speed play the Yankees, and Giambi plays first, base runners should take an uber-monster lead off first base – so huge that it screams for the pitcher to throw to first. And, when the pitcher does throw to Giambi, the runner should take off for second – because Giambi will never be able to make the throw to second in a fashion to get the runner. It’s a gimmie, every time. Just watch and see if someone picks up on it. For all we know, maybe that’s what Crawford was trying to do tonight?

    The Baseball Same Game

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Click here for some news on the book.

    This is after it being on Amazon for about seven weeks.

    The Power Of “O”

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    According to Forbes, Oprah Winfrey made $225,000,000 last year.

    Next time someone whines about the Yankees team payroll, tell them that New York, as a team, still is paid less than what Oprah makes in a year.

    Classy Cats

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    I saw this item this morning:

    Fans deep in the heart of Boston Red Sox country don’t have to like the New York Yankees. But they do have to be careful how they show that.

    Officials with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats are cracking down on offensive t-shirts and abusive comments as the Fisher Cats play a New Jersey-based Yankees farm team in Manchester this weekend.

    The team’s president said people wearing shirts reading “Yankees Bleep” are asked to either turn them inside out or leave.

    The team said it was ready to stop games to make announcements if typical abusive and explicit anti-Yankee chants broke out.

    One fan who took his 8-year-old daughter to Friday’s game said he approves since he doesn’t want to have to explain to her why some adults are “behaving badly.”

    The Fisher Cats are a Blue Jays affiliate. But, before anyone gives the Jays too much credit, remember, it was March of 2003 when the Blue Jays took out ads in newspapers urging Toronto fans — in English and Japanese — to come out and boo New York slugger Hideki Matsui. The ads also showed a Yankees cap covered in bird droppings.

    At the time, Toronto said they were just trying to have fun and reverse an attendance slide.

    So, I have to give the Fisher Cats management all the credit for this good move. Minor league ball is all about a good, clean, time at the ballpark. It should not be about having to explain to your kids that people can he idiots at times.

    Mark Kotsay

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (16)

    It’s Gammons, so, it’s probably not true, but:

    The Yankees are trying to get Oakland’s Mark Kotsay, who can be a free agent at the end of the year. But whether or not Brian Cashman will give up the prospects needed to get one of the game’s premier center fielders, like right-hander Philip Hughes and perhaps third baseman Eric Duncan, remains to be seen.

    Gosh, just do it. I’m still not convinced that Kotsay is a FA at year end. I read once that he has a clause that allows him to ask for Free Agency in his contract, if he wants to get away from the A’s. But, contract stuff can be worked out.

    Kotsay would be the best defensive CF that the Yankees have seen in a looooong time. He has a cannon for an arm, and, he’s a capable 6th or 7th hitter for this team. Maybe his power even goes up in Yankee Stadium?

    Hughes looks to be rock solid blue chip. But, he’s at least 2 years away and a lot can happen to a kid pitcher. And, Duncan has stalled some this year at AA and is also probably 2 years away. Also, being a local boy, it might be too much pressure for him in NYC?

    Bottom line, it would be 2008 or 2009 before Hughes and/or Duncan would star in New York, if they ever do. And, the Yankees need a CF, now, and for the next few years after.

    And, the market for CFers is not good now. It’s basically Preston Wilson and Johnny Damon. Give me Kotsay anyday over those two.

    Do it. Do it now.

    Keeping The Old Grass Green

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    How are they ever going to keep the grass green at the soon to be “old Stadium” site? Do they have any idea how many people are going to walk on that turf, and maybe steal some grass/dirt too?


    The Baseball Same Game

    Posted by on June 20th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    FYI, later this week, some members of ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, WFAN in NYC, and the YES Network will be receiving copies of my book. If you should hear/see anyone at these outlets mentioning it, please drop me a line at author@baseballsamegame.com

    Thanks in advance!

    YES Ultimate Bore Trip

    Posted by on June 19th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    During the 8th inning of the game today, the YES cameras focused on the YES Ultimate Road Trippers to tie into a promo.

    There’s Christa falling out of her shirt. There’s both Vinny and Ray, elbow on knee and fist under chin. And, there’s Dave looking like he’s trying to have a BM. And, no one is talking at all.

    I have to imagine that after nearly 70 ball games, and all the time where YES forces these four to be together to do the stuff the network wants them to do for the series, that these fans have just flat run out of things to say to each other. And, when you go to every game, day-in and day-out, even the games get to be a little dull.

    That shot today was just a perfect portrait of boredom. These four are going to be nuts before Game 100. Just watch.

    June 19th vs. The Cubs

    Posted by on June 19th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    When I see the Yankees play as well as they did in their win today, and as well as they have played in the last week, I cannot understand exactly what happened in that 12-game road trip that preceded this homestand. It’s a math equation that just does not balance. I guess that’s why the call this game baseball and not algebra.

    What this win today does, for me, is that it gives Sean Henn a lot less pressure tomorrow. This is not like it was seven weeks ago. The team has just won six in a row, and, in the start following Henn, the Yankees have the Big Unit ready to go.

    It will be interesting to see how Henn handles this great opportunity.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Posted by on June 19th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    Treat yourself to some Yankee baseball today. I know that I will.

    June 18th vs. The Cubs

    Posted by on June 18th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Some game today, huh? Five-in-a-row now.

    Today, Jeter hits his first homerun ever with the bases loaded, after 154 Plate Appearances with the bags juiced (in his career) prior to today’s blast. And, he had another tater to boot.

    Obi Wang goes eight, facing just 4 batters over the minimum. (I have to say, right now, of all the Yankees starters, Wang is the one that makes me feel most comfortable heading into the game. Another good start and I just might start lobbying for him to be on the A.L. All-Star team.)

    While all of this is good stuff, what really excites me is that, as I write this, if the O’s lose tonight, then the Yankees will be just 4 games out of first place. (I’ll be tracking the score of the Baltimore game this evening, for sure!)

    What an incredible state that would be, if it comes true later today. Sixty-seven games into the season – where the Yankees have underachieved (just about to the max) – and they could sit just 4 back of first at the close of business on June 18th.

    Gosh, this is a season for the taking. I hope they realize that too.

    June 17th vs. The Cubs

    Posted by on June 17th, 2005 · Comments (6)


    Who would have thought it, watching Godzilla get hurt in Saint Lou, that the injury would turn him into a hitting machine?

    Watching those Cubs fans at the Stadium tonight, celebrating like they just won the World Series, when Chicago took the 6-4 lead, well, that just makes this win even sweeter.

    Speaking of annoying Cubbies, I think this is the first time that I’ve seen Carlos Zambrano pitch. Gotta say, if my daughter brought this guy home one day, to meet the family for the first time, my reaction would be: “What a chooch!” Seriously, that dude is just a tick away from Lima-time. Somebody throw a bucket of water on him. Wait a minute, I think the Yankees did tonight.

    And, it’s official. It’s now time to say that Pavano has an issue with pitching at home. When Henry Blanco and his .172 OBA (yes, one-seventy-two) steps up to the plate and bangs out a 2-run single to take the lead in the game, you’re doing something wrong.

    Giambi came out of the game with the chance for two more PAs, for defense? Gosh, it was the 6th inning. Is he hurt? Traded? Something else? I mean, you worry about defense when you’re down two and have 4 more frames to hit in? That was strange.

    Lastly, watching Giambi “throw” to 2nd tonight, and Womack “throw” to home, I have to wonder: If Giambi, Womack, Bernie and a girl had a throwing contest, who would win? It would be close, for sure.

    The Trade Rumor Winds Are A Blowin’

    Posted by on June 17th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    From the S.I. Advance:

    A person who spoke to Cashman recently confirmed Cashman is pursuing a significant deal.

    “It sounded like he was close on some stuff,” the person said. “He’s working it.”

    Preston Wilson? Barry Zito? Jacque Jones? Mark Redman? Roger Clemens? Brian Giles? Jose Mesa? J.T. Snow? Bob Wickman? Ken Griffey Jr.? Aubrey Huff? Adam Dunn? Mike Sweeney? Lyle Overbay? Eric Byrnes? Guillermo Mota? Wily Mo Pena? SpongeBob SquarePants?

    I just have a feeling that, this trade, if it happens, is going to be like the Justice Deal of 2000. It will be something that none of us saw coming.

    Let’s hope it helps as much as the Justice trade did back then.

    Made To Orta

    Posted by on June 17th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Crew chief admits umpire made wrong call

    The meat of this:

    The crew chief umpiring the Pirates-New York Yankees series admitted a colleague made an incorrect call in the ninth inning Wednesday night that cost the Pirates a victory.

    Ed Montague said first base umpire Tony Randazzo erroneously called Gary Sheffield safe on a potential game-ending double play grounder. Replay showed Sheffield was out.

    With the inning prolonged, the Yankees rallied to score the tying run and won the game, 7-5, in the 10th on Jason Giambi’s two-run homer.

    “Nobody feels as bad about something like that than an umpire,” Montague said Thursday, “especially Tony, who is so conscientious. But what are you going to do?”

    Montague said Randazzo was so distraught after watching replays of the play that he didn’t speak the entire ride back to the hotel.

    “This is my 30th year in the league, and when something like that happens, it still tears your guts out,” Montague said. “It’s like a ballplayer making an error. We feel worse probably because it can cost the game.”

    So, if it becomes true that June 15th is the game that turned the Yankees 2005 season around – and, yes, we’re still a long way from knowing this to be fact – then The Randazzo Call will be a huge point of interest on the season timeline.

    June 16th vs. The Pirates

    Posted by on June 16th, 2005 · Comments (10)

    Mr. Snappy shows up for the first time in the Bronx!

    Yeah, I know, it’s easy to say “But, it’s the Pirates.” Nonetheless, you have to give the Yankees credit for doing what they’re supposed to do with a team like Pittsburgh.

    Now, a better test comes along: The Cubs. And, if I recall correctly, in 2003, the Cubs did some dancing on the Yankees when they met at Wrigley. It would be nice to get some form of payback for losing 2 of 3 back then……if that’s possible.

    Da Bronx Bombers

    Posted by on June 16th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Da Bronx Bombers

    Some of those pictures are pretty funny.

    The Name Game

    Posted by on June 16th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    From an AP report:

    Yankees president Randy Levine said the new ballpark also will be called “Yankee Stadium,” but that the team may sell naming rights and have the ballpark called “Yankee Stadium at ‘X’ Plaza.”

    So, who would be willing to pay, say, around $75 million over 30 years (or so) for the naming rights to the “Plaza.”

    Trump? That would be confusing? “Do the Yankees play in AC now?”

    Nike? Gosh, that sounds too much like “Yankee Stadium at Mikey Piazza.” Besides, the Yankees-Adidas deal runs through 2013. Nike on the outside and Adidas stripes on the inside? The place will start to look like the world’s largest footlocker store.

    Well, whoever wins the bid, I just hope that it’s not something obscene and vulgar.

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