• Looking For A House In The Red Light District?

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Here’s one for you. Via the Medfield Press:

    Sure, he can mow down Yankee batters on a surgically-repaired ankle on the way to the Red Sox’s first World Series win in nearly a century, but can Curt Schilling pull off a real miracle – selling a multi-million dollar home in a depressed real estate market?

    The Red Sox ace and playoff hero this week put his 11,000-square-foot Medfield home, complete with pool, elegant spiral staircase, batting cage and nearly 26 acres of property, on sale with an asking price of $8 million.

    Looks like ol’ Schill figures there’s no need to stick around Beantown now.

    That Crazy New Math

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Bruce Bukiet, “NJIT’s indefatigable math professor,” is predicting that the Yankees will win 98 games this season. Then again, last season, he predicted that the Yanks would win 110 games.

    No Go On The Joba Show

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via Neil Best:

    Joba Chamberlain found that out when he came within a midge’s whisker of signing up for a weekly spot on Michael Kay’s ESPN 1050 show, which recently added controversy-in-waiting Billy Wagner.

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman nixed the idea. Turns out such gigs are a Yankees no-no.

    “It’s a policy I’ve had in place for a long time now,” he said before Monday’s mist-out. “We should speak with one voice, whether it is the manager or general manager. They can speak postgame or pregame or in their normal interview process but not have a regular schedule.”

    …We should speak with one voice, whether it is the manager or general manager…

    Unless, of course, it’s Hank’s voice. Then, all bets are off.

    Getting Jiggy With Cash

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via Ken Davidoff:

    The conditions were brisk but beautiful, the 2008 Yankees took their first hacks at this cathedral in the Bronx and a relaxed-looking Brian Cashman held court in the home dugout. You can’t see the new Yankee Stadium from the old Yankee Stadium, yet Cashman’s mind-set – at reporters’ prompting – veered in that direction.

    “We’re hoping to rock the house for one more season before it’s done,” a smiling Cashman said yesterday. “Or someone’s going to rock my house.”

    [Tom Jones with some help from Art Of Noise] Think I’d better dance now… [/TJwshfAON] To that end…

    Pinstriped MacArthur Parking Ticket

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Like the members of the team, fans get pretty excited about Opening Day as well. Those on the team talk about getting “butterflies.” I can understand that – as you do feel the excitement in your stomach on Opening Day, even as a fan. (At least, I do.)

    The weather today was a true wet blanket on that, again, at least for me. It’s like the relief pitcher who gets the call to warm up in the pen and then is told to sit down (rather than come into the game). The players have an expression for that. The first word is “dry” and the second word starts with an “H” and rhymes with “lump.”

    Once those butterflies are stirred, it’s hard to recapture that feeling again. I’m going to be thrilled to watch Yankees baseball tomorrow – in a game where it counts – but, it’s not going to be amped up to the level of a “true” Opening Day. It’s just not the same.

    Plus, with so many other teams having now already enjoyed their opener, it feels like the holiday has passed and the Yankees fans were left off the party list.

    If you never understood what was meant by the phrase “Someone left the cake out in the rain,” well, baby, this is it.

    LaTroy Hawkins Wants To Wear #21

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Bryan Hoch has the story.

    You know, Tony Kubek, Dick Howser, Frank Fernandez, Danny Cater, Celerino Sanchez, Chris Chambliss and Rick Cerone all wore #10 after the Scooter…and Rizzuto’s number still got retired.

    For the Paul O’Neill fans, I offer that this evening.

    I Just Heard The Groans Of 57,545 People

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Via the Yankees site:

    The final Opening Day at Yankee Stadium will have to wait. Rain postponed Monday’s game with Toronto, which will be played on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET.

    Betcha less than 40,000 return for the game tomorrow. That retractable dome would have come in handy today.

    Gotta Go To…Macy’s?

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    From the Atlanta Business Chronicle:

    Macy’s has gathered a collection of 15 MLB stars, including Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, and is pairing them with baseball team deals for a Father’s Day promo.

    While athletes are often used to tout licensed apparel, using them to endorse a specific retailer is unusual, especially with a group that includes so many likely hall of famers. A star-packed group gathered recently in Florida for a photo shoot, including Glavine, New York Mets manager Willie Randolph, Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Joe Torre, New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Detroit Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson, Boston Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, San Francisco Giants center fielder Dave Roberts, Seattle Mariners left fielder Raul Ibanez, Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren, and Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt.

    The players and managers will appear on the cover of a multimillion circulation Father’s Day Gift Guide that Macy’s will distribute during the next few months. In addition, many of the players will appear in local print ads.

    I wonder if some of his Yankees teammates will now call Mo Rivera “Zoolander” – just to give him a hard time on this one?

    Today’s Game

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Is it just me, or, is this weather today a total bummer?

    There’s no way in the world, at this point, that the game will be called. So, get ready for a sloppy mess and the possibility a few rain delays too.

    Yikes, I Never Thought Of It That Way

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via Ed Price

    The new stadium opens in a year. But the Yankees’ new era begins today.

    Owner George Steinbrenner has ceded control of the team to his two sons. Joe Girardi takes over as manager after Joe Torre guided the team to the playoffs 12 straight years. And there is a commitment to young players — such as Phil Hughes, who was 9 years old the last time someone other than Torre managed a Yankees game.

    Think about that for a minute. When Jim Leyritz hit that homer in the rain, Phil Hughes was almost 9 years and 4 months old.

    Makes you wonder what 9-year olds out there now will be in the Yankees starting rotation in the year 2020?

    Ehrke: Are Players Better After Joining Yanks?

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Don Ehrke of Dugout Central looks at the question “Does putting on a Yankee uniform still make a man a better player?

    Looking at “at every significant performer (minimum 200 at bats or 60 innings pitched) who joined the Yankees from another team between 1997 and 2007,” Don concludes:

    Overall, 45 significant players joined the New York Yankees between 1997 and 2007, and surprisingly, 25 didn’t play as well in the Bronx as they had with their previous team.

    And, who was the G.M. of the Yankees during almost all of this time period?

    The biggest problem found in the study was pitching. As Don wrote:

    Twenty-four pitchers joined the Yankee staff from a different club and pitched 60 innings or more. Nine pitchers improved their ERA plus while 15 declined. Among pitchers who performed better in New York the average improvement in ERA plus was 24 points, while the average decrease among those who performed worse was 56 points (excluding Chris Hammond – an extreme statistical outlier).

    And, that didn’t include Kei Igawa. Ouch.

    Will RSN Move Allow Yanks To Ignore StubHub Deal?

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    According to The Biz of Baseball, the Red Sox have broken ranks with MLB on their agreement to use StubHub as a secondary ticket market of choice.

    If MLB allows the Sox to get away with this move, will the Yankees be far behind?

    What Scouts Think Of Yankees Chances This Season

    Posted by on March 31st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via John Harper today –

    The Yankees could well win multiple championships over the next 10 or so years, thanks largely to a pitching staff built around young guns Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy. But this year? Forget it. It’s more likely their streak of 13 straight playoff seasons will come to a crashing halt.

    Each of the six [major league scouts and executives who saw the Yankees multiple times this spring] polled made a point of saying they were impressed by the way the young trio performed in spring training, yet four of the six said they believe the Yankees indeed will miss the playoffs in 2008, citing the inevitable growing pains as well as questions about the rest of the pitching staff.

    “I love their future,” was the way one scout put it. “But if you think those young guys aren’t going to take their lumps at times this season against American League lineups, you’re dreaming.”

    Against this backdrop, then, consider some of the observations the scouts and executives raised about the Yankees as the new season begins:

    They wonder if Wang’s horrible ALDS has caused a confidence crisis. The sinkerballer threw a lot more sliders and changeups in spring training, trying to give hitters different looks, but his 8.02 ERA was largely the result of the same thigh-high sinkers he was throwing in that playoff series against the Indians.

    They don’t see how the 38-year-old Mussina can have anything more than occasional success this season with a fastball mostly clocked at 85-86 mph this spring.

    They suggest the relief tandem of Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins won’t be reliable enough to allow the Yankees to move Chamberlain from the bullpen this season.

    So, some scouts and members of the media agree that the Yankees pitching this season is a potential concern.

    Me, I still think the Yankees will win 92 games this season – even with the pitching concerns. Will that be enough in 2008? Well, six months from now, we’ll know…

    Roy Halladay & Worm Killer Wang @ The Bronx

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    The last time that Roy Halladay pitched a game against the Yankees, in the Bronx, where he got the loss, was September 21, 2004. Since 2001, Halladay has made 11 starts at the Stadium and Toronto has won 8 of those 11 games.

    In his career, Chien-Ming Wang has made 5 starts against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. He’s never gone less than 7 innings in any of those games – and he’s never allowed more than 3 earned runs in any of those outings. The Yankees have won 3 of those 5 games – and each of the two losses were by just one run.

    So, what are the odds of tomorrow’s home opener being just like the one from 1998? Yeah, I doubt it too.

    It will probably be more like the Yanks home opener from 1992 or from 1986.

    It’s interesting, there have not been a lot of Yankees home openers where the starting pitchers from both teams were really on their game. You probably have to go back to 1968 or to 1966 to find one.

    Actually, since this current Yankee Stadium opened in 1973, there have been probably just two games where the Yankees starting pitcher was lights-out in the home opener: Rick Rhoden in 1988 and Catfish Hunter in 1977.

    Maybe Wang can make it three guys before they shut the door on this Stadium?

    Mussina: Torre Would Close Barn Door After The Horses Got Out

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Via The Globe and Mail

    “Joe [Girardi] does a little more talking to the players as the game goes along,” Mussina said on Friday. “Joe [Torre] kind of sat back and let the guys make the mistakes and then gave the instructions. Joe [Girardi] may not let it go that far. He might make sure he reminds people of stuff before it ever happens.

    “I know he’s talked to me a lot more than Torre did,” Mussina added. “It can be good or bad, you know? There are certain situations where you want to let the guy work out of it.

    “But there’s also time to remind guys what to do in different situations because this is a game of different situations, where you can experience something suddenly that you haven’t experienced for two or three years.”

    …[Torre] kind of sat back and let the guys make the mistakes and then gave the instructions…

    Just another feather in the cap of the theory that once Don Zimmer left New York any hope for Yankees in-game strategizing went with him.

    Hey, Over Here!

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Andrew Ratner, in the Baltimore Sun, has a nice feature today on Orioles bloggers.

    It would be nice if the New York media did such a story on Yankees-bloggers someday. [Just a hint in case someone from the New York papers is reading this!]

    Rob Neyer’s Big Book Of Baseball Legends

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Three years ago, in March of 2005, in the 24 hours that passed after the first report of [former Red Sox pitcher] Dick Radatz’ death, there were many stories published about Radatz’ match-ups with Mickey Mantle and how often Radatz whiffed Mickey. In those 24 hours, I saw the following claims published in various outlets:

    54 K’s in 67 attempts.
    47 in 63.
    44 in 66.
    44 in 67.
    44 in 63.
    And, 12 in 16.

    And, it was that last one which was true. What’s the old saying about when the legend is better than the truth, print the legend? Related, so often, when it comes to baseball stories, facts are stretched, or commingled with ones from other stories, on just they are just flat-out fabricated. And, the older the story, the worse it seems to get.

    If you’re like me, and you’re interested in knowing the truth when it comes to baseball history, rather than the fish stories, then you’re going to love “Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Legends: The Truth, the Lies, and Everything Else” (which goes on sale this week on April 1st).


    Time Of Last Dance TBD?

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Tomorrow is Opening Day for the Yankees. Currently, on the Yankees schedule, September 21st – the last regular season game scheduled for Yankee Stadium – is listed as “TBD” for the time of the game.

    As I have said before, if ESPN turns this game into a 8:05 PM start, that will be a crime. Imagine if the last out of such a game is at 11:00 PM? What cermonies are you going to start then? How long could they last? It’s crazy. So, what are you going to do, have the ceremonies before the game? That could be a huge distraction to a game that could be important to the standings. The whole thing is starting to smell.

    Serby Q&A With Murcer

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Steve Serby has a nice Q&A posted today with Bobby Murcer – some highlights:

    Q: Being in the booth with Scooter (the late Phil Rizzuto)?

    A: One of the greatest times in my whole life. I became the cannoli expert of the world for Oklahoma. We had more cannolis and salamis and cheeses. … I never gained so much weight in my life. I learned a lot from Scooter. You had to be on your toes because he was liable to throw you a curveball or a spitter at any time.

    Q: You were in the booth for the George Brett pine-tar game.

    A: I’ve never seen such a crazed man in my life. It’s a good thing somebody intercepted him. He was ready to choke somebody, wasn’t he? Good thing he was in shape, otherwise he might have had a stroke! I was doing the color with Frank Messer. I actually got it right, what they were doing when they were measuring with the pine tar being too far up the label.

    Q: You didn’t appreciate Gaylord Perry’s spitball, so you sent him a gallon of lard.

    A: I think I got the clubhouse kid to get it. I just asked him to get me some pure, old grease.

    You’ll never find a nicer guy than Bobby Murcer.

    Hawkins Is A Good Teammate

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via George King

    When the Yankees signed La Troy Hawkins as a free agent, they heard he was a wonderful presence in the clubhouse. Friday night he proved it.

    Seeing that Scott Patterson was upset about being sent out, Hawkins headed for Patterson’s locker. Hawkins knew Patterson was almost perfect in eight games (one hit, no runs in 71/3 innings) and figured he needed some encouragement.

    “I told him to go to his room and have some drinks and charge it to my room, 901,” Hawkins said.

    Patterson didn’t run up Hawkins’ room service bill but appreciated the support.

    “That was awesome, I probably needed that at that point,” said Patterson, who will open the season at Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

    Hawkins also gave Patterson advice he received from Kirby Puckett, Rick Aguilera and Kevin Tapani when he was with the Twins.

    “I told him I have been there before and they know what you can do,” Hawkins said. “He isn’t that far away. They put him in every situation they could and he came out smelling like a rose. He got big-league hitters out. It was OK to be upset.”

    Love to see this stuff. Great move by La Troy.

    Abraham Q&A With Cashman

    Posted by on March 30th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    In case you’re one of the few to miss it, you should check out Peter Abraham’s fan Q&A with Brian Cashman. I loved what Cash said about Brett Gardner.

    For the record, I sent Pete a question as a suggestion. It was not used. Here’s the question from me:

    Brian, last season you elected to feature two question-marks in the starting rotation, Pavano and Igawa, and it backfired. Luckily, you were able to go out on the market to pick up Roger Clemens as a band-aid last year – albeit an expensive one. This season, you’ve elected to feature two question-marks in the rotation again, Hughes and Kennedy, along with a quasi-question mark in Mussina. If some of these question-marks in the rotation fail this season, what’s your contingency plan for this year – without having a Clemens type out there to fall back on?

    Shame, I really would have liked to have heard what Brian’s plan was for this season on this matter.

    And, That’s A Wrap On Spring Training…

    Posted by on March 29th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    With their win tonight, the Yankees go 14-12-2 for the spring. Considering that, coming into tonight’s contest, New York had lost 5 of their last 6 games, 14-12-2 is pretty good.

    An interesting game by Phil Hughes tonight.

    The great news: He threw 64% of his pitches for strikes, used only 3.45 pitches per batter, and retired 75% of the batters that he faced. Plus, his fastball was clocked at 94 to 95 MPH in the fifth inning. If he does all that every time out, he’ll be a 20-game winner.

    The only concerning news: 73% of Hughes’ non-strikeout outs came on fly balls – on a night playing in a big ballpark with wind at 11 MPH coming in from center. Ideally, you want to see Phil keep the ball on the ground more. (Paul Hoover gave one shot off Hughes a pretty good ride in the fourth. Had that one been a little deeper, it changes the look to Phil’s outing tonight.) But, at the end of the day, it all worked out for Hughes this evening in terms of the bottom line.

    So, now, we wait until Monday afternoon…it’s going to seem like forever.

    Phil Hughes = Not An Innings Eater In ’08

    Posted by on March 29th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    Last night, I made the following comment at this blog:

    Heck, you may never see Mussina or Hughes go late into a game this year.

    And, already, I’m catching some heat from the “Friends of Hughes” throng for that statement. So, I thought I would add this to show why I made that statement.

    Last season, Hughes made 13 big league starts. In 6 of those 13 starts, he did not pitch 6 innings. And, in fact, in only one of those 13 starts did he pitch 7 innings.

    Based on Phil Hughes’ P/BF mark of 4.04 last season, and the fact that the Yankees will probably keep him to about 100 pitches per start this season, you can only expect Hughes to face around 24 batters per game this year. So, for Hughes to pitch 7 innings in a game this season, with that P/BF rate of 4.04, he’s going to have to pitch a three-hitter with no walks allowed, each time out. And, that’s not going to happen.

    You see, when I say “go late into a game” I mean pitch 7 innings in the contest.

    Andy Pettitte had 7+ innings in a start last year 17 times. Chien-Ming Wang did it 14 times in 2007. It can be done.

    I just don’t see Hughes pitching 7 innings or more (in a start) too many times in 2008. If he does it more than seven times all season, I’ll be shocked.

    If you think Phil Hughes will pitch 7+ innings in a start, and meet my definition of “go late into a game,” more times than not this season, then that’s great for you. Me? I’ve yet to see anything to suggest that’s a reasonable expectation to have for this season.

    Sure, maybe Hughes can improve on his 4.04 P/BF rate this season? Maybe that will allow him to go deeper in games? But, we have not seen that this spring. So, again, I stand by my prediction: You may never see Hughes go late into a game this year.

    O.K. never is a strong word. Make that “hardly ever.” Yeah, that’s better. “You may hardly ever see Hughes go late into a game this year.”

    Let’s all promise to look back at this come October, OK?

    Wild, Wild, East?

    Posted by on March 29th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Ken Davidoff is predicting the Yankees to finish in third this season – behind Boston and Toronto.

    Bob Nightengale and Mel Antonen of USA Today both also have the Yankees finishing in third this season – with the Blue Jays finishing in first followed by the Red Sox.

    You don’t see too many predicting the Yankees to finish in third place this season.

    What do you think? What are the odds that the Yankees finish third in 2008?

    Me? I suppose that it’s possible. But, for me, it would mean that both Toronto and Boston have more than 92 wins this season. I think Boston should be right around 92 wins. But, Toronto? Well, I could see them winning about 87-88 games. So, with some luck, they could push that to close to 92 wins.

    And, as crazy as this sounds, I saw a projection somewhere (I forget where) that had the Rays getting close to 90 wins this season. When you factor in that the Red Sox, Yanks, Jays and Rays all play each other 19 times this season, each, well, it could just be a Wild, Wild, East in the A.L. this season.

    Thank You Colorado

    Posted by on March 29th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Gerry Fraley looks at the chain of events that led General Joe to the Bronx:

    After another consuming spring training day in the crucible that is managing the New York Yankees, Joe Girardi pondered a what-if question.

    What if the Rockies had not selected Girardi in the 1992 expansion draft?

    “Without Colorado,” Girardi said, “I’m probably not sitting here.”

    Without Colorado’s foresight, Girardi would have sunk deeper into the role of backup catcher with the Chicago Cubs.

    Without Colorado’s opportunity, Girardi would not have made himself into an attractive player during three seasons as the Rockies’ starter.

    Without Colorado’s payroll squeeze, Girardi would not have been traded to the Yankees after the 1995 season.

    The deal started a relationship that will enter a new chapter Monday, when Girardi is scheduled to make his regular-season debut as manager in the final Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

    For a moment, Girardi might flash back to the Rockies’ first home opener, when a crowd of 80,227 at Mile High Stadium saw him catch Bryn Smith in an 11-4 win against Montreal.

    “I’ve been fortunate everywhere I played,” Girardi said. “But Colorado was a special experience.”

    “We knew there were so many positives that Joe could contribute to a first-year club,” said Arizona vice president Bob Gebhard, who was the Rockies’ first general manager. “He was not only a good defensive catcher. He was smart, a leader, a very respectable young man. He was the right type of guy for us.”

    At the same time, Girardi grew in stature. His ability to work with and protect a pitching staff, which the Cubs had discounted, caught everyone’s attention.

    “Joe was the leader,” said Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey, a Girardi teammate with the Cubs (1990-92) and the Rockies (1994). “He was the most prepared guy I’d ever been around. It wasn’t going to work with him. You learned.”

    The run ended after the 1995 season, when the Rockies sent Girardi to the Yankees for right-hander Mike DeJean and a minor league pitcher. The trade was surprising because Girardi had played such a vital internal role on a club that reached the playoffs as a wild card.

    Girardi, who had a prominent role with the Major League Baseball Players Association, had a run-in with Rockies management during the 1994-95 strike regarding its efforts to use minor leaguers in spring training replacement games. Girardi does not believe his stance caused the trade.

    “I believe things happen for a reason,” Girardi said. “You’re always sad when you leave a team, because you’ve developed relationships with the guys there. But it works out.”

    Gebhard said payroll concerns influenced the decision. The Rockies had re-signed shortstop Walt Weiss and were pursuing free-agent second baseman Craig Biggio. They could not afford to keep Girardi.

    “I did not want to lose Joe, and Don did not want to lose Joe,” Gebhard said. “He was vital to our success. But it was a dollars-and-cents decision.”

    A great story of one door closing and another one opening.

    Yanks Pen Will Be Tested Early

    Posted by on March 28th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    At this moment, the weather forecast for the Yankees home opener is as follows: Cloudy and breezy with a chance of rain – High: 47 °F RealFeel®: 38 °F. Just a chance of rain is pretty good. Not as good as “sunny” – but, better than a high chance of rain. The current forecast for later that same day is: Periods of rain in the evening; otherwise, cloudy – Low: 45 °F RealFeel®: 36 °F.

    Let’s hope that rain on Monday night does not show up early and bring cause for the Yankees to push the opener to Tuesday. Granted, it’s supposed to be in the 60’s on Tuesday with sun. But, if the Yankees play on Tuesday, and not Monday, then it means they will open their season with 20 games in 20 days. (Sure, it may not seem that much different than 20 games in 21 days – but, every bit helps.)

    In any event, given that it’s the start of the season, I don’t think you’ll see many Yankees starting pitchers going deep into games over the first two weeks or so. (Heck, you may never see Mussina or Hughes go late into a game this year.) So, the Yanks’ bullpen will be called upon – and often – during the first 20 games of the season. Let’s hope they’re up for the task right out of the chute.

    2008 Opening Day Roster

    Posted by on March 28th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    According to Peter Abraham, the Yankees have now cut down to 25 players on their active big league roster.


    What’s The Best Way To Peel Baseball?

    Posted by on March 28th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Ken Rosenthal threw down an interesting glove in his column today predicting who will win it all in 2008. Here is what he said:

    Bloggers, it’s your lucky day.

    Not that you ever need prompting to rip apart the latest ill-informed splattering from the mainstream media, but here’s an invitation on a gold-engraved, all-but-autographed platter:

    Embarrassing as it is to admit, my annual column predicting which team will win the World Series often defies sabermetric orthodoxy, not to mention conventional logic. Sort of like baseball itself.

    Statistical analysis is an invaluable tool; that discussion is over. But we’ve gotten to the point where everyone from the casual fantasy player to the shrewdest GM wants to know the end of the story before Chapter One is written.

    Mercifully, that’s not how the game works.

    Phil Allard, for one, is already on Rosenthal for this statement.

    It’s an interesting debate. When it comes to making declarations like these, do you go with your head or your heart? Or, do you combine the two and use the “Part Art, Part Science” approach?

    I have to confess, for me, it’s the combination thing. But, it’s not a 50-50 deal. Actually, most times, I’ll go with my feelings and then see if the numbers back it up.

    Truly, there were many things that I intended on publishing here, at one time or another – but, once I looked at the numbers behind what I felt, and realized that I was wrong, I ditched them.

    Sure, that makes it sound like I live and die by the stats. But, it’s not true. I don’t let the stats drive me towards my thoughts – I only use them to prove them out (after my gut gets me there).

    Well, at least, that’s most times. There are still some things out there where I cannot turn my back on what my sixth-sense tells me. So, I somewhat understand Rosenthal here in that, at times, you have to let the force be your guide…

    Speaking of space, there’s a line from the very first episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine entitled “Emissary” where the character Benjamin Sisko uses the game of baseball to explain the concept of linear time and essentially how humans experience life:

    “The rules aren’t important. . . .what’s important is – it’s linear. Every time I throw this ball a hundred different things can happen in a game. . . . He might swing and miss, he might hit it. . . .The point is you never know. . . . You try to anticipate, set a strategy for all the possibilities as best you can. . . . but in the end it come down to throwing one pitch after another. . . . and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins to take shape. . . .”

    It’s that “you never know” thing that made me fall in love with baseball. And, since “you never know,” why not follow your gut once in a while instead of letting the math dictate your moves?

    To PSL Or Not To PSL At New Stadium?

    Posted by on March 28th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Via Crains

    Tribune Co. is considering personal seat licenses at Wrigley Field as part of a plan to sell the ballpark to the Illinois Sports Facility Authority, Alderman Tom Tunney (44th) said in an interview Friday.

    But Cubs management denied that seat licenses were on the table.

    Personal seat licenses, or PSLs, are typically one-time fees for the right to buy season tickets, on top of the annual charge for the tickets themselves. PSLs are common among National Football League franchises, including the Chicago Bears, which implemented PSLs to help fund a $606-million revamping of Soldier Field earlier this decade. The Bears’ PSLs currently range from $2,400 to $10,000 per seat.

    PSLs are rare for the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, though the New York Yankees recently added them for a new stadium expected to open in 2009.

    The Yankees are going PSL? That’s not what I last heard. So, I looked now and found this at The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

    However, the use of PSL’s is somewhat controversial, since long-time season ticket holders may resent having to pay an additional one-time “user fee” to have the right to renew their seats. Also, government officials may not react favorably where a team owner seeks to introduce PSL’s at a new facility that has also received substantial public funding. These are two key reasons why neither the New York Mets nor Yankees plan to require the purchase of PSL’s for their new stadia, even though it is conservatively estimated that by doing so each team could raise more than the Cardinals’ $40 million.

    Well, for whatever the reason, and to whomever deserves the credit, here’s a big THANK YOU for making sure the Yankees don’t go the PSL route.

    New Feature On YES Network Site

    Posted by on March 28th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    The YES Network has a fun little feature up now with some historical Yankees stats. Click here to see it.

    At least I think it’s new. Happy clicking!

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