• Brian Cashman: I’m Comfortable With What We’re Doing

    Posted by on December 31st, 2012 · Comments (5)

    Why not? He’s got a contract through 2014, after all…

    Via Bryan Hoch

    “The bottom line is tomorrow is not Opening Day, and so we’ve got a lot of time on the clock here to methodically continue putting a roster together,” [Yankees GM Brian] Cashman said. “We’re putting something together that really has a chance to put us back where we were last year, which was winning the division and competing for the title.”

    “I’m very satisfied and comfortable with the approach we’re taking and how we’re conducting our business,” Cashman said. “We’ve been the big-game players and done the big contracts and had success doing that, and we’ve had failure doing that. We’ve also had success on the short-term stuff too, but every year is different. I’m comfortable with what we’re doing.”

    Rocking Out The Old Year

    Posted by on December 31st, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Via DJF

    According to Mel Antonen of assorted baseball writings, Tim Raines is set to join the Blue Jays coaching staff. The former Expos great and poster boy for Hall of Fame arguments involving Jack Morris will be the outfield and base-running coach for the club in 2013.

    After 4 years in Newark it’s great to see The Rock get a gig back in the big leagues.

    Happy New Year!

    Posted by on December 31st, 2012 · Comments (6)

    I would like to wish all the readers of WasWatching.com a very happy and healthy new year. And, may all your resolutions for 2013 come true!

    Ballplayers Dream: To Live & Play In Las Vegas

    Posted by on December 31st, 2012 · Comments (0)

    There’s only a 6.6 % total tax that state residents in Nevada pay as a percentage of per capita income…

    More on the whole state tax issue for baseball players via the AP last month –

    With baseball contracts worth as much as $275 million (Alex Rodriguez) and the major league minimum $480,000, tax policy affects every player who spends most of the season in the big leagues.

    All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, who has a $10 million salary next year, was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays. While Florida has no state income tax, Reyes remains a New York resident from his days with the Mets and had high taxes to begin with. Ontario’s provincial tax rises to 11.16 percent — on top of a Canadian federal level as high as 29 percent.

    Among states with big league teams, income tax rates go as high as 10.3 percent in California and 8.82 percent in New York. At the other end, Florida, Texas and Washington have no state income tax. The top rate in the District of Columbia is 8.95 percent.

    “I like ours; we’re a no-tax state,” Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zdurienck said. “When we sit down with players, that’s a huge benefit. I think any player out there that has an opportunity to play in a no-tax state gets benefits, enormous benefits. We hope that weighs in our favor.”

    According to an analysis done by a tax lawyer on the staff of agent Scott Boras, a player with a $10 million salary and average deductions who plays in Florida and is a resident of that state will see his taxes rise from $3.45 million this year to $4.09 million next year under current law. If traded to the Blue Jays, that player’s 2013 tax would rise to $4.27 million. And if dealt to a California team, the tax would go up to $4.4 million.

    NFC East Vs. A.L. East

    Posted by on December 31st, 2012 · Comments (3)

    This morning, I can’t help but wonder if the 2013 A.L. East standings are going to end up like the 2012 NFC East final regular season standings…

    Could it be, that, one team will totally tank and finish last where the rest of the teams are bunched up and only separated by a few wins?  And, one team who everyone thinks will make the post-season will just miss out?

    What do you think?  In any event, what are your predictions for who is going to finish where in the A.L. East next season?

    Mr. T & The WBC

    Posted by on December 30th, 2012 · Comments (7)

    Via a MLB.com report from last month –

    The final qualifying rounds for the 2013 World Baseball Classic will be staged this week in Panama and Taiwan, and the 16-team tournament is set to be played for the third time in March.

    Japan prevailed in 2006 and 2009. Team USA didn’t make it out of the second round in ’06 and lost in the semifinals to Japan at Dodger Stadium in ’09.

    That may all change this coming spring, when Joe Torre takes charge of the U.S. squad. The man who is now Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations is approaching this tournament with a dual mindset.

    “We’re going to take good care of the players and if all the plans go right we’ll send them back in good shape and ready to start the season,” Torre told MLB.com in an exclusive interview on Wednesday during the first day of the quarterly Owners Meetings. “That’s the biggest concern to me, is taking care of players. You want to win, but it’s so important to each of the teams that when you take their players you make sure you pay attention to them.”

    The first two U.S. teams were managed by Buck Martinez and Davey Johnson. Torre is an almost certain Hall of Famer, and as manager of the Yankees from 1996-2007, his clubs won the World Series four times, the American League pennant six times and went to the playoffs every year.

    After two more years of taking the Dodgers as far the National League Championship Series in 2008-09, that run ended in 2010 when the Dodgers missed the playoffs and he retired. More than two seasons away from managing his last game, Torre said it’s not a task you so easily forget.

    “Once you get into the environment it all comes back to you,” he said. “It really does. When you start thinking of team the blood starts flowing a little bit.”

    Torre is putting together next year’s edition of Team USA with Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations and the club’s general manager. The pair has already been scouring lists and rosters for the right mix.

    “He’s probably more efficient at doing it because he crosses all the T’s and dots the I’s with names and lists and options,” Torre said about the veteran former GM, whose 2001 D-backs defeated Torre’s Yankees in a memorable seven-game World Series. “He’s a great asset for us.”

    Can Clueless Joe prevent the Japanese from getting a three-peat in the WBC? Then again, does anyone care?

    Tugboat Takes Out The Rooster

    Posted by on December 30th, 2012 · Comments (3)


    Did He Mention Disliking His Hats?

    Posted by on December 29th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    Well, now I know why Modell’s is selling last year’s Yankees BP hats for $10 each.

    Yankees Fading On Baseball Landscape?

    Posted by on December 29th, 2012 · Comments (46)

    Interesting thoughts from John Lott

    In the past 18 years, the Yankees reached the playoffs 17 times. They led the AL East 13 times. They won five World Series. And they spent more money than anyone else.

    It is entirely possible that they will do all of those things again in 2013. Wise judges never count the Yankees out. But they are a weakened franchise, perhaps more vulnerable now than in the past two decades, and the off-season has seen the rise of two free-spending aspirants, the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels.

    As big spenders go, the Blue Jays are traversing unfamiliar terrain while the Angels cover old ground. A new dimension for the Angels is their battle with the suddenly well-heeled Dodgers for the hearts and minds of southern California fans.

    Meanwhile, the AL East appears ripe for a reshuffle. The Yankees are old and hurting. The fallen Red Sox are retooling but unmenacing at the moment. Cash-strapped Tampa Bay remains a threat but is treading water. Baltimore, a surprise playoff team in 2012, is already the oddsmakers’ last-place pick for 2013.

    And speaking of odds (for what they are worth), the Blue Jays at 15-2 are favoured to win their first World Series in two decades, thanks mainly to a pair of eye-popping trades that brought R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes to Toronto within a month.

    Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos has heard all the conjecture about the aging Yankees, the stonewashed Red Sox and the wide-open AL East. He does not buy a bit of it.

    “The fact that the Yankees and Red Sox have the resources that they have, whatever the perception of [the division] being open can be closed in a minute with a trade, with a free-agent signing,” Anthopoulos said recently. “Those resources can open up so many things.”

    It is all relative, of course, but the Yankees are facing new limits on their resources, which is one reason they sat by quietly while the Blue Jays, Angels and Dodgers played bulls in the market.

    These are not the Yankees of George Steinbrenner, who, as one New York writer observed, would have snapped his fingers and signed both Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton this winter. George’s son, Hal, is in charge now, and has decreed that over the next year or two, the club will drop its payroll below US$189-million, the current threshold for baseball’s luxury tax.

    The Yankees have paid more than US$200-million in luxury tax since 2003, when revised rules were set in place to penalize baseball’s most extravagant spenders. The Bronx Bombers have surpassed the threshold every year. And because they did not miss a single year, each year they have been forced to pay an extra penalty above the luxury tax itself under what might be called a “thumb-your-nose” rule.

    Hal Steinbrenner insists this must stop.

    “I’m looking at it as a goal,” he said back in March. “But my goals are normally are considered a requirement.”

    The luxury-tax payroll threshold is well out of reach for most clubs. And given the Yankees’ current financial commitments to aging players, they will continue to push the limit, likely exceeding it again in 2013.

    But in what seems like Bronx blasphemy, we are finally hearing that even the Yankees have their spending limits. On the field, age is adding another limitation.

    At 32.7 years, last season’s Yankee offence was the oldest in the team’s history. The trend continues.

    So far this off-season, they have made no significant deals, unless you count the free-agent signing of Kevin Youkilis, who is coming off a lacklustre season and will be 34 on Opening Day. They re-signed Mariano Rivera, 43, Ichiro Suzuki, 39, and Andy Pettitte, 38.

    Although Jeter is expected to be ready for Opening Day and enjoyed a stellar season in 2012, he will turn 39 in June. Alex Rodriguez will be almost 38 when he returns from hip surgery at mid-season. Combined, they will collect US$45-million next year, roughly the total payroll projected for the Miami Marlins, whose fire sale helped the Blue Jays vault into overnight contention.

    For the record, the last time the Yankees finished lower than 3rd in the A.L. East was 1992. For those scoring at home, that was 20 years ago. Could it happen in 2013? Maybe…

    Count Sensenderfer

    Posted by on December 28th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Happy Birthday, Count!

    More on him via Wiki:

    John Phillips Jenkins “Count” Sensenderfer (December 28, 1847 – May 3, 1903) was a professional baseball player who played for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1866 to 1874.

    Sensenderfer joined the Athletic club at the age of eighteen in 1866, and “The Count” (he got the nickname from his moustache and aristocratic air) quickly became of the top players in the country. Originally playing second base before moving to center field, Count was one of the first players to score two hundred runs in a season, for the championship Philadelphia team of 1868. The following year, Athletic turned professional; in 1871 the club helped form the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, baseball’s first all-professional league.

    It was in 1871 that Sensenderfer (still a solid hitter with a .323 average) began to be plagued by a series of injuries; he was unable to play in the championship contest played October 30 in Brooklyn. (Right fielder George Bechtel took Count’s place in center, while Nate Berkenstock, a 40-year-old amateur retired from Athletic for five years, played right; it was his only big-league appearance.) Athletic defeated Chicago, 4-1, clinching the title.

    Sensenderfer’s injuries kept him out of all but one game in 1872; he returned as the club’s regular center fielder in 1873 but his average slipped to .279. He played five more games for Athletic in 1874 before retiring.

    After his baseball career, Sensenderfer was involved in politics, serving two terms as Philadelphia County Commissioner. He was also an active member of the Democratic Committee of Philadelphia as well as the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee.

    Count Sensendefer died in Philadelphia in 1903, at the age of 55.

    Interestingly, the nickname “Count” was used on a few players during the 1800’s. And, of course, there’s always the pride of Brookdale Community College

    2013 Yankees, After The All-Star Break

    Posted by on December 28th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    After the 2013 All-Star break, in their first 45 games after the break, the Yankees are on the road 29 times.

    Yes, after the All-Star break, the Yankees will play at home only 16 times in their first 45 games.

    It will be interesting to see how they do during that run.

    Godzilla Retires

    Posted by on December 28th, 2012 · Comments (6)

    Derek Jeter said it best – via Mr. Murti:

    STATEMENT FROM YANKEES SHORTSTOP DEREK JETER (Matsui’s teammate from 2003-09)

    “I’ve said it numerous times over the years, but it’s worth repeating now. I’ve had a lot of teammates over the years with the Yankees, but I will always consider Hideki one of my favorites. The way he went about his business day in and day out was impressive. Despite being shadowed by a large group of reporters, having the pressures of performing for his fans both in New York and Japan and becoming acclimated to the bright lights of New York City, he always remained focused and committed to his job and to those of us he shared the clubhouse with. I have a lot of respect for Hideki. He was someone we counted on a great deal and he’s a big reason why we became World Champions in 2009.”

    Here’s a crazy comp:

    Rk Player OPS+ G From To Age PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BA OBP SLG
    2 Hideki Matsui 123 1061 2003 2010 29-36 4378 591 1109 220 12 161 681 583 .290 .369 .479
    3 Aramis Ramirez 123 1071 2003 2010 25-32 4494 615 1178 246 14 225 780 577 .291 .353 .526
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 12/28/2012.

    That said, I would take Godzilla, in his prime, on my team, any day of the week. He was a pro’s pro and he was very capable at the bat.

    MLB Network Special: The Third Team

    Posted by on December 27th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    Anyone else looking forward to this one?

    I just love the on-field banter that you usually don’t get to hear. Should be fun.

    New Jersey Baseball Magazine

    Posted by on December 27th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Very cool.

    Yankees Sign Matt Diaz

    Posted by on December 26th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    Useful bench player, spiritual dude.

    Fresno Grizzlies To Become The New Toledo Mudhens?

    Posted by on December 26th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Can a Hollywood reference make a minor league team famous?  Via the Fresno Bee

    Considering how much Billy Crystal loves baseball, it’s taken a long time for him to make the sport a major element in one of his movies. He’s put in some small baseball touches — his character in “City Slickers” wore a New York Mets cap — but now he’s finally headed to the ballpark in his Christmas Day release, “Parental Guidance.”

    Crystal plays Artie Decker, the voice of the Fresno Grizzlies. When his announcing career hits an impasse, Decker and his wife (Bette Midler) take a trip to Atlanta to babysit their three grandchildren for a week. The clash of old- and new-school parenting techniques — including the way youth baseball games don’t keep score — creates the comedy.

    “Parental Guidance” gave Crystal the chance to bring together his two great loves: baseball and acting. The two passions came together during his college days.

    Had it not been for a decision at Marshall University to shut down their freshman baseball program, Crystal’s career might have gone in a very different direction from stand-up comedian to TV actor to movie star.

    “I had a scholarship to play there,” Crystal says. “When the program was shut down, I was going to have to wait a year. My father had died the year before, and I really felt like I needed to be at home. Marshall was a really good school, but West Virginia was just a little too off-Broadway for me.”

    Crystal returned to New York and enrolled at Nassau Community College, which just happened to have a really good theater department. The school also had a first-rate baseball team, but by that point, Crystal had fallen in love with acting.

    “The only regret I have is that I stopped playing competitively after my freshman year in college,” Crystal says. “I still love baseball, and so it became a great character thing for Artie Decker to be the announcer for the Fresno Grizzlies.”

    Playing the voice of a baseball team takes Crystal back to his childhood, when he would listen to Mel Allen and Red Barber broadcast the Yankees games. Their colorful descriptions of the games were Crystal’s first exposure to how a person could — with only their voice — transport an audience to another place.

    One of the players Allen and Barber talked about was Ralph Branca, whose 13-year career included a season with the Yankees. He was on the mound for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 when Bobby Thomson hit the home run that won the National League pennant for the New York Giants.

    The radio report of that homer — known as “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” — is an important plot point in the film — one that helps explain the Fresno Grizzlies connection. Artie longs to one day be the voice of the San Francisco Giants.

    Cameras rolled during the final game of the 2011 Grizzlies season, and that footage is used in the opening minutes of the movie.

    “The ballpark was perfect for us,” Crystal says. “The people that were there that night were great.”

    It was Fresno native Samantha Sprecker, one of the “Parental Guidance” executive producers, who brought the Grizzlies to Crystal’s attention. As soon as he saw photos of Chukchansi Park, Crystal knew it would be perfect for the movie.

    Unrelated, did you know that Buck Showalter and Don Cooper were teammates on the 1980 Nashville Sounds? Amazing that they both went on to become great coaches.

    Happy Holidays!

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2012 · Comments (6)

    Barring any breaking and hot baseball-related news, I do not expect to be posting many entries to WasWatching.com over the next four days. Therefore, I wanted to take this time now to wish all the readers of this blog a safe and happy holiday season.

    I hope you all have a wonderful holiday observance.

    Look for more stuff here starting next week!

    Jolly Swish Nick Heads To Tribe Town

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2012 · Comments (14)

    Via Mark Feinsand

    Nick Swisher is officially a former Yankee.

    Swisher agreed to terms on a four-year, $56 million contract with the Indians late Saturday night, the Daily News has learned. The deal includes an easily-attainable $14 million vesting option for a fifth year based on plate appearances that could bring the total value of the contract to $70 million through the 2017 season.

    The 32-year-old outfielder had received interest from no less than a half-dozen teams, but the Indians made the strongest push for Swisher’s services. The Rangers, Mariners, Red Sox and Orioles were among the other teams that had expressed interest in Swisher.

    Swisher’s $56 million deal is the fifth-largest contract signed this winter, and the third-biggest for a position player. Josh Hamilton, 31, inked a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels while 28-year-old B.J. Upton signed a five-year, $75 million pact with the Braves.

    The only other deals larger than Swisher’s this offseason were Zack Greinke’s six-year, $147 million deal with the Angels and Anibal Sanchez’s five-year, $80 million contract with the Tigers.

    The Tribe gave Swisher and his wife, JoAnna, the red-carpet treatment during a visit to Cleveland last week, making it known how badly they wanted him in an Indians uniform.

    Swisher grew up in a West Virginia town only 14 miles from Ohio and attended Ohio State, so the Indians’ pitch centered around his potential homecoming.

    Former Buckeyes head football coach Jim Tressel helped recruit Swisher during a lunch, while current Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, basketball coach Thad Matta and baseball coach Greg Beals each recorded personal messages to Swisher that were played on the Progressive Field scoreboard.

    Swisher’s history with new Indians manager Terry Francona played a key role in the decision. Francona, who in 1988 was managed in the minor leagues by Swisher’s father, Steve, has known Swisher since he was a child. Francona was very involved in the Indians’ recruitment of Swisher last week.

    Maybe “The Lish!” will wear #34 in Cleveland, in honor of Joe Charboneau? Of course, he would have to buy it from Zach McAllister…but he can afford it now.

    Ryan Freel

    Posted by on December 22nd, 2012 · Comments (2)

    Sad news today:

    First Coast News sports director Dan Hicken has learned that Ryan Freel, a Jacksonville native and former Major League Baseball has died at the age of 36. The cause of death is suicide.

    Freel played baseball at Sandalwood and Englewood High School. He played for five different MLB teams from 2001-2009. He is most known for his six-year tenure with the Cincinnati Reds.

    His career batting average was .268 and he stole 143 bases in his career.

    Since his retirement from professional baseball in 2009, Freel was a part of an organization on the First Coast called BLD Baseball. BLD stands for Big League Development. Through this organization, Freel coached local youth baseball players.

    Thirty-six. That’s very sad. He got to play professional baseball from the time he was 19 until he was 34 (when he last played in Somerset in 2010). How many people can say that? Thirty-six? He had a lot of life left in front of him. Gosh.

    As someone who has more past behind him than future left, as I am fifty, this is very painful to see…someone so troubled that it’s not worth it to them to play out the rest of their game. It’s so, so, sad.

    Curtis Granderson For Gavin Floyd?

    Posted by on December 22nd, 2012 · Comments (6)

    It fits.

    But, I doubt Cashman has the stones to try it.

    Me? I would do it, take Nova out of the rotation and side Gardner over to center, and then get a right-handed power bat for left. Floyd would be great insurance if Pettitte or someone else breaks down. He would be a #2 or a #3 in the Yankees rotation now, easy. And, you can never have too many, good, reliable, starting pitchers.

    Derek Jeter & Vicki Soto

    Posted by on December 21st, 2012 · Comments (9)

    Wonderful story via the Daily News

    The mother of slain teacher Victoria Soto received a surprise phone call Wednesday from one of her courageous daughter’s heroes: Yankee Derek Jeter.

    The Bronx Bombers captian rang Donna Soto the same day she laid her 27-year-old daughter to rest. The Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher was killed Friday as she shielded her first-grade students from deranged gunman Adam Lanza.

    “Vicki loved the Yankees — that was part of her eulogy,” her cousin James Wiltsie said Wednesday night. “No one in the family reached out, so (Jeter) must have heard about it and … reached out.

    Wiltsie did not give details of the conversation but did say it was uplifting.

    “It was a surprise and unexpected. Donna was ecstatic over it and very happy. She spoke to him for quite some time.”

    Vicki’s sister Carlee tweeted the family’s excitment.

    “Derek Jeter just called my mom!!!!! Thanks Vicki, she needs it thank you @yankees this meant a lot to my mother and all of us.”

    This morning, I had to take my wife to the hospital – to the same day surgery unit. She had to be there at 7 AM for a scheduled 9 AM surgery. (She’s home, fine, and recovering now.) While she was in there, and I was in the waiting room, they were airing (on the TV) the tolling of church bells commemorating one week since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    I was reading Matt McCarthy’s book when it started. And, out of respect for those killed, I stopped what I was doing and paid silent and serious attention to the faces of victims as they appeared on the TV (with the toll of each bell).

    There were probably, at least, ten other people in the waiting area and they all did the same thing. One man, in his late 70’s, was very moved and started to cry. Soon after, some of the women there also started rubbing their eyes. It was a very emotional moment.

    To be honest, I still can’t get rid of my anger over what happened last Friday. I don’t have the answers to anything that could have stopped it. I know that there are a lot of things at play here. And, they all should be addressed. Nonetheless, again, to be candid, I want someone “to pay for what happened.” But, I realize that’s not possible. (That’s part of the reason why I can’t get rid of my anger, I suppose.)

    My heart goes out to everyone who was impacted by the events of last Friday. I know that their lives will never be the same. It’s terribly unfair.  To say that it was a senseless tragedy doesn’t seem like enough. It’s very hard to put into words how horrible this thing is…at least for me.

    But, it was great of Jeter to reach out and try to provide some comfort to one of the families.

    I know he’s not the only one. And, I am sure there’s more that’s not getting reported, like Jeter. Yet, it’s still a nice thing to hear…that he personally took the time to try and help.

    The 1982 Yankees Vs. The 2013 Yankees

    Posted by on December 20th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    If you had to compare these two teams, how would they stack up? How are they alike? How are they different? You tell me…

    What’s The Reasonable Amount Of Time To Stink?

    Posted by on December 20th, 2012 · Comments (75)

    Some major league baseball teams have periods, in their history, where they stink for a very long time. But, what’s acceptable here? How long is it OK for a team to stink?

    Personally, I think the longest that a team should stink is six years. After a couple of years of stinking, you should be able to put a plan in place that you get you back to being a very good team within four years time (if not sooner).

    And, if you’re team stinks for more than 6 years in a row, then you’re really doing something wrong.

    What’s your opinion on this?

    Bill Dickey, Thurman Munson & Austin Romine?

    Posted by on December 20th, 2012 · Comments (8)

    According to my research, Bill Dickey and Thurman Munson are the only players in Yankees history to play at least 120 games in a season, where they played catcher at least 80% of the time, in a season where they were age 24 or younger:

    Rk Player Year G Age Tm PA HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
    1 Thurman Munson 1971 125 24 NYY 517 10 42 52 65 .251 .335 .368
    2 Thurman Munson 1970 132 23 NYY 526 6 53 57 56 .302 .386 .415
    3 Bill Dickey 1931 130 24 NYY 524 6 78 39 20 .327 .378 .442
    4 Bill Dickey 1929 130 22 NYY 474 10 65 14 16 .324 .346 .485
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 12/20/2012.

    Seeing this, I cannot believe that the Yankees are expecting to go with Austin Romine as their starting catcher in 2013.

    For the record, Yogi just missed this list.  Here’s the result if you drop the games played filter down to 100:

    Rk Player Year G Age Tm PA HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
    1 Thurman Munson 1971 125 24 NYY 517 10 42 52 65 .251 .335 .368
    2 Thurman Munson 1970 132 23 NYY 526 6 53 57 56 .302 .386 .415
    3 Yogi Berra 1949 116 24 NYY 443 20 91 22 25 .277 .323 .480
    4 Bill Dickey 1931 130 24 NYY 524 6 78 39 20 .327 .378 .442
    5 Bill Dickey 1930 109 23 NYY 396 5 65 21 14 .339 .375 .486
    6 Bill Dickey 1929 130 22 NYY 474 10 65 14 16 .324 .346 .485
    7 Jeff Sweeney 1913 117 24 NYY 405 2 40 37 41 .265 .348 .322
    8 Jeff Sweeney 1912 110 23 NYY 388 0 30 27 16 .268 .325 .308
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 12/20/2012.

    It’s also the same guys if you move the age line to 25 or younger.

    The Most Memorable Names Project

    Posted by on December 20th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    I love this idea.

    But, I’m always a sucker for this kind of stuff.   Baseball history is flat out fun.

    The Dodgers OF Still Not Settled?

    Posted by on December 19th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Via the Daily News

    Could the Dodgers be positioning themselves for another big strike?

    It seemed that Los Angeles was finished with its offseason spending spree after signing Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu to go along with last season’s acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez.

    But a source said the Dodgers have been quietly shopping outfielder Andre Ethier around the league, opening up the possibility that they could pursue either Michael Bourn or Nick Swisher, the top two available free agents.

    The source called the Dodgers “a wild card” when it comes to the free agents, though it’s unlikely they would make a big push for either Bourn or Swisher unless they were able to deal Ethier. Los Angeles doesn’t appear to be desperate to make the move, though they would deal Ethier if the move made sense.

    According to a source, the Red Sox have been interested in Ethier, though his five-year, $85 million contract could be a deterrent for Boston and other teams when it comes to a trade. The Mariners and Rangers are also still looking for a bat after watching Josh Hamilton sign with the division-rival Angels.

    Ethier, who turns 31 in April, hit .284/.351/.460 with 20 home runs and 89 RBI last season, though his splits against lefthanders (.222/.276/.330) left much to be desired.

    It will be interesting to see who will take on Ethier, given his contract. I still think he can be a Paul O’Neill type player on a championship team. But, there are a lot of years and money on his contract. And, you know that Nick Swisher would LOVE to play in Los Angeles for the Dodgers. His wife is in Hollywood. And, it beats playing in Cleveland.

    Yankees To Institute Price Floor On Resale Of Their Tickets

    Posted by on December 19th, 2012 · Comments (14)

    Via Deadspin today –

    As we’ve told you before, StubHub has been terrible for the Yankees’ bottom line. With no price floor (this new agreement does have a negligible price floor of $6 including processing fees), in place to regulate ticket prices, StubHub users are free to sell Yankees tickets far below face value, and they have done so in droves. Now, one might think that the Yankees would see this situation as a lesson in supply and demand and go about making adjustments to their ticket prices. For instance, the team could stop selling tickets at an expensive flat price for every game, and institute dynamic prices that vary from game to game.

    Not so! Instead, the Yankees have decided to tighten their grip on the market rather than adjust to it in their new deal with Ticketmaster. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the team will institute its own price floor through Ticketmaster, which fans will be directed to via Yankees.com when they want to resell tickets. Sellers will be told that they cannot sell their tickets for less than a certain dollar amount.

    In all likelihood, this plan will not work out very well for the Yankees. For one, nothing can prevent ticket holders from selling their tickets on StubHub anyway, they will just be directed by the team to use Ticketmaster. Even if sellers do follow instructions and use Ticketmaster, the price floor is likely to alienate buyers and lead to a lot of fans passing on tickets all together. It’s hard to imagine the Yankees current merry band of old guys being enough of an attraction to push fans to pay higher ticket prices.

    It is going to be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out – both in terms of 2013 and the seasons to follow.

    Curtis Granderson’s OBA The Last 4 Years

    Posted by on December 18th, 2012 · Comments (9)

    Here’s the data:

    Year Age Tm G PA OBP
    2009 28 DET 160 710 .327
    2010 29 NYY 136 528 .324
    2011 30 NYY 156 691 .364
    2012 31 NYY 160 684 .319
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 12/18/2012.

    Clearly, 2011 was the fluke here. And, based on the last four years worth of data, a reasonable person would expect Granderson to have an OBA this season in the range of the low .320’s.

    Seeing that, how can the Yankees bat Curtis in the top or middle of their line-up in 2013?  Why would you give someone who makes so many outs more chances to bat?

    He’s Just A Boy

    Posted by on December 18th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Can’t believe I missed this good story back in August.

    He stands at the plate
    with his heart pounding fast.
    The bases are loaded,
    the die has been cast.
    Mom and Dad cannot help him,
    he stands all alone.
    A hit at this moment
    would send his team home.
    The ball meets the plate,
    he swings and he misses.
    There’s a groan from the crowd,
    with some boos and some hisses.
    A thoughtless voice cries,
    “Strike out the bum.”
    Tears fill his eyes,
    the game’s no longer fun.
    So open up your heart
    and give him a break,
    for it’s moments like this,
    a man you can make.
    Please keep this in mind
    when you hear someone forget,
    He is just a little boy,
    and not a man yet.

    The Curious Case Of Teixeira’s OPS+

    Posted by on December 17th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    The trend line:

    Year Age Tm Lg G PA OPS+
    2008 28 TOT MLB 157 685 152
    2009 29 NYY AL 156 707 141
    2010 30 NYY AL 158 712 124
    2011 31 NYY AL 156 684 121
    2012 32 NYY AL 123 524 116
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 12/17/2012.

    Mark Teixeira’s OPS+ is playing limbo…it wants to see how low it can go.

    And, the question is: Will it stay over 100 in 2013?

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