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Absolutely - please, Texas/Anaheim/etc, don't take 'No' for an answer!
The Yankees don't deserve to be able to buy their way into Burnett (with his insane contract) being a #4/5 ON TOP of destroying Chamberlain. Their inability to grow their own pitching is second only to their inability to use it properly once it gets to the majors.
In the end, I don't think Ellsbury's lost season ended up being that big a problem - Darnell McDonald and the kids ended up filling in pretty well over the course of the year. Losing Cameron as well put them in a spot, probably forcing them to play Bill Hall in the outfield more than anyone preferred (though his flashes of surprising power helped balance his average and defensive issues).
There was probably a marginal loss on the bases, but the loss of Ellsbury was minor compared to losing Youk, Pedroia, a few weeks of VMart, and the very spotty performances from 60% of the starting rotation and most of the bullpen.
Zack Greinke still isn't a left-hander.
I think the pitch location graphs are, like the release point graph, from the perspective of the catcher/batter. It's all from Pitch F/X, so that would make sense.
In addition to the Greinke issue, there are a lot of editing issues on this piece.
Also, Darnell McDonald was not DFA'd - they were planning to do it before the game on Tuesday, but Ellsbury's soreness led them to DFA Atchison instead. Quote from Francona: "Thankfully guys in the front office are pretty careful about making the moves late. So we got Mac on the phone, told him we were thrilled with the adjustments he made while he was gone, [and to] come on back." :)
Somebody's been reading his DaringFireball :)
Not sure what baseball's iPad-analog is going to be, but I'm interested in seeing what you guys come up with; I'll admit to only groking about 25% of what I start reading on BP, and there are only so many hours in the day.
I'm also guessing that Kathy is a "CSS wondergirl" or similar, as I can't figure out what "Caught Stealing" (as BP's automatic definition-generator so helpfully provided) has to do with a web design update.
I think you meant Josh Beckett up there in the second paragraph.
Papelbon just won't throw a breaking ball or cutter with any regularity, relying solely on the fastball in almost all situations. Unfortunately, he lost a bit of control on his heater in '09, along with the ability to just throw it by hitters when he needed to - the league seems to have adjusted to him. He's still good, but the signs are there that he might not remain dominant for much longer, and Bard has the pitch combo to close - high 90s heat and a plus breaking ball. I wouldn't be shocked if Theo moved Papelbon for the right deal.
Cano was not that major a contributor (another year when he was predicted to become a monster, but was simply good rather than disappointing), Gardner was supposed to be the starting CF but couldn't hit enough to keep the job, Melky may finally be turning the corner but was not a huge contributor, Joba was a mess for most of the year and wasn't considered a good enough starter for the Yankees to use him in the role in the playoffs. Hughes did stabilize the bullpen, but only for 1/2 the year, and was a non-factor in the playoffs.
The Yankees may have had more homegrown talent on the roster than the Phillies, but the starting lineups don't compare - Philly has recent homegrown talent starting at C, 1B, 2B, SS, and (arguably) CF. Yankees have C, 2B, SS, and CF, but half of those are 90s guys, and none of the recent guys are huge contributors.
The Yankees are in no way representative of a team that "traded upper-tier minor leaguers for the final pieces". They always have strong teams on paper, but baseball is unpredictable enough to ensure they don't win every year. They threw a fortune at the two top free agents (and another of the top 10) this year, and it worked out, but they are the only team in baseball that operates this way, and are the only team that can afford to.
Congrats to the Yankees on finally taking full advantage of their massive financial leg up on the rest of baseball. There are plenty of classy players in the organization (Jeter, Mo, Damon, Posada, CC), and I don't begrudge them the success.
However, I'd feel a lot less antagonism toward the organization if it had produced ONE player in the last decade that made any difference at all this post season. Cano is forever on the cusp, Melky is decent, Joba and Hughes show signs of maybe becoming something significant in the future, Gardner still can't hit enough. All of the significant contributors in the post season were big-dollar free agent signings or trades (some of which no other team could have afforded), or products of the last era of organizational talent (Jeter, Posada, Mo, Pettitte).
In an era where there is general agreement that there is a "right" way to put together a successful MLB team (mix young organizational talent with the right blend of veterans), it's irritating to watch the Yankees manage to get out of their own way enough to put the lie to it. It's also supremely irritating to watch a fan base that feels like a 6-year absence from the WS is a "drought", like they're owed a certain percentage of championships as a birthright.
I saw how you slipped that Classic Trek reference in there....
Only one issue with this - Sabathia hasn\'t exactly been dominant in the playoffs, legit #1 or not.
The Yankees may have to be careful with his innings and pitchcount in the regular season to try to keep him fresh for October, no matter how much the big man wants the ball.
Bay came after Drew, so maybe it was making things up the other direction?
The check-swing was borderline, and under the circumstances should have at least been given to the 3rd base ump to call. The Sox got that swing back, in a way, with a Bay check swing that was called a ball, and eventually led to a walk - replays showed that he actually went farther than Drew.
Going solely by the numbers (and yes, I realize what site I\'m on), it might seem that way, but most of his games are downright painful to watch. It\'s a constant highwire act of him throwing pitch after pitch, batters fouling pitches off forever, too many walks (though this has gotten better) - you spend the whole time dreading the hit that will break the game open, but he manages to avoid it most of time.
Given his record, it\'s hard not to give him some thought in the CY voting, but based on how he goes about his game, I\'d put Lester ahead of Dice-K, way ahead. While Dice-K\'s numbers look good (mostly), I just can\'t say I see him as an \"elite\" pitcher this year.
The issue with Dice-K this year seems to be that he has good enough stuff to keep batters from squaring anything up, but not good enough to miss enough bats to justify how he pitches. Nobody is hitting him hard, but everybody is fouling off pitch after pitch, so he\'s lucky to get through 5-6 innings.
It looks like he needs to change his approach and start pitching more to contact, if possible, in order to get deeper into games and stop walking so many batters. Whether he can do this and still be as hard-to-hit as he currently is, that\'s the big question.