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To say that Pedroia has a "massive defensive advantage" clearly indicates what part of the country you are from. My guess is some part of New England. Cano is Pedroia's equal, and in my opinion, much better than the Laser Show in almost every aspect of the game of baseball, with the exception of being a "dirt dog", and male pattern baldness.
So let's not simply assume that a number like FRAA, in a vacuum, "inexplicably favors Cano over Pedroia". The proof is in watching the two play and comparing them relative to each other.
Nobody in baseball goes back on a popfly that drops into that Bermuda Triangle just in front of the rightfielder and behind the first- and second baseman better than Cano. Cano is just as good to his left, and again, nobody is better than Cano in going to his right and making the across-the-body throw to first with more accuracy and velocity. The turns on doubleplays are as smooth as silk and throws are almost always on target.
Pedroia might be the mainstream choice because he gets dirty a lot and seems to make it look harder than it really is, whereas Cano simply makes the game look easy.
2011 was a down year for Cano in the field, for sure, making 10 errors (up from 7 in 2010) versus Pedroia's 7. As a Philly fan living and working in NYC, the only secondbaseman I would take over Chase Utley is Robinson Cano. That's not meant to be a slight on Pedroia, who is absolutely great in his own right, but let's get real here. Cano is becoming one of the best players in the game right now, and as John noted above in his article, an argument can be made that he is the best in the American League.
Length of game was absurd last night. On the game side of things, at one point, Derek Holland stepped on the rubber, and then off, three consecutive times. Every Texas pitcher threw over to first at least two, maybe three times, when a Yankee baserunner reached home. Every time I looked out to the mound, I feel like Francisco Cervelli was pitching he was on it so much discussing strategy with Burnett. I believe Angel Hernandez started following Cervelli to the mound the instant the catcher broke from behind home to go out there, just to ensure he kept it short.
On the TV side of things, is it just me, or are the commercial breaks 50 to 75% longer? During the season, they are typically two minutes in length. During the entire post-season they are AT LEAST three, sometimes three and half minutes in duration. Thats an additional 10 to 12 minutes added on to the already painfully long game time.
So to hear MLB talk about how implementing instant replay would impact the pace of the game, and then allow the networks to do this, makes me laugh.
Headham, you stated:
"A first-round exit against the Angels makes their status as the Team of the Decade iffier..."
Iffier? As if it's in any iffy? No, it's a lock. The Boston Red Sox are the Team of the Decade*. Sorry, NY media, but it's so."
Disagree wholeheartedly with that statement. If NY wins the Series this year, that gives them two Series wins (2000 and 2009*) and four Series appearances (2000, 2001, 2003, 2009*), along with playoff trips in nine of the 10 years in the 'aughts. The Sox have gone to the playoffs a grand total of four times, with two Series victories (2004 & 2007).
Of course a lot of that is taking into account a Yankees series victory this year. But even with a loss in the series, an argument can still be made that the Yankees are the best team of the decade.
We can also look at total wins in the decade, NY's 965 to Boston's 920. Lastly, NY took home 8 AL East Division crowns to Boston's 1. If that doesn't spell dominance over an opponent, I'm not sure what does.
So to state definitively that Boston is team of the decade, when they missed the playoffs six possible times, were outclassed by the Yankees in their own division eight times, and won 40 less games over the same time frame is absolutely absurd.
The fact they went two-for-two in their Series visits lends creedence to this thinking, but two-out of four, with nine playoff trips, and 8 division titles has to trump that thinking, IMO.
I would tend to think your better argument would be to say that the Sox are a better team in the 2000's than the Angels are, because that's a more lucid and accurate argument. But if Anaheim wins it all this year (for their second Series victory of the decade), wouldn't one can certainly make an argument for them as team of the decade, but if you factor in all of the above, the coin would still have to land on the Yankees.
Just one man's thoughts...
Joe, noticed this comment in your opening salvo:
"The downside of a guy like this is Ian Kennedy, who I think has been abducted by aliens"
In actuality, Kennedy underwent surgery a few months back to remove an aneursym from his pitching arm, specifically, on his biceps.
According to a recent AP report, he "made 50 throws at 90 feet" a week or two ago and by Kennedy's own account, he's saying it "doesn't feel like anything happened".
Hopefully he can regain his ability from before the surgery and return to a normal and healthy career.
Have you had an opportunity yet to view the study put forth by Dr. Ian Byram of Vanderbilt Medical Center, where they found that weakness in pitcher's shoulders during preseason raises the likelihood of in-season injuries?
Bloomberg News is saying the study will be presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and it has been submitted for publication.
Curious to get your thoughts and comments on it, if you have read it as of yet. I can send you a link to the article posted on Bloomberg if need be as well.
Was hoping you might address this in your On The Beat article, but I don't see it here. On Saturday, June 20th, in the bottom of the third inning, A.J. Burnett struck out the side in the Marlins game on nine pitches. I know that Felix Hernandez and Rich Harden did this recentl, but other than those two, no other pitchers come to mind.
Im curious to know how often this happens?
Apparently Brian Cashman reads Baseball Prospectus and read my post!! Just kidding, of course.
Yankees announced today that Wang will start Thursday's game with Phil Hughes going to the bullpen. Hughe's actual role has not yet been defined, however, so it will be interesting to see exactly what role they give him.
My question is this:
Why is it always Joba that has to go the bullpen? As Joe so astutely notes above, he is a fantastic starting pitcher. He was a starter before the Yankees moved him to the bullpen for two months back in 2007 in an effort to help a porous bullpen at that juncture in time. With Wang healthy now, why is no one is talking about pushing HUGHES to the bullpen? He's younger than Joba, coming off a lost season where he was injured, will probably push the Verducci Effect this year with his IP, which, when coupled with the injury last year, will NOT be good for his future prospects.
And Wang, with 38 wins over the last two years, should at least be given the benefit of the doubt here over a 22 year old uber-prospect. If his mechanics are cleaned up and his sinker is on, he's a great weapon to have in the starting five. The Yankees already have a similar pitcher in their bullpen. His name is Alfredo Aceves.
So the question bears repeating; Why not let Hughes be the 7th or 8th inning guy. You can limit his pitch counts
to 20-25 pitches per appearance and keep his IP low and in line with what theworkload of a 22 year old kid should be. He can hit 95-96 on the gun when he's throwing with maximum effort too, and has a great curveball to offset that
With Pettitte most likely gone next season you have Hughes work his arm strength back to being a starter during the offseason and you leave him there for the duration of his career.
Why keep yo-yo'ing Joba around when the solution is right in front of their face?
GJHardy, I agree with everyone you stated above. I
've been fuming and seething over this move, rather, NON-move, since the moment it happened.
I watch every Yankees game and it is becoming readily apparent that Girardi, when it comes to his bullpen, clearly doesn't think things through most nights. Granted, he has a great bullpen, to be sure, but to not go to Mariano Rivera there against Billy Butler is egregious. He's worked 2 innings in six games, and was most certainly available to pitch yesterday. Instead, they went to Veras, who had pitched the previous night over a rested and ready-to-go Mo.
In terms of strategy, between Girardi and the bench coach (Tony Pena), both had to have known that Butler was still on the bench at that point and COULD have been called on to pinch hit. Why not pre-empt Trey Hillman's move by warming up Rivera once the 8th inning started just to avoid the counter-move? In that scenario it's HILLMAN that has to make the move, either leave Jacobs in to face Coke (advantage Yankees), or bring in Butler to face Rivera (advantage Yankees). Girardi was reactive instead of proactive in his in-game management and that led to the Royals having the advantage (righty hitting Brayan Pena over lefty-throwing Phil Coke - Advantage Royals).
And don't get me started on how he leaves his SP's in there a pitch or batter too long on most nights. Thats a whole 'nother ballgame.
Terry Francona gets it. He brought in Papelbon in the 8th inning recently against the Angels, and they won. Papelbon was not his usual self, but in the end, he got the four out save and the Sox won. Its proactive thinking like Francona's that have led to That Team From New England having won two of the last three World Series.
If only other managers would get it....
My girlfriend and I have been partial-season ticket holders as well (15-game Saturday package) for the last five years. We found out, probably at the same time you did, that not only did we not get the package we requested, the 15-game Saturday package that also included two-weekday games, but our package had been swapped out entirely to be the 12-game WEEKDAY package. Our seating area generally remained the same, but we were bumped back about 12 rows to the point where the new seats would be two rows from the top of the upper tier.
To compound this insult, in the Saturday package we requested, we had two games against Boston, one against the Mets, visits from the Twins, Angels, Rays, Tigers (Old Timers Day), and World Champion Phillies. Those games were replaced with such epic battles against Baltimore (twice), Kansas City, Seattle, and the Nationals.
My theory on this is that many of the ticket holders that used to buy the partial ticket plans on the field level decided not to spend the $400 per ticket on a similar plan this year when they could get a full-season plan for the same cost in the upper deck. Just keep the tickets you want, sell the rest at face value or tidy profit to those suckers that want to experience a game in the \"House that George Built\". This influx of buyers (for plans that cost more than the partial plans) pushed us partial season holders further back, or out altogether.
If the same people that wrote that clumsy email handled the ticketing process, it\'s no wonder it ended up the way it did. Either way, it\'s a disgrace and the team should be ashamed of the way they handled this.
The feds are not investigating steroids in baseball. The U.S. government, I believe, has not control over baseball\'s business, as baseball was given a free pass over anti-trust. They are investigating Barry Bond\'s perjury case against the government, and through that investigation, they came across the samples and the key codes. Let it be known that the samples and codes were kept in completely separate facilities in different parts of the country.
What\'s egregious to me is that the anonymous samples are not so anonymous. Not to say I condone cheating, but you are guaranteed certain rights when you sign collectively bargained agreements, and this one was clearly violated. If I\'m Don Fehr and the rest of the executives I\'m sitting in NYC telling every one of my constituents to stop taking these tests until the Commissioner\'s Office can prove they have institutional control over the process.
Bonds. Clemens. Rodriguez. A difficult day for baseball.
Two hot dog places, both in NJ, that are small local places that almost everyone in NJ has heard of: Hot Dog Johnny\'s in Buttzville (www.hotdogjohnny.com) and Jimmy Buff\'s (www.jimmybuff.com). Hot Dog Johnny\'s is more well known for their traditional dogs whereas Jimmy Buff\'s is known for putting theirs in pita-style bread, with peppers, onions, potatoes, and whatever else you might like to add on!