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The Yankees and The Red Sox


In your most recent
AL East
Notebook

you compared the Wiltons of the Yankees lineup to their current
Equivalent
Average
.
The overall Yankee lineup is 125 points of EqA behind what was expected,
and this may
indicate some more run production in the future.

Have you checked the Red Sox lineup?

Name               EqA    Proj   Diff

Brian Daubach .274 .279 +5 Mike Stanley .274 .266 -8 Jose Offerman .272 .210 -62 Nomar Garciaparra .315 .317 +2 Wilton Veras .246 .199 -41 Troy O'Leary .271 .211 -60 Carl Everett .279 .321 +42 Trot Nixon .270 .295 +25

The Red Sox lineup, even factoring in Wilton Veras as the everyday
third baseman, is about 97
points of EqA below expectations.

If your article served to anoint a renaissance of the Yankee lineup,
you could have done the same with the Sox.

--CS

Actually, all I was trying to say is that the Yanks will probably turn out
OK on
offense without trading the farm for a slugging outfielder. I also think
the Sox
will be fine, as you say.

However, when considering the balance of power in the division, watch out
for that
Boston pitching staff. Those guys resemble nothing so much as tinder
waiting for
a match.

Don’t forget, ’tis the season for a nice barbeque.

–Dave Pease

Les Expos


I would just like to take this time to say what a great article you
wrote
about the Expos
.
I am a diehard Expos and I am really hoping for a wild-card spot.

My question is what is your honest opinion of how long the Expos will stay
in Montreal. I love this team but live in Ontario and cannot afford to go
to many games. Reading all the local papers, it does not sound too good.

--DM

I don’t see the Expos moving, at least not in the near future. New owner
Jeffrey Loria has been
pretty clear about his support for the team staying. Also, part of his
group’s purchase of the team was building a local coalition to support him.

I think they’ll either get their park, in which case they can’t move,
or other cities will realize that a new stadium is no guarantee of
franchise location. I suspect the owners would rather implement
widespread revenue sharing than deny themselves the money the next
round of upgrades to the remaining parks will generate.

–Derek Zumsteg

Workloads


From ESPN.com's Al Leiter player page:

[Leiter] Appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd"
section (June 4, 1984) after striking out 32 batters in 13 1/3 innings of a
high school game.

That's incredible...does this stuff still happen regularly? Toms River has
a great baseball program, but if that's the cost....

--GM

You know, I remember that game. I wasn’t there or anything, but I grew up
in New York, and I was 13 when Leiter made that start. He got a lot of
press in the Tri-State area.

Sadly, while I’d like to think the work of Craig Wright and others has
trickled down to the amateur levels, we have significant anecdotal evidence
that it hasn’t. And it’s the pitchers with the most to lose who are
subjected to the worst treatment in high school and college.

One possible remedy would be if the the various governing bodies of amateur
sports moved from inning limits–there’s generally an upper bound on how
often kids can pitch–to pitch limits.

As much as I appreciate the note, Greg, I have to say that I hope to
someday never have to answer questions like this. Sadly, I doubt that will
happen.

–Joe Sheehan

Equivalent Average


One question: where can I find an explanation for the categories in the
Equivalent
Average

report, particularly RAP and RAR? What do these represent?

--AM

RAR: Runs Above Replacement. What a player has been worth above and beyond
what a freely available player at that position should produce. A "freely
available player", in this usage, is significantly worse than average.

RAP: Runs Above Position. What a player has been worth above and beyond
what the league average is at his position.

Setting up a glossary with all of this info available in it is at the top of
our list.

Thanks

–Dave Pease

Individual Player Questions


Okay, I'll bite. Why are Olmedo Saenz's days at third base numbered?
Jeremy
Giambi
doesn't have enough competition for playing time at third base
or DH? You can probably
tell where my interests lie.

--KF

Saenz has played third base badly during his brief appearances there.
Overall, I
wouldn’t worry too much about Jeremy’s PT. Saenz and Jeremy should wind
up being a platoon in which Saenz gets a bit more PT than just against
lefties;
I still expect Jeremy to end up with ~350 PA.

The challenge comes if and when the A’s call up Adam Piatt for keeps
and once
John Jaha returns from the DL. Even so, Jeremy would end up being the
regular in right field if and when Matt Stairs gets traded.

Hope that helps,

–Chris Kahrl


I'm considering picking up Todd Van Poppel. Do you think he'll be the
Cubbies closer? I have the choice between him and Matt Morris.

--DS

I suppose it depends on what you need. If you need saves, you might
want Van Poppel, but he doesn’t have the job to himself and there’s talk
that he might be put into the rotation.

If you’re more interested in helping your team’s Ratio, ERA and Wins,
then Morris is the better choice. Compared to TVP as a starter, Morris
will outpitch him.

Take Morris.

–Chris Kahrl


Is Adam Eaton the real deal and should I pick him up for 2001?

--LL

It’s tough to say, since you didn’t tell us anything about your league
(NL/AL/mixed? how many owners? what categories?), but here’s my take:

If you’re in anything but an NL-only league with at least 10 teams, no.

If you’re in an NL-only league with at least 10 teams, maybe, but only if
you don’t care how he does this year. Rookie pitchers are a notoriously bad
bet, and you’re judging him on a very small sample of innings. Plus, while
Eaton was a well-regarded prospect, he was hardly Rick Ankiel.

Think about Tim Hudson, who came out of nowhere to be great last
year, but
has disappointed his owners this year.

–Keith Law


Is there any word out there on what's happening with Nick Johnson or
when
he'll be back? Maybe his health is forcing the Yankees' hand in getting
another hitter?

--TA

Nick Johnson’s rehabilitation has taken some time. He’s started to swing
again, hitting off a tee, but has recently experienced some pain and that’s
going to hold him back. The Yankees expected him to come off
the DL this month, but they’re going to continue to bring him along slowly
to avoid any setbacks. Before he started hurting, I was figuring he was
three weeks out. Now, who knows?

As for forcing the Yankees’ hand, you may well be correct–they’ll want
him to get some at bats against live pitching in the minors first, since
he’s been out so long, and Steinbrenner may not be able to wait that long
if the Yankees are falling behind the Red Sox. If they can’t make a deal
for a slugger (or two), though, they might still plug him in for the
shockingly unproductive Tino Martinez at first base or give him some
at-bats at DH,
which would be a waste of his glove.

–Derek Zumsteg

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