The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Pinch hitting: It Is High, It Is Far, It Is Caught

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 20, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Of all the guest bloggers, these six guys have the best name for their blog. It Is High, It is Far, It is Caught is a tribute of sorts to John Sterling.

Here is how they described themselves: “Scattered throughout the continent, our crew consists of a lawyer, a banker, a comic book writer and assorted ink-stained wretches (a/k/a journalists), whose collective output includes various editions of “Justice League,” stacks of legal documents, a nationally syndicated business books column and the classic, belongs-in-every-Yankee-fan’s-library 1993 bestseller, O Holy Cow: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto, which will be re-released this spring with the addition of all-new material.”

Here is their post. They’re the first guest bloggers to go with comedy:

YES Programming Schedule (tentative)

7:00 a.m.: I Dream of Jeter (Comedy) An old flame causes mischief. Guest: Mariah Carey. (Rerun)

7:30 a.m.: Judge Yogi

8:30 a.m.: My Name is Kyle (Comedy-Tragedy) After signing a big Yankee contract, Kyle tries to appease Karma by walking every leadoff batter.

9:00 a.m.: Stargate: Atlanta (Sci-Fi) Following a season-ending eight-run Mets outing, Tom is transported to the Braves universe.

10:00 a.m.: Terminator: The Joba Chamberlain Chronicles (Sci-Fi) Evil Theo dispatches an insect swarm to distract the future savior.

11:00 a.m.: Lost (Sci-Fi) The Rays’ post-game wrap-up, live from Mons Venus.

Noon: Garret Anderson 360 (News)

12:30 p.m.: Boston Legal (Drama) ex-Judge Mitchell fights for his beloved city by probing the Yankees.

1:00 p.m.: El Duque of Hazard (Comedy) The bullpen gang rigs a radar gun to make the Boss think they’re throwing 100 mph.

1:30 p.m.: Agent Sterling: FBI (Action) John must stop an A-bomb … from A-Rod!

2:00 p.m: Ugly Papi (Comedy) After being teased about his weight by Manny, Papi takes dancing lessons from Coco.

3:00 p.m.: Miami Vice (Mystery) Joey G. is forced to leave town despite doing everything demanded by bosses Jeffrey and Larry. With Hervé Villechaize as David Samson.

3:30 p.m.: MythBusters (Science) The team runs tests to see if a human can be injured as often as Carl Pavano. (Rerun)

4:30 p.m.: That 70s Team (Comedy) Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich swap… stories.

5:00 p.m.: Deal Or No Deal? (Game) Hank and Alex compete for a $250 million jackpot.

6:00 p.m.: 24 (Action) At 5:00 am on the day of the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Jack Bauer races to find the missing Brian Cashman.

7:00 p.m.: Are You Smarter Than A Sportswriter? Host: Peter Abraham.

7:02 p.m.: Dancing with the Stars (Competition) Stump Merrill teams with Heather McCartney Mills.

8:00 p.m.: The Sorianos (Drama) – A tough Chicago syndicate hires Alphonso for a series of contract hits directed by Big Lou (the water-cooler-killer) from Tampa.

9:00 p.m.: The Front Office (Comedy) Randy, Hank and Hal vie for Steve’s old chair.

10:00 p.m.: Hardball with Gary Matthews (Talk) Interview with Israeli Defense Minister Rod Carew

10:30 p.m.: Desperate Housewives (Humor) Frustrated, Cynthia tries to get Alex’s attention by wearing a sassy T-shirt to his workplace.

11:30 p.m.: Ming of the Hill (Subtitles) The crew mows the grass too short, ruining CMW’s sinker.

12:30 a.m.: Dirty Sexy Manny (Fantasy) Manny finds a secret door in the Green Monster.

2:00 a.m.: The Rocketeer (Movie, 1991) A scientist invents a special suit that makes a man fly through jet propulsion emanating from his posterior.

4:30 a.m.: Escape To L.A. (Movie 2007) Joe and Donnie embark upon a treacherous journey across the continent.

4:59:55 a.m.: Knicks Highlights (Parental Advisory).

5:00 a.m.: The Twi-Night Zone (Fantasy) An old-timer tells an incredible tale of two games played during a single day with one admission ticket.

6:00 a.m.: Morning Sermon (Religion) Frs. Phil and Harry discuss the parable of the Holy Cow.





126 Responses to “Pinch hitting: It Is High, It Is Far, It Is Caught”

  1. Chris Serico January 20th, 2008 at 3:15 am


  2. Blondie (has more fun) January 20th, 2008 at 3:18 am

    The Tundra will be frozen!

    3 degrees – kickoff time.

  3. Matt January 20th, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Now we need a Waldman blog. “OMG ROGER CLEMENS IS IN GEROGES BOX”

  4. Wolf In Pinstripes January 20th, 2008 at 3:27 am

    It’s 3:20 AM. With my hands pressed tightly against my mouth to suppress uncontrollable laughter, and tears coming from my eyes, I have miraculously managed to not wake anyone else in the house.

    Pure genius in my book, guys. What a great job. 8) :clap:

    I’ll reread this several times again during daylight and prepare myself for the aches in my sides from laughing out loud too hard. I love it. Again, bravo.

  5. Say it ain't so January 20th, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Great job on this. Funny stuff and really refreshing. This one was my favorite:

    4:30 p.m.: That 70s Team (Comedy) Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich swap… stories.

  6. iYankees January 20th, 2008 at 4:10 am

    too funny… Ming of the Hill was hilarious.

    1:00 p.m.: El Duque of Hazard (Comedy) The bullpen gang rigs a radar gun to make the Boss think they’re throwing 100 mph.

    ^that, also had me rolling.

  7. Old Goat January 20th, 2008 at 4:44 am


  8. Motown Yankees Fan January 20th, 2008 at 5:59 am

    That was awesome.

  9. murphydog January 20th, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Dying is easy; comedy is hard.

    Well done, guys.

  10. MGW 27 in '08 January 20th, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Man, that was classic!!
    Ugly Papi – hahaha!
    Knicks highlights [5 seconds] ;-)
    I’m hoping I awoke the upstairs neighbors with my guffawing.

  11. Vader January 20th, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Great stuff guys.

    12:30 a.m.: Dirty Sexy Manny (Fantasy) Manny finds a secret door in the Green Monster.

    May-be a sequel to Cannonball Run fame, Behind the Green Door….for those who remember The Cannonball Run. Also, a movie that is most likely in Matsuis’ famed collection.

  12. el duque January 20th, 2008 at 7:56 am

    We’re posting more shows — the “Not Ready for Prime Time” listings –at IT IS HIGH.

  13. Jesse January 20th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Living in the Tampa area I can only hope that the Ray’s read this and decide to try being entertaining by whatever means possible. If not Mons Venus then perhaps the Doll House.

    My only quibble is the Stump Merrill/McCartney dance bit. That was just a bit sick IMO.

  14. Mark January 20th, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Writing quality comedy ain’t easy. You guys hit in the clutch–great job

  15. Travis January 20th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    EXTREMELY clever, and I can only imagine how long it took to come up with all of these great lines! Great job.

  16. Travis January 20th, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Sorry for posting again, but I am still laughing. Among my favorites:

    1:00 p.m.: El Duque of Hazard (Comedy) The bullpen gang rigs a radar gun to make the Boss think they’re throwing 100 mph.

    1:30 p.m.: Agent Sterling: FBI (Action) John must stop an A-bomb … from A-Rod!

  17. murphydog January 20th, 2008 at 9:04 am

    In keeping with the theme of humor in baseball, I offer you The Daily News, where other reporters suck up to Lupica’s friend Emery and pass it off as “news.” Balance? I think not. Here are two tidbits I found interesting in one of today’s Daily News pieces [Bracketed material is from the article]:

    1) ["There may be a third tape," said Ward. At that point, Ward points out, Hardin was representing both Clemens and Pettitte, a potential conflict that might arise if federal investigators pursue any kind of investigation of Clemens if he denies under oath the information in Mitchell's report. "If Andy told him anything about Clemens, there's a possible conflict," Ward said. "If so, he should have gotten off both cases. If Roger is ever prosecuted, that could become a real issue."]

    Ward and Emery have now focused on Hardin, on a theoretical conflict of interest and are opining as to what Hardin’s only appropriate option would have been. It wasn’t enough apparently to denigrate and insult the party opponent, Roger. Now Emery and Ward are attacking Roger’s lawyer Hardin personally and professionally in the press while litigation and investigations are pending. That’s real class and professionalism, publicly suggesting that Hardin is unethical. I have a suggestion for Ward and Emery: Check your own ethics, boys and straighten out before someone makes a complaint to the NYS Conduct Committee or the Texas trial judge about you two.

    2) [According to Ward, McNamee is remembering details of his dealings with Clemens and his representatives and is reporting them to investigators as he reconstructs times, places and dates of what might be relevant events. "It's a situation where he's now living it every day," Ward said. "And when he remembers things, we report them to the federal authorities."]

    In other words, McNamee is NOW remembering, reconstructing events from as far back as 2003 or 2004 – - apparently he doesn’t remember the year, you see – - and reporting them to the Feds as he recalls them. Welcome, Mr. McNamee, to the ranks of Joe Isuzu an SNL’s Tommy Flanagin (Yeah… my girlfriend, Morgan Fairchild, that’s the ticket).

    Reconstructing… Remembering? Now? Ahahahahahahahaha! I don’t suppose McNamee’s current memoirs might be, oh, I don’t know… just a tad bit less than objective or believable and even more self-serving than his quid pro quo performance to Mitchell? Oh, puh-lease. That’s even funnier than today’s guest bloggers – - and they were FUNNY!

    Just another episode of “why nobody likes lawyers.”

  18. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Very original, very creative, very funny post.

    My favorite? El Duque of Hazard!

    Usually I don’t like jokes that exploit a person’s handicap, physical or otherwise, but I’m of the belief that Heather M M set herself up for them, and not just by appearing on the show to begin with.

  19. Shant January 20th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Kind of a Boston Dirt Dogs rip, but ok…

  20. mary ellen January 20th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Absolutely hysterical – given the current climate of what we’ve read/heard about baseball, that was alot of much needed fun!

  21. Whitey Fraud January 20th, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for the props, folks. And big thanks to Pete The “A” for allowing us to participate.

    (This was a true team effort, though El Duque was the superstar.)

    By the way, this was was a little PG by our usual standards, so please be sure to bookmark us, and visit on a regular basis.

  22. BernBabyBern January 20th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Glad everyone likes it.

    We also do poetry:


    and hard-hitting investigations:

    … and if you visit our blog, don’t be shy about leaving comments. They make us fell all warm and fuzzy.

  23. randy l. January 20th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    dan naulty on espn outside the lines now.

  24. ken777 January 20th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Good job guys. Very funny with great twists. 27/08

  25. JDnotDrew January 20th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    u guys are good! Nice little change. You forgot “The Odd Couple”,starring Cashman and Hank though.

  26. ET90210 January 20th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Tulo getting some serious cash!

  27. Michael January 20th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Great post, very funny.


  28. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    10:00 p.m.: Hardball with Gary Matthews (Talk) Interview with Israeli Defense Minister Rod Carew

    Quality stuff & one for the chosen people. Just bookmarked you guys.

  29. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 20th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Dude, this post is way amazing and totally makes it worth getting up on a sunday morning.

    Thank you for making this life worth living!

  30. Old Yanks Fan January 20th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Well… he has what? 2 years to arb? So that $1m for the 1st 2 years. In Ard, he will get around $5 and $9? And the last yeat as an FA probably $15+? That’s about $30m for 5 years, so I guess I’m close on my guesses? Would het get more in Arb? More as a 1st year FA? It’s a fair deal all around.

    I’m not sure about Arb. Is it 2 years or 3?
    And how many years do you do before Arb starts?

  31. Patrick January 20th, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Funny stuff, my favorite is Lost

  32. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 11:06 am


    They are buying out one year of FA, he would get a bunch in arbitration but not until he was closer to FA.

  33. Melissa January 20th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Fabulous! Keep up the good work!

  34. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 11:14 am

    This is from Buster Olney’s blog today about PED’s, Jim Kaat gives some insight into his playing days:

    Jim Kaat was in baseball as a player, coach and broadcaster for 50 years, and recently, he read a column by former commissioner Fay Vincent in the aftermath of the Mitchell report that closed with the kicker, “Now we see that we have to value those who win while playing fairly.”

    What follows is Jim’s response to that:

    The players have been tagged as the most culpable, and I would suggest that they are not culpable at all.

    Baseball on the major league level has been never a ‘great game of honor,’ like golf is reputed to be. My job as a pitcher was to do all I could to help my team win, and from a selfish standpoint, to perform well enough to earn as much money as I could during a limited number of years to earn it. In 25 seasons in the major leagues, I averaged about $80,000 a year and thought for many of those years I was overpaid.

    I cringe when I hear or see a former player speak out about erasing records set during this era. Here is my own example of a ‘performance-enhancing method.’ Pitching outdoors in Minnesota, a pitcher needed something to help him grip the ball without having it slip out of his hand. Games were played in temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s, and the ball was slick like a frozen snowball. I used pine tar and later a solution my pitching coach, Johnny Sain, concocted by boiling resin and adding a little turpentine and a few other ingredients. It was against the rules. No foreign substance is to be applied to the ball. No punishment was ever noted. Veteran umpire Jim Honochick, known later for his role in the Miller Lite commercials with Boog Powell, approached me on the mound from his position at second base one day and said, ‘Lefty, you’re putting a foreign substance on the ball. That’s illegal.’ I quickly replied, ‘Jim, that’s not a foreign substance. It’s made in North Carolina.’ He chuckled and went back to his position.

    My point is that there were plenty of ‘tricks’ to help you enhance your performance. Baseball never had a set punishment in place. Hall of Fame pitchers have written in books about scuffling the ball with a filed ring worn like a wedding ring that had a sharp edge; applying Vaseline to the ball; sandpaper rings that were used and could be quickly flipped off if an umpire came out to question the unusual movement of the pitch. One well-known pitcher who has been very outspoken about the records achieved with the use of performance-enhancing drugs used to file a sharp edge on his belt buckle to scuff the ball — which helps a pitcher to get it to sink and dive different ways. Infielders had sharp objects hidden in their gloves and as the ball was tossed around the infield after an out, they could scuff it up. Hitters corked their bats.

    Owners, general managers, umpires and the commissioner and his staff knew these things went on and did very little about it. Occasionally, a pitcher might be warned about ‘doctoring’ the ball or a hitter might be caught corking a bat. The Graig Nettles incident has been well-documented: ‘Puff,’ Graig’s nickname, hit a ball off the end of his bat, and the hollowed-out end came loose and a golf ball, two superballs and a dowel of cork went rolling down the third-base line. It was looked upon as a funny incident. ‘Corking’ is meant to increase the coefficient of restitution — the speed with which the ball bounces back off the bat. (Pretty heady terminology for a former left-handed pitcher!) As a pitcher who gave up a lot of home runs, I could recognize when a ball carried an unusual distance, particularly to the opposite field. I was always the curious type and one night, when I saw a ball fly into the upper deck to the opposite field off the bat of a hitter known for his batting titles and not home runs, I investigated. Over the years, I became friendly with most of the clubhouse attendants; you see more of them during the season than you do your teammates or family. I would stop in to visit them well before games on occasion, and have, as we used to say, a cup of ‘big league coffee.’ (Just an expression, not a special brew.) I would notice the bags that held the bats and see where the ends had been hollowed out on some and a noticeable circle where cork or some other objects had been inserted. It confirmed what I thought about the bat of the hitter who hit the opposite-field home run. Because I was visiting a friend in the visiting clubhouse, I would never report anything like that and jeopardize my friendship with the clubhouse guys.

    My reason for pointing out these examples of ‘performance-enhancing’ or cheating is that it has been going on as long as the game itself. Steroids that help you perform better are no different except they can affect your health. I didn’t suffer any illness or debilitating condition from using pine tar. Athletes have died from using anabolic steroids.

    The non-uniformed personnel are all hiding behind the doors and going nameless while players’ reputations are tarnished forever.

    The blame should be shared by the administration and the union. Since baseball took a public-interest hit after the 1994 strike and home runs began flying out of parks in record numbers, they turned their back on what they knew to be the reason for it. Being in clubhouses and around players with their torsos exposed, you don’t have to be exceptionally intelligent to see body changes that would be impossible to achieve with normal weight and strength training. I did the normal training to make my career last as long as possible. It lasted until I was 45 years old. Regular, normal training wouldn’t help achieve the ‘spike’ in players’ performances that we have witnessed in recent years from hitters and pitchers.

    Anyone have an answer to this question: Why hasn’t any player hit 60 or more home runs since drug testing began?

    I have a simple solution (and I have made this known to the current commissioner during a telecast of a game I was doing on YES). When the administration and the union realized what was going on — and they knew ever since the Canseco era, which was about 1990 to a few years ago when testing began — two things should have been presented to the players, privately, in meetings with each individual team …

    A spokesman from the commissioner’s office and the Players Association could have made it clear that they knew what was going on and that the players could:

    1. Take anything and everything available to them to help their performance, and as a result, the team’s performance, while understanding that there are potential health issues, and legal issues, if obtained without prescription.

    2. Enter into an agreement between the union and Major League Baseball whereby any player caught in the authorized testing program using illegal performance-enhancing drugs (listed in clubhouses and training rooms) will be banned for life.

    In other words, a level field for everyone.

    If a lifetime ban was the punishment for using pine tar, do you think I would have taken a chance and used it? I would hope not.

    I grew up studying baseball history. Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis was appointed commissioner in the early part of the last century to rid the game of players involved in fixing games by cooperating with gamblers. We will never have a dictatorial commissioner like him again. However, we need some leadership that will protect the integrity of the game, and it should come from the administration and union leaders. They should have been more interested in serious issues like this instead of record-setting revenues and benefits for players. Unfortunately, that’s all they have ever been interested in, and they probably always will be. It’s too late to repair what damage has been done in the past, but an agreement with some teeth in it could be crafted immediately.

    You may have lost whatever respect you had for players who were your heroes, but don’t blame them for the current problem.

  35. randy l. January 20th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    nice try trying to make the off season with the yankees humorous. some of the lines were funny, but i would have like to see more poking fun at congress and the mitchell report. congressman shays and his blackhawks reference and george “gotta catch a train” mitchell were targets to good to be true. there ‘s also a joke in there somewhere about banning those new peds- placebos from that nutty professor, bud selig.

    it’s not a very funny off season for the yankees. sometimes instead of getting caught up in the details, it helps to stand back and see the big picture. the reality is that the yankees are getting hammered by selig and the mitchell report.

    another reality is that mitchell used some small ball baseball in the form of hit and run with his report. he has repeatedly said his work is done. he has issued a report than ruins other peoples lives yet he wouldn’t even take the time to sit down long enough for congress to question him completely on his report. he had to catch that train.

    catch a train? nothing could be more absurd ,yet very few in the national media picked up on it. mitchell is not scheduled for any more appearances before congress. that’s it- baseball’s best hit and run of the year.

    why am i not laughing?

  36. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Buddy B -

    Thanks for that.

  37. Skippy January 20th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I feel a lot safer knowing Agent Sterling is on the job.

  38. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 11:29 am


    No problem, it’s a bit long, but I respect what Kitty has to say, plus my posts are usually short so I earned it.

  39. Drew January 20th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    LOL, great post guys. Very original and very funny. Stump Merrill and Heather Mills…so wrong, LOL.

  40. george January 20th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    i love the name of this blog. I love Sterling, but he’s a road hazard: it seems there’s a game each year when i almost drive off the road after Sterling does a “it is caught” in a key spot.

  41. Bronx Liaison January 20th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Good stuff. Hadn’t heard of their site until a couple of weeks ago. Without a doubt, one of the best blog titles in the business.

  42. ken777 January 20th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for the JK article.
    I have always liked his toughness, and truthness (or any other Ness). He was not only a good pitcher but a very stand-up guy. I use to hold my breath when he would come out with some of his takes on YES games. Like one of my gripes is; all the armor the batter wears now days, don’t pitch to far inside etc. These guys hang over the plate with all that protection, then cry when the pitch comes in on the inner half of the plate. Now days pitchers like Gibson, turly, sal the barber, Ford etc., would get thrown out of games. Nough said, sorry about the rambling.

  43. Jackie Jensen January 20th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Slam dunk.

    El Duque of Hazzard and The Rocketeer are instant classics.

  44. Fran January 20th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Really fuuny stuff.

  45. HGH January 20th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    yawn, yawn, yawn.

  46. randy l. January 20th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    i missed the gennaro post the other day ,but saw your comment about it being confusing. it confused me and i read his book. i think the key thing to take from gennaro is that wins and cost of a player can be calculated by using some of the sabermetric formulas that attribute wins to a player and combining that info with the salary of the player.

    one of his key concepts is that signing a player for abig contract that means 5 wins to a team like kansas city doesn’t help that team much financially because 5 more wins doesn’t get that team to the playoffs where there is a big payoff. five more wins for a team like the yankees can mean the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs. that’s why they though clemens was worth the 17 million last summer. they figured the plus wins he’d create would get them to the playoffs and they’d get their money back.

    the concept is simple. the details are complex. i think that gennaro was clear that santana for hughes,melky, and co wasn’t a good deal( unless he’s the difference in a playoff series or world series) because it’s market contract plus players. he really didn’t say anything that hasn’t been said on the blog. he just added financial number crunching that backed up his view.

    the key thing to remember from gennaro is that some money spent gets you over the top so it’s worth it. he didn’t say it, but i look at the red sox signing of matsuzaka as that kind of deal. on the surface it doesn’t seem worth it, but last year ,matsuzaka, helped get the red sox over the top. think how the year would have played out differently is matsuzaka was a yankee instead of a red sox. maybe the yankees would have never signed clemens. maybe hughes wouldn’t have been rushed. there would have been no igawa. there might have been a 5 game swing. the yankees might have won the division and there may have been a different ending.

    i wouldn’t worry about reading every word of gennaro;just getting the concept is what’s valuable. one of my tricks is to just go to barnes and noble and spend a few hours getting the basic idea. that works especially well with someone like bill james, john dewan and his fielding bible, or rob neyer , who i want to read enough to see what they are talking about, but don’t want to encourage them by buying their books.

    my little joke is that john dewan called it “the fielding bible” because you have to have faith to believe it. dewan is the guy who has made it a personal crusade to bash jeter’s fielding. my advice is don’t but that book.

  47. YankeeDiva January 20th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Great PH blog :) still laughing at a few of the ‘shows’

  48. Interesting January 20th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    This is hilarious. Thanks for jumpstarting my sunday even though it’s noon and it should’ve jumpstarted long ago. lOL.

    I love the Knicks Highlights (parental advisory)


  49. Joe Buck ruins my life with his bad MLB/NFL playoff announcing January 20th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    We woulda done comedy too. (Bitter)

  50. Matt Schweber January 20th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Funny guys. For obvious reasons, I’ll tune in to Boston Legal.

    And thanks, Buddy for the Kitty read. It reinforces the opinion I’ve held all along: the game was never as pure as the steroids morality police have insisted.
    Hey, did anyone read Gennaro’s article on Santana to which Pete posted a link yesterday? I can’t figure out a seeming inconsistency in the article. (I concede I’m hardly an expert on win-shares, but the theory underlying seems to rest on too many unproven assumptions.)

    Still, Gennarro writes, “According to the win shares stats at “Hardball Times,” Santana’s stellar pitching has been responsible for about eight of his team’s wins each of the past four years.”

    But Hardball Times seems to assign Santana a 18-game win-share for 2007.

    Can anyone explain the contradiction? What am I failing to consider?

  51. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Randy l -

    Thanks for your help in trying to get a grip on Gennaro’s take. I do see the value of what he does, especially in situations like the Santana one where it is not really clear what the best thing to do is. And count me among those who is absolutely unsure what the best course of action for the Yankees is here.

    I like your suggestion of going to B&N (or Borders). They actually have more books than the library (or at least the newer books are represented, while in the library they’re always out), and it’s a lot more comfortable, what with the coffee bars and all. :)

    So, I thought that the few added wins for the Yankees would not be worth it, when actually it would seem to be the opposite. Yes, had the Yankees won, what, 2 or 3 more games last year, they would have had the division and home field advantage (which is not always all it’s cracked up to be – I don’t believe there is a “true” hfa in baseball). Matsuzaka, while not being the ace that was promised did give the Red Sox more wins than possibly someone else in his role. And true, had the Yankees landed Matsuzaka, a lot would have been different last season.

    So, I’ll try Gennaro’s book one more time (without the pad and pencil) and not try to get bogged down in all the details of the numbers, but go for the gist of the material.

    Thanks again.

    Oh, on today’s post — I also liked ‘I Dream of Jeter.’

  52. mel January 20th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Great post!

    Well, I turn on the telly this morning and what do I see? Mark Fainaru-Wada interviewing some ex-pitcher from the Twins. How he was a beanpole kid who used steroids to rise throught the farm system and make it to the bigs. He stopped using after some key injuries, but used HGH to heal. Of course he went were everyone eventually goes: the Yankees. Can you guess who it was?

    The story’s here:

    Picks for the day: Pats & Packs

  53. Old Yanks Fan January 20th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    randy l. – I agree with your and Gennaro’s logic. When looking at Santana, we look at how many Wins he brings us. What I don’t see dicussed is hwo many Wins can we buy IF we use the ‘Santana’ elsewhere?

    While Miggy Cabrera wasn’t available as a FA, if he was, he could probably be had for Santana-ish money. He typically produces twice and many Winshares as Santana. Over the last 4 years, Teixeira has averaged 1 less WS/year then Santana.

    My point is, I dont know how you can talk about Santana’s value without making it relative to others players who may be available as FA’s, or even in trade.

    In terms of the ‘Trade’, if you feel the Yankees could get Tex for 5/$90m, the equation would be:

    Santana ?>>>? Phil + Melky + prospect(s)+ Teixeira + $12m/yr
    (this assumes replacing Melky cost’s $10m/yr. Use any number your like)
    Does anyone think the left side of that equation is anywhere NEAR as good as the right side?

  54. hmmm January 20th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    “Can anyone explain the contradiction? What am I failing to consider?”

    Matt – a “win-share” is roughly 1/3 of a win.

    so, he is saying Johan has averaged about 24 win shares over the last 4 years. that’s about 8 wins.

  55. randy l. January 20th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    old yanks fan-
    i understand gennaro’s basic logic , but i’m not the one to ask about the details. for one thing,i look at bill james as an opportunistic organism trying to sneak into the game through the back door of baseball, so his theories about win shares( that gennaro uses for valuing each player) and the win share value james places on each player may not even be true.

    but the basic idea makes sense that once you assign wins to a player, you can use it to figure out wins per dollar invested on that player. because of all the variables (and win shares is one of them) , i think you can get come to a similar common sense conclusion, by adding up the pluses and minuses the way you did in your equation. we don’t really have to give ourselves a headache to figure out some of this stuff.

    the valuable idea that gennaro throws into the discussion is that if a player gets a team over a playoff hump he may be worth a seemingly extravagant salary because of the money that then comes in. could the yankees use similar investment money on teixeira instead of santana and get the same result? sure.

    the only difference is an ace in a 7 game playoff series pitches maybe 3 times . the ace’s value is higher in the playoffs than the regular season because he pitches in a higher percentage of games(40% instead of 20%) . an ace’s value seems to go up in the playoffs more so than the regular season. so maybe santana is more valuable in the playoffs than teixeira even if they were equal during the regular season.

    as an aside, because win shares is based on the regular season when a pitcher only pitches 20% of a team’s games. i’m not sure if it applies the same way when an ace pitches 40% of a 7 game playoff series.

    i’ve thought for a while that the yankees need to build a team for the playoffs even though it just increases the odds in what is a random competition because of how short the playoffs and world series are.

    i would like the yankees to have an ace and a almost ace for the playoffs, that could be joba and hughes. my preference would be to go that route while hoping that the red sox don’t get santana or at least, if they do, have to pay through the nose to get him.

  56. Mark McCray January 20th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Nice Post. I tried to do comedy!!! ;-)

  57. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 20th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Uh. Guys.

    Temperature in Green Bay WI: -3
    Wind Chill -23.

    And it will probably be COLDER when the Giants and Pack kick off.

  58. Brent January 20th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Randy -

    We can analyze in 50 different directions but the bottom line is that teams succeeding in postseason ventures are highly likely to be those that did excellent scouting of their opponents, were opportunistic of chances, good pitching, and timely hitting from marginal players in many cases. Case in point, Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals in 2006 as a latest example.

  59. Bob Hope January 20th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Everyone knows that Roger did steroids.

  60. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Rebecca –

    Glad I’m not there!

    Here’s a random thought about those marginal players getting timely hits in the post-season. Could it be that the scouts concentrate so much on the impact players that the players like Adam Wainwright are not considered as much? Can pitchers be so focused on getting Albert Pujols out that they don’t focus as much energy on the Wainwrights of the game? I mean, there are only so many resources and only so much time in the day.

  61. Sean Serritella January 20th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I have a website that post every single article on the Yankees on a daily basis and I will be posting every single box score of every Yankee minor league game of all 8 minor league teams.

  62. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 20th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Doreen–That, and, like many, some perform better under pressure

  63. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Rebecca -

    Yes, there’s that, too. But does anyone really think that Boone performed better under presssure? I think he got a great pitch to hit because the pitcher didn’t think he’d hit it. (Or he made a mistake :) )

  64. Khoa January 20th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Great post. well done guys.

  65. Old Yanks Fan January 20th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    My Point is ALL deals are comparitive. If you Trade for Tex is it a good deal? Yes, if you gave up Giambi, No if you gave up ARod. So in looking at if Santana is a good deal, you have to consider:
    1) What he costs
    2) What you could get otherwise for the same cost.

    And in the Santana deal, it is bad in both cases.
    1) We give up Phil, Melky, prospects and $100m
    2) The $100m Santana would cost buys more Wins elsewhere (of course, the right player has be be available via FA or a trade)

    Players-: 2004-2007
    Teixeira: 89 WS = 30 wins
    J.Posada: 90 WS = 30 wins
    D.Jeter: 109 WS = 36 wins
    JSantana: 93 WS = 31 wins
    Alex R.: 135 WS = 45 wins

    so ARod produces 45% more wins then Santana.

  66. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 20th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Doreen–Moments like that call for the unexpected hero.

    I mean, think about Bucky!

  67. Fran January 20th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Time for the AFC championship game. Don’t think that they have a chance but let’s go Chargers.

  68. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Rebecca –


  69. Nick January 20th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    With the amount of postseason history the Yankees have experienced, there’s been a good mixture of players that produced in critical moments with all phases of the game. Today with the exception of the ALDS, there’s a maximum of 7 games to produce in a series or start thinking about next season. A reputation as a “gamer” shows up bigger in the postseason than the regular season.

  70. Jim from Dalton January 20th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    How about..

    Cooking with Mariano…

    Today Mo shares an family recipe Colter Bean Soup..

    Just simmer and simmer…..and simmer and simmer..but it never seems done..

  71. Old Yanks Fan January 20th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t know what excites me more. The beginning of baseball season, or the end of football season. (Is there a season for closet space?)

  72. Mark January 20th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    History shows that the best playoff football games seen in a season are the AFC & NFC championship games. More often than not, the Super Bowl is vastly overrated.

  73. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 20th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Old Yanks Fan:

    Easy when you’re a Jets fan =P

    Best sports months are April and October.

    April: hockey playoffs and baseball beginning, October, the reverse.

  74. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Mark -

    I agree 1,000%. Maybe it would be better if there were not 2 weeks off and 1,000 hours of pre-game hype! :)

  75. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    But, I will say that my husband and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the Superbowl in 2005 (Pats-Eagles) and being there is a completely different experience than watching on tv. Plus all the stuff that goes on in the town where the Superbowl is held — it really is a “happening.”

  76. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Rebecca -

    How did you come to be a hockey fan? It is the one sport I simply cannot watch at all. Well, that and soccer.

  77. Wolf In Pinstripes January 20th, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Old Yanks Fan: “I don’t know what excites me more. The beginning of baseball season, or the end of football season. (Is there a season for closet space?)”

    The beginning of baseball season.

    Just helping a brother out, OYF. ;)

  78. Whitey Fraud January 20th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Just for the record, here’s our roster:

    * Alphonso
    * BernBabyBern
    * El Duque
    * I’m Bill White
    * Prince Frankenstein
    * Whitey Fraud

    … so please visit us often!

  79. Fran January 20th, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Doreen – you are so right about the Super Bowl. It would be hard for any game to live up to all of that hype.
    When you were at the Super Bowl did you notice the breaks between plays to be extremely long? With all of the commercials airing I would think that it might slow the pace down in the stadium.

  80. susan mullen January 20th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Randy l., thank-you for your comment on the mitchell “got to catch a train” all out Yankee attack which has been accepted as normal course of events by most. It is not, and should not be accepted as such.

  81. NYYFan02 January 20th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    After reading that, I could really only say one word for the next few minutes: awesome. Great job guys, very funny, you will be added to my selective “Daily Stops” along with LoHud, RAB, Shysterball, and a few others

  82. mel January 20th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    randy l, susan,

    There’s a link in my comment here to OTL. If you watch, there’s a Twins pitcher who stopped using steroids by the time he was picked up by the Yankees.

    I think it’s safe to assume that Radomnski & McNamee were not involved in his usage. Yet we hear nothing about his source that provided him with enough steroids for him to inject 2cc’s a day.

    Again, we only hear about the Yankees.

  83. Jennifer - Save Phil Hughes! January 20th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    I loved mythbusters!! :lol:

    In a newsday article, it states that Andy and Roger are not great friends as the media has hyped. They were more workout partners, that was pretty much it.
    As as side note I recall hearing that they’ve gone on vacations together, but I guess that is incorrect.

    I guess what ever the truth is Andy most definately will tell it, espicaly if he is angry at Roger right now.

  84. Jennifer - Save Phil Hughes! January 20th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    25 days till pitchers and catchers!! :D

  85. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    25 days is nothing, wow!

  86. Mark January 20th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Jennifer :

    You forgot to mention that it will be 10:00 AM when the pitchers & catchers step on the field for the 1st time in 2008….. in 25 days.

  87. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Brady just got picked, huge play in the game.

  88. Jennifer - Save Phil Hughes! January 20th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Sorry Mark :( :lol: Seriously I cannot wait!! And once March madness is over Yankee baseball takes over NY airways!

  89. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Fran -

    I didn’t really notice the breaks, because we were so occupied watching the crowd and taking it all in. It is truly amazing. We were struck by the difference between Eagles fans and Patriots fans and were fascinated with comparing the two groups.

    Plus, you watch the large screen tvs and see the same commercials as at home, if you want to.

    We had the added plus, for me, of having Paul McCartney do the half-time show. :) (And we saw David Wells on line going into the pre-game festitivies-I took a sly picture – and my husband saw him in the men’s room)

    If you EVER have the opportunity to go to a superbowl, it is hands-down the most exciting experience. And I am a casual football fan, at best.

  90. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 20th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Doreen: My brother got into it first, but the Devils have always been a good team since I started following hockey, and the 2000 playoffs, coming back from down 3-1 against the Flyers, was amazing.

    Oh, and, catching a puck at a Stanley Cup finals game will kind of do that to yah, as well.

  91. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Is Pete at the game today?

  92. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 5:25 pm


    What are your top 3 grad schools you hope to get into? When do you find out?

  93. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 5:27 pm


    I would add that we were not fans of either team, though we did find ourselves rooting for the Patriots. Anyway, I think it would be best to go to a superbowl where you don’t have any ties to the team – that way you can just enjoy the entire experience, and the outcome is inconsequential. Even though we found ourselves rooting for the Patriots, we wouldn’t have been devastated if they lost. Now, had we gone to a superbowl where the Giants were a team, I’m sure it would have been a different thing altogether.

  94. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Okay, Rebecca – I understand. :)

  95. Fran January 20th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Doreen – That sounds so exciting. I didn’t know that you get to see the commercials at the game. You said that you were struck by the difference between the Patriots fans and the Eagles fans. What was the difference?

  96. Fran January 20th, 2008 at 5:31 pm


    I am a Jets fan. I don’t think that I will have to worry about seeing a Superbowl where I have ties to the team any time soon!

  97. Old Yanks Fan January 20th, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    “Again, we only hear about the Yankees.”
    The Yankees sell newspapers.
    Between loving them or hating them, they have a huge ‘fan’ base.
    Everything in the media is about generating income.
    It’s almost silly to call it news.
    It’s hard to find anything intelligent written about baseball unless it’s a Blogger, or a ‘guest speaker’ like Jim Kaat in that article.
    I never knew how truly bad ESPN, Fox, et al were until I started reading Blogs.

  98. mel January 20th, 2008 at 5:58 pm


    They all hate us, but want to be us.

  99. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    yawn, pats won!

  100. mel January 20th, 2008 at 6:04 pm


    Co-MVPs are Defense and Maroney.

    The next game should be great.

  101. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Brady really has ice in his veins.

  102. mel January 20th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Why does Richard Seymour looked stoned all the time?

  103. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Where is Steve Grogan & Tony Eason?

  104. McLovin January 20th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Well at least if the Yankees don’t win a championship the Patriots will win the Superbowl.I know Pete cares about that the mosty.

  105. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Fran -

    I’m sorry. :(

  106. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    How do those t shirts fit over their shoulder pads.

  107. Jennifer - Save Phil Hughes! January 20th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Mel because he is. :P

  108. mel January 20th, 2008 at 6:21 pm


    Size XXX!

    The cutest thing I ever saw in football was a Chargers lineman fixing Sproales shoulder pads during the game. Think Shaq & Bob Costas.

  109. Buddy Biancalana January 20th, 2008 at 6:24 pm


    Can’t even think of one cute thing I have ever seen in a football game. Lol

  110. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 6:40 pm


    In answer to your question, what is the difference between the Eagles fans and the Patriots fans, well, let’s just say the Pats fans were civilized. :)

  111. Doreen January 20th, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    What “was” the difference, I mean.

  112. susan mullen January 20th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    ‘They say’ in baseball (& football)–offense wins regular season, defense (pitching, etc.) wins the post season. Before Aaron Boone, there were 3 consecutive scoreless innings of relief, 9th, 10th, and 11th, by Mariano Rivera. Unlike Goose Gossage, he didn’t give up 2 homeruns in 1 post season game. And Mo didn’t get a “save” to pad his stats. Unfortunately for him, he got a “Win.”

  113. Electra January 21st, 2008 at 3:05 am

    Good concept assembling lawyer, a banker, a comic book writer and assorted ink-stained wretches (a/k/a journalists)….

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