The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Give and take

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 29, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Last year, Robinson Cano very nearly had the worst strikeout season of his career. He struck out 14 more times than in 2009 and was eight away from his career-high set in 2007.

Absolutely no one noticed or cared.

As Mike wrote this morning, baseball is quite often a game of tradeoffs. High strikeout totals aren’t as bad as we often make them out to be, as long as those strikeouts come with something positive.

Last year’s Yankees leader in strikeouts was Nick Swisher, who also finished with his lowest full-season walk total, but those negatives came with the highest slugging percentage and OPS of his career.

For baseball players, managers and executives, it’s all a give and take. Swisher made himself a more productive hitter at the cost of some things he already did very well. Last season, Joe Girardi had to weigh Marcus Thames’ ability to hit against his inability to field. This winter, Brian Cashman had to weigh Andruw Jones ability to hit for power against his tendency to swing and miss.

From the outside looking in, there are times when the negatives standout far more than the positives. The tradeoffs are hard to accept when a guy goes down swinging with two outs and a runner at second, or when a guy who homered in the second inning drops a fly ball in the eighth.

Brett Gardner takes heat for being a corner outfielder who has little power but still strikes out quite a bit, but Gardner is also one of the most patient hitters and fastest base runners in the game. His strikeouts come with a lot of walks, those walks keep his on-base percentage high, and that ability to reach base came with 47 stolen bases last year.

Derek Jeter does not have good range in the field, but he’s as fundamentally flawless as any shortstop in the game. Not everyone is OK with that tradeoff — and I can understand that — but it makes him a viable defensive player, and if that tradeoff comes with a return to form offensively, the Yankees will be more than happy to play him everyday for the next four years.

Curtis Granderson’s power is what you’d expect from a first baseman, but it carries extra weight because it comes from a guy who also plays a good center field. Yes, he strikes out and has a sketchy track record against lefties, but it’s hard to find that sort of impact bat at a premier defensive position.

It’s a waste of time trying to build a roster full of perfect baseball players. Some guys strikeout a lot. Some can’t catch the ball. Some can’t hit the ball much beyond the infield dirt.

And sometimes that’s OK.

Associated Press photo of Cano

 
 

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95 Responses to “Give and take”

  1. blake January 29th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Good post

  2. Don January 29th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I think the pinch hitter (previous post) did a good job in shooting down the myth of the strikeout and your post more or less corroborates it.

  3. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Great post Chad.

  4. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Tar January 29th, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    GB

    Exactly. I have come to realize we know little or nothing about the process of collecting all this data. It’s not a computer making these determinations, it’s people some smarter than others doing it. For instance I want to know who the person is, who after watching Tex all year, decided that he is a below average 1b.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Tar, like you, I want to know that these aren’t some pizza stuffing clowns that sit there and decide a fielder should have gotten to the bal…never mind that the pitcher crossed up everyone by throwing in instead of away, or the wrong pitch, or the field conditions. To much is not accounted for when deciding a player’s “range” and perceived ability to field. For the life of me, why would I want a fielder that gets to 20% more balls and make 30% more errors. I’ll take the sure hands and arms or the Fancy Dans that look good while making an error.

  5. West Coast Yankee Fan January 29th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Great post Chad.

    Baseball is ultimately a team game, just look at the 2010 San Francisco Giants.

  6. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    i agree. nice follow up on mike’s post.

    i agree it’s all about how it all balances out.

    what i disagree with mike is that he seems to think he can figure out how it’s going to come out on paper.

    i think we have a hard time telling what creates winning. there are also different ways of creating winning. teams like the 59 white sox come along and win one way and teams like some of the yankee teams win by bashing the ball.

    cano and swisher get to striking out in very different ways. granderson when he was going badly struck out simply because he missed the ball when he swung. that’s not cano’s problem.

    so there are strikeouts and there are strikeouts.

    i don’t see how mike’s sabermetric position on strikeouts sheds any light on how these different hitters strike out. i’m not saying he’s wrong that strikeouts are no big deal. i don’t see the big deal in what he’s trying to show.

    ultimately , if we get down to it , i think mike would say small ball and getting a guy in from third with a restricted swing is bad baseball. i wouldn’t. mike seems to want free swingers like adam dunn who swing all out all the time . i like good situational hitters who adjust their swing to the situation.

    i think that’s where the real baseball argument is. the strikeout thing is mike just beating around the bush. what he’s really against is situational hitting with managers using these situational skills to play small ball.

    for example,with adam dunn at bat, a manager has little he can do because all dunn can do is one thing swing away.

  7. LGY January 29th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Have the villagers put away their torches?

    Even I don’t want to deal with the mob today.

  8. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Question to sabermetricians. How can you possibly tout your stats as having any kind of accuracy when it is without question that umpires are known to call inaccurate games? Or is it that stat that takes the day for you, accuracy be damned.

    How can we talk about strike outs with any kind of impugnity knowing that there is no such thing in play as a truly defined strike zone. And what’s up with that? Why should hitters and pitchers have to adjust their entire games to the whims of the umpire du jour? Umpire X is known for having a tight strike zone. Umpire Y doesn’t call the low strike. Umpire Z has a generous strike zone. And the umpire :roll: has a moveable strike zone. Don’t try to guess what the next call will be because it’s impossible. That’s good for the game? That’s your basis for telling us who strikes out the most?

    One of the worst days in the game of baseball was the day that players could no longer question balls and strikes. Are we about celebrating the shortened length of the game as opposed to the accuracy of the game? If you take pliss-poor plate calling to its logical extreme, there may be teams going home who should have been in the playoffs. There may be pitchers who end up losing games because they’ve been required to get 5 outs per inning – and teams who win games they may have otherwise lost. And don’t give me that inane gibberish that it all evens out in the end. That’s just the lazy person’s way of copping out. Let’s get the statheads to take a way at the way Angel Hernandez calls games for the Yankees and then let’s take a look at the way he calls them for all other teams. I want to see the balance sheet on that one.

    I’ll tell you what I want to see. FIRST OF ALL I want to see a defined strike zone. Then I want to see some kind of robotic that has a laser measurement for every player in the game, obviously taking into account the different players’ measurements. We know that a ball will cross little Pedey’s knees in a far different spot from where it will cross for Alex Rodriguez. As long as we continue to have a laissez-faire attitude toward game calling behind the plate, stat heads can take those stats and shove ‘em.

  9. West Coast Yankee Fan January 29th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Statistical analysis cannot possibly take into account the myriad of circumstances that can effect a ball players performance on any given day, (or series of days) both physical and mental. There is no baseline, no constant, no way to equalize these factors.

  10. upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Hi LGY
    I recommend more bacon

  11. LGY January 29th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Neither can observation.

  12. LGY January 29th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Kate

    That’s the problem. I’ve had NO bacon today!

  13. West Coast Yankee Fan January 29th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    No one is saying that observation provides a perfect snapshot.

  14. 108 stitches January 29th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    It comes down to timely hitting and unwillingness to strand runners when opportunity presents itself.
    Get the runs across any way possible. Waiting for the long ball is a gamble on the part of a manager. The only pretty home run is a game winning one.

  15. hardwired7 January 29th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Two words I can’t wait to hear: “Play ball!”

  16. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Trisha :D

    “Neither can observation”

    LGY

    How is defensive data compiled?

  17. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    “Even I don’t want to deal with the mob today.”

    lgy-

    what? taking on the blog is great fun.

    you’re not conceding jerkface is more clutch at it than you are, are you?

    if you wait for him to show up before you fight back i’m going to lose a lot of respect for you. :)

  18. upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Randy
    :)

  19. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I think you can live with Jeter’s range because he hits, not because of his sure hands. There may be no other position on the field where range is as important as it is at SS.

  20. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I’m all for the villagers setting a torch to the sabermetric labratories where they build these monstrosities they turn into followers. They can follow it and wallow it all they want. Just don’t try pushing it on others like you’re pushing heroin.

    They have no issues in calling those “non-believers” neanderthals, but, hate being called geeks, freaks and Satan worshippers. Don’t tell people they are wrong and can’t understand the game just because they don’t give a damned about your cult.

  21. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    And part of the reason that Jeter is viewed as having sure hands is that he doesn’t get to balls which tend to raise error totals for other SS.

  22. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    “And part of the reason that Jeter is viewed as having sure hands is that he doesn’t get to balls which tend to raise error totals for other SS.”

    I disagree. Jeter is “viewed as having sure hands” because he has sure hands, period.

    As to inflated error totals for a SS with better range, isn’t that what an official scorer is for?

  23. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    trisha -

    Agreed.

    If MLB does not police the umpires to do a much better job all around, the game is going to suffer.

    As much as I dislike instant replay, it’ll most likely be used in the near future, simply because the umpires are getting much worse in the calls on the field.

    Why is MLB not using K-Zone to properly evaluate the home plate umpires, and get rid of those that are stinking up the game, are they too afraid of the union?

  24. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    “I disagree. Jeter is “viewed as having sure hands” because he has sure hands, period.”

    Absolutely.

  25. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    “I disagree. Jeter is “viewed as having sure hands” because he has sure hands, period.”

    So there’s no correlation between range and errors?

    “As to inflated error totals for a SS with better range, isn’t that what an official scorer is for?”

    So you agree that it’s a subjective standard.

  26. Joe from Long Island January 29th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    In baseball, you have to live with compromises. Same as life. That’s why baseball is the perfect metaphor for life.

  27. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Tar January 29th, 2011 at 12:42 pm
    Trisha

    “Neither can observation”

    LGY

    How is defensive data compiled?

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    They take a grease pencil and draw a line on the monitor and anything inside those lines belongs to a certain fielder. The width between the lines is dependent upon the fielder’s team and name. Then, if the ball goes through and not played, everyone stands up and screams “He should have had it. He should have had it. Andrus would catch that one in his back pocket.” Then they all high five each other and grab another slice of pizza.

  28. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    If a SS ranges wide to attempt to make a play, and the official scorer determines it’s too difficult a play, he calls it a hit, even if the SS does not make the play, as it should be.

  29. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    “If a SS ranges wide to attempt to make a play, and the official scorer determines it’s too difficult a play, he calls it a hit, even if the SS does not make the play, as it should be.”

    Right, it’s subjective.

  30. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    “Why is MLB not using K-Zone to properly evaluate the home plate umpires, and get rid of those that are stinking up the game, are they too afraid of the union?”

    Good question Big Al. It seems obvious that it was put in just to shut people up as opposed to anything else. It’s a farce and I consider the front office of MLB to be a farce. When you have a commissioner refuse to call a perfect game for a pitcher who was shown to have been jobbed on a call, the last play of the game, then you can rest assured that the commissioner has the integrity and purity of the game on a bunsen burner somewhere off in a lab in siberia.

  31. blake January 29th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Id rather have a SS with sure hands and less range than a CFer with sure hands and less range. CF is where range is most critical to me. Jeter does have very sure hands and handles pop ups and comes in on the ball very well still….still turns the double play well, still makes a lot of “mental plays” through positioning, cut offs, etc that don’t go i’m the stat sheet. He is limited left to right somewhat with his range but as I’ve said many times there is more to playing that position than stats can show……

  32. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    That’s fair, blake. CF may be a more important position for range than SS, so it’s second.

    As for the popups, that’s why I wanted Jeter in CF since Bernie got too old to handle the position.

  33. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    “In baseball, you have to live with compromises. Same as life. That’s why baseball is the perfect metaphor for life.”

    what kinds of compromises are you talking about?

  34. tyanksfan36 January 29th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    You know. I don’t like to rag on our infield because I love all of them but sometimes they all look like statues out there. Tex often makes tough plays on balls but the rest of them more often than not just make minimal effort to get the ball. I would like to see more of that but if they’re going to make more errors as a result then I guess I’m okay with them being statues out there.

  35. blake January 29th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Rich,

    Yea I would agree its 2nd….I think Jeter would have been a good CFer when he was younger but I do worry if he would have had more injuries if that move had been made……he does track balls well though…

  36. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    A player gets to balls in left field better than many left fielders He gets no credit for that. He gets blamed for not going left and right as well as some others. He gets to the ball and it’s generally an out. How many times do you see Andrus or Ramirez butcher multiple plays right at them? I’ll take sure handed and consistant over the wide ranging butchers any day.

  37. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    A player gets to balls

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    ***Jeter*** gets to balls

  38. Mell January 29th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    “You know. I don’t like to rag on our infield because I love all of them but sometimes they all look like statues out ther”

    Left side does. Right moves about as well as anyone’s.

  39. blake January 29th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I watched the Yankees nearly every game last year and I just don’t recall that many plays where I thought to myself….you know Jeter should have turned that into an out. I played the position so I know how tough it is to make certain plays. There is a difference in getting to a ball and actually throwing the guy out at first….I wonder how much that’s taken into account in UZR etc….

  40. Mell January 29th, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    “A player gets to balls in left field better than many left fielders He gets no credit for that”

    Probably because there’s not much evidence to support it.

  41. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    The only times I’ve ever had issues with Jeter’s defense was when he was using that side armed flip and throwong off of his front foot. The bals would almost always sail wide right. He stopped doing that about 2 years ago.

  42. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Mell January 29th, 2011 at 1:44 pm
    “A player gets to balls in left field better than many left fielders He gets no credit for that”

    Probably because there’s not much evidence to support

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    If they have the videos to support one side, then they have the video to support the other. Sorry, but, that excuse ain’t gonna fly.

  43. blake January 29th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    GB,

    yes he did get in a bad habit there for awhile …..he still occasional coasts one over there and gets on the side of the ball but he’s pretty consistent and on top of most throws now.

  44. West Coast Yankee Fan January 29th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I believe it is valid for someone to take the position that they just don’t like the increasing saturation of metrics into most baseball conversations today. It’s an honest albeit subjective opinion to feel that they detract from an appreciation of the artistic purity of the game and suck much of the life from it. Paint-by-numbers is not viewed as art.

  45. Mell January 29th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    “I wonder how much that’s taken into account in UZR etc”

    UZR is a little like credit scores. Nobody really know how the hell they are calculated.

    One thing that is true though is the Yankees were dead last in outs made from the shortstop position in 2010. They were dead last in assists by the SS and in what will undoubtedly be a surprise to some, dead last in SS putouts where the ball was caught in the air. Some of this has to be a little telling.

  46. blake January 29th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Mell it is probably somewhat telling…..however AJ, Javy, didn’t throw a whole lot of groundballs…..and Hughes is a flyball pitcher as well. Jeter doesn’t have the greatest range and Ill admit that……but does he hurt them there? I don’t think so….I actually think he’s still pretty good when you factor everything in.

  47. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    tyanksfan36 January 29th, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    You know. I don’t like to rag on our infield because I love all of them but sometimes they all look like statues out there. Tex often makes tough plays on balls but the rest of them more often than not just make minimal effort to get the ball. I would like to see more of that but if they’re going to make more errors as a result then I guess I’m okay with them being statues out there.

    ****************************************************
    You sure as heck have not been watching Cano play 2B, if that’s your opinion. To me, the biggest loss of range has been A-Rod, since his hip injury.

  48. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    “I believe it is valid for someone to take the position that they just don’t like the increasing saturation of metrics into most baseball conversations today. It’s an honest albeit subjective opinion to feel that they detract from an appreciation of the artistic purity of the game and suck much of the life from it. Paint-by-numbers is not viewed as art.”

    Great post.

  49. Mell January 29th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    “If they have the videos to support one side, then they have the video to support the other. Sorry, but, that excuse ain’t gonna fly”

    I’m not sure that there’s video to support either side, but if there is, I’m pretty certain nobody’s seen anywhere near enough to make a determination about whether Jeter’s ability to play a ball in the air is as good, better or worse than any other SS.

  50. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    WCYF -

    We actually agree on something.

  51. Mell January 29th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Blake:

    The Yankees did not have an inordinately low amount of ground balls as measured against the rest of the AL. They were right around the league average.

  52. Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Those who don’t want more sophisticated ways to look at the competitive aspects of the game, and those who are impatient with the imperfect process of developing and refining these new tools, should simply ignore them. Why rail at something that is interesting to many and is not going to go away?

  53. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    It’s very seldom that you ever see shortstops and third basemen as tall as Jeter and Rodriguez that have great range, unless they are rail thin like Mark Belanger. That’s a lot of size to move. It will be interesting to see Rodriguez/ range after sheding some of that upper body weight.

  54. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Mell

    Where did you get your numbers from? They are not accurate

  55. blake January 29th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Mell,

    But did they have a lower amount of playable grounders……or were a lot of them lasers because AJ left a 3-1 fastball over the plate…..hard to know. I just think its all very tough to account for.

  56. West Coast Yankee Fan January 29th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    World peace is attainable Big Al.

  57. LGY January 29th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Trisha

    I thought the sabers were the ones with secret labs.

  58. upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    personally, I just like to watch the game…I work w/ numbers all day long, and that is enough for me. If others enjoy the stats, that doesn’t bother me at all. There are all kinds of Yankees fans out there, from the more passionate ones who post on a blog to my son’s ex-GF who told me “I like A-rod and the guy who comes in to pitch at the end, when the other pitcher starts to suck”.

    and on that “mom note” I am done w/ my housework and taking my dog out for a ski :)

  59. m1kew January 29th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I apologize for taking this space on an off topic subject (though one which has received much discussion her. Also, I am very tired of all the negative comments so was elated to see this interview in The Trentonian – http://trentonian.com/articles.....=fullstory

    Here one excerpt:

    JN: With Russell Martin coming on board, is that an indicator that Montero will probably start the year back at Scranton?

    BC: It’s an indicator of who’s going to be the starting catcher. It’s going to be Russell Martin, period. Then after that, the back-up situation’s going to be open for discussion between Cervelli, Montero, Romine, we’ll see. Or all of them. … They all could split time and get a little education in the process.

    JN: With Montero, obviously the questions are with his defense. I know the Yankees believe he can catch right now. How far does the organization believe he has to go before its certain he can catch long-term.

    BC: We believe he can catch, and we believe he can catch long-term.

    JN: What are you and the organization seeing, then, that perhaps other organizations are missing when it comes to Montero’s defensive abilities?

    BC: He’s come a long way. The defensive side is something he’s had to work on a long time. I’d liken it separately to a guy like Wade Boggs, who came through the farm system of the Red Sox, always hit, but people said he can’t play defense. He ultimately turned himself into a perennial Gold Glove-winning third baseman. Hard work can close the gap on deficiencies. Derek Jeter made 56 errors in the South Atlantic League. … The minor leagues is (where you) work out your problems, and he’s certainly closing the gap. He’s not there yet, but he’s pretty damn close. We believe he’s better than some starting catchers, defensively, in the big leagues right now.

    JN is Josh Norris the Trentonian reporter
    BC is Brian Cashman

  60. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    Those who don’t want more sophisticated ways to look at the competitive aspects of the game, and those who are impatient with the imperfect process of developing and refining these new tools, should simply ignore them. Why rail at something that is interesting to many and is not going to go away?

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    For the same reason that people who are in love with them keep trying to shove it down the throats of everyone who doesn’t care don’t about them. Trust me, there’s more that don’t care about them than those that do. They ain’t even close to the final word in baseball enjoyment.

  61. Betsy January 29th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    That just confirms what was already assumed – that Martin is the starting catcher, period. I don’t care if he has a particularly good spring or not as long as he’s healthy. If Montero hits enough to merit winning a spot on the 25 man roster, then good – he can be a BUC and occasional DH.

  62. Betsy January 29th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Although, it sounds from that piece that Cashman thinks Montero would be better off in AAA working on his catching, which apparently isn’t all that far away from being good.

  63. LGY January 29th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I have played and watched multiple sports my entire life and I always have to laugh when people refer to them as art.

    I can only imagine the beating I would take if I told my teammates or our opponent we were making art out there!

  64. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    GB7 -

    Agreed, it’s great to watch a well played game, and, to me, a waste of time to over analyze every aspect of the game.

    The stats guys are most likely those that have, or enjoy, fantasy leagues, and rely on those stats in picking their team.

    As always, JMO.

  65. ltl January 29th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I might have missed this earlier, but if strikeouts aren’t important is it simply a matter of offensive strikeouts? Cashman and company are searching for strikeout pitchers–also an indication they might be pleased to reduce fielding opportunities? In other words, are strikeouts more important defensively than offensively?

  66. Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Kate, I’m schizophrenic on the subject. My greatest pleasure is in just watching the game, being in the moment, enjoying the history, personalities and ambiance of the game. However, I also have this unfortunate tendency to want to play manager or GM for my favorite team. That’s when I start wanting better info to base judgments upon.
    Some of these new stats make my head spin while others seem to make sense. I see the potential contributions that these new stats can make but reserve the right to go read “The Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra” when my eyes start to roll back in my head.

  67. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    AL, the day I waste my time figuring out who has the best WAR or UZR on the year after the 4th game of the years is the time that I’ll have been dead for a year.

  68. Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    # GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    Those who don’t want more sophisticated ways to look at the competitive aspects of the game, and those who are impatient with the imperfect process of developing and refining these new tools, should simply ignore them. Why rail at something that is interesting to many and is not going to go away?

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    For the same reason that people who are in love with them keep trying to shove it down the throats of everyone who doesn’t care don’t about them. Trust me, there’s more that don’t care about them than those that do. They ain’t even close to the final word in baseball enjoyment.

    ____________________
    It’s like a kid with a new toy. They want to convince the world that they’ve got the greatest toy since the yo-yo was invented. Maybe if they do come up with the equivalent of the X-box that would be great. Many of us won’t be interested anyway. And that’s just fine.

  69. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    16 days until pitchers and catchers. Any bets on who submits the first whime on how bad Burnett threw and Posada caught or that Hughes didn’t use his curve and change-up in practice?

  70. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Ed, I have never played a video game in my life other than spider-solitaire. I have zero interest in that or fantasy sports. After basebal, I prefer a great old movie or a good book.

  71. Against All Odds January 29th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    # GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    16 days until pitchers and catchers. Any bets on who submits the first whime on how bad Burnett threw and Posada caught or that Hughes didn’t use his curve and change-up in practice?

    —————–

    Or how Tex is changing his approach to avoid a slow start.

  72. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    submits the first ***whine*** on how bad Burnett threw

  73. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 29th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Forget all stats … save for one – Wins

  74. Pauldanand January 29th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Choosy mothers choose Jiff

  75. Pauldanand January 29th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    :)

  76. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 29th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    GB7, put me down for right after the first inning of Burnett’s first ST start.

  77. LGY January 29th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    the day I waste my time figuring out who has the best WAR or UZR on the year after the 4th game of the years is the time that I’ll have been dead for a year.

    *****

    If everytime I tried to type in fangraphs I ended up at fungrapes I would probably feel the same way

  78. jacksquat January 29th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Call Montero the backup catcher, as long as he starts at least a third of the games behind the plate, preferably more (40-50%). Having him catch once a week is not going to help him improve. I’d rather he stay in the minors if he’s going to sit most of the time in the majors.

  79. Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    # GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Ed, I have never played a video game in my life other than spider-solitaire. I have zero interest in that or fantasy sports. After basebal, I prefer a great old movie or a good book.

    ____________________
    I’m with you, GB. I just don’t understand what enjoyment people get from some of that stuff, but so be it. A lot of folks don’t understand my love for baseball either.

  80. Mell January 29th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Tar:

    What numbers do you speak of.

  81. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 29th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I retract my previous post.

    I’m actually interested in only two stats.

    Yankee wins and Red Sox losses.

  82. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Ed, I don’t care that others think that video games are the greatest things ever invented, I just don’t care to have to read about how somebody scored 10 million points and now considers himself smarter and better than everyone else. If they enjoy it, ok, by me. I just care to hear it on a daily basis. In the words of Ernie Capadino, “Hey, no skin off my ashtabula.”

  83. Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    GB, I agree. I have no patience for people who think they’re smarter when they’re just different. I’m pretty conservative about stuff like this, particularly when it’s being applied to something I’ve loved for 50 years.

  84. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    lgy-

    i’ve been gone for a while and i must say you are putting up rather a wimpy counter attack sticking up for mike’s sabermetrics post though”fungrapes” was a good comeback.

    i’m afraid you’re just not bringing your A game today :)

  85. SAS January 29th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    GB,

    Good day my friend.

    You know me well enough to know what I think about all the fancy math in baseball. I watch it the way I always have…..rooting for the Yankees. The numbers stuff is meaningless if the guy hits into a DP or K’s in an important situation.

    As far as Jeter goes, he still gets players out with great regularity, he starts DP’s, and rarely has an error. If I hear one more time that Tex is the reason, I am going to get sick. That is a first baseman’s job. Now I hope Jeter’s bat returns to the something more reliable. I would like him to hit into fewer DP’s regardless of where he bats.

  86. Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    This year is pivotal for Jeter. He either successfully makes adjustments and remains a key contributor or doesn’t adjust and fades to irrelevance. For his sake and ours, I wish him the best.

  87. Ruby Tuesday January 29th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    ” Some can’t hit the ball much beyond the infield dirt. ”

    Chad, is this an intentional shot at Derek “Our Groundout King” Jeter ?

  88. Ruby Tuesday January 29th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    It is really unkind if it were .

  89. LGY January 29th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Randy

    I didn’t particularly like Mikes post so I don’t have much interest in defending it.

    But you’re right. I’m not on my A game today. Maybe in a few more hours :)

  90. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Did Jeter have an off year, for Jeter – Yes.

    But, let’s be fair, how many other AL SS were better than Jeter’s .270, as bad as that was for him, it was still respectable ranking against his peers.

  91. SAS January 29th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Big Al,

    You are right. It is just that Jeter has been so good for so long, we have come to expect it.

  92. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    SAS -

    Agreed, but if you use that as a measurering stick, how come when Tex did more to stink up the offense, he was not held to the same standard the fans set for Jeter.

    IMO, it’s just those that have a dislike for Jeter, that enjoy taking shots at him.

  93. 108 stitches January 29th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 2:32 pm
    16 days until pitchers and catchers. Any bets on who submits the first whime on how bad Burnett threw and Posada caught or that Hughes didn’t use his curve and change-up in practice?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Been there every year since ’96 when pitchers & catchers have their 1st workouts. Pitchers aren’t allowed to throw full throttle or seriously use breaking pitchers for the 1st few bullpen sessions. Lots of catchers in camp to catch the many pitchers scheduled to throw. Posada will just blend in with all the others.

  94. Ed H. January 29th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    New post.

  95. SAS January 29th, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Big Al,

    Again, I agree and Tex’s hitting last year was so streaky that much of the time he was up there, one expected the worst. Arod wasn’t himself. There is really great hope that this year our bats will be more lively so there aren’t so many really bad results. I know we won a lot, but some of those games we lost were pitiful.


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