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Pinch hitting: Brian Levy

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 28, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

As a writer, there are fan experiences that never cross my mind. This is one of them, and that’s why I wanted to include it in this series.

Our next Pinch Hitter is Brian Levy, a third-year student at NYU School of Law, and a Yankees fan since 1990. His emailed suggestion for a post was basically an all-sour-grapes team of ex-Red Sox. As a kid rooting for the Cardinals, I believe I had the opposite reaction. I remember disliking former Cubs players wherever they went, but Brian sees the opposite. He likes to see former Red Sox thrive, if only to laugh about the ones that got away.

One of the long-running debates about the importance of statistics is whether feelings affect baseball. When it comes to issues like whether a player performs better or worse in the clutch, the consensus says there’s no statistical significance to crying in baseball (cold streaks are not determinative of future slumps, nor do players perform worse because of fear in the clutch).

Another statistical shorthand that smoothes out emotional reactions is team revenue per win curves. E.g., Vince Gennaro, 2005. Economists and saber-enthusiasts argue that, from the perspective of the team, revenue can be estimated purely from the wins and losses in the standings.

This, however, seems to elide the difference between fan interest and fan payment. On aggregate, fans probably do pay more in eyeball-time or in dollars when the team wins. But, in my anecdotal experience, fan interest can be generated by a series of events with little direct bearing on the team’s overall record. Two of my own strongest and earliest baseball memories consist of two streaks on losing teams: Kevin Maas’s record-breaking rookie home run pace and Anthony Young’s pitching loss streak.

I think that readers of this blog are the kind of people who derive their interest, in part, by becoming invested in prospects, whether the big league team is winning or losing. For fans like us, losing prospects or other players under team control can be agonizing. See, e.g., the two references to Jay Buhner on Seinfeld.

That is precisely the kind of anguish we Yankees fans would like to inflict on Red Sox. After all, the goal of the Yankees fan is, to quote Gov. Schwarzenegger, “[t]o crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their [fans.]” Therefore, when a player leaves the Red Sox, I want to see him have a Hall-of-Fame career with another team. When I go to the Stadium in May, I am always sure to grab stacks of All-Star ballots and vote for ex-Red Sox.

If you want to join me in believing that all of New England suffers tremendous pangs of regret when a former Red Sox player succeeds, you need to know who they are. In the post–Reserve Clause world, it can be hard to keep track of players who were briefly on other teams. Below is the best team that could be made of players liberated from Red Sox Nation.

STARTERS
C: Victor Martinez
1B: Casey Kotchman
2B: Freddy Sanchez
SS: Hanley Ramirez
3B: Adrian Beltre
LF: Josh Reddick
CF: Coco Crisp
RF: David Murphy
DH: Anthony Rizzo

BENCH
OF:
Mike Cameron
UT: Jed Lowrie
C: George Kottaras
DH: Johnny Damon

ROTATION
SP1: Justin Masterson
SP2: Annibal Sanchez
SP3: Jorge De La Rosa
SP4: Erik Bedard
SP5: Chris Narveson

BULLPEN
Long:
Bartolo Colon
Loogy: Ron Mahay
RP: Taylor Buccholz
RP: Mike Gonzalez
RP: Takashi Saito
SU: Rafael Betancourt
CL: Jonathan Papelbon
DL: David Aardsma

COACHING STAFF
GM: Theo Epstein
Manager: DeMarlo Hale
Bench Coach: Tony Pena
3rd base coach: Dale Sveum
1st base coach: John Farrell
Hitting Coach: Don Baylor
Pitching Coach: Mike Maddux
Broadcast Team: Terry Francona, John Flaherty, and David Cone

There are some better players who were left off, but how could any Yankees fan in 2012 skip Bartolo Colon? Of course, an all-time edition of this list would be pretty cool. It would necessarily have Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs riding a horse, and Jeff Bagwell. Others suggested include some left-handed pitcher from the Deadball Era, G.H. something.

The methodology for this piece included memory and Baseball Reference’s transaction and draft pages for the last two decades. Thanks to Chad for including me in this series.

Associated Press photo

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53 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Brian Levy”

  1. blake January 28th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Cards Close To Deal With Oswalt; BoSox, Astros In Mix

    By Mark Polishuk [January 28 at 8:03am CST]

    SATURDAY, 8:03pm: Oswalt is likely to sign with the Cardinals “soon,” reports Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston. His source cautioned that it’s “not yet 100 percent” just yet. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Oswalt turned down a one-year, $10MM offer from the Tigers.

    MLBTR

    Nice post by the way

  2. Yankee Trader January 28th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Brian-

    What a terrific post. George Herman Ruth, wasn’t it? :)

  3. Yankee Trader January 28th, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Blake-

    Oswalt wanted to stay in NL, and one rumor had the Astros interested in him. I heard the Cardinals are offering less.

    If the Orioles are indeed offering Jackson 4 years, I don’t see Boras encouraging him to do a one year deal with the RS. Boston is concerned about hitting the LT threshold which hits them at 40% this year.

  4. Yankee Trader January 28th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    What ever happened to the impending signing of the 19 yo lefty pitcher, Concepcion?

  5. 86w183 January 28th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    No Babe Ruth? No Roger Clemens? No Johnny Damon? No Jeff Bagwell? No Sparky Lyle?

  6. Bronx Jeers January 28th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Schadenfreude strikes again.

    This has nothing to do with former players but the end of last season was schadenfreude overload.

    Then again when the time came to deliver the coup de grace, I was really excited to see Damon up there with the bat in his hand.

  7. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I think the point was active players and Damon was there.

    I would have stuck Carlos Pena at first. The one year the Yankees had him, the Sox had him as well and let him go.

    And Oswalt has always made negative comments about big markets, big money teams. Before the Yanks made the trade and got Kuroda, there was no way Oswalt was an option. Think the Sox knew this two. The Yankees pulling off the trade and snagging Kuroda right away put the Sox in a difficult spot. Now it’s Edwin Jackson who will not come at their price or the field drops off. They don’t have anything worthwhile to trade unless they part with Middlebrooks which kills their system or they move Youkilis at a discount. I see them getting Harden and another starter and go the Colon-Garcia route. Bard was an awful SP in the minors which is why he is in the pen. And Aceves is a middle reliever with great success, don’t see him staying consistent as a starter for a full year.

  8. MTU January 28th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    The way the Sux are setup the Boston team Physician is gonna have to hire extra help to administer all the back shots to the starting staff (Beckett, Buttholz, and Aceves).

    :)

  9. upstate kate January 28th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Good morning!

    Hmmm…a different perspective. I have had those thoughts regarding Masterson and occasionally Coco Crisp, but I could never see myself stuffing the ballot box for them :)

  10. 86w183 January 28th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Phranchise —

    I guess I missed Damon and I missed the point. Odd topic to say the least. An active All-Ex-Yankee team would have been more interesting.

    It’s amazing how many are just penciling Bard in as a # 4 starter with no reservations.

    Bard has not started a game above “A” ball and last did that in 2007.

    Oh, by the way. In 2007 he made 22 starts. He was 3-7, 7.08 ERA with a 2.053 WHIP

  11. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Yup, that’s why the Sox are using as a smokescreen so they still have some leverage. Bard was swithed to the bullpen as he is a 2 pitch guy that is good for an inning. I haven’t a clue whether his velocity drops off in other innings, but think of Joba’s stuff going from pen to starter. And Bard last year was not great especially at the end of the year. I really don’t think they think he is a realistic option. And Joba had already destroyed the minors as a starter too, Bard didn’t even dominate the low levels

  12. DONNYBROOK January 28th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I don’t believe Cameron is on any teams 40 Man\”active” roster, though he probably has an invite to ST with somebody.
    R\Sox continue to be of little concern. The starting staff and Clubhouse remain in shambles. Gotta wonder if Ellsbury can do that again. I’m certainly not gonna gamble Fantasy bid $$$ on gettin’ that guy at the Auction Draft. I’m stickin’ with tryin’ to get Cameron Maybin in CF.

  13. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Will be interesting if Ellsbury stays in Boston. All reports indicate he doesn’t fit in personality wise as evidence by everyone throwing him under the bus the year before when he was hurt. He also is a Boras client too. I think he will be out of Boston in 2 years, possibly to the NL. Amazingly he will be 30 by then. He definitely won’t give them a hometown discount.

  14. joeman January 28th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    maybe they can trade Gardner even up for Ellsbury…since not so long ago most peeps here thought Gardner was a better player

  15. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    So what would a Yankees team be? Off the top of my head. Who else am I missing.

    C – Navarro
    1B – Pena
    2B – Nick Green
    SS –
    3B – Jimmy Paredes
    RF – Berkman
    CF – Melky
    LF – Damon
    DH – Montero

    Bench :
    Tabata
    Matsui
    Shelley Duncan

  16. joeman January 28th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    like to see JD the DH here…

  17. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    SP:

    Arodys Visciano
    Jake Westbrook
    Ohlendorff
    Ian Kennedy
    McCutchen
    Ted Lilly
    Karstens
    Wang
    Pavano haha

    RP
    Kerry Wood
    Axelrod
    Clippard
    Aceves
    Melancon
    Coke
    Farnsworth
    Dunn
    Dotel

    Who is missing from this?

  18. DONNYBROOK January 28th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    - CURRENT AL EAST STANDINGS -

    (1) NEW YORK YANKEES – Pitching, pitching, and more pitching, (at the moment).

    (2) TAMAPA BAY RAYS – Moore gonna be 2012 AL Cy Young winner.

    (3) TORONTO B\JAYS – Bautista\Lawrie tandem will outsaber Cabrera\Fielder.

    (4) BOSTON R\SOX – A facelift of Joan Rivers proportions required here.

    (5) BALTIMORE O’s – Extremely tough moving up in the best division in MLB.

  19. 108 stitches January 28th, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:09 am
    Will be interesting if Ellsbury stays in Boston. All reports indicate he doesn’t fit in personality wise as evidence by everyone throwing him under the bus the year before when he was hurt. He also is a Boras client too. I think he will be out of Boston in 2 years, possibly to the NL. Amazingly he will be 30 by then. He definitely won’t give them a hometown discount.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There’s no love lost between Boras and the fickle Boston ownership. The last of the hometown discounts came when Pedroia, Lester, and Buchholz signed on the cheap. John Henry is gun shy at this point after the series of bad contracts.

  20. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Jays – bit aggressive on the combo being better but Lawrie is a stud
    O’s – Staff looks up and coming, but Jones and Markakis have regressed.

  21. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Would love to grab Markakis for RF. On the Yankees and used the right way I think he would fluourish. But he is not a middle of the lineup bat. His arm in RF too. I always thought he was the second coming of Paul O’Neil, but doesn’t have the same heart and never quite has panned out.

  22. DONNYBROOK January 28th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    John Henry is now all by his lonesome minus Theo. Theo aint no genius, but he did give the fanbase a whipping boy when needed. Instead of a twead jacket, John Henry is now wearing a flack jacket.

  23. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Edwin Jackson reported to have 3 3 year contracts on the table. Might take a one year deal and go back into the market next year.

    That’s the Sox out of the running. He won’t sign for one year $5 million with them that’s for sure. Either they give him Kuroda money or he will sign elsewhere for sure.

  24. Giuseppe Franco January 28th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    The Red Sox are still better than the Jays. The Jays will be a 4th place team yet again in this division.

    Maybe they can ask Bud if they can be moved to the AL Central where they’d at least have a fighting chance to be a 2nd place team.

  25. Phranchise January 28th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    After the meltdown and character issues in Boston, you aren’t hearing a lot of free agents screaming to sign there to be added to the mess either. I am sure another factor for Oswalt not wanting to be a part of that.

  26. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2012 at 10:41 am

    “maybe they can trade Gardner even up for Ellsbury…since not so long ago most peeps here thought Gardner was a better player

    This is so typical of the distortion that some people post. The point was and is that Gardner had had better years both offensively and defensively than Ellsbury, except for the latter’s rookie season. Obviously, last year was an emphatic departure, placing Ellsbury, in a position if he can be consistent, to be one of the games better players.

    So the point is that when facts change, sentient people change their opinion. Your post suggests you think people should maintain their opinion even when facts change. That’s kind of goofy.

  27. DONNYBROOK January 28th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    - Phranchise -
    I think people are being aggressively offensive with Fielder in that Detroit ballpark.

  28. DONNYBROOK January 28th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Like a lotta NL Chuckers, Oswalt knows he would get banged around in the AL and have a much shorter career\$$$. Greg Maddox wouldn’t touch the AL with a 10 ft. pole. George practically handed the guy a blank check, and he still walked away.

  29. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    If Pat M’s. Burnett to Washington rumor is fact, can’t see them giving up a lot but, Roger Bernadina and Steve Lombardozzi wouldn’t be bad.. bernadina plays all three outfield spots well, has som power, some speed and hits left handed. Lombardozzi has played 2nd, ss, and 3rd base, is a switch hitter and 23 years old. he’s hit well in the minors and has base stealing speed.

  30. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Giuseppe Franco January 28th, 2012 at 10:37 am
    The Red Sox are still better than the Jays. The Jays will be a 4th place team yet again in this division.

    Maybe they can ask Bud if they can be moved to the AL Central where they’d at least have a fighting chance to be a 2nd place team.

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

    Swap Toronto with Cleveland?

  31. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 28th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Brian – GREAT POST! It had me smiling all the way through.

    “That is precisely the kind of anguish we Yankees fans would like to inflict on Red Sox. After all, the goal of the Yankees fan is, to quote Gov. Schwarzenegger, ‘[t]o crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their [fans.]‘”

    And it never feels quite as good as when it’s happening to the Sux! In fact, I really don’t get pleasure out of crushing anyone but them. Beat the others, CRUSH THE SUX!!!

    :)

  32. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 28th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    “The Red Sox are still better than the Jays. The Jays will be a 4th place team yet again in this division.”

    I think I’ll be the nay vote on this one. On a player-by-player basis they should have been much better than the Rays. But they were not.

    I’m willing to bet that their Titanic-esque drama, coupled with Bobby V showing up to entertain everyone, will ensure them an awful season.

    Fingers crossed.

    :)

  33. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 28th, 2012 at 11:01 am

    “John Henry is now all by his lonesome minus Theo. Theo aint no genius, but he did give the fanbase a whipping boy when needed. Instead of a twead jacket, John Henry is now wearing a flack jacket.”

    Indeed. It is now a ship of fools being run by a trio of idiots.

    Great day, y’all!

    :)

  34. BIG AL January 28th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    All I can say is, to this point, Cashman has had a good off season.

    As with many others, I was sad to see Montero go, but, it could be a plus trade for both teams.

    Add one more bat, and Let’s Play Ball!

  35. BIG AL January 28th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Where did the trade rumor about AJ to the Nats come from? I have not been able to find a story about that?

  36. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    AL, Pat mentioned it in the last post, so, I assume it may have come from one of his golfing buddies that’s in the game or connected.

  37. BIG AL January 28th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    GB7 -

    Thanks, I didn’t read that. That trade would be good for AJ, as well as the Yankees. I think he’d be much more successful pitching in the NL East than the AL East, and be close to home, which has always been important to him and his family. I like AJ and hope whatever happens, he does well.

  38. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Yanks’ approach with system paying off
    New York boasts four in MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=nyy

  39. DONNYBROOK January 28th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Anyone know if AJ has a “no trade” or “limited no trade”? Hard for me to imagine him green lighting a deal to the Nats IF he has any say regarding this rumored deal.

  40. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    AL,

    this was Pat’s brief exchange.

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

    Pat M. January 28th, 2012 at 2:32 am
    Has anyone else hear that AJ Burnett to the Senators / Nationals ??? The Yanks are squawking about their contribution on his contract…….Just something that was mentioned earlier today…..Maybe nothing to it….

    jacksquat January 28th, 2012 at 2:59 am
    Pat M., where did you hear that?

    Pat M. January 28th, 2012 at 3:11 am
    jacksquat….Can’t pass that on….

  41. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Burnett can veto a trade to ten teams

  42. BIG AL January 28th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    AJ has a limited no trade, he can name up to 10 teams per year he’ll not be traded to.

  43. BIG AL January 28th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    GB7 -

    I think if the Yankees trade AJ they’ll have to pickup at least $16M of the remaining $33M contract, if not, he’s too big a risk for any team to add him, IMO.

  44. BIG AL January 28th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    GB7 -

    How’s the house coming along? Have you finished all your projects, or still going?

  45. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    AL,

    At least that much. NYYs aren’t getting a lot back, but, a team would get a veteran pitcher at the back of the rotation for about 8 mil a year for 2 years. he may come around and be a middle of the rotation pitcher. I’d have rather seen Burnett pitch as he did in 2007-2009, but, in the end, all you can do is want the players to do his best that he can, be a good team mate and except the responsibilty for his play. burnett has done that. It just didn’t work for him.

  46. DONNYBROOK January 28th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Beret7 – BIG AL

    Thanks. Nats are improving rapidly. I hope that would get AJ to OK a possible deal.

  47. GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    AL,

    I’m getting ready to have an accidental fire in the house. Still working on it, though. The last bathroom is a real pain. Trying to get the tub/shower removed and deciding whether to remove the floor to get to the pipes and drain or dig under the house to get to them. Neither one is appealing to me.

  48. grouchonyy January 28th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    AJ not likely to have Washington on no-trade list. AJ’s wife won’t fly. Since they live in Maryland, Washington makes sense .

  49. BIG AL January 28th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    GB7 -

    You are right, and AJ has been a good teammate, and a stand-up guy. Although the results were not what the team expected, you always knew he’d give it all he had, and tried to be a winner. As tough a regular season he’d have, he seemed to bring a better game to the PS, and showed he could be a big game pitcher. What ever happens, I’ll still be routing for him to do well.

    Catch you later, got to go for a bit.

  50. Yogi Mantle January 28th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    The NTC is usually used to get some extra dollars. It sometimes happens that a player will refuse a trade, as the Rangers found out, but Burnett might not really mind a trade given it puts him in a good location for his wife to be happy, and a move to a NL team might help his numbers some.

    Burnett also knows that he might not even get to start with the Yankees, which would be tough for him to accept.

    He has to know the Yankees have been shopping him and willing to eat significant dollars on his paycheck. He knows the Yankees have too many starters for the rotation and he knows his track record and the talk that has been going on for a while about him.

    He wouldn’t lose any money going there, other than a share of the post season dollars being that the Nats are less likely to get there.

    It will be interesting to see what, if anything develops with this.

  51. Bronx Jeers January 28th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    DC makes sense for AJ.

    Just don’t see how AJ makes sense for DC.

  52. Giuseppe Franco January 28th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    GreenBeret7 January 28th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Giuseppe Franco January 28th, 2012 at 10:37 am
    The Red Sox are still better than the Jays. The Jays will be a 4th place team yet again in this division.

    Maybe they can ask Bud if they can be moved to the AL Central where they’d at least have a fighting chance to be a 2nd place team.

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

    Swap Toronto with Cleveland?

    ———-

    I’d be fine with that. The Tribe were once part of the AL East before the wildcard.

    Aside from being a rival, I just don’t like Toronto for some reason and I can’t stand watching games at the Rogers Centre.

  53. Giuseppe Franco January 28th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    It’s great to see the farm churning out a number of good young prospects but it’s up to the organization to help turn these prospects into good major league ballplayers.

    I must admit, my confidence in the system and front office has taken a significant hit since the Montero trade.

    I do like Pineda but I still say trading Montero was a very big mistake.

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