Friday, October 19, 2012

Why People Need To Shut Up About A-Rod & Why He Needs To Be A Yankee

Hey hey. Unfortunately, my return to blogging isn't to celebrate the Yankees 28th World Series championship.  The 2012 postseason was rather depressing and I'm not even going to get into that.  I'm here for one specific reason and one specific reason only.  That reason is to try and shut people up about getting rid of Alex Rodriguez.  If you're a level headed person and able to look past any distaste you may have for Alex I hope you'll see my points. But I'm a realist.  I've been listening to some of the sports talk.  There are a lot of Yankees fans who are way off base and borderline insane when it comes to baseball.  I understand and appreciate the passion but some of you guys are downright idiotic with what you say.  Example: someone suggested the Yankees get Jeff Francouer. That made me laugh and left me speechless.  But anyway, back to the reason why I'm here.....

There's really only one reason why the Yankees need to keep A-Rod around and quite frankly it's because he makes the team better.  Let's take a look at some numbers, shall we? 

I'm going to break this down and keep it simple and I need you to keep in mind that A-Rod went on the disabled list back in July and missed a stretch of 36 games, spanning from 7/25-9/3.  Now, I didn't comb through the schedule to pull these #s.  I pulled up the standings as of such-and-such a date.  It's possible I may be off by 1 here and there.  It's not enough to dispel what I'm trying to prove.

  • Yankees W-L record after 7/24 game vs Seattle: 58-39 (.598) and had a 7 game lead.
  • Yankees W-L record from 7/25-9/2: 18-18 (.500), lead dropped to 2
  • Yankees W-L record from 9/3- end of season: 19-10 (.655) and finished 2 gamed ahead of Baltimore.
  • Yankees W-L record w/A-Rod: 77-49 (.611)
  • Yankees W-L record w/o A-Rod: 18-18 (.500)
You can't really dispute that the team played better with Alex on the team.  Had he not returned when he did maybe the Yankees don't make the playoffs.  Who knows?  I do know one thing and that's that Alex makes the lineup better.  Take Robinson Cano for example:

  • Cano's splits after 7/24 game (last game w/A-Rod): .317 avg, .376 OBP, .571 SLG, .947 OPS
  • Cano's splits after 9/2 (last game without A-Rod): .303 avg, .366 OBP, .544 SLG, .910 OPS
  • Cano's final season splits: .313 avg, .379 OBP, .550 SLG, .929 OPS
  • Cano's average from 7/25-9/2 (while A-Rod was on DL): .263 (35 for 133)
  • Cano's average from 9/3 thru end of season (when A-Rod was back): .353 (41 for 116)
I'm not going to go through and pull Robbie's splits from 7/25-9/2. I don't need to.  You can easily see the numbers dropped and they dropped quite a bit.  You can also see that after A-Rod came back his numbers climbed pretty sharply. If you think that had nothing to do with Alex being in the lineup you're kidding yourself.

I'm not going to get in to any more.  It's enough for me to see that Alex provides a ton of value to the Yankees and they're not going to be better without him.  If you think they will be you're nuts. 

Last night I fired off a few tweets about Alex.  I'm going to close with those as I think they sum up my feelings nicely:

If this was A-Rod's last game as Yankee, just want to say thanks to the guy. Without him there's no title in 09 & Yanks don't do as well. A-Rod got a raw deal in NY from media & fans. He could do no right. At times he carried team. They don't win close to what they did w/o him. A-Rod made lineup better and having him on team gave them best chance to win. Lots of goats on the team. Unfair he's only one scapegoat. I think Alex still has a lot of value. I hope the marriage isn't done. He may not be worth the $ but few would be. Not his fault. A-Rod isn't perfect & may be a douche at times. But he's a Yankee. A true Yankee that deserves the Pinstripes. You don't hate your own.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baseball And Poker

Hello friends. I hope you all are well. As I watched the end of the Yankee game the other night (the extra inning loss), I began to think about similarities between baseball and poker. Flashback to the top of the 9th inning: Yankees up by 2. 1 man on, 2 outs, 2 strikes, Rajai Davis up and Rafael Soriano pitching. Davis singles through the infield bringing Colby Rasmus, the go-ahead run, to the plate. 2 pitches later and the Yankees, instead of winning, find themselves with their backs against the wall, needing a run to tie and 2 to win.

If you know poker, specifically no-limit hold-em, you probably can see how the two games are similar. Imagine these two teams are the final two at the table. The Yankees have a commanding chip lead and the Jays need a miracle to win the big purse. The Jays, needing some runs, are forced to go all-in. The cards are dealt and here comes the flop. We have a strike-out, a single, and a pop-out. The Yankees are sitting pretty and are currently 90% favorite to win the hand. Here comes 4th street. It's a 2-out single. Still, the odds are heavily in the Yankees favor to win it all. The Jays need a miracle to stay alive.

Here comes the river. The Jays pull the one and only card that will help them stay alive. It's a 3-run homer. The Jays are overjoyed and now the chip leader. The Yankees are stunned and now have their backs against the wall. In baseball, like in poker, your fortune can be gone in a blink of an eye. The Yankees try to put the odds in their favor with Girardi's binder. In poker, is the poker equivalent of Joe's book. It's the world's largest online poker guide with the best bonus offers guaranteed and exclusive free tournaments for new players

As you all remember the Yankees, thanks to that Jeter kid, did come back to pull even with the Jays. Only to eventually have their luck run out a few hands later. See what I mean? Baseball and poker, as games, share a lot of similarities. Both are fun games for sure. Baseball though, will always be #1

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, April 13, 2012

Why Can't You Be More Like Him?

Hey hey hey. Long time, no blog. Hopefully, those of you that have been here before and are now back for some more, are doing well and that life has been good to you. Life has been good to me. I can't complain about much. The only thing I wish I had more time for was the Yankees. Back in the day when the blog first started, which was 5-6 years ago, I was married without children. Now, I have 3 kids, age range from 4-1. They can be a handful and it's tough to take what free time I have away from them and devote it to the Yankees and this blog. When I last posted, I had no idea if I'd ever blog again. I figured I would if I had something to write about. Today is that day.

Hey Mark Teixeira! What's up with all the freaking infield pop ups? To quote the late great Phil Rizzuto, holy cow. It seems like every few ABs Teix is popping out. It's so bad that it's a running bit on Twitter. Time for a commercial (shameless plug): you can follow me on Twitter @jboogiedown. I am much more active there with the Yankees talk than I am here. Back to your regularly scheduled programming:

I decided to see if I could find out anything about how often Teix pops up and lo and behold there's a stat for that. It's called the Infield Fly Ball Rate, or IFFB%. A quick visit to Fangraphs and I have the info that I'm looking for. Here's a brief snapshot of Teix's IFFB% over the last few years:

  • Career IFFB% = 10.8%

  • 2011 IFFB% = 11.8%

  • 2010 IFFB% = 13.6%

I tried, albeit not hard, to find out what the MLB average is for IFFB%. I didn't find it. I did though find a leaderboard on Fangraphs. Out of 145 people, Teix had the 43rd highest IFFB%. Not sure where the rest of the player pool is, I'm guessing it's just those who qualified for the batting title, but whatever. It's not really needed for where I'm going with this.

For those interested, the list includes 6 Yankees:

  • Brett Gardner = 19.60%

  • Mark Teixeira = 11.80%

  • Robinson Cano = 9.10%

  • Nick Swisher = 7.5%

  • Curtis Granderson = 7%

  • Derek Jeter = 2.30%

So here's where I'm going with this: Teixeira (and Brett Gardner) need to get with Kevin Long and review some tape. They need to study how Joey Votto goes about his ABs. I heard during some game last year about how Votto never pops up. Check out these #s:

  • Votto Career IFFB% = 1.6%

  • Votto 2011 = .6% (1 infield fly ball)

  • Votto 2010 = 0% (yes, that's zero infield fly ball)

  • Total career infield fly balls (since 2007) = 10

To again quote the Scooter, holy cow. Joey Votto has hit a total of 10 infield fly balls since becoming a big leaguer in 2007. Teixeira has a career total of 187, and 106 since 2007. To quote the hip-hop legends Cypress Hill, that's insane in the membrane. Insane in the brain.

So as the title of this blog post reads, why can't you be more like him? Enough with the pop ups already.

And I'm out. Mic drop.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,