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,