As spoiled Yankee fans, many of us mistakenly anticipated the arrival of Cliff Lee was sure to happen since last offseason. In an unexpected turn of events, Lee surprised everyone and took less money and fewer years to be a part of the Phillies video game rotation (sounds like something that happened this summer). The question that I’m sure most Yankee fans are asking themselves now is: what happens next?
At this point in the season, we all know that there’s some conflicting thought over the Cy Young Award. To be honest, there’s not a bad candidate — with Hernandez, Sabathia, Price, Lester, Liriano, and Lee all have excellent seasons. However, there are several wrong choices. And those wrong choices can be narrowed down to anyone not named Felix. But that is one of several opinions out there. The problem is not necessarily that people think CC or Price deserve the award, the problem is the reasoning.
“It would be one thing if Sabathia had 20 wins and a 5-plus ERA. By any standards, that’s not a good ERA, and it would signal to you that that he’s won games despite mediocre pitching. But that’s not the case.”
First, let me call your attention to the consecutive use of “that” in this passage. This is not a typo on my part, it is how the article reads. Noted? Okay, let’s move one. Now to the point; essentially what Rob tells us here is that wins are the most important thing, but only if the pitcher has a good ERA. Read differently — it is useful to evaluate pitchers by their ERA. Yet the fact that Hernandez leads the league in ERA is meaningless. Convenient for him. Moving on:
“And let’s not forget that Sabathia has pitched in games that matter. Hernandez hasn’t pitching in a pressure-packed contest since maybe Opening Day.”
Once again, I’d like to note the incorrect use of the word “pitching”. That is how the article actually reads. Okay, we all saw that. Now we can assess the ridiculousness of this statement. Hernandez hasn’t pitched in a game that matters since Opening Day. So his starts don’t matter to him and his team? They don’t want to win them? Felix isn’t one of the most insane competitors in the game today? Has he ever seen Felix pitch? Maybe they don’t mean as much in terms of the standings, but like his putrid offense, he has no control over that. He pitches to the best of his ability every night just like every other starter.
“And for all those geeks who believe Sabathia’s success is based on run support by the mighty Yankees’ lineup, they couldn’t be more wrong. If that were the case, A.J. Burnett would have 20 wins, too. But he hasn’t pitched well enough to win.”
First of all, WHAT?! The sense this makes is so minimal it literally makes my brain hurt. For starters, he compares the league leader in ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched to a pitcher who has allowed six earned runs or more in a start nine times this year. Nine! By comparison, Hernandez has done this this article after Hernandez lost yesterday after giving up one run on two hits in an eight inning complete game versus Toronto. Take it away Aaron:
“Today marked the fifth time this season Hernandez has failed to get a ‘win’ while allowing zero or one run in seven-plus innings and the 14th time this season he’s failed to get a ‘win’ while throwing a Quality Start. And he’s still yet to get a ‘win’ when allowing more than two runs, because his teammates rarely score more than two runs. For comparison, CC Sabathia has seven wins while allowing more than two runs. In totally unrelated news, the Yankees’ lineup leads the league in scoring.”
So Rob, are you still going to contend that run support has nothing to do with it? Anybody looking to make this argument, can you come up with a counter-point? If you can I would thoroughly enjoy hearing it.
“The increase in the number of UCL reconstructions being done now can be attributed to many things: improved diagnostic techniques, heightened awareness, increased chance of positive outcome with current surgical techniques, but most importantly, the overuse of young throwing arms,” said Dr. Cain. “In the past 10 years, year-round baseball leagues have proliferated. So the best young pitchers are throwing many more pitches and learning to throw more difficult pitches. It’s great that the surgery is successful, but prevention of the injury should be the goal. Kids should be urged to rest and be careful about saving their arms, rather than leading to long-term problems at a young age.”
aseball Players Requiring It Alarming.” ScienceDaily 14 July 2008. Web. 30 March 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080712090831.htm>.
Going into to 2010, there are quite a few questions that need to be addressed in terms of the Yankee pitching staff. While they will still have a legit ace at the top of the rotation in CC Sabathia and the best closer ever in Mariano Rivera, there are holes to fill in between. There is the question of what roles Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will fill, who will be the fourth and fifth starters, and once again, how they will get the ball to Rivera at the end of games.
Now that we’ve all had a few weeks to linger in the glory of World Championship number 27, I think all of our minds are starting to wander towards what offseason moves Cashman and company are going to make in preparation for the title defense of 2010. Let’s take a look at some of the rumors we’ve heard already.
nbsp;so far this offseason, it’s time for me to put on the GM hat. First, let’s deal with the Yankee free agents: Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Andy Pettitte, Jerry Hairston Jr., Jose Molina, Eric Hinske and Xavier Nady. If I could bring both Damon and Matsui back on affordable 1+1 deals (1-year with team option for 2011), I would do it in a heartbeat. I think this group could win it all again next year and there’s no reason not to have them both back if they can do it reasonably. Next, bringing back Pettitte is a no-brainer, a 1-year deal about $10 million sounds okay to me. If Hairston can be had for at least one more year at a reasonable price, I say he comes back as well. As for Hinske and Molina, in my mind they can both walk. Francisco Cervelli becomes the back-up catcher while Juan Miranda takes Hinske’s place as the left-handed bat off the bench. Finally, we come to Nady. Personally, I’d like to see him back on a 1-year, incentive type deal. However, I don’t see this happening, as he’s too much of a risk at this point and I predict he’ll end up somewhere in the NL.
We Yankee fans won’t get much sympathy from the folks in Chicago or Cleveland, but it sure has been a long wait for the Yankee faithful. It has been nine long, sometimes painful, years since the Yankees last hoisted the trophy. Back then I was only ten years old, and I thought the Yankees won the World Series every year. I was incredibly spoiled as a young fan, as I unknowingly watched one of the most special teams in the history of baseball win four World Series in five years. My father always told me that someday I’ll realize how special that group really was, and I’ll realize how much I took it for granted as a young kid.
The decision to start AJ Burnett on three days rest in Game 5 was scrutinized every which way. Some were fervently in favor of the move, citing Burnett’s history on three days rest (4-0, 2.33 ERA in his career) as well as the alternative, starting Chad Gaudin, as justification. Others clamored for Gaudin simply because it was silly to waste Burnett against Lee (who gave up five earned last night…by the way) and because it was set up AJ and Andy on full rest for the final two games.
I was doing my usual browsing of baseball related articles and blogs this morning. Usually this consists of River Avenue Blues, Lo Hud, ESPN.com, MLB.com, and Pinstripe Alley. However, this morning, I was wondering how the blogfather, Peter Abraham, was doing over at the Boston Globe. (For those of you who don’t know who Peter is, he is the original author of the Lo Hud Yankees Blog; he moved to the Boston Globe this fall). In the sports section of the Globe, I found an interesting article by Nick Cafardo on the Hall of Fame candidacy of one Andrew Eugene Pettitte.
Pettitte is perfect example of a “borderline” Hall of Famer. He has been remarkably consistent during his career. He spent most of his career in what many say is the toughest division in baseball, and was very successful. He has also been, for the most part, an incredible clutch performer on baseball’s biggest stage. He has a Major League record 17 postseason wins and could add to that total if the Phillies push the series to a sixth game.
But on the other side of all of the overwhelming positives of his career are the negatives. He has only 229 career wins. He is an admitted HGH user. Also, his 3.91 career ERA is a bit higher than the typical inductee.
Cafardo does an excellent job in his article of clearly showing both sides of the argument. He goes on to quote various baseball writers and baseball people, who are split on the issue. Some say his remarkable consistency and postseason track record are enough. Others argue that he is not a dominant pitcher, and while he has been consistent, he does not belong in the conversations with baseball’s elite.
I tend to agree that Pettitte’s consistency (especially in the midst of baseball’s steroid age) and success in the postseason are enough to reserve a spot in Cooperstown. However, I believe Buck Martinez (from Cafardo’s article) sums up the issue appropriately: “Yes, he should get in, but not before Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris”. I could not agree more with this. Dandy Andy, in my mind, has been more than good enough over the years, but if Blyleven can’t get in, how do you justify allowing Pettitte in?
All of this said, Andy can make this much more of a sure thing by pitching two or three more successful years. Here’s hoping he’s ready to make one more great postseason start if the Yankees need him in Game 6.
The umpires, as a whole, have been the brunt of a LOT of criticism this post season. From Joe Mauer’s ball down the line, to the Youka being “off” the bag against the Angels, to the ball that hit Chase Utley in the box, the division series was pretty brutal from an officiating stand point. I’ve heard it all in terms of the solution to the problem; from robots to complete instant replay. But then, on Saturday night in the midst of an extra-inning classic, we saw something else.