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News of the Day – 3/14/09
Posted By Diane Firstman On March 14, 2009 @ 8:54 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled
Today’s news is powered by one of the great ambassadors and spokesmen of the game … the late Buck O’Neil.
Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Phil Coke, Dave Robertson and Jonathan Albaladejo might not be household names – heck, they are barely recognized by Yankee fans – but the Bombers are confident that this group of no-name relievers has what it takes to join Rivera, Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte to form a successful bullpen.
Veras (60 games, 57-2/3 innings, 63 strikeouts), Ramirez (55 games, 55-1/3 innings, 63 strikeouts) and Coke (one run in 12 outings) helped contribute to a Yankees bullpen that ranked fifth in the American League last season with a 3.79 ERA, which was nearly a third of a run lower than the league average. That number becomes even more impressive when you consider that their 543-1/3 innings were more than any team in the league other than the Rangers, who tossed 572-2/3. …
The Yankees’ bullpen topped the AL in strikeouts with 523, which was 87 more than second-place Texas. The Yankees’ .235 opponents batting average ranked third in the league, trailing only Tampa Bay and Toronto, while the opponents’ on-base percentage was .310, second in the league to the AL East champion Rays.
In addition, Yankee relievers led all AL teams in strikeout/walk ratio (2.46) and strikeouts per nine innings (8.66), showing that Cashman’s plan to stock the system with young power arms was beginning to pay off.
It’s only the latest twist in Ransom’s vagabond baseball life that includes minor-league stops in Salem-Keizer, Bakersfield, Shreveport, Fresno, Oklahoma, Iowa, Round Rock and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, plus transitory big-league appearances in San Francisco, Houston and, last season, The Bronx.
“It’s been fun, it’s been a lot of work but it’s been a great ride,” Ransom said of the voyage that is at its zenith with Rodriguez possibly out until the middle of May and the Yankees insisting Ransom is the starting third baseman, although he and everyone else knows that could change.
“I wouldn’t change it. My kids have been all over the country. They are young and have seen more than a lot of people see in a whole lifetime. They have met people of different cultures. It’s been a lot of fun.”
By combining all of our defensive methods, eight different methods across the nine positions in baseball, we estimate that the Phillies defense saved 78 runs. Using the rule of thumb that 10 runs is equivalent to one win, that’s eight wins. With an average defense, the Phillies wouldn’t have had even a sniff of the playoffs.
The worst defensive team in baseball in 2008? The Kansas City Royals. Their defense cost them about 48 runs relative to the average team. Comparing the Phillies and the Royals, the difference between the best and worst defensive teams in baseball was about 130 runs. …
The best run-scoring team in baseball was the Texas Rangers with 901 runs in 2008. The San Diego Padres were the worst with 637 runs. That’s a difference of about 260 runs.
Here’s the discovery, and I found it because the numbers just jumped out. The 130 difference in runs saved on defense is exactly half of the 260 difference in runs scored. That’s exactly half. The implication is that defense is worth about half as much as offense.
[My take: $40 … for the autograph of someone who hasn’t even sniffed the majors yet? Worse yet, $40 is a sale price …. Upper Deck HAD been selling it for $79.99.]
Steven Goldman: …. I love an underdog as much as anyone, but teams that self-inflict their underdog status are just annoying. Were I a Royals fan watching them lead the market to Kyle Farnsworth this winter, I might have joined a NASA deep space exploration project and quit the planet altogether.
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URLs in this post:
 Cano and Marte: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-yankeesinjuries
 Open House: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/nyy/ticketing/open_house.jsp
 random drawing: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/nyy/ticketing/2009_opportunity.jsp?partnerId=ed-2247345-74485848&source=ed-2247345-74485848
 News: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2009/03/12/2009-03-12_behind_mariano_rivera_phil_coke__co_are_.html
 George King: http://www.nypost.com/seven/03132009/sports/yankees/codywho___159325.htm
 The Star-Ledger: http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2009/03/new_york_yankees_prospect_jesu.html
 John Dewan: http://actasports.com/sow.php?id=203
 thebronxview.com: http://www.thebronxview.com/2009/03/13/defense-may-be-more-important-than-you-think/
 Upper Deck: http://tinyurl.com/b6dsny
 tattoos: http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spyanks136067787mar13,0,1656937.story
 MLBTradeRumors.com: http://http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/03/murray-chass-qa.html
 BP.com: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=579
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