"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Toronto Blue Jays V: Doin’ The Streak

So much for Cito Gaston’s brilliance. Yeah, the Blue Jays traded Scott Rolen, let Alex Rios go via waivers, lost Rolen’s replacement, the disastrous Edwin Encarnacion, to a hamstring injury, and have been forced to play musical closers due to injury and poor performance, and have had to similarly improvise their starting rotation for similar reasons. Despite all that they have outscored their opponents only to find themselves with an actual record eight games worse than their Pythagorean.

The Jays have been in free fall since the end of June, playing .340 baseball (18-35) over that stretch. Since eking out a one-run victory over Sergio Mitre and the Yankees on August 10, they’re 5-16 (.238!). They haven’t won a series, or even had consecutive victories since they faced the Orioles the series before that. Even, Roy Halladay, who pitches tomorrow, has gone 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA over his last three starts. Top prospect Travis Snider has come back from the minors to replace Rios and has hit .167 in 16 games. Things really can’t get much worse for the Jays.

Well, I suppose there’s the Yankees coming to town. The Yanks, like they were against the Orioles prior to their just-completed sweep, are 9-3 against the Jays this year, and two of those losses came in May. The Yankees are 7-1 against Toronto since then. No wonder the Yanks figured they could bounce A.J. Burnett to Monday’s double-header against the Rays and throw Chad Gaudin (tonight), Sergio Mitre (Sunday), and the innings-challenged Joba Chamberlain (tomorrow) in this series. At least they’re giving the Jays a sporting chance.

Rookie of the Year candidate Ricky Romero starts for the Jays tonight. He has two quality starts in as many tries against the Yankees on the season, though the Yankees won the later contest via one of their many extra-inning walkoffs (Cano single). Gaudin was been alternately great and awful in August, striking out 12 in nine scoreless innings in his three “great” appearances (including his one start, in Oakland, all three as a Yankee) and giving up 11 runs in 8 1/3 innings in his three “awful” appearances (two in relief for the Yankees plus one start for the Padres). If he makes like Saberhagen, he’s due for “awful” tonight. Hopefully the Yankees can out-hit whatever it is he gives them.

With Mariano Rivera nursing a tender groin, Phil Hughes will close this weekend. Jonathan Albaladejo has been called up to add innings to the pen. Yanks run out the standard lineup tonight.

Toronto Blue Jays

2009 Record: 59-73 (.447)
2009 Pythagorean Record: 67-65 (.508)

Manager: Cito Gaston
General Manager: J.P. Ricciardi

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Rogers Centre (99/98)

Who’s Replaced Whom:

  • Travis Snider (minors) has replaced Edwin Encarnacion (DL) via Jose Bautista’s move to 3B
  • Casey Janssen has replaced Jeremy Accardo
  • Dirk Hayhurst and Brian Wolfe are September call-ups

25-man Roster:

1B – Lyle Overbay (L)
2B – Aaron Hill (R)
SS – Marco Scutaro (R)
3B – Jose Bautista (R)
C – Rod Barajas (R)
RF – Travis Snider (L)
CF – Vernon Wells (R)
LF – Adam Lind (L)
DH – Randy Ruiz (R)


R – Kevin Millar (1B)
R – John McDonald (IF)
L – Joe Inglett (UT)
R – Raul Chavez (C)


R – Roy Halladay
L – Brett Cecil
L – Marc Rzepzynski
R – Scott Richmond
L – Ricky Romero


L – Scott Downs
R – Jason Frasor
L – Jesse Carlson
R – Shawn Camp
R – Brandon League
L – Brian Tallet
R – Josh Roenicke
R – Casey Janssen
R – Brian Wolfe
R – Dirk Hayhurst

15-day DL:

3B – Edwin Encarnacion (hamstring)
RHP – Dustin McGowan (labrum)
RHP – Shaun Marcum (TJ surgery)
RHP – Jesse Litsch (forearm tightness)
RHP – Robert Ray (shoulder)

Typical Lineup:

R – Marco Scutaro (SS)
R – Aaron Hill (2B)
L – Adam Lind (LF)
L – Lyle Overbay (1B)
R – Vernon Wells (CF)
R – Randy Ruiz (DH)
R – Travis Snider (RF)
R – Rod Barajas (C)
R – Jose Bautista (3B)

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread  Series Preview

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Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 3, 2009 5:45 pm

How often does the Pythagorean record actually match up with a real record? I'm seriously interested. Because every time I actually notice, they're way off.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 3, 2009 6:16 pm

Testing my new phone

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 3, 2009 6:37 pm

[1] They're usually within a couple of games. An eight-game difference is really unusual. The Torre-era Yankees tended to be outliers (exceeding their Pythags, often by a lot) so that may be one reason you're used to seeing a big gap.

Easiest way to eyeball it is mlb.com's standings, click the XW-L field to get the Pythags in there (or on BP's standings pages, etc etc)

4 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:00 pm

[3] Especially in 2004; they were like an 89 win team, according to Pythag

5 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:07 pm

Can I also point out that a team's actual record is above its pythagorean estimate as often as it's below. (I don't mean a particular team, of course, but all teams together on average.)

This means that even if/when the actual records are far from the pythagorean estimates, it's still quite possible that the pythagorean estimate is a much better predictor of a team's future than its actual record.


6 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:16 pm

[3] I always wondered if the Torre-year Pythagorean record-real record disparity was caused most by:

A. Luck
B. Torre's brilliant managing, leading to many more wins than expected
C. Torre's poor managing, with big leads frittered away in games leading to disproportionate numbers of close wins.
D. excellent back-end BP (Mo) saving disproportionate close games.

I have a hard time believing A or B. Probably a combination of C and D, but I wonder if D does not tend to be exaggerated (did the Yankees save that many more games than other teams?).

7 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:22 pm

Ill take it

8 Dimelo   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:26 pm

[6] Yeah, Torre was awful, that team won despite of him, actually every year Torre managed the Yanks the team got together and said we'll win despite this clueless effer.

9 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:26 pm

[6] I don't think it can be C. It just doesn't work as an explanation. If Torre's bad managing frittered away big leads to make them small leads, it would surely fritter away games that would have been close wins, so the net result wouldn't be an actual record better than the pythagorean estimate.
D is an obvious choice, but I'm pretty sure Bill James said that Torre averaged something like four wins over the estimate even when you include the excellent High Leverage relievers. It is indeed hard to believe that the answer is B, but maybe it really is. (One possibility is that Torre was extremely good at reading his pitchers on the mound, so even when it seemed to us like he was making a bad move he was actually pulling a starter who was about to melt down.)

10 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:30 pm

Oh, and [6] I don't know how much people think back-end-relievers matter to beating pythagorean estimates, but my guess is that it matters a lot, maybe four games or so for a crew like we had. Hm. Wait, the way I had of thinking about this was wrong. I'll have to rethink it.

11 Dimelo   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:30 pm

[9] How can the 1998 team be dissected in this way, eleven years have passed and now we are figuring out a way on how to diminish the manager of the most successful Yankee team in history.

Can we look at Miller Huggins 1927 team, too? He no longer had Wally Pipp, but some bum named Gehrig, he wasn't a great manger either. I think C there too.

12 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:30 pm

[9] I disagree, at least partly, because you assume that he managed all games (that is, all leads) the same way. Plus, going to a poor reliever in a close game (say a two run lead) at worst probably led to one or two run losses. But I distinctly remember (anecdote alert!!!) many a big lead obliterated by Scott Proctors tenth straight appearance, only to be bailed out by Mo. In other words, Six run leads turned into one run wins.

13 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:33 pm

[10] I thought was the more or less standard explanation for the Yankees super-duper post season success and also their ability, in theory, to win a disproportionate close games during teh regular season by "shortening the game."

14 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:36 pm

[11] What difference does it make how long ago it was? I don't get it. It's a perfectly legitimate question how much a manager contributed to his team's success.

[12] I'm not following you. If the mistake was a matter of using the bad relief pitchers too much, this would show up in the pythagorean estimate (because it would mean giving up more runs). Why would it happen more often that a six run lead turned into a one run win than a four run lead turning into a one run loss?

15 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:37 pm

[11] I'm not sure if you are being serious. I actually think Torre was a fine manager for the 1998 team. Basically, he was good (it seemed to me) at talking to the press and being fatherly and the like. Also, that team was so good it removed much of the tactical side of the game. Basically, Torre's weaknesses (his atrocious BP management, IMO, his blind dedication to veterans, his peculiar lineup construction) were rendered "mute" by a team that led the league in scoring and preventing runs, got career years out of several players, and got a bit lucky to boot.

16 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:42 pm

Well, atrocious bullpen management ought to make the actual record worse than the pythagorean estimate. Hm.
Here's a thought. Suppose a team has a huge variance in its relief pitchers' abilities. This is very plausible for some of the Yankee Decade teams. And suppose the manager is not a dolt and knows to use the best pitchers in the highest leverage situations. (We know that almost nobody actually does this, but the heuristics they use might still be at least a decent approximation.) This will make the pythagorean estimate much lower than the actual record, because it will turn more losses into blowouts (as the cruddy relief pitchers eat innings) and blowout wins into relatively close games (as against the cruddy inning-eaters mop up). And my point is that the effect is magnified if the variance in your bullpen is large.

17 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:43 pm

[14] I think that Torre tended to pull his relievers too early, and this became more pronounced over time. He also tended to do so when the lead was big. So, in a close game he would tend to go straight to his money relievers or even squeeze and extra inning out of his starter. But with larger leads he would yank the starter an inning early and go to some awful reliever from his circle of trust, who would blow up the lead. Then he would go to the money reliever.

My hypothesis is that small leads tended to become wins (at the same rate as most teams, with a bump because Mo is real good), while big leads still ended to lead to wins, but disproportionately (relative to other teams) by small margins.

Thus, the Yankees won the same number of games one would expect relative to Win Probability, but by narrower margins thus skewing the Pyth. record.

Also, let's not forget his tendency to go to defensive replacements relatively early in the game, even somewhat close games, which probably cost the team "tack-on" runs. Those games as well may have resulted largely (but not always) in victories, but may have cut into the the teams RS and thus skewed the Pyth Wins.

18 Dimelo   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:46 pm

[15] I thought the consensus was that he stopped becoming Saint Torre and became Clueless Joe in '03.

Now he was awful from the beginning, if I'm understanding this all correctly. He was only good cause he can speak to the media, but the teams were so great that they made him look good. Got it!

I think after 2001, Torre was given a lot of awful parts to play with. If anything, the blame lies squarely on Cash-Money. After he lost the Mendoza's, Stanton's, Nelson's, he was given Karsay, Antonio Osuna's, Juan Acevedo's, etc.

I think Torre handled the bullpen he was given as best he could, I still have yet to see all the arms Torre wouldn't trust turn into these great major leaguers.

19 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:46 pm

[16] That's possible as well.

One would have to go through all of the game logs to see how the final scores of games were arrived at (i.e., big leads early turning into one run wins, small deficits turning into big blowouts, etc.).

One could never really "prove" anything by this, but in any case whatever explanation one proposes would have to rely on a historical argument (historicizing the specific events) perhaps more than a statistical argument.

20 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:46 pm

[17] Okay, that could be.
I must point out, though, that if all that is true... then Torre was actually a very good field manager! There is absolutely nothing wrong with regularly making moves that turn big wins into small wins. That's exactly the way you should use your weak relief pitchers. Irritating though it may be to your fan base.

21 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:47 pm

I have a sudden craving for fritters.

22 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:49 pm

Jeter's really is better at defense now. There's no doubt about it. (You can watch this game, monkeypants, right?)

23 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:51 pm

[21] Anything to do with frittering away a lead? Reminds me of Alex B. writing about Cano putting a lot of mustered on the ball.

24 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:53 pm

[18] The problem was that he did not trust his starters, searching forever and always to replicat the magic of 1996. That and falling in love with having a LOOGY and a 13 man staff. It's not that he used bad relievers instead of good. It's that he often pulled starters after 6 innings and used bad relievers.

And he ALWAYS relied heavily on a few relievers, even in the "good years." Look at the innings distribution from 1996 or even 1998 (actually, they had a good number of CGs, but also 130 INN from Ramiro Mendoza and 67 appearances from Stanton). Now it is true that these tendencies became more pronounced, and look at how he manages the Dodgers' pen this year.

And yes, the GM has to take some responsibility.

From a non-BP perspective, I'm not sure the GM must take responsibility for, say, starting Miguel Cairo at 1B.

25 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:53 pm

[23] But of course. : )

26 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:54 pm

[20] Touché!

[22] Yes and yes! : )

27 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 7:58 pm

Cone is rattling off geeky stats about bullpens, Kay is giving various mindless reactions.

28 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:00 pm

[28] The Jays announcers are nice and quiet and are basically talking about the game.

29 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:00 pm

[28] Was for [27].

30 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:01 pm

I dunno, if Halliday is having groin problems, I would think that would have more of an effect on his pitching than not being traded from the Jays

31 Dimelo   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:02 pm

[24] Miguel Cairo was a part given to him by the GM, there was Mienckeiezitzawz and Phillips. Hardly big boppers. Not defending putting Cairo at 1B, but you are acting as if Torre had a choice between Mark Teixeira and Lance Berkman.

For all his "bad" bullpen mgmt in L.A, too, well, all he's done is take them to the playoffs two years in a row. He was given the likes of Felix Heredia and Rondell White. The long list of bad players Cash-Money gave Torre should illicit the opposite reaction, how Torre was able to continuously churn out 87+ wins year after year and lead the team to the playoffs and/or world series championships/appearances.

32 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:03 pm

[18] I'm not going to say whether he was a good or bad manager, but he was the same manager in 2006 & 2007 that he was in 1996 & 1997

33 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:06 pm

The Red Sox are almost squarely on their pythagorean estimate. (I'm using 2 as the exponent, which is supposedly not ideal.)

34 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:09 pm

[31] Cairo was given to him a BUIF, not a starting 1B. The decision to start Cairo at 1B was appalling and can't be pinned on the GM.

My point about the LAD BP is that he leans very heavily a few pitchers (one of whom is now hurt, no?). Whether this is good or not is another discussion.

Maybe Torre is the reason the Dodgers have gone to the playoffs. I tend to think other factors are at work. In general I don't think managers have a big impact one way or another except in a few games. I remain convinced that Torre is an average to poor manager with certain pronounced tendencies.

35 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:10 pm

The Dodgers are about three games below their pythagorean estimate.
(I wrote a little Excel program and I'm plugging in the RS and RA.)

36 Dimelo   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:13 pm

[34] Yes, he's awful. You convinced me.

37 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:18 pm

[36] That's interesting, since that not what I argued. But if your convinced, welcome to the dark side.

38 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:19 pm

Maybe Torre is the reason the Dodgers have gone to the playoffs. I tend to think other factors are at work.

I would say other teams coming back to the pack. Grady Little's last two seasons, the Dodgers won 88 and 82 games. Torre's 1st year, they won 84 games.

39 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:24 pm

And in 2007 the Yankees won 94 and made the playoffs, In 2008 the Yankees won 89 and missed the playoffs. Sometimes you can't compare a team from one year to the next.

40 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:27 pm

I wonder how much Gaudin has in him tonight, and what the BP rotation will be.

41 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:28 pm

[37] I could have more typos in that sentence.

42 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:31 pm

Youse all must be pretty bored by the game if you're arguing about Mr. Torre...like all managers, he was good at some things, bad at others. Right guy at the right time with the right club..

So the O is on fire again tonight? Maybe Rays-Sox more exciting...

43 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:32 pm

Ugh. I used to like Chad Gaudin, about seven minutes ago.

44 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:37 pm

[42] It is a boring game. But Gaudin is making it interesting now.

45 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:40 pm

[39] Of course you can. The players on the 2007 team were the same players on the 2008 team. However, the reason why the 2008 Yankees only won 89 games was because of Jeter, Cano, Cabera & Posada. The Yanks were fielding 2/3 of a lineup. They didn't miss the playoffs because Girardi was a terrible manager, they didn't win 89 games because they missed Torre. Now that these guys are back and producing, they're probably going to win 100+ games. Doesn't make Girardi any more of a genius than he was last year.

Save for a couple of years, since 1995 the Dodgers have more often than not won around 85 games. They did it with Bill Russell at the helm, with Davey Johnson at the helm, with Jim Tracy at the helm, with Grady Little at the helm, and now with Joe Torre at the helm.

46 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:42 pm

[42] That's a fair assessment about both Torre and the game.

Gaudin's gone, Aceves in

47 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:42 pm

Via Cot's, Vernon Wells contract info:
Bear in mind, this is a career .800 OPS CoOFer.
7 years/$126M (2008-14) [18M/yr AAV]
$25.5M signing bonus (paid in 3 $8.5M installments, 3/1/08-10
08:$0.5M, 09:$1.5M, 10:$12.5M, 11:$23M, 12:$21M, 13:$21M, 14:$21M
Distributing his signing bonus:
08:$9.0M, 09:$10M, 10:$21.0M, 11:$23M, 12:$21M, 13:$21M, 14:$21M
full no-trade clause (just to make things worse)
Wells may opt out of contract after 2011 (HA! Big chance of that)

This for an .800 OPS OFer.

48 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:44 pm

[44] So what's the maximum # of pitchers the Yanks' can now carry with the expanded rosters? I don't know how the 40 man roster management goes so I'll guess @20.

49 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:44 pm

Gaudin out already?? Does Joe G know the Yankees are up by 7.5 games??

50 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:46 pm

[49] Are you watching? Chad didn't give him a lot of choice.

51 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:48 pm

45, Except this year the Dodgers are on pace to win 95-98 games. Last year the NL West had to play the AL East in interleague. That impacts the whole division and probably lowered all the NL West's team win totals.

I don't get it you guys say Torre was a poor manager. How did he mange to do what he did then? The only way we can see it is that the according to you guys the manager doesn't matter at all and then we are idiots to even be discussing this and Torre shouldn't have been let walk away cause the manager doesn't matter.

If the manager does matter, then don't give me excuses about last year. Torre managed to take them to the post season every year, 12 years in a row. That includes 2004 when they lost Pettite and Clemens. Also if the manager does matter isn't he directly responsible for how his players produce and their results. If he isn't who is?

52 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:50 pm

Okay, here we go. Time to stretch that lead again, give Ace another VW.

53 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:50 pm

[50] Gameday..a few singles and a walk, but it's only the 4th inning..he was really that bad?

54 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:51 pm

Have I mentioned that I don't like Gaudin?

55 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:53 pm

[51] I think what the others are saying (if I may be so bold) is that they believe in the old Earl Weaver theory..a good manager stays out of the way of his good players, manages his bullpen carefully, and creates a god atmosphere to balance the veterans and young'uns..A bad manager will lose more games than a good manager will win, if that makes sense..

56 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:54 pm

[54] I'm shocked!

57 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:54 pm

[51] I don't think (and certainly didn't say) that Torre was a poor manager.
Managers perform three types of functions, I'd say. First, they have to manage the team in the clubhouse and behind the scenes, and I believe Torre was the perfect man for this job when he managed the Yankees. Second, he has to decide which players to play and which ones to sit, and I actually think Torre was quite good at some parts of this job, but pretty bad at some other parts. (Good: he kept playing Giambi when many people thought Jason was washed up, and got a whole lot of production out of him in the end. Bad: Miguel Cairo and other players who had to substitute bellies full of guts for, you know, baseball ability.)
The third is field general skills, and this was really what we were debating earlier. It should in principle be detectable by finding how many more or fewer games the team wins than would be predicted by the number of runs they score and allow. Those can be attributed to a manager, or to luck, or maybe to other things...

58 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:56 pm

I am having a hard time NOT WATCHING Sharapova at the U.S Open. Where's thelarmis? : D

59 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:56 pm

[53] He seemed fine in the first three innings, but he was seriously struggling in the fourth and the game was slipping away.

60 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:57 pm

I still don't agree that Torre was a bad manager with the Yankees. I agree that bullpen management wasn't great. But I also believe that if we had every commenter on this site state when a BP move should be made and what it should be we would have 100+ different moves a night. I think his best strength was in dealing with the players and keeping the motivated to win every year.

All that matters are the final results. If I said to you from 2009 to 2020 the Yankees will make the PS every year. They will go to 6 WS. They will win 4. Wouldn't you take that right now?

61 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:58 pm

[58] I would gladly be Kramer the ball-boy in a match between Maria and Serena..thank you Maam, may I have another??

62 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 8:59 pm

[60] All that matters are the results, but the question is how much of the good result is due to Torre.

63 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:00 pm

60 was meant for 55.

57 Players need a rest, a few games off every season, Torre played the guys he had on the bench, blame Cashman.

64 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:01 pm

62 How much better results than 12 PS out of 12, 6 AL Champs, and 4 WS Champs do you want?

65 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:02 pm

[64] Uh, how is that responsive to what I said?

Miguel Cairo was on a WS championship team. There is no better result than that. So, Cairo is a great player.

Spot the fallacy.

66 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:05 pm

Brandon Tom Henke League in for the Jays..

67 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:06 pm

[61] She's playing some 17 year old from the States right now. Another 17 year old America beat the #4 ranked player in the world this afternoon. The only reason I know this is I played a lot of tennis with my wife this summer and I'm trying to pay afternoon.

68 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:06 pm

65 If the manager matters then the manager impacts the results hence 64. Are you saying that another manager would have done better? If yes anyone in mind?

If the manager doesn't matter then we're idiots and also please hire me I work cheap.

69 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:08 pm

[51] I never said Torre was a bad manager, personally, I think he's an average one. I still don't like the way things went down after the 2007 season, because it was stupid and childish the way both parties acted.

Here are the Dodger totals since 2000
08: 84
07: 82
06: 88
05: 71
04: 93
03: 85
02: 92
01: 86
00: 86

I don't think that the NL West playing the AL East makes that much of a difference. Especially considering that the Dodgers are going to win 90+ games for the 3rd time in 10 years.

There are no excuses that need to be made for last year. Cano, Cabrera stunk. Molina got way too many plate appearances. Jeter had an off year. It happens. A team is going to have a hard time scoring runs when 1/3 of their lineup are automatic outs.

And the players are responsible for the results. They are the ones on the field.

70 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:09 pm

65 Also are you saying that a manager is less important then a BUIF? If so why are we even arguing about this any baseball person who knows the rules can manage. It doesn't matter who it is.

71 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:09 pm

[68] The second baseman matters. So, the second baseman influences the results. Since the results were great, Cairo must have been a great players.


No, that's not right.

So why would it be different for a manager? Maybe he does impact the team, and the team did great, but he wasn't particularly good. Is that possible?

Note well that I have NOT said Torre was bad. I'm saying it's not settled by the overall performance of the team.

72 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:10 pm

I HATE League. Maybe b/c he reminds of a bad Keanu Reeves character. Though that's redundant.

73 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:10 pm

[67] I used to love Martina Hingis..she retired after cocaine accusations if I remember correctly..that one came out of nowhere. Thise wild and crazy Swiss!

Lincecum and Pedro with the pitchers duel..I still have only seen Tinny Tim once, maybe will watch that game on archive tonight..

74 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:11 pm

If the manager doesn’t matter then we’re idiots and also please hire me I work cheap.

Get in line, I've been trying to get a gig for years.

75 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:13 pm

71 ok, I can understand that.

76 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:14 pm

We call that sexual position 'The ARod'.

77 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:15 pm

It's very hard to know how much a good manager is worth. My best guess is: more than a VG bench player, but less than a VG starter. (This would make it reasonable to pay the VG managers about the salaries they do get.)

78 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:17 pm

Ace coming up aces today, huh?

79 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:22 pm

[73] I liked Hingis, too. She was like a pit bull running around on the court. Melky must know Lil' G is close to returning.
Bad Call.

80 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:23 pm

How the hell can you miss that call, in exactly the right position and staring right at the base???

81 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:23 pm

I knew that right a damn way. C'mon blue.

82 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:23 pm

[79] Very bad call. Surprised no one argued.

83 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:23 pm

Really bad, wasn't close. Major League Umps shouldn't miss those.

84 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:25 pm

Jeff Nelson is the ump at first, is this just a bad mistake or is he always poor?

85 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:27 pm

[83] Anyone remember Ron Luciano's book "The Umpire Strikes Back"? I loved that book so much as a kid..recently saw a used copy in the shop and poked through it, was really bad...but a few good stories about umps missing calls but never openly admitting it..

86 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:31 pm

85 I've always been meaning to read that. I waste too much time watching the Yankees and sports in general.

87 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:32 pm

[85] Girls with troubled youths and abusive homes wind up on the pole. I think young boys in similar situations become umpires. : ) I just don't see why anyone would want that aggravation and abuse. I love baseball as much as anyone but you couldn't pay me enough.

88 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:35 pm

Double, double, toil and trouble.

89 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:35 pm

Alright, lets see what Melancon can do. He's going to have to pitch eventually......I think.

90 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:36 pm

Is anyone else worried about who's going to pitch the 5+ post-Joba innings tomorrow?

91 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:38 pm

Take off you hoser!!!

92 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:39 pm


93 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:45 pm

Okay, I feel good. I feel good!

Still a little worried about all those innings tomorrow. But good about this game.

94 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:50 pm

[47] This for an .800 OPS OFer.

t was a bad contract for sure. Real, real bad. Bit in the Jays' defense--as much as I can muster--Wells signed his beg contract extension after 2006, IIRC.

At that time he was 27 and came off a .899 OPS season as a CF, and he was two years removed from a .900+ OPS season. The organization clearly overvalued him, but at the time (I think) they were trying to sew up a core of young(ish) players that they thought would be the foundation for the future. Remember, they had Wells and Alex Rios (25 y.o.) and Troy Glaus (29 y.o., .868 OPS), A young Aaron Hill (24. y.o.), and Lyle Overbay with a good season (29. y.o., .880 OPS). They had Halladay and Burnett. And they just won 86 games.

I believe that they felt pressure to tie up the young players.

I'm not defending the Jays--they screwed up big time with several contracts--but I think I get what they thought they were trying to do.

95 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:52 pm

[90] [93] I forgot about that. I was too busy pondering the likelihood of four or five BP innings on Sunday.

96 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:56 pm

Maybe the wisest move is to abandon the Mitre plan, use Sergio for four innings tomorrow, and let AJ pitch on his usual rest.

97 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 9:59 pm

[96] What is the Mitre plan? Seriously, I have not had the time to follow much outside of listening/watching the game at night.

98 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:01 pm

[97] He's supposed to start on Sunday. They'll move Burnett back. I guess CC gets an extra day that way, too.

99 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:01 pm

I know Swisher is not the most graceful OF, but he does seem to run down a good number of balls. Now, he's not always the best at handling balls that are bouncing around...

100 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:03 pm

Is Robertson a closet headhunter? I missed that pitch.

Show/Hide Comments 101-191
101 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:03 pm

[98] I didn't realize guys were getting extra rest. actually, I am surprised that Mitre is starting after getting whacked (I know, I know, he had an extra few days, but I figured he would sit for another couple of days and then pick up his regular turn in the rotation). Then again, who would replace him. AAA is pretty empty these days, no?

102 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:04 pm

[100] Curve that didn't curve, is all.

103 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:04 pm

That curveball was nasty.

104 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:06 pm

[101] Who would replace him?

Claggett, or McAllister, I guess.

105 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:10 pm

Roberston was throwing 92-95 mph heaters and 79-83 mph curveballs. That'll confuse a batter. : O

106 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:13 pm

[104] Claggett...yikes. That poor kid was a sacrificial lamb twice this season, right?

107 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:13 pm

Bruney, by contrast, will confuse the fans. I think the manager is not immune, either.

108 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:15 pm

[106] I vaguely remember a game against Cleveland when he got rocked. But only vaguely.

109 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:15 pm

[58] i was professing my love to a hot blonde here in Atlanta! we dated a coupla years back, i realized i'm not over it...and told her tonight! i think it went well...

sharapova is an absolute goddess!!! : )

BaBa Bruney. seal it, baby!

goddamn shit sox with a 9th inning lead. i really want them to lose 5 in a row, though i'll take 8 in a row...

bobby cox got ejected tonight. shocker!

110 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:16 pm

[101] He once passed The Iron Horse because he could........: )
I know we've been Dos xx'n Cano but the guys in the booth are talking about Jeter

111 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:18 pm

[109] Slainte!

112 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:19 pm

[111] hey, alright!!!

slainthe mhath!!!

speaking of which, as of now, i'm planning on cracking my 1st beers in a month this saturday. we'll see, but hopefully the suds will flow the Palace of Thelarmis! (<--- what in the hell does that even mean?)

hey, is Mr. OK Jazz here?

113 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:20 pm

[109] Would love to see an insurace run or three, and Bruney for the ninth, to save the pen (that is, Hughes) a bit for tomorrow.

114 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:22 pm

[113] i, too, would like to see the score truck, since i missed most all of the game and will be out of state tomorrow, on a gig...

crush one, Tex !!!

115 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:22 pm

[113] I don't think Hughes is going to pitch. I think Marte is up next. Still, Bruney for the ninth and save Marte, that would be good. Hughes and Marte, and Joba for four+? Another inning for Robertson? That's a game you could win, even with an inning from Cokey mixed in.

116 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:23 pm

i see Pete Abe called Robbie "Cani" in his lineup. is that like plural robbie's? i wonder if his clone is also averse to walking?! (apologies if this was mentioned earlier in the thread...)

117 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:24 pm

I guess the Jays' bullpen will be hurting badly tomorrow, too. Hm, then again, that guy they have starting may last more than four innings.

118 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:25 pm

[112] Lurkin' & Workin' http://tinyurl.com/mls5gv

119 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:25 pm

Hot Damn.

120 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:25 pm

Rally Killer!

121 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:26 pm

I believe Teixeira is the only Yankee in a slump. Does that seem right?

Oh, yes, thelarmis, Mr OK Jazz was here earlier.

122 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:27 pm

[120] Still clutch, though, because it leaves us in a Save Situation.

123 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:27 pm

[122] Jeter is cooling off a bit, too, maybe.

124 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:27 pm

[122] I hadn't thought of it that way.

125 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:28 pm

Cone definitely approves of that A-Rod shot. Frozen rope, indeed.

126 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:28 pm

Now base clogging. This is some very bad baseball.

127 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:29 pm

i'll take Alex hitting it!

Score Truck!!!

128 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:30 pm

Cone is again drowning Kay in geeky statistics. This time Kay is just silent. He's overwhelmed.

129 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:30 pm

Fuck yes.

130 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:30 pm

Man, they have just destroyed any potential rally.

131 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:30 pm

Whose feeding Cone this info? And how come no else sounds so good at it. Holy Smokes.
This team is ridiculous.

132 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:31 pm

113 Nicely done.

133 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:31 pm

[113] Happy?

134 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:31 pm

[118] Leapin' & Lopin' !!! (i KNOW you know that album!!!)

check this shit out: i was thumbing thru a paper earlier - the local Village Voice type of thing and get this... a local theater is putting on a performance of HAIR later this month! that's outrageous! right around the block from my pad, no less!

no...i'm NOT going!!! ; )

135 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:31 pm

How big was that A-Bomb from A-Rod, cause my office just shook here with an earthquake..seriously..

136 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:31 pm

[132] Damn you.

137 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:31 pm

HIP-HIP!!! hell yeah, Jorgie!!!

Doubin' Up the Jays - hooooooray!!!

138 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:32 pm

[131] Who is or Who's. : ) D'oh.
[128] Cone should get a bonus for that.

139 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:32 pm

[135] Whoa.
Tokyo is kind of earthquake-prone, isn't it? Pacific rim, ring of fire, kinda thing?

140 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:32 pm

[135] careful, bro!

141 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:33 pm

[139] it'll cure your ring of fire, too! (anyone get the reference? anyone? beuller?)

142 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:34 pm

that walk was definitely to cani, NOT canO !!! ; )

143 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:34 pm

[134] The great Sonny Clark..

[139] Unfortunately yes..we're all on borrowed time here..

144 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:34 pm

136 ?

145 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:34 pm

Holy fuck, did you see that thing sail? That was downright goofy.

But that's not what I wanted to say.

I wanted to say, this is looking like one hell of a baseball team these days.

I mean, really, what swagger.

146 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:35 pm

Con "You know it's a wild pitch when after you throw the pitch you have to back up third b/c the pitch was so wild." Now that is Classic.

147 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:35 pm

136 I saw it now

148 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:36 pm

[147] Yeah, you beat me by seconds.

149 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:37 pm

[146] "Hey, Stop saying Hawaii in there!"

A pound of fresh, raw squid for anyone who gets that reference.

150 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:37 pm

[146] Cone said.

151 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:37 pm

Cone just buried Michael Kay with a slugging pct fact.
Cone is awesome.

152 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:38 pm

[149] It's The Simpsons, but I can't get closer than that.

153 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:39 pm

[133] Yep. And now Bruney has to take one for the team and preserve the Save Situation ®.

154 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:39 pm

[143] i LOVE Sonny Clark!!!

hey, Jazz - i'm listening to a song called "Live in Japan" right now! live, as in "you live there", NOT me hopefully one day getting to play "live" there, in concert...

we look AMAZING, but i still don't wanna face the Shit Sox in the LCS. my stomach simply cannot handle it...

155 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:39 pm

It's in Bruney's contract that he has to start every batter 2-0.

156 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:39 pm


157 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:39 pm

[153] Or, perhaps, he can be a team player and create a Save Situation ® for someone else?

158 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:40 pm

[155] Yeah, well, he just started that one twice.

159 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:40 pm

[152] Awesome! The squid is yours, you just have to drop by here to collect it

It was Chief Wiggum to Homer, the episode where Mo gets a grilfriend.

160 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:40 pm

Phew, that was close. I thought we might go a whole game without Girardi over-managing.

161 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:41 pm

[152] and my "ring of fire" reference, was Frank Zappa, who's Matt Groenig's idol, so it's all close!

i'm glad Brew-ney is back out there - nothing more i love than our relievers walking the leadoff batter! esp on 4 freaking pitches. : /

162 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:41 pm

[159] Great, just leave it outside, on your doorstep, and I'll be by soon.

163 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:41 pm

[154] Nice, who is it by?

I've been on this Major Herbie Hancock fix the last week, can't get enough of that spaced-out electric piano sound..

164 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:41 pm

[155] kinda like A-rod's, only his is 0-2.

165 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:42 pm

[161] Damn, I was going to say Zappa -- it's "Mystery Man", right? But for some reason I had a second thought, thinking the line was "It'll cure your asthma, too!"

166 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:42 pm

[163] Mike Keneally, the Zappa alum i played with 2 weeks ago!

167 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:43 pm

Uh. Talk about over-managing.

168 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:44 pm

In [167] I meant pinch hitting for Overbay.

That Wells-hater is loud!

169 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:46 pm

[165] nice, man! the song's actually called "Cosmik Debris", but "mystery man..." is the beginning of one of the lines. on the Best Band You Never Heard (featuring Mike Keneally!!!), they substitute "asthma" with "ring of fire"! they perform "ring of fire" - in reggae style - right before it! that concert is hilarious - and AMAZING! - with Ike Willis dropping "Hi-Ho Silva!!!" throughout and making Frank laugh hysterically! : )

FZ is the BEST!!!

170 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:47 pm

[168] My wife just said, "Someone is hazing really loudly." She likes a good haze from some reason.

171 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:48 pm

[169] Aha. Good, my memory of the late 1970's is still intact after all! (Seems unlikely, but there you have it.) Who you jivin with that cosmic debris? What kind of a guRU, are YOU? The oils of Aphrodite... Mmmmmmm.

Okay, good game, gents! (No Ms. October tonight.)

See youse tomorrow, maybe.

172 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:48 pm

Hey. Never gets old. Lots o' w's.

173 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:48 pm

To answer the question way back in [6]: D, the bullpen, in this decade often combined with bad rotations, so lose big, win close. I wrote about it in BP's Mind Game.

Also, for those who don't think to check my tweets on the sidebar (and you needn't have a twitter account to read my stuff there at http://twitter.com/CliffCorcoran which is often random Yankee facts and youtube links that I don't have time to work into a full Banter post):

Catchers who have hit 20 HR in their age-37 season or after: Carlton Fisk, Mike Piazza, Jorge Posada. That's it.

Fisk hit 37 at age 37, 23 at age 39. Piazza hit 22 with the Padres at age 37. Jorge now has 20 at age 37 . . . and counting

174 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:49 pm

Damaso down to 8.38

another nice win! this is fun, folks!!!

175 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:50 pm

[171] is that a real poncho or a sears poncho! the "ring of fire" version is from the late 80's.

176 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:51 pm

Ace is 10-1 out of the bully

177 JeremyM   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:52 pm

This is beautiful. And Aceves has 10 wins, that's insane.

178 Just Fair   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:52 pm

[173] I'm guessing Fisk and Piazza had caught WAY more games than Posada at this point too. So he's got more miles in him I hope. His D is definitely not getting any better but thems the breaks.

179 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:55 pm

[177] It's Ramiro-Mendozian!

180 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:55 pm

[173] Thanks for playing! I'll have to check out what you wrote.

181 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:56 pm

[179] i've always like Mendoza! : )

182 RIYank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 10:56 pm

I hadn't noticed the Tweet thing, Cliff, but I'll be watching the sidebar in future games. Cool.

183 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:02 pm

[173] Cliff - just read your "tweets"... good call on not biting on the new Black Crowes. it doesn't suck, but it's not really worth buying. the first 3 albums are great, but you should really check out albums # 4 & 5 - they became my favorites of theirs and i never thought that would happen. they're both unreal!!! the 6th one - last before the long layoff - "Lions", i don't like. my brother loves it. it's definitely their Sgt. Peppers phase, but they ain't the Beatles!

DEFINITELY check out 3 Snakes & One Charm and By Your Side. totally worth it, you won't be disappointed. what a great band!

the original bass player is one of the owners of my studio. one of my former students played with them waaaay back in the day when they were called Mr. Crowes Garden and were a local Atlanta band that played frat parties at Ga. Tech and sounded nothing like what they'd become...

184 thelarmis   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:06 pm

we've got 7 players with 20 homers & 70 RBI. Jeter can make 8 and hopefully will. i also can't wait for his 300th stolen base. 2 more to go!!!

185 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:45 pm

[173] Wow, Cliff, that's amazing. Our Jorgie, silently becoming great. He's like the George Harrison of the Yankees. Or something. Really, I never think Jorge Posada, all time great but wow. That's some sweet, sweet company.

186 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:47 pm

And plus, Jorgie may not be a great catcher, but he's a damn sight better than Piazza, especially towards the end.

187 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:48 pm

[174] It really is. Shades of 1998.

188 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:49 pm

[183] I have and enjoy 3 Snakes. The tracks from By Your Side that hit radio sounded warmed over and turned me off, as did the loss of half the band prior to that record. So I'll split the difference with you on those two albums.

189 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:50 pm

[187] That's a bit much. Maybe '99, though I remember the '99 team felt as good or better than the '98 team at the time, though that was obviously far from true.

190 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:52 pm

Ok, so here's my anxiety. I heard from Lorenz earlier that we've scored five runs or more in each of the last x victories. So of course I have to ask, what happens when we stop hitting? Can we win on pitching alone? I guess the side of me that fears hubris is hoping it can't all collapse like a house of cards.

191 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:54 pm

Cliff, we're putting together streaks of five, six and seven games! I'm not saying from Day One to today, but it sure feels like one hell of a hot streak.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver