Charge the Mound…

May 24, 2009

Home Runs at the New Yankee Stadium — Part I

Filed under: Baseball, Yankees — Cesium @ 7:31 pm

Fourty-four games into the Yankees’ season (23 at home) and, besides the normal A-rod gossip, there biggest story is the number of home runs hit at the New Yankee Stadium.  It is hard to believe that if you essentially move a park 2000 feet to the left, it can change…however, the numbers do not lie.  I still hope that it is just a matter of the Yankees having a powerful offense and awful pitching — but, again, the numbers do not lie (as you will see below).

As of May 24, 2009:

  • Yankees 25-19 (14-9 at home and 11-19 on the road).
  • Played three home stands and were on the road three times.
  • 4/6-4/15 (Away):  9 Games/19 Home Runs (11 by the Yankees)
  • 4/16-4/22 (Home):  6 Games/26 Home Runs (14 by the Yankees)
  • 4/24-4/29 (Away):  6 Games/14 Home Runs (7 by the Yankees)
  • 4/30-5/7 (Home):  7 Games/21 Home Runs (9 by the Yankees)
  • 5/8-5/14 (Away):  6 Games/16 Home Runs (10 by the Yankees)
  • 5/15-5/24 (Home): 10 Games/40 Home Runs (22 by the Yankees)

Chruching the numbers:

  • 87 Home Runs hit at the New Yankee Stadium (in 23 games) = 3.79 per game
  • 49 Home Runs hit in Yankee games on the road (in 21 games) = 2.33 per game
  • 45 Home Runs by the Yankees at the New Yankee Stadium (in 23 games) = 1.96 per game
  • 28 Home Runs by the Yankees on the road (in 21 games) = 1.33 per game

Thus, if this keeps up, there will be about 306 home runs hit at the New Yankee Stadium this year (in the 81 games played there), as compared to a 160 in 2008 and a projected 189 home runs hit in this season’s Yankee road games. 

If there is one consolation, it is that the Yankees have hit 73 of the 136 home runs hit in the 44 Yankees games this season (53.7%)

November 25, 2008

Sabathia to the Yankees or Angels?

Filed under: Baseball, Yankees — Cesium @ 12:31 pm

Sadly and surprisingly, C.C. Sabathia wants to play on the west coast. The Yankees offer is on the table — but, likely, Sabathia is siting and waiting for the Angels-Texeria marriage to end. If it does, we can expect to see him in LA. If it does not, it will be pinstripes. Either way, the American League is only getting stronger and the Yankees will need more than the big lefty to win the pennant. A lot more.


May 26, 2008

Will Willie Stay a Met?

Filed under: Mets — Cesium @ 10:37 am

It’s really all most of the New York media can talk about right now — but is it even worth examining?  Of course it is likely he will be fired since he is the only one that they can look to when they are playing poor baseball.  But does he deserve it?  No way.  For a while I thought he did — but once I started watching the team play, I realized it is not his fault.  He defends these guys and they do not deserve it.  They are full of themselves, they are overpaid and exceptionally talented.  Yet, they look like they do not care.  That is not the manager’s fault.  He is trying.  Every day he continues to do everything right, while the players do not respond.  I am doubtful that a new manager will change that.  Maybe Reyes for Santana would not have been a bad idea?

May 17, 2008

Yankees and Mets Limp to the Bronx.

Filed under: Mets, Yankees — Cesium @ 12:20 pm

[New York. May 17, 2008.] I do not know whether you have notice, but the Mets and the Yankees have a combined record of under .500. This is the first time they have played each other with such a combined record. I doubt it will make for very good baseball, but I am pretty sure they will still be a combined under .500 when the series ends. Let’s just hope it sparks both teams to find themselves and get back to respectability.

April 25, 2008

Yankees are Lucky to be 12-12.

Filed under: Yankees — Cesium @ 10:15 pm

[New York. April 25, 2008] With the way the Yankees have started this season, it is shocking to see that they are still at .500. With massive slumps by Giambi and Damon, the non-existent Cano, poor pitching from Pettitte, unmentionable pitching by Hughes and Kennedy, a loss by Joba and A-rod starting slow — a non-losing season is a gift. At this point, it is safe to say we can thank Melky, Wang and Matsui — all three are playing above expectations. A fan can either complain again about such a poor start and be pessimistic that this will be a .500 team or be excited that this sluggish team (playing almost exclusively on the road) with no stars shining is still withing striking distance of the rest of the American League.

April 18, 2008

Damon, Giambi & Cano — Something Needs to Change.

Filed under: Yankees — Cesium @ 1:11 pm

[New York. April 18, 2008] It must concern Yankee fans that three of our starting players are batting under .204. Now, it may still be April — and nobody works in April — but, if you total those three players’ at bats, you have 160 turns at the plate to analyze. In those 160 official at bats, they have a total of 27 hits — a .169 batting average. Seventeen games into this season — sSomething needs to change.

The players — if you did not know already — are Johnny Damon (.204), Jason Giambi (.125) and Robinson Cano (.167). What can Girardi do? I have an idea (or ideas) –

(1) Bring up Shelley Duncan and put him on first base against all lefthanded pitchers until Giambi shows he can consistently hit (or at least lays down one bunt towards third base when they need a runner);

(2) Sit Damon for Matsui a little more often as Matsui obviously looks comfortable at the plate;

(3) Place Cano on the bench if he continues to struggle — maybe he will continue to win games as a pinch hitter or, more likely, maybe we will start to focus a little more at getting back to his true form.

The American League is too strong. The Yankees do not have the luxury they have had in the past — when there were five teams fighting for four playoff spots — and the Yankees could batter the AL East all summer to stay in the hunt. Now, the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, White Sox, Indians, Mariners and Angels all want October baseball (did I miss anyone?) and they all have a chance. And, the Oriels and Rays are much better than in years past.

The Yankees need a tweek — even one of the three detailed above. Until they do, they could find themselves fighting through the summer with this untested group of kids trying to get back to the playoffs. If Hughes can he the real deal and Wang can shake off last year’s collapse, they may have a chance to get out of the first round — but it just does not look like they will even get that chance.

April 13, 2008

Home Grown Talent — Red Sox, Mets and Yankees

Filed under: Mets, Red Sox, Yankees — Cesium @ 10:12 am

[New York. April 2, 2008.] The 2008 baseball season has finally begun. Let me reminder all baseball fans which team in the Northeast is truly the ‘home grown’ team. If you listen to those who hate the Yankees (both on the street and in print), you will often hear that they are “bought,” yet, when you actually look at the rosters, it paints a different picture. As compared to the Red Sox, the Yankees have twice as many players that are considered “Home Grown Talent” (a.k.a. HGT). The Mets have even fewer HGTs — only three “everyday” players are home grown (only two of which have any real impact).

The “everyday” players I pulled were (i) the starting 8 fielders (for the AL teams I used the better of the first baseman and designated hitter as the first baseman), (ii) the five starting pitchers, (iii) the closer and (iv) the set-up man — for a total of 15 “everyday” players. I pulled this list from the actually players that have the job, irrespective of whether they are injured (e.g., Shilling is still a starting pitcher for the Red Sox, or is he?).

After crunching the numbers — at the start of the season — the Red Sox are 5/15 (33%), the Mets are 3/15 (20%) and the Yankees are 10/15 (67%). Again, the masses and the media are incorrect!

Boston Red Sox
C Jason Varitek (HGT)
1B David Ortiz
2B Dustin Pedroia (HGT)
3B Mike Lowell
SS Julio Lugo
LF Manny Ramirez
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (HGT)
RF J.D. Drew
SP Josh Beckett
SP Curt Shilling
SP Daisuke Matsuzaka
SP Tim Wakefield
SP Jon Lester (HGT)
ST Hideki Okajima
CL Jonathan Papelbon (HGT)

Red Sox Home Grown Talent — 5/15 (33%)

I give the Red Sox credit. At least they are trying to build from within while they continue to be one of the best teams in the American League. They have filled holes with quality minor league talent (Ellsbury, et al.) and have not sold off their future for another arm. Beckett and Dice-K will probably keep them rolling in the near future and Pedroia and Ellsbury look like stars. They even boast an HGT player that has spent his entire career with the team — Jason Varitek (although not drafted by the Red Sox, he is playing his 11th season with the squad). Although, 33% is still pretty pathetic, considering the way they won the 2004 World Series, this is an improvement.

New York Mets
C Brian Schnieder
1B Carlos Delgado
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright (HGT)
SS Jose Reyes (HGT)
LF Moises Alou
CF Carlos Beltran
RF Shawn Green
SP Johan Santana
SP Pedro Martinez
SP Oliver Perez
SP John Maine
SP Orlando Hernandez
ST Aaron Heilman (HGT)
CL Billy Wagner

Mets Home Grown Talent — 3/15 (20%)

The Mets are now down to three home grown players. It is simply ironic that it is usually the Mets supporters in New York that claim the Yankees “buy” their teams. Looking at this roster — the top 15 starters on the Mets — it is reprehensible that only three of them come from the Mets system. In fact, if you remove their setup-man Heilman – who really has not won that role yet – the Mets would have only two home grown players playing every day. That must be hard to swallow for a Mets fan, but, I assume, if they win it all this year, those same fans will forget all about it. As a side note, I will admit that the Mets have done a great job buying talent. Santana and Beltran are at the top of their respective positions. on the other hand, some of their minor moves and the older players purchased may come back to bite them. At least they did not bring in Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown. At the end of the day, the Mets have put together the best lineup and staff in the National League (assuming they stay healthy) and regardless how they do it, they are still a top contender.

New York Yankees

C Jorge Posada (HGT)
1B Jason Giambi
2B Robinson Cano (HGT)
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Derek Jeter (HGT)
LF Johhny Damon
CF Melky Cabrera (HGT)
RF Bobby Abreu
SP Chien-Ming Wang (HGT)
SP Andy Pettitte (HGT)
SP Mike Mussina
SP Phil Hughes (HGT)
SP Ian Kennedy (HGT)
RP Joba Chamberlain (HGT)
CL Mariano Rivera (HGT)

Yankees Home Grown Talent 10/15 (67%)

It is pretty amazing to think they hold a HGT of 67% considering their reputation. They may have a huge salary, but there is something to be said for rewarding players with big contracts that you developed in your own system. Few teams in the league can say that — and it impresses me that the Yankees are one of them. Ten of the Yankees fifteen starters are from the Yankees system. As compared to their rival Red Sox (who have only 5) and their New York counterpart (who have only 3), it is pretty impressive to see the Yankees continue to stockpile the youth on their roster. Looking back to this winter (although, Yankees fans may regret it), when we held on to the kids and passed on Santana, we really showed baseball which teams ‘buy’ their teams and which teams ‘develop’ their teams.

As a disclaimer, I happen to be a Yankees fan. I despise the Red Sox and remain cautious with the Mets. I have changed my idea of what Home Grown Talent is from last year and begin this season with the following definition — an HGT is a player that is (a) drafted by their team or (b) played in the minor leagues for that team, and (c) currently plays for that team. Yes, there are holes in that logic, but until someone falls through the crack, no sense in developing a more detailed formula.

This article was first brought to you by our friends at The Random Politic:
Home Grown Talent — Red Sox, Mets and Yankees (2008)

April 3, 2008

Yankee Stadium: First Pitch — Last Opening Day

Filed under: Baseball, Yankees — Cesium @ 5:37 pm

The first pitch of the last opening day at the current Yankee Stadium. It was Chien-Ming Wang delivering a strike to David Eckstein. The Yankees won the game 3-2, Wang beat Roy Halladay and Mariano “Enter Sandman” earned his first save of the 2008 season.


September 13, 2007

Home Grown Talent — Who Really has it?

Filed under: Baseball, Mets, Red Sox, Yankees — Cesium @ 1:03 pm

[New York. September 13, 2007.] I have to admit, after years of hearing about how the Yankees “buy” their teams and have no “home grown talent,” I started to believe it. My response was always — what about Jeter and Posada, and Mariano and Pettitte, and now, Cano and Cabrera — and I thought I had a good argument. A good argument indeed!

After looking around the league, I realized very few competitive teams have a lot of Home Grown Talent, otherwise known as ‘HGT’ (not HGH)! In fact, the two largest groups of fans I see day-today (and find myself arguing with) sponsor teams that have a really palty HGT on their current teams. In fact, the Red Sox have only an HGT of 25%, and the Mets have only three really HGT players on their team.

Before I give you my analysis, let me first explain how I came to my results. First, I consider, any “current” player that was either (i) drafted by the team or (ii) played their entire career with only that team. Then, I looked to each teams’ “top twenty” players, eight starting fielders, three other batters (a DH or bench player, an infield and outfield bench player), the five starting pitchers, three top relievers and the closer. If a starting player was recently injured, they remained on this list. The Red Sox, Mets and Yankees top-twenty players and their HGT status are listed below:

Boston Red Sox

C Jason Varitek (HGT)
1B Kevin Youkilis (HGT)
2B Dustin Pedroia (HGT)
3B Mike Lowell
SS Julio Lugo
LF Manny Ramirez
RF Coco Crisp
CF J.D. Drew
DH David Ortiz
IN Alex Cora
OF Eric Hinske

P1 Josh Beckett
P2 Curt Shilling
P3 Daisuke Matsuzaka
P4 Tim Wakefield
P5 Jon Lester (HGT)
RP Mike Timlin
RP Hideki Okajima
RP Eric Gagne
CL Jonathan Papelbon (HGT)

HGT — 5/20 (25%)

The Boston Red Sox have five home grown players of their top twenty players. That is not too impressive. At least the Sox can boast that five of their top-twenty have been on the team for at least seven seasons (Manny, Ortiz, Timlin, Wakefield and Varitek), although, only one of them is an HGT. (Yankees’ fans out there — remind yourself that four of the five current HGT’s were not on the 2004 Red Sox, nor were there any other HGT’s on that team.)

New York Mets

C Paul LoDuca
1B Carlos Delgado
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright (HGT)
SS Jose Reyes (HGT)
LF Moises Alou
CF Carlos Beltran
RF Shawn Green
OF Lastings Milledge (HGT)
OF Ruben Gotay
IN Endy Chavez

P1 Tom Glavine
P2 Orlando Hernandez
P3 Pedro Martinez
P4 John Maine
P5 Oliver Perez
RP Jorge Sosa
RP Guillermo Mota
RP Aaron Heilman (HGT)
CL Billy Wagner

HGT — 4/20 (20%)

The Mets offer a only four home grown players in their top twenty. To make matters worse, of these twenty top players, not one of them has been on the Mets for more than three seasons. In fact, their entire top-twenty has turned over since their 2000 World Series appearance. To their credit, they were in need of a rebuild after 2000, but, I wish they would start give time to some minor league youth over the Glavine, Green and Delgados…

New York Yankees

C Jorge Posada (HGT)
1B Jason Giambi
2B Robinson Cano (HGT)
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Derek Jeter (HGT)
LF Hideki Matsui
CF Melky Cabrera (HGT)
RF Bobby Abreu
DH Johnny Damon
IN Andy Phillips (HGT)
OF Shelley Duncan (HGT)

P1 Chien-Ming Wang (HGT)
P2 Andy Pettitte (HGT)
P3 Roger Clemens
P4 Phil Hughes (HGT)
P5 Ian Kennedy (HGT)
RP Edwar Ramirez (HGT)
RP Luis Vizcaino
RP Joba Chamberlain (HGT)
CL Mariano Rivera (HGT)

HGT — 13/20 (65%)

Remarkably, 65% of the Yankees top twenty are home grown. I still find it amazing that people can insult any team that has so much quality youth — not to mention that half of the veterans are HGT’s (who are being compensated accordingly). Posada, Jeter, Pettitte and Mariano have all played for the Yankees for at least eight seasons and were a large part of the Yankees’ dynasty in the late 1990’s. You could argue that Mussina and Farnsworth belong on this list, but after the last few months — Kennedy and Ramirez appear to have taken their roles.

After crunching the numbers, it looks like the Yanks (with 65%) have more home grown talent than the Mets (20%) and Red Sox (25%) combined! The Sox may have two HGT’s in their rotation, but the Yanks have four (while the Mets offer their fans zero). Obviously, the more HGTs you throw out there, the less likely you are to be successful “today,” but it has to feel pretty good right now to know that during the next few years we will be watching our veterans (who we’ve know for a long time) play with our next generation of Yankees. Of course, it never hurts to bring in a non-HGT MVP. But in all honesty, last year, many fans would have reversed that trade and brought Soriano back to the Bronx. Luckily, Cashman was not listening.

This article was first brought to you by our friends at The Random Politic:
Home Grown Talent — Who Really has it? (2007)

September 10, 2007

Interleague: Yes, the AL is that Dominant!

Filed under: Baseball — Cesium @ 5:15 pm

[New York. September 10, 2007.] So, interleague play is long gone and it is time to crunch the numbers — as expected, the American League is the better conference.  The numbers just do not lie.  Although, I have to admit, the American League East surprised me with a total .500 winning percentage against the National League.  I guess it does not help when Tampa Bay and Baltimore could not get out of their own way.

In the end, the American League won 137 of the total 252 interleague games.  That results in a .544 winning percentage –  and this sample is the equivalent of over a season and a half for any one team.  If you pull out the Devil Rays, the Orioles and the White Sox (the bottom of the AL), the rest of the America League played at a .606 pace against the National League.  In fact, taking out those three AL teams and not one of the other AL teams (the other 11 teams) had a losing record in interleague play.  That includes last place Texas (11-7) and a Kansas City (10-8) team that is currently 18 games under .500.

A summary of each teams final interleague record is as follows:

American League [137-115] (.544)

AL East
Boston 12-6
Yankees 10-8
Toronto 10-8
Tampa Bay 7-11
Baltimore 6-12

AL Central
Detroit 14-4
Minnesota 11-7
Cleveland 9-9
Kansas City 10-8
White Sox 4-14

AL West
Los Angeles 14-4
Texas 11-7
Oakland 10-8
Seattle 9-9

National League [115-137] (.456)

NL East
Mets 8-7
Atlanta 8-7
Florida 9-9
Washington 9-9
Philadelphia 4-11

NL Central
Cubs 8-4
Milwaukee 8-7
Houston 9-9
St. Louis 6-9
Cincinnati 7-11
Pittsburgh 5-10

NL West
Colorado 10-8
Arizona 8-7
San Diego 6-9
Los Angeles 5-10
San Francisco 5-10

An interesting fact — if you look at only the current four playoff teams and the top two teams trailing in the wild card standings (as of September 9, 2007), the six such AL teams (Sox, Yanks, Angels, Indians, Tigers and Seattle) finished 68-40 (.630) and the six such NL teams (Mets, Phils, Brewers, ‘Backs, Padres and LA) finished 43-47 (.478) in interleague play. That does not lend towards another NL World Champion, but of course, not of that really matters in a quick seven-game series in late October.

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