Archive for April 14th, 2010

Javier Vazquez looks to rebound from a rocky opening start to his Yankees reunion. He will be opposed by Joel Pineiro, who also seeks to erase bad memories from his Angels debut.

vs. Joel Pineiro PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 31 0.222 0.323 0.444 2 2
Nick Johnson DH 19 0.267 0.333 0.267 0 2
Mark Teixeira 1B 36 0.258 0.361 0.581 2 10
Alex Rodriguez 3B 29 0.148 0.207 0.185 0 1
Robinson Cano 2B 7 0.429 0.429 0.714 0 1
Jorge Posada C 24 0.200 0.250 0.450 1 4
Curtis Granderson CF 11 0.111 0.182 0.111 0 1
Nick Swisher RF 25 0.300 0.400 0.350 0 2
Brett Gardner LF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 182 0.241 0.318 0.385 5 23
  • Joel Pineiro has not started a game against the Yankees since July 18, 2006, when he was with the Seattle Mariners. He has not recorded a win against the Yankees since August 18, 2002.
  • Only Bobby Abreu and Torri Hunter have had a significant number of ABs against Vazquez. In 81 PA, Abreu has a line of .282/.358/.746, while Hunter has hit .205/.225/.359 in 40 PA.
  • Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter both look to keep their season-long hitting streaks alive. Both players have had at least one hit in all 7 games played thus far.
  • The Yankees 5-2 start is their best since 2003, when they started 6-1.
  • The Angels 2-6 start is the worst for the franchise since 1972, when they also started 2-6.
  • Milestone Alert: Alex Rodriguez’ next long ball will put him past Mark McGwire for 8th place on the all-time HR list, while Derek Jeter needs one hit to take over sole possession of 47th place from Vada Pinson on the all-time hits list.

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Baseball’s DNA?

The driving force behind modern baseball statistical analysis, often called sabermetrics, is to replace subjective evaluation with objective analysis. Because the human eye has an inherent bias, the theory goes, opinions based on observation are more likely to be flawed. That’s a very reasonable approach. In fact, we see the same thing in fields like criminal investigation. Ask any detective if they’d rather have an eye witness or a DNA sample, and they’ll usually opt for the latter. The problem with many of the advanced metrics being used today, however, is their application has not been fully vetted. In fact, rather ironically, many rely on a hidden layer of observation.

The area in which sabermetrics encounters the most bias is in the evaluation of fielding. For years, this aspect of the game has defied the establishment of meaningful and reliable statistics. Recently, however, a whole host of measures have been created. Most notable, and most often referenced, among these are UZR, developed by Mitchel Lichtman, and the +/- system, created by John Dewans (both metrics are currently available on Fangraphs).

In a recent post on The Hardball Times (h/t Rob Neyer), JT Jordan took a look at some of the discrepancies that exist between the two metrics. In the analysis, he finds some interesting discrepancies, mostly based on sample sizes and calculation differences. However, what I think is more concerning about each statistic is the underlying data component (more on that later).

In a similar vein, Colin Weyers of Baseball Prospectus raised some questions about the validity of batted-ball data (trajectory data and location) data. There are two companies that currently compile this information: MLBAM, which uses stringers (or observers) at every game, and Baseball Information Solutions (BIS), which uses a video system.  According to Weyers, the method of data collection has had a meaningful impact on the eventual conclusions.


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For almost 40 years, Gene Monahan has been treating the wounds of Yankees players. As Yankee trainer since 1972, and an organizational employee since 1963, Monahan has truly been an enduring link. From Mantle to Murcer to Mattingly to Mariano, Geno has been on hand for all the highs and lows.

Now, however, comes word that Monahan is in a serious battle with his own health. Since it was announced that he would miss his first spring training in 48 years, very little had been said about Monahan’s illness. Seeing tears in Monahan’s eyes as he received his 2009 World Series ring, and then watching those same tears well up in the eyes of Joe Girardi has he discussed the moment, confirmed the seriousness of what we had all feared.

For nearly 40 years, Gene Monahan has looked after the Yankees as head athletic trainer.

Gene Monahan has throat and neck cancer. He has been undergoing treatment since January, when he had surgery to remove his tonsils. In total, he has received 30 radiation treatments, including his latest just before the ring ceremony. According to Monahan, the prognosis is good, but the healing process will still take some time. The Yankees are hoping to have Geno back full-time at some point over the summer, but for now he has been helping out Steve Donahue, Monahan’s assistant since 1986, by consulting on injuries and doing prep work at Yankee Stadium.

Seeing Gene Monahan trot out for his ring was the most emotional part of Opening Day, just as poignant as the sight of George Steinbrenner sitting in a luxury box with his wife Joan at his side. I’ve always thought (and hoped) that Monahan would write a book. He has seen so much of Yankee history firsthand that his accounts would probably make for incredible reading. Chris Chamblis’ HR in 1976, Monahan was there. Reggie’s three bolts in 1977…Monahan was there. The Munson tribute…Geno was on the bench. Rag’s no-hitter, every version of Billy Ball, Donnie’s prime, Jeter’s rookie season, the four championships under Torre and Girardi’s #27 have all been witnessed by Monahan. Monahan even serves as a link to all three versions of Yankee Stadium. Think about it…every book about the Yankees since the 1970s, from The Bronx Zoo to The Yankee Years, has featured at least one interesting vignette about Monahan. Imagine putting them all together?

The Yankees are a team of legends…its players, its owner and, yes, even its trainer. Hopefully, that legend has a lot more room to grow.

Under the Care of Geno…

  • World Championships: 7
  • AL Pennants: 11
  • Managers: 16
  • Yankees Record: 3313-2553

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