Archive for April 28th, 2010

The Yankees bounced back from yesterday’s loss by jumping out to an early lead against Jeremy Guthrie and then letting C.C. Sabathia grind out another quality seven-plus inning performance. Although not dominant as he had been in his previous three starts, Sabathia relied on his change-up to pitch around 13 base runners. Of his five strikeouts, four came on a change of speed, which helped Sabathia deal with less than optimal location on his fastball.

Jorge Posada reacts to being hit by a pitch in the top of the second inning. Posada would leave the game after scoring on Nick Swisher's triple (Photo: AP).

Sabathia was granted a cushion with which to work as the Yankee offense scored six runs over the first three innings of the game. In the first, Nick Johnson swung at a 2-0 pitch and singled in Derek Jeter, who doubled to lead off the game. Johnson eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez. In the second inning, Jorge Posada led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch in the back of the knee. Posada gingerly made his way around the bases after Curtis Granderson singled and Nick Swisher tripled, but he eventually had to come out of the game with a right knee contusion. In the third inning, Robinson Cano continued his hot hitting by belting his sixth HR on the season. Robbie added another hit in the fifth to temporarily push his league leading average over .400. Francisco Cervelli, who was forced into action by Posada’s injury, and Jeter added RBI singles to round out the scoring.

  • C.C. Sabathia is now 10-1 lifetime against the Orioles.
  • Derek Jeter’s first inning 2B was #442 in his Yankee career, tying him with Don Mattingly for third place on the Yankees’ all-time list.
  • Robinson Cano and Jeter both had two hits in tonight’s game. Cano and Jeter have record 77 and 76 multi-hit games, respectively, since the start of 2009. Only Ichiro, with 83 multi-hit games, has had more.
  • Cano’s third inning HR was his sixth of the season, establishing a new personal high for the month of April.
  • With three more hits, Nick Swisher extended his dominance over Camden Yards, where his 1.247 OPS is the highest among all visiting players.
  • Nick Markakis 7th inning HR was the first long ball that Sabathia surrendered in 54 2/3 career innings at Camden Yards. Only Adam Loewen, who threw 58 homerless innings, had a longer stretch. Markakis’ round tripper was also the first regular season HR that Sabathia had surrendered to a left-handed batter since Jim Thome took him deep on August 7, 2009.

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vs. Jeremy Guthrie PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 37 0.306 0.297 0.333 0 1
Nick Johnson DH 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Mark Teixeira 1B 17 0.091 0.412 0.182 0 1
Alex Rodriguez 3B 28 0.238 0.429 0.476 1 5
Robinson Cano 2B 31 0.233 0.258 0.400 1 3
Jorge Posada C 17 0.267 0.353 0.467 1 2
Curtis Granderson CF 12 0.364 0.417 0.818 1 2
Nick Swisher RF 23 0.474 0.522 1.000 2 6
Brett Gardner LF 3 0.333 0.333 0.333 0 0
Total 168 0.288 0.333 0.493 6 20
vs. C.C. Sabathia PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Adam Jones CF 10 0.444 0.500 0.667 0 2
Nick Markakis RF 19 0.118 0.105 0.118 0 3
Ty Wigginton 2B 25 0.318 0.400 0.500 1 2
Miguel Tejeda 3B 34 0.313 0.353 0.563 2 4
Matt Wieters C 6 0.200 0.333 0.200 0 0
Garrett Atkins 1B 6 0.750 0.833 0.750 0 2
Nolan Reimold DH 9 0.500 0.556 0.625 0 0
Lou Montanez LF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Cesar Izturis SS 16 0.125 0.125 0.125 0 0
Total 125 0.292 0.344 0.425 3 13
Yankees vs. Orioles    
Season: 2010 Season: 2009 Season: 2008 All-Time
BAL: 1-0 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 11-7 NYY: 1222-839
  • After pinch hitting last night, Nick Johnson returns to the lineup in his customary #2 slot.
  • C.C. Sabathia made his Yankee debut at Camden Yards last year, losing to Jeremy Guthrie on Opening Day. Since that game, Sabathia has won his last four starts against the Orioles, while Guthrie has lost his last four starts against the Yankees.
  • Robinson Cano enters the game leading the league in hitting at .389.
  • Arod remains one HR behind Frank Robinson on the all-time HR list, while Derek Jeter needs one 2B to pass Don Mattingly on the Yankee list.
  • The Yankees have hit a HR at Camden Yards in 15 straight games, a record that is shared with the Boston Red Sox.

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Before the internet, postcards were the easiest way for people to send images around the world. In many ways, they were the precursor to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. It’s easy to see how the typical “Greetings from…” postcard message has evolved into the instant status updates that fly around cyber space.

Another fascinating thing about the postcard is its ability to illustrate the history of a city or attraction on one side, and at the same time, provide a glimpse into the personal lives of both the sender and recipient on the other. These time capsules have a unique way of breathing life into the past.

Nothing beats thumbing through an old shoe box in an antique store off the beaten path, but finding old postcards on the internet is kind of cool too.

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Most Valuable Player$

If Ryan Howard is worth $25mn per year...

Ryan Howard’s new 5-year/$125mn megadeal has rung the bell for the latest round in the debate over how to value major league baseball players. On one side, more traditional baseball writers have argued that Howard’s MVPs and prolific HR/RBI production, along with his status as a key component of a championship core, justify the deal. On the other side, however, sabremetricians have argued that Howard’s WAR and advancing age make the deal a major risk. Of course, absent from both sides of the debate are some basic economic concepts like transparency, intangible value and marginal utility. So, what is the truth? It’s probably somewhere in the middle.

...is Albert Pujols worth $50mn per year...

As the baseball world digests the Howard contract, a more interesting question has emerged: “What must Albert Pujols be worth”? Bobby Cox has done some back of the envelope math and come up with $50mn, and according to at least one estimate by J.C. Bradbury, he isn’t that far off base. I am sure the Cardinals aren’t exactly thrilled with Cox’ estimation, but Pujols’ agent may consider taking him on as a consultant once his tenure as Braves managers ends after this season.

Amid all the wrangling about what Howard and Pujols are worth, I got to thinking about Alex Rodriguez. When Tom Hicks signed Arod to the then seemingly outlandish 10-year/$252mn deal in 2000, many in the baseball community scoffed at the inflated price. Of course, we now know the deal wasn’t so absurd. In fact, when Arod was able to opt out, he actually signed a larger deal at 10 years/$275mn.

...and has Arod been a steal?

With seven more years left on his current deal, Arod’s long-term value definitely carries significant risk, especially considering his recent hip surgery. Looking back, however, we can see that Arod has actually been a bargain. Using Fangraphs’ WAR-based valuation (which obviously ignores all of the economic concepts mentioned above), Arod has been worth $204.7mn since 2002. Over that same time span, he has earned $196.4mn. Even assuming that the value deflation resulting from WAR’s UZR component is accurate (Arod has had a negative fielding component since 2005), Arod has provided about $1mn per year in excess value before taking into account any attendance, ratings or playoff contribution. Not bad for someone who has so frequently been vilified because of his salary.

What Value Arod?

Season Team Dollars (mn)* Salary (mn)**
2002 Rangers $25.20 $22.00
2003 Rangers $25.10 $22.00
2004 Yankees $20.80 $22.00
2005 Yankees $31.90 $26.00
2006 Yankees $15.90 $21.70
2007 Yankees $37.40 $22.70
2008 Yankees $27.40 $28.00
2009 Yankees $21.00 $32.00
Total   $204.70 $196.40


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