Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm writing this blog entry under protest

Joe Girardi and the Yankees played the game under protest last night, thanks to Josh Beckett's "injury" giving the Red Sox extra time to warm up. Well, I'm writing this blog entry under protest - I'm protesting all the bad baseball I saw last night! I'm just glad I decided not to buy tickets at the last minute last evening and go, or I'd be holding up an "unfair" sign just because!

Here are a few complaints, in no particular order:

* Why was Joba Chamberlain - who clearly didn't have it - left in to implode? That was like water torture watching him stay in. One of our readers suggested the Yankees should have put in Javier Vazquez instead. And this is a reader who has been griping about Javy for months! That's how much Joba's star has fallen.

* Marcus Thames goes from walkoff hero to goat, not catching the ball last night. That was a terrible play to watch. So was A-Rod's error.

* Randy Winn's play was bad as well. But I'm not surprised Mariano Rivera had a shaky ninth inning. Whenever he blows one save, he ends up doing poorly in the next relief situation.

* David Ortiz wasn't the only one who thought that ball was out last night. So did I!

* Michael Kay deserves blame, too. The moment he mentions that CC hasn't given up any runs, Youk hits a homer. The MK Jinx is alive and well!

* I know the conventional wisdom is that Francisco Cervelli should have bunted, but I wanted him to swing away last night in the ninth. Like I wrote yesterday, he was hitting .786 with runners in scoring position going into last night's game. Besides, the bottom of the lineup was coming up. Why not take your chances with Frankie?

Eh, I don't even want to talk about this game anymore. I turned off the TV and went to bed as soon as the game was over. Too depressing that the Yankees lost this game!

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Agree on everything except on the Vasquez thing. Girardi said at the beginning of the game that he wasn't available today, never has relieved on consecutive days. But D-Rob and Marte were warming up, so there was another option.

Joba takes the blame? Is he finally maturing?

I absolutely hate bunting, please read "Baseball between the Numbers." And bunting a hot Cervelli and the bottom of a very weak lineup coming us is very stupid. I mean, on how many lineups would Cervelli bath 6th? Not even in the NL!

kristin said...

Being that I've relocated and am now an out of market fan I was resigned to watching (if you want to call it that) the play by play on my husband a die hard sox fan has yet to pony up for the MLB package.
But I digress...anyway I went to bed feeling good with our 5-0 lead. Having given my husband the highlights here and there only to have him grumble and proclaim he was giving up baseball this season, he'd lost all interest. Weird because this morning, I get a call from him, and first thing he did when he arrived at the office was check the final score. Of course he felt the need to gloat. I liked it better when he'd written off baseball for the season.
**sigh** a loss to Boston is always tough, especially when you share a bed with one of their faithful.

Uncle Mike said...

We tempted fate against the Sox on back-to-back nights. We got away with it once. What other team could do it once? Even we couldn't do it twice.

Treat it like we treated the Minnesota debacle from Sunday, as just another loss, and move on. Time to beat the Tampa Bay Deviled Eggs. If we took 2 of 3 from them in their dumpy little dome last month, we can take 2 straight from them at home.

Anonymous said...

Ah how refreshing to wake up this morning and hear that the "great" Mr. Rivera blew yet another save - BEAUTIFUL! And Joe-Bob, the next big thing, gets shelled too. Words just can't describe my joy!

And the streaking Rays won too, now a full 3 games up - go Rays! About the only thing that went wrong was the Mets lost on a throwing error, oh well. At least the Mets don't have a $200M payroll and the huge expectations that come with it.

Paul said...

I've got to say Uncle Mike's got the right idea on this one - you got one so each team had something to be bummed about, something to be happy about, and a number of questions from both games. Considering the overall record thus far as well as head to head -- this isn't really cause for alarm for the Yankee faithful while the Sox have as many questions as ever in this inconsistent year.

Lisa - you're right; when Mo loses it, it seems to extend into a little spell, but that's usually only once a year. Mo also seems to give up one to the Sox each year. In the end over the course of the season he's still Mo. Always frustrating to see him come into a game because not only does that mean a likely Yankee win, but he's not even a Yankee I can hate!

I do think its funny that people were commenting yesterday on how fast the Sox fans turned on Paps yet many NYers seemed similarly disenfranchised with Joba in the Bronx last night.

Enjoy the series with the Rays - last night's NY weather is now here so not sure we'll have baseball in Boston this eve. Cheers!

Paul from Boston

Uncle Mike said...

The reason the Mets don't have the expectations that come with a $206 million payroll are twofold: Nobody expects them to do anything this year, because they are a lousy baseball team; and because their payroll is "only" $136 million.

Or, to put it another way, the Yankees are paying $206 million to win at a .641, or 103-win, pace; while the Mets are paying $136 million to win at a .475, or 77-win pace.

In other words: It's now how much money you spend, it's how you spend it. Once again, "Yankee Payroll" is the last refuge of a sore loser.

Anonymous said...

Mikey Mikey Mikey, you poor disillusioned little man. Sore loser? I think you put the shoe on the wrong foot. Remember the 2004 ALCS, when the Red Sox handed the Yankers the greatest (and most embarrassing) choke job in the history of sports? King George was quoted after the game saying "I'm not a good loser". Right there is your sore loser. Oh yes, King George and his band of merry men are not good losers, they are poor losers, and sore losers.

I've kept a spreadsheet of baseball salary data every year since 2006, based on the premise that wins are directly related to wins. So in other words, your payroll determines the number of games that you should be expected to win. And (surprise surprise), every year the Yankers, with their bloated payroll, are expected to "win" around 200 games, plus or minus a few, which is obviously an impossibility. And they are the ONLY team expected to "win" more than 162 games, which tells me that they are spending way too much and that there is NO COMPETITIVE BALANCE in baseball.

Anonymous said...

oops, typo in previous post - 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence - should read "...wins are directly related to payroll". sorry...

Uncle Mike said...

Yes, I remember the 2004 ALCS. Do you remember that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were caught using steroids and that said Pennant and accompanying World Series were fraudulent? That the Sox couldn't beat us without cheating? Am I using words too big for you?

Payroll has nothing to do with it, and baseball DOES have competitive balance. MLB has 30 teams. 20 of the 30, two-thirds, have made the Playoffs at least once in the last 5 seasons. 25 of the 30, five-sixths, have made it at least once in the last 11 seasons. 19 of the 30 have made the Playoffs at least twice in the last 20 seasons; 13 have done it at least 3 times; 9 at least 4; and 7 at least 5, or half the time this last decade.

And of the 7 teams not to make the Playoffs since the turn of the 21st Century, one had to deal with the falling Canadian dollar until recently and is, for all intents and purposes, an expansion team which is now ahead of the Mets in the NL East; one is owned by a Wal-Mart heir who refuses to invest his family's billions in his team; another had the excuse of being owned by a Governor who was completely stupid even by Texas standards; and another, the Baltimore Orioles, had a higher payroll than the Yankees as recently as 1998. That season, the O's spent $73M and got $79 wins while the Yankees spent $65M and got 114 wins. Don't tell me Payroll automatically = wins. You also need brains. You especially.

Baseball has competitive balance. The only thing not balanced here is you.

Uncle Mike said...

We do have one thing in common, though, we shouldn't type when we're angry. That should have read, "19 of the 30 have made the Playoffs at least twice in the last 10 seasons" -- not in the last 20 -- "13 have done it at least 3 times; 9 at least 4; and 7 at least 5, or half the time this last decade."

Anonymous said...

So that does mean that your trophy from last year is also fraudulent, since Gay-rod is a steroid abuser too?

Anonymous said...

There is NO competitive balance in baseball. I don't care about the statistics you're spewing. When you have owners who either refuse to (or cannot) spend enough (and wisely) on their teams, they are severely handicapping themselves and their fans. So how can you say that there is competitive balance? If there was true competitive balance, then every team's payroll would be roughly equal, with a very narrow margin between the highest and lowest payrolls. And almost every team would have at least some hope of winning the WS. That does not happen now. At the beginning of each season, you've got maybe 5 teams that realistically have a shot at the WS - is that competitive balance?

Perhaps what we should be discussing is: how do we fix the competitive imbalance that exists now? Do we force a payroll maximum and minimum on each team, with no more luxury tax? Perhaps we could threaten to contract teams that consistently rank at the bottom of the payroll scale, and also consistently have losing seasons (Pittsburgh), or that don't have a management/ownership structure that is committed to winning (Baltimore)? Perhaps we could reward teams or players that decide to stay with their current teams instead of selling-out to the highest bidder (props to Joe Mauer, shame on you C.C.)?

Anonymous said...

btw, the spreadsheet I keep is meant for entertainment purposes only. It's a "what-if" scenario that answers the question: what if wins were ultimately decided by a team's payroll? So take a chill pill.

Uncle Mike said...

A-Rod was caught in Texas. Not in New York. No Yankee has ever been revealed to be a steroid user during a World Championship season. Mainly because, for Giambi and Sheffield, they didn't help; but also because the teams that beat them had steroid users (the Roid Sox, Matt Williams, Luis Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez for 2 different teams). If the Yankees had won in 2004, Sox fans could then whine about it; instead, they got caught, and so the truth is on our side, and when that's the case, it isn't whining.

If you don't care about the statistics I use, then you're both a liar AND a fool. The fact that so many teams have reached the Playoffs, some of them several times, over the last few years proves that baseball IS easily as competitive as the other major sports. This isn't the Scottish Premier League or Spain's La Liga, where you know it's going to come down to one of two teams every single season.

Payroll equality doesn't make for competitive balance, and the only thing a salary cap does it make an owner who wants to win break up his good team much too soon. That's just plain stupid, a subject with which you're very familiar.

Every team has a shot at winning the World Series. Yes, every team. Some teams' owners choose not to take that shot. I'm guessing your favorite team is one of them.

The fact that the team with the current best record in baseball has it despite a low payroll and the dumbest stadium in the majors, and also won a Pennant just 2 seasons ago, and did that by winning the ALCS against the second-richest team, blows your arguments to smithereens. (Another big word, I know.)

Why don't you take a step back, look at reality, arrive at a sensible conclusion, and come back looking like something other than a clueless whinger?

Anonymous said...

what's a whinger?

Anonymous said...

"Payroll equality doesn't make for competitive balance, and the only thing a salary cap does it make an owner who wants to win break up his good team much too soon".

Yes exactly what should happen. You win the WS and it's time to break 'em up so another team can have their chance. Huge payroll disparities allow the rich teams to hang onto their stars for too long, instead of spreading the talent around.

Ever wonder why the NFL is so much more popular than MLB? Because the salary cap forced teams to move players around every year, which created a lot of "worst-to-first" and "first-to-worst" teams every year, which is what the people want. So let's give the people what they want.

Uncle Mike said...

A "whinger" is someone who whinges, or whines, or is sometimes used to describe someone who simply won't shut up. I stand by calling you that.

No, you don't break the team up after you win the World Series. That's called "losing on purpose," and it makes you a much bigger loser than someone who tries his best to win again and simply falls short.

There are no "rich teams," because they are ALL rich teams. With all the moneymaking opportunities in major league sports, you would have to be a complete idiot to lose money. Any team owner who says he's losing money is lying. That's why there was a hockey lockout: The NHL owners refused to open their books to prove they were losing money as they claimed, because they knew they'd be caught lying and then they wouldn't get their precious cap.

The reason the NFL is so popular is twofold: Violence and gambling. If it were impossible to bet on football, it would be as popular today as horse racing. Why do you think point spreads get published?

You want to "give the people what they want"? Give them a winning team. If you don't do it this season, try again next season. But don't whine (or whinge) about the other team having more money. You HAVE the money, and you KNOW you have it. Use it.

Anonymous said...

So you can be considered a "whinger" too? Won't shut up? Yeah, that's you. You ARE keeping this conversation going, no?

Breaking up a team after winning a title is not a new idea. It's essentially what the NFL has done with their implementation of the salary cap. Every team, every year, has access to a large share of the top talent available, thereby "spreading the wealth". Baseball does not. The teams in large markets, with their own cable networks, media machines, and various other revenue streams that other smaller market teams [notice I did not say "rich" teams :-)] do NOT have access to, can easily spend whatever they want to retain their talented players and not lose them to free agency. Imagine if the Yankers had to let Gay-Rod go instead of re-signing him/her to another $275 million contract (or whatever it was worth)? Or if they had to let Jeter go because of a salary cap? Talk about crash and burn!

You know that idea is actually very intriguing. I think everyone outside of 161st street would embrace the idea. Imagine the possibilities!

And you know, people gamble on baseball too, so you can't say that the NFL is more popular than MLB because of that. Violence maybe, people do love gore, can't argue that. But they also like competitive balance. It's what the people want - baseball doesn't have it.

Anonymous said...

And btw, nice job tonight Rays! Another victory for good over evil.

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