Monday, August 23, 2010

A-Rod, Roger Clemens, Javy Vazquez, and the latest in Yankeeland

Now that the Yankees have gone 13-0 without Alex Rodriguez this year, are we going to hear about how the Yankees really don't need him on the team? Just wondering.

Two summers ago, I had a similar calf injury to A-Rod's, so I know what he's feeling. Not fun!

I've been busy over the past few days with real-life obligations, so I haven't had much time to squawk. But I did watch some of the games this weekend. I feel sorry for Javier Vazquez -- he's been upfront about his velocity being down, but nobody in Yankeeland seems to be paying attention. Maybe now that Ivan Nova's up in the majors, the Yanks can skip a Javy start, and see what the heck is wrong with him.

Oh, and there's the whole Roger Clemens indictment. I know I probably shouldn't revel in other's misfortunes, but I can't help but snicker over him. He thought he was so clever in demanding to squawk before Congress and spin his phony tale. So much for that! The only thing that would have made his indictment more entertaining is if Suzyn Waldman had announced the charges against him!

Speaking of reveling in other's misfortunes, how about that whole Jay Mariotti story?

Anyhow, hopefully this week I'll get to write more. And maybe Squawker Jon will recover soon from the loss of Rod Barajas. But what do our readers think of what's been going on in Yankeeland?


Matt Warden said...

I actually address the whole notion of being better without A-Rod on my blog.

Honestly, if fans claim that to be the case (especially NY fans), they clearly don't have much understanding of baseball.

Also, SI had an interesting article pertaining to Clemens. Basically, his personality type is fairly narsassitic. Knowing this, he probably genuinely believes he was set up.

It's hard hating a guy who is delusional. It's mostly just pathetic at this point. It's a good thing this what our Congress' resources are being allocated too.

Uncle Mike said...

I just figured out a way to get all the A-Rod haters to start liking him: Have him testify at Clemens' trial and rat him out.

So let me get this straight: When the Yankees have A-Rod, they usually win; when they don't have him, they always win. Now that's what I call "New Math"!

Of course, that 13-0 stat, while apparently overwhelming, comes with a big honking asterisk, and I was there in Baltimore to see it. The next he was jackin' 'em out in batting practice, and then couldn't make a play at third base in the 1st inning, and had to leave the game and have Pena put in at third -- and, more importantly, in the cleanup spot in the order.

Suddenly, that 13-0 looks a whole lot like the 10-0 Aaron Small gave us in 2005 -- and then he lost a Division Series game against the Angels, and never won another game in the majors, and was done at 34.

I forget who said it, but there it is: Statistics are like bikinis, what they reveal can be nice, but what they don't reveal can be more important. Sorry for the semi-sexist comment, Lisa, but in this case it backs up the A-Rod supporters!

Matt Warden said...

"Statistics are like bikinis, what they reveal can be nice, but what they don't reveal can be more important."

Don't pin this on stats, Mike. Anyone with any degree of understanding statistics or the law of large numbers will be the first to tell you that small sample sizes <> valid conclusions.

Uncle Mike said...

Thirteen games is not a small sample. Especially when you're 6 1/2 games out with 37 to go like the Red Sox -- or 11 games out with 38 to go like the Mets.

Which brings up an interesting point. Remember the movie "Major League"? Manager Lou Brown noted that the Indians were 60-61, and figured that they needed to win 32 of the last 41 to make the Playoffs -- and they did. The Mets are 62-62. Maybe it's time to give Jobu some rum!

Matt Warden said...

Thirteen games is a relatively small sample size. That's the whole point of my post, Mike. Some people are apt to dismiss A-Rod's contributions because they're basing their opinion off of such a short period's worth of data (which happens to also be a culmination of the team's stats).

The value of a player (WAR) fluctuates greatly over such a short span. Conservatively speaking, 13 games only equates to approximately 40 at bats (give or take). That's why a crappy offensive replacement (like Pena) can sometimes be disguised as an interim solution and masked by the other members of the team.

The point is stats like Yankees being 13-0 while A-Rod is on the DL, are completely arbitrary. They don't tell anything of substance because they're based off such small samplings.

It's like me saying the Yankees are better off without Pettitte because during his trip to the DL the replacement starters have gone 4-1 (making up numbers here). That may be the case, but over the long run, stats assessed over an appropriate period of time will provide a more objective story.

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