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Thursday, March 28, 2013

ESPN: Mark Simon: What’s the best-case scenario for Yankees?

And the flip side…What’s the worst that could happen? from maestro Mark Simon.

Fear No. 1: The older players on the roster show their age or brittleness

This was the most common worry we encountered among Yankees fans. How did we handle it?

We cut the contributions of Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda in half, turning Pettitte from a projected 3-WAR pitcher into a 1.5-WAR pitcher and Kuroda from 4-WAR to 2-WAR.

We changed the 2.5 WAR we were going to assign Mariano Rivera to a 1.5.

We took the 2.5 WAR we gave in a best-case to Kevin Youkilis and made it 1.0.

We eliminated the positive contributions from Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Ichiro Suzuki, and had them as replacement-level players.

What’s the worst-case scenario?

For everything else related to player value, we went with the same numbers from our best-case piece. In other words, Robinson Cano has another MVP-caliber season. Brett Gardner turns out to be fine. Ivan Nova and David Phelps make respectable contributions. And so forth.

Applying all of that, the Yankees collective total comes out to 24 Wins Above Replacement.

Over the last 10 seasons, 37 teams have accumulated from 22 to 26 Wins Above Replacement from their players.

Five finished with winning records, the best being an 86-75 mark by the 2008 Houston Astros. But 13 finished with at least 90 losses, including the 99-loss Seattle Mariners of 2004.

The 37 teams averaged 75 wins for the season.

That enough to scare you, Yankees fans?

Repoz Posted: March 28, 2013 at 02:11 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Moe Greene Posted: March 28, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4398603)
Phew. I was wondering when the next Yankees' Doom and Gloom article would be linked.

Thanks!
   2. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4398605)
The best case scenario for the Yankees would be to win the WS. Not really all that hard of an answer.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4398630)
The best case scenario for the Yankees would be to win the WS. Not really all that hard of an answer.

Yeah, even if they only win 86, they couls sneak in to the playoffs as a 2nd WC (or even steal a suprisingly weak division, a la StL), and get hot for three weeks.
   4. TomH Posted: March 28, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4398644)
any serious article dealing with what could go right for the Yankees ought to address the possibility that they forget the salary cap and drop a few minor league pearls to some team for an expensive all-star veteran or two to plug their holes. THAT is what could go "right*" (*if I were not a Yankee hater. right for NYY is just wrong)
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4398653)
RTFA, and it's a joke.

His "best case" includes: Nova 2 WAR, Hughes 1 WAR, Gardner 3 WAR, Ichiro 1 WAR, and Phelps 1 WAR.

I mean Nova was worth 3 WAR in '11, Hughes was 1.5 in '12 nd 2 in '10, and Gardner was 3.7 in '11 and 7 in '10.

How can the "best case" not have these relatively young players at least match their recent performance?

A reasonable "best case" for this group would be something like Nova 3 WAR, Hughes 2.5 WAR, Phelps 2 WAR, Ichiro 2 WAR, and Gardner 4 WAR. which is 5.5 extra wins just from 5 guys.
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4398661)
Don't forget Bud Selig getting caught in a tryst with Jeffrey Loria and an underage cantaloupe. I mean, if you really want to get into best cases.
   7. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 28, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4398662)
NM.
   8. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 28, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4398674)
Over the last 10 seasons, 37 teams have accumulated from 22 to 26 Wins Above Replacement from their players.

Five finished with winning records, the best being an 86-75 mark by the 2008 Houston Astros. But 13 finished with at least 90 losses, including the 99-loss Seattle Mariners of 2004.


This is wildly unsatisfying. I understand that the Wins in WAR are not designed to correlate to actual wins but that's a pretty wide range of outcomes. Apparently 22-26 WAR will get you somewhere in the spectrum of second wildcard contention to absolute disaster, everyone gets fired.
   9. McCoy Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4398700)
There is no Nats thread so I'll put it here. A vendor dropped off 4 SRO tickets to tomorrow's Yankees vs Nats game at 2pm. If anybody wants one or two or three let me know.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4398707)
This is wildly unsatisfying. I understand that the Wins in WAR are not designed to correlate to actual wins but that's a pretty wide range of outcomes. Apparently 22-26 WAR will get you somewhere in the spectrum of second wildcard contention to absolute disaster, everyone gets fired.

Random variation. God himself could tell you a team is a "true 500" team and the 95% confidence interval around that is on the order of 13 wins. Take a coin and flip it 162 times and write down the number of heads. Do that 36 more times. Look at the distribution.

The range here is (roughly) 75 +/- 11 wins, pretty much exactly what you'd expect out of a true 75 win team for 37 seasons.

All that a projection system or something like WAR can do is model the non-random part of the process. It is impossible for them to capture the random variation. Yes, some of what now appears to be random variation isn't random variation but not much of it.

Now, WAR is a retrospective measure and it could do things like give players extra credit/demerit for making the last out in an inning or being silly enough to hit their HRs when many/few are on base and other such things. This would just be taking the error term, pretending it's not an error term and parceling it out to individual players.
   11. Tricky Dick Posted: March 28, 2013 at 08:58 PM (#4398810)
I understand that the Wins in WAR are not designed to correlate to actual wins but that's a pretty wide range of outcomes. Apparently 22-26 WAR will get you somewhere in the spectrum of second wildcard contention to absolute disaster, everyone gets fired.

If the 2008 Astros are at the top of the range and the 2004 Mariners are the bottom of the range, Pythagorean variance explains a lot of the difference. The 2008 Astros performed 9 wins over their Pythagorean record, and the 2004 Mariners performed 7 wins below their Pythagorean record.

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