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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jeff Pearlman: The Yankees are doomed

The Department of Measurement of Scientific Work is back!

OK, maybe doomed is too strong. But, once again, I don’t think Brian Cashman has built a team made for the playoffs. Mainly, the problem is pitching. Starting pitching. As the Atlanta Braves showed us throughout the 1990s, having a load of B+ starting pitchers is fantastic for 90-plus regular season wins … but doesn’t really work so well in the post-season. Generally speaking, the teams in the best shape have two ass-kicking starters with rubber arms and angry demeanors (think Johnson-Schilling, ‘01)

Here’s what the Yankees have:

C.C. Sabathia: Great starter. Elite starter. Worth the big bucks thus far—but in five postseason games with Cleveland and Milwaukee, the man has a 7.92 ERA over five starts. Please, read that again—seven point nine two. Last year, as the Brewers’ ace/supposed savior, Sabathia allowed six hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings of his long divisional series start. Can he be masterful? Of course. Will he be? Seems sort of unlikely.

...Joba Chamberlain: Over the past 13 years, no team has handled most baseball-related matters better than the Yanks. But their dealings with Chamberlain have been, well, pathetic. They took a stellar young arm, screwed and screwed and screwed with his heads—and now? Mush. I mean, seriously, what they’ve done to this kid is, in a baseball sense, criminal. If I’m a Yankees fan, and it’s Game 7, do I want Jona or Phil Hughes starting?

Me, I take Hughes.

Repoz Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:03 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM (#3328715)
Just a thought but would it surprise anyone if Joba had a monster of a post-season if he's given the chance? The guy has tremendous talent and I think it is indisputable that all the jerking around that's been done has gotten in his head. Put him into a playoff game in a situation where he's just going to pitch with no pitch count issues or "Joba rules" type stuff and I can see him just having his talent take over.
   2. The Pequod Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM (#3328716)
Lots of articles like this will be written over the next month. They do nothing for me because the set of outcomes that would prove the "not built for the playoffs" stuff wrong is so small.
   3. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM (#3328717)
Greg maddux was a B+ starter?! I think Pearlman's editors should be fired.

This deserves a letter writing campaign.
   4. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:24 PM (#3328720)
The Yankees are not playing very well right now. The playoffs are not right now.
   5. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:24 PM (#3328721)
Ditto Smoltz and Glavine. Pearlman is from the school of thinkers that judges Josh Beckett to be a better pitcher than those 3 and many other great pitchers
   6. TomH Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:29 PM (#3328723)
As the Atlanta Braves showed us throughout the 1990s, having a load of B+ starting pitchers is fantastic for 90-plus regular season wins … but doesn’t really work so well in the post-season.

a. Greg Maddux was a B+ pitcher?
b. The Braves overall playoff record was pretty good. The wild card era 8-team dance makes it tough to win the trophy very often. Unless you were the Yankees pre-Tony Womack-shoots-the-gap-2001.
c. The Yankees HAD a lot of B+ pitchers in the late 90s/early 00s. Hello! What do you think Pettite was? A guy who would give up 4 runs per 9, but his team scored more. This WORKED for many post-season years? And now they are "doomed"?

edit: I was too slow. tryign to do real work while I read BBTF. Cokes to many.
   7. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:33 PM (#3328724)
Seriously.

Greg Frucking Maddux
   8. Norcan Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM (#3328727)
Not only did Pearlman grade a rotation with in-their-primes Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz as B+ but he also gave Burnett credit for having been through the fire in the 2003 World Series even though he was injured and never pitched. I agree with his supposition but once again, the guy's kind of a nimrod. But besides his sloppy doucheness, yeah, the Yankees have one reliable postseason starter in Pettitte and even when Pettitte was playing a big part on those championship Yankees team, he was good for a clunker start, which he usually followed with an aggravatingly effective start. It wouldn't be a surprise if Sabathia pitches well but it's a question mark, so is Burnett and so is the identity and the chances of effectiveness of their fourth starter.

If I were the Yankees I would try something different with Sabathia. Before his two postseasons, he was worked hard to the end of the season. I would try the new Joba rules with him, letting him only go 4 and then 5 innings his last two starts.
   9. Norcan Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:47 PM (#3328730)
Pearlman is from the school of thinkers that judges Josh Beckett to be a better pitcher than those 3 and many other great pitchers


He doesn't mention Beckett at all, unless you're referring to some other prior posts of his I don't know about. Anyway, of course Beckett doesn't come close to the career values of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz but the guy has great stuff and been dominant through two World Series postseason stretches. I wouldn't blame him if he took Beckett over any of those three to front his postseason rotation despite them being great postseason pitchers in their own right.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM (#3328731)
It wouldn't be a surprise if Sabathia pitches well but it's a question mark
Every pitcher is a question mark. It's baseball.

You can't say, "Oh, Sabathia can't pitch well in October" because he's had some struggles. He's only pitched 25 postseason innings. That's like saying that Sabathia is a bust because he has a 4.85 ERA on May 2nd... oh wait, they did say that.

Sabathia is more likely than not to be great in the playoffs. There's no magic formula for a player playing well in October.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:04 PM (#3328736)
There's no magic formula for a player playing well in October

Which has been shown by the ridiculous number of great rookie playoff performances. The Yankees are the best team in baseball. Still, that only gives them something like a 15-18% chance of winning the WS.
   12. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:25 PM (#3328747)
This isn't the be-all and end-all of these thigns, of course, but in 1996 the Braves had three starters--three!--with an ERA under 3. And in the World Series, they were outstanding, Braves' SP had a 1.51 ERA. But the bullpen was bad (4.97 ERA) and in the worst possible moments.

B+ starting pitching. God, that's stupid.
   13. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:27 PM (#3328748)
Remember: not a 100% slam-dunk = DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!
   14. villageidiom Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:29 PM (#3328749)
Not only did Pearlman grade a rotation with in-their-primes Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz as B+
Well, they were B+, by definition: they weren't with the Yankees. Duh.
   15. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:30 PM (#3328750)
Remember: not a 100% slam-dunk = DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!
Well, I suppose he's right. I mean, what's the most optimistic chance you could reasonably give the Yankees? Twenty percent? Assuming that's so, they have an 80% chance of failure. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!
   16. bigboyinbroward1980 Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:33 PM (#3328751)
He still throws extremely hard, still possesses lightning stuff—plus, he’s already won a World Series with the 2003 Marlins.

Fact: A.J. Burnett started 4 games for the 2003 Marlins.
Fact: A.J. Burnett has never pitched in an MLB playoff game.
   17. bigboyinbroward1980 Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:34 PM (#3328753)
And when he said B+ starters I'm assuming he meant the Steve Averys and Kevin Millwoods of the world.....
   18. Maxwn Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:34 PM (#3328754)
As the Atlanta Braves showed us throughout the 1990s, having a load of B+ starting pitchers is fantastic for 90-plus regular season wins … but doesn’t really work so well in the post-season.

F-.
   19. Dizzypaco Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:40 PM (#3328756)
Generally speaking, the teams in the best shape have two ass-kicking starters with rubber arms and angry demeanors (think Johnson-Schilling, ‘01)

You know, he might have a point. Teams with two pitchers who can pitch tons of innings, are great, and strike out lots and lots of hitters (which he left out) have an advantage in the playoffs.

Looking back over the last 15 years, that would include the Diamondbacks and uh, uh, uh, anyone?

In other words, every team in the past 15 years other than the Diamondbacks was poorly designed for the playoffs.
   20. Maxwn Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:40 PM (#3328757)
And when he said B+ starters I'm assuming he meant the Steve Averys and Kevin Millwoods of the world.....

Well, in his very next sentence he says, "Generally speaking, the teams in the best shape have two ass-kicking starters." The mid-90s Braves had two, and often three starters who fit that bill. If he's talking about Steve Avery and Kevin Millwood in the sentence right before that and never mentions the Big Three, then he's just an idiot.
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:41 PM (#3328758)
In other words, every team in the past 15 years other than the Diamondbacks was poorly designed for the playoffs.
And of course, the Diamondbacks went with that exact same theory the next year and won...zero playoff games.
   22. bigboyinbroward1980 Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:42 PM (#3328759)
And this "playoff pitcher" crap is the worse mythmaking there is by these writers.......Beckett was so good in the '03 and '07 postseason...so ridiculously good, that his '08 playoff clunker has never been heard about again.....because if they mentioned what he did last year against the Rays & Halos, that would just destroy their myth, wouldn't it?
   23. RJ in TO Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:43 PM (#3328760)
As the Atlanta Braves showed us throughout the 1990s, having a load of B+ starting pitchers is fantastic for 90-plus regular season wins … but doesn’t really work so well in the post-season.


This is the dumbest thing I've read in a long, long time. Those B+ starters won 7 Cy Youngs in the 90s.

I know it's piling on to keep pointing it out, but B+? Seriously?

Jeff Pearlman is dumber than ten Tommy LaSordas.
   24. Dizzypaco Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:43 PM (#3328761)
The mid-90s Braves had two, and often three starters who fit that bill.

Once again, I think he meant guys who could strike out more than a batter per inning, not just have terrific ERAs and won-lost records. So by this (one) definition, Maddux and Glavine don't cut it. Of course, he didn't say that, but still...
   25. AROM Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:46 PM (#3328763)
You'd think he was talking about a Cardinal rotation featuring guys like Suppan, Marquis, and Jeff Weaver instead of 3 hall of fame pitchers.

Generally speaking, the teams in the best shape have two ass-kicking starters with rubber arms and angry demeanors (think Johnson-Schilling, ‘01)


The Braves had 3 a-kicking starters with rubber arms. Though only Smoltz seems like the type who'd ever show anger on the field. For the Diamondbacks, he remembers 2001 but not their quick exit from the playoffs in 2002, after Johnson and Schilling had seasons just as great as they did in 2001. Sometimes great pitching wins for you in the postseason, sometimes it's a Joe Blanton type pitching the game of his life and hitting a homer as well. There is no such thing as secret sauce.
   26. Maxwn Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:47 PM (#3328765)
You know, he might have a point. Teams with two pitchers who can pitch tons of innings, are great, and strike out lots and lots of hitters (which he left out) have an advantage in the playoffs.

Looking back over the last 15 years, that would include the Diamondbacks and uh, uh, uh, anyone?

Well, again, if you are going back 15 years, then those mid-90s (say '95-'98) Braves teams should fit unless you are being a real stickler about the strikeouts. Smoltz always struck a lot of guys out. Glavine didn't really, but his K/BB were decent. Maddux didn't strike just a ton of guys out, but he did strike out a few, and his K/BB numbers in those years were awesome because he didn't walk anyone.
   27. bigboyinbroward1980 Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:49 PM (#3328767)
Yea but strikeouts were slightly more rare in the 90's so you didn't have to be a "strikeout" pitcher to be considered elite......
   28. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:50 PM (#3328769)
Greg maddux was a B+ starter?! I think Pearlman's editors should be fired.


It seems he's judging them by their post-season performance.

Generally speaking, the teams in the best shape have two ass-kicking starters with rubber arms and angry demeanors (think Johnson-Schilling, ‘01)


The 2007 Indians had 2 kick ass starters in Sabathia and Carmona. Lost the ALCS.

The 2005 Astros had 3 kick ass starters and were swept by the White Sox who had none.
   29. Maxwn Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3328770)
Once again, I think he meant guys who could strike out more than a batter per inning, not just have terrific ERAs and won-lost records. So by this (one) definition, Maddux and Glavine don't cut it. Of course, he didn't say that, but still...

If he meant that, then he should have said that. Using the phrase "B+" and secretly meaning pitchers who don't strike out a batter an inning but who are otherwise completely awesome like Maddux and to a lesser extent Glavine and Smoltz is ridiculous.
   30. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:52 PM (#3328771)
There is no such thing as secret sauce.
DING!

There are probably factors that make a team more likely to win in the postseason than others, but those factors are totally drowned out by the randomness of a short series.
   31. Norcan Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:54 PM (#3328773)
Every pitcher is a question mark. It's baseball.

You can't say, "Oh, Sabathia can't pitch well in October" because he's had some struggles. He's only pitched 25 postseason innings. That's like saying that Sabathia is a bust because he has a 4.85 ERA on May 2nd... oh wait, they did say that.

Sabathia is more likely than not to be great in the playoffs. There's no magic formula for a player playing well in October.


Sure, you're right, it is baseball. A couple of bad pitches here or there at inopportune times, coupled with bad luck and bad defense and a single, very important start could be ruined, I know, but the concern with Sabathia isn't that he has merely struggled, posting a mediocre 4.00 ERA when the expectations of him is that he should dominate. It's that he has been bombed to smithereens in his last three playoff starts, allowing 17 runs in 14 innings with 11 walks. Hey, I know it's still only three starts no matter how awful they were but someone pitching so far below his talent level at the biggest moments has to make him a question mark until he proves otherwise. Going into his first start, he is question mark.
   32. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3328774)
He doesn't mention Beckett at all, unless you're referring to some other prior posts of his I don't know about. Anyway, of course Beckett doesn't come close to the career values of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz but the guy has great stuff and been dominant through two World Series postseason stretches. I wouldn't blame him if he took Beckett over any of those three to front his postseason rotation despite them being great postseason pitchers in their own right.


I am not referring to anything specific that he's written except for this piece which suggests strongly that he completely underrates how good, actually how dominant Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine were. The Sox won a World Series in 2007 and based on his formula because they won, they had at least one pitcher who was not B+, but graded higher. I'm guessing that Beckett's angry man demeanor catapults him in the Pearlman grading scale. Anyway, I could see ranking Beckett close to the level of either of these three going into a short post-season series. He's become an elite pitcher with the Sox. He just has never been as god as they were in their peaks.
   33. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3328775)
It seems he's judging them by their post-season performance.
Well, that's a tautology.
   34. Maxwn Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:57 PM (#3328776)
It seems he's judging them by their post-season performance.

Well, that's stupid too, because John Smoltz is well-known as one of the greatest post-season pitchers ever and Greg Maddux, although his career post-season numbers are a little more pedestrian, had a pretty sick run of postseason pitching from about '95 to '98. As did Glavine, from '92 to '96. Starting pitching is not why those Braves teams flamed out so many times in the '90s.
   35. Maxwn Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:58 PM (#3328777)
He just has never been as god as they were in their peaks.

This is one of my favorite typos ever.
   36. Norcan Posted: September 22, 2009 at 01:58 PM (#3328778)
And this "playoff pitcher" crap is the worse mythmaking there is by these writers.......Beckett was so good in the '03 and '07 postseason...so ridiculously good, that his '08 playoff clunker has never been heard about again.....because if they mentioned what he did last year against the Rays & Halos, that would just destroy their myth, wouldn't it?


Not really a mythmaking campaign to preserve Beckett's postseason stature. He was injured during the 2008 playoffs with a strained oblique. It's just giving him the benefit of the doubt due to injury.
   37. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:00 PM (#3328780)
Once again, I think he meant guys who could strike out more than a batter per inning, not just have terrific ERAs and won-lost records.


Well what the hell kind of standard is that? How many guys like that are there in baseball history?* If the Yankees today had a front 2 of Lincecum and Santana they'd be in better shape? Well no ####.

*21 pitcher seasons of K/9>9 and W%>.700 in the last 10 years. The only teammates on the list are Johnson and Schilling, and has been pointed out, they were 1 for 2. How the hell did the other 9 champs win?
   38. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:00 PM (#3328781)
Fact: A.J. Burnett started 4 games for the 2003 Marlins.
Fact: A.J. Burnett has never pitched in an MLB playoff game.


Fact: Bears eat beets.

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
   39. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:00 PM (#3328782)
And this "playoff pitcher" crap is the worse mythmaking there is by these writers.......Beckett was so good in the '03 and '07 postseason...so ridiculously good, that his '08 playoff clunker has never been heard about again.....because if they mentioned what he did last year against the Rays & Halos, that would just destroy their myth, wouldn't it?

It's not mentioned because Beckett was injured in 2008 (strained oblique muscle). He really struggled with it against Tampa; his Game 6 start was pretty damned good considering how badly he had been hampered by it in Game 2.

EDIT: beaten by Norcan. I'll show myself out.
   40. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:02 PM (#3328783)
He just has never been as god as they were in their peaks.


This is one of my favorite typos ever.


I'm not changing it. Maddux was called a B+ pitcher. A correction the other way was needed.
   41. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:05 PM (#3328786)
The guy has tremendous talent and I think it is indisputable that all the jerking around that's been done has gotten in his head.


I've heard and participated in this, but non-ace playoff starters often get jerked around in the playoffs. What with series ending early or late and travel days, no one starts on strict 5-man rotations in October.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3328789)
Well what the hell kind of standard is that? How many guys like that are there in baseball history?* If the Yankees today had a front 2 of Lincecum and Santana they'd be in better shape? Well no ####.

Santana wouldn't be too helpful right now.
   43. happysky Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3328808)
How Yankees is dooomed they are sure lock to be in Playoff .I know they are playing not that good right now but the playoff is not right now ... Also what's with Girardi giving so many chances to Brian Bruney ? why oh why if he had given that chances to Mark Melancon ,he would have been far better right now .Also Yankees need home field advantage badly !! they need to play in that stadium ..What's with the Yankees and Anaheim stadium!! something happens to them when they play there !!
   44. JMPH Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:23 PM (#3328810)
The Yankees should have known they were in trouble when they got one of these in the mail.
   45. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:25 PM (#3328814)
The Yankees should have known they were in trouble when they got one of these in the mail.


"Welcome to (you are) doom?
   46. JMPH Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:26 PM (#3328817)
And doom is in quotes! Which it shouldn't be!
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:28 PM (#3328819)
Doomed, but not beautiful.
   48. JuanGone..except1game Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:32 PM (#3328827)
I have to say that as a bitter Indians fan, I'm betting on Sabathia being as spectacular in the playoffs as he was for us. Though Pearlstein is still in an idiot.
   49. happysky Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:32 PM (#3328828)
I am so sick of post game delusional interview of Joba!!! Like he says my command is great,my fast ball was great what the heck !!
   50. TomH Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:56 PM (#3328852)
The 75-76 Reds were full of grade B pitchers! Gullett, Nolan, Norman, Billingham, most of whom never one more than 110 games in their careers. Doomed!!!

The late 40s/early 50s Yankees - Raschi (130 wins, 3.72 ERA), Reynolds (180 wins, with great clubs, including all of those games he won in WWII years), Byrne (4.11 ERA), Lopat (166 wins) - no grade A's here! Doomed to lose in the playoffs, every year! DOOMED, I tell ya!
   51. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 22, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3328857)
Is this going to be a thing? If the Yankees win a playoff game 25-2, are we all going to say "DOOOOOOOOOOMED"! Because I support that.
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: September 22, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3328861)
Is this going to be a thing? If the Yankees win a playoff game 25-2, are we all going to say "DOOOOOOOOOOMED"! Because I support that.


Will it be similar to the "of doom" phase? That lasted for about a week, and was amusing for about three posts.
   53. Zipperholes Posted: September 22, 2009 at 03:07 PM (#3328867)
Last night on MLB network, Magrane and Larkin were speculating that finesse pitchers tend to have less success in the postseason than power pitchers b/c they get a little amped up, thus throwing a little harder at the expense of movement. But power pitchers are less likely to have their style compromised by getting excited. I'd never thought of this and thought it was an interesting take.
   54. Philippe Posted: September 22, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3328869)
Also what's with Girardi giving so many chances to Brian Bruney ?

The French-language announcers here delved into this question during a Yankee broadcast last week. Their sense is that Girardi knows his team is in the playoffs, but still has question about bullpen roles. So he's testing guys out, particularly veterans like Bruney and Marte to see whether they can cut it in game situations. He probably does not want to go into the postseson with a bullpen full of youngsters to support Mariano Rivera, but if his veterans can't do the job in the meaningless games of late-September, he might as well go with Aceves and Melancon et al when the money games start.

Better to test this out now than in the ALDS. Fwiw, the announcers thought Bruney and Marte were in the process of writing their own tickets out of town with their recent performances.
   55. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 22, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3328927)
The late 40s/early 50s Yankees - Raschi (130 wins, 3.72 ERA), Reynolds (180 wins, with great clubs, including all of those games he won in WWII years), Byrne (4.11 ERA), Lopat (166 wins) - no grade A's here! Doomed to lose in the playoffs, every year! DOOMED, I tell ya!

But in the World Series....

Raschi: 11 games, 5-3, 2.24 ERA -- two of those losses were by 1-0 and 3-2

Reynolds: 15 games, 7-2, 2.79

Lopat: 7 games, 4-1, 2.60


Let's see any other group of starters in history match that. They should make a special plaque in the HoF for those three, as a unit rather than individually. Five straight World Championships backs that up.

Oh, and Byrne: 6 games, 1-1, 2.63 -- the loss was by 2-0 to Podres in the 7th game of the 1955 Series
   56. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 22, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3328958)
Last night on MLB network, Magrane and Larkin were speculating that finesse pitchers tend to have less success in the postseason than power pitchers b/c they get a little amped up, thus throwing a little harder at the expense of movement.


Seems like something that would be very easy to examine with pitch/fx.
   57. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 07:42 PM (#3329182)
Well, I suppose he's right. I mean, what's the most optimistic chance you could reasonably give the Yankees? Twenty percent? Assuming that's so, they have an 80% chance of failure. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!
Okay, these numbers may be off because of a screwup along the way, but if you were to assume that the W-L records coming into today were representative of true talent level of each team and that each team's HFA is the same as the MLB average, here are the chances of each team winning the World Series:

25.2Yankees
14.1
Angels
13.7
Dodgers
12.2
Red Sox
11.3
Phillies
 9.2
Cardinals
 7.0
Rockies
 2.0
Tigers 
   58. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 07:48 PM (#3329192)
If we replace the current record with Baseball Prospectus' third-order standings, the odds are:

28.0Yankees
22.8
Dodgers
15.6
Red Sox
 9.5
Rockies
 7.4
Angels
 6.2
Phillies
 5.6
Cardinals
 1.3
Tigers 
   59. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 22, 2009 at 07:54 PM (#3329199)
And, of course, none of that takes starting pitchers into account.
   60. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 07:58 PM (#3329201)
Jeff Pearlman is dumber than ten Tommy LaSordas.


Wouldn't it be more insulting to say that 10 Pearlmans are dumber than one Tommy Lasorda?

10 Tommy Lasordas would wreak havoc at the buffet line, tho.
   61. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 22, 2009 at 08:04 PM (#3329207)
And, of course, none of that takes starting pitchers into account.

Alas.
   62. AROM Posted: September 22, 2009 at 08:07 PM (#3329210)
If we replace the current record with Baseball Prospectus' third-order standings, the odds are:


Your first list gave me a 39.3% chance of being happy at the end of the season. So I take your third order rankings and poop on them.
   63. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 22, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3329234)
The Yankees are beautiful , the Yankees are doomed.
   64. JPWF13 Posted: September 22, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3329237)
Last night on MLB network, Magrane and Larkin were speculating that finesse pitchers tend to have less success in the postseason than power pitchers b/c they get a little amped up, thus throwing a little harder at the expense of movement.


Bill James 101:
If the MSM or some old baseball guy says something like:
Power pitchers start the year better or
finesse guys last longer

assume the opposite is true (at least until you can do a study.

I'm going to guess now, that if you took every "finesse" guy with an ERA+ of 120 in the regular season, and every power guy with an ERA+ of 120 in the regular season, that the finesse guys on average do better in the postseason- all because the MLB Network guys assume the opposite is true.

What's really going on is
1: Power guys on average are better than Finesse guys
2: Power guys tend to do better in the post season because they tend to be better period.
   65. Al Kaline Trio Posted: September 22, 2009 at 08:35 PM (#3329245)
Your first list gave me a 39.3% chance of being happy at the end of the season.


You like the Angels AND Yankees??
   66. Walt Davis Posted: September 22, 2009 at 10:57 PM (#3329339)
Pointless meandering:

On the B+ thing:

Undergrad intro psych. You'd think this would be a breeze class but it had the hardest damn multiple choice test I've ever seen in my life. As she hands back the test, the prof (a true psychometrician at heart I guess) actually puts the number line of scores on the board.

Now this test was worth something strange like 125 points. The median score was something like a 69. The third highest score was around an 85. She drew a circle around the middle, oh, 75% of the scores (including the 85) and said "these are Bs." A sigh of relief for me. The second highest score was something like a 97 -- "this is a B+". The top score was something like a 117 -- "this _might_ be an A".

I'm pretty sure even she would have given Maddux an A.
   67. JH (in DC) Posted: September 22, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3329344)
And doom is in quotes! Which it shouldn't be!


It's some sort of ironic doom. The wink is implied.

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