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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Neyer: Joe Girardi plays the percentages ... until he doesn’t.

BINDERS! I guess the hot hand fallacy chapter fell out.

The Yankees are behind by exactly one run in a game they exactly must win. There is a left-handed pitcher on the mound, with big platoon splits. The Yankees’ next scheduled batter is yet another left-handed hitter.

Raúl Ibañez.

Yes, there are people who follow the New York Yankees, or work for the New York Yankees, or are paid good money to talk about baseball during national television broadcasts, who seem to believe, as one particularly irascible friend of mine puts it, “that Ibañez has some magical pixie dust than enables him to hit home runs at will, and that someone put the voodoo kibosh on Swisher and A-Rod that won’t go away until they each get two consecutive hits.”

Ah, there they are: Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez, our switch-hitter and our right-handed hitter, sitting on the bench. Both have been struggling lately, as you’ve no doubt heart. Swisher started for the Yankees in right field all season; he’s been benched. Rodriguez started for the Yankees at third base all season, and also made $31 million all season; he’s been benched.

Against those struggles, Joe Girardi might have considered this salient fact: Over the last two seasons, Raúl Ibañez has been gifted with 194 at-bats and posted a .206 batting average. With four home runs. Which is to say that against left-handed pitchers, Raúl Ibañez hits like a shortstop. A weak-hitting shortstop with a .236 batting average.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez and Swisher awaited on the bench.

Repoz Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:24 AM | 176 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, yankees

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4273766)
But, but, clutch! Momentum! Hot hand!
   2. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4273771)
For all the talk about Girardi I want to say that I thought Leyland handled the ninth inning perfectly. Letting Verlander start was the right call but after two long at bats and the lefties coming up I thought going to Coke when he did was the right call.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4273779)
If Ibanez or Chavez or Gardner succeeds, then Joe gets the credit because he made the smart move. If they fail, they're not nearly as good anyway. If Swisher or A-Rod fails, then that's Joe's fault for putting them in.
   4. John DiFool2 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4273799)
Translation: Girardi's an idiot. Well, we all knew that anyway; go ahead Joe, let the chattering wastrels in the press box determine your strategy.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4273800)
Girardi should have hit for Ibanez, but still... it can't be easy to pull a guy representing the winning run in the ninth inning when that guy has hit three ninth-or-later-inning dramatic homers in the past week.

Really, though, what I wanted to say was that the Rodriguez thing is a bit of a red herring. Nick Swisher has been a better hitter than A-Rod for a couple of years now, he doesn't appear to be as banged-up as A-Rod, and he doesn't lose the platoon advantage if he pinch-hits. He's the obvious choice to pinch-hit there.
   6. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4273807)
A-Rod and Swisher can't hit in the postseason. A-Rod can (*) if he gets off to a decent start, but if he starts bad, he never breaks out of it. Swisher can't hit in the postseason, period.

(*) Which is to say, he did once.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4273820)
A-Rod and Swisher can't hit in the postseason.

ARod has the same career OPS (.838) as Derek Jeter in the post-season.

A-Rod can (*) if he gets off to a decent start, but if he starts bad, he never breaks out of it.

ARod batted only .615 in the ALDS in 2000, but then proceeded to bat 1.253 in the ALCS that same year.
   8. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4273823)
ARod has the same career OPS (.838) as Derek Jeter in the post-season.

Nobody cares about stuff that happened 12 years ago, before he came to the Yankees.

Torre was around him all the time and kicked him down to 8th in the postseason; Girardi's around him all the time and won't play him in the postseason. Those guys know more than a guy in his mom's basement searching clumsily for patterns and screaming about sample size.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4273832)
BINDERS!
Of women?
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4273847)
Girardi should have hit for Ibanez, but still... it can't be easy to pull a guy representing the winning run in the ninth inning when that guy has hit three ninth-or-later-inning dramatic homers in the past week.


It can be, should be, and in fact is, very easy to pull a guy who can't hit LHP against a LHP with the game on the line.

Really, though, what I wanted to say was that the Rodriguez thing is a bit of a red herring. Nick Swisher has been a better hitter than A-Rod for a couple of years now, he doesn't appear to be as banged-up as A-Rod, and he doesn't lose the platoon advantage if he pinch-hits. He's the obvious choice to pinch-hit there.


Agreed, but I'm not sure who raised this red herring. He didn't have to go to ARod. Swisher was fine. Or, at a minimum, go to ARod, get Benoit, and then go to Swisher. Anything but letting the guy who can't hit LHP bat against LHP. ARod against a RHP would have been better.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4273848)
Those guys know more than a guy in his mom's basement searching clumsily for patterns and screaming about sample size.


Like what you're doing?

That A-Rod is lousy this year (37 and probably still injured is my guess) doesn't change his overall body of work.
   12. Fat Al Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4273849)
Those guys know more than a guy in his mom's basement searching clumsily for patterns and screaming about sample size.


Is "mom's basement" the SABR-equivalent of Godwin's Law?
   13. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4273856)
it can't be easy to pull a guy representing the winning run in the ninth inning when that guy has hit three ninth-or-later-inning dramatic homers in the past week.


One of which was off a left-hander.

I get the argument Neyer's making, but I can't really fault Girardi's decision here. Going to A-Rod or Swisher was high-risk (was there even any guarantee that Leyland wouldn't have lifted Coke?) and it's an absolute guarantee that if Ibanez had been lifted and the decision hadn't worked Girardi would have been roasted.

-- MWE
   14. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4273859)
Nobody cares about stuff that happened 12 years ago, before he came to the Yankees.

But 2004 still counts, right?

   15. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4273860)
Like what you're doing?

Not exactly. A lifetime of playing and watching sports has informed me that choking exists, and helps me identify it. And when two managers basically tell the world a guy's a choker, and none of his teammates, including Captain Dreamboat, express much in the way of disagreement, I consider that very valuable confirmatory evidence.

   16. ASmitty Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4273862)
(was there even any guarantee that Leyland wouldn't have lifted Coke?)


That's actually why I would have pinch hit. Leyland would have likely gone with Benoit, who is very susceptible to the long ball. I get Girardi's decision, but I pinch hit Swisher in that situation.
   17. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4273870)
ARod has the same career OPS (.838) as Derek Jeter in the post-season.

Nobody cares about stuff that happened 12 years ago, before he came to the Yankees.


Fine, if you only include the time that ARod's been a Yankee (2004-2012):

ARod - .814 OPS
Jeter - .814 OPS

You're right. It makes a huge difference.
   18. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4273874)

Fine, if you only include the time that ARod's been a Yankee (2004-2012):

ARod - .814 OPS
Jeter - .814 OPS


Not going to lie, that surprises me.
   19. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4273879)
Fine, if you only include the time that ARod's been a Yankee (2004-2012):

ARod - .814 OPS
Jeter - .814 OPS

You're right. It makes a huge difference.


Derek Jeter's aggregate performance has nothing to do with whether A-Rod chokes in the postseason. When things start bad for him, he does. His managers, his teammates, and fans conversant in both numbers and sports psychology, all understand it.
   20. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4273880)
A-Rod's playoff series (of more than 1 PA), using an 800 OPS as an arbitrary good/bad divider:

1997 Good
2000 Bad
2000 Good
2004 Good
2004 Good
2005 Bad
2006 Bad
2007 Good
2009 Good
2009 Good
2009 Good
2010 Bad
2010 Bad
2011 Bad
2012 Bad
2012 Bad 


In his Yankees career he was 6-2 through 2009, but then has been bad for 5 straight. A little bit chokey, a little bit old.
   21. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4273881)
But 2004 still counts, right?

2004 ALDS:
ARod: .421/.476/.737/1.213
Jeter: .316/.350/.526/.876

2004 ALCS:
ARod: .258/.378/.516/.895
Jeter: .200/.333/.233/.567
   22. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4273885)
Breaking down 2004 more closely, he was 2-17 in the last 4 games. That's where it started.

2007 is "good" only on a very low curve. He struck out 6 times in 15 ABs and OPSd 820. 2009 he got going early and never got to the point of choking. He's choked in every series since.
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4273886)
In his Yankees career he was 6-2 through 2009, but then has been bad for 5 straight. A little bit chokey, a little bit old.


In the same comparison, Jeter has the exact same score as ARod from 2004-2011 (6-5), but for 2012 he's 1-1 while ARod's 0-2.
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4273889)
Girardi's comedy of errors in the 9th inning amounted to a worse screw-up than Grady Little leaving Pedro in.

Girardi's errors in the playoffs, itemized in broad strokes:

1. Girardi benches ARod and Swisher based on a sample of, what, anywhere from 4-7 games. So he weights the last 4-7 games over the last 162 or 324 or 648 games, because they are postseason games. In so doing he buys into the silliness of talk radio as epitomized by SugarBear here in this thread. I realize that ARod has not done well against RHP this year, but even in his diminished capacity against RHP - if you think that is his real skill level - he has his uses. And he still had a .900+ OPS vs. lefties this year.

2. Girardi leads off last night with Gardner, a player who had gotten 6 PAs since April. Leads off with him. Gardner doesn't get the ball out of the infield. Twice he doesn't get the ball past the pitcher, although one of those I guess was hit fairly hard. In the fateful ninth inning, Gardner is allowed to bat against Verlander, and while it's not a lefty-righty issue, it is an issue of Gardner simply not seeing live major league pitching enough. Gardner when healthy is a nifty player, but someone whose value is linked to his defense at a time when Girardi needed offense; Gardner is not Barry Bonds, such that you take a chance with him even though he's not seen live MLB pitching.

3. Girardi, with the game on the line after Hughes is knocked out - even setting aside that Hughes by his own admission could have stayed in - goes to Phelps, Rapada, and Eppley. Again, basically with his season on the line. That it "worked" is beside the point that the _process_ there was just bad.

4. Girardi, down 2-0 in the 9th in a virtual elimination game, allows Nunez to hit for himself against Verlander. Certainly ARod and Swisher are better bets than Nunez. The fact that Girardi lucks out when Nunez runs into a pitch and hits it out of the yard was fortunate, but, again, bad process. Eventually these moves are going to probably burn you, and just minutes later they did.

5. Girardi then allows Ichiro to bat against Coke. Ichiro's OPS against lefties this year was .650. Coke gets beat up by righties. No ARod, no Swisher. And no Andruw Jones, who has inexplicably been left off the ALCS roster while back-end pitchers like Lowe, Eppley, Phelps, and Rapada have been left on. Take your pick. Jones was a better option than at least one of those.

6. With 2 outs and 2 on in the 9th, and down 2-1, Girardi allows Ibanez to bat against Coke, simply because Ibanez has been hot lately, even homering off of a LHP against Baltimore. But that is simply not the way to bet. As a manager, Girardi's job is to put his players in the best chance to succeed. Ibanez vs. Coke is not it. Girardi could have PH Swisher and welcomed the Benoit/Swisher matchup instead. ARod/Benoit was also a better matchup than Ibanez/Coke.

People keep saying "the Yankees" aren't scoring, but these are not "the Yankees." Girardi has gutted his lineup - even ARod's replacement is 0-15 or whatever - and then, after he has done so and therefore has good pinch hitters on the bench - he fails to use them. Much of the woes of the lineup can be dropped at the feet of Girardi. He has buried two of his regulars, two good players, based on a week of poor play.

Girardi has simply failed here, and in a spectacular way. And the hilarious part is that he has scapegoated ARod such that the blame for losing this series will be placed on the player who didn't get an opportunity to win it.

   25. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4273892)
Breaking down 2004 more closely, he was 2-17 in the last 4 games. That's where it started.

Jeter was 4 for 19 in those games. Matsui 5 for 19. Sheffield 1 for 17.

That was a team wide shutdown by the offense.

   26. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4273896)
Breaking down 2004 more closely, he was 2-17 in the last 4 games. That's where it started.

2007 is "good" only on a very low curve. He struck out 6 times in 15 ABs and OPSd 820. 2009 he got going early and never got to the point of choking. He's choked in every series since.


And Jeter was 4-for-19 in the last 4 games of 2004.

So if I get it right, ARod started choking in 2004, sorta didn't choke in 2007, stopped choking in 2009, and started choking again after that?

But because Jeter sucked for 2010 and 2011 (.627 OPS combined), and in 2004 (.686 OPS) and in 2001 (.566 OPS) and in 1998 (.622 OPS), but was good the other times, it's different?
   27. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4273897)
Girardi benches ARod and Swisher based on a sample of, what, anywhere from 4-7 games.


I don't think A-Rod quite fits that scenario. He missed a month plus and upon his return did not really hit much (.261/.341/.369 in September). I think it's a reasonable theory that there is something physically wrong with the 37 year old coming off injury. I'd rather have him in there than Chavez but I think there is very much a non-choker logic that can support keeping Rodriguez out of there.
   28. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4273898)
A lifetime of playing and watching sports has informed me that choking exists, and helps me identify it

Are you under the impression that no one else here has played or watched sports? If so, you are sadly mistaken.
   29. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4273899)
So he weights the last 4-7 games over the last 162 or 324 or 648 games, because they are postseason games.

Yes, exactly.(*) And on the opposite side of the issue from Girardi, Torre, Yankee teammates, and the Yankee front office -- none of whom have raised any stink about poor "scapegoated" A-Rod in the multiple postseasons in which he's been "scapegoated" -- are some lawyers and stat dorks. This lawyer and amateur stat dork knows which side he'll pick.

Some guys choke in the postseason and the biggest moments. Sorry, that's just a fact of sports.

(*) And, of course, A-Rod's litany of postseason gakkery extends far beyond "4-7 games."
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4273900)
SugarBear you disappoint me. Your decision to go with "stat dorks" is out of the ordinary. I was hoping for a "fanboy" reference.
   31. AROM Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4273901)
Pinch hitting penalty is real - hitters do not perform as well in that role as they do normally.

Next time A-Rod gets a pinch hit will be his first, he's 0-14 career. Swisher is 3 for 25.
   32. McCoy Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4273903)
Arguing who has choked more for the Yankees is silly. The Yankees have won one WS title since 2000, haven't gotten out of the LDS 5 times since then, and got to the WS only 3 times as well. What does that all mean? It means the Yankees have lost a lot of games in the playoffs and a lot of playoff rounds. No one player is responsible for all of that.
   33. BrianBrianson Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4273908)
I remain continually amazed that otherwise intelligent people continue to argue with SBB here. The mind boggles.
   34. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4273910)
Some guys choke in the postseason and the biggest moments. Sorry, that's just a fact of sports.


But they only choke when you think they choke, and sometimes they definitely don't choke, and other guys don't choke they just don't do well because they have a history of not choking.

This "choking" seems to be grounded in reality as much as homeopathic remedies.

   35. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4273912)
What are A-Rod's teammates supposed to do to show that they support him? Blast their manager in the media?
   36. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4273913)
What are A-Rod's teammates supposed to do to show that they support him? Blast their manager in the media?

Sure. It's New York. If teammates or managment thought A-Rod was getting "scapegoated" as a choker, they'd tell the media. If they thought Torre hitting him 8th after only 3 games was hurting their chances of winning, they'd say so. Or Jeter or somebody would go to Torre or Girardi before the game and say, "I don't know about batting A-Rod 8th, Skip," and A-Rod probably wouldn't hit 8th.

Modern managers aren't dictators. They need and seek out the support of other organizational factions. No faction of the Yankee organization has pushed back against two managers treating A-Rod as if he was a postseason gakker.
   37. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4273917)
Pinch hitting penalty is real - hitters do not perform as well in that role as they do normally.


Likely an effect, largely, of them being injured in some way, which is probably why they were out of the lineup to begin with, in most cases. That doesn't apply here.

The other effect is probably that most PH situations are in late innings and often managers counter the PH with a pitching move to exploit the platoon side. But doing that here would STILL result in a better matchup than Coke vs. Gardner/Ichiro/Ibanez.

Girardi allowed his season to go down the tubes with Coke vs. three lefties (*), two of whom can't hit LHP, one of who hasn't hit all year. If that's not wrong, then nothing is and no tactical moves are ever worthwhile.

EDIT: Sorry, two lefties (Ichiro and Ibanez).
   38. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4273920)
Girardi allowed his season to go down the tubes with Coke vs. three lefties. If that's not wrong, then nothing is and no tactical moves are ever worthwhile.

He has zero confidence that A-Rod will be able to get a big postseason hit. Can you blame him?
   39. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4273922)
Girardi allowed his season to go down the tubes with Coke vs. three lefties, two of whom can't hit LHP, one of who hasn't hit all year.


Gardner didn't face Coke.
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4273924)
He has zero confidence that A-Rod will be able to get a big postseason hit. Can you blame him?


Umm, yes?

Seriously, SugarBear, the crap you are peddling was bad enough before ARod won the WS in 2009. Now it's beyond silly.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4273925)
Gardner didn't face Coke.


You're right; I had that correct above, and then lost it. But the Coke point remains, and allowing Gardner to hit against Verlander was also bad.
   42. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4273927)
Umm, yes?

Based on what -- the fact that he had a decent postseason three years ago? That's it?

Seriously, SugarBear, the crap you are peddling was bad enough before ARod won the WS in 2009. Now it's beyond silly.

It's not just me peddling it; it's Joe Girardi and, by implication and silence, the rest of the Yankee organization. Joe Torre believed in the essence of the charge before Girardi, when it took him a mere three games to tire of A-Rod's postseason act. Which, to repeat, is not never being able to hit in the postseason; it's starting off poorly and never reversing the downhill spiral -- for predominantly mental reasons.
   43. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4273928)

SugarBear you disappoint me. Your decision to go with "stat dorks" is out of the ordinary. I was hoping for a "fanboy" reference.


No, you see this time he's on the side of the fanboys.
   44. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4273929)
Or Jeter or somebody would go to Torre or Girardi before the game and say, "I don't know about batting A-Rod 8th, Skip," and A-Rod probably wouldn't hit 8th.


I'm not an MLB manager, but I really don't think that's how they choose their lineups.
   45. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4273932)
It's not just me peddling it; it's Joe Girardi and, by implication and silence, the rest of the Yankee organization. Joe Torre believed in the essence of the charge before Girardi.


So idiots believe something that is idiotic. Why is this news, and how does it help you?

(Also: I'm not sure what "silence" you're talking about and why it's relevant. Jeter and Pettitte are supposed to openly critique Girardi's lineup decisions?)
   46. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4273933)
I'm not an MLB manager, but I really don't think that's how they choose their lineups.

Umm, yeah, it is. Torre wouldn't have hit A-Rod 8th if he didn't think he had the support of Jeter and other important Yankees.
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4273935)
I'm not an MLB manager, but I really don't think that's how they choose their lineups.


The other day Mike Francesa (WFAN host) was blaming ARod, absolving Girardi, and his point was that ARod should not accept the benching and should go in there and demand to start. And so Girardi's decision not to start him was ARod's fault, because it was really ARod's decision, ultimately. Or something. The stupid hurts.
   48. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4273938)
looking solely at the ninth inning i think most managers would have pinch hit for nunez. who do folks think would be the pinch-hitter? and this assumes the yanks have a backup for ss if things go extras

say the same output happens. pinch-hitter hits homer. now its bg, is and leyland leaves verlander on the mound

i think most managers leave gardner in place. not saying it's right or wrong. but lefty against tiring righty i think managers stand pat

pinch hit for ichiro? i don't know of any manager today who would pinch hit for ichiro. again, not saying that is the right answer. but that is the likely approach

now if everything still plays out and you get to raul 'then' i think you have a case where some managers figure the guy off the bench might be better against whatever pitcher leyland calls in if he does make a change

so let's say it's a-rod for the yanks. guess is that leyland goes to benoit.

so really do folks think a-rod/benoit is better for the yanks than raul/coke?

boy, i think boy options stink
   49. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4273939)
Torre wouldn't have hit A-Rod 8th if he didn't think he had the support of Jeter and other important Yankees.

College of coaches!
   50. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4273941)
Why is this news, and how does it help you?

Because I don't believe you know more about baseball and A-Rod than Joe Torre and Joe Girardi, accomplished managers who spend every working day with A-Rod. Nor do you know more about baseball and A-Rod than the Yankee players.

But even though that's true, there's yet another factor at play -- those people have a far greater interest in handling and deploying A-Rod properly than you do. So even if they were bigger "idiots" than you -- they aren't, but let's play it out -- you don't have the motivating factor of self-interest pushing you toward the right decision. And they do.
   51. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4273943)
I don't know what you do about Nunez, but with Verlander on the mound I think you bring in Swisher. If he homers, then you have to let Gardner face Verlander. A-Rod will be countered with Benoit, and JV is laboring. If Coke comes in for Ichiro, you go to A-Rod because that's the one shot at spotting him against a lefty. Then, you're still left with Ibanez batting against him later (although I think Ray's right and Andruw should be on the roster).
   52. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4273944)
jj

as i wrote above i don't think there is a manager working today who would pinch-hit for ichiro
   53. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4273948)

so let's say it's a-rod for the yanks. guess is that leyland goes to benoit.

so really do folks think a-rod/benoit is better for the yanks than raul/coke?


I think this depends on whether or not you've used Swisher earlier in the inning. If you hadn't then you have him hit for Rodriguez (assuming your fact pattern).

Frankly, I think the decision to let Nunez bat, despite the fact that it worked, was a bad one. Kudos to Nunez for a great great at bat I think that is as bad a decision as letting Ibanez face Coke.
   54. AROM Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4273961)
He has zero confidence that A-Rod will be able to get a big postseason hit. Can you blame him?


Meanwhile the guy who is getting the starts over A-Rod, Chavez, doesn't even have a single hit this postseason.
   55. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4273963)
Meanwhile the guy who is getting the starts over A-Rod, Chavez, doesn't even have a single hit this postseason.

I know. Speaks volumes about Girardi's confidence in A-Rod, doesn't it? At this point, Girardi should just slap the scarlet "C" on A-Rod's uni and be done with it.
   56. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4273967)
Meanwhile the guy who is getting the starts over A-Rod, Chavez, doesn't even have a single hit this postseason.


He's has a career .564 OPS in the post-season.

But wait! We shouldn't include his time before he became a Yankee, since SBB says it doesn't count.

Fine.

He has a career .000 OPS in the post-season (2011-2012) as a Yankee.

   57. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4273969)
Speaks volumes about Girardi's confidence in A-Rod, doesn't it?


Yes, it does.

It also speaks of Girardi's blinders about ARod, where he thinks Chavez is still the better option.

I thought MAYBE it could be the case where ARod doesn't do well against Verlander, but nope...1.005 OPS (37 PA) against Verlander in his career.
   58. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4273970)
as i wrote above i don't think there is a manager working today who would pinch-hit for ichiro


Ichiro has no platoon split whatsoever. If you think he should be in the starting lineup, you might as well leave him in there to face the lefty.
   59. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4273995)
Or Jeter or somebody would go to Torre or Girardi before the game and say, "I don't know about batting A-Rod 8th, Skip," and A-Rod probably wouldn't hit 8th.


How do you know that didn't happen?

No faction of the Yankee organization has pushed back against two managers treating A-Rod as if he was a postseason gakker.


How do you know that didn't happen?
   60. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4274021)
How do you know that didn't happen?

Because we would have heard about it and/or it would have otherwise manifested itself in observable ways.
   61. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4274032)
Because we would have heard about it


Not unless Bubba The Love Sponge has a video of it. I mean, what the hell?
   62. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4274036)
So, Jeter goes to his manager and says "Joe, I don't agree with benching Alex/hitting him eighth. We need him to hit if we're going to win." And Joe says, "I'm just giving him a day or two to clear his head. Don't worry about it, I know what I'm doing."

How do we find out about this?
   63. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4274039)
How do you know that didn't happen?

Because we would have heard about it and/or it would have otherwise manifested itself in observable ways.


SBB at his circular best.

"A didn't happen"

"How do you know A didn't happen"

"Because B happened."

"How do you know B happened?"

"Because A didn't happen."
   64. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4274041)

I remain continually amazed that otherwise intelligent people continue to argue with SBB here. The mind boggles.


Yep.

The opening response was so over the top I am not sure how anyone would see it as a legit post.

Nobody cares about stuff that happened 12 years ago, before he came to the Yankees.

Torre was around him all the time and kicked him down to 8th in the postseason; Girardi's around him all the time and won't play him in the postseason. Those guys know more than a guy in his mom's basement searching clumsily for patterns and screaming about sample size.


Doesn't matter didn't happen in NY? Torre 'kicked' him down to 8th? I mean jesus he even has an unathletic-mom's basement-hysteria trifecta to seal the post.

And SBB is a lawyer? *shudder*
   65. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4274043)
Not unless Bubba The Love Sponge has a video of it. I mean, what the hell?

No comprende, it's a riddle. There are a bunch of tabloids and microphones in NYC, or hadn't you noticed?

And, yes, the silence is perfectly understandable. After all, what interests Joe Torre and Joe Girardi, and the Yankee players, and the Yankee front office isn't winning playoff series, and generating more home playoff dates, and perpetuating the Yankee legacy of winning, it's concocting an elaborate six-year con to convince the public and the baseball community that their star player, to whom they pay $25 million per year, is a choker.
   66. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4274045)
How do we find out about this?

Jeter tells the press. Or slips it anonymously to a friendly columnist. Or tells one of his teammates, who tells the press. Or Torre tells the press. Or Torre puts it in his book.

Or any one of an almost limitless number of permutations by which sports people in New York let people know what they thought of certain things.
   67. JL Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4274046)
3. Girardi, with the game on the line after Hughes is knocked out - even setting aside that Hughes by his own admission could have stayed in - goes to Phelps, Rapada, and Eppley. Again, basically with his season on the line. That it "worked" is beside the point that the _process_ there was just bad.

Ray, could you (or someone else) expand on this a bit. I don't follow the Yankees at all, but as a Tigers fan thought Girardi did a decent job of juggling the pitchers to keep it to two runs (with some luck thrown in).

What were the better alternatives or process here?
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4274052)
What were the better alternatives or process here?


Basically, invert the bullpen and get your best relievers in first.
   69. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4274054)
it's concocting an elaborate six-year con to convince the public and the baseball community that their star player, to whom they pay $25 million per year, is a choker.


2009 was more than 6 years ago?
   70. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4274056)
Jeter tells the press. Or slips it anonymously to a friendly columnist. Or tells one of his teammates, who tells the press. Or Torre tells the press. Or Torre puts it in his book.


But none of these are automatic. It's entirely possible that Jeter (or other influential players) disagreed with their manager and that that didn't come to light because it would make all parties involved look bad.
   71. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4274059)
2009 was more than 6 years ago?

2006 was. That's when Joe Torre first made it clear he thought A-Rod was choking in the postseason (and no one really disagreed).
   72. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4274064)

But none of these are automatic. It's entirely possible that Jeter (or other influential players) disagreed with their manager and that that didn't come to light because it would make all parties involved look bad.


It's all but "automatic" that, if there was disagreement with the managers' belief that A-Rod was choking, it would be known to the public by now. The Yankee factions aren't in the business of keeping their mouths shut, and losing baseball games.

Torre batting A-Rod 8th made A-Rod "look bad," and that didn't stop him. And Torre was among the most diplomatic people in the organization.
   73. Hit by Pitch Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4274073)
Or Jeter or somebody would go to Torre or Girardi before the game and say, "I don't know about batting A-Rod 8th, Skip," and A-Rod probably wouldn't hit 8th.


Or A-Rod is just a dick and nobody wants to stand up for him. That has no bearing on the dumb baseball decisions Girardi is making. All it does is prove that people think A-Rod is a dick. He doesn't come across as the most likable guy.
   74. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4274079)
2006 was. That's when Joe Torre first made it clear he thought A-Rod was choking in the postseason (and no one really disagreed).


Someone has to explain the rules about "choking" again. If you were choking and then stopped choking, can you start choking again? Or is the label for choker removed after you don't choke?

Is it the same as "clutch"? Can Jeter be clutch in some playoff years, and not clutch in other playoff years, and still be considered clutch?

It's all so very confusing!
   75. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4274082)
Basically, invert the bullpen and get your best relievers in first.


I remember the same thing came up last year in the ALDS game 5. Nova got knocked out early and, with the season on the line, Girardi went to Hughes (5.79 ERA!), Logan (3.46 ERA), Sabathia (2 days rest) and Soriano (4.12 ERA), for a combined 5 innings, before finally going with his unhittable 8th and 9th innings guys in the 8th and 9th innings. It's incredible how conservative managers can be. It's THE LAST GAME OF THE YEAR, David Robertson is capable of pitching the third and fourth innings if that's what's best.
   76. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4274088)
It's all but "automatic" that, if there was disagreement with the managers' belief that A-Rod was choking, it would be known to the public by now.


This is some serious nonsense.
   77. Tippecanoe Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4274104)
I don't believe you know more about baseball and A-Rod than Joe Torre and Joe Girardi, accomplished managers


I suppose now we can't disagree with Ben Bernanke on ecomomics, or Andy Reid on football play-calling, or Vikram Pandit on how to run a company. This may kill the internet.
   78. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4274121)
or Andy Reid on football play-calling


Too soon.
   79. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4274122)
No faction of the Yankee organization has pushed back against two managers treating A-Rod as if he was a postseason gakker.
Well they did hand him the biggest contract in history after Torre had "made it clear" that A-Rod's a choker. Because the Yankees don't care about the postseason? Or because Torre never bothered to tell the ownership what was made "clear" to SBB? Or just ignore it cos it doesn't fit SBBs argument?
   80. spycake Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4274125)
Pinch hitting penalty is real - hitters do not perform as well in that role as they do normally.

Not true:
it has been discovered that all pinch hitters get a boost of 64 power points (40 hex) during their first AB

Of course, you'd know this if you ever actually went down to the basement to play RBI Baseball...
   81. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4274128)
Is that why Ellis Burks always hit homeruns off the bench?
   82. depletion Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4274153)
I think Girardi made decent moves. At this point, using a "small sample size" is the correct choice, because you are making decisions for a small sample of outcomes. He isn't locking in Ibanez for a season against LHP. Monte Hall has already shown us there is a pig behind door number 2.
   83. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4274157)
At this point, using a "small sample size" is the correct choice, because you are making decisions for a small sample of outcomes.


Huh?
   84. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4274169)
"Huh?"

I think his point is that you should hit a 19 against a dealer's 6, as long as you only do it a few times. Because, hey, we know the dealer is going to pull to 20 and beat you.

No, it doesn't compute.
   85. KronicFatigue Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4274177)
2006 was. That's when Joe Torre first made it clear he thought A-Rod was choking in the postseason (and no one really disagreed).


And then Torre was out the door one year later.
   86. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4274200)
Huh?


Go big or go home.
   87. Accent Shallow Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4274212)
I remember the same thing came up last year in the ALDS game 5. Nova got knocked out early and, with the season on the line, Girardi went to Hughes (5.79 ERA!), Logan (3.46 ERA), Sabathia (2 days rest) and Soriano (4.12 ERA), for a combined 5 innings, before finally going with his unhittable 8th and 9th innings guys in the 8th and 9th innings. It's incredible how conservative managers can be. It's THE LAST GAME OF THE YEAR, David Robertson is capable of pitching the third and fourth innings if that's what's best.

But essentially no manager is willing to do this. Is it because they're afraid of being second-guessed? Because the players don't want to deviate from that role? I mean, clearly the front offices are aware of this, and since it isn't happening, what does that tell us?
   88. AROM Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4274218)
Torre was around him all the time and kicked him down to 8th in the postseason; Girardi's around him all the time and won't play him in the postseason. Those guys know more than a guy in his mom's basement searching clumsily for patterns and screaming about sample size.


The "manger has more information than you do, so he must be in the right" angle would imply that you cannot criticize a manager, ever, for any move they make. Doesn't matter how bad the move looks, he had more information, so he must be right. Or at least you have no way of knowing if he's wrong.

That's a ridiculously silly and unrealistic position to take, since 90% of sports discussions, by fans, internet posters, and beat writers alike, are about what the losing manager did wrong. It also conflicts with Girardi's own statements. Didn't he admit that the (successful) decision to PH Ibanez for Rodriguez was made on gut feeling?
   89. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4274222)
The "manger has more information than you do, so he must be in the right" angle would imply that you cannot criticize a manager, ever, for any move they make. Doesn't matter how bad the move looks, he had more information, so he must be right. Or at least you have no way of knowing if he's wrong.

Not exactly. It merely implies that if you believe the mental side of the game can and does drive the physical side and performance, the manager is in the best place to observe whether that is happening -- and certainly in a far better place than any of us. He can, of course, be wrong about whether it is. In this case, two managers and effective silence from everyone else is pretty telling.



   90. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4274228)
Girardi leaves you scratching your head as to how he ever won a World Series. And then the answer comes to you during the first scratch: ironically, it was ARod who won it for him.
   91. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4274241)
SBB is pushing too hard, but IMO the way that Torre and Girardi have minimized ARod in the playoffs does suggest that they have better evidence than we do for the ARod=choker argument. They do see they guy every day, they know him well and how he acts, and perhaps it's obvious that he's a nervous wreck right now. But it's certainly not the only explanation. This year in particular ARod's poor performance down the stretch makes it impossible to determine how much of his benching is Girardi's concern for his current health and ability rather than fear of his unclutchness. Or maybe Girardi is just lamely giving into media/fan pressure.
   92. spycake Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4274244)
I remember the same thing came up last year in the ALDS game 5. Nova got knocked out early and, with the season on the line, Girardi went to Hughes (5.79 ERA!), Logan (3.46 ERA), Sabathia (2 days rest) and Soriano (4.12 ERA), for a combined 5 innings, before finally going with his unhittable 8th and 9th innings guys in the 8th and 9th innings. It's incredible how conservative managers can be. It's THE LAST GAME OF THE YEAR, David Robertson is capable of pitching the third and fourth innings if that's what's best

Well, in that game, Robertson and Rivera weren't going to pitch 7 innings. So you may as well start with your other guys and ride them for the middle innings as long as they are effective. Particularly if the other team isn't likely to pinch hit early, the lesser pitchers will be getting more favorable matchups.

And it seems like Girardi's use of relievers in that game and last night's game worked out just fine -- he played matchups, was pretty aggressive about pulling guys early rather than late, etc.
   93. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4274251)
on the opposite side of the issue from Girardi, Torre, Yankee teammates, and the Yankee front office -- none of whom have raised any stink about poor "scapegoated" A-Rod in the multiple postseasons in which he's been "scapegoated"


What would be a real-life example of a player, manager, or team executive objecting to a player being "scapegoated"? I can't think of one off the top of my head.
   94. spycake Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4274255)
Girardi leaves you scratching your head as to how he ever won a World Series. And then the answer comes to you during the first scratch: ironically, it was ARod who won it for him.


I thought Sabathia and Pettitte were key, as was Burnett (at least prior to his last postseason start that year). But to be fair, it was Girardi who pushed those guys into a 3-man rotation with short rest (Sabathia in the ALCS, and all 3 in the WS), which seems obvious to many of us but definitely is no longer the accepted practice among MLB managers. I still wish Charlie Manuel would have pushed Cliff Lee into that usage in 2009, could have at least made it a 7-game series, if not flipped the outcome.
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4274267)
SBB is pushing too hard, but IMO the way that Torre and Girardi have minimized ARod in the playoffs does suggest that they have better evidence than we do for the ARod=choker argument. They do see they guy every day, they know him well and how he acts, and perhaps it's obvious that he's a nervous wreck right now.


This is nonsense. Major league baseball players do not choke, so it is impossible for Girardi to have any such information (let alone for SugarBear to have it). Major league baseball players are not beer league softball players coming from work for the game. They are not high school players. They are not college players. They are not even minor league players. These are people who rose to the very pinnacle of their profession, and they had to overcome all kinds of obstacles and beat out so many others along the way. That is pressure. And anyone who wasn't capable of overcoming it is not facing Doug Fister in the ALCS, nor is he hitting 600 bleeping home runs in the major leagues, or whatever it is. Pressure to these people is not batting with the game on the line in the playoffs. And anyone who thinks otherwise simply doesn't understand baseball, where players go 1-15 in July at the blink of an eye. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand what he is watching, and I for one see no need to go easy on people when this happens. Stop thinking that these players are like you and me. They're not, and it's incredibly silly and naive to believe that they are.

Major league baseball players do not choke. Please stop with this nonsense. I wouldn't mind, but this is not even a difficult subject. It's a very, very, easy call. It's clear what is going on - and what's not.
   96. Greg Schuler Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4274277)
This "choking" seems to be grounded in reality as much as homeopathic remedies.


St John's Wart says you can go #### yourself. Not me, you understand, the plant says that.
   97. JL Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4274286)
Basically, invert the bullpen and get your best relievers in first.

But that does not seem like it would change things much. So Robertson goes in first, perhaps makes it through a second inning. At that point you have 3-4 innings still to go, so you end up with one of Rapada, Eppley, or perhaps Soriano, with Chamberlin or Logan getting in there for match ups. Not a huge difference with what was actually done.

Edit - I mean Phelps has a 3.34 ERA with about 2/3 of his appearances coming in relief (22 of 33). I gues I don't see bringing him in to this situation as an awful decision or even necessarily wrong.
   98. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4274288)
This is nonsense. Major league baseball players do not choke, so it is impossible for Girardi to have any such information (let alone for SugarBear to have it). Major league baseball players are not beer league softball players coming from work for the game. They are not high school players. They are not college players. They are not even minor league players. These are people who rose to the very pinnacle of their profession, and they had to overcome all kinds of obstacles and beat out so many others along the way. That is pressure. And anyone who wasn't capable of overcoming it is not facing Doug Fister in the ALCS, nor is he hitting 600 bleeping home runs in the major leagues, or whatever it is. Pressure to these people is not batting with the game on the line in the playoffs. And anyone who thinks otherwise simply doesn't understand baseball, where players go 1-15 in July at the blink of an eye. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand what he is watching, and I for one see no need to go easy on people when this happens. Stop thinking that these players are like you and me. They're not, and it's incredibly silly and naive to believe that they are.

Yes, they do choke. They overcome it by (a) facing a very low percentage of "chokable" moments as a percentage of overall moments (*); and (b) extraordinary physical skills. A-Rod may not be the same as the guy in his mom's basement; but he very much is the same as other people who've played competitive sports at reasonably high levels. (Other than his physical skills, which are off the charts. It's easy to "beat other people out along the way" when you're that physically gifted.)

It is entirely plausible, and not remotely internally inconsistent that A-Rod could both (i) get nervous and choke more in the clutch than a good college player; and (ii) have had the career he did. It is an intellectual fail to suggest otherwise.

(*) Which the uninformed and underinformed spin as "small sample size." The very reason choking is hard to prove statistically is that players are presented with so few moments to choke.
   99. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4274291)
What would be a real-life example of a player, manager, or team executive objecting to a player being "scapegoated"? I can't think of one off the top of my head.


Not sure it's quite what you're looking for but Pedroia going to bat for Youkilis when Valentine called out Youk in the press earlier in the year seems at least to be along those lines. I don't know that anything associated with the Red Sox' 2012 season is something we want to be in favor of. Youk wasn't quite being "scapegoated" and "singled out" (he was legitimately playing poorly at the time) but I think it's roughly similar.

Didn't Jeter come out on Giambi's behalf many years ago?
   100. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4274294)
But that does not seem like it would change things much. So Robertson goes in first, perhaps makes it through a second inning. At that point you have 3-4 innings still to go, so you end up with one of Rapada, Eppley, or perhaps Soriano, with Chamberlin or Logan getting in there for match ups. Not a huge difference with what was actually done.


You have a couple of potential benefits. One is that if you can get back into the game or take a lead you can manage a bit differently in terms of matchups. Secondly if you go to Robertson in the 8th you get one inning out of him. If you go to him in the 4th or 5th you can could get 2 or 3 innings out of him if he is effective and efficient.
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