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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Yankees even ALCS with late rally vs. Astros | MLB.com

Wow!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:13 PM | 101 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, playoffs, yankees

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5556529)
####### ############# BULLSHIT!!!!! #### THE ####### YANKEES!!!!!!
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:38 PM (#5556578)
The Yanks are in a much better position with today's win, but they really benefit if they can also prevail tomorrow at home. Winning 1 of 2 in Houston is much easier than surviving 2 straight elimination games there. Keuchel & Verlander will be tough, but these gritty, gutsy, plucky kids are pretty good, too.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:39 PM (#5556689)
So will this be like 1956 or 1978 or 2001? I'll settle for either of those first two.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 18, 2017 at 05:16 AM (#5556776)
The Yankees are now 5-0 at home this postseason. Every other time they've started the postseason doing that, they've won the World Series. 1978, 1999 & 2009. A ways to go, but . . .
   5. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: October 18, 2017 at 07:24 AM (#5556782)
Re 1: I'm RMc, and I approve of this message.
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 07:41 AM (#5556783)
What a delightful game. Is there another team that embodies the American can-do spirit better than these young, scrappy, underdog Yankees?
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 18, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5556795)

What a delightful game. Is there another team that embodies the American can-do spirit better than these young, scrappy, underdog Yankees?

The question answers itself.
   8. bunyon Posted: October 18, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5556796)
It's a 2 of 3 now. It's a coin-flip.

And, yes, the Yankees are very like 2017 America. Beloved by a few no matter what, hated by most and continuing to win despite not being good as their competitors.

Oh, and they have bad hair, too.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5556798)
It actually is an unusually charismatic and watchable Yankees team, although I hate to say it.
   10. bunyon Posted: October 18, 2017 at 08:54 AM (#5556801)
Shut up, Fish. I will never admit that.
   11. Rally Posted: October 18, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5556808)
Which Yankees have bad hair? I see either totally unremarkable hair (cut close and short) or no hair at all (Gardner, Holliday). Because they are the Yankees Bryce Harper-like good hair will not be allowed, but I'm not sure there are any who I would say have bad hair.
   12. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 09:51 AM (#5556821)
It actually is an unusually charismatic and watchable Yankees team, although I hate to say it.


I'm glad America is getting to see more Gary Sanchez, who might be my favorite player right now. His body language is atrocious, he's beyond lazy when it comes to handling pitches in the dirt or off the plate, and while he's not really a fat guy, his posture and carriage make him look like a fat guy. Plus his general affect while playing appears to be that of a man engaged in a mildly distasteful, but wholly necessary, activity, like cleaning a litter box or taking a rather unpleasant dump. He's fascinating to watch and I hope he remains a Yankee star for the next 15 years.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5556825)
#12 nicely put. And he swings a heavy bat. The ball just thunks off it. Reminds me of Piazza in that way.
   14. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: October 18, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5556826)
Plus his general affect while playing appears to be that of a man engaged in a mildly distasteful, but wholly necessary, activity, like cleaning a litter box or taking a rather unpleasant dump.
This made me think of one of Updike's descriptions of Ted Williams.
   15. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:02 AM (#5556829)
And he swings a heavy bat. The ball just thunks off it. Reminds me of Piazza in that way.


He has a smooth, easy, graceful swing for a righty hitter; it's not violent or lashing and it doesn't even appear to be very quick. Like most of what he does, it looks kind of effortless, but "heavy bat" is a pretty good description of the results.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:03 AM (#5556830)
he's beyond lazy when it comes to handling pitches in the dirt or off the plate,

Nobody who becomes an All-Star in MLB is lazy.

Why is struggling with defense a moral failing? No one ever calls good glove/no bat backup catchers "lazy when it comes to hiting the ball".
   17. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5556831)
he's beyond lazy when it comes to handling pitches in the dirt or off the plate,

Nobody who becomes an All-Star in MLB is lazy.


He doesn't move his body to block those pitches. That's lazy defense. Doesn't mean he's lazy overall or in general, but in that small, relatively unimportant aspect of his game, yes, he's lazy. And I don't care because he's really, really good in lots of other, far more important aspects of the game.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5556839)
He doesn't move his body to block those pitches. That's lazy defense. Doesn't mean he's lazy overall or in general, but in that small, relatively unimportant aspect of his game, yes, he's lazy.

Maybe it's just hard for him. Maybe his reactions are such that he's not good at reacting and moving his body that way.

I just think it's lazy analysis to characterize defensive failing as "lazy". It injects a moral dimension into physical abilities.

I also don't know why people (not you) care so much about completely trivial aspects of catcher defense. The cult of the defensive catcher needs to end. It leads to stupid #### like Austin Romine playing in a critical game last night.
   19. Blastin Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5556843)
I agree, snapper.

I actually think if anyone was kind of lazy it was Jeter, as his defensive stats got better once he was told he was bad and actually worked on it (and then he got old and bad again). But maybe that's not lazy so much as he genuinely thought he was helping the team (and he was).
   20. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5556862)
Maybe it's just hard for him.


Not doing something that's part of your job because it's "hard" IS laziness.

Maybe his reactions are such that he's not good at reacting and moving his body that way.


It's possible, but again, there's a difference between being "not good" at something and "not doing" something.

I just think it's lazy analysis to characterize defensive failing as "lazy". It injects a moral dimension into physical abilities.


How else should we describe what is, essentially, a lack of effort? Nobody referred to Johnny Damon's weak throwing arm as "laziness". It was a defensive failing on his part, but it was obvious to anybody watching that Damon was trying his best, he just didn't have the tools to do better. If Sanchez was attempting to shift his body to block those pitches but did a poor job of it, that would be a different matter. Instead, he jabs at them with his glove.

I also don't know why people (not you) care so much about completely trivial aspects of catcher defense. The cult of the defensive catcher needs to end. It leads to stupid #### like Austin Romine playing in a critical game last night.


I agree. Sanchez is a heck of a player who has a weakness in a relatively minor aspect of his game. Big deal, everybody in MLB not named Mike Trout has holes in their game. I actually like Sanchez's tendency to reach for pitches instead of moving his body because it reminds me of Jorge Posada, who I loved as a player.
   21. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5556869)
as someone who played 3 years of varsity HS baseball behind the plate, Sanchez infuriates me b/c he's good at all the #### that you do with natural talent (he's got an absolute gun and good pop time) and he's ####### awful at all the stuff that anyone can do if they work hard enough and master the technique (blocking pitches, framing). He's a lazy defensive player who is going to have to be moved off the position in a couple of years for no reason other than he won't work hard enough at it, and that sucks for the Yankees and will suck for him too when he leaves a lot of money on the table because he's not willing to get some ####### dust in his shin guards. He catches the ball the way a dog mouths a lemon.

Great hitter, great ballplayer, awful ####### catcher.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:49 AM (#5556877)
Not doing something that's part of your job because it's "hard" IS laziness.

No, it's not. Some people are just bad at certain aspects of their job, but good at the total job.

Often, it's not worth trying to fix the bad parts, b/c the effort is going to be totally disproportionate to the results.

No Yankee fan should want Gary Sanchez spending hours a day blocking pitches in the dirt, getting beat-up, and probably not improving much.

He should spend the time in the batting cage, and working with the pitching staff.
   23. Shock Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5556880)
I like the Yankees this year and I am not really afraid to admit it since it's just a jersey and I'm not six.

Also, what the hell is an unpleasant dump?
   24. Sunday silence Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5556879)
while you guys have been waxing eloquently about moral failings and such, I have been doing important sabermetric analsys,.

In league championship play so far:

7 games, 13 HRs, producing 21 runs, or 47.5% of total runs scored.

As mentioned a few weeks ago runs produced on HRs was in the low 20s in the 1920s, finally hit 30% after WW II and has been on a recent upward swing in direction of 40%. THis year was a high of 38%.

Welcome to modern baseball.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5556882)
Why is struggling with defense a moral failing? No one ever calls good glove/no bat backup catchers "lazy when it comes to hiting the ball".

This is actually a really fascinating topic - someone could write a great sociology/psychology article on why certain aspects of baseball get attached to morality and character.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5556883)
as someone who played 3 years of varsity HS baseball behind the plate, Sanchez infuriates me b/c he's good at all the #### that you do with natural talent (he's got an absolute gun and good pop time) and he's ####### awful at all the stuff that anyone can do if they work hard enough and master the technique (blocking pitches, framing). He's a lazy defensive player who is going to have to be moved off the position in a couple of years for no reason other than he won't work hard enough at it, and that sucks for the Yankees and will suck for him too when he leaves a lot of money on the table because he's not willing to get some ####### dust in his shin guards. He catches the ball the way a dog mouths a lemon.

Great hitter, great ballplayer, awful ####### catcher.


Total nonsense.

The statistics show he's an average defensive catcher. Very positive on the arm, slight negative on pitch framing and passed balls.

Again, you're substituting moralizing for analysis.

I want Sanchez working on his hitting, and managing the pitching staff. If he give up 3 or 4 runs a year on passed ball, who cares.

If he can put up a 130 wRC+ he'll stay at catcher until his knees go. Jorge Posada was a much worse defender, and he caught until he was 38.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5556884)
Also, what the hell is an unpleasant dump?

Never had Taco Bell, eh?
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5556888)
This is actually a really fascinating topic - someone could write a great sociology/psychology article on why certain aspects of baseball get attached to morality and character.

Very true. What's especially true is people love to hate good hitting catchers. Piazza caught no end of grief for his poor arm. That one aspect led people to declare he was a terrible defensive catcher, when he was actually good at everything else.
   29. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:58 AM (#5556891)
Whether or not Sanchez ever learns how to block balls in the dirt, if he and Judge can train themselves to drive outside pitches to the opposite field instead of opening their hips and lunging awkwardly at them, we may be looking at at a team that can put that 1949-53 championship run in jeopardy. They've already shown they can do this in spurts, but God help the rest of the American League if they can make this a permanent part of their muscle memory.
   30. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5556895)
This is actually a really fascinating topic - someone could write a great sociology/psychology article on why certain aspects of baseball get attached to morality and character.

Brings back those threads where Robinson Cano was consigned to Hell for not running out one-hop grounders to second as if he were Pete Rose, not to mention the tirades against Bautista's and Papi's bat flips.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5556898)
What's especially true is people love to hate good hitting catchers.

Power-hitting catchers, in particular - for example, I don't think Mauer's defense got that level of scrutiny. Just thinking out loud here, but the power-hitting catcher seems to represent the "immoral"/"amoral" end of the spectrum on multiple axes: defense is more moral than offense, with catcher being the ultimate defense-first position, contact hitting is more moral than power, "doing the little things" is more moral than doing the big things, etc.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5556909)
This is actually a really fascinating topic - someone could write a great sociology/psychology article on why certain aspects of baseball get attached to morality and character.

Obviously we can all here agree that many get carried away with this type of armchair sports psychology. But sometimes laziness is quite easy to discern.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5556915)
Power-hitting catchers, in particular


Your immoral/amoral spectrum seems accurate. But I'm not convinced that this phenomenon is significant. Bench was regarded as a defensive phenom and the heart of his team. Fisk. Pudge Rodriguez. If you're good at defense, you're good at defense. Berra. Hell, Jorge Posada was a terrible defender and the worst baserunner in baseball, but was still considered a lynchpin of the team, heart of a lion type.

I don't watch Sanchez enough to have an opinion on this. I saw Carlos Beltran get slagged for not caring just because he was a fairly stoic fellow, which was unfair. Maybe something similar is happening here. Or maybe Sanchez is really just lazy.
   34. steven edelman Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:14 AM (#5556917)
Actually, if you'd been watching the recent games, Sanchez HAS been making the effort to move his body to block balls, not just wave his glove at them. He's a star- which other young catcher would you choose over him ?

Ankle biters on display
   35. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5556918)
Not doing something that's part of your job because it's "hard" IS laziness.

No, it's not. Some people are just bad at certain aspects of their job, but good at the total job.


It is if you're not willing to make the effort. If Sanchez consistently tried moving his body to block balls but sucked at it, he still might get criticized, but I at least wouldn't ding him for laziness.

Often, it's not worth trying to fix the bad parts, b/c the effort is going to be totally disproportionate to the results.


There's nothing wrong with a player working to improve weaknesses in his game, but I generally agree with the overall sentiment. Focus on the big stuff, not the little nits.

No Yankee fan should want Gary Sanchez spending hours a day blocking pitches in the dirt, getting beat-up, and probably not improving much.

He should spend the time in the batting cage, and working with the pitching staff.


Yup. Keep hitting, throwing guys out, and doing a decent job of framing/working with the pitchers and don't sweat a few extra passed balls. Bad organizations obsess over the things their players don't do well.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5556919)
Power-hitting catchers, in particular - for example, I don't think Mauer's defense got that level of scrutiny. Just thinking out loud here, but the power-hitting catcher seems to represent the "immoral"/"amoral" end of the spectrum on multiple axes: defense is more moral than offense, with catcher being the ultimate defense-first position, contact hitting is more moral than power, "doing the little things" is more moral than doing the big things, etc.

Yup. Power hitting catchers.

I've even seen people rag on Yogi Berra's defense despite very good results on the available stats, and his record managing some of the best pitching staffs of his era.
   37. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5556923)
But I'm not convinced that this phenomenon is significant. Bench was regarded as a defensive phenom and the heart of his team. Fisk. Pudge Rodriguez. If you're good at defense, you're good at defense. Berra. Hell, Jorge Posada was a terrible defender and the worst baserunner in baseball, but was still considered a lynchpin of the team, heart of a lion type.

Of course there are exceptions - I'm not saying it's a universal thing. But I do think there is a recognizable and significant pattern. I mean, a bunt is still considered the utmost in nobility, no matter how stupid it is strategically.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5556924)
If Sanchez consistently tried moving his body to block balls but sucked at it, he still might get criticized, but I at least wouldn't ding him for laziness.


I believe that snapper is arguing that perhaps he is so slow that he actually cannot move his body. That when you see him wave at a ball in the dirt with his glove instead of shifting his body, he's doing his honest best.
   39. nick swisher hygiene Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5556926)
The Yankee facial hair policy is a great delight as a fan: it allows me to avoid dealing with the absolutely terrible tonsorial taste of ballplayers. All that mythologizing about the free-spririted Oakland As of the 70 aside, what ballplayers like, depending on the times,turn out to be generic fatboy goatees and hipster/Manson beards. 99% of ballplayers expressing their individuality look the same, whereas the Yankees actually look like individuals.
   40. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5556927)
Your immoral/amoral spectrum seems accurate. But I'm not convinced that this phenomenon is significant. Bench was regarded as a defensive phenom and the heart of his team. Fisk. Pudge Rodriguez. If you're good at defense, you're good at defense. Berra. Hell, Jorge Posada was a terrible defender and the worst baserunner in baseball, but was still considered a lynchpin of the team, heart of a lion type.


Right. Mike Piazza really WAS bad at throwing out runners, and there's nothing wrong with noticing or pointing that out. He was also really, really, ridiculously good at hitting, and pretty good at doing all the other stuff catchers need to do.

I don't watch Sanchez enough to have an opinion on this. I saw Carlos Beltran get slagged for not caring just because he was a fairly stoic fellow, which was unfair. Maybe something similar is happening here. Or maybe Sanchez is really just lazy.


His laziness is confined to a narrow, relatively unimportant aspect of his game. It's just not a big deal because he's really good at pretty much everything else.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5556928)
Of course there are exceptions - I'm not saying it's a universal thing. But I do think there is a recognizable and significant pattern.


But your implication is that it's unfair to see this pattern. I think it might well be based in reality - that many of the marginal defensive catchers are guys that hit the ball hard. It certainly makes sense that this would be the case.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5556929)
It leads to stupid #### like Austin Romine playing in a critical game last night.

I don't know if you saw the stat last night, but Gray was top 5 in MLB this year in balls thrown in the dirt. The Astros also swung at a large number of those pitches - which Gray could throw with confidence even with men on base because Romine, not Sanchez, was behind the plate.

That was a very smart move by Girardi. Perhaps coincidentally, Sanchez finally started hitting last night as well.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5556931)
I believe that snapper is arguing that perhaps he is so slow that he actually cannot move his body. That when you see him wave at a ball in the dirt with his glove instead of shifting his body, he's doing his honest best.

Yes. Or maybe he's learned he usually can't get his body there in time, and just reaching with his glove is better than being caught half-way in between.

   44. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5556933)
I believe that snapper is arguing that perhaps he is so slow that he actually cannot move his body. That when you see him wave at a ball in the dirt with his glove instead of shifting his body, he's doing his honest best.


Except he CAN move his body to block pitches; he's done it in games. He just doesn't do it consistently. Also, such an inability isn't really consistent with his overall athleticism, which is impressive. Sanchez can pop out of his crouch and throw as quick as any catcher in MLB.
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5556935)
99% of ballplayers expressing their individuality look the same, whereas the Yankees actually look like individuals.
You're trying too hard.
   46. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5556936)
But your implication is that it's unfair to see this pattern. I think it might well be based in reality - that many of the marginal defensive catchers are guys that hit the ball hard. It certainly makes sense that this would be the case.

Sure, it might actually be the case, but why we attach a moral dimension to it (and scrutinize at least some subset of players more than others) is the interesting question.
   47. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5556941)
99% of ballplayers expressing their individuality look the same, whereas the Yankees actually look like individuals.

I take pride in my Manson beard under a Yankees cap.
   48. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:35 AM (#5556946)
I associate Sanchez with Sponge Bob's pet snail.

There are worse associations.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:38 AM (#5556950)
I don't know if you saw the stat last night, but Gray was top 5 in MLB this year in balls thrown in the dirt. The Astros also swung at a large number of those pitches - which Gray could throw with confidence even with men on base because Romine, not Sanchez, was behind the plate.

That was a very smart move by Girardi. Perhaps coincidentally, Sanchez finally started hitting last night as well.


Sonny Gray allowed 2 baserunners before the 6th inning. He could have thrown breaking pitches with confidence with Sanchez catching. Passed balls don't mean much with no one on.
   50. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5556952)
Gray has pitched much better with Romine catching.

#sss
   51. Bigotis49 Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:40 AM (#5556953)
Maybe the decision to start Romine was stupid, but it's hard to argue too much with it after the fact. He has to get some credit for Gray's five innings of one-hit, two-walk pitching.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5556960)
Maybe the decision to start Romine was stupid, but it's hard to argue too much with it after the fact. He has to get some credit for Gray's five innings of one-hit, two-walk pitching.

Maybe. I tend to credit the pitcher, but he gets some credit.

But you also have to ding him seriously for the catcher's interference. That baserunner was huge at that moment.

   53. Rally Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5556963)
I don't know if you saw the stat last night, but Gray was top 5 in MLB this year in balls thrown in the dirt. The Astros also swung at a large number of those pitches - which Gray could throw with confidence even with men on base because Romine, not Sanchez, was behind the plate.

That was a very smart move by Girardi. Perhaps coincidentally, Sanchez finally started hitting last night as well.


That just might be. I don't know if something like this has been studied specifically or quantified. But maybe having a catcher good at blocking pitches can help out certain pitchers beyond the obvious (avoiding baserunners moving up a base).

That Gray had a good game with Romine is just anecdotal, but maybe this is just something that has yet to be quantified. Maybe Cashman's army of analysts have done the study. I'm not saying Romine is a better catching option than Sanchez for Gray, but I would not be so quick to dismiss it either. A decade ago few people outside of baseball lifers thought catcher framing made any difference either.

And it's not like they had to trade Sanchez's bat for Romine, playing Roman meant subbing out the bats of Headley or Ellsbury.
   54. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5556964)
Sanchez is unplayable with a starter that throws lots of pitches in the dirt, and its purely from lack of effort. But that doesn't matter per snapper.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5556973)
He has to get some credit for Gray's five innings of one-hit, two-walk pitching.

Romine vs Sanchez only matters when there are baserunners, which was like 10% of the plate appearances last night. And I suspect that it only really really matters - that is, meaningfully alters Gray's delivery - when there's a runner on third.
   56. Rally Posted: October 18, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5556980)
It might matter without baserunners as long as their are two strikes.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 12:08 PM (#5556981)
Sanchez is unplayable with a starter that throws lots of pitches in the dirt, and its purely from lack of effort. But that doesn't matter per snapper.

This is all 100% BS.
   58. Blastin Posted: October 18, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5556982)
This is all 100% BS.


He really is an average defensive catacher. This is nonsense.

(By which I mean I agree with snapper)
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5556985)
It might matter without baserunners as long as their are two strikes.

Sanchez had 16 PB and 53 WP in 881 innings this year. Romine had 4 PB and 28 WP in 517 innings. The Yankees average 4.2 BF/IP.

So that's 69 events in 3,700 BF with Sanchez catching, or 0.0186 events per batter, and 32 events in 2,170 BF for Romine, or 0.0147 events per batter.

If Sonny Gray cant pitch effectively b/c of an additional 0.004 events per batter, he's the problem, not Sanchez.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 12:20 PM (#5556991)
Snapper, you know those numbers are corrupted by Romine catching the tougher pitchers more often.
   61. Blastin Posted: October 18, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5557017)
Snapper, you know those numbers are corrupted by Romine catching the tougher pitchers more often.


He gave numbers, you have to, too.
   62. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5557049)
Snapper, you know those numbers are corrupted by Romine catching the tougher pitchers more often.


Not just that - that would be easy to correct for. The real issue is pitchers throw different pitches to catchers that can't handle pitches in the dirt, and that has effects on both PB rate and pitcher RA. snapper's data actually supports that Sanchez is a big liability because he's so much worse than Romine defensively that if his outcomes are tracking similarly, then there's a massive difference in the population of balls he's catching and that means batters are getting easier pitches to hit.

What's even more ridiculous is that the Yankees themselves have made a public fuss over this - how often do you see a team publicly criticize a player like the Yanks have with Sanchez's defense. That suggest both (a) that it's a material issue and (b) the Yanks think its fixable by shaming Sanchez, which means they think its effort not talent.

snapper is just doing his conservative contrarian sam the eagle bullshit, its another flavor of the ray "its always been over' but with a soupcon of righteousness mixed in.
   63. Srul Itza Posted: October 18, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5557067)
It may be laziness, and it may also be desire not to get beat up throwing his body down and blocking balls with it.

Given his overall athleticism, I cannot believe that he could not get better at it, if he really worked at it.

But I am not so sure that the trade off -- a few more passed balls blocked, in exchange for being more dinged up or injured affecting his hitting -- is worth it. If he continues to hit so much better than the average catcher, and to handle pitchers and throw out runners effectively, I would gladly exchange a few passed balls for keeping him healthier and in the line up more often.
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5557082)
snapper is just doing his conservative contrarian sam the eagle bullshit, its another flavor of the ray "its always been over' but with a soupcon of righteousness mixed in.

You're the only one showing righteousness.

All I'm saying is that this minor defensive deficiency is a total non issue. The rate difference of events is tiny. We're talking maybe 3 or 4 runs over the course of an entire year.

Not just that - that would be easy to correct for. The real issue is pitchers throw different pitches to catchers that can't handle pitches in the dirt, and that has effects on both PB rate and pitcher RA. snapper's data actually supports that Sanchez is a big liability because he's so much worse than Romine defensively that if his outcomes are tracking similarly, then there's a massive difference in the population of balls he's catching and that means batters are getting easier pitches to hit.

If it's so easy, you do it.

Here's a stat for you: Catcher's ERA 2017 Sanchez 3.43, Romine 4.19
   65. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5557101)
snapper is just doing his conservative contrarian sam the eagle bullshit,


I think that in this community, your argument is the more contrarian.
   66. catomi01 Posted: October 18, 2017 at 02:54 PM (#5557112)
Replacing Sanchez with a solid defense catcher is defensible - he has a weakness on defense that can impact the game - that's fine. Replacing Sanchez with a career OPS OF .577 really isn't. There's just too big a difference between the bats. The only thing that made the move defensible is that the bats actually displaced in the line up belong to the Yankees DH's...who've been universally bad. If Sanchez ends up on the bench, or one of headley, ellsbury, Holliday start hitting and are still on the bench, then its a really stupid idea.
   67. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5557113)

I think that in this community, your argument is the more contrarian.


I thought this community supported strong statistical research and ripped apart crap that wouldn't even be published on fangraphs. Solving for the effect of catcher defense on pitch selection is hugely difficult and, IIRC, hasn't been solved in a non-proprietary way. But based on how teams behave, including teams with strong analytics departments, it's pretty clear catcher defense matters much more than you'd estimate based on a back of the envelope calculation from raw PB rate. I didn't think this was seriously in dispute, but one can always be unpleasantly surprised.

None of this is to say that Sanchez isn't a valuable player in spite of giving back whatever he's giving back on defense (speculation, I think he's giving back about 10 runs a season). But the further issue with catcher defense is that it can be tactically exploited, which means its less likely to cost you in the regular season where teams aren't really doing THAT much in response to advance scouting but is a huge ####### problem in the post season when teams are really exploiting tactical advantages. See e.g. the Yankees tagging on Kipnis in the playoffs or even the Stros sending Altuve home in G2.
   68. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5557118)
He doesn't move his body to block those pitches. That's lazy defense.

It has been reported that Sanchez added 12 pounds of muscle in the offseason, in an attempt to get even stronger. Why he would feel the need is a mystery, given his 2016 performance, and it may have cost him some flexibility. In any event, he seems to have been better with balls in the dirt late in the season and during the playoffs. Sanchez is still in his first full MLB season, it's certainly possible he'll improve on his defense. Berra was not a good catcher when he started, but as Yogi often noted "Bill Dickey learned me how to catch". I'd give Sanchez another season or two before concluding that any part of his game is a permanent problem. His bat is certainly good enough to cover some minor transgressions.
   69. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5557121)
I think there's probably something to the theory that, if you're not confident that your catcher can block a pitch in the dirt, you're less apt to throw one. I have no idea how this skews the numbers for pitchers.

But even so, I think snapper's and TGF points are the salient ones. It takes near incompetence in the field to cancel out a great bat. Think Adam Dunn's 2009. And Sanchez isn't even incompetent defensively. He's just bad in one specific area of defense. The idea of starting Austin Romine—a 28-year old player who has posted -2.0 WAR in 600 career PAs—in a playoff game because of Sanchez's framing and PB skills is just absurd.
   70. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5557126)
I thought this community supported strong statistical research and ripped apart crap that wouldn't even be published on fangraphs. Solving for the effect of catcher defense on pitch selection is hugely difficult and, IIRC, hasn't been solved in a non-proprietary way. But based on how teams behave, including teams with strong analytics departments, it's pretty clear catcher defense matters much more than you'd estimate based on a back of the envelope calculation from raw PB rate. I didn't think this was seriously in dispute, but one can always be unpleasantly surprised.


Your first two comments on the matter were basically Jerome from Manhattan quality - "I played catcher, let me tell you, Sanchez sucks at catcher!" That's mostly what I was referring to as "contrarian" in our community. I'm sure you see my point there.

You've pivoted to an appeal to unseen advanced statistical studies, which, well, you might be right, who knows? Or it could be Girardi going with his gut on an issue particularly close to his own heart. But it seems unfair to criticize snapper for not buying into sabermetric thinking to which we have zero access nor really any knowledge of. Really, "the smart teams seem to be doing X, so X must be smart" never really cut the mustard around here before. Heck, I'm not even sure that they are doing X.
   71. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:23 PM (#5557127)

But even so, I think snapper's and TGF points are the salient ones. It takes near incompetence in the field to cancel out a great bat. Think Adam Dunn's 2009. And Sanchez isn't even incompetent defensively. He's just bad in one specific area of defense. The idea of starting Austin Romine—a 28-year old player who has posted -2.0 WAR in 600 career PAs—in a playoff game because of Sanchez's framing and PB skills is just absurd.


And yet the Yankees - a team with a well-regarding analytics department with the computing and intellectual firepower to do a much better job analyzing catcher defense than we can, made exactly that 'absurd' decision. Curious.
   72. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5557131)
Your first two comments on the matter were basically Jerome from Manhattan quality - "I played catcher, let me tell you, Sanchez sucks at catcher!" That's mostly what I was referring to as "contrarian" in our community. I'm sure you see my point there.

You've pivoted to an appeal to unseen advanced statistical studies, which, well, you might be right, who knows? Or it could be Girardi going with his gut on an issue particularly close to his own heart. But it seems unfair to criticize snapper for not buying into sabermetric thinking to which we have zero access nor really any knowledge of. Really, "the smart teams seem to be doing X, so X must be smart" never really cut the mustard around here before.


My argument is three-fold:

(1) eye test, Sanchez is terrible at blocking pitches and framing. This is the universal opinion of everyone who seriously watches baseball, and has been publicly acknowledged by his own team.

(2) the team that actually is betting on Sanchez's defense, and which has the resources to actually measure it in a rigorous way, appears to estimate the cost of his defense, at least when Gray is pitching, as giving back more runs than you gain by having, say, Matt Holliday in your lineup compared to Austin Romine. From that, we can roughly deduce how much of an issue it is. It's obviously more of a problem when catching some pitchers compared to others. CC doesn't throw a lot of 1two-strike pitches in the dirt; I'm sure Sanchez would've played last night if CC was starting.

(3) our estimates of the cost of bad catcher defense are wildly inaccurate because we don't have the resources to run the pitchfx data necessary for a robust result. On top of that, its obvious that our estimates have huge flaws because they assume equally distributed pitch selection (and or that the Yankees aren't saving Romine for tougher guys to catch), and that assumption is almost certainly false since it would be irrational for the Yankees not to allocate catcher defense to the situations in which it is most needed.

That might be Jerome from the Bronx, but look, I was here from the start when we all talked terrible #### about the importance of defense more generally, and Jerome from the Bronx was right and we were wrong.
   73. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5557140)
eye test, Sanchez is terrible at blocking pitches and framing.


Except all available data indicates that Sanchez is no worse than average when it comes to framing. He's not good at blocking pitches, but that's like obsessing about a 1B's height because he'll be able to reach more errant throws. It might account for a few runs over the course of the season, but there are lots of other things that are way more important to his performance as a 1B.

And yet the Yankees - a team with a well-regarding analytics department with the computing and intellectual firepower to do a much better job analyzing catcher defense than we can, made exactly that 'absurd' decision. Curious.


Seriously? You're claiming the Yankees DHed Sanchez yesterday because they were worried about his horrible defense? Instead of maybe the fact that it was a day game after a night game, and teams usually don't make the same guy catch a day game after a night game?

(2) the team that actually is betting on Sanchez's defense, and which has the resources to actually measure it in a rigorous way, appears to estimate the cost of his defense, at least when Gray is pitching, as giving back more runs than you gain by having, say, Matt Holliday in your lineup compared to Austin Romine.


Sanchez can't catch 162 games. Somebody else is going to have to catch 30-40 games besides him, so might as well pick your hardest to handle starter and let your no-hit scrub caddy him full time and deal with a bunch of thumbbreakers in the dirt. That doesn't mean Sanchez is so craptastic defensively that he's simply a worse choice than Austin freakin' Romine, who has been below replacement level every single season of his career.
   74. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:52 PM (#5557151)
And yet the Yankees - a team with a well-regarding analytics department with the computing and intellectual firepower to do a much better job analyzing catcher defense than we can, made exactly that 'absurd' decision. Curious.


But that does not prove the decision was the correct one
   75. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:58 PM (#5557160)
Dream:
a day game after a night game?


Reality:
Start time: 5:08 p.m.

We're really grasping at straws now.
   76. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:58 PM (#5557161)
eye test, Sanchez is terrible at blocking pitches and framing. This is the universal opinion of everyone who seriously watches baseball,


You keep saying that, but the numbers don't bear it out: Baseball Prospectus Framing Runs
   77. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:59 PM (#5557163)

That might be Jerome from the Bronx, but look, I was here from the start when we all talked terrible #### about the importance of defense more generally, and Jerome from the Bronx was right and we were wrong.


Me too. But the rubes and Baseball Men were not right about everything by any means, and I doubt today's Statistically Inclined Baseball Men are right about everything either.

I think you're over-estimating the influence of the baseball operations department on day-to-day lineups. Yes, they've probably produced a study on how many runs per game Romine saves vs Sanchez during a Sonny Gray start. For all we know, it said that the difference is immaterial, and that Girardi tossed it in the recycling bin when Sonny Gray told him "I'm more comfortable with Romine."
   78. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5557170)
You keep saying that, but the numbers don't bear it out: Baseball Prospectus Framing Runs


These suffer from the same incorrect assumptions as snapper's work, but point taken. Lets limit the discussion to blocking pitches.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5557172)
You keep saying that, but the numbers don't bear it out: Baseball Prospectus Framing Runs

Not only, "don't bear it out", they flat out contradict it. Sanchez: +9.7 framing runs, -2.9 blocking runs, +2.2 throwing runs. Romine: +2.9 framing runs, -0.1 blocking runs, -1.2 throwing runs,

These suffer from the same incorrect assumptions as snapper's work, but point taken. Lets limit the discussion to blocking pitches.

Wait, why would we ignore the stats that show Sanchez as superior to Romine in two more important areas of catching, and focus on the least important area?

If Sanchez saved 9 runs in 881 innings, vs. Romines's +1.6 in 517 innings, you're hurting your defense by playing Romine. Framing and throwing out runners counts.
   80. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5557178)
a day game after a night game?

Reality:
Start time: 5:08 p.m.

We're really grasping at straws now.


Monday's game ended after 11PM. It's a day game after a night game, and smart teams don't work their catchers to death. Especially young, cost controlled, All Star catchers. Double especially when they can still get his bat in the game while resting him. I'd say pointing to the fact that the Yankees don't force Sanchez to catch every single game as evidence that his defense makes him a worse player than Austin Romine is a lot closer to clutching at straws.
   81. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:12 PM (#5557185)
Probably there was a confluence of factors that led to Romine's start. The earlyish start may have been one of them. Gray's tendencies was undoubtedly one of them. Sanchez's slumping bat might have been one of them. Girardi's sentimentality may have been a factor too.

But I reject the idea that the Yankees lineup is guaranteed to be sabermetrically perfect.
   82. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:30 PM (#5557209)
I'd say pointing to the fact that the Yankees don't force Sanchez to catch every single game as evidence that his defense makes him a worse player than Austin Romine is a lot closer to clutching at straws.


In the playoffs? Down 2-1? That's totally when guys get rested, amirite?
   83. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5557220)
In the playoffs? Down 2-1? That's totally when guys get rested, amirite?


Did you fail to notice the part where Sanchez DHed? During the regular season he probably just sits. Him DHing WAS a concession to the playoffs and the situation the Yanks found themselves in.
   84. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5557221)
nevermind
   85. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:48 PM (#5557223)
Him DHing WAS a concession to the playoffs and the situation the Yanks found themselves in.
A day game that starts at noon isn't the same as a day game that starts after 5 PM. There was also a day off between games 2 and 3. During the season, Sanchez was routinely behind the plate three or even four days straight — days, not games but days — and had at least six stretches where he caught at least five days in a row.

The easy answer here is that the Yankees just like Romine.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:55 PM (#5557231)
The easy answer here is that the Yankees just like Romine.

True, but it wouldn't be the first time a respected manager irrationally preferred an inferior catcher because of defense.
   87. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5557233)
Dude, I don't need any reminders — my team is managed by Mike Scioscia. I'm just chiming in to note that the idea that the Yankees are somehow afraid of overworking Sanchez is just a silly proposition given the way they used him this entire season.
   88. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5557246)
The easy answer here is that the Yankees just like Romine.


The most likely scenario is that Gray just prefers to pitch to Romine, and since the days of Carlton Fisk catching 150+ games are long gone, might as well just let Romine caddy for Gray. Can always DH Sanchez if necessary.

True, but it wouldn't be the first time a respected manager irrationally preferred an inferior catcher because of defense.


A lot of respected managers tend to have been good D, light hitting catchers themselves back in their playing days. Like Joe Girardi. Or Mike Scioscia.
   89. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 18, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5557249)
The most likely scenario is that Gray just prefers to pitch to Romine, and since the days of Carlton Fisk catching 150+ games are long gone.....
I figure it's just that first thing, but the way Sanchez was used all season long would be proof that the second thing is just incorrect. If that were indeed the case, we wouldn't have seen him routinely catch on consecutive days as often as he did.
   90. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5557268)
the way Sanchez was used all season long would be proof that the second thing is just incorrect. If that were indeed the case, we wouldn't have seen him routinely catch on consecutive days as often as he did.


Catching on consecutive days is not unusual. Catching much more than 130 games in a single season is, and Sanchez caught 104 games this year. Granted he missed a month or so to injury, so figure a healthy Sanchez might have caught 125-130. That's pretty much within recent norms for a star catcher that can hit.
   91. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 18, 2017 at 05:48 PM (#5557312)
That's pretty much within recent norms for a star catcher that can hit.
Right, so Sanchez wasn't used unusually hard, which means that catching three or four days in a row is not unusually taxing. Sanchez had a day off, caught two days, and then had another day off before catching one game. As you note, that's not very strenuous at all, well within recent norms. Indeed, Sanchez's catching load is lighter than it was during the season, which is why it makes no sense to argue that the Yankees were protecting him from being worked to death.
   92. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: October 18, 2017 at 05:56 PM (#5557322)
I wouldn't say Scioscia was light-hitting. The Dodgers starting catcher for a decade, his career OPS+ of 99 is better than Yadier Molina's.

Scioscia is old school, in that the catcher's first priority is catching over hitting.

Interestingly, the Dodgers are going with Austin Barnes over Yasmani Grandal in the playoffs. Though Grandal will start tonight.
   93. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 06:39 PM (#5557349)
Great block by Sanchez on that "wild pitch".
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:16 PM (#5557567)
Great block by Sanchez on that "wild pitch".

Yeah, Sanchez certainly prevented Tanaka from being effective tonight. He was unplayable with a pitcher who relies on a splitter in the dirt.

If we were giving Romine kudos for 5 good IP from Gray last night, where's Sanchez's credit for 7 IP, 3H, 1 BB, 8K? Oh, forgot about the 2 for 4 with a HR and 2 RBI.
   95. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:24 PM (#5557583)
The end of this thread was a nice example of something that happens all the time on OT:P. One guys says something controversial, and like 3-4 guys respond. The first guy then cherrypicks only the stupidest argument to respond to.
   96. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:35 PM (#5557610)
He gave back a lot of value on defense. He made up for it on offense. He's still shitty behind the plate, and his bat still makes up for it for now.
   97. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:52 PM (#5557642)
He gave back a lot of value on defense.


What complete and utter tosh.

He made up for it on offense.


It's pretty easy to top nothing with ... well, anything.

Luckily for Sanchez, plating 40% of his team's runs (while being responsible for exactly 0% of the runs the other team failed to score) is significantly more than just ... anything.

He's still shitty behind the plate, and his bat still makes up for it for now.


Keep plucking that chicken ...
   98. The Good Face Posted: October 19, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5557945)
Right, so Sanchez wasn't used unusually hard, which means that catching three or four days in a row is not unusually taxing. Sanchez had a day off, caught two days, and then had another day off before catching one game. As you note, that's not very strenuous at all, well within recent norms.


Well no, I also noted that it was a day game following a night game. That, combined with the fact that Gray appears to prefer throwing to Romine, led to a DH day for Sanchez. It doesn't lend any credence whatsoever to the argument that the Yankees think Romine is the better player.
   99. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5557949)
He gave back a lot of value on defense.

He called and caught a shutout. There's no way a catcher can do that and not produce positive defensive value.
   100. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5557950)
He called and caught a shutout. There's no way a catcher can do that and not produce positive defensive value.


We are all dumber for having read this. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

PS: You should study how catcher defense is measured.

It doesn't lend any credence whatsoever to the argument that the Yankees think Romine is the better player.


An argument that no one has made. The argument is whether Sanchez is most valuable as a catcher in the long term given his defensive issues.
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