Monday, July 30, 2007

One Thing . . .

but no graphics. In a fantasy world where I am in charge of the Mets, Ramon Castro is the starting catcher, or he at least goes 50-50 on playing time with Lo Duca. Dookie, though I love him, is just not that good a hitter.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fuck You, Tony La Russa

I can't really say it any better than Nate Silver, but take a look at these:

Tony La Russa fucked the rest of the NL because his shitty team that shouldn't even have made the playoff last year, much less become WS champions, isn't going to make the playoffs this year. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth, he'd rather keep Pujols ("the great Pujols," as he's constantly, irritatingly referred to as in that piece of crap Three Nights in August that Tony wrote with Buzz Bissinger) on the bench to make sure he doesn't risk getting hurt than take a real shot at winning this game.

Remember, a walk ties it. And Tony's got 410 points of OBP sitting on the bench. Look, Rowand is having a fine year, and he's a perfectly serviceable center fielder. Maybe playing over his head this year, but a good player none the less. But if I told you that your life depended on the next batter getting on base, who would you rather see at the plate? Can you name a single player in the NL who you'd choose over Pujols, in that situation? Then you are a liar, my friend.


Friday, July 06, 2007

A Look At The AL East

After the softball game last night, I was talking with my friend Paul, a lifelong Yankee fan, about what was wrong with the Yankees (40-42) this year. His short answer: “everything.” Twelve games behind the Red Sox (53-31) in the AL East, and eight and a half behind the Tigers (49-34) for the Wild Card, there’s a good chance that the Yankees might not even make the playoffs this year. Stunning.

What’s interesting about the Yankees is that they have a pretty good run differential. If you look at the number of runs a team both scores and allows, you can predict fairly accurately how many games they’ll win. Having scored more runs (429) than they allowed (375), you would expect the Yankees to be 46-36, six games better than they are right now, and right in the hunt for a Wild Card playoff berth.

Unfortunately for my friend Paul, the Yankees have dug such a deep hole that it might be too late to recover. I wondered last night: the Yankees have 80 games left, if they play out the rest of the season at the “true” level of ability indicated by their run differential, do they have a shot at the playoffs? I couldn’t do the math right then (mmmm . . . beer) but I can now. Take a look:

I’d expect the Yankees to win 45 of their remaining 80 games, and 45 plus the 40 they’ve won so far equals a record of 85-77, and I don’t think that’s going to be enough to win the Wild Card. Of the teams ahead of the Yankees in the Wild Card standings -- Detroit, Seattle, Oakland, and Minnesota – one of them is bound to win more than 85 games.

Of course, rather than screw around with an Excel grid all morning, I could have just looked up the same information here. Davenport, you magnificent bastard! I read your book!