Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Not The Losing That Bothers Me

It's the fact that everyone else in baseball gets Pedroia and Youkilis out, and the Yankees can't.

Pedroia is 13/24 (.542) in 6 games against the Yankees this year. That's after taking an 0-4 with a walk last night. So he entered last night's game hitting .650 against the Yankees. He is 24/126 (.190) in 33 games against everyone else. He has 50% of his homers, 50% of his RBI's, and 35% of his runs scored against the Yankees, scoring at least one run in every game. He has five 3 hit games on the season. Four of them are in six games against the Yankees. He has one in the other 33 games.

Youkilis has a .429 OBP against the Yankees. .351 against everyone else. He increased his RBI total by 25% this weekend. Not quite as dramatic a split as Pedroia, but significant nonetheless.

Why is it that everyone else can get these guys out as if they are below replacement level players, but they become Albert Pujols against the Yankees? Some credit has to be given to the players for stepping up in the big games. But a big part of the blame has to be placed on the Yankees. There is no reason for Pedroia to be that much better against them than he is against everybody else. A little bit better? Sure, chalk it up to Pedroia being a gamer and bringing it against the Yankees. That's definitely true. That much better? Check out what everyone else is doing to have him hitting .190 (bold/caps/italics) against them through 20% of the season, and just replicate that. It's very frustrating.

The Yankees are obviously playing terribly right now, dropping 9 of their last 12. The baseball season is up and down, and this is a clear down. I'm not worried about where they are. It's not ideal to have missed the opportunity they were given and looked to be taking advantage of to separate from the rest of the division, but what's done is done. Chances are it was going to be a close race anyway, and now it's that sooner than expected. What I'm concerned about is it getting worse. They need to stop the bleeding now before they dig themselves a hole of their own. It starts by playing better baseball or finding a way to win one game even if you aren't playing better baseball.

On Posada, meh. It wasn't handled well, but Bandi illuminated a lot of my feelings in the comments section yesterday. No matter how much money someone is or isn't making, players are human beings. They feel the emotion of frustration just like everybody else. For someone who cares like Posada, and has been good for as long as Posada has been good, it can't be easy to be hitting .165 because you aren't used to failure and feel like you are letting the team down. After a while, trying to snap out of it, it starts to wear on you. You probably start wondering how you are ever going to snap out of it. Can't be a fun feeling as an athlete. It should have been handled better, but I have no problem with Posada needing a day given the circumstances. Like Bandi said, it's probably the best thing for both he and the team. Otherwise, this has been totally blown out of proportion.

12 comments:

the gm at work said...

Pat,

I'd call the sample size police on this one, but I don't really like to do that. I know you're venting your frustration and you're not looking for any real answers as to why these two guys in particular are the ones who keep on coming through against your team.

It's also funny that it's two hitters that I know you consider among the most abrasive on the team.

As far as Youkilis goes, I think it's a Joba internal problem on the bomb he hit. There's always been this Joba-Youkilis "thing," and I think this was somewhat at play during the home run. I'm not looking up the stats, as I'm at work.

As far as Pedroia goes, you insinuate that the Yankees are doing inferior scouting on the guy while everyone else has him figured out. Don't kid yourself: he's not a bad baseball player, or one that can be completely neutralized by good scouting and execution. He will eventually get his numbers up to a reasonable level against the rest of the field.

My apologies if I sounded like Eric Ortiz at some point during that last paragraph.

Enjoy yo day.

Bandi, I encourage you to re-post your Posada text message in this comments section. This is a guy who should be released, HA.

Anonymous said...

PF

Jorge Posada is one of my least favorite players of all time. His bloop single to tie Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS and his subsequent reaction is for most Red Sox fans emblematic of who he is as baseball player. That said, I can't believe him asking out of the line up became a national story. It was the LEAD on SportsCenter yesterday. Which was two days later! Just unreal. To me it's a non-issue. All it does is illustrate how out of touch with reality athletes, and especially aging athletes, can be. We've seen it in Boston with Wakefield, and especially Varitek. It's not uncommon.

As for Pedroia and Youkilis--Pedroia just doesn't look like himself. He looks like the guy who spent his first six weeks in Boston in 2007 hitting .150. It was ugly then and it's ugly now. It's very hard to explain his success against New York this year.

Youkilis is a different story. He's been killing it lately. He simply was HORRIBLE to start the year. Couldn't get hits against anybody. Too many strikeouts. This latest Yankee series was just a carry over from what he's been doing. And last night he laced two more doubles.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

Ha,

So I'm reading an article last night about Posada and I noticed a certain statistical situation I thought GM should be aware of. My text to GM was as follows:

"Uh DV...is it just me or does Hip Hip Jorge still have 3 times as many homers and twice the RBIs of JD Drew"

This morning I get a response from DV- "Thought you were gonna ask me about that"

Good stuff.

Bandi

Ross Kaplan said...

Speaking about Hip, Hip Jorge! why in the world were Yankee fans cheering so raucously for him Sunday night? That isn't to say that if I were there I'd be booing him, I just think the fan reaction was just a bit outrageous. Call me old fashioned, but I don't cheer for guys who just recently quit on their teams and apparently also asked to be released.

Patrick said...

"I know you're venting your frustration and you're not looking for any real answers as to why these two guys in particular are the ones who keep on coming through against your team."

correct.

"As far as Pedroia goes, you insinuate that the Yankees are doing inferior scouting on the guy while everyone else has him figured out. Don't kid yourself: he's not a bad baseball player, or one that can be completely neutralized by good scouting and execution. He will eventually get his numbers up to a reasonable level against the rest of the field"

irrelevant. i don't care how good he is or isn't. whatever level he's playing at, he's playing at a far better against the yankees. i'm not insinuating that the yankees are doing a bad job, i'm flat out saying it. i don't know if it's scouting, approach, execution, or some combination, but it's something. i acknowledged that some of the credit is given to pedroia, but that's not good enough. the yankees should not allow someone to play this much better against them, whether it's a .190/.575 split or a .390/.775 split.

Patrick said...

gunn/ross -

i could be wrong, but i don't think it has anything to do with posada being out of touch with reality. in fact i think it has to do with him being totally in tune with reality. when you are a top 10 offensive catcher of all time, were the best player at your position for an era, and have never experienced failure, and all of a sudden a new season starts and no matter what you do you continue to struggle mightily and hurt the team, it has to be frustrating. posada is a guy that cares, and he knows he has not been helping the team.

this sudden loss of offensive ability is in conjunction with not catching for the first time in his career. as john flahrety said in a broadcast recently, no matter how good or bad you are offensively as a catcher, you associate a lot of your value with how the pitching is handled. you're involved with every pitch on the defensive side. you take an 0-4, no problem because the pitching staff only gave up 2 runs and the team won. now posada's value is 100% tied to what he does or doesn't do at the plate. instead of striking out, coming back to the dugout putting the gear on and thinking about the next inning defensively, he sits for 2-3 innings thinking about that strikeout. has to be a massive adjustment for someone of posada's stature at this point in his career.

he has to adjust, but hasn't been able to. and i think saturday was just all of that coming to a head. it wasn't batting 9th or any singular thing. it was a combination of all of these things.

i totally understand this. i think we've all been there at some point. and for that reason, ross, i would have been cheering as loudly as i could for posada on sunday. i'm not going to turn my back on a guy who is going through a rough time. it wasn't coming from a malicious or selfish place, at least in my opinion. it was coming from just the opposite, a guy who really cares. and that's the kind of guy i want on my team, even if it doesn't always manifest itself properly, as was definitely the case with posada.

because typically it does and has manifested itself in the way you want it to. on that point, and this is the ONLY thing that really matters to me on this topic (the rest has really been blown out of proportion, as everyone has pointed out), rivera, jeter, and posada have seen the yankees through a lot of stuff. a lot. giambi. rodriguez. torre. and all they have done is put their heads down, produced, and won. no off-field drama. just leading and winning. no matter how much the roster has turned over they have stayed constant. and as frustrated as i have been with jeter's and posada's play, these are the type of players i will NOT turn my back on as a fan. because then i would be a terrible fan. time was going to catch up with them at some point, and i am not going to hold that against them after all they have done for this organization.

Patrick said...

sorry, that last comment should have probably been turned into a post, but i didn't anticipate getting this far into it. i hope it's worthwhile to read.

the gm at work said...

Pat, I agree with everything you say there about Posada until the last paragraph. You talk about how he is one of the guys who puts his head down. No off-field drama.

That was true.

Until Saturday.

Also, while it's on my mind, did anyone watch Schilling before Sunday's game (I texted Pat saying he looked like Brian Dennehy)? He said that stuff happened in the Red Sox' clubhouse with "multiple" players. Yeah. Manny Ramirez and JD Drew.

Patrick said...

how is a guy pulling himself out of the lineup off the field drama? i know you love your drama, but that's a stretch even for you seeing as it had everything to do with on-field issues.

if you're posada, you can't let the media dictate whether or not you do the right thing. for both the team and posada, i think taking himself out of the lineup was the right thing. if it's the right thing to do on the field, then you can't be accused of this being an off the field issue/distraction.

Patrick said...

even if the media turns it into that. that's out of posada's control. it should have never come out in the first place that this happened, and it certainly wasn't posada who told the media.

the gm at work said...

The real question here that makes it relevant versus irrelevant is whether he had a "hissy fit" (not my words) about being dropped in the order. If that's the case, it's definitely off-field drama. He said it off the field. It's about managerial matters, not about baseball matters. Sure, he's not being fed popcorn by his girlfriend, but it is a distraction that is taking away from what should really be focused on - the stuff on the field.

If he just asked for a day off, that's fine and you're right, it's a non-issue. If Girardi or Cash is chirping about it to the media, then it was more than just asking for a day off.

Patrick said...

that's fair gm. either way, posada pretty much tried to diffuse the situation immediately. so no matter what this is not a distraction that should change the perception of him as a team player, even if this was more his fault than anyone else's.