ESPN Power Rankings Released

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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    [Latest response in this color font]

    There are also strengths. Reducing the level for establishing legitimate concerns/question marks to simultaneously include players occupying positions of strength is, in and of itself, contradictory and, as such, meaningless for the sake of comparison. 

    Of course the Yanks have plenty of strengths. 

    You've missed the point.  The fact that it is the Yankees, for the purpose of understanding in this case, is incidental.  Do you not recognize the contradition identified in the paragraph above?

    No, there is no contraditiction. Everything is not black and white. Some people can look at things from more than one angle. Obviously, you are not one of them.

    Rather than considering the initial paragraph, you resort to attacking the writer.  The well-worn logical fallacy  - ad hominem.  And, thank you for the inspirational and original platitude "everything is not black and white."

    You keep pretending I picked them to finish behind the Sox. 

    I pretend nothing, and I have made no such claim.  I simply noted a false dicotomy with respect to your reasoning in this particular instance.  

    It's Ok to project a team with many questions or concerns to have the best record. It's not a false dicotomy. I never even said the Yanks had more major questions. I just pointed out 10 concerns (some could have been minor, moderate or major). 

    And, as I assert, some listed not concerns at all, or so minor as to be insignificant.  That is the point I continue to repeat - if everyone is a question mark, then the act of comparison is diluted to a degree to which it lacks substance.  

    The Yanks have many questions. I feel they have about the same amount as us and pretty close to the same level of concern. They have a few more near sure bets than us. I didn't mention that when I posted my list, because I was addressing only the issue of concerns at that time. 

    Here beats again the heart of my questioning to you:  can a "sure bet" simultaneously be considered a "question mark for concern"?  If so, then I submit that the broad sweep in definition of what is and is not a concern lacks any real value for debate.   

    I projected them with the most wons in the AL. 

    Again, not the point.   

    It's one of my points. Just because you don't think it is related, doesn't mean it isn't.

    And, of course, the obverse:  just because you believe it to be relevant does not make it so.

    I also raised some valid concerns or questions. 

    This is the point of argument.  The aforementioned contradiction in reasoning quite necessarily dismisses any validity for your claims.  Put another way, a pitcher who fashioned an ERA+ of 410 cannot be projected as both a strength and a question mark.  It begs for a more coherent methodology.  That which can be asserted without proof also requires none for refutation, rendering comparision meaningless. 

    You are arguing semantics. We could go on all day. I'll choose to just chalk you up as narrow minded.

    Yes, in that, semantics is the study of meaning in language.  Specifically, in this case, the act and characterization of listing nearly every player/position as a question mark, by definition, renders any semblance of a point meaningless.  And, again, another ad hominem remark.  Do you believe calling me names bolsters your argument?
      
    For example, David Robertson was arguably the best set-up-man in baseball last season. 66.2 innings pitched, 1.08 ERA, only 40 hits, one HR allowed, 100 Ks. Since his debut in the second half of the 2008 season, he has consistently exhibited one of the highest K/9 in baseball. Yet, you listed him as a question mark due to his improvement in WHIP from the previous season, his career high, even though his WHIP was lower in the two seasons prior to that one.  

    If I projected his 2012 season, I would think he'd have a solid one, but the fact that he is 2 years removed from being awful is something to be concerned about. Bard had 3 straight good/great years, and many yank fans consider him a question mark.  

    Once more, if you project Robertson to have a solid year, then he should not also be a question mark.  Hedging your bets by wagering on both sides of an issue is by definition no bet at all.

    This sums up you limited mindset perfectly.

    More ad hominem and fatuous commentary in place of discussion?  

    Moreover, Robertson has never been awful.  Review his statistics again.  The only blemish -  ERA his rookie season; however, if you take the time to consider his game logs, you will find that he pitched in only 25 ball games for a total of 30.1 innings that season, of which he had only one awful outing against Baltimore, giving up 5 runs in 1/3 of an inning.  He did his job in 20 of his 25 appearances.

    Using ERA to evaluate a relief pitcher agains shows your tunnel vision. 

    And, more personal attacks.  I did not use ERA as a treatise or evaluation, merely as an example of its inflation due to his small sample size of 30.1 innings.  Must I really explain that point? 

    WHIP is a much better tool and here is Robertson's first 3 years in the MLB numbers:
    2008: 1.451
    2009: 1.351
    2010: 1.500
    He had a great season last year and I think he is the real deal, but that doesn't mean there is no serious doubt. Anyone who follows baseball closely knows that tha vast majority of relief pitchers have rollercoaster careers. They can look great one year and awful the next. Just because I "project" Robertson will have a good year, does not mean he has to be taken off the concern list. 

    Then, what is the value of the projection?  If the concern is substantive and meaningful, the projection should reflect that, should it not?

    There is a significant chance he reverts back to a 1.40 type WHIP. There's also a chance he has a good year, but still worse than 2011 and perhaps that's enough to make a slight difference to the season outcome. Perhaps mot.

    WHIP can be distorted by small sample sizes in the same manner as ERA.  To be crudely simplistic, suppose Robertson over the course of 30 appearances has an overall WHIP of 1.50 and ERA of 3.60?
    These are similar numbers to which you defined previously as "awful." 

    Consider that Robertson has one bad week, giving up 5 runs (6 hits and 2 BB), 4 runs (3 hits 2 BB), and 3 runs (3 hits 2 BB) in three separate appearances.  His numbers above would not reflect that in 27 appearances he gave up zero earned runs and had a WHIP of 1.00:  Awful or extremely effective 9 out of 10 times?  

    Furthermore, since being called up, no other reliever in baseball has entered more games with the bases loaded and no outs than David Robertson, who has struck out 270 batters in 202 innings pitched and has compiled an overall record of 14-6. 

    Now, you are using W-L record by a relief pitcher to make a point? I could rest my case right here, but here's a cherry=picked stat for you to ponder:

    No, you could not "rest [your] case right here," as you have stated nothing yet regarding the last paragraph.  Again, a gross exaggeration in place of reasoning.

    In 2010 he let of 10 of 33 inherited runs to score, and had at least 19 bad appearances out of 64...not counting games where he walked and let up multiple hits but no runs were scored.

    In 50 of those 64 appearances, Robertson gave up zero earned runs.  In 4 of his worst appearances that season, which totaled 2 innings, he gave up 12 runs and 13 hits.  In other words, that equated to 46% of the runs he allowed all season long, and nearly 19% of the total baserunners he allowed all season.

    Moreover, as a crude example, if there are runners on second and third with zero outs, a pitcher can retire all three men faced and still give up both runs on many combinations of a fly out and a ground out.  But, then, if that pitcher entered with a three run lead, the job has been done.  

    The bottom line is that in those 64 appearances the Yankees record was 42-22, and Robertson had 4 wins, 14 holds, 1 save, and finished 10 games.  For the entire season, in which he was "awful" he blew only 3 leads.  If you review his splits that season, you will clearly see that he had a wonderful second half, and as I pointed out earlier 4 terrible outings skewed both his ERA and WHIP overall.

    Are you saying the chances of him having a season closer to 2010 than 2011 is so remote, the concern is so limited, that nobody who thinks he's a good pitcher can have serious doubts?

    The use of "nobody" again exemplifies the type of exaggeration which foils the chance for a meaningful discussion, as well as name-calling and ad hominem remarks.  Again, to reiterate, I have argued that Robertson is a strength and not a questionmark.  The careful review of his games logs should indicate that he has never had a truly "awful" season, to which you maintain warrants a necessary and evident concern.  I refute that claim without avarice or personal attacks.

    Robertson has very good numbers in clutch situations over his whole career. I wish he was on our side, but he's still a question mark.

    Indeed, he would likely be the Red Sox closer, which begs the question for a mark of concern.

    As for Daniel Bard, he is only a question mark as a ML starter, not a set-up man; however, he does have a poor career record of 5-13 and has been dismal in save situations, blowing a horrendous 15 saves in 20 opportunities.  Still, he is one of the best set up men in the game today.

    His starter and closer numbers are based on extremely small sample sizes. That being said, Bard as a starter is a huge concern. 

    Besides, aren't you now "missing the point"? I never said Bard was not a question mark, in fact, I think he is a huge Q-mark as a starter. I was bringing his name up because I have heard many Yankee fans bashing him, and I used him as a reference to why Robertson could be considered a Q-mark as well.

    What is the point that I am missing?  I did not write or take exception to anything you stated with regard to Daniel Bard.  I merely addded my own thoughts following your mention of him.

    Concomitantly, you assert question marks for players who showed a statistical decline. Therefore, both an improvement and a decline are evidence to you indicating a concern or question mark. Hmmm? 

    I wouldn't label Robertson a major concern, and they have Soriano as well, so the pen is not an issue like it is for the Sox.  Even if Mo declines, the yanks should be OK there. 

    If the Yankee bullpen will be ok, then there goes your argument for David Robertson, Mariano Rivera, and the back of the bullpen as concerns/questionmarks.  Especially, considering Joba Chamberlain, Pedro Feliciano, and David Aardsma are all on the DL and may not pitch this season.

    You continue to misunderstand and misrepresent my position. I do think the Ynaks pen will be OK, and I think the Yanks will do well this year, but my point was that they have enough significant concerns to put serious doubt that my projection will come true. After all, I was wrong on the Sox last year due mainly to us getting over 80 starts by back-up or injured pitchers. With the age and decline of several key Yankees, I think I am being reasonable in saying I think they will win the division, but have so many concerns as to cast serious doubt on that projection.

    I did not intend to misrepresent you.  I merely disagreed and pointed out contradiction and sweeping generalization in reasoning, which is illustrated by your listing of question marks for nearly every Yankee player and position except for Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia, to which I have remarked several times previously.

    The Yankees' age of its players is not as significant an issue to me as the strength of the competition of the American League East and teams such as Anaheim, Detroit, and Texas.  The Yankees are a solid team defensively, have pitching depth in rotation and the bullpen, they can steal bases, and they have power.  Hitting with runners in scoring position and drawing enough base on balls is my major concern.  

    As for the proposition that decline is inevitable - for example - Mariano Rivera's demise has been predicted every year for the last seven years.  

     To make another point, consider Robinson Cano - depending upon which array utilized by which company of leading sabermatricians, Cano was defensively one of the best second baseman in all of baseball. Yet, a competing company ranked him as one of the worst defensive second basemen last season. Still, a third company ranked Cano in the middle of the pack. Defensive metrics are dubious at best. Even year to year, the same player can rate near the top and then near the very bottom.  Cano is awesome. He is not a question mark. Derek Jeter's dWAR was minus or - 1.3 last season. Not very good. But, his dWAR was an identical -1.3 in 1997 as well. Jeter hit .297 last season. Not shabby. He also hit .327 after the all-star break. His overall OBP was .355. Robinson Cano's was .349. Perhaps, you should have included Cano as a question mark too? 

    See above. Look, Jeter had worse numbers than many SSs last year and is a year older. He is certainly a question mark and is one of the worst fielders in MLB right now. His range is pathetic. We can agree to disagree, but if you really think I am all wet to call him a question mark, you are not being objective. 

    I have clearly, in writing, identified Jeter's defensive shortcomings, but I have also pointed out his defensive strengths as well. How is that not being objective?  Rather, you call him "horrific" and "pathetic" and "whoop-de-doo" and resort to name calling in the guise of a coherent, reasonable argument?  Come on, now. 

    Jeter's second half numbers: .327/.383/.428/.811 

    Jeter's first half numbers: .270/.330/.353/.683 

    When many fans were burying Jeter last season, including most Yankee fans, I posted here several times that his struggles were a matter of mechanics and not a sudden and precipitous drop in athleticism or bat speed.  Moreover, I predicted that Jeter would take off following his 3000th hit and would hit .300.  Well, if not for getting hit in the hand and wrist, he damn near made it.  I believe Jeter will hit .300 this season as well.   

    You could be right, but I'll trust the time tested S-curve projection methodology and project he will do worse than 2011 as a whole.

    I woud be more than happy to put $1000 on the line.  How about you?

    My guess is he comes out somewhere in the middle and coupled with his horrific fielding, he's overall bottom tier now. I could be wrong. The guy has heart and pride. 

    I have watched either live or on tape nearly every MLB game Derek Jeter has played since getting his first cup of coffee at the end of the 1995 regular season - and that is no exaggeration.  No major league team could afford to field a "horrific" defensive shortstop, much less the New York Yankees, a team that has missed the playoffs only once since Derek Jeter put on Pinstripes.  Your position is sheer hyperbole.  

    I guess that shows what a homer you are, because he is and has been one of baseballs worst fielders for several years now.

    More name calling.  Enlightening.

    Don Zimmer, who has seen major league shortstops for the better part of sixty years, has stated on numerous occasions that Jeter is the best he has ever seen at coming in on ground balls and going back on fly balls.  Not adequate, not serviceable, not very good...but the best at moving north and south in fielding a batted ball.  Another opinion supporting that view is none other than Cal Ripkin. I will trust my eyes and playing/coaching experience in watching Derek Jeter play nearly every single inning of his career and the opinions of Zim and Ripkin - among others - rather than your exaggeration and the dubious outcomes offered by current defensive metrics.  Even the father of sabrematricians, Bill James, has issued caution regarding the numinous nature of defensive statistics, and specifically, more or less abandoning range factor nearly ten years ago.

    So, now you want to trust certain companies and pioneers of metrics when they suit your purpose.

    Where did I state that I trusted any defensive metrics or sabremetric entities?  I have said expressly the opposite.  I merely pointed out that even Bill James has cooled over time regarding metrics he once hailed.  That fact only provides credence to my assertion.  

    I quite enjoy the massive amounts of data and information available today and reading the Fielding Bible and as well as other such compendiums; however, the fact that I enjoy the information does not bind me into blindly accepting the methodological shortcomings or the somewhat dubious qualification/interpretation of defensive statistics, which are difficult to quantify by the very nature of the endeavor.

    Jeter's career OBP is .383. His worst season was .340 in 2010. For comparison, Carl Crawford's career OBP is  .333 with a single season high of .364. 

    Did I ever defend CC? I called him a glorified platoon player whose contract will cripple us for 7 years. Using a 38 year old's career numbers to try and impress me is not going to work. 

    I never stated that you did.  Rather, I used a corner outfielder's career numbers in comparison to a shortstop's worst year for OBP to illustrate just how high Derek Jeter has set his own standards.  And, Carl Crawford is a four time all-star; he just may not be in the white-hot spotlight that is Boston and New York.  Platoon players do not garner 20 million dollar contracts.  Again, hyperbole on your part. And, if you are not impressed with Derek Jeter's career numbers, then I am beginning to question your sanity.  How many shortstops has Boston had since 1996?

    You talk about me getting off the point.

    I never said Jeter was a horrible hitter. I said he was and still is in decline. Decline from being one of the best does not mean he is bad now. My point is that several key Yankee players should or could easily continue to decline this year, and that all put together could spell a significant offensive decline from last year...still a very good offense, but just not as good as 2011. 

    You could be correct, especially if the team collectively does not improve its ability to hit with runners in scoring position.

    I've listened to those who argue that Derek Jeter is the worst defensive shortstop in baseball history (Rob Neyer). As a former player and coach, I maintain that Jeter was and is still sure handed, has a strong arm, is lanky and athletic at 6'3", comes in on slow rollers marvelously, throws off balance accurately, handles bad throws from catcher to outfielders as well as anyone, makes incredibly difficult tags around the bag, feeds the ball to second effortlessly, goes backwards on fly balls as well as anyone, and most importantly with the game on the line, no one is holding their breath when a grounder is hit in his direction. He consistently makes big plays in big moments and does not botch anything routine. And, he is death to base runners in a rundown or pickle. 

    He's great at relay throws....whoop-dee- doo! 

    Is that really all you have taken from what I have written?  Thank you for the insightful response.

    Yes, right now, that is the only good part I see in Jeter's defense.... his arm and instincts.

    I see quite a bit more.  And, Jeter will not be fully appreciated until his retirement and the subsequent revolving door of shortstops who will attempt to replace him.

    His weakness is and always has been balls hit to his left. It is not speed; he just has never read the ball well to that side and consequently gets inadequate jumps. He has also lost a step to his right over the years, but that used to be a strength as well. 

    He never had good range, and not he "lost a step"... hmmm....
    Posted by moonslav59

    Well, I have previously commented regarding Jeter's ability to field in movements north and south.  And, there are more than enough highlights of him making great plays to his right.  And, at 38, he has lost a step or more to his right.  Again, Jeter has always had a GLARING weakness defensively, and that is going to his left or toward second base.  And, unfortunately, that is a significant part of the game in fielding his position.   

    He makes the highlights because he plays for the Yanks and they win.

    Or, if he does not make the play, he would not make the highlights.

    The Sox won with Lugo.
    I'm not the only one who thinks Jeter is a horrible fielder. Some are just as trusted as the gerbil. I trust you have seen 7 to 8 times the amount of Yankee games as I, but I ahve watched about 250 Yankee games vs the Sox and quite a few more vs other teams. I am not basing my opinion on just 5 or 6 stats and metrics. 

    You quote Bill James, but did you know that him and 9 other members on the Fielding Bible's panel failed to pick Jeter in their top 10 SSs last year or 2010 ( Jeter got 3 poior 2009. He did place 17th in 2008, 14th in 2007, and 18th in 2006, so maybe he was close to average at one point in his career. He's not even close now. Comining in and going out well on balls do effect RF/9 and UZR, I guess just not enough to move him out of the bottom few slots.

    I am also old enough to recall that Bill James's Fielding Bible once rated Don Mattingly as a below average defender.  James took so much flack, it forced him to review miles and miles of video tape.  What he saw with his own eyes, just did not jive with his data.  The result - he revised his own algorithm.

    There are too many instances in which UZR, though helpful, is troublesome player to player and year to year.  While I need no convincing that Derek Jeter is not the fielder he once was, he is hardly the liability that you make him out to be.
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    This may win the prize for the most colorful thread...Tongue Out
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    In Response to Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released:
    [QUOTE]This may win the prize for the most colorful thread...
    Posted by Pass-the-hubris-please[/QUOTE]

    Either that or I am having a serious 70's flashback.
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    I am glad ESPN has the sox 6th because they are never right. They just make stuff up to create a phoney story. Is Favre coming back - ESPN thinks so.
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    PTHP, not just the most colorful but comes quite close to the longest post as well! Must say I got lost halfway through it.
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    In response to "Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released": [QUOTE]PTHP, not just the most colorful but comes quite close to the longest post as well! Must say I got lost halfway through it. Posted by RS75[/QUOTE] Well, bravo for making it that far! Thanks for reading.
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    In response to "Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released": [QUOTE]In Response to Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released : Either that or I am having a serious 70's flashback. Posted by jesseyeric[/QUOTE] Somewhere, Aldous Huxley applauds and toasts you with mescaline!
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    Is there any reason for the six fifferent colors in that thread. Is it a script for a cast of characters for a Shakepearian stage play?

     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    (latest response in green)

    There are also strengths. Reducing the level for establishing legitimate concerns/question marks to simultaneously include players occupying positions of strength is, in and of itself, contradictory and, as such, meaningless for the sake of comparison. 

    Of course the Yanks have plenty of strengths. 

    You've missed the point.  The fact that it is the Yankees, for the purpose of understanding in this case, is incidental.  Do you not recognize the contradition identified in the paragraph above?

    No, there is no contraditiction. Everything is not black and white. Some people can look at things from more than one angle. Obviously, you are not one of them.

    Rather than considering the initial paragraph, you resort to attacking the writer.  The well-worn logical fallacy  - ad hominem.  And, thank you for the inspirational and original platitude "everything is not black and white."

    I did consider the first paragragh by saying you are looking at this in just black and white terms which is a limited viewpoint.

    You keep pretending I picked them to finish behind the Sox. 

    I pretend nothing, and I have made no such claim.  I simply noted a false dicotomy with respect to your reasoning in this particular instance.  

    It's Ok to project a team with many questions or concerns to have the best record. It's not a false dicotomy. I never even said the Yanks had more major questions. I just pointed out 10 concerns (some could have been minor, moderate or major). 

    And, as I assert, some listed not concerns at all, or so minor as to be insignificant.  That is the point I continue to repeat - if everyone is a question mark, then the act of comparison is diluted to a degree to which it lacks substance.  

    I'm Ok with you disagreeing, but I don't agree that my questions raised are too insignificant to mention. Robertson, for example, had combined 3 seasons with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He had a great 2011 season and likely will have a good season in 2012, but I certainly see a very significant chance of some regression. You probably don't. Fine with me, but I disagree that the degree lacks substance, and I did not mention 25 question marks. There are plenty of Yanks that I project will not decline, and listing them all as questions would have been frivolous. I feel the ones I listed were not frivolous, but I do recognize that some are bigger concerns than others and some are debateable.

    The Yanks have many questions. I feel they have about the same amount as us and pretty close to the same level of concern. They have a few more near sure bets than us. I didn't mention that when I posted my list, because I was addressing only the issue of concerns at that time. 

    Here beats again the heart of my questioning to you:  can a "sure bet" simultaneously be considered a "question mark for concern"?  If so, then I submit that the broad sweep in definition of what is and is not a concern lacks any real value for debate.   

    I don't recall saying someone was a "sure bet" and a big "question mark" at the same time. I would bet that Robertson has a good season, but I still think there's a good chance his 2012 season is worse to some degree than 2011... maybe by a lot. I'd consider him a bigger question mark than Mo or CC or some others.

    I projected them with the most wons in the AL. 

    Again, not the point.   

    It's one of my points. Just because you don't think it is related, doesn't mean it isn't.

    And, of course, the obverse:  just because you believe it to be relevant does not make it so.

    OK, only you stand as the final arbiter of relevance.

    I also raised some valid concerns or questions. 

    This is the point of argument.  The aforementioned contradiction in reasoning quite necessarily dismisses any validity for your claims.  Put another way, a pitcher who fashioned an ERA+ of 410 cannot be projected as both a strength and a question mark.  It begs for a more coherent methodology.  That which can be asserted without proof also requires none for refutation, rendering comparision meaningless. 

    You are arguing semantics. We could go on all day. I'll choose to just chalk you up as narrow minded.

    Yes, in that, semantics is the study of meaning in language.  Specifically, in this case, the act and characterization of listing nearly every player/position as a question mark, by definition, renders any semblance of a point meaningless.  And, again, another ad hominem remark.  Do you believe calling me names bolsters your argument?
      
    For example, David Robertson was arguably the best set-up-man in baseball last season. 66.2 innings pitched, 1.08 ERA, only 40 hits, one HR allowed, 100 Ks. Since his debut in the second half of the 2008 season, he has consistently exhibited one of the highest K/9 in baseball. Yet, you listed him as a question mark due to his improvement in WHIP from the previous season, his career high, even though his WHIP was lower in the two seasons prior to that one.  

    If I projected his 2012 season, I would think he'd have a solid one, but the fact that he is 2 years removed from being awful is something to be concerned about. Bard had 3 straight good/great years, and many yank fans consider him a question mark.  

    Once more, if you project Robertson to have a solid year, then he should not also be a question mark.  Hedging your bets by wagering on both sides of an issue is by definition no bet at all.

    This sums up you limited mindset perfectly.

    More ad hominem and fatuous commentary in place of discussion?  

    You seem to not be capable of seeing that someone can project a good season from someone, but still have serious doubts based on very recent performances. Perhaps, I am misjudging you or not getting your point. I apologize if this is true, but I still feel you think everything must be black or white, while I see more gray area.

    Moreover, Robertson has never been awful.  Review his statistics again.  The only blemish -  ERA his rookie season; however, if you take the time to consider his game logs, you will find that he pitched in only 25 ball games for a total of 30.1 innings that season, of which he had only one awful outing against Baltimore, giving up 5 runs in 1/3 of an inning.  He did his job in 20 of his 25 appearances.

    Using ERA to evaluate a relief pitcher agains shows your tunnel vision. 

    And, more personal attacks.  I did not use ERA as a treatise or evaluation, merely as an example of its inflation due to his small sample size of 30.1 innings.  Must I really explain that point? 

    Yes, please do. I was basing my position that Robertson is a significant question on 135.1 IP from 2008 to 2010 where even his 3.99 ERA is not good.  All pitchers, especially relief pitchers with smaller sample sizes can greatly improve their numbers by taking away their worst 1 or 2 appearances. The fact remains, Robertson's 2008-2010 numbers (based on 135.1 IP) show an extremely high BB/9 rate. That is enough for me to question his 2012 projections. If it is not for you, OK, but you are acting like I am being unreasonable of just listing players willy nilly.

    WHIP is a much better tool and here is Robertson's first 3 years in the MLB numbers:
    2008: 1.451
    2009: 1.351
    2010: 1.500
    He had a great season last year and I think he is the real deal, but that doesn't mean there is no serious doubt. Anyone who follows baseball closely knows that tha vast majority of relief pitchers have rollercoaster careers. They can look great one year and awful the next. Just because I "project" Robertson will have a good year, does not mean he has to be taken off the concern list. 

    Then, what is the value of the projection?  If the concern is substantive and meaningful, the projection should reflect that, should it not?

    I'd project his 2012 to be much closer to his 2011 number than his 2008-2010 number, but still worse than 2011. By how much? I'd guess maybe around 1.20 or so. What would you project? 1.125 or better based on this career curve?
     
                       1.500
    1.451
             1.351
                                 1.125

    A decline of 0.050 or more, in my book, is significant enought o mention as a concern. I realize he could also go to 1.10 or lower.

    There is a significant chance he reverts back to a 1.40 type WHIP. There's also a chance he has a good year, but still worse than 2011 and perhaps that's enough to make a slight difference to the season outcome. Perhaps mot.

    WHIP can be distorted by small sample sizes in the same manner as ERA.  

    1) It's not that small of a sample size (135.1 IP). His 2011 sample size is actually smaller, and to base a projection on 66.2 IP is actually more speculative than my sample size.
    2) WHIP is not distorted by small sample sizes as much as ERA. A relief pitcher's ERA is greatly effected by how many times he comes in with 1 or 2 outs vs starting an inning with the bases clear and 0 outs. WHIP measures a pitcher's effectiveness at getting batters out or not, which for relief pitchers is very important. I realize that WHIP is flawed as are all stats, but I would bet that most baseball experts view WHIP as a better measurement than ERA for releivers. (I'm sorry for assuming you were saying ERA was more important.)

    To be crudely simplistic, suppose Robertson over the course of 30 appearances has an overall WHIP of 1.50 and ERA of 3.60?
    These are similar numbers to which you defined previously as "awful." 

    30 appearances is a small sample size comapred to 135 that Robertson had from 2008-2010, but 3.60/1.50 is pretty close to awful over a large sample size. I realize that with relief pitchers over a 30 game sample size, these numbers can be highly skewed by one or two bad outtings, and a pitcher could be very effective for 28 out of 30 games and end up with poor numbers. The fact is, Robertson had several games with 2+ hits or BBs in an inning or less. Some, no runs scored (his or inherited). Others, some scored. 
    .
    Do you really have no or only a very small concern for Robertson in 2012? A pitcher with a long history of a poor BB/9 rate? It was even 4.7 last year.

    Consider that Robertson has one bad week, giving up 5 runs (6 hits and 2 BB), 4 runs (3 hits 2 BB), and 3 runs (3 hits 2 BB) in three separate appearances.  His numbers above would not reflect that in 27 appearances he gave up zero earned runs and had a WHIP of 1.00:  Awful or extremely effective 9 out of 10 times?  

    He wasn't extremely effective in 9 of 10 games even in 2011 based on WHIP.  I am not pretending this is the ultimate way to judge a pitcher's perfomance, especially since now we are looking at many tiny sample sizes added together.

    Robertson had 70 appearances and had this record based on WHIP:
    More  BB+H than IP: 26
    Equal BB+H than IP:  10
    Less BB+H than IP:  34

    Furthermore, since being called up, no other reliever in baseball has entered more games with the bases loaded and no outs than David Robertson, who has struck out 270 batters in 202 innings pitched and has compiled an overall record of 14-6. 

    Now, you are using W-L record by a relief pitcher to make a point? I could rest my case right here, but here's a cherry=picked stat for you to ponder:

    No, you could not "rest [your] case right here," as you have stated nothing yet regarding the last paragraph.  Again, a gross exaggeration in place of reasoning.

    You brought up his 14-6 record as a relief pitcher not me. Many wins by a relief pitcher are gained by allowing the tying run to score and then havint the team win it for him.
    Robertson had 4 wins in 2011. 
    One was based on 0.2 IP 0-0-0 (H-ER-BB), but there were bases loaded when he came in.
    One was a blown save (1 IP 2H 1 ER 1BB)
    2010:
    4 wins based on 1 IP of scoreless pitching (all 4 games had no inherited runners).
    2009:
    2 wins based on 0.1 IP (0-0-0)
    2008:
    1 win based on 1 IP (1-0-1)
    1 win on 0.1 IP (0-0-0)

    In 2010 he let of 10 of 33 inherited runs to score, and had at least 19 bad appearances out of 64...not counting games where he walked and let up multiple hits but no runs were scored.

    In 50 of those 64 appearances, Robertson gave up zero earned runs.  In 4 of his worst appearances that season, which totaled 2 innings, he gave up 12 runs and 13 hits.  In other words, that equated to 46% of the runs he allowed all season long, and nearly 19% of the total baserunners he allowed all season.

    Moreover, as a crude example, if there are runners on second and third with zero outs, a pitcher can retire all three men faced and still give up both runs on many combinations of a fly out and a ground out.  But, then, if that pitcher entered with a three run lead, the job has been done.  

    The bottom line is that in those 64 appearances the Yankees record was 42-22, and Robertson had 4 wins, 14 holds, 1 save, and finished 10 games.  For the entire season, in which he was "awful" he blew only 3 leads.  If you review his splits that season, you will clearly see that he had a wonderful second half, and as I pointed out earlier 4 terrible outings skewed both his ERA and WHIP overall.

    Yes, he had a very good second half, so theat gives him 1 1/2 seasons of good pitching after 2 1/2 of pretty bad pitching. His WHIP in the second half of 2010 was a good but not great 1.232 as he still walked 16 batter in 31.2 innings.

    My point is that Robertson might not be as good in 2012 as he was in 2011, and that the odds he declines are significant but probably not over 50%. I never said he would have a bad or worse season, but only that there is a significant chance.

    Are you saying the chances of him having a season closer to 2010 than 2011 is so remote, the concern is so limited, that nobody who thinks he's a good pitcher can have serious doubts?

    The use of "nobody" again exemplifies the type of exaggeration which foils the chance for a meaningful discussion, as well as name-calling and ad hominem remarks.  Again, to reiterate, I have argued that Robertson is a strength and not a questionmark.  The careful review of his games logs should indicate that he has never had a truly "awful" season, to which you maintain warrants a necessary and evident concern.  I refute that claim without avarice or personal attacks.

    It was not an ad hom attack to say what I said here. I guess we just disagree that someone can be a projected strength but also a question mark. Yes, to some extent everyone is a question mark, but I found 10 yankee question marks that I felt were significant enought o mention. You disagree. OK. I ahppen to think Youk is a "strength", but is also a huge question mark due to health issues and fielding problems. I think Bard is a fantastic pitcher with game logs that top Robertson's over the last 4 years, but as a starter or closer, he's a huge question mark. Papi improved last year, but is a significant question mark. 

    I think we may just be arguing semantics. You think being a question marks precludes one from being a perceived strength. I don't.

    Robertson has very good numbers in clutch situations over his whole career. I wish he was on our side, but he's still a question mark.

    Indeed, he would likely be the Red Sox closer, which begs the question for a mark of concern.

    As for Daniel Bard, he is only a question mark as a ML starter, not a set-up man; however, he does have a poor career record of 5-13 and has been dismal in save situations, blowing a horrendous 15 saves in 20 opportunities.  Still, he is one of the best set up men in the game today.

    His starter and closer numbers are based on extremely small sample sizes. That being said, Bard as a starter is a huge concern. 

    Besides, aren't you now "missing the point"? I never said Bard was not a question mark, in fact, I think he is a huge Q-mark as a starter. I was bringing his name up because I have heard many Yankee fans bashing him, and I used him as a reference to why Robertson could be considered a Q-mark as well.

    What is the point that I am missing?  I did not write or take exception to anything you stated with regard to Daniel Bard.  I merely addded my own thoughts following your mention of him.

    I was refelcting your methodology of criticizing me for bringing up points to back up my position and you saying "I never said this or that". I guess it's Ok for you to do it, but when someone returns the favor, it is not appropriate.

    Concomitantly, you assert question marks for players who showed a statistical decline. Therefore, both an improvement and a decline are evidence to you indicating a concern or question mark. Hmmm? 

    I wouldn't label Robertson a major concern, and they have Soriano as well, so the pen is not an issue like it is for the Sox.  Even if Mo declines, the yanks should be OK there. 

    If the Yankee bullpen will be ok, then there goes your argument for David Robertson, Mariano Rivera, and the back of the bullpen as concerns/questionmarks.  Especially, considering Joba Chamberlain, Pedro Feliciano, and David Aardsma are all on the DL and may not pitch this season.

    You continue to misunderstand and misrepresent my position. I do think the Ynaks pen will be OK, and I think the Yanks will do well this year, but my point was that they have enough significant concerns to put serious doubt that my projection will come true. After all, I was wrong on the Sox last year due mainly to us getting over 80 starts by back-up or injured pitchers. With the age and decline of several key Yankees, I think I am being reasonable in saying I think they will win the division, but have so many concerns as to cast serious doubt on that projection.

    I did not intend to misrepresent you.  I merely disagreed and pointed out contradiction and sweeping generalization in reasoning, which is illustrated by your listing of question marks for nearly every Yankee player and position except for Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia, to which I have remarked several times previously.

    How is mentioning 10 players out of 25+ nearly everyone ecept cano and CC? This is another example of misrepresenting my position. I didn't even mention Pettitte. Mo at his age. I linked Sorianno, Robertson and Logan together, but failed to specify that I felt that there's a good chance one of the 3 does not have a good season in 2012, not all 3. Even though Sorianno is coming off an injury, I think he is not a significant question mark. (Sorry for any misunderstanding there).

    The Yankees' age of its players is not as significant an issue to me as the strength of the competition of the American League East and teams such as Anaheim, Detroit, and Texas.  The Yankees are a solid team defensively, have pitching depth in rotation and the bullpen, they can steal bases, and they have power.  Hitting with runners in scoring position and drawing enough base on balls is my major concern.  

    Point well taken. I agree. The Yanks have many weapons and on paper are right at or near the top. I happen to think that the ages of several key players point to further or intitial declines by some of them. I will point out that I have said this for 2 years, and it hasn't amounted to much so far. I, am not pretending to be an expert, but I do follow baseball very closely and feel my opinion is not unreasonable.

    As for the proposition that decline is inevitable - for example - Mariano Rivera's demise has been predicted every year for the last seven years.  

    Mo is the clear exception to the rule. ARod and Jeter are not. Tex seems to be prematurely declining based on his age, so his decline could halt or he could easily improve over 2011 as well, but he still remains a significant question mark in my eyes. Kuroda is largely unknown to me, but I was against the Sox signing him at that money.

     To make another point, consider Robinson Cano - depending upon which array utilized by which company of leading sabermatricians, Cano was defensively one of the best second baseman in all of baseball. Yet, a competing company ranked him as one of the worst defensive second basemen last season. Still, a third company ranked Cano in the middle of the pack. Defensive metrics are dubious at best. Even year to year, the same player can rate near the top and then near the very bottom.  Cano is awesome. He is not a question mark. Derek Jeter's dWAR was minus or - 1.3 last season. Not very good. But, his dWAR was an identical -1.3 in 1997 as well. Jeter hit .297 last season. Not shabby. He also hit .327 after the all-star break. His overall OBP was .355. Robinson Cano's was .349. Perhaps, you should have included Cano as a question mark too? 

    See above. Look, Jeter had worse numbers than many SSs last year and is a year older. He is certainly a question mark and is one of the worst fielders in MLB right now. His range is pathetic. We can agree to disagree, but if you really think I am all wet to call him a question mark, you are not being objective. 

    I have clearly, in writing, identified Jeter's defensive shortcomings, but I have also pointed out his defensive strengths as well. How is that not being objective?  Rather, you call him "horrific" and "pathetic" and "whoop-de-doo" and resort to name calling in the guise of a coherent, reasonable argument?  Come on, now. 

    I feel Jeter's shortcoming way outweigh his few strengths. 

    Maybe my condecending statements have been more blatant than yours, but don't kid yourself. You have done the same to me.

    Jeter's second half numbers: .327/.383/.428/.811 

    Jeter's first half numbers: .270/.330/.353/.683 

    When many fans were burying Jeter last season, including most Yankee fans, I posted here several times that his struggles were a matter of mechanics and not a sudden and precipitous drop in athleticism or bat speed.  Moreover, I predicted that Jeter would take off following his 3000th hit and would hit .300.  Well, if not for getting hit in the hand and wrist, he damn near made it.  I believe Jeter will hit .300 this season as well.   

    You could be right, but I'll trust the time tested S-curve projection methodology and project he will do worse than 2011 as a whole.

    I woud be more than happy to put $1000 on the line.  How about you?

    I'm not a betting man (anymore), but the fact that jter has been below his career norm in 3 of the last 4 years is enough for me to believe he is not Mo Rivera. Let me put it this way, would you consider a player having a 40% chance of declining in the following season a "question mark"?

    Here's Jeter's graph on OBP since age 32 (the typical age associated with end of prime):

    .417              .406
           .388
                  .363               .355
                                 .340

    Slg%:
     
    .483
           .452        .465
                  .408
                                           .388 
                                   .370

    Jeter's 2009 upswing may show he can defy steady decline. I think his 2010 season was somewhat of an abnomality in that he declined too sharply for the normal S-Curve projection.
    Going by normal S-Curve projections (and I am not an expert here), I think one might have expected these numbers since 2006 (OPS):
    .900> .870> .840> .810> .780> .750> .720
    actual:
    .900> .840> .771> .871> .710> .743> ???
    I would project he will be lower than .743. 

    My guess is he comes out somewhere in the middle and coupled with his horrific fielding, he's overall bottom tier now. I could be wrong. The guy has heart and pride. 

    I have watched either live or on tape nearly every MLB game Derek Jeter has played since getting his first cup of coffee at the end of the 1995 regular season - and that is no exaggeration.  No major league team could afford to field a "horrific" defensive shortstop, much less the New York Yankees, a team that has missed the playoffs only once since Derek Jeter put on Pinstripes.  Your position is sheer hyperbole.  

    I guess that shows what a homer you are, because he is and has been one of baseballs worst fielders for several years now.

    More name calling.  Enlightening.

    "Enlightening". Very creative.

    Don Zimmer, who has seen major league shortstops for the better part of sixty years, has stated on numerous occasions that Jeter is the best he has ever seen at coming in on ground balls and going back on fly balls.  Not adequate, not serviceable, not very good...but the best at moving north and south in fielding a batted ball.  Another opinion supporting that view is none other than Cal Ripkin. I will trust my eyes and playing/coaching experience in watching Derek Jeter play nearly every single inning of his career and the opinions of Zim and Ripkin - among others - rather than your exaggeration and the dubious outcomes offered by current defensive metrics.  Even the father of sabrematricians, Bill James, has issued caution regarding the numinous nature of defensive statistics, and specifically, more or less abandoning range factor nearly ten years ago.

    So, now you want to trust certain companies and pioneers of metrics when they suit your purpose.

    Where did I state that I trusted any defensive metrics or sabremetric entities?  I have said expressly the opposite.  I merely pointed out that even Bill James has cooled over time regarding metrics he once hailed.  That fact only provides credence to my assertion.  

    You mentioned Bill James, the guy that has never put Jeter in his top 10 fielding SS since he became part of the "Fielding Bible" panel in 2006. I just founf it interesting and enlightening.

    I quite enjoy the massive amounts of data and information available today and reading the Fielding Bible and as well as other such compendiums; however, the fact that I enjoy the information does not bind me into blindly accepting the methodological shortcomings or the somewhat dubious qualification/interpretation of defensive statistics, which are difficult to quantify by the very nature of the endeavor.

    So, you aren't now implying that I am "blindly" accepting the methodologies? You don't see your subtle ad hom attacks? It's OK for you but not me. I get it now.

    Jeter's career OBP is .383. His worst season was .340 in 2010. For comparison, Carl Crawford's career OBP is  .333 with a single season high of .364. 

    Did I ever defend CC? I called him a glorified platoon player whose contract will cripple us for 7 years. Using a 38 year old's career numbers to try and impress me is not going to work. 

    I never stated that you did.  Rather, I used a corner outfielder's career numbers in comparison to a shortstop's worst year for OBP to illustrate just how high Derek Jeter has set his own standards.  And, Carl Crawford is a four time all-star; he just may not be in the white-hot spotlight that is Boston and New York.  Platoon players do not garner 20 million dollar contracts.  Again, hyperbole on your part. And, if you are not impressed with Derek Jeter's career numbers, then I am beginning to question your sanity.  How many shortstops has Boston had since 1996?

    You talk about me getting off the point.

    I never said Jeter was a horrible hitter. I said he was and still is in decline. Decline from being one of the best does not mean he is bad now. My point is that several key Yankee players should or could easily continue to decline this year, and that all put together could spell a significant offensive decline from last year...still a very good offense, but just not as good as 2011. 

    You could be correct, especially if the team collectively does not improve its ability to hit with runners in scoring position.

    Hitting with runners in scoring position is highly unpredictable and unprojectionable by player or team.  The Sox struggled mightily last September in this area, and I found it funny that several Sox fans thought we needed to try and improve in this area. Well, how does a GM improve this area? It's a crahpshoot. 

    It may just come down to who does better in this area, but there is no way I am going to venture a projection on these numbers. It's one major reason that the "best team" in baseball doesn't alwasy win.

    I've listened to those who argue that Derek Jeter is the worst defensive shortstop in baseball history (Rob Neyer). As a former player and coach, I maintain that Jeter was and is still sure handed, has a strong arm, is lanky and athletic at 6'3", comes in on slow rollers marvelously, throws off balance accurately, handles bad throws from catcher to outfielders as well as anyone, makes incredibly difficult tags around the bag, feeds the ball to second effortlessly, goes backwards on fly balls as well as anyone, and most importantly with the game on the line, no one is holding their breath when a grounder is hit in his direction. He consistently makes big plays in big moments and does not botch anything routine. And, he is death to base runners in a rundown or pickle. 

    He's great at relay throws....whoop-dee- doo! 

    Is that really all you have taken from what I have written?  Thank you for the insightful response.

    Yes, right now, that is the only good part I see in Jeter's defense.... his arm and instincts.

    I see quite a bit more.  And, Jeter will not be fully appreciated until his retirement and the subsequent revolving door of shortstops who will attempt to replace him.

    Jeter is also a leader. He hustles and leads by example. I just think his fielding has never been better than average and recently has been bottom 5 out of 30. I wouldn't argue with anyone saying he was number 29 or 30 the last 2 years.

    His weakness is and always has been balls hit to his left. It is not speed; he just has never read the ball well to that side and consequently gets inadequate jumps. He has also lost a step to his right over the years, but that used to be a strength as well. 

    He never had good range, and not he "lost a step"... hmmm....
    Posted by moonslav59

    Well, I have previously commented regarding Jeter's ability to field in movements north and south.  And, there are more than enough highlights of him making great plays to his right.  And, at 38, he has lost a step or more to his right.  Again, Jeter has always had a GLARING weakness defensively, and that is going to his left or toward second base.  And, unfortunately, that is a significant part of the game in fielding his position.   

    He makes the highlights because he plays for the Yanks and they win.

    Or, if he does not make the play, he would not make the highlights.

    ESPN does not show 50 highlights a night. They choose the ones they show based on the flash and what team it is. They also are sometimes limited by east coast highlights due to games still in progress on the west coast. All SSs make plays that look great: even the bad ones. Some make routine plays look great by initially making a slow or faulty break on the ball. Others like Nomar made ridiculous running and jumping-twisting throws from the hole that looked like great plays and made the highlight reels, but we just routine plays from the whole by more skilled SSs who merely got the ball, planted and made a simple play.

    The Sox won with Lugo.
    I'm not the only one who thinks Jeter is a horrible fielder. Some are just as trusted as the gerbil. I trust you have seen 7 to 8 times the amount of Yankee games as I, but I ahve watched about 250 Yankee games vs the Sox and quite a few more vs other teams. I am not basing my opinion on just 5 or 6 stats and metrics. 

    You quote Bill James, but did you know that him and 9 other members on the Fielding Bible's panel failed to pick Jeter in their top 10 SSs last year or 2010 ( Jeter got 3 poior 2009. He did place 17th in 2008, 14th in 2007, and 18th in 2006, so maybe he was close to average at one point in his career. He's not even close now. Comining in and going out well on balls do effect RF/9 and UZR, I guess just not enough to move him out of the bottom few slots.

    I am also old enough to recall that Bill James's Fielding Bible once rated Don Mattingly as a below average defender.  James took so much flack, it forced him to review miles and miles of video tape.  What he saw with his own eyes, just did not jive with his data.  The result - he revised his own algorithm.

    There are too many instances in which UZR, though helpful, is troublesome player to player and year to year.  While I need no convincing that Derek Jeter is not the fielder he once was, he is hardly the liability that you make him out to be.

    That's as much an opinion as mine. I did not base my opinion on UZR alone. I did not base my opinion on RF/9 alone. I did not base my opinion on the Fielding Bible alone. I did not base my opinion on articles I have read on this matter alone. I did not base my opinion on any one metric, stat or person's opinion. I did not even base my opinion on just watching over 300 Yankee games since jeter began playing SS.  I based it on all of these together. You based yours seemingly on just your own observations, some Yankee coaches statements, and some misguided Glold Glove Award voters who vote on notariety and highlight reels and not the facts.. There is no statistical evidence to back up your claim. That doesn't mean I am right and you are wrong, but I think my position is at least reasonable and not some "blind" stab at something.
     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

    In Response to Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released:
    [QUOTE]In response to "Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released": Somewhere, Aldous Huxley applauds and toasts you with mescaline!
    Posted by Pass-the-hubris-please[/QUOTE]

    L O L !

     
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    Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released

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    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: ESPN Power Rankings Released : L O L !
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    Ha!! I missed the mescaline aftermath of my "Nietzsche is Peachy" takeoff...Nice work, hube and moon....And we actually should have a yearly award for Most Psychedelic Poster, administered, of course, by that cheap and tricky poster, Mr. Jessey Eric...Come to think of it, so cheap and tricky he would probably give the award to himself.....
     

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