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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Why Yanks need David Price more than the Red Sox do: Babe Ruth.

Photo of Babe Ruth
Well, not the Babe really, but his ghost or at least his impact on the Yankees: Yankee Stadium.  It was built for him.  You know, with the short right field and the extra large rest.

Should Yanks be playing in a house built for Ruth?  Monday, June 30, 2014

Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees in 1920.  In 1919 Ruth hit 29 home run (HR) in only 432 at bats (AB) to set the season record playing for the Boston Red Sox; Ruth hit 9 HR at home in pre-Ted Williams Fenway Park and 20 on the road...

The conventional wisdom is that Yankee dominance is based on lefty power and to a lesser extent on lefty pitching.  The current Yankee ownership apparently assumed that when they spent a billion dollars to build a new park for the long dead Babe Ruth, one favoring lefty power, even though the vast dimensions in left field had been drastically reduced over the years...

Even non-home run hitters can hit homers more easily, making it more random, which should be a competitive disadvantage to the better team, which the Yankees strive to be...

Yankee management may need to be more careful than ever about getting players who fit their odd park.  Maybe they should have brought back Curtis Granderson.  Maybe there are long term consequences for Masahiro Tanaka, who lost 2-1 to the Red Sox two days ago on two solo homers, the winner a right field short porch special in the ninth inning by righty Mike Napoli.
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Unfortunately, the Steinbrenners did not consider that Ruth was no longer on the 40 man roster when they planned the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.  In the new park, for whatever reason, the short right field distance plays even shorter.  It's pretty ridiculous, actually.

The Yankees take advantage of their home park by continuing to try to stock their lineup with lefty power hitters.  Unfortunately, that currently includes Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury; both outfielders bat lefty but neither hits a lot of homers.

But opposing teams can also take advantage of that short right field.  What's the best way to combat that?  Get pitchers who induce more ground balls and strike outs than fly balls AND get lefty pitchers, southpaws!  Yes, southpaws!

Do the Yankees need a lefty starting pitcher to win it all?  Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Former ace CC Sabathia is the only lefty starter of note...

I checked all 27 seasons in which the Yankees won the championship and 1947 was the the only one without a lefty starter.
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Ironically, 34 year old Sabathia threw the most innings of any Yankee starter in 2015: 167.  Unfortunate, and it pains me to write this, Sabathia abandoned his team at the start of the tournament, an overweight drunk.  It is not reasonable for the Yankees to think that Sabathia can make a substantial contribution to the 2016 Yankees at age 35.

OK, so the Yankees need a lefty starter.  The Yankees also need a top of the rotation starting pitcher.  Masahiro Tanaka has been on the disabled list in each of his two Yankee seasons and his one tournament game was less than inspiring.  I do not think that the Yankees can win with Tanaka as their number one.

So the Yankees need a LEFTY top of the rotation starting pitcher.  There is none available this off season, nor likely to be available in the next better than 30 year old free agent David Price, 2012 American Conference Cy Young award winner.  Because Price was traded during the season, he does not even cost the team that signs him a coveted draft pick.

The Red Sox need a top of the rotation guy even more than the Yankees, who have Tanaka.  However, the Red Sox are much better off if their guy throws righty because they play their home games in Fenway Park.  In the 1950s Yankee manager Casey Stengel would avoid using his Hall of Fame lefty Whitey Ford in Fenway Park.

2009 to 2015, (ERA+>=120 and At least 1200 Innings), sorted by greatest Adjusted ERA+
Rk Player ERA+ IP From To Age G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV H R ER BB SO ERA FIP HR BF IBB HBP BK WP Tm BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ SH SF 2B 3B GDP SB CS PO
1 Clayton Kershaw 162 1503.1 2009 2015 21-27 222 221 21 12 1 109 51 .681 0 1089 423 384 414 1646 2.30 2.52 86 5909 23 26 14 55 LAD .202 .262 .296 .558 59 66 16 213 18 95 53 53 55
2 Felix Hernandez 136 1596.0 2009 2015 23-29 230 230 20 9 0 104 65 .615 0 1356 566 502 414 1549 2.83 2.99 119 6442 3 52 5 97 SEA .230 .284 .336 .620 75 29 38 217 27 147 133 43 6
3 Zack Greinke 134 1436.0 2009 2015 25-31 220 220 11 4 0 108 48 .692 0 1265 510 466 334 1379 2.92 2.95 112 5798 6 31 0 51 KCR-MIL-LAA-LAD .236 .284 .357 .640 78 48 20 250 31 115 50 45 13
4 Johnny Cueto 129 1246.1 2009 2015 23-29 195 195 12 6 0 87 56 .608 0 1090 469 427 342 1013 3.08 3.67 116 5108 14 69 11 17 CIN-KCR .235 .296 .368 .665 83 44 22 225 21 96 18 32 20
5 Justin Verlander 127 1511.1 2009 2015 26-32 221 221 18 5 0 111 63 .638 0 1323 606 551 423 1466 3.28 3.14 127 6185 10 32 11 38 DET .233 .289 .358 .647 75 27 35 267 29 84 96 44 13
6 David Price 125 1427.2 2009 2015 23-29 213 212 14 3 0 104 56 .650 0 1252 547 492 367 1360 3.10 3.19 128 5809 11 34 4 29 TBR-DET-TOR .234 .286 .360 .645 80 22 28 252 20 105 75 44 15
7 Cole Hamels 121 1470.2 2009 2015 25-31 223 222 11 5 0 83 68 .550 0 1321 559 534 371 1404 3.27 3.36 150 6001 25 48 10 29 PHI-TEX .240 .293 .381 .673 86 53 24 283 21 110 142 56 23
8 Jon Lester 120 1446.1 2009 2015 25-31 225 225 10 2 0 100 71 .585 0 1321 608 561 452 1402 3.49 3.35 130 5995 2 47 0 38 BOS-OAK-CHC .243 .305 .375 .680 84 25 31 279 25 134 140 48 17
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/2/2015.

Kershaw, Price, Hamels and Lester are lefties.  Greinke, Cueto and Price are free agents.  Greinke is 32 and will cost a draft pick; neither Cueto or Price will.

Late yesterday afternoon we heard that the Boston Red Sox had done what the New York Yankees should have done about David Price: made him an offer he can't refuse.

Seven years, $217 million.  That's a record for a pitcher.  Price can opt out after three years.

The official announcement is expected Friday in Fenway Park.

Pittsburgh Yankees: Hal Steinbrenner thinks small.  Tuesday, December 1, 2015

chief executive Hal Steinbrenner wanted to draft well and not over spend on free agents.  You know, small market stuff.  Like the Pirates.
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Hal Steinbrenner, grow a pair and sign David Price yourself.  Monday, November 16, 2015

Yankee general manager Brian Cashman put the Yankees in this hole and he cannot be trusted to dig them out...

Yankee signings of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran were mistakes I opposed.  Wednesday, October 7, 2015

... the Yanks were trying to finally get under the salary cap of $189 million.  Those three signings put the Yanks on the cusp and then months later Cashman plunged the Yankees way over by signing Tanaka to be the ace.  Well, now, the Yankees need someone else to be their ace.  Enter 2012 Cy Young award winner David Price ...

(Dave) Dombrowski (as Detroit GM) acquired David Price July 31, 2014, traded Price July 30, 2015 and was fired, largely because of that, August 4, 2015.

Boston scooped him (Dombrowski) up almost immediately and both because of their background and because the Red Sox have as much need for Price as the Yankees I see a bidding war between the Red Sox and Yankees over Price, if only the Yankees can muster the common sense to do it.

I fully expect Dombrowski to go after Price...

But what will the increasingly erratic Cashman do?  His pattern since his ill fated signings two years ago has been to "cleverly" wait until it's too late, then do nothing.

The Yankees have no base on which to build.  Their only chance to be relevant in the next year or two is to add at least one top notch starting pitcher.  Obviously it's much better for the Yankees if that pitcher is left handed.

Signing David Price is imperative for the Yankees and they should be going after him full force immediately.  Brian Cashman will not do that.  Principle owner Hal Steinbrenner must step into the breach and exercise some previously unused leadership.

Hal Steinbrenner needs to grow a pair of balls.

Then for good measure, fire Cashman's ass.
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