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October 10, 2005

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tom yf

Yeah, it sucks. Then again, if the Sox had ponied up, maybe they wouldn't have gotten the broom? Unlike their series, the better team lost here.

Iain

I'd really like to know on what the 'better team' comment is based? Would it be on the regular-season record, or are we counting intangibles as well?

Kristen

I find it hilarious that among the pitchers still playing baseball, you'll find Contreras, El Duque, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. Yes, that certainly seems worth paying another $100 million for.

"Better team," eh? Can you buy that kind of disillusionment or are you born with it?

Amy

Wha-wha-wha-WHAAAAAAh.
If there is any joy for Boston in the postseason, it is today. And I do agree... SCHAAADENFREUDE!

tom yf

Better is based on statistical analyses. Write me a letter from the dark ages.

beth

oh? what are the statistical analyses showing the yankees had better pitching in this series? from what i saw, the yankees' starting pitching was exposed and the angels' was stellar.

honestly, i don't know why you've picked this fight, but now that you have, what's your source?

tom yf

First of all, I didn't pick a fight, I made an observation. The fight was initiated by your cabal of sycophantic lackeys.

Secondly, it was the Yankees bullpen that was exposed, but their starting pitching was fine (with the exception of Johnson).

Yankees 2005 line: .291/.376/.485
Angels 2005 line: .284/.338/.423

The Yankees and Angels had the same team records, but look at the difference in their schedules; the Yankees had it much tougher.

Anyway, we could get into the pitching and defensive rates, but suffice it to say that the Angels are a very good run-preventing team, but not good enough to overcome their offensive inefficiency over the long term. They got extremely lucky during the season, and in the series (with the Yankees' underperformance, their own batting average on balls put into play, batting average with runners in scoring position, and on calls from the umps), and I don't begrudge them that, it's what happens in the post season. They won it, good for them.

So those are my sources, the numbers, as opposed to the spectrum of emotions that well up when rays of moonlight glance of the grass and illuminate Bill Mueller's crotch at Fenway.

beth

i know you're pissed about the yankees losing, but there's no reason whatsoever for you to be taking this tone with me right now at all. i have enough respect for you from prior discussions to feel that you know that.

as for my "cabal of sycophantic lackeys" which those of us NOT throwing tantrums like six year old boys call "other readers with differing opinions", they're just as entitled to their opinions as you are.

if you were actually interested in a productive discussion, tom, we could talk about it some more, and maybe we will another time. but for right now, find someplace else to take out your frustrations.

tom yf

Didn't think my tone was so bad...people are certainly entitled to have their opinions, I happen to think this isn't a matter of opinion, and is easily settled by a peak at the numbers. And I'm actually not all that frustrated. Had the Yankees been "successful", I fear the front office would have turned a blind eye to the grevious mistakes of last offseason. Even now I worry that they might think the moves they made were somehow less than horrible.

As I've said elsewhere: I fear there are dark days ahead, days of reaping what we have sewn in the last five years. It will be difficult to keep pace with the rise of the Indians, A's, Angels, Devil Rays, and yes, the Red Sox.

This was our last year to get this done for a while, and in a field of eminently beatable teams, we lost in the first round to a team we are better than. It is what it is.

Now let's go watch what should be an exciting ALCS.

Sox Fan in the Heart of the Beast

It's just a silly argument being made by Tom YF. Cherrypicking numbers to support an opinion actually undermines the argument, especially when the numbers are easily accessible to anyone with a computer. I don't think anyone is arguing that the Angels have a powerful offense; it's anemic and normally scores just enough to win. They live on run prevention, consistent starting pitching, and a peerless bullpen. It's not a glamorous, bashing approach like the Sox and Yanks take, but it's pretty obviously a winning approach, at least this year.

Blithely stating that the Yankees' starting pitching was fine in the series is just not supportable -- one start lasted 3 innings and yielded 5 runs; the start in the decisive game lasted 2-2/3 innings and yielded 5 runs. That's 40% of your starts as utter implosions.

And before I get honorary membership in the cabal of sycophantic lackeys, I'll just say this has nothing to do with my unmitigated hatred of the Yankees -- it's about being straightforward when trying to make numbers-based arguments. If you cherrypick some stats that suit your purpose, then ignore the others that blatantly contradict it, you're going to get called out.

The bottom line on the AL East behemoths being toppled in the first round is this: the Sox and Yanks had huge and identical flaws that were apparent to anyone paying attention (inconsistent starting pitching, embarrassingly bad middle relief, and sketchy defense); the White Sox and Angels exposed and exploited each and every one of those flaws. Both the winners deserved their victories.

tom yf

God this is so tiring...

The only thing you got right is that the Angels' offense is anemic. What you call cherry-picking, I call pointing to the three most important offensive stats in baseball.
I like how you refer to "40% of the Yankees starts", as if there were 800 games! 40% is two games! I mentioned Johnson's start, the only implosion, and Moose really only gave up three earned runs, but five were counted on what was OBVIOUSLY a two-run error, and then he was pulled early because it was an elimination game. Another game lost on defense resulted from an A-Rod two-run error, so sue me if I think it's lucky for a team to capitalize like that in a short series on one of the best defensive third baseman in baseball two years running.

The fact that these numbers are easily available by computer is the point I was trying to make, and what was so puzzling about the ridiculous contradictions the initial point met with. I never claimed those numbers were my intellectual property.

What I'm saying is that over a large sample of games the Yankees have a statistical advantage, despite the fact that their pitching and defensive numbers are inferior.

I don't understand why everyone has to feel like they're "calling someone out", I'm not trying to deceive people on a fucking blog, I'm trying make a point I think is true. Count to ten and mull it over a little bit next time you feel like spewing hyperbole and making yourself look dumb on a public forum.

Also, you have to admit cabal of sycophantic lackies is cool turn of phrase, even though it was admittedly rash for me to say it.

beth

//God this is so tiring...//

what's tiring is how rude you're being in your replies to people. i asked you for a source, and you insulted the other readers of my blog, the other commenters, and me.

another person tried to debate the issue with you, and rather than simply restating your case, you come out with this entirely unecessary crap: "Count to ten and mull it over a little bit next time you feel like spewing hyperbole and making yourself look dumb on a public forum."

you act like this is YOUR blog, tom, like people are coming to YOU with this discussion. YOU brought it up, and then act offended when anyone questions you.

if it's that tiresome, stop replying.

tom yf

Beth, I understand where you're coming from, but you have to realize it wasn't people coming at me trying to debate a point, it was dismissive and disrespectful mockery. It's not like the commentors here are a choir of angels (or maybe they are, to my army of Yankees?). I know it's not my blog, but if you as the proprieter of this fine space insist that I take it and can't dish it...well, I'm going to keep dishing it but you're just always going to be mad at me.

If you look at my comment before SF...Beast, I hope you notice a tone of reconciliation.

beth

i do detect the note of reconciliation, and should have acknowledged it. perhaps you have more of a way with the english language than most, tom, but your reply felt much more personal and biting than the last one.

either way, i think we can agree it's tiring. so hopefully, we can move on.

Sox Fan in the Heart of the Beast

Tom YF -- your reply is dripping with condescension. Spare me.

The actual BA/OBP/SLG stats for the Yanks and Angels are:

.276/.355/.451 - Yanks
.270/.325/.409 - Angels

So if you're going to use just those stats, ignoring pitching and defense (which apparently the team is willing to do, so why not its fans?), you're right -- the better team lost.

Arguing solely on your terms, however, you cannot then turn around and say the same is not true for the battle of the Soxes, where the lines look like this:

.280/.356/.453 - Boston
.263/.323/.425 - Chicago

Next, you support your "Lucky Angels" argument by calling Rodriguez "one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball two years running." While his fielding percentage is very high, near the top of 3B, his range factor(3rd worst) and zone rating (2nd worst) actually place him near the bottom. Again, you selectively cite stats that appear to help your argument while ignoring those that clearly contradict it. (Given the fact that you cite BA/OBP/SLG as the 3 most important offensive numbers, I have a hard time believing you don't track the more sophisticated defensive stats as well.) Either way, the Yanks' defense, Rodriguez's included, was terrible and the Angels made them pay.

Finally, "cabal of sychophantic lackeys" is a great turn of phrase, just needlessly insulting and misapplied.

tom yf

Didn't get into the advanced stats because this isn't a saber-oriented site, though I still think those are the three most important offensive numbers. If you want to talk more, just email me.

beth

one last observation: it seems the number of comments are inversely proportional to the length of the posts around here. :-)

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