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August 02, 2006



The video of the bird is, of course, on YouTube- I was disappointed that Remy didn't mention "crow-hop steps".

Boston Fan in Michigan

Someone should have helped it! IT WAS VERY DISTRESSING.

And why does everyone keep calling it a black bird? Does no one recognize a grackle anymore?


dude, how did i know that you were going to post a comment here being like "well ACTUALLY it's a [Latin name of an obscure bird that looks JUST LIKE A CROW but has like one blue feather on its butt]" when i wrote 'crow'? :-)

i agree that someone should've helped it off the field. but i don't know that there was anyone authorized to go on the field who is skilled at picking up wild birds, and the thing needed to be picked up as it appears it couldn't fly.

i hope they didn't just leave it there after the game was over. that would be terrible.

tom yf

Hey beth. The answer to your question about the Pythagorian wins is "sort of". Pythagorian wins, or at least the most simple invocation of it, is calculated using a team's runs scored and runs yielded, which can obviously only be counted after the games have been played.

Then again, Bill James has a "runs created" stat, with which I'm not entirely familiar, but if it's what it sounds like (I think it indicates how many runs a player is worth counting both offense and defense, over a whole season), perhaps you could project out the runs created for the new Yankee players over the rest of the season in addition to what they've been doing, project the runs given up by Lidle in the rotation and the new bullpen, and then use those projected runs scored and yielded to calculate a strange, bastard, projected Pythagorian record. For the Sox, since they haven't made really impact changes, you can probably assume they'll have about the same winning percentage through out the whole 162 games (though with Varitek and Nixon to miss significant time, that might be optimistic).

I've read that Abreu and Lidle should be worth about four wins total over the rest of the season.

Drew Landry

In response to your question about the impact of the Yankee's trade, I offer the following. As a rule of thumb, a team will improve their number of wins by one win for every 10 runs by which they increase their net run differential (i.e., runs scored minus runs allowed). This can be demonstrated by changing the runs or runs allowed in a pythagorian W/L calculation for any team.

Over the remainder of the season, Lidle figures to have an ERA of 5.00 to 5.50 and figures to pitch 12 starts, 6 innings per start. 6 times 12 equals 72 innings, or 8 full games. Chacon's ERA was 7.00. Small had some starts and he was even worse. Lidle will also replace some of the other starters' innings, but they (and the bullpen) may benefit from getting more rest. I would therefore calculate Lidle's net value using the difference between Chacon's actual) ERA and Lidle's projected ERA times Lidle's anticipate starts = 7.00 minus 5.00 to 5.50 times 8 games (72 innings) = 12 to 16 runs.

Abreu figures to replace principally Andy Phillips, Bernie Williams and Miguel Cabrera. I would project 200 AB for the remainder of the season for Abreu. At his career OBP and SLG of .412 and .506, his Runs Created would project at around 41.7. At his 2006 BP and SLG of .425 and .430, his Runs Created would project at around 36.6. At their 2006 OBP and SLG, Phillips, Williams and Cabrerra would project to generate 22.2, 28.2 and 26.9 Runs Created, respectively, over the same 200 AB. Obviously, Matsui and Sheffield may return. At their 2006 OBP and SLG, Matsui and Sheffield would project to generate 32.1 and 33.4 Runs Created, respectively, over the same 200 AB. Only when the second of these returns to action would these numbers matter. Assuming Abreu replaces Phillips, Williams and Cabrera only, he would add 8 to 19 Runs Created for the remainder of the season.

If Abreu replaces Phillips in the lineup full time, as he did on August 1, Giambi would play substantially more first base. This would be a major defensive liability, arguably outweighing the incremental offensive production from Abreu. The best players to replace would therefore be Cabrera and Williams. It is likely that Abreu would be a defensive improvement over either of these. Rather than quantify the incremental defensive contribution, to capture this I would put Abreu's incremental contribution at the high end of his offensive difference over Williams or Cabrera, which would be 41.7 Runs Creates minus Cabrera's 26.9, or 15 runs.

I would therefore estimate that the value of the trade to the Yankees will be an increase in net run differential of 27 to 31 runs, which should translate into approximately 2 to 3 wins over the remainder of the season.


and this, drew, (because i'm assuming you're the same drew that writes dewey's house) is why guys like you, joy of sox, and jay jaffe get the big money. because while i can comprehend what you just wrote, and at least estimate that the wins lost by the absence of varitek and nixon in the lineup is about the same number if not more, and that therefore it is empirically provable that we are pretty much fucked, it has given me a major ice cream headache.

but because i am a masochist, i press on, because from time to time i do have a question like this and would like to be able to do at least some of the calculations myself someday. what resources are you using as far as the runs created stats you plugged in above? BP? Rotoworld? something else?

and what about the secondary BA vs OBP part? it's described in mnookin's book but i wasn't clear on it no matter how many times i re-read the graf last night.

Drew Landry

Tom yf - The four win improvement estimate must assume that Abreu regains his power and a generous assumption about his incremental defensive contribution in right field. My analysis assumes the former as a proxy for the latter. I think he really may have seen a permanent dip in his power, as his 2006 OPS is pretty much the same as his 2005 (and 2003). His defense, though is probably worth a net 5+ runs over the remainder of the season as compared to Bernie Williams in right.


and tom, i know i've been a pain in your ass about this before, but why in the effing hell do you not have your own blog at this point? seriously. you know the SABR shit, you have a sense of humor, i'm a sox fan and find you likable anyway...how can you go wrong?

Drew Landry

beth - no I am not Dewey, just a lurker up until now.

Sorry, I can't help with what secondary average means, as I have not focussed on it previously.

My Runs Created calculation above is the simplest form of the stat, which can be stated as OBP times SLG times AB. Really simple.

Pyth Winning Percentage = Runs squared divided by the sum of Runs squared plus Runs Allowed squared. Multiply the resulting percentage times the number of games, and you get the number of wins.

With respect to Nixon and Tek, I offer the following. I actually do not believe the loss of Nixon will hurt the team as Pena's career OPS (.798) is only slightly below Nixon's 2006 number (.822), which projects as a loss of about 3 runs in production. I also don't see a major difference in defense between the 2.

You will note that Tek has not been having a particularly good year at the plate. If Ken Huckaby can match his own career OBP and SLG of .256 and .282 (which are pathetic) and he replaces all of Tek's at bats, this would represent a loss of about 10 runs of production for the remainder of the season assuming Tek's production remained constant at 2006 levels. Between this loss of production and Pena's, this will cost the Sox ONE win over the remainder of the season, assuming the Sox make no moves and that Nixon and Tek never return.

Obviously Tek also contributes by managing the pitching staff and by his ability to throw out runners. I note that he will be available to work with the other catchers on pre-game strategy and even between innings. Don't have any info on Huckaby versus base runners. However, I'll bet the Sox will shortly make a move for someone who can handle the runners and with better production than Huckaby. I note that Chris Widger of the Chisox and Kelly Stinnett of the Yanquis have recently been released. Either would be a modest offensive improvement over Huckaby and would provide additional depth at no cost.

tom yf

hey drew, the four win improvement counted the addition of both abreu and lidle (two each). i'll try to find where i read that, but i think it was bp.

beth, i appreciate your kind words and encouragement, and you must know the feeling is mutual since i've been coming here for...is it years, at this point?

anyway, with grad school ending for me this semester (fuck yes, posada just homered!), i will have a lot more free time. i would love to have a blog, but the pool of good yankees blogs is quite deep, and i'm too narcissistic to start one unless i'm sure i have the time to make it one of the better ones. :-) if i could be the yankees analog of cursed to first--updated often, well written, appropriately acidic, and at times, as biased as any good fan should be--i would consider that a monumental success.


aww, tom, let's hug. :-)

see, folks? cats and dogs, living together. yf and sf in sweet harmony...

till the next time a-rod comes up again, that is. ;-)

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