Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 10/11/13

Heading to Chicago for the final Local H concert in history tonight.  Buddy of mine picked up some tickets for 5 bucks a pop, which gives you an idea of where this event ranks in the world of band breakups.  I'm hoping for at least a 2-hour set and some Old Style at the venue.  Love me some Old Style.  It's one of the sneaky best cheap beers out there and there isn't nearly enough of it around the greater Milwaukee area.  Totally sucks that Anheuser-Busch made the Cubs get rid of it at Wrigley starting next season.  That's downright un-American.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, el duque of It Is High... took a painful, albeit short, trip down Memory Lane to revisit the 5 worst losses of the season.

- On Tuesday, Mike Axisa of RAB examined the Yankees' performance in 1-run games in 2013, and how their record in those games once again greatly outperformed their statistical expectations.

- On Wednesday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog did what the MSM didn't do this week and questioned the validity of Hal Steinbrenner's statements about his team.

- SJK of NoMaas offered up his take on the Hal Steinbrenner media tour, pointing out that Steinbrenners comments don't make it seem like a major rebuild is in the cards.  That could be a bad thing if 189 is the goal.

- On Thursday, Bryan Van Dusen of The Greedy Pinstripes laid out his plan to address the 2014 outfield.  It includes some familiar faces and a new one from my neck of the woods.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud looked at the first batch of big decisions Joe has to make about next year now that he's officially back.

- William Tasker of IIATMS/TYA mused on the inevitable end of Derek Jeter's career, if that might come after the 2014 season, and how that final season could play out if he can't get healthy.

- Michael Burke of Pinstriped Bible advocated for letting Robinson Cano walk this offseason.  I fully understand all the arguments for that course of action, I just don't see any way the Yankees actually do it.

- Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily profiled GCL third baseman Miguel Andujar, one of the farm systems most intriguing young international prospects.

This week's jam is "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel.  If I'm being honest with myself, I'm probably a Peter Gabriel fan.  If I'm not, I'm saying that I love this song and "Solsbury Hill" and living in a world of denial.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

2013 Storylines Review: End Of An Era

(Courtesy of Howard Simmons/NY Daily News)

The Giants have won a few championships recently, and the Cardinals are trying to get another one of their own this postseason.  But the last true baseball dynasty was the 1996-2001 New York Yankees.  Those Yankee teams, driven by an up-the-middle core of homegrown players and a ton of smart acquisitions that fit the team's yearly needs and clubhouse environment, played in 5 of 6 World Series in that span and won 4 of them.  Were it not for that fateful Luis Gonzalez bloop single, it could have been a clean 5-for-5.  Those days are long gone, and while the 2009 championship was fantastic, it's a footnote to the extended era of success the Yankees have had up until 2013, an era defined by those '96-'01 years and the key players involved.

The Core Four lost its first member when Jorge Posada retired after the 2011 season, and it stood to lose at least 1 more after 2013 when Mariano Rivera announced that this season would be his last.  Another connection to that era of dominance was leaving, and the Yankees were drawing closer and closer to the official end of that era.  Between the year-long celebration of Mo, Andy Pettitte's retirement announcement, and the health-related struggles of Derek Jeter, 2013 did indeed end up being the final chapter of the last great Yankee dynasty.

Report: Yanks Expected To Make Push For Tanaka

The anecdotal evidence has been adding up to the Yankees getting back into the international free agent market this offseason, and the latest report on their connections to Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka makes it sound like it won't just be a token effort.

In The Post yesterday, George King reported that multiple sources anticipate the Yankees being "serious players" in the bidding for Tanaka once the process starts.  He won't be eligible to be posted by his NPB team until November 1st at the earliest, but based on the amount of time they spent scouting him this season and the obvious need they have for rotation help, Tanaka would be a great fit.  King's report called the Yankees' interest in Tanaka a "priority" this offseason, something that hasn't been said about the last few big name international FAs.

Also of interest in the story was the high level of praise that Tanaka received from scouts.  Some called him a better prospect than Yu Darvish, something I hadn't read up until today, and said he could be the best pitcher to ever come out of Japan.  That kind of ceiling could drive his price up, and right now the early expectation is that his posting fee could match the $60 million Texas paid for Darvish while his contract could exceed Darvish's 6 years/$51.7 million.  Considering they paid Hiroki Kuroda $15 mil and Andy Pettitte 12 last season, the AAV of the contract shouldn't be a concern for the Yankees.

Friday Morning Food For Thought

(Courtesy of Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday)

Yankee Pitching Staff in the 3 Years Before Larry Rothschild:

2008: 4.28/3.96/4.08, 18.5% K rate, 7.9% BB rate
2009: 4.28/4.32/4.17, 20.2% K rate, 9.2% BB rate
2010: 4.06/4.34/4.15, 18.9% K rate, 8.9% BB rate

Yankee Pitching Staff in the 3 Years Since Larry Rothschild came on board:

2011: 3.73/3.87/3.84, 19.7% K rate, 8.2% BB rate
2012: 3.86/3.98/3.75, 21.7% K rate, 7.1% BB rate
2013: 3.94/3.89/3.76, 20.1% K rate, 7.1% BB rate

I'd say bringing Larry back is the right move.  Cash just needs to get him some pitchers to work with next year.