Sunday, July 20, 2014

The End Of The AB4AR Era

On August 30th, 2009, I was still a relative newcomer to the midwest.  Bored and missing home on that Sunday afternoon, I made the decision to start my first blog, this blog.  The decision to write about the Yankees was an easy one.  They've always been my favorite team and getting into writing about them would be a great way to stay close to them and follow them without the benefit of the YES Network that I had back in CT.  The writing was admittedly not very good early, more the ramblings of an under-educated baseball fan than true analysis.  But by writing more and by starting to read other Yankee blogs, I slowly figured out what I was missing and where I was lacking, and over the last few years I think I've managed to bring this blog up to some minimal level of respectability.

Now almost 5 years and 3,956 blogs later, the time has come to say goodbye, at least as the leader of the AB4ARmy.  Tomorrow morning I'll be starting a  full-time role over at IIATMS/TYA as the new co-Editor-In-Chief, and this 3,957th blog on AB4AR will be my last.

In a way, nothing is really changing.  I'll be writing all the same stuff I am now, just over there exclusively.  I won't be able to throw out the casual F-word anymore, but looking back at how frequently I used it in the early days of AB4AR, that's probably a good thing.  With some changes on the horizon in my personal and professional lives, it just didn't make sense to keep splitting my time anymore, and I think I've taken the minimalist blogger approach about as far I can on this site.  Maybe now I'll actually be forced to create a Twitter account.

So to everybody who's been a regular AB4AR reader for any amount of time over the last 5 years, thank you.  It's your support that got me my first opportunity at TYA and got me the chance to take this latest opportunity at IIATMS.  I hope you'll keep following and reading over at IIATMS if you don't already because we've got a really great group of writers there and we're going to be churning out a lot of quality content.  I don't want to say this is the end of AB4AR forever, but it's definitely the end of it for now.  Thanks again to everybody who's been a reader, and I'll see you on the other side tomorrow.

McCarthy Gets Back To Cutting As A Yankee

(Courtesy of Texas Leaguers)

That's Brandon McCarthy's pitch location plot from yesterday's start.  You'll notice that there are 2 very distinct locations on either side of the plate for 2 different types of fastballs.  I knew McCarthy was a sinker guy when he came over from Arizona.  What I didn't know was that he used to be a much bigger cutter guy and had gotten away from it during his time as a D'back.  Via Chad Jennings, McCarthy talked about that transition and the transition back to throwing his cutter more since joining the Yankees:

“It wasn’t something I totally agreed with.  Now, coming here, and them going back over everything I’ve done and realizing that was a big part of my success, we decided to add that back in. It’s been a nice change.”

The disagreement McCarthy is referring to is with the D'backs, who requested that McCarthy not throw the cutter as much when they acquired him.  Why an organization would feel the need to tell a pitcher to stop throwing a pitch he likes to throw and throws well is beyond me, but I guess it makes sense that Arizona is where it is right now when those types of decisions are being made.

The Yankees have been home to some of the greatest cutters in baseball history, including the originator of the pitch.  If they're going to let, and even encourage, McCarthy to throw it more, that's a very good thing for him and them.  He showed what he can do when he's commanding it yesterday, and if he can keep throwing it like that and mixing his sinker in effectively, this trade could turn into a steal for the Yanks.