Francona: “Go f*** yourselves.”

April 12, 2012 | 67 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Boston Globe:

Don’t look for former manager Terry Francona at Fenway Park when the Red Sox celebrate the 100th anniversary of their beloved ballpark a week from Friday against the Yankees. Francona is still smarting from the way things ended between himself and the Red Sox after the collapse of 2011.

“Somebody went out of their way to make me look pretty bad,’’ Francona said, referring to a story by the Globe’s Bob Hohler that cited unnamed club sources expressing concerns that Francona’s job performance may have been affected by his use of pain medication. “It’s a shame. I’m sure they’ll have a great event and I was part of a lot of that stuff there, but I just can’t go back there and start hugging people and stuff without feeling a little bit hypocritical.’’

The Sox have invited every living ex-player and manager back for the ballpark’s centennial celebration, but Francona rejected the offer in a phone call with owner John Henry last month, and again Monday when Lucchino called.

“Larry called me yesterday,’’ Francona said Tuesday. “I was in a phone store in Arizona. I had three people standing around me. I was at a little bit of a disadvantage. He got a little perturbed at me, telling me I was being unfair to them. I called him back last night and left him a message. He called me back and we ended up getting into an argument. I just feel like someone in the organization went out of their way to hurt me and the more we talked I realized we’re just not on the same wavelength. They’re probably better off going forth and leaving me out of it.’’

Until I’m more comfortable with some answers on what happened at the end of the year, I don’t want to have much to do with the organization and that’s a shame,’’ Francona said Tuesday.

Swisher handles Birds, Yanks sweep

April 11, 2012 | 26 comments | in Featured | by SJK

I’m riding a ostrich, bro!

And the crowd whispered, “Raul”

April 11, 2012 | 52 comments | in Featured | by SJK

The Raul Ibanez fielding thread

April 10, 2012 | 27 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Marshall Seymour

The Raul Ibanez signing was questionable even when we thought he was going to be an exclusive DH. On Sunday, we learned that Girardi plans to use Ibanez in the field, moving this deal completely into the realm of stupidity.

Excluding Ibanez, the Yankees have four outfielders who are capable defensively (to varying degrees), making his appearance out there even more confusing. Just how bad is Ibanez in the field?

Last year, he posted the worst UZR of any outfielder in baseball at -18.9.

Over the past three seasons, Ibanez’s UZR of -21.1 is 7th-worst among all ML OFs. He also ranks in the bottom 10 of outfielders according to both Total Zone and the Fangraphs’ Fan Scouting Report over that same span.

At one time, his bat might have been able to counter this atrocious defense, but Ibanez is clearly showing his age, having a steady decline in wOBA over the past three seasons: .379 to .341 to a backup infielder worthy .306 last season. That last figure, coupled with his defense, led to a -1.3 WAR — good for worst in the majors in 2011. In other words, largely because of his defense, Ibanez was arguably the worst full-time player in baseball last season.

If Ibanez is used exclusively as a lefty DH option and can rebound from last season’s pedestrian .747 OPS versus RHP, then this signing could provide some value. However, if Girardi continues to use him in the field, Ibanez will provide zero to negative value. He has no place anywhere on the field if he’s not wearing a helmet.

Yankees finally move into winner’s circle

April 9, 2012 | 42 comments | in Featured | by SJK

4-4, 2B for Derek.

Now playing on Girardi’s IPod: Insane in the Brain

April 8, 2012 | 61 comments | in Featured | by SJK

The Yankees are 0-3 to start the season after being swept by one of their main division rivals.

The Yankees’ top 2 starters, CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, had lousy outings. The vaunted Bomber offense was shut down in the series finale. Fielding mistakes were made by Eduardo Nunez and Raul Ibanez that led to Tampa runs in two different games. Joe Maddon’s infield shifts were highly effective. There are plenty of reasons why the Yankees have a big zero in the wins column.

However, there is another major reason the Yankees went winless over Easter weekend, and that reason is Joe Girardi. The Yankees’ manager directly impacted the outcome of all three games with absolutely horrific decision-making. This isn’t Monday Morning Quarterback-type stuff either. These were all blatant errors that were painfully obvious at the time they occurred. Some of them directly led to runs, while others put the Yankees at a disadvantage before the first pitches were even thrown.

Game 1 / Opening Day

With two outs in the first inning of the first game of the 2012 season, Girardi orders CC Sabathia to intentionally walk Sean Rodriguez to load the bases for Carlos Pena. Heading into the AB, Rodriguez had a career line of .229/.307/.367, and had only been intentionally walked 3 times in 1,030 plate appearances. Carlos Pena then hits a grand slam.

Game 2

Girardi is already resting players in the second game of the season, as he puts Jeter at DH and uses Eduardo Nunez at SS. We also see a hint that Girardi plans on platooning Brett Gardner when facing LHP, as Andruw Jones gets the start in LF.

Nunez is a terrible defensive player and Gardner is arguably the best defender in all of baseball, and defense is where Gardner derives a huge chunk of his value. In the second game of the season against a division rival, the most optimal setup would have been Jeter at SS, Jones at DH, and Gardner in LF. Instead, we see Eduardo Nunez botch a routine grounder in the 1st inning that eventually led to 2 runs.

And this was borderline retarded…in the bottom of the 7th, after walking Carlos Pena to kick off the inning, lefty specialist Clay Rapada is kept in the game and allowed to pitch to Evan Longoria. During his career, righties have hit Rapada to the tune of .367/.485/.709 — in other words, right-handed hitters turn in the best hitters of all-time when they face Rapada. Probably not the best idea for him to pitch to Longoria, right? Longoria launches a double (which was initially ruled a HR), which contributes to a 2-run inning for the Rays.

Game 3

In the third game of the season, Girardi feels Nick “Best Shape of His Life” Swisher needs a rest. So, Girardi puts a human statue in RF who goes by the name Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is so bad defensively that he shouldn’t be allowed to own a glove, yet Girardi starts him in the outfield in the third game of the season.

Naturally, in the first inning of the game, Matt Joyce hits a ball to RF, Ibanez does some weird diving thing, and the ball rolls to the wall for a triple, knocking in Longoria from second. Yanks down 1-0.

The fun doesn’t end here. As we know, Joe Girardi has a thing for his pal “Booney.” He thinks that Booney is effective against both RH and LH batters, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In the bottom of the 6th, with the Yankees down 2-0, Girardi allows his buddy Booney to pitch to right-handed Jeff Keppinger after the aforementioned Booney recorded two outs. Keppinger hits a HR.

Terrible, terrible managing.

Don’t you know Girardi’s loco?

The big problem with umpires

April 8, 2012 | 20 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Vizzini

Umpires generally suck at what they do.

Check out Friday’s NYY-TAM game — Smokey Joe West was the umpire.

According to the chart below of called strikes/balls, 16 pitches within the strike zone were called balls (green colors are “called balls” – triangles are from Yankee pitchers – squares are from Tampa pitchers.) Some of them were so far inside the strike zone, that it’s insane that West got them wrong — we’re talking meaty, juicy strikes called balls.


And then there was about 11 pitches clearly outside the strike zone that were called strikes (red colors are “called strikes”). Some of them weren’t even close, yet Joe West called them strikes!

So that’s 27 pitches that West clearly got wrong out of the 182 points we counted on the chart. That’s 15% of total called pitches in the game. Fifteen percent of West’s calls were incorrect! That right there is enough to change the course of a game. It screws up the count, it causes hitters and pitchers to change their approach in response, and it alters the outcome of the plate appearance. How is this acceptable for a professional sports league?

And here’s Saturday night’s game versus Tampa with Sam Holbrook umpiring:

While not as atrocious as Joe West, you can clearly see some errors. Again, green is “called balls” and red is “called strikes.” Look at the bottom right-hand corner of the zone. How is a hitter supposed to tell if a pitch in that area will be called a ball or strike? You also saw 5 pitches thrown well outside the zone called strikes.

Traditionalists, like the Amish, would obviously have a hard time removing umpires and replacing them with modern technology. However, traditionalists would likely agree that the pitch count changes the approach of both hitters and pitchers, and alters the outcome of a plate appearance. So if umpires are getting their calls consistently wrong (in Joe West’s case 15%!), at what point can we not tolerate these blatant errors? Is there a number where even the traditionalists might crack? Or is the presence of the human element so much more important than accuracy?

Regardless of where you stand, it’s clear that umpires struggle judging where a small spinning white ball traveling 90 mph crosses an imaginary plane with an error margin of less than one inch.

One solution: Replace umpires with Robocop.

This is not the start we’re looking for

April 7, 2012 | 45 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Yanks drop to 0-2 with 8-6 loss to Tampa.

Kuroda: 5.2 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
Rapada: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 K
Nunez: Error to kick off 1st inning, eventually leading to 2 runs (why are people so infatuated with him??)

“You will leave in Clay Rapada to pitch against Longoria.”

Rays crucify Rivera

April 6, 2012 | 39 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

The trusty clipboard doesn’t help.

Back for another season: The NoMaas Live Game Chat

April 5, 2012 | 14 comments | in Announcements | by SJK

Do you normally watch games alone and with a bag of potato chips? Are you under house arrest? Well, we have solved your problems. You can now enjoy the company of other Yankee fans by heading into NoMaas Live Game Chat.

Join your compatriots during games and complain in real-time about Girardi using Boone Logan against righties, Jeter grounding into a double-play, or Mark Teixeira popping out to the infield.

You can always find a link to the NoMaas Live Game Chat in the top menu too.

Find hot erotic talk in the NoMaas Live Game Chat.

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