Tuesday morning humor

July 1, 2014 | 2 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

CBS New York:

As the third-place Yankees (41-40) hit the midpoint of their season just off the pace in the muddled AL East, general manager Brian Cashman reiterated he’s eager to upgrade the roster via trade.

“There are some things I need to do,” Cashman said before the game. “I’m ready to rock and roll. But again, I think those who have, are taking their time. Certain pieces, it’s been communicated that if they get what they want, which would be an extreme haul, they’re ready to move sooner than later. For those who want to step up and really pay the price a month before the (trade) deadline hits, obviously there’s going to be a higher price for that.”

Surprise! Yanks lose another low scoring game!

July 1, 2014 | 6 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Kevin Long Lap Dance NoMaas Yankees
What, me worry?

But let’s continue to talk about how the Yankees want to acquire more pitching.

Thoughts before tonight’s game (June 29, 2014)

June 30, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s series opener against Tampa Bay:

Yankees:

Impression Lately: Pretty obvious. They’re blundering offensively and can only rely on two of their starting pitchers to keep them in games. If they can’t figure out a way to start scoring more runs, they’ll have to learn to enjoy watching Whitley, Nuno and Phelps get torched beyond their offense’s scoring ability on any given start. They’re still only 1.5 games out of 1st place, behind Toronto. They are projected as 17.4% likely to win the division, 7.5% to earn one of the two wild cards, and 25% overall to make the playoffs (all per fangraphs). Their run differential is still terrible, at -32 and they are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

Thing I’m Expecting: Brian Roberts to contribute little on offense. Seems like a pretty safe bet, given the fact that he’s contributed next to nothing for the first 80 games.

Thing I Hope to See: Carlos Beltran had 3 hits and hit a solo HR last night to help the team pull to within 1 run. They’d never come closer to leading the game after that. But maybe Beltran is starting a hot streak at the plate, which would be long overdue. He brought his hideous slash line up to .220/.276/.415 after last night’s game. Maybe he’s about to go on a tear for a month.

Player I Want To Watch: I’m interested in seeing if David Phelps can bounce back from a poor start against Toronto last week (5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 7 K). He’s an average starting pitcher which is something the Yankees could use, given the fact that they trot out someone named Vidal Nuno every 5 days and Chase Whitley appears to be turning back into a career minor league reliever. Phelps could stake a claim to the rotation with a few strong performances and tonight is a good time to begin.

Rays

Impression Lately: The Rays, as many know, are absolutely ravaged by injuries this season and are a big long-shot to miss the playoffs and finish at the bottom of the AL East like we all had grown accustomed to before 2008. They’ve had performances beneath projections from guys like Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist and have struggled to find a sustainable closer option, despite signing Grant Balfour in the offseason. Tampa is coming off a resounding shellacking of the Orioles (winning 12-7), however, and have won 2 in a row. Still, their run differential on the year is -37 which is the worst in the division, to accompany their 10 game deficit in the East. They have a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs right now (per fangraphs again).

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: Chris Archer seems to have the Yankees’ number so far in his career. The 25 year old right hander is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA over 28.2 IP against the “Bombers.” So, naturally I’m going against the grain and expecting him to finally have a bad performance. That’s right, I’m not buying what he’s selling. I don’t care if his ERA is a respectable 3.29 to accompany an even nicer 2.96 FIP. Sometimes unexpected outcomes happen in baseball. Tonight I’m expecting the unexpected.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: The Rays always seem to have good, young talent but honestly I can’t think of one player on their current roster who piques my interest. Brandon Guyer had 3 doubles a few nights ago, but I think his face is kinda dumb (full disclosure: I couldn’t pick him out of a crowd), so I don’t really care to watch him play, nor do I even know if he’ll be out there tonight. I guess I’m looking forward to seeing Joe Maddon over-use the shift and perhaps hear a philosophical quote he relayed to the team to help them get over the fact that they’ve been awful in 2014 so far.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Ben Zobrist was 3-6 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 8 TB yesterday. He’d been injured and playing below expectations recently, so I’m thinking he’s starting to get hot and that frightens me. He’s another quiet Yankees assassin, and I’m fearful he’ll haunt David Phelps’ (and my own) dreams tonight.

Sweet mother of God, what is the hold up?!

June 30, 2014 | 10 comments | in Farm System | by SJK

Rob Refsnyder Yankees NoMaas Herlihy Boy Saturday Night Live Chris Farley NoMaas
You vicious bastards! Let the boy play second base!

Refsynder at AAA: .371/.500/.629, 206 wRC+

ESPN didn’t get the fellatio reference

June 29, 2014 | 3 comments | in Mediot Observation | by Wade Garrett

Here you go, ESPN.

Thoughts Before Tonight’s Game (June 29, 2014)

June 29, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game:

First let me address my personal thoughts on last night’s game: It was one of the most depressing results to a baseball game I’ve ever seen. Forget about Tanaka for a moment and realize that the Yankees failed to score an earned run throughout the entirety of the game. They kept putting men on base and kept leaving them there. There were guys caught stealing, bad at bats and just all around terrible offensive baseball.

Now, on to Tanaka: He’s really something special but he’s still learning and, while it couldn’t have hurt worse, he pitched 9 innings of 2 run ball, striking out 8 and allowing only 8 baserunners all game. The choice of a fastball in a 2 strike count has already been discussed ad nauseum, so I won’t get into it beyond saying that Napoli was right, it was idiotic…and it ruined my life for a few hours last night. It was as if Tanaka woke up yesterday morning determined to write the next Great American Novel and decided, just before finishing the last page, to settle on a bestseller.

Oh well, onwards and (hopefully) upwards…

Yankees:

Thing I’m Expecting: Inept offense all around. Maybe Kelly Johnson will start over Solarte and Ichiro will be out there instead of Soriano, as the Red Sox send up RHP John Lackey. All things considered, though – I don’t expect more than 2-3 runs and I hate this offense even worse than I did last year when names like Chris Nelson, Luis Cruz, Brent Lillibridge, Ben Francisco, Alberto Gonzalez and Brennan Boesch showed up on the reg. I’d rather see some of those clowns than the decaying corpses of Brian Roberts and Alfonso Soriano. Seriously, please, at some point, I beg of Brian Cashman – make it stop with these over the hill jokes.
Make. It. Stop.

Thing I Hope to See: Maybe, just maybe, after putting 1-2 guys on base, a run might score. I don’t want to overreach with my hopes here.

Player I Want To Watch: It’d be nice to see Chase Whitley bounce back from his only poor start of the season, last week against Toronto – 3.1 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 HR. I don’t think a better performance is unfathomable. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the stars will align to allow for good pitching AND offense in one game. Also maybe world hunger and the Middle East crisis will go away tonight too.

Red Sox

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: David Ortiz has been pretty quiet so far in this series, which is entirely unlike him against the Yankees who tend to go out of their way to accommodate Big Sloppy Papi. So it wouldn’t stun me if he hits a crippling or even meaningless HR at some point tonight.

Thing I Hope To See: Chase Whitley hitting David Ortiz in this ass in all of his plate appearances. Tanaka didn’t do it last night, so my hope remains in tact. Also it would dash my expectations of a huge hit.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: I’m interested in seeing John Lackey get slapped around – literally and/or figuratively. If they don’t start scoring off him by the end of the 6th inning, maybe someone could go up to the mound and punch him in the face. Soriano could do it, though he’d probably miss wildly. Maybe someone can fight Ortiz too. Just give me something to get over the last game’s kick to the balls, I don’t care if it’s sophomoric and unprofessional. Just make ME (and by extension, all Yankee fans) feel better about what happened last night. That’s all I ask!

Player I’m Afraid Of: Something tells me AJ Pierzynski is going to get a big hit. It’s a baseless premonition. I’ll be glad to be wrong. I’ve already seen someone punch him in the face, anyway.

Dear Brian: The problem isn’t your pitching

June 29, 2014 | 15 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

New York Post:

Brian Cashman said he hopes CC Sabathia can rejoin the Yankees in mid-July, but the general manager isn’t waiting until then to upgrade the rotation.

“I am looking to make some addition if I can. So I would like to do things before those guys get back if possible,’’ Cashman said, talking about Sabathia, who is getting closer to returning from the disabled list, and Michael Pineda, who isn’t. “The reason we haven’t done anything is not for the lack of phone calls.’’

If you want to upgrade the rotation, fine. You’re going to continue to hope the Yankees can win low-scoring games by thin margins. This is a team with a -29 run differential.

But, the problem really isn’t the pitching. While the club is certainly Tanaka-dependent, the Yankees pitching armory has held up well this season.

Fangraphs ranks NYY pitching 2nd in the American League in terms of Wins Above Replacement with 10.5. Baseball-Reference is less kind, but still has the Yankees accumulating the 5th-most WAR in the AL with 8.8.

So again, you can upgrade the pitching if you want to, Cash, but “if you can’t score, you can’t win.

The problem is the damn offense. You have guys who are giving you replacement-level and less-than-replacement-level production. Your offense ranks 11th in the AL in WAR.

This is where the priority should be, not upgrading the pitching staff. There are moves on the offensive side of the ball that could be made TODAY: “DUMP TWO, CALL UP TWO

Why is this so difficult to understand?

Napoli calls Tanaka “an idiot”

June 29, 2014 | 9 comments | in Featured | by SJK

You can hear it around the 30 second mark. Sounds like Napoli calls Tanaka an “idiot” twice.

ESPN:

Mike Napoli hoped Masahiro Tanaka would make a mistake. The New York Yankees ace sure did — he twice shook off his catcher, then threw a pitch the Boston slugger could handle.

Napoli stung Tanaka by hitting a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting Jon Lester and the Red Sox over the Yankees 2-1 on Saturday night.

What an idiot!” Napoli was heard exclaiming on Fox television microphones as he high-fived teammates in the dugout.

Napoli later said he didn’t mean any disrespect, adding he was “surprised” Tanaka didn’t throw his tremendous split-finger fastball.

Thoughts Before Tonight’s Game (June 28, 2014)

June 28, 2014 | 1 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

This is going to be a (mostly) regular thing.

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game:

Yankees:

Thing I’m Expecting: Tanaka should pitch well. He’s made 15 starts and has 15 Quality Starts. The safe bet is that he’ll do it again. I mean, you saw someone named Vidal Nuno shut down this Red Sox lineup last night, yes? One would think “Ma-kun” could (should) do the same.

Thing I Hope to See: More HRs please. The team has been struggling at home this year and, until last night (K. Johnson, Gardner, McCann), hadn’t had a multi-homerun game at home since May 17th, when Mark Teixeira, Zoilo Almonte and Brian McCann did it against the Pirates. The Yankees need to keep taking advantage of their home field and hitting the ball in the air to RF.

Player I Want To Watch: Now that McCann delivered on my hope from last night, I’m looking for something similar from Carlos Beltran. He’s one of four switch hitters (Teixeira, Roberts, Solarte) on the roster and has historically hit (slightly) better from the right side of the plate, which is where he’ll be vs. Boston’s southpaw starter, Jon Lester. Really, this team has no hope of improving upon their current state if they don’t get the expected productions from Beltran OR McCann.

Player I Don’t Want To Watch: Alfonso Soriano, who will assuredly get the start against the LHP Jon Lester. I’m not looking forward to his wild swings at pitches in the dirt and opposite batter’s box to accompany his bad routes and terrible plays in the OF. Seriously, at some point enough has to be enough with this guy. They’re only on the line for $5M of the $18M owed to him this season (thanks, Cubs) and we’re almost halfway through the year, so a percentage of that is already paid. It is probably addition by subtraction to just send him and the remainder of his salary packing and see what Zoilo Almonte or other internal OF options can bring to the table.

Red Sox:

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: Jon Lester has been excellent so far, placing 2nd among starting pitchers in WAR coming into the day – Tanaka is 5th (Phil Hughes is 7th!). I’d expect Lester to give the Red Sox length and compete with Tanaka in minimizing base-runners and runs.

Thing I Hope To See: Tanaka (and/or any other pitcher on the mound for NYY) hitting David Ortiz in the ass in all of his plate appearances. I’m saying this because I expect Tanaka will go on to strike out every other batter he faces, of course. The degree to which the media and MLB aid and abet this sloppy, entitled mess of a man is truly astounding. I’d really just love to see him lose his temper for the 4435th time this season, realistic or not. Maybe they can use Yankee Stadium’s official scorer to just mess with his hit total.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: The Red Sox just called up their prized prospect Mookie Betts. He’ll likely play the OF, though he was an infielder most of the time in the minors. He’s only 21 and was hitting .345/.437/.520 with 8 HR, 48 RBI and 29 SB between Double-A and Triple-A this year (per rotoworld). It should be interesting to see if his skills translate to the big league this early, or if he’ll struggle and become Jackie Bradley, Jr., Jr.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Ortiz. Assuming he’s NOT drilled in the ass every time he steps to the plate, which wouldn’t make sense. The guy has a career OPS of .973 against the Yankees and, as already mentioned (for years), is one of the most intolerable, petulant globs of human in the game.

What DO YOU, the NoMaas reader, think will happen tonight? Sound off (or just insult me) in the comments below!

The Boston Red Sox: Making Vidal Nuno look good since 2014

June 28, 2014 | 3 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Vidal Nuno Yankees NoMaas Hot Girl
Ballin! 5.2 IP, 5 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 0 ER

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