Friday, April 25, 2014

A Sad Story

Ian Connor writes about Tex on ESPN this morning, and how much the Yankees need him.

"With no A-Rod or Cano, Bombers will only go as far as Teixeira's big bat takes them" says the subhead on the article.

Some highlights, the first about last night's HR:

"Sure, it traveled only 344 feet, a distance that would've kept the ball in play in 29 out of 30 big league stadiums...The shot barely cleared the Green Monster."

"Teixeira hadn't hit a homer of any length since June 6 of last season."

"The first baseman needs to be more the Teixeira of old, and less the old Teixeira, and his physical and statistical decline in recent years suggests that Girardi will need some luck on this one, as in a lot."

"'I've got a lot of rust to shake off,' Teixeira agreed. Though he said his wrist keeps getting stronger, he described his return to the Yankees' order as 'a fight every day to stay healthy and to produce.'"

"...they can't afford Teixeira to keep trending the way he's been trending, with his batting average and OPS plunging and with his body betraying a career that appeared to be on the fast track to Cooperstown."

"He is, however, willing to embrace the pressures that come with being a big-money player who no longer has the big-bang protection provided by Cano and A-Rod."

OK, I had to point out that last one in bold because we all "know" that protection is a completely "discredited" notion, as "proven" by the stat boys using stats, which never lie or mislead or anything like that. As an old Burger King commercial once put it, "Research proves research works."

Anyway, it's really sad to see a guy just a few years from greatness start falling apart like Tex is doing. It's an inevitable part of the game, sure, everyone gets older and slower and injured and less fearsome over time. But it's still a sad story. Yet, as with other sad stories, we're saddled with watching this one play out, painfully, over the remainder of Tex's contract. Like Girardi, all we can do is hope that, somehow, a miracle occurs and Tex has one more 2009 in him.

Sadly, I don't think so, but I would love to be wrong. CC put in a good game last night, although I can't help but think that he's turning into Nova before our eyes, becoming the guy who's decent to brilliant one time and gets hammered the next, and you never know which you're going to get on any given day. But I hope I'm wrong about him, too.

Hope isn't all we have this year, but it's the biggest item on the dinner plate. Eat hearty. Like the Lottery says, hey, you never know.


el duque said...

KD had a point earlier, and my wife said it last night: CC has put the weight back on. He's no longer Jenny Craiging.

Tom said...

I know from personal experience that those extra pounds do not need an engraved invitation to return. They just sort of sneak back in there, and, well, if they somehow help CC stay afloat, he can have mine, too.

Anonymous said...

While writers feel the need to harp on Teix or talk about how Solarte will "return to earth", there is an article annointing Bradley best CF. I wonder what hole people have been living to not have heard of Trout.

Sandy said...

There are different kinds of idiots: modest, feckless idiots and brazen, stubborn idiots. John M. is clearly of the latter variety in his thuggish ad hominem attacks on reason and fact--this time as regards the myths of protection and clutch hitters.

John M. cites David Ortiz as an example of a "clutch" hitter. Here is his overall lifetime slash line:


Here's his lifetime slash line in late and close situations:


That's a lower batting average but a slight uptick in on-base and slugging--but overall, not a dramatic difference.

Look up the same numbers for any and all clutch situations for anyone you want: Mantle, DiMaggio, Williams, Mays, Jeter, etc.--you will see the same pattern: the lifetime clutch-situation numbers do not diverge markedly from the overall lifetime numbers.

These are all traditional stats--so I wonder what John M. makes of the fact that these kinds of numbers show no difference in offensive performance in clutch situations for nearly all hitters--even those players reputed to be clutch--and show no consistent difference with and without "protection."

Nevertheless, John M. urges us to share his faith that there are clutch hitters and that lineup protection is real. Yet he has no more evidence for these claims than a belief in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. I guess we'll just have to take his word for it--or the word of one of his favored flathead daily sportswriters, his fellow enrollees in the Baseball Confederacy of Dunces.

So here's your chance, John M.--show us any examples of clutch hitters or lineup protection over a large, meaningful sample size. If you can't, try some discreet silence. Your infantile whining is becoming a bit grating.