Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Did the helium balloon pop on Yangervis?

I think it was Einstein who proposed the mathematical law that says whenever a team has a big night at the plate, somebody still has to go 0 for 5. (He was a very smart man. I bet he was a Yankee fan.) So last night, somebody had to keep us tethered to Hell.

As joyful a night as it was for Evil, the game was no birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese for Yangervis "The Yankee Gervis" Solarte. Oh for five with three strikeouts. Yikes. That's Mitch McConnell with his shirt off. That's Sylvester Stallone joining the cast of Downton Abbey. That's peanut butter and petroleum jelly. That's NOT entertainment.

Next time Yangeris makes an out, his batting average will slide south of .300, and though I don't want to crackle with negativity here - (while driving, we do have a tendency to dwell on facial moles in the rear view) - it's possible The Gerv will never see himself on the Jumbotron hitting above .300 again. 

(Or hell, on the following AB, maybe he hits a HR, but you get the point, right? It's a long year. April has a week left. Solarte could be a solid utility IF, but he's not Rod Carew.) 

So let me say it now: Who cares what he hits? 

That was never the point. Solarte has shown a glove at 3B and 2B, and as his BA drops, let's hope his evil twin, Dean Anna, will see his average rise. Both have been instrumental in lifting the Empire this month, and one will likely hit the chopping block when Brendan Ryan - of the Below .200 BA Club - returns. (Ryan is also of the 2-Year-Contract Club.) I hate to think that either The Gerv or The Dean will go to Scranton, or worse - wind up with another team. Neither is a stud rookie. Neither is a future star. Both have out-shown the once-stud rookie and future star, Eduardo Nunez. It's fun watching people whose ceiling has yet to be carved in granite and placed over them like a headstone.

April has a week left. I'm hoping Yangervis can stay above .300 for the month. That would mean whacking Boston tonight and tomorrow. Who knows how good he'll be? Not me. And that's the point.


Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

You're making me wish I remembered sterlings diagnosis of the situation. Apparently there's a certain pitch he can't hit. I hope this isn't a Shane Spencer reincarnation... Lindsey Lohan can only take so much vaginal abuse from lost great hopes.

JM said...

Duque, since protection in the lineup and clutch play are both proven myths, and the stats prove it, I think this dip in Solarte's BA is also a myth perpetuated by those old, crusty MLB guys who continue to post batting averages when we know that W+RATaTooIE is a far superior way to grade a batter.

The next time Ortiz comes up with guys on base and we're up by only a run or two, I'll try to remember how clutch hitting is a myth when he buries one in the right field bleachers. That will make it much better.

Anonymous said...

But how many errors does Solarte have? He had two amazing defensive plays. He could not get another hit for the rest of April and still be light years ahead of Nunez.

I'd attribute his current slump to facing lefty batters. He still hits something like .400 left handed.

KD said...

Solarte's two bare-handed grabs were great last night but let's also recognize Tex for an awesome tag on one of them. Fun game, right?

BTW, what is the verdict on redsock fans last night? Boorish or classy or somewhere in between?

Alphonso said...

I hate to say; they were pretty classy.

I think the community of hate has mellowed a bit, since the tragedy last year.

Everyone suffered, and everyone knows that baseball is baseball.

Jacoby gave them everything he had to give,and they knew it. Plus, they could have kept him but chose not to do so.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Well said Alphonso!

Chet said...

Clutch play is not a myth--the myth is clutch players. Of course there are moments when someone has a clutch at-bat. What no one has ever shown is that, given a sufficiently large sample size, any player has markedly higher offensive numbers in clutch situations than in nonclutch situations. If John M. would care to provide some examples, I'm sure we would all be the wiser for it.

Batting average is a meaningful stat--it's just not the most revealing indicator of offensive performance--not by a long shot.

Instead of spewing ad hominem anger in post after post (in the intervals of deploring personal attacks, of course), John M. might care to do a little reading in this area so he can make some informed judgments.

For starters, I suggest Thorn and Palmer's Hidden Game of Baseball (out of print but available on amazon) and Baseball Between the Numbers by the editors of Baseball Prospectus.

Conrad said...

John M. cites David Ortiz as an example of a "clutch" player. 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 players--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 players 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.