Wednesday, April 28, 2021

HoraceClarke66: A Miller's Tale

 By HoraceClarke66...


Even though he was a lawyer, Yankees manager Miller Huggins was not always the sharpest tack on the bulletin board. In 1929, for instance, he became obsessed with the health benefits of tanning, and general exposure to the sun, or sun lamps.

Within a few weeks, Huggins had a mysterious black mole on his face. Within a few months, sadly, he was dead.

 

But whatever Huggins lacked in medical understanding, he made up for in baseball smarts. It didn’t take until August of 1925—the first year that Lou Gehrig had more than a cup of coffee with the team—for Hug to put Babe Ruth and Gehrig back-to-back in the Yankees’ lineup.

 

Didn’t matter how good a hitter Yankees outfielder Long Bob Meusel was—and he was a very, very good hitter. Didn’t matter that Long Bob was a righty, and that Ruth and Gehrig were lefties.

 

Miller Huggins, though shamefully deprived of algorithmic printouts, figured out that two of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen should be hitting back-to-back, belly-to-belly.

 

For your New York Yankees of the 21st century, it seems to have taken Aaron Boone and his boss three years to figure out that Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton belong back-to-back in the lineup. Granted, this has often been impossible due to the fragile nature of both sluggers, who more often resemble Steve Kemp and Nick Johnson than Ruth and Gehrig. But still.

 

Last night, the YES men informed us that the Yanks are 9-0 in games in which both Judge and Stanton homered. This is, I realize, an awfully small sample size. But it’s hard to argue that we shouldn’t continue the experiment.

 

And speaking of sample sizes, we have a very large one in the case of Gary Sanchez. The YES men also informed us last night—at the behest of Brain? Who knows?—that Sancho is batting just .199 over the last four years, the lowest average by any player with at least 1,000 at-bats in that time. Even in this batting average-scorning age, that just won’t do.

 

I agree with our Peerless Leader that it’s time for a moratorium on the Sanchez piñata. And as I’ve written many times already, when Sanchez first came up—and right through the 2017 playoffs—I thought he looked like a young Johnny Bench. Great arm, great power, and even a prodigious ability to frame pitches. 

 

What happened? Maybe Sancho is the most stubborn or thickheaded player who ever lived—but I suspect the fault lies more with a coaching and training staff for whom he is not an outlier but par for the course. Something needs to be done about that.

 

In the meantime, I wish him well wherever he’ll be traded. Maybe the Brain will even insist on getting a player in return.

11 comments:

TheWinWarblist said...

What's the won-loss in games where both Judge and Stanton have combined for four or more strikeouts?

TheWinWarblist said...

Pretty sure you'll have a bigger sample size on that one.

Anonymous said...

Probably, the Brain trades Sanchez for a bag of money. It's just too bad. Maybe he was just a flash in the pan. Maybe he goes somewhere and they figure it out. It's obvious that this team's coaching will not.

The Hammer of God

ranger_lp said...

Maybe Gary figured it out in another city…but for now, everyone knows how to pitch him and he can’t make the adjustment. He’s had four years to make such adjustment…

ranger_lp said...

figures=figured

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Matters not who or what they get for the ICS.

Addition by subtraction.

TheWinWarblist said...

"Great trade!" the Mets clubhouse exclaimed upon hearing Greg Jefferies had been traded. "Who did we get?"

Kevin said...

HEAR, HEAR!!!!

You know it's a great idea to have calculus in elementary school, if they are filled with uber-geniuses. Maybe all this talk about "analytics" is great if you want to teach stats a new way. But I think that it's clear by now, they need to teach ballplayers to hit, throw/pitch, field, run the bases without the bullshit. Didn't someone once say, "I can't hit when I'm thinking". The BRAIN is trying to out Billy Beane, Billy Beane i.e. he's trying to transfer Warren Buffet's mind onto a baseball field. This attempt at trying to over-think the game is destroying, or has destroyed the farm system, and wiped the real teachers into oblivion. Either that or we have just run into some bad luck. For over twenty years.

Anonymous said...

Kevin--you're hopeless. Analytics does not presume to guide or substitute for coaching. It's simply an array of techniques to gauge which aspects of player performance contribute most to winning ballgames. Why don't you read a book on the subject before making an ass of yourself in public.

Book Reader said...

Stat Boy:

"Why don't you read a book on the subject before making an ass of yourself in public."


Worried about his proprietary role.

JM said...

I think statistics will prove that Anonymous is a nasty piece of work. Even when he's right, he's horrible. You can look it up.