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Blaze
12-13-05, 01:53 PM
It seems that so many of the talks by both fans and sportswriters this off season has been overly focused on the Yanks filling the CF position. I, just like everyone else would LOVE to see the Yank's pickup a decent to premier CF...However at the end of the day all we really need is a decent glove. It was the bullpen all last year that persisted in being the serious problem with the Yankees. Can anyone else remember last year how many games there were when the Yanks would be leading by 5 to 6 runs only to see them win the game by 1 run? Or how about all the games where the Yanks held an early lead only to have the bullpen relinquish it? How hard was it to get a reliever to come in during the ALDS that could retire the Angels 1-2-3? I think that somewhere along the lines both us(the fans), and the media truly lost track of this. Fix our bullpen and we're a better team even WITH Williams being were still the starting CF.

South Facing Epitaph
12-13-05, 02:02 PM
Agreed

Vazquez
12-13-05, 02:08 PM
Your post is paradoxical. You say get a decent glove but your signature advocates getting a centerfielder that shows no signs of "decent" or "glove" for that matter.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 02:11 PM
Your post is paradoxical. You say get a decent glove but your signature advocates getting a centerfielder that shows no signs of "decent" or "glove" for that matter.

Actually his post is contradictory, not paradoxical.
The signature aside, I tend to agree with the post. Getting a "bat" for a CFer is not the priority...it is getting a glove out there and someone with a functioning arm...

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 02:12 PM
Compared to an everyday player, relievers, especially middle relievers, don't have much of an impact. Improving our output in CF, hopefully on defense and offense, is our greatest need right now.

NewEraYanks2527
12-13-05, 02:13 PM
Your post is paradoxical. You say get a decent glove but your signature advocates getting a centerfielder that shows no signs of "decent" or "glove" for that matter. Yes I would have to agree there. Pierre was never a good fit and he will continue to decline. Why would you be so high on Pierre? But I do agree with you that fixing the bullpen and having more quality in the pen rather than quantity(like last year) the Yankees will be a better team even with Williams or Crosby in center. Of course a good CFer like a Jeremy Reed or possibly a Jason Michaels will help make the bullpen better because of improved defense in Center. Also improved defense in right, say Michaels in right and Reed in center would also make the bullpen MUCH better because those are two very good defenders who will run down more balls than any combination of Crosby/Bernie/Sheffield.

Blaze
12-13-05, 02:14 PM
Your post is paradoxical. You say get a decent glove but your signature advocates getting a centerfielder that shows no signs of "decent" or "glove" for that matter.

I was stating that 'we' all(that includes myself) have lost track of the more serious issue.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 02:15 PM
Compared to an everyday player, relievers, especially middle relievers, don't have much of an impact. Improving our output in CF, hopefully on defense and offense, is our greatest need right now.


Why is imporiving the offense a necessity...last time a I checked the Yankees have A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, Giambi, Matsui, Sheffield, and Posada....sounds like a pretty good 1-7 to me, so why does this team NEED an offensive CFer??

Blaze
12-13-05, 02:18 PM
Yes I would have to agree there. Pierre was never a good fit and he will continue to decline. Why would you be so high on Pierre? But I do agree with you that fixing the bullpen and having more quality in the pen rather than quantity(like last year) the Yankees will be a better team even with Williams or Crosby in center. Of course a good CFer like a Jeremy Reed or possibly a Jason Michaels will help make the bullpen better because of improved defense in Center. Also improved defense in right, say Michaels in right and Reed in center would also make the bullpen MUCH better because those are two very good defenders who will run down more balls than any combination of Crosby/Bernie/Sheffield.

If the keep walking guys and giving up homers it's not gonna matter if Andruw Jones is our centerfielder. Better defense would not have dramatically improved the results Embree, Felix Rodgriquez, or Proctor, etc..

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 02:19 PM
Why is imporiving the offense a necessity...last time a I checked the Yankees have A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, Giambi, Matsui, Sheffield, and Posada....sounds like a pretty good 1-7 to me, so why does this team NEED an offensive CFer??

Last I checked the goal is to score more runs than your opponents. Whether you do that by preventing them from scoring runs or by producing more runs yourself doesn't matter as long as you do it. And I never said it was necessary, just that we need more output from CF; this could be from a CF that saves 20 runs with the glove and gives up 10 with the bat, I don't care as long as they help us win games.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 02:22 PM
Last I checked the goal is to score more runs than your opponents. Whether you do that by preventing them from scoring runs or by producing more runs yourself doesn't matter as long as you do it. And I never said it was necessary, just that we need more output from CF; this could be from a CF that saves 20 runs with the glove and gives up 10 with the bat, I don't care as long as they help us win games.

But you also said the Yank need a CFer with improved offensive and defensive capacity...
I would agree with you to the extent that defense does save runs, however I don't think that the Yanks need an offensive CFer. If they can get a good defensive CFer the offense should put up more than enough runs..

HouseThatRingsBuild
12-13-05, 02:24 PM
If they had better middle relief the last two years they would have been in a better position.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 02:26 PM
If they had better middle relief the last two years they would have been in a better position.

Let's be fair...in 2004 it wasn't that they didn't have good relief, they just didn't have enough of it and Joe had to use Q, Sturtze, Gordon, and Mo every friggin day and by the time they got to the playoffs they were spent...

Blaze
12-13-05, 02:29 PM
Let's be fair...in 2004 it wasn't that they didn't have good relief, they just didn't have enough of it and Joe had to use Q, Sturtze, Gordon, and Mo every friggin day and by the time they got to the playoffs they were spent... Same difference. Not good enough not deep enough, same thing. Point is we need a better pullben, that constitutes both talent and depth.

Dr. Gonzo
12-13-05, 02:30 PM
I think it is very hard to compare the two.

CF requires and everyday guy, where his overall ability will end up shining through.

Bullpen help, especially middle relief is very fickle and changes from year to year. You sometimes really just have to throw guys against the wall and see who sticks.
\
Hopefully you wouldn't do that with CF

Overall, I think both are fine. Maybe sign another guy and let some of the guys in the minor leagues fill up the rest of the spots.

Sign nomar, and his offense in accordance with the rest of lineup can carry Bubba's bat (eventhough I don't think it will be as bad as people think)

For this season, I think the pen will play a much bigger role in our success.

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 02:32 PM
But you also said the Yank need a CFer with improved offensive and defensive capacity...
I would agree with you to the extent that defense does save runs, however I don't think that the Yanks need an offensive CFer. If they can get a good defensive CFer the offense should put up more than enough runs..

I never said we need one. I said, "Improving our output in CF, hopefully on defense and offense, is our greatest need right now."

All I care about is getting the player that adds the most wins to our team. If he does that by adding more offense, defense, or both I don't really care, just as long as he does it.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 02:33 PM
I never said we need one. I said, "Improving our output in CF, hopefully on defense and offense, is our greatest need right now."

All I care about is getting the player that adds the most wins to our team. If he does that by adding more offense, defense, or both I don't really care, just as long as he does it.

On that my friend, I wholeheartedly agree...

Mattpat11
12-13-05, 02:38 PM
But you also said the Yank need a CFer with improved offensive and defensive capacity...
I would agree with you to the extent that defense does save runs, however I don't think that the Yanks need an offensive CFer. If they can get a good defensive CFer the offense should put up more than enough runs..I dont think the offense can hold a no hit centerfielder.

LongLiveBernie51!
12-13-05, 02:38 PM
[QUOTE=Wang's Groundballs]Compared to an everyday player, relievers, especially middle relievers, don't have much of an impact.QUOTE]

Don't have much of an impact?

I agree that everyday players naturally have more of an impact on a game as the nature of thier playing time would dictact that, however, relief pitching can cost a team a significant amount of games especially in the playoffs when competition is tighter and many games come down to one at bat, one pitch, one defensive play. It puts a strain on starting pitching to have to constantly worry about having great outings and going longer innings which then tires out our staff and leads to tired arms late season.

With the amount of slugging power we have on this team I would rather get superior middle relief over a superior CF, if I couldn't have both. If we can get both, great.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 02:46 PM
I dont think the offense can hold a no hit centerfielder.

Please tell me you're joking..

HouseThatRingsBuild
12-13-05, 02:48 PM
Let's be fair...in 2004 it wasn't that they didn't have good relief, they just didn't have enough of it and Joe had to use Q, Sturtze, Gordon, and Mo every friggin day and by the time they got to the playoffs they were spent...


ok, I mean depth as well

Mattpat11
12-13-05, 02:48 PM
Please tell me you're joking.. I'd be lying if I did.

We currently have no DH and Posada is declining.


Posada
Phillips/Whomever
Crosby/Whomever

would be death at 7/8/9.

HouseThatRingsBuild
12-13-05, 02:53 PM
I'd be lying if I did.

We currently have no DH and Posada is declining.


Posada
Phillips/Whomever
Crosby/Whomever

would be death at 7/8/9.

Thats better than every team except Boston

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 02:54 PM
I'd be lying if I did.

We currently have no DH and Posada is declining.


Posada
Phillips/Whomever
Crosby/Whomever

would be death at 7/8/9.

Are you completely ignoring what the yankees have at 1-6?????
DH will probably rotate to keep players fresh
Any team besides the Red Sox would kill to have the Yankees 1-7, and big deal if the 8,9 hitters aren't Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig...it's not a real problem in my mind..

Mattpat11
12-13-05, 02:57 PM
DH will probably rotate to keep players fresh
And when, say, Gary Sheffield is the DH, who's the right fielder?

Saxmania
12-13-05, 02:58 PM
I'd be lying if I did.

We currently have no DH and Posada is declining.


Posada
Phillips/Whomever
Crosby/Whomever

would be death at 7/8/9.

Agreed. Gary Sheffield is also in decline (check his OPS+ stats the last 3 years), and I'm not gambling everything on Giambi being 100% all year; his recent history is simply too spotty. Throw in the fact that Matsui was less effective in 2005 than 2004, and there are no guarantees.

Plus, rallies score runs. Poor offensive players kill rallies. Having excellent offensive players 1-7 is very useful, but if hitters 8 and 9 kill every rally, then you're not going to score as much as a balanced lineup. See 1998 Yankees for details - every hitter had an OBP of .350 or more. That's how you keep rallies going.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

ZYanksRule
12-13-05, 03:01 PM
I agree. The pen is the number one thing we still need to work on. While Crosby isn't the answer in CF, he can hold down the fort until we get someone else. The pen, OTOH, is something we need to work on now if we want to win a championship next year.

JeterRodriguezSheff
12-13-05, 03:01 PM
Are you completely ignoring what the yankees have at 1-6?????
DH will probably rotate to keep players fresh
Any team besides the Red Sox would kill to have the Yankees 1-7, and big deal if the 8,9 hitters aren't Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig...it's not a real problem in my mind..

that many black holes lead to inconsistant offences and a lot of rally killers. We dont need Ruth in 7-9 but we need mlb hitters in every spot. Id rather have a line up full of solid-good hitters 1-9 than a lineup that has superstars 1-5 and crap in the rest of the lineup.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 03:01 PM
And when, say, Gary Sheffield is the DH, who's the right fielder?

Most likely Crosby as Bernie will surely play the field once a week...
My point being the Yankees should get their DH from in-house rather then going out and getting a guy to be the full-time DH...I'm sure Bernie is going to DH at times as well...I'm sure you're going to see Posada DH from time to time as well to keep him fresh throughout the season...

Mattpat11
12-13-05, 03:03 PM
Most likely Crosby as Bernie will surely play the field once a week...
And we're right back to a seven, eight, nine that doesn't hit!

JeterRodriguezSheff
12-13-05, 03:03 PM
Most likely Crosby as Bernie will surely play the field once a week...
My point being the Yankees should get their DH from in-house rather then going out and getting a guy to be the full-time DH...I'm sure Bernie is going to DH at times as well...I'm sure you're going to see Posada DH from time to time as well to keep him fresh throughout the season...

Well Bernie and crosby are both horrible hitters and Posada is a good hitter for a catcher but below average for a DH.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 03:04 PM
that many black holes lead to inconsistant offences and a lot of rally killers. We dont need Ruth in 7-9 but we need mlb hitters in every spot. Id rather have a line up full of solid-good hitters 1-9 than a lineup that has superstars 1-5 and crap in the rest of the lineup.

No question you want good solid mlb hitters in every spot but show me a team besides the red sox that has as deep a lineup as the yankees...
I just don't understand why everyone is jumping off the cliff thinking that somehow the yankees offense is bad...

JeterRodriguezSheff
12-13-05, 03:04 PM
Like I said before 9 solid-good hitters>5 superstars, rest crap

JeterRodriguezSheff
12-13-05, 03:05 PM
No question you want good solid mlb hitters in every spot but show me a team besides the red sox that has as deep a lineup as the yankees...
I just don't understand why everyone is jumping off the cliff thinking that somehow the yankees offense is bad...

Its not bad per say but very inconsistant last year with less blackholes, when we add more its only going to be more inconsistant. Like last year we scored 12 runs one night and 1 the next.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 03:08 PM
Throw in the fact that Matsui was less effective in 2005 than 2004, and there are no guarantees.

Less effective, I don't think so...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/matsuhi01.shtml

Mattpat11
12-13-05, 03:09 PM
No question you want good solid mlb hitters in every spot Which is why we can't put the likes of Crosby and Phillips in the order.

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 03:09 PM
I agree that everyday players naturally have more of an impact on a game as the nature of thier playing time would dictact that, however, relief pitching can cost a team a significant amount of games especially in the playoffs when competition is tighter and many games come down to one at bat, one pitch, one defensive play. It puts a strain on starting pitching to have to constantly worry about having great outings and going longer innings which then tires out our staff and leads to tired arms late season.

With the amount of slugging power we have on this team I would rather get superior middle relief over a superior CF, if I couldn't have both. If we can get both, great.

Giving up runs on defense or offense is just as bad as when a reliever does it. Last year, on offense and defense, Bernie cost us over 20 runs from what an average CF would have. The difference between a horrible middle reliever, lets call him Proctor, Scott, and an average relief pitcher over 50 innings is roughly 8 runs. That's not unimportant, but it's far less important than improving CF is.

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 03:10 PM
Less effective, I don't think so...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/matsuhi01.shtml

What numbers are you looking at? His OBP, SLG, OPS+, RC/27 all went down in 2005.

NewEraYanks2527
12-13-05, 03:11 PM
If the keep walking guys and giving up homers it's not gonna matter if Andruw Jones is our centerfielder. Better defense would not have dramatically improved the results Embree, Felix Rodgriquez, or Proctor, etc..
Did you read my post at all about how they go hand in hand, or did you just look for the fact that I didn't fully agree with you and decided to come out with this rebuttle. No crap it wont matter if our bullpen guys keep walking people who is in the outfield but it will matter if they throw pitches that are put into play between Bernie and Sheffield. Obviously you need guys who can throw strikes and get outs but it doesn't matter if this improved bullpen causes the ball to be put in play and into the outfield where a better CFer could easily run it down.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 03:11 PM
Its not bad per say but very inconsistant last year with less blackholes, when we add more its only going to be more inconsistant. Like last year we scored 12 runs one night and 1 the next.

I'm confused by this entire post...I understand you're saying they were inconsistent but how are they adding more blackholes...by not having a DH....

P.S. It's still December...Baseball starts in March....have faith in Cash

JeterRodriguezSheff
12-13-05, 03:13 PM
I'm confused by this entire post...I understand you're saying they were inconsistent but how are they adding more blackholes...by not having a DH....

P.S. It's still December...Baseball starts in March....have faith in Cash

I have faith in Cash I was responding to the post in this thread. And by more blackholes I was responding to somebody saying Posada should DH and there are no catchers who can hit available(no Molina is not good).

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 03:13 PM
What numbers are you looking at? His OBP, SLG, OPS+, RC/27 all went down in 2005.


Sorry, never been much of a stat geek...I was looking at his RBI, his BA, you know..old school stuff...

One of my favorite quotes....

"Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination."

-- "The Immortal" Vin Scully

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 03:14 PM
I have faith in Cash I was responding to the post in this thread. And by more blackholes I was responding to somebody saying Posada should DH and there are no catchers who can hit available(no Molina is not good).

ok, yeah I said he should DH, not on a daily basis, but 1 day a week to keep his legs fresh for October..

JeterRodriguezSheff
12-13-05, 03:14 PM
What numbers are you looking at? His OBP, SLG, OPS+, RC/27 all went down in 2005.

To be fair he was in a huge slump for the first half and then went back to his old self in the second half if I recall correctly.

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 03:24 PM
Sorry, never been much of a stat geek...I was looking at his RBI, his BA, you know..old school stuff...

One of my favorite quotes....

"Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination."

-- "The Immortal" Vin Scully

Some of my favorites:
"Think back to grade school. What's the first thing the dumb kids say to the smart kids to belittle them? They call them geeks, nerds, freaks. Anti-intellectualism is the last P.C. prejudice--certainly the Times would not allow one of its writers to refer to "The Urban League (aka The No-Whites Institute)"--and it's an easy way of mocking an idea without really addressing it."
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2740

''All truths go through three phases," said junior David Samet, paraphrasing the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. ''First they are laughed at. Then vehemently opposed. Then accepted as obvious."
http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/11/23/numbers_crunch_tufts_course_really_packs_em_in/?page=2

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 03:26 PM
To be fair he was in a huge slump for the first half and then went back to his old self in the second half if I recall correctly.

Sure, but wins in the 1st half count just as much as the 2nd half, so you still have to use all the data available when comparing seasons.

DandyAndy46
12-13-05, 03:27 PM
Some of my favorites:
"Think back to grade school. What's the first thing the dumb kids say to the smart kids to belittle them? They call them geeks, nerds, freaks. Anti-intellectualism is the last P.C. prejudice--certainly the Times would not allow one of its writers to refer to "The Urban League (aka The No-Whites Institute)"--and it's an easy way of mocking an idea without really addressing it."
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2740

''All truths go through three phases," said junior David Samet, paraphrasing the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. ''First they are laughed at. Then vehemently opposed. Then accepted as obvious."
http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/11/23/numbers_crunch_tufts_course_really_packs_em_in/?page=2


Ok, I need to apologize...Didn't mean to belittle those who believe that statistics play an important role in baseball because there is no question that they do. All I was trying to say was that I am not as big on stats as others....
So to those whom I may have offended...."I am sorry"

JeterRodriguezSheff
12-13-05, 03:28 PM
Sure, but wins in the 1st half count just as much as the 2nd half, so you still have to use all the data available when comparing seasons.

Agreed but we are predicting future performance not how much he helped the team last season.

Saxmania
12-13-05, 04:03 PM
Sorry, never been much of a stat geek...I was looking at his RBI, his BA, you know..old school stuff...

One of my favorite quotes....

"Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination."

-- "The Immortal" Vin Scully

I think OPS+ is probably the most useful of these - I use it often. 100 is average, above is better, below is worse. It's park-adjusted, and doesn't depend on the rest of the team (unlike RBI), while accounting for plate patience and power (unlike BA). Quick, easy to understand, comparable across teams and leagues.

By that measure, Matsui regressed in 2005 and Sheffield's been regressing for a couple of years now. I think that does not bode well for 2006, although I think Matsui may improve. But I'm worried about Sheffield.

While your quote is very famous, I think it highlights what people do wrong with statistics (or, as I like to call them, 'facts'). They decide their position, then look up the statistics that support them. I'd like to see people prepared to change their mind when the 'facts' contradict their assumptions. Perhaps we should try to avoid acting like the drunk in Scully's line. Sober people would appreciate the light more.

Obviously, baseball is a very trivial case of this, but the same attitude could be attributed to people when thinking about politics, economics, science . . . It's very unhealthy.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

SoCal Pinstriper
12-13-05, 04:10 PM
But I'm worried about Sheffield.

At Sheff's age, decline is expected. The only reason I see to think that his fall off might not continue in '06, is that he'll be chasing what will probably be his last big contract.

NewEraYanks2527
12-13-05, 04:14 PM
At Sheff's age, decline is expected. The only reason I see to think that his fall off might not continue in '06, is that he'll be chasing what will probably be his last big contract. I think offensively he will have a good year because it is a contract year, I do not think we will see anything more than decline as far as his defensive goes.

SoCal Pinstriper
12-13-05, 04:19 PM
I think offensively he will have a good year because it is a contract year, I do not think we will see anything more than decline as far as his defensive goes.I'd like to see him DH as much as possible.

goin for 27
12-13-05, 04:22 PM
I think offensively he will have a good year because it is a contract year, I do not think we will see anything more than decline as far as his defensive goes.

Why no defensive decline in RF at his age?

Sheff zone rating is in decline.....

2002 - .900
2003 - .883
2004 - .856
2004 - .820

He will be playing RF at 37 years old, he will continue to decline. Hopefully he can DH quite a bit, and save his body as much as possible.

goin for 27
12-13-05, 04:23 PM
I think that CF vs Bullpen are nearly equal. Both are huge needs, both need to be addressed.

I still think that both will.

LongLiveBernie51!
12-13-05, 04:25 PM
Giving up runs on defense or offense is just as bad as when a reliever does it. Last year, on offense and defense, Bernie cost us over 20 runs from what an average CF would have. The difference between a horrible middle reliever, lets call him Proctor, Scott, and an average relief pitcher over 50 innings is roughly 8 runs. That's not unimportant, but it's far less important than improving CF is.

Where did you get this over 20 lost run stat? Over a 162 game span, How many of these 20 or so runs led directly to losses or a lead being blown?

If a Middle Reliever blows a lead in a game and the offense can't recover the lead then that leads to one loss. How many times did Bernie get balls hit to him that he was unable to make a play on in the course of 1 inning or even stretched out over 1 game that resulted in him singlehandedly blowing leads and costing us a game? How were those balls getting hit to him? I'd assume they weren't lazy fly balls as even Bernie in his broken down condition could still manage to catch those. Was Bernie pitching and playing CF and therefore costing us all these runs?

In my first post, I was addressing the point of this thread which is that middle relief should be given more importance at this point then CF. There's no doubt that a new CF is needed but I would focus on signing a higher level middle relief pitcher before I would look to get a big name in CF. If it comes down to one or the other then my choice is middle relief. They'll get someone better then the 2005 version of Bernie, even though it may not be the aging big name star that we used to go for back in the not so distant past that would eventually disappoint.

With Solid Middle relief pitching, we don't have to worry about those crazy hot shots being hit all around CF because guys like Brown, Proctor, Franklin, and occasionally Sturtze and Mussina can't help but toss up beach balls on a bad day or even good day considering the pitcher. It's a shame those Beach Balls are becoming more of a common occurance with the Moose.

JeffWeaverFan
12-13-05, 04:31 PM
The middle part of the bullpen was a problem, but CF was a HUGE problem last year. Offensively, we had a OBP of under .300 from CF last season. Defensively, it was horrendous. And, last season, it wasn't just that Bernie wasn't getting to balls that directly gave the opposing team runs. It was the fact that Bernie wasn't getting to balls, which made the starters throw many more pitches to get an extra out, which meant they got tired faster, which meant that we had to go to our middle relief earlier. It's all related. If we have a guy like Jeremy Reed in CF, not only will he directly save runs, but he will also save our starters from throwing a number of pitchers so that we don't have to go to our middle relief as much. And, there is a direct reason as to why our starters don't go as deep into games as we would like - it's the defense behind them. Improve the defense and everything else will get better.

Furthermore, getting a good CFer with a good glove is going to give this team more wins than a relief pitcher that pitches some 6th innings here and there.

I Love Wang
12-13-05, 04:33 PM
But you also said the Yank need a CFer with improved offensive and defensive capacity...
I would agree with you to the extent that defense does save runs, however I don't think that the Yanks need an offensive CFer. If they can get a good defensive CFer the offense should put up more than enough runs..

How many runs is enough? To me, "enough" runs is the number of runs that guarantees a championship.

I Love Wang
12-13-05, 04:37 PM
Sorry, never been much of a stat geek...I was looking at his RBI, his BA, you know..old school stuff...

Ah, I'd much rather use stats that have little value as far as correlating to run scoring, too, by my darn brain just won't accept that.

JeffWeaverFan
12-13-05, 04:40 PM
I think that CF vs Bullpen are nearly equal. Both are huge needs, both need to be addressed.

I still think that both will.
A good CFer takes away the need for such a deep bullpen though.

To continue with my above point though, I'll give an example. In the Yankees-Rangers game right after the allstar game, Kevin Brown was pitching. In the 2nd inning, a fly ball was hit that Bernie could not get to that most any other CFer would have caught. This was a 2 out single. Kevin Brown ended up throwing about 20 extra pitches to get out of the inning, and he did so without giving up a run. Now, Bernie did not directly cost us a run there, but what he did do was make it so Brown could not pitch more than 4 and 1/3rd innings. And therefore, we had to go to Wayne Franklin and the game became very close but we won in the end. But, we also had to use Tanyon Sturtze in that game for 2.1 innings and he was unable to go the next game. So, instead of Sturtze Torre went with Wayne Franklin and he gave up a 2 run HR in the 8th and we lost the game 2-1.

The point is that it all relates. Even if having terrible defense doesn't directly make us lose a game, it could affect the next game because we will have to use the good relief pitchers for a game that we shouldn't have to. If you have a very good defensive CFer, I truly believe that the team and the bullpen will improve drastically.

JeffWeaverFan
12-13-05, 04:42 PM
Sorry, never been much of a stat geek...I was looking at his RBI, his BA, you know..old school stuff...

One of my favorite quotes....

"Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination."

-- "The Immortal" Vin Scully
But BA and RBI's are statistics. They are just really crappy ones.

HouseThatRingsBuild
12-13-05, 04:45 PM
JeffWeaverFan, who is that a picture of?

Spiker101
12-13-05, 04:49 PM
Agreed. Gary Sheffield is also in decline (check his OPS+ stats the last 3 years),

Sheffield's OPS numbers beginning in 1997 have been .870, .979, .892, .930, 1.081, 1.000. .927 and .891 last year. If you can find a trend in that, you're a smarter man than I. I think we all expect him to decline because his running abilities are on the wane. But I've seen no evidence his bat is slowing down, which is the key to Sheffield's game. Maybe the decline will come this year. Maybe Giambi will fall apart again. The point is you can raise questions about any MLB roster, but the Yanks simply have fewer of them than anyone else.
For the past two years, theie achilles heel has been lack of depth in the bullpen. And while Cash has taken some steps toward correcting the weakness, he still needs to add another piece or two.

Saxmania
12-13-05, 05:03 PM
Sheffield's OPS numbers beginning in 1997 have been .870, .979, .892, .930, 1.081, 1.000. .927 and .891 last year. If you can find a trend in that, you're a smarter man than I.

Over the last 3 years, Sheffield's OPS+ has gone 167, 143, 132. That's a decline, and it's entirely in line with his age. He'll be 37 next year, and it's highly unlikely that those numbers are going to trend back upwards. I see that as a downwards trend - not unexpected when you're paying for an outfielder's production after age 35, but there you go.

Using OPS, of course, his numbers have actually declined each of his last 4 years. Doesn't that strike you as a trend consist with aging? In 2000-1, he was hitting in LA, where a huge park depressed his numbers. That explains why his OPS went from .930 to 1.081 in 2002 - he moved to Atlanta. So yes, there's a trend downwards consistent with aging. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's a classic aging pattern.

Got Excel or Calc? Plot them on a chart. You'll see what I mean.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

JeffWeaverFan
12-13-05, 05:05 PM
JeffWeaverFan, who is that a picture of?
Philip Hughes. Our #1 prospect.

Yankees13
12-13-05, 05:19 PM
Sheffield's OPS numbers beginning in 1997 have been .870, .979, .892, .930, 1.081, 1.000. .927 and .891 last year. If you can find a trend in that, you're a smarter man than I. I think we all expect him to decline because his running abilities are on the wane. But I've seen no evidence his bat is slowing down, which is the key to Sheffield's game. Maybe the decline will come this year. Maybe Giambi will fall apart again. The point is you can raise questions about any MLB roster, but the Yanks simply have fewer of them than anyone else.
For the past two years, theie achilles heel has been lack of depth in the bullpen. And while Cash has taken some steps toward correcting the weakness, he still needs to add another piece or two.
1.081, 1.000. .927 and .891 looks like one to me...

Spiker101
12-13-05, 05:21 PM
Over the last 3 years, Sheffield's OPS+ has gone 167, 143, 132. That's a decline, and it's entirely in line with his age. He'll be 37 next year, and it's highly unlikely that those numbers are going to trend back upwards. I see that as a downwards trend - not unexpected when you're paying for an outfielder's production after age 35, but there you go.

Using OPS, of course, his numbers have actually declined each of his last 4 years. Doesn't that strike you as a trend consist with aging? In 2000-1, he was hitting in LA, where a huge park depressed his numbers. That explains why his OPS went from .930 to 1.081 in 2002 - he moved to Atlanta. So yes, there's a trend downwards consistent with aging. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's a classic aging pattern.

Got Excel or Calc? Plot them on a chart. You'll see what I mean.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Except that he broke out in '92 with a .965, and followed it with OPS of .817, .857, .964, 1.054, 1.089, .970, .979. and then the .870 in his final full year in Florida. It's like he's had two nearly identical careers. Rise, fall, rise, fall.
I don't know much about OPS+, except that it's supposed to be park adjusted, which is a dubious proposition. I don't know for example how sophisticated they are. Do they make a distinction whether the hitter playing in Yankee stadium is a righty, lefty or switchitter. The stadium for righty hitters is nearly as tough as Dodger Stadium.

goin for 27
12-13-05, 05:49 PM
A good CFer takes away the need for such a deep bullpen though.


I am not looking for a deep bullpen, just a solid one.

Right now, there is Farnsworth, (who has not been as good as Gordon) Mo, Myers as a LOOGY, and a bunch of arms. Maybe some converted starters.

You can put Willie Mays in CF, with the current pen, the Yanks are going to have a bad bullpen ERA.

I agree with the premise you made about how a good CF helps the pitchers, but both areas are a very sore need right now.

Saxmania
12-13-05, 05:49 PM
Except that he broke out in '92 with a .965, and followed it with OPS of .817, .857, .964, 1.054, 1.089, .970, .979. and then the .870 in his final full year in Florida. It's like he's had two nearly identical careers. Rise, fall, rise, fall.

I don't think how Sheffield hit in 1994 has much bearing on how he'll hit in 2006, to be perfectly honest. If you expect him to ascend to another OPS of 1.050 at the age of 37, I suspect you're choosing to ignore normal career peaks. The most similar hitters to Sheffield, using baseball-reference.com, include hitters like Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Duke Snider, who were very seldom productive long after their 35th birthdays.


I don't know much about OPS+, except that it's supposed to be park adjusted, which is a dubious proposition. I don't know for example how sophisticated they are. Do they make a distinction whether the hitter playing in Yankee stadium is a righty, lefty or switchitter. The stadium for righty hitters is nearly as tough as Dodger Stadium.

Well, Sheffield's OBP and SLG also fell for three straight years, two of which were in the same stadium. I don't see much evidence that Sheffield isn't in decline, to be frank. And decline is the normal state of being for a 36-year-old outfielder.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Wang's Groundballs
12-13-05, 06:28 PM
Where did you get this over 20 lost run stat? Over a 162 game span, How many of these 20 or so runs led directly to losses or a lead being blown?

Using LWTS (First Article (http://www.tangotiger.net/runscreated.html)) and Zone Rating. The general rule of thumb is that every 10 runs = 1 win. So Bernie was about 2 wins below the average CF. I'm not sure how many led directly to a loss last year, but when you're looking to next season you can't assume that they won't lead to more losses.


If a Middle Reliever blows a lead in a game and the offense can't recover the lead then that leads to one loss.

But how is that any worse than never getting a lead either because Bernie let a ball drop in an average CF would have gotten to or by not getting on base when an average CF would have?


How were those balls getting hit to him? I'd assume they weren't lazy fly balls as even Bernie in his broken down condition could still manage to catch those. Was Bernie pitching and playing CF and therefore costing us all these runs?

No, it only counts balls that were hit to Bernie's zone while he was on the field. There were all sorts of batted ball types.

JeffWeaverFan
12-13-05, 06:32 PM
I am not looking for a deep bullpen, just a solid one.

Right now, there is Farnsworth, (who has not been as good as Gordon) Mo, Myers as a LOOGY, and a bunch of arms. Maybe some converted starters.

You can put Willie Mays in CF, with the current pen, the Yanks are going to have a bad bullpen ERA.

I agree with the premise you made about how a good CF helps the pitchers, but both areas are a very sore need right now.
Well, I don't know exactly how bad our bullpen is right now. In the 7th innings we've got Myers for the leftys and Sturtze for the righty's. I don't think that's horrible. I'm on the Farnsworth bandwagon so I love him for the 8th. And the 9th we don't have to worry about. Now, this bullpen is not ideal, but I don't think its atrocious.

Either way, it sounds like we are going to sign another arm for the bullpen. Whether it be Tavarez or Seanez, I think we'll get someone. And, if/when that happens, I think the bullpen becomes very good.

Let me put it this way. If I had to choose between getting a godo CFer or a good relief pitcher right now, and I could only choose one, it would be a good CFer hands down.

Spiker101
12-13-05, 07:24 PM
I don't think how Sheffield hit in 1994 has much bearing on how he'll hit in 2006, to be perfectly honest. If you expect him to ascend to another OPS of 1.050 at the age of 37, I suspect you're choosing to ignore normal career peaks. The most similar hitters to Sheffield, using baseball-reference.com, include hitters like Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Duke Snider, who were very seldom productive long after their 35th birthdays.



Well, Sheffield's OBP and SLG also fell for three straight years, two of which were in the same stadium. I don't see much evidence that Sheffield isn't in decline, to be frank. And decline is the normal state of being for a 36-year-old outfielder.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Palmeiro had two of his four most productive years at 36 and 37. To use Bagwell as a comparison with Sheffield is silly because Bags career was killed by his batting stance. The fool put his hands over the middle of the plate and was surprised when he kept getting hit by 95 mph baseballs and breaking bones. Snider is from a different era with a much different ethos regarding off-season training.

Sheffield's OB and SLG have fallen for two years not three. In any case, if Sheffield comes out next season and puts up a 1.000 OPS, it would be in perfect keeping with his career. Gary has not had a normal career. I'm not saying he's not in decline, I'm saying the numbers don't necessarily show it. We'll know better after the 2006 season.

goin for 27
12-13-05, 08:45 PM
Well, I don't know exactly how bad our bullpen is right now. In the 7th innings we've got Myers for the leftys and Sturtze for the righty's. I don't think that's horrible. I'm on the Farnsworth bandwagon so I love him for the 8th. And the 9th we don't have to worry about. Now, this bullpen is not ideal, but I don't think its atrocious.

Either way, it sounds like we are going to sign another arm for the bullpen. Whether it be Tavarez or Seanez, I think we'll get someone. And, if/when that happens, I think the bullpen becomes very good.

Let me put it this way. If I had to choose between getting a godo CFer or a good relief pitcher right now, and I could only choose one, it would be a good CFer hands down.

I don't like Sturtze.

Your example is fine, and I don't love Farnsworth, but he should be okay.

Problem is that you need more than 3 pitchers in the pen. In your example, these guys would be appearing in 100+ games per year. That won't work.

If I had the choice of ONE reliever or a CF'er, I pick CF too. However, CF as a position, and the needs of the bullpen, (more than one player) are both paramount.

goin for 27
12-13-05, 08:59 PM
Palmeiro had two of his four most productive years at 36 and 37. To use Bagwell as a comparison with Sheffield is silly because Bags career was killed by his batting stance. The fool put his hands over the middle of the plate and was surprised when he kept getting hit by 95 mph baseballs and breaking bones. Snider is from a different era with a much different ethos regarding off-season training.

Sheffield's OB and SLG have fallen for two years not three. In any case, if Sheffield comes out next season and puts up a 1.000 OPS, it would be in perfect keeping with his career. Gary has not had a normal career. I'm not saying he's not in decline, I'm saying the numbers don't necessarily show it. We'll know better after the 2006 season.

No. Palmiero declined in 6 consecutive seasons beginning at age 34. This is fairly typical.

34 - 1.050
35 - .954
36 - .944
37 - .962
38 - .867
39 - .796
40 - .786

As you can see, he was more productive at 35, more at 34. Also, more productive at 33, and 30.

Regardless, you can always cherry pick a player here and there, at 37, you are declining, period. Notice Sheffield tailing off in August, again in September this season. It happens. (Part of decline is nagging injuries, as Sheff's leg pull, etc.)

If Sheffield has a 1.000 OPS this year, it WOULD be both very impressive, and just as unlikely. I hope he does, but I am okay with more decline, because even then, he is better at the plate than most.

JeffWeaverFan
12-13-05, 09:59 PM
I don't like Sturtze.

Your example is fine, and I don't love Farnsworth, but he should be okay.

Problem is that you need more than 3 pitchers in the pen. In your example, these guys would be appearing in 100+ games per year. That won't work.

If I had the choice of ONE reliever or a CF'er, I pick CF too. However, CF as a position, and the needs of the bullpen, (more than one player) are both paramount.
I think Sturtze is a wildcard. I think he'd be effective.

That's not true. We'll be in a number of games where we're leading by a number of runs (or losing by a bunch) and you use Small/Wright.

Either way, I think we are going to get another relief pitcher anyways.

LongLiveBernie51!
12-14-05, 09:59 AM
Using LWTS (First Article (http://www.tangotiger.net/runscreated.html)) and Zone Rating. The general rule of thumb is that every 10 runs = 1 win. So Bernie was about 2 wins below the average CF. I'm not sure how many led directly to a loss last year, but when you're looking to next season you can't assume that they won't lead to more losses.



But how is that any worse than never getting a lead either because Bernie let a ball drop in an average CF would have gotten to or by not getting on base when an average CF would have?



No, it only counts balls that were hit to Bernie's zone while he was on the field. There were all sorts of batted ball types.


You still didn't answer my main question.... How many times did Bernie get balls hit to him that he was unable to make a play on in the course of 1 inning or even stretched out over 1 game that resulted in him singlehandedly blowing leads and costing us a game?

My decision would be based on whether or not Bernie or any other poor CF is singlehandedly blowing games like our middle relief could.

TEPLimey
12-14-05, 10:11 AM
I would be very happy to see an above-average defensive CF who is not Womackian at the plate (i.e., not a black hole). I have my doubts Bubba fits the latter, while I know Bernie doesn't fit the former. A Jay Payton-type would make me very happy, but then you have to wonder if its worth trading the farm for him (hint: its not).

Maybe between Crosby, Vento, Thompson, and Melky we can find someone that fits the bill?

whalers
12-14-05, 10:24 AM
I would be very happy to see an above-average defensive CF who is not Womackian at the plate (i.e., not a black hole). I have my doubts Bubba fits the latter, while I know Bernie doesn't fit the former. A Jay Payton-type would make me very happy, but then you have to wonder if its worth trading the farm for him (hint: its not).

Maybe between Crosby, Vento, Thompson, and Melky we can find someone that fits the bill?

Does anyone remember what the A's traded to get him last season? It would make it a lot easier to guess his price in a trade.

whalers
12-14-05, 10:50 AM
Does anyone remember what the A's traded to get him last season? It would make it a lot easier to guess his price in a trade.

To answer my own question it was Chad Bradford and Cash. That being said I think he could come relatively cheap.

Spiker101
12-14-05, 12:20 PM
No. Palmiero declined in 6 consecutive seasons beginning at age 34. This is fairly typical.

34 - 1.050
35 - .954
36 - .944
37 - .962
38 - .867
39 - .796
40 - .786

As you can see, he was more productive at 35, more at 34. Also, more productive at 33, and 30.

Regardless, you can always cherry pick a player here and there, at 37, you are declining, period. Notice Sheffield tailing off in August, again in September this season. It happens. (Part of decline is nagging injuries, as Sheff's leg pull, etc.)
.



First place I didn't cherry pick anything, it was cherry-picked for me under the most similiar player theory which I personally don't hold all that much stock in.

To say he had six straight years of decline beginning at age 34 is simply propaganda and why I'm often distrubed by the logic of statheads. At age 37, Sheffield's age this coming season, Palmeiro had a better season than he did at age 36, 35, 33, 32, 31, 29, 28, 27, 26. The fact is that he had a highly consistent career with two relative offyears and one "career" year. Otherwise, he maintained an OPS in the 900s for a dozen seasons. There was not even a hint of a decline until after his 38th birthday. But even at 38, his OPS of .867 wasn't bad and this was for a really, really bad team. I don't know that if he'd been hitting in a better lineup, he might not have had another year in the .900s. By age 39 he was clearly in decline. That's all you can say about the numbers. All wisdom does not reside in statistics.

Saxmania
12-14-05, 01:28 PM
Palmeiro had two of his four most productive years at 36 and 37. To use Bagwell as a comparison with Sheffield is silly because Bags career was killed by his batting stance. The fool put his hands over the middle of the plate and was surprised when he kept getting hit by 95 mph baseballs and breaking bones. Snider is from a different era with a much different ethos regarding off-season training.

If you think that Sheffield's production is likely to head back upwards because Palmeiro had a couple good years after age 34 (and, after all, tested positive for steroids a couple years later), then more power to you, but to me it seems based on nothing more than wishful thinking. As your own figures indicate, Sheffield's stats have been heading steadily downwards the last few years, and to suggest a late-career resurgence just because he had one 5 years ago (when he was 31) seems to me the definition of 'cherry-picking' stats. His stats are going down, hence I say he's in decline. They might go up again, but if something's going downwards, one would tend to assume that continual downward motion is likely until you provide evidence otherwise.


Sheffield's OB and SLG have fallen for two years not three. In any case, if Sheffield comes out next season and puts up a 1.000 OPS, it would be in perfect keeping with his career. Gary has not had a normal career. I'm not saying he's not in decline, I'm saying the numbers don't necessarily show it. We'll know better after the 2006 season.

I say the numbers do show he's in decline, because his numbers have, uh, declined from 2003 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2005. What else would you call going downwards? Decreasing? Sliding? Diminishing? Gary Sheffield is in decline as a baseball player. If he suddenly has another great season at age 37, then whoop-de-doo, but it's hardly the likely outcome if you're being honest.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

mhmajp
12-14-05, 02:37 PM
Last I checked the goal is to score more runs than your opponents. Whether you do that by preventing them from scoring runs or by producing more runs yourself doesn't matter as long as you do it. And I never said it was necessary, just that we need more output from CF; this could be from a CF that saves 20 runs with the glove and gives up 10 with the bat, I don't care as long as they help us win games.

The Rangers score an awful lot of runs. Don't much see them around the playoffs. The reality is that prevention is just as important as scoring runs.

LongLiveBernie51!
12-14-05, 03:00 PM
The Rangers score an awful lot of runs. Don't much see them around the playoffs. The reality is that prevention is just as important as scoring runs.

I agree and a solid Middle relief pitcher can make up for any misplays on a single hit.

To revisit the example stated earlier in this thread where Brown was pitching against the Rangers after the All Star game last year and had to make 20 extra pitches. You could make the argument that had we gotten one more solid middle relief pitcher then one misplay by a CF doesn't cost us the following game where Wayne Franklin gives up the 2 run homer.

We can go in circles with this but I would rather have one solid middle reliever to be able to make up for a misplay in the field then worrying about everyday players being absolutely perfect in the field so that it won't effect starting pitching and therefore lead us into a dreadful bullpen situation.

Edit: spelling

Saxmania
12-14-05, 03:03 PM
The Rangers score an awful lot of runs. Don't much see them around the playoffs.

That's partly because of their ballpark. If they played in Yankee Stadium they would probably be a little above average, so their offense isn't that good compared to the teams they play.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Jasbro
12-14-05, 03:16 PM
Over the last 3 years, Sheffield's OPS+ has gone 167, 143, 132. That's a decline, and it's entirely in line with his age. He'll be 37 next year, and it's highly unlikely that those numbers are going to trend back upwards. I see that as a downwards trend - not unexpected when you're paying for an outfielder's production after age 35, but there you go.

Using OPS, of course, his numbers have actually declined each of his last 4 years. Doesn't that strike you as a trend consist with aging? In 2000-1, he was hitting in LA, where a huge park depressed his numbers. That explains why his OPS went from .930 to 1.081 in 2002 - he moved to Atlanta. So yes, there's a trend downwards consistent with aging. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's a classic aging pattern.

Got Excel or Calc? Plot them on a chart. You'll see what I mean.

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Actually, overall it simply appears that he reverting to his pre-peak numbers of 2002/3.

Is he "in decline"? Technically -- but he is declining off of peak numbers (in the context of the past 7 years).

Viewed this way, his OPS at age 36 was the same as it was at age 31 -- which is far less alarming than the context you are using (which is focusing purely on the downward slope of the curve you suggested).

Wang's Groundballs
12-14-05, 03:27 PM
You still didn't answer my main question.... How many times did Bernie get balls hit to him that he was unable to make a play on in the course of 1 inning or even stretched out over 1 game that resulted in him singlehandedly blowing leads and costing us a game?

My decision would be based on whether or not Bernie or any other poor CF is singlehandedly blowing games like our middle relief could.

Ummm, if you want to spend the $20,000 it would take to get PBP data for last year I'd be more than happy to figure this out for you.

Giving up runs lead to losses. If we were lucky enough last year that Bernie only allowed in hits in blowouts then we should count are fortunes and not make the mistake of counting that to happen again. Bernie's defense may not lead to as dramatic of losses as a sucky reliever will, but over the course of a season it will hurt us far more.

Wang's Groundballs
12-14-05, 03:28 PM
The Rangers score an awful lot of runs. Don't much see them around the playoffs. The reality is that prevention is just as important as scoring runs.

Yeah, that's exactly what I said. I'm not sure why you chose to quote me...?

Wang's Groundballs
12-14-05, 03:30 PM
2004 and 2005 were the 2 worst seasons Sheff has had with the bat since 1994. He's horrible defensively now as well. I think if he could DH a majority of the time he'd improve a bit from 2005 and maybe even 2004, but I don't know how anyone can honestly say he's not in decline.

LongLiveBernie51!
12-14-05, 04:25 PM
Ummm, if you want to spend the $20,000 it would take to get PBP data for last year I'd be more than happy to figure this out for you.

Giving up runs lead to losses. If we were lucky enough last year that Bernie only allowed in hits in blowouts then we should count are fortunes and not make the mistake of counting that to happen again. Bernie's defense may not lead to as dramatic of losses as a sucky reliever will, but over the course of a season it will hurt us far more.

I still don't see how you can prove this...but I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Saxmania
12-14-05, 05:12 PM
Actually, overall it simply appears that he reverting to his pre-peak numbers of 2002/3.

Is he "in decline"? Technically -- but he is declining off of peak numbers (in the context of the past 7 years).

Yes, well. Isn't that where people usually decline from? Their peak?

Seriously, people seem to think I'm saying that Sheffield is 'done'. That's not what the word 'decline' means. It simply means that any objective analysis of Gary Sheffield would say that, of the possible scenarios for 2006, the most likely will be that he will not be as effective as he was in 2005. If you agree with that statement, then you agree that Gary Sheffield is in decline.

If you expect Sheffield, at the age of 37, to suddenly improve as a hitter, then you don't think he's in decline - fair enough. It could happen, but it seems to me less likely than the idea that he'll continue to get worse. Hence, 'in decline'. I can't say it much more simply than that.

And the relevance is that the Yankees' offense is likely to be worse than it was last year with no changes made. Hence why simply arguing that we had a great offense in 2005 means we don't need a new bat at CF in 2006 is flawed - we won't have our 2005 offense again in 2006. We'll have declines from some players, such as Posada and yes, probably, Sheffield.


Viewed this way, his OPS at age 36 was the same as it was at age 31 -- which is far less alarming than the context you are using (which is focusing purely on the downward slope of the curve you suggested).

Not at all. The current curve is the relevant one. What Sheffield did at age 31 is interesting and all, but it doesn't affect his output in 2006 anywhere near as much as his 2005 output does. Since his 2005 output was down from his 2004 output, and his 2004 output was down from his 2003 output, guess where I expect his 2006 output to be?

That's right. Down.

I'm not saying he's going to be a bad hitter. I'm saying that he's likely to be less good than last year. It has nothing to do with how he hit in 2000, or the fact that he used to play for LA, or anything. It has to do with the fact that he's past the point of his career when players generally get better and stay the same, and into the point of his career when players generally get worse. His production from his last couple of years supports this theory, as everyone has noted. So . . . he's in decline.

Why are we still arguing about this? What have I said that's so controversial here?

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Spiker101
12-14-05, 06:36 PM
What have I said that's so controversial here?


With respect, I think what's controversial to me is that perhaps you doing the very same thing you in this thread noted that other people do, that is come up with a preceived notion and then use statistics to back it up.
The preconceived notion, that at age 37, Sheffield is bound to decline. Then you find two years of so-called decline. There are a lot of ways to explain the decline that have nothing to do with age, the simplest being that the AL is simply a tougher league than the NL. Further, Sheffield has had several peak years during his career that were followed by "declining" seasons, followed by another peak, followed by decline.
Now, if you held a gun to my head and made me guess whether Gary is in decline because of age, I would probably agree, but not because the stats tell me so. It's just that experience shows that players, with some important exceptions, really start losing it at about age 36-37. But on the other hand, while I don't pretend to be a scout, I'll be damned if I can see that Sheffield's bat has slowed down, which along with injury is the most important reason why players lose it.

BTW, I absolutely agree with you that the Yanks have no business punting offense from the centerfielder if it can be avoided. You must always be trying to improve. The trick of course will be pulling it off without decimating an already thin farm system or giving up a starter when the injury risk with this team is acute.

Saxmania
12-14-05, 07:02 PM
With respect, I think what's controversial to me is that perhaps you doing the very same thing you in this thread noted that other people do, that is come up with a preceived notion and then use statistics to back it up.

Okay, let's take a look.


The preconceived notion, that at age 37, Sheffield is bound to decline.

No. NO. I never said that, and it's a misrepresentation to say that I did. I said that Sheffield is likely to decline.


Then you find two years of so-called decline.

It is decline, not 'so-called' decline.


There are a lot of ways to explain the decline that have nothing to do with age, the simplest being that the AL is simply a tougher league than the NL. Further, Sheffield has had several peak years during his career that were followed by "declining" seasons, followed by another peak, followed by decline.

Well, moving to the AL doesn't explain why his stats would, yes, decline from 2004-5, does it? And if you're describing the years after his 'peaks' as decline yourself, then aren't we in agreement here? He's in decline. He might achieve another year of improvement, but if - at age 37 - you think that's more likely than the reverse, then I suggest to you that it's the triumph of hope over experience. And you agree that yourself, below.


Now, if you held a gun to my head and made me guess whether Gary is in decline because of age, I would probably agree, but not because the stats tell me so. It's just that experience shows that players, with some important exceptions, really start losing it at about age 36-37.

Age is a stat. It's the number of years Gary Sheffield has been alive.

What you seem to be saying is that we have the same opinion. But because mine is based on statistics, or 'facts', it's less valid than your gut? I'm honestly confused.


But on the other hand, while I don't pretend to be a scout, I'll be damned if I can see that Sheffield's bat has slowed down, which along with injury is the most important reason why players lose it.

Gary Sheffield was carrying an injury late last year, was he not? That seems to be the kind of thing that happens more as you age. Hence, age-related decline.

You've already agreed that 'experience shows that players, with some important exceptions, really start losing it at about age 36-37.' That's the argument you've used to suggest that Sheffield probably is in decline. That's exactly my point, except that I've gone the additional step to point out that the decline is already evident in his production!

Be seeing you,

Saxmania

Spiker101
12-14-05, 08:17 PM
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No. NO. I never said that, and it's a misrepresentation to say that I did. I said that Sheffield is likely to decline.




Yep, bound was a poor choice of words on my part.




Well, moving to the AL doesn't explain why his stats would, yes, decline from 2004-5, does it? And if you're describing the years after his 'peaks' as decline yourself, then aren't we in agreement here? He's in decline. He might achieve another year of improvement, but if - at age 37 - you think that's more likely than the reverse, then I suggest to you that it's the triumph of hope over experience. And you agree that yourself, below.



I ask this question NOT to be argumentative. I ask because I don't know the answer. Is the dfference between .927 and .891 satistically significant? Aren't the two numbers within the range of normal variation. Just fiddling around with my trusty slugging percentage calculator, the difference between the two is an additional three singles, a pair of doubles and a home run. I have a hard time believing that's a difference that tells you anything you can take to the bank. Maybe there were a couple of extra days in 2005 in which the wind blew in from left and a couple of long flies off Gary's bat were caught at the wall instead of landing in some guy's cup of beer.



.


What you seem to be saying is that we have the same opinion. But because mine is based on statistics, or 'facts', it's less valid than your gut? I'm honestly confused.



I'm saying your facts aren't persuasive. I don't know whether Gary will decline. My mind is open. It would not surprise me if Gary is indeed in the final landing pattern before retirement, but I'm not going to fall over with a heart attack if he does turn in another 1.000 OPS.
The drop in OPS over the past two seasons is a fact, but the value of a fact is entirely dependent on context. It needs help if any sense is to be made of it. This particular fact can support your belief that Sheffield is likely in a permanent decline, but it's also a fact that can support my theory that the last seasons' drop in production may just be part and parcel of a larger pattern that is obvious if you examine Sheffield's career as a whole.





Gary Sheffield was carrying an injury late last year, was he not? That seems to be the kind of thing that happens more as you age. Hence, age-related decline.

I'm not sure THIS is a fact. Sheffield's career has been marked throughout by relatively minor injuries that often cost him 10-20 games each year. It's possible last season's injuries were caused by age, but just as likely they weren't. It's also possible that he played with injuries that he wouldn't have normally because his team was locked in a playoff push. This of couse may entirely explain the minor loss in production from 2004 to 2005.



.
That's exactly my point, except that I've gone the additional step to point out that the decline is already evident in his production



And this where I disagree. You simply have presented a series of statistics that MAY indicate the decline is evident. I say those stats can be intrepreted very differently. Statistics are fun and enhance enjoyment of the game, and they DO have some predicative value. But it is far, far from absolute.

goin for 27
12-14-05, 09:11 PM
With respect, I think what's controversial to me is that perhaps you doing the very same thing you in this thread noted that other people do, that is come up with a preceived notion and then use statistics to back it up.
The preconceived notion, that at age 37, Sheffield is bound to decline.

First, it is pretty clear that players decline as they age. Their is a reason that there are only 8 players in MLB older than 40. Most Major Leaguers do not WANT to leave the game, they have to. It is not a preconceived notion.

Sheffield will be 37 next year, he is almost certain to decline, and is almost certain that he has been in decline. The statistics merely back this up.

Further, Sheffield is a candidate for a precipitous decline. He is a power hitter, and further one who relies on incredible bat speed to be successful. When his bat speed declines, game over. He is not the type of hitter who will take a pitch softly to the opposite field. He is a power hitter, and they typically fall off a cliff.

ryanthe13th
12-14-05, 09:54 PM
Sheffield is an ideal DH. I hope they re-sign him to a two year deal after 2006 and keep him in the DH spot permanently. I don't see Gary Sheffield falling off the map as hard as people are predicting that he will. Injury and all, he almost hit .300 this year, hit 34 HR and had over 120 RBI's.

DandyAndy46
12-14-05, 10:44 PM
Sheffield is an ideal DH. I hope they re-sign him to a two year deal after 2006 and keep him in the DH spot permanently. I don't see Gary Sheffield falling off the map as hard as people are predicting that he will. Injury and all, he almost hit .300 this year, hit 34 HR and had over 120 RBI's.

If you think the Yanks are re-signing Sheff you're crazy...I don't see it happening..

ryanthe13th
12-14-05, 10:47 PM
If you think the Yanks are re-signing Sheff you're crazy...I don't see it happening..

I don't think they are, I said I hope they are. Maybe he'll take a discount to play on the Yankees, he's obviously passionate enough about it.

Spiker101
12-15-05, 07:30 AM
First, it is pretty clear that players decline as they age. Their is a reason that there are only 8 players in MLB older than 40. Most Major Leaguers do not WANT to leave the game, they have to. It is not a preconceived notion.

Sheffield will be 37 next year, he is almost certain to decline, and is almost certain that he has been in decline. The statistics merely back this up.

Further, Sheffield is a candidate for a precipitous decline. He is a power hitter, and further one who relies on incredible bat speed to be successful. When his bat speed declines, game over. He is not the type of hitter who will take a pitch softly to the opposite field. He is a power hitter, and they typically fall off a cliff.

I've really exhausted about all I have to say on the subject, but let me add this and then I promise I'll shut up.

Players don't decline because of age per se, but because their skills decline as a result of age. But the pace of that decline in skills varies widely. Bonds had the best season of his career at age 38 (there may have been extraneous reasons for that), Julio Franco is still a productive hitter at 47, we all know what Clemens has done. There have been certain players who are freaks of nature so to speak, who defy the normal aging patterns of the average MLB player. So the question becomes not how old Sheffield is, but whether he is one of those unusual players.

In Sheffield's case, the freakish skill is bat speed, as you've said. I'm not a scout, but it sure appeared to me that Gary's bat speed was intact last season. It's entirely possible that it could all end tomorrow and that last season's minor drop in production might have been a mere precursor to a precipitious decline. But it's also possible that last season was a statistical fluke, or there were causes such as nagging injuries having nothing to do with age, or a thousand other possibilities. We simply don't know and the stats don't tell us with anything like the certainty necessary to make lofty predictions.