Thursday, April 28, 2016

How Much Hope Should We Have for the Yankees Offense?

On Twitter over the past few days, I've seen the Yankees offense compared to a dumpster fire and Lloyd Christmas throwing up in his mouth. Both of those metaphors work right now, as the team has scored the fourth-fewest runs in baseball this season. After a couple offensive outbursts in the first series of the season against Houston, the bats have looked mostly anemic. Specifically, the left-side infielders have combined to hit like the long-brimmed version of Smalls, the bench-warmers have played like bench-warmers, and Alex Rodriguez has looked every bit the 14,701-day-old he is.

Didi Gregorius has a .238/.246/.365 line. (Photo via wsj.com)
Sure, it's a small sample size of just 20 games so far, but it's not as small of a sample size when you add all of the players' at-bats together. Then it starts getting a lot more worrisome. Or does it?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How Often Do You Sneak Into Better Seats?

On the MLB season preview edition of The Poscast, sportswriter Joe Posnanski and comedy writer Michael Schur got me very excited for April baseball with their thoughtful, funny banter about the best parts of major league ballparks. However, they also discussed a fact that made me think a little less of each of them.

They're middle-aged rabid baseball fans. So how many times would you guess they've sneaked into better seats at a game? It's gotta be in the dozens, right? Or maybe they've even sneaked into better seats hundreds of times? Sure, Posnanski's been going to games with a press pass for years, but he grew up attending half-full Indians games during a dismal time for the team. And Schur, as a rabid Red Sox fan, has surely sneaked down from the cheap seats at Fenway on a decent number of occasions. Right?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How Funny Was This 'Jeopardy' Mistake?

Every once in a while, Jeopardy pleases the hardball-loving folks on the Internet with a baseball-related clue or category. For instance, Yogi Berra came up in a Final Jeopardy clue a couple weeks ago, to the delight of fans all over.

Well, today, I have a real treat for lovers of Jeopardy and baseball.

In an episode at the end of February, a contestant named Suzy Law got an answer hilariously wrong. Well, it was hilarious to me as a diehard baseball fan, at least. The category was "Hard-throwing Pitchers" and the question was pretty straightforward.


Easy, right? Well, Suzy... Suzy... I guess I'll just let you watch how Suzy answered.



GOLD!

Friday, April 8, 2016

How Misguided Was the Guinness Marketing Department?

A few months ago, Guinness first aired a commercial for the company's Blonde American Lager. This particular beer (and its ad, which is linked above) is intended to celebrate the contributions of Irish immigrants in America.

However, Guinness might have miscalculated with one of the images used in the 30-second spot. At the 0:04 mark of the commercial, we see a famous Jacob Riis photo called "Bandit's Roost." I think that Guinness intended to highlight the tough living conditions the Irish experienced in the New York City tenements of the nineteenth century. However, as the photo's title suggests, many of the subjects in the image were bandits -- criminals and felons.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How Well Did I Predict John Sterling's Homer Call for Starlin Castro?

Please allow me to take a bow. Right before spring training, Kavanaugh and I predicted how we thought John Sterling would call home runs for this season's newest Yankees. Here's what I guessed for second baseman Starlin Castro:

"Starlin is New York's new darlin'!"

As easy (and probable) as it would be for Sterling to use a pun on "Star" (e.g., "Castro's got star power!"), I think he'll go the rhyming route.


Well, in the second inning of Wednesday night's game against the Astros, Castro blasted a dinger to left and Sterling delivered this call: "He is Darlin' Starlin."

Sunday, April 3, 2016

How Will These Yankees Defy Their Projections (For Better or for Worse)?

Last season during spring training, I posted two separate stories about which Yankees would outperform their preseason projections and which ones would underperform. This year, let's tackle both in one long post.

So what qualifies you to do this again? you might ask. Were your predictions better than those of the projection systems last year?

Well, yes and no -- quite literally! I correctly predicted the performance of both Yankees pitchers (Masahiro Tanaka and Dellin Betances) I examined while incorrectly forecasting the performances of a pair of position players (Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley). I correctly guessed one strong season relative to projections (Betances) and one weak season (Tanaka). On the other hand, I totally messed up in terms of Teixeira (much better/healthier than I expected) and Headley (much worse). So I went two-for-four -- like I said, yes and no.

I probably would have done just as well last year if I had just flipped a coin for a few Yankees. Still, my predictions were a little better than many others, including anyone who prophesied the Marlins to win the World Series and everyone who thought the Nationals would treat the National League like General Sherman treated Georgia.

Which is all a long way of saying that you can't stop me from doing this again. So, which Yankees will preform better than their projections and which will do worse? On to the predictions!