FIRE JOE MORGAN: Fixing the 2007 Yankees: We're Scoring Too Many Runs


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Friday, October 13, 2006


Fixing the 2007 Yankees: We're Scoring Too Many Runs

Is anyone sick of me writing about the Yankees? I'm not. Here are some facts about those guys. In 2006, they led the majors in runs scored with 930. But that's not all. The next highest-scoring team, the Indians, scored 870 runs, so the Yankees outscored them by 60 runs. Nothing amazing yet. But check this out: say we subtract 60 runs from what the Indians scored and create an arbitrary 810-870 runs scored range. Guess how many teams fall in that range? The answer: including the Indians, 10. That means that not only did the Yankees lead the league in scoring, they did so by an incredibly large margin. And that was with hundreds of games missed by Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, two pretty good hitters, and only a third of a season from Bobby Abreu, a man who would have ranked third in the AL in OBP if you combined his AL and NL stats.

So if, two days ago, you were writing an article called "How to fix the Yankees for 2007," what would you suggest in said article? If you're Fox Sports' Roger Sackaroff, your answer is to get rid of Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Johnny Damon. I'm not making this up. He really wrote that.

It's cool, though, Sackaroff's got a plan. Take a look at the studs he'll be replacing those home run-hitting malcontents with:

Alex Rodriguez --> Mike Lowell (Mike Lowell?)
Jason Giambi --> Andy Phillips
Gary Sheffield --> Melky Cabrera
Johnny Damon --> Gary Matthews, Jr. (Gary Matthews, Jr.??)

This is sub-sports talk radio stuff. I can't believe I'm continuing to type, but here's a quick copy-and-paste for you. Again, all of these words are his:

Ideal 2007 Yankees team:

RHP Chien-Ming Wang
(2 of 3) RHP Mike Mussina and/or LHP Andy Pettitte (FA, HOU) and/or LHP Mark Mulder (FA, STL)
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (FA, Japan)
RHP Philip Hughes

RHP Mariano Rivera
RHP Scott Proctor
RHP Brian Bruney
LHP Sean Henn

1. RF Melky Cabrera
2. 2B Robinson Cano
3. SS Derek Jeter
4. LF Hideki Matsui
5. DH Bobby Abreu
6. C Jorge Posada
7. 3B Mike Lowell
8. CF Gary Matthews Jr.
9. 1B Andy Phillips

C Greg Zaun (FA, TOR)
UT Miguel Cairo
UT Kevin Thompson

Does anyone know offhand what the largest dropoff in runs scored from one season to the next is? I'm pretty sure this "ideal" Yankees team obliterates it in 2007. There's just almost too much to process here, so I'm going to write some thoughts in nugget form.

* Andy Phillips is going to be thirty years old next year. His major league career OBP is .267. Neifi Perez' career OBP: .298. Andy Phillips plays first base. Did I mention he's going to be thirty years old?

* I'm sorry -- one more about Andy Phillips and Neifi Perez. Neifi is only four years older than Andy, but he's played major league baseball for eleven years already. Andy has played in 142 games total. Ideal.

* In 2005, among all baseball players with 500 or more at bats, Alex Rodriguez ranked third in OPS. Mike Lowell ranked second to last.

* In 2006, Mark Mulder had a 7.14 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. Sure, he was hurt. His last year in the AL, he posted a 4.43 ERA. The last time he had a good WHIP was in 2003.

* Greg Zaun?

There's boatloads of explanation for this ideal lineup, but this was my favorite part:

[T]he team should bring up some prospects to fill those spots in the pen. The Twins worked Johan Santana and Liriano through the bullpen for a while and it seemed to work out for them. Pitching prospects (Darrell Rasner/Jeff Karstens/TJ Beam/Sean Henn, etc …) should get a shot at those innings.

T.J. Beam is 26 years old. When he was 25, he posted a sweet 3.12 ERA ... for the Single A+ Florida State League Tampa Yankees. When Johan Santana was 25, he won the fucking Cy Young and dominated baseball like few men ever have. When Francisco Liriano will be 25, it will be the year 2008 and Major League Baseball will have disbanded.

Sean Henn is 25 years old. He's doing a little better than T.J. Beam. Last year he pitched in AAA and had a respectable 4.01 ERA. But his WHIP was 1.50 and his peripherals were less than stellar: a K/9 of 6.96 and a BB/9 of 4.22. In his last year of AAA, Francisco Liriano had a 1.78 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP, an 11.08 K/9 and a 2.37 BB/9. He was 21 years old. These men are not similar.

I also enjoyed this:

These changes would cost a lot of money, but not by bringing in more stars.

Right. These extraordinarily expensive changes would bring in mediocrities, not the stars that kill your playoff chances.

Goodbye: SP Cory Lidle, SP Jaret Wright, RP Mike Myers, RP Ron Villone, RP Kyle Farnsworth, C Sal Fasano, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 1B Jason Giambi, RF Gary Sheffield, OF Bernie Williams, CF Johnny Damon

Goodbye, 130 home runs! You were the reason we lost in 2006! In 2007, we're not making that mistake. We'll be sure not to score too many damn runs -- and this is just the lineup to ensure it.

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posted by Junior  # 8:46 PM
I can't believe I didn't even mention that Sackaroff's first "Goodbye" is to Cory Lidle. Good riddance, Cory!

Thanks to the many readers who wrote in.
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