Recent Comments by EnglishSpin

Yankees Win World Series

You, on the other hand, cared so much about how SportsFilter covers the series that you didn't post a single link or make a single comment about games until this discussion, when your main point seems to be that we're talking about the wrong things and making Yankees fans feel unwelcome.

You're right. I don't care. I was only seconding an observation that had already been made and putting my own spin in defense of that position. The thread was steered in one direction, and there appears to have been no Yankee-fan contingent to have steered it another way. How surprising given the graciousness with which their victories are met by the non-fans here.

posted by EnglishSpin at 10:46 PM on November 06, 2009

Yankees Win World Series

Yep, that's what I said, justgary. I said throw out all analysis and meaningful commentary on baseball and only discuss pies. I'm all about the pie.

In the Philly thread last year, pretty much everyone made a comment about who they were happy or unhappy for. Where's the analysis in that? That sounds like an emotional response. Your comment about being happy for Jamie Moyer but not Bret Meyer [sic], is that because of some analytical study you've done of their career salaries to production, or are you responding to them emotionally in some way? Please tell me what's open here. Inter-player chemistry is ridiculous, but fan-player chemistry is meaningful discussion? And these are somehow completely independent of each other?

There are probably 10 sports (not Yankees-specific) sites that were able to discuss the outcome of the series without turning it into a forum on baseball economics. Here's one. What's funny about that is that BBTF is reputed to be a collection of stathead number crunchers, and yet there's more of the kind of emotional response and camaraderie there than you are apparently hoping for here when you describe intelligent sports communities. Yeesh.

Make whatever you want of the site. This thread has no game analysis, no series analysis, really nothing much except for protracted attempts to diminish the accomplishments of the victors. I'm just repeating here what lil_brown_bat pointed out. If that's cool with you, have at it. I'm not too personally psyched for reading about sports that has the human element tucked away behind facts and analysis, but that's just my opinion - I'm not asking you to change anything and I'm already aware of where the door is.

posted by EnglishSpin at 10:32 PM on November 06, 2009

Yankees Win World Series

The idea that a championship team was also a group of guys that liked each other is a pointless set of laurels bestowed by fans after the fact because it's pleasant to imagine a team that way. None of us are privy to the 2009 Yankees' locker room, so why argue about it?

posted by yerfatma at 08:04 PM on November 06

The chemistry of the team has been a storyline all year. Girardi drops a day of training to take the club out to play pool. CC takes everybody out to dinner. Nick Swisher is apparently told to crank up the music in the clubhouse. AJ starts throwing pies at guys, and the New York media starts losing their minds over whether or not that fits the "Yankee Way."

As the Yankees were dropping the ALCS in 2004, everyone was commenting that they looked "tight." A-Rod looked "tight." They had relievers vomiting in the bullpen when they were leading the series 3-1. Now that the Yankees have won, the team's attitude is no longer subject to discussion? That they have been a visibly looser team this year than in recent years past is not a meaningful observation as it coincides with their success?

Sheesh. If you want to defend the Yankees on the merits, I'm eager to have that discussion. But if you're just going to slam people for not being unqualified enough in their praise, what's the point? You don't seem to be making any effort at all to see how this looks to fans of the other 29 teams.

posted by rcade at 05:57 PM on November 06

Why should it look different than any other team's championship to the other 29 teams that didn't win? Here's the thread from the Phillies championship last year.

Last year you opened the thread with how much more exciting the Series was than you thought it would be at the end. This year, you opened with the bleak wait for next year. Then in your next comment, your first editorial on this Series, you said you hate it when the Yankees spend their money well. I don't even know if this is qualified praise -- it seems to be lacking an essential element.

You can paint this any way you want. This thread isn't inviting to fans of the team that won the World Series in anything close to the way that it was for the Phillies. Like it or not, and it sure seems like the former, this is no place that any kind of NYY fan would want to go to discuss their team's victory.

posted by EnglishSpin at 08:46 PM on November 06, 2009

Giants ace Lincecum cited for marijuana possession

Getting caught with a misdemeanor amount of weed shouldn't even be news, and it certainly shouldn't trigger any kind of testing or suspension for Lincecum.

Marijuana is a banned substance in MLB. MLB testing for drugs of abuse is done on a basis of reasonable cause. Maybe you're arguing that the policy shouldn't exist but given that it does this is pretty cut-and-dried reasonable cause to test. If it was a syringe and just a tiny amount of steroids, people would be going batshit. How is this different?

(On edit: of course I mean how is it different in the eyes of MLB's banned substance policy, not how is marijuana different than steroids. That's not really material here.)

posted by EnglishSpin at 07:54 PM on November 06, 2009

Yankees Win World Series

yours is clearly a popular point here But not other places where smart people actually think about things?

a casual examination of the history of the Yankees should illustrate that "have fun doing it" is a meaningful distinction from other of their championship teams So the run in the late 90s was all business? Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius lobbied to change the team unis to bespoke Saville Row pinstripe suits? Also, throwing the word "casual" in there is a less-than-subtle "Fuck you" that would have been best left thought but unsaid.

posted by yerfatma at 07:36 AM on November 06

Addessing your second comment first, by "casual" I meant that you didn't have to have clubhouse access or be an avid reader of team exposes to know that the Yankees championship teams of the '70s didn't get along, didn't have good chemistry in the clubhouse. I know of Yankee fans that broke off from that team even though they were winning because they couldn't stand the zoo atmosphere. So I would think it's not out of line for a fan to recognize how much this team seems to get along, because there is an implied contrast to other championship teams. Whatever other subtext you've put into that statement wasn't intended.

On the first point, I don't know why I would raise other places of discussion in this forum, but this is the second thread on this site in which there appeared to me to be a majority dismissal of club chemistry as being worthy of discussion. So I guess I wouldn't be able to find a place where smart people think about it because it would have already been dismissed out of hand. I just gave an example of a winning club in the same franchise that didn't have good chemistry. The original comment that was responded to wasn't indicating anything more than that, despite the burden of the highest payroll and the constant weight of the heaviest of expectations and the egos that would presumably come with a club of superstars, the team seemed to have fun. This is an organization that has a reputation for being corporate and unfun and has been criticized roundly for it, so shouting down this observation as not worthy of discussion seems to me to be out of bounds.

posted by EnglishSpin at 05:39 PM on November 06, 2009

Yankees Win World Series

Establish a salary cap with a reasonable floor as well as a maximum and that should solve that problem.

I don't see how a salary floor will accomplish anything beyond ensuring that the pay scale for talent gets completely thrown out the window.

See Point V of the Official DrJohnEvans SpoFi Platform.

This assumes a cause/effect without examining the possibility of it working in reverse, but yours is clearly a popular point here and an easy one to derail onto. Even given that you're right, a casual examination of the history of the Yankees should illustrate that "have fun doing it" is a meaningful distinction from other of their championship teams.

posted by EnglishSpin at 11:22 PM on November 05, 2009

Yankees Win World Series

It's hard to separate the excellence of the team from the unprecedented monetary disparity between the team's payroll and everyone else's.

Yes. It's hard to separate the excellence of the team from the fact that they are close to the only team going about it an honest way.

The Yankees do spend more money than other teams in MLB, but the differences would be less drastic if the payrolls of many teams had been rising up to the waves of new cash that have entered baseball in recent years. Going by the NFL formula, very generous considering the MLBPA is far more powerful an entity than any other union in sports, the payroll floor for 2009 would almost certainly be in the $100 million range. 58% of league revenue, as the players in NFL get, would be, in baseball, an average team payroll of a hair under $120 million. It's pretty clear that while the Yankees are outspending everyone comfortably, the rest of baseball has just as much to do with the payroll disparity as the Yankees do.

The Yankees paid the "small-market clubs" $26.9 million this year. Find out where that money went, then explain how MORE revenue sharing is any kind of solution.

posted by EnglishSpin at 08:49 PM on November 05, 2009

Can the Yankees Be Stopped?

The weak stuff was the "and you're not playing major league baseball" comment. What kind of argument is that?

The kind of argument that a player in the major league trenches is closer to the influence that chemistry has in those trenches than someone who is not. How is that point not relevant?

Crawford talks about the Yankees lacking team chemistry last year, but it's almost the same team this year and they're world beaters.

Did you miss the memo where they brought in a handful of free agents that have been a topic of discussion some this year? Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira, Swisher -- still the same team? Not that that matters, because the Rays ARE essentially the same team as last year, so clearly chemistry isn't an issue, because chemistry between people never wavers over years at a time.

Basically, you're saying that there is no amount of evidence presented by major league players that's going to change your own well-honed perception of the role of chemistry in an environment you have supreme skill at imagining yourself in. What great good fortune that you are willing to share your insight with us here.

posted by EnglishSpin at 01:33 AM on October 23, 2009

ESPN's Steve Phillips caught in affair with 22-year-old production assistant

That's the player-to-be-named-later in the Mike Hampton deal. He, literally, had not yet been named at the time of the trade.

posted by EnglishSpin at 07:10 PM on October 22, 2009

ESPN's Steve Phillips caught in affair with 22-year-old production assistant

Now he will be remembered as that guy who had an affair with an insane production assistant and not for the fact that he was truly awful at both of his primary jobs of the past decade.

Better to have him go away and not have to remember him at all.

posted by EnglishSpin at 12:33 AM on October 22, 2009

ESPN's Steve Phillips caught in affair with 22-year-old production assistant

I'm pretty sure the codified code of conduct is that, for a man, the minimum dating age is half your own +7.

Also, I've found that men discussing the appearance of a woman on merit, whether it be positive or negative in tone, is a great way to alienate a majority of women from the conversation. Make what you want of that.

posted by EnglishSpin at 10:32 PM on October 21, 2009

Vincent: Baseball Should Train Its Own Umpires

Why should baseball have umpires if machines can do better? Do you go to or watch games to see umpires make calls or to see players play?

I go to see a baseball game, which is constituted of players, umpires, managers, and coaches. If I want the experience to be conducted electronically, I'll stay home with my XBox.

posted by EnglishSpin at 10:03 PM on October 19, 2009

Yankees yank Ronan Tynan from lineup after anti-Semitic remark

Yeah, I don't think Tynan has a leg to stand on here.

posted by EnglishSpin at 07:01 PM on October 18, 2009

"Achievement is not a gift."

If I leave an item out on my front lawn with a sign that says, "FREE"*, could I have you charged with robbery for taking it?

The sign isn't really out for defensive indifference, is it? It's more like seeing something on the front lawn, heading across the lawn to grab it (risking trespassing as well as theft), and only then being informed by the owner that you can go ahead and have it. Also, it is a lawn from which things are often stolen against the owner's wishes.

Baseball ought also to have an "Offensive Indifference" for certain situations that are otherwise called a "Save."

posted by EnglishSpin at 11:06 PM on September 23, 2009

Bobby Cox to step down after 2010.

But in general, to have had that much talent and been so close to the prize for so many years and to only have one title to show for it - I have no idea how he has remained employed in Atlanta for so long.

What "talent?" He had three very-good-to-great starters (Maddux was always great, the other two waffled between from year to year) and Chipper Jones. What is this wealth of talent he supposedly had? He routinely had terrible hitting middle-infielders, league-average corner outfielders, and a rag-tag bullpen that he patched together himself.

The question isn't "How did Cox lose so often with all that talent?" It's "How did Cox win so consistently with such mediocre players?"

posted by EnglishSpin at 10:49 PM on September 23, 2009

Oregon Player Flips Out After Boise State Game

Omar Minaya is hiring.

posted by EnglishSpin at 03:15 AM on September 05, 2009

Ken Griffey Pranks Adrian 'Cupless in Seattle' Beltre

Not better than the Chicago PA guy who played "Here I Go Again" for Chuck Finley's return from the DL after getting stomped on by Tawny Kittaen's stilettos. Close, but not better.

posted by EnglishSpin at 03:10 AM on September 03, 2009

Andy Pettitte's Bid for Perfect Game Ends with Error

Pettitte gave up the first hit pitching from the stretch for the first time. If Hairston makes the play, Pettitte faces Markakis (and maybe subsequent hitters) from a full windup.

Hairston blew Pettitte's chances every which way. No telling how it would have played out without the error, and that's really the point.

posted by EnglishSpin at 11:31 PM on September 01, 2009

One pitch

What stat isn't overrated? Seems unfair to pick on saves.

And yes, if I have to choose between 24 good players or 1 good player, I go with the former. I would also rather my team finished first than last, and I'd rather have ice cream than a punch in the nose.

posted by EnglishSpin at 11:06 AM on July 20, 2009

One pitch

If someone believes differently, yes.

Well, closers are only overrated if somebody is overrating them. What are these people who are overrating closers saying, exactly?

posted by EnglishSpin at 11:40 PM on July 06, 2009

One pitch

Doesn't that study only suggest that the average of all closers, good and bad, isn't terribly different from the average of all ninth inning pitchers in the pre-closer eras? Is that really eye-opening?

The difference between an 81 win team and a 90 win team is only 5.6%, so I would guess that the difference between a 98% closer and a 92% closer, or even a 95% closer, is actually pretty substantial, even if the numbers don't seem that far apart. Using the Nationals as an example is meaningless, since even Pujols would be unlikely to change the scenery all that much there. Put Rivera on a .500 ballclub with a previously-unreliable closer, though, and they are in the playoff hunt.

posted by EnglishSpin at 03:02 AM on July 06, 2009

Manny Ramirez suspended for substance abuse

15 tests in 5 years? Is that a standard testing schedule for the average player with no convictions? That sounds like a lot.

posted by EnglishSpin at 02:22 AM on May 08, 2009