Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Introducing another possibility entirely for tomorrow's game against the evil Texas faction at Yankee Stadium, in the form of a pitcher.

Brian Gordon may very well be replacing Bartolo Colon tomorrow. Uh huh. Sure, we've speculated; Noesi? Phelps? D.J. Mitchell? Our boy Manny Banuelos?

But, the Brass have announced this most recent signing of Gordon from the Philadelphia Phillies minor league affilliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

Uh huh. the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Associated with the evil and smarmy Philadelphia Phillies. Kinda makes you wonder how close the Phillies ever were to being known as the Philadelphia Philly Valley Pigs. But, that's neither here nor there. Some labels need not be in writing...

The haters will basically describe this transaction as one where the Yankees broke into Gordon's little home and terrorized him and made him sign a contract. Uh huh. Like a Pitching Acquisition Home Invasion. Uh huh.

Well, I've read where Pitching Acquisition Home Invasions happen all the time. But generally they occur in the Japan Industrial League...And I do believe those Pitching Acquisition Home Invasions usually involve wontons. Uh huh. Wontons...and nunchucks. Now, I haven't read anything about this most recent signing of Gordon with the Yankees having anything to do with neither wontons nor nunchucks, so shut the shit up all you Philadelphia Valley Pig Yankee haters out there, got me?

The New York Yankees ain't the Japanese Industrial League.

The haters will tell you how Gordon was kidnapped against his will from his beloved evil Iron Pig team within the benevolent and hermetically sealed womb of the Phillies minor league detention center for the perpetually inept; and forced him to actually agree to receive money for his services...and possibly an ongoing opportunity to pitch in the Majors for the most successful team in the history of the game of baseball...

God, how cruel and unusual. Get Amnesty International on the phone...

or would it be better to call the S.P.C.A.??

As a converted outfielder, Gordon pitched in 2007 and 2008 posting some kickass stats: 168 Games, 366.2 Innings, with a 3.09 ERA, with a 1.156 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, and a 7.7 K/9. In 2008, however, Gordon was forced to align himself with the evil Texas faction.

(Ironic, isn't it?? We're facing Texas with the very "sloppy seconds," with whom they had zero interest in developing)

...hell no...not when they can chase down Cliff "Primadonna Elitist Bitch" Lee...

(whom they no longer have as he went to the evil Phillies after we pretty much laid our Texas Hold Em cards down with Lee stating we didn't want him)

(and poor evil Texas couldn't afford to keep him, or so they say, so the bitch ran off to the Phillies)

(and then skip ahead a few months and here we are to today: taking this guy Gordon from the Phillies and cartin' him back to face the evil Texas faction.)

yep: it all began with Texas. That's irony. Texas irony. The kind with tabakka and spurs.)

So far in 2011, Gordon with the Iron Pigs has had outrageously good numbers, 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 12 games, nine of them starts. He had 56 strikeouts and just seven walks.

Noesi, conversely, has 1-1 with a 3.92 ERA in four starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA in four long-relief appearances. And Phelps is 4-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 12 starts in the minors.

Now, inasmuch as I would love to see my boy Noesi take the mound on Thursday, I still see this Gordon signing as a good move on the part of the Yankees. It enables the organization to continue developing our prospects, as well as maintaining a zero-risk relationship with Gordon, as he is utter and complete DFA material if he does poorly. Thus, in essence, we're buying time and protecting our prospects and their futures...

Yes, it may appear as though the Brass have opted to overlook the prospects and went 'a-shopping,' for someone 'better;' however, in reality, if our kids got injured or shelled, their futures could be severely impacted.

(Can anyone say Chase Wright?)

Gordon basically has no future, presently, with the Phillies, as a career minor leaguer...and now has an opportunity to step up and show the world what he's got.

And let me tell you, ain't nothin sweeter, I theorize, than to be just hangin out with your fellow Iron Pigmen on some idle Tuesday and to receive a call saying, "You may be pitching at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, get mentally prepared."

I theorize he got on a plane. Puts a whole new spin on the phrase, "When pigs fly."

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Boston Red Sox: Hit Me with Your Best Shot?

The Red Sox and their Nation must be so very proud of the accomplishments of their "Ace," Jon Lester, especially given his most recent outing against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, June 7, 2011.

Lester presently holds 8 wins to his season outings. Kudos. Sure am glad I spent time on my knees in prayer when his health was failing, and his future looked exceedingly doomed. A cancer survivor, yes, I admit, a tear filled my eye when I first beheld him back on the diamond...and back on the mound. It makes today's game all that much more intolerable to well as the mounting patterns I behold from not only Lester, but Lackey, and the Red Sox organization, as a whole.

Mark Teixeira was not the most recent victim of Lester's propensity to hit batters with pitches. Actually, he is in fairly good company. 35 other batters across the league can understand Teixeira's discomfort...some more than others, obvioulsy. This may be due to the fact that of the 20 rostered Red Sox pitchers, only 8 have not hit a batter with a pitch this year. Lester leads the Club with 9 hit-by-pitches in 13 games. John Lackey comes in 2nd place in the bean-ball effort with accomplishing 7 hit batters in 8 games. There are 10 other Red Sox pitchers who have hit at least 1 batter...well, actually somewhere between 1 and 5, each.

In this graph, you can see the dates of the games, the pitchers who hit batters, the hit batsmen, and their position within their clubs that day. I find it interesting how there have been 8 hit DH's...coincidence, perhaps. 5 hit Short Stops, 5 hit Centerfielders...etc. etc. But what I truly find intriguing is how in less than 11 innings from May 20th, 2011 through May 21st, 2011, Marlon Byrd was hit 3 times by 3 separate Boston Pitchers...who somehow managed to actually throw strikes and only had difficulty with THAT particular batter. . . until he finally ceased presenting himself to bat, due to his emergency injury requiring hospitalization.

I find it especially interesting how these hit by pitches have increased in activity, especially in the month of May. I smile in spite my frustration at this disgusting trend and unrelenting continuum from the hands of Red Sox pitchers to the opponents they face and ask you: If, "Once is interesting, twice is curious, and three times is a pattern," then what do you call 36 times out of 60?

Monday, June 06, 2011

New York Yankees @ Anaheim: High and Tight or Right and Wrong?

On the average, umpires are 90% accurate in calling balls and strikes. This means on the average, 30+ pitches are called incorrectly during Major League Baseball games. MLB Umpires have been found to consistently call a strike zone that is not defined by the MLB Rulebook.

Mike Estabrook was the Home Plate umpire for tonight's game, the New York Yankees at Anaheim. The rookie Ivan Nova versus the accomplished ace veteran starter, Jered Weaver.

As some may not know, MLB actually "grade," their umpires. Mike Estabrook's stats as Home Plate umpire are interesting, to say the least. Of his officiating at Home Plate, 75% of the time he will call a "strike," where the ball is clearly above the strike zone. Conversely; Only 25% of pitches located below the strike zone will be called "strikes."

In just 4 games Estabrook has officiated as Home Plate umpire in 2011, he has observed an average of 9.5 runs per game, while only issuing 5.5 walks. However, his "SOPG," or "strike outs per game," is one of the highest in the league at an average: 15.5.

Ivan Nova, encountered this challenge of Estabrook's 75% bias of "shoulder high pitches must be thrown in order to have them called for strikes," in the 1st inning. Achieving one out, Aybar singled off of a fastball thrown by the rookie. Nova then logged a "wild pitch," with Abreu at-bat, advancing Aybar to 2nd. Unfortunately, Abreu doubled off Nova after 5 pitches, sending Aybar home. Then we encounter a "passed ball," by Russell Martin, advancing Abreu to 3rd. Well, what the hell?? Now's a good time to walk someone, eh? Why not Torii Hunter? With only 1 out, perhaps we can force the double play. And that's about when Homeplate Umpire Estabrook began to get creative with the strike zone. With 2 pitches, the damage was done...

Skip ahead to the 4th inning. Branyan singles on a curveball straight over the plate, Trumbo also had his eye on that curveball that he finally received on the 5th pitch, landing both Branyan on 2nd and Trumbo on 1st. Nova then chose to stick with all fastballs with Mathis' at-bat, but no matter where he threw them, it seems Estabrook believed bases should be loaded...

Borjous came up to bat, he singled, Branyan scored, and I believe the trainwreck could have been far worse had batters like Izturis not struck out, popped out, or flied out. Because of Ivan Nova's 2 whole strike outs, I don't believe 1 of them were a Called Third Strike. Damn it, huh, Estabrook?

Weaver, on the other hand, did a fabulous job at pitching above the belt and logged 8Strike Outs, in addition to the bullpen's 3. I have no idea how many were "Called Strike Outs," but then again, I don't give a shit. Just take a look at Weavers pitching pfx for the game. The green dots are deemed BALLS and the red are CALLED STRIKES or deemed strikes via fouls or swinging strikes.

Poor officiating has ruined many otherwise amazing opportunities in Major League Baseball games. Rarely are these "mistakes," ever mentioned, however. Just another loss. Just another win.

...Unless your name just so happens to be Jim Joyce or Armando Galarraga.