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Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man

One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the great football coach Bill Parcells. When referring to a team’s performance Parcells said, “You are what your won-loss record says you are.” Well as of June 24, 2013 the Yankees’ record is 41-34 and they are 2.5 games out of first place. According to Coach Parcells’ quote they are having a good season so far. However, the Yankee DL is filled with over 100 million dollars of Yankee players. As of this writing, Youkilis is out for the season, Teixeira will probably  need season ending surgery, Jeter has not played a game and at 38 is a question mark, Rodriguez also has not played a game this year because of two hip surgeries and has a possible suspension hanging over him and Granderson is back on the DL. Cervelli and Nunez are still three weeks away from returning. Their replacements are Nix a utility player, David Adams an unproven rookie who has stopped hitting, Wells, Hafner and Overbay after a hot start are now showing their age and their productivity has spiraled downward. With so many of their key players out of the lineup and their replacements struggling, how were they able to generate such a winning record?  One answer is for the first six weeks of the season their replacement veterans were spectacular. This along with the fact that the pitching has been great all year-long allowed the Yankees to build close to a .600 winning record for the first six weeks. Since the middle of May because of the weakness of their offense the Yankees’ winning percentage has shrunk to .547.

The table below compares the batting, pitching and fielding statistics for the 2013 Yankees to two other Yankee teams. The Yankees of 2009 had a record of 103-59 and won the World Series. The 1990 Yankees had a record of 67-95, the worst Yankee record since 1950. With still 87 games left in 2013 can we Yankee fans even dream of making the playoffs no less winning a World Series? The fact that this year there are two wild card selections will help. The statistics RS/G and RA/G are the runs scored per game and the runs allowed per game. The WHIP is the number of walks plus hits per inning.Yankees 2013

In summarizing the table it is fair to say that the 2013 Yankee batting statistics are very similar to the 1990 Yankee batting statistics (not good). The pitching and fielding statistics for the 2013 teams are better than both the 1990 and 2009 teams. What makes the batting statistics even worse is that since the second week in May the offense has really dropped off. Even if Jeter and Rodriguez can return, without a spring training to get back into shape, I expect very little production from these aged veterans. With the trade deadline approaching, GM Cashman has big decisions to make. If he believes his All-Star players cannot return he must seek out skilled replacement players. However, this becomes difficult since management wants to get below the salary cap next year. This means no new long-term contracts. Right now 5-games separate the five AL East teams in the standings. Clearly, the pitching and fielding have been responsible for the Yankees’ 2013 current record. The pitching staff is solid and Michael Pineda is expected to return after the All-Star game. Gardner and Cano are the only two hitters that other teams fear. Left-handed pitchers dominate the Yankee batters because of a lack of any reliable right-handed batters. In the last few games the first six batters were all left-handed batters. Unless the veteran positional players drink from the “Fountain of Youth” and the youthful Yankee players overachieve, sadly I must predict that the 2013 Yankees will not play in the post-season this year.

 
Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man
As we approach the 2013 All-Star game, it would be fitting to look back at the last All-Star game held in NYC at the old Yankee Stadium in 2008. The following post, written by one of my Baseball and Statistics students, recounts her experience at the 2008 All-Star weekend.
 

Out of every baseball game I have attended I would have to say my favorite memories are from the old Yankee Stadium during the 2008 All-Star game weekend. The weekend started out Friday Night and I got to go through a “make-shift hall of fame” that they set up in one of the corridors of the stadium. I am still amazed at how big World Series rings are in real life! After that I was able to walk through “old-timers” day that is essentially a raffle/auction with pieces of the old stadium and various signed memorabilia. There also were many past MLB players that were there signing balls! All though I didn’t know any of the past players, my dad did and it was awesome seeing how excited he was to meet them. I would compare it to the excitement I would feel meeting Derek Jeter today. I finished off Friday night being able to watch the Celebrity Softball game. I sat in the first row right behind the Yankees dugout. Some of the celebrities that played were Bobby Flay, Chris Rock, Whoopie Goldberg, Maria Menounos, and Billy Crystal.

Day two at the stadium was the homerun derby! Considering the Yankees had no contenders, I decided to cheer on Josh Hamilton, only because my dad said he had the potential to win it and I always had to pick the winners. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like the homerun derby. It was crazy! I still don’t know how Hamilton hit 35 home runs in the course of the night. Although he won the overall # of home runs, Hamilton was beat out in the final round by Justin Morneau. The last day of All-star weekend was of course the All-Star game! Even though the game didn’t start until 8 o’clock at night, I couldn’t get the stadium soon enough. The stadium was filled with venders and games all day. It was like a baseball themed carnival. There were free giveaways and different prizes around every corner you went. They started off the game with the ceremonial first pitches. George Steinbrenner delivered the first hand-off and the ceremonial pitch was made by 4 Yankee Hall of Famers, Reggie Jackson threw to Rodriguez, Yogi Berra to Joe Girardi, Whitey Ford to Jeter and Goose Gossage to Rivera. Looking back now, that may have been the most special part of that day. It is rare that you get to see some of the best past and present Yankees together on the one stage they share in common.

 
The All-Star game itself was the longest in history and lasted for 15 innings! You would think everyone would have been tired at that point, but it was like no one wanted the game to end!  It finally ended with the American League on top after almost 6 hours of playing. It was a game like this that brought everyone together, regardless of which team was your home team. The All-Star game itself was the first time I have ever witnessed a Yankee fan and a Red Sox fan cheering together. This was my final weekend in the old Yankee Stadium. My dad and I have a picture of us outside the stadium from that day, with a newspaper clipping under it that reads…
 
“It was a Midsummer Classic -- in every sense of the phrase -- taking place in a building best known for its immaculate stage.
 
It was the House that Ruth Built, where Lou Gehrig proclaimed himself the luckiest man, where Joe DiMaggio jolted and where Mickey Mantle became an idol to millions. It was where Don Larsen was perfect, where Roger Maris toppled the Babe and where Reggie Jackson forever acquired October with just three swings.“
 
Being part of one of the last monumental events at the old stadium is something I will never forget.

 
Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man

Here I am with my baseball buddy, John-Norman Tuck of Sarasota, FL.  Please read my post below about our day together at a Yankees - Rays game.  We are 2 true fans of opposing teams!

 

Also, check out John-Norman' work at http://john-normantuck.com/

 

Baseball Buddies - John-Norman Tuck and Dr. Stan the Stat's Man

 


 
Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man

My wife Tara and I traveled from our home in Naples, FL to meet my baseball buddy in Sarasota, Florida. My baseball buddy is John-Norman Tuck who is a renowned artist and hair stylist from Sarasota.  John-Norman and I traveled for about one hour to Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, FL. Two blocks from the stadium we pulled into a person’s backyard ($5 parking) and walked to the stadium. The date was May 26 and my Yankees were the opponent of his hometown Tampa Bay Rays. John-Norman is a true Rays fan. He had his Rays shirt and hat on and I had my Yankee shirt and hat on. Before ascending to our seats we stopped at the food court to get our lunch. There were many options. We both chose to have foot-long dogs and French fries. The cost for both of us was a reasonable $20 (not Yankee Stadium prices). Our seats were in Row A Upper Box (face value $23) squarely behind home-plate. Great Seats! Tropicana Field is a domed air-conditioned stadium. Unfortunately the dome is not-retractable.

The starting time for the game was 1:40. The Yankee starter was their ace CC Sabathia and the Rays starter was Alex Cobb. Unfortunately, the game was a blow-out and the Rays led 8 to 0 going into the ninth inning. Sabathia was clearly off his game giving up seven runs in seven innings. You would think that a Rays fan would be smiling and content at this point in the game. But to my surprise all John-Norman could talk about were the past failures of the Rays relief pitchers. He was actually worried about the Rays blowing this game in the ninth inning. I could not believe his concern. Cobb lost his shutout bid in the ninth when Gardner homered for the Yankees first run. After allowing another runner to reach first, Cobb left the game having struck out eight Yankees (remember that number). I could see how upset John-Norman was when Cesar Ramos was brought into pitch. He clearly was not enamored with Ramos. His negatively toward Ramos seemed justified as Ramos walked the next two batters and then yielded a two-run double to David Adams. At this point in time John-Norman became really worried. That was it for Ramos and Joel Peralta was then summoned from the bullpen. John-Norman was relieved at the arrival on the mound of Peralta. He told me Peralta should be the closer, replacing the current closer. Sure enough Peralta ended the game by striking out Suzuki and Nix. If we add the eight strike-outs by Cobb to the two-strike outs by Peralta that makes ten strike-outs by Tampa pitchers for the game. The fans went wild and then I discovered why. Not only did Tampa win the game but every person with a ticket at this game was entitled to a free pizza at Papa Johns!

This free pizza was just one of many promotions and special activities which seemed to appear every inning. Such promotions as free tickets for test driving a car, on the field quizzes given to chosen fans, and races around the field by people dressed in costumes.

Did I enjoy my visit to the Trop? Well, I did not enjoy the non-competitive game especially with my Yankees taking the beating. If I was home I would have shut off the television. But I did enjoy being at the Trop with my good friend. Also, the price was right. For under $50 I enjoyed a Major League game involving my Yankees, paid for parking and lunch and had an excellent seat in an air-conditioned ballpark. The only thing missing was a competitive game. Finally, it was easy leaving the stadium, unlike leaving Yankee Stadium. I walked down a winding ramp and easily walked two blocks back to my car. Within a few minutes we were back on the highway heading back to Sarasota to meet our wives and other friends, Vincent and Diane Celeste, for dinner.

By the way, I still have my ticket stub and will eventually head to Papa Johns for my free pizza!

 

 
Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man

After writing my April posting about the Rutgers athletic scandal and President Barchi, I thought the story was over. In my April posting I said, “Here is my take on the situation. Since Coach Rice reports to AD Pernetti and Pernetti reports to Barchi, Rutgers is trying to stop the damage at the AD level. This leaves the Rutgers President Barchi as the only survivor involved with the decision whether to fire or just punish Coach Rice. If, after hearing about the contents of the video, President Barchi chose not to spend a few minutes to look at the video, he made a serious mistake. If he looked at the video and chose not to fire Rice he made a serious mistake. In either case the buck stops with him and he, not Pernetti, should have resigned.”

It is hard to imagine what has just transpired a couple of months later. Of course, after the old AD Tim Pernetti decided to resign for the good of Rutgers and take his $450,000 payout with him, you would think President Barchi would tell the Executive Search Committee to find a new AD with no hint of any abusive behavior toward anyone or anything. With all the possible qualified people available and willing to work at such an esteemed university, their choice was Julie Hermann.

I was born and raised in Hackensack, NJ, My first choice for college was Rutgers University. Because of a Rutgers’ swimming requirement for graduation, I chose not to attend. Knowing the high standards Rutgers sets for itself, I can only ask the following question: How does President Barchi still keep his job?

Since accepting the AD job, what have we learned about Julie Hermann? Barchi said in a statement the university looks forward to her running the athletic department. He added that she was the BEST of the 63 candidates interviewed for the job of succeeding Tim Pernetti. His vote of confidence came after the Newark Star-Ledger reported that Hermann resigned as the head women’s volleyball coach at Tennessee 16 years ago after all 15 players at the time wrote a letter accusing her of calling them “alcoholics and learning disabled.”

Hermann in a statement denied using any abusive language with her players. According to the Star-Ledger report, Hermann was confronted by the players in her office. After hearing their complaints, according to the report, Hermann said she didn't want to coach the team anymore. Julie Hermann then told the press she was assured by President Barchi she would not lose her job despite allegations of abuse. She added that Barchi spoke with the Board of Governors on her behalf and that the Board of Governors reached out to her with a great deal of support.

Are we done with Julie Hermann’s past problems? The answer is no. Hermann said she was not asked by Rutgers Search Committee or Parker Executive Search, the search firm, about the allegations. Hermann said only the search firm asked her about a 1997 jury verdict that awarded $150,000 to a former assistant coach who said Hermann fired her because she became pregnant. Hermann says the assistant was fired because she was underperforming, and it had nothing to do with pregnancy.She is also the focus of another lawsuit -- this one during her time as senior athletic administrator at Louisville in 2008. In that suit, a New York Times article reported Hermann expressed concern when assistant track coach Mary Banker went to HR claiming sexual harassment. Banker was fired three weeks later.

To be fair there have been many players and coaches coming to her defense. But one player Hanlon Dow, a sophomore of the 1996 team, told the Star-Ledger: "How ironic that Rutgers had an abusive coach and they're bringing in someone who was an abusive coach.”

Being a public university it is now up to Governor Chris Christie to put an end to the reign of President Barchi.


 


 
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