Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rants, Updates and More
By Ben Valentine

Yesterday I was sitting around listening to WFAN (radio 660 AM in New York), since I had some time to kill. Usually something will be said that gets under my skin, and sure enough someone did.

Sid Rosenberg, one of the hosts of the 10:00 AM- 1PM midday show, declared the Yankees would beat the White Sox in a playoff series because “the Yankees are a battle tested postseason team.” He believes, like many others, that the Yankees can “raise their game” in the postseason.

I’ve written about this in the past, and Zach mentioned it briefly in his Yankees post a week ago. Basically there is no real difference between Yankee players’ numbers in the postseason and regular season. It’s just a fallacy based off selective memory.

For example, Derek Jeter’s career regular season splits are .315/.385/.463. His postseason numbers are .306/.380/.456; roughly the same. Bernie Williams is .301/.388/.488 regular season and .280/.378/.490 in the postseason. Mike Mussina’s ERA in the regular season is 3.59, postseason it’s 3.16. (With the sample size, that’s one mediocre start of a difference)

As you can see clearly, there is no elevation in Jeter’s, Williams’ or Mussina’s game, despite what Yankee fans and the New York media will tell you. Jeter will not save the Yankees if they make the postseason. He’ll do what he does in the regular season because that’s what his history says he’ll do. As for the rest of the Yankees, guys like Sheffield, A-Rod and Giambi are the guys who HAVEN’T taken their games up a level in the eyes of the media. And let’s not get started on what the Yankees would look like having to start Shawn Chacon, Al Leiter, or Jaret Wright in a series. Do Yankee fans have faith in either Carl Pavano or Kevin Brown, IF either return?

The only Yankee to fear, ladies and gentlemen, is Mariano Rivera. His era is 2.43 in the regular season but a miniscule 0.75 in the postseason. That’s in 108.2 innings too. So if there is a “big stage” player on the Yankees, it’s Mariano.

But what good is Mariano if your starters don’t get out of the fifth inning? The answer is not much.

Met Updates: Carlos Beltran was back in the lineup tonight. He had a bunt single, 2 walks, stole a base and scored from first on a single. Beltran’s had good games this season but has never put it together over the long haul. Does he finally put it together now, when few expect him to? As usual, stay tuned.

Steve Trachsel was pushed back; he made another rehab start at AAA. It’s obviously a stalling technique. We’ll see what happens starting tomorrow with Victor Zambrano going up against top Pirates prospect Zach Duke. Friday is another intriguing match-up as the Ben Valentine hyped Jae Seo goes up against the equally hyped John Patterson. (Guess where I’ll be Friday if I have my druthers) As for the Mets pitching situation, my guess is someone will be traded; most likely Trachsel if his minor league start goes well. He’s a free agent at the end of this year anyway.

I was tempted if Carlos Beltran was put on the DL to start a “Lastings Milledge watch”, detailing what he had done on the minor league level and suggesting whether or not I felt he should be brought up. Well, the other Mets’ top prospect, Yusmerio Petit, pitched today at Binghamton and threw 8 innings, giving up 3 hits, no runs, no walks and striking out 12. I know there’s no room for him on the staff right now, but I’m anxious to see what this kid can do. Hopefully we’ll all get to see in September.

But no matter how he pitches in his first 3 starts, I will not declare him anything but a tantalizing young player. That’s a guarantee.


Blogger RotoAuthority said...

Hey man...check out this nugget by Ryne Sandberg (and I liked Ryno back in the day.)

These guys are classic...good reading.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Bobby Heckel said...

I hope you are well!

12:14 PM  

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