Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PeteAbe Unsure Of Bob Sheppard's Genus, Species

From the Yankee blogger of record:

The New York Times is reporting that Bob Sheppard has decided to retire. The long-time announcer, who is believed to be 98, announced yesterday that he was not well enough to be at Opening Day.

The Yankees have hired Paul Olden to announced the Cubs games this weekend. No permanent replacement has been named.

He "is believed to be 98"? Is he a Galapagos Tortoise?

There are ways to find this out. The Times is pretty sure, and so is Wikipedia.


Sorry, I didn't mean to blaspheme the Voice of God (or the LoHud of the Rings, for that matter). I really wish he could just come back for the first inning of the first game at the New Stadium. Even just the first batter.

"Now batting: Number 2, Derek... Jeter... Shortstop... Number 2."

Come on Bob, do it for the asshole that just photoshopped your head on a tortoise!

Youk The Fluke

Thank you, NBC Sports.

In our debut of "The Show," Gregg Rosenthal says there is no way that Red Sox slugger Kevin Youkilis will match his power numbers of last season.

Guess which one is Greg Rosenthal:

Are you ready for the hard hitting analysis from the "The Show"?
"I hate to say it, but the guy who I think might regress the most. A member of the Tribe! And a member of my favorite team! Kevin Youkilis. Twenty-nine home runs last year, but he's not really a power guy, I mean, he might lead the league in sweating through his helmet, but he's not going to lead the league in home runs. I would stay away from Youkilis."
"A member of The Tribe"? I hope he doesn't mean the Indians.

He didn't lead the league in home runs last year, so it would be pretty foolish to draft him expecting that this year. "He's not a power guy"? What are you basing this on, Greg? Oh... you're not going to provide any reasons? Allow me:
Those are some pretty serious spikes in power for a 29 year old without changing leagues or teams. One would imagine he is due for a regression to the mean.

Hope you're right, Rosenthal.

Obstructed Views? WHAT???

In the New York Times today, Ken Belson has some startling revlations about the New Yankee Stadium and Citi Field... THEY MIGHT HAVE OBSTRUCTED VIEWS!!1!!1!1:
The Mets and the Yankees together have spent more than $2 billion on new stadiums partly to bring fans much closer to the action. But that access comes at a cost. For the best views, fans will have to pay eye-popping prices to sit on the field level and in the decks behind home plate in seats angled toward the infield.

Fans on tighter budgets, though, will have to settle for seats in far-off sections, some of which have obstructed views of the field.
Old news, Ken, old news. New Stadium Insider has been all over this. Even we wrote a post about it.

Here is the part that kills me though (emphasis mine):
Mets fans learned this the hard way on Sunday, when St. John’s and Georgetown played the first game at Citi Field. Steven Gottesman, who has a 15-game ticket plan, went to see his four seats in Section 533, Row 15, near the top of the upper deck down the left-field line. To his “shock and horror,” he could not see the warning track or about 20 feet of the outfield from the left-field line to center field.
Dude, Steven. You bought tickets in Section 533, "near the top of the upper deck". What the fuck did you expect? Have you even been to a ballpark before? A lot of the seats in the upper deck in every park have slightly obstructed views. "Shock and horror" is what you feel when you find a dead body checking into your hotel room, not when the seats for your 15 game package IN SECTION 533 don't have a view of 20 feet of the fucking outfield.
“In other words, I will only know if a home run is hit if I am listening to a radio at the game or I wait to see the sign from the umpire,” Gottesman, 45, said in an e-mail message.
Wow, this guy really has never been to a baseball game before. Steve, if you are unsure if a home run was just hit, ask yourself a few simple questions:
  1. How is the crowd reacting?
  2. A roaring cheer?
  3. A collective sigh?
  4. Okay, what team is batting?
  5. Is the batter rounding the bases?
  6. Did the outfielder throw the ball back into the infield?
  7. Are fans of either team high-fiving each other nearby?
  8. Does the pitcher look like he just got punched in the stomach?
  9. How have I not figured this out by now?
  10. Will I ever get this eight precious seconds of my life back?

Gottesman added: “If Endy Chávez made his catch in this new stadium and I had been there, I would not have seen it.”

No, you might not have theoretically seen it (leaving aside the fact that this is a different park), but you would have experienced the rest of Shea Stadium going absolutley out of their minds. You know where you could have viewed it perfectly? At home on your HDTV.

You don't go to a game to see every single thing that happens, Steve. You go to take in the atmopshere, and to say that you were there when it occurred. I was at a game in 2005 where Bernie Williams hit a walk off 2 run HR in the bottom 11th inning into the short porch in right. I was in the right field upper deck and couldnt see it acutally leave the park, but I knew about two thirds of a second after it happened. If you were at Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS and had your view obscured, do you really think you'd be bitching about the fact that you couldn't see that one play?

Steve, if you are reading (doubtful), stop being a douche and sell your tickets to someone who might actually appreciate being at the game. I'm not even a Mets fan and I'd buy a few.

Dueling Jinxes

CC gets the cover but the Mets get the World Series prediction.


Ramiro O Angel

According to Bronx Banter and others, the last roster spot up for grabs on the Yankees is a utility infielder being contested between Ramiro Pena and Angel Berroa. Pena is 22 years old and due to a hot Spring and tremendous defensive ability, he has now entered the discussion as the heir apparent to Derek Jeter. Berroa won the Rookie of the Year in Kansas City in 2003, but has never had an OPS+ higher than 81 since, and only played 93 games in the last two years in the MLB.

A quick look at Pena's minor league stats (primarily at AA) shows a line of .258/.316/.319. In the last two years, he has only 3HRs and 15 SBs in 163 games while striking out 109 times to 63 walks. That would be pretty anemic, even if it wasn't accumulated two levels below the majors.

Here are their lines this Spring.

Pena - .305/.359/.373
Berroa - .379/.390/.621

Not to go too overboard with Spring stats, but Berroa clearly has some pop, while Pena still does not. Berroa is not nearly the infield defender that Pena is, but what are the chances that Girardi lifts Jeter for a late inning defensive replacement? I say slim to none. Cody Ransom is already basically a defensive replacement at third and neither of the two guys in competition are significantly better with the lumber.

I'm guessing that the Yanks will go with Berroa. If they really believe that Pena is the shortstop of the future, then I don't think sitting him on the major league bench and only allowing him to play a couple of innings every couple of games would be the best way to continue his development. Let Berroa take the spot, and if he falters, Pena will be waiting in the wings.

My guess is that this has already been determined and they are letting Pena play out the string and expose him to some pressure on the big stage. Going with Berroa is a better diction for now because he is a better hitter, and for the future, because Pena needs to continue improving down in the minors.