Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Genius Maker 2010/2011 off season 4

I don't normally just grab an article and copy it because I usually try and give you my thoughts and perspective, but because this was a press release about Rivera and it had some great stats, I made an exception.

The Yankees just made the Mariano Rivera signing official. Here’s the press release.

The New York Yankees today announced they have signed right-handed closer Mariano Rivera, the American Leagues all-time saves leader, to a two-year contract.
Rivera, 41, owns 559 career saves, the most in franchise history and the second-most all-time behind Trevor Hoffman (601). His 394 saves over the last 10 seasons are the most in the Majors, while his 978 career appearances are the most-ever by a Yankees pitcher and place him in 17th place on Baseball's all-time list. Among pitchers with at least 250 save opportunities, Rivera's 89.3 percent career conversion rate (559-for-626) is second-best all time, behind only Minnesota's Joe Nathan (89.5, 247-for-276).

Since earned runs became an official statistic in the National League in 1912 and the American League in 1913, Rivera's 2.23 career ERA is the second-lowest all time among pitchers with at least 1,000.0 innings pitched, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, trailing only Eddie Cicotte's 2.20 career ERA over the span.

In 2010, Rivera was 3-3 with 33 saves (in 38 opportunities) and a 1.80 ERA in 61 relief appearances for the Yankees. It marked the eighth consecutive season he reached the 30-save plateau (since 2003) and the 13th time in his last 14 seasons (1997-2001, 2002-10), surpassing Trevor Hoffman (12) as the only pitcher in Major League history to record at least 30 saves in 13 different seasons.

An 11-time American League All-Star, Rivera has posted a sub-2.00 ERA in seven of the last eight seasons since 2003. From 2008-10, Rivera became the only pitcher in Baseball history to record at least 60 appearances and a sub-2.00 ERA in each of three consecutive years after the age of 35. He has pitched in at least 60 games in 13 different campaigns, tying Mike Stanton for the most such seasons all time.

Rivera's 42 postseason saves, 18 in the ALDS, 13 in the ALCS and 11 in the World Series and his 94 postseason appearances, are all Major League records, while his 0.71 ERA (139.2IP, 11ER) in postseason play is the lowest all time (minimum 30.0IP). He was part of his fifth World Championship team in 2009, recording the final out in each of the Yankees three clinching wins en route to the clubs 27th World Championship. Rivera has allowed just 1ER over his last 23 playoff appearances (30.0IP, 0.30 ERA) since the 2005 ALDS vs. the Angels.

The Panama native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on February 17, 1990, and is currently the longest-tenured Yankee (15 yrs, 105 days)."

The one and only Genius Maker!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Genius Maker 2010/2011 off season 3

Well, I am sure by now all of you are aware that Cliff Lee has chosen to go back to the team that dumped him for prospects in the middle of negotiating a long term deal. Of course, some people had made the comments at the time that they can get him back and keep all the prospects and lo and behold this is what happened. Now even though I said that at the time, I did not think the Phillies were part of the discussions for Lee, but it makes perfect sense. It is also in line with why I thought it was silly for them not to keep Lee when they got Halladay. The Phillies are without question the team to beat; they are the best team in the majors right now.

Boston is also much better than last year and should be very tough this year with a healthier lineup.

That being said, I am not down on the Yankees or Cashman. There was something about Lee that didn’t seem to be “Yankee” to me. I also was not fully comfortable with signing a guy at 32 for 7 years, especially a pitcher who was in the minors just a few years ago and had some straining issues in his back. I am not saying Lee doesn’t make a team much better, he does, but I am saying that I am much more comfortable opening up the checkbook to get a guy in a 5-7 year deal when he is 27 instead of 32. I want him for his prime years, not the diminishing ones. It also looks like Philly actually spent more for Lee than the Yanks offered and they have a lot of money committed. It is smart though as they have built a dynasty over the last few years that will continue at least 2 more.

If the Yankees continue to make the Tex and CC signings the Yanks will be better in the long run and while this is a setback for this upcoming year, I think it is actually better for the Yanks in the future years.

Now what do we do? First, I would let Andy know we really want/need him back. Second, I would explore trades with teams with quality arms. But, our team is still good. While Swisher played above expectations, I am not sure anyone else did on the offense. Gardner overall will not play worse and in fact before he hurt his wrist, Gardner was a star so maybe he is that guy? ARod and Jeter should both be better and Granderson and his new hitting style should be a little better. Posada should not be better, but as a DH he should be better than what we had this year (Thames was good though). Burnett can’t be worse and Nova should be able to step into the starting rotation and not be worse than Vazquez. Pettitte, even if he comes back won’t be as good and this is a concern, but Hughes should be better. Mitre right now would be the 5th guy. Obviously, Burnett needs to get back to a low 4 ERA guy or the rotation has holes.

Overall, my point is that this team should be better than last year IF Pettitte comes back and we spend the rest of our money wisely. One area that I am not thrilled we are looking is Russell Martin. I have to admit I have not watched him play, but his bat for the last 2 years has been weak and while his defense is reportedly good, I have no scouting on him to confirm. The point is that I had heard that some large dollars were being thrown around and this only works if the Yanks are trading Montero for a top pitcher. Maybe this is in the works, but if Montero is as good as advertised we could use him in the lineup and I don’t see why the money for Martin?

We will be fine, we just need to look at every solid player and target a few than fit our needs. We don’t want to spend all our money just because we have it, wait and spend at the right time!

At least we only have to worry about Lee in the World Series!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Genius Maker 2010/2011 off season 2

Rivera shows great class and things work out well.

"A deal came together, perhaps expedited because Rivera had recently received a three-year deal and more money (believed to be in the neighborhood of $17 million per year) from another team, according to the source. The source added that Rivera wanted to maintain his ties to the only team he has ever played for, and went with less money and fewer years to continue wearing pinstripes.
"'He wanted to stay loyal to the Yankees,' the source said.""

Hmmm, he took a 2 year 30 mil deal while Jeter is thumbing his nose at a deal that is way over market value. I don't have a problem with trying to get a good deal, but the Yankees did not come in at a low number, they paid him far above market value.

Now, who is more important to the Yankees winning next year? Jeter just had a bad year and we made the playoffs and won one series; if Rivera had a "Jeter" year, we wouldn't have made the playoffs.

Mo, you are The Genius Maker and make me proud to be a Yankee fan.

Now Derek it is time for you step up and be the boy scout you have been your entire career and take an over market deal to keep your image as one of the great all time Yankees!