"Not only have the defensive shifts affected offenses and gotten in the minds of hitters, but many evaluators believe they are hurting the reliability of some defensive metrics that have been developed in recent seasons. Some execs say that a lot of the metrics being used right now are so far askew from the eye test that they are beginning to question the credibility of the numbers." -- Buster Olney
I don't know why cybermetric nuts should be upset. Those so-called defensive metrics weren't worth anything is the first place. If a team had a improper scouting report, fielders might have been placed wrong which would screw up all those statistics anyway.
Speaking of 'eye tests,' it doesn't take long to realize that not only has Derek Jeter lost a step in the field, a step he couldn't afford to lose, but his reflexes are not what they used to be and his arm isn't as strong. He's only hitting .263 right now, which isn't enough to justify keeping in the field for the whole game. Girardi's not stupid and he's also kind of cold-blooded. We may see him begin to replace Jeter in the field by the 7th inning if the Yanks have a lead. Everybody keeps saying that you can't sell Jeter short, but once you lose your reflexes, they don't come back. Let's hope he doesn't embarrass himself or the Yanks for the rest of the year.
Brian McCann is some kind of competitor. He's constantly trying to beat the extreme shifts that teams are using against him. Yesterday, he even tried to bunt. If a player is hot, like Teixeira is right now, I can see taking your chances against the shift, but if you're only hitting .215, go the other way and take the freebie.
Are they that strong or are they that weak? With the season better than 25% gone, the Tampa Bay Rays have a .432 winning percentage, and yet they are only 41/2 games out of first. If you told the Red Sox Nation that Boston would be two games under .500 at this point in the season, would they be panicking? No one has gone on any kind of winning streak so they're all bunched together with all five teams still in the middle of a dog fight. Unfortunately, none of the dogs seem to have much fight.Instead of being the Big Beast, they're just the Big Least.
California Chrome is now 2/3rds of the way to the Triple Crown. This probably won't make any new permanent fans of horse racing but it will increase the betting totals for the Belmont Stakes.
Tell your statistics to shut up! (Charlie Brown)
The Colorado Rockies lead the majors in runs scored, averaging 5.5 runs per game (241 runs) and are in 2nd place in the NL West. The Atlanta Braves have scored the fewest, 3.0 rpg (122 runs) and lead the NL East. (Must be the defensive metrics)
***THEY SAID IT***
"Cleveland wideout Josh Gordon is facing a season-long suspension after testing positive for marijuana, ESPN reported. NFL officials suspected something was amiss when he kept referring to his team as "the Brownies." -- Dwight Perry
"Angels star Mike Trout eats 6 hamburgers at one sitting. After signing a $144 million contract, shouldn't he be able to afford steak?" -- Bob Molinaro
"The Nets Kevin Garnett - who turns 38 on Monday - came down with a sore leg. I don't think it's a stiff muscle. Based on his age and the state of his career, it might be the onset of rigor mortis." -- Greg Cote
"The Cubs became the third team in MLB history to amass 10,000 losses. The poor Cubs. They can't even win a losing contest." -- Jimmy Fallon
"Putt-Putt Golf will celebrate its 60th anniversary this summer. Just to show it's keeping up with the times, the clown's mouth on the 18th hole will be Donald Sterling's." -- Dwight Perry
"OKC Thunder star Kevin Durant drew praise for the humbleness of his MVP speech. "Bull," said Michael Jordan, "I'm six times more humble than he is." -- RJ Currie
"The Giants placed pitcher Matt Cain on the DL after he sliced his middle finger making a sandwich. There are two groups that can’t perform with injured middle fingers: pitchers and Phillies fans." -- Brad Dickson
"The NBA is having one of its most exiting playoff seasons ever. In fact two out of 10 Americans say they watched the NBA instead of the seventh round of the NFL draft." -- RJ Currie
"There's a big U.S. promotional pitch for cricket, a sport so obscure that Kevin Costner has yet to make a movie about it" -- Brad Dickson
"55-year old Julio Franco has signed with the Fort Worth Cats of the Independent League. At his age it should be the Independent Living League." -- Marc Ragovin
"Tara the cat, the internet sensation who saved a little boy from a dog attack, will now throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Bakersfield Blaze minor league baseball game. Hey, don’t laugh. The cat probably has a better chance of throwing a decent pitch than the Mets bullpen." -- Janice Hough
"Johnny Manziel was drafted #22 by the Cleveland Browns. In Dog Pound years, that's like #154." -- TC Chong