Alas, the pendulum has swung. NY is now the owner of a four-game losing streak and their cushion, once expanding every game, is now gone. Even Boston, media favorite and Picasner doubter, is only 3.5 games out. In fact, last place Baltimore is a mere 4 games back, a one-week winning streak from the top.
After crushing the Yanks last night, the Kansas City Royals will be facing CC Sabathia tonight. I won't say they are unafraid, but I heard most of the Royals didn't leave the stadium after the game for fear that some unforeseen force would prevent them from retuning to fatten up their batting averages against Sabathia. With the injury to Whitley, the Yanks brought up Jose Ramirez from Scranton, who discovered that the difference in quality from triple A to the majors is a bit bigger than the 100 mile trip on the interstate, as shown by an ERA of 36.00.
On the bright-side for the Yankee fans, the Mets have lost 5 in a row and Boston is still 2 games under .500.
I have never understood "Defensive Metrics" as a viable measure of a players ability. Too many variables, too many assumptions and too much of the situation is out of the players control. In these days of extreme defensive shifts, how can you judge how good a shortstop is at fielding his position when he's stationed on the right side of second base? A couple of days ago, Jacoby Ellsbury "stole" third because the third baseman was playing shortstop. So here's a case where a catcher and pitcher have a stolen base charged to them when neither had a chance to prevent it. In the last few days, we've seen numerous foul pop ups fall in the field of play untouched because the fielders were stationed so far out of position, they couldn't even get close to the ball. Yesterday, Defensive Metric advocate, David Cone, had to admit that Brett Gardner made a play that "...would never show up in the statistics, but was very important." Am I winning him over, finally?
ESPN magazine has an article this week rating the ability of catchers to call a game. What? They claim they can determine how many runs a catcher saves by his ability to call a game. What?? The pitcher ultimately decides what to throw and the pitcher is responsible to get it where he wants it. I understand the catchers great input into the game plan, knowing the hitter, knowing the pitcher, knowing the umpire, etc., but how can you quantify how many runs he saved by putting down the sign. If the pitcher is on his game, the team wins, but if he isn't, the team loses. And the catcher gets the credit for this? It's like giving the grass credit for being green.
Speaking of technology gone wild in baseball, teams now have apps for your smartphone that will give you instant replays of the game your watching from the stands, give you all the stats you'd ever want to know (and some you could do without) and even tell you which lines are the shortest for the concession stands
and the restrooms. They are even working on face recognition technology for season ticket holders so you can just walk into the stadium without having to carry the pesky, burdensome tickets. With all this technology, "...in appreciation for all our loyal fans." to quote one owner, Los Angeles Dodger fans - IN LOS ANGELES AND VICINITY - have been unable to watch their beloved team on TV for two years because of a feud between the cable company and the team. Apparently. loyalty is a one-way street.
Knick president Phil Jackson is unhappy that owner James Dolan has hired Isiah Thomas back. They were going to make this an episode of "Family Feud," but they couldn't find any women to play on Thomas' side.
WEIRD HEADLINE DEPARTMENT: "Puig aggravates his hammy" Well, why not? He's aggravated everybody else.
In recognition of Limerick Day (May 12)
There was a QB named Tom Brady,
Suspected of something quite shady;
He let air out of balls,
And then swore to us all
He knew nothing of things deflatey.
-- RJ Currie, Sports Deke
***THEY SAID IT***
"Roger Goodell vows to punish whoever’s responsible for suspending Tom Brady.” -- TheOnion.Com
"The NFL has suspended Tom Brady. They’re going to punish him by making him stay home in his mansion with his supermodel wife and think about what he did wrong." -- Conan O'Brien
"By early July, Alex Rodriguez should be recovered from that triple he hit last Friday." -- Phil Mushnick
"University of Cambridge scientists found a worm that turns its mouth inside out and walks on its teeth, so it literally put its feet in its mouth. They called it Jameis Winston." -- RJ Currie