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Archive for January, 2010

SABR Day Trivia: Questions!

January 30, 2010 By: Cecilia Tan Category: Baseball History

It’s officially SABR day in America (America includes Canada, too, as there are chapters/meetings in Toronto and Montreal, plus Puerto Rico has a chapter and meeting today, and presumably Mexico would be included if there were a chapter there…). Many SABR chapters are having Hot Stove meetings today and other shindigs to celebrate. (Schedule).

I’m a member of the Boston chapter, but also one of the first “online chapters,” the SABR charter community of bloggers known as the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. Since I’m feeling a bit under the weather and may not make it to my Boston chapter meeting, I figured I’d offer this trivia quiz for seamheads everywhere to enjoy.

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SABR Day Trivia: Answers!

January 30, 2010 By: Cecilia Tan Category: Baseball History

Under the link, the answers to the SABR DAY trivia quiz! So don’t click until you’ve looked at the questions!

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DVD Review: World Series 1945, 1946, 1947

January 22, 2010 By: Cecilia Tan Category: Baseball History

Tonight corwin and I continued our time warp through history, watching the next three World Series films in order with 1945, 1946, and 1947. In my mind these three series’ were The Goat Curse Series, Slaughter’s Dash, and Jackie’s First.

As the 1945 film begins there is no sound, presumably because the soundtrack was lost or damaged, which only serves to intensify the feeling that what we’re watching is archival. It picks up quickly enough in the intro, though, and it’s clear that in this, the third World Series film in a row done by Lew Fonseca and crew, they are still pushing the envelope and searching for ways to make the film more entertaining and watchable. This time the key players on each club are introduced with little bios and accomplishments, and then the lineups are given. There are also some faces here that reinforce that notion that pitchers are greyhounds–made of long limbs and graceful faces–while catchers are pugs and bulldogs–embodiments of flat-faced, broadshouldered cragginess. The two examples that epitomize these standards, pitcher Hal Newhouser and Tiger’s manager Steve O’Neill (a former backstop).
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DVD Review: the 1943 and 1944 World Series Films

January 19, 2010 By: Cecilia Tan Category: Baseball History

Roll the Newsreels!

I began watching the DVD collection from MLB, The Official World Series Film Collection, last night. My friends pooled their money together to purchase it for me as a Christmas gift and I’m finally getting the chance to watch it.

As determined by WILBB reader suggestions, I started at the beginning. The first film in the collection is the 1943 series, Cardinals versus Yankees.

Watching the film is truly like turning back time. (more…)

Yankees Lineup Predictions

January 11, 2010 By: Cecilia Tan Category: Uncategorized

Okay, fans, it’s time to play that Hot stove game we call “guess the lineup”?

The Yankees lose two, probably three main starters from last year’s lineup. Matsui is gone, signed with the Angels, Melky Cabrera is gone, by trade, and likely Johnny Damon is gone, since the Yankees say they won’t meet his agent’s asking price.

With the acquisition of Curtis Granderson they fill the center field vacancy, and Nick Johnson appears to come in at full-time DH. That leaves at the moment Brett Gardner to start in left field and hit in the nine hole.

My two main questions on the batting order are who hits behind A-Rod? And how to the lefty-righty splits of some of these players affect things? Does Jeter keep the lead-off job?

Let’s say that he does. How about this against right-handed pitching:

Jeter
Granderson
Teixeira
A-Rod
Posada
Cano
Johnson
Swisher
Gardner

This way against left-handed pitching:

Jeter
Johnson
Teixeria
A-Rod
Cano
Posada
Granderson
Swisher
Gardner

Posada slugs better against righties, whereas Cano is better against lefties. Granderson has meager numbers against lefties, something that hitting coach Kevin Long will supposedly be working on fixing this off season and in spring training, but don’t expect a complete makeover.

I do wonder if we’ll see Swisher blossom into more of a force, given the adjustments he made during the World Series last year, and according to MLB.com has continued to work on.

Some numbers from Baseball-Reference.com:

Curtis Granderson L/R Splits 2009:
Split     G  PA   AB   H   2B 3B HR RBI SB CS  BB SO  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  TB  IBB BAbip
vs RHP   144 511  451  124 19  8 28  62  0  0  57 99 .275 .358 .539 .897 243   4  .295
vs LHP    86 199  180  33  4   0  2   9  0  0  15 42 .183 .245 .239 .484  43   0  .226 
Jorge Posada L/R Splits, Career
Split            G   PA    AB   H   2B 3B  HR RBI SB CS  BB  SO  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  TB  IBB  BAbip
vs RHP as LH  1454 4484  3774 1013 228  5 179 685 16 13 629 909 .268 .378 .474 .852 1788 26   .307
vs LHP as RH   874 1827  1591  475 114  4  64 279  0  5 208 369 .299 .381 .496 .877  789 30   .351
Robinson Cano L/R Splits, Career
Split           G    PA    AB  H  2B  3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  TB IBB BAbip
vs RHP as LH   667 2105  1995 617 144 13 64 273 11  9 84 212 .309 .338 .491 .829 979  14 .319
vs LHP as LH   446  931   860 258  55  4 23 121  1  5 45 123 .300 .341 .453 .794 390   0 .326

What think? Or really… what do you think Joe Girardi is going to think? Since ultimately he’s the one who makes out the lineup card, not me.

So Long Lefty, So Very Long

January 05, 2010 By: Cecilia Tan Category: Interviews

In honor of Randy Johnson retiring today, I’m re-posting this interview I did with him during Spring Training 2006. He sat in a chair while I stood on my feet and he was still almost as tall as I was. He was one of the figures in that clubhouse you rarely saw the Yankees beat writers talking to. They only approached him if there was something they absolutely had to know for a story. However, when I finally got up the nerve to approach him, he was perfectly gentlemanly to me. He’s the only ballplayer I can recall actually being able to smell the chewing tobacco on his breath while he talked. (Mentholated.)

Cecilia Tan: Has your perspective changed on your career now versus when you were younger?

Randy Johnson: My career is almost over. I’m not in the middle, I’m not in the beginning, I’m more towards the end. So, you know, I don’t really know how to answer that question other than to state the obvious, yeah.

CT: Was the decision to come to New York part of that knowing you are coming to the end?

RJ: I think it was more the decision to continue to be challenged toward the end of my career. (more…)

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