FanDuel - WFBC

October 12, 2012

A-Rod Dropped from Starting Lineup: The New York Yankees will play game 5 against the Baltimore Orioles without Alex Rodriguez in the lineup. He's batting .125 (2-for-16) with nine strikeouts in the series (but has hit 8-for-22 lifetime against Baltimore starter Jason Hammel). Eric Chavez will play third base and bat ninth. Game 3 hero Raul Ibanez will DH and hit fifth.

posted by rcade to baseball at 02:33 PM - 20 comments

Well, the Yankees have decided to have a $29million defensive replacement / pinch-hitter for today's crucial playoff game.

Only 5 years and at least* another $114million to go on that contract!

*He has bonus incentives (totaling $30million) in his contract for certain home run targets between 660 and 763 home runs. He's currently sitting at 647HR.

posted by grum@work at 02:10 PM on October 12

Well, the Yankees have decided to have a $29million defensive replacement / pinch-hitter for today's crucial playoff game.

I'm not sure anyone can blame them. A-Rod couldn't hit Billboard 100 with a Carley Rae Jepsen tune at this point and it's debatable that for the year, Chavez was the better 3B and Ibanez' per AB numbers were good enough to allow for this.

That contract is such an albatross.

posted by dfleming at 02:28 PM on October 12

Wouldn't it be better to put him lower in the order instead of benching him?

posted by rcade at 02:35 PM on October 12

A-Rod couldn't hit Billboard 100 with a Carley Rae Jepsen tune at this point

I'll take your word for it. Old man grum doesn't get that reference.

That contract is such an albatross.

But remember, the Yankees giant payroll is an advantage.

posted by grum@work at 02:41 PM on October 12

I'll take your word for it. Old man grum doesn't get that reference.

Replace Carley Rae Jespen with Tiffany and you're there.

Wouldn't it be better to put him lower in the order instead of benching him?

If the two guys replacing him in the lineup are better hitters (right now), then no? He's got 9 strikeouts and 2 hits in 16 at-bats so far and has looked completely lost at the plate.

posted by dfleming at 02:46 PM on October 12

That contract is such an albatross. But remember, the Yankees giant payroll is an advantage.

Considering that since he was acquired by the Yankees, they've won just one title and had a number of spectacular playoff failures including the biggest playoff choke in professional sports history, by Yankee standards his tenure there is likely considered a colossal failure. His benching today, even if he pinch-hits, just puts an exclamation point on it.

posted by NerfballPro at 02:57 PM on October 12

I'll take your word for it. Old man grum doesn't get that reference.

It is completely unfair that Canadians export their pop stars and then get to avoid them.

Has A-Rod suffered much adversity in his career? Might this be motivation before him or is he just old?

posted by bperk at 03:02 PM on October 12

Replace Carley Rae Jespen with Tiffany and you're there.

Ah. Got it.

And....now I've got that stupid song stuck in my head.

BTW, I fully expect ARod to hit a series-winning, pinch-hit, extra-innings home run today. Let's say...15th inning.

posted by grum@work at 03:05 PM on October 12

Wouldn't it be better to put him lower in the order instead of benching him?

As a Yankee hater I'd like to see that, and the resulting Orioles' victory.

Ibanez and Chavez give the Yankees a much better chance of winning game 5.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:49 PM on October 12

Then there's the skipper factor - Girardi managing with a heavy heart following the recent loss of his father, while Showalter, having already dispatched the Rangers, has his sights beadily fixed on ending it for another of his former teams. Probably not much he wouldn't do to beat the Yanks.

posted by beaverboard at 05:09 PM on October 12

ARod is such a sad case and I feel a little pity for him.

I only really noticed it a few weeks back during the September run when I was looking at WAR and stats while discussing the Trout/Cabrera thing... but it's kind of staggering how quickly ARod fell down the age hole. I guess it's not dissimilar to Ken Griffey, Jr., or most people who put up the records of old, but while he'll still get 3,000+ hits and 2,000+ RBI, when you look at the plummeting curve of his value he may be strongly urged to retire from baseball (even if he's paid the full sum of his contract) before his contract is complete. The cynics will likely say it's because ARod isn't using PED to extend his performance, but it seems to be a drop off sharper than you'd typically see.

Currently, ARod is 348 RBI from the all-time lead, 116 HR from the all-time lead, and 398 runs from the all-time lead. Imagine that: one player, a SS/3B no less, with 3,000 hits and the all time lead in HR, RBI, and Runs. It's hard to comprehend that the player he was even two years ago would have easily gotten those counting stats in 3-4 years... but now, the player he is from 2011 and 2012? I don't know what happened- if age really hit him that hard, if he's got some eye problem, if he's been battling an injury he doesn't even know about, or what- but unless he has some magical resurgence, he'll never make it.

Don't get me wrong, he's unquestionably one of the all time greats- the numbers he's put up are innermost circle of the Hall of Fame good, as in Ruth, Mays, Williams, etc, and doing that as a once gold-glove caliber shortstop makes it all the more impressive. I think not unlike Bonds has been maligned because he's basically a weird dude who doesn't really relate well to people at all... but it's almost a little sad to me how, like with Griffey, rapidly he has disappeared as a player.

grum@work: But remember, the Yankees giant payroll is an advantage.
Yes, it is. You've all but made the case: how many other teams could float a guy making $29M a year on their bench, a guy offering all of 2.1 WAR this year at that price? A team like Texas, for example, would be so hamstrung that until they unloaded him they couldn't compete- and once he was gone, started winning the west and being competitive. The Yankees have that payroll now, and others not far from it- and yet still won the AL East and haven't missed the playoff in ages.

That is how the Yankee payroll is an insane advantage: they can absorb mistakes other teams couldn't afford to make. Even their often equally-maligned-by-small-market-teams-rival the Red Sox just had a massive salary dump, and will likely be rebuilding for a couple of years, because of poor contract decisions. The richest team on planet earth, however, could have swallowed the contracts of guys like Crawford and Beckett and Gonzalez and still gone on a spending spree this winter.

posted by hincandenza at 06:29 PM on October 12

That is how the Yankee payroll is an insane advantage: they can absorb mistakes other teams couldn't afford to make.

How are they absorbing this mistake?

Teams with smaller payrolls can pass their mistakes on to other teams with really no problems. The Blue Jays signed Jose Bautista to a "reasonable" contract. He has 3 guaranteed years of $14million each. If his 2012 numbers are his new normal (boy, I hope not), he's not worth $14million. If the Jays felt like they needed to trade him (boy, I hope not), they could eat a portion of his contract and do it. It wouldn't be nice, but it wouldn't be crippling.

The Yankees have DOUBLE that contract to try and offload in a trade. It isn't going to happen. They aren't going to get away from this deal. It's the millstone.

Look at the Pujols deal. The same thing might happen there. Look at the Crawford deal (when it was Boston wearing that tire). Now here's something interesting:

Pujols - was a Cardinal, now an Angel Crawford - was a Ray, then a Red Sock (?), now a Dodger

Which of those teams signed the insane contracts, and which ones didn't? And which of those teams made the playoffs, and which ones didn't?

Maybe it's in the best interest of the "small" market teams to let the "big" market teams commit payroll suicide by outbidding each other. They can pass their millstones around to each other, while the more nimble teams like Oakland, Baltimore, and Tampa avoid the getting involved.

You may think there is no limit to the Yankee payroll, but there is.

posted by grum@work at 07:12 PM on October 12

The Yankees are doing what they have to do to win a 5 game series. Screw A-Rod's stupid contract. If they make decisions based on his deal for the next several years, they'll pay even more for it.

posted by dyams at 07:21 PM on October 12

But remember, the Yankees giant payroll is an advantage.

I think people overstate their advantage where the playoffs are concerned. They've won one World Series in 10 years.

posted by rcade at 08:11 PM on October 12

And....now I've got that stupid song stuck in my head.

I Think We're Alone Now, So Call Me Maybe?

posted by MeatSaber at 09:30 PM on October 12

I think people overstate their advantage where the playoffs are concerned. They've won one World Series in 10 years.

One World Series in 10 years sounds pretty bad for the investment they make, but 16 playoff appearances in 17 years is by far the best in baseball.

Yankees spend more money and are therefore able to employ more talent than any other team - a definite advantage. "Superstar" players not producing when the going gets tough is beyond team ownership's control. It's up to the field manager to replace an under performing $30 Million a year player with one of many $5 Million players they have in reserve.

Is this a simple formula for playoff success? Obviously not. But it does get the team into the playoffs virtually every year. If you're in the playoffs you've got a chance to win.

posted by cixelsyd at 01:28 AM on October 13

Reaching the playoffs doesn't impress anybody. Winning it all is what people remember, and on that score the Yankees' payroll hasn't meant much for a decade. I think once the playoffs begin the money advantage talk should subside and fans should judge them the way every other playoff team is being judged.

Look at who the Yankees face now: The Tigers and an absolute beast on the mound in Justin Verlander. If they get past Detroit, we shouldn't be talking money advantage.

posted by rcade at 09:31 AM on October 13

Reaching the playoffs doesn't impress anybody.

Unless your a Maple Leafs fan.

*sigh*

That said, I remember far more scorn than praise being heaped upon the Marv Levy-led Buffalo Bills.

Also, if the Atlanta Braves hadn't won in 1995, do you think they'd be praised for making fourteen consecutive post-seasons?

posted by grum@work at 09:47 AM on October 13

One World Series in 10 years sounds pretty bad for the investment they make, but 16 playoff appearances in 17 years is by far the best in baseball.

Which leads to the frequently stated theory that the playoffs are a crap shoot.

The Yankees payroll is an advantage during a long season, but simply isn't as important in the playoffs.

posted by justgary at 11:54 AM on October 13

Yanks ownership uses money in an attempt to tilt the playing field, much like an athlete using PEDs. I don't know what the financial impact of simply making the playoffs in MLB is (in the NHL, the most valuable franchise hasn't appeared in the playoffs since before goalies wore masks), but possibly there is sufficient return on the investment to make the proposition viable.

Or maybe they are just plain evil.

posted by cixelsyd at 08:01 PM on October 13

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