Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blame Game Gone Wrong

This post may come with a little bit of a gag reflex, but I'm going to try to power through it anyway.  There are five current New York Yankees who have played at least three full postseasons with the Yankees (2009-2012).  Those players current sport these stat lines (AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS) since 2009 in the playoffs, along with how many games they started over the period:
  1. .261/.388/.486/.875 (31 GS)
  2. .262/.316/.508/.824 (31 GS)
  3. .307/.367/.453/.819 (31 GS)
  4. .193/.295/.316/.611 (29 GS)
  5. .160/.262/.321/.583 (30 GS)
They are ordered there based on the highest to lowest OPS, and more than likely the best to worst overall.  Maybe you could make an argument that the second and third ranked ones should be swapped, but there is no question the best line is at the top, and the worst two are at the bottom.

Now let me preface this next part by pointing out how much I despise most of these players, but none more than Alex Rodriguez.  Of course, when you link actual players to these numbers, you get the following:
  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. Robinson Cano
  3. Derek Jeter
  4. Mark Teixeira
  5. Nick Swisher
Ironically, the majority of the attention that is on the Yankees right now is focused on Alex Rodriguez's dismal series...all two games of it, and to be fair, if I only looked at 2011 (Yankees only played five games), the numbers would be very skewed against Rodriguez.  Clearly, Rodriguez is on the down slope of his steroid-induced career.  He is 36 after all, and some people seem to think it is a mystery that he isn't in the running for 40 HRs a year.  I would focus on the positive, such that he still reached base at a .353 clip this season, good for putting him in the top half of OBPs in the Yankees lineup.

I know Rodriguez commands a ridiculous $30 million a year, and therefore the focus is on him; however, people seem to forget that a guy like Teixeira makes well over $20 million a year, and Swisher commands more than $10 million despite acting like a double agent come each October.

Rodriguez is past is prime, but acting as if he is the one holding the Yankees back is starting to become laughable.  Should Rodriguez be moved in the lineup?  He certainly shouldn't be batting in the middle of the order for the Yankees.  Nonetheless, should there not be more focus on guys like Swisher who have proven year after year they can't see the ball in the postseason?

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