The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bloomberg Business Week: Yankees May Record Fewest Wins in 20 Years, Vegas Oddsmakers Say

With a projected win total of 86 1/2, bettors can place a season-long wager on whether the Yankees will have 87 wins or more, or if they’ll have 86 wins or fewer. A winning $115 wager would return a $100 profit. New York’s worst record during the past 17 years was an 87-74 mark in 2000, when it went on to win a third straight World Series title.

Championship Odds
The Yankees head into spring training with 14-1 odds of winning this year’s World Series, tied for eighth among the league’s 30 teams at the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book. The Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays and defending champion San Francisco Giants currently have better odds.

See, CAIRO is projecting 87 wins.  So changing the underlying components and assumptions to make the Yankees look better than they are is working as designed.

Seriously, I’m sure this news is shocking for Hal Steinbrenner.

Even more seriously, Vegas odds are based on public perception and not on rigorous statistical analysis.  They are created with an eye on maximizing profits by splitting the bet as evenly as possible and not on getting all the teams right.  While there’s something to be said for the wisdom of crowds, perception that the Yankees “haven’t done anything” is likely a large driver in what bettors are seeing.  Whether or not the bettors are right remains to be seen.

If I was still a betting man and was forced to take the over/under, I’d take the over on 86.5.  But I’d rather sit this one out.

In other news, the Yankees have acquired reliever Shawn Kelley from the Mariners for Abe Almonte.  Assuming Kelley’s labrum is not torn already, here are his CAIRO percentile forecasts.

80% 50 1 4 2 54 43 18 15 3 14 0 58 2.97 2.46 2.45 12 1.2
65% 44 1 3 2 47 41 19 16 4 14 1 48 3.57 3.01 3.12 7 0.7
Baseline 38 1 2 3 41 39 19 16 5 14 1 38 4.18 3.55 3.79 4 0.4
35% 30 1 2 2 33 34 18 15 5 13 1 28 4.78 4.10 4.47 1 0.1
20% 27 0 1 2 29 32 17 15 5 13 1 23 5.38 4.65 5.14 -1 -0.1

FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
RAR: Runs saved above replacement level using RA
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RAR divided by 10)

Kelley takes a 40 man roster spot, but he does have an option left so he gives the Yankees a solid relief arm who averaged around 92 mph with his fastball last season and some roster flexibility.  Almonte doesn’t look like much more than fringe prospect at best, whose upside may be fifth OF for defense and baserunning.  I like this move. 

--Posted at 8:24 am by SG / 49 Comments | - (0)


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I bet on over and under wins every season and usually the rational bet on the Yankees is to take the under (although I don’t bet on it, not even the over)because the public perception is that the Yankees are better than they usually are, so having the odds right exactly where CAIRO projects them to be is somehow surprising to me, but as SG said is clear that the public perception is that the Yankees have not made much to improve their team.

Famed Yankee fan Lady Gaga apparently has a hip injury. Internet abounds with speculation whether she got it from A-Rod.

[0] Yeah I never got to see Almonte, but I’ve been following him.  Erik Almonte I think has a chance to be a 4th OF, because he’s got some pop in addtion to solid D and some baserunning.  Abe though looks more like someone you keep in AAA and call up in case of injury…don’t really have 5th OF - not the defense/baserunning type - much anymore since there are only 4 bench spots now.  This is definitely a solid move to add some bullpen depth, and clear up a bit of a crowd in the OF in the minors.

I’d take the under. I long for the days of a narcissistic megalomaniac win at all costs owner.

[3] you mean Zoilo?

[4] Right, because that worked out so well for so long…

[5] Yeah, I’ve been striking out on names left and right recently…

[6] You’re a regular Mark Bellhorn or Mickey Mantle

[6] Because Cujo bit your ass and you got rabies.

Cujo better check himself or he’s going to have a Zoom Waffle shaped skull.

[9] That happened all the time to Tom of Tom and Jerry fame.

Who will succeed Pope “Eggs” Benedict?

They never had to hose the street down after Tom got whacked otherwise maggots would grow

That’s a fair point.

Ok, wasn’t Almonte the new market inefficiency? How is losing one to Seattle a good thing? We still have Zoilo though.

What are the chances that the Almonte Cashman sent to Seattle was not the one he thought he traded?

The new market inefficiency is 36+ year old players who will sign for one year.

[15] Slim to none, and slim left town.  Zoilo is probably now 2nd or 3rd in line for a callup if OF help is needed.  Potentially first depending on if Mesa wins the 4th/RH OF job out of ST (unlikely but not impossible).  It’s Mesa, followed by Almonte/Mustelier.  Which one depends on several factors, including if the Yankees feel they need the defense more (definitely Almonte), someone who can also fake IF (Mustelier), baserunning (Almonte) or bat (probably Mustelier but Almonte could overtake him).

[16] You mock now, but that could be possible.  Most decent players 34 and under (younger they are, more likely/more years) are going for multi-year deals, and so are a number of them 36 and over.  Getting those players on one year deals allows them to cut bait if the player doesn’t cut it, or at worst let them go after a year.

I mean, obviously it’s still better to get 30 and under, high quality players locked up long term (best yet, develop your own).  But yeah, I can see teams passing over older players who still have something left, and then getting stuck with multi-year deals for players who will be a burden to the roster quickly.

Update on David Adams (thanks RAB!).  Basically, his back issue will keep him off the field for MLB Spring Training right away, but he’s expected to be on the MLB portion at some point.  Good news both for him and the Yankees, though it lessens his chance of making team out of camp.

I think Adams had no chance of breaking camp with the team anyway, not with Nun-E and Nixy around around.  I mean, Adamsy doesn’t work, although I suppose Davey would do.

Wow, Mike K. will defend the Yankees against even the most obvious of jokes.

Remember how excited we were to have CC/Nova/Pineda at the top of the rotation for 5 years? Well, I was at least.

Youkilis: ‘I’ll always be a Red Sock’

It’s going to be a long year.  It is wrong to root for your own player to get injured?

[22] I remember being excited about CC and Pineda. On the plus side, in a reverse from last years reports, Pineda is down in weight!

[23] I hope Joba manages to somehow bean him a few times during the season.

Need a new outfielder?  Why not Zoilo?

I’m sure “because don’t be stupid” is the answer to this, but Pineda’s now throwing off a full mound and is about to start pitching to batters, but he’s not expected back until June why?  There are adhesions which need to be gradually broken?  He hasn’t been able to get the strength back in his arm?  He’s going to cause some inflammation at first and that will need time to come to a stable equilibrium?  They figure he should throw for a month in the minors even when he’s at 100% to gain confidence?

[27] He hasn’t pitched in almost a full year. It does seem like the Yankees might be being a bit cautious, but perhaps they want to use and extended rehab assignment to ensure premiuim arm strength while working on secondary pitches and command.

If Pineda were a veteran the Yankees might be expecting him back in late April/May, but given how important he is to the next few years of thr organization, I understand why they are being very conservative with him.

[17] I was sort of kidding. And by sort of I mean totally.

[27] Remember that scene in the last Batman movie where he can’t make the jump to the really far ledge until he cuts the rope that will save him if he doesn’t make it? I think that’s sort of the idea.  You get into a real MLB game, and you kick everything up a notch. If you’re not ready - completely ready - you risk injury yourself again. We’ve got this kid for a long time, I’m ok waiting a few months to make sure his rehab is done right.

My stupid question is, when will we sorta know whether he’s fixed or broken for good? Is getting back on a full mound enough proof that he can still be a pitcher, can we stop with all the labrum of doom stuff? Would he have never made it that far if his shoulder were simply fucked supreme? Or will we not really know anything until he gets back into MLB games, when we can measure velocity, track his control, etc? Calling Mike K…

[31] We will know more once he gets in more game-like situations.

Generally shoulders are associated with velocity. If he is back throwing in the mid 90s, that’s good. If not, he will need to develop a 3rd or 4th pitch and improve his command.

But basically, velocity. Since he is throwing in/around ST, I’m sure we’ll get reports soon. Since he’s building up arm strength after ~ a year off and isn’t expected to be back until June, I wouldn’t care too much about the reports until the end of ST (unless he’s sitting like 85-88).

So who should I root for now?

Guys, if you chase off Mike K. we will have no baseball content, and as retaliation I swear to God I will be forced to hire Mel Hall to make all of your lives totally suck.

Freeport, Bahamas style.

[33] I’m thinking of switching to Toronto, getting an ump outfit and sitting in my lazy-boy making calls during games.

[35]  I’m very available for the Bahamas.  Will work for food, will supervise for snack.

[37] I’m not there anymore, I’m further south.  White guys can find work at the ports, or in your case the Commonwealth might grant you a film permit.  Wear white.  I hope you don’t mind being stared at too much.  Leave your stupid friends in the USA, where they’ll fit in. You will be held personally accountable for the actions of the people you associate with.  When you get sunburned, don’t scratch your face and neck in public.  Look for neighborhoods with a relatively high proportion of white rooftops on Google Maps when you are picking a place to live.

Anybody want to post telling me that [37] was a joke?

I’m not affiliated.

[39]  It was only half a joke, and re [38] it’s typically the people who associate with me who end up being held accountable for MY actions.

Radicchio, canter, holomorphic.

[41] In that case, after sunset drink at home, for the safety of the people who associate with you.

Four months in a guest house and I’m calling that a byad trip.
On the open market quarter million you could have this.
Dirty preachers, true believers, Gospel sermons, black deceivers,
Crackers in the trap, feignin’, sleepin’ and they hardly dreamin’.
See the chrome rims, feel free to throw a peace sign.
Haters try to check me like they eyes alone could take mine.
Swiss watches, German guns. Hunger from a lack of funds.
Grocery stores with no bread? Grocery store’s got no bread.
Lemonade and motorcades plus one-car old-school Benz parades.
Squeaky clean and smoked out then you’re paranoid and gassed out.
Creole spoken on the scene. Oceans sailing white and green.
Sundays simply ain’t the same. You might need to know this, mane.

Apparently I need to start putting more smiley-faces and “j/k” and such in my posts.  I generally - not always but generally - know when everyone is joking.  And some of the “jokes” while they may be said in a joking manner, are also said half-seriously.  But yeah, sometimes I take a joke as an opportunity to add something I think I know about a player that I’ve been following for a while [17] where maybe not everyone knows much about him.  Now if we can all pass the objective pipe around and sign kumbaya, everyone will be happy.

[32] Additionally, I think the Yankees have learned it’s better to give a later date than an earlier one.  If they say June and everything goes well and he’s ready May 1st, they have an opportunity to talk about how hard Pineda worked, what an amzaing athelete he is, etc.  Now everyone is happier.  If however he has any setbacks and still shows up June 15th, they can easily say that setbacks were expected, and that’s why they predicted him for June.

On the other side, if they say they expect him back May 1st (like other players in the past they’ve predicted quick returns) and he isn’t ready until July, they have to answer questions about incompetence of their medical rehab staff.  Or Pineda’s commitment, durability, etc.

So, IMHO, it’s a combination of normal caution with a young player rehabbing from a major injury, and trying not to set high expectations.

[46] I’m all for lying to the media in sports.

[46] Avoiding the Pavano.

[48] I think everyone wants to avoid the Pavano.

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