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CC Sabathia And Yankees Need To Calm Down About The Astros

Certainly, you could understand why CC Sabathia is upset about the 2017 ALCS. After all, they were one game away from the World Series, and they lost to a team who cheated.

In that game, Sabathia took the loss after surrendering one run over 3.1 strenuous innings. Earlier in the series, he had picked up the win in Game 3 after shutting out the same Astros team over six innings.

There were far reaching implications for that loss. It would be the last game Joe Girardi managed with the Yankees. In the World Series, Yu Darvish was roughed up, chastised in some corners, and it seemed to take him a few years to get back on track.

In that 2017 season, the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and really all of baseball were cheated by that Astros team. While they were all cheated, Sabathia seems to be the most vocal and upset.

On his R2C2 podcast, Sabathia said, “So it ain’t no way you can ever tell me…forever in my mind, now, we won the World Series.”

As reported by the New York Post, Sabathia seethed when Justin Verlander joked the Astros are “very technologically and analytically advanced” when he accepted his 2019 AL Cy Young Award.

With all due respect to Sabathia, he needs to take it down a notch. After all, Sabathia has his ring, and like the 2017 Astros it wasn’t exactly clean.

In that 2009 postseason, Alex Rodriguez hit .365/.505/.808, and Andy Pettitte was 4-0 in five postseason starts. A-Rod was caught up in Biogenesis, and Pettitte was named in the Mitchell Report.

Other players from the 2009 Yankees implicated in steroids over the course of their careers were Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, and Francisco Cervelli. Among known users, that’s one-third of the postseason starting rotation, and one-third of the 2009 Yankees everyday lineup.

That 2009 Yankees team left some truly great players in their wake. That includes Vladimir Guerrero and Joe Mauer, each of whom retired without winning a World Series like Sabathia did with that tainted 2009 Yankees team.

Those players didn’t come out screaming they were cheated and that they deserved the ring Sabathia and that 2009 Yankees team won. We also don’t hear Sabathia being contrite about winning that World Series.

No one should expect Sabathia, the 2009 ALCS MVP, to apologize for winning. That goes double when you consider he felt the pain of the Indians blowing a 3-1 ALCS series lead to the 2007 Red Sox who had David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and others.

The overriding point is Sabathia has both benefitted from players cheating, and players cheating has cost him. Despite that, he won a World Series, a Cy Young, and may one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

For someone who had such a great career, it’s somewhat surprising how focused and angry he is over losing to that Astros team. That goes double when he’s benefitted and won due to the players around him having cheated.

0 thoughts on “CC Sabathia And Yankees Need To Calm Down About The Astros”

  1. Rich Hausig says:

    Thank you. Sheesh, I was on WhatsApp with my father through that whole game and we were calling the pitches too. CC couldnt throw his fastball, every one was up and away and his curve ball was, well, curve ball-light too. Sorry Scott, not quite curvy enough to be getting hitters out in the playoffs.

    Ive got a big bag of zip-it right here for CC.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I really like CC and admire him for what he’s accomplished and overcome, but he’s been a lot to take with this.

      1. Rich Hausig says:

        The holier than Thou types always end up guilty of something too. I think hes a big phony.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I didn’t include the tidbit, but the Yankees were cited for illegal use of the replay review room in 2017.

          1. Rich Hausig says:

            This is just not that big a deal, sorry. But CC is in “recovery” so he gets a free pass now and knows he can say anything he wants and no one will take him to task.

            And why is no one talking about the Patriots? Belicheck wasnt suspended nor is he going to be this time. Commish went to far on this.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Interesting take. Yes, it’s not as if he had not benefited enormously from his teammates’ malfeasance.

    —-In other news, I heard a Starling Marte rumor but found out we had dodged a bullet and the Mets were not trading Nimmo-plus for Marte.

    Today’s back of the napkin prediction? The Mets front line talent is worth around 91 wins, but the back half will cost them around 7 wins. 2020 record? 84-78.

    This is where an experienced manager (in the absence of an experienced GM) would be golden, someone with a deep knowledge of the various leagues around the world and actual experience in the majors with the true cost of bad players as in 2019 with Broxton, Lagares, Altherr, Nido, Gagnon, Bashlor, et al, and who has the cred to push the organization to spend a few hundred thousand dollars here and there in order to not put sub-replacement players on the field, at least not for long.

    So we’ll see. I wouldn’t have dealt two useful minor leaguers for a backup OFer like Marisnick, but at least he puts a floor under the outfield, and the Mets have a good chance in 2020 to not ever have to play an OFer who is worse than replacement level. Failing to do so cost them more than 2 wins just in CF in 2019, and made nearly all the difference between making the wildcard playoff, and not.

    On the other hand, the Mets went and added Eduardo Nunez to the system. Giving Nunez PAs in 2020 will all but guarantee subtracting from what the team’s good players add. If bringing Nunez on board is anything more than a favor to a friend and he plays for the MLB Mets next season, it’s likely a blunder on the order of giving Tim Tebow time in the OF. Don’t do it. Just don’t it.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      This Mets team could win anywhere from 75 – 100 games. That variance is a reflection on all the question marks on this roster

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Uh…..any team…..ever…..anywhere….that doesn’t apply to?…

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Several teams

      2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        @metsdaddy – The opposite, really. There aren’t actually many question marks. This is an older team, with a lot of projectable history.

        “This Mets team could win anywhere from 75 – 100 games.”

        —–In the absence of qualification this sounds as if you believe the team is just as likely to win 75 games as it is to win 100 games, or to win 87 or 88 games, the average of those two figures. Is that the case?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          There’s far too many variables. Can Cespedes really play? Is Lowrie going to be able to contribute anything at all? Is Matz’s finish for real? How much of the 2019 offense was juiced ball related? It goes on and on.

          In the end, the answer to those questions will tell you where the Mets will finish.

          Personally, I want to see Spring Training before putting them anywhere on that spectrum

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            Every team has that. Why not say between 50 and 120?

            I think this is a 90-92 team. The only variable that dramatically change that is if they bail at the deadline as they did in 17 and 18 and sell off. If they are 14 back and decide to sell off a Stroman, Ramos, Betances, Cespedes etc for farmers, then maybe they are an 80 win team.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            No, not every team has that.

            The Yankees don’t. The Pirates don’t. Most of baseball doesn’t.

          3. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            @Oldbackstop – fwiw your estimate of 90-92 sounds right to me but with the critical caveat as I noted upthread and in some recent posts, that the 25 to 30 players the Mets will use in addition to the 26-man roster (I think nearly every MLB team used 50 to 55 players during the 2019 season) have been extremely poor for a would-be contender and will probably cost them a significant number of wins in 2020.

            I know we disagree to an extent on WAR, but fwiw when someone using WAR to project a team adds up its total WAR, they only use the 25 (now 26) man roster, and treat all the other players the team will eventually use that season as contributing 0.0 WAR.

            In the Mets case, though, players not on the 25 man in 2018 cost the team –8.8 WAR. In 2019 those players cost the team –6.6 WAR. That’s when –4 WAR is high, for a contender, and you’d really like it to keep the negative contributions from these guys to –2 WAR. There’s just no way to get positive contributions from the last 25 to 30 players you use. There just aren’t that many respectable players in the world–at least, not that a team can afford.

            Apologies if I’m repeating old info and things you know. I just find this ‘back of the roster’ stuff fascinating, something largely neglected in baseball literature and studies, and something many GMs don’t pay much attention to—even though it’s a critical for contending teams not just to find good frontline and secondary talent, but also to find tertiary talent that doesn’t undermine the contributions of the first two groups.

          4. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            @metsdaddy – Far too many variables for… what, though? You can point to significant swings in, for example, Syndergaard’s performance from season to season, swings greater than for most players, but nonetheless we have a great deal of information about him on hand and his likely performance in 2020 isn’t a complete mystery. He’s hugely unlikely to have a 6 win season, and almost as unlikely to have a 0 win season. A 5 win season would repeat his best, to date, while a 1 win season would just about repeat his worst. Get to 4 wins and 2 wins and the likelihoods increase significantly, and we settle in at about 3 wins as his median level of performance for 2020.

            No one of sense claims any system is perfect, but no one of sense claims we can’t know anything to a certainty, therefore we can’t know anything at all. The best systems have solid records of projecting performance with respectable levels of accuracy–and with far more accuracy than throwing darts or drawing numbers out of a hat.

            I hope that as a baseball writer you’re not claiming otherwise.

          5. metsdaddy says:

            I’m not challenging projection systems or their accuracy. Rather, I’m challenging the Mets roster and utilization thereof.

            The Mets ceiling is vastly higher if Cespedes can actually play. If he and Lowrie can’t, their ceiling is significantly lower.

            We also don’t know the impact Hefner will have on this staff. It’s possible his use of analytics can take it to a new level, and it’s also possible he may be forcing change some pitchers would be reticent to make and have diminishing returns.

            Add in much of the Mets offense driven by the super ball last year coupled with the typical Chili Davis year two effect, and I think it’s difficult to peg how good or bad this team will be.

  3. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Speaking of CC, is he a Hall of Famer? And for the sake of argument, if he is, how come Andy Pettitte isn’t?

    CC – 251 wins, 3577 ip, 116 ERA+
    Andy – 256 wins, 3316ip, 117 ERA+

    CC has the Cy Young, but given how close they are overall it also means he had more weak seasons. CC had 4 well below average seasons, 2 average seasons, and 2 that were a hair above. Pettitte had just one below average season (barely, a 97 ERA+), one average, and two that were a hair above.

    CC was also in a 4 way tie by WAR when he won his Cy, and his Cy Shares are 1st, 3, 4, 4, 5.
    Pettite’s Cy Shares go 2nd, 4, 5, 5, 6. When he finished 5th in 1997, by WAR among pitchers he was only behind Roger Clemens, who is being kept out of the Hall of Fame for cheating. Give that award to Pettitte, at least as its Cy Shadow, and any gap between him and CC just about vanishes.

    I’ve always figured a good dividing line for pitchers, in / out of the HOF, is 3000 innings pitched with an ERA+ of 125. If you pitch 15 full seasons and you’re 25% better than the average starting pitcher, that’s right around the border of Hall-worthy, but solidly in. 3577ip w an ERA+ of 116, and 3316ip w an ERA+ of 117 don’t quite cut it.

    Wrt the postseason, fwiw, Pettitte has 277ip with an ERA of 3.81. CC has 130ip w an ERA of 4.28. So 4T’s closes more than half the gap in innings pitched, career, and he was almost a half run better at it, per 9.

    Fine pitchers, both, for a long time–just not quite there. It’s also hard to see why the voters should put one in, but not the other.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Pettitte used HGH

  4. oldbackstop says:

    @Blair. One of the points you make is answered by the farm depth, amd a lot of our highly regarded guys are A ball and not ready for the show. I think we try every year to get some veterans to stash (Rene Rivera, Nunez, etc.) and that is what you have to do when your farm is skinny at the top.

    It seems to me that the Mets are fairly aggressive the past few years in adding those vets who made not be plus guys anymore (but maybe they will be for a short burst) but at least they know where the watercooler is if needed for a week or so.

    Also, I wonder if your 25 roster system considers player flexibility? If we lose Alonso or Cano or Conforto for a bit we might we don’t have to dip down for a a AAAA starter. Seems to me we might rate pretty high in that capacity.

    1. Oldbackstop says:

      @Blair…to dip into WAR again, Tango has said, a back-and forth with me, that WAR has a significant margin of error. A plus 1 and a minus 1, in a single season a fraction of a season, might really be the same quality.

      But in a Hall of Fame debate, two outfielders of similar lengths of careers who have a 60 WAR and a 40 WAR….that is definitive.

      So if you are adding a guys WAR up from one year and projecting it to another, there is a very significant MOE. Maybe it equals out. But there are also weaknesses in the methods…comparing pitchers to players, assigning dear to catchers.. all still problematic.

      Projecting WAR for farmers…I dunno. Bill James just mentioned, or really reaffirmed, yesterday that he believes batting average is significant in going from minors to majors.

      What I said above, maybe awkwardly, is that a plus player such as McNeil all around or JD in offense or hopefully Lowrie…it seems to me that being able to plug them into a starting role rather than bring up your 29th AAAA guy is a considerable benefit every team may not have.

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