The New York Yankees hope that Andruw Jones can return to the form that saw him finish second in the 2005 NL MVP Award.
With the recent signings by the New York Yankees of Bartolo Colon and Andruw Jones, the Tampa Bay Rays of Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez and the Baltimore Orioles of Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero you have to wonder if these teams realize that it is 2011 and not 2005.
If it were 2005, the impact of these signings would without question make these three contenders the top teams in the division and favorites for the World Series.
In 2005, Bartolo Colon won 21 games for the Anaheim Angels and was named the American League Cy Young Award winner.
In the 2005 American League MVP race, Vladimir Guerrero finished third, Manny Ramirez was fourth and Johnny Damon placed 13th.
On the National League side, Andruw Jones placed second while Derrek Lee was third.
Unfortunately as the Yankees, Rays and Orioles look toward 2011, most of these former superstars are years removed from performing at that high level. Read the rest of this entry →
Lou Piniella played in four games for the Baltimore Orioles in 1964.
A more than 40 year career in major league baseball that began with a brief appearance as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 1964 will evidently end following the 2010 season as current Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella has announced his retirement.
In a week that will culminate with former major league manager Whitey Herzog (also a former Oriole) receiving a plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame, an interesting question is whether Piniella will someday join Herzog at the Hall of Fame.
The similarities between the managerial careers of Herzog and Piniella are actually much greater than you might initially anticipate.
Both were among the best managers of their era and won multiple division titles. However, they each were able to claim the World Series title only once during their managerial tenures.
In 18 seasons as a manager (14 full seasons and four partial seasons), Herzog won six division titles (three with the Kansas City Royals and three with the St. Louis Cardinals), three pennants and the 1982 World Series title. He posted an overall record of 1281-1125(.532 winning percentage) while guiding his squads to a winning record in 10 of his 14 full seasons as a skipper.
Unless something unexpected occurs in the next few weeks, Piniella will complete his 22nd full season and 23rd overall as a manager. His teams have also won six division titles, but Piniella has managed only in one World Series. That was in 1990 when his first season with the Cincinnati Reds ended with a surprising four game sweep over the mighty Oakland A’s in the World Series. Read the rest of this entry →
To begin the 2010 Major League Baseball previews on Sports Then and Now let’s look at the American League East. The most dominant league in baseball over the last decade, the AL east has put a team in last three World Series and seven out of the last ten. It doesn’t get anymore impressive than that.
Who Will Win the AL East in 2010?
Baltimore Orioles (52%, 11 Votes)
Boston Red Sox (24%, 5 Votes)
New York Yankees (10%, 2 Votes)
Tampa Bay Rays (10%, 2 Votes)
Toronto Blue Jays (4%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 21
1. New York Yankees
Will Andy Pettitte give the Yankees his usual dependable starts in 2010?
While most talking heads no longer rank the Yankees pitching staff as the best of the division, they are still pretty darn impressive, at least at the top of the rotation. CC Sabathia promises to have an even better year than last now that he’s had a full year to get used to his new surroundings. Being that last year was not too shabby (19-8 records, 3.37 ERA, 4th in AL Cy Young votes), Sabathia looks to be a real terror on the mound for New York. Even though A.J. Burnett was a bit shakier than Sabathia, he still managed to win 13 games. He, too, will see improvement this season.
With the top two in excellent shape, a big question mark hangs over Andy Pettitte. While this is a guy who has been the meter stick of consistency (Pettitte has won between 14 and 18 games in 9 of his fifteen seasons, which leaves out a 19 win and two 21 win seasons) he will turn 38 during this upcoming season. The Yankees gave him a one year deal because they have come concerns about his durability (read: no more “healing” aides).
The real mysteries are the four and five spots in the Yankee rotation. Javier Vasquez is a big deal gain for New York as he offers a very, very solid middle of the rotation guy. The club seems intent on leaving Chamberlain as a starter despite overwhelming evidence that he should be a reliever, but now that Vasquez is in town, perhaps logic will prevail and put Phil Hughes in that fifth spot. If that’s done, the Yankees will win 100 games again this year. Read the rest of this entry →
There is no shortage of money being spent on baseball salaries, but which teams are getting the most bang for their bucks?
Given that they spent half a billion dollars more than any other team over the last decade, it should come as no surprise that the New York Yankees top the list of Major League Baseball teams when it comes to cost per victory. However, in an interesting article posted on SportsIllustrated.com, Tom Verducci contends that the Yankees got much more bang for their buck than some teams that spent less money during the decade. Just looking at the raw numbers, the Yankees top the sport by spending $174,600 for each of their league-best 965 victories.
The New York Mets ($133,300), Boston Red Sox ($127,000), Los Angeles Dodgers ($116,200) and Chicago Cubs ($112,400) round out the list of the top five teams in spending per victory. Not surprisingly, the Yankees and Red Sox are the only two teams to claim multiple World Series titles in the decades.
However, using a formula that weighs playoff success and then compares it with total payroll to illustrate efficiency and inefficiency, Verducci suggests that the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals got the most for their money over the past decade.
But, Verducci also points out the flaw in his system when considering the comprehensive success of those teams during the decade. The Cardinals spent $843 million (eighth highest in baseball) while winning 913 games (third in MLB). They also reached the playoffs eight times, appeared in two World Series and claimed the World Series title in 2006.
While the Marlins equaled the Cardinals with one World Series title (2003 over the Yankees), their rise to the top of the efficiency scale is tied primarily to annual place at the bottom of the league when it comes to team payroll. The Marlins spent only $349 million during the decade, which is $50 million less than the other team in Florida, the Tampa Bay Rays. The 2003 championship was the only playoff appearance for the Marlins and they finished within five games of making the playoffs only one other time in the decade. Read the rest of this entry →
Brian Roberts is tagged out in the 8th inning of a game Baltimore lost 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth.
As a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan it goes without saying that I HATE THE NEW YORK YANKEES!
While Yankee fans now pretty much dismiss the Orioles as a pesky little hang-nail, at one time that hate was quite mutual as the Orioles were often the only thing standing between New York and an Eastern Division crown.
Because of the legendary Babe Ruth trade and their classic match-ups over the last 15 years the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has been elevated to the top of the baseball hemisphere, but there was a stretch when the real rivalry in the American League East was between the Yankees and Orioles.