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August 03, 2006

Torre Is Armed This Year?

From the Star Ledger -

Entering last night's game, the Yankees ranked fifth in the American League with a team ERA of 4.36. Boston ranked eighth, at 4.59. The last time the Yankees finished a season with a team ERA that low was 2002, and only three of Joe Torre's Yankees teams have ever had such a low ERA.

Reading this, I decided to check the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia:

Torre's Yankees Teams ERA Compared to the League Avg*


*2006 is through last night's game.

This paints a different picture. Yes, the Yankees pitching this year is better than 2004 and 2005. But, this staff is not in the class of the 1997-99 and 2001-03 Yankees.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 3, 2006 09:43 AM


Boy, Steve, what a sneaky way to Torre-bash. Using statistics to provide context is just unfair. Unfair I say!

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 09:58 AM


It's not his fault. He doesn't acquire talent.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 10:07 AM

Just echoing your point about the unsophisticated way statistics are used in the baseball press, Steve. There aren't any good emoticons for sarcasm, I guess.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 10:23 AM

There are some things to bear in mind in re: the Yankees team ERA: 1. A lot of that is the product of Aaron Small, Kris Wilson, Shawn Chacon, T.J. Beam, Tanyon Sturtze, Scott Erickson and (still with us) Sydney Ponson.

If you look at the Yankee pitchers, with the exception of Randy Johnson (after his recent shellacking), all Yankee pitchers have ERAs under 5.00, and of those, only Jaret Wright has an ERA over 4.00 (4.57).

So arguably, the Yankee team ERA is misleading, because it reflects a lot of dregs that are no longer pitching for the Yanks (including those injured or in Columbus).

2. The Yanks are a weird team, in that every so often this year (this sort of happened in the last 2 years, too), they get bombed.

And when they get bombed, it's really bombs away (thus distorting the team ERA).

Check April 29th against Toronto (Tor won 17-6), May 9th against Boston (Bos won 14-3), July 6th against Cleveland (Cle won 19-1) and July 29th against TB (TB won 19-6).

The above 4 are all losses of over 10 runs (an 11 run loss, 2 13 run losses and an 18 run loss), and they definitely screw teh Yanks team ERA and Pythagorean record.

Posted by: Deltasocrates [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 10:41 AM

JohnnyC - thanks. Gotcha now.

Deltasocrates - interesting points. Thanks.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 10:52 AM