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February 18, 2007

1912 Yanks vs. 1990 Yanks

WasWatching.com reader "Peter" took on the challenge of "1912 vs. 1990" - as he writes:

I figured I'd take up your challenge...to run a bunch of sim games between the 1912 and 1990 Yanks. I used the website whatifsports.com, which I think is a pretty cool site even though there are some noticeable flaws in their simulations.

[Below] you can see the lineups and pitching matchups I used as well as the individual game results. I ran four best of seven series, giving each team home field advantage twice. The 1990 Yanks played their home games in Yankee Stadium and the DH was used. The 1912 Yanks played their home games in Hilltop Park and there was no DH.

I went with a four man rotation for each team. Using Baseball Reference, I determined each pitcher's place in the rotation by ranking them in order of game starts.

I also used Baseball Reference for batting lineups and I created two lineups for each team: one with a DH and one without. There was batting order/lineup info for the 1990 Yankees, so I put together what looked like the most typical lineups for them. There was no lineup/order info for the 1912 Yankees, so I just took everyone who played the most games at each position and made them the starters, and ordered them myself by looking at their OBP and SLG. In determining a DH for the 1912 team, I just went with the non-starter with the most ABs.

It was kind of fun doing and hopefully my methodology makes sense.

Pitching Rotations:

1912: R. Ford, R. Cadwell, G. McConnell, R. Fisher
1990: T. Leary, C. Cary, D. LaPoint, A. Hawkins


With DH:

1912

1. 3B R. Hartzell
2. CF B. Daniels
3. 1B H. Chase
4. RF B. Cree
5. LF G. Zinn
6. DH D. Sterrett
7. C E. Sweeney
8. 2B H. Simmons
9. SS J. Martin

1990

1. CF R. Kelly
2. 2B S. Sax
3. 1B D. Mattingly
4. DH M. Hall
5. RF J. Barfield
6. LF O. Azocar
7. 3B J. Leyritz
8. C B. Geren
9. SS A. Espinoza

Without DH:

1912

1. 3B R. Hartzell
2. CF B. Daniels
3. 1B H. Chase
4. RF B. Cree
5. LF G. Zinn
6. C E. Sweeney
7. 2B H. Simmons
8. SS J. Martin

1990

1. CF R. Kelly
2. 2B S. Sax
3. 1B D. Mattingly
4. LF M. Hall
5. RF J. Barfield
6. 3B J. Leyritz
7. C B. Geren
8. SS A. Espinoza


SERIES 1: 1990 wins, 4-0
GAME 1: 1912 (Ford) @ 1990 (Leary): 5-7, 1990 wins
GAME 2: 1912 (Cadwell) @ 1990 (Cary): 0-8, 1990 wins
GAME 3: 1990 (LaPoint) @ 1912 (McConnell): 4-2, 1990 wins
GAME 4: 1990 (Hawkins) @ 1912 (Fisher): 3-2, 1990 wins

SERIES 2: 1912 wins, 4-3
GAME 1: 1990 (Leary) @ 1912 (Ford): 2-4, 1912 wins
GAME 2: 1990 (Cary) @ 1912 (Cadwell): 7-3, 1990 wins
GAME 3: 1912 (McConnell) @ 1990 (LaPoint): 4-3, 1912 wins
GAME 4: 1912 (Fisher) @ 1990 (Hawkins): 8-9, 1990 wins
GAME 5: 1912 (Ford) @ 1990 (Leary): 4-5, 1990 wins
GAME 6: 1990 (Cary) @ 1912 (Cadwell): 1-6, 1912 wins
GAME 7: 1990 (LaPoint) @ 1912 (McConnell): 2-5, 1912 wins


SERIES 3: 1990 wins, 4-1
GAME 1: 1912 (Ford) @ 1990 (Leary): 0-5, 1990 wins
GAME 2: 1912 (Cadwell) @ 1990 (Cary): 3-4, 1990 wins
GAME 3: 1990 (LaPoint) @ 1912 (McConnell): 8-5, 1990 wins
GAME 4: 1990 (Hawkins) @ 1912 (Fisher): 3-5, 1912 wins
GAME 5: 1990 (Leary) @ 1912 (Ford): 4-1, 1990 wins

SERIES 4: 1990 wins, 4-3
GAME 1: 1990 (Leary) @ 1912 (Ford): 8-4, 1990 wins
GAME 2: 1990 (Cary) @ 1912 (Cadwell): 4-15, 1912 wins
GAME 3: 1912 (McConnell) @ 1990 (LaPoint): 5-2, 1912 wins
GAME 4: 1912 (Fisher) @ 1990 (Hawkins): 1-8, 1990 wins
GAME 5: 1912 (Ford) @ 1990 (Leary): 4-8, 1990 wins
GAME 6: 1990 (Cary) @ 1912 (Cadwell): 3-6, 1912 wins
GAME 7: 1990 (LaPoint) @ 1912 (McConnell): 7-6, 1990 wins

First, and most importantly, many, many, thanks to Peter for working the numbers! An excellent and appreciated job!

The results are very interesting to me. The 1990 team did sweep 1912 twice. But, check out those two seven-game series. In "series 2" the 1990 Yanks went into Game 6 needing just one win - and then choked in Games 6 and 7 (to allow 1912 to win). And, in "series 4," it also went down to a Game 7 - and look at that contest! The team from 1990 just took it from 1912 - by a score of 7-6. Now, that's close.

Still, based on these overall results, I think it's not a reach to say that the 1912 Yankees were worse than the 1990 Yankees. This simulation backs-up what the Pythagorean Winning Percentages said as well. Still, we're talking about two really sad teams here.

For all the 101-year old Yankees fans out there - who can say that they saw the 1912 and the 1990 Yankees play, well, I guess you got the bonus plan baby.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at February 18, 2007 09:01 AM

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