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February 23, 2008

The Odds Against Old Man Giambi Helping Yanks This Year

Jason Giambi will be 37-years old this season. Thinking of this, I wondered today "How many 37-year olds have posted great offensive seasons - even in part-time duty - for the Yankees?" Via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, here's the list:

NEW YORK YANKEES, SEASON where AGE = 37
OPS, SECONDARY AVERAGE, and BPA all vs. the league average

RCAA                          YEAR    RCAA      PA       OWP      OPS      SEC      BPA    
1    Babe Ruth                1932      101      589     .860     .375     .355     .257   
2    George McQuinn           1947       34      609     .692     .112     .041     .072   
3    Johnny Mize              1950       18      305     .659     .163     .145     .156   
4    Wade Boggs               1995       17      541     .598     .063    -.024     .000   
5    Tim Raines               1997       16      318     .660     .087     .035     .043   
6    Felipe Alou              1972        9      351     .611     .049    -.033     .017   
7    Kenny Lofton             2004        1      313     .512    -.032    -.018    -.021   
T8   Elston Howard            1966       -1      451     .481    -.024    -.053    -.040   
T8   Bernie Williams          2006       -1      462     .489    -.010    -.033    -.026   
T10  Willie Keeler            1909       -2      427     .486     .013    -.037    -.011   
T10  Tino Martinez            2005       -2      348     .476     .010     .070     .017   
12   Graig Nettles            1982       -3      461     .464    -.011     .048    -.005   
13   Yogi Berra               1962       -6      263     .408    -.061     .003    -.040   
T14  Paul O'Neill             2000      -16      628     .412    -.034    -.037    -.041   
T14  Rollie Hemsley           1944      -16      299     .290    -.045    -.078    -.081   

In a nutshell, since 1951, the only 37-year old players to have good offensive seasons for the Yanks have been Wade Boggs (1995) and Tim Raines (1997).

The key for Boggs and Raines may be what they did the "year before." In 1994, Wade Boggs had (what was probably) his best season since 1991. And, in 1996, Tim Raines had solid numbers - albeit in only 240 PA. Basically, at 37, Boggs and Raines just repeated what they did (just about) at age 36.

And, what about Giambi at age 36? Well, last year was the second worst offensive season in Giambi's career - only "topped" by 2004. So, it's not like the 37-year old Giambi can hope that he just repeats what he did at age 36 - because he was terrible at that age.

Just another reason why history tells us that we should not expect anything positive from Jason Giambi this season. And, should he actually provide some decent offense, it would be defying the odds - big time.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at February 23, 2008 10:23 PM

Comments

Steve -

Long time listener (reader), 1st time caller (poster)...

Ok, I like this blog and click on it a few times a day...

But it has really gotten to the point where the negativity has gotten out of hand. From our top A prospects to our gritty, gutty vets, you do nothing but focus on the negative, on the "well x says this and y says that so obviously z will happen", it has become unbearable and at times, unreadable. I know you fancy yourself as some sort of "NO BLINDERS EVER" Yanks fan, but c'mon...relax a bit. Most of the stuff you post has already been read and digested by hardcore Yanks fans, so we really don't need to see 19 posts about Hughes velocity, Arod's quotes, Torre's misuse of the bullpen (STILL)...I think sometimes you update this blog just for the sake of updating and drawing more hits, not that there's anything wrong with that. To be honest, I lost the focus of why I started writing, blame the booze I guess...but in closing, relax...chill out...it's just baseball, and we are all hardcore Yankees fans (I hope) so lets wait to the season begins before you start poo pooing every player/prospect/coach you lay your eyes on. I think that is the end of my rant. don't hate me, I won't remember this tomorrow morning.

PS - Baileywalk, you rule.

Posted by: Drinking40ozs [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 12:55 AM

I think the more accurate question to ask is "How many 37-year olds have posted great offensive seasons - even in part-time duty"

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 01:44 AM

~~~But it has really gotten to the point where the negativity has gotten out of hand. From our top A prospects to our gritty, gutty vets, you do nothing but focus on the negative~~~

Drinking40ozs - thanks for the feedback.

But, note the last 9 entries to WW before your post:

Mark Newman On Alberto Gonzalez
The Odds Against Old Man Giambi Helping Yanks This Year
Gardner's Not Lacking Confidence
A Winning Question
Jeter Doesn't See Himself Ever Moving Off Short
Jeter & A-Rod Buddying Up
The Matsui Matter
Dion James 1993
New Hughes A Pop Sensation

If you read those entries, there's no way to claim that I "do nothing but focus on the negative"

Again, I think this is more of a case of the reader only focusing on the negative stuff - at least, more so than me.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 08:22 AM

You know, stats are great and all, but you might want to consider the difference between being 37 years old in 1951 and 37 years old in the year 2008. You might also want to consider any reason whatsoever why success at age 37 would be different while playing for NY than any other team.

If you don't recognize the inherent differences there, you really ought to hank up the spikes on the "analysis" side of sports blogging.

Posted by: Sherard [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 09:54 AM

Yeah, I think the study would be more complete if you involved every team in baseball and not just the Yankees. Jason has always been good when he was healthy. One of the questions for the team is if he can stay healthy while playing first base. Giambi isn't far removed from a stellar season with the bat. Yes, he's not what he used to be, but he practically rolls out of bed with a near-.400 OBP. He still demands respect from pitchers and has that great eye, so if he stays reasonably healthy I think he will be a positive for the team.

And thanks for the shout-out, 40ozs.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 02:36 PM

I might say the Jason has gotten a lot of 'rest' in the last 4 years. I'm predicting no major injuries and an .880 OPS or better.

The guy is motivated. And in good shape.
I might also point out that last year in April, BEFORE his foot went to hell, he posted:
.322 .404 .517 .921

Posted by: singledd [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 05:34 PM

Thanks for the info Steve.

I just dropped Jason Giambi for Kosuke Fukudome on my fantasy team.

Joe Crede is my extra fantasy player who I am guessing will be better than Giambi this year.

Give me a reason to doubt my moves.

Posted by: ChrisXS [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 07:14 PM

Give me a reason to doubt my moves.
--------
Well, if you believe in contract years...

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2008 09:39 PM