Hi, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy being an adult with a job (this kinda sucks, I don’t recommend it), and my camera broke so I couldn’t properly stalk prospects last year. But I’m back–temporarily, most likely–to create an easy link for people who are looking for my annual December timesuck.
This is my fifth year being a crazy person with a spreadsheet scouring the internet and reading terrible columns to dig out votes. So far it’s been slow, my little hobby got a lot more attention last year than previously. I guess the sheet makes it easier to follow along, though Repoz at BaseballThinkFactory is the master of Hall ballot tracking.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for joining me on the ride and the help that you give. You make me feel slightly less insane.
Yankee Stadium is not a very technology friendly place. Laptops have been banned as long as I can remember and as soon as such a rule was necessary they also banned tablets and e-readers. Why? I don’t know but I found it very annoying as like most people around these parts I take public transportation to work, to the stadium and home. Having to pack differently on gamedays or leave devices at work (that were often brought to work for work purposes!) was pretty lame. Lucky for me as of yesterday the Yankees have updated their entry guidelines. While laptops are still prohibited they have relented and tablets and e-reader devices are now allowed in.
Here are the entry guidelines pulled from the 2012 Fan Guide I received with my season tickets this year (bolding is theirs):
Entry and Carry-In Policy
Inspection points have been established at all Yankee Stadium entrances. The Yankees reserve the right to inspect any bags, clothing or other articles prior to entry into the Stadium and prohibit entry or require removal of any items at the sole and absolute discretion of the Yankees .
NOTICE: For the safety of every Guest, all persons specifically consent to and are subject to metal detector and physical pat-down inspections prior to entry. Any person or property that could affect the safety of Yankee Stadium, its occupants or its property shall be denied entry.
Guest may not carry in the following items:
Any bag larger than 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches
Briefcases, coolers or other hard-sided bags and containers
Glass, cans, aluminum bottles or thermoses
Video cameras and mono/tripods
Tablets or other electronic devices larger than a cellphone (e.g., iPads, Kindles, Nooks, etc.)
Firearms, knives or weapons of any kind
Illegal drugs or substances
Brooms, poles, staffs or sticks
Baseball bats of any size
Animals (except service animals to aid Guests with disabilities)
Blow horns or other distracting noisemakers
Any other devices that may interfere with and/or distract any sports participant or performer, fellow Guest, audio or audio/visual telecast or recording of the game or any technology-related service provided in the stadium
Such items will be prohibited from being brought into the Stadium. There is no storage area for these items. Guests arriving by public transportation should take particular care to not bring any prohibited items, as no exceptions will be made.
The Yankees reserve the right ot change or modify this policy without notice.
This was also word-for-word in the Yankee Stadium A-Z guide under “Entry and Carry-In Policy”. The big bold section about evil iPads, Kindles and Nooks has been stricken from this guide online (which you can read here).
Now commuters headed to the stadium can bring in their tablet-like devices and not worry about stashing them at work or a bag check in the area. This is very good news for scoring enthusiasts as I’ve heard there are some excellent apps (though I am sticking with pencil and paper for now) as well as people with long train rides in their future.
Now that it’s all over and we know who got in (Barry Larkin) and who’s probably getting in next year (Jack Morris), I went in and did the usual post-results housekeeping on the ballot tracker.
Percentage results have been added, both actual and public only
Total number of votes cast by each voter has been added
I tried to make it look a little less ugly, but didn’t really succeed.
The actual results and public ballot results were pretty close in most cases, which is nice. There were some exceptions, of course.
Lots of people who don’t make their ballots public love Don Mattingly. He got 17.8% of the total vote but just under 10% from the public ballots.
Jack Morris was on 58.7% of public ballots, and 66.7% total ballots.
Tim Raines was the opposite of Morris. He was on 57.14% of public ballots and 48.7% total ballots.
Tim Raines received 37.5% of the total vote last year, so I was really happy to see him gain 10%. It means he will probably hang on through the crazy ballot time coming up and has a real chance to get voted in by the writers at some point.
I’ve been AWOL for quite some time for a variety of reasons but mostly because I have been very busy at work this year. I couldn’t stay away during Hall Voting Season, though, so my ballot tracker is back and so am I. And I’m not gonna lie, I will probably need help keeping it up to date more this year than in the past, so anything you find please contact me via the comments here, Twitter (I’m @leokitty) or just send me an email at lunserschutz at gmail.com.
I don’t really get worked up about Yankees-Red Sox series, I think I’ve been dulled to them due to overexposure, but holding a one run lead for three innings against the best offensive team in baseball is super stressful. I have supreme faith in the Yankees bullpen as it is very good, but I still felt super stressed out thanks to Boston’s lineup and couldn’t really focus on the game in the bottom of the 7th, 8th and 9th without feeling nauseous. Here’s what I did instead:
Scrubbed down litterboxes. Just merely changing the litter was not enough to distract me so I went the extra yard and scrubbed them down. When I finished, Rafael Soriano had recorded what I believe was his second 1-2-3 inning of the year.
Installed and updated custom firmware on my PSP. David Robertson is one of the best relief pitchers in MLB this year but he was due to face some of the best hitters in MLB this year and has a tendency to walk people in bunches if his control isn’t just right. There was only one way to keep my stomach intact: Not watching the inning. When I checked back in the inning was over and the Yankees were still in the lead though I still don’t know how it all went down, exactly. I can, however, play ISOs of my PSP games instead of listening to the WHIRRWHIRRWHIRR of the stupid UMD drive once again.
Cleaned the Hellish area around my computer up a bit. The bottom of the 9th was the least concerning of all innings, even with a Mariano in decline. I knew that if he retired Ortiz there wasn’t much to worry about. Not to belittle the three guys following him, but we’re talking about Mariano here. So I was able sort of to watch this half inning. It was a good inning.
Saturday I went to my first baby baseball game of the year in Trenton to see them play New Hampshire. Dellin Betances was on the mound but much more exciting than that for me was getting to see my favorite not-really-a-prospect from Staten Island, DeAngelo Mack. I was so excited, in fact that I completely neglected to take any pictures of him. I was actually uncharacteristically lazy about taking any photos at all that were not of Sal Fasano managing the Fisher Cats.
I’ve seen Betances a few times now, and this was the worst I’ve seen him. His secondary stuff, particularly his curveball, looked great and he got a ton of swing and misses on everything but he had a lot of problems locating his pitches. Because of his stuff, he wasn’t all that hittable but a lot of the time he was so far off the plate that nobody was going to swing. On a positive note, what I liked other than the whiffs was that he was able to come back out after a rough inning in the fourth (a HBP, a walk and a few singles) and rebound to have a mostly uneventful fifth, striking out two.
If you haven’t seen him before, here is some video of Betances’ pitching motions from warming up before the start of an inning:
Austine Romine got knocked around in a collision at homeplate a few days ago and nobody is quite sure what is going on with him, so he was not in the lineup. That leaves Trenton kinda boring from a prospecting point of view outside of Corban Joseph. I am admittedly a fan of Joseph, and in the time I’ve seen him he’s improved his defense at second and he holds his own at the plate. He’s not an outstanding prospect but he has the chance to be a solid player, I think. Especially if he can stick at second base. Here’s a picture of him at the plate for your enjoyment.
While watching minor league shortstops is a barf party most of the time every now and then someone like Adeiny Hechavarria comes along and gives you something pleasant to watch. When I saw Hechavarria last year, he was impressive but sometimes went for splashy plays and made a few mistakes. Last night he showed great range on both popups and groundballs, and was completely on in the field. His bat looked as bad as it did the last time I saw him, but I do think that he’ll get every shot to start in the majors with the hope that his bat is below average and not outright horrible.
As fun as it was to listen to impatient people whine about Betances the real highlight of the game was Sal “Looks like a guy who knows a guy” Fasano. He was working as the 3B coach on top of his managerial duties for New Hampshire and even put on a catcher’s mask and warmed up a pitcher between innings.
While coming out to give the umpire the lineup card he took the time to knock out the Thunder mascots. Very impressive.
DeAngelo Mack clearly knew I was in attendance and went 4-4 at the plate so that was nice. As I mentioned earlier I neglected to actually take any pictures but he’s been holding his own at the plate so I think that even after Melky Mesa comes off the DL they’ll find space for him on the roster so I’ll get to see him again this year.
Other than that, not much to report about the game. It went extra innings so I got a coupon for WaWa coffee I intend to use at some point before it expires and we harassed Travis D’Arnaud into talking to us but that’s all I have to report.
Here’s the rest of my set from the game if you want to look at some bad pictures:
I realize that I am very late in writing my obligatory reaction to Andy Pettitte retiring but I was hit with the deadly combo of being sick for several days and then immediately being slammed with work. I’ve had zero energy for the last two weeks and so it was hard to sit down and write. I have finally found the willpower to put together a post, however, so here we go.
I made a lot of jokes that if/when Andy retired that I’d cry and do my best Greek mourner impression and be generally inconsolable. It seems I got that out of my system when he left the Yankees for Houston after 2003, however, because while I felt a little tinge of sadness it was nothing over the top. My in my head response was “Goddammit” and then I got caught in a coughing fit and made a face and sent some kind of swear out over my Twitter account I think.
And then, strangely, the next thing that popped into my head was “Who is Alex [Rodriguez] going to talk to now?” The last few seasons of watching Alex run and immediately find Andy for hugs, talks, whatever have been really amusing and I’m sad that there won’t be any of that to watch out for during not very exciting games anymore.
I first remember seeing Andy pitch at a game in 1995 that I went to with my mom’s best friend. It was a Friday night and we were missing the X-Files to attend a game where the Yankees couldn’t get anything off Chuck Finley which was always aggravating. I didn’t really know who Andy was then, when we got home and my mom asked who pitched for the Yankees I told her “some guy with too many ts in his name”. I don’t have a path that I can trace from that moment to when Andy became my favorite baseball player but it happened at some point. I wish it was some kind of revelation I could relate that sounds cool and interesting but I’ve really got nothing to tell.
However it happened, though, I really loved Andy beyond the normal “I like watching this baseball player, he is good at his job” feelings. I got really nervous when he was pitching with runners on base, and I was known to cover my face with a cat/book/pillow when he was working “into and out of trouble”. It was very stressful–not just because of how I felt about him but because of his mound mannerisms. When a player you are very fond of is yelling at himself on the mound as he pitches it’s hard to stay calm. Obviously it usually worked for him (if it hadn’t he would have been branded with the HEADCASE label rather quickly) but Jesus it was nerve wracking to watch.
There was a lot of Hall of Fame and number retirement rumblings from fans pretty much as soon as the word got out that Andy was retiring so I also wanted to get this out of the way: I don’t think he really fits the criteria for either. I think that a lot of why Yankees fans want these things to happen is because of the love they feel for Andy, and really want to see him honored and not forgotten. I completely understand that, and it’s a shame that the Yankees do not have a traditional team Hall of Fame because he certainly belongs there. Nobody is going to forget about Andy, though, so I don’t get that fear. There are simply too many people that love him.
I think Andy should get a plaque in Monument Park like Allie Reynolds, and an Andy Pettitte day, and come to every Old Timer’s Day until he can no longer make it because he had a very good career and was very important to the teams he was on…but I just don’t see that jump to number retirement and the Hall. Maybe I view them a little differently, but when the Yankees eventually give 46 to someone new it won’t bother me. Perhaps it’ll even go to a young LHP who loved Andy, I always like when things like that happen.