Tag Archives: New York Yankees

Yankees look to capitalize on Ellsbury’s stolen base prowess

English: Jacoby Ellsbury leading off first bas...

Jacoby Ellsbury leading off first base in a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week the New York Yankees signed Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year contract worth $153 million. Several media outlets and baseball pundits questioned whether or not it was a good move on the part of the Yankees. Many questioned either the length or value of the contract, while others opined that Ellsbury was just not the type of player that deserved that type of free-agent contract.

In defense of Ellsbury, he played a major role in the Red Sox winning the championship last year. He led the majors with 52 stolen bases and batted .298 while playing a solid center field. He has stolen 50 or more base in three of his seven seasons. But his speed on the basepaths was a bone of contention for some people who see Ellsbury as too one-dimensional of a player.

Maybe, however, the Yankees decision was a simple response to a need that has plagued the team for almost 25 years.

As mentioned above, Ellsbury led the majors last season with 52 stolen bases. He was the only player to steal 50 or more last season. Do you know the last Yankees player to steal 50 or more bases in a season? It happened in 1988. Rickey Henderson stole 93 in that season, the last time the Yanks had a player reach the 50-steal mark in a season.

Here’s a look at the last time each of the major league teams had a player who stole 50 or more bases in a season.

American League teams
1988: New York Yankees (Rickey Henderson, 93)
1995: Texas (Otis Nixon, 50)
1996: Kansas City (Tom Goodwin, 66)
1997: Minnesota (Chuck Knoblauch, 62)
1998: Cleveland (Kenny Lofton, 54)
1998: Toronto (Shannon Stewart, 51)
2001: Detroit (Roger Cedeno, 55)
2001: Seattle (Ichiro Suzuki, 56)
2006: L.A. Angels (Chone Figgins, 52)
2007: Baltimore (Brian Roberts, 50)
2009: Tampa Bay (Carl Crawford, 60)
2010: Chicago White Sox (Juan Pierre, 68)
2010: Houston (Michael Bourne, 52)
2010: Oakland (Rajai Davis, 50)
2013: Boston (Jacoby Ellsbury, 52)

National League teams
1985: Philadelphia (Juan Samuel, 53)
1987: San Diego (Tony Gwynn, 56)
1990: San Francisco (Brett Butler, 51)
1991: Atlanta (Otis Nixon, 72)
1993: Washington (Marquis Grissom, 53)
1997: Cincinnati (Deion Sanders, 56)
1997: St. Louis (Delino DeShields, 55)
1998: Pittsburgh (Tony Womack, 58)
2004: Milwaukee (Scott Podsednik, 70)
2006: Chicago Cubs (Juan Pierre, 58)
2007: Arizona (Eric Byrnes, 50)
2007: Los Angeles Dodgers (Juan Pierre, 64)
2007: Miami (Hanley Ramirez, 51)
2008: Colorado (Willy Taveras, 68)
2008: New York Mets (Jose Reyes, 56)

* Note: Did you notice that one player, Juan Pierre, is the last player to steal 50 or more bases for three different teams (Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs and L.A. Dodgers), and Otis Nixon is the last player to steal 50-plus bases for two teams (Texas and Atlanta).

Will a full season of Ellsbury stealing bases lead the Yankees to a World Championship? We’ll have a few months to see how well this free agent signing plays out. No doubt the Bronx Bombers are hoping Ellsbury’s stolen base skill will be a catalyst in that journey back to the World Series.

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Game One blowouts in the World Series

1982 World Series

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seeing a Game One blowout in the World Series is a fairly rare site. In fact, prior to last night’s 8-1 win by the Red Sox over the Cardinals, there had been only 10 World Series Game Ones that were decided by seven runs or more.

Here’s a look at those 10 seven runs or more blowouts in previous World Series Game Ones.

2007: Boston over Colorado 13-1 (largest margin of victory in Game One of a World Series)
2001: Arizona over NY Yankees 9-1
1996: Atlanta over NY Yankees 12-1
1980: Cincinnati over Oakland 7-0
1987: Minnesota over St. Louis 10-1
1982: Milwaukee over St. Louis 10-0
1959: Chicago White Sox over LA Dodgers 10-0
1945: Chicago Cubs over Detroit 9-0
1937: NY Yankees over NY Giants 8-1
1919: Cincinnati over Chicago White Sox 9-1

Notice that getting blown out in Game One has happened before to the Cards; they have now lost three Game Ones in the World Series by seven runs or more (most in World Series history).

In the 109-year history of the Fall Classic, Game One has traditionally been a close game. Thirty-eight times (34.9%) the first game of the World Series ended in a one-run game. In just over 51% of the World Series Game Ones, the margin of victory was either one of two runs.

Finally, how will the Cardinals rebound from last night’s drubbing? If the past is any indication, it might not be very well. In the previous 10 blowouts in Game One, the team that won Game One also won Game Two seven times. The 1937 NY Yankees were the only World Series team to win both the first and second games of the World Series by seven runs or more. We can probably expect a closer game in Game Two, but you have to go back to 1982 to see a team rebound from a Game One blowout and win Game Two… in ’82 the Milwaukee Brewers won Game One 10-0. Their opponents, the Cardinals, took Game Two with a 5-4 victory.

Can the Cardinals of 2013 repeat what happened in the 1982 World Series?

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2013 World Series: Same record; best record; last-to-champs journey for Sox

English: the New York Yankees' World Series tr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the World Series getting started tonight in Boston, here are a couple of interesting stats to ponder before the first pitch. Depending on your team allegiance in the series, you may be happy (or sad) to read these facts.

Same record. The World Series this year features two teams that had the same regular season record, 97-65. This is the first World Series in over a half-century where the opposing teams had the same regular season record. Last time it happened was in 1958 when the 92-62 New York Yankees faced the 92-62 Milwaukee Braves. This is also only the fifth time it has happened in the 108-year history of the Fall Classic. It also happened in 1951, 1949 and 1903. Think about this: In the previous four times it occurred, the American League won the World Series. Good omen for the Red Sox?

Question: Does it really matter which World Series team had a better record in the regular season? The World Series team with the better record has won 24 of the 52 World Series dating back to 1960.

Best record in league. Back in 1995 MLB went to the current format of three divisions in each league. Since 1995, this is only the third time that the team with the best record in the American League will face the team with the best record in the National League in the World Series. Both St. Louis and Boston had the best regular season records in their respective league. The other times it happened: 1999 World Series (Atlanta versus the New York Yankees) and 1995 (Cleveland versus Atlanta). In 2007, World Series foes Boston and Colorado tied for the best record in their leagues.

From last to the World Series: The Red Sox this year become the sixth team in MLB history to go from last place to the World Series in the following season. In 2012, Boston finished fifth in the five-team A.L. East, 26 games out of first place. Here’s a look at the teams that went from last place to the World Series in consecutive years.

Atlanta, 1990: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1991.

Minnesota, 1990: Finished fifth in five-team division, 29 games out of first. Won the World Series in 1991.

Philadelphia, 1992: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1993.

San Diego, 1997: Finished fourth in four-team division, 14 games out of first. Lost World Series in 1998.

Tampa Bay, 2007: Finished fifth in five-team division, 30 games out of first. Lost World Series in 2008.

Boston, 2012: Finished fifth in five-team division, 26 games out of first. ????????????????????????

You noticed that only one team (of the five) above won the World Series after being in last place the previous year, right? Bad omen for the Red Sox?

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St. Louis Cardinals hope 2013 NLCS is repeat of 2004 NLCS scenario

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The current "birds on the bat" logo ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The St. Louis Cardinals won Games One and Two of their 2013 NLCS at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The series now shifts to Los Angeles for games three and four.

The Cardinals, in winning the first two games of the LCS as the home team, became the 13th team since 1985 (when MLB went to a seven-game LCS series format) to win the first two games of an LCS as the home team. The last time it happened was in 2011 when the Texas Rangers won Games One and Two of the ALCS at home. The Rangers went on to win the ALCS that year in six games.

The Cardinals in 2004 won the first two games of the NLCS as the home team against the Houston Astros. The Cards went on to win that series in seven games.

Of the 12 previous times since 1985 that a home team won the first two games of either an ALCS or NLCS, that team went on to win the LCS series nine times and lost three times. Ironically, two of the three losses occurred in 1985 as both home teams won the first two games of their respective LCS that season but then lost the series. The last time this happened was in 2004 when the Yankees won the first two games of the ALCS at home against the Red Sox but then lost the series in seven games to Boston.

Following are the 12 times when the home team won the first two games of an LCS.

American League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Toronto (Kansas City won series in seven games)
1987, Minnesota (Minnesota won series in five games)
1989, Oakland (Oakland won the series in five games)
1999, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in five games)
2004, New York Yankees (Boston won series in seven games)
2009, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in six games)
2011, Texas (Texas won series in six games)

National League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Los Angeles Dodgers (St. Louis won series in six games)
1992, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in seven games)
1999, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in six games)
2004, St. Louis (St. Louis won series in seven games)
2008, Philadelphia (Philadelphia won series in five games)
2013, St. Louis (?????)

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Runaway divisional title no guarantee for World Series

English: the New York Yankees' World Series tr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

This season of Major League Baseball marks the 20th anniversary of the sport going to three divisions in each league.

Since 1994, just under 25% of the divisional winners won their division by margin of 10 games or more.

Through games of September 10, two teams (Atlanta and Los Angeles Dodgers) lead their divisions by 10 or more games and one division leader (Boston) has an 8.5 game lead.

Does winning a division by 10 or more games guarantee success in the post-season? Or an assurance of a World Series appearance?

Of the 28 teams that won their division by 10 or more games since 1994, only six made it to the World Series… and only two won the World Series. Here’s a quick look at those six teams:

Won division by 10-plus games and appeared in World Series that year
2011: Texas (won division by 10 games) Lost in World Series
2004: St. Louis (won division by 13 games) Lost in World Series
2001: New York Yankees (won division by 13.5 games) Lost in World Series
1998: New York Yankees (won division by 22 games) Won World Series
1995: Cleveland (won division by 30 games) Lost in World Series
1995: Atlanta (won division by 21 games) Won World Series

Did you know?

* No team won their division by 10 or more games in 2012.

* In 2002, four of the six division champs won their division by 10 or more games. The two teams that did not win their division by 10 games or more, Anaheim and San Francisco, appeared in the World Series that year.

* Five teams have won their division by 20 or more games since 1994. The last to do so were the Angels in 2008. They won the A.L. West by 21 games.

* The Atlanta Braves franchise has won the most division titles by 10 games or more. They have done it five times since ’94. The Yankees and Cardinals have each done it four times.

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