Sports Outside the Beltway

It’s official: Girardi to helm 2008 Yankees

- A good choice, if I may say so. Unfortunately, Don Mattingly was offended and won’t return to the Yanks in any capacity next year. I wish he would stay on as bench coach, but I understand not being comfortable sitting next to the guy he lost out to on a daily basis.

- MLB criticized the timing of Boras’ announcement to void the remainder of Arod’s contract. Boras then apologized. What a liar. He knew what he was doing.

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Harness racing driver Joe Hennessey dead at 82

I can not recall ever seeing Joe race, but his son Walter drove many races I attended at Pompano Park here in Florida. Wally is in the Hall of Fame, and I’m sure his father Joe is a great part of why he made it. RIP.

Joe Hennessey, the father of Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, died Monday in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island at the age of 82. Mr. Hennessey was the patriarch of one of the province’s most well-known harness racing families.

Mr. Hennessey drove his first winner in 1943 at Summerside Raceway, directing his father Wal’s horse Dale H to a 4-2-1 summary finish, with the 2:11 victory being the fastest on the race card that day. He went on to drive 923 winners over his career.

Included among Mr. Hennessey’s more well-known horses were Royal At Law, Cheeky Chief, Dominion Byrd, My Darling, John Willie Bob and Callie Hal. Along the way he also helped many young horsemen get their starts in the business, including Ralph (Bo) Shepherd, Jack Pound, Joe Arsenault, Bert McWade, Lorne Hennessey, Maurice Hennessey and Lloyd Duffy.

Mr. Hennnessey was also instrumental in the careers of his sons, which included Danny, Jody and Gordie, besides Wally.

Mr. Hennessey is survived by his wife, Shirley, and 10 children.

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  • netto6  linked with  Harness racing driver Joe Hennessey dead at 82

Girardi and Pitchers, A Second Look

Girardi is in as the new skipper of the Yankees. He has a reputation of putting winning ahead of organizational aims. The mediots who chortle and say that won’t be a problem in New York misunderestimate the effort Brian Cashman has made to develop the pinstriped pitching troika of Philip Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy.

One of my esteemed co-bloggers posted an interesting study of Girardi’s one year of managerial experience, in particular the way he handled the young Marlin pitchers.

I disagree a little with Travis’, but you can judge for yourself, down below or by clicking here. I come down on the side of the argument that any overuse of a young pitcher puts him a a disproportionately greater risk of developing serious arm trouble than similar abuse of a pitcher between 26 and 34 years old.

Here’s a highlight of Travis analysis:

I looked at Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) in 2006 (for starters over 100 ip) – Florida’s starters accumulated a total of over 147,000 abuse points, whereas Yankee starters reached just under 48,000. This appears to be a huge difference until you realize Florida had six pitchers qualify while the Yanks had just four. A better way to equalize the measuring stick is to take the average PAP per pitcher: for Florida it was about 25,000 while the Yanks had about 12,000. So the gap isn’t quite as big as it seemed but there’s still a gap.

PAP per pitcher is not an especially good way to look at individual abuse. To get a good gauge of how a manager uses his staff overall it works just fine, but individual pitchers, and in particular younger or older pitchers, deserve individual scrutiny.

By looking at individual efforts, things come more into focus.

Sanchez 2006 PAP^3 4,651
Nolasco 2006 PAP^3 4,300
Johnson 2006 PAP^3 13,211
Olsen 2006 PAP^3 13,256
Willis 2006 PAP^3 108,656

I omitted Brian Moehler – the sixth pitcher Travis references – from my tabulations, as he was the only starter over 25 in the 2006 Marlins rotation. This alone shows the tendency to send young arms well past 100 pitches far too frequently. But it is not the only way that these pitchers were mismanaged by Girardi in his effort to win now.

Bringing young arms along following the so-called “Rule of 30″ is a prudent strategy. Expecting a young pitcher to jump from 120 college innings pitched to 180 innings pitched without suffering fatigue or injury is foolhardy. So is expecting a pitcher to jump from 140 minor league IP to 200 major league IP, without consequence. The “Rule of 30″ offers a conservative strategy of ramping up a young pitcher’s inning tally by 30 inning increments from year to year. Let’s compare inning totals for those five Marlin starters both at the major and minor league level for 2005-2007. The middle column is when Girardi was manager and these totals include both major and minor league innings for all three years.

Sanchez 136, 200.3, 30
Nolasco 161.7, 140, 55
Johnson 152, 169.3, 36.3
Olsen 100.7, 186.7, 176.7
Willis 236.3, 223.3, 205.3

Sanchez was definitely over extended in 2006, and with the concerns about injury with his arm to begin with, that abuse may be the difference between him being a valuable pitcher for the next ten years and him being a flame out. You hope that is not the case.

Nolasco’s overuse was not from the Marlins, at least not in 2006, but more likely from the Cubs, whose track record of developing young arms is spotty at best (negligent at worst). His injury last year is more than likely the result of consistent overuse, rather than a burst of abuse.

Johnson’s injury this past season may not be the result of the number of PAP^3 he took in 2006 as a 22 year old. But it is hard to argue with a young arm breaking down after having stretches like this one in 06: 101, 109, 105, 94, 110, 103, 116, 109, 112, 105 over ten starts. Interestingly, he had an average of 5 days of rest between those starts. So even though he was effectively getting extra rest, that did not mitigate the strain of 100+ pitch outings. He gave up 14 earned runs (20 runs overall) in that ten game stretch, but his last 12 starts allowed 33 earned runs and 34 overall runs. His ERA climbed from 2.21 to 3.10. Got tired? Yep. And when a young arm is tired, that’s when it is most likely to strain or tear from overuse.

Those 108,656 PAP^3 for Willis, combined with his participation in the World Baseball Classic, go a long way to explaining the Willis’ decline of the last two seasons. Girardi leaned on Willis, because as the lone survivor of the purge, he was the de facto ace. A caveat, McKeon had abused Willis the previous year as well, so Girardi was following team precedent. Regardless, Dontrelle was still a young pitcher whose arm was nearing critical usage at a young age. How much he comes back is anyone’s guess. An statistically minded observer of baseball suggested Livan Hernandez when I posed the question to him.

Olsen’s 2007 inconsistency seems likely the result of injury due to double abuse, exceeding the normal rule of thirty increase of innings, and the second most PAP^3 among the 25 and under crowd. It seems unlikely to me that he does not make it through the 2008 season without a serious breakdown.

Five young pitchers, each showing marked decline or serious injury after Girardi’s tenure at the helm. For the sake of the franchise, Brian Cashman, needs to ensure that Girardi manages the young arms of Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy better than he did the young arms of the Marlins. I think he will. Girardi knew he was a sacrificial lamb in Florida. And so the only way to salvage his reputation as a budding managerial star was to win at all costs in his lone season in Miami. Now with a three year deal, from New York, it seems to me, he will play the good organizational soldier and follow the orders from on high about not wearing out the long term investments.

Still, the results of his last managerial job should strike fear into the hearts of Yankee fans.

For more information on PAP^3, click here.


Tony Romo Enjoying Limelight

Tony Romo Enjoying Limelight Photo Matt Mosley says of the Dallas Cowboys’ newly minted $67.5 million man,

You can buy into all this “I’m just happy to be here” Romo storyline or you can know the truth, which is that no quarterback this side of Joe Willie has ever enjoyed the stage like this kid.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

His joy is apparently infectious, which shouldn’t be surprising considering how long the Cowboys have waited for a worthy successor to Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, and Troy Aikman.

In what may have been one of the most surreal news conferences in club history, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced quarterback Tony Romo’s six-year, $67.5 million contract, and then passed along some time-honored dating advice. Moments after a non-Hashmarks sanctioned reporter interrupted the proceedings with a question about Romo’s alleged run-in with Britney Spears in Los Angeles on Friday, Jones slowly leaned forward and said in his best Arkansas accent, “I’ve told Tony that sometimes they can smell fresh cash.”

The line drew huge laughter, and I turned to my right just in time to see the owner’s daughter, Charlotte, rolling her eyes. Romo was in the middle of answering the next question when he paused, looked over at Jones and said, “That was pretty good.”

Pretty good, indeed. Although this isn’t even close to the most surreal press conference in Jerry Jones’ tenure. There was the awkward announcement of the hiring of Jimmy Johnson in the wake of the firing of the legendary Tom Landry. There was the bizarre announcement that Johnson was leaving after back-to-back Super Bowl wins. Then there was the hiring of Barry Switzer and his histrionics.

A little comic relief is just fine after all that.

You can buy into all this “I’m just happy to be here” Romo storyline or you can know the truth, which is that no quarterback this side of Joe Willie has ever enjoyed the stage like this kid.

As Jones and coach Wade Phillips showered him with praise for about 45 minutes, Romo desperately tried to supress a grin that has contributed mightily to his growing fortune. Repeatedly asked whether the money would change him, he finally deadpanned, “I think definitely I’m a better person now because I have more money.”

And the Valley Ranch press corps roared its approval.

A great line. This is a kid who’s come a long way and knows damned well that this is an absurd amount of cash. But, hey, he’s not going to turn it down.

Both Jones and his son, Stephen, talked about the active role Tony played in the negotiation process. At one point, Stephen told the quarterback he wasn’t willing to concede a certain aspect of the contract. Romo walked down the hall to the elder Jones’ office, and within seconds, had what he was looking for.

“I should’ve dealt with [Jerry] the whole time,” Romo told Stephen, who said he’d never had a player take such an active role in negotiations.

I’m glad this one is in the bag. The Cowboys have plenty of cap room and, while the amount of money is absurd, it’s quite reasonable by elite NFL quarterback standards.


Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson on HOF List

Several Dallas Cowboys, most notably owner Jerry Jones and former coach Jimmy Johnson, are on the long list of candidates for the 2008 class at the Hall of Fame.

Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson on HOF ListCowboys owner-general manager Jerry Jones and former head coach Jimmy Johnson are among 124 modern-era players, coaches and contributors who comprise the preliminary nominees list for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008.

The preliminary list will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists next month, and 15 modern-era finalists eventually will be selected by mail ballot along with previously announced senior nominees Marshall Goldberg and Emmitt Thomas.

Other notable Cowboys nominees include former vice president of personnel development Gil Brandt; defensive ends Charles Haley, Jim Jeffcoat and Ed “Too Tall” Jones; tight end Jay Novacek; wide receiver Drew Pearson; running back Herschel Walker; and quarterback Danny White.

Johnson was Jones’ first head-coaching hire upon taking ownership in 1989. The two enjoyed consecutive Super Bowl titles from 1992-93 before Johnson’s departure following the ’93 season.

To be considered for election, players and coaches must be retired at least five years. Contributors such as Jones may still be active in the NFL.

One could make a strong case for all of these players except perhaps Jeffcoat and White. Both were excellent players but neither was a truly dominant, great player.

Charles Haley and Drew Pearson should certainly be in the Hall already. Pearson was a more dominant wide receiver than either Lynn Swann or John Stallworth; unfortunately for him, they got the national spotlight of four Super Bowl wins. He’s also in the same boat as Art Monk, great players from a different era whose stats no longer seem impressive. Haley was a dominant player on five Super Bowl champions. ‘Nuff said.

Gil Brandt was the GM of the Cowboys during the entire Landry era, building an expansion team — from the days when they didn’t even get draft picks their first year — into a perennial championship contender. He certainly deserves to be in Canton.

Two years ago, I’d have said Johnson didn’t coach long enough to make it. Then John Madden, who was a head coach only ten years and who won only one Super Bowl, got voted in. If that’s the standard, Johnson, who coached two Super Bowl champions and built the core of the team that wo a third under Barry Switzer, should qualify.

As for Jones, he’s a lock for Canton. He’s transformed the League’s business model and made it much more profitable. It’s a matter of when, not if. My guess is “when” is several years from now.


NHL Suspends Defenseman Randy Jones

He is the third Philadelphia Flyer to be suspended this year.

Flyers defenseman Randy Jones was suspended two games by the NHL on Monday for his violent hit on Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, making him the third Philadelphia player suspended for a dangerous play this season.


The 22-year-old Bergeron was injured after he was hammered to the boards face-first by Jones in the first period of Philadelphia’s 2-1 victory over the Bruins.

Bergeron lost consciousness, was transported from the ice on a stretcher and was taken to the hospital where team physician, Dr. Bertram Zarins, diagnosed him with a concussion and a broken nose. No other serious injuries to Bergeron’s head or neck were revealed by tests and he was released Sunday.

The suspension was handed down by NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.

Here’s the video

The hit was brutal no doubt about it. However if Jones gets suspended, why didn’t Ottawa Senator Anton Volchenkov get suspended for a similiar hit on Florida Panter David Booth on October 20th.

HUNTSVILLE, Ont. – Now Anton Volchenkov can rest easy with the rest of his Ottawa Senators teammates.

The National Hockey League is not reviewing his check on Florida Panthers left-winger David Booth during Saturday’s game at Scotiabank Place, meaning Volchenkov will not be suspended for the hit.

That won’t come as a surprise to Senators coach John Paddock, who couldn’t understand why there was any suggestion of a suspension in the first place.

The NHL agreed with John Paddock’s assessment that Anton Volchenkov, above, did nothing wrong.

That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve heard in hockey this year, in terms of anybody even talking about him being suspended,” Paddock said during a conference call. “So, that’s my thought on that.”

To recap, in the second period of Saturday’s contest, Booth had the puck along the boards, in the Senators zone, when he turned towards Volchenkov with his head down. They collided and Booth went into the boards before falling to the ice. He was eventually taken off the ice on a stretcher.

Here’s the video of the hit on Booth.

I don’t see any difference between what Volchenkov and Jones did. Does the NHL have a double standard for suspending players?

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Braves Deal Shortstop Edgar Renteria to Tigers

Let the Hot Stove begin. ESPN reports the essentials.

The Detroit Tigers made the first splash in baseball’s offseason as they addressed a pressing priority.


Detroit filled its No. 1 void Monday, acquiring shortstop Edgar Renteria and cash from the Atlanta Braves for two prospects.

Shortly after reaching the World Series last season, the Tigers pulled off the first major move when they traded for Gary Sheffield.

The two prospects ended up being 21-year old righthander Jair Jurrjens and 19-year old centerfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

What a coup for Atlanta. Even without John Schuerholz in the GM chair, the Braves are still well aware of players’ expiration dates. Ever a hallmark of Schuerholz’ trades, the Braves always seemed to know just when to move a player. Renteria fit a need on a contender who was awash with young arms, just what the Braves need. Hernandez meanwhile has speed to burn, good doubles power and the potential to blossom into a very good centerfielder.

Wren noted that the Braves had other moves to make. One of course will be installing Yunel Escobar as the full-time starting shortstop. In one move, the Braves just got a lot younger. The National League East should be on notice. The Braves may have missed the post season in each of the last two years, they are on their way back to contention.

In Motown, however, the story is contending with an aging core of known veteran players – familiar ones at that, to GM Dave Dombrowski and Manager Jim Leyland. Their last two big offseason acquisitions (Sheffield and Renteria) were playing for Leyland and Dombrowski in 1997 when they, as Marlins, were World Series Champions.

Age must be a concern at some point. Of Tigers position players, only centerfielder Curtis Ganderson is under 30. Top prospect Cameron Maybin showed he was not quite ready for the majors in his debut this past fall. Meanwhile Pudge Rodriguez is 36. Magglio Ordonez is 34. Sheffield is 39 and the Tigers offense is old, in a dangerous position for decline.

Their pitching is young however, with fireballers Justin Verlander, Andrew Miller and Jeremy Bonderman heading a deep rotation and Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney at the back of the bullpen. Only Rodney is over thirty. They can contend with these pitchers in the near term and continue to patch the lineup with veteran replacements for another couple of years.

Short term, this deal benefits the Tigers more, who may be able to make it back to the World Series in 2008, but long term this is a real steal for the Braves.


Miami Dolphin Quarterback John Beck’s playbook studying habits

The 2nd round pick from Brigham Young has his wife’s assistance in his quest to be the #1 quarterback for the Dolphins.

How diligent is John Beck? The Dolphins rookie QB has been having his wife quiz him on the playbook in bed and when they go furniture shopping.

I guess Mrs. Beck plays wide receiver.


In-depth look at Joe Girardi’s treatment of pitchers

The analysis of Joe Girardi’s treatment of pitchers in his one managerial campaign with the 2006 Marlins. While we wait to find out who it will be, perhaps this will help.

Part 1
Pitcher Abuse Points -
Since I’m not a member of BPro, I can’t access their custom stat reports (which would have made this study much easier), so I did the best I could. Looking at Girardi’s treatment of starters vs. Torre’s treatment, we can see a few things. I looked at Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) in 2006 (for starters over 100 ip) – Florida’s starters accumulated a total of over 147,000 abuse points, whereas Yankee starters reached just under 48,000. This appears to be a huge difference until you realize Florida had six pitchers qualify while the Yanks had just four. A better way to equalize the measuring stick is to take the average PAP per pitcher: for Florida it was about 25,000 while the Yanks had about 12,000. So the gap isn’t quite as big as it seemed but there’s still a gap.

Outside of Total PAP, there’s also Max PAP, which is the maximum for a single game by that pitcher. Randy Johnson (I’m so glad I don’t have to type that name much anymore) had the highest single game PAP among the two teams: over 24,000! Then taking the average Max PAP of the teams puts the Yanks ahead – 7000 vs. 5000. So it seems Girardi pushed harder consistently but when Torre did push, it was very hard.

Then there’s Avg PAP which is (as you guessed) average PAP per start. Florida’s was higher: 800 PAP per start (not weighted toward number of starts), while the Yanks’ average Avg PAP was just 360.

The problem with PAP is that pitchers who suck will never get abused (e.g. go beyond 100 pitches), so a manager with a great rotation will look like a task-master when simply looking at PAP. This is part of the reason for the disparity – the Yanks 4th starter was Jaret Wright, who pitched more than six innings just twice in 2006 (he basically sucked – should Torre get credit for not using him a lot? I don’t think so). On the other side is Dontrelle Willis, a workhorse who pitched 223 innings in 2006 with a 3.87 era – should Girardi get penalized for counting on a great pitcher?

Conclusion: Torre has a slight edge here.

Part 2
Reliever Usage -
Using BRef’s Play Index, I looked at the raw data for how Girardi and Torre used relievers in 2006. Three ways of using relievers would worry me, so I searched for them – 1. relievers brought in on less than 3 days of rest to throw at least 40 pitches, 2. good relievers brought in to blowouts, and 3. the same reliever brought in on consecutive days.

The first search produced 16 hits for the 2006 Marlins vs. 14 for the Yankees. That’s a strike against Girardi. However, when you think about long relief, Girardi doesn’t look as bad. He had to call on relievers in the first three innings seven of those times whereas Torre had the excuse of using a long reliever just thrice. Accounting for those, Torre takes the lead with 11 vs. 9 for Girardi.
The second search was tougher because how does one identify a ‘good’ reliever and a ‘blowout’? I decided to go with relievers who had ERAs better than their team’s ERA (and pitched over 20 ip). And a ‘blowout’ being a game in the 7th inning or later with a five run difference. For the Marlins it was: Borowski, Tankersley, Herges, Kensing, Pinto, Resop and Nolasco.
Borowski was used in 10 blowouts! (and pitched in 72 games)
Tankersley 3. (49 gms)
Herges 14! (66 gms)
Kensing 6. (37 gms)
Pinto 6. (27 gms)
Resop 9! (22 gms)
Nolasco 0. (35 gms)
So blowout games (48) divided by total games (308) = 16 %

For the Yanks:
Proctor, Rivera, Myers, Bruney.
Proctor 16! (83 gms)
Rivera 9. (63 gms)
Myers 9. (62 gms)
Bruney 4. (19 gms)
38/227 = 16.7 %

So they’re pretty damn close with Torre using his good relievers a bit more often in blowouts. A strike against him.

The third search looked at how often Girardi used relievers (who pitched in at least 20 games) on consecutive days.
Borowski – 19 times
Herges – 11
Messenger – 9
Tankersley – 10
Kensing – 6
Pinto – 6
Resop – 3

So out of 436 relief appearances in 2006, 15 % (64) were made by pitchers on consecutive days. To have something for comparison, let’s also look at Torre in ’06. 487 total relief appearances by the 2006 Yankees:
Proctor – 20 times!
Farnsy – 14
Villone – 18
Rivera – 16
Myers – 20
Beam – 2

Torre used relievers on consecutive days 18.5 % (90 times). Another strike against Torre for bullpen usage. 3.5 % ain’t that big a difference, but realize Girardi used just one of his relievers on consecutive days more than 13 times (Borowski at 19), while Torre did it with five different guys.

Conclusion: Girardi manages a better bullpen.

Part 3
Injury histories -
This part is all about Florida’s starters, several of whom, after reaching career highs in innings in 2006 had either serious injuries or serious declines in 2007. Did Girardi’s managing cause either? First off, who were the affected pitchers?

2006 – 223 ip, 3.87 era
2007 – 205 ip, 5.17 era

Scott Olsen:
’06 – 180 ip, 4.04 era
’07 – 177 ip, 5.81 era

Josh Johnson:
’06 – 157 ip, 3.10 era
’07 – 15.2 ip, 7.47 era (injury shortened)

Ricky Nolasco:
’06 – 140 ip, 4.82 era
’07 – 21 ip, 5.48 era (injury shortened)

Anibal Sanchez:
’06 – 114 ip, 2.83 era
’07 – 30 ip, 4.80 era (injury shortened)

This piece of evidence is the most damning of Girardi’s managerial skills. All of these pitchers were under 25 in 2006, and with the Trio (Phil, Joba, Kennedy) set to be in the Yanks 2008 rotation, a manager who kills young’ins would be awful. Let’s take it pitcher by pitcher.

1. DTrain’s era went up nearly 1.5 runs, but I personally wouldn’t blame Girardi – Willis’ career high in innings was actually reached in 2005 (before Girardi), where he had a phenomenal era of 2.83. His innings went down in 2006, but his era went up a full run. If Girardi takes blame for his 2007 (5.17 era), then the 2005 manager (Jack McKeon) should take blame for Willis’ 2006 season that saw his era go up a full run.

2. Scott Olsen showed the largest non-injury related decrease. His era went up almost two runs (!) in nearly the same number of innings. He was arrested in July, so perhaps there were off-the-field problems. He also suffered an elbow injury in 2005 after pitching 100 innings between the majors and minors. The fact that Girardi had him pitch 180 innings the next year (after an arm injury) is a strike against him (although perhaps not entirely the reason, e.g. the arrest).

3. Josh Johnson pitched 152 innings in 2005 (the year before Girardi). Joe G pitched him 157 in 2006. Nothing to really fault Girardi about there. He suffered a non-workload related injury (Tommy John in fact) in August of this year after pitching 37 innings between the majors and minors.

4. Ricky Nolasco is another case like Johnson’s. He threw 162 innings in the minors in 2005, then 140 with Girardi’s Marlins. He suffered ‘elbow inflammation’ this year, but again, a non-workload related injury.

5. Anibal Sanchez threw 136 total (minor league) innings in 2005, then 200 (between the majors and minors) in 2006. This 64 inning increase is a lot (a 30 ip a year increase is considered ideal). Here’s the catch: Sanchez had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2003. Is his arm the reason he missed most of 2007 (just 30 minor league ip), or if not, shouldn’t Girardi have been more careful with a 22-year-old former TJ patient? Yes, probably.

Looking at the big picture, I do not think Joe Girardi was responsible for what happened to Florida’s pitchers this year. All the cases outside of Sanchez and maybe Olsen are clearly not his fault but Girardi’s taken a lot of unfair blame. And what about the GM? Shouldn’t he shoulder some of the blame too? Brian Cashman and Nardi Contreras protected Joba this year – why didn’t Florida’s front office take similar action to protect Sanchez and Olsen? And that was with a rookie manager, not a 12-year, four-titled, future Hall of Famer.

Part 4
Some things to remember:
- the fact that Girardi has just one year to analyze (small sample size)
- I didn’t address the belief that Torre has killed the careers of several relievers
- the D-Train effect, which radically skews the Marlins PAP numbers higher
- the Jaret Wright effect, which radically skews the Yanks PAP numbers lower
- I didn’t look at Torre’s pen usage outside of 2006
- Relating Girardi to Torre instead of the average ML manager (which would be way too time consuming)

This has only compared Joe Girardi’s one year of managing to one year of Joe Torre’s 27-year managing career. Both sample sizes are a bit small to draw any definitive verdict, but (in the case of Girardi) it’s the only sample of his managing we have. Despite the sample sizes being statistically small, the conclusions do seem to jive with my own observations. I also haven’t compared Girardi to Don Mattingly, the other front runner for the job. He has no managing experience outside of being hitting coach and then bench coach under Torre for the past four years.


The race to qualify for the ADT Championship

Will the four-time champion Annika Sorenstam be at next month’s year ending LPGA tournament? Craig Dolch at the Palm Beach Post writes-

Staging the ADT Championship at Trump International without Annika Sorenstam wouldn’t seem right.

The former world No. 1 has won the event four times and also finished second once. She also met her fiancé, Mike McGee, at the event. But because her schedule this year has been limited due to back and neck injuries, Sorenstam still hasn’t clinched a spot in the 32-player field.

She’s 12th in the second-half standings, with the top 13 in points getting in, based on top-10 finishes.


That’s why Sorenstam went to Thailand this week (she’s tied for seventh entering today’s final round) and she also decided to add the Nov. 8-11 Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions in Mobile, Ala., an event she has played in only once since 1999.

This week’s high finishes by Laura Davies and Rachel Hetherington are definitely going to muddy the waters as to if Annika will play at the ADT. Both finished 2nd and 4th respectively to Annika’s 6th at the tournament in Thailand. Laura was 15th in ADT points and Rachel 16th. The points list hasn’t been updated yet, but when it does I wouldn’t be surprised if Annika becomes the golfer on the bubble(13th).

My take- I think Annika will make the ADT. Next weekend is the Mizuno Classic, a tournament Annika won five years in a row before the streak was ended last year. If the Swede doesn’t win again in Japan, I’m betting Sorenstam finishes high enough to get a boost in the points standings.

As for 2006 ADT Champion Julieta Granada.

Alas, it’s looking more doubtful Julieta Granada will get a chance to defend her title. She’s 22nd in the second-half standings.

She will need a miracle to qualify and sadly I don’t think it will happen. Maybe the ADT’s qualifying rules should be changed in the future. A spot being reserved for the defending champion. I would support such a change.


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