Not a ton of Yankee news with Spring Training strolling along it’s usual languid pace, but there are some really tremendous Baseball reads out there in the blogosphere that deserve your attention. Here’s a few of the best things I’ve read this week:
Sabernomics: What Caused the Decline of African-Americans in Baseball?
Terrific break down of the research done by The 2008 Racial and Gender Report Card that reaches some surprising conclusions. Teaser-it’s not that the Black athlete is choosing other sports (NFL and NBA % has remained constant) and it has nothing to do with economic factors. One interesting side note, participation in youth Baseball leagues is down sharply among all groups in the US since the rise of the internet in the mid-90’s.
The Common Man: She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie
On the heels of Ron Washington testing positive for cocaine, The Common Man recounts bad managerial behavior throughout Baseball history. Drunk driving (Tony LaRussa) domestic violence (Bobby Cox), bar room fights (Billy Martin) and associations with gamblers (Leo Durocher) make Washington’s transgression pale in comparison, yet some Dallas sportswriters were calling for Ron’s head this week. To dovetail with my first item, this reminds me of the reaction I often have to NHL fights (The Devils had a doozy last night). If you saw fighting like that in the NBA, most Americans would recoil in horror and toss around terms like “thug”. But in the all-White NHL, it’s somehow considered acceptable. I’m not saying drug use should be tolerated, but what LaRussa and Cox did was worse, and they were retained. Maybe their tenure had something to do with it, or maybe our priorities are a little screwed up.
Chad Jennings: Aceves took long road to Yankees
Nice profile of Aceves by (friend of TYU) Chad Jennings. Goes through his days in the Mexican League, and what took him so long to get to the bigs. While were discussing Ace, his outing yesterday wasn’t quite as bad as it looked. He pitched 4 innings of 2 run ball, leaving the game after 1 out in the 5th with the bases loaded, and Mark Melancon allowed all 3 baserunners (and one of his own) to score. Mark Feinsand has the details.
Change-Up: Stakeholders – New York Yankees
Patrick Sullivan of the Baseball Analysts does a season preview Q&A with Cliff Corcoran of Bronx Banter. They discuss the Vasquez acquisition, compare Yankee-Red Sox rotations, and the transformation Yankee management has undergone with George Steinbrenner fading into the background. Great stuff.