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 Post subject: Bobby Abreu
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:01 am
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Location: Saranac Lake, N.Y.
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While Abreu will presumably take over the right field spot that Bernie Williams and Aaron Guiel handled in Sheffield’s absence, he could be viewed as an overpriced addition. Abreu is batting .277 with eight homers and 65 runs batted in, but he also has a .427 on-base percentage and will fit in with the Yankees’ philosophy of taking pitches and making pitchers work. -- NYT


Overpriced? Maybe. But isn't OBP considered a better indication of offensive prowess than batting average is? Abreu has the third-highest OBP in the league.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:06 pm 
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Location: Saranac Lake, N.Y.
He also has 20 stolen bases. Some of those walks are as good as a double.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:51 pm 
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Location: The Empire State
ADKbrown wrote:
He also has 20 stolen bases. Some of those walks are as good as a double.


I hope so, ADK. Abreu has 8 homers in 339 AB--and 86 strikeouts. Ouch. (He's 16th in the NL in strikeouts; he would be 13th in the AL.)

By contrast, Bernie Williams has 8 HR in 183 AB (and only 16 Ks). That's a pretty dramatic difference. Not that a player's worth is measured solely by home runs hit, but the Daily News' story previewing the trade today called him a "slugger." My question is, where is he a slugger? Why hasn't he been slugging?

Jack Curry of the New York Times is appearing on a local sports-talk show right now and says he thinks the Yankees just want Abreu to get on base, not to be a home-run hitter. They want him to hit gap-to-gap and wear out pitchers by drawing walks.

Abreu's hitting .277, so he's not terrible, I guess. But a friend of mine who's a Phillies fan says the knock on him is that he doesn't get the big hit in the clutch. She thinks the fact that he won't have to be the Man in New York will help, though.

The main point is, for all the speculation at the beginning of the season that Bernie was done and had little to nothing left, he has been a major contributor this year by holding down right field. The Yanks are second in the league in runs scored (570 to the White Sox' 588) without any significant contribution from either Sheffield or Matsui. Cabrera, Williams and, before he was hurt, Cano (and Steroid Boy, the Giambalco) have more than compensated for their absence.

The Yanks didn't really need Abreu; they needed a horse for the rotation to fill in for the inevitable second-half fade to come from Mussina and thus assure themselves of having at least three starters should they make the postseason. Right now they have Johnson, Wang and Mussina (Johnson's meltdown Saturday notwithstanding). But I would be very surprised if Mussina's effectiveness doesn't fall off in the second half, as it has over the past few seasons. He's 37, after all. So the Yanks need one more horse on the mound, and we all know it's not going to be Carol Pavano, Fat Sid Ponson, Shawn Chacon or Jaret Wright. I would have liked to see a fairly big-time hurler come to the Bronx rather than a complementary outfielder.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:54 am 
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Location: New Jersey
Batting average is only a meaningful stat when it's very high or very low. The difference in the middle ranges is negligible, so a .277 hitter with Abreu's OBP will do just fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:23 pm 
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Location: D.C.
Wasn't he in the Home Run Derby a few years back?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:55 pm 
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G-Fin wrote:
Wasn't he in the Home Run Derby a few years back?


Yes, and he won. That and $2 will get you on the subway in New York. I have never understood the allure of the Home Run Derby. These guys get paid millions of dollars a year to hit baseballs into the great beyond, so why watch them tee off on batting-practice pitches? I'd rather watch grass grow.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:58 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
Agreed. And it's even worse when ESPN lets Chris Berman -- a masterful football announcer who should never be let anywhere near a baseball diamond -- try to make it sound exciting.


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