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All contents of this web site © Jay Jaffe, 2001-2011 except where indicated. Please contact me for any questions or comments regarding this site.

       L E A D I N G   O F F

FEBRUARY 14 , 2007


Confessions of a Futility Infielder
A good glove man who can't hit his weight tells about how this site came into existence.

The Jay Ballers of the World, Parts I and II
Growing up, few ballplayers shared my first name. Today, we're living in the age of ballplayers named Jay. Part I covers the pitchers, Part II the hitters.

Confessions of a Yankee Fan
This blast from the past, circa 1998 — back before this website even existed — attempts to answer the question of how a third-generation Dodger fan grows up to root for the New York Yankees.

A Futility Infielder Vocabulary Lesson
My pals and I have lived and died through so many rallies together that we've come up with our own unique lexicon to describe certain events.

Working the Room in a Winter Wonderland
Along with Bronx Banter's Alex Belth, I trekked down to New Orleans to attend the annual Winter Meetings, where I got a first-hand glimpse into the business of baseball and came out smelling like Jerry Reinsdorf's cigar.

Defense Independent Pitching Statistics 2002
With a little help from my friends, I run the major league 2002 pitching stats through Voros McCracken's Defense Independent Pitching Statistic system.

Defense Independent Pitching Statistics 2003
Once again, I run an entire season's worth of pitching stats through Voros McCracken's Defense Independent Pitching Statistic system and provide links to the latest articles on the topic.

Defense Independent Pitching Statistics 2004
Another season's worth of pitching stats run through Voros McCracken's Defense Independent Pitching Statistic system, with links to the latest articles as well.


BASEBALL PRIMER: The Hoyt Scale Re-Revisited
My first piece for this excellent analytical website examines a method (invented by Rich Rifkin) for evaluating the careers of relief pitchers.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: The Class of 2004 — Analyzing the Hitters and Pitchers
My two-part Baseball Prospectus debut, a lengthy analysis of the players on this year's Hall of Fame ballot using the advanced metrics from BP's Davenport Translated Player Cards.

BRONX BANTER: Yankee Preseason Roundtable
Continuing his Yankee Preview Week, Alex Belth invited me to participate in an all-star panel ranging from professional writers to bloggers in which he asked several questions about what we can expect from the Yankees this coming season. Check this lineup: Allen Barra of Slate, Jack Curry of the New York Times, Steven Goldman of YES Pinstriped Bible and Baseball Prospectus, Bruce Markusen of the Baseball Hall of Fame, ESPN's Rob Neyer, and Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci. Some of those guys can write, and I'm thrilled to participate in such esteemed company.

BRONX BANTER: Jorge Posada, Bonafide Bomber
Alex Belth commissioned me to do a piece on Yankee catcher as part of his Yankee Preview Week. I look at Posada's history, how he fits in on the Yankees and among the majors' top catchers, and whether he's got a shot at becoming one of the all-time greats.

Rich Lederer interviews me at length as part of his hot stove series with prominent baseball bloggers and other writers. From the origin of the site's name to my all-time post-1969 team to the tangled history of my rooting interests, Rich gave me enough rope to hang myself.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Prospectus Q & A with Carlos Gomez
My third BP piece is an interview with minor-league pitcher Carlos Gomez, a sidearming reliever who's established an Internet presence as "Chad Bradford Wannabe," after the Oakland A's fireman. With a high school career hampered by injury and a college career marred by "Ankielitis," you wouldn't expect Gomez to have a pro career, but this student of the game's willingness to adapt has created a Moneyball-writ-small tale for the times.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Hank Aaron's Home Cooking
How much help did Hank Aaron get from his ballpark in hitting his 755 home runs? An in-depth look at the home/away HR breakdowns of Aaron and the top 20 home run hitters of all time.

The Yankees always seem to be shipping prospects off as they trade to fill holes. What ever comes of those players? Here's a look at what's become of the ones the Yanks have traded over the last decade.

A little-known tidbit about Barry Bonds — he's never had a Hall of Fame teammmate — leads to another Baseball Prospectus article featuring the Jaffe WARP Score (a/k/a JAWS).

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Prospectus Triple Play
I've got a new gig writing a trio of featurettes on three teams — the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Minnesota Twins, and San Francisco Giants — once a month for BP. Best of all, they're free.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: The Class of 2005: The Hitters and The Pitchers
In which I break out the JAWS (JAffe WARP Score) of life to analyze the 2005 Hall of Fame ballot.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: The Veterans Committee Ballot: JAWS Chews on the Eligibles
Once again, the JAWS (JAffe WARP Score) of life come in handy to analyze a Hall of Fame ballot. This time it's that of the new Veterans Committee.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Roberto Alomar Calls It Quits Within Spitting Distance of the Hall of Fame
Examining the Hall of Fame case of the great second baseman, who retired in March.

Introducing a new feature at BP, one I'll be heading up: a weekly power ranking of the 30 major-league teams, with appropriately tart commentary.

A puzzling offseason leaves me pessimistic about the Yankees' chances in 2005 and worse, questioning my devotion to the pinstriped team.

NEW YORK SUN: Following the Math to the Postseason
My debut for the New York Sun, inspired by the old axiom that the team in first place on July 4 will win the pennant. Those without a subscription or simply desiring a typo-free version that includes the chart I prepared for the piece (ahem) can download a PDF here.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: The Claussen Pickle, Revisited:
An Analysis of Traded Braves Prospects, 1990-2004

Per last year's look at the Yankee organization's track record in trading unproven talent, I examine a team even more successful at separating the wheat from the chaff in their farm system.

NEW YORK SUN: A Brave New World Emerges in Atlanta
Having recently immersed myself in studying the Atlanta Braves organization, my second New York Sun piece examines the contributions of the Braves rookies, including the sensational Jeff Francoeur. PDF available here.

SALON: Out Of Here?
Pinch-hitting for King Kaufman, I make my Salon debut with a piece about the link between steroids and home run rates, checking in with the recent controversies and the frequency with which balls are flying over the fences.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Prospectus Hit List: The System, Explained
My weekly feature at BP has drawn a good deal of reader mail, much of it in the form of outraged comments like, "How can you rank _______ as [high/low] as you did, you idiot?" Here I explain the method behind the madness, and offer detractors a chance to kiss my Pythagoras.

BASEBALL ANALYSTS: Hot Doggin' It: A Peek Inside the Sausage Race Factory
In a guest piece for Rich Lederer and Bryan Smith's site, I write about my experience as a Brewers/Klements Racing Sausage, running in the famous Sausage Race at Miller Park while wearing a seven foot tall foam costume. Mmmmm, sausage...

NEW YORK SUN: Who Are These Indians, And How Did They Get Here?
My latest piece for the New York Sun examines the hottest team in baseball, the Cleveland Indians. Through some shrewd rebuilding, the Tribe has put themselves in playoff contention with the fifth-lowest payroll in the game, with a quintet of hitters who make under $2 million combined. PDF available here.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Playoff Prospectus: White Sox vs. Angels
In which BP hands me the honor of previewing an American League Championship Series lacking the Beasts of the East.

RED SOX NATION: Mind Game Interview
David Laurila interviews me on the topic of BP's new book on the Red Sox 2004 World Championship. Second in a five-part series featuring other BP authors such as Steve Goldman and Christina Kahrl.

As the longtime Yankee pitching coach heads into the sunset, I examine his track record in the Bronx as well as my own frequent criticism of him. Lots more in the blog as well.

NEW YORK SUN: The Rocket Burns Dimmer in October
Fresh off of Roger Clemens' injury-abbreviated two inning start in Game Two of the World Series, I examine the Rocket's spotty postseason legacy. PDF here.

My first-ever chat for BP went into extra innings, breaking the three-hour barrier as I answered well over 50 questions. GMs were the hottest topic, with questions on Theo Epstein, Paul DePodesta, Brian Cashman, Doug Melvin and Pat Gillick abounding. Lots of pro wrestling references, too.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Chat with Jay Jaffe (Jan. 10)
Talkin' Hall of Fame elections, JAWS, Dodgers, and the winter swap meet.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Suspending Disbelief: Up Close at the World Baseball Classic
I went down to Puerto Rico for a long weekend in March and caught two ballgames and a serious case of WBC fever. Find out what you missed.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Setting the Stage: Pack Your Bag Well
Breaking out JAWS to examine Jeff Bagwell's Hall of Fame chances, and those of a few other recently retired players.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Chat with Jay Jaffe (March 31)
More JAWS questions, Barry Bonds, the WBC, predictions, and the best day of the year, Opening Day.

NEW YORK SUN: Making Bernie's Case For a Cooperstown Plaque
With the best days of Bernie Williams' career clearly behind him, how much of a shot does he have at the Hall of Fame?

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Chat with Jay Jaffe (May 23)
Weighing in on the Dodger rookies, the Red Sox rotation, Aaron Heilman and more while taking questions from around the globe.

NEW YORK SUN: The Chase is on for 73*
Checking in on Barry Bonds' protracted march to top Babe Ruth's 714 homers and Albert Pujols' shot at eradicating Bonds' compromised single-season home run record.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Eric Gregg 1951-2006
A look at the tumultuous career and sudden passing of outsized umpire Eric Gregg.

NEW YORK SUN: Out in Arid Los Angeles, the Crops Are Growing Nicely
A look at the contributions of a cohort of fine Dodger rookies to the team's current success.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Prospectus Hit List, Remixed
The short week after the All-Star game provided an opportunity to step back from the weekly Hit List grind to tease out some interesting observations.

NEW YORK SUN: League MVPs Could Be on Mound This Season
Pitchers like Francisco Liriano, Johan Santana and Brandon Webb are among the best Most Valuable Player candidates according to BP's Wins Above Replacement Player data.

NEW YORK SUN: The Unravelling of the World Champions
A look at the Chicago White Sox collapse amid a fantastic three-team AL Central race. And yes, the Sun articles are now free.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Playoff Prospectus: NLCS Preview, Being Tony La Russa, and The I [Heart] New York Matchup
Even with my two teams making early exits, I had plenty to say about the rest of October baseball, at least for awhile.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Hall of Fame Class of 2007:
Outfielders, Pitchers, and Chat
My three-part annual roundup of the Hall of Fame ballot, using the Jaffe WARP Score (JAWS) system, featuring eight players on the ballot worthy of enshrinement, a few more who were simply fun to write about, and the bleak dawn of the steroid era's impact on the voting.


MERCURY NEWS: The Staff of Legends
This site has gotten its first mainstream media exposure, via a March 2, 2003 article by Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News. In exploring the obscure careers of the SF Giants coaches, including "Chicken" Stanley and Lenn Sakata, Brown found himself in the Futility Infielder's wheelhouse, and called me up for a chat.

Art Martone, who writes a stat-savvy, Red Sox-themed column called "Art's Notebook" during the baseball season, gave my site a brief honorable mention in his roundup of baseball websites.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS: Things to Do in New Orleans While You Wait
Joe Sheehan relates the sordid tale of my brief ownership of the analytical website. Easy come, easy go.

I've made the papers again! Pete Abraham of the Westchester Journal News surveyed me along with several other New York-area bloggers and then wrote a lengthy article examining the baseball blogging phenomenon. I'm the second blogger featured, and Abraham flatters me as "the Mick" in a Willie, Mickey and the Duke triumvirate of old-school bloggers.

ESPN Page 2: Schilling, Smoltz: In or Out?
Former BP colleague Jonah Keri introduces JAWS to the masses by using it to examine the Hall of Fame cases of Curt Schilling and John Smoltz in the context of other active and potentially Cooperstown-bound pitchers.