Bean counter: How often do the Yankees get hit?

Beaned! - Jared Wickerham

The Red Sox aren't the only ones that like hitting Yankees

Four times Yankees players got plunked during Sunday night's contentious affair at Fenway Park against the dastardly Red Sox. The Red Sox, conversely, escaped without being on the receiving end of a single beanball. To our biased and pro-Yankees eyes, it sure seems like the Yankees get hit an awful lot, particularly by the Red Sox. Those instances certainly are more pronounced than others, especially considering they are occasionally accompanied by a bench-clearing brawl or spree of ejections, and most certainly an absurd amount of attention from the media. In 2013, the Red Sox have hit ten Yankees, while the Yankees have countered by hitting six Red Sox. So the difference is owed solely to the bean-fest that took place on Sunday. So maybe our perceptions are incorrect?

But it is true. The Yankees do get hit with more frequency than the vast majority of the other teams in the league. I opted to go back to 1993, the first in the Yankees' consecutive run of winning seasons. Because why hit a team that stinks out loud, right?

#

Team

PA

HBP

1

Brewers

126939

1329

2

Astros

127165

1305

3

Pirates

125566

1293

4

Blue Jays

127259

1287

5

Yankees

129800

1266

And the numbers are even more pronounced with 2003 as the cutoff year.

#

Player

PA

HBP

1

Brewers

66810

790

2

Yankees

68409

770

3

Indians

67402

741

4

Phillies

68085

715

5

Pirates

66167

703

Even beyond assuming that the rest of the league just loves hitting Yankees for sport, the Yankees have had one of the most productive and patient offenses year in and year out (with 2013 being a notable exception). It's only logical that they be one of the leaders in HBP considering the additional plate appearances generated and lengthy at-bats. Interesting to note the Brewers being the leader at both 10 and 20 season sample sizes. The only logical explanation is that everybody hates the Brewers. Even before Ryan Braun got there!

The individual Yankees who have gotten hit the most is a list of those that you would suspect. Sluggers, players with long Yankees careers and players that had approaches that made them more difficult to avoid litter the list.

#

Name

PA

HBP

1

Derek Jeter

11916

163

2

Jason Giambi

3693

109

3

Alex Rodriguez

5530

97

4

Jorge Posada

7150

74

5

Chuck Knoblauch

2478

61

6

Robinson Cano

5640

53

7

Mark Teixeira

2690

44

8

Bernie Williams

8386

37

9

Jim Leyritz

1359

32

10

Alfonso Soriano

2239

30

Leyritz and Knoblauch are the obvious standouts due the low number of plate appearances they had with the Yankees. But their swings and stances took them so far over towards to home plate it was practically impossible to pitch them inside without hitting them. And pitchers were always trying to bust Giambi in on his hands, lest he get his arms extended, so his inclusion is not surprising.

It's hard to appreciate initially how great a free base is when it involves your team's players getting hit with a potentially dangerous object. But as the offensive success on Sunday showed, if the other team is stupid enough to grant the Yankees a baserunner out of spite let them go for it. Sometimes it's helpful to be hated!

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