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The Tools of Ignorance: Wednesday News and Notes

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"I can't bear to look..."
"I can't bear to look..."

3 losses in a row, 5-5 in the last 10 games, and a 3 game lead has evaporated so now the Yankees are looking up in the standings.

Arod missed the team photo, but never fear!  Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, Arod's face with be airbrushed onto the body of team director of publications Al Santasiere.

While a player or two misses the photo every year, Arod being Arod, let's see how long this lasts on the talk radio circuit.

Last night's lineup looked weaker than it is because they ran into a great pitcher having a great night.  Frankly, I'm perfectly fine with Granderson sitting against the lefties he has shown he can't hit (either from direct matchups, or from matchups with the Pfx data).

But let's think about a platoon situation as rationally as we can.

Teixeira, Posada and Swisher are switch hitters who should play regardless of which side of the plate they swing from.  Cano and Gardner are lefties and the two most productive hitters in the lineup.  Neither Jeter nor Arod are sitting any time soon, regardless of how hot or cold they're swinging the bat.

That only leaves one outfield spot and the DH spot to rotate through the other hitters.  If Posada DHs, the most Joe G. can change come playoff time will be one outfielder.  And frankly, while I'm sure Austin Kearns is still a solid left fielder (UZR puts him a run positive this season in RF and a run below average in CF), the Yankees' best outfield combo is Gardner-Graderson-Swisher.

Gardner's 14 runs above average this season is in line with the 20 runs above average he posted last season.  Add Granderson's nearly 9 runs above average in CF, and you start to realize that the Yankees CF-LF combo is on of the best defensive duos in the league.

Granderson is an inferior version of himself against lefties.  His splits are staggering: .343 OBP against righties and a .252 OBP against lefties.  It's obvious he's up there just flailing against lefties, and the numbers back that up- a walk every 8 ABs against righties, a walk every 20 ABs against lefties.

But Austin Kearns as posted a .327 against lefties this season.  Yes, that's a 70 point upgrade, and over the course of the season, I want that 70 point difference in the lineup.  But in a short series, I want the best defense on the field, and I'll trust Tex, Arod, Cano, Swisher, Posada and Jeter to provide enough offense to win.  That means Gardner-Granderson-Swisher.