Friday, April 8, 2011

The New Joba Rules

I must say, it is a supreme relief to my blood pressure that Joba Chamberlain has been relegated to the 7th inning position. Although it was made official on Wednesday, Joba’s demotion from 8th inning guy to 7th inning guy had been made pretty apparent from the beginning of spring training. As soon as Rafael Soriano strolled into camp, and Joba showing up resembling Lard Lad, it was obvious that the Yankees bullpen would go Joba-Rafael-Mariano, with Joba being the only question mark. Yes, Joba Chamberlain was a bigger question mark than the 41-year-old closer.

Watching Joba last year was beyond excruciating. The Yankees have always had trouble with the “bridge” to Mariano, but seeing Joba was particularly bad because he had so much promise. In Joba’s first season, 2007, he had a 0.38 ERA and 12.75 K/9. He also could have been a playoff hero, if not for the infestation of Cleveland by midges (the bugs of Satan). I still think Joba would have ended the bug problem if he ate one of the bugs to scare the other bugs off. If I was a bug, and I saw somebody who looks like Joba eat another of my kind, there would be no doubt in my mind that he was preparing for a buffet.

In 2008, Joba was deemed “ready” for the starting rotation after months of Hank Steinbrenner bitching to the press for an end to the asinine “Joba Rules”. In retrospect, Hank’s complaining was probably justified (for once), as the Yankees had coddled Joba for too long and were protecting him as if he was Baby Jesus. 2008 Joba was best known for receiving no run support and garnering 8 no-decisions. He still seemed primed for the future as being the Yankees number one starter.

Then 2009 happened. Joba’s K/9 went way down, his K/BB rate almost reached even, he hit a league-leading 12 batters, and had control similar at times to that of a young Rick Ankiel. The problem, it appears, is in Joba’s pitch selection.

Fastball 63.9% (92.5) Slider 22.2% (84.6) Curveball 9.2% (77.7) Changeup 4.6% (82.3)

Compared to 2008, Joba threw 2% less fastballs, 3% less sliders, and almost 2% more curveballs and changeups. Joba appeared to be shying away from his go-to pitches, and was more inclined to throw hanging breaking balls and crappy changeups. Hitters were able to sit back, work pitch counts (Joba’s biggest issue during his career. His goal is always to strike the guy out, and with slower pitches it was easier for hitters to call Joba’s bluff), and hit line drives (Hitters had a 21.3% for line drives, 7% higher than 2008).

It was obvious that Joba would be nothing more than a mediocre starter. Just his style of pitching would not work as a starter, plain and simple. That being said, 2010 saw Joba as the bridge to Mariano.

It went over like whatever is worse than farting in Church.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but once again, he walked too many people, too many people were able to get the ball in play, and he had a WPA of 0.86. Also, in a stat Fangraphs calls “Meltdowns”, Joba had 8. I am not sure how one judges a meltdown, but 8 is a ton. Apparently, it doubled his career total.

The pressure also appeared to get to Joba. I realize the way one copes with pressure cannot really be put into statistics, and is therefore ignored by the statistical community, but just watching Joba go through anxiety attacks while pitching proves that it exists.

Joba needed a change, a change back to pressure-free baseball. 2007 was the best year (or quarter-year) of his career. Joba was regularly put into either games that did not matter or games where he was set up to achieve. He thrived in both, and eventually gained the right to pitch in crucial sports (see the 2007 ALDS). Joba needs to be in a position where he is set up to succeed, and the 7th inning role is perfect for that.

The 7th inning role basically requires the reliever to not allow the game to get out of hand. The inning is deep enough in the game to be important, but far enough from the end that the team still has a chance if the reliever screws up. Joba needs an environment where he knows that if he self-implodes, the team still has a chance. He needs to be laid back on the mound. It sounds like I am talking about a 12-year-old pitcher with control issues, but Joba needs to be treated kind of the same way. Obviously, he is an adult, so you can curse at him and stuff, but Joba needs to be put in Joba-ready situations.

This is obviously not what was envisioned four years ago, but it will have to do for now. If Joba is able to get his act together, who has a better 7-8-9 order than the Yankees? If Joba can reclaim some of the “magic” from 2007, how will the Yankees be scored on in the later innings unless Mariano’s arm either catches on fire or falls off.

It is better for the team as well. Finally, Girardi should be able to make an easy decision about putting Joba in the game, instead of hesitating to pick up the phone to the bullpen as he did last year, like he was fearing that someone may have put anthrax in the earhole. No more are the 4-inning starts by Joba where he throws 111 pitches, and no more are the innings where Joba comes in and promptly loads the bases. That last part might happen again, but not as frequently.

Joba has been put in a situation where he can thrive, as he has before. Now, if Joba screws this up, that’s a different story. The Yankee bullpen still should be decent (Soriano and Rivera should be able to plug the leaking holes), but Joba may see a different team in his future. The Trenton Thunder are always looking for players.

On a personal note, the only other pitcher waking me up in the middle of the night with either sweat/urine surrounding me is A.J. Burnett. But I have given up on him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Yankees Rotation Could Be The Downfall of Western Civilization

It dumbfounds me how the idiots in the Yankee front office actually expect to win a title this year. It really, really does. How can the Steinbrenner Bros. & Cashman really believe they have assembled a team that can defeat the Red Sox. Or Phillies. Or hell, even the Braves. The Yankees pitching staff is one of the most horrifying things I have even seen.

Maybe I am overreacting. I have a tendency to do so at the beginning of the season. But when a team brings in Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and Mark Prior to save the staff, well, good God. Oh and Kevin Milwood. You know, the one who went 4-16 last year? I realize the Yankees are super pissed that they lost out on the golden goose of the offseason. The goose is Cliff Lee. But even paying minimum wage to four awful, past their prime, and (in some cases) overweight pitchers does not make up for the lackluster offseason. Let’s look at the Yankees rotation, and see if I should be hitting the PANIC button. Because I am pressing the crap out of it right now.

C.C. Sabathia

I mean, he should be okay. Then again, he danced around the topic of his opt-out clause in his contract, which he can use at the end of the season. Yikes. Really, he is already tired of New York? He hasn’t even really been booed yet. I am sure he hasn’t even heard a racial slur. I am not saying that he should be looking forward to those things, but calm down C.C., it’s not good for the blood pressure.

Perhaps, C.C. will be so inclined to get out of his contract, that he will pitch out of his mind during the season. Stay with me here. You know, the classic “I could get paid crazy dough during the offseason so I better actually try”.

I am really grasping for straws here, whatever that means. Who the hell uses a straw? Old people and little kids who have not yet mastered the art of tricking out of a cup.

C.C. should be fine, and is really the least of my worries. Unless his arteries explode while pitching, the odds are that he will be the Yankees best and most consistent starter during the season.

Phil Hughes

Obviously, a ton of questions with Hughes. He started off great last year, pitching well enough to garner an All-Star game nomination, and not make Dave Eiland suffer a stroke. Then, as the season progressed, it became pretty apparent that Hughes was the benefactor of MAJOR run support. I put major in caps for a reason. I know what I am doing. In his first 12 starts, the Yankees had 6 games where they scored 8 runs or more. As the Yankees scored fewer runs for Hughes as the season progressed, Hughes went from a 10-1 pitcher to a 8-7 pitcher.

Also, read this post from Hardball Talk. It says that scouts are stunned on how much Hughes’ velocity has decreased this spring.


That is a word usually reserved for things like: “Wow, I am stunned at the immensity of that supervolcano underneath the western United States that could end Western civilization as we know it” or “Wow, I am stunned I ate that entire wheel of cheese”. You know, important things. So Hughes loss in velocity must be the sign of the impending apocalypse for the Yankees.

A.J. Burnett

Here is where I start to convulse with worry. A.J. Burnett sucks. I hate to sound so unprofessional, but for God’s sake I am writing to an audience of 26 people, so I can take chances like this. I have written before about how Burnett makes me want to punch a small child, so I will not spew too much anger.

Moving On.

Ivan Nova

I actually like Nova. I feel like he actually has promise, and will maybe even learn from his mistakes. But he is probably even a bigger question mark than Burnett. At least you know A.J. is going to blow. With Nova, you are not sure. He could be dominant, like he has looked this spring. Or he could turn into a headcase, like so many before him. Ivan Nova is our number four starter. Still trying to completely process this.

Freddy Garcia

I could have sworn that Garcia once pitched for the Yankees. Or maybe that was Esteban Loaiza. Whoever it was, they did bad the first time.

I am, obviously, not feeling good about Fast Freddy in the staff. The Yankees have the biggest payroll in baseball (yes, they do), and Freddy Garcia is the fifth starter. Although Freddy may be halfway decent (who knows, he might even be 60% decent), I am not too thrilled. He went 12-6 last year, but had a 4.64 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. Those are fifth starter numbers, and the Yankees offense should save him most games.

But is really the best we could get?


It really falls down to these three: Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera. Rivera could be in the AARP, and would still feel extremely confident in him, so I will move on. Soriano was borderline dominant last year, and is most likely the best set-up man in baseball. I do not like Joba. The only thing better than getting Soriano, was that they replaced Joba as the 8th inning guy. If Joba can get it all together, the Yankee bullpen should be untouchable. Even if he doesn’t, that 8-9 combo will probably prove to be too overwhelming.

Well, there you have it. My unofficial Yankee Season Preview. Yes, I know it was only pitching, but pitching is the most crucial part of the Yankees chances this year. Let’s go.

Brendan O’Hare writes the Attic Fan blog for Email him at, and while you are at it, follow him on Twitter @theatticfan.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Week In The Attic Fan

Hey everyone. Here is a quick recap of the week in the Attic Fan.

My post on a day at MSG and seeing Will Ferrell and seeing the Knicks/Celtics and seeing Kevin Garnett and seeing a human eat a 5-pound burrito:

In case you did not know, I wrote an article for Gawker TV today on how modern technology has affected viewings of Seinfeld. It’s done pretty well over there:!5784974/10-classic-seinfeld-episodes-that-couldnt-have-happened-with-todays-modern-technology

It was also on Gizmodo:!5785780/10-classic-seinfeld-episodes-that-couldnt-have-happened-with-todays-modern-technology

An email from Attic Fan David revealed an article similar to mine was featured in the New York Times Sunday Magazine from March 26, 1911. Here is the original article:

Email me at OR


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Day at MSG with Will Ferrell and M.L. Carr

I’ve pitched this upcoming story around to a few places, but no one has wanted to bite. I don’t blame them. It is a fairly personal story about an event that happened a year ago. But I find it interesting, and it’s my blog.

On November 22, 2009, me and my buddy Alec (along with his father and little brother), took a trip to MSG in NYC to see the Celtics take on the Knicks. Longtime followers (I use the plural form loosely) of this blog know that I am a longtime Celtics fan. Being as that Alec’s dad had Knicks season tickets, I was notified that I had to come to this game.

And, if you can’t already tell where this story is going, I did.

We drove into Newark, ditched the car, then took the train from Penn Station into New York City. Penn Station is actually right below MSG, and only helps to reinforce the belief that MSG is a s—thole. Seriously, that place is dark, damp, and full of toothless guys running around screaming expletives. Then you walk upstairs and are greeted by a guy blowing cigarette smoke in your face? Sign me up!

We stayed in Penn Station for a while, and decided to go to the notorious stomach pain-inducing Mexican chain called Moe’s. Alec, not realizing that Moe’s has killed 17 people in the past year, decided to order some kind of burrito brick. Yes, that is the actual picture of the burrito. It weighed at least 5 pounds, and probably took 5 years off of Alec’s life.244

For those already bored by this story, it gets better. But seriously, why are you bored? That burrito is huge!

After eating a small village worth of Mexican food, we wobbled up the escalator to a dreary New York City day. After looking at our surroundings (which included gray clouds and the smell of defeat), we decided it would be best to stay inside. We had seats right behind the Celtics bench, so we ventured to them to watch some of the shootaround. We figured at worst, we would get there early enough to see Kevin Garnett making Glen Davis cry.

No one cried, but we did see M.L. Carr, a man who made Celtics fans cry during the mid-1990’s. Do you think him and Rick Pitino argue about who was a worse coach? That’s a toss-up.

Anyway, me and Alec attempt to walk up to M.L., and try to get him to sign our tickets. That sounds reasonable, right? We are relatively harmless, and only one of us had a kidnappers beard. (If you are wondering why we were trying to get M.L.’s autograph after all the things I just said, then you’ve obviously never seen anyone marginally famous before. If Josh Beckett was walking down the street, I would at least have him sign my middle finger.)

Of course, we forgot that stadium ushers are the most miserable people on Earth. This guy pushes us away as if we were attempting to assassinate M.L. Luckily, M.L. showed his non-franchise ruining soul, and let us get an autograph.

I’m not sure where this autograph is.

The game starts and we begin to notice something strange is going on across the court. My favorite comedian of all-time, Will Ferrell (not Martin Lawrence) is filming a scene with Mark Wahlberg for his upcoming movie, The Other Guys. That’s Ferrell in the orange hat!


If you saw The Other Guys, you know that this scene is about four seconds long, and only features Will Ferrell yelling at a ref, then Wahlberg and Ferrell leaving. Good stuff.

Ferrell and Wahlberg are sitting next to Rosie Perez and Brooke Shields and Tracy Morgan and his entourage. If you’ve never seen Ferrell in real life (which none of you have. I’m the best), you do not realize how hilarious he is. You could hear him yelling in his Kicking and Screaming voice at the refs, and getting mad at almost anything.

Mark Wahlberg tried to steal the ball from Rajon Rondo at one point, while the game was going on. If Garnett saw this, I am sure that Wahlberg would have been murdered with his own chair.

At one point, we got up to go to the bathroom and saw a sign from Universal Pictures that said “If you are sitting in this section, you may appear in the movie. Blah, blah, blah”. Suddenly, a sense of excitement and fear crept through me. ‘This is awesome! I could be in a movie! Wait. Did I pick my nose at one point. OH MY GOD. A ball went into the stands below me, I wasn’t paying attention, and I jumped. What if they see this, and go on a 15-minute rant about how big a girl I am!

I need to destroy the tapes.’

I didn’t destroy them, and sat in my seat the rest of the game. During the game, I noticed a few things:

  • Nate Robinson is really freaking annoying. Calm down, for Christ’s sake.
  • Al Harrington can flat out ball. He must have had like 40 points. Why is he so bad this year? He is probably the worst free agent signing in the league.
  • Kevin Garnett is the most terrif257ying human being of all-time. Genghis Khan would have soiled himself if he saw K.G.
  • Stadium pizza tastes like barf and ammonia.
  • Joe Girardi was honored at halftime for winning the World Series. Yay, Joe! If I was not in a Series-winning hangover, I would have booed you until one of my lungs collapsed.
  • Anthony Anderson was there.
  • Brian Scalabrine hit a three, putting the day over the top.
  • Spike Lee is just as annoying as he looks on T.V. He might be worse than Nate Robinson. Stop trying to make an ass of yourself, and just sit the hell down like everyone else has managed to do for the past two hours. Your movies suck.

The game eventually came to an end, when K.G. hit a game-winning shot in overtime. It was truly awesome to see the air deflate out of the bandwa gon-hopping Madison Square Garden. I think Spike Lee cried.

We found our way back into Penn Station, where we made a tape kickball out of the tape from the back of the sign from Universal Pictures, as the sign was now in our possession. Hey, the sign was in the garbage, it was up for grabs.

I hit an Asian man in the head with the ball. The game ended.

Brendan O’Hare writes for Email him at, and follow him on twitter @theatticfan.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Attic Fan Update

Hello. I realize I have not been posting as frequently as you seven people may have wanted, but I have been kind of busy this past week. Whether it has been forgetting to enter which team I wanted to win the championship for my pool bracket, or writing something up for Gawker TV, I haven't been just scratching myself. Only half the time I've been doing that.

March Madness has started, and I had planned to write a column on the extravaganza. But I ran out of time. If you have not realized by now, I am horrible with time management.

Luckily, my little brother Danny signed on to write a quick column about his March Madness picks, and why mine suck.

Check out below this column for his ingenious picks/grammar.

For those who have not seen it, this is my bracket. You can use it for future reference:

This is the bracket where I forgot a winner:

This my article for Gawker TV on Charlie Sheen. I’m blowin up!:!5782736/what-charlie-sheen-should-do-next

…Are you kidding me. Princeton is beating Kentucky. Gksjfkghsjkdndkgnjkdgnd.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness Brought to You By Danny!

Editor's Note: This week, The Attic Fan will be written by Brendan's little brother, Danny O'Hare. He likes sports as well.

Thank you, but I can't believe the only thing you said to describe me was that I like sports.

I hate you.

Anyway, I am going to give you the March Madness preview!! First of all for the East division, Ohio State is a huge contender for the Final Four. Their offense and defense has been stellar! Now for the regional finals, these are the teams I have for my bracket: Ohio St v. North Carolina and Duke v. Connecticut. Great huh? For the other half of the regional finals (southwest and southeast) I have: Kansas v. Purdue (what..thats not right) and Pittsburgh v. Jimmers. Im not going to even think about calling them BYU, they are the Jimmers until he is sent to the NBA. Now the final four...let me warn you that I have 3 out of the 4 number 1 seeds.

At least Im not like Barack Obama. Anywho, my final four is Ohio St vs. Duke and Kansas vs. BYU. Even if you disagree you have to admit these would be some cool matchups. My prediction for the Ohio St. vs. Duke game is a 77-72 score with Ohio St. winning. Although close I don't think Duke is going to get a repeat. For the Kansas vs. BYU game, I love Jimmer like anyone else but I think Kansas is just going to pull of the win by a score of 82-79.

Now the big game, the dance, the championship. Well this one was a really hard have Ohio St. who has only won one national title back in 1960 and you also got Kansas who won 3 titles not to mention back in 2008. At the end I believe Ohio St. will win the tounament by a score of 90-85.

Now it is time to make fun of this sites' creator, Brendan. First of all he has Kentucky going to the Elite Eight. I have no clue when Kentucky got "good" other than their chicken Kentucky is not good. He also has them defeating Ohio St. in the Sweet Sixteen. This was a big shoker.....I know so many people like upsets and all but I strongly know that Kentucky will lose. Well everyone thats the end...and for all of you who were suspecting Brendan I guess the jokes on you.

Danny O'Hare is The Attic Fan creator's little brother.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stream of Consciousness II

I have not written on this site in about two weeks…A lot has happened since then, so I figured it would be best to sum it up in the return of my stream of consciousness…Well, it’s not really a return for me…I live with these innate thoughts everyday…Let me just first get in my thoughts about the Oscars…Really current, I know…The King’s Speech should not have one…Won*…There is no real debate about this one…We will look back on this year the way we look back on Shakespeare in Love winning…This is a national travesty…Speaking of national travesties, how about that Libya?…I know nothing about Libya…I just know that Fred Armisen does a mean Gadhafi…I can’t figure out why this Charlie Sheen thing interests me…Like most people who have I.Q.’s over 48, I hated Two and a Half Men…He read the lines like someone forced to read their death warrant…Did you know in real life, the half man’s name is Angus?…What a stupid name…Mmm…Angus…I called Charlie the other day…I feel comfortable enough to call him that since he dominates all forms of media like Kim Jong Il…Got the number off of Deadspin…His number has been disconnected…I would say he had nothing to do with the disconnected, but who is in Charlie’s corner?…Korner*…He fired his publicist, and seems to get advice from his goddesses…It does not take a rocket scientist to realize they aren’t brain surgeons…Didn’t his kids get taken away…He really forgot about that one…

I love March Madness…Can I say that?…Can I say March Madness?…Will I be sued by the NCAA?…The NCAA blows a gasket if P.C. Richard & Son calls their sale on appliances “March Radness”…They are swimming in money…That whole system is messed up…I am angry…They pick on the weak…Radio stations can’t say March Madness, and collegiate athletes who come from nothing are not allowed to accept money…Are you telling me you wouldn’t?…If I come out of Detroit, why the hell wouldn’t I accept money?…Are you insane?…Especially if the NCAA is making money off of my gear and merchandise…Fab 5…

This was the Celtics bench against the Clippers bench last night…Jeff Green…Sasha Pavlovic…Carlos Arroyo…Troy Murphy…Avery Bradley…When the (expletive) did this happen?…Sasha’s been on about 7 teams this year…Arroyo must have snuck onto the team, Colts-Mayflower style…I didn’t even see him…That’s not racist…Troy Murphy just fulfills the need that the Celtics must always have a white guy on the team…I still don’t understand why the C’s dumped Luke Harangody…He fit that role better than anyone in history…Other than Brian Scalabrine…Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge don’t count because they were actually half way decent…Avery Bradley…How does this team plan to stay afloat in the playoffs?…They need a bench…They are very, very old…In case you haven’t noticed…

Speaking of useless…Bartolo Colon…Freddy Garcia…Fighting for the number five spot in the rotation, ladies and gentlemen…I just threw up in disgust…No, I won’t provide photographical evidence…I gave up the iPod game Tiny Wings for Lent…

Brendan O’Hare writes the Attic Fan column on Follow him on twitter @theatticfan, email him at