July 19, 2012

Going, going, GONE! – Brett Gardner

All of this too-much-home-run talk has had Yankees fans hoping for a speedy recovery for Brett Gardner. But that possibility looks bleak now.

Gardner will undergo arthroscopic surgery in the next week, "most likely" ending his season, the Yankees announced today.


So much for the return of speed to the lineup. So much for giving old (but productive) outfielders like Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez some rest. So much for shiny rings in October. ... Because hitting home runs doesn't work in the playoffs. Right? The pitching is just too good.

Well, behind every claim in sports there are numbers to back it up – or disprove it. The Post's Ken Davidoff looked at some of those numbers for this claim, and you might be surprised by his findings.

Judging by the World Series winners over the last 10 years, there's hardly any relation among regular season home run count, postseason homers and winning the World Series, according to Davidoff's numbers. "The sample sizes are just too small [for there to be any conclusive evidence]," he says.

Now, let's filter those numbers just to the Yankees, and put them in an easier to read table.

So, in the last nine years, the Bronx Bombers have twice hit more homers per at-bat in the postseason than in the regular season. I excluded 2008 when they missed the postseason. Not exactly concrete numbers, but they offer slightly more evidence supporting the notion that homers aren't the main ingredient in the Yankees' Secret Sauce.

Now that you've reviewed the numbers, where do you stand in the debate? Share your view in the new poll and/or in the comments.

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