CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Meg Rowley 

Search Articles by Meg Rowley

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

03-27

comment icon

1

Prospectus Feature: Christian Bethancourt and Fun
by
Meg Rowley and Patrick Dubuque

03-13

comment icon

2

Best of BP 2016: Let Ballparks Get Old
by
Meg Rowley

03-10

comment icon

0

Short Relief: Naming Names, Punctuating Homers, and Scouting Scouts
by
Matt Sussman, Mary Craig and Meg Rowley

03-08

comment icon

7

Players Prefer Presentation: Mike Trout Hypotheticals
by
Meg Rowley

02-24

comment icon

3

Players Prefer Presentation: Do Robot Umps Dream of Automated Yelling?
by
Meg Rowley

02-17

comment icon

6

Players Prefer Presentation: Breaking Lind
by
Meg Rowley

02-14

comment icon

0

Players Prefer Presentation: The Game I Didn't Have to Watch (But Did)
by
Meg Rowley

02-03

comment icon

24

Players Prefer Presentation: Here We Are Again
by
Meg Rowley

01-22

comment icon

8

Players Prefer Presentation: Would You Like to Play a Game of Telephone?
by
Meg Rowley

01-13

comment icon

5

Players Prefer Presentation: Baseball's Longest and Shortest Games
by
Meg Rowley

01-06

comment icon

7

Players Prefer Presentation: Who We Are When We're At Our Worst
by
Meg Rowley

12-28

comment icon

0

Best of BP 2016: Watching Andrew Miller
by
Meg Rowley

12-24

comment icon

1

Players Prefer Presentation: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
by
Meg Rowley

12-09

comment icon

1

PITCHf/ox: Episode 10: Don't Say it
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

12-03

comment icon

0

PITCHf/ox: Episode 9: Scratched
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

11-19

comment icon

0

PITCHf/ox: Unstoppable Forces & Immovable Objects
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

11-18

comment icon

1

Players Prefer Presentation: Weird Play Index: Pitcher Edition
by
Meg Rowley

11-16

comment icon

1

Transaction Analysis: Seattle Swag
by
Dustin Palmateer, Meg Rowley, Jared Wyllys and Kenny Ducey

11-11

comment icon

1

PITCHf/ox: Episode 7: San Francisco
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

11-04

comment icon

0

PITCHf/ox: Episode 6: Wear It
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

10-31

comment icon

5

Playoff Prospectus: Spider-Man Heyward
by
Meg Rowley

10-28

comment icon

0

PITCHf/ox: Alfonso Guzman-Chavez
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

10-27

comment icon

2

Playoff Prospectus: Cleveland Clunker
by
Meg Rowley

10-27

comment icon

6

Players Prefer Presentation: Watching Andrew Miller
by
Meg Rowley

10-16

comment icon

5

Playoff Prospectus: Of Ghosts and Pinch-Hit Grand Slams
by
Meg Rowley

10-14

comment icon

0

PITCHf/ox: Episode 4: The Break
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

10-07

comment icon

0

PITCHf/ox: Episode 3: Beanball
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

10-06

comment icon

6

Something Borrowed
by
Meg Rowley, Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

09-30

comment icon

1

PITCHf/ox: The Interim
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

09-29

comment icon

8

Players Prefer Presentation: Jose Fernandez and Our Year of Magical Thinking
by
Meg Rowley

09-23

comment icon

2

PITCHf/ox: Episode 1: Pilot
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

09-22

comment icon

2

Players Prefer Presentation: Short-Season Baseball With A Third Deck
by
Meg Rowley

09-15

comment icon

18

Prospectus Feature: The Active Player Hall of Fame Draft
by
Brendan Gawlowski and Meg Rowley

09-08

comment icon

3

Players Prefer Presentation: Weird Play Index
by
Meg Rowley

08-22

comment icon

2

Players Prefer Presentation: We Still Have Time
by
Meg Rowley

08-01

comment icon

2

Transaction Analysis: Twins, Angels Make Seller-To-Seller Swap
by
Aaron Gleeman, Meg Rowley, Christopher Crawford and Wilson Karaman

07-30

comment icon

1

Players Prefer Presentation: 12 Minutes Of The Slowest Baseball
by
Meg Rowley

07-25

comment icon

2

Players Prefer Presentation: Year 1 Of The Scott Servais Experiment
by
Meg Rowley

07-15

comment icon

1

Players Prefer Presentation: Minor Leaguers' Inherent Empathy Problem
by
Meg Rowley

07-10

comment icon

0

Players Prefer Presentation: A Typology of Losing
by
Meg Rowley

07-03

comment icon

8

Prospectus Feature: But What If It Did Count?
by
Sam Miller, Rian Watt and Meg Rowley

06-23

comment icon

4

Players Prefer Presentation: I Care About All-Star Voting
by
Meg Rowley

06-17

comment icon

3

Players Prefer Presentation: How To 'Beat' The Shift
by
Meg Rowley

06-05

comment icon

0

Players Prefer Presentation: The Hoping is the Hardest Part
by
Meg Rowley

05-26

comment icon

11

Players Prefer Presentation: Let Ballparks Get Old
by
Meg Rowley

05-20

comment icon

4

Players Prefer Presentation: The Analytics of Jake Arrieta Bobbleheads
by
Meg Rowley

05-12

comment icon

1

Players Prefer Presentation: The Jerk's Guide to Being a Jerk
by
Meg Rowley

05-02

comment icon

8

Players Prefer Presentation: Upon Further Review, We Will Never Be Happy
by
Meg Rowley

04-21

comment icon

4

Players Prefer Presentation: Let's Go Crazy
by
Meg Rowley

04-15

comment icon

4

BP Unfiltered: The Wonderful Things That Vin Scully Might Lead You To Think About
by
Meg Rowley

<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries

There are two sides to every two-way player.

In one of the more pressing baseball debates of today, Meg Rowley and Patrick Dubuque present a point-counterpoint on Christian Bethancourt and fun.

Meg:

I hold what I imagine to be a minority opinion: I suspect that Christian Bethancourt being a so-so two-way player will be less fun than him being a mediocre position player who occasionally pitches. Not that it won’t be cool that he’s trying; just less fun.

Position players pitching is perfect. It’s the rare baseball moment when every possible outcome is good. We’ve removed stakes, and absent the potential to alter how the game ends, it can only change how the game feels. It’s like staring at one of those Magic Eye 3D posters: amid what was chaos, an image of healing comes into focus, sketched out in pitcher form.

Imagine our guy fails; that’s easy, we assumed he would. We’re granted permission to enjoy his failure, to find notes of humor and self-awareness because what he’s really doing is performing a service. This is an act of care disguised as embarrassment. There is no winning in these moments, which also means there is no losing. The losing has already been done. Position players pitched 22.1 innings in 2016; they allowed 14 earned runs. Some of those were probably the result of indifferent defense, but I couldn’t be bothered to investigate which ones. Who cares?

Two different teams threw Erik Kratz out there. We’re working with different standards of success. We look on these performances and revel in the fact that they contain all the components of throwing a baseball. Our guy got the ball to the catcher’s mitt (when he doesn’t it’s funnier), and got his outs (exect when they don’t and smile knowingly), and if he gave up a few runs along the way (he often will), well, that’s part of pitching, too. Only his job isn’t to pitch, so we don’t have to be mad about it.

Read the full article...

Winner of the 2017 SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for "Contemporary Baseball Commentary."

Over the weekend BP's own Meg Rowley received the 2017 SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for "Contemporary Baseball Commentary." The winning article, originally published on May 26, 2016, is re-printed below.

The Texas Rangers are getting a new ballpark. We’re used to thinking about the stadium question in terms of tax dollars, and it is an obviously smart way to approach it because of all the things tax dollars turn into that aren’t baseball. Tax dollars are schools and roads and recycling bins, and their allocation is a collective expression of what is important to us, or ought to be. It’s an exceptionally boring way of declaring that most of us like this thing more than this other thing, not merely as sports fans or consumers, but as citizens and parents and people. So when the Arlington City Council voted to approve a master plan for a new stadium for the Texas Rangers, they kicked off a process by which voters will decide if they like air conditioned baseball more than whatever else you can buy with $500 million. Like recycling bins or public transit or a comical number of two-foot-long hot dogs. We’re used to thinking of this question in that way, and it is a good way to think about it.

Read the full article...

A pre-emptive strike against the renaming of things, thoughts on semicolon baseball, and a scouting report on people scouting.

Read the full article...

If Mike Trout wasn't the Mike Trout we know, which Mike Trout would he be? (And also spiders.)

Read the full article...

Imagining what becomes of a home plate umpire in an automated strike zone world.

Until this week, it didn't actively occur to me that there would still be a human being standing behind home plate even if MLB put in place an automated strike zone. It did sort of dimly, because of course there still has to be a guy back there. Someone has to call close plays at home, and balks, and grant time, and sweep up. But if I’m honest, my mind’s eye envisioned a literal robot, dressed up in the chest protector (why does it need a chest protector?), bleep blorp blurping its way through games. The degree to which an automated zone could alter the contest between pitchers and batters seemed momentous enough; I guess I just thought it was robots from there on out.

In his flurry of potential rule changes, commissioner Rob Manfred made clear that the implementation of robot umps was a ways out; the technology, to his mind, isn’t reliable enough. We tend to focus on an automated zone at two points in time: the moment when we flip the switch, and the later moment when unknowable but expected unintended consequences begin to present themselves. Less time is spent on the actual workings of the thing. Not how does PITCHf/x work, or how and when do they measure each batter’s strike zone, or what effect will it have on the offensive environment? How does the call actually go?

Read the full article...

Adam Lind may or may not have tooted, but he definitely could have tooted.

Let’s just assume that Adam Lind farted.

On yesterday’s Effectively Wild, Ben and Jeff answered a listener email concerning Adam Lind’s fifth inning at-bat in the Mariners’ September 18, 2016 game, during which Lind appears to visibly fart. It looked like this:

Read the full article...

Mac Williamson feels like baseball.

The offseason is an odd stretch of long road. There’s no baseball in the beginning and an annoying approximation of it at the end. Whatever treaty the horizon feigns with light, we still get up for work in the dark and go home in the dark; the sun is so indifferent to its friends this time of year. We get the flu, and are quite happy to retreat to the couch. It’s cold outside, and much comfier in here. We have ennui, and are a bit distracted. Those things are all true, and also, poor excuses for watching the wrong game by mistake.

Read the full article...

Hal Steinbrenner asked a question without really wanting to know the answer.

I made a mistake: I thought about this from the player’s perspective. I thought about the player. Or perhaps, I thought about it as mostly mattering with respect to individual players, as mostly serving to modify their behavior. On Thursday, Hal Steinbrenner reminded me of my error.

Read the full article...

What would managers and catchers chat about if they had NFL-style headsets?

Last week, it was reported by Teddy Cahill at Baseball America that the American Baseball Coaches Association’s committee on pace of play was considering putting a digital headset in catchers’ helmets, similar to those used by NFL quarterbacks, so coaches could more quickly relay play calls in-game.

Read the full article...

Rain delays, mascot races, Rickie Weeks, civil wars, and dopes.

January is a particularly low month for baseball fans. Pitchers and catchers won’t stretch for a month. It’s the time of year when we mewl for some baseball, any baseball, heck bad baseball, just so long as it is recognizable as such. It is a privilege of distance to forget a thing’s flaws. After all, sometimes baseball is slow and plodding. Sometimes it features a bunch of pitching changes. Sometimes it features the Padres.

The average time of game in 2014 was three hours and eight minutes; it dropped to two hours and 56 minutes in 2015 with the league’s pace-of-play rules. Using the Play Index’s time-of-game data, we know that for the 2,428 games in 2016[1] (185 of which went to extra innings), the average time of game crept back up, not matching its 2014 levels, but generally slowing:

Read the full article...

The worst, Jerry. The worst.

Over the holiday break, Jeff Sullivan and Grant Brisbee appeared on Effectively Wild and joined Sam Miller and Ben Lindbergh to reprise their draft of baseball things.

With his second pick, Jeff drafted Fernando Rodney; his person, persona, his tipped cap. Rodney appears to be an engaging, interesting person. I’m sure he’s an excellent brunch companion. Jeff called him delightful. Except that—and this is what made him draft-worthy—his job is sufficiently high leverage and his results so inconsistent that watching him pitch when you have any sort of vested interest in the outcome is unpleasant.

Read the full article...

The people you meet while watching Andrew Miller.

With the year winding to a close, Baseball Prospectus is revisiting some of our favorite articles of the year. This was originally published on October 27, 2016.

I like people watching, and I suspect I’m not alone. People watching is the only reason anyone likes going to IKEA, and the reason you want to leave IKEA as quickly as possible. It turns out folks can be terrible in small but significant ways when parenting while picking out furniture. People, when they don’t know they are being observed, do all sorts of funny, kind, and awful things. Often they just do human things, like take soda refills they didn’t pay for, or pick up things for a stranger who has dropped them without being asked, or suddenly smirk when they’ve remembered something funny but private. Other people are just like us.

Read the full article...

<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries