CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

Michael Baumann 

Search Articles by Michael Baumann

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

No Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries

Is good baseball ugly?

There are five phases of baseball: Pitching, defense, hitting, baserunning, and a certain breed of sportswriter concern trolling fans by pretending that the game is dying because it gets worse TV ratings than football.

This is a red herring, because comparing baseball’s TV ratings to football’s, in 2016, requires going through several causal filters and discarding the irony of newspapermen using TV ratings to predict the death of a cultural institution.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 2, 2016 6:00 am

Fifth Column: What Would an MVP Reliever Look Like?

6

Michael Baumann

Willie Hernandez is a trivia answer right now, but might he be seen as a prophet someday?

In last week’s listener email episode of Effectively Wild, Ben and Sam didn’t answer the interesting half of a question, so I’m going to do it for them.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

January 28, 2016 6:00 am

Fifth Column: On 'The Next Jimmy Rollins'

4

Michael Baumann

The pressure of being the next greatest.

You’ve got to feel for J.P. Crawford, at least a little.

The hardest thing to do in sports, it is said, is hit a baseball, which is going to be Crawford’s job for, if he’s lucky, the next 15 to 20 years. He’s going to do it while playing one of the most demanding defensive positions in the game, and he’s going to do it while carrying the weight of immense expectations.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Why baseball isn't so convenient an alternative to football's head trauma risks.

It’s a ritual now for football fans: Gravely watching one of their former heroes talk about how broken his life has become after years of head trauma. In a story that ran on Tuesday, former Steelers receiver and Super Bowl XL hero Antwaan Randle El told J. Brady McCollough of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has memory losses and sometimes has trouble going down stairs because of brain injuries he suffered playing football. Randle-El is 36 years old.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

January 19, 2016 6:00 am

Fifth Column: The Cowardice of Orthodoxy

4

Michael Baumann

When the percentages aren't the percentages, and fear trumps winning.

We need fear to survive—there's no other explanation for millions of years of evolution keeping such an unpleasant emotion in such a prominent position in the human psyche. Fear tells you not to stand too close to the edge of the cliff, not to run around the corner in the dark without looking, and not to antagonize the hungry pack of wolves.

Fear would be more useful if it only led us into behavior that would increase our chances of survival. In modern American life, this mostly manifests itself in terms of sports, which are relatively low-stakes, but the impulse is the same. The desire to seize the day, to make good on the promise that fortune favors the brave, is counteracted by the knowledge of the wages of failure. The questions from the media, the potential for embarrassment, the desire not to be singled out for criticism.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Baseball as the steady extinction of possabilities.

On May 20, 2015, Nick Day hit a home run off Trace Dempsey in front of a few dozen fans, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Last year, Ohio State started the season strong. After never having made an NCAA tournament under fifth-year head coach Greg Beals, the Buckeyes looked like they’d end up not only making the tournament but hosting a regional if they didn’t collapse.

Read the full article...

Remembering one of baseball's most improbable performances.

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Michael Baumann is a writer for Grantland's Triangle Blog and Crashburn Alley of ESPN's SweetSpot Network. You can find him on Twitter at @mj_baumann.
 


Read the full article...

No Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries