Happy Thanksgiving! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume Monday, November 30
Open to all BP staff, One-Hoppers is the grab bag of anything baseball-related that anyone's seen or thought about. It can be something from an individual game, a splash of snark, breaking news or a reaction to same, tidbits of research, and more.
On gaining entry to the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Shortly after 10 AM on Tuesday, Christina Kahrl called me from the Winter Meetings in Orlando to relay the news that I’ve been voted into the Baseball Writers Association of America. "Congratulations!" she said and got an earful of stunned silence, so she said it again.
Just one of the 12 candidates on the Expansion Era Hall of Fame ballot reached 75 percent - and not the most worthy one.
It's a good thing I'm not part of Baseball Prospectus' contingent at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, because this morning's news would have had me trashing my hotel room and pointing my rental car in the direction of the Expansion Era Committee, which announced its voting results for the Hall of Fame. From among the 12 candidates — eight players and four non-players — only Pat Gillick gained election, while Marvin Miller was bypassed yet again.
The longtime Cubs third baseman passed away on December 3, with his greatness still not fully appreciated
It's with great sadness I heard the news of Ron Santo's passing. He died on Thursday due to complications from bladder cancer at the age of 70, having waged a courageous battle with diabetes for his entire adult life, enduring dozens of surgeries and ultimately losing both legs to the disease.
The MLBPA wastes no time in release this year's free agent list.
The MLBPA wasted no time in sending out a press release just minutes after the final out of the 2010 World Series listing this year's free agents. Here's the press release in full, and pardon the formatting errors, just wanted to get this out quickly to everyone.
The Rangers bomb the Bronxers out of the postseason.
Another strong start from one of the Rangers' power arms. Another shaky turn from one of the Yankee rotation's question marks. Some hard-hit balls by the middle of the Ranger lineup, and stellar stops by their defense on the rare occasions the Yankee hitters squared one up. Questionable decisions by Yankee manager Joe Girardi regarding intentional walks and bullpen selection. A new American League champion — so new, in fact, that they're heading towards their first-ever World Series, where they'll face an as-yet-to-be-determined opponent.
Much of this post is going to be a PSA of sorts, but let me introduce it with a little bit of background. While going to the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis last year was cool enough, one of the many great things to come out of it was getting to meet one of the truly inspiring people in the sport today, Justine Siegal. If that name sounds familiar, it's because you came across Justine on this site last November, when David Laurilainterviewed her about her experiences coaching men for the Brockton Rox, The former first-base coach is now the moving force behind Baseball For All, and her latest project is to help get girls' hardball leagues set up around the country. Justine's coming to Chicago next week to conduct a clinic for girls in Northbrook, and while I suspect that if you're a parent in Chicagoland and your daughter wants to play, you already know about this. If you don't already know, though, here's the info, and by all means, check it out, because the game's greatness shouldn't belong to just one set of folks:
The longtime Yankees lefty has often found himself charged with following someone else's opening act in October.
For most of his career, Andy Pettitte has been a Game Two kind of guy. The longtime Yankees lefty generally hasn’t distinguished himself as the best pitcher on his teams, though that’s perhaps more a reflection of his past and present teammates than an indictment of his own abilities. In only two of his 16 seasons have the teams for which he’s played failed to qualify for postseason baseball, so it’s no surprise that he’s shared a rotation with a number of Hall-of-Fame-caliber talents—Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Roy Oswalt, David Cone, and current rotation-mate CC Sabathia among them. Some of those luminaries have deprived Pettitte of Game One duties, but—as has been the case thus far in this year’s ALDS—the lefty has often managed to outpitch his teams’ nominal aces.
Earlier this week, Colin Wyers and I wrote about some of the qualities that make Ichiro so unusual, enabling him to flummox projection systems and opposing defenses alike. Chief among them was his proclivity for infield hitting. As we mentioned, Ichiro has led the majors in infield hit percentage, as defined by FanGraphs (IFH/GB), for five straight seasons. It’s clear that infield hitting is a skill; Matt Swartznoted that a similar statistic of his own creation, “Infield Reach Percentage” (essentially, times on base/IFGB, excluding fielder’s choices) has a .55 year-to-year correlation, indicating that the players who rack up infield hits one year tend to rack them up the next (and vice versa). That’s not only true, but intuitive: it stands to reason that speedy players with quick first steps (especially those who have the added advantage of batting from the left side) would show some ability to amass high infield-hit rates, whether or not they can actually control the trajectory of the balls they put in play.
One NLDS series won't even require teams to use a fourth starter.
Every year, there's some new complaint about the way the post-season schedule serves the interests of somebody paying lots of money, sometimes at the expense of the more basic notion that post-season series should give fans champions who won or lost on the basis of their relative merits. Ideally, the process lends us a structure--and outcomes--that don't outright invalidate the outcomes of 162-game season.
Last night, watching Madison Bumgarner mow down the Cubs from a perch in the press box, it was easy to dissociate from that bloodbath and turn my mind to happier exercises. Chiefly, I started thinking about the assorted rotation possibilities of the different playoff teams, a topic I'll be writing a bit more about next week. It's already easy to anticipate an upset in the Bronx, because the vincibility of the Yankees in a short series if Andy Pettitte isn't entirely right seems fairly obvious.