CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com
New! Search comments:
(NOTE: Relevance, Author, and Article are not applicable for comment searches)
Colin - great stuff.
Like some of the folks that have commented above I have always been highly skeptical of the structured bullpen and closer model so it's nice to see that the numbers actually back that up. Your point on the length of games is also well taken and another major peeve of mine.
It seems to me that having to rely on 3-4 (or even 5) pitchers a game is simply an algorithm for finding the one guy who is having a bad enough night to cost you the game.
I (sadly) agree with you that change will come slowly in this area. However, I'm encouraged by the fact that this year's SI Baseball Preview specifically mentioned the Rays' getting > 1000 innings out of their SP as a big advantage.
Yes, I read this too and heard Carroll's radio interview. Strange that this hasn't received more mention in the media. This entire process should have been confidential according to my understanding of the drug testing process, but since everything else has come I hope that this information will also be made public so we can understand the whole story.
That's funny. I always thought the Verducci effect was the nausea I experienced when I read any of his articles or heard him speak on TV. So it's actually about pitching. Who knew?
Funny - I thought it was New York Mets.
It's been trotted out many times already. Just not in reference to the HOF.
So what? Any innocent person's story would sound the same. The question is not whether a true statement by an innocent person is the same as the lie told by a guilty person but whether the evidence in each case independently supports the allegation against the corresponding party.
If I'm the Yankees I make the trade proposed for them in this post. I'm not so sure the Phillies would go for it though.
Baneulos may or may not contribute this year, Noesi is OK as a mid-rotation guy or middle-inning reliever, Romine may never hit enough to be a regular (although CB Park can make a hitter out of a lot of guys) and Williams is at least two years away. Also, there's no IF help if Rollins departs and/or Utley's decline continues.
If they want to go all in for 2012 the Phillies probably say no. On the other hand, factoring the loss of Ryan Howard for an extended period this year and the possible loss of Hamels as a FA without draft pick compensation in 2013 might tip the balance the other way.
Well, Martin had been having horrible at bats. He was missing balls by embarrassing margins. What makes you think he was going to turn it around in the 8th? Yeah, Montero is a risk defensively but he could have easily put the Yanks on top and having him catch two innings was an acceptable risk. Even if it wasn't you could have put Posada behind the plate and played without a DH for a couple of innings. Yeah, if the game went to extra innings either choice could have backfired but given the Yankees position risk was the order of the day.
Better roster construction could have prevented this entire issue. If they had carried Romine instead of Dickerson for the incredibly dubious purpose of providing a 5th OF and pinch-runner then they could have used Montero more effectively. Detroit's overloaded RHP made this scenario very predictable.
I'm just thinking, with Detroit leading 4-0 in the 8th inning of Game 2 and the Yankees looking at Verlander tomorrow their season may come down to hoping that A.J. Burnett can bail them out in Game 4.
I'm having trouble seeing why high-priced free agents like Fielder and Reyes would consider signing on for a long rebuilding period with the Orioles. Surely, these guys will have multiple opportunities with clubs that are either contenders now or are one or two pieces away from being contenders.
"However, bowing to reality, I would still have two wildcards in each league"
Why is this a bow to "reality" and Silverwood's advocacy of return a system that worked well from 1969-1993 and that was not crying out to be changed (unlike the "reality" we have now)somehow unreal?
Unfortunately your suggestion is far too sensible, and has the added disadvantage of having proved itself for nearly a quarter of a century, to ever be adopted by MLB.
I don't have faith in Gardner either (despite his "hot" May his OBP has declined to the point where it's lower than Nick Swisher's and his batting only .250 which is 14 points lower than Jeter) but I still wouldn't tell him to bunt in that situation. Has Girardi ever heard of the hit and run?
I'm not worked up about a name I'm worked up about respect for the game. It's an old chestnut sure but it still doesn't seem right. I don't see "Albert" on the back of Pujol's jersey, I didn't see "Ken (or "George" - his real name) or "Junior" on the back of Griffey's jersey. Hell, I never saw "Barry" on the back of Bond's jersey or "A-Rod" on the back of Alex Rodriguez' jersey when he was with Seattle or Texas and who can name a bigger egomaniac than those two?
When you can show me a picture of Willie Mays wearing a jersey that says "Willie" or "Say-Hey Kid" on the back during his playing days I'll think it's OK for other guys to do it (even before they've faced a single pitch in an official MLB game).
"The author didn't state that "all" or "any" NPB position play would thrive. Only that some "can". Read better, please."
Why don't YOU read better? I never claimed that he stated that "all or any" NBP position players could thrive in MLB and he never stated that he was not referring to "all or any" NPB players.
One could, however, easily infer from his statement (which I quoted accurately excepting a typo (which I'm sure you never make) that he thought that others as well as Suzuki could succeed which is in contradiction to his main observation as to how exceptional and idiosyncratic Suzuki is - which I agree with.
What was the reason for continuing the practice of having his first name on his jersey when he joined the Mariners? They might have asked him but he could have just said "No, I haven't played a single game in MLB and many other great players that came before me and are currently playing did not or do not have their first name on their jersey".
As for selfishness - isn't this the guy that bunted for a hit with two outs and a man in scoring position when he was chasing the single-season hit record?
I'm puzzled by the contradiction between your observations on how unusual Suzuki is as a player and the comment that he "erased any doubts that NPB position players can not only survive, but thrive, across the Pacific".
Suzuki (I refuse to engage in the absurd practice of referring to him by only his first name and if I had been the Commissioner or an official with his team I would have prohibited him from having his first name on the back of his jersey - that kind of bush-league, look-at-me crap belongs in trash sports like basketball, it has no place in baseball) has shown that he can thrive in MLB just as some AA and AAA players have shown that they can thrive in MLB. It does not logically follow that any player from those leagues can do so. For every Suzuki, Nomo or Hideki Matsui there are many more Kaz Matsuis, Tsuyoshi Shinjos, Kei Igawas and Hideki Irabus.
Another problem I have with this article is the repetition of the idea that Suzuki could hit for more power if he wanted to. If he can hit for more power and isn't doing it then he's cheating his team. More likely, like lots of guys he has 5 o'clock power but if he were to swing for the fences in games it would hurt the other parts of his game too much to be worth the effort.
Yeah, I agree. I love the hockey playoffs but I also loved baseball's pennant races an simple off-season which were destroyed by the 3-division, wild-card scheme.
When the NHL had 6 teams 4 of them made the playoffs - they actually have a lower percentage of teams making the playoffs now then they did then.
Baseball should not try to imitate other sports.
"You know what makes a division title "more significant"? When it's the ONLY way to get into the playoffs and there aren't any wild cards."
This (like all of Selig's ideas) is stupid, motivated by money and affects the integrity of the sport. The argument about the Cardinals in the article ignores the fact the weak division winners are a product of two other idiotic Selig inventions, the three-division league and inter-league play. Each league could easily be split into two equal divisions with ONLY division winners advancing to the post-season.
It's true that nothing can preclude a weak division winner but it's many less likely than with the three-division setup. The argument given against this is that it wouldn't work with the inter-league play. My response - So #$%!ing what? Inter-league play is a cheap, over-hyped novelty - baseball can live with out it and I would argue the league rivalries were more intense and the All-Star game and World Series more meaningful without it.
"I think he is correct that the lack of "connectivity" at games is hurting attendance for the marginal fan. People like to tweet about where they are, post pics of their seats to Facebook, etc."
Yeah, they wouldn't want to watch the game or anything like that ...
Hey, Bowie had an influence on the game. OK, it was mostly negative but it was an impact :-)
All wild card teams are a joke.
- fixed it for you.
Ooops - this is a reply to PeterBNYC - not HeavyHitter.
Almost forgot. Your A-Rod to LA with Jeter moving to 3B is even more daft than the Montero for Suzuki idea. A-Rod is declining but he still hit 30 HR. Jeter cannot touch A-Rods' offensive production yet you want to install him at 3B and put some generic glove man (presumably with even less offensive production than Jeter) at SS. Neither "this lineup" nor any other lineup can afford such a loss of offensive production. Slumps and injuries happen sometimes to several guys at once which means there will be other holes in the lineup appearing in addition to the ones you're already planning on.
Trade Montero for Kurt Suzuki? Are you daft man? What's even sillier is that you say that the Yanks should trade either Montero or Cervelli in this deal as if they have equal value. Montero's upside is Edgar Martinez or even Albert Pujols (at least at the plate). Cervelli will be a LI Duck or Newark Bear inside of two years.
The outfield is not fine. The continuing delusion that Brett Gardner is an every-day major league player continues with most fans and many sports writers. This guys is a powder puff hitter who stuck out over 100 times and depended on walks and infield hits to get on base. No one is going to keep walking a guy who can't hurt them with the bat and is willing to look at a lot of third strikes. And did you notice how the infield hits kind of stopped coming in the second half as pitchers and defenses adjusted?
Gardner is set for a a major decline from his early success in the first half of 2010. That was apparent in the latter parts of the season and I fail to see how a player with such a limited skill set as a hitter can respond.
I would have loved to have seen it - but you must realize that neither Girardi nor any MLB manager is going to buck the conventional wisdom on closer usage. One does have to wonder though if Coffee Joe could not fathom using Mo in the 9th in Game 3 or the 5th last night how he imagined bringing him in in the 8th last night was going to help. The time to break the glass is when the fire is threatening to escalate not after its been put out and the building has already collapsed.
All in all I would have settled for seeing CC against Hamilton and then Wood. Girardi doesn't seem to get the concept of how to manage in an elimination game.
Walking guys (even guys like Josh Hamilton) to get to Vlad the Imapler is like playing Russian Roulette with three bullets in the gun. You might get lucky once or twice but eventually ...
I think the (seemingly) endless (not to mention repetitive and aggravating) commercial breaks inserted by Seligula's "broadcast partners" are what annoys me the most. As far as the actual baseball stuff I agree with getting rid of the (seemingly) endless (not to mention repetitive and aggravating) mound conferences. Get rid of the catcher visits period or at least make them count as a visit against the two allowed before a pitcher must be removed. And limit the participants to the manager, catcher and pitcher - no more group hugs with the infield.
Does Joe West know about that?
Yeah, have to agree on that point.
Frank Jr. sang the national anthem. I believe it was one of Steinbrenner's granddaughters who sang in the 7th inning.
The "benefits" that you mentioned seemed to be limited to increasing attendance for teams with mostly false hope of being the wild card. That's great for the owners bottom line but pales in significance to the detrimental effects on the integrity of the competition which was the point of the Joe Sheehan link you provided.
So, I guess you would agree that wild card is all about being a cheap gimmick to put money in the owners' pockets and the hell with what its effect is on the sport. Right?
You need some training in basic logic. You've provided no evidence to support your "belief". How about a link to the Bill James quote? Calling it "conventional wisdom" is just silly - it used to be conventional wisdom that the Earth was flat, that the sun orbited around it and that sacrifice bunting in the second inning was a good strategy.
By the way, attendance statistics are pretty easy to come by so it's not a resource issue.
You're missing the point entirely - without the pressure of having to keep pace with each other neither the Braves nor the Giants would have pulled out all the stops to win 100+ games that year. A compelling, winner-take all pennant race, providing day-in, day-out drama was the essence of baseball and Selig has ripped its guts out with this idiotic three-division, wild card scheme. The loss of the traditional pennant races in favor of the season-deadening effect we're seeing right now with the Yankees and Rays is incalculable.
The $$$ are in the network TV fees for the extra playoff round - not the regular season games.
Jayson Stark and Tom Verducci are proponents of this idea - any more questions?
"it is a point of fact that the most significant races these days are generally between potential wild card teams or leaders of weaker divisions"
That's the ONLY possibility allowed by the wild card scheme and that's why I have always been against it and hope it will go away.
I disagreed strongly with your support for the original concept, World Series champ against the Japanese champion and now you want to expand the idea to include the runners up as well? You've got to be kidding. Will this tournament end before the Super Bowl or at least before spring training for the next season?
There's no good reason, other than exploitation for monetary gain, for the MLB champion to play the champion of a league where the level of competition is not at the same level. Sure, the NPB has players who can succeed in MLB. So do many AAA and AA teams. Should we include participants from those leagues as well?
MLB includes the best players from North, South and Central America and some of the best from Asia. The NPB is mostly limited to Japanese players. With no disrespect to NPB the level of competition is not at the same level as MLB. it can't be. Please stop citing the WBC as evidence that MLB and NPB are comparable in quality of competiton. The WBC is an exhibition series that's fun to watch. But because of the limitations on pitchers and the absence of many good players because of disinterest, fear of injury or discouragement by their teams it's anything but a meaningful barometer of the caliber of play in Japan as opposed to MLB.
Unfortunately, thanks to the advent of Selig ball (ca. 1994) the only meaningful late season competition can be between also rans (either teams competing for the wild card or bad teams like the Twins and Tigers "slugging" it out for a division title in which even the winner will not have as strong a record as the wild card team).
Classic pennant races between two strong teams, one of which will have to go home at the end of the regular season (Dodgers/Giants 1951,1962; Yankees/Red Sox 1978; Yankees/Orioles 1980; Braves/Giants 1993, etc.) are a thing of the past. They simply can't happen any more. The Red Sox still had a chance (OK, a small chance) at the division title last weekend. They didn't even make a pretense of competing! This is a fraud on fans.
The solution is to dump the wild card, which is a silly gimmick designed to wring more TV bucks out of FOX and ESPN for an over-hyped additional playoff round, and consolidate the leagues into two divisions each. The two winners in each league square off in the LCS and those winners meet in the World Series. Baseball thrived for a long time with two eight-team leagues so don't tell me it can't do so with two 7-team divisions in the AL and two eight-team divisions in the NL. This is the only scenario that does justice to the regular season competition and gives the best chance of having the most deserving teams in the post-season.
For those arguing that we need even more wild cards - consider this. The World Series this year will not begin until October 28 and won't conclude until the middle of the first week of November. This is just madness. Unless you have a proposal for shortening the regular season by two weeks don't even bring up the subject of more wild cards.
I personally despise LaRussa-ball (the tedious shuffling in of relievers for one-batter matchups) and what it has brought to the game: the over-reliance on middle-relief, the five-inning start as an acceptable performance and the over-valuing of closers and other one inning specialists (the 8th-inning man, the 7th-inning man, etc.) I fear we will soon be subjected to babbling sports-talk media idiots raising the ugly specter of teams not having that invaluable 4th-inning man. This type of game is tedious to watch even for a lifelong fan like me.
My preferred solution is a hard limit on the number of pitchers teams can carry on their rosters. I would say 11 is enough for anyone. This would put the onus on starters to pitch more innings and managers to junk the extravagant use of relief pitchers we see today and managing according to the save rule (the most ridiculous and overrated statistic in baseball).
I get the part about being careful about innings pitched. My counter is that it's not like pitchers are getting hurt less often than they did back in the day of the 4-man rotation or the dreaded 10-man pitching staff. Hell, even those one-inning boys are spending lots of quality time on the DL.
Pitchers, managers and their training methods and game strategies will adjust. If the players of 30-40 years ago could handle the 4-man rotation, complete games and the use of relievers in fireman roles rather than following a pre-defined script then there's little reason that today's more capable and better conditioned players couldn't handle a move in that direction.
I agree that the NY area could support at least one more team but then that would just put another team in New York for the rest of the country to complain about.
Yeah, the Yankees and Mets would lose some revenue but you might end up with three successful franchises in New York, in effect, re-creating the early to mid fifties where you had 5 subway World Series in 7 years.
I agree and think that this is the best argument against the 3-division/wild-card system we have now. I think moving back to a two-division/no wild card model in each league would best preserve the competitive integrity of the post-season. It would also bring back REAL winner-take all pennant races, one of the best features of baseball that has been almost completely eliminated under post-1993 Selig-ball.
I love baseball but find the current 3+ week slog through the post-season too much of a good thing. It\'s hard for even a great team to win three post-season series consecutively.
I\'m also for more revenue sharing combined with a restriction that recipients are required to use the income from revenue sharing and the luxury tax for player acquisition and development (I suppose there could be a required percentage, say 75%).
I should have added that:
1) The Cardinal\'s opponent in 2006 was the Detroit Tigers who hadn\'t been in a World Series since 1984 and had lost 91, 90 and 119 games the previous three seasons.
2) The Red Sox\' opponent in 2007 was the Colorado Rockies, also a 1993 expansion team, who were making their first World Series appearance.
You\'re argument is completely counterfactual.
World Series winners since 2000:
2001: Arizona Diamondbacks (1998 expansion team)
2002: Anaheim Angels (first-time appearance and winner)
2003: Florida Marlins (1993 expansion team; 2nd WS win)
2004: Boston Red Sox
2005: Chicago White Sox (1st WS since 1959; 1st win since 1917)
2006: St. Louis Cardinals
2007: Boston Red Sox
2008: Philadelphia Phillies (beat Tampa Bay Rays)
What was that again about needing to \"see all the teams [having] a chance to win\"?
And how would you like a HARD salary cap in YOUR profession?
Yeah, I would agree that the Yankees\' management is overrated (believe me, as a Yankee fan, I know this very well). There\'s also no with arguing Nate\'s statistics on playoff appearances. The point is that the Pirates are not really in competition with the Yankees for a playoff spot. They don\'t even play in the same league and only meet for an occasional inter-league series every few years. Unless the Pirates make the World Series in a year that the Yankees do what goes on in the Bronx is completely irrelevant to them.
Being able to sign a Mark Teixeira or a CC Sabathia wouldn\'t help the Pirates. Even at a heavily discounted price those guys would be an appalling waste of resources for the Pirates or the Marlins or the Nationals. How many years did Teixeira play in Texas (a better team than the Pirates) without the Rangers making the playoffs? These are guys you sign to fill in a key missing piece not to build around when you\'re a non-contender.
The Pirates need to focus on finding the NEXT Teixeira the way the Rays focused on finding guys like BJ Upton, Evan Longoria and David Price by maximizing the advantage they had in their low draft position. This the Pirates have failed miserably in.
I disagree with your final point about the Rays and Brewers being exceptions. For one thing, the Rays with the core of young players they have (and trust me, the Yankees would kill to get some of them) will be in contention for a while although they will not make the playoffs every year. We\'ve seen the Twins and A\'s make multiple playoff appearances in the last decade so it can be done.
Yes, the Yankees DO underperform. As a Yankee fan I\'m painfully aware of that. You\'re making my points for me - namely that having big money to spend doesn\'t mean it will be spent wisely and that good decision making is the key.
The problem for the Yankees and other big market teams is that since they often do not get access to the premium payers in the draft because of their high draft position (OK, the Yankees have compounded this by making poor selections among the choices they did have) they often find themselves in the position of having to fill a key position, 1B in this case, through free-agency or a salary-dump trade.
There\'s no need for the Yankees to apologize for signing Sabathia or Teixeira (Burnett might be another story). The Teixeira signing avoids the mistake they made with Carlos Beltran 4 years ago. They still don\'t have a CF.
Yes, teams in cities like Tampa Bay, Milawaukee and Pittsburgh won\'t be able to contend every year. Their advantage is that they are often in a position to rebuild through the draft, supplemented by key trades and modest free-agent pickups like Carlos Pena. Do you think the Yankees would like to have BJ Upton, Evan Longoria, David Price or Ryan Braun?
The Yankees get beat up just as bad in the media when they collapse into a re-building mode (remember the Stump Merrill years?) and in any case, their business model won\'t allow it any more. No one is going to pay hundreds of dollars per game to watch the Andy Stankiweiczs and Matt Gallegos of the world in pinstripes. I\'m not really defending this situation because I don\'t like it either but it is what it is.
Pittsburgh has been mismanaged for nearly 20 years. It\'s absurd to expect them to be able to compete for the premium major-league free agents but when they give big money to guys like Pat Meares and Matt Morris, use a permium draft slot to pick a John van Benschoten and try to convert him to a pticher, well now you\'re talking about self-inflicted wounds. The guys running that team have been content to make a profit by pocketing revenue-sharing and luxury tax money (a big hunk of it from the Yankees) and not invest in the team. You could have given those guys all the revenues of the YES network and Derek Jeter memorabilia and they would still have finished last. It\'s completely fair to compare their performance to other small market teams that have done a much better job.
Why don\'t you compare the Pirates payroll to that of the Tampa Bay Rays, who finished two places above the Yankees in regular season play and made it to the World Series, or that of the Milawaukee Brewers who finished well ahead of the Pirates in their division and also made the playoffs. Now what\'s the excuse?
By the way, the Pirates beat the Yankees 2 out of three games last year