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I love the article title! Indeed.
Seems like Jon Miller is the only one who realizes that if you get thrown out at first, it isn't a base hit.
And the Benny Prue of the story is actually Benny Proulx.
Great story! I need this book.
"Stephen Drew made a slick play on Desmond Jennings’ grounder in the hole to save a pair of runs"
Why does everyone in baseball say "save" when they mean "prevent"? Saving is the opposite of preventing. When you save something you still have it, like saving money or saving lives. Preventing is what stops something from happening.
End of rant.
Seems Holiday should have been safe at home, even if he missed the base. The catcher can't block him without the ball. Safe on grounds of obstruction or whatever they call it.
And Michael Young says "at the same time..." three times in quotation.
Seems like Jesse Crain pitched in a lot of pressure situations when he was set-up guy for the Twins during their run of being a playoff team.
Seems like the reason stated at the outset of the article for guessing below .500 -- that the worst teams are farther below .500 than the best teams are above it -- is actually a reason to guess that the most common percentage, and the median record, is above .500. The best record won't cancel out the worst record, requiring a team at .506 or .517 to balance out the wins and losses.
I have a recollection of the Ozeroo being victimized twice in the same game by the Twins in the same way: on a pickoff attempt at first, the first baseman faked a throw back to the pitcher and then tagged Ozzie when he left the bad. Long time ago, so I'm not sure my memory is accurate.
Also, Carl Pavano nearly died from his most recent injury.
Choosing the other door in Let's Make a Deal is not only superior in theory but also in practice.
Mastroianni in CF as well.
At the academic conferences I attend (philosophy), the way you're dressed would not make you stand out at all.
Dave Engle was an All-Star!
If NC is part of the Nationals' local market, I wish they'd show some damn games here. I live in Greenville NC, in eastern NC, and there are no local broadcasts of Nationals or Orioles games at all, but both teams get blacked out on MLB, TBS, ESPN. (They stopped showing the O's here on Fox Sports South about a decade ago, and have never shown Washington.)
Yes, just because it is a figment of the kid's imagination that Malone played on the 75 pennant winners, doesn't mean that the 75 pennant win was in his imagination too. After all, he imagines Boston, and this doesn't make Boston itself imaginary. (or does it?)
Good point about review calls where the players must decide how to run the bases based on the call made on the field.
You should replace "arguing", as it appears twice in this article, with "disputing". Arguing is actually the opposite of disputing.
I was surprised by the description of Casey as coach too, so I looked it up. He was a dominant relief pitcher in 1942, but didn't pitch in 43-45, then came back in 46 as a dominant pitcher again. I would have assumed that military service explained his absence, but now I'm confused. Why was he a coach in 1943?
I agree. I enjoyed Sutton when he was on the Superstation, and he fit in well with the excellent and thoughtful Pete Van Wieren.
I hate to think what Hawk Harrelson says about the Chisox!
I love it that some BP fans are also fans of The Minutemen and Husker Du!
"Madonna" is Madonna's real name, for what it's worth.
Greenengineer, is that 7pm on the west coast? Fine. If you mean 4pm in the west, no thanks.
Thanks, Bradford. I was a Twins fan in 1982, and got a chance to see first hand how good he was, but also what difficulty he was having. I've always felt bad that Minnesota and the Twins organization weren't more supportive of him at the time.
Should I be surprised that Arcia was the Twins Futures rep, rather than Sano?
San Diego leads Seattle on beer?
Falu is the beneficiary (i.e. the one who benefitted). A benefactor is one who benefits someone else.
As a "mud duck" who remembers that shooting, and Twins fan, I found this article very edifying. Thanks, Ken.
Carew's MVP was in 1977, not 1978.
And taking that $750 EV bet might not maximize utility either. If someone can't afford to lose the $500 -- losing it would cost them their home or something -- then it would be irrational for them to take the bet.
Surprised Scott Erickson was on the list of low WARPS for opening day starters of defending champs. The year for which his WARP was so low, he won 20 games and had an ERA of 3.18 in over 200 innings.
They added Willingham too.
I went to a Bulls game last year and I was pleased to see that the city doesn't try to milk every last dollar from patrons. We were allowed to park for free on a road which normally doesn't permit parking. Anyway, it was a good experience.
The problem, as Bill James showed, is that you can do this for any good player with a long career: Pinson, Oliva, Reuschel, etc.
Jay, I don't really see why you think Whitaker and Grich being "one and done" is an injustice, or a hosing, when by your own system, those guys are below the threshold. If everyone who had a vote followed your recommendation, an injustice would result? (Unless I misunderstood, and because of doubts over FRAA, you think they should be in.)
I'd love to hear the story behind EJ wanting to be called Count Fosco. That's the old, fat, but very courtly villain of Wilkie Collins' gothic mystery classic, The Woman in White.
And Kubel's AAV is not $15M. I think that's the total over 2 years.
The reports from MN is that Willingham will be the RF, not the LF, with Revere in left. Also, they haven't ruled out bringing back Cuddyer, who apparently hasn't gotten the kind of offer he wanted. Then Willingham would play left, with Revere the 4th OF.
Braun is not the type stereotypically to use steroids? What is the steroids stereotype? Not trying to be snarky -- had no idea there was one. I thought it might be sluggers, and Braun is a slugger. Or is the stereotype that Latin American players predominate among the violators?
Jay, I wonder if you would agree that the relatively small number of enshrined 3B boosts at all the cases for Santo and Boyer. For instance, you say that Boyer outdoes 4 of the 11 enshrined 3B -- that places him 8th, which would be comfortably above the average, if a proportional number of 3B had been selected for the hall. Or do you think the low number of enshrined 3B reflects a relatively weak group of players at that position?
Because the results often have much to do with luck or the skills/work of others, and this is about the skills/work of the pitcher in question. Not so absurd.
The problem I have with Derek's analysis is that he seems to think it is rational for any particular voter to pick Kershaw, but not for most of them to do. Who says Kershaw's landslide victory reflects a belief on the voter's part that he is *much* better? It reflects a belief of most of the voters that he is at least a little better.
If everyone were fully rational, *every* vote would be unanimous, as they would all reach the same conclusion about candidates who might be only thinly separated.
That worked! And now I can +1 as well. Thanks.
I can't reply to richardkr34, for some reason, but I follow the Twins closely and have never heard such a thing.
What surprises me about this move is that the Twins *never* fire anyone at the top. The last manager they fired was Ray Miller in 1986, and I can't remember the last GM they fired. They kept the guys they liked even through long fallow periods.
Any expectations for the PTBNL? I'm guessing it won't be anyone too valuable.
But your comment was very helpful.
Just want to say how great it is that so many BP writers have come together to give us pretty comprehensive TA articles, so quickly.
Can anyone explain the Jered Weaver chart? One line is for Jered, and so is the other one. Is this about a difference in how people are searching for Jered Weaver, by name vs. by description (Jeff's bro)? Or is that a typo?
Pat Folz (reply function not working): point taken, but I don't think your example points out so much the uncertainty of whose fame will endure as it does the stunning ignorance of your friends. The Doors' popularity has been unusually enduring and unflagging.
Grievance on what grounds?
Non-prospects, for sure. Teams in Milwaukee's situation really had the Mets over a barrel; while K-rod is mildly useful to a team like the Brewers, he was an enormous millstone to the Mets, since they likely had to let him keep closing or risk a grievance. I think the PTNBL are just a fig leaf, so it isn't a naked giveaway.
And they'd have had to pay that $5M anyway, as his salary the rest of the year. So it is precisely a savings of $14M.
Mrdannyg: the $14M is the diff between the 17.5 option and the 3.5 buyout, for next year. So they are giving Milwaukee $5M, to avoid paying the 14. Cost to Milwaukee: the 3.5 buyout, plus 2 ptnbl. Not bad for a premiere set-up guy, just for the half-season where he might be the difference in a close race.
GREAT COLUMN, John. As to moving Mauer to 1B: at least he's a special player at catcher when healthy. What would he be at first? Bruce Bochte? Sean Casey, if we're lucky?
Shocked that Twins catcher isn't on the list. The Mauer replacements were ciphers, and Mauer himself has been awful so far.
Denard Span is on the DL with a concussion; my guess is that Cuddyer is the Twins rep.
Seconded! They were the first band I ever saw in concert.
Agreed. Didn't Bill James convincingly dispense with this "it's for the guy with the best first half" view almost 30 years ago? One year, people were saying that it was an injustice that George Brett was elected instead of...Toby Harrah. Of course, though Harrah might have been 5% better through June 15, Brett was obviously the superior ballplayer, and it is absurd to think the All-Star Game would have been better served by having Harrah in his stead.
The Twins have also played 13 more road than home games, so balancing that out ought to help them a bit going forward.
Is second base really called "the cornerstone"? I've never heard that.
A factor in Iwamura's injury at 2b might be not just his inexperience at the position, but the fact that Japanese players don't do aggressive take-out slides at second. This is cited as the explanation for Nishioka's immediate injury.
Shouldn't Nakamura's per-WARP cost be infinite, not a negative number? They payed him money and got zero WARP, after all. For the figure to be negative, I think the team would have to be receiving money from him, for each WARP he produces.
Make that 9 games out, after Liriano dominated much more than he did in his no-no.
On the other hand... The Twins are now 10 out, there are no good teams in the Central, the Twins can expect to have a significantly better team within a month as they get healthier, and they've played almost 20 more road than home games so far. I'd say that their real playoff chance is quite a bit better than 2%. (Full disclosure: ardent Twins fan)
You're really living up to the CK standars here, Ben, both with the arcane references (Martin Guerre, Japanese fan videos, Thomas Hobbes) and the keen insights. Thanks.
In addition to what plincoln said, I'd note that getting Mauer back is not the only way the Twins could be expected to improve in the near term. Delmon Young, Nishioka and Thome have all been injured for much or most of the year so far, Morneau is apparently still recovering from his concussion, and Nathan is still getting back into form after TJ. If most of those players are restored to 2009-10 form, the Twins are not much different than the team that won 90+ games last year.
Alan Trammel's wankstain?
Thanks for this list, but I'm not sure I understand it completely. Which of these are double unique, and which are just single? Nathan Adcock is on the list, and of course there was a Joe Adcock. I'd be surprised if there weren't a few other Nathans as well.
David Foster Wallaces "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" has the same thing, interviews with the questions omitted.
"Ghostface Kila". I love you guys.
The baseball fan in me enjoyed the article, and the Ramones fan in me loved the title. Good one, Jay.
But what is even geekier than Pi Day is to call it Half Tau Day:
It is argued that pi's mathematical significance is exhausted by its being half the value of tau. I guess tau day would be June 28.
Twins pitcher W-L record comes to 83-59. 20 losses are missing.
83 wins and 62 losses, no less.
And what is "the sweet science"?
The WARPs listed for some part-time players seem to be off by a factor of ten or more. Viciedo of the Chisox is listed as -2.2 WARP, despite only 108 plate appearances, making him -11 or -13 WARP over a full season, while putting up Mike Jacobs-ish numbers. Ben Revere's WARP seems to be similarly off. Don't know what happened there or if it affected team PECOTA projections.
The WARPS for reserves seem screwed up. Ben Revere, in 188 plate appearances, rates 1 win below replacement. He's over replacement on his player card on even his 10th percentile projection. But on the team page, extrapolated to full-time playing, he'd rate 3 wins below replacement. Same problem with Viciedo on the Chisox. Looks like some glitch here.
Viciedo is listed at 2.2 wins below replacement, despite only getting 108 plate appearances, while putting up what looks like replacement-level, Mike Jacobs-type numbers. The 2.2 would mean he'd be about 11-13 wins below replacement over a full season. That looks like a mistake.
Wow. Do you think a guy who weighs that much at 17 has any chance to stick at third for long (solid defensive skills notwithstanding)?
Kevin, you said Sano is 30 lbs over his listed weight. You mean 30 over the 195 that you listed, or is 195 the corrected figure? Thanks.
In fact, it was the most prominent story on yahoo.com, about a minute ago.
Love the quotations. They were illuminating, and your efforts in picking good ones are appreciated.
Avilaird and Heloise -- that was perhaps the highlight of my day.
This was fun, but for a second there I thought we had a *new* Huckabay column. [sigh]
Cool. I love these interviews with the old-timers. And it's interesting to hear Mauch was a red-ass as a player.
I like the Voltaire quotes. You could make this a habit, with quotations from Twain, Hume, Socrates, etc.
"Lucky Number" Blevins -- you should write for Chris Berman, CK. That was great. Do you think Kouzmanoff and Conor Jackson are worth it for Oakland at those salaries? Both seem like they have played like bench players but are being compensated like solid regulars.
CK, I loved "Humber Humber", but I believe Humber's first name is Phillip, not Jon.
Any thoughts on the Twins keeping Capps for over $7M, rather than keeping a couple other set-up men (or something else)?
David, this was a fine interview. Thanks.
CK, can you explain the chart in this article? How did Beltre have 3800+ chances? That seems too high by a factor of more than 10; or do I not understand what fielding chances are?
Why do people have this idea that the Twins DH spot is open? Cuddyer presumably will go back to manning RF more or less full time, Morneau will be back at first, and Kubel the principal DH. The opening for Thome to get 50% playing time last year was largely created by Morneau's absence. Or do you guys know something I don't (about Morneau's recovery or whatever)?
I second bpars3's interest in the 80s book.
"He's more past-tense than KPAST." That made me grin.
Jay, given that Banks, Jenkins and Williams are all in the Hall, why do you say that the voters hold the 1969 collapse against Santo? Aren't Banks, Jenkins and Williams evidence that the voters aren't doing this?
Thanks. He looks like he might be worth it then, if as rumored they can get for around $3MM per annum.
The Twins get the $5.3M back if they don't sign him.
Jesse, do you guys have any translation from Japanese ball to the majors? That would be very helpful here.
I'll be sort of sad not to see Alexi Casilla get another shot at an everyday job, though.
Not GG defense either by FanGraphs' reckoning, or by BP's fielding metric. I expected it too, but the numbers weren't there.
I gotta go with Lefko on this, re: value. A $100 bill is more valuable than a $20 bill, even if the hundred has been misplaced and its value isn't being appropriately accessed. Kiner got screwed. Let's not take Rickey's clever ways of exploiting his workers as Confucian aphorisms.
How were you censored? I read your remark, and I guess most people read what is "hidden" by negative remarks. What happened is that you were chided for complaining that trivia was trivial.
Saying Felix is to CC as Miggy is to Hamilton is silly. Hamilton had a higher VORP and was a better defensive player. A strong -- decisive? -- case can be made for Hamilton as MVP that doesn't involve his personal redemption, the Rangers' division title, or anything like that. The "playing great" vs "value to his team" angle is a red herring too. Hamilton played better too.
Brandon Lyon was exactly who came to mind when I heard the years and money for the Benoit contract. wow
Ken, I'm guessing that you meant that somewhere *Calvin* Griffith is smacking his head in disbelief. Calvin was the guy who brought the Twins to MN, and who was famously penurious in all matters regarding the Twins.
So would it be safe to say that your view is that there is really nothing wrong with the Twins, and that, with some minor changes, essentially the same quality team should be sent back out there, and that the playoff failures are just what sometimes happens to excellent teams, and no reason to think a dramatic change is in order?
Full results were *not* included with the AL results.
Didn't the voting conclude well before Posey got the WS ring?
I second Diana's request. We've always gotten to see a full ballot before.
Jeff, don't you think JJ Hardy would make at least that much on the open market, given the dearth of quality SS on the market this year? I wouldn't be surprised if the Twins keep him, for that reason, and use Casilla at 2B.
And you you think the Twins will/should offer arb to Capps? Seems a lot for a non-elite closer who might just be a set-up guy.
I'm always impressed at how well Christina takes criticism. Some other BP writers respond to it more churlishly -- often with justification -- but you never see that with CK.
No, this is flatly contradicted by a closer reading of what the BPers doing post-game analysis have actually written.
Thanks, these were great. I have some trouble grasping the perspective of the Yankee fan, but the accounts from the Yankee fans above helped, and Steven's piece was great.
David, this is great -- my favorite type of player to see interviewed.
Aka the Ralph Houk Memorial Award
Agreed, and it isn't like the Twins have a strong internal candidate to replace him, if the reports that they plan to let Hudson go and put Casilla at 2B are correct.
He's just picking it up from a Star Tribune columnist, who suggested that the Twins need to pick up a power arm (Sanchez, Greinke) and might get one by packaging Delmon and either Slowey or a prospect.
Madison Bumgarner isn't on the NL ROY list. Isn't he still a rookie? He is listed on BP's top rookie vorp's, and he pitched only 10 innings in 2009.
Point taken, Jay, but in defense of SC, the importance of the Twins missing their best hitter was omitted from "the real take-home", indicating that you didn't think that was so important after all, it would seem. I'm sure SC read those 60 words but was puzzled that they didn't make it into your real take-home.
Well, Chapman's pitch didn't actually scrape Utley. It was another phantom HBP, and another case of blown calls playing too big a role in the determining the outcome of the games.
I might be able to be convinced that Rose should be in the HOF, but this column was awful. How did this get past BP editors?
No Richie, it's not the guy's thesis that is horrible. It's that he argued for it in such an awful way. Give us a decent argument for the conclusion and you won't see such vitriol. This column is just way below the standards established by BP.
Geez Richie, many people on this site have defended Pete Rose and advocated for his eligibility for the HOF. What people are most irritated about here is that this article is full of ad hominem attacks and material irrelevant to what penalty Rose deserves.
Yeah, the first example in the article you mentioned is a group of people guessing the weight of an ox. Exact same point as the jellybean example. The idea that conventional wisdom is right because it is conventional is the logical fallacy known as argumentum ad populum (aka 20 million Justin Bieber fans can't be wrong). But did you notice that Surowiecki gave 4 conditions that need to be met for collective beliefs to be "wisdom". One of them is that the beliefs were formed independently, for the most part. That's hardly the case in your example of collective wisdom (attendance rate spike due to wildcard). Quit while you're behind.
Sorry, that should be JerryKenny, BP subscriber, and not Jerry Kenney, old Yanks 3B.
Wisdom of the crowd is *not* conventional wisdom. Wisdom of the crowd is the phenomenon where nobody knows the right answer (as to, say, how many jellybeans are in the jar), but overestimations by some are balanced by underestimations by others, and the average of answers is right. It really has *nothing* to do with conventional wisdom.
As to conventional wisdom, arrogance is not the only reason to doubt it. The abundant history of conventional wisdom being false is evidence of the unreliability of such wisdom. Jerry Kenney gives an example of this (flat earth). It would be easy to come up scads of others.
Yes, Cory, I think Joe Mauer's candidacy will be hurt by the phenomenon this year. A gold glove catcher hitting .325 on a division winner might otherwise be an MVP candidate, but he's perceived as something of a disappointment this year.
I think doing this for the MVP is even more difficult than doing it for the HOF, because the MVP voters often seem to need a "narrative" that won't show up in the stats. For instance, Chisox announcers Hawk and Stoney at one point were talking up Delmon Young as a strong MVP candidate. Even more absurd, MN voters on-line picked Cuddyer as the team MVP. (He filled in for Morneau, played every inning at 1B, helping to allow Thome into the lineup.)
Also, are players in Coors getting the same penalty that they did in the 90s? Dante Bichette's hitting line was a joke, and it seemed most people kind of knew it. But things are different in Coors now, and you don't see people disparage Rockies numbers in the same way.
It's on the stats page.
Steven, how did you end up choosing Donnie Moore? Mike Marshall had 3 Mauch seasons wih higher WARPs, and Doug Corbett one (in 1980, where Mauch resigned in August). Is it a WXRL lead? I can't find that stat on player cards.
Maybe. Valencia is hitting awfully well (small sample) and they seem to be happy with his fielding. Plus Cuddyer can play some 3rd when Morneau comes back (with Kubel in RF).
CK, have you read the Dan Epstein book on 1970s baseball? I saw it at the store and I'm trying to decide whether to get it.
That seems irrelevant. So the league is better today than it was 50 years ago. Accepted for sake of argument. My point is that the greater *size* of the league doesn't make it harder to get a TC because the worse half of the league isn't in competition for the crown anyhow.
Ira, I don't think it follows from the fact that there are now twice as many players as there were in the 1950s that it is half as likely now to have a TC winner, because the worse half of MLB players are much less likely to win it than the better half. Expanding the slate of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10 didn't make it half as likely for Avatar to win. Expanding the nominees to 100 wouldn't have done so, either.
Why in the *world* would SD trade Latos for a DH? These are crazy scenarios.
So the Twins would increase their chance of making the playoffs as much as any AL team by adding a 4.5 player, but they should stand pat? I think this analysis underrates the value of making the playoffs (while coming up short of a championship). And the non-PECOTA version of the playoff odds has MN already at +30% chance of the playoffs...
While I quibble with the conclusion re: the Twins, this article is a nice idea and nicely done.
I'm surprised that there have been so few rotation regulars much below replacement level, when there are many regular position players who sink to that level each year. I wonder why that is, and I also wonder if, were the cutoff to be lowered to 25 starts, the numbers would get really ugly.
Agree with Mangey re: positivism; the criterion of meaningfulness is verifiability in principle, not actual verification. The connection to Two Dogmas seems weak. Quine said that the analytic/synthetic distinction (truth of reason, knowable by their meanings alone, independent of sense experience, versus those knowable on the basis of particular experiences) was untenable. *Anything* can be rejected on the basis of sense experience, and because of meaning and evidence holism, there is no such thing as *the* sense experience that would confirm or disconfirm any particular claim. Claims face the tribunal of sense experience not individually, but collectively.
That said, I enjoyed the article, and the point is well taken, re: sabredogma.
Haven't had a chance to read this yet, but as *another* philosopher -- hey Mangey -- I'm delighted to see the Quine reference!
CK, I'm having trouble parsing this phrase: "although the weirdness of his getting four of five intentional walks—and of Brad Mills' five total issued on the year" about Chris Snyder. Snyder got 4 IBB out of what 5? His BB on the year? D-Back IBB? Sorry if I'm being dense.
And let me say thanks for the great TA work since TA has become a regular blog item.
Wow, is that the Moe Hill who was a legendary slugger in the Midwest League at Wisconsin Rapids in the Twins organization? Nice to see him still in pro ball.
OK, I see from later comments he does think tazing is electrocution. Apologies.
tommybones wasn't saying that tasering is electrocution. He was merely point out the absurdity of the claim that when someone breaks the rules they forfeit all their rights, including the right not be electrocuted for a petty crime.
In the comments on the Virgil Trucks bio, someone asked about the mascot on the Trucks St Louis Browns baseball card. It looks like a devil or a very red-faced boy. Anyone know what it is supposed to be?
Loved the link to the Stalin touch-ups!
Especially Tyner as DH.
Indian and Chisox actual records are switched.
I noticed that for quite a few players, the list of comparables is partly superimposed over the comments from past issues of the book -- makes it hard to read. Wow, though, lotsa good stuff here.
David, this was great. I'd enjoy seeing more like this, where we can compare and contrast the answers two people give to the same set of questions.
I noticed that too -- about the buried blog entries. Here's how to find them: click on the big word "blog", not the archives, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit "previous entries". You'll have to do this for three or four pages, but then you'll get back to March 12.
I'm surprised there aren't more comments after a week -- this is one of the most fascinating baseball interviews I've read. You don't see people name names this way too often. The stuff about Clemens and Boggs is very interesting.
I don't think I understand Razz. How can a straight be the lowest hand? Wouldn't it be high card 7?
And you think it ought to be otherwise? As a rule, I'd say most of the top BA's are from players having, by their own standards, good years, and that some regression is expected.
Wouldn't be surprised to see Jesse Crain get a shot at closer, either. He was much sharper last year after a bad start. And maybe even Liriano.
Because your point would be mistaken even if it were about predictions, which it really was.
Great interview. Good questions and outstanding answers.
Generally, teams that win 95+ or lose 100+ are those that do better or worse than reasonable people would project them to. So this is not a flaw in the system. It's the same issue Bill James raised 20 years ago when his projections included no batting average higher than about .320. But he predicted that the batting title would go to someone who exceeded their projected BA.
Not really. That's too simplistic a thesis about how semantics works.
Thanks, this was great, especially the Gibson and Cash stories. I remember Goryl from his tenure managing the Twins. He didn't have much to work with, as this was the Twins after they'd lost a lot of good free agents, but before we brought up all the young players who'd go on to win the Series in 1987. I'm glad to hear he's still in baseball.
I think the reference to what is on the Canadian nickel is what vertumnus had in mind.
Because there are just about an infinite number of ways for there to be something, but only one way for there to be nothing, so the odds favor there being something.
Yes! What a great show.
Answered in the initial post: yes.
I hate to be dense about the best comment of the year, but I don't get it. What's the Cardinals reference about?
I can't answer your question about whether the business model is viable, but I signed up for your newsletter way back when, and I'd do it again (for $5 or $10 or $20).
Well, I guess I finally have a reason to check out this Twitter thing.
Reversed just for Dbacks and Indians, perhaps. Indians actually did not have a positive differential.
On a more mundane note, I think the actual and predicted column in the first chart are switched.
I have nothing to say that wasn't already said by one of the earlier posters, but I want to say it anyway: I will miss you on BP, Joe, and I look forward to seeing what you write elsewhere.
Minnesota isn't already doing this? Why the swipe at the Twins?
Soriano accepted arbitration.
Kevin, I hope you're right about Delmon (and Casilla). What worries me is that although he hit .300 with 9 HR in his last 187 at bats, he only had 5 walks.
So is it confirmed that Carlos Gutierrez will be going back to the pen, or is that just what a lot of people think *should* happen? Thanks.
No, he was disagreeing about the contract.
Loved the article, both for the content and the style. This sentence, however, has a few too many temporal terms: "Last year he pitched well in a stretch of games during and after a demotion to Triple-A, but was terrible before and after for the White Sox before a stretch spin in the Rockies' pen." Confusing.
Espn says it here:
Not to mention Bobby Crosby
I think akw and greensox are missing Joe's point. It's not that we should revile Junior for all that stuff. The point is that we don't do so, but if it were A-Rod, we would do so, employing both a stupid measure of greatness and a double-standard.
Ah, I understand now. Thanks.
So Anderson was 'better' than Porcello but Porcello was better than Anderson? I'm not sure I understand your use of inverted commas.
So, what is the argument for Teixeira being ahead of Zobrist? Zobrist was a better hitter and is a middle infielder. I'd hazard a guess of a thirty run gap between them. I'd say the same for Longoria. I'm not a Rays fan, but I think at least two Rays (and maybe Bartlett too) should have placed higher.
Not that I attribute this to NY bias, I hasten to add. I didn't have Rick Porcello in the top three rookies, but I don't think a Detroit prejudice was at work -- just an honest difference of opinion.
Well, Teixeira at #3 is a joke. A-Rod shouldn't have been so high on the list, either. I didn't have either in the top ten.
Thanks, Joe, for the volumes of writing this post-season. Your columns are the ones I most look forward to.
Slow-footed wouldn't make any sense in the context. I took it as slow in the sense of "not very bright". Have we gotten to the point where it is beyond the pale even to describe someone as not very bright?
What were Hidalgo's off the field issues? Anyone know?
Wow, I'd always thought that the Wilmington team in the Carolina league was in Wilmington NC (and I live in NC!). How odd.
Jones has been added now, though not Smith.
So why are Seth Smith and Garrett Jones not on the NL Rookie list, although they DO show up on the list of top VORPs for rookies?
And ironically several years ago when the Twins and Detroit both really were good, and the Twins dramatically overtook them on the last day of the season, it was pretty much meaningless since both teams were going to the playoffs anyway.
Buehrle, I'd have thought.
And in (further) fairness to Pavano, his "quik ERA" is closer to 4 and is much better than his actual ERA (as mentioned on this site by a BP writer, though I don't remember which one).
Ironic remark, given what I've heard about Mark Grace.
I'll bet that it will eventually emerge that there is more to Bradley's misconduct than the interview. Agreed that the punishment seems excessive, but I think we should expect more behind-the-scenes insubordination will turn out to be involved. It's certainly been building. (But who knows?) Also, I assume this is a PAID suspension. They don't want him around anymore, but surely they can't justify taking a million dollars of salary away for that interview. Can the union file a grievance over a PAID suspension (assuming there were no incentive clauses for playing time)?
jseely being proof positive
Isn't it indefensible to criticize a trade when you don't even know who the Rays are getting in return yet? Sean Rodriguez was later sent to the Rays.
I think getting Rodriguez makes this a very good deal for the Rays.
Fair enough. Thanks
But -- as I forgot to say -- point taken about this all being global and holistic, and that this sort of adjustment can push us farther from what we want (as with the Soto result).
Well, I knew you were trying to project who is likely to win, not who deserves to win, so I wasn't making that mistake. So let's take Piazza: he finished 2nd in the voting twice (1996-97), third once (2000), and fourth once (1995). So that's why I was puzzled when you defended the lack of a positional adjustment for catcher by saying that having one would have boosted Piazza into the top three several times. Since he was actually voted into the top three several times, you would *want* your system to project this. (Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant?)
I guess I did misunderstand you to be saying that your system says that Mauer is currently projected to come in 15th or so in voting. So the idea is whether you're 15th or 50th in points, if you're well outside the top three, you have almost no chance? OK.
When I said the system seems to badly miss on Mauer I wasn't talking about 2006, when of course it correctly predicted that he wouldn't win. I meant that it looks way off for 2009, since the idea that Mauer has little chance in 2009 seems incredible. Maybe time will prove you right, but it's hard for me to believe that. Especially since the lack of the catcher positional adjustment is so curiously defended.
Well, if Mauer finishes 15th in the voting, that will be a striking validation for your system. I don't think that is going to happen, though.
As it now stands, there is *no* positional adjustment for catcher (only the plus for middle IF and the minus for DH)? I'm still not seeing why the boost for catchers messes things up. It would boost Piazza into the top 3 several times? Shouldn't Piazza *be* in the top 3 several times? It seems like he was a perennial MVP candidate if not a perennial MVP. And it's not like it isn't messed up now without that adjustment, given the absured miss on Mauer and the bad miss on Pudge.
I certainly appreciate the effort, though. I suspect, as you suggested, that this is a bit quixotic. Good narratives drive the vote, and the statistical case is cobbled together later to verify whatever conclusion they'd already reached.
I assumed WP Mulligan was making a joke, spoofing the cranks who are always alleging BP bias against their teams.
And isn't Kevin Goldstein the world's leading Neftali Feliz fan?
No, there really isn't any bias in voting against midwestern teams, or in favor of coast teams. Look at Morneau's victory over Jeter, Juan Gone over A-Rod and many others.
Have you ever noticed how politicians that espouse family values usually turn out to be philanderers and closeted gays? Along those same lines, I notice that sbirnish77 makes it his mission to decry the bias and prejudice that he sees all over BP, usually from Joe Sheehan but now from Eighteen and sometimes from others. If he thinks everyone who disagrees with him is guilty of bias or prejudice, he's probably not the most objective observer.
But even if they don't:
Morneau's pct of runners on base driven in: 17.8
Mauer's pct: 21.6 (best in majors)
OK, I'll bite: which BP staffer goes by "speedchaser9"?
To say that Mauer's MVP chances are "doomed" seems like a silly overstatement. How often is it that the guy who is the *obviously* best candidate, both by sabremetric and mainstream evaluation, plays on a losing team? Sure, playing on a winning team gives a guy a boost, but if Mauer ends up with a .370 avg and 30+ homers, he wins in a walk.
Oh for Christ's sake
It's so nice to hear the voice of reason, G and B.
I think you're missing the point. Joe means that when the issue is "whether, and for how much, Strasburg should sign" then what Zimmerman et al think doesn't matter. Joe is not offering an alternative answer to the question from what Zimmerman et al have said; he's saying it should be up to Zimmerman (and the Nationals of course).
Yes, the rules prevent that. Bonuses can only be for things like innings, games, starts, and not for *quality* of performance.
I wonder if the drop in shortstops (as a percentage of the draft) is in part due to the much larger pitching staffs today. The 9 man staff of the 1960s is now 12 or 13 men. I wonder if the drop in shortstops would look as dramatic if we just looked at position players.
Aren't the Twins kind of using him right now?
Richard, don't feed the trolls. I know, hard to resist.
Ken, thanks for a fine article on my favorite team. I don't quite understand the stats you list for the Twins lineup, though. Where are these numbers from? The stats are all way off, unless these are translated numbers or something like that. What am I missing? Also, it is Tony Oliva, not "Olivo".
Sbirnish: a language in which every sentence expresses peevish sneer.
Everyone reads the "hidden" comments, don't they?
You're the third commenter to make this tired joke. Give it a rest go back to posting on the Phillies fan site.
more pissy whining from sbirnish -- it must be a day that ends in "y".
And I just committed the same error by posting before reading Elm's well-stated comment.
Doubtless it was dinged because his criticism had already been addressed in an earlier comment. Had he bothered to read the comments he wouldn't (or shouldn't) have posted. On the other hand, I almost gave it a +1 since this is the first post I remember seeing by sbirnish in which he isn't bitching about the alleged bias of the BP writers.
cjgeisler, I suggest *Jesse "walk-off" Crain*, in the same vein as Hugh "losing pitcher* Mulcahey. Seriously, they may as well bring in Punto or someone to pitch if it's a walk-off situation.
Actually, ESPN says Kennedy may pitch near the end of the season:
mhixpgh, the anti-Abreu post is only at -1 as I write, and I assume that's the one you mean. I think some voters will rate a post down if they think it is really stupid, even if it isn't inappropriate (e.g. vulgur or nasty). The ratings are not necessarily all about propriety; the fact that there is a different term to click to report impropriety reflects this.
Watch out royalsnightly, or IraBlum will accuse you of bias against the Rangers, your being a Rangers fan notwithstanding.
Agreed that the analysis of EY Jr is good, but should the Bucs expect to get more for Sanchez? Sanchez himself, it seems to me, often struggles to be a starting MLB 2B. Sure, when he hits .330 he's pretty good, but last year it was .270 without walks, power, or even league-average fielding. With his salary, I'd think a B prospect is all that should come back to Pittsburgh.
Is that a Husker Du reference in the Brandon Wood comment?
Is that 4:30 eastern or pacific? Above, it says eastern, but on the green banner on the front page, it says 4:30 pacific.
Huh? No thumbs up IS a vote off the island.
Isn't equally unfair to give some authors a free pass to the next round because you didn't read them, and reject others who you did read? I think if you vote without having adequately inspected each article, then there is some unfairness. But in the short time frame, that might still be the best option.
Re: Clement, isn't Johjima hurt now, too? Maybe they'll plug Jamie Burke or Glenn Borgmann or someone in there instead.
Agreed, Laurila always does that.
Delmon Young wasn't benched. He's on compassionate leave from the team, as his mother died.
But hadn't Cox already been a division-winning field manager for the Jays?
I'm sorry it is raining Baltimore. I look forward to hearing about the evening, though.
Agree with Sheetz and Wick. IIRC, there was no TA-comment even when the Twins signed Mauer and Morneau to long-term deals. Overall, love CK, TA and BP though.
No, that's not what's being projected, although the way it looks is misleading. In the box for counting stats like HR and RBI, they list the player's total for all positions. A majority of Harris' PT (and some of Buscher's) is not at 3B. Pro-rated, they are expecting about 3 HR each at 3B from Harris and Buscher, and about 15 RBI each, making overall 3B production 17 HR and 80 RBI.
Ball Four was a best seller in the early 1970s and detailed the extensive use in baseball of amphetamines. So who knew? Anyone who cared to.
Jeff Francis is out for the year (Mlb.com reports today)
My new favorite player! I was convinced for a moment that Rany had made up this character -- he seems too clever, well-informed and modest to be real.
I was making a generalization, and not claiming that *every* low rated comment was obnoxious. I\'m sure there are exceptions. I agree that politics is bringing out the worst in people, both from the left and the right. People are pretty responsible about the rating system especially when it\'s about baseball.
These emails aren\'t being suppressed. I, for one, read every email that is designated as below the viewing threshhold -- I pay closer attention to them to see why they were rated lowly. This isn\'t censorship -- this is the way a community has of expressing its displeasure when other members of the community violate a norm of civility.
Nobody is being censored. In fact, I think the BP commenters have been pretty good in that they don\'t give low ratings to comments just because they disagree with them. The people who get low ratings tend to be nasty and obnoxious, or who contribute nothing to a rational debate. You can debate those who are willing to engage in debate, but when people use the comment section to throw eggs at people or just vent their rage, low ratings are a reasonable way to show displeasure with that.
You get negative ratings when you sound like a jerk. What\'s nice about the BP comments is the civil tone, which you frequently violate, Sundance.
Well said, but I have to concede that if Rush Limbaugh were writing the foreward -- hey, he used to work for the Royals! -- I\'d be very depressed.
I love Olbermann, and I\'m glad to see well-connected media people with an interest in BP.
I\'m surprised that John thinks the HOF competition for Blyleven and Dawson might be stiffer next year. This year, there was a sure thing (Rickey) and a likely choice (Rice); next year, I think Alomar is the only likely first year selection, and he\'s not a sure thing. I hope Bert\'s percentage goes up at least a few points next year.
What was the James Joyce joke? I looked back and couldn\'t spot it.
Why don\'t you just skip the comment if it is too long? Should be make a limit of 50 comments per article, if we\'re trying to save reading time? (That would\'ve excluded yours.)
Umm, you mean like the way Ichiro won the MVP in 2001 with 8 HR, or Barry Larkin did in 1995 with 15? Seriously, Pedroia\'s HR count in an MVP season has to be the lamest argument ever for the efficacy of PEDs.
I heard today that Rob Neyer got in to the BBWAA, too, so I guess espn.com is one.
Thanks for a great piece, Joe.
How about GM for a day for the Twins? BPers frequently say that the Twins set their goals too low, being satisfied with 85 wins or so. So what should they do?
Uh, you mean like in 2001 when Ichiro won the MVP with 8 homers, or in 1995, when Barry Larkin won with 15?
Yankees 7/168, 12/15
Here\'s a question about the blown call where Longoria tagged Rollins: is there any chance that Rollins should be safe on that play anyway, based on obstruction? It looked like Longoria blocked Rollins\' path back to third (before he even had the ball), forcing Rollins to take a more circuitous path back to third. To get an obstruction (or is it interference?) call, would Rollins have needed to actually bump into Longoria, instead of going around him?
In case of emergency
I don\'t understand why you supported moving Lester up to G6. Given that they have to win G6 and G7 to advance, what is the value in increasing their chances to win G6, if it comes at the cost of decreasing their chances of winning G7? Is it just the value of extending the series, while admittedly not increasing their chances of victory, that is so important, or am I missing something else?
Well Mauer\'s VORP is (barely) higher than Morneau\'s, and that\'s without crediting him for fielding his postion better than Morneau does. So, no.
This is Aristotelian physics, and has been disproven, centuries ago. Reversal of direction doesn\'t imply that an object was ever still.
Bobo Holloman also pitched a no-hitter in his first start, for the Browns back in the 50s.
I don\'t think Cuddyer is any threat to get much playing time in September. His foot is still healing, so he can\'t play the field or run the bases. He\'s just getting PH chances.
Andy Marte has had a \"street pizza\" season? I haven\'t heard that term before. Is the analogy that Marte\'s season is as flat as a street pizza, or as undesirable as a street pizza?
Couldn\'t the arbitrator rule the deals void, and put the players back in the draft next year? If the after-the-deadline deal was in violation of the CBA, wouldn\'t it be in violation of the CBA to re-open negotiation now? MLB broke the rules, so I think you could justify declaring the players free agents on the same grounds that Travis Lee et al were.
Do you send your 10-year-old to bed at 8:30? Night games have started at the same time for decades, and I watched them to the end when I was a kid. If you start them too early, then working people will miss part of the games. I think they start at the right time.