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Llarry
567 comments | 629 total rating | 1.11 average rating
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Baseball Prospectus http://bbp.cx/i/1146
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Zack, what about the Montgomery Biscuits?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Which tells me that Joe understands not just the value of shifting, but also its limitations. Or at least he thinks he does. Since we are starting to see a bit of backlash, or at least "shift fatigue" lessening the apparent value of extreme shifting, he may be right.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

I would even go so far as to say it is an entertainment business first, and a sport second (or even third). An argument I like to make when folks complain about what athletes are paid but don't think twice about how much actors take in...

May 18, 2017 9:45 AM on The Circus Came To Town
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

I score using a different color pen for each spot in the lineup (plus one for PH). It doesn't come up all the time, but occasionally it helps distinguish during which later at-bat things involving baserunners happened. I've also skipped having a section to track the count, I just code across the bottom so I can see the order in which the pitches happened. C-called; S-swinging; B-ball; F-foul.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

The Blue Jays comment would have been even funnier if I didn't have so many Jays on my fantasy teams...

May 11, 2017 8:41 AM on May 11, 2017
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Back in the day (around 2004), someone here (<a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/jay_jaffe">Jay Jaffe</a>?) did an article analyzing outlier homerun years and found that Bonds' and Anderson's peak years were not out of line compared to outlier years from other players, even those going back many decades. Hopefully someone can dig up that article (I'm somewhere I really can't do the searching...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=51959">Wade LeBlanc</a></span> has "stunning Scandinavian design"? Volvos are *supposed* to be boxy, dammit.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/llarry_a/baseball1s_zpssmtyrtcz.jpg This phase didn't last, however. Of course, I can't get my wife interested in baseball, either...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Thanks for looking at this. I wouldn't have expected it to be nearly so random, but now we know. I'm not as surprised at the results of teams blowing saves, as much as that there's not at least a *little* more in the teams that benefit. As for the reliever stats comparison, I guess what it shows us is that bad bullpens do most of their damage when the team is tied or already losing. It's not so much giving away a game that the offense and starter have set up as winnable, as making it so that no late-inning offensive heroics will be enough heroics.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Cool. It seems to me that maybe there are teams that are better at staging comebacks. Most comeback stats are based off *successful* comebacks, where the trailing team wins, but doing it from Blown Saves will pick up games where the trailing team came back multiple times, and ones where they could tie (or even lead) and eventually lose.

Apr 18, 2017 9:12 AM on Blowin' In the Win
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

And the next question is whether there is any consistency to the teams that multiple blown saves are *against*. I notice that two of the ones so far this year were against Houston. Does that end up meaning anything, or is it just random?

Apr 17, 2017 9:55 AM on Blowin' In the Win
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

There is water at the bottom of the ocean.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I miss Larry Granillo's Tater Trot analysis.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

And it makes at least as much sense as everything else he says, even if you don't read html fluently...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

Crazy idea here. *Contact* <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17762">Carney Lansford</a></span> (the real one). See if he remembers recording this card, and what he thought of the idea at the time, and thinks of his voice being trapped, even now in these cards. He might surprise you. He might not.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I've been enjoying the <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/column/short_relief/">Short Relief</a> series, but these articles today are particularly good.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

No it doesn't. For decades, there were functional differences between the leagues, and that was a *good* thing. In the late '60s, those differences faded, but the DH saved them. In the last 20 years, Czar Bud eliminated the remaining structural differences at the league office level (by eliminating the league offices), but there are those of us who feel that having a distinction between the leagues is important. Otherwise, we might as well just call them conferences and run a completely balanced schedule and be just like all the other sports.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

My parents were determined not to let me be forced to righthandedness (as my Great-Aunt had been) when I showed some signs of Lefty-ness, even though I also developed some righthanded traits as well. As it ended up, I do strength-related tasks (throw, kick, carry heavy things,...) righty, and fine detail work (write, paint, precision measuring,...) lefty. Back in my youth baseball days, I had no throwing arm, but was good with the glove. Hmm. Now, I play bass guitar. I play righthanded, which works out since I believe that my left hand is actually doing the more difficult work. (And it's easier to buy righty instruments...) All in all, I can get behind any study suggesting that handedness is not as simple as portrayed, and that in some cases there may be a benefit to doing something with the unexpected hand.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I think the biggest thing that held <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=46510">Micah Owings</a></span> back was the total lack of imagination in using him at times. I watched <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17900">Kirk Gibson</a></span> burn *two* pinch hitters getting him in, and two innings later, out of a game (and then run low on decent bats in the ninth). Really, Gibby? Couldn't have trusted the boy with a bat at least one of those at-bats? I suppose he could have been resistant to more creative usage, but I don't have any evidence either way on that.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

But we're agreed that Benintendi's hair takes a back seat to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=107168">Dansby Swanson</a></span>, right?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Words cannot describe how awful that would be. The unintended consequences are monstrous. Once a runner has drawn that second throw, if the count reaches 3-0 or 3-1, he can wander halfway to second with relative impunity. If the next pitch is a strike, he's pretty much stolen 2nd without a throw. If it's in play, well, you could see <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Billy+Hamilton">Billy Hamilton</a></span> go 1st to 3rd on an *infield* single (or maybe even a groundout!) and maybe score on anything to the outfield. This wouldn't really affect the first throw any, but the second becomes much more strategic, with considerations of who the batter is, and can we risk giving him an extra ball (because once we use the second throw, we might be forced by the runner to make a third), and what's the rest of the game situation (inning/score). We'd probably see a lot more stepping off the rubber, and pausing and staring at the runner, etc., none of which truly helps the situation. I know repeated pickoffs seem like such a drag, but how often do they really happen? Is this a pound of prevention for an ounce of cure?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

I don't think Russell claimed that this was some amazing totally new thing. He did put some harder numbers to it, and I think his point is that in chasing those potential HoFers, teams are throwing away "players" and even usable part timers over a few measly bucks. His intro portion distinguishing average from range highlights that James' breakdown is a useful guideline, but hardly cast in stone.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I've seen that as well. IIRC, East Coast teams going west don't have nearly the drop off, which makes some sense if the issue is more a matter of routine than just sleep. NFL teams have been trying a couple of other things to try and adjust for this. One is going east a day earlier, another is if they have two east coast games in a row, they just stay east for the week. Both of those would help the players (and coaches, for that matter) restore their usual gameday routine and take the actual time spent traveling out of the schedule. As more teams start doing these things, we may get some data on how effective it is.

Feb 01, 2017 10:35 AM on Blame it on the Plane
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Interesting developments here, showing there's more than one way to skin a tunnel. Might be that certain analyses going forward might want to take tunnel range into account, that is, needing to separate data by small and large tunnel approaches. I'm sure we'll learn more going forward, but my initial thoughts: -- Small tunnel will almost always be successful as long as 1) Can consistently maintain it 2) Don't do so by selling out the movement, resulting in a lot of flat, straight souvenirs. -- Big tunnel will work best with great Stuff -- enough speed/movement where it just doesn't matter if the batter can identify it.

Jan 25, 2017 9:00 AM on Two Ways to Tunnel
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Maybe, maybe not. Certainly, being able to see a Ball near the strike zone for what it is, and letting it go without a swing is a fine thing, but sometimes, discipline means taking that borderline strike rather than getting a weak swing on it.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

Has anyone gotten the parrot's take on moving from the shore of Lake Ontario to Lake Erie?

Dec 23, 2016 8:14 AM on Party at Encarnacion's
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I don't know if we'd see a situational catcher like that, but I definitely think the "team dad"/3rd catcher combination (like a <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=David+Ross">David Ross</a></span> type) would turn up fairly frequently.

Dec 02, 2016 7:49 AM on The 26th Man
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

People say that nicknames are dead, but the last names to pair with them have lost something along the way as well.

Nov 22, 2016 9:04 AM on We Are Tuffy Gosewisch
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I want to thank you folks for these reviews. For schedule reasons, I've only gotten to see something like the last 3/4 of the first episode, so it's nice to have any idea of what's going on and where the show does and doesn't succeed in portraying the game. Hopefully it will last long enough to where I can actually watch it (including some reruns of the episodes thus far...).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Any chance that Villar could be the latest Uggla-esque hitter who does better against advanced pitching because the hurlers are missing their targets by less?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

The British cycling team you mention has got to by Team Sky, and I can really see them doing that. Now, it's a lot easier lugging 9 mattresses (fewer for some events) around than 25, but 25-50 pillows might be feasible. When I'm traveling, the pillows can be as much an effect as the mattress on getting comfortable (and could help someone who hasn't yet realized he marginally allergic to feather pillows...). Russell, I gotta say I love the way you look at these seemingly irrelevant conditions to see if they might be a way for a team to squeeze out that extra win or two.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

One of the best 'wrong' fun facts ever was in the mid-'70s, (73 or 74 I think) Topps told us that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=25268">Sparky Lyle</a></span> liked "to eat birthday cake". What Sparky really liked was to drop his pants and *sit* on other players' cakes...

Nov 08, 2016 8:37 AM on The Fun Facts of 1984
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Well, I already miss Sam, but it's good to see that the Observer-of-the-Human-Condition beat is in good hands.

Oct 27, 2016 9:21 AM on Watching Andrew Miller
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Because what baseball really needs is hot reads on pitches... "so this signal means I'm calling the breaking ball, and if he stays standing straight, you throw it, but if he bends down a bit, switch to the fastball up and in..."

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Gonzo is "Senior Advisor to the President and CEO" and Gracie is the Assistant Hitting Coach.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

You can't go home again. But you can get pizza. A few years ago, my wife and I visited my Dad's hometown to visit the relatives, a place I had spent a fair amount of time, but not really grown up in myself. On the way from the airport, realized we needed lunch and that we would be passing through the town we used to drive ~30 minutes to for pizza back in the day. Figured I could find the place, did, and it actually was as good as remembered.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 6

"He had seen hardship and horror, and knew it just fine, and decided to like things anyway." Great description of an even greater attitude.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Remember also, Wathan was no slouch on the basepaths himself. He stole 36 in '82.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Yeah, I just don't see it. The people who are going to watch in the Olympics are mainly going to be a) Baseball junkies, who you already have, and b) Olympics junkies, who watch *everything*, and won't necessarily follow any given sport afterwards. In terms of international exposure, the WBC is already doing the job. That said, MLB should be sure not to interfere with any team that does want to send anyone (and maybe between now and then, a couple of players sign contracts allowing them to go play). Create roster exemptions so a team can send a prospect that they want to get some different experience for. Maybe ship off that Rule-5 guy that's sitting on the bench between DL stints for chronic hangnails. As you mentioned, basketball works because the Olympics are in the off-season (for the NBA, though not the WNBA). Hockey should consider moving to the summer. As an indoor sport, facilities wouldn't be that hard to arrange in most places. As a mostly outdoor game, baseball can't really become a Winter game.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

I had an entire semester of Bertholt Brecht in college. In German. The most profound thing I learned was this: I hate Bertholt Brecht. Thanks for the reference. (No really, I do enjoy somewhat disparaging Brecht mentions)

Sep 09, 2016 6:05 PM on The Next _____
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

In the first four innings of last nights D'Backs-Braves tilt, the Snakes had 4 sure hits taken away by great fielding plays. 3 by <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=107168">Dansby Swanson</a></span>, the fourth by <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59112">Ender Inciarte</a></span>. But at least we have <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60626">Shelby Miller</a></span>...

Aug 26, 2016 9:39 AM on Nope, Hit
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Hmmph. In *my* day, we used to have Novellas. And 3-inning closers ("firemen"). And you call this progress... Hey kids! Get off my lawn!

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

In the first four innings of last nights D'Backs-Braves tilt, the Snakes had 4 sure hits taken away by great fielding plays. 3 by Dansby Swanson, the fourth by Ender Inciarte. But at least we have Shelby Miller...

Aug 26, 2016 9:26 AM on Friday, August 26
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60219">Brian Dozier</a></span> is actually two people, one in this universe, one in a loosely-connected parallel universe. One can hit, the other can't. From time to time, they trade places. In a more reality-based vein, I have a theory about hitters like Uggla (and now, apparently, Dozier), that there are guys whose skills match up better with higher-level pitching, where the ball is more likely to be closer to its target, than with lower-level, low command pitching. Question is, does this player truly exist, and is there some way to spot him in the minors? Could it be as simple as looking for the guy who gets the only hits when the opponents are pitching well, and goes 0-for when the rest of his teammates are piling it on?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Great, now I need to go home and look at the shelves and find our copy of Traders of Genoa...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

I don't think there's any way to look at these results and not understand that these days, defenses are *much* better at turning groundballs into outs than they were in 1955 (and presumably all the years before that). I also notice that in all the post-1955 years, there's a local minimum in <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> that slides between the 4th and 7th decile, and corresponds with a dip in walk rate and a peak in K rate, while leaving <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> rate unaffected. Looks like a potential sweet spot where enough of the missing groundballs are being turned into outs (or at least not into baserunners) to keep the runs down. Might be interesting to double-check OBA-against to make sure it follows there.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I don't really have a problem with them not going all-in on pitching. Playoff series can often come down to either the hitters fall apart, or go on a huge tear. If the Marlins' hitters tank, no amount of pitching they could have gotten would help, so they might as well hope for the offensive explosion. If they get that, then all they really need is bare competence on the mound. Not sure they even reached that, but they bought their lottery ticket, which is closer than a bunch of other teams have gotten.

Aug 10, 2016 9:11 AM on Cold Water
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Is there something wrong with the last chart? I'm not seeing a big drop off in starters' performance. In Innings, yes, but the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=TAv" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('TAv'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">TAv</span></a> numbers look very much like the relievers'.

Aug 09, 2016 9:40 AM on Is There A Trade Tax?
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Yinz (Yinsz?) like Hinsz?

Aug 09, 2016 9:22 AM on August 9, 2016
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Movie Pitch: "Weekend at A-Rod's". The Yankees finally cut A-Rod loose, but he just can't quit the game, so he signs on with a minor-league team (or Japan/Korea) which is in danger of folding or moving (a la Major League or SlapShot). He tries to teach (insert Suspension Of Disbelief here) the youngsters how to win despite his on-field failures. With lots of team-morale building parties in his mansion, the team comes together and he gets a key hit to win the championship and save the franchise. No?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=50297">Jarrod Dyson</a></span>. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=68372">Sam Dyson</a></span> is a pitcher, and doesn't look like a particularly fast one at that.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

#5: Went to a D'Backs day game a couple of weeks ago. There were a number of kids' groups at the games, and they were all in the left field bleachers. Much better for them than nosebleeds would have been. I think a home run and a few end-of-inning balls even went their way. Sure the Snakes aren't the hottest draw these days, but no good reason other teams couldn't do the same. That's tomorrow's paying fans (and the eventual parents of the fans of the day after that) out there.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Player A is absolutely valuable to his employers. 20 years where he shows up every day. No big injury (or performance) gaps with replacement or sub-replacement level backups. No controversies where the fanbase disregards last year's stellar season and wants to ride the player (and the GM) out of town on a rail due to this year's Yawning Vortex of Suck. 20 years of having one less roster spot to worry about. Totally valuable. Totally *not* a HOF-type value. In fact, I see the point of the whole article being that Kinsler has been valuable by not being exceptional. His consistency is his greatest asset, just not in a HOF way.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Amen. I also think travel arrangements are less of an issue in the days of modern charter planes compared to earlier flight arrangements and even trains/buses.

Jul 01, 2016 8:41 AM on Baseball Brexit
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

If I were to think about it, I'd probably decide that the subjunctive was the part of English grammar that I best came to understand through studying it in German.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

I don't think 1975 is that hard to understand. Defense, particularly <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=GB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('GB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">GB</span></a> defense is better now than ever before (plus shifts). 1975 was in the peak of the cookie-cutter multi-purpose monstrosities which tended to suppress HRs a bit (helping FB pitchers) *and* had artificial turf, which turned a lot of GB into hits. Sure, by 1985, the parks hadn't changed much, but there had been another 10 years (and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=18261">Ozzie Smith</a></span>!) of learning how to play defense on turf.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Anybody ever split out Rockies' players' road performance in Arizona, which is the closest to the Coors experience? Might be interesting to see a split of Coors/Arizona/Everywhere else.

Jun 20, 2016 9:11 AM on DJ LeMahieu
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Two Words (tm): Ouch. (For everyone else)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?

Jun 17, 2016 8:54 AM on Who is Sylvia?
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Oh well.

Jun 15, 2016 9:59 AM on Would This Work?
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I think Matt's idea is that by starting the lesser lights, maybe they get put in a situation where they won't be as bad as expected. Will it work? I dunno, but it's worth asking the question. Of course, any nonstandard pitcher usage has to pretty much show instant success or the press/fan/player pressure will kill it before any refinement can take place. Give somebody like Ben and Sam one year to gain the trust of their players and then *maybe* they could give something like this a fair shake in the second year...

Jun 15, 2016 9:58 AM on Would This Work?
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Brigham Hill wasn't ranked high enough to appear in Ben and Craig's Mock Draft. A real shame, that. Easy 70 grade name.

Jun 13, 2016 10:23 AM on Day Three Standouts
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

So great pitchers tend towards being flyball pitchers. Find me a team with all great pitchers. You're going to need to fill out the rest of the rotation, and groundballers are more likely to succeed there. I think the real takeaway is that GB/FB may be a way to explain pitchers' results, but trying to use it as a filter to find the pitchers you want is a bad idea. Commit to only flyballers, and the back-end of the rotation is a disaster. Commit to only groundballers, and you miss out on the greats.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Ouch. But, yes, recent history does suggest that...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

But are we sure he's not just a poor man's <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31464">Boof Bonser</a></span>?

Jun 07, 2016 8:41 AM on Week 10
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Ok, I'll get things started: HOW could you possibly rank (guy) ahead of (other guy)! Don't you know anything? (Guy) can't (thing), especially against (handedness)! And what about (third guy)? Why is he so high? He can't (blank) his way out of a paper bag! (Actually, if he's "blank"-ing in a paper bag, I don't want to hear about it...) Then you've totally missed on (4th guy) and (5th guy). They didn't even make your (insulting adjective) list, and, don'cha know, they're cornerstones of my fantasy team, even though I'm currently in (large number)-th... This is fun. Kind of like a demented baseball-and-internet-anger-oriented MadLibs. (Sam! Write this book and get it published!)

May 27, 2016 10:30 AM on The Updated Top 300
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I might try to pick him up in my next hockey draft...

May 24, 2016 9:33 AM on Shortstops
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

If <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=28669">Ray Searage</a></span> could turn me into a mid-rotation starter, I'd take that. Of course, I'm over 50 and with a bum shoulder, so he's got his work cut out for him. The screwball and the optional submarine delivery might help...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

There would likely be greater benefit (time of game) from just eliminating the need to actually throw the four pitches. The rate of wild pitches on IBBs is vanishingly low, so why bother with the actual throwing part. On the flip side, if you eliminate the catcher-sticks-his-arm-out <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IBB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IBB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IBB</span></a>, and the teams have to resort to the unintentional-intentional walk, does that *raise* the likelihood of WP/PB?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

D'Backs: Yeah. If they cut out about half the new unis and lightened the grey, they might be okay. Yankees: I'm not a fan of messing with the uniforms for every special day that comes along, but that would be cool. "Costanza! Get on that!"

May 09, 2016 9:25 AM on Monday, May 9
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I always liked the real ballplayers playing out of position, like Yeager and Vuckovich in Major League. Also, check out <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Juan+Nieves">Juan Nieves</a></span>' IMDB entry. He had a part in "For Love of the Game", but is also credited with playing himself (as <span class="teamdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/team_audit.php?team=CHA" target="blank">Chicago White Sox</a></span> Bullpen Coach) on Sunday Night Baseball in 2010.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

I can't wait until <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104784">Joe Gatto</a></span> faces <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70613">Joey Gallo</a></span>.

May 02, 2016 9:02 AM on Games of April 29-May 1
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Good point, thanks. I see no point in getting nasty over minor glitches. I'm very meticulous in my own writing, and every now and again, I look back at something and wonder how I missed *that*... It happens...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

The game is Too Damn Easy for <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70406">Trevor Story</a></span> right now. The first week, it was home runs. This week it's triples. Next week he's going to hit every ball off the left-field foul pole. Maybe the week after that it will be bunt singles that roll to a stop on the 85th blade of grass along down the line...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Good article, but while I hate being That Guy, it could use a visit from the Proofreading Fairy. In the first paragraph of trade A, it got jumbled as to Story taking over from Reyes, who was the one placed on leave due to a domestic violence incident. In trade three, Correa is not the Astros' *catcher* (if he is, I really want that positional eligibility!)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

"power" is often translated into German as "Kraft". As a noun, that's with a capital K. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70613">Joey Gallo</a></span>. Just sayin'.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Good column. I am of the opinion that the sports drug policies could use a good case of burning-down and starting over. As you point out here, there are drugs where TUEs are available, and abuseable. There are also plenty of substances which are banned "just because" without real consideration of whether they are truly "performance enhancing" in the given sport. Finally, there are plenty which have little or no option of a TUE, where, properly supervised, they would not be *performance* enhancing, but rather health- and recovery-enhancing. The worst example of the last was a few years ago in the Tour de France (yeah, yeah, keep your jokes to yourselves). A rider was stung by a bee on one of the early stages, and is allergic to bee stings, but could not be treated without dropping out of the race. Really? One dose to keep him alive, administered by the race doctor out on the course, would have a noticeable effect on his performance in a THREE WEEK LONG race?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I don't think it's an oxymoron, but rather a tautology. And a bit of an understatement.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Ah! Hit List! I've missed you so. Thanks, Matt!

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

[insert snarky retort here]

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Back in the '70s, on some variety show I can't recall, Charles Nelson Reilly came on with a group of ordinary folks he'd recruited by way of the phone book (remember those?). He lined them up and had them say their last names in the right order, and performed "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (or, Yanqui Tootle Dundee). This just may be cooler than that. (Betcha never thought you'd be compared to Charles Nelson Reilly...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 9

Amaro: "Analytics!" Inigo: "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Interesting study and lack of result. *Had* you found a noticeable effect, it might have been interesting to control for the disproportionate number of ex-catchers as managers. As far as the slight "anti-grind" effect, maybe it's the extra rest, and maybe it's that the catcher is a little more engaged, and in a different way, each day with the game situation than the other positions. Less of a SSDD situation, and more of a new puzzle each day.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Nicely done. Have you been taking lessons from Sam? You missed one of the best bits in the Gosselin account. Steve Berthiaume at one point repeats that it's a home run, "and we've got Tacos!". The D'Backs have a promotion with Taco Bell that means free tacos the next day if a certain number of runs (has varied over the years) are scored.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

I'm coming around to the idea that while we have math (#Gory and otherwise) showing that patience is generally a good thing, that there is a point at which Extreme Contact (tm) becomes a good thing. The Royals seem to have found that line and boldly stepped across it, but until you reach the line, the results get worse and worse first. To paraphrase Mr. Miyagi: "You Patience do, okay; you Patience not do, okay; You Patience "guess so", squish, just like grape."

Mar 04, 2016 8:41 AM on Kansas City Royals
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 7

I hope you didn't mean to sound like Manfred should have let this one pass while waiting for a better, more clear-cut precedent (Reyes?). Sure this case has it's messy complexity, but most will, even after our neat and tidy model case appears. The main takeaway is that even if the result might not be perfect (but what if it is?), it's SOMETHING. Sure Chapman's lack of appeal probably contains a degree of relief that it wasn't more strict, but we can at least hope that there's some acceptance that he did something wrong. Not sure what more we can ask for. Unless you have some idea to break apart the case and address the various questions raised individually, I don't see any other way to have dealt with this.

Mar 02, 2016 10:07 AM on The Chapman Precedent
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Fun way of looking at the team. I'm gonna say that #16 might actually have a bit of predictive value. It says that Lindor doesn't get crazy aggressive with the bases loaded. Some guys try to hit that 5-run homer, but he seems to be staying more inside himself and looking for what the pitcher does or does not give him. "I don't always walk, but when I do, it's with the bases full."

Mar 02, 2016 9:38 AM on Cleveland Indians
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

The idea of a Third-Time *Bonus* going up against number-of-pitches fatigue is important, and highlights that while the hitter maybe learning some things about the pitcher, the pitcher and catcher may be learning about the hitter as well. I've always hated the absolutism of the Church of TTOP, that a reliever is *always* better than the starter after a certain given point. The math that's been done is great in showing aggregate trends that need to be considered, but they don't necessarily hold up in every game. Sometimes the starter really is that good (think no-hitters and close calls). Sometimes the bullpen really is that bad. Sometimes the bullpen has lately been ridden hard and put away wet, and the best reliever available is, himself, at reduced capacity. Or is a poor match for the opponent. (I've seen starters get knocked around, and replaced by a reliever of a very similar style. It doesn't end well.) One of the things managers get paid for is hopefully to be able to tell the difference between the aggregate numbers and individual performances, if not on a regular basis, at least in key spots. Otherwise, we might as well just install a Computer-Aided-Skipper-EfficiencY unit in every dugout.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 7

I would think that if <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> *did* do surname comps, one of Rzepczynski's would be <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=355">Mark Grudzielanek</a></span>...

Feb 17, 2016 8:14 AM on The PECOTA Comp Romp
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Why are we using 1992 stats, which didn't exist at the time the episode appeared? If we're looking at the writers' performance (using Waylon Smithers as a stand-in), and disregarding any sort of marketing by MLB or agents, the best numbers they would have had would have been the *1991* numbers and possibly some sort of projection for 1992 (whatever may have existed at the time -- was <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17770">Bill Pecota</a></span> still playing then?). Seems a little harsh to grade based on predicting drop-offs (Scioscia, Boggs) and unexpected breakouts/career years (Van Slyke, Daulton, Sheffield) like that.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

So the question becomes, are we simply substituting one sort of weak contact (can-o-corn fly balls) for another (<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=GB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('GB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">GB</span></a>), leaving the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> behind, or are we turning a proper random selection of fly balls (including HR) into grounders, and then engaging in an altered behavior that ends up putting the homers back in?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 6

...so I clearly cannot take the settlement in front of *you*...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

In 21-30, you say "Susac or Murphy..." Umm...*which* Murphy? Tom (#28) or John Ryan (#29)? Or is it either, since Tom is in Coors but John Ryan has a decent shot at a steady job with the Twins?

Jan 14, 2016 8:16 AM on The Top 50 Catchers
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

You tell her: "This is a man who did a bad thing, and the world is watching to see if he has learned his lesson and will not do it again. And hopefully, the attention (if no actual discipline ever results) will convince others not to do such a thing, either."

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Maybe, but I see it as the team trading them based on the on-field value and totally disregarding the idea that they might provide additional off-field value.

Dec 11, 2015 7:35 AM on The Shelby Shocker
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Exactly. And the D'Backs front office seems a little tone-deaf in that regard. They do quite a bit of marketing to the local latino population, and then turn around and trade off guys that are most popular across all the demographics. I don't expect the operations staff to take orders from the marketing department, but it would nice if they'd at least notice they existed. They trade guys without noticing the off-field value they're giving up, and then don't bring back enough in return.

Dec 10, 2015 7:50 AM on The Shelby Shocker
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

The AZ brass seem to understand that their fan appeal is largely built around Goldy, and now AJ. Maybe Greinke will do well with the fans, we'll see. They don't seem to understand how to appeal to the Hispanic community here, though. In first, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49890">Gerardo Parra</a></span>, and now Inciarte, they've sent away guys who appealed to the Hispanic market, but *also* to the Anglos. If the returns were adequate, it would be different, but this doesn't cut it. Inciarte had some extra perceived value, and Stewart/LaRussa were probably trying to leverage that, but they seem to have missed.

Dec 09, 2015 8:39 AM on The Shelby Shocker
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I don't have a problem with #1. Prado, Delgado and Ahmed contributed, and the other two still may. #2 was weird, yet the financial lens that *almost* made sense went out the window with the Greinke signing (which I do think is reasonably good.) Miller for Inciarte *or* Swanson, okay, but *both*? Ugh.

Dec 09, 2015 8:30 AM on The Shelby Shocker
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Oops, sorry, conflated <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=50297">Jarrod Dyson</a></span> and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69538">Terrance Gore</a></span>...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

There are pitches that *could* be a WP/PB, but aren't, due to other circumstances -- should we care? With no runners on (and not a dropped third strike), a pitch will never be called WP/PB. Many/most will be the result of the pitcher having really no reason to worry and therefore being willing to bury it in the dirt, and/or the catcher not caring whether he stops it. *Some* will be the result of a breakdown in control which could reinforce the observation of the particular pitcher's predilection for throwing the ball away. The actual runners involved also affect the issue. There are events that will advance Terrence Dyson that will not budge <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45396">Billy Butler</a></span>. The former get called, the latter do not. So do either of these matter, or are the effect too small? In the former (no runners), the indifference of both the pitcher and catcher probably mask any possible useful observation. In the latter, the battery is on its "best behavior", but the identity of the (lead) runner changes the margin for error they may have.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Randy has an interesting sense of humor. Or whatever it is that random number generators have...

Nov 06, 2015 8:19 AM on The 2016 Free Agent 50
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Clearly you tipped a few too many back rather than reading the introduction. "Randy" is a random number generator which knows nothing and guesses (though occasionally, spookily correctly). The real prediction is in the line above Randy's, which you clearly didn't see, either.

Nov 06, 2015 8:18 AM on The 2016 Free Agent 50
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

No no no. Listening to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=18203">Harold Reynolds</a></span> tells you that everyone hates *him*, but tells you nothing about whom he might hate in any particular matchup...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

On the other hand, it's extremely exciting when a pitcher can contribute signifcantly on offense. Isn't it great when a guy can throw 7 shutout innings and then drive in his team's only two runs to cement his victory? As for other sports having players do things outside of their specialties, how about football? D-linemen dropping into coverage; linemen reporting eligible on offense to catch passes; RB/WR throwing passes. Happens fairly often.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

No adult beverages were harmed in the creation of this piece, obviously...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

I don't have a problem with using the current divisional structure to determine who gets in, but what effect would then immediately seeding have? This year, the Bucs and Cubs would have gone straight to the DS, while the Mets and Bums play-in. While certainly that would have been a better result for Pittsburgh and Chicago, I'm not sure whether that is or isn't an improvement. They are, almost any way you slice it, the better teams... People love to cry about "make winning the division mean something", but think about it, that really only matters in a division that a wildcard team is also coming from. The Mets' and Dodgers' rewards for winning the division was getting into the playoffs at all. Likewise the Royals, though they won enough games to get additional benefits. Another thought, one that might go the other way, that can get overlooked, is what a poor record on a division winner really means. Sometimes, yes, the division is weak and they get beat up on by everybody else. Sometimes, though,the teams hold their own in inter-division/league games, but they're so evenly matched that the records are fairly level against each other. That, I guess argues more for the current system of rewarding the divisional winner regardless of their record. One other thought, just to cram more into this comment: In the CFL, if the 4th place team in one conference has a better record than 3rd place in the other, it crosses over to make the playoffs (only 6 teams go) in the other conference. Just imagine if the Giants had won 3 more games and had crossed over to the AL to take the Astros' place?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Toronto just puts the "North" in North America...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Good column, Russell. It's interesting to see the reasonings, particularly the too early/late thoughts on the Wild Cards. Of course, the real reason for prediction columns is to stimulate debate, though too much might happen at the beginning and not enough at the end (see also: Mock Drafts). If you really want to get hung up on right or wrong (with consequences), go to Vega$ and put down some money. I took the over on KC's win total, and the next time I go, they owe me a cool $9! (Fine. I only place $5 bets, so sue me...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

MOY is clearly the award most driven by narrative, and reasonably so, given the lack of hard numbers. It's generally clearly recognized that a dominant collection of players, with even competent managing, should perform well. This is a decent way of looking at things, showing that the voters really do look for managers that appear to be having an effect. I'm not quite as sold on the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> projection comparison; I think the third-order wins is more telling. Still, it would be nice to see this expanded a bit, to see if in any years there were managers who performed even better by one or both measures. In other words, while the voters have been able to spot a good story, did they spot the "best" one?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Russell, how did your model handle the distribution of the pitch count over the innings? What I mean is that there seems to be some evidence that a pitcher who throws three 10-pitch innings and a 30-pitch inning is worse off than the one who throws 15 in each of the four innings of work. Same total pitch count, but they got there differently. The 30-pitch inning probably had higher leverage, but it doesn't sound like that showed up so much in your model.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Two things I can think of which might come into play, but might be too complicated to work into the model relative to their value: Roster days. If a veteran is on the roster a long time, but doesn't get enough at-bats for your cut-off, that's the (Giambi-esque) guy you're looking for, but I don't know how many of them really are out there. Injuries. Players with minor injuries can often stay around the team, and still have an effect in the dugout and clubhouse. Keeps the at-bats down below cut-offs, but still has sufficient contact time with the kids.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

#Believeinthetools Hashtag gold, ahead of its time.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Take a look at the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-order wins columns, which are based strictly on the Pythagorean numbers, and which are inputs to the AHLF, and you'll see a lot of the difference right there. Seems like the Pirates have gotten an extra win or two out of their run differentials, and the Astros haven't, which says the Astros might just be that much stronger than the Bucs.

Aug 14, 2015 5:23 PM on August 14, 2015
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

You're right to mention stamina, because that's such an attractive trap. It easy to think we "know" about stamina, since we see pitchers stretched out at various times: late in the spring; while returning from injury; or even those prospective starters who get their first taste of the majors in the bullpen. But those are specific and different circumstances, so we need to watch what conclusions we try to draw from that. To me the bigger and more intriguing unknown that Russell mentions is the effect upon command and control. If the super closer (Chapman) slows down in order to pace himself, does he make sufficient gains in control (and is there a learning curve for him there)? We have some data going the other way: do starters get wilder (and how much) when they air it out for 1 inning? But how much of a sample base do wee have for that, and how applicable is it really?

Aug 04, 2015 10:14 AM on No Relief For Starters
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1332">Derek Lowe</a></span> was the first R->S conversion guy I thought of, but there'll never be enough of that kind of guy to be more than anecdotal.

Aug 04, 2015 10:03 AM on No Relief For Starters
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Moose bites can be painful.

Jul 29, 2015 6:01 PM on July 29, 2015
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

When speaking of Reyes, don't say "hamstrung"... I think perhaps some PitchFX analysis is due. In Coors, he'll see curveballs that don't curve and sliders that don't slide, and therefore probably more fastballs. Question becomes, what can he do with them? I expect his contact rate on off-speed pitches goes up, though whether that results in solid or weak contact remains to be seen. If fastballs blow by him, he's in trouble, but if he can still catch up to most of them, he ought to be fine.

Jul 29, 2015 9:24 AM on Jose Reyes
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

The varying "correlation" between the exit velocity and <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a> with the categories of contact makes me think that the height of the contact (GB/LD/FB) matters as much or more than the solidity of the contact. Might want to try and break it down with both together to see if there's a more consistent pattern of results. As to Tex's <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ISO" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ISO'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ISO</span></a>, I think you also have to consider there may be a ceiling he's running into (a couple of the other guys might have lower personal ceilings and be running into them). A .247 ISO is pretty impressive already, and no matter how much harder he hits the ball, it's just not going to go much higher. If *every* ball could be a Hard hit FB or LD, maybe...

Jul 15, 2015 9:46 AM on Gainers and Losers
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: -1

Over 15 cents. (one day's cost of BP) Oy.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: -1

A day's worth of articles costs you about 15 cents. The amusement factor alone was worth that, and more. BP is largely about projection of prospects, the rate of decline of veterans, and the evolution of strategies, on and off the field. The authors put that together to try and give us a view a little further out than usual. Be very interesting to come back in two years and see how it all panned out. (Note to editors, I'll volunteer to compile that if you need someone for it)

Jul 09, 2015 9:41 AM on In Joc We Trust
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Remember kids, 1 <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58450">Jordy Mercer</a></span> = 1.14 Altuves (or 1.12 Smoots)

Jul 09, 2015 9:27 AM on Under My Urshela
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Today cost you about 15 cents.

Jul 08, 2015 4:40 PM on July 8, 2017
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks, Russell. I do think it's important, though, that we don't lose sight of one thing you mentioned in passing: "It's not that the Rays would (or should) turn away a pitcher who can go seven innings and pitch better than average."

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

This whole process has been fun, but this (the last one I get to...) is truly, real-world interesting. The article claims use of 2016 data, but with actual, extant data, do these pitchers truly exist? Is the conclusion of an opportunity to gain an advantage by going off like this really data supported? There's been a lot of talk about restructuring pitching this way, but I hadn't seen anyone really break down the pitch-count progression quite in this way (and seeming to separate it from times-through-the-order). Please, sir, can I have some more?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

Lighten up, guys, it's ONE day. If you want, I'll send you the fifteen cents.

Jul 08, 2015 10:21 AM on July 8, 2017
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Yeah, Futures Game day might have been a better choice.

Jul 08, 2015 10:14 AM on July 8, 2017
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I don't know what they're going to do, but the point about the effect of this on the search for the new GM is valid. They're going to end up, not with the GM they need, but the GM they *deserve*. The best way to get around (or fulfill) that may be to have Scioscia move up to GM and get a new manager instead. (Then we get to find out how much Mike will meddle in that direction...) Having him try to do both jobs simultaneously is, or should be, a non-starter.

Jul 02, 2015 10:27 AM on They're No Angels
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Even newer news on Corbin -- Hale is toying with the idea of giving him the Saturday start instead.

Jul 02, 2015 9:29 AM on 12th Edition, 2015
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Another thought on why attempts go up after throws: With no throw, runner is thinking that any motion might be that nasty ultra move that gets him picked off. Once he's seen a throw, he feels he can better judge his danger, and may even think he's picked up on some "tell" from the pitcher (Many years ago, was at a game <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1588">Sterling Hitchcock</a></span> was pitching. He had a blatant tell which apparently the D-Backs didn't notice or they should have robbed him blind...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

The bottom line is always going to come down to the Bottom Line. What happens to the fans at the game? If their ticket is refunded, that comes out of ownership's pockets. If not, they're going to feel cheated out of the game they paid to see. There's probably a middle ground where both sides will put up with it at a limited rate (especially if the fans can be moved into otherwise unsold tickets in later games).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry's named Mike...

Jun 23, 2015 9:17 AM on June 23, 2015
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Besides, we all know (thanks, Crash) that groundballs are more democratic and strikeouts are fascist...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Closest I've ever come to a foul ball was the day <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45945">Ian Desmond</a></span> tried to kill me. A few years ago, I was at a D'Backs game hosting the Nats. I'm sitting down the third base line in a half-filled section (in a half-filled stadium, watching a half-competent team...). Desmond hits a screamer that ended up hitting the back of the (fortunately unoccupied) seat directly in front of me. It ripped the little seat number medallion out of the seat! I wanted the medallion, but it went to the girl in the row ahead of the seat, when the medallion bounced off the back of her neck (no injury), which seems fair. The ball ricocheted another two sections down the line before being grabbed (after a tussle between two grown men).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Possible, but I would think it would show up in greater changes to PA/IP and P/PA, especially as the hitters react. If they feel the need to swing more and earlier, P/PA should drop noticeably. If it leads to more strikeouts, PA/IP goes down, and if more balls are put in play, it may go up. (I suppose those two effects could cancel, but P/PA would still likely change)

Jun 04, 2015 10:17 AM on Picking Up the Pace
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Is it still true that Harper hasn't yet faced a pitcher younger than him as a pro? If so, maybe we need some sort of contest to predict who it will be.

May 27, 2015 9:11 AM on Bryant vs. Harper
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

He's been mentioned periodically in prospect articles, but the problem is that the D-Backs have a stupid number of OFs (especially since Tomas apparently can't handle 3B), and O'Brien's fielding at either position is really *that* bad.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Another article showing a player (previously Moustakas) with both a marked increase in going to the opposite field and a much higher line drive rate. One of our local hitting mechanics writers want to chime in on whether the two are really linked?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Reasonable thought. A lot of teams go with a WR, probably because, well, that's what you do... Might be they figure the fastest WR might be able to get to the ball first, or else can run the other guy down, and, even if he can't make the tackle, could force him out of bounds, which is just as good...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's explicitly illegal as well. Probably the kind of thing the 1890's Orioles (McGraw, et al.) would have tried at least once...

 
Llarry
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Joe Posnanski did a not completely scientific survey that showed that self-identified NL fans want the pitchers to hit (by a lot), and AL fans like the DH (by a slightly lesser margin). Please don't insist on inflicting your view on my baseball, and I won't ask for the DH to be eliminated. (I actually really like the existence of a difference between the leagues.)

 
Llarry
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But the question becomes, would there be a benefit to trying to be at least a bit more aggressive earlier? Hitters might get fooled more, but would the aggressiveness pay off enough to offset it? The first step was confirming that the change in behavior was real. The next step will be figuring out if it can be better optimized.

May 13, 2015 3:24 PM on Are You Over 18?
 
Llarry
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Probably because at this point of the season, there's still a substantial amount of the preseason projections still included. As I recall, the last of that disappears around the All-Star game, so we'll see if there's some movement in the numbers then.

May 13, 2015 3:19 PM on Wednesday, May 13
 
Llarry
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Good analysis, but I think we need to look at that LineDrive%, and compare it to other hitters known for aggressively trying to go the opposite way. I think the act of deliberately trying to push the ball that way is leading to a change in his swing that's generating the extra LDs at the expense of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=GB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('GB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">GB</span></a>. If the defenses stop shifting him, does he go back to his old swing? Do they keep shifting him because of the low <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=GB%25" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('GB%'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">GB%</span></a> and he keeps up those liners? Some very interesting moving parts in this situation...

 
Llarry
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I thought Tigers' relief appearances represented Man's inhumanity to Man. Then again, doesn't *everything* represent that?

Apr 29, 2015 9:26 AM on Wednesday, April 29
 
Llarry
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In the top grey bar, the second item s "Local", that will link you to the team-specific pages. Took me a while to notice it, but it's pretty darn convenient that way.

 
Llarry
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One of the usual arguments against pitchers hitting, especially in the minors, is the chance of injury. But has anyone really looked at the rate of pitcher injury while batting? And just to make it even more complicated, what if having a pitcher miss a couple of starts during a x-year period reduced the chance of arm injury?

Apr 14, 2015 4:16 PM on Hit the Pitcher Eighth?
 
Llarry
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Thanks, I'll take a look at that. But it's not that I don't understand the levels, I just don't know/remember which leagues and teams are at each level.

Mar 27, 2015 5:50 PM on Florida State League
 
Llarry
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Hey guys, might be a little late this year as you're working you're way up, but could I ask for a little more explicit labeling of the level these leagues are at? By the third or fourth team write-up I was able to infer what level this league is at, but not all of us have the whole minor league structure memorized. It's not just this series, but fairly commonly references to teams/leagues get casually tossed off without actually stating what level they're at.

Mar 27, 2015 9:18 AM on Florida State League
 
Llarry
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And some of us believe that something important is lost by losing the separation of the leagues, and no amount of wishing it away (or eye-rolling) on your part is going to change that on *our* part.

 
Llarry
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This article makes a nice counterbalance to the Indians article. If you can get good enough hitters that platoon splits don't matter so much, well, that can work, too. You wouldn't sit the likes of Trout or Cutch down... Now, whether the Brewers can really build a lineup that can handle the lack of advantage, well, we'll see.

 
Llarry
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Ah! Finally we get to the root of your delusion! No one ever taught you of the proper separation of the Leagues and the Truth that the American League is the single most successful "rival league" in American sports history.

 
Llarry
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I've made my arguments about the DH elsewhere in these comments, but I really don't appreciate being branded as "unenlightened" over it.

 
Llarry
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No, we can't all agree on that. I have stated my reasons on this site MANY TIMES (including above) why maintaining a difference between the two leagues is important. If not, we might as well rename the leagues as 'conferences' and play all other 29 teams equally.

 
Llarry
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I have stated many times on these pages another reason to keep the split DH. It maintains a distinction between the leagues. For about 60 years after the AL was founded, there was a tangible difference between the leagues. They were operated (mostly) separately, with different styles of play and different interactions between the owners. Through the '60s, with changes in the game and greater access (through TV) to the "other league" for many fans, those differences began to disappear. The institution of the DH in the AL restored that, although Bud's elimination of the League Offices and creation of Interleague play have undermined that. If we're not going to maintain any distinction between the leagues, why not just give up and rename them to 'Conferences' and spread the schedule across *all* the teams...

 
Llarry
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That said, Kazmir is no Sterling Hitchcock. Back around '99-'00, got to see Hitchcock a few times against AZ, from seats behind 1st. After his first couple of throws each direction, I checked my observation with the friend I was with: it was painfully obvious where he was going to throw. How the D'Backs didn't steal a half dozen per game off him, I don't know. The key was where he looked as he started his stride -- if he looked home, it was a pickoff; if he looked to first, he was going home. Every time. There were a couple of steals, and he showed no ability to change his mind if he saw the runner start off. Mind-boggling...

Mar 18, 2015 5:25 PM on The Anti-Kershaw
 
Llarry
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I'd be likely to give Tolstoy a nod. War and Peace wasn't bad until the end when Leo just stops the story and goes off on his political rants. And my wife HATED Anna Karenina for the utter humourlessness. Finnegan's Wake (James Joyce) would be an interesting study, it ought to either win big or fail big. Kind of like Ozzie Guillen.

 
Llarry
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Last season, That Guy really came through for me after I punted Saves. Don't have a keeper slot for him, but I'll try to pick him up again in the late rounds. As for That Other Guy, yeah, I picked him up, then he proceeded to get shelled three games in a row, so I dropped him before he could really trash my stats.

Mar 04, 2015 8:16 AM on Relief Pitchers
 
Llarry
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Can't get behind the settle-the-DH thinking. Back in the day, there was a real difference between the leagues. They had separate league offices, but also different styles of play and essentially, different cultures, both on the field, and amongst the fans. By the late '60s, that had significantly faded, but the DH keeps that somewhat alive. Of course, interleague play screws with that, though I've always felt that if the original intent of interleague was for the novelty of exposing the fans to the other league, that the DH should be used in NL parks, not AL... I also don't have a problem with changing back and forth between games in the World Series. We're trying to find the "best team" (give or take), well, good teams should be able to adapt...

Feb 18, 2015 4:05 PM on Commissioner for a Day
 
Llarry
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#1 is hysterical. #2 is pretty much a lock, at some point, even if it's just trips into Beantown. #6 is probably closest to the pin.

 
Llarry
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We won't say anything if you don't... (schultzon) "Ve see no-think!" (schultzoff)

 
Llarry
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I generally don't care for "What about..." type posts, but, seriously, 7+ grade presentation on this one...

 
Llarry
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Nomo's got to be in the 70+ grade funk, though once he got moving forward, the motion straightened out a lot. One thing about Tiant, that you can barely see a hint of in this clip, is that at peak leg lift, his knee was completely straight. Even Marichal had a bit of bend left at max. That's worth a few extra points. Likewise, Eck, especially in his early days, would straighten out that long leg and actually drop his hands below it. Didn't Rip Sewell have a bit of an extreme, show-the-ball-behind-his-back move? Then of course, the true submariners (Teke, Quiz, Kim, Bradford, et al) have their own special funk.

Feb 03, 2015 3:52 PM on Grading the Funk
 
Llarry
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That would be Jack Cust rounding third...

 
Llarry
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Sorry, I thought you were talking about the pre-Curt-Flood days of the Reserve Clause.

 
Llarry
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Thanks for the reply, Doug. I understand and agree that you can't go changing the grading for a submariner, or a Knuckler, or any other funky specialist. It comes down to the end-user of the data to look at context and decide that a particular low grade may or may not be so meaningful. Or to look at Neshek and go, "man, even for a submariner, that's bad...".

 
Llarry
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"There is no chance we would sign Shields to a $100M contract." 'What about $99M?' "No comment."

 
Llarry
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Re: Neshek -- is it safe to say that since a submariner is trying to do something distinctly different than overhand throwing, that you have to look at certain parts of the mechanics differently, especially in terms of looking for mechanical contribution to effectiveness and injury risk? By the time of release, Balance, Posture, and Momentum should more or less be back in line, but the getting there can be far from normal. Back in my youth (Kent Tekulve days), I dabbled in submarining, and it does feel like the move from foot-lift to foot-strike is essentially a controlled dive. It's not standard positional balance, as much as a way to trade balance for momentum, kind of like a fighter jet trading altitude for speed in a dogfight. Compared to other submariners I've watched over the years, Neshek is kind of funky. It looks to me more like instead of swinging through that dive, he sort of bends into a crouch and then pops up out of it. Don't know if that ought to be better or worse...

 
Llarry
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Ooh! I want to play in that league. Really.

 
Llarry
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Maybe not, but it was interesting to hear more about this less-visible part of the environment. It also adds to the picture you paint for us of what really goes on in your work, both positive and negative. Thanks.

 
Llarry
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And once again, the pitcher makes a fielding error, so the run is "Unearned".

 
Llarry
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This makes me want to go out and find some batting cages this weekend. (Probably won't find the time, but I *want* to...)

Oct 10, 2014 4:38 PM on Cage Work
 
Llarry
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Only real interaction I've ever had with Cardinals' fans was in Wrigley Field. About ten years ago, I was in Chicago for a few days and made the trek for a game at the Friendly Confines. Thinking (months) ahead, I was able to procure (at a not too unreasonable price) a ticket waayyy down the right field line, waayyy up high. Went to the game with my scorebook, surrounded by Cubs' fans (some families scoring along, others asking me about things like pitch counts from my book). A couple of innings in, four college kids show up, having driven up from St. Louis, and having scalped tickets at a price they would not admit to. Throughout the rest of the game (which was a bit of a Cubs' blowout), they were given a reasonably good-natured Hard Time by the locals, and they accepted it all with good grace, and gave back what they could. All in all, a positive impression. When the Cards have come to Arizona, I can't say their fans have left much of an impression. As opposed to the Cubs' fans, who are loud and obnoxious, but knowledgable, the Braves' fans who are just loud, and the Dodgers' fans who are just obnoxious...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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#3 - Great idea, but I'm not sure how to get voters a reasonable sample of candidates to get a good vote. Still, I feel compelled to mention a few I've seen: -- Some years ago, a between innings event here in Arizona included sort of a cross between "Guess the Attendance" and "Let's Make a Deal" that actually ended with a 'lucky' fan winning a big bag of outfield grass clippings. -- Went to a Marlins' game in Miami last year, and they brought a fan to a TV camera in the LF corner and gave them 30 seconds to spot Billy the Marlin in the "crowd". Now, at a typically-attended weeknight Marlins' game, it's just not that hard to spot a 6 1/2 foot tall metallic blue fish... -- This year, in AZ, a new game - "Sink or Float" where a child had to decide whether an item would sink or float when tossed into the RF pool at Chase Field. At the last game I attended, it was an opponent-branded Teddy Bear. Yes, they drowned a Teddy Bear, and made a child participate, no less. Please, won't someone think of the children (and bears)?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

And here I was hoping for more sandwich-related content. So which catcher (if any) is a Croque Madame? (Now I'm hungry, and it's not even lunchtime here yet...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I'm afraid you have hit one of my Pedantry Triggers: A French Dip is served "au jus", NOT "*with* au jus". "Au" is French for "with". It is served with 'jus'. Thank you, I now return you to your regularly-scheduler strained metaphor, already in progress... Anyway, I really like French Dips, and I really like what Vargas has done for me since I picked him up a few weeks back.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Or Wade Boggs. Hmm, a trend?

 
Llarry
(1146)
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So Matt, what did JJ Hoover do? Did he dress in drag? No, wait, that was J. Edgar Hoover... Did he attend a toga party? No, that was Hoover in Animal House... Did he say "Dy-no-mite!!"? Well, I suppose he might have...but that was JJ on 'Good Times'. So what did he do, Matt? What did he do? (ducks as Matt throws something through the internet...)

Aug 20, 2014 3:10 PM on Wednesday, August 20
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Yeah, I think you've kind of nailed it. Gibby and Towers and TLR are all saying tough things, because they don't want their players to just roll over, but then when it comes time to act on that attitude, well, one look at the D'Backs current record should give you an idea how well the execution of such a plan will go... (And I say that as a D'Backs fan). People are freaking out like the D'Backs are some sort of evil, when I really think it can be adequately explained by stupidity/incompetence. That said, I would have expected suspensions; there's nothing wrong with punishing incompetence instead of just malicious intent...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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At this point, is there any reason to hold a runner at third? I say, send any runner to the plate and then challenge the catcher's foot placement. You've got at least as good a chance of getting the run as you do of having a later batter drive him in. (In fact, do this a few times and see how fast MLB figures out a clarification, *any* clarification...)

Aug 14, 2014 11:16 AM on August 14, 2014
 
Llarry
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Comment rating: 1

(The Scene: Little league player refusing to go on the field) "Daddy, daddy, I don't want to go out there!" "But son, you pitched a good game last week. Why not?" "The Regression Monster's gonna eat me!!!" Oh, BPers, what have you wrought?

Aug 08, 2014 3:04 PM on August 8, 2014
 
Llarry
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Comment rating: 1

I grew up in New England in the late '70s, early '80s, so I don't have really strong memories of the announcers. Bob Montgomery was pretty good, and Hawk wasn't yet the full-fledged whatever-he-is-in-Chicago. Generally the announcers were serviceable, if uninspiring (Dick Stockton, anyone?). I have much stronger memories of Fred Cusick and Johnny Peirson calling Bruins games. When I moved to Arizona in the '90s, I started watching more Cubs games on WGN, and came to appreciate Steve Stone. Harry Caray was winding down, and Stoney could mostly keep him on track. Then, when Harry would go lie down for the middle innings, Stone might stay on color when Thom (I'M ANNOUNCING BASEBALL AS IF IT'S WWE!) Brenneman came over, or he'd do play-by-play with someone else, or just go solo for three innings. Lately, he has impressed me with his ability to keep Hawk at least somewhat under control. Not easy, that...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Same thing happened in D'Backs-Phillies on Sunday. Howard was out by a mile and Montero got called (on review) for 7.13. At this point, I don't see how a catcher makes a legal tag. Maybe the cutoff man should run to home and try to tag the runner. Maybe some clever team will rotate their infield on a play from the outfield and put a corner IF at the plate, who might be able to get close to the baseline without being accused of blocking the plate.

Aug 01, 2014 10:41 AM on August 1, 2014
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Ok, Sam, I watched it all the way through, and it is not without redeeming (and redeemable) features. First, only 3 per team, not 5. Also, ditch the guy with the microphone, just wire the players like the NHL does. You eliminate moving around, and can talk to one guy while watching another hit. Just those two changes takes this from 26 minutes to 10-12... Normally I prefer to see the major sports concentrate on what they do best rather than chase the others, but I think there is room for a Skills competition in Baseball, if it's done right. The NHL does it right, and the NBA, by sticking to the Dunk competition, and sometimes a shooting competition, works too. So, my All-Star Base Ball Skills Competition: --First, 6 or so events, aiming for 2-2.5 hours, maybe 3 if ESPN throws enough money at us. --No more than 3 players per league per event. --Each league picks an all-arounder who will participate in every event (and probably count as one of the three). Say, Trout vs. Cutch. --Events include bunting (like in the video); outfield throws to the plate, with and without relay, for distance and accuracy; double-play pivot; 1 or 2 pitcher accuracy events; Base running; Spray hitting at targets around the field; that sort of thing... --Final event is just for the two all-arounders: a mini HR derby. Neutral pitcher (maybe a machine!), guys alternate jumping in the box for each pitch like they sometimes do at the end of BP. 10 pitches for each, but if you HR on the 10th, you get to keep going until you miss (or the other guy does and you already have the lead)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

I *am* in a fantasy baseball league, and I can't tell you who the Cubs' closer is. Then again, I punted saves back in '09 and the damned things still haven't come back down. Match that hang time, Ray Guy!

Jun 27, 2014 1:43 PM on Friday, Jue 27
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Sam, I'm gonna hafta guess a little higher on those back-to-backers: a little thing called "Season Tickets". With attendances that low, I'd bet a disproportionate number of the fans had season passes (clearly there wasn't much of a walk-up gate...), so I think you need to about double each of those numbers. Still, really fun idea.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Werth looks huge in the clip, but that makes sense as he is nearly 1.2 Altuves tall...

Jun 21, 2014 10:25 PM on Another No-No
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Uh, Ben, you've got the bug/feature metaphor backwards (unless you mean it's the scouting report that's buggy...).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

To guess, I think that's a team-colored version of a Confederate General's uniform, as Traveler was the name of Robert E. Lee's horse.

Jun 06, 2014 9:07 AM on Day 10: Little Rock
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Thanks for that idea. I haven't been to a game yet where a shift came into play, but I'm sure it will happen.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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If a manager wants to get run for 'leadership' reasons, a play in the field definitely makes for better theater. With replay, more managers are going to fall back on the dependable 'balls-and-strikes' method instead. I wonder if there was some unwritten rule that also led to looking for even remotely close field plays over balls/strikes as some sort of gentlemen's agreement to not show up the guy doing the hard work behind the plate unless it was a legitimate beef. This leads to a question as to whether there's a difference in post-toss team performance based on whether the argued play was in the field or balls/strikes.

May 19, 2014 11:47 AM on How to Still Get Ejected
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Thanks for the reply. The FIP and splits on Wood do give me some hope...

May 09, 2014 11:33 AM on Week Seven
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Ok, you tell me to consider Travis Wood, and to sit Cesar Ramos, and then don't elaborate in any way. Can I get some details? Wood has been killing me, and Ramos' last start wasn't too bad (which should tell you how bad the rest of my pitching is -- almost a half run worse than anyone else in the league...).

May 09, 2014 8:55 AM on Week Seven
 
Llarry
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Preseason projections are included in the ratings, and get gradually removed as the season goes on and they are replaced with actual performance. That's the way it's always been done here. If they keep playing the way they have, you'll see them work their way up the chart as real numbers replace the projections.

May 07, 2014 3:30 PM on Wednesday, May 7
 
Llarry
(1146)
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#3: I have always wanted to ask Greg Maddux if he thought the ultimate perfect game would be 81 strikes, or 27 first-ball groundouts.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Maybe we could get Mark Redman to come work with them. Maybe not.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Looked great today, thanks, Ben.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Again, can we get the level listed as well? Some of us don't have the teams in every league memorized.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I've been enjoying this series, but it would be a bit easier to read if the format were a little more consistent from day to day. Particularly, giving the league names is fine, but how about including the level -- I don't remember which leagues are Low-A (or is it A-) and which are High-A (or is that A+, see what I mean about the consistency...).

Apr 16, 2014 1:54 PM on Notes from Five Leagues
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

When I started reading BP (pre-subscription days), it was a revelation as to how the performances of the players did or didn't result in wins and losses. That's still here, but now this series, along with Doug's Raising Aces, and the other scout-y content, are doing an incredible job of peeling back the curtain on how those performances are created in the first place.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

They have, but Pete Carroll made sure the calls all fall to voicemail...

Apr 14, 2014 11:01 AM on Monday, April 14
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 7

It's the capital of the great state of Dyslexia. I think it was recommended to them by Mark Grudzielanek (or Rzepczynski, I forget which...).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 8

I don't have kids, so I know nothing about the situation, but damned if I'd tell anyone how to behave... I don't know anything about announcer-dude, but Boomer has a special-needs child. Would have thought he'd be on the do-what's-best-for-family side. Apparently I was wrong...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Another thing to adjust for is the timing. Look at the date on the Chipper entry -- that was one of the first stops, if not the first. There really wasn't anything to compare to. The hat probably didn't look quite so lame at the time...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

This is good this far, but I think we need to stop and look at what it means in real-pitcher terms, particularly in in-zone entropy. The most extreme combinations would be: High entropy, high success: pitchers who move the ball around, but in or around the zone, so batters feel they need to swing because they're not going to get a walk. Command and Control. High entropy, low success: can get the ball in the zone, but not necessarily where they want it, so maybe get hit hard. Low entropy, low success: the batter knows there's only a limited number of places the ball will end up, can pick and choose and hit hard. Low entropy, high success: pitcher can hit his spots, probably with velocity/movement such that the batter either thinks it's going to be a ball, or just can't get the bat on it. At this point, I think the next step is to overlay the locations of the pitches that are put into play. Even if we don't/can't account for the results of contact, we need to see if a guy is getting hit in the same locations he gets strikes or in different locations. As bob4k414 describes, if a pitcher can get weak contact reasonably dependably in one place, he's more likely to keep going there, even if he never gets a strikeout from it.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Where do I sign up? What's a subscription run? Just can't get me enough Yak racing! Well done, guys.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I so want to see the Diamondbacks with a manager who can manage his way out of a paper bag in-game, but I fear you're right, Towers will end up gone before he can land Scioscia...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Australia seems to have an incredible national dedication to sport in general. Look at the way they've advanced pretty much across the board in Olympic sports over the last couple of decades.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

#8 - My former boss knows Ken Kendrick. Doesn't like him. That's all I needed to know...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Some of those are hysterical. A couple actually approach rational (at a kind of odd angle, but still...).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Vince Coleman is an All-Time Tool? Yeah, I'll buy that... In other news, the more detailed description of Makeup does make the interesting point that a guy can be a jerk, but as long as it doesn't interfere with (and possibly enhances) his ability to commit to the game, he can still grade highly. Ty Cobb springs to mind...

Feb 20, 2014 11:18 AM on Best Speed/Makeup
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Lighten up, Francis Haikus are always welcome Keep them coming, Paul

Feb 18, 2014 7:59 AM on Outfielders
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

"$230 is a clear overpay" "$229?" "No comment"

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 10

Haikus are easy But sometimes they don't make sense Refrigerator There once was a man From Nantucket, and he was Confused by Haikus

Jan 21, 2014 7:49 AM on First Basemen
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Argh, that was supposed to be "Most 'whatever' of the 'whenever's"

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I would generalize this to "Most of the 's", since usually the stat chosen is cherry-picked, and the decade is arbitrary.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Great stuff, Doug. One of my Iconic Images of Youth is the '76 Jim Palmer card which captures him right at foot strike with that huge extension (and lean back). I'd guess that period would have been one of those that traded some Balance and Posture for a little extra Momentum.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

#5 isn't Houdini, that's Matrix all the way.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

The Hockey Hall of Fame inducts someone every year in the Builders' Category, their way to honor executives/inventors/officials who helped shape the game. Cooperstown needs this. I also like the suggestion of honoring HOK as well. Alternately, the Hall has the Ford Frick award for announcers (hockey, likewise, the Foster Hewitt) -- how about a similar yearly award for "builders", named after some appropriate past contributor who's not already in as a player.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for the reply, Doug. I actually hadn't been thinking about forward bending, but your explanation makes sense. I remember when Randy Johnson was having back troubles in his last stint in Arizona, there was a distinct lack of forward transfer, and it showed in his results. I was just thinking about the glove-side bend. Looking at Ryan from behind, it appears to me (in the older clips) that at peak tilt you can come up his legs and around the waist/hips there's a single bend (20-30 degrees) and then pretty much straight out the top of his head. Other guys seem to me to have a curve or additional bend points in the torso and neck. Maybe I'm seeing something that's not really there, but I am curious about the possibility...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I was thinking similarly, Brad, and I hope Doug will elaborate. My thought is that we normally can use "falling off" to the glove side as an indicator of lower Balance scores, but Ryan may break that shortcut. If you look at most of those Gifs, his balance up until foot strike is really good, and it just may be that with that extreme Torque, Momentum, and Release Point combination, a follow-through like that is practically inevitable. The energy has to go *somewhere* and there's plenty going with the ball already... I also have a question about spine-tilt. It is clear that he had plenty of that in the earlier clips, and learned to eliminate it over time. But it looks to me like his was a straight single bend at the waist (or even down at the hips), while other (lesser) pitchers sometimes look like it's a more of a curve (or multi-segmented). Is there in fact a difference? Are not all spine-tilts the same? Maybe a difference that can be identified to indicate which pitchers can be more successful even before fixing it, and maybe which ones will have an easier time doing so?

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Seeing as neither has injured himself while batting, it's arguable that both Lester and Verlander have been more productive at the plate than Mark Redman...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Lunch with DMGM is an interesting idea. If for no other reason than to ask, "Dude, what were you thinking?"

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Helmet, yes. Bat, no.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

You missed mentioning the Michael Cuddyer magic show. (too many jokes...) I like how the Yankee Stadium tour includes tickets to a "Non-Premium" game...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

If nothing else, fastballs make a good "sanity check" for the system. It's also the best pitch to introduce it with, as the results are more straightforward. This was awesome. Thanks for showing it off. I understand that you may have a lot of proprietary data, but I really appreciate understanding the process, even if I don't get to see all the final numbers.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Normally, when some issue heads to court when it really shouldn't, I'm somewhat concerned about the legal fees, about money that shouldn't be spent ending up lining the lawyers' pockets. (And even though I work for a business that sells software to law firms...) In this case, I really don't care. If anyone's money is going to be pointlessly funneled to lawyers, I'm fine with it being ARod's...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

True, but if you can stick around and be useful enough, long enough, to reach some of those big round numbers, you've probably got something going for you. Now, if what you've got is mind-numbing consistency, well, that's not going to get people excited over you, but it's not without merit.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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(Interestingly, I'm typing this while watching Moneyball on TV...) Every team has some sort of secret system of player valuation, a way to boil down what each player brings to the table, in hitting, fielding, running, etc. Something that can bring each guy down to an even comparison, with inputs of simple and advanced stats, and scouting rankings. Not necessarily just comparing guys at the same position, but looking for ways to add affordable improvement at one position to cover for a shortcoming at another. I don't think it's a stretch to expect the A's to have among the more sophisticated systems. If there isn't a term in there for chemistry, I'd sure as hell bet it becomes a tiebreaker...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Well, one was the guy that Trout cut off on the highway last Tuesday. One is allergic to fish. 10 figured he'd get all the votes he needed, and they wanted to give extra down-ballot votes. And the 13th guy, he's just a jerk... (Or Murray Chass)

Nov 14, 2013 7:38 PM on AL Player of the Year
 
Llarry
(1146)
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"...it doesn't necessarily mean that they are a) pitching above their normal talent level or b) a better bet than a quality set up man or closer to pitch the last inning or two." It also doesn't mean that they aren't. You're also making an assumption about the quality of relievers available at the given moment. I agree that this is really cool work (in the aggregate), and helps explain some of what we see. This should be one club in a manager's bag, but he should not wield it to the exclusion of all others. He has other in-the-moment information that may help tell him if his starter is running on the good side of the mean today, or whether he expects his relievers to be running on the good or bad side of their norms right now.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Oh, I don't know, a two-hit shutout, maybe? See, now this is a beautiful example of what old-schoolers don't like about statheads. You've run some very interesting numbers, found and quantified an effect, and then stated it as an absolute rule and that any manager who doesn't slavish obey it is wrong. Nevermind that this is an average built up over a larger sample, and therefore half of the performances are better than that. You state that aspects of this have "no predictive value" in specific instances, yet totally dismiss the idea that there may be other information available to the manager to be weighed as well. And then you bring in the TV guys, who while they may know about the other inputs, don't have in the booth what the real manager has in the dugout, so of course they are a good yardstick... Great math, but pardon me for finding the conclusion a little less absolute on an individual game basis...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Nice work, and it does help to explain some things, but we need to be sure that we don't get blinded as to its limitations on an individual game basis. While any manager should be aware of this phenomenon, and take it into account, there are many other indicators (and sure, some of them are entirely subjective), such as velocity and movement as fatigue indicators, that should also be taken into account. This is not a sledgehammer to be wielded indiscriminately. On a given night, a particular pitcher may be performing so well relative to his 'true talent level', that even with the penalty, he is still better than any available reliever. I would be interested to see further incorporation of jroegele's work involving pitch 'types' as well. PitchFX has some limitations in how well it distinguishes pitches, and we do start to risk small samples, but that may be the fundamental cause of this penalty. I also wonder how much of an effect there is if the individual batters are more or less familiar with the particular pitcher, though again, small sample sizes may mask any true results.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 6

Lichtman's got pretty math to say it was a bad decision, but all he's got to work with is large-sample widespread data. What he does NOT have, is in-the-moment, specific data. Farrell got to look Lester in the eye. Presumably also the Sawx had pitch velocity and location data that they were tracking during the game that gave them a detailed picture of how Lester was really doing (and better numbers from the past games concerning their relievers), as opposed to general "how most pitchers fare under these condtions" numbers. I think it's safe to say that the 3% difference was well within the error bars of the data in play. You want to say he should have made the other move, fine. You want to back it up with math, fine. But don't try to tell me that this is some sort of "worst decision..."

 
Llarry
(1146)
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The 1890's Baltimore Orioles (McGraw, et al) say hi and are upset because you've seen through their cunning plan. (Amazing how many rules are their "fault"...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I think there are two kinds of "bandwagon fans" (those who think there are two kinds and those who don't...oops...), the casual fans who are enjoying the success of the local side, and the obnoxious ones who act like they're so dedicated (and entitled), but didn't actually suffer through the lean years. Had some of those turn up in Red Sox Nation in 2004, the kind who made a big deal over the curse, but weren't lying on the living room floor watching on 10/2/78 when Bucky Dent earned his special middle name, or don't still think that Armbrister interfered with Fisk in '75...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I think they save it for the Cubs...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

I still think there are guys who have trouble in the lower minors because the pitchers aren't good enough to hit their spots. As they move up, the pitchers miss by less, so when they swing where the ball *should* be, it has a better chance of actually being there. They can identify the pitch, and they're thinking about what the pitcher ought to be trying to do, but if the pitch isn't executed, the ball ends up somewhere else. I think Dan Uggla was one of these guys (a few years back when he could, you know, actually hit). I'm not sure whether you can spot these guys in the stats, but if a team got better at identifying them in their own system through the instructors and coaches, that might be an advantage to pursue. Maybe they are, and there really aren't all that many guys like this, but what if...

Oct 09, 2013 11:04 AM on Matt Carpenter
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Well, when the Marlins are at home, they're in a triple-friendly park. When they're on the road, they're just not very good. Can they find someplace else to play?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

There's an Arby's near my office that I'd be glad to see Ron Washington get a shot at (even if he has no fast food experience, I don't think he could do worse). If that doesn't work out, I know a KFC and a McDonalds that could use serious help...

Sep 26, 2013 11:03 AM on Thursday, September 26
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

In the abstract, your point about cost, risk and likely gain in the standings is a good one. In the specific of "Food for Kids", though, why necessarily judge it by wins? Think of it in terms of trying to reduce the likelihood of high draft picks (and prospects picked up in trade) flaming out. Sure, it'd be devilishly hard to objectively measure, but keep a couple of bonuses from being wasted (and the need to then pay another body to man the spot, even just in the high minors) and the program does in fact pay for itself (especially with the suggestion above that the caterer provides some/all of the organization and oversight).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Mudcat Grant Catfish Metkovich Wahoo Sam Crawford Bonito Santiago? Harvey Haddock-s?

Sep 12, 2013 10:40 AM on Thursday, September 12
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Thanks, Doug. I thought it looked good, but wondered how a trained eye would see it.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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The "Heath Bell Experience" makes me sad.

Aug 29, 2013 10:34 AM on Thursday, August 29
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I want to see Doug Thorburn's breakdown of that Ichiro clip.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

It did. He's a 94-year-old prospect...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Oh, and as to The Past, pitchers used to get more of a breather at the bottom of the lineup. A bad hitter (Yu-ni-es-ky...) today is still a lot more dangerous than 4+ decades ago. I think there was also a much greater effect of billions of youth pitches building up the strength of those who would survive to make the majors, while anyone whose arm wasn't up to it got weeded out quietly (if painfully) along the way.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Past findings (Will Carroll and others) have been that warmup pitches generally don't matter. The statements were that almost all warmup pitches are at less than 75% effort, and that was the level below which it didn't have any effect. I can't speak for how valid or rigorous those conclusions are. If Harvey warms up 'extra hard', though, then we maybe have something to say about his coaching...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I agree with most of these, but we want to stick to the barest facts. If there's too much objection to miking the umpire, just give him a direct connection to the press box and let the PA sort it out. I don't think I want to sit through umpires attempting to explain Balk calls in realtime. The real issue with balks is that it's often hard to tell one has actually been called. Just having a clearer hand signal that the PA announcer can base an announcement off of might be enough.

Aug 22, 2013 3:47 PM on Miking Up Umpires
 
Llarry
(1146)
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The original "giving him the business" call goes back to the late '70s (very early '80s?) and referee Ben Dreith. The game involved the Minnesota Vikings. I was watching when it happened and wished for TiVo 20 years before it existed... My mother was upstairs making dinner and I had to tell her about it afterwards...

Aug 22, 2013 3:40 PM on Miking Up Umpires
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Pitching changes. Segway. Just. Sayin'.

Aug 16, 2013 11:33 AM on Friday, Aug. 16
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Sounds like the upside is reasonably good, long term. But the potential downside is the second coming of Mark Reynolds. I'm a bit nervous. Appears the defense is better, but if he can't control the "swing-and-miss", and his average drops toward .200...

Aug 13, 2013 2:55 PM on Matt Davidson
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Kranepool also had the Casey Stengel Seal of Approval: Referring to Ed Kranepool and Greg Goossen in 1965, Stengel observed, "See that fellow over there? He's 20 years old. In 10 years he has a chance to be a star. Now, that fellow over there, he's 20, too. In 10 years he has a chance to be 30."

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Wow that was bad. Many of the things that have been going right for the Bucs this year were hard to predict at the specific individual level (Locke, Grilli/Melancon, etc), but was it really that hard to see that there were enough pieces that *something* good could happen? But beyond that, just the *writing* is bad. We've got a guy here in Phoenix (who was apparently lured away from Chicago) who is an absolute MOTO (Master Of The Obvious), but at least he can string a few sentences together.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I know the D100 (real) is hard enough to roll (or rather, to get to stop rolling), but I'd still be willing to fork over a few bucks for a D211. Couldn't be any less useful than the D34s I have.

Aug 08, 2013 10:59 AM on Thursday, August 8
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Actually, the CFL is not metric. They use yards, and by extension, inches.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I love my Segway, but trying to use one at 3rd, Bad Idea. Might be okay in the outfield, if you had the off-road tires. Since bullpen carts are a thing of the past, how about having relievers ride a Segway in for mid-inning pitching changes? Wouldn't that be cool? (Until Papelbon has what we call a "Loss of Traction Event" and takes a header...)

Aug 06, 2013 10:59 AM on Tuesday, August 6
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

If puns take 15 minutes off your life, I must already be dead. Or I was destined to live to at least 162...

Aug 01, 2013 1:39 PM on Thursday, August 1
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

A Jose-only league. Hmmm....

Aug 01, 2013 11:30 AM on Week 18
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Very painful. We don't like to talk about it in polite company... Actually, I bet spellcheck ate either 'meniscus' or some shortcut keys for 'MCL'...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Is this a case where we really need fairness? While the game as a whole may "count", is there any reason to believe that the choice of the game's MVP does?

Jul 17, 2013 11:29 AM on The AL Comes Up Aces
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

The NHL's Skills Competition is one of the most popular parts of All-Star Weekend, not just with the fans, but also the players. The NFL has toyed with skills competitions, but they have been less successful, I believe mostly due to the wide variation in skills used by different positions. Normally I prefer to see the different sports try to maximize what makes them unique instead of copying the other leagues, but in this case, if done right, a baseball skills competition could work. A good range of events (I'd only really nix Media Circus from this list as unworthy -- though fun) like these would be fun to watch, and probably to participate in for the players.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

"16" is probably often a park employee. The lower box seats are eligible for wait service of food and drink. That's also in the vicinity of one of the entrances to the under-stands club area those seatholders have access to. To be fair, I keep a scorebook, and there are pitches that I miss (often, but not always due to writing), or ones where I look up just in time to watch the pitch reach the plate.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

"So let's root, root, root for the , If they don't win it's the same..."

Jul 11, 2013 1:52 PM on Thursday, July 11
 
Llarry
(1146)
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I am not going to miss the "Heath Bell Experience" as they've been billing it down here. Even when he gets the Save, it's not fun. It's a good thing Gibby's got that 'never say die' attitude going down here. If you win in your last at-bat, you don't have to rely on a 'closer'...

Jun 27, 2013 10:28 AM on Stuck in the Middle
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Spend enough time trolling the Mall of America food court and you might find Jimmy Hoffa, DB Cooper and Amelia Earhart lost in there, too.

Jun 19, 2013 10:29 PM on Wednesday, June 19
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Spend enough time trolling the Mall of America food court and you might find Jimmy Hoffa, DB Cooper and Amelia Earhart lost in there, too.

Jun 19, 2013 10:29 PM on Wednesday, June 19
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Spend enough time trolling the Mall of America food court and you might find Jimmy Hoffa, DB Cooper and Amelia Earhart lost in there, too.

Jun 19, 2013 10:29 PM on Wednesday, June 19
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I think Gibby wins any real knockdown-drag-out fight. He seems more likely to fight dirty (not a criticism -- if you're in a real fight, with no referee, you do whatever it takes to win)if he needs to. I don't know if McGwire would. Mattingly might not initiate it, but he might be willing to respond in kind...

Jun 13, 2013 3:40 PM on Not a Giant Worry
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

"Once in a lifetime" is pure hyperbole, and we all know that Hyperbole is the Greatest Thing Ever. Once in a Generation? That's still in play, seeing as even your last group are all now retired, and the other active claimants (like Lincecum) have hit some bumps. While it's certainly possible that a greater pairing of arm and mind may come along in the (hopefully) 12-15+ years of Strasburg's future, we don't have any firm proof it will.

Jun 13, 2013 3:38 PM on Not a Giant Worry
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Every account I've read says Greinke went after Montero twice. I think if he stopped after one (so he missed, too bad, Zack), then Miggy doesn't stay upset and Kennedy doesn't go after Greinke, and all hell doesn't break loose, and we have nothing to talk about. "Chin music" has its place, and I do agree with the concept of using rules/punishment to bring message-sending back down below the chest. Still, I worry about creating a rule too strict and inflexible as to unfairly punish honest mistakes. I'd hate to see a pitcher feel he has to throw every pitch low and outside on a wet night for fear of a significant automatic suspension if one gets away...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Parra's best moment this season, though, might have been May 18, when he led off the game with the game-winning HR (and only run for either team) on the first pitch. I don't have a problem (and I don't think Parra does either) with switching him back and forth across the OF positions, but I just don't see any reason why not to have him out there at least 6 days a week.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

If the Cards are truly thinking ahead, they keep this guy on the field, any field where he can help them, as long as they can. One day he might well be coach/manager material. The Extreme Plate Discipline might not be completely teachable, but it sounds like he's really tuned into the whole game.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I think I'd have to put the Gomes "ball" in the same category as the Cruz "strike" -- Umpire(s) malfunction. Didn't look like he did anything wrong, just didn't get the call. I work in software testing. Can I put my name in now for when the Robo-Umps need tested before deployment?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Well clearly Wathan is Clutch, and Unser pads his stats with answers that don't matter (since A-Rod wasn't available...).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: -1

And 20-15 against everybody else is only a half-step up from pedestrian. Just sayin'. It's great to beat the good teams, but you need to beat the bad ones dependably, too.

May 30, 2013 11:56 AM on Thursday, May 30
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Yeah, it's more of a criticism of the Jays decision-making and of Ortiz' current skill than of Ortiz' ethics. They offered, he has every right to accept.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

It always amazes me how many people get all uptight over the HitList as if it's supposed to be some grand oracle of Baseball Knowledge (and as if their entire year's subscription value is tied up in one day's numbers...). The list does a fine job of highlighting teams whose results don't quite match their underlying performance, for better or worse. The aforementioned witty banter is amusing, and occasionally holds little nuggets of useful observation. I'm satisfied.

May 23, 2013 12:04 PM on Thursday, May 23
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Not to make light of Ryan Voglesong's pain and suffering, but somewhere, Mark Redman felt a disturbance in the Force...

May 21, 2013 12:04 PM on Tuesday, May 21
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

A visit from the ghost of Jeff Francoeur?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I think there's a fairly big split between good framers and bad in how they age. A top-notch framer (Ausmus, Molina, Lucroy...) is going to refine his craft and get better at it (though there's probably a practical upper bound), even as physical skills may decline. A bad framer most likely doesn't care much, and may even develop and cement bad habits that make him worse over time. This is even more likely given that there hasn't historically been all that much attention paid to this subject. Piazza probably had a pretty decent natural feel for it, but without much incentive or opportunity to work on getting better.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I disagree. In the past, suggestions of outside replay have been met with hostility by the umpires. Including the reply ump in the crew switches the dynamic from that of "the guy on the field got it wrong" to "the crew got it right". If replay gets collusive and wrong calls are being rubber-stamped, the media will make note of it and the league will have to deal with it.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

So at 112 ABs, stroll-less, is Keppinger near the top of the DiSars leaderboard?

May 10, 2013 4:21 PM on The Sub-Replacements
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

I still don't see why the powers that be aren't onboard with a replay ump. The cost of the 5th ump shouldn't be a big deal with the league. The Union would love the extra jobs, and they ought to make the 5th guy part of the crew and rotate through the assignments. That way each umpire gets to sit down every 5 games, and it really sells the idea of replay being there to help the crew on the field rather than as some sort of threat. The guy in the booth could even keep a rulebook handy...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

And now I find myself wondering where Lao Tzu would stand on the topics in Crash Davis' 'Bull Durham' speech...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

"THE WAVE IS PROHIBITED" -- man, where do I go to get one of those? People keep trying to start them here at DBacks' games. My usual response is to proclaim loudly to my companions: "There's no waving in Baseball. Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he...."

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Loria does provide one other 'valuable' service for the other owners: He makes them all look good by comparison...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Now go away you silly Detroit pit-cher or Eck will be forced to taunt you again.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

No, that came out last week. The next one will be August 17, 2016...

May 03, 2013 11:00 AM on Friday, May 3
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I'd say that even the Ackley comment has some value. Gives us a hint that maybe we're not all missing some secret thing that the scouts see. Sometimes when we see suckage, there really is suckage there.

May 02, 2013 12:03 PM on Minnesota Mediocrity
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

BABIP Gods? or BABIP Fairy? Is there some sort of religious war brewing?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Since last year's .285 can be broken into .205 with Pittsburgh and .306 in Baltimore, there may indeed be some instruction-based improvement going on.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Where have you gone, Mark Redman, a nation turns its laughing eyes to you, woo woo woo...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

But the disk doesn't sit on the tortoise. It sits on the four elephants that stand on the back of the tortoise (the Great A'Tuin).

Apr 26, 2013 2:32 PM on The Hawk Trap
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Samardzija also has 65-grade hair. Looks like some guy from the late '70s out there...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

That's ok, our mascot (other than Racin' Gracie) is "D-Baxter, the BOBcat", which made a lot more sense before the park got renamed (or more specifically, the bank got bought...). Still, beats having someone try to dress up in a snake costume...

Apr 26, 2013 2:07 PM on Friday, April 26th
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Blank Roster Spot definitely has its uses. Earlier this month I swapped it in to take the place of Anderson...

Apr 26, 2013 2:01 PM on Week Five
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Maybe they can get a package deal to cover the appendix, both hamates, and maybe even tonsils...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Wait, you're telling me that Hello Kitty outdrew Jackie, Newk and Campy, combined? Oy.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I know you're being facetious, but, while I abhor most of Gibby's in-game managing, I love the attitude he fosters. They may fail, but they won't give up.

Apr 22, 2013 11:31 AM on Shutouts Galore
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: -1

's a joke, son...

Apr 19, 2013 10:21 AM on Thursday, April 18
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: -2

"After last night, the Brewers are 1-0 when Ryan Braun walks three times, but 0-1 when he walks twice, but 2-1 when he walks once, but 2-3 when he doesn't walk at all. Odd numbers!" 0 and 2 are even. Odd starts at "1"...

Apr 18, 2013 11:43 AM on Thursday, April 18
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

While I agree with the general premise of the article (and have been guilty myself of Premature Catcher-Drafting), you focus on 22 and 24 year olds while conveniently skipping 23 year old starters... Keep Calm and Buster Posey.

Apr 17, 2013 10:13 AM on Beware of Young Catchers
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Whoa whoa whoa, Larry. How is bunting success measured? If the 28 sac bunts were intended as sacs, then they all succeeded. If the 4 "failures" were intended for hits, then his success rate was 77.77 (assuming that the 14 hits were all intended as such and were not sac attempts that the defense couldn't play). If any of his sac attempts failed, that ups the success rate of his hits. Note that Dan's methodology in the linked article involves " thereby excluding all successful sacrifices and most sacrifice attempts. This measure, however, still includes plays where a lead runner is forced out, and so is not "pure" in the sense of recording only attempts where the batter's intent was only to get a hit. In addition, there are attempts included where the batter attempted to sacrifice but ended up being credited with a hit. We'll have to live with these ambiguities, because if we exclude attempts with runners on, we'll also miss plays on which the batter was credited with a hit when the intent was to do so. However, bunts that result in force outs and attempted sacrifices that go for hits are both reflective of bunting ability, and should cancel each other out to some degree, so I've decided to include both in what follows."

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Suspension length when injury is involved is a tricky thing that all sports leagues have struggled with. I just don't know how long Bud can realistically give. If he goes "too far" (whatever that might mean) there may be a grievance filed by the Players' Association. That of course, would be silly in that they'd be supporting Quentin, but not Greinke, but that's how various PAs have dealt with this kind of thing in the past... Besides that though, CQ could stand a bit of an attitude adjustment on this. If he's going to make a living leaning in, he's got to accept getting hit. I can't imagine Ron Hunt or Craig Biggio acting that way. (I can imagine Don Baylor getting mad, but I think it would take a lot more direct provocation.)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Another thing that I think mitigates against Houston and Texas going whole-hog after Mexico is that they'd also be up against the Diamondbacks. Arizona has access to a pretty healthy population of folks who go back and forth across the border on a daily/weekly basis, and the D'Backs do put some effort into cross-border marketing.

Apr 11, 2013 1:47 PM on Marlins on the Move
 
Llarry
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There's a lot to be said for that. We're getting a handle on catcher positioning and movement, but let's not forget the umpires. In last night's Bucs/DBacks game, Dreckman wasn't moving much once he got set, but I'm not sure he actually lined up in the same spot twice (which is why I don't think he called the same pitch the same way twice, either...). It wasn't all his own fault -- Russell Martin moved around a little, but Wil Nieves was all over the place, both before and during pitches.

 
Llarry
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People would ask Buck O'Neill how fast Cool Papa Bell was, and his answer (per Joe Posnanski) was always "Faster than that." I'd have loved to hear how he would have described Hamilton. (He might also have been one of the best qualified to try and compare the two...)

 
Llarry
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Great series, but I think you need to watch what you're measuring. You said Molina gained 15 strikes, and lost 10, for a net +5. But that's not compared to an "average framer", that's compared to the *Umpire*. Maybe an average framer only gains 5 strikes, and loses 20, which is a net -15, making Molina +20 in one game. Maybe it's actually closer than that, but still, you need to distinguish between when you're comparing to other catchers, and when you're just looking at the one umpire.

 
Llarry
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Don't forget to breathe. Very important.

 
Llarry
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I didn't say it wasn't risky. What I'm saying is that (most) everyone's going to focus on the wrong part of the story. $15M/Yr for a young, budding star isn't a story. 8 years of commitment *should* be the story. That the total value is $120M (and comparing that to other $100M+ contracts, regardless of length) is what is getting all the attention. The opt-out does reduce the risk a bit: if, at the opt-out point, Andrus' value is perceived as exceptionally high, but he then goes over the cliff before 8 years have passed, he'll likely have become Somebody Else's Problem. What's the likelihood of that? I don't know, but it's non-zero and I trust that the Smart People in Texas have at least considered it...

Apr 03, 2013 10:16 AM on Elvis In the Club
 
Llarry
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This is (and the mainstream coverage will be far worse) another example of being blinded by the big number. Sure, 41 "better" players got $100M+, but if you'll also notice, pretty much all of them got fewer years, and thus a higher AAV (and any who didn't should probably be inflation adjusted). 8 years is a long time to commit to a player, even one as young and athletic, but take that AAV over a shorter term (3/45 or 4/60) and the deal is practically a non-story. Especially in light of the opt-out, I think the Rangers have pulled a great PR move. Unless Andrus totally flames out, and fast, it's affordable in the long run, but by using that many years to push up the $Total, they get all kinds of press now, the kind that scores them lots of extra points for 'trying hard' (although unlike some other teams, I believe they really are trying to win...).

Apr 02, 2013 3:39 PM on Elvis In the Club
 
Llarry
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In this series, the All-time results have been understandably tending toward players that the writers have actually seen, or at least seen enough footage of. I've read great descriptions of Walter Johnson's fastball, but how do I fairly compare it to Ryan/R.Johnson/Chapman, etc.? J is for Johnson, the Big Train in his prime Was so fast he could throw three strikes at a time.

Apr 01, 2013 4:24 PM on Best Pitches
 
Llarry
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Power versus Finesse at the MLB level can be a convenient shorthand, but I'm not sure it captures the right thing. At the minor league level, "Power" guys aren't necessarily going to be better as many will be of the Nuke Laloosh variety -- "...like he pitches: fast and all over the place." What I'm picturing is a hitter who correctly spots the ball out of the pitcher's hand as heading to a particular spot with a particular break. With a low-mid minors non-prospect, that pitch might well still not end up there, and maybe you get a whiff or weak contact. In the bigs, peak Maddux/Johnson/Rivera will still be unhittable on that pitch, but your generic 4/5/mid bullpen guy will be good enough to get the ball where it looks like it's heading more consistently than the guys in double-A.

 
Llarry
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You know, if the rest of us with (owned by) cats repeated the process, we could come up with a sizeable cat-prediction database. And that and 5 bucks will get you a cup of coffee...

 
Llarry
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This seems like a possible additional data point in my theory about Dan Uggla. He was a pretty much non-prospect until a prior Marlins Fire Sale (tm) tossed him into the opening day lineup, where he thrived. He may just be one of those guys who needs to face better pitchers. Is there some way to break down his big league results and see if there's some Threshold of Quality at work? Maybe his way of seeing pitches requires that the pitcher be demonstrating some ability to at least come close? It's similar to something I saw in college, watching hockey, which we referred to as the "Army problem". In those days, Army's team was bad enough that they caused problems for better players on better teams. The offense would start a play, expecting certain defensive behavior, but the Army players would be so far off, that they'd end up breaking up the play just by getting in the way.

 
Llarry
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I love some of those questions, particularly Francoeur/Rivera.

Mar 29, 2013 11:33 AM on 2013 Edition
 
Llarry
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The more I think about it, the more I like Mike Redmond. He's been handed a big, steaming, ... and well, at least he's willing to *try*. It's easy to say Stanton should be 4th and Polanco 3rd, but that still leaves open the question of who bats behind Stanton? When the rest of the team is this bad, do you really need to put Stanton 4th (so he can drive in who?), or is it maybe worth getting him a few extra at-bats by being third? Then you put Polanco behind him, and you're saying "Fine, pitch around Stanton, but at least you're then going to face a hitter who might make you work a bit. He might be past his prime, but if you take him too lightly, he might still be able to hurt you." Sure, part of that is trading on Polanco's reputation rather than his current ability, but you work with what you've got...

 
Llarry
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Fine, but the Dodgers *did* let him go.

Mar 22, 2013 1:43 PM on Sights of Spring
 
Llarry
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Very different. The Dodgers knew Hanley was going to the WBC, and could have prevented him doing so. Hanley did not lie to them about washing his bat.

Mar 22, 2013 1:32 PM on Dearth of Infield Depth
 
Llarry
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Really? Loyalty? Are you implying that they *chose* to get injured in the WBC? Or should all major leaguers be packed away in bubble wrap when they're not in MLB games? I don't think there's any evidence of any players, including these two, participating in the WBC in spite of orders to the contrary. The teams understand that while there is a chance of injury there, plenty of guys got hurt during the Cactus/Grapefruit games that were going on at the same time...

Mar 21, 2013 3:52 PM on Sights of Spring
 
Llarry
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I'd also argue that Clubhouse Guy could have a positive effect on how well the other players work with and listen to the coaches. If the kid feels better and more relaxed, maybe he listens better and works harder. Maybe if Clubhouse Guy convinces the kid that Coach really does know what he's talking about, the kid pays attention better. Maybe CG can even help the kid by talking through the lessons and help him better understand what he's been taught.

 
Llarry
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Lighten up, Francis. Plenty of hard facts in the other 5 billion articles on the site. A little art and poetry makes it a less drab place.

Mar 19, 2013 3:37 PM on The Magic of Mondesi
 
Llarry
(1146)
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A Boston player is a "Red Sawx" (at least when spoken). In fact, the Sox play in Chicago, the Sawx play in Bawstin.

 
Llarry
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James' comment on minor structure is interesting. I'm in middle of "Veeck...as in Wreck", and he clearly preferred the system of buying players up and down the minors to Branch Rickey's farm system. The main problem becomes one of properly incentivizing the development of players while they're at the lower levels. Certainly the player has an incentive to get better, but what of his manager and coaches? Team success will be rewarded to some degree, but I think you'll also need to pass money down as players come up. At the point where the MLB teams actually get their hands on players, they'll need to pay (or something) the minor league teams for them (by some sort of schedule, rather than free-for-all bidding), who will then buy their players for next year from the level below. Develop more players and move them along, make more money (or something)... Currently, the incentives are there -- since the big club already has control of the players, it's in their best interest to do the best job training them.

 
Llarry
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I've had the Rattlesnake at Rustler's Rooste. At a previous job, the owner sprang for some (it's expensive) at the Christmas party. Tastes like chicken. (Well, a little greasier...). Not bad, but I haven't seen a need to have it again since.

 
Llarry
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But money isn't as valuable to the Red Sox (that is, they make more of it, so there's always some laying around to pay players with). If you trade for a player, he's yours. If you count on waiting and signing a particular player as a free agent, there's a chance someone else beats you to him (or he has some personal location preference you have to buy off). The surety of having Beckett in hand was worth some $$ and the chance that Hanley would turn out, especially since there's no guarantee he would have in Boston...

 
Llarry
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Sounds like Rosengren's facts could stand to meet Kurlansky's writing (and vice versa). Has anybody read the Kurlansky book and can give an opinion on it relative to this one?

Feb 28, 2013 1:40 PM on Enamorin' Hank
 
Llarry
(1146)
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I think it's "Striker-outer"...

 
Llarry
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I can attest that Desmond can hit the ball hard. Two years ago I went to a Nats/Dbacks game here in AZ. He rocketed a foul ball into my section that fortunately hit an empty seat. It tore the seat number out of the seat back.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I kinda do feel sorry now for Matthew Skole.

 
Llarry
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Karim Garcia?!? Really?!? Wow. I remember his time here in Arizona with no great fondness... I guess it's great that he's found a way to still be playing...

 
Llarry
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And yet their downfalls were very different. Johnson's "Achilles' Heel" was fairly literal. Durazo would get on a hot streak, using the whole park and the whole strike zone, and then start to believe the hype and begin swinging for the fences on every pitch. Once the resultant slump set in, he would start to get back to doing things the right way again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Jan 31, 2013 12:32 PM on Farewell to Nick Johnson
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Is there a new rule at BP requiring writers named Jason to periodically take readers on a spelunking journey into their thought processes? (9am -- Field trip to Frontal Lobes...) Mind you, this is in NO way a criticism, just an observation...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I think just ditching Wahoo would be a fine step in the right direction, even if the Indians name is retained.

Jan 25, 2013 3:30 PM on Why Wahoo's Gotta Go
 
Llarry
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Lindstrom might have some sort of nasty clubhouse habits that make everyone want to be rid of him after the season. More likely, I suspect he's seen as eminently replaceable. He's the guy that's never an important piece of the plan, "we'll sign him to that last spot when we're done moving pieces around" and before they get there, he's on to somewhere else. What teams are enthralled by is Batista's poetry...

Jan 22, 2013 12:41 PM on Doing the Lindy Hop
 
Llarry
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Surprised by the number of Oklahoma players who passed through Arizona at one time or another. Doesn't bode well that they tended to be parts of the leaner years here...

 
Llarry
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Don't forget to breathe. Very important. -- Mr. Miyagi (or Yoda, they're the same person, you know...)

 
Llarry
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I think what tells us even more about the lack of true difference between the two groups is the number of positions (roughly half) where the best-0 is equivalent or better than the best-1.

Jan 15, 2013 1:01 PM on Zeroes and Ones
 
Llarry
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Brian Anderson once had to miss a start when he took a cab tour of NYC and left his pitching arm up over the back of the seat for too long...

 
Llarry
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Does it have to be a one-way door? Let the vote be locked, giving the voter ballot-size-relief for future votes, but allow the vote to be rescinded if later information warrants it. Making the user take a positive action to rescind the vote (rather than passively just failing to re-vote for the player each year) will tone down gratuitous fickleness. If need be move it beyond checking a box or writing in a name to be removed and actually require a comment be filled in. (I see no reason to require the reason be judged, just require the box to be filled in, and with actual relevant text instead of random characters)

Jan 11, 2013 9:31 AM on A Change in the Process
 
Llarry
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I'd add some provision for announcers/other media types to be added under some conditions. As was noted above, not taking advantage of Vin Scully's experience is a shame. (In fact if you came to me with a plan where Vin was to be the *only* voter, I might have to think about it...).

Jan 10, 2013 4:10 PM on A Change in the Process
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

It seems like a lot of those commenters are more emotionally involved in the whole situation than Oliver or the Jays are. Oliver wants to spend time with his family, but there is some combination of (Love Of The Game + $$) that will override that. Looks to me like that balance has shifted somewhat compared to what it was last year when he signed the contract. (What changed? Who knows. Maybe something in the age/status of his kids. Maybe something happened to a friend or relative's family. Maybe he made "Cat's in the Cradle" his ringtone.) The Blue Jays look at what production they expect, what that's worth, and what else they can do with the money instead. At some point, Oliver will commit to retiring, no matter the $$ involved, or LOTG will take over and $$ will come down, or the Jays will decide they are willing to commit enough money to keep him; otherwise he will just retire, and everyone (except maybe a few rabid Jays fans) will get on with their lives.

 
Llarry
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Understood. I will skim a few comments at other sites, but the thought of reading them all and even diving in... Still, I think we'd all like to think things are better around here (aside from the occasional, major hot-button topic). *They* are inanity- (and profanity-) -spewing, mouth-breathing lunatics, impervious to reason. *We* are intelligent, reasonable people having "spirited" discussions...

 
Llarry
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Maybe, maybe not. Not voting for "sure-fire Hall-of-Famers" (however you want to define that) because you don't want them to be unanimous is a travesty. Not voting for s-fHOFers to send a message to the public about how they should feel about an era is ridiculous. Not voting for s-fHOFers because at this point you are still not completely comfortable with how you view the circumstances of their careers (which is how Dan's ballot reads to me), yeah I can live with that.

Jan 09, 2013 12:53 PM on Casting Our Ballots
 
Llarry
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#5 -- But if Piazza's marriage were seen as a noble attempt by him to Save her, well, shouldn't that count as "moral"? #15 -- I would recommend not opening any envelopes you get in the mail from Jay Jaffe... (or Mike Piazza...)

Jan 03, 2013 10:31 AM on That Blank Expression
 
Llarry
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Larry, that is priceless! Thanks!

 
Llarry
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This chart is the sort of analysis that gives us more information (or at least places to ask questions) about the outliers, than about the middle. Even better would be to plot a pitcher's BABIP against the DE of his team in all other PAs (that is, with the Pitcher Under Test removed from the DE). Then the outliers could be inspected to see if they are particularly well/badly suited to their teams (imagine Derek Lowe in front of Brooks Robinson, Ozzie Smith, Bill Mazeroski and Keith Hernandez {all in-their-prime versions}...) or if something else is going on.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

At the end of the day, these are still subjective awards. If they hew closely to what we are currently looking at as 'objective criteria', great, but I don't think we need weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over slight variations. Other than Bruce, not one of the not-clearly-first-but-still-won group was a *bad* choice. The difference between Hamilton and Cespedes is mostly in numbers which are affected by context, particularly Park Effects, and while it is clear (as mentioned re: Headley) they are being taken somewhat into account, there is not necessarily full consensus as to their precise magnitude. Given that, it is not a tragedy that Cespedes may not have gotten full credit (in your estimation) for his home park. As to Jeter/Aybar, you gave incomplete numbers that supported your conclusion that made "Aybar a defensible choice", which is reasonable, and I hope he got a fair number of votes. However, you showed nothing to say that Jeter was *not* an acceptable choice (and I am generally by no means a Jeter apologist), yet in your conclusion you imply just that.

Dec 28, 2012 12:43 PM on Slugger Off
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

+1 just for the last sentence...

 
Llarry
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While he was in Arizona, Curt Schilling wanted the roof closed. It was closed. That's an easy sell in July and August, but in April and the last half of September, it can be really nice having it open. Didn't matter. Fans'll live with it, especially if they believe it will help their team. (Curt could be a prima donna, but he was *our* prima donna, dammit...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Interesting the comment of his "never-ending quest for a quick at-bat". I've always wondered how directly he pursued efficiency. Always wanted to ask him whether his ideal "Perfect Game" was 81 strikes or 27 first-pitch weak ground balls...

 
Llarry
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There's some stuff here that, given what's happened since, seems pretty funny: -- Astros looking to complement Oswalt with another starter -- Diamondbacks praising their on- and off-field management (all since departed/ridden out of town on a rail) -- desire for Jason Bay But the mention of Nick Adenhart in the Angels section is a touch saddening...

Dec 07, 2012 10:50 AM on Grand Ole Opry
 
Llarry
(1146)
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You were looking for a different metaphor to use for baseball analysis. You found it. Well done, but I never expected to go that direction. Brad Zielgler as a quiche? (that may affect my ability to go to lunch at the quiche place around the corner from the office...) I have to admit, though, the headline had me expecting a discussion with Vin Scully about Mike Trout...

 
Llarry
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This list kind of scares me. It has a higher concentration of 2013/14 arrivals and fewer 16/17 than the other teams so far. I'm not so worried about a Miami Youth Explosion in general, but if it happens sooner rather than later, that will only serve to reinforce to the Lorianites (and maybe others) that this extreme boom/bust cycle might be a valid way to operate a franchise.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Derek Bell still somewhere on the planet?

Nov 23, 2012 10:27 PM on Fish Out Of Contention
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

"He won't go until he's damn ready, and he will keep pulling stuff like this until he's" *driven out of town on a rail by a mob of villagers with torches and pitchforks and possibly with a wooden stake through his heart.* Fixed that for you.

 
Llarry
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And why would he leave? Do we have any evidence that Loria's on his way to the poor house? He doesn't sell a lot of tickets, but at what he pays out most years, he doesn't need to. He got his stadium. Every few years he pops up and makes a run at respectability, even got a championship once like his predecessor, just enough to try to convince everyone (that matters) that he's a real owner. Most owners want to win. Making a profit is important, but they'll put up with some losses to get that ring. Loria has shown he's not really that kind of guy.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

I miss the "Hacking Mass" contest...

Nov 13, 2012 10:30 AM on Tuesday, November 13
 
Llarry
(1146)
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I don't understand part of the Yankees scenario. Who is this Alex Rodriguez and how could he possibly contribute in the postseason to become MVP?

 
Llarry
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Thanks for the response. Setting separate QOs I think would end up causing trouble and would be avoided at the CBA level. I think it would end up challenging (not that that would be a bad thing in the abstract) too many people's ideas of the relative value of pitchers and hitters, and then you run quickly into the idea of separate values for every position (and the arguments of which category to use for multi-position players...). A study correlating salary ranges by position with returned value (WARP) more fully would be interesting, but complicated by players under team control and those (like Longoria) who signed early, under-market extensions.

Nov 07, 2012 1:31 PM on Let Me Qualify That
 
Llarry
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There's a thing that bothers me about the "methodology" used here. The QO amount is based on the top 125 *players*, not the top 125 position players or the top 125 pitchers (in which case there would likely be differing amounts for each). If the distributions of hitters and pitchers were even, then the 'average' at each would be around #31.25 instead of 62.5. That the 62/63 fielders (the U-guys) are close to the $ amount says that there are most likely more fielders near the top, with a few high-priced pitchers up there helping boost the average, and pitcher salaries (and presumably, value) drop off much more quickly. The concept, and the rest of the discussion points are interesting, but the math, particularly when trying to find the breakeven point for pitchers is a bit off.

Nov 07, 2012 10:48 AM on Let Me Qualify That
 
Llarry
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Every Tom, Dick and Harry's named Jason.... (used to be "Mike")

Nov 01, 2012 5:29 PM on Games of October 31
 
Llarry
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In my earliest years, we watched some baseball in the house, but didn't really follow it. In '71, the Pirates won, and I found out what it was all about afterwards (Mom grew up in Pittsburgh during the lean years in the '40s and '50s). I was vaguely aware of '72, though I remember the news reports of the plane crash that took Clemente. In '73, I started collecting cards, but still didn't follow day-to-day, though I remember waiting for the bus to go home from school and hearing about that afternoon's WS game (but not which one...). Finally in '75, we moved back to RI, and that WS was the first one I really followed. I was doomed. (then '78 was torture -- I'm talkin' to you, Russell Earl [Bucky (f-ing)] Dent...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Jeter's contract isn't that big, isn't that long, and he was pretty productive this year. He is immoveable, but it's not the contract, it's the fact that rabid Yankee fans would storm The Stadium and tear it down brick by brick...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

I hate being *that* guy, but: BUFFALO Bill Cody (Wild Bill HICKOCK...)

Oct 17, 2012 11:13 AM on Joe Girardi Has Faith
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: -1

Waaahh. Not my favorite ProGUESTus article. This one said nothing new and made little if any effort to quantify anything. Complain about unbalanced schedule? How 'bout some numbers to back it up? From the dawn of Divisional play, until the introduction of the first Wild Card, it was quite possible for one division winner in a league to be much stronger than the other (at least by record). Nothing new here. The purpose of the "contrived one-game playoff" (not that I'm disagreeing with the title) was to disadvantage the Wild Card team. It does that. Don't like it? Got a better idea? Let's hear it, and with some numbers to back it up.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Unfortunate as it may be, he was called that while here in Arizona, if not earlier.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Reynolds and Dunn played together here in Arizona for a bit. Reynolds did seem to have picked up a few tips on how to hit in a more Dunn-ly fashion, in that he embraced the K while also increasing his walks. I saw a game where Dunn 'played' first and Tim Lincecum got on base. The two of them standing together was an unforgettable sight. Dunn is huge and Timmy is small, yet both are reasonably normally proportioned (unlike NFL linemen or NBA players), so it left the viewer with one 'normal-looking' person and another to a radically different scale -- but which was which? Randy Johnson also pitched in that game which only added to the visual distortion...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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The umpires made him go all the way back to the batters' box because they wanted to make sure you would get a valid Trot Time.

 
Llarry
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It's not that we refuse DST here in Arizona out of stubbornness and independence, but rather that during the summer, we get plenty of the big nasty fireball as it is, there is no need to "save" any of it. Here the hottest part of the day is around 4PM -- do we really need to call that 5PM instead? Besides, it's not like we don't have other things to be stupidly independent over... For example, when I first moved down here, there was a big hoo-hah over the 'NFL shoving MLK day down our throats' (by refusing to hold a Super Bowl here unless we adopted it as a state holiday).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

"d-minor. It's the saddest of all possible keys" -- Nigel Tufnel

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

It's spelled M-O-X-I-E (or D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G. Your choice.)

Sep 19, 2012 11:01 AM on Wednesday, September 19
 
Llarry
(1146)
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"Keep Calm and Buster Posey" I don't even like the Giants and I think that's awesome.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Bob Brenly has generally been a favorite punching bag in commentary and analysis circles, but in 2001 he showed a real ability to keep all the spare parts on the roster focused and ready, and got a ring as a result. After a stint as his bench coach, Bob Melvin has showed improvement in that area as well. The player comments above make it appear that it's important to the players. Kirk Gibson instilled a real never-give-up attitude in the DBacks last year, which seems to have been totally lost this year. We hear about managers whose teams tune them out after a while, but there must be some skill which long term managers (TLR, Weaver, etc) have to keep that from happening (or to ride it out without getting fired...).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

No, I really don't think you "need" to make that drive. I will also recommend against returning a rental car at BWI. Not fun, not convenient.

Sep 07, 2012 12:01 PM on Friday, September 7
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I play in a league with 2 dedicated RP slots. Some years I have found myself in the "punt saves" situation, where, even if not in last, the gaps are wide enough to not close. Even if it's worth keeping at least one closer to maintain position, another can be traded (or dropped if hurt, and not replaced), and then I like to grab one or more overlooked setup guys. You won't get a lot of innings, but the ERA is microscopic, a few Ks, and if you look for the right guys, you have a decent chance of vulturing Wins. This year I took it one step further. Halfway through the draft, decent closers hadn't been available to me, so I punted from day one. I found starters with RP eligibility and have used them instead. (Started with Feliz and Bard, passed through Samardizjia, now have Fiers and Villanueva) My lead in Wins is ridiculous, Ks and K/BB are ok, just unlucky that I never found a trading partner who needed wins and had some hitting to offer me in return...

Sep 06, 2012 12:11 PM on Chasing Wins
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Steve Stone has an ability to keep Harrelson on track (or at least closer to it) better than anyone else, ever. I got familiar with his work in the '90s when he was with Harry Caray (and performed much the same function). In the middle innings, when Harry would go take his mid-game nap, Stoney would often do P-B-P instead of color, depending on who came over from the radio booth, and sometimes he even ended up doing the three innings solo.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Pearce, AZ is a ghost town. Steve Pearce was supposed to be the future in Pittsburgh, and each of his subsequent destinations. So far, that future has been a nebulous, non-corporeal thing. Just saying.

 
Llarry
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"...a real hurler of baseballs on the Philadelphias." Love that phrasing, of course I also had just spent 5 minutes looking over stats from 1897-1901... On the subject of the Padres pitchers, Layne I believe is 'Tom', but that's all I got...

Aug 29, 2012 10:34 AM on Wednesday, August 29
 
Llarry
(1146)
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The *only* problem I have with all of this is the assumption that nothing could possibly exist in *both* ours and Tommy's "realities". Besides, if all the great baseball moments we remember are part of the Westphall-verse, just imagine what kind of cool things might have happened out in the "real world": -- Michael Jordan never plays basketball and devotes his life to baseball. -- Bo Jackson never plays football and avoids the hip injury. -- Neifi Perez, batting champ. -- That exciting 1994 Seattle Pilots/Montreal Expos World Series...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Agreed. And I still think the fifth umpire should be a part of the crew and rotate through the four bases and the booth every 5 days. This way the guy upstairs is a "part of the team, helping get it right" rather than showing up the men in blue on the field. And that, (including the extra jobs created) is how you sell it to the Umpires' Association. One of the big straw men that get trotted out by opponents of replay is the time it would take. Done right, it would only need a few seconds, and that would be more than offset by having managers come out and argue less often. (Of course, we lose some entertainment value that way...)

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Gibson has done great things with the D'Backs attitude the last two seasons. Before he came, this was a team that was fairly well beaten the moment they stepped on the field. On the other hand, his in-game managing is awful. This is the guy who burned two pinch-hitters in a game last season getting *Micah Owings* in and out of the game, and then had pretty much nothing left on the bench in the 9th. When you send up Willie Bloomquist (who plays his heart out, I'll give him that) in a power-hitting situation, you've done something wrong... Gibby is pretty decent at rotating playing time so as to keep the bench players fresh and engaged. (Bob Brenly never got enough attention for how well he did this in 2001).

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Vasco de Gama is the triple, but to really hit for the cycle you also need the likes of von Clausewitz, Dadaism, and CheezWhiz. Matt, you're off to a great start, brush up on some of Christina's old articles and you'll be set...

Aug 09, 2012 10:56 AM on Thursday, August 9
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Well, there's this little thing called the 200, too... As things have gotten progressively more specialized, I wonder if we'll ever see another all-arounder like Lewis. Lewis apparently doesn't like to make comparisons across eras. It's come up in a couple of Joe Posnanski's recent columns, including (which I can't find right now) the position that you can't really compare times because the best would find a way to win, whatever the competition, so you really just need to judge sprinters by their own era.

 
Llarry
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On the one hand, I suspect that if you could get data for that time, 24.88 would be fairly slow. On the other hand, I expect that Henry was rather more relieved and glad it was over. He's a nice guy who had been getting a detailed lesson in how many people aren't. For Barry, a lot of the anger and hype was a lot closer to "business as usual" for him, not like the sheer hate and threats directed at Aaron.

Aug 07, 2012 4:07 PM on Bonds Passes Aaron
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 10

Why do people act as if their entire subscription pays for one single article? Do you throw away the whole pizza because the edge of one piece is a little bit burned? Sure, it wasn't exactly my cup of tea, either, I'm just not that into Austin Wood, but I found it cool that Kevin felt compelled to write it and was able to reasonably pull it off. If every article were the same here, it'd be a lot less interesting...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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And I don't think it's the "slow pace of the game" that would be responsible for a decrease in sales of equipment. When I was growing up, baseball goods got *far* more use in informal settings than in organized ball (and do Little League games really go 2-3 hours these days?). Greater threats to the game are kids not having the time, space or freedom to play the game on their own terms. Speaking of which -- survey question: What did you call the game where a batter hits balls to the outfield where some number of available fielders stand around? Catching a ball scores 100 points in the air (sometimes with bonuses for how far the ball went), 75 points on one hop, 50 on two and 25 for a grounder. When a fielder accumulates 500 points, he takes over from the batter. I can't even remember what we used to call it, but that was too many years ago...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I think Livan Hernandez should start referring to Livan Hernandez in the third person. He's earned it.

Jul 31, 2012 11:23 AM on Tuesday, July 31
 
Llarry
(1146)
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You have not lived until you've watched a drummer and a black belt gang up on a Whack-a-Mole machine. (Or a Wacky-Gator machine as well)

 
Llarry
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Fans of most sports will be glad to talk up their favorites, to share what they love about them, especially to those who don't understand the attraction. (I've done it, with such a spread of things like hockey, cycling, Canadian football, Australian football, biathlon...) There may be cracks about other sports, but it's rarely mean-spirited. I have, however, heard baseball fans who seem genuinely offended that other sports might be going on at the same time, as if this detracts from baseball. There are such Pez-heads everywhere, but it seems like I have indeed seen a few more around baseball...

 
Llarry
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Apples and oranges are both: -- fruits -- grown in the US (among other places) -- roughly roundish -- colorful -- tasty -- commonly drunk in juice form

 
Llarry
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At least some of those teams likely passed him over because they liked who they got better, and not simply about the $$. There's a good chance that if he can remain essentially the same player, that given a different mix of candidates, a team will be glad to pick him and give him the higher slot money. It's certainly on him to be as good, or preferably (from his perspective) to be even better, but don't assume that a team that passed on him once will be sure to do so again.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Actually, I'd divide the replay debate into two subjects: Balls and Strikes, and Everything Else. Balls and Strikes can be worked on down the line as technology improves further, but pitch calling is nominally even-handed, and players do have an ability to adapt to tonight's conditions, and that's a reasonable test of skill. Everything Else is where the immediate attention should be. And it should be easy enough to implement. It could be done with an appeal to a central office for selected plays, like the NHL (what Matt didn't mention about their system is that they are monitoring the games at all times, and at least as important as what they review is the determination to *not* review some plays), or with real-time supervision in the park. A suggestion floated around at some point of adding a fifth umpire to each crew and sticking him in the booth with the ability to step in a review any play in the field. I would take it one step further and rotate the umpires through the booth as a fifth position and really sell it as a way to help the crew-mates rather than show them up.

Jul 09, 2012 2:16 PM on Ending the Empire
 
Llarry
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Remember, in Cricket, the Umpire doesn't make *any* calls unless the fielders appeal to him with a call of " 'owz that?"

Jul 09, 2012 2:05 PM on Ending the Empire
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

So Owings wants to create "an entirely new position"? And what will we call this position? -- "Brooks Kieschnick"?

Jul 09, 2012 1:46 PM on July 2-July 8
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Ouch. Tasteless, with just a hint of funny. Does do a perfect job, though, of conveying how you really feel about TLR.

Jul 05, 2012 1:38 PM on Raising the Jolly Roger
 
Llarry
(1146)
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I'm thinking of Travis Lee...

 
Llarry
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I don't agree with that conclusion. In this quote, he says that nobody can make good predictions before spring training. In the article you referenced, he also criticized those who made early predictions, and then his own observations were based on seeing the Sox *after* the season started -- still early, but spring training and the first series of the season is more information to go on (yes it's still very small sample size, but at least you have a working roster to go on), and that was Leyland's point.

Jun 28, 2012 2:04 PM on Picking the All-Stars
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Are you talking hardcopy or PDF? With hardcopy, the greater difficulty is distribution and publicity, but put a reasonable price on it and post it at a few of the PDF RPG purveyors and 500 copies shouldn't be so hard. I have baseball RPG in PDF form at home (bought through DriveThroughRPG.com) -- look for it, but I suspect yours would be enough different...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Seems to me like there's a bit of a logic gap going on here. The first chart covers what percentage of fastballs are inside, but nowhere do we see an exploration of what percentage of total pitches are fastballs, much less inside ones.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I do have to say that 2900 isn't *that* small. My wife's hometown had 500, but only if she and her sister were home from college...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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One little typo and watch the Fantasy-verse freak out.... Those three guys are just begging for the David Letterman introduction treatment ("Uma - Oprah, Oprah - Uma.") Hasn't been this much potential name fun in sports since Joe Reekie, Mark Recchi and Mike Ricci (or any number of simultaneous Sutters) were all active in hockey...

Jun 21, 2012 4:47 PM on Baseball News is Hard
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Agreed. This is one D'Backs' fan who didn't mind seeing him traded away. Crazy good stuff that just never quite works out on a regular basis...

Jun 07, 2012 10:39 AM on Thursday, June 7
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Is Moneyball really a "favourite" type of book? Important, yes. A good read, sure. But I just don't think it's the kind of book that becomes a favorite, whatever your likes/dislikes, there's some other book that will jump ahead of it.

 
Llarry
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Also one of my favorites, I'm glad someone else brought it up. Among my favorite parts is the glossary, which defines terms like 'Shelled - said of a pitcher whose pitches return from the plate going faster than when they arrived' and that a 'Mop-up-man' also answers to "Who the hell wants to pitch?".

 
Llarry
(1146)
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ESPN 6x6 (OPS & K/BB added), 11 team (we keep trying for 12) with 5 bench and 2 DL. When Cespedes got reactivated today, that brought my DL'd players down to 6, and with any luck I'll get Mike Morse back this afternoon... (Chipper, Longoria, Weaver, Feliz, Fister are the others)

 
Llarry
(1146)
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He's not "Mr. Monopoly", he's "Rich Uncle Pennybags".

 
Llarry
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Oh, you guys *rule*...

 
Llarry
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Llarry
(1146)
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I can dig hating on Hawk (and I remember when he was a *Red* Sawx announcer...), but a couple of years ago, I caught a game with him and Steve Stone, (it was the only thing on...) and was surprised at Stoney's superhuman ability to keep Hawk under control and on topic. He did a marvelous job of turning his own observations around into questions and getting Hawk to talk about his *actual* playing experiences. Of course, my introduction to Stone's announcing was during his last few years with Harry Caray on Cubs' games, another setting screaming out for a rational guiding hand, er, voice...

Apr 30, 2012 4:51 PM on The Hate List, Part II
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Great breakdown. It looks to me like the key is Krukow's comment about "full extension at release". In the first two clips it's almost like he's trying to hand the ball to Posey. In the third (overrotate), he doesn't extend the arm as far, and then lets the ball go too late; in the fourth (underrotate), he never gets that far, and has already released the ball. To my eye, it also seems that in 3 and 4, the arm has dropped a little from the vertical (even as the shoulder angle varies). I had a couple of exchanges in years past with Will Carroll about Timmy. It (surprisingly) doesn't show as much from the CF angle, but when you watch him from 1B, the impression he's always given me is of coming so far over the top that it's like he needs to bend his back to get his head out of the way.

Apr 26, 2012 4:34 PM on A Tale of Two Timmys
 
Llarry
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That stance was always one of my favorites, along with the Stargell motion mentioned above that wasn't so much a twirl as a pump...

 
Llarry
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I can elaborate later if you'd like (no time now), but I keep track of this by scoring each lineup spot in a different color (and a 10th color for PHs). Thus when the 3rd batter (light blue) is up, and something changes the status of the leadoff (purple), the leadoff box has some light blue mixed in with the original purple. It's a little awkward having to switch pens every batter, but it becomes really easy to see what happened, and makes for one of the more unusual scoresheets you'll ever see. If you want I'll try to get a picture to you at some point.

Apr 09, 2012 6:01 PM on A Peek at My Scorecard
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Whither Bauer? Whither Parra is the better AZ question. Bauer is on is way, and arrive eventually. But we're still trying to figure out the double-secret plan that brought Kubel here to stand in front of Parra, who put up a good season and is a fan favorite to boot. Anyway, was Shawon Dunston's swing really that beautiful? To me, the ideal useless swing has always been Travis Lee. Such graceful motion, destined to never make meaningful contact...

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Micah Owings: I hope Bud Black can make better use of his bat than Kirk Gibson did. Last year I saw him bring Owings in for two innings and burn a PH on *both* ends, and ended up using Willie Bloomquist to end the game. Gerardo Parra: I've been hoping that the D'Backs have some sort of secret plan for Parra and Kubel. I know they won't be afraid to use Parra at all three OF positions, but he was a good enough hitter and is a big fan favorite, so we're all scratching our heads here. Nothing against Kubel, but nobody really understands why he was brought in.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I don't like Bell Road. Fortunately I live far enough to the southeast of it that I rarely encounter it. Shea is a racetrack, but at least it's a relatively orderly one. Bell feels "jury-rigged" as a main drag, not just in Surprise, but most of the way across Phoenix into Scottsdale.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Don't know whether Will was the first, either, but he did say it in years past. Don't mean to run down Corey (or Ben for saying it), but I don't think he "found" this.

Mar 20, 2012 2:44 PM on Moving Miguel
 
Llarry
(1146)
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When you create the PDF, can you please do an alternate version that will be readable on a Kindle? Normal 8.5x11 PDFs don't translate too well, they need to be resized.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

This is a great study, but we need to be careful not to read too much into it, mainly in the Manager ratings. The conclusion "it looks like teams employ too many former infielders and managers without playing experience" is unwarranted, given that pitcher handling is only one of many tasks. If my manager gives back .11 runs in handling his pitching staff, but gains me 5 or even .5 in hitting, or defense, or running, that's a fair trade. Now, knowing that the skipper is not at his best in this part of the job, I should attempt to compensate by going out and getting a better catcher and/or the next Leo Mazzone...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

I still maintain the best thing about having the DH in one league only is that it keeps a distinction between the leagues. For the first 50-60 years of the AL, the two leagues kept apart and often played different styles. There weren't even all that many trades between the two. Through the '60s (undoubtedly started in the '50s), that distinction went away for a variety of reasons (TV comes to mind as a main one) and the DH helps bring that back. That said, it was never enjoyable watching Mark Redman hit, especially the night I saw him fail utterly to bunt in *two* at-bats, breaking a finger on his glove hand along the way (a "feat" he managed at least twice in his career).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

No intent to try and convince you otherwise, but here in the Phoenix area we do have a lot of these kind of ice cream trucks, and no big scandals about them. In fact, that one actually looks nicer and better maintained than most (which I suppose might be more suspicious...). I have no kids myself, but while I might be inclined to patronize such a truck, a child would not be allowed to do so unsupervised, at least until a sufficient track record and rapport with the driver were established.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

My wife is an architect here in the Valley. I've heard a few rants on the subject of city planning in Surprise, though there are other cities here that are far, far, worse...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks pitcher errors should lead to Earned Runs (if we even bother to keep the ERA/RA distinction).

Feb 23, 2012 4:12 PM on Ode to a Terrible Stat
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

Larry is The Man Who Never Surfs Porn, and therefore has so much extra time in his day to find all the little dis-used corners of the internet...

Feb 15, 2012 4:50 PM on Robot Umpires in 1939
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I think weather does need to be considered. Bad weather itself is not enough to make a bad game (visiting in SF once, I went to a Giants-Rockies game in the rain, but I saw Randy Johnson get 290

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Harvey Haddix says hi, too.

Jan 13, 2012 4:15 PM on Jack Morris in Motion
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Ozzie being Ozzie (OzzieBOzzie in PozSpeak), I don't think he'll have any trouble getting off on the right foot with Ramirez and Zambrano. What the three of them need to realize is that the most effective way for them to control what Morrison tweets (I'm not familiar with his work, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt for general truth) is by not doing stupid stuff that they won't like him passing on. I think Z is the most likely one to blow that up first...

Jan 05, 2012 3:57 PM on Thursday, January 5
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Those are awesome! I think I need a set of those. Thanks, Larry!!

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

So when do we get the new stat, RACB (Runs Above Casey Blake)? Sort of reminds me of Jim Nill who was considered to be the perfect "average NHL player" until it was realized that he'd been average for far too long to not be exceptional. ("Exceptionally average"?)

 
Llarry
(1146)
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No mention of Brian Anderson missing a start from taking a cab tour of NYC and leaving his pitching arm up across the back of the seat for too long?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I know it's just a typo, but your Freudian Slip is showing, Steven. You wrote "...but there still isn't a hole team here,..." That's the problem, there IS a "hole" team, just not a *W*hole team... It's so much fun being a Bucs fan...

Dec 14, 2011 12:23 PM on Cottleston Pirates
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

This also keeps the Dolphins from claiming that they have the unquestionable best Matt Moore in Florida...

Dec 09, 2011 3:14 PM on More Moore in St. Pete
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 12

I expected one of the 'Move ahead 2 spaces' squares to lead to a 'Move back 2 squares', but that would be in the Pirates' and Royals' editions, wouldn't it?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 4

"Luckily, their encounter with Vernon Wells has prepared them for this." I've read a lot of funny stuff at BP over the years. This is in the running (and far too true).

Dec 08, 2011 3:47 PM on Winter Meeting Winners
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 6

Do we really need to go here again? a) Handicapping is not a precise statement of probability. Odds are adjusted to direct betting where the House wants it (so as to make a profit). 2) Didn't we sufficiently learn the lesson in the hue and cry over some of Kevin's posts that the meaning of odds statements varies between the track, the casino table, the sports book and the textbook?

 
Llarry
(1146)
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I have never understood bringing in a guy and asking him to issue an IBB to the first batter. Couldn't the outgoing pitcher have done that just as well? Do you really need a fresh arm for that?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

One of my other myriad hobbies involves paint, and not being able to do the next bit until it dries. I can assure you that watching paint dry is more "fun" than watching Hargrove bat. Nomar at least had enough "OCD" about his routine to be interesting to watch. Hargrove was just trying to piss off the pitcher (and anyone else handy).

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

I still think the best way to implement it and get the umpires on board with it is to add a fifth umpire to each crew, and make the booth part of the position rotation, so each ump is up there every fifth game. Booth review will be faster than having the umpires meet on the field and walk over to a monitor, and any override will be coming from a crew member who'll be out on the field the next night, so it's all a matter of doing what's best for the "team".

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

In Byrnes' defence, Carlos Quentin the D'Back bore no resemblance to Carlos Quentin the Southsider. D'Backs fans were not sorry to see him go, as he had shown flashes, but no consistency, and an attitude problem. I don't see where he would ever have been productive here. Sometimes you just gotta send the guy off, and if he works out better elsewhere, that's just the way it goes...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I still believe there is value in having differences between the leagues, which is why I support leaving the DH in only the AL and think Interleague play (plague?) is a travesty.

Oct 20, 2011 5:07 PM on A League of Their Own?
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

New Englanders don't board up the windows and hoard ammo, but there's not a store anywhere with any bread or milk left on the shelves...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

So you'll not be ordering the AaronCook, AaronCook, AaronCook, AaronCook, AaronCook, eggs, sausage and AaronCook?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Only forced runners are affected under 7.08a. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1st base open, the batter/runner has to get to first, the runner on 3rd scores the winning run, the runner on 2nd is free to strip off his uniform, set it on fire and dance naked around it (Ned Braden in SlapShot, anyone?) for purposes of this rule. "Merkle's Boner" was being on first, not going to 2nd and being forced out there.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Never really liked Reggie, but he was an important part of the game, and, as a Yankee, fun to hate (more fun than, say, Roy White. Hard to get up a good hate on the likes of Roy). Loved that candy bar, though.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

N is for Newsom Bobo's own favorite kin You ask how he's here He talked his way in (Ogden Nash) I grew up with a Spalding "Mike Hegan" model 1st baseman's mitt. He was one of my favorite players just for that.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 6

Because Czar Bud doesn't want Mark Cuban to own a team.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Just ask Timmy Thomas and his friend, Stanley (Cup, that is).

Aug 31, 2011 5:49 PM on See You in September?
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Five is right out.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

If a juiced hitter takes a juiced pitcher deep, where is the "unfair competition"?

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

A Moose Skowron (or maybe a Bob Moose) bit my sister once.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

The Turtles' sensei is a mutant rat, so we're back to fighting alongside.

Aug 16, 2011 4:29 PM on Delmon Dealt UPDATED
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Remember, sometimes it's not just the value of the player acquired, it's his improvement over the alternative. These numbers are fine if the prior placeholder was 0 WARP, but in some cases, a player has contributed more by replacing a Yawning Vortex of Suck. To take this a step further, can deadline deal acquisitions be shown to have a positive impact on the WARP/G of their new teammates? Finally, some deals are made not to get the team into the postseason, but as insurance to make sure they do, and for what they are hoped to contribute once they get there. Not sure how to put a value on that.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Never had a ball even come anywhere near me until the last game I attended (DBacks/Nats at Chase). Line drive came screaming at me (and my hands were full of scorebook) and slammed off the empty seat back in front of me. Somebody a section or two away got the ball. A girl 2-3 rows in front of me got hit by the seat number which ball tore out of the seat back -- now *that's* a souvenir!!

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Never previously heard of George Davis, but now I have and that's the point here. Bet he has one of the highest RscARPs (Rescues Above Replacement Player) of all time...

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

True dat.

Jul 20, 2011 11:51 AM on Heat Wave
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Sure, with Mo you always know what he's going to throw, but you don't know where it's headed, and you would have to override your eyes' impression of what it's doing with your intellectual "knowledge". On the other hand, take a pitcher with 2-4 distinct offerings, and knowing which one to expect could be a big advantage.

Jul 20, 2011 11:48 AM on Hoping for a Sign
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

Think it's safe to say that his reliance on the FB in Colorado may have been due to the effects of altitude on breaking balls? (Or at least to his or maybe the pitching coach's perception of the effect?)

 
Llarry
(1146)
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By the way, the Welk resort north of Escondido is a really nice place, even if my wife and I were definitely the youngest people there not accompanied by Grandparents...

Jul 19, 2011 4:34 PM on To Serve the Young
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Downloaded Scattergood Baines to my Kindle and am now a few chapters into it. Good stuff, thanks. Got some Twain-ishness about it.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

About 7-8 years ago, I sat in the way-high, way-down the right field line stands at Wrigley, on a cold and rainy weekday afternoon in June. May have been the best fan experience I have ever had. Everybody was into it, a couple of other folks had scorebooks (not just me), the guy behind me kept asking me to check things in mine, like pitch counts per inning, GB/FB, that kind of thing. Cubs and Braves fans that come to AZ are loud, but have their heads in the game. Dodgers fans that come are pathetic, obnoxious without purpose. Only redeeming features is that they come late and leave early, just like at home.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

Having the DH in one league only serves an important historical purpose, and it serves it well. From the founding of the AL up into the '60s, the leagues were decidedly distinct. There were various reasons for this, not least of which of course were the limits of travel and media, which TV, highways, and jet airliners broke down, but there were different styles of play and management. By the late '60s, these differences started to fade, and the DH restored the distinction. It's approaching 40 years, which also means it's existed for over 1/3 of the AL's existence. It's time to get over the idea that it's some kind of newfangled abomination.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

I do have to debate one part of your description of Sean Burroughs at least being better than the pitchers he batted for. In a game I went to, Gibson used Micah Owings for two innings of middle relief, and burned pinch hitters (one of them Burroughs) on both ends, only to end up with Willie Bloomquist up in the bottom of the ninth to make the last out... Not Burroughs' fault, but even when he did see action, he may not have been the best choice available...

Jun 23, 2011 6:02 PM on Replacing Pujols
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 0

...and so home and to bed. (I'm currently reading Pepys. Best done in chunks rather than all at once. I read the first year a few months ago, now I'm most of the way through the second. It'll be a while before I'm done with the whole thing...)

Jun 13, 2011 5:52 PM on Nothing Ever Changes
 
Llarry
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Zimmermann looked pretty good last night against the D'Backs. He got some help from the opposition, but after escaping a couple of potentially rough spots, he was pretty efficient through 7.

Jun 03, 2011 1:56 PM on Weekly Planner #10
 
Llarry
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Duke didn't look all that good in last night's game. His motion looked stiff and he was having trouble finding the strike zone, especially with the first pitch. 6 Ks and surprisingly no walks, but rather hittable, 4 ER and 10H in 5 innings. (Don't get me started on Gibson using Micah Owings for two innings, but burning a PH at each end instead of letting Owings hit, and then ending up using Willie Bloomquist to make the last out of the game...)

 
Llarry
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Happ hit the home run for Houston, but it was *Arizona* that won the game 4-2.

May 30, 2011 12:49 PM on Trot Times for May 29
 
Llarry
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The Packers are *not* owned by the city/region. Green Bay Packers, Incorporated is a not-for-profit organization (which violates the by-laws of pretty much every league, including the NFL - it predates the league charter as is grandfathered) with approximately 4.667 million outstanding shares of non-Par-value stock (meaning it cannot be traded and has no investment value). There is a Shareholders' meeting every summer, the primary business of which is electing one-third of the 45 members of the board of directors, which, along with the President of the Team, administers the franchise. Owning Packers' stock comes with no benefits other than an annual invitation to the Meeting (and a proxy ballot if you don't go). And a *really* cool stock certificate to hang on your wall. There is no ticket list, there are no special perks (well, there's some "Shareholder"-branded things for sale in the team shop...).

 
Llarry
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Remember, that was written in 2005. Hoffman did put up a few more good seasons.

May 26, 2011 3:59 PM on How Do You Rate Relief?
 
Llarry
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and C) most folks you describe aren't in a job where the line between success and failure at the job is set so high and so narrow.

May 23, 2011 2:28 PM on May 16-22
 
Llarry
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The NHL comparison concerns the netting up high at the ends. To the best of my knowledge, no player has ever hit the netting, and only at most a small handful of pucks ever hit it (fewer than foul balls/game) and most of those are at a high angle and wouldn't reach the seats directly. We're not talking about the (plexi)glass around the rink. That's been there a long time and isn't going anywhere, though there is periodic discussion concerning the height and shape of it (and the structure, as it may affect player injuries). Still, I agree, we're never going to achieve 100% fan safety (unless we eliminate 100% of the fans...), and we need to avoid knee-jerk overreaction -- a pound of prevention for an ounce of cure. Simple (and affordable) first step would be to analyze the actual threat. Detail someone in each park to track every ball or bat that leaves the playing surface, fair or foul (I've seen line drive HRs that could hurt...) with some estimate of arc and speed and see where the dangerous plays really are. (Ideally I'd track until I had a minimum number of events for each combination of pitcher/hitter handedness). Also track players going into the stands at the same time, and see what kind of affect on play might result.

May 06, 2011 4:00 PM on Screen Test
 
Llarry
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Because he is, in the words of Australia's Traffic Accident Commission, a "Bloody Idiot"? (their anti drunk-driving campaign is "Drink. Drive. Bloody Idiot." -- hard to beat that for simple and to the point)

May 04, 2011 1:04 PM on State Secret
 
Llarry
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Hannahan has been just fine for me as the last stop on the 3B carousel I've been on while Longoria's been on the DL. He's in the "break glass in case of emergency" category. Unlike the previous contestants, he managed to not get himself hurt (Encarnacion, Blake...) on my watch...

 
Llarry
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If Geoff Blum were still an Astro, I would wonder why Kevin Towers would be commenting on his surgery...

Apr 22, 2011 3:42 PM on Lisfrancly Speaking
 
Llarry
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Extrapolate Usain Bolt's 100m time (9.58s) to 360 feet, you get 10.51 seconds. Consider the dirt being looser than a hard track, corners at the bases (and the potential need to adjust stride to hit them), and the time needed to follow through the swing, and I'd have a hard time seeing anything less than say mid-13s.

 
Llarry
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How about the Dodgers all wearing 42 on 4/15, and then the next day, all the other teams wear the numbers of their first black players. (We could time them in order that the teams each integrated, but let's not make a current organization pay for what a previous owner may have done...)

Apr 18, 2011 5:42 PM on The #42 Question
 
Llarry
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The Fatburger Upton hit is actually still in the park, it's on the far side of the concourse out there. Still pretty darn far, though... I don't think it's actually possible to put one out through the roof at Chase Field. To the best of my knowledge, the panels in the north wall have been bested only in BP and never in a game (of course, they're not open all the time, either).

Apr 13, 2011 5:33 PM on Trot Times for April 12
 
Llarry
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That's a lot of good stuff to come out of one conversation (assuming it wasn't 2+ hours long...). Another good one, David.

 
Llarry
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The breakdown of the Seaver trade by WARP is interesting. Henderson and Zachry made for a reasonable swap (ignoring the PR effect) and Norman was a not unreasonable washout at -0.9, but who knew Flynn was SO bad? He was such a fixture in the baseball card sets of the time that he *must* have been good...

 
Llarry
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Okay, so there really is different terminology in use in different bets, even under the same roof, since a Sports Book 2-1 gets you $15 back (your 5 plus 10) while a table 2-1 gets you $10 (your 5, plus 5). No wonder no one can agree on what Kevin is saying...

 
Llarry
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I think we're definitely in terminology hell here... 1) Go to Sports Book in same casino. 2) Place bet on World Series at 4-1 3) See that $5 ticket is marked "Win $20.00 to Pay $25.00" (I think in your Roulette example, your $5 stays on the table and they add $10 to it. In the Sports book, they get your $5, so they have to make a point of giving it back in addition to the winnings)

 
Llarry
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Hyperbole is the greatest thing ever...

 
Llarry
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Don't mean this to have sounded like a 'neener neener' post. I kind of like this column series, but you seemed a little down on the day's opportunities, and I just wanted to highlight some different ways of looking at the same games.

Apr 05, 2011 10:48 PM on For Amusement Only 4/4
 
Llarry
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Just spent a couple of days in Vega$ and I'm glad I didn't get a chance to read this before placing my bets... I took Atlanta over Milwaukee due to an interest in seeing what Beachy could do. The over/under on O's/Kitties was 10 -- didn't like the pitchers that much, but the hitters even less. Been hearing good things about Morton this year and have never liked Lohse (and been a Bucs fan since I was 6...). $15 wagered, $30.80 collected. Cheap fun when it works. Paris' sports book (I assume others will follow) has some interesting prop bets on the circumstances of Jeter's impending 3000th -- type of hit, count, home or away.

Apr 05, 2011 10:36 PM on For Amusement Only 4/4
 
Llarry
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I miss the Reggie bar. Really I do. Reggie? Not so much, but certainly the candy bar... Love the Jeter sponsorship...

Mar 29, 2011 2:37 PM on Ad Nauseum
 
Llarry
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The advantage of having the DH as it is now, is that it maintains the difference between the leagues. From the founding of the AL, there were differences in how the game was played in the two leagues, and with interleague interaction limited to spring training and 4-7 games at the end of the year (don't get me started on the current abomination of interleague play...) the contempt came not from familiarity. Most fans only saw one league (even if they lived in a 2-3 team city), and the teams themselves had to concentrate on what their rivals did than how the other half lived. By the end of the sixties (possibly due to expansion and TV), the leagues were growing more similar on and off the field. Adding the DH to the AL only, restored that difference, even if only in a formal and arbitrary way.

 
Llarry
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Fine article. My only disappointment is that the words "Wonder Hamster" never appear.

Mar 22, 2011 4:14 PM on Stairs Cases
 
Llarry
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I would guess that he'll still come in a touch below his SIERA, but not 1.20 less. Maybe around 3.80 if he can keep the walks away.

Mar 11, 2011 1:18 PM on Sleepers and Busts
 
Llarry
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Aviles always strikes me as "Uggla-lite", less hitting, better (though still not great) glove. Guy who didn't show much in the minors, but got to the bigs through circumstance and turned out better than expected. While there are plenty of kids who never learn to handle better pitching, I wonder if there really are guys who are better suited to big-league pitching than to minor league.

Mar 10, 2011 5:04 PM on Day One at HoHoKam
 
Llarry
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And whatever the taxpayer bill end up as, the Pack were able to kick in a pretty penny from the sale of 400,000 new shares of stock (I got mine...).

 
Llarry
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In some societies, that would be seen as a positive, unless it was detracting from the more important tasks of drowning or burning them...

 
Llarry
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The Aussie Rules playoff system should work better in the various football codes, where it's one game at a time rather than a series. On the other hand, the Father-and-Son Rule would be cool on draft day. (If dad played X+ games for a team, they can give up a mid pick to take the kid early)

 
Llarry
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I believe Captain Hindsight is Captain Subtext's brother-in-law...

Feb 22, 2011 2:07 PM on Paying the Premium
 
Llarry
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It's not that signing Albert will increase attendance as much as fear of the decrease if they don't.

Feb 18, 2011 4:06 PM on Projecting Pujols
 
Llarry
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I have some issues with the comparison to A-Rod in Texas. I've seen many an analysis on this very site that the problem was not so much A-Rod's contract, but how poorly the Rangers spent the rest of the money that Tom Hicks didn't have.

Feb 18, 2011 4:05 PM on Projecting Pujols
 
Llarry
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I've also seen (from the stands) an apparent trend towards giving the pitcher a break on 3-0, proportionally to the pitcher's experience. Does PitchFX show that?

Feb 16, 2011 4:41 PM on The Real Strike Zone
 
Llarry
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I've always loved the fact that a pitcher's *own* errors can lead to unearned runs. Why? It's still his fault either way!

 
Llarry
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Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes....

 
Llarry
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I'm getting to like AA, and I'm not even a Jays' fan. I don't think there's any question this deal was cooking before the Angels deal was finished. While there were not unreasonable arguments made for what Napoli could do for the Jays, I wasn't really convinced. I'm picturing Alex telling Jon Daniels that he could hang Wells around the Angels' neck like a millstone, and deliver them Napoli's bat, and what's that worth to you?

Jan 26, 2011 4:16 PM on Napoli, oh Napoli
 
Llarry
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Because the BBWAA lets you start voting for awards right away, but not for the Hall for ten years. John's been an "official" writer for a longer time, since the Association only recently figured out that this Internet thing is real...

Jan 04, 2011 5:10 PM on One Man's Ballot
 
Llarry
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I'd hope that either: -- Trammell gets in and this draws attention to Whitaker and eventually gets him in via whatever form of Veterans' Committee is around then. or -- Trammell *doesn't* get in, and having the two of them together on a VC ballot someday gets them both in (preferably in the same year).

 
Llarry
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One of the fundamental questions about the HoF is whether it is there to reward fame, or bestow it. I'm a Moderately-(sorry Jack Morris)-Big-Hall guy, so I think it's some of both, but I can't claim the alternate view is definitively wrong.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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Are we sure it's not an ocelot in a tuxedo?

 
Llarry
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His younger brother Ron made it to triple-A Tidewater around 1970. Hit a homerun, breaking his bat in the process. Gave it to a 5-year old sitting near the dugout, whose father explained to the child who Allen and his brother were. Since that time, I've always been positively disposed towards the Allens. I think the bat is still in the back of a closet somewhere. It's big, though not as big as the one Dick hit with...

Nov 24, 2010 9:42 AM on Dick Allen
 
Llarry
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But should we be enshrining just those who had a "positive impact"? Or is the magnitude of impact also worth consideration (no, I'm not recommending the 1919 Black Sox or Hal Chase...)? I'm not sure I can unequivocally say whether George's contributions were entirely positive or negative. What state would the game be in without him? I don't know...

Nov 23, 2010 4:59 PM on Billy and George
 
Llarry
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"Show me...strike-out-the-side..." You relief pitcher do, okay. You relief pitcher not do, okay. You relief pitcher "guess so" - , just like grape...

Nov 18, 2010 1:17 PM on Saito Later?
 
Llarry
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Well, Halladay and Hamels at least.

 
Llarry
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Thanks, Will. Your first offerings were the reason I didn't hesitate to pay for Premium from Day One. Over the years, I sent you the occasional pitcher report from games I went to, and you always sent a prompt reply. Hope you enjoyed the reports as I much as I enjoyed sending them, and learning enough about pitching & health from you to do so... Good luck in whatever's next.

Sep 29, 2010 4:47 PM on Fade To Black Album
 
Llarry
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Actually yes. Foul balls that are caught shorten at-bats. Foul balls that reach the seats lengthen at-bats, and some end up as K or BB. Likewise, fly balls that are caught bring fewer batters to the plate, ones that fall in or go over the fences bring more batters to the plate. I don't know the math to estimate how big an effect that is, but I've seen that it is at least measurable and reasonably persistent.

Sep 28, 2010 3:49 PM on Racing for the Cy
 
Llarry
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The "Regression Monster"?. Great, I'm gonna sleep well tonight knowing *that*'s out there now....

 
Llarry
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Comment rating: -2

I think it would be okay if the hitter in question were Australian...

 
Llarry
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As a Red Sox fan, I respect MannyBManny's skill, if not his attitude. However, I've got to give a lot of credit to Kenny Williams for not being afraid to take chances and not going with the conventional answers on the $$/Prospects balancing act (and credit to Reinsdorf for letting him).

 
Llarry
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Any discussion of bad-hitting pitchers really does need to include Mark Redman - .052/.088/.052 in 154 AB (8 singles, 6 walks). Once saw him pitch a game in which he came to the plate twice with runners on, and both times fail to get a bunt down, the second time fouling it off his glove hand, breaking a bone, the first of two times in his career he would suffer that type of injury in that way. The man was definitely dangerous with a bat in his hand, primarily to himself.

 
Llarry
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Not buying it. If the Yankees fail to dominate, no one comes in and contracts them or forces them to move to Altoona. They've fallen from the "top of the food chain" a couple of times before and survived to fight another day. It could be argued that when the Yanks are on top, they need to help subsidize (luxury tax) the lesser teams to maintain competition and the quality of the Yankees "product" (in this case, being games worth watching), yet if the Yankees falter, then the top-of-the-standings opportunities that open up for smaller-revenue teams also form a sort of subsidy, just that the $$ involved come from happier local fan bases.

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 5

+1 for the pluralization of "Morris"...

Aug 26, 2010 2:32 PM on Hindsight is 81-81
 
Llarry
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Tom Petty is Bob Dylan's long-lost son. Or at least, he should be...

Aug 11, 2010 3:16 PM on Put Me In, Coach
 
Llarry
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Could it be that valuing league average pitchers so highly is one of the ways to become a "non-contending" team? This looks like a return to the days of yore here in AZ. It was most prevalent during the Joe Garagiola Jr. days -- he would overpay for the guy he really wanted in trade, and if he wanted a guy gone, the price ended up being pretty low. It's a focus on getting the deal done and not on making it a good deal. (To be fair, Joe G. did pretty well on Karim Garcia for Luis Gonzalez...)

 
Llarry
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I can get behind most of these, particularly: #6 - and I agree with 6manfan about rotating the review umpire through the regular crew. Seems the best way to get the guys in blue on the field to buy into it. #8 - Agreed. I believe that the DH properly keeps the leagues distinct. When we (#10) ditch interleague, the leagues are going to be kept apart (except for spring training, ASG and WS) and should have definite differences in style and makeup, just as they did for the first 50-60 years.

 
Llarry
(1146)
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T is for Terry The Giant from Memphis Whose .400 average You can't over-emphas'

Jul 27, 2010 5:23 PM on If July Were April
 
Llarry
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Part of the problem is that the rules as written were designed for a different situation. The "second trip" rule was designed to keep the game moving. Mattingly wasn't trying to stall, it seems he had something legitimate to say to Loney. He should have stopped and called Loney over to him. The second piece of the rule that's been quoted (and was also mis-applied) is that if the second visit is during the same at-bat, the pitcher stays in to finish it and the manager is ejected. The purpose of that is to prevent a manager from trying to use the first rule to change a matchup without the pitcher facing a batter. Broxton had already issued the free pass, so that wasn't the intent, and that rule wouldn't have applied.

 
Llarry
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True. I think the Jays had an easier time with Halladay because he was far enough along in his career that the Toronto fans could sit back and say, "Ok Doc, you've toiled away for us, and now you have a chance to go off and take a shot at a ring in what time you have left." I don't believe that Brewers fans see Prince as being at that stage yet. If money weren't an object, he's definitely young enough to be a part of the next good Milwaukee team, even if it's a few years off. The problem for the organization is that the money to keep Prince affects the timing of that next good team.

Jul 08, 2010 3:52 PM on Trading The Prince
 
Llarry
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I became a fan of Stoney in his Cubs days. When Harry would take his middle-innings "break", depending upon who was around, Stone would sometimes switch from color to PBP, and occasionally ended up doing a couple of innings solo. Well. One-man-booth is not easy, and usually reserved for the serious pros, the guys who've trained for it, with years and years of announcing experience. Not the guy who used to be out on the field. Last year, I was flipping around the dial and the only thing on was a WhiteSox game. I was dreading listening to the Hawk (I remember before he left Boston...), but found that Stoney does a remarkable job with Harrelson. I don't think anyone can really stop the Hawk, but Stone was at least able to keep him more on track, using clever questions to keep him more focused on the game at hand, and on actual facts drawn from his playing days. Far better than I was expecting.

Jul 02, 2010 4:59 PM on MLB Radio Broadcasters
 
Llarry
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Eric, I thought it was a great article; I was replying to the comment above. It's definitely a great discussion subject, with plenty of grey area for everyone to play in. I do think it's important to note how most of the walks were early, showing that, regardless of the pitch numbers, he was *much* more effective in the later innings. While we understand that pitchers aren't always (ever?) going to accurately self-report their condition to the manager (and culturally we reward that -- he's "scrappy", doncha know...), we often don't give the skipper enough credit for being able to look the pitcher in the eye, and talk to the coach and trainer in the dugout. When it's done right, that's potentially a lot of useful input we don't have access to. (When it's done wrong, you have things like Trey Hillman and Gil Meche...).

Jul 01, 2010 2:51 PM on A No-No
 
Llarry
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One more thing that I've heard discussed, which, if done right helps the process and brings the umpires on board: The replay ump is the fifth member of the crew and rotates through the field positions. The Union gets a bunch more jobs, and their performance is being reviewed by their peers. Now sure, the replay umps could clam up and never overturn anything, but if it's administered properly and reviewed after the fact, it should be okay. The key is making sure the umpires buy into the idea that overturned calls are not a hammer to be used against them. Get them on board and you take out the desire to "defend" calls. Rotating through as a fifth "base" gives each guy what should be an easier day (at least physically, getting to sit down), probably between the home plate and 1st base days. Video review and on-field calls are not necessarily the same exact skill set, but given the choice, I'm fine with having someone experienced in the on-field view making the judgments.

 
Llarry
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Comment rating: 2

You seem to have missed the mention of the the game situation. The D'Backs were only up 1-0: leaving Jackson in was (given the bullpen situation) probably the best chance the team had to win. Also, since the D'Backs aren't in a pennant chase, the chance of having to ease up in Jackson's next couple of starts (which might be blowouts, might not, and by which time *maybe* there might be some bullpen improvement) is not that big a price to expect compared to the chance to win this one and do something special. Fact is, Hinch made his player and the fans happy, and the latter is not to be lightly dismissed in an entertainment medium. Since Jackson has been throwing some higher pitch counts (114-120 or so), that 149 is not as extreme a jump as it would be for pitchers who've been seeing 95-100 per game. He averaged about 16.5 per inning, which is higher than you'd like to see in a complete game, but not outrageous (or unusual) in shorter outings. He had 2 innings over 20, but avoided the 30-40 pitch monster inning. Note also that 7 of the 8 walks came in the first three innings -- neither the Rays nor the Umpire gave indication later on that fatigue was affecting his pitching... All in all, it's an interesting situation to discuss, but there's far too much grey area for broad proclamations against Hinch. Especially from those of us who weren't sitting in the dugout with Jackson and a trainer and pitching coach...

Jun 30, 2010 4:34 PM on A No-No
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

Interleague play is an abomination, and if that's not bad enough, it's being mishandled as well. One of the big selling points was the "novelty", well, after this many years, with the same matchups over and over (and the above ones *not* occurring), I think we can dispense with that concept. You want novelty? At least try using the DH in the NL parks and make the pitchers hit in AL parks -- now *that*'s novelty! (A quick soapbox aside on my view of the DH -- for years the leagues were separate, not just in schedule and administration, but also in character. Eventually many of the on-field differences faded, and the DH helped restore the distinctions between the circuits. Having one DH league is a good thing, and has been for almost 40 years. Get over it.)

 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 1

It seems that you are including Foul Pop-up outs in your numbers, but what about trying to track down 'unplayed' fouls as well. Might we learn something if we account for them as well. Do pop-fly machines induce more foul pops than GBers as well? If nothing else, it might help clear some ballpark (that is, foul-ground) effects. Certainly it's data that could only be gotten through video (and pretty darn tediously at that), and would be very subject to definition and identification of different heights and locations of fouls, but even a small sampling, a few selected pitchers over the course of a season, might give us some idea whether there's any trends worth investigating.

 
Llarry
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I always remember Dave Freisleben - he was on one of the 1974 Rookie Pitcher cards with three other guys. That was the year the Padres were rumored to be moving to DC, so the first batch of cards had the Pad People all playing for "Washington - National League", the later pressings had them in SD where they stayed. I had Fred Kendall, Randy Jones, and *three* Freislebens...

 
Llarry
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They don't really deserve defending, but the D'Backs bullpen losing two extra-inning 1-0 games in a row, not as much their problem as the offense's problem. Of course, usually it's been the bullpen letting the offense down...

Jun 03, 2010 4:54 PM on Brave New World
 
Llarry
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A couple of weeks ago, caught part of a Fox game. One of the few players using the new helmet was up, and Joe Buck was talking about how he doesn't care what it looks like, if it's more protection, he'd be sure to wear it. Color guy (don't know who) questioned him on it a couple of times, but Joe held his ground. Pretty much the only time I've ever agreed with Joe Buck... I like Will's endorsement of cricket-style batting gloves. Picked up some second-hand cricket equipment a couple of years ago. Haven't gotten a chance to use any of it in practice, but wore it to work on Halloween. The gloves really aren't uncomfortable, though they do impede typing a bit...

 
Llarry
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The thing that gets me is that the game will not even be played for another 14 months. Given that the law has already been modified once, and given the degree of protest and litigation already launched, doesn't it seem reasonable that some more acceptable conclusion will be reached before then? I'm an Arizona resident. I understand the ostensible intent of the law, but it seems that the implementation is flawed and subject to abuse (and the cynic in me wonders how much of that might have been deliberate), abuse of a type that we already have a fair amount of around here. Racial profiling by law enforcement is something that, rightly or wrongly, is brought up constantly in these parts. Many a hard-working, honest cop has been affected due to increased sensitivity caused by some bad apples. Hurting the team and the common Arizonan by a boycott isn't going to help anything. We've got a governor that we didn't vote for (though, in the past that has usually turned out for the better...) and, as a state, don't particularly like, and IMO, doesn't particularly care too much about the will of the people...

May 17, 2010 2:59 PM on Week of May 10-16
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 2

Maybe not. The eyewitness reports above say he's been having trouble with high and tight, including some bailing out. If that started or intensified after the beaning, then it's: a) understandable 2) possibly a pretty good explanation iii) malpractice, if the coaching staff hasn't seen it and isn't trying to help him with it...

May 14, 2010 5:03 PM on Wrighting the Wrong
 
Llarry
(1146)
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"The Physics of Baseball" by Robert K. Adair is a book well worth having.

May 07, 2010 4:18 PM on Dave Baldwin
 
Llarry
(1146)
Comment rating: 3

A) Do we know whether the quotes here come from before or after the change in wording of the bill? I suspect at least a couple were before or concurrent. 2) Lawful stop, etc. still leaves a lot of leeway for abuses. Here in Arizona, we already see a pretty steady stream of profiling complaints. No matter how upright and honest the majority of law-enforcement officials are, there's always room for misunderstandings and a few bad apples to cause trouble. Even revised, this bill just opens that door a bit wider...

May 03, 2010 4:36 PM on April 26-May 2
 
Llarry
(1146)
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Dead on comment about Charlie Morton. I saw him against the D'Backs a few weeks ago. He started strong with a bunch of Ks the first time through the lineup and then the D'Backs (uncharacteristically) just stopped swinging at whatever he was fooling them with, and they lit him up. He looked out of sync, like the parts of his body weren't getting to the same place at the same time. Seeing the scout's comment of "overstriding" that clicked perfectly with what I saw.

Apr 23, 2010 5:14 PM on Friday Update
 
Llarry
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PNC is a lovely park, got to go to a game there a few years ago. Sunday afternoon in July, so there was a decent crowd. More recently, got to watch just about the same thing happen to the Buccos about two weeks ago at the hands of the D'Backs here in AZ. Morton got off to a good start, getting a bunch of early strikeouts, only to give up 6 runs in one inning on the the way to, well, 8-1. The Bucs hitters put a lot of pressure on Rodrigo Lopez in the first two innings, then let him off the hook and let him settle down. Game really was closer than the score. They should have been able to score in the first, and then the GS by Chris B. (crispy?) Young was by no means an expected thing (until he made contact -- out on a line to the deepest part of the park)...

Apr 21, 2010 2:11 PM on Brewers at Pirates
 
Llarry
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Josh, I appreciate your efforts. The criticisms above do have some merit, and I hope you can use it constructively (whether it was intended that way or not...) in future installments. There are open questions left in your statements that I hope will eventually be answered. No one is expecting Pulitzer-caliber writing, and since I don't believe that BP is strictly rationing electrons, nobody should feel that your inclusion is depriving them of writing that is more to their tastes. I figure future articles will start to fill in the gaps and round out the picture of the world you live and work in that we don't see.

Mar 16, 2010 4:44 PM on You Never Know
 
Llarry
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"Don't think, Meat. It can only hurt the ball club." -- Crash Davis

Mar 05, 2010 3:35 PM on Jonathan Lucroy
 
Llarry
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The Gremlin? Or maybe the Pacer? I always thought the Newton was too big not only for what it could actually do, but even for what it wanted to do...

Feb 18, 2010 1:40 PM on June 3-9
 
Llarry
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You are correct, sir. Grant Jackson was the lefty on the mound. I don't remember if Vincente Romo had already been used or was otherwise unavailable. Now that was a bullpen. Romo had 70+ appearances, Jackson 80+ and Teke 90+.

Feb 08, 2010 4:44 PM on Why Not Two Pitchers?
 
Llarry
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Yes, but Abject Ingnorance will mainly manifest in differing (or if you will, wildly inaccurate,) valuations, and will spill into the other two. If you were such a Front Office Type, your Abject Ignorance would cause you to vastly overvalue certain players. Not knowing what others would bid for their services would lead you to overbidding, for fear that someone else will bid higher. Finally, Lack of Close Substitutes will lead you to value players based on imperfect comparisons, and dreams of converting a desired player to an inappropriate position to fit your team's needs. In other words, your term of Abject Ignorance is already contained in the others, but by breaking them out, we may be able to better see the specific effects, and how they vary by organization. We can already see teams that are more likely to overpay for certain types of players rather than others, and those who are more active at the beginning or at the end of the off-season.

 
Llarry
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From 1901 through the '50s, there were noticeable differences between the AL and NL. Differences in play style, and fan following (though often driven at least partly by media availability), aided by the fact that teams from opposing leagues only really saw each other a little in spring training and in the World Series. (Interleague has changed that, and not for the better -- the novelty is over, get rid of Interleague!). I believe this split was good for the game. Through the '60s and into the '70s, these differences waned, the DH re-established them. Keeping it in just one league is the way to go.

Dec 16, 2009 5:06 PM on Midweek Update
 
Llarry
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I don't understand the ideas of a late-fall draft and the death of the short season minors. So kids are going to finish the spring season/school year, sit around on their duffs all summer, get drafted in the fall and come to spring training ready to contribute? I don't think so. Best time to draft them is right after their seasons end, other than the in-season distraction for front offices, but hard slotting should ease that workload some. Then you get them signed quicker, and into short-season leagues, which should instead be thriving.

Oct 15, 2009 4:58 PM on Declaring the Basics
 
Llarry
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I can understand league size affecting competition for playoff spots and scheduling, but how does it affect the talent pool? Are there players (other than perhaps a few DHs) who are only eligible to play in the AL? All 30 teams are sharing the same worldwide talent pool, the number of them that are in one league or the other is irrelevant.

 
Llarry
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Quick, somebody point Brian Bannister at this article... If anybody'd be the first pitcher to try to use this data, I'd put my money on Banny.

Oct 06, 2009 5:16 PM on Location and Perception
 
Llarry
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One of the best fan experiences I've ever had was attending a game at Wrigley. It was a cold rainy June afternoon in 2004 and the Cubs blew out the Cardinals. Dusty tried to blow out Zambrano's arm, sending him back out for one more inning after 95 pitches and a 12-4 lead. I had a ticket way up high down the right field line, but the fans around me were great. A few families, including kids with scorecards. I had my scorebook and the guy behind me kept asking me questions (like how many pitches last inning, how many deep counts, etc -- *good* questions). I'm not a Cubs fan, but I was for that day...

Aug 27, 2009 6:16 PM on No Joy in Wrigleyville?
 
Llarry
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"Not everything is risk/reward evaluation. Personally speaking, I evaluate the risks, the rewards, and question whether or not I can live with what I've done at the end of the day." But don't you see, 'whether or not I can live with what I've done' *IS* part of the Risk side of the equation. It's not a separate characteristic.

 
Llarry
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I think it's important that the DH exist, and in only one league. From the founding of the AL, there was always a difference between the "Senior" and "Junior" Circuits. While much of it may have been more perceived than actual, it was believed that there were differences in the style of play. Through the '50s and '60s, as coverage became more national, the two leagues grew together, and the DH re-established the distinction. As much as Czar Bud has tried to eliminate the separation by eliminating the league offices, and through Interleague (), the tradition of Baseball, for over a century is that of two separate leagues, meeting at the end of their seasons with their champions poised for the overall title. This is in contrast to the image of two conferences within one league (as in the NFL, NHL and NBA).

Jun 17, 2009 12:58 PM on My Ballot
 
Llarry
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Nice quick Q&A Back when Interleague (which I loathe) started, I thought, "Since this is really about novelty, why don't they use the DH in the NL parks?". This has come up occasionally since (even Bud mentioned it once) -- so why hasn't anything been done about it?

Jun 16, 2009 5:40 PM on My Ballot
 
Llarry
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In fact, I'd go so far as to say the question it left me with (and which might bear answering in a future extension) is: If I'm going to see a AAA game, is it really worth making it the "All-Star" game, or might a regular season game do as well in terms of seeing developing talents?

Jun 09, 2009 12:16 PM on The Summer of 1992
 
Llarry
(1146)
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I liked it. Kind of a Goldman-lite. Nice club to have in the bag...

 
Llarry
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"There, that's my 100 pitches, I'm done. What? It's only the fourth inning? Sorry guys, not my fault..."

May 27, 2009 4:58 PM on Bouncing Back
 
Llarry
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Yeah, Dunn is huge when you're in the same park with him. Went to a D'Backs-Giants game at Chase last year. Dunn played 1st, Unit and Tiny Tim squared off. It was a whole night of size comparisons...

May 27, 2009 4:52 PM on The Bergesen Tour
 
Llarry
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And for your next trick, how about the even rarer, but apparently real ROOGY? There have been a few (probably not enough to really tell anything from) who have been used that exclusively. Of course, with Righties with short appearances, you have to work harder to filter out the Closers...

May 08, 2009 4:51 PM on LOOGYing Around
 
Llarry
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I looked at that link. That's not analysis, that's mainstream-media-level crap. Correlation does not equal causality, and in this case, all you've got is a *lack* of correlation in one part of the "curve". Leaving out the historical precedents for a player having a single outlier season at some point in their career, should we really be surprised that Bonds (and Palmeiro, for that matter) could be more productive in their declines considering they have access to (incomplete list): Better (legal) drugs (painkillers, allergy medicines, etc) Better dietary programs including better vitamin supplements 5th starters Expansion teams Smaller ballparks Maple bats Video analysis Better travel arrangements (and fewer doubleheaders) Juiced balls (potentially) and, with more pitcher days off, and more fresh relievers entering the games, likely a higher average pitch speed seen, whereby the pitcher contributes significantly to the energy of the batted ball, making it fly farther.

May 08, 2009 4:31 PM on Manny's Return
 
Llarry
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Sandoval didn't miss Thursday's game, the Giants had the day off. He tripled in the first inning on Friday, in the rain and cold. Looked fine. That is a very large man to run that far, that fast.

May 02, 2009 11:28 AM on Cub Ugly
 
Llarry
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I would be interested in seeing a breakdown of swings and fouls relative to the count, specifically, swinging strikes to finish Ks, and fouls with less than two strikes. Once the batter gets to two strikes, he's going to get defensive, which will lead to a greater number of subsequent fouls, but are there any trends concerning early fouls. Do they indicate a guy who's hittable, and the batter *just* missed, or are there guys who can tease batters consistently with stuff that's just "not quite" reachable, and might that help set up a later "out pitch"?

May 02, 2009 11:20 AM on Whiffery
 
Llarry
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Comment rating: 9

Read the last full paragraph. This is not a post about New York, it is a post about memories, old and new. God knows I don't like New York, the city, or any team in any sport that calls it home, but I liked this post. Joe is from NY, and it's important to him. I read his writing because I like what he says about the things that he finds worthy. Thing is, this really isn't just about New York. The same concepts were in play in Detroit when Comerica replaced Tiger Stadium, and will be when the Twins move into their new digs. Strange as it may seem, there will be people who grew up with fond memories of the Metrodome.

Apr 17, 2009 4:57 PM on The Mariners
 
Llarry
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No Joe, go ahead. Maybe nothing earthshaking, but some amusing little situations I wouldn\'t have known to look out for.

 
Llarry
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He\'s even been knighted. Of course, that was before his celebrated legal run-ins of a few years past.

 
Llarry
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Dunn won\'t go near Toronto, and Toronto won\'t go near Dunn, after JP put his foot in his mouth and went for a hike. And that\'s not even counting that Dunn reportedly doesn\'t want to DH (see, it may not be just the GMs that are holding this up, it\'s possible that some of the players involved won\'t do the logical thing...)

Jan 30, 2009 1:48 PM on The Designated Whatever
 
Llarry
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Comment rating: 7

Thanks for the clarification, but I don\'t think it really helps the argument any. Give me a pitcher who \"logged an awful lot of 1-0 games\" and I throw wheelbarrows full of money at him. I don\'t care if he lost them all -- if so, I go get better hitters...

Jan 13, 2009 2:11 PM on Chaz Scoggins
 
Llarry
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Yeah, but that\'s how the PED alarmists think.

Jan 12, 2009 2:19 PM on July 31-August 4, 2001
 
Llarry
(1146)
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A couple of years ago I got caught going to a (D\'Backs) game without my scorebook (and pens, and BP...) when I was given tickets at the last minute. Never thought of keeping an emergency scorebook in the car. (Did get to watch Mark Redman break his hand failing to bunt, though) My special scoring quirk is that I use a different color pen for each spot in the lineup (and a 10th for PH). This way I can look back and see whose at-bat contained that SB or WP.

 
Llarry
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I don\'t like the Yankees, so I\'m certainly not invested in the idea of improving them, but... I don\'t know if the Yanks have a home-grown solution that\'s at least \"backup-worthy\" for 2010, but otherwise it shouldn\'t be too hard to upgrade your \"Posada Insurance\" over Molina. The cost should be recoverable just in change found between the couch cushions in Hank\'s office... A *good* catcher is usually hard to find, and while there are a few available (see Rangers, Texas...), the price will be too high for a couple days a week\'s work. However, not all members of the IBBB are created equal. If Molina\'s mix of offense/defence is not what they need, it shouldn\'t be too hard to shift the balance.

Sep 23, 2008 2:05 PM on Fixing It
 
Llarry
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I don\'t think there\'s any problem with the existence of \"clutch hitting\" -- the problem is that there\'s pretty much no evidence of it being a repeatable and predictable skill. Today\'s \"clutch hitter\" is just as likely to be tomorrow\'s \"clutch sitter\" (see Rodriguez, Alex). A few players have had extended runs of improved performance in situations designated as \"clutch\" (by whatever criteria), but even so, it\'s not always usable for future predictions, and can\'t be distinguished by any other performance indicators. You can\'t look at the records of comparable players and pick out something that says this guy will be good and that guy won\'t.

Sep 17, 2008 3:37 PM on Living on the Edge
 
Llarry
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Umm, *Doug* Melvin is the Brewers\' GM. *Bob* Melvin is the manager of the D\'Backs.