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Yeah, I question less Kendall's numbers than those of HOF catchers on the wrong side of 42.6.
Christina - Just so I understand, is your argument that because the votes on Pujols and Votto were so similar, it's highly unlikely that the voters chose Votto rationally? In other words, it's not that voting for Votto first is by itself irrational, but that it's highly unlikely that all the voters voted for similar, rational reasons? [Sort of like everyone picking "heads" for a coin-toss.]
Ultimately, the vote between Votto and Pujols may have come down to irrational predilection, but at worst, I see this is non-progress, as opposed to a step back. Shouldn't saberers be stoked by the fact that arguably the two best players in the NL finished first and second?
So it appears that having another plus hitter on the roster doesn't necessarily help AL teams, unless those extra hitters are good enough fielders that they could replace a worse hitter when playing without a DH.
So much for my thinking that NL teams with deep benches should perform better in interleague play than comparable teams with less hitting depth.
Thanks for answering.
You shouldn't have gone there with calling the Phillies out, man!!!
Seriously, any difference between interleague play with a DH and without? I would imagine that AL teams would perform better at home, as they can afford to carry a ninth full-time hitter.
Would it be possible to have division adjustments as opposed to league adjustments? The AL East continues to dominate all other divisions, but is the NL East really that much worse than the AL Central?
Happy to revise my opinion if someone can provide a breakdown of which AL teams kick NL ass. If it's all of them, so be it.
Six of one and all that, but I wouldn't fault Amaro for trading Lee, if he hadn't also overvalued his hitters. The Phillies' pitchers this year are sixth in runs allowed, same as last year, despite Manuel abusing his starters like Dusty the Second. But the Phillies chose to ignore Ibanez' age, Rollins' fragility and leadoff futility, the team's weakness against lefties, and the complete absence of a utility infielder - or any bench, for that matter - that's worth a damn.
I very much appreciate your point about ignoring the rankings and focusing on correcting deficiencies. Following the Phillies, I've seen a team really limit itself with the philosophy of "good enough," whether that's letting Howard hack away vs. lefties, leaving Lidge in when he wasn't performing, or trading away Cliff Lee for peanuts.
The ironic thing is, you're calling on managers like Baker to be more active in how they manage, while guys like "Greg" so often criticize saber-folk for not focusing on how the game is played.
Do you think that some of the Phillies' recent woes have anything to do with the team getting older? Happ is young, but Polanco and Rollins aren't. To what extent, if any, do you think general wear and tear may be a factor?
What effect do you think Howard's contract will have on inflation? Is there a chance here that Howard's big contract will actually contribute to inflation, thus making it seem more reasonable?
pbconnection - Sorry, my computer won't allow me to reply directly. The ironic thing about the Yankees is that a big reason for their success - George Steinbrenner - was the kind of guy that Selig would likely never allow into the ownership club these days.
Joe, I agree with your point about Selig. As I recall, the winning bidder in each of the last two team purchases wasn't the highest bidder, but the bidder with ties to Selig. But I don't really follow your point about the Phillies. It wasn't that the Phillies valued $9 million over Lee, but that the Phillies valued Polanco, Gload, and the other heart-and-soul guys they signed recently over Lee. That's not so much a fixation on the bottom line as it is silly resource management.
JR Richard? Has there ever been a connection made between his stroke and his workload?
Who knows if the Yankees would have any of their last four championships if Steinbrenner hadn't been exiled from baseball in the early 90's? Maybe Jeter, Posada, etc. would have gone the way of Fred McGriff and Al Leiter - Yankee prospects who became stars elsewhere. You can't fault the Yankees for keeping the players they drafted and developed.
Hey, on behalf of fans of the Philadelphia Phillies - the losingest team in the history of the game - I apologize for people snarking on Yankee fandom. It's gotta be tough. Not that I would know, as Philly Phans have never been blasted for being happy about their team's extremely occasional success. Not once. Ever.
Seriously, good for the Yankees. If they can continue to combine smart management with big money, they'll be really good for a while.
Excellent point about Rollins - Tony Womack with pop is not someone you want batting leadoff. I just hope he's not as big a fancy lad as Abreu was about moving around in the order.
SoxOsPhils - "Post Reply" doesn't work on my computer, so here goes: the Phils need a better bench, especially a decent right-handed bat who can play 1B and left field. A utility infielder who can hit would also really help, as injuries could start to be more of an issue for the Phillies in 2010. And a manager who's willing to bench players or shuffle the lineup a bit would help. Rollins shouldn't be hitting leadoff when his OBP is below the Kingman line.
The bullpen needs to improve, but I think the holes in the Phillies' offense have been overlooked for too long.
Meant to say "has anyone considered . . ."
John - Has considered how Hamels' performance this year really seems to suffer after the third inning? Is that type of fatigue common with young pitchers with a recent uptick in their innings pitched?
Meant to say "the fact that both these teams have also developed several great players is pretty sweet."
Aren't there an awful lot of home-grown players on both teams? I thought the Phillies had the advantage here, but almost all the Yankees' bullpen came up from the Yankees' farm system, not to mention Jeter, Posada, Cano, Cabrera and Pettitte.
I know small market teams can't compete in keeping great players, but the fact that both these teams have also is pretty sweet.
Jay, do you think there's any significance in the fact that nine of the top twenty-one (and six of the top ten) overachieving teams are from the last decade? And has there been any analysis of underachieving teams? I'm just wondering if something is going on out there in recent years that's flattening the curve a bit.
ScottyB - Fair points about Howard's and Dunn's career OPS+, but Howard's best season was in 2006, he's not drawing walks like he used to, and he can't hit lefties any more at all. Until recently, Howard has been slightly more valuable, but I have a bad feeling about Howard's play going into his 30's.
As the Phillies flirt with their impersonation of the 2007 Mets, it would have been nice to have a monster like Dunn rather than Ibanez, regardless of the latter's excellent first half. Really, is Dunn anything but another Howard (well, a cheaper, more patient Howard, who is also better against lefty pitching)?
Joe, you're freaking me out: some games are more critical than others, team fortunes come down to a proven closer (or just a proven 60 IP guy). Isn't it a little more reasonable to just say that the Mets would have fared better in 2007 and 2008 if they'd just (a) scored more runs and/or (b) allowed fewer runs? To be sure, Wagner was a part of the problem, but there was a lot more involved in those seasons.
Fair point, Joe. I agree completely that it's a stretch to think of the Phils in 2007-2008 as anything more than on par with the Mets. I do think that the Phillies have a better system in place to keep themselves in contention for the next few years, but you already noted that. The 2009 Mets had a better bullpen to start with, but their offense is filled with aging players and no adequate replacements.
2006 was the year Pujols was cheated out the MVP award for missing some time, although Utley was more valuable than Howard that year, as well.
I'm a Phillies fan who actually thinks the Mets were the team to beat in 2007. But how is your reasoning above any different than arguments that support certain games over others? For example, Chase Utley would have had a career year in 2007 but for a stint on the DL; do you think his injury was less important than the Mets losing a one-inning pitcher for a couple of games? How is one factor, or one game, more important than another.
As for 2008, the impact of Wagner's loss had as much to do with how shallow the Mets' bullpen was. To me, the 2008 Mets and Phillies were pretty evenly matched if you could quantify and add up individual talent, but the Phillies' talent was much more evenly spread. From an anecdotal/intuitive perspective, doesn't it make sense that this sort of team would perform better over the long haul than a team with a greater concentration of talent (if for no other reason than the risk of injuries to key players)?
Deeper talent, better player development, better health management, and better coaching.
When it comes to Joe's denial of the Phils' superiority over the Mets, Joe's turning "luck" into the new "heart and soul."
On August 4, 1988, my best friend and I were lounging in the lovely waters of Lake Michigan. We thought about catching the Tigers as the Red Sox were in town, and both teams were looking good. I didn't think I could make it, as I was scheduled to wash dishes that night, but my assistant manager - the coolest assistant manager ever, I suspect - said he would cover for me if I brought back a souvenir for his kid (one of those little Louisville Slugger bats with, like, Chet Lemons' name on it).
So we drove all the way across the state to witness the Tigers totally demolish Roger Clemens, on Clemens' birthday, no less. Clemens was terrible, and as he walked off the mound in the sixth, I remember the fans joining in for a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday". I also remember Jim Rice hitting a ball probably 415 feet to dead center, where somebody caught it on the warning track.
My guilty pleasure player was Steve Jeltz.
Your point about the Mets being top-heavy gets me wondering, does BP's analysis come up with player values and then just add them up, or does it also consider how total values are distributed? For example, two NL teams with a starting lineup value of 80 "units": one with eight 10-unit players, and the other with four 15-unit players and four 5-unit players. Is one lineup more valuable than the other, even though the sums of their parts are equal?
I'm inclined to think the deep teams would tend to fare a little better, which is why the Phils had their best record of the decade last year, and also why the Mets always seem to fall a little short in expectations. But that's not based on anything but a couple of anecdotes.
If Team A and Team B are playing a game, and Team A knows that Team B is cheating, but Team A says nothing because Team A is also cheating, is it really cheating? I guess so, but it doesn\'t seem worth disclosing anonymous test results to bolster the need for retroactive moralizing. Perhaps the need to address perjury in a grand jury proceeding trumps the need to identify an alleged perjurer\'s test results, but for those players that could not be accused of perjury, the tests should be kept secret.
That said, is it wrong to consider PED use when examining a player\'s HOF eligibility? Putting aside whether PED\'s actually enhanced \"real time\" performance (pitch or bat speed, or example), aren\'t a lot of the PED\'s known to help with healing, recuperation, and endurance? In other words, wouldn\'t PED use have helped players prolong their careers and pad their statistics?
The phrase \"it matters\" is too vague. Fine, it should matter to baseball fans whether a baseball player cheated, although I\'ve yet to understand why PED\'s are somehow worse than other forms of cheating (like spitballs, for instance). But I don\'t think it matters enough to have millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on (supposedly) addressing this problem, nor do I think it matters enough to divert the attention of our government from more pressing concerns.
In Elmwood Park just west of Chicago, Johnnie\'s Beef has some of the best Italian beef sandwiches in the world.
I agree with the previous comment that a vote for Rice isn\'t so terrible if the voter takes an inclusive approach to the HoF. However, hardly anyone is speaking up for Dwight Evans, and he was simply a better player. He hit better than Rice, he fielded better than Rice, and he ran the bases better than Rice (perhaps a dubious honor, but even so). Rice and Evans played on the same team at the same time, so comparison is impossible to avoid. Simply put, you cannot reasonably vote for Rice and not vote for Evans.
What bothers me most about the focus on Rice is that Dwight Evans has a much stronger case for the Hall, but gets very little attention.
I stand corrected: I can\'t believe I missed this article! Thanks for the link (by the way, I really enjoy the \"how did they get here\" articles).
Keep up the good work!
I\'m a Phillies fan, and I have no problem with Joe picking the Rays. They won more games in a tougher league, so that pick makes sense.
What I would love to see is an acknowledgment that the Phillies farm system - a system that in this decade has produced Burrell, Myers, Rollins, Howard, Utley, Hamels, Floyd and Victorino (sort of) - isn\'t as bad as it\'s been described by BP in the past. Has there been a farm system that\'s produced this many quality players since 2000?
Regarding your point about homers, but I thought it was a weird time to make that point, given that the Phillies didn\'t hit any in the game. To me, the bigger factor in this game was the number of pitches the Dodgers threw. As a Phillies fan, I still think we got lucky given how (uncharacteristically) strong the bottom of the order hit, but working the count was what won it for the Phils.