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What can I say except that I'm sad you haven't had the transcendent chili that I have. I feel bad for you.
The <a href="https://twitter.com/jlwoj/status/826269388101738497">Angels' new third baseman</a>.
This is accurate and correct.
It's actually a fantastic example because it literally treats different people's votes differently, yet, as Patrick says, it's baked in and many take it for granted or argue in favor of it. Whether there are good reasons for it to exist is irrelevant to the question of whether it is fair in the sense that Patrick uses the word here, to mean a Golden Rule type of fairness, a strict equality where two broken toys is fairer than one broken toy.
To the latter, at least: minor-leaguers (understood to mean those players not on the 40-man roster) are not in the MLBPA or any other union. (For this reason, and with no shade at Trevor, I think the word "members" in the penultimate sentence of the third paragraph is ill-chosen -- minor-leaguers aren't members, either of the union as an association or of the bargaining unit for which the MLBPA has exclusive-representation rights.)
It's not a question of understanding - it's a question of disagreement with the proposition that free-market enterprise is good.
Davis isn't a first name, come on.
*coughs* the Dodgers and Angels don't play in the same city
It's a pretty nice win total even so, though.
I'm sad that I made a joke :(
Everyone complaining about "should of" probably should of read a book.
I've been pondering whether, in the short term, the conclusion about catcher conversions is correct, or whether we'll actually see <i>more</i> catcher conversions until modern receiving techniques (and the coaching of them) filter down through the ranks. That is, what I wonder is whether amateur catchers are presently getting the right kind of receiving instruction such that their experience is <i>good</i> experience, or whether some teams might have more luck taking someone with the right tools but zero catching background and building a catcher with a blank slate, no bad habits to undo, etc. etc. etc.
The opposite side of my musing is that maybe receiving hasn't actually changed, we're just putting a number on it - the techniques of framing haven't visibly changed in the 25 years I've been watching baseball, though of course I watch with a pretty unpracticed eye - so perhaps even a catcher coming out of any old high school will have had the same basic (more or less correct) instruction in catching as anyone else, and really will be ahead of his third baseman teammate.
On the off chance that he is not in fact tasked with beaning senators with line drives, this has been fixed - thanks!
On the day the Supreme Court is hearing Friedrichs v. CTA, it is worth noting that the MLBPA is operating in the most antiunion environment we've seen in, I don't know, a century? And not out of the blue, but as part of a 40-year concerted campaign to make it this way. In such a highly public industry, and in a world in which some significant portion of its membership is likely quite antiunion, it's worth noting these things before casting aspersions at Michael Weiner and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1308">Tony Clark</a></span>. However brilliant Marvin Miller may have been, 1966 was an entirely different place than 2016.
You are correct, and this is corrected.
Oops, fixed. Thanks.
"When the opposition puts the ball in play against Chapman (often a feat within itself), it tends to catch air."
That hat is definitely green.
! I want a <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=18641">Stan Bahnsen</a></span> story now.
A slice of pie for Tynan. hpeabody, your punishment is watching Tynan eat it.
Doesn't really fit the point of the article, which is players who we didn't think would be relevant enough to deserve a writeup but who turned out to perform well.
You're my new best friend.
Now you know how I feel.
Fixed and thank you.
Why did you read it?
And it was, specifically, two different Cashmen.
I wrote this comment only because I wanted to say "Cashmen."
Fixed. Thank you, fawcettb.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=18911">Billy Beane</a></span> would be extremely surprised to hear that the Jays have <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=102106">Franklin Barreto</a></span>.
I'm pretty sure Russell is from Ohio.
Or amazing ones.
I'm, sadly, way older than that.
"(Note: The actual Roe pitch was captured in Toronto, but Camden Yards makes for an easier example, so we'll use it here.)"
It is in progress.
Ask and ye shall etc.
You are correct, thank you. Fixed.
Thank you -- fixed.
Come on, everyone's definitely heard of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=67154">Asher Wojciechowski</a></span>.
Good point, though I will note the timing of his move to left field, about which he's grumbled. If he's traded somewhere where he can play center, he might be convinced to waive.
"sometimes they'll get too cute for their own good"
The journey from Highland Park to Los Angeles is zero!
I'm glad you bring up the ethical (and I might even say moral) considerations, particularly as they relate to bargaining power. One question, though, as to one tiny aspect: would eliminating (or, more realistically, discounting) players due to medical imaging really be an attack on the meritocracy of baseball? Might it be more properly viewed as a path toward a full accounting of present + likely future merit, where teams gain more and more ability gauge the future?
And in particular, for every player who's discounted, someone else is bumped up to take his place -- sucks for Brady Aiken and the 2050 version of Brady Aiken, but if someone else is paid the money and given the opportunity, does this actually raise any ethical problems?
I co-edited the Annual and it's definitely "should of."
Stupid rules. I hate rules. (Thanks.)
For other readers, there's an explanation of the rule I screwed up here -- scroll to or search for "fourth minor league option".
The boss doesn't get to decide which employees are in a union, so, at least as to your first paragraph, that's outside the power of the Commissioner, even acknowledging that this whole thing is just an exercise in "how can we make the game better."
1. I thought the same thing.
2. I'm not convinced Coco Crisp isn't still an actual second baseman who's been masquerading as an outfielder for a decade.
I've carried two cell phones for the last five years! I'm going to send my resume to Philadelphia and see how this works out.
We'll email him this comment as his compensation.
Oops, four-run fifth. Thanks.
We're proceeding through the proper channels. The last thing we need is a lawsuit. We will inform everyone of the outcome of our review once the final decision is made and all appeals are heard.
With apologies for the late posting, which is on me, I hope the additional information from the fantasy side now addresses this question. (Though timber also said it.)
Whatever your personal beliefs on the matter, that is not what a union is "designed solely" to do.
The player chooses, I think -- Yoenis Cespedes is bringing back Mike Gallego this year. (Which also shows that they don't always want the platoon advantage.)
Fixed -- thanks!
I was with you right up until "Waygon."
You didn't have to say "wet." Just "dream" would have sufficed. smh
He not only dropped the bat in July 2013, he almost lawn darted it.
It's neutral given that the team would have still avoided Super Two if he hadn't signed the contract, and I think it's that monkeying with the clock / leverage that I think people are reacting to. If they'd called him up when he was ready, and you exchange an arb year for a minimum salary year, the picture changes a bit.
This doesn't go to whether Singleton should or should not have signed the deal, and it's also just one step further from the normal, non-extension-related, service time shenanigans, I.e. I don't know if the Astros are actually acting any worse than any team, and in any event I don't have a good solution to the Super Two problem any more than anyone else does, but it seems worth noting anyway.
I have a wild guess about what Asher said instead of "[arm]".
Okay, but do you have stills of a fish crossing the street?
For what it's worth, the 65% takes the count into account, so it's not really an "on top of" situation. (Apologies if I'm just reading that phrase too literally.)
I hereby submit my official request that a Resident BP Genius take a fresh look at manager ejections without the obvious methodological flaw Sam pointed out.
Attested and sworn to this 19th day of April in the year 2014, in Los Angeles, California.
"During the weeks when he can’t even straighten his arm" he won't be able to hold the pen to sign the deal! Your plan is foiled.
/blinks with doe eyes
why whatever could you be talking about
(Alternatively: thanks, fixed.)
A bunt to the right side or blowing it twice and winding up with two strikes are also good ways to fail.
The main reason is that he's probably not a good enough bunter to be successful that often. Then again, he wouldn't have to be. Even 40% would add value, especially when added to the deterrent effect.
Which is to say that I'm completely on board with the idea that shifted hitters league-wide aren't bunting enough.
This represents exactly the same folly as only considering the Buffy movie canon, which is something no one would ever say.
I literally just got this joke right now.
For what it's worth, the A's spent a supplemental round pick on Huston Street a decade ago. The A's haven't ever bought a Papelbon on the market, but they have, in their way, been paying blood and treasure for guys they thought they could trust to close for a long time now.
This has little to do with the point of the article; it's just to say that wherever the A's are in their valuation of relievers, and whether where they are is ten years ahead of the times or ten years behind, I think they've been there for quite a good while.
To be clear and to make sure Sam doesn't hate me: I didn't mean to cast any aspersions regarding his Fun Fact. It just made me curious and I hoped to spur someone who knows how to Do Databases to find stretches like Gibson or Hershiser's.
The first section makes me wonder about starting pitchers who have had hidden 70-inning stretches of <1 RA/9.
This is a problem with the JDA and CBA, both of which are posted in some weird PDF format that makes copying and pasting a real bear regardless of where you're pasting to.
My best guess on the 7A/7G question is that it represents a safe middle ground for both sides. The MLBPA would risk a holding by Horowitz that under 7A, three drugs gets you a lifetime ban in non-analytic cases. (As noted by other commenters, basically anyone using drugs is using many drugs, so the risk would essentially be lifetime bans for all non-analytic cases.) MLB would risk a decision that all this conduct by ARod gets lumped into one violation, so it's a 50-game suspension. 7G gives both parties room for argument.
That Sayre hasn't chimed in on this point makes me think that oloughla has a point.
I've always been a fan of the part where they catch ARod sneaking glances back at the catcher.
There's a similar policy of judicial non disruption of agreed-to processes, but it stems from a separate statutory scheme, the Federal Arbitration Act.
I think you're making a case for malice on the part of MLB, but I'm not seeing how that applies to Horowitz.
Isn't it "ad infinitum"? Eggcorns from 1914, I guess?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Ben and I explained all of this (and I acknowledged one major drawback of my strategy and explained why I thought it was presently valid anyway) above in those threads that you plussed (rightly, IMO -- I'm not the biggest fan of how minuses are sometimes used here).
"Tomfoolery" -- did Maddux get in in BP's vote or not?
If there are voting instructions that say to vote for your top 10 choices, I'm unaware of them.
Thank goodness it was me, then. Feel free to ignore all future articles with my byline.
Yep. And I do realize there are those who think this approach is invalid in some way -- not in the spirit of the vote, say -- and all I can say to that is that I disagree.
The tougher issue is that if nobody voted for Maddux because everyone else was going to, where would we be? For now, though, it appears empirically to be a safe tactic, whether in the BBWAA or BP. (It's also only an issue on a clogged ballot -- if BP voters tracked the real vote, there wouldn't be any such thing.)
Houston is the exception proving the rule: Third Coast!
I say it "squirrel"?
Brian Wilson plays baseball!
Bruce Dern, who at the time was doing a lot of TV work, including a lot of Westerns, has a story in his recent Fresh Air interview that ends "Mom! They Shoot Horses, Don't They is NOT a western!"
"Rays-December romance" smh Ben. smh.
The thing with the Diamondbacks is interesting because while it started with the Upton and Bauer transactions, the swimming pool thing and Kevin Towers saying he wanted his team to throw the baseball at people and the recent Kirk Gibson trashing of who the Dodgers chose to send to Australia all feed the narrative. Hell, really, it goes back before the trades to Ken Kendrick running his players into the ground by name on the radio.
I suspect many of the jokes, and certainly my (lengthy -- go big or go home, I say) series of jokes on Twitter, in this vein stem from extreme distaste for basically everything coming out of that organization in the last two to three years and from the fact that every time things seem to die down for a while, they pop back up again by saying or doing something stupid.
Graeme Lloyd having been the last major-league Lloyd (2003), I also appreciate taking this chance when it's presented.
Ray Fosse's homerism is different from, say, Hawk Harrelson's only in kind, not in degree. Any reasonably close call should always go Oakland's way. I love him and would knock back a few beers with him any day, but yeah an objective description of the events is not what I'd turn to him for.
I don't know if the A's lineup variability is actually that variable -- the two areas of flux that I see is are that Callaspo could start even though the platoon option vs. righties is Sogard (over the last month, with lefty starters, Callaspo started 12 of 12 times; with righty starters, Sogard started 11 out of 15 times) and the Seth Smith / Daric Barton question (Smith at DH/LF with Moss at first or Barton at first with Moss at DH/LF?), which is maybe partially informed by Cespedes's shoulder.
Maybe Bob Melvin will surprise me and throw Derek Norris a start or do the Lowrie-at-DH thing (with Sogard at short), but my sense has been that these configurations have been more about giving players days/half-days off.
Not that Oakland would be willing to admit that they have a Cray XK7 working on the optimal offense/defense configuration given each new day's park, opposing pitcher, weather, and breakfast choices. Maybe it's all cover.
Good call, Dale.
To be fair to Whicker, do any of us actually know who Sam Miller is?
Dan Otero, duh
Oh right, I forgot, we have to prioritize and rank our chastisements. A comment to an article about interns should not mention the complete absurdity of not paying people for work unless we've already fixed the minor-league player problem.
I also think you've misstated the law to imply that all that's required to bring an internship outside the realm of the FLSA is some actual learning. The Department of Labor's guidance on the issue requires among other criteria: "The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded." That's certainly not what Mr. Kapler described here.
"If interns get paid"
Just so long as we recognize how horrifyingly shameful it is to say these four words about a business with annual revenues measured in the billions.
Similarly this from earlier in the year.
They're also better at being rude to me.
I would have given 11 a bonus for gesturing toward the pitcher on the first pitch. Obviously double-engaged.
Yeah, Gomez's 2.7 WARP has him just off the edge of this list. I considered using VORP rather than WARP to avoid these kinds of issues, but in the end decided that I'd rather have some notion of defense from FRAA than none.
I'm not sure what my "what's the story" on Gomez would have been. He's got a different trajectory than any of the 10 guys listed. Arguably he's got vague similarities to Chris Davis in that both were supposed to be better than they were and they're finally getting there, but I don't recall Davis having anywhere near the prospect love that Gomez had.
Which I guess is part of the beauty of it -- out-of-nowhere seasons happen for all sorts of reasons and from all sorts of backgrounds. Perhaps a useful thing to remember when people talk about their "breakout candidates" and such every preseason.
Parenthetical in the first paragraph.
Oh thank gracious I thought I was the only one who still did that even though I'm not eight anymore.
But that doesn't defeat MLB's "exemption," does it?
Thank YOU. And LynchMob too, while I'm here.
I chose 70 because the new era of the Commerce Clause essentially kicked off about 70 years ago. It's really only ever since then that there's been an "exemption" in the law that was both difficult to attack (Supreme Court precedent!) but also worthy of attack (it's stupid precedent!).
No other sports, as I understand it, have an antitrust exemption, at least not to the degree that MLB has. NFL has a specific exemption allowing them to do national TV deals. There may be other small carve-outs I don't know about.
I think the ultimate victory for San Jose is an injunction requiring baseball not to enforce its rules regarding franchise relocation. Maybe at that point the A's do move and maybe not, but if they don't, it wouldn't be because they didn't have 3/4 support from the other owners and it wouldn't be because the Giants "own" Santa Clara.
Congress doesn't have the power to determine which things are in interstate commerce -- they have the power to regulate things that are in interstate commerce. They can make findings to that effect, essentially bolstering their own ability to regulate (IIRC the Violence Against Women Act is replete with these) in case of a challenge in court, but they are not the arbiter.
What happened from the 1920s to the Curt Flood Act is that the Supreme Court accepted a new, broader definition of what interstate commerce is. In 1922, the Court held that Congress did not have the power to regulate. By the time of the Curt Flood Act, the basis of that holding was so long gone as to be laughable and thus Congress's passage of the Act is uncontroversial.
What this has morphed into as to state antitrust law, though, is a sort of hardening of the 1922 decision into a quasi-fictional "federal policy not to regulate baseball under antitrust law" and given that federal policy and the Supremacy Clause, local (state) policy cannot apply.
Sam emailed me as soon as I sent mine in with one character:
I thought that was pretty rude, but yeah: awful.
Hope he signs on somewhere. He deserves it.
It's an interesting possibility, though there are non-negligible downsides to firing an arbitrator that might act as a brake on such action. It looks really really bad, for one thing. It pisses the other side off (and labor relations are, after all, about relations.) It pisses arbitrators off—the good ones aren't desperate for work, so you could conceivably see them turning down baseball work if they're just going to get (very publicly) fired after a decision.
"As a fellow labor lawyer (management side)"
/gets the vapors
No, kidding -- thanks!
You're probably right about Braun. I wonder if there's a possibility of smaller classes, depending on how much evidence MLB has on each guy, like if some players have their real names in Bosch's notes and some have codenames only. Of course, there's going to be different evidence against each player, so maybe we're just not going to see a class proceeding at all. Or maybe there will be some agreement to incorporate elements from one proceeding into the others -- how many times does Horowitz need to see the union hammer on Bosch's credibility, e.g.?
The jockeying over who goes first could, I agree, be very interesting.
You're welcome, and thanks for reading.
I think paying witnesses absolutely does raise credibility issues. It doesn't destroy their credibility entirely, of course, but the union will certainly raise it and the arbitrator will surely take it into account. Witnesses in criminal cases, the ones who roll on their friends to get lesser sentences, have that kind of thing brought up all the time. It's probably even something that's been studied, what kind of credibility hit such witnesses take.
I'm not sure why MLB bothers with a panel. In theory, in a more classic workplace setting, the union or employer panelist could nudge the direction of the arbitration in particular ways, raise questions the rep didn't, etc. (Arbitrators are not shy about asking witnesses questions or for clarification when they don't understand. The process in that way is more about getting facts/the truth than standing on any formality.) In this setting, I'm not sure it makes sense -- the representatives aren't going to leave any stone unturned.
I don't know of cases where the union or MLB panelist have switched sides, but I also haven't studied the history of the process at all. Everything I know is based on (1) the contracts; (2) a general familiarity with the idea of labor arbitration.
I think there's an interesting case to be made for a grievance that the contract's confidentiality provisions were violated. (Because confidentiality is a provision of the labor contract, the case would have to start (and would almost assuredly finish) in the grievance machinery.) The practical problem I see is proof: journalists have gone to jail for resisting court orders to reveal sources, so I don't see Ryan Braun having much luck getting them to talk to him. Without evidence of where exactly these leaks are coming from, there's no case, because it's at least plausible that the story came out on the players' side, as an attempt to shame MLB into quit acting like fascists. (If I've gotten any facts wrong here, i.e. if any of the sources of the leaks are actually known, I apologize, and will be happy to be corrected.)
I think there's very much something to be said for teams getting sick of the entire PED charade and deciding to quit it. The commish, at least theoretically, serves at the whim of the owners, so all it will take, again theoretically, is a majority of them saying "this is hurting our image, can we just get back to baseball?" I've been hopeful that reason and sense would win out for a long time now, though, and it still hasn't. In baseball or in life.
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you.
I've never heard of such mass discipline (and there's an interesting question of whether it makes sense to arbitrate the issues as a class), but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.
I'm not sure what mitigation you mean. Who should have mitigated what?
I think the credibility of anybody associated with Biogenesis is going to come under heavy, heavy assault.
Arbitrators are not fans of having to make credibility determinations -- or at least that's the lore I've been taught. Any time you can avoid having a he-said-she-said and the arbitrator has to pick one, it's good to do so. I think it's fair to say, though, that in typical discipline cases, the issue is not what acts were done but what effect those acts should have. Here, there will likely be a dispute over the very question of whether, e.g., Ryan Braun received drugs from Bosch. Generally, though, the worker is accused of doing a objectively poor job or excessive absence or violating some work rule right in front of a manager, and the question comes down to other issues, like the validity of that work rule or the notice and opportunity to improve that the worker received.
Had a similar thought, though without the discretion angle: HBP above the belt = second base; HBP below the belt = first base.
Maybe it's just the familiarity. I *loved* driving around Texas, even straight up the populated roads through Waco and toward Dallas, and in retrospect, it's probably because it was so new. I only went to Dallas once and I only went to Midland once and I only went to San Angelo once but I have vivid memories of those trips, including when, late late at night, out of nowhere loomed what was probably an oil refinery that was lit up like nothing I'd ever seen -- I've never played Bioshock but there was a way in which it reminded me of Bioshock that I can't shake. I don't have these memories for the multiple times I've been to Bakersfield and Lancaster and Rancho and San Berdoo.
The Propulsion is on me if you do find your way back.
I'm sorry to have disappointed. I'd note paragraph 10 as to why you probably don't want to hear from me on the Astros farm.
"And you see Buck Showalter - his face is beet red."
As opposed to all the other times.
1. Yes. At the very least he's the exception.
2. You're sweet. Thanks.
That method of feeding is inhumane. Bo Porter foie gras isn't worth it.
Just FWIW, while Houston has a difficult CF, it's not a hard place to hit it out of in general. Still, three out of four.
Per the PITCHf/x Hitter Profile on his page, I'd add that pitchers have actually been *more* willing to come inside on Hosmer than they were in 2011.
The best part is that he's still down 4.8 percent compared to last year, good enough for the top five.
Castillo has actually most often batted sixth this year, though of late he's bounced between sixth and seventh.
Batting sixth on the Cubs is like batting eighth on a real team, though.
BOOM ZING POW.
Thanks, Nathan. Ol' Barty is inspirational.
(That's Jean Machi on the left for the uninitiated.)
R.J. asked for it, although I don't remember if we can embed images here.
Dick Rockne? A column of his is quoted on p. 235!
"Becoming Big League" actually makes extensive use of Bouton's book, but I didn't see a need/opportunity to work it into the review.
Eddie, did you find anything on this? It would make sense if the rule did exist because it would be the easiest way in the world to get around the rule that you can't sign a draft pick to a major-league contract.
I don't think one follows from the other. Hitting coaches are one-size-fits-all (or, increasingly, two-sizes-fit-all) solutions that could provide a benefit for the team as a whole while not actually benefiting a given individual player at all such that said given individual player might benefit from other things like a different manager or different teammates (or, hell, a different significant other or dog).
You're right. I lost some zeros somewhere. We'll get it fixed momentarily. Thanks.
This is either the first BP article you've ever read or else I have to declare you objectively wrong, but either way, I appreciate the kind words.
That's a great story.
I do have to quibble with "Everybody calls him Onion," though, because, like, I don't.
That's precisely the point. "They are pronounced the same" means you don't say the "s". By the lights of many, that means you should also not write the "s".
Randolph correctly identified our mascot.
1. Nobody ever out-cutes me. It's not a contest in my mind because I already won.
2. The trivial and obscure things and stuff that makes me laugh and things that make me draw connections to other stuff I know about are something I enjoy about baseball and that's all I wanted to go for here. I'm sorry this piece didn't hit the mark with you. Hopefully next time.
Thanks! I'd noticed his far-apart major league stints, of course, but didn't catch the suspension angle.
9. A Metropolitan! They are players of a city.
10. This is definitely not an open question.
The possessive for the Red and White Sox is dealt with in the SABR Style Guide, at least, and declares the usage to be apostrophe, no s. This fits with the verbal usage, for what it's worth (I'd argue lots). Nobody says "the Red Sox's ballpark is old" -- they say the "the Red Sox' ballpark is old." (Contra "Greg Maddux's fastball.")
"walking just 40 in 70 innings"
Sure, just 5.1 per nine innings.
But would anyone know if I didn't?
Argh, my fault. Thanks!
I probably should have made a Los Angeles joke instead of a New York one given that I have not lived in NYC since 2008. I can't keep up!
That's either an intended or unintended effect, depending on your viewpoint, of my method, most likely. (I don't have the spreadsheet in front of me.) I adjusted for the number of teams in the league because of how much more "impressive" it is to finish 30th in a stat than 16th. Without the adjustment, all the teams at the top and bottom of the list were from the few-teams era.
The great Nicholas Dawidoff book "The Catcher Was A Spy" is noted as a reference, but Berg himself makes just one appearance in the book: in a list of Jewish players who took the field on Rosh Hashanah in 1934.
Thanks, Richard. I should have linked to the tweet in the first place.
Yes, but when you compare reliever WARP to reliever rWAR or fWAR, you wind up seeing good closers and setup men often having substantially less value in our system. The innings are obviously the same across all three, but WARP not using a leverage factor is a distinction.
Some of that is league context, yes, but some is park (90 PPF for Catfish that year), some is FRA not giving credit for what is probably a fair amount of luck (.207 BABIP).
It's not a penalty. It's a simple matter of not giving the player "credit" for leverage. Colin explained that position here.
I didn't look exhaustively, but I did actually delete a paragraph about that very issue as to McBride. You're right that he was the sole rep to his game in '61, but in '62, he was one of four Angels in the second game (two of them starters) and in '63, he was one of three, all of whom were starters.
Which, if you'll notice, means that Ken McBride was the starting pitcher in an All-Star game. To be fair, the 1963 list of qualified starting pitchers in the AL is not a who's who -- Robin Roberts, Jim Bunning, and Whitey Ford are the only Hall of Famers I see who were active at the time, and Roberts was 36, well past his mid-'50s peak.
Cooper ranks a distant 38th-worst in WARP/ASG, just a tad worse than Shea Hillenbrand, amusingly.
Oliver was pretty well appreciated in his time, making seven All-Star appearances. With nearly 47 career WARP, that's a WARP/ASG rate right near the mean and median for the sample.
With nearly 40 WARP and two "All-Star Games" he wouldn't have cracked the top ten, but he'd be close.
Yeah, looking back at just how stacked the league was in the outfield then was definitely one of the fun parts of doing this piece.
As to 0, as Chomsky commented, I've seen it before. Who only made one game but should have made more would be interesting, I agree, but I wanted to keep the symmetry with the idea of "who are the guys who made multiple all-star teams but shouldn't have?" (Probably I should have written about those guys first and done this one second.)
It's just a joke. Looking back, anybody losing what amounts to a popularity contest to Pete Rose might feel a little sad.
Which is exactly what happened in real life via a long-term deal.
I kind of like that Sam and I put ourselves through this exercise anyway, by the way, because it shows how difficult it can be to, for instance, draw lines on comps when a smidge one way or the other pushes a player into the other side's argument.
Nice call. From our Baserunning report, sorted by Hit Advancement Runs (first to third, first to home, second to home), Miguel Cabrera rates 796th out of 835.
And number 835? None other than Prince Fielder.
I'm a big fan of Arbitrator Fendelman writing a separate concurrence. Separate concurrences are the best.
Two thoughts and notes on this from a participant:
* The point Ben raises about not trashing the player too much is well-taken. I took the tack of attempting to write a winning brief and damn the torpedoes. For a real team, of course, it's torpedoes all the way down.
* This was hard. Maybe it would be a little easier if I had 12 pages and four months and a staff of research monkeys to deal with it rather than 800 words and a few stolen nights, but maybe not -- after all, I wanted to win and there are both personal and institutional reputational concerns associated with my doing a good, not-slapdash job, but teams and players need to win because they're playing for millions of dollars.
Without being able to speak to how arbitrators perceive such arguments, the last line of the relevant paragraph in the CBA refers to "and the recent performance record of the Club including but not limited to its League standing and attendance as an indication of public acceptance."
Given its placement in that paragraph and the fact that a player is just a tiny percentage of his team, I would hope, as a sabermetrically minded person, that such arguments are not accorded heavy weight, but, from my perspective, because of Headley's massive platform season and the fact that the Padres did not fare impressively either in attendance or record, I felt it was a strong enough piece to make it into my 800 words.
I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out.
Revelation: the rule has actually been in place since the early days, pre-paywall, even. It's just more noticeable now because of the critical mass of Jasons.
That quote from Rodriguez's ex-teammate is amazing.
Bless you, Jeff Rose.
Beginning and ending with Del isn't a bad way to live, exactly.
A quick look at Texas shows its major-league talent being down a bit. There's Adam Dunn and Chris Young and Jay Bruce and Austin Jackson, but the starting shortstop is probably Cliff Pennington and the team's best pitcher is Brett Anderson. (John Danks? Shelby Miller?) It's not quite Sabathia-Strasburg-Hamels.
Bench at 65 vs. Tettleton at 52 is a difficult question. I wonder how their framing is these days.
But Joey Votto! And Matt Stairs! And ... um. Joey Votto!
My favorite thing about Midland, hands down, is this detail from a mural downtown.
An agenda! Is BP just a front for BALCO?
So the point boils down to: by asking for more money in 2012, Oliver implicitly promised not to ask for more money in 2013.
But the only way that can be true is if the $3M part of the option is a promise on Oliver's part to play for that much. I think the better (and more realistic) view is that the contract is Oliver's promise not to play for anyone else and Toronto's promise that if he shows up to play, they'll pay him $3M.
If both sides knew that retirement was a possibility, then what's the problem? Oliver says "please put more money at the front of my deal" and the Blue Jays voluntarily and with full knowledge of the possibility of his retirement accept that request. Not out of the goodness of their hearts but because it makes sense from a business perspective.
The problem with arguing that Oliver "expects the Jays not to get any benefit out of" the option is that it construes the option as a promise to play. That's not what it is.
Because I don't see my (hypothetical) ballot in a case like this year, where I think there are far more than 10 good candidates, as a means to express my idea of who the ten best players are but as a means to maximize the probability that all fourteen of the players who I think are deserving eventually get in.
In this case, that means putting on players who I thought were at risk of falling under 5% rather than players who I judged (correctly, as it turns out) were likely to be near-unanimous choices.
The evidence of "groupthink" appears to amount to "people agree." That's not what groupthink is.
I don't want to leave you hanging, but there are also a whole lot of people (all of whom have the power to fire me) who'd be mad if I suddenly started speaking officially on behalf of BP, so I can't really do that. Sorry.
Whether it's the writers or the writers+commenters, groupthink is, as you say, about the group agreeing for the sake of agreement and harmony. What evidence is there that saber-inspired fans want harmony? Aren't we the most argumentative people there are?
I do think there's some overminusing of comments going on, but consider how few minuses it takes to hide something.
I don't get the idea that because a bunch (a relatively small bunch, really!) of people agree, it's groupthink.
I wish someone had told me that there was a rule against outthinking the room before I'd voted. Gosh how that would have helped.
As it turns out, it didn't really matter -- Lofton gets his 5% (I chose to vote as if that matters) with or without me and I was not one of the people who kept Schilling one vote short.
For someone like Furbush or Diekman or Richard, you wonder if the batter, on ball three, should swing to get the count to 3-1 and make the guy have to throw one more pitch, increasing the odds that he screws it up. (You probably should not get yourself to 3-2, though.)
Still don't know why the A's haven't offered Ben Sheets plus a prospect for Stanton.
"Geoff" is a distinguished gentleman's name, certainly, really the total opposite of "Jeff."
Sadly, though, the Blum was off Geoff's rose before he ever got started, so I'm pretty sure I won't be voting for him.
I think Maddux will likely get bonus points because he learned the error of his ways and shaved his lip-hairs off.
Thanks for the kind words, Shaun.
Isn't that the issue Colin addressed recently?
The only reason I'd know he's a DH, independent of our stat reports putting him in the DH pile when you limit by position, is because I hope, having seen him "play" third, that he's a DH.
It's like wishcasting, except backward-looking.
I completely missed Votto.
I think, as far as the voters go, we could chalk up his failure to win as some evidence that they don't really know how to move from rate-land to runs-land. And/or that they don't really value doubles, because good gracious did Votto hit a lot of doubles.
Sam also makes me queasy.
Nobody's quite finished last in all four, but there have been some truly awful teams. I held them in reserve for now. I may put them in the Unfiltered that I promised or I might just squeeze another article out about the worst teams. Not sure yet, but I will share somehow, sometime.
Good idea. I'll put up an Unfiltered when I get a chance (i.e. late tonight or maybe even tomorrow) and leave a comment here linking to it.
That assumes they all use the same replacement level, which isn't true, and further that the replacement level is adjusted empirically each year, which, e.g., at least per the chart posted above, fWAR does not do.
That's a good point. I should have subtracted the pitcher's games from the team's record. Darn.
First, this depends on your choice of metric. Garcia actually had identical FRA at home and on the road.
Second, I think dramatic oversells it. The league put up a 3.90 xFIP at home and 4.14 on the road. An extra 0.15 runs (or "runs" I guess since we're in estimator territory) doesn't strike me as a big deal.
In any case, a 3-8 road record vs. 5-4 at home does explain, in a sense, why his team's record was so bad when he pitched, but limiting him to the road still makes him an outlier -- a 3.40 xFIP is excellent! You'd expect a very good team like the Cardinals to go more than 3-8 when their starter gives them a 3.40 xFIP.
The route piece of that was referring specifically to his taking his GED after his sophomore year so that he could enter junior college and thus be drafted a year earlier than he'd otherwise have been eligible. As I understand it, that was unprecedented.
As to overnarrativizing Harper and the hustle bit ... that's kind of the point. I don't know whether Harper actually changed his attitude and plays the way he does because of how he was perceived. There's a good chance that he didn't and that he was simply (to use an overly used word) misunderstood from the start. But try as I might, I can't just watch Harper play—I see him in the context of all the stories that came before.
Good question. Title 10, actually.
No, don't. I'm not ready for this.
The free verse in this comment section is heart-warming.
BLESS YOUR HEART SAMMY MILLER
That last question is on-point. I do hope we can get to the bottom of this.
Buy me a plane ticket and I'll be in Paris before you realize I'm gone.
That's a very interesting proposition.
It was RNC-related.
That's a fair point. Umpires have been fooled by less.
I don't understand why Juan Castro even went for the tag. The ball is not in his glove.
I forgot to do it, but I actually meant to go into a little sidebar about the difficulty of evaluating who is responsible for a draft and where to place blame, especially as to the question of, say, first-round picks vs. 40th.
This is particularly true in this era of complicated management structures like the Padres had for a time with Alderson on top of Towers (or like what we see now at both Chicago teams, the ever-present questions about who is in charge in Boston, etc. etc.). In theory, we should be able to say "whoever actually made the 32nd round pick, the buck stops with the GM and he sets the organizational priorities and philosophies," but these days, it's not even clear that that is true.
R.J. pointed out to me that this Q&A with Towers ran a few years ago right here on BP and includes some in-depth talk about the Padres' approach to the draft.
also do you see what i did there
I've read it four times now, and I'm still staggered but the stunning amount of alliteration in the first paragraph.
Pretty glad you went through with this, Ben.
I wish I could take credit, but that's all Sam.
I would ask that you not insult Sam by implying that comparisons between his work and that of others are at all valid.
I have nothing to say except that I've always wished I had a regional accent, particularly New England or Southern. Texas would do, too. (I can drawl a bit and I've incorporated a "y'all" into my speech, but I can't fully pull it off despite 18 months of immersive study.)
Holy cow did I biff that one. Posey should absolutely be second on that list. Sorry!
Please support your assertion.
The word "this" at the beginning of each paragraph is a link to the article.
Yeah, even if you toss out FRAA, you've still got BRR, which gives almost a four-run lead to Cano. So then you're looking at "did Cano beat Cabrera by three or four runs on defense?" With nothing other than my eyes, I'd be comfortable guessing that he more than likely did. As unsatisfying as guessing is, I'm happier doing that than I am not including defense in my calculations of value.
Your number one is an interesting point and I hope it's correct. And also that I live to see it.
One small thing: I'm fairly certain (I really ought to check but I'm on my phone and impatient) that incentives are tied to games finished, not saves, because performance incentives are not permitted. Now, it's effectively the same thing because nobody reaches a GF incentive unless they're a closer, and it's clearly there as a proxy, and a shift to "relief ace" will destroy that proxy just as surely as it would an actual saves incentive. But I thought I'd mention it.
The percentages are not flipped.
To the extent the article reads like "Detroit is going to mash the A's," it was unintentional. I think they're pretty evenly matched, though I am profoundly unimpressed by A.J. Griffin.
My goal was not to justify the numbers that PECOTA came up with but to tell you some things that are relevant going into the game. PECOTA's odds are one of those things.
In re: the second to last bullet, it still boggles my mind that Bob Melvin is carrying not one but two lefty-punishers on his bench in Jonny Gomes and Chris Carter, and he completely declined to use either of them. Pennington is a switch hitter, sure, but, he's nowhere near as good against any kind of pitcher as Gomes or Carter is against a lefty. Having declined to use his hitter there, he had another opportunity with the lefty Stephen Drew. Drew did pop a single, but I still don't understand why Melvin is carrying Carter and Gomes against a Tigers team that features no left-handed starters if he isn't going to use them against the left-handed relievers.
Is he saving them for Seth Smith and Brandon moss?
I have to disagree with my friend and colleague's description of Kozma. To my eyes, he was drifting out to left, not dashing, and could have easily made the play without outfield help, but peeled off because the left fielder takes priority on those balls.
I don't know what's right, but I wanted to mention it because I think there can be multiple interpretations of the video of the play.
This is also not to say I think the call was right. As RJ says, the spirit of the rule is to prevent cheap double plays. It would have taken quite a lot to turn a 654 from that position.
"BoMel"? Good gracious.
I've already forgotten what standard I used for "good hitters". I think I was on FanGraphs, so maybe I went with like ~115 wRC+ and above? I probably should have been more systematic about it and actually defined a cutoff.
But I clicked Jake Wood, so now he's the only one in purple.
I approve of this.
Brett Jackson only has 142 PA.
I apologize for the two typos, which obviously ruined your reading experience.
Unless baseball is a business rather than a game and value should be measured in dollars.
This site is nothing without its readers!
I've never detected a racial vibe in my, uh, many times watching this scene over the years. I do, however, detect the only pickle in baseball history to end with a headstand on third.
I agree 100% that knowing about the error/uncertainty around the figures is important, and it's something I should have mentioned in the article. Thank you for raising that.
I don't actually have a substantive response at the moment, though. Maybe it's something I can follow up on later.
Your second paragraph is what I was hoping people would take from this -- not so much "hey Detroit has lost 50 runs!" as "how much difference is it actually making on the field when a team is 1% above average at catching balls?" Whether a team actually IS 1% above average is the harder part.
I'm a little unclear on the Delmon Young part of this -- he's DH'd almost 100 times this year.
Addendum: thanks to Colin Wyers for his PADE assistance.
Yes, that's a pun, but it's also true. He helped me with PADE.
So much running. I'm tired.
Ok, except I found this "the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races" on WordNet. You'll note it includes "prejudice," something you specifically ruled out.
Racism isn't nearly as simple as you'd like it to be.
Interesting -- thanks for bringing that Boswell piece to my attention. I missed it when I was doing my research for this one.
What IS racism?
I have no idea if this embed is going to work, but:
... oh, you meant PARKS?
Is it me or is there something about Maronde that makes him look closer to 5'11" than 6'3"?
This is late, but I think important to note: "Midget" as proportional dwarf is something I think we all learned in elementary school, but it's not really true. And a "dwarf" isn't someone with a single medical condition, let alone one that particularly causes disproportionate body parts, but someone with one of hundreds of conditions that cause similar symptoms.
The Wikipedia page is, amusingly enough given some of the content of Adam's article, a good place to start on the issue.
Yeah, I meant later career Babe Ruth. Cecil could be third, I guess, but I think his son has passed him.
Actually, now that I think about it, David Wells is probably still in second place ahead of Prince.
D'oh! Wrong Ellis! Thanks for the correction.
I don't really HAVE a swing anymore. These days, I'm working on getting topspin on my backhand.
I did actually sleep on Mr. Perez as far as considering the possibility that future years could see top-notch catcher hitting, for which my bad. In fairness, he has fewer than 200 plate appearances this year, so the size of the dent he could make on the position's hitting stats is relatively small.
No cookie is won! The famous philosopher is me!
That's uncomfortably close to being correct.
A cookie, by the way, for anyone who can identify the notable philosopher quoted in the Miami comment.
Aw, Build Me Up Buttercup is basically the only good part of going to an Angels game!
If only Justin Masterson had gone to Middlebury.
Here's a better factoid: Carlos Pena was traded on July 5. Scott Hatteberg had appeared in 73 of the team's 85 games to that point, starting 69 of them.
That's mean. He was making a joke re: the OP.
As long as you're OK letting these guys be nieve then it's fine, we can agree to disagree about whether every awesome out-of-nowhere performance should raise PED suspicions.
Here, here's a comment you can try to reply to for testing purposes.
Whoops, missed these comments earlier or I'd have clarified myself. Thanks for the help, David, and apologies, flyingdutchman and anyone else who was confused, for the stupid joke.
I mainly love the dudes calling the game. You don't hear Major League broadcasters screaming "THAT IS AWESOME" about an ejection very often.
Doug finished his career with the A's, so I remember his slowball. That's the only way I can keep them apart.
Be fair, $26 for a burger is boo-worthy.
I will also wag my finger at all of you: it's Jane Austen.
I dont have any idea what this means.
at least in re: Posada, an extra 1650 PAs goes a long way.
Rejected titles for this piece include:
* Paying the Fifer
* Probably Not the Next Mike Mussina
* Dodgers Got Fife On It
You mean "shortstop Brett Wallace," right? Every mention of Brett Wallace is required by baseball law to include the honorific "shortstop" now.
Follow-up! Somehow I forgot to include Prince Fielder trying to escape pickling:
My impression is that he's legitimately changed his approach, whether it's via coaching by PR people or his own management team, some veterans sitting him down and saying "we can't have that," or just flat-out personal maturation.
When Kevin wrote up Harper here, for instance, he quoted a team executive talking about his makeup. It wasn't speculation, it wasn't just based on video of the highly publicized kissy-lips incident, whatever. It was actual talk inside the game that he'd need to act differently.
Coaches are just full of wisdom. I would get called for balks sometimes for coming to as much of a stop in the stretch as I saw pitchers do in the majors. "This isn't the majors!" says my coach. Thanks for that.
355 career homers allowed: he's had plenty of practice at getting this right.
I'm fairly certain that humans make all the initial calls in tennis. Cyclops was used for a while, but I think it's gone now.
My journalistic standards are high—making sure that each quote was exactly right took a lot of phone calls and checking. One person, and I won't say who, swore up and down that Ozzie said "Lethem" instead of "Franzen." I'm pretty sure dude had an agenda.
To be fair to Paul O'Neill, he said "might."
That maybe sounds like sarcasm because I'm always sarcastic, but it's not. Saying "might" is a lot more than most guys do.
I'm just keeping the run of little staff logos going is all. Ignore me.
I think on the strength of 2008 to 2012, we have enough evidence to firmly declare that Alex Rios is an even-odd player. He's sitting on 3.1 WARP this year!
This is true. It was just a reference to the fact that he's built like a tank.
Although now that I think about it, tanks can get going pretty fast, too.
Haha, did they do that? I missed it.
FREE LUCY SMOOT
Please tell me this is a multi-layered joke around the fact that Hillman managed Nippon Ham in Japan. PLEASE.
I mean, it's funny even if the joke is just "Trey is one letter off from Treyf and ham is treyf," but, still. Please?
Thanks! I'm excited for Matt to come back, though. He's the king. I'm just [omits Game of Thrones joke].
Awesome, thanks! You have increased my readership by 11%.
In theory, Brad Peacock should be a better pitcher than Travis Blackley. For now, though, his numbers at AAA are fine, but hardly dominant enough to force a call-up. Some of that is in his hits allowed, which might be his pitching or it might be his defense or it might be bad luck. I haven't watched him, and I haven't talked to anyone who has, so maybe how he's actually pitching is a Kevin Goldstein question.
Anyway, I doubt the A's are in any rush with him. Tyson Ross and Graham Godfrey were supposed to be stopgaps at the very least, and possibly legit rotation options, but they've worked out about as well as the A's offense.
It does strike me as very unlikely that he's as bad as he was in May (plus a few days on either side of May), but I can't be objective about this.
Thanks for the kind words.
Behind the scenes details! The lines are my fault. BP style seems to be a *** to separate sections, which I used when I was writing, but which Markdown apparently translates into horizontal rule tags. I didn't realize this, and I also didn't realize how goofy it would look.
What Sam said. The A's moved him to the outfield last year. The hope is that he can play center.
"That anyone continues to follow the A's is a remarkable triumph of the human spirit."
I don't follow the NBA stathead debates as closely as I once did, but my understanding of one of the big problems / areas of study in NBA stats is in rebounding. Even just watching a game, it's easy to see that many rebounds are completely uncontested, and most are rebounds that any competent person of relevant size would grab. Separating the guys who get a lot of rebounds because their teammates let them have them from the guys who get a lot of rebounds because they're really good at fighting against the opponents for said rebounds is probably quite difficult, and at the same time quite important.
I don't really have a point, except to note the parallel to fielding given the issues Colin raises here.
Yeah, since the whole idea of drafting a star is to have that star lead you to the promised land, maybe the situation isn't as absolutely "never ever give up a pick" as I think it might be.
One of the things I was thinking of was the contrast to, say, the NBA. The Spurs, of course, come to mind -- they'd surely have been happy to give up their next-year pick after they drafted Tim Duncan because with Duncan on the team and David Robinson returning, that next-year pick was unlikely to be one they'd regret losing (compared to not having Duncan, anyway). Baseball has neither the immediate payoffs nor the devastating single-player losses that the NBA (or the NFL, to a lesser extent) has, though.
As a CBA is just an agreement between parties like any other contract, I don't see any reason why said parties could not come together and make whatever amendment they wanted to make. Whether it's practical is a different question and one on which I'll defer to those who know the history of bargaining between the union and management better than I do (i.e. at all).
I wonder whether any team will ever pay the "lose a pick" penalty. If the very top guys are the only ones worth losing a pick, and the team that drafts first in a given year is drafting first for a reason (they suck), then that team is frequently in line to draft very high again. E.g. if the Nats take a penalty to sign Strasburg, they don't get Harper. If they take the penalty to sign Harper, they don't get Rendon.
I thought Kevin Maas's chin was far more unworksafe and frightening.
J.P. Howell is challenging Danny Duffy for Most Eminem Player.
I'm not sure how I feel about laughing as hard as I did at the comment about the A's futility.
I was lucky enough to see Miller at an event at Smith College about ten years ago. Bob Costas was there promoting "Fair Ball" (and his voice is as insanely perfect in person as it is on the air) and the panel also included Andrew Zimbalist, Roger Noll (which makes quite a collection of sports economists), Clark Griffith (who my memory holds as an entirely reasonable person), and Randy Vataha.
Miller, who would have been something like 84 at the time, was as combative as ever, challenging Costas's assertions that too much free-agent movement was hurting baseball, among others. (Miller pointed out that players changed teams just as often before free agency -- it was just entirely on the owners' terms.)
I walked into that event, I'm a little sad to say, excited to see Costas and entirely sympathetic to his arguments. I walked out, though, a full-fledged convert to Marvin Miller's side.
I cannot imagine having watched without all my Twitter friends. It's an enhancement.
Four wins for Bartolo Colon will push him past Sandy Koufax into the top 200 all-time. I am shocked (SHOCKED) that this matter escaped your attention, R.J.
I may have overreached on the Nationals, but I always approach filling these things out the way I do an NCAA tournament bracket -- there will be upsets, and chalk is boring. I decided that I liked Washington as the team with crater potential that people think will be decent because of my doubts that Bryce Harper will be an impactful player this year, my worries about the team's health, this question being discussed of whether Strasburg will be on a short leash, and a weird and surely biased belief that the Mets are a halfway decent team that can nudge ahead of Washington.
Ok, following up. Mariano Rivera faced the following lefties in the six games he pitched against Minnesota in 2003 and 2004.
10/2/03, Doug Mientkiewicz (top 8, 4-1 NYY, nobody on, nobody out)
10/2/03, Jacque Jones (top 8, 4-1 NYY, nobody on, two out)
10/2/03, Corey Koskie (top 9, 4-1 NYY, nobody on, one out)
10/2/03, A.J. Piezynski (top 9, 4-1 NYY, nobody on, two out)
(Lew Ford was available on the bench for these at-bats)
10/4/03, Denny Hocking (S) pinch-hit for by Lew Ford (b8, 3-1 NYY, nobody on, one out)
10/4/03, Doug Mientkiewicz (b8, 3-1 NYY, nobody on, two out)
10/4/03, Jacque Jones (b9, 3-1 NYY, nobody on, one out)
(Ford was used for Hocking and was thus unavailable for the other two)
10/5/04, Justin Morneau (t9, 2-0 MIN, nobody on, nobody out)
10/5/04, Corey Koskie (t9, 2-0 MIN, nobody on, one out)
(Lew Ford started this game)
10/6/04, Justin Morneau (t8, 5-3 NYY, first and second, one out)
10/6/04, Corey Koskie (t8, 5-4 NYY, first and third, one out)
10/6/04, Jason Kubel (t8, 5-5, second and third, one out)
10/6/04, Cristian Guzman (S) (t8, 5-5, second and third, two out)
(Lew Ford was on the bench)
10/8/04, Jose Offerman (S) as PH (b9, 8-2 NYY, loaded, nobody out)
10/8/04, Jacque Jones (b9, 8-4 NYY, third, two out)
(Lew Ford started this game)
10/9/04, Corey Koskie (b10, 5-5, nobody on, nobody out)
10/9/04, Cristian Guzman (S) (b10, 5-5, nobody on, two out)
10/9/04, Jose Offerman (S) as PH (b11, 6-5 NYY, nobody on, nobody out)
(Lew Ford started this game)
The Kubel situation that R.J. describes above, then, has to be the one that Hunter was thinking of, and he forgot the outcome. The only other truly tight game that Rivera was involved in was 10/9/04, and the Twins never got a man on base with a lefty hitting.
I suppose it's possible that Ford refused to hit for Kubel in that situation, but given how many details Hunter expressed such confidence in (per Jon Heyman, anyway), one would certainly be justified in doubting the veracity of the entire story.
Further facts: Rivera faced four pinch-hitters in that era against Minnesota: Jose Offerman (switch) twice, Lew Ford (!) once, and Matt LeCroy once. In the two games in which Offerman and LeCroy pinch-hit, Ford was a starter and thus unavailable to chicken out. (Maybe that's why Ford waved Gardenhire off! "I'm already in the lineup, coach, c'mon.")
Maybe Gardenhire left in a lefty hitter when he didn't want to because a righty PH waved him off? That's harder to check. I plan to do it, but if anyone beats me to it, I'd hardly complain.
It may warm your heart to know that between the time I wrote this and now, a depth-chart update has pushed the A's aggregate TAv to .257, a point below the Royals.
"Top tier" is pretty generous, though. Even by simple runs scored, they've ranked 6th, 10th, and 13th in the AL the last three years, and they've done slightly worse by TAv.
My short answer to this type of question is that the A's run of competitiveness ran from 1999 to 2006, eight seasons, while the Rays just had their fourth, and that's counting a year in which they finished eleven games out of the playoffs, fifth in line for the wild card (the A's worst finish in their run was seven games out). Even giving the Rays extra credit for a five-team division with bigger spenders than the A's had to face, the sustained run fueled by a second wave of good players, like the A's had, hasn't happened yet.
Certainly the Rays appear to be well on track to make that run, but I'd wait for it to happen before making comparisons.
The name has occurred to me, though I'm 100% certain it did not originate with me. It would certainly be unfortunate for Oakland if that's all Cespedes is.
We used to play dodgeball with a baseball when I was a kid. My school's graduation rate was not high.
This is fantastic.
This isn't in direct response to the question and Maury's answer, I should note. I don't think Ed has access to future arbitrators, either. I just mean to point out an additional resource for those interested in arbitration.
Ed Edmonds at the Sports Law Blog follows the arbitration process quite closely every year and somehow finds out the names of the arbitrators. He's got this data far enough back that he has won-loss records for those arbitrators as well.
His website with lots of arbitration info is supposed to be at this link, but something's happened to it.
I really enjoy the Bee's implication that ambulance-chasing is just a phase that all lawyers go through when they're young. A rite of passage, or perhaps a bar requirement. I guess I skipped right over it.
There probably are better solutions than blackouts to whatever problems the blackout rules are meant to solve, but for what it's worth: "Bud, name one other industry that limits a product to consumers?" -- pay TV and movies seem quite similar. Between release windows and having shows/movies available by some methods but not others (HBO on your iPad but not Netflix; your favorite movie on DVD but not on-demand), there are clear limits on the product to consumers willing to pay. (These limits might be quite rational, I should note. Netflix could surely offer some price to HBO that would be satisfactory, but they haven't yet, so HBO declines to undercut its cable subscriptions. Putting movies on demand at the same time that they're out in the theater, despite the massively superior audiovisual experience on the big screen, would probably cut theater-going by enormous percentages.)
This analogy probably only works insofar as we're talking about people who can't watch local teams on MLB.tv but could watch them by subscribing to cable and thus getting an RSN. The Iowa Situation, for instance, doesn't really fit because there it's not just a limit, but an outright ban on viewing certain teams.
Between the specialization of genius, the learned culture of baseball, the Crash Davis Media Effect, and what Derek mentioned about universalization of experience, players analyzing themselves or other players should probably be taken with as huge a grain of salt as anyone else analyzing them.
I think we should respect the possibility that teams have profiles of players that affect their decision-making (e.g. the A's chose Brian Fuentes over Grant Balfour as their closer in Andrew Bailey's absence last year -- we should leave room for the possibility that they know something about Balfour, although of course Billy Beane's past approach to closers might raise some doubt on this front), and I suppose it's possible that someone of Don Cooper's level of experience can start to develop valuable intuitions that may not reduce to simple explanations of how/why, but in general, crowd-sourcing a deep psychological question to a bunch of people who got their B.A.s in the Sally League majoring in Hitting or Pitching strikes me as having similar value to asking 200 hometown fans who watch 95% of their games on TV and the other 5% from the right-field bleachers how good a third-baseman's defense is. Why would we expect them to know?
The impossibility of dissing your own players in print prevents this, but I'd like to see "he chokes under the pressure of closing" applied non-post-hoc. I was going to write a thing before I remembered that Ben already said it: "[P]eople with the White Sox watched Thornton up close for his first four years in Chicago [jw: pitching in many many tight situations] and decided he had what it took to close."
Also, thanks to Adam Sobsey for the totally gratuitous shout-out. Your check is in the mail.
I think the line we have to be careful to draw is between "you didn't prove that" and "that's not true." This isn't the legal system, where we treat the former as the latter because ... well, because we have to. Because a conclusion *must* be reached.
In these corners, the only pressure to reach a conclusion is, as Ben says here and as Matt Klaassen said to me on Twitter in the aftermath of the aforementioned ProGUESTus piece, that writing "I dunno" all the time is boring. Like really boring. But outside of that, we don't *need* a thumbs-up or down at the end of the day. It's perfectly o.k. for the question to remain unsettled.
Which means: it's equivalently o.k. to tell someone writing about psychology that they're ascribing effects to causes that their data don't support as the sole or even necessarily dominant factors and to leave things at that. We don't know any better than the offending "analyst" about the psychology of the situation. What we do know (or at least what we are/should be willing to express in print in a way that said analyst is not) is that he doesn't and can't know, and we should be telling him that. (Ideally with as little of the rancor that KG identifies as a bit of an epidemic on Twitter these days as possible, but I'm kind of agnostic on the question. Some people shut down when they're being yelled at, some people don't respond until they're yelled at, and some people will never respond at all, meaning that the yelling is just for our own entertainment and catharsis. Which is fine. I ascribe no moral value, negative or positive, to any of this.)
For what it's worth, I think a lot of the over-confidence on "our" side comes as a simple reaction to the same (or worse) on "the other" side. ("The other" side, to the extent that they spend as much time unhealthily obsessing over these meta-questions as I tend to do, might say the same back at us. Who knows. It's a dinosaur/egg question, I guess. (Though I will point out that one "side" has a lot more dinosaurs.)) As I type this, KG retweeted someone making this comment: "closer mentality definitely exists" -- why so [sure]?
Colin looked at a similar question in his great piece on closers.
Poor Kila Ka'aihue, buried already.
Bless all of you.
And Randy, I have a couple of good friends who are matrimonial lawyers. Let me know if you need their numbers.
Jason Army assemble!
On behalf of Wojciechowskis everywhere, I say damn that Rzepczynski.
"Tweaking that doesn't really change the overall results."
If that's true, then that's fine. But is that true?
For my part, I'm not quibbling. I just want to know what the justification is. I can't quibble until I know the "why" of it.
Rany -- fascinating stuff.
Can you please explain a little more the discount factor? First, why 8%? Second, why a discount at all? I see the reason you gave in the text, that a 15th-year player is likely to have moved on to another team, but is the point of this study to find the characteristics of players who give the most value to the teams that draft them or simply to find the best players? Do teams draft with an eye toward who will provide them the most value, or do they, by and large, simply try to find who will be the best players when they reach the majors?
Cliff Lee is shaking his fist at you, Colin: "I'll show you who the ace is."
I'm glad this piece is free. I think I might link to it every time something happens and everyone is freaking out about how amazing or awful it is before we actually have any information.
This is a strange website to come complaining about "new age" analysis, whatever that even means.
Except for Miller's baffling inability to direct a group table-talk scene.
"bad positioning on the part of left fielder Shane Robinson"
I'd call it unlucky. Tejada has a major-league slugging percentage that starts with a 3 and doesn't get prettier from there.
"allowing another franchise into our territory would set a dangerous precedent"
For what, exactly, I'd like to ask Baer. If MLB lets the A's into San Jose, does that suddenly mean expansion into more Giants territory so before they know it, there are four teams into from the same pie that used to belong entirely to San Francisco?
Matt LaPorta and Chris Getz have pretty different batting lines.
Freddie Freeman basically defines MLB average for 1B, at least by raw slash stats. If you waited around in a fantasy draft and grabbed him, you'd be doing alright for yourself.
My sense is that the A's don't think Chris Carter can handle anything. They tried him in the outfield a little, but that experiment seems over, and they haven't given him much shot at the plate, either -- his contact issues have really gotten in the way.
I think the comparison point for a Gio Gonzalez trade is Dan Haren -- he wasn't an expiring contract and they got a bounty for him because of that. The question is whether the division in 2012 and 2013 is in reach.
Eric Hosmer is going to find you and deliver a few stern words about that blasphemous Bob Hamelin comparison.
5th-best 1B: Paul Konerko, .323
32nd-best 1B: James Loney, .258
5th-best 2B: Ben Zobrist, .299
32nd-best 2B: Gordon Beckham, .239
That gap looks pretty similar to me. Loney actually hits quite a bit better than Adam Kennedy, more in line with Alexi Casilla or Colby Rasmus.
Anyone's an upgrade on ol' Yuni, but outside of Jose Reyes, I don't see a free agent shortstop to whom I'd commit stacks of dough.
Just as a matter of process, backward-looking analysis that rips a team for not taking certain forward-looking steps bugs me.
I don't think the study in the Corey Dawkins proposal necessarily supports the idea that the twelve-second rule is being broken. The times there are pure pitch-to-pitch, but the rule is about how long the pitcher had after the batter is in the box and alert. You'll see batters basically wander around and stand with a foot outside until the pitcher is ready, THEN get in the box. The clock doesn't start until the batter makes it start. The study, in other words, tells us something, but I don't think it tells us about rule enforcement.
Given that the final contract he signed was worth $16M more than what the A's reportedly offered, it's also possible that Beltre's management read the market correctly and knew that this was a low-ball offer.
I likely accentuated the negative a bit myself.
Let's meet at a relatively objective compromise point: out of 158 pitchers with 75 IP or more this year (Lyles finished at 90), he is 125th in FIP, in the same neighborhood as guys like Ted Lilly, Fausto Carmona, and Mike Pelfrey. Not great, but a reasonable "holding his own" region to be in.
I agree with mrdannyg and backbrush above that this is a neat concept, rounding up a bunch of different voices, both in-house and ... uh, out-house?
I'm not sure I'd call Jordan Lyles posting a 5.76 RA/9 "holding his own," though.
I think career strikeouts are also in reach, especially if the strikeout numbers that hitters are willing to live with stay at their current rate (or even keep increasing?) for a while.
It'll be interesting to see if we're at, or reach soon, a high-water mark for strikeouts that we look back on in 40 years and say "Wow, nobody's ever going to strike out that many guys in a career again -- look at all these contact hitters we have now!"
BPro's FRAA actually has Pie pretty positive, rolling up a +16 in his 320 career games, with no degradation recently. His UZR, by contrast, is a vicious -13 just this season (though he was at +10 for his career before this season, more or less agreeing with FRAA) so perhaps that's what Steven is looking at?
Perhaps I'm slandering Steven by accusing him of relying on UZR, though, and his eyes, which have surely taken in far more Orioles baseball than mine have this year (or ever), or those of scouty types tell him that Pie is not a strong fielder.
Alex Gonzalez is terrible, but the typo in his batting line makes it seem worse than it is -- in real life, his OBP is not actually lower than his BA.
In this vein, I think in particular when a catcher calls for the high 0-2 fastball, he sets his glove at quite a different height (around the mid-torso, maybe?) than he probably actually wants the pitch (shoulders?). When a pitcher "muscles up" and throws that high fastball, hoping for a swing and miss and (secondarily?) to change the batter's eye level to set up the 1-2 pitch (or 0-2 again on a foul ball), they may be getting dinged more on command than we should be dinging them.
"For all we know, today teams lose them on that basis all the time."
And for all we know, they don't. Is there any evidence of an actual erosion in play because of this observed phenomenon? Do bench players perform worse when inserted in games now than in the past? Is there a tune-in effect where replacement players do worse in their first inning in a game than in later innings? (Could this be explained other ways?)
Myth #1 seems like a strawman. I don't hear announcers or fans or anyone else claim that short players just don't get looked at -- the argument, IME, is that short players aren't given the benefit of the scouting/projection doubt, and thus they have to do more to prove themselves worthy of a high draft pick, a big contract, a promotion, whatever.
The question isn't whether teams will give short players a chance -- the question is how much of a chance.
Why is it disingenuous? And how does accrued value have any bearing on whether paying Francoeur to play next season and the season after? (Except insofar as that value is accrued via performance that changes our projections of that future play, which is something that is mentioned in the article.)
Hilarious and/or sad that 7 BB in 7 IP is progress for Matzek.
This is tremendous.
The parenthetical above the Utley-Ibanez graph is fascinating -- the umpire's head is in a completely different location! Reminds me of that piece about parallax I like to refer to from time to time.
Are "these pitch attributes produce popups" and "creating popups is a skill" actually synonyms? I.e. are the attributes that create popups repeatable, or do pitchers just have them happen sometimes?
(Note: I don't actually expect you to know the answer to this, Mike, especially in light of your second sentence -- I'm not sure if we can know what pitchers are doing to create popups and whether they're doing it consistently unless we know what the pitches are doing that create popups. These are more in the way of questions poking a little deeper past my initial questions.)
"Harper can change the game if he reaches his ceiling"
To what will he change it? I hope the answer isn't "football."
Looks like 58 -- 74.2 career, and 41.8 peak. From this piece, the 1B averages are 53.5 JAWS, 43 peak, and 64 career.
The peak isn't far enough below the average peak to make any never mind, and his career value is quite high.
I wonder, by the way, whether "consecutive peak" players get more love than "scattered peak" players -- that is, as JAWS takes your best seven seasons, regardless of when they occur, as your peak, it treats someone with a couple of great early or great late seasons equally as someone whose best seasons are in the standard middle part of his career. I have no disagreement with this method, but I wonder whether guys who have a narrative built for them by sympathetic media types have an easier time doing so when they can point to a sustained run of dominance.
For what it's worth, Thome's best seasons were (in chronological, not value, order): 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006.
Is there any kind of consensus on whether popup rate is a skill? Tommy Bennett has addressed the question here a few times without, as far as I can find/remember, coming to a solid conclusion. Matt Swartz also did an analysis, but, as I understand it, he found a year-to-year correlation significantly different from what David Appelman and MGL have found.
(I hope that link shows up. I'm not sure whether making links via HTML is allowed, and without a preview function, edit function, or, AFAIK, any guide to how the comments here work, I'm just going to have to post it and see.)
Oh, and in re: Gene Tenace -- http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.php/gene-tenaces-real-name/
Is there any point to calling it "production" if the difference between Nolasco's RA and Millwood's is (almost?) entirely chalked up to random variation + defense?
Looks like these two games are the possibilities for Geoff's introduction to Gene Tenace:
Tony Phillips is the reason I dislike Jorge Posada beyond all reason. I loved Phillips irrationally (and also rationally) in his second go with the A's in 1999, so when Posada nearly punched him after a home-plate collision in August, I lost my mind.
The Daily News: http://articles.nydailynews.com/1999-08-13/sports/18116418_1_yankees-postseason-spring-training
The Examiner: http://articles.sfgate.com/1999-08-12/sports/28603669_1
Oakland's rallying cry: "At least Coco Crisp is better than Brendan Ryan!"
A lot of times, I complain about people using the word "peripherals" simply out of form. Here, though, I think the use of the word does active harm. Peripherals and production, for major league pitchers, are not two different things. Peripherals *are* production.
Also, unless there's something funky about pitcher WARP on this site, "league-average innings-eater" isn't remotely fair to the man. 2009 was Billingsley's worst full season: he had 2.9 WARP. He near-doubled that to 5.6 last year (5th among pitchers in MLB), and PECOTA's got him down for 4.5 this season (taking his 3.2 (10th) and adding his ROS 1.3). That's a tough "star" standard!
I went and saw Rancho Cucamonga last year after Trout's promotion, so I was lucky enough to get to see him from the first row just past the 3B dugout ($7 or something -- I love the minor leagues so much), and I agree -- he's breathtaking.
I think Ferber was well-chosen for your point, Steven, for exactly the reasons that ScottyB writes -- she's a giant of literature that you'd have to be a nerd to have read. As a geek, but not a particularly lit-geek one, I've heard her name, but never come particularly close to reading any of her work, just like many of the players you name -- I've heard of some of them because I read quite a bit about baseball (though (obviously?) not nearly as much as you seem to, particularly about history), but couldn't begin to actually tell you much about them.
I got an article where all the apostrophes displayed as little question marks. (Chrome, Windows, FWIW.)
This comment was basically an article to itself, right down to the triple-dot notes at the end. Thanks for taking the time.
Is Trout truly as fast as Bourjos? I know everyone says Trout is fast, and I've seen him get down the first base line and run down balls in the gap, but Peter Bourjos is otherworldly, isn't he?
Do players play through broken feet a lot, not realizing they're broken until the pain either gets worse or at least doesn't go away? That ATD seems pretty huge.
Thanks for the answer, Jason. Is this an organizational thing, too? It's possible you've addressed this in other pieces that I've missed, but: would (just picking a team) all Orioles scouts be instructed/trained to weight the velocity, movement, command in one particular way and all Blue Jays scouts another and all A's scouts another? Or are teams just reading their reports with knowledge of who's filing them and remembering "Oh, Bob is a velocity hound so he gave the fastball a 70, but based on the actual description of the pitch, it's really more like a 60 given our organizational priorities?"
(I should write dialogue for the movies.)
Bless you, Ben Lindbergh, for bringing this back. Always my favorite frivolity at Baseball Prospectus.
Oh, oops, I replied above before reading this. This makes sense -- it's really just a missing comma after "above-average" that causes the entire problem.
Of course, then the question becomes: is there any position at which there are 30 everyday players? How is "everyday player" defined?
I wanted to ask about this, too. What did this line mean?
"possibly an above-average one at a position where there are arguably less than 30 players who fit that bill."
Maybe KG is saying that throughout professional baseball, there are fewer than 30 players who even have the upside or current ability to be above-average shortstops?
You could give it a Google +1 -- http://www.labnol.org/internet/google-plus-one-bookmarklet/19474/
The link about the A's rotation appears to be broken.
Also, the A's optioned Josh Outman after Saturday's game, so the flirtation with a six-man for more than one turn through the order may be over.
I still do not understand the concept of a pitch being graded an 80 if the pitcher cannot command it consistently.
I lived for 18 months in Victoria, TX, home of the Victoria Generals of the Texas Collegiate League. Before I moved there, I had no idea that summer leagues outside of Cape Cod existed.
I liked this piece a lot, as I always appreciate attempts to get at some objectivity, however rough or imperfect, in managerial analysis.
They're real. In particular as to Base Runs, though, I seriously doubt Lehrer knows what they are and is just throwing stuff out there.
And plus-minus, or +/-, as I've more often seen it styled, assuming he's still talking about baseball, is what John Dewan's defensive system is called.
The scout note about Barton is hilarious since he's spent most of the year hitting second and hasn't batted third even a single time.
Is it something that might be in the works? Or are the adjustments that go into TAv unsuited to splits?
(Perhaps this is a Wyers Question (TM).)
I don't know what would happen if you adjusted for league and park, but weighting OBP and SLG properly means that Votto's line against lefties is actually better than Granderson's, right?
I think "more available to people" is still accurate, if we read charitably (esp. in light of the previous paragraph) and understand Colin to mean "more available to [the] people [who could not afford market rates]" as opposed to "more available to people [in general]".
But now I'm just quibbling about your quibble, I guess.
Johnson and Morneau's consistency is pretty awesome.
My intentional walk reform, completely orthogonal to Posnanski's: make it like Little League, where the pitcher doesn't even have to throw the four pitches. The manager can just signal the guy on down to first.
Half of my frustration (and my frustration is dwarfed by Posnanski's -- I don't really care THAT much) with the intentional walk is is having to watch a pitcher come set, check the baserunner, and lob a 75 mph toss to the catcher. And then do it again. And again. And again.
Sure, once in a long long long while, someone will do something goofy and the game will end on a wild pitch or a runner still steal third or a batter will take a swing on a pitch that doesn't get far outside enough, but for the most part, intentional walks are dull and only serve to delay the good stuff. (I guess one could argue that they build tension? I'm not on that train.)
Oh, ok, got it.
Thanks for the numbers, too.
"Within one year of returning, a little over 28 percent of the 173 players suffered some sort of injury that caused them to miss time."
For a sense of context, over the course of a year, what percentage of pitchers who aren't coming back from Tommy John surgery get hurt?
Oh, one other point. The league average OBP-AVG right now is .069. The weighted average of the top-ten RBI sluts from that table is .065. That's not a perfect measure of hackery, but it's what we have in this piece. It doesn't seem a particularly aggressive group.
I'm not sure I can list all the caveats that I should put on this comment: it's only May, it's only two players, I didn't account for the different starting and ending situations, I didn't account for pitchers or defenses or parks, ... I'm sure there are more. But:
Runs scored by the Blue Jays after a sac walk by Bautista: 26
Runs scored by the Angels after a sac walk by Abreu: 3
(It's kind of a hilarious difference, to the point where I feel the need to promise that it's not cherry-picked. I don't have a play-by-play database, so I compiled these by hand, deciding to just do the top two and see what happened.)
There's a continuing conversation here from Steven's piece, and I want to make sure that what I said over there isn't taken to be more than I meant. Walking is a Good Thing: I've seen the RE tables. Chasing pitches out of the zone is a Bad Thing: I've seen the heat maps. I simply think we have to be careful about applying conclusions drawn from population data to particular situations without considering the circumstances of those situations and why those situations might differ from the average.
We already do this selectively. We mentally deflate walks drawn by #8 hitters in the National League because the guy batting behind those players has a drastically lower-than-average chance of making that baserunner matter. We understand that there are a very few end-of-game situations where sacrifice bunts make sense because of the score, inning, and identities of the runner, pitcher, current and next batters, bullpen pitchers, and pinch-hitters. I don't think it's crazy to ask that we bring the same care to other analyses before tossing off "bad manager" charges and making universal declarations of "in no way" this and "would only" that.
The two numbers above are hopefully illustrations of that point.
Anyway, now that I've written another N words about this stuff, here're some fun tidbits from the data!
Bobby Abreu has exactly one sac walk with a runner on first. Jose Bautista has seven.
Thirteen of Bautista's 26 runs came after he walked with a man on first.
Bobby Abreu lasted all the way until May 14th before a sac walk resulted in a run. From April 18th to May 9th, Abreu had four straight sac walks result in immediate inning-ending double plays. (He had another one on May 19th.)
Six times, the man immediately after Bautista made an out, but the Blue Jays scored anyway.
Nine of Jose Bautista's sac walks came with two men on. Two of Bobby Abreu's did.
"no hitter, confronted with ducks on the pond, says, “I would prefer not to.”"
I have quibbles, Steven, mainly because I think you've been a bit hearty in this phrasing -- as you discuss for the rest of the piece, the point isn't a hitter saying "Eh, that guy on second can stay there, whatever," it's the hitter saying "I'd prefer to take the close pitch for a walk than try to hit it for a single or a possible out." Then there's also the "I'd prefer to focus on hitting the ball the other way at all costs rather than try to drive something so at least the runner gets to third." We've all been maddened by players on our favorite teams taking this approach, I'm sure.
Further, there ARE Bartlebys walking the earth, players who, without call from the dugout, lay down a sacrifice bunt with a man on second and no out. I call this the Daric Barton Special, but Derek Jeter may have a patent pending.
On the less quibbly end of the things, while I understand that this piece isn't meant to be a full study, I'm troubled by the flat conclusion at the end: "Were he to expand his strike zone, he would only diminish his value to the team". Has that really been established?
Sure, we can click over to the RE tables helpfully provided on the stat pages and see that 12-/2 is better than -2-/2, but I'm not sure that resorting to full-universe averages is the best way to evaluate questions like this. If the only thing we know about the state of the world is that Carlos Beltran has a man on second, then we'd be happy to have him take his walk.
But what we also know is what sort of skills Beltran and the players around him have. Instead of saying "the Mets' RE goes up .13 when he walks with a runner on second and two outs, so he should be willing to take a walk," I want to figure in that Dan Murphy, Fernando Martinez and the now-feeble Jason Bay hit behind Beltran and ask whether their odds of making an out are so high that Beltran ought to trade off a higher Out Percentage to gain a higher RBI Percentage.
Some of that is a scouting/coaching question, in terms of whether Beltran has the ability to lower his selectivity in certain situations (or even to dynamically change his selectivity from state to state) without throwing off his entire game, simply making outs on all those borderline pitches he swings at, etc. etc. But I think there is an equilibrium point we could estimate from the outside that balances additional hits, additional outs, and the contributions of Beltran's teammates.
Maybe in my perfect-world analysis, all of this stuff shows that the difference between the possibilities of the Mets' particular situation and the RE tables is some epsilon. My real point is that I think we're still far enough into the interior of the Land of Maybes that calling Terry Collins a bad manager isn't justified.
For the A's, the roster angle is probably even more important than the talent -- they only have two relievers who have options remaining, Devine and Ziegler, but someone was going to have to go to make room for Andrew Bailey this weekend.
Kevin, apologies if you've addressed this before somewhere that I've missed, but what's the word on Adrian Cardenas as a possible third base option? He's dropped off the prospect list radar, but just from his stat line, he's finally stopped scuffling at AAA, hitting for a ridiculous average with some walks, and he's still just 23. On the other hand, there's not much power and he's played much more left field than third base and he's DHing a lot.
I approve of "HanRamirez".
That would be a pretty shocking SLG for a supposedly effective lefty-on-lefty guy. Luckily for A's fans, it's a typo -- his SLG against is .348, not .438. (Per Baseball-Reference.)
A's fans have been hoping that Oakland might be able to get involved in a Reyes trade, but I don't know how realistic that is, in part because I'm not sure who they offer in return. Oakland's not a terribly good team, so they don't necessarily spring to mind as a rental possibility, but that division is wide open, and once you get to the playoffs ...
Tiny error -- Tyson Ross completed one batter and came out mid-AB to the second hitter when he was hurt.
I can't believe that people keep whining about this.
I can't tell if I'm just being an overly optimistic fan, but the A's are missing their 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th starters (Braden, McCarthy, Ross, Cramer), and you have to figure Oakland signed Rich Harden and McCarthy knowing that they'd get hurt at some point, making room for Josh Outman. By which I mean that part of this (the Outman part) was likely planned from the beginning, leaving the real scramble to be the fifth spot.
It's unfortunate that McCarthy went down at the same time that Ross/Cramer did, and that Braden got hurt at all, but this is still a Cahill-Anderson-Gonzalez-fronted staff with a nice bullpen. I'm not entirely worried.
Semi-OT is the all-time classic NFL Superpro -- https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/NFL_Superpro
I had the first two issues when I was a kid. I have no idea why.
Here's an exasperated thought: there is no "a lot" v. "alot" debate. "Alot" isn't a word unless it's this: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html
Well, hey, they're both really young. You don't want to give them too much in terms of workload. It's a genius plan.
I'd think that many, if not the vast majority, of players who start four or five or six consecutive Opening Days but not n+1 do so because of injury. I wonder how much that's true for the n=1 and n=2 players.
Kind of off-topic, but isn't citing SIERA side-by-side with RA sort of Gala apples to Granny Smiths?
Could we just multiply SIERA by 1.08 (or thereabouts -- http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/3/1/2022427/ra-versus-era-1871-2010-baseball-data) to get "SIRA" or would that foul things up? Would we expect the regression coefficients to be significantly different if we were trying to get "SIRA" rather than SIERA? (I'm thinking of groundball pitchers having more errors behind them possibly artificially lowering their ERA relative to RA, and thus getting "credit" in SIERA for run suppression that doesn't actually exist.)
(I beg forgiveness if this has all been covered before, here or elsewhere.)
Speaking of the Rangers, I'm watching the A's telecast of Monday's game, and the Rangers apparently do a mascot race now! It's Bowie vs. Houston vs. Crockett.
I tumbld a photo: http://jlwoj.tumblr.com/post/5412352013/mascot-race-in-texas-on-may-9th-you-can-see-the
I went to two Rangers games in May, I think, of the 2009 season and did not see such a thing.
Someone slow Tosoni down! You should definitely be breaking 20 on your first big-league homer.
The NBA doesn't come close to getting it right, either, even putting aside judgement calls. Certain things are reviewable at certain points in the game, but unreviewable blatantly wrong out-of-bounds calls seem, for instance, at least as common as bad out/safe calls in MLB.
I don't watch a ton of non-A's baseball, but if I had to guess, I'd say Bob Geren averages an argument every other game or so (inflated by a triple-argument day just the other night), but hasn't been run yet (and hasn't really seemed to try -- he's a protester more than he is a yeller). I think he came out in support of Coco Crisp (i.e. to make sure he didn't get tossed) once, but the rest of the time, he had legitimate beef and wanted to find out what the deal was.
It's possible I have a skewed picture of how managers act based on the team I happen to follow, but I think at the very least, the question of "how much argument time would be saved by an auto-eject rule" could be studied.
Much as we all like a good rhubarb, we could, in the replay regime, just make it illegal for a manager to come onto the field.
Are you holgado from yesterday? http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?type=2&articleid=13840#85245
You two should get a beer or something and leave the rest of us to enjoy the amusement Larry provides us.
Awesome, thanks for the clarification, Larry and monkey. (Incidentally, that's the name of my preferred drivetime radio show.)
I'm pretty sure I've just been through the entire archives, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what a * on a trot time means. Help?
I'm with R.A. There's nothing forcing anyone to read these, and if the rest of Larry's output is any indication, we're not being robbed of massive amounts of content because he's spending all his time on this stuff -- he gave us sphinx pictures and the Montreal orchestra!
Besides, there's a good reason Larry's not doing distances and directions on homers: http://www.hittrackeronline.com/ already exists.
Unless the A's like Tyson Ross more than I do, the five-lefties thing isn't long for this world, as either Cramer or Purcey himself will move into the rotation in Dallas Braden's absence.
Does the table at the end count the links in this article? Or do we actually have to increment the entire list by one?
I don't know if it makes any difference in PT distribution, but as a matter of Depth Chart aesthetics, I'm not sure whether Sweeney is considered the backup CF when Crisp gets hurt or whether that will fall to DeJesus, with Sweeney playing RF in his stead.
He apparently does: https://twitter.com/#!/susanslusser/statuses/37655815548567552
Four days late, but I don't think this article got enough comments, so I want to chime in with another, "I really liked this." As well-written as always, Christina, and about a topic near and dear to the hearts of many of us, but which isn't written about nearly as often as the coaching trees and strategies of the men on the sidelines in the NBA and NFL.
Don't tell me what to do!
I thought V-Mart was going to be a DH most of the time, with Avila the "everyday" (whatever that means for a catcher) starter.
"Basically, Podsednik does a lot of things reasonably well without doing anything really poorly."
Besides hit for power.
Prospectus doesn't have a Like button a la Facebook, but I Liked this comment. Mainly because I was going to say the same thing, minus the witty John Frum comment.
I'd assume that "seven hearings a year" is actually supposed to be "seven hearings a team", i.e. seven hearings in the five-year period. Hopefully we can get some clarification on this.
Not to pick on tiny little details, but Paul DePodesta joined the A's after Sandy Alderson had already moved on to MLB HQ, so looking to hire him doesn't really count as going back to his A's roots. If anything, it's going back to his San Diego roots.
I love that he basically called Sean White simple. Tried to say he didn't, but ... yeah, he did.
Off topic, sorta, but I'm curious what you mean by: "there are some publicly available models that are based upon historic data, but spit out fairly ludicrous lineups regularly". Specifically, the "ludicrous" part. Do you mean lineups that no reasonable manager would ever use? Or lineups that are simply _wrong_? (E.g. third-best hitter on the team hitting eighth or something like that.)
"Second, the player saves a roster spot for his team by forming his own platoon."
In these days of 37-man pitching staffs, I'm not sure this benefit still exists. Who actually constructs platoons anymore?
The nice thing about the way baseball embraces its history (or at least the mythologized version of its history) is that, beyond the Hall of Fame, there's a whole panoply of local recognition of our heroes. Teams retire numbers, have team-specific halls of fame, have various legacy events when old-timers come back to the ballpark, hire ex-greats to do public relations and broadcasting, and so on.
These kinds of things are why I'm a fan of a fairly small (baseball-wide) Hall of Fame (as to players, anyway).
I completely forgot that Sweet Lou managed the (Devil) Rays. The lack of Tampans on this team probably illustrates why.
Right -- it's also notable that a person need not be arrested before the officer demand papers. That is, papers can be demanded during a routine traffic stop, where the chain of belief would go: reasonable suspicion that the driver is violating some law; then, once the person is stopped, if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is undocumented, they can ask for papers.
In fact, if I remember the text of the law correctly, even more innocuous contacts are start the chain, since any legal contact with someone they reasonably suspect of being undocumented can result in a request for papers. The commonly raised fear is that X calls the police to report a crime, the officers show up, do whatever it is they were called there to do, then form a reasonable suspicion that X, the victim or witness, is undocumented, and ask her for papers.
Oh, woops, I somehow missed the DH thing. Thanks, Steph.
As for the "not every team gets an All-Star" change being coupled with smaller rosters, I'm definitely for this, even if my beloved A's would likely have been victimized a couple of times over the last few years. Although you could probably return the rosters to normal sizes and still keep the one-per-team rule (if you wanted) by eliminating player voting. (In my ideal all-star game, both of these things are probably eliminated, but I'm not sure that's actually *necessary*.)
I don't know if I would be as forceful in my answer to this question as K.G. and C.K. were above -- the issue that comes to mind is those who change their identities in order to move their birthdays up a few years. These players are presumably lying as to their identities and birthdates on their visa applications, and thus might be considered to be in the country illegally by virtue of having defrauded the immigration authorities.
Just a few quibbles, by the way, on the immigration stuff. First, and this is REALLY a quibble: it's called "Senate Bill 1070", not "State Bill 1070". (Really, since it's actually been enacted, we should probably move past this bill terminology and call it by its Act name, but I'm hardly going to fault you for that, C.K., since no one else is doing it.)
Second, and a little more importantly, the legal standard for law enforcement to determine whether they can ask for immigration papers is "reasonable suspicion", not "probable cause". This is, as you'd imagine, quite a bit less onerous a standard.
I think a minor injury to a minor all-star pitcher would be worth the sacrifice to get structural changes a lot of us would like to see: DHs in all all-star games no matter the park and smaller rosters combined with encouraging managers to actually manage the thing like a baseball game, with minimal substitutions.
I suppose you're agreeing to the entire comment, but I can only agree with part of it. Basketball is an exhibition, sure, but it's an exhibition that lets players make incredible individual plays that you'd never otherwise see in game situations.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I find all the all-star games dull, but I think basketball takes the crown as "least dull" because nobody's pretending it's anything other than a skills exhibition.
The very first link in this post is supposed to point somewhere, but points nowhere. Probably just an HTML typo.
Just read that the A's dumped Aaron Miles on the Reds. That should help their overall projection in the next iteration of this. (Although Gabe Gross presumably replacing Travis Buck won't help things much.)
There's an RSS feed for articles.
Chiming in late, but hopefully this is still being read. This is in line with some of the comments above asking for the full data, but I've always found it a little frustrating when an interesting new metric is discussed in an article on the site and then basically left behind.
I'd love to see Adjusted Green Light Rate (or whatever far more catchy name you wanted to give it) incorporated into BP's panoply of statistical reports as soon as it's invented. Having already put together the code to calculate the metric on your own computer, it shouldn't be so onerous to translate (or have a DBA translate?) it for use on the site, right?
To take another example, wouldn't it be great to see JAWS be a part of the site's statistical reports? It'd be fun to monitor a JAWS list to see exactly the date that Joe Mauer becomes a Hall of Famer. (JAWS is of course trivial to calculate on one's own, but who wants to check in every day to grab the most updated WARP scores and redo that calculation? That's what the statistical reports' update scripts are for, surely.)
Yeah, that was a little weird.
The 10% number (African Americans in baseball) should never be mentioned without its context: 13% of the American population is African American.
I agree that it's not about grasp. You don't have to understand how they're derived to understand what they mean. What you do have to do is be open-minded enough to believe in their utility over the traditional stats.
I disagree with Will -- I thought the whole article was leading up to the point where Brian gives us his opinion. Whether we agree with it or not, I don't think it's a fair reading of the piece to say that Brian just gave his opinion without any support. The analysis of the options TLR had before him wasn't incredibly deep, but it does exist.
You wrote, \"Against hitters with clout, finesse pitchers throw their fastballs not only with some extra tail, but they also add a half-mile per hour of velocity.\"
That\'s certainly one way to look at it, but isn\'t it likely that it\'s a selection effect? That is, the finesse pitchers with the better fastballs will throw them more often because they have a level of confidence in that pitch that lesser-fastball pitchers do not.