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In actual fact, many of us *in* the sabermetric community have simply stopped asking these questions, because we get the same barrage of ad hominem, sub-FJM abuse that Heyman gets when we ask them.
Colin wasn't kidding when he said Heyman was being a better sabermetrician than most of his critics. One of the things you have to do in sabermetrics is to ignore, to resolutely ignore, feelings and intentions and motives. These things are not amenable to quantitative analysis.
Heyman has no need whatsoever to shut anyone up (I'm sure he'd like to do without the abuse, but it's par for the course for journalists these days, so I doubt it's a particular concern).
It does speak to the astonishing (head-shaking, for fans) lack of depth in the organization. But of course, it's a response to that and an attempt to bring in the depth they otherwise don't have.
Right, and not everyone's does. That's why you take a vote on these things to decide them. Although paying attention to the BBWAA's vote in particular really isn't a good idea, since I don't much care for self-appointed gatekeepers.
That's right Jason. It was absolutely an ordinary-effort play.
However, it came up that if the play can be made with ordinary effort, Kozma absolutely should be given an error. That he wasn't is a scorer's mistake.
"Value is being good at helping your team do the things that lead to scoring more runs than your opponent."
Sure, that's a motherhood and apple pie kind of statement. Unpacking that, well, that's tricky.
Colin, my view is that the third category is intended to be applied to the games on the field. In other words, "general character" matters to the extent it matters to the winning of ballgames. Others may reasonably differ. As I always say, that's why we have a vote.
The BBWAA should probably clarify the meaning of this, but I think leaving it to the interpretation of each voter will do OK.
This should be good, as it's two topics I thoroughly enjoy - Yadi being awesome and Omar being an anchor.
Sam, saying that Jeff Mathis is better at catching and working with pitchers than JP Arencibia is like saying he's better at running than Bengie Molina.
JPA can't even catch the ball - at this point, umpires who work the plate for Jays games are probably wearing as much body armor as they can scrounge.
Oh, and: great piece, Ben.
I'm a grown-ass man, long past one-upmanship nonsense, but I have to say, I'd have applauded if he'd blown a kiss at Hamels. It would have been dumb, sure: no need to inflame the situation, and Zimmerman took care of any payback needed at a team level. But it would have been justified, hilarious, and good promotion for the game.
I generally felt this way when I was single. Now, though, most times I'd want the baseball for my kids.
I don't run for baseballs though. If I catch one, fine. I don't so scrabbling around the empty seats.
But I do understand fgreenangel2's view. My suggestion? Go to more minor league games.
My other suggestion is never, ever listen to Michael Kay.
Perhaps but I remember the sprinter Dennis Mitchell appealing a positive testosterone test about ten years ago. His story was that he'd had sex four times and drank five beers the night before the test.
The IAAF allowed his appeal!
For those in Canada, every game is available on Rogers Sportsnet in all regions.
The Orioles are 4th in the AL in walks surrendered and first by a mile in home runs allowed. Forget the defense. Well, not *forget*, but the O's have lots and lots of problems before the ball is even put into play.
No one ever really asserts #4, yet I've seen 1 through 3 all the time in (1) talking to scouts (although mostly that's pro scouts and not amateur scouts); (2) reading scouting reports; and (3) reading quotes from scouts in the media.
So the protestations that "it's really not the case" don't exactly ring true for me.
I mean hell, I've *done* a study (less than five years ago) using the MLBSB reports database, on #2. Obviously MLBSB only employs a few scouts, but the degree of race correlation in player comparisons was almost perfect (except that black and Latin players were, very rarely, compared to each other).
RJ. A "sieve" is something that allows objects through it. It's commonly used to describe something that is bad at stopping things.
Rule 6.03(h) indicates that this should have been ruled a foul ball, though of course you'd never fault an umpire for not seeing the double contact.
"Self-congratulation not only works as the basis for a writing style... it works wonders as a viable means to analyze just about anything."
It is, and actually a lot of what Colin does in his writing is apply that principle (the danger of self-congratulation) to our common field, sabermetrics. (We're prone to it too.) And so it's doubly good to see him apply it to people who unreasonably hate us.
Thanks. This is a great idea.
I fully support the idea of expanding the playoffs, and expansion to ten teams is the best of the options beyond my own somewhat eccentric (but guaranteed massively successful) idea of a wild card tournament.
I prefer having the division races be meaningful, so 10 teams with a wild card playoff is the best option. I think the best argument of all, is the expanded interest in September baseball, and more playoff baseball (and more baseball full stop) being the most fun.
No Michael, I don't agree, I think that is *exactly* a selective endpoint. A five-game losing streak to begin the season means nothing more or less than a five-game losing streak at any other time in the season, it's just more noticeable.
Trying to make a big deal of it based on how teams starting 0-5 have fared is cherry-picking.
That said, as a Jays fan, I am confident that the AL East has started as it means to go on.
Thanks MGL for an interesting comment. I agree that the small effect, if repeatable, is very interesting and useful.
When Rob was first writing the old drafts of this piece, we discussed these issues over e-mail, and I think you articulated it extremely clearly there. "Shape" is health (i.e. physical ability to perform at peak level) and health is shape; if we could somehow control for health in the following season it would be interesting to see the effect.
You want to be young again? Good luck with that, let us know if you succeed.
Oops. Should have said "funny and offbeat and interesting."
Loved the article; funny and offbeat and
I should never have read the comments. One forgets how churlish and uncharitable people can be when they are unstable enough to make public comments. But if I hadn't I'd have missed amazin_mess's suggestion of his bridge to far: Phanatic slash. Genius.
One of BP's hallmarks is its irreverence. Long may it continue. There is too much po-faced seriousness in baseball.
Larry, I have no other words except to simply say... this was great.
It's going to be great to have you writing for BP.
What many of us have been saying for years. This was terrific. I particularly liked "So in the sabermetric approach, there is still room for dissent."
I also particularly liked "But the downside is that, in collating all these assumptions into a single number, we invite people skipping all the details and going straight to the conclusion... by uncritically quoting any of these metrics without examining the assumptions you’re letting someone else do your thinking for you."
Let a thousand flowers bloom; let a thousand points of thought contend. But, you know, *really*.
Hear, hear Colin. That's exactly the attitude I think is healthiest towards the All-Star Game (and I say this as a dedicated voter who grabs ballots every time I'm at the park and makes sure that everyone with me votes) and it's the one I try to adopt myself.
It's an exhibition of great, fun ballplayers, with a few extra players thrown in to make sure that everyone gets one of their own. I don't really see anything wrong with it.
"Carroll's easily the better fit, since all he does is, you know, hit."
I hate to criticize, because any jerk can pick ten words out of 2200 and cavil, but are you absolutely sure you have the right Brett Carroll?
Scott Richmond is on the 60-day DL with a shoulder impingement that sounds moderately serious. I'd take him off the one-star list...
Actually, the Jays developed a huge number of young players under Gaston, and he handled them very well. He was brilliant at bringing along young pitchers and giving them the right amount of responsibilities. He\'s often criticized for his handling of Shawn Green and John Olerud, but Gaston helped develop those guys into great players - Gaston worked tirelessly with Green on his hitting against left-handers.
Synvisc. Dandy. Suddenly as an owner of Duch in an all-keeper DMB league I am a lot less confident. Will, does he look likely to be shut down at this point?