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Ozzie a prime candidate for live TV? Can I have some of what you're smoking?
A post-season sweep of the Yankees is one of life's greatest treasures.
Here's some more of the interesting people-watching available in San Fran.
Andd screw you, jackass.
I disagree that narratives = stories. To me, narratives are a form of story; but not all stories are narratives. Narrative denotes a story designed to go in a particular direction to achieve a particular end; as opposed to a mere recitation of events.
Recently discovered video of Murray Chass, Bill Madden, and Hawk Harrelson encountering sabermetrics for the first time.
I thought that, too. But it's been so long since A-Rod's played short I wonder if he can handle it without getting hurt.
On the other hand, given A-Rod's suckitude of late, what do the Yanks have to lose?
This is easily the weeniest comment I've ever seen.
Geez, Matt, it's not like he spent 20 years in the minors to make it to The Show for half a season. The man lived every dream a pitcher could live - and many times over.
Guys like you and me and Jamie Moyer who want to deny Truth and hold on as long as possible? That I can understand. I can't understand Roger Clemens doing it. YMMV.
Curious whether such a clause also applies to HOF voting.
The clause clearly doesn't apply to anything off the field, since it's a consideration to be used in determining a player's "Value' relative to other players; and the only thing that makes one "Valuable" as a player is what one does on the field.
If off the field issues count, Mother Theresa could've been an MVP candidate.
If Clemens is doing this as a lark, fine. But if he's serious about pitching again in the majors, I find that rather sad. With all his money, connections, and opportunities, he should be looking forward, not back; finding new challenges and meaning, instead of re-living the old.
Yeah. Weird Al wrote their fight song.
Surprised to see the Astros only 3 times. The Astrodome was death to homers.
For all my bitching about loose terminology impeding the discussion, I was guilty of it myself. Which I guess proves my point, albeit unintentionally. I'll restate:
Prejudice, etc. isn't racism.
Or, to put it another way, racism may be a species of prejudice; but not all prejudice is racist.
As to racism not being "simple," I think the concept itself very straightforward. If you meant identifying, preventing, and dealing with it isn't simple, we agree.
Yeah, like it's not in the dictionary. Please.
You keep using that word. I do not thnk it means what you think it means.
"Racism" is not prejudice, nor rudeness, nor ignorance, nor discrimination.
And there are not "plenty of ways to be a racist." There are many ways in which racism can be manifested; but there's only one way to be a racist, and that's to meet the definition of one.
Not that I disagree with the premise (though to the author, it's an assumption) that racism may exist in the broadcast booth. But this article suffers from the same sloppy reasoning and loose terminology that impairs most of the discourse about race in this country.
"...part of the Cubs' future and not ready at the same time."
As succint a summary of the Chicago National League franchise as has ever been written.
Who's the doofus who doesn't understand this is a compliment to Goldstein?
If Houston's gain is greater than our loss, look for them in the 2014 World Series.
I don't understand why the penalty for what is basically attempted murder is a mere suspension. That ought to be a bannable offense.
Anyone know who paid the $400k settlement? Hopefully, it was Witchita State.
The thing about Wolf is that he can string 3, 4, maybe even 5 innings together where he doesn't look too bad - then the wheels come off and before you know it 4 or 5 runs have scored.
I looked all at Aramis Ramirez' stats over at baseballreference, and I can't see anything indicating a clutch performer. All his situational stats are close enough to league average that the difference can be explained by randomness. And his career postseason line of 194/299/433 ain't clutch by any definition.
Still, the guy's a damn good player, and I don't want to call "BS" on Roenicke based on my limited b-ref search skills. Anyone know if there's any stats backing up Roenicke's perception?
You gotta be kiddin' me. Everyone knows teams win one-run games because the players know how to win, and play the game the right way, and do the little things, and have great chemistry that motivates everyone to step up big in the clutch.
How hard is it to get that?
For some players, hustle is a terrible idea. No one involved with the Angels, be it team, front office, or fan, wants to see Albert Pujols hustling down the line on a routine ground ball. That is insanity.
Actually, I believe the ball was ruled a foul ball, since it wasn't touched and rolled foul after landing fair. Therefore, Ethier's out on interference, and Cruz is charged a strike.
I don't think this trade makes the Dodgers' futur all that bright. For $260 million, they got Adrian Gonzalez' decline phase, a broken down outfielder, a #3 starter, and a non-entity. Bright futures aren't made with such stuff.
OK, because someone's gonna say it and I'm used to minuses:
The moon is not a planet.
As to the impossible being acheivable, well, not so much any more. Not only have we not been to the moon in 35 years, we have to rely on the Russians to put an American into orbit.
I dunno. The last time Crawford changed scenery he fell off a cliff; and he spent so little time actually playing in Boston it's hard to attribute that to the city or the Red Sox. Why would this change necessarily be an improvement?
I know a guy named Bates.
Oh, the joke wasn't lost on ol' Richard. He's just throwin' it back at me a bit.
Anyone who thinks Dusty Baker would be a good fit in Boston knows nothing about that town.
Yes, you can be nieve. It's OK to be nieve. Really, what's life without a little nievity?
Being nieve isn't the worst thing in the world. I mean, it's not like having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information.
I rather liked the article. My problem is article after article on this topic. OK, we get it - there's unrest in Red Sox Nation. Meanwhile, the Nationals, Reds, A's, Pirates, Braves, White Sox, and Tigers are all in the playoff hunt, yet we're incessantly subjected to reading about the clubhouse travails of a non-contender.
Coulda been worse. Perez coulda thrown up on 'em.
Oh, my bad. I thought the object of signing him was to get someone to pitch. I see now the object is to pay $4mil for someone to not hurt his arm.
I don't think most PED users necessarily require an objective assurance of performance enhancement. All they require is the belief that using will keep them in The Show. The payoff from that is well worth almost any penalty. Anything more, like a long-term contract, is pure gravy.
I think Richard's got this pegged. I'm sure Ynoa's a great guy who tries as hard as he can; and it's certainly possible he turns things around. But 27 IP over 4 years to reach short season ball at 20 (if you can bring yourself to believe that) is the definition of "bust."
Why would Volstad ever have any confidence? He's always been a pitch to contact flyballer with little stuff and iffy control. In old Marlins park, that made for a slightly below-league-average pitcher. In Wrigley, it's a disaster.
Not that it's Volstad's fault. No one in their right mind would think he'd be any good in a Cubs uniform. I understand Epstein's desire to unload Zambrano, but if you're still gonna pay most of the guy's salary, at least get something useful in return.
Trying to find sense or purpose in Dan O'Dowd's decision-making is a fool's errand.
I'll be the first to say you know more about it than I do; but how is that relevant? Big leaguers won't be expecting him to run?
I don't doubt the kid can improve; but right now, seems to me his minor league success rate translates to pretty much break-even in the majors.
82% success rate in the low minors and AA doesn't inspire confidence, either. Being Really Fast is not enough to be successful at the higher levels.
Why would people want baseball at the Olympics when they can watch badminton teams deliberately throw matches, or synchronized swimming, or ping pong, or fencing, or handball, or...
The ump calling everything a strike is Dan Iassogna. Look for the name when setting your fantasy lineups.
Odd. I throw up when Chris Perez pitches, too.
Always avoid alliteration.
Yeah, you sure have. You trashed the man, not because of anything you KNOW about how he works, but solely on the basis of your "impressions" of how he works. That's despicable.
I say you suck; but that's just my impression.
How's Austin Wood been doing lately?
Bolt is a great 100m runner and (from what I've seen and heard) a tremendous human being.
That said, the 100m is all he does. Carl Lewis was a MUCH better athlete.
"You're not an RBI guy. You're not a power guy. What? Why am I batting you third? FK you. I'm Ozzie Guillen."
"Find someone who has a dream and tell that person that it will never happen."
I do that every day.
Or do you mean someone besides me?
No, if Brett Jackson hits his ceiling, he's Drew Stubbs with less power.
Ryan could've ripped Ventura's head right off if he'd wanted. Instead, he decided to only make Ventura look very, very foolish.
I'm more inclined to pay attention to Zaun than I am most player-analysts. Zaun's a smart, insightful guy, and he's got Scioscia pegged.
Whatever Saroyan's other virtues (and I don't doubt they are legion), his letter is utter nonsense.
LookoutLanding used to have a bunch of these that were hysterical, but I can't find them there now.
A bad Ramirez is indeed better than a lot of SS/3B's, but not a bad Ramirez making $15m/yr.
WRF is going on in Miami's front office? First, they trade mediocre-but-cheap talent to acquire mediocre-but-expensive Carlos Lee; now they do a salary dump to acquire spare parts.
Can anyone see a plan there?
Agreed. Who on the Rays is Soriano so much better than that he increases their playoff chances? Even free, he'd just clutter the roster to no purpose.
I don't think Boston wanted to get rid of Youkilis. It's just that between Ortiz, Gonzalez, Middlebrooks, and Youkilis, someone had to go; and for a variety of (mostly good) reasons, they chose Youk.
The amazing thing about the trade is how little Boston got. I'm stunned no one valued Youk more than a couple million bucks, with a Lillibridge and Stewart thrown in. What the hell was Pittsburgh thinking?
Oh, what the owners and Selig wouldn't give to have back those glorious days when they could afford to treat a rare and precious talent like a commodity.
Things are not the same simply because they are means to the same end.
And there IS an objective reason baseball is better than other sports: It's baseball. The others aren't.
Since you haven't seen a "seamhead" trash soccer, here ya go: Soccer is a stupid game that doesn't allow use of the one instrument arguably most responsible for our species' dominance - that marvel of nature, the human hand. Except the goalie. In a game where teams rarely score even 3 goals in 2 hours, the only guy who can use his hands is the one tasked with preventing scoring. Don't even get me started on the weenies who play that insipid pastime.
Be sure to see Lucca if you have a chance. The city walls are an intersting contrast to Pisa's.
You are unclear on the article's premise. Re-read the 5th sentence.
Yeah, but his was a girl's...
Alcohol, December 4, 1933 = Illegal in U.S. and therefore Morally Reprehensible and Very, Very Bad.
Alcohol, December 5, 1933 = Legal in U.S. and therefore an Undeniably Good Thing.
OK, if you want to postulate an alternate reality, I'd be willing to concede a Sergeant Selig. But an NCO is as far as my imagination will let me go.
Bud Selig a commissioned Star Fleet officer?
The man wouldn't last 2 days at the Academy.
Bryce Harper would pull it.
Lawrie's scum. It's obvious all he has to do is slide to be safe, but instead he goes out of his way to cheap-shot the catcher. Had I been the pitcher, the next batter would've had his head taken off.
"Eventually money means a lot to even the richest teams, but the Dodgers aren’t near that point. The Dodgers are new money. Carlos Lee is a weird painting with art-gallery cred."
Dennis Eckersley sends greetings.
I heard that after yesterday's game Rizzo asked to be sent back down.
Cheating improves the game, but I'm not in favor of it, even though I like it.
THE WHITE SOX DIDN'T PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE.
I never thought Joe Maddon would be a cheater's apologist. Lost all respect for the man.
McCarver says many, many stupid things; and it's not because he just happens to be in front of a microphone. His ignoprance of the subject matter is profound.
Judging from the talent on the field, that's apparently all it takes.
I think you need to lay off the "New Management" Kool-Aid. This is the same ol' dreck - except now it also has a ML worst record.
It'll shake out the way it always does - they'll keeop the worst one of the bunch, and everyone who turns out to be worth a damn they'll trade for nothing useful.
I can guarantee you Jim Tracy did not analyze his decision with so much as 10% of the scrutiny this article does.
Great. Now I have to sit behind my desk until everyone leaves.
That umpire really knows his job. You'll notice he starts running around Kearns before Kearns even reaches for the ball. That way, the ball can't hit the umpire no matter what Kearns does with it (well, OK, if Kearns throws the ball behind him, he might hit the ump).
Heads up positioning.
Only an asshole would consider this outcome inferior to what Pete Rose did to Ray Fosse.
I'm not blaming anything on anybody. I'm just agreeing with bhalpern that there's a group of people who have, or had, their reasons for saying Obama was born in Kenya - not all of them aren't named Obama, though.
Incidentally, if Obama can't even get 60% of the vote in 4 states' Democrat primaries, it's a safe bet Democrats in those states don't think much differently about him than Republicans.
Smaug is my kind of baseball fan.
And Gatsby has more than enough coin to buy the Yanks. Didn't Steinbrenner only put up about $500,000 of his own dough when he bought 'em?
Yeah, like Obama's publicists.
If you want to take issue with the article, suggesting that a sample of 26 ABs demonstrates True Ability probably isn't the way to go.
The women are wearing a "kick me" sign??? Most of 'em are, in Tyler Durden's immortal words, "A predator posing as a house pet."
I got coffee on my screen.
Fascinating analysis, Ben. Thanks.
How accurate has Miller been historically behind the plate?
What should Darnell stare at in left field?
Has Paxton really gone from good to suck, or are the recent performance woes a function of development (e.g. working on new pitches)?
Stephen Jay Gould wrote an interesting bit about the demise of the .400 hitter.
What caught my eye was how quickly the 3B straightened up after Stanton hit the ball. Took him all of a quarter-second to figure it was gone.
Well, if you believe the pictures of him when he came up in 2001 are of a 21-year-old, then, no, there's no evidence.
I focused on the catcher, who did a great job framing that pitch.
The Cubs won't do squat, because leaving things as they are is cheaper, and Cubs fans are still plopping their ignorant fannies in the seats.
I was going to leave a snarky post about Jim Tracy, but made the mistake of reading Baker's article first. Now, I'm left in doubt...
The rest of the 41 must be pretty dull if Gordon Beckham's worth 3 paragraphs.
When will Sox fans face the reality that 2009 was the outlier?
By that rationale, running red lights is legal.
Tony Rizzao is with the Padres? Seriously?
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
"I ain't no athlete, lady. I'm a baseball player."
Maybe this year people will finally notice Mike Sciosia's many shortcomings as a manager.
That said, there's no question Scott Downs is a better pitcher than Jordan Walden; and should be closing for a team that can't afford to blow the few leads it gets.
I think having security (not police) patrolling the stands to throw out "pests, drunks, molesters, beer-spillers, and swearers" is a damn fine idea.
"Cardinal" is not an American word. Though the bird of that name is indiginous to only the Western Hemisphere, its name is inspired by the color Cardinal, which in turn was inspired by the deep red vestments of Catholic Cardinals.
ummmmm....the white guy was executed, too, you'll notice, so this story doesn't support your premise.
Not that your premise is wholly invalid...
Please don't feed the class-fixated troll.
No, you don't try something else - not if you want the votes of the second-most influential demographic in a swing-state with 29 electoral votes.
The Cuban-exile community in Florida dictates U.S. policy toward Cuba.
Biggio made part of his career ducking into pitches, and he almost always got away with it.
Go to "Tools" and click "Compatability View." That should do it.
Dontrelle Willis would undoubtedly be an upgrade at the USDA.
Votto will cease being a Red long before that contract expires.
Really well done. The Mike Ilitch and Bronx references are screamers.
My reaction wasn't revulsion or disgust so much as "Really? That's the best you can do? You take $500 million from the public, and that's the best you can give back?"
I can't remember who called Branyan a human ceiling fan, but that's probably the most memorable description of a ballplayer I've ever heard.
I don't understand why anyone would want to spend time a) reading a novelization of a Back to the future, and b) blogging about it; but, I was once beaned during a baseball game.
I love Christina's stuff, this piece included - but whoever edited it needs to be bullwhipped and cast out of publishing.
I find player valuations and draft positions useless - they can't begin to incorporate all my league's information. I focus on performance projections, using them to put together teams that reach certain levels in the various scoring categories. A far superior method.
Shouldn't that 24 Ks for Biddle be 124?
How much of the Twins' problems can be laid at Gardenhire's door? You know, the guy who gave Nick Punto all those PA's and preferred Doug Mientcowicz to David Ortiz?
In trying to divine Beras' motivations, wouldn't it be helpful to know who his agent is? Or doesn't he have one?
"Fowler may have developed more slowly than expected, but he is now ready to stand beside Matt Kemp among the senior circuit's elite."
I'll have what Rathman's smokin'.
Yeah, my league's positional requirement's 20 games, too.
I question the inference that a better arm equates to superior athleticism; and the claim that better athletes are better hitters.
Juiced, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to Constitutional jurisprudence. Give it up.
Following Roosevelt's threat to make the Supreme Court part of the Executive Branch by packing it with his supporters, the Supreme Court needed a way to validate Roosevelt's New Deal statism. It chose the Commerce Clause, which has nothing whatever to do with the basis of either the Lochner decision nor Due Process.
I can't believe the players were so naive as to believe the confidentiality agreement would be kept. They were bludgeoned into agreeing to the testing regime by MLB, the press, and politicians; and I'm certain they've known from Day One that MLB would leak without hesitation any information that could be used to turn public opinion against the players and extract concessions from them.
This episode makes so much sense when you remember the policies behind the testing regime:
1) Make it look like MLB is doing something about PEDs.
2) Use negative publicity over PEDs as leverage over the players and their union.
Agreed. Outside baseball, Goldman's not much for letting facts get in the way of his slant.
If you can't score runs hitting in front of lousy hitters, how do you drive in runs hitting behind lousy hitters?
Madoff's victims could file amended returns for the past 3 years (I think that's the limit) to get back any tax they paid on the phony gains Maddof reported to them. I don't know what recourse they may have for years prior to that.
They might be able to claim a casualty loss; but there are hoops to jump through, and there may be limitations on the amounts that can be claimed.
They could probably also claim a capital loss; but that's only good in any one year for $3,000 beyond the value of capital gains received. The balance is carried forward indefinitely. Small consolation.
I don't know much about Fred Wilpon, but Saul Katz is as vile and loathsome as a human being can possibly be.
In a Ponzi scheme, "gains" are not earned, but taken from other people's accounts. The only way anyone gets money out of a Ponzi scheme is by being paid other people's money. So, the only equitable solution is to have every investor eat a piece of the overall loss.
Which could also explain why Wilpon/Katz wouldn't do or say anything once they knew Maddof was running a Ponzi scheme - they stood to lose almost everything no matter what they did, so why not just keep quiet?
"I had an unshakeable feeling of watching a Hall of Famer in the prime of his career when I watched him..."
Gee, where have I heard that form of analysis lately? Ahh, well, it was 9 years ago.
I loathed the '86 Mets - except Carter. He always gave me the impression of someone determined to wring everything he could from his considerable abilities. Baseball's lost one helluva role model.
And yet, obesity is an indicator of poverty in this country.
I really like your stuff, Goldman, but you have a lot of nerve calling other people intolerant and in the next breath branding as racist everyone who lives in Arizona.
Next time you feel like getting on your tolerance high horse, take a long look in the mirror first.
I'm amazed anyone would spend that much time in mental masturbation just so he could conclude a journey and its destination are the same thing.
This is an astonishing post from you, Richard. You're usually more thoughtful than this.
The only way your first sentence makes any sense is to conclude that you interpret the assertion to say "Rarely have we seen a person fail who hasn't failed." Judging from your past posts, I can only assume you posted this without thinking about it.
The second sentence is completely inapt. To put it in your terms, an accurate comparison would be "Rarely have we seen a person follow our investment advice and not become a millionaire."
"Weakness" isn't the addict's problem - powerlessness is. The addict simply cannot say "No" to the disease, because the essence of addiction is zero control over that to which he is addicted. If a person can say "No," and make it stick, he's likely not an addict.
What the addict CAN do is say "Yes" to something else that does have power over the disease. That's a topic way beyond the scope of any post that should be offered here. Suffice to say that the great paradox of recovery is that the addict has to surrender to win.
I recommend to you the chapter "How it Works" from A.A.'s Big Book. It was written by people who knew a little something about addiction and recovery; and it begins "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."
Yes, there are a few unfortunate people who cannot get sober. But if, as you claim, addiction causes relapse, sobreity isn't even possible.
Entire books have been written on this subject; but, as someone who's spent many years in A.A. and thousands of hours talking with recovering alcoholics, I'll just say this:
An addict can't choose to not be an addict. He can choose to be a recovering one.
I can think of no better way to know what not to do as a GM than to hire Jim Hendry as a consultant.
"Protege" doesn't seem like the right term.
How about "henchman"?
"You had to see him wait."
A very nice column, Steve, but I think your compassion and desire to be understanding minimalizes the level of Hamilton's personal responsiblity for walking into that bar.
It's true no addict is responsible for being an addict - no one wants it or asks for it. It's also true it's not an addict's fault he can't see his problem. I'll even buy the argument it's not an addict's fault for not seeking help even if he recognizes the problem.
But when an addict sees the problem, seeks help, and gets sober, then personal responsiblity enters the picture. Sobriety isn't the absence of addiction, but the return of choice. The longer the addict remains sober, the more choice he has in whether he'll stay sober (Note to people who can't read clearly: I am NOT saying sobriety is the ability to choose to not be an addict). I'm coming up on my 27th anniversary - if I relapse today, it'll be because I choose to, not because my mind and body are screaming for a drink. And when I wake up in the hospital or in jail the next day, that ability to choose will be gone.
You're wrong that Hamilton's relapse was "...a moment of bad judgment, a moment of weakness..." Relapse is a process, not an event. Hamilton stopped doing what he knew full well he had to do to stay sober long before he picked up that first drink. That's his fault, and however much compassion we feel for his predicament, we don't help him or any other addict by pretending otherwise.
I don't get the negative ratings here. Hamilton's a born-again Christian, isn't he? Why is it NOT good that a born-again Christian would be so open-minded and tolerant that he'd have a close Jewish friend he could trust in a matter like this?
An individual with diabetes who has the resources to manage the disease is responsible for doing so. Changing diet and taking insulin are the individual's responsibility. If he doesn't do it, and he dies, it IS his fault.
Now, if there's no insulin to be had, that's a different story - but one NOT comparable to Hamilton's. Hamilton has the tools and resources to manage his addiction, as evidenced by his period of sobriety. He relapsed because he stopped using them. That's his fault, not the disease's, and he'd be the first to tell you.
No, relapses are NOT inevitable. Common, yes. Inevitable, not at all.
It's no more American than any other way.
I have a good friend in Rome who insists there's no A.A. in Italy because, and I quote, "We don't have that problem here."
Well done. Still laughin' at the Buckner card.
"...never try to catch Scott Boras in a lie..."
Lie: Something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture.
It's easy to catch Scott Boras lying - his mouth is moving.
That comparison of baseball brawling to hockey players riding show horses is truly a gem.
I remember during Luis Castillo's 35-game hitting streak, someone asked him how it felt to be chasing DiMaggio; and Castillo said "Who's DiMaggio?"
Hard to respect a guy with so little respect for his own profession.
Kent Tekulve was pretty much those dimensions.
I don't remember Kevin Malone, but he sure seems to be an idiot.
Teams say all kinds of things about what they plan to do.
Sometimes, they're serious.
Starting Cabrera at 3B isn't one of those times.
I can just imagine all the fun the lawyers will have coming up with a definition of "shelter for the homeless."
Love the last part of this movie where Tom Arnold tells the story about Cobb's interview with a sportswriter shortly before Cobb's death.
Sportswriter: What would you hit against major league pitching today?
Sportswriter: Really? You were a lifestime .366 hitter and hit over .400 three times. Why would you hit only .270?
Cobb: Because I'm f@#$*ing 73 years old.
Yes, he arguably regressed while repeating AAA (and though it's not as much as a .055 drop in OPS might suggest, both his BB and K rates went the wrong direction, too). Thank you for making my point.
If you want to extrapolate a .996 ML OPS (or any kind of OPS) from 69 PA's, be my guest.
I take people like this seriously only if they concede modern surgical techniques and glasses/contacts should also be banned as performance-enhancing.
I think Cashman won this trade big-time.
Pineda's proven he can perform as a major league SP. Montero? Color me unimpressed bya bat-only type who has 69 MLB PA's and put up a .815 OPS at AAA last year. He may very well live up to his hype, but Pineda already has.
I can't imagine Fielder wanting to play 2d fiddle in NY; nor can I picture Yankee management paying that kind of coin for a DH. George woulda done it, bless his heart, but Hank & Co? Nah.
I'll say it for you - Delmon Young.
This reminded me of Yusmeiro Petit, who was the opposite of the factors you mention: decent-to-exceptional K rate, low BB rate, good peripherals. Yet, he never amounted to much in the bigs because he relied on deception, guile, and control; which was good enough for AAA, but not the majors.
"Whatever the reason, Morris is now a test case to see if a candidate with a strong enough narrative, no matter how groundless, imaginary, or overblown it might be, can make the Hall simply because his supporters repeated it so often and so loudly that one morning the world woke up and found it was true."
That test case has already been written with Jim Rice.
A thought experiment: Take the best/most important/biggest impact game each HOF pitcher ever pitched out of their records; pretend it never happened. Would that affect their HOF case?
I imagine there would be very few pitchers for whom the answer would be "Yes," and those would be players who arguably don't belong in the Hall to begin with.
Heyman's just trying to justify an abominable HOF voting system that limits participation to mostly ignorant reporters like himself.
True. Ryne Sandberg won his Gold Gloves with the bat, too.
On that subject: Just how the hell did McGwire win a Gold Glove?
Sosa claimed he pulled back muscles when he stifled a sneeze; and that the injury had nothing whatever to do with an incident involving him, a hot tub, and 3 young ladies (none of whom was his wife).
Going to have to take this back. I started thinking it was Furcal, not Renteria playing for Atlanta; which Baseballreference seems to confirm - but I couldn't find the game. Would've had to be 2001-2004. I'm sure I wasn't hallucinating, but without documentation, well...
I remember an Atlanta-St. Louis game years ago. Men on 1st and 2d, no outs, pitcher Woody Willimas at the plate. One of the announcers said something like "La Russa likes the hit and run, and Williams isn't a bad hitter for a pitcher."
I believe it was 2 pitches later, the runners took off and Williams swung, hitting a hard liner just to Edgar Renteria's left. Renteria caught the ball, touched second 2 strides later, and tagged the runner coming from first for the Unassisted Triple Play.
By gum, Goldman, you've got it! My wife's lousy in bed because she doesn't make adjustments!!
I got plans for her dog, too.
Kevin: There's no doubt Gammons has done baseball a great service by keeping an open mind toward statistical and non-traditional analysis; and encouraging journalists like yourself. He could've pulled a Murray Chass v2.0 and used his influence to set baseball discourse back 20 years. We owe him for being better, and stronger, than that; particularly since most of his colleagues were (and are) fighting SABRmetrics tooth and nail.
That said: however much you owe Gammons, and however much pull he has with HOF voters, the fact is his baseball reporting has very little to commend itself.
Who in their right mind would put Chapman on the shelf to give Homer Bailey another try?
The same Peter Gammons who said there was no doubt Sean Burroughs would hit; and that Burroughs' return to the majors would be a great story?
In baseball as in life: the greater the hype, the less the reality.
What he said.
This is why the players union should never have agreed to a testing regime they didn't completely control. There's no such thing as "anonymous" testing under the current system, because anyone can be outed at any time.
"Anonymous" testing puts the players at MLB's mercy - MLB uses it as a PR and legal stunt to protect itself; and periodically leaks results to the media to get a negotiating edge by making the players look bad.
When testing was first proposed years ago, the union should've told MLB, Congress, and the media to go F themselves.
He was an adamant racist who refused to play when blacks were on an opposing roster.
Superb article. And the illustrations were very helpful - I probably wouldn't have followed the narrative without them.
I guess that depends on expectations of future performance. While Miami may not have drawn the right conclusions, it's safe to say their information on that score is superior to ours.
I'm confused that PNC "costs" pitchers 11% of their strikeouts. Now, the number of strikeouts in PNC might be 11% less than the average elsewhere (or whatever you're measuring that 11% against), but does that necessarily mean the park is "causing" it? And if so, how?
Interesting thought that non-baseball, business interests played a key role in this deal. It makes sense Moreno would take advantage of the Dodgers' problems by making a splash like this - but that's the only part of it that makes sense to me. The number of mega-contracts like this that pay off for ownership is very, very small. I don't believe Pujols will faceplant, but I dodn't see how he delivers anywhere near $250m in value over the next 10 years.
Furthermore, if Ramirez was doing his job at short, Miami wouldn't feel it necessary to pay $106m to get a new one. Reyes isn't "taking" Ramirez' job - Ramirez lost it on his own.
Agree with suggestion for anatomical illustrations. Even just a link would be very helpful.
Seems odd to me Florida would shell out that kinda dough for Reyes without first making sure Ramirez was OK with a position move.
But, it wouldn't be the first odd thing they've done.
"Unconscious young woman" = Drunken passed-out skank.
That doesn't excuse what he did, but let's not pretend the victim was something she clearly wasn't.
I'll quibble with the Kermit-Jeter connection. To me, it's a stretch linking the character who sings "It's Not Easy Being Green" to a player making $15m a year for a .297/.355/.388 line and bad defense.
Anyone who puts together a brochure touting Juan Gonzalez' HOF case deserves all the mean-spirited ridicule and insults they get.
I'd like to know what qualifies these 16 panel members to pronounce on a player's Hall-worthiness. I doubt any of them, except possibly the media reps (and then only sparingly), know the first thing about proper statistical analysis to evaluate performance.
This is just another Old Boy network trotted out to pretend the BBWAA's ignorance and incompetence are being addressed.
The "second-hand smoke is dangerous" crowd has zero credibility; but even though I'm a smoker I completely support smoking bans in bars, restaurants, and stadiums.
There'd be no need for these bans if most smokers weren't such completely insensitive jerks about their habit. And having a "No Smoking" section in a restaurant is like having a "No Peeing" section in a swimming pool. People who aren't addicted to inhaling tobacco smoke through paper tubes shouldn't have to breathe it or smell it just because someone who is can't control himself for a couple hours.
Dip into its golden loins.
Give us your disease.
Go to Tools and activiate Compatability View. that usually works.
A certain segment of society known for the ease in which its undies get bundled has a decidedly unfavorable view of pigs.
One that could be ably filled by Chris Heisey for the minimum.
"Not too bad" ain't exactly the Yankee way of doin' things. Not that it doesn't turn out that way sometimes, but that's rarely the intent.
Clearly you don't understand Yankee fans' sense of entitlement.
I don't see the "risk" here. Managers have very little impact on what happens on the field, particularly in the AL.
If I'm the White Sox, facing what's likely to be a down year again next season, I'd rather take a chance on someone who's popular with the fan base than pay big bucks for the same ol' same ol' "known," "experienced," and unimaginative retreads who've "proven" only that their success is due to the talent of their players.
This would makes sense if Iannetta's defense and ability to work with pitchers can overcome his offensive limitations. Unless he has a lot to offer behind the plate, I'd go after the kids with the big upside.
Your typical tree could out-manage Ron Roenicke. Any idiot could see letting Wolf pitch to Cowgill was giving the game away.
If I'd known my BP subscription came with a new book, I wouldn't have cared so much about the paucity of playoff coverage.
The best part of last night was the gaping looks of despair on Sox fans' faces at Camden Yards when Reimold scored. Especially that little kid about to break into tears. Awesome. Welcome to The Show, kid.
The only thing that could've been better was to be in a Boston sports bar 3 minutes later.
Who would you rather face in the playoffs: A resurgent, young Rays team on a hot streak; or an injury-riddled, overpaid collection of inept mercenaries who can't win 8 games in September?
The kid just doesn't have enough heart and guts to put a team on his back and carry it to the promised land.
Of course, that wouldn't have mattered if the Braves had just a little more chemistry.
Stick to baseball, Goldman. Mark Steyn's a lot better at this stuff than you'll ever be.
"...the Cubs will conduct an exhaustive search for his successor, who likely will come with a remarkable résumé and a blueprint for sustained success."
errrr, no. No one with a remarkable resume or bluprint for sustained success will go anywhere near the National League's Chicago franchise.
"Despite the team's struggles, fans have continued to flock to Wrigley Field, enabling the Cubs to place fourth in NL attendance for the third straight season."
The core of Cub suckitude.
Amen. Those of us who know and appreciate this country's greatness don't need a half-assed song as a reminder; and those who need a reminder aren't worth the effort.
If Castro really needs guidance and leadership, he's screwed. He'll never find it in an organization stocked with losers, mediocrities, and has-beens. All he can learn from them are bad habits and attitude.
I'm not a Sox fan, "pal." My point was that the White Sox, in the same city but with vastly lesser resources, have won a World Series recently, while the Cubs have not.
Sorry you needed that spelled out for you, "pal."
Hey, you spoiled Cubs fans: You've gone to the playoffs 4 times in the last 14 years - and got swept in 3 of 'em. Don't you feel great about that, you spoiled fans of the only major market club in a division that feeatures Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Milwaukee? Don't you feel great knowing that since 2003, you've won fewer playoff games than Milwaukee, Houston, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland? Isn't it great looking across town at the World Series flag flying at the Cell?
The Cubs are an abject failure first and foremost because of their "fans."
That's odd; I thought Travis Fryman played for Detroit at one time.
Good thing we get these Yankee updates here. Can't find 'em anywhere else.
Yeah. Jeter's capable of playing 3B. That's a good one.
Jeter had to stay at short. His skill set doesn't belong there, either, but he'd be a joke at third and a corpse after tyring to turn his first pivot as a 2B.
Tony LaRussa's managerial genius made a trade necessary; though I suspect Cardinals fans will eventually realize they're better off with Edwin Jackson than Colby Rasmus.
How could anyone be "disappointed" in Diaz, Headley, and Gutierrez? Nobody drafted them with any performance expectation. They're roster filler and waiver wire material you pick up on a whim when you need a body or are feeling lucky.
If you want to talk "disappointment," do it with guys whose performance actually matters - Hanley Ramirez immediately leaps to mind.
I've bookmarked this page in the event I'm asked to explain the phrase "Tempest in a teapot."
How did Scherzer not make your Wins list?
Only you can prevent whales.
Wow! This type of article makes me wish I had time to pull the ol' Statistics text off the shelf and whale away at the methodology. Thanks for a great read.
Yeah, I'll argue Vin Scully isn't as important to baseball history as Don Sutton. Lots of people could do Scully's job; very few could do Sutton's. Nobody ever paid a nickel to listen to Scully; and no one ever offered to trade a Sutton card for a Scully.
And what's this nonsense premising the HOF "equality" of guys like Holtzman and Chass on the presence of non-deserving types like Rice and Sutter? Since when does fitnees for the Hall depend on other players' inadequacies?
I always start trade rumors within my fantasy league. It wreaks havoc and creates panic. Loads of fun.
Sorry, Steve, but I read this site every day, and you and Jaffe talk about the Yankees way too damn much. I'm not necessarily put off by it, but you gotta realize lots of your subscribers don't give a rodent's rectum for the Yankees.
Or the Red Sox, either.
Maybe when the coach's name is Dave Duncan. Otherwise, a mediocre staff only wins because the rest of the team improves.
It'd be nice if you gave ages for all these players. None of this information has any value without that context.
This column reminds me of the "Dead Ballplayer" series, which I really liked.
He wasn't feared.
You gotta be feared.
But now it's ridiculous in the opposite sense in which it was intended back then. Justin Verlander won't pitch in this year's A-S game - he's pitching Sunday because his team's in a pennant race, and compared to that neither he nor his team give a shit about the A-S game.
So Selig's managed to undermine the only reason to even have an A-S game - the game's biggest stars competing against each other.
The man's a complete buffoon.
I like Ozzie, but he sounds like a complete moron talking about Pierre.
Goldman's right. Wieters was supposed to be Mike Napoli with a better glove; he's turned out to be Jeff Mathis with a better bat.
You yourself confess what a disappointment Wieters has been by admitting Orioles fans' expectations were unrealistic. Adding "Perhaps" afterwards is dishonest - they WERE unrealistic, because what he was expected to be was a lot different than what he actually is.
Wieters isn't a bust because he's a league-average catcher; but because he was supposed to be so much, much, much more.
I will note, however, that offensively, catchers bloom later than other players. It's far too early to dismiss Wieters' chances of putting up a few very good offensive seasons.
I think he's trying out for Grantland.
So, Josh Hamilton is using performance-enhancers. Incoherent screams of "cheat...sacred...children...Congress..." in 3, 2, 1...
When your franchise has been a doormat for 15 years, both on and off the field, mere fair market value is not gonna bring you exceptional talent.
The stupid expression on Young's face as he's lyin' on the ground is almost as funny as watching him try to catch that ball.
Next time, instead of pulling up, he should go headfirst into the wall. It'd prob'ly hurt the wall a little, but it wouldn't hurt anything Delmon'd miss.
Stick to baseball, Goldman. You know something about that.
What, no Ozzie basting Sean Penn? I don't care much for Ozzie's rants, but that was classic.
Who does James Shields work for in Milwaukee?
Biggio "got hit" more often because he crowded the plate and ducked into pitches. That's why he got thrown at a lot, too - pitchers figured if the umps were gonna let him get away with that crap, they might as well just plunk him.
And Biggio had very respectable pop - 291 career dingers and a career .433 Slug despite having the Astrodome as a home park for 12 years.
Mostly agree; but the people who think that godawful place is a "shrine" are part of the Cubs' problem. The Cubs might occassionally make the playoffs, maybe even win a World Series - but they'll never put together a consistenly great franchise like St. Louis until they make a complete break from Wrigleyville.
Don't worry, Steve. Those of us who know how to read understand what you're getting at.
You could imagine it if you were a lying dick like Pete Rose.
Managers love players who remind them of themselves. It's self-validating. Scioscia can't choose an offense-first catcher without admitting his own skills as a player weren't as valuable as Napoli's.
It's the same reason Ron Gardenhire loved Nick Punto so much.
A small quibble: Rent controls do not attempt to make housing more available. They are designed to make housing artificially cheap for some people.
The result, as you note, is artificially high rent for everyone else lucky enough to find a place to live.
Your team is up 1 run on the road in the bottom of the 9th of Game 7 of the World Series. There's a runner on 2d, 1 out, and Jose Bautista's at bat.
I'll bet you and your fellow fans would suddenly have a great deal of nostalgia for the IBB.
Damon's and Posada's Cooperstown prospects depend far more on pro-Yankee/Red Sox media bias than anything they've done on the field.
How's a LH pitcher like Brett Anderson gonna glance over at third during hiw wind-up?
The last time MLB tinkered with the strike zone rules, a reporter asked an umpire how it'd affect calling balls and strikes.
"The strike zone's always been the same," the ump replied.
No one could possibly be as stupid as Fred Wilpon's trying to look.
Yeah, no surprise Charley 4$$hole thinks going out of the basebath to cheapshot a catcher who doesn't have the ball is a "good, hard slide."
Hey, Rose, your bookie's on Line 1.
I think your example of Cubs fans is backwards. The Cubs field an inferior product (particularly in the context of its revenue stream) year-in and year-out because the club knows Cubs fans will show up in droves anyway.
My point, which anyone with half a brain would've understood, is that there are thousands of men in John Lackey's situation, without his financial means, who show up and do their jobs for a lot less money than John Lackey's being paid to not do his.
I wonder if Kevin Youkilis has any idea how hard it is to have a wife with breast cancer, and have to go out and LOOK for a job; or maybe go to a job that pays $30k, $40k, maybe $50k a year - without benefits.
Whiny, pussy ballplayers who bitch and moan how hard it is to play a child's game for $10 million a year really piss me off.
Hell, he'd still have Neifi Perez in there if he could.
With all the focus we give stats and performance metrics, aritcles like this remind us why we love The Game.
I wonder how it'll look in 2064...
Your analysis assumes the closer is always the best relief option. That's not necessarily true. It's quite possible Gonzalez meant that, since the closer shouldn't be the best relief option (an opinion voiced many times here at BP), you shouldn't use him in such a high-leverage situation as the 9th of a tie game on the road.
Frankly, I doubt Gonzalez meant that at all; but I also doubt he worships at the altar of "No Closer in the 9th of a Tie Game on the Road." I thnk he's just giving the media a soundbite to cover for his players.
Lackey has to go on the DL even if he isn't hurt.
I think Brown would happily take either of those careers.
"When you ask people to do things they are incapable of doing, everyone suffers."
Like asking your manager to not bat you 9th when you're the worst hitter in the majors?
The issue with Posada isn't that he's being asked to do something he can't - it's that he's asking for preferential treatment to produce something nobody wants.
Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue.
Stick a fork in Posada,
And soon, Jeter, too.
OK, it's not literature, but it says the same thing.
I've had to go to Wrigley dozens of times for work-related functions. I've also been to about 20 of the other major league ballparks, all of them the modern variety.
Wrigley Field is a dump - a giant urinal with a baseball field in the middle. And swaying at the stalls are thousands of half-drunken nitwits who know nothing about baseball.
Wrigley Field has been the only constant in over 100 years of Cub futility. That's no coincidence.
"Yes, secreted within the soul of the new machine is a Tigers fan."
I KNEW it!
Ditto. One of my favorite weekly reads.
Cheer up, Steve. This doesn't last forever.
If Kevin doesn't answer your question, yet answers a question about what you think is a similar situation/player, then maybe, just maybe, the situation/player isn't as simliar as your vast store of knowledge and experience had led you to think.
You just might want to consider that if Kevin Goldstein thinks Sean Burroughs is worth more comment than a 28-year-old AAA lifer, maybe that 28-year-old AAA lifer just isn't your ticket to baseball fantasyland after all.
Go pick up Alberto Callaspo. Even he will be more useful than a guy with a career .815 OPS over 4 PCL seasons.
It'd be great if Millwood signed with the Cubs. One more indignity tossed on the pile.
Agreed. What's covered is informative and entertaining, but the breadth is woefully inadequate.
Right! There is no "pitching demise" except in the ego-riddled minds of old-timers the game has passed by. I remember when throwing 90 mph was a Really Big Deal. Now, not only is a 90 mph fastball ubiquitous, but there's a 2-seam, a 4-seam, and a cut. And there's sliders, curves, change-ups.
Pitchers can't go 300 IP a season any more because the human body can't endure 300 IP of what's required to perform at the modern level. That's not the pitchers' fault; and it says more about the relative inadequacy of yesteryear's heroes than today's.
"Have you seen Colon? It looks like he ate CC Sabathia."
I was at the May 10, 2009 Sox-Rangers game, which Colon started for the Sox. He looked like a bowling ball on toothpicks. Everyone in the stands was laughing at him.
He predictably stunk up the joint - 5 Earned in 4.2 IP. Vicente Padilla, on the other hand, was the living definition of "crafty veteran" that day.
I dislike Bud Selig, but this Dodgers situation requires precisely the sort of backroom, two-faced deal-making at which he excels. He'll get it sorted - not optimally, but acceptably.
Except, no, not really. The Red Sox aren't about to risk The Nation's torches and pitchforks over sunk costs. If they're 5 or 6 games back in July because of starting pitching, they'll do what it takes to upgrade.
So, the more important the game or the situation, the more justified it is to interfere with others' ability to see the action.
But if the action is meaningless, then by all means don't impede anyone's view of it.
I can take the ads on the back of the seat in front of me, and on my seat's cupholder; but at the urinal, for God's sake?
When someone pays you $11.5 million to go away, it's a good idea to go away quietly.
The Cubs roster abounds with age, injury, and mediocrity. They won't break .500.
The Cubs organization needs to be put to sleep.
Or people coneceited enough to believe a) humans cause everything, and b) humans can fix anything.
I can't see risking an ace pitcher getting hit on the hand by a pitch and being out 6 weeks.
Maybe if it's do-or-die in the playoffs, but not in the regular season.
Yeesh - Odyssey
Murray Chass reminds me of the monkeys in 2001: A Space Oddyseey when the monolith appears.
If you can cast doubt on the skills and abilities of others, there's no end to the number of things you can fail at without being noticed.
I love the O's, but someone needs to test the water in their clubhouse. No way that team wins 70 games.
Not bad, for an inhabitant of a backwater planet in an unfashionable section of the galaxy.
Two traps in every auction. One, being the richest man in the graveyard. Two, confusing cost with value (i.e. $1 for some players is too much).
"a taxidermist’s moose specimen named Nelson Eddy..."
Thanks for gettin' orange juice all over my screen, Goldman.
Yes, the man's been pitching for 25 years, and now he's suddenly incapable of doing it.
Please. It's a meaningless Cactus League outing.
Marte was in Part 1.
Seems like an odd argument: The guy's great because his abilities were so limited his manager(s) never trusted him outside a limited set of cirucmstances.
"Eventually, Francoeur’s results will have to begin matching the superlatives about his attitude..."
Ummm...not necessarily. See Sean Casey, Mark Kotsay, Brad Ausmus, Miguel Cairo.
Only Christina could make spring training relif pitching interesting.
What an epic thread.
Love of baseball and haiku.
Subscriber base rocks.
Fine, I will try it.
But I have no real talent.
Much like the Cubbies.
No Cubs fans who remember Bobby Hill? Or is it still too painful?
Why produce a spreadsheet for fantasy purposes that averages all major leaguers when only the top half will be on fantasy rosters? How much harder would it have been to instead average the top 15-20 players at each position?
Maybe the spreadsheet would be helpful if a "bumping up" methodology more specific than "accordingly" was provided. Absent that, I don't see how it's a useful benchmark.
No, he's saying he sucks.
You can respect opponents without wishing them well.
If you're using Windows and can't use Reply or */-, try turning on Compatability View under Tools.
Watching Tony Pena pick off runners at first while sitting on his ass, with his right leg completely stretched out to the side, was one of baseball's biggest thrills.
Socialism and Communism aren't the answer, but government-sanctioned monopoly is?
OK, since you ask so nicely, I'll explain why.
Everyone here has known for a long time to avoid pitchers who've had major shoulder operations. When you have to put on a Captain Obvious uniform to post a comment, you're wasting your time and mine. That's why I hit the "-"
For the last 3 years, Pedroia's averaged a HR every 41 PA's. Last year, he averaged a HR every 29 PA's. So what does PECOTA predict for his age 27 season?
A HR every 52 PA's.
This is why you don't use PECOTA for projections.
My #1 trade gripe is people who say "Who on my team would you take for [Insert Player Name]?"
If you want to trade, make an offer. I won't do it for you.
"Fail" is not a noun. Clean your own house first.
I think you misunderstood. I meant I would not take you up on those bets because I know PECOTA isn't the best projection system.
I'm not familiar enough with PECOTA to comment on what you perceive to be its limitations/shortcoming for players under 25 - but I'm certain those who are can ably defend its methodology and conclusions.
No, because I know of 2 systems that make better predictions than PECOTA.
That doesn't mean PECOTA has no value. As with any system, its value depends on the user's expertise.
Constant Reader loves Christina.
That's right, imply that everyone who didn't care for the article is homophobic.
You must be a Democrat.
"There was nothing about his brokerage operation that appeared anything other than normal."
Horsesh!t. What $50 billion brokerage house uses a hole-in-the-wall auditor no one ever heard of? The notion that the Wilpons would plunk down a billion bucks and never look into the Madoff audit's legitimacy, authenticity, and independence is laughable.
"...but there is still work to be done with respect to body weight and composition."
Transalation: He's still a tub of lard, but he's a STRONG tub of lard.
Actually, 23 beat him by 10 or more. 18 beat him by more than 10.
Yes, I do happen to know that. The question intrigued me enough to visit baseballreference.org and spend 30 seconds looking it up. Thanks for suggesting it.
If the Red Sox can get Jim Rice into the Hall, Pettite is a lock. It may take a few ballots, but he's in.
That was probably the year I paid $16 for him. My co-GM still hasn't forgiven me - or let me forget it.
When your "goals" are swapping LaRoche for Dunn, adding Gorzelanny to your rotation, and paying $126 million for an OF's decline phase, well...not much else needs to be said.
Not according to WARP.
Besides which, the most games Mathis has played in a season the past 4 years is 94. A defense-only catcher who can't take the field half the year is not an asset. Who will the Angels use for 60+ games in 2011 that can begin to approach Napoli?
Seems to me Napoli's better used as the RH half of a platoon at 1B (Lind can't hit lefties, Napoli can't hit righties), and backup C to Arencibia. Molina's expendable, and Arencibia doesn't look like he needs any more time at AAA.
"For God's sake, change the system so the NL Central's only major market team can make the playoffs."
How the hell has that numb-nuts kept his job all these years?
What is this BP delusion about Fred Lewis' defense? I watched the man for 3 years in SF, and he SUX.
But even assuming Lewis' defense is adequate (which it isn't), why would you spend $900k on him when you've got Chris Heisey?
Anyone who claims Fred Lewis is a defensive asset clearly hasn't watched him play.
ASsuming the article is correct and the contract's for $96 mil over 6 years, that's $16 mil/yr, not $18. YMMV, but I think Beltre's certainly worth $3.6 mil/year more than Uggla.
You and Jedjethro need a remedial reading comp class.
Very true. Reminds me very much of Mitch Williams. I never understood why anyone swung at a Williams pitch - he couldn't put 3 of 7 pitches in the strike zone.
You must be dominant in a phase of baseball to be a good team.
Hey, Kenny Williams, just what exactly were you envisioning when you made Juan Pierre your starting LF?
I was at that game. Left after the 8th, so I missed Utley's dinger. The first time in my adult life I've left a ballgame early, and it cost me a chance to see history (though I wouldn't have known it at thte time).
Sciosia has the same blindspot many managers have: They love players who remind them of themselves. Mathis is a pretty good comp for Sciosia, though Sciosia was better defensively. You see the same thing in Gardenhire's infatuation with good-glove, no-hit infielders.
Probably because a) most OF errors are scored hits since the ball doesn't touch the glove, and b) the number of OF errors actually scored errors (dropped balls) is too miniscule to bother with.
KG: Pls provide the players' ages or birthdays. Thanks.
I'm no physicist, so I don't know this to be true, but aren't gravity and magnetism substantially different from matter; yet causally affect matter and vice versa?
"Though the Angels are the three-time defending American League West champions, they would like to start scoring some more runs..."
That sentence is incompatible with starting Jeff Mathis 3 games out of 4.
Always take young upside over a mid-thirties commodity - especially a commodity on a horrible offensive team in a pitcher's park.
Hey, who's the guy wit' the cap standin' nexta Goldman?
I prefer Breakfast of Champions or God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; but I agree SF is excellent.
I just re-read that 2006 BALCO piece. A masterwork.
We miss you, Joe. Why not take both approaches and write 2 books?
Don't be so sure Nomar doesn't end up in Cooperstown. 15 years from now, the Red Sox will be pimping him for the HOF just like they did with Rice. I wonder if they'll bother to think of something other than the ol' "feared" routine.
God, I miss Earl Weaver.
Hendry's not gonna be in Chicago much longer, either.
That's why auctions are a lot more fun and challenging than drafts. Unfortunately, most leagues don't have the time for an auction.
You forget the sponsors. THEY care what the athlete says, because that determines the athlete's value as mouthpiece/symbol.
Most people couldn't care less about Tiger's daliances; and may not even view him negatively. But they're sure as hell a lot less likely to buy Gatorade and Cadillacs just because he endorses them.
Tom Ricketts is in for a very rude awakening.
Why should we be the only country with the best justice money can buy?
Are you serious?? You really think a league like that exists?? You don't think that maybe, just maybe, the post is a comment on ridiculous demands people make so the system accomodates them and they don't have to think for themselves??
Nuckles: Your point was nicely made. Too bad some people aren't capable of getting it.
Marc: You did a great job explaining what the tiers are, and what they are not. I don't see why you need to jump through hoops to accomodate a handful of morons with 3d grade reading comprehension skills.
"(aided in 2007 and 2008 by the New York Mets collapsing in the season's final weeks)"
I just love the gratuitous way Kevin tossed that in.
I don't see how these aggregate percentages fit into the 3B coach's decision-making process. If Carlos Ruiz is on third, no outs, and a medium fly ball's hit to Alfosno Soriano, sending Ruiz is stupid. But if it's Rollins on 3d and Juan Pierre's catching the ball, sending Rollins is a no-brainer.
Pretending every baserunner and outfielder is an identical aggregate of league-average statistics, and every play has a league-average outcome, just doesn't translate to the real world.
I'm sure Tom Glavine is a wonderful human being, but I just couldn't stand watching him pitch. That 21-inch wide plate the umps gave him drove me nuts. Take that away, and we're not talking about a HOF pitcher.
No way Gardenhire doesn't give Punto 400 ABs as an IF.
Jim Hendry: "I think we're quite a bit better."
The Kiss of Death.
By definition, res ipsa can't be established if there's reasonable disagreement as to causation.
I think we're seeing this differently because I view BP policy to be the cause of hidden comments (you can't call them "blocked" because people can, and do, read them anyway); and you view the cause to be the result of people expressing negative opinions. I think it obvious that no comment, however negative its ratings, can be hidden if BP doesn't want it to be; and no person's negative rating can impede anyone else's expression of opinion.
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
The post only becomes "blocked" when 4 more people disagree with it than agree. I think equating disagreement with censorship or fascism in this case is a bit much.
Now, maybe the bar for that ought to be higher, or even non-existent; but that's an issue to be taken up with BP, not with people expressing their opinions.
Calling people fascists because you disagree with them isn't any better.
I wish Timmy had given his stash to someone besides Sabean.
That's how Fidrych blew out his knee.
I'm sorry, but an evaluative system that puts Jocketty in the bottom 5, an Bowden and Sabean in the top 10, is useless.
Re the comment about Brain Sabean: Not being as stupid as Dayton Moore is a very tiny virtue.
Utley being perfect in SB attempts might "raise" the question of why he didn't try to steal more. It might even "prompt" or "provoke" or "stimulate" the question.
BUT IT DOES NOT BEG THE QUESTION.
I don't think it can be said the Nats "obviously played better under Riggleman" just by looking at the W-L record. It's quite possible for a true .300 team to put together a .450 stretch, and vice versa, without playing any better, or worse.
And even if the Nats did play better, it seems to me more than a stretch to attribute that improvement to a man no one will ever confuse with Earl Weaver.
"Rockies manager Jim Tracy vows to give first baseman Todd Helton more rest this season, using Jason Giambi as a spot starter."
Will they announce dates ahead of time? I'd pay money to watch Jason Giambi play first. It's lousy baseball, but top-flight entertainment.
Boras is a one-trick pony. Anyone can get the sun, moon, and stars when the market's inefficient and flooded with cash. Put him in an informed market during hard times, though, and suddenly he's not so shrewd.
My guess is owners vet prospective owners this way: "If I had to sell my franchise, would I want objections to my choice of buyer?"
Owners owe fans the same thing fans owe them. Nothing. If the product's no good, don't buy it. Look at the Cubs - winning's never had to be a priority for them because Cubs fans come to the games anyway.
Last year's book didn't have an index?
First thing I thought of, too.
Ron Gardenhire: "You look at our lineup and we're almost to the point now where we've got six or seven guys that are All-Star caliber people."
Mauer, Morneau, Nathan, maybe Kubel. I guess 4 is close enought to 6 or 7 for ol' Ron; but he'll negate one of those 4 by giving 600 PAs to the 3-headed monster of Harris/Punto/Casilla.
There are 38 pitchers in the HOF with less than 3 times Lee Smith's career innings. The average HOF pitcher's career innings is 3,764 - which is also less than 3 times Lee Smith's.
I guess Lee can count on your vote then?
"...but I don't know a single fan who thinks that the Friendly Confines are in need of a makeover. "
I didn't think it possible to explain the littany of failure that is the Chicago Cubs in one sentence, but you did it.
I stand in awe.
I was at Wrigley in June of 84 when Frobel hit 2 dingers.
So why can't I remember my GF's birthday?
Prove McGwire's performance was enhanced.
Then prove that enhancement was greater than the enhancement other players received from Tommy John surgery, contact lenses, video replay, scouting reports, and modern training methods.
If you can't do those 2 things, quit blowing smoke.
And please don't do the tired, predictable "It's illegal" shuffle. Tobacco and alcohol destroy a million lives a year, and both are perfectly legal to possess and consume. Not all of us care to sail in circles because we set our moral compass to politically motivated definitions of right and wrong.
"I don't think anyone realized the damage we were doing to the sport."
Yes, Bud, you did. But you didn't care if it meant more dollars for the owners.
Yadier had 4 career SBs in 4 full seasons prior to 2009. If you saw those 9 SBs in 2009 coming, you are a Fantasy God.
THis is "Fantasy Focus." For all his other virtues, Yadier's a lousy Fantasy option. One of those players who's a lot more valuable in real baseball than in fantasy.
Confirmed this works. Compatability View is under Tools.
Beyond 10 teams, you don't provide any information to answer that question (such as what kind of league you're in, what stats you count, etc.); but as a general rule catchers have 100-150 fewer PAs than other position players, so the difference between tier 1 and tier 2 catchers doesn't impact counting stats nearly as much as it does at other positions.
In a 10-team league, you're much better off going after thin tier 1 positions like SS and 2B. The difference between Hanley Ramirez and Erik Aybar is a lot bigger than the difference between Mauer and Bengie Molina.
It's not the least bit unbelievable when you consider the decision makers are Bochy and Sabean.
In fact, please do so.
September 20, 2010: After falling into 4th place in the NL Central, the Cubs today announced the firing of General Manager Jim Hendry.
God, you're snarky. Give it a rest.
Or, the player recognizes he can't catch up to certain pitches anymore, so he doesn't swing at them. When a player in his 30's has an OBP spike, it's usually not Good News.
Thanks for proving his point.
Actually, all recent studies show that corked bats don't make a ball travel any further than uncorked bats; so that rule is a relic of an anecdotal era.
In the 20's, possessing alcohol was illegal. In the 30's, it was suddenly OK.
Today it's legal to not buy health insurance. If the government has its way, that will soon be illegal.
If you want to ground your morality on arbitrary and politically motivated definitions of right and wrong, fine. Just be ready to do a lot of back-filling.
The answer can be found by re-phrasing the question:
Any chance ownership and management of other professional sports leagues will use the steroids issue to discredit players in an attempt to keep salaries down?
Chass: Rhymes with ass.
A player's not even eligible for the Hall until he's been retired 5 years. How much longer do the voters need to properly evaluate a career?
The problem with letting time determine who gets voted for is that time dims and confuses memories. Jim Rice is the classic example: a player whose performance the voters couldn't accurately remember nor put into context, making them vulnerable to the Red Sox hype machine.
The article spoke in general terms about the value of a Win, but I wonder what conclusions might be drawn if we used team-specific Win values.
For example, it seems to me the value of a Win to the Royals is a helluva lot less than it is for the Yankees. Therefore, "low-risk" "dumpster-diving" signings make a lot of sense for the Yankees; but not much, if at all, for the Royals.
Or is that what you meant when you said low-risk signings are "a great strategy as long as a team is not built around such players..."?
Who cares WHY someone thinks David Segui belongs in the HOF. Thinking it at all should be grounds for terminating voting priveleges.
This reminds me of the Austrian Emperor's complaint that Mozart's music had too many notes.
They let Zito, Mulder, Hudson, Tejada, and Giambi (those are the ones I can recall just off the top of my head) go rather than pay what other teams ended up paying. I doubt any of the teams that signed those guys thought they got their money's worth, with the possible exception of the Yankees, for whom money is a means, not an end.
The A's are smart enough to realize that the price of most FA's far exceed their value; and they can't afford those few FA's whose performance is worth their paycheck. What are they supposed to do?
I enjoy these articles very much, but I have to note that any Fantasy analysis providing only triple slash stats is woefully incomplete.
I'll take Wright over any 3B not named Longoria or Rodriguez.
How anyone can bitch about a .309/.390/.447 line and a 3.2 WARP, in that pitcher's heaven, with that crappy supporting cast, is beyond me.
OMFG, Minaya's taking credit for the Phillies' success. Will that man stop at nothing to look like a moron?
I thought the same thing. If you're wavering back and forth like this, it's because you're not using objective information.
And Edgar Martinez, too.
Say "Hello" to a future BBWAA member.
NY Times products are bargain-basement because they have no credibility outside the liberal corridor; not because no one's interested in learning anything.
I'm not a Javy Vazquez fan, but in fairness to the man, since 2000:
He's #2 in total Ks (Only Randy Johnson has more)
He's #2 in IP
He's never started fewer than 32 games
He's never had fewer than 198 IP in a season
No, he's not an ace; but that level of reliability has a ton of value.
Actually, as a general rule I'd run and not walk.
But there are always exceptions - Adam Wainwright, anyone?
Well, only the future can tell, but...
2008 was the aberration for Soto. As for the rest, they're all a year older, a step slower, more susceptible to injury; and expecting improvement from any of them is, as Christina so eloquently puts it, pure wishcasting.
Jim Hendry hasn't found smart, creative solutions for either RF or CF the past 5 years (unless you want to count a half season of Jim Edmonds a couple years ago). You expect he'll pull one out of his hat this time? Good luck with that.
The Cubs are the only big-market team in baseball's weakest division. They're a giant among midgets in market terms. They should be in the playoffs EVERY year. Instead, they've been to the playoffs only 3 times since Hendry took over in 2002; and were swept in the first round twice. The Milwaukee Brewers have won more playoff games the past 6 seasons than the Cubs. Think about that a few minutes. Let the magnitude of that epic fail sink in.
You want to give that moron Hendry credit, fine. But I doubt you'll be so charitable 9 months from now.
When explaining contracts like those given Juan Pierre, Vernon Wells, Barry Zito, Alfonso Soriano, Alexis Rios, Carlos Silva, and many, many others, I just can't buy the notion that information asymmetry, differing valuations, and lack of close substitutes are more responsible than abject ignorance.
While Ted Turner was setting up his UN Foundation, he was at a cocktail party, lamenting the taxes he'd have to pay on selling his Time Warner stock to raise $1 billion for the Foundation. Fotunately for Ted, a tax attorney overheard him, and quickly intervened.
Ted Turner is the grand example of why it's better to be lucky than good.
Joe's comments on the horrors of corporate ownership are mostly correct. Look -what the Chicago Tribune did to the Cubs.
And Joe Buck is useless no matter what you give him.
Jim Hendry not telepathic? My God, the man's barely sentient.
Fortunately for Cubs fans, they won't have to put up that bozo much longer (he'll be gone by August). But it will take years to re-build the organization - and 2010 is going to be a very, very long one.
If they're insinuating the Phils don't have the cash flow for Lee's contract, they're lying.
Please don't feed the troll.
No umpires on the committee, either. How can you have a meaningful discussion about the use of instant replay without umpire participation?
As is usual with Selig, this is all about appearances; designed so he has something to point to next November when all the same complaints arise about bad umpiring, incessant commercials, excess off days, etc.
Does anyone else think the pop-ups have reduced significantly the past couple weeks? Seems that way to me.
"The Rockies players felt the biggest change Tracy brought was stability, particularly with the way he handled the bullpen and put each reliever in a specific role."
When said about the man who let Huston Street pitch to Ryan Howard in Game 4, this is yet more evidence that, like Joe Morgan, the ability to play the game in no way conveys understanding of it.
If you'll take the U.P, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, we'll supersize your fries for free.
And many times, not even then.
You're sposed to be lookin' for a slugging OF.
I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn Jim Hendry wants to pay Luis Castillo $12 million.
The chart merely tries to hide the Yankees' enormous financial advantage by turning dollars into percentages. Players aren't paid in percentages of revenues, they're paid in dollars.
The fact that, with the exception of the Mets, Cubs, Angels, Dodgers, Phillies, and Red Sox, every team in baseball could spend ALL its revenues on payroll and STILL not match the Yankees tells you everything you need to know.
Here's a legitimately great take on the Yankees:
Yes, the MLBPA will happily go along with a payroll regime that restricts their salaries while MLB and the owners pocket more money.
Very well thought out.
Here's an even bigger problem: Only 4 teams' nicknames have the letter "Y" in them, yet only once since 1991 has none of those teams made the playoffs.
Hopefully, MLB will address this outrageous situation soon.
20009 payroll determined whether teams made the playoffs in 1992?? That's pretty silly.
Joe, I love your writing, and the italics were a useful device; but if all that italicized stuff is what Yankees fans think and feel after 27 titles and waiting only 9 years between titles, the only thing I can say is "Grow up."
This comes close to the truth. Having the money is one thing; spending it is another. The Steinbrenners want to win more than they want the money.
Give the Yankee revenue stream to every other MLB owner, and they'll pocket it every time - and to hell with the fans.
"subterfuge in the name of greed is deplorable, but naked greed is something we all can understand."
What a great line.
Does anyone else wonder why Manuel had Lee pitch to Rodriguez in the 8th? Why not walk him to set up the DP, and bring in Park to pitch to Swisher? Rodriguez has shown he has no trouble hitting Lee (or anyone else), and Swisher's been brutal. Why pitch to Rodriguez in that situation?
Damon on 3d took away Lidge's slider in the dirt. When a mediocre pitcher has to worry about throwing his best pitch, that has a huge impact.
Dozens of studies have been done on this topic. They have all concluded there is no such thing as the ability to perform above one's level at will or because the situation demands it.
There is no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny, and no Clutch. Get over it.
"Mark McGwire is a very, very fine man now that he's no longer a player and the owners can't make a buck by publicly humiliating him."
Remember Selig and the owners don't give a rodent's rectum about baseball.
What Selig actually said was this: "This is a game of pace. We're worried that the networks don't like it when the games run over time slot."
Plus, it's a lotta fun seeing the 3B's expression when the batter suddenly straightens up and swings away.
Once again, a jury finds for a plaintiff because the defendant has insurance; thus driving up costs for everyone.
The notion that warning labels would have prevented this tragedy is as stupid as the mother's assertion that everyone who wants to play baseball should have to buy wood bats.
No one I've ever spoken to who thinks singing "God Bless America" supports our troops has sent a Christmas card or USO package to an unrelated serviceman/woman overseas.
Singing "God Bless America" only helps the singer feel better. It doesn't do much for the people getting shot at.
Actually, they cut straight to the Budweiser and Viagra commercials.
I thought Davis' strike zone was fairly consistent; but when it wavered, there just didn't seem to be any rationale to it whatever. Utley's AB in the 8th is a prime example - the 3d and 4th pitches were unquestionably balls, and Davis had called them that way all night, yet in that situation he inexplicably called them strikes. Why?
If Manuel doesn't think his bullpen can protect a 5-run lead for 2 innings, he's gonna ride his starters straight into the ground. That includes sending Lee to the mound for Game 4.
The curve Lee struck out Posada with to end the game was absolutely filthy.
Stejkal's motivation is the same as all the other Feds involved in the steroid issue: Advance his career by destroying reputations.
"For one night, Aura and Mystique did a show in the Bronx, and when they were done, the World Series was coming home again."
No, Aura and Mystique did not show up in the Bronx. It was a poorly played game with predictably homer pitch calling and no 9th inning suspense.
Joe, we know you're a Yankee fan who wears it on his sleeve. But, please, try to pull together enough objectivity to avoid calling the Bronx the home of the World Series. That's just nauseating.
From Official Rules, Section 2.00:
"The Strike Zone shall be determined from the BATTER'S STANCE as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball."
The strike zone has nothing to do with a "natural hitting stance," but is determined by each individual hitter's particular stance (take a look at some Pete Rose video); and no, a strike zone could never be over a batter's head.
No, you did: "The Yankees are buying the World Series."
I'm not surprised a nitwit like you wouldn't equate winning the World Series with playoff success.
My 8-year-old nephew has better reading comprehension skills than you do.
The Yankees haven't won a WS since 2000.
2001: Lost WS to AZ
2002: Lost LDS to ANA
2003: Lost WS to FL
2004: Lost ALCS to BOS
2005: Lost LDS to ANA
2006: Lost LDS to DET
2007: Lost LDS to CLE
2008: Missed Playoffs entirely.
With the exception of BOS, all these losses are to small- or mid-market teams.
Buying high-priced mercenaries certainly helps making the playoffs, but it's a very risky strategy. Here are the teams that have won more WS titles than the Yankees since 2000, without paying $1,578,299,197 in player salaries:
FL, AZ, ANA, CHW, SL, PH, BOS
Tell me again how payroll determines playoff success.
Of course you didn't. Joe forgot to mention Philadelphia's also the place humor goes to die.
I had always thought Yankee and Red Sox fans were the most obnoxious and loud-mouthed. Then I got a BP subscription, and was introduced to Phillies fans.
How do we maximize profits?
It all starts and ends with the money.
Scioscia's OPS+ is driven entirely by his axtraordinary ability to draw a walk. His career SLG is .356. The man had no stick.
So you think a small market ballclub like the Twins should pay a premium for an at-best average fielder with a career .647 OPS because that a player once put up a .725 OPS?
Are you hiring?
Jeff Mathis gets a lot of playing time because he's the same "good glove, no stick" player Scioscia was. It's the same reason Nick Punto gets $4 million a year.
I for one would love to see your in-game notes.
Did anyone else think DET's RF was playing way too deep for Casilla in the 12th? Casilla has no pop, and with 1 out is looking to put the ball in play to the right side. He's much more likely to bang the ball off the carpet to get it it the air and avoid the DP than to muscle the ball to the OF. With Gomez on 2d, a grounder past Polanco is game-over unless the RF is shallow; whereas a flyball to medium right means an out and maybe a runner on third.
I like Jim Leyland, but he was lousy this game.
If you don't know that half of all Gold Gloves are won with the bat, then go to baseballreference.com and take a good look at past winners.
Could it be that injuries to pitchers haven't decreased because the physical demands of modern pitching offset the decrease in IP?
Will, thank you for all the time and effort it takes to give us UTK. Very appreciated.
"It's hard to imagine the Giants will settle for another year of a toothless attack."
No, it isn't.
"If Zac Greinke threw as much or as long as Justin does in a game on average, his ERA would be a lot higher."
Greinke would have to give up 38 ER in 9 IP to match Verlander's ERA. Greinke's performance, particularly given team context, has been vastly superior to Verlander's this season.
You mean you didn't notice it?
I think Cox is a tremendous strategist in putting together winning teams (talent evaluation, roster construction, managing personalities, etc.); but he's an abominable tactician within a game, particularly regarding bullpen usage.
Stop pretending a 100% accurate play-by-play is important to either you or the context of the article.
I think it's even funnier that same front office claims to be financially disadvantaged. True or not, in the light of Wells' contract, the complaint's disingenuous.
You could apply the same logic to conclude pitchers must be excellent hitters.
Pitchers aren't good hitters because they don't need to be to make the team - few players have a pitcher's skill set, and can survive the physical stress. Same thing goes for Catchers.
Why would the Cubs want Pat Burrell? Oh, wait...
Does he make them slower? Check.
Does he make them older? Check.
Does he make them poorer defensively? Check.
Does he make them more vulnerable to right-handed pitching? Check.
Yep, that's Hendry's kind of deal. Watch for it soon.
I don't see how you can "reasonably assume" the Rangers' offense will be better next year. Young and Byrd won't be better; Cruz might be, but he'll be 30 and he's hardly been consistent; Hamilton's woes are more likely to continue than be resolved, which means a lot of David Murphy; and the catching options are, offensively, awful.
So "assuming" the offense improves assumes Kinsler, Andrus, and Davis can more than make up for the uncertainty and regression elsewhere in the lineup; and/or that Daniels will land a decent bat on the FA market.
I don't think either of those assumptions (though possible) are reasonable.
"Lewis is the third-best offensive player on the Giants, behind Pablo Sandoval and, oddly, Juan Uribe."
What an indictment.
"the pursuit of a record, an award, or a number is not more important than Greinke's long-term value to the team."
That assumes the Royals are interested in putting a winning product on the field, which they clearly aren't. Therefore, any short-term publicity boost is worth a lot more to them than a front-line starting pitcher.
I agree with Joe on most points, but there's one consideration he doesn't mention: Bradley simply cannot be allowed on the field after shooting off his mouth like that. The fans would verbally brutalize him until he (predictably) blew up and caused an even bigger mess.
Grow up, Mets fan.
Their pitching's keeping them in contention, not anything that idiot Bochy's doing with the offense.
Christina spanks Sheehan about Joe Nelson. You gonna take that, Joe?
How like the Mets to build a stadium for the team they don't have.
Hernandez would like an empty Coke bottle better.
I doubt very much the Jim Edmonds of the world will endure a year in the minors for a chance at the playoffs.
The Dodgers didn't get Thome for a division chase. They got him to be a World Series DH.
One thing to keep in mind about NL pitchers: Though they get to pitch to their counterparts, all else equal they get fewer IP and Win opportunities because they're pinch hit for in close games.
This is why the Cubs haven't won a Series in 100 years.
Hendry didn't have to cut payroll to sign Bradley. He had to cut payroll to sign Bradley to a ridiculous contract - on top of all the other ridiculous contracts Hendry's responsible for.
Oh, and Wrigley Field's a dump.
TA at its very finest. Thanks, Christina.
I can't wait to see your Power Rankings prognosticating future performance, MH. You make sure to tell us all when you have that ready, OK?
No, that's the Cubs.
You mean at what point do Wins become the be-all and end-all of measuring pitcher performance.
Never. Wins are a meaningless, arbitrary stat that do not, and never were intended to, measure pitcher perfomance. If you haven't learned that by now, your subscription is a waste of money - cancel it now.
"There’s a guiding principle in baseball that you don’t lose your job because of injury. To fire Omar Minaya would be to fire him because half his payroll got hurt."
No, to fire Minaya would be to fire a man who can't put together a playoff team with one of the biggest payrolls in baseball, in one of baseball's biggest markets.
Minaya's many inadequacies have long been apparent to everyone not named Wilpon. Maybe 2009 will be a blessing in disguise for the Mets - it doesn't matter if Minaya's fired for something he couldn't control, just as long as he's fired.
What's different about today?
I keeeed, I keeeeed.
"Major league teams, in my best interest, must pay my clients more money."
Scott Boras [Fixed]
"I'm really not happy with the decision that the Phillies have made - that a 46 year old pitcher with a -14.4 RP, a negative VORP, and a 5.47 ERA doesn't belong in the rotations of a chamionship-caliber team."
Jamie "Whiny" Moyer [Fixed]
At first I didn't believe someone so ignorant about baseball could be in charge of broadcasting baseball games; but then I started thinking about all the idiot announcers the game has been cursed with, and I realized: virtually no one associated with producing an MSM baseball product knows anything about at all about the game.
Both Moyer's and the Phillies' expectations were that if he made 32 starts, it was because he was pitching well and was worth $10.5 million.
This isn't a case of the Phillies benching Moyer to save $4 million even though he's pitching well. Moyer's stunk it up all season, and the Phillies had to go out and get a decent starter to replace him.
If Moyer doesn't like the situation, he can go bitch to the mirror.
Agreed. TWQ is one of my favorites.
Pujols' elbow wouldn't have held up at third.
Based on 5 QS out of 8, you extrapolate 9 QS out his next 10.
And those 9 QS are all going to be identical to his last start...against OAK...at OAK.
And he's only going to put up 1 clunker, because that's all he gave up to...SEA.
Man, I wish I could find some of what you're smokin'.
No "sentient fan" will ever sit down and evaluate 800 players the way PECOTA does.
PECOTA and its forecasting brethren do not hold themselves out as infallible oracles; and only an idiot would use them as such. They're tools, a baseline to assist a "sentient fan" in making his own judgments about what a player's performance will be. Those tools are only as good as the person using them - if the predictive house you build comes crashing down, don't blame PECOTA.
"...it’s baffling why the Giants gave him $18 million (for two years) in such a soft market last winter."
Doesn't he know who the Giant's GM is?
I'm a CPA - and I'd much rather write about baseball.
"Until and unless baseball controls the story, it will be controlled by people who at best have no concern for baseball, and at worst have an interest in its embarrassment."
MLB does control the story. Sadly, MLB itself is controlled by people who have an interest in embarassing the game. The more the steroids non-issue harasses and persecutes the players, the more Selig and the owners stand to gain financially at the players' expense.
Do you really think a group of billionaires can't put a lid on Roger Goodell if they want?
It's not worth considering.
I told ya Sabean wasn't smart enough to make a decent trade.
I can't believe a BP subscriber wrote that.
How can Tommy Harper complain about MLB's promotion of RBI when he's too dm lazy to find out for himself what the age groups are?
Guess he, too, thinks it's someone else's responsiblity to spoon feed him.
How many sliders did Christy Matthewson throw? Did his fastball average 90 mph or better?
Today's hitters would light up Christy Matthewson like a Christmas tree.
I watched Minaya's news conference. I've never heard a more convoluted, incomprehensible string of half-thoughts expressed in such a stumbling, bumbling, fumbling manner.
If his track record hasn't proven it, last night did - the man is a complete moron.
History's provided ample evidence Sabean isn't smart enough to figure out a decent trade.
I wish BP could be mainstream, but it never will be. 80% of Americans are incapable of grasping, much less applying, concepts such as VORP, WARP, etc.; and that percentage is only going to grow over time.
It wasn't the World Series. It was against the Angels in the ALCS. If you're gonna bad-mouth someone, get the facts straight.
"since he has no use for the regular burgers, and is too stupid to go elsewhere to get his tofu."
I don't understand why it should seem odd that Bochy and the Giants' front office braincamp make decisions based on incomplete and/or inaccurate information.
It's not being rated inappropriate, it's being rated a piece of garbage.
Yeah, I don't know how you can talk about the Ranger's making any deadline deals without at least considering Tom Hick's financial problems.
Maybe this article was meant to be limited to the NL Central, though it doesn't say so.
Hope everything's OK, Will. And many thanks for all your entertaining and informative work.
"...he is to bullpens what parenting is to trailer parks."
Ahhh, but if the fans don't care about PED's, the owners can't use that as leverage against the players - and that's much more important to Selig & Co. than the game.
I'm pretty sure the last pitch wasn't a strike - it looked not quite shoulder high and just outside. Still stupid pitch selection, since that pitch is tailor made for a fly ball.
IIRC, not one of Bell's 0-2 pitches was designed to get a groundball - which isn't surprising, since he's not a groundball pitcher. And that leads to what I think is the biggest question of the game - why did Manuel leave a flyball pitcher in the game in that situation instead of bringing in, say, Jason Marquis, who's turned into an extreme groundball pitcher this year? If it's because Marquis threw on the 11th, then the question becomes "What the hell are pitchers who can't, or aren't allowed to, pitch doing on an All Star roster?"
Strictly roster management - he'll be back after the Break.
Thanks, Steve, for another fascinating look back.
Mark Buehrle was in the majors at 21. Those numbers from a 21-year-old at High A are unimpressive.
I don't see how anyone extrapolates a tennis serve to pitching a baseball. The stresses on the body are totally different. The use of the shoulder, wrist, and particularly the elbow are completely different. What is the scientific basis for claiming Roddick can throw a ball 95 mph because he can whip a tennis racket hard and fast enough to make a ball go 140mph?
That Jack Wilson has to "work hard" to put up a carrer .269/.312/.375 line is an indictment, not a Good Thing.
A person who's part of the problem is not entitled to whine.
You'll know when the once great franchise is turning around when Wilson and his bloated contract are gone.
Just because no one would turn down $7 million a year doesn't mean it's OK for a ballclub of limited means to give a slightly better than replacement level player that kind of money.
No surprise Jack Wilson likes crappy management that makes him rich, and dislikes decent management that knows he's an albatross.
Ned Colletti's a joke. Like he wouldn't have gotten rid of Pierre in a heartbeat if he could've found someone stupid enough take that contract AND give a player back in return.
All he said was that Ryan Howard is average THIS YEAR relative to other 1B's based on EQA. Which he clearly IS.
Take your hyper-sensitivity routine to the Phillies home page. It's worn thin here.
Please explain the nature of an omniscient, omnipresent, all-powerful, eternal entity that isn't "awesome."
Or unions that pull out all the stops to put a huckster in the White House who'll make them government employees so they don't have to actually make products people want to buy?
You can get 'em used at Amazon pretty cheap, and new is only $90 or so.
"You want consistency, but at the same time, we're talking about a guy that's leading the league in hitting. Now I guess the question becomes: Where does that fit into winning? How does that fit in? Is that good?"
Jerry Manuel doesn't know how leading the league in hitting helps his club win, or even if it's a Good Thing.
I am so glad I'm not a Mets fan.
Imagine being surrounded by thousands of people like that, all of them drinking stale Old Style for hours.
That's what going to a Cubs game is like.
I don't know if it's still in print, but there's a 2-Volume "Annotated Sherlock Holmes" that's a must-have for any devotee of the Canon. Spent many a magical hour as a kid with those books.
Actually, I like it when Jaffe expands on Sheehan's stuff. Joe's good, but Jay's analysis runs deeper.
Pedro's worth taking a chance on, but not at the guaranteed $5 million he's been demanding.
My bet is that Feliz' higher walk rate is more a function of age and diminished reflexes than newly found plate discipline. The man's never been more than marginal with the bat, and he's 34. He's not swinging at pitches because he knows he can't catch up to them. When the league figures this out, they'll pound the strike zone on him, and the end will come soon after.
Headline in today's Sun Times:
"Feds Leak Confidential MLB Info"
Oh, wait, sorry - that doesn't sell papers. Here we go:
"Say it Ain't Sosa"
"Corrput politician" is redundant.
Or Jim Rice.
Sox relievers' ranking by WXRL:
Thornton 26 (1.477)
Jenks 72 (.602)
Carrasco 88 (.462)
Dotel 135 (.207)
Linebrink 448 (-.132)
AL Teams with at least 4 relievers with WXRL higher than Dotel's .207:
ANA, BAL, BOS, CLE, NYA, OAK, SE, TB
Not a refined analysis by any means, but enough to show it's not BP's ignorance that's the problem.
Also, odds of even making it to the majors are too low to make a FA signing 6-8 years down the road any kind of consideration.
Terrific read. Thanks, Will; and you, too, Tom - though the first time I saw your name I thought "What's Gorman Thomas doing here?"
"I can't tell you how perplexed I am by this season and this team and the things that are going on, because I'm too clueless to know how perplexed I am. And our record is, you know, very troubling for me every single day, though I'm not about to return the salary that so greatly exceeds my value. So yeah, I'm troubled by everything. We continue to look for solutions that don't involve spending money. Have I thought about every possible recourse except spending money? I have."
Please don't feed the trolls.
"I want somebody to put it out in the eyes of everybody so that they can rank people better than what they're doing now."
Wow. Forget managing, Omar - please go into broadcasting.
errr.. JIM Hendry has the same problem most other GMs have - he doesn't understand the concept of sunk costs; which is that, being unavoidable, they shouldn't impact decision-making.
My Dad took me to see the Mick play at Comiskey. I was maybe 8. Still remember watching Mantle running down the 1st base line.
April 19, 1986 (My God, has it been that long?); Wrigley Field; Shawon Dunston goes 5-for-5. I was in the bleachers, and Cubs fans were making Ernie Banks comparisons. As if.
I never thought much of Dunston as a player overall, but he was at least decent defensively, if not sometimes good, and he did have a cannon.
It was Snow. Steaming full-bore around third on the way to the plate to score a run in the World Series, not only did had the presence of mind to get the kid out of harm's way, but looked graceful doing it.
Baker got lucky that day. That kid gets hurt, and his mother and grandma put Dusty's fat ass in a sling.
Thoroughly irrelevant. The man's thrown 65 IP the last 3 seasons. He doesn't belong in this conversation.
Interwebs haz Search skillz.
First, 2009's results aren't even in yet, so it's 2 for 8. Stupid things like that don't help your cause.
Second, who but NY or BOS are you gonna pick for the AL East the past 4 years (don't even pretend you saw TB comin' last year)? As far as their records go, it's been a coin toss between NY and BOS since 2005 (with the possible exception of 2006). Both won 95 games in 2005. In 2007, BOS won 96, NYY 94. In 2008, BOS won 95, NYY 89. The only way you can look at that and see bias in choosing BOS, or see incompetence in picking a team that ends up winning 95 games, is by being biased yourself.
The last thing any Mets fan wants to see is Omar Minaya witha "For Sale" sign.
Awesome idea. Thanks, Eric.
Also stings when it's the last ML regular to have more CS's in a season than BB's (and he did that twice).
Well, Joe, if the accusation of bias is too easy, that's the writer's fault, not the reader's.
I don't believe you intentionally slant (non-Yankee-related) articles; but bias doesn't have to be conscious or intentional to be a factor. Your subscribers are doing you a favor here. Don't just dismiss them.
The Marlins can do better than that.
Peter Rose - Charley 455hole.
That's it!!! They need Willie Bloomquist!!
Read what he said. He said going to the bullpen increases your chances of losing EVERY TIME. That is so obviously untrue only an idiot couldn't see it - which I suppose explains why you missed it.
Wrigley is a dump - easily the worst ballpark I've ever been in. Old, dank, dirty, crappy facilities, crappy seating, crappy everything. I can't understand Cub fans' denial of the obvious about Wrigley. But, then, I guess denial is the essence of being a Cubs fan.
I'm with you, mj. Th notion that people will go to freakin' Detroit to see the remains of an old ballpark is ludicrous.
McLane said. "I was convinced when [GM] Ed Wade put the team together that it would be a very competitive team..."
said Ryan. "...because every time you go to the pen, it increases the chances of losing the game."
Exhibit B (behind Joe Morgan) that being a great player doesn't require actually knowing anything about the game.
Setting aside the why of it, what do you give up to get Brian Schneider? A box of Cracker Jacks? Or is that too much?
Seems to me the important stat is decisions, since whether a decision ends up as a W or L is to a large degree team-dependent, and something the pitcher can't really control.
Lemme get this straight: It's actually controversial to NOT spend over 4 million tax dollars, in these times, in a city as desperate as Detroit, on maintaining a pile of bricks that 10 years ago couldn't serve its purpose of being a decent sports venue?
I appreciate history more than most, but saving the remnants of Tiger Stadium at that price is a fool's errand. If someone wants to spend their own money doing it, God luv 'em. But to expect it of Michigan's taxpayers asks far too much.
Not one. But it doesn't matter. Every year, different pitchers, same result - watching sure-thing Ws spiral down the toilet. I could make lotsa money threatening owners and GMs that I'll draft their pitchers if they don't pay me off.
Agreed. The Pirates traded away a popular player, and one of the few reasons Pirates fans have for coming out to the park, for a guy who might be a ML-average OF someday (the other 2 guys don't count - accumulating talent of that ilk is no virtue).
The Pirates could and should have gotten way more. I hope one of the Steinbrenners brings this up at the next owners' meeting when the Pirates ask for more revenue sharing.
Bitter experience has shown that the probability of a bullpen blowing a starter's win approximates 95% if that starter is on my fantasy team.
The Pirates can't compete with St. Louis, much less the Cubs, nor run a profitable business, even with an income redistribution system. That's the flip side of revenue sharing - subsidizing stupidity and incompetence.
"Since taking over in 1992, it's been an era of the greatest change in baseball history," Selig told the Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley. "And it had been a sport with almost no change for four decades prior."
I can't figure out if Selig's really as stupid as he looks, or whether he's a pathological liar.
When I say I don't care about Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees, it doesn't mean I didn't like the article. I enjoy Sheehan's work immensely. But let's cut away the bullshit and call a spade a spade.
Joba Chamberlain is at most the 4th best pitcher on his team. He currently ranks 57th among pitchers in VORP, behind such luminaries as Jason Marquis and Mark DeFelice. This isn't an article about usage patterns or young studs (if this article is the first you've heard about Joba Chamberlain, Joe D., crawl out from under your rock more often).
There's no non-Yankee-centric reason for Joba Chamberlain to be the exlusive focus of an article like this. If there is, then Joe's next article will no doubt be entirely about Josh Outman - whose VORP, incidentally, is also higher than Joba Chamberlain's.
If Joe Sheehan wants to write about the Yankees, that's his prerogative. He's paid his dues, and he can write about any dm thing he wants - and I'll read it, too. But stop pretending this particular article has anything to do with anything important to baseball per se. It's a Yankee piece, written by a Yankee fan, to entertain his subscriber base's Yankee fans. Period.
And I STILL don't care about Joba Chamberlain.
Certainly not those of us who don't watch the Eastcoast Sports Programming Network.
I love these pieces. Thanks, Steve.
O'Dowd said. "Players have to know when they come up and play for the Rockies that this is how we play."
Like what - with a little round ball?
Tracy said. "What we need to do is reestablish our identity, and to do that we need to recall the past."
You mean get Matt Holliday back?
No wonder things are hell in Denver, with these morons in charge.
I agree - never try to final a trade via e-mail. There are crucial negotitation subleties you can't detect in an e-mail.
Only that bozo O'Dowd could believe Jim Tracy can do what Clint Hurdle couldn't.
Matt Wieters can drown a fish.
Matt Wieters can open a revolving door.
Matt Wieter's calendar goes striaght from March 31 to April 2 - you can't fool Matt Wieters.
No, it's from the crouch - he doesn't have to move at all.
He can slow down the runner just by lookin' at him, too.
I have no problem at all with the format. Or naming a particular broadcaster, even though it's Stonie, who's in the 90th percentile of baseball broadcasters.
[I'm just not sure how days like that fit into the process of trying to be the writer our readers deserve.]
You're doin' just fine, Joe.
BP doesn't bash Pierre. It bashes GMs and managers who lavish money and playing time on Pierre out of all proportion to his value.
BP also quite rightly bashes people who think Pierre "gets on base," believe scoring runs isn't a team-dependent stat, think it's OK to simply disregard half a player's stats when convenient, and can't figure out Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are better player than Juan Pierre because of an 83 AB hot streak.
wtf does "hiding behind pitch counts" mean?
You call $126 million to Barry Zito a limited budget?
$60 million to Aaron Rowand a limited budget?
$23+ million to Randy Winn a limited budget?
Then again, I s'`pose after you've pissed away all that money on those 3, there's really not much left over.
I'll agree with you on this much - however stupid Brian Sabean is (and he's obviously REALLY stupid - Nathan, Liriano, AND Bonser for A.J. Pierzynski???), Peter McGowan makes him look like a genius. Easy to tell McGowan was born into money - clearly not bright enough to make any on his own.
Anything baseball-related that involves Steve Phillips isn't worth paying attention to.
Happy to hear this, because I was afraid he was actually buying into that goofy "Strikeouts-are-over-rated-they-just-increase-pitch-count-saving-pitches-is-more-important" garbage.
That may be a good pitching philosophy for a 19-year-old who still needs to learn his craft, but it won't make him the big-time major leaguer he's projected to be.
Why would anyone hire Bonifay, Littleifeld, and Smith to scout talent? They wouldn't know talent if it slapped 'em in the face.
Ryan Howard's career line against southpaws: .229/.311/.459 for a .771 OPS; 310K:84BB in 870 PA.
Ryan Howard's 2008 line against southpaws: .224/.294/.451 for a .746 OPS; 96K:23BB in 265 PA.
Ryan Howard's 2009 line against southpaws: .196/.274/.304 for a .578 OPS; 22K:5BB in 62 PA.
Put those numbers with a (charitably) below-average glove, and you have the living definition of a platoon player - and that doesn't change just because a fanboy wishes it weren't so.
Given their home parks and career trajectories, who in their right mind would've expected Brian Giles and Edgar Renteria to hit for power?
OK, I think I got it: As defensive efficiency decreases, the probability of an out being recorded by K increases.
Many thanks for taking the time to explain it, Joe.
[...and I don't need the facts to make that claim.]
Are you Steve Phillips?
[When in doubt, I'll vote for the Yankee]
Nelson Cruz seems to have finally figured things out, too.
I would kill to be able to write like that. Thanks, CK.
I must be missing something, because I don't follow your K/BIP logic. Yes, every time an out is made on a ball in play, the number of K opportunities decreases; but that decrease is tied to the number of outs made on BIPs, not the defense's efficiency in turning BIPs into outs.
If Pitcher A gets 3 ground ball outs and no hits in the first inning, he's got 24 K opportunities left. If pitcher B generates 3 ground ball outs in the first, and also gives up 5 seeing-eye groundball hits, he's got 24 K opportunities left. Where does defensive efificiency fit into this?
A terrific read. Thanks Dave; and our thanks to Toby, too.
Steve Phillips is an idiot. He actually claims the way Johann Santana pitches affects the Mets offense; that Santana is the reason the Mets don't score runs when he pitches.
It's one thing to be ignorant enough to believe that - but to publicly express it takes stupidity to a whole new level.
But they don't have playoff experience, so they're not goin' anywhere.
I voted on May 10.
For Manny Ramirez.
You can get away with aggressive baserunning in the minors because the defenses aren't nearly as good at stopping it.
I agree, though, that minor league baseball is just as much fun (albeit in different ways) as MLB.
You can't reason with a fanboy. They're not rational.
Stupidity's worse than viral - it's genetic. We'll never be rid of it.
"It's not going to change the way we approach the game," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "When Manny was in the lineup, we didn't keep anybody from trying to steal bases. So it's really the same mentality, but just a different type of player in the lineup now."
Torre can't possibly believe this, can he? But if he doesn't, why say it?
Daniel Cabrera's been pitching over his head? He's going to get worse???
Ryan Zimmerman aside, it must suck to be a Nationals fan.
"We're not here to reinvent the wheel, but to change the nature of the job a little bit.."
Wtf does that mean, and how does a PD director with no managerial experience accomplish it?
Clearly, AZ's front office has no clue what it's doing.
How did they get Haren and Dunn? By trading away potential and receiving performance. You think those young players so chock full of potential are upgrades over Dunn, Abreu, Burrell, and other FA's they could've had for a song?
And just why do the Dbacks have these odd contracts with Tracy and Byrnes? Did Bob Melvin sign them?
Melvin's being made a scapegoat for a front office too cheap to sign anyone but Tony Clark in the off-season; and content to put a punchless product on the field and hope for the best.
Maybe I'm missing a late-breaking element of this story, but from what I've heard, Manny didn't test positive for 'roids, but for a "marker" drug designed to boost testosterone production. There's no word on whether the marker is a primary, or merely incidental, ingredient in the medication Manny was prescribed. Even if the former, it's more than possible the medication's use was not intended to mask or cover 'roid use. Let's remember Manny must have passed at least a dozen drug tests before this.
I'm no Manny fan, but the media's rush to judgment here is disturbing.
Scott Proctor, Andrew Miller, Brett Anderson, and Jeremy Hellickson - but no word on the Dodger's #1 starter.
Agreed. This rocks.
Yes, as opposed to its mizzenmast.
Weren't Bonds' numbers also in part due to the Giants being "Barry Bonds and 7 guys who wouldn't scare yer Gramma"? I know Kent was there for some of Bonds' run, but wasn't Kent just about the only other decent Giant bat when Bonds was there?
I read Kuroda's not likely to be back until late May now. Any word on what happened?
Cecil Cooper's a hoot.
ummm...we're talkin' 'bout the guy who guarantees Nick Punto a job every year and made the Twins ditch Ortiz because he wanted Mientkiewicz's glove.
The man is a moron.
I thought Berra's quote was "Baseball is 90% half mental."
Any word on Kuroda or Meche's back stiffness? Thanks, Will.
My favorite is from BP 2009's commentary on Johnny Damon, to the effect that Damon's arm is to throwing what Jason Giambi is to interpretative dance.
That page has coffee stains all over it.
The NFL also gets a pass on PEDs because 'roids enhance the physical violence that is the game's fundamental appeal and central focus. To football fans, maximizing the violence on the field is paramount, and it doesn't matter how that's achieved.
That's also why the NFL gets a pass on the criminal element that makes up a significant portion of its players. If baseball players were involved in the crimes NFL players routinely commit, Selig would be hauled before Congress every week. But football fans pay for violence on the field, and so either expect it, or are willing to overlook it, off the field.
"Now that someone else has paid the big bucks for those frontline free agents, our goals are no longer financial."
This is one of those articles I print for handy reference. Thanks, EJ.
Dollars to doughnuts the information in this column is news to Jim Hendry.
Don't worry, the real Fredd Lewis with the career OPS < .800 who can't play OF worth a damn will show up soon enough.
The only reason the last 15 games from the prior season tell us anything about how good the team was is because there's 147 other games to add into the mix. By themselves, without reference to the 147 games that came before, those 15 games tell very little.
Hey, that IS cool.
Thanks for a great read, Steve.
I read Kuroda threw a bullpen session either yesterday or the day before. Any word on his timetable?
No, no, no, no, no, no.
We're talking independent events here. Prior outcomes don't determine future outcomes, nor change probabilities. The remaining 148 flips are likely to be 74-74, or very close. The 11-3 start doesn't change that. By the time you get to flip 162, you'll be closer to 85-77 than 81-81.
I don't understand why people pay top dollar for closers. Get a cheap closer at draft/auction, then pick up one of the 10-15 guys who become closers over the course of the season.
Gabe Kapler - ya gotta love a guy who embarrasses himself at his profession, and finds a way to turn it into someting positive.
It's hard to imagine two pitchers as vastly different as Wang and the 2008 version of C.C. Sabathia. Wang may indeed be just a mechanical tweak away from adequacy, but to suggest he is because that's what worked for C.C. Sabathia is simply mind-boggling. Same for the comparison to Mussina, though to a lesser degree.
Shouldn't we evaluate Wang in terms of pitchers he's actually like - say, PECOTA comparables - instead of well-known, very good, pitchers who've been cherry-picked solely because they came back from bad stretches, and not because they have the slightest resemblance to Wang?
Yes, and there's nothing at all right about "allowing" some people to drive Porches while other have to ride the bus. And there's nothing at all right about "allowing" people to do what they want with their money, instead of making them do what YOU think they should do. And there's nothing at all right about "allowing" someone to charge what they want for providing a product.
Let's put someone in charge of deciding who gets to go to MLB games!!!
Morons like you make me puke.
The NBA and NFL both have a minor league system. It's called the NCAA.
They keep playin' like they did today, and they'll fall out of the race by June.
20-4. Now THAT'S a christening.
I always enjoy Joe's columns, but I couldn't read this one beyond the second sentence. I'm sick of hearing about New York's ballparks.
Give it a rest. There's gotta be something baseball-related to write about for those of us who don't give a goddam about New York.
If history is any guide, MLB will fight these new technologies tooth and nail, eventually succumb to them, make a ton of money from them, wonder how they got along without them - and fight the next technology advance tooth and nail.
Isn't there anything to write about in baseball besides New York City ballparks? Aside from Marc's good (but all too brief) analysis of the park's dimensions, nothing in this article hasn't already appeared in BP at least three times. Can we please move along now?
Baseball Advanced Media L.P. , the MLB holding company that operates MLB.com.
I like the article, but I don't understand the point of trying yet another way to demonstrate Jeter's obvious defensive shortcomings.
The simplified methodology presented here is beyond the capacity of Joe Averagefan, who believes in "clutch," thinks Wins and ERA are the best measures of pitching value, and whose eyes glaze over at the sight of a decimal point. This analysis has no more chance of persuading him than any other.
He didn't learn anything. It's real easy to claim bringing K-Rod in with a 4-run lead in the 9th deviates from bullpen orthodoxy. Even if he didn't have Putz, would Manuel ever bring K-Rod into a tie game with 1 out in the 7th, 2 on, and the opponent's best hitter up?
It would be nice if the situation were resolved so that the rules were followed and no one needed to get hurt, or feel they needed to ruin someone's career (like Rose did to Fosse).
Bill Veeck was here almost 60 years ago.
Volquez had nothin' Wed., but Baker left him in to throw 107 pitches over 4 1/3 innings.
Is Baker too stupid to learn, or does he just refuse to? My money's on the former.
If you get a scoreless inning outa Bobby Howry, count your blessings, and don't push your luck.
You hit it on the nose. The whole concept of "roles" is designed to deflect responsibility away from the manager - which is why managers love to talk about "roles."
If a player fails in a situation he shouldn't be in (e.g. Farnsworth v. Thome), it's the player's fault, because he didn't perform his "role." It's not the manager's fault for putting him in that situtation.
Knowledgable fans see through this farce, but knowledgable fans are a distinct minority.
So you shouldn't use your best available pitcher in a high leverage situation because there might be another high leverage situation later on?
If Christina's not gonna tell me how good I look, forget it.
I thought the issue with Napoli was his shoulder. Is there really a problem with his knee now?
Many times, "flu-like symptoms" is a euphemism for "hangover."
[I think (and hope) the O's are past the point were they keep running failing players out there with the hope they might succeed in the future.]
errrr...you do know you're talking about the team with Adam Eaton and Mark Hendrickson, right?
Sorry, didn't mean to imply your example was bad. My point was exactly what you just said - this is a show catering to the masses, which means it's gotta be really, really easy to follow.
Cory's point about walking before running assumes the masses are inclined or capable of running in the first place. They're not. If they were, Joe Morgan and Harold Reynolds (among many others) wouldn't have jobs. I think people predisposed to have an interest in fantasy baseball won't be "turned off" by in-depth analysis; and superficial analysis won't create interest where no such predisposition exists.
"When you're wondering why we have the Sox projected for such a lousy season, look here [leadoff spot] first."
Isn't this a bit strong? Hasn't it been shown lineup order doesn't have a significant impact? I don't necesesarily disagree with the ChiSox assessment; but was it really based primarily on the lack of a leadoff hitter?
If Edwin Encarnacion is considered "deeper," you're playing easy mode.
If that fat, old f*$% Percival really is Tampa Bay's "Big Question," they can start printing World Series tickets right now.
I agree with Joe's endorsement of the Rotowire software. Good features and easy to use.
One caveat: Make sure you set up your league's teams correctly before you start assigning players - you can lose everything if you try to change team data.
Can I have some of what Cooper and Berkman are smoking?
Ian Snell: "One day I'd just love to see the crowd at a major league game singing and dancing and setting off horns like they did at the WBC." Clinch a playoff berth at home, Snell, and you'll see it.
The Phillies are willing to trade outfielder Geoff Jenkins. Ed Wade is on line 2.
The Brewers are close to releasing veteran outfielder Trot Nixon. Ed Wade is on line 3.
You guys aren't asking the Most Important Question:
Was he FEARED?
As a full subscriber, I am THRILLED BP's trying to keep and attract other readers. Just because some people get a little something extra doesn't mean I get anything less; and if that something extra gets BP more full subscriptions next year, it'll likely mean a better product for me.
Totally agreed. BP is the best $40 I ever spend.
The incongruity of using FDR as a shining example of Democracy in action aside, FDR's court-packing plan wasn't an attempt to change the Constitution. The Constitution doesn't require a certain number of judges, and Article III of the Constitution gives Congress the power to decide how many judges sit on the Supreme Court. Congress, for once acting wisely, voted against giving Roosevelt complete control of the government.
The ignorance some people have about their own Constitution is infuriating.
[Castro is a dictator (former dictator, actually) whereas Chavez is a democratically elected leader of one of the most progressive nations in Latin America who works within the bounds of his constitution when it suits him; and changes it when it doesn't.]
"The Angels have already paid me millions to play a child's game. Now I expect them to pay me even more for that past performance level, no matter how much I suck in the future."
Playing Blanco over Geriatric Anderson would be a very public admission that management was really stupid throwing a bunch of money at an old man.
At least, to the extent that hasn't already been proven by the old man's inability to even take the field this Spring.
I doubt Nate has the slightest clue about UZR or any other defensive metric. He's just defending the status quo that gave him an award he clearly didn't deserve.
He's not the first, and won't be the last.
If the 300 level seats are good, I'd vote for Option 3.
By my calculations, a "hot dog value meal" costs $8, so unless that's wrong I wouldn't care for Option 2.
I have a hard time believing the man who froze at the 2002 All-Star game should be given any credit for the Wild Card, MLB Advance Media, and MLB Network (I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn interleague play WAS his idea, though).
And it's probably more accurate to say Selig's kept his job because the owners have been mostly on the same page for the past 16 years, instead of crediting Selig for keeping them together with a combination of Solomon's wisdom and Nestor's tongue (neither of which has ever been publicly displayed).
Selig has gone out of his way to trash everything about baseball except the owners whose interests he serves to the exclusion of all else. His legacy is that the owners' wallets come first, and the game can go to hell if it gets in the way.
The sooner Selig's gone, the better.
You mean the salary inflation that gave Abreu a 1-year $5m contract this year?
Assuming present business conditions will persist 6 years into the future is as unwarranted as assuming a player's performance will persist over that time. That's why long-term contracts are a Bad Idea.
Learn to read. Seriously, take a reading comprehension course. You need it badly.
I said nothing about the DECISION to buy the tickets. Nothing. That's a value calculus I can't judge.
What I said was that Jay telling the Yankees their offer is just fine, and then running to BP to use it as a pulpit to bash the Yankees for not offering more than he was willing to accept is unprinicpled. I'll stand by that.
And Jay - take a look at your responses to paying customers robin3mj and sbnirish above, and take your own advice.
Jay, I love your work, so it hurts to say this, but:
You caved. You took the scraps the Yankees tossed you. You decided it was worth it. I'm sorry, but complaining about a deal you freely and knowingly agreed to is as unprincipled as anything the Yankees did.
Thank you, Kevin, for another entertaining and enlightening series.
Right about what? The article only quotes him as saying he thinks he can go 40-40.
Dusty Baker is either the most brilliant bullshit artist of all time, or he has absolutely no frickin' clue what he's saying.
I don't think he's brilliant.
Seems to me qualifying rounds run counter to the goal of increasing baseball's exposure and popularity,
People in countries where the game is in its infancy are much more likely to watch if their team's playing; and their athletes are more likely to choose to play baseball if there's some prospect of near-term reward and recognition.
That K/9 observation makes a lot of sense. I'll bet PECOTA takes a good, long look at that.
But I wouldn't think it would be overly concerned about a variable (ERA) that to a large degree is beyond the pitcher's control. Maybe FIP or something similar?
Your career ain't done 'til Ed Wade says it's done.
I guess your team pretty much sux when it's got Hanley Ramirez and the Big Question is a non-descript 32-year-old bullpen arm.
Harden, Gallardo, Billingsley, and Burnett all have lower Betas than Halladay?????
Given Harden's history, a Beta of 1.00 on a projected 182 IP is boggling. He hasn't come close to 180 IP in 4 years, and he's only made it that far once.
Billingsley's going to be fantasy's #8 SP, huh? I suppose by now I shouldn't be surprised at the goofy stuff PECOTA does; but that one's a real head-scratcher.
Yeah, I know it's BIG NEWS. It's just not 3-columns-in-one-day BIG NEWS to those of us who don't care to pay for Yankee-centric content here. This isn't Yankee Prospectus.
Plenty of Yankee fansites and blogs are analyzing the hell out of this story every minute of every day. People who want full, complete, up-to-the-minute coverage aren't tuning into BP to get it.
Yes, BP should cover the story. No, it shouldn't devote virtually an entire day's content to it.
For some of us, the baseball universe does not revolve around the Yankees and the AL East.
Boras may have miscalculated about the number of bidders for Manny; but he was dead-bang right that he had the sucker he needed in Frank McCourt.
Then I owe you an apology for misreading your post\'s tenor.
I still think the article is confined to discussing a change in process, and you\'re taking that a step further by analyzing the new process\' results. As I said before, I think you did that very well; and it\'s a necessary follow-up to the article because, as you note, the Yankees don\'t benefit much from a new approach if all it does is save them a few bucks.
Seems to be PECOTA\'s assumption, too, since it thinks Scherzer will be the 15th most valuable pitcher in the NL.
$109,000 per IP for 486 innings of slightly better than league average work;
$671,000 per start for 79 starts;
$1,656,250 per Win for 32 wins.
That\'s the ugly face of baseball, Pedro.
A friend of mine just sent me this. I think it\'s apropos.
This is a nice read. I wish I had the math background to evaluate the methodology and conclusions.
While the \"consistency is inconsistent\" conclusion seems contradictory, I can remember many times watching my fantasy aces blow up. I had Sabathia last year, and those first few starts gave me an ulcer.
The Cubs have avoided the big mistake? Since when? Hendry\'s track record is abysmal. The Cubs only won a weak division in 2007 because the Brewers folded; and only won an even weaker division last year because they got lucky with Harden and Dempster. Hendry knows nothing about player development and evaluation, nor roster construction and management. The man is a complete and utter moron.
The best thing the Cubs new owners could possibly do for their franchise is throw Hendry out his office window.
Oh, I think Jayhawk\'s analysis is very good, and carried the article further down the analytical and discussion path. My problem is with him sneering at Sheehan over something Joe never said or implied in the article.
I think the Marte contract shows the Yankees really haven\'t learned their lesson, that the current reliance on (mostly) homegrown talent is more a function of circumstance than design. I have a hard time believing Cashman and/or the Steinbrenners woke up one day and said \"Hey, we gotta change our bullpen approach.\"
This is good analysis, but it doesn\'t address the point made in the article.
Joe\'s point is NOT that \"the Yankees might be using their farm system to achieve relief pitching excellence at bargain price\" - it\'s that the Yankees finally woke up and realized their approach to building a bullpen is stupid (how does Cashman keep his job?), and as a result their bullpen this year will be both better and cheaper.
The article makes no comparisons whatever between the Yankees and other teams, makes no claims about the relative value/effectiveness of the Yankees bullpen versus other teams. All it does is compare the Yankees old approach to the new, and concludes they upgraded their bullpen without spending very much at all.
Again, good analysis, but don\'t put words in Sheehan\'s mouth and then claim the analytical high ground.
Allow me to re-phrase: How can you possibly spend all that money on a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium and have a sports bar obstruct the view?
I believe you\'ve provided definitive proof for the proposition that \"good\" is a relative term.
One thing I pay attention to during ST is what players say about another player. It\'s not always valuable, but it can be. Last Spring, Pirates players were effusive in talking about McClouth.
1) How can you possibly spend all that money on a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium and have obstructed view seating? Whoever\'s in charge of that project is either an idiot, or doesn\'t give a sh** about the people who aren\'t in the luxury seats.
2) This whole Bowden fiasco just shows how cheap and tawdry the Lerner family is. They do nothing while Bowden runs the team into the ground for years, and then dump him the instant it doesn\'t cost them a dime to do so. What a classless, trash act the Lerners are.
3) If McCourt\'s next offer to Manny is more than $15 million for a 1-year deal, he\'s out of his mind.
Maybe quoting one of my (many) favorite comments from the book will help:
On Johnny Damon\'s arm: \"His arm is to throwing what Jason Giambi is to interpretive dance.\"
There\'s HOURS of fun and thought-provoking reading in there.
ACtually, I asked BP about a month ago what that number signified and they said it was just a random number assigned for some arcane technical purpose. It doesn\'t indicate anything at all about how long a person\'s subscribed.
I see your point, too, and I don\'t disagree. It\'s just that in a competitive league, having a first round pick get hurt is crippling, no matter who it is.
The thing about SB\'s is that a lot of the guys who get \'em will kill you in every other category. Last year, only 37 hitters had 20 or more SBs, including Taveras, Bartlett, Gathright, Matsui, Pierre, Rajai Davis, Izturis, Bourn....blecch. Very few SB guys contribute anything else, and if you don\'t get at least one of those, well...Taveras, Bartlett, Gathright...
Also consider the solid numbers he put up last year despite playing with a painful thumb (hit .400 in September) and being constantly pitched around.
The man\'s been nothing but solid. I think people who don\'t appreciate that simply had unrealistic expectations that 2004 wasn\'t a career year.
Seems you\'re arguing against taking the superior player because you\'re screwed if he gets injured. That may be a consideration when the players involved have significant injury histories, but that\'s not the case here.
Besides, if you draft a properly balanced team after taking Pujols, you\'ll still be screwed if he gets hurt.
Knock it off with the hypersensitivity, sitzpinkler.
I think of it as \"profuse sweating,\" \"uncontrollable twitching,\" and \"whimpering in a dark corner.\"
He\'s moving to the easier league and a home park that doesn\'t exacerbate his homerific tendencies. He\'s gonna deliver a lot more than he costs in most fantasy leagues.
God Bless Curt Flood.
Amazing how similarly \"fans\" treated Joltin\' Joe then, and A-Rod now. Some things never change.
I tend to view and use those other sites more for fantasy purposes, and BP for purely baseball purposes. Not to say those other sites aren\'t good or useful in a purely baseball context; I just think BP\'s better at it.
Really. What\'s so \"special\" about firing a GM after Spring training\'s started? GM\'s can only be fired during the off-season?
On a related note: I assume there\'s a similar minority-interview rule for managers. If so, did the Brewers get an exemption last September when they fired Yost?
And yet, here we are, 35 years later, with record attendance and revenues, new ballparks, and the Tribune selling the Cubs (which they bought in 1981 for $20 million) for $900 million.
I should be so ruined.
In defense of westy21\'s opinion (but not the way he expresses it) I, too, have a problem with a definition of \"prospect\" that puts a 17-year-old pitcher whose age can\'t be verified with any degree of certainty at the top of a system as deep as Oakland\'s.
If they put any kind of 2009 comments on the website, what do you think the odds are of them getting a decent publishing deal for BP 2010?
Bowden at last accomplishes indirectly what he could never do by design - improve the Nationals franchise.
For the first time, I followed the Gardenhire link to look at his playing stats.
Now I know why he loves Nick Punto.
Oops, meant to say decreased seat supply would increase ticket demand and revenues.
Maximizing revenue doesn\'t necessarily mean maximizing attendance. The Yanks didn\'t just pull the new stadium\'s capacity out of a hat. The economic models they used no doubt showed decreased supply of seats wouldn\'t adversely affect ticket demand. Whether that assumption holds up over time will be interesting to see.
Yeah, just look at those Matthews and Hunter contracts. Shrewd.
I got news for you, Jay: The Cubs are already doing the same thing to their fan base, without bothering to tear down the POS that is Wrigley Field. At least you get screwed because of a new stadium - Cubs fans just get screwed.
No, I\'m not a Cubs fan.
How does someone who won\'t break camp with the major league club, and whose team is anything but an offensive juggernaut, end up with the most projected PAs? It can\'t be just because he\'s supposed to hit in the middle of the order - so do McCann and Mauer.
OK, so I don\'t know a lot about PECOTA; but some of the things it does make no sense to me.
That\'s not the first time you\'ve dropped the F-bomb in these threads. You don\'t want to be called a tool, stop acting like one.
Now THERE\'S a professional response.
[Only have the people who are in the Hall of Fame vote for who gets in... Nobody else. They\'re the ones who would know, right?]
Ummmmm Joe Morgan is in the Hall of Fame.
I think George\'s take on \'roids nails it pretty good, though.
Gonna go jam \"Bad to the Bone.\"
Probably the result of him projected to hit 3d this year. I imagine much of that will depend a lot on Maybin.
Learn to read. I was addressing the assertion that steroid effectiveness is irrelevant. I didn\'t say steroids weren\'t effective. I said IF they\'re not effective, using them confers no unfair advantage and therefore isn\'t cheating, no matter how much the user intends to cheat. And if it isn\'t cheating, 90% of the public\'s interest in this stories dies instantly.
Steroid effectiveness IS relevant.
If you want to get your undies in a bundle over millionaire ballplayers breaking the rules, and ruining their health and reputations in the process, that\'s fine. But that\'s not why A-Rod\'s the Big Story right now.
[The intent was to cheat, hence the lying about it. The effectiveness of it is totally irrelevant.]
So if I put the cruise control on 75 and intend to speed, but my speedometer\'s broken and I\'m really only going 55, I\'m still guilty of speeding, huh?
If it was proven tomorrow that steroids were totally ineffective in improving baseball performance, this story would completely disappear. Nobody cares about celebrities or athletes doing illegal drugs. This is all about pissing on an athlete who makes $26 million a year because he\'s perceived as a cheat; and if steroids indeed do nothing, then he\'s not a cheat at all, and the MSM would run after someone else.
Steroid effectiveness is at the core of this whole controversy, and is far more relevant (though harder to prove) than A-Rod\'s intent.
I thought Punto had the starting SS gig in MN. Not that he\'s worth mentioning.
$8.5 million for 2 years of Nick Punto. He\'s gotta have pictures of Gardenhire doing unspeakable things to barnyard animals.
I will not argue with anyone that St. Louis doesn\'t have great baseball fans.
I will not argue with anyone who doesn\'t care to go to St. Louis.
Burnett had health problems in Florida long before he got to Toronto.
\"To find out, I began by extracting the 2008 season lines of all major league pitchers from Retrosheet, calculating their walk and strikeout percentages, and summing the two. Next, each pitcher was coded as a finesse, neutral, or power pitcher based on the results. I repeated the same process for hitters, classifying each one as either a contact, average, or power hitter based on their slugging percentages. The results were then linked to my Pitch-f/x database, so that every single plate appearance last season carried with it the classifications of both the hitter and the pitcher.\"
Wow. OK, I\'m easily impressed by technology, but the fact all that data is compiled and stored somewhere so anyone can pull it up and use it just boggles me.
They\'re walking a line between making the information accurate and available. At this early stage, making the information available means it will have errors. But if they don\'t make it available until it\'s error-free, they\'ll have a bunch of PO\'d subscribers. Maybe they could\'ve waited another week and cleared up some of these problems; but nobody\'s gonna find mistakes better than thousands of BP nerds (I can say that - I am one), anyway.
They\'re doing the best they can with the resources they have. Give \'em a break.
PECOTA projects a 24 year-old with 7 career ML starts to be one of the top 15 pitchers in the NL by VORP. I\'ll be very interested to see how that plays out.
Changing the rules would open a huge can of worms. It\'s not worth it just to benefit a handful of second-tier players who a) made a bad decision by not accepting arbitration, and b) have so far decided they\'d rather not play than get paid current market value for their limited services.
When Bobby Abreu gets a 1-year, $5m deal, the Orlando Cabreras, Hudsons, and Juan Cruz\'s of the world simply aren\'t worth very much. There\'s no need to change the rules just because they won\'t accept that.
PECOTA apparently doesn\'t think anything of the spike in Ramirez\' BB and K rates last year combined with the lowest SLG he\'s had in 5 years. Aren\'t those Bad Signs for a 30-year-old?
Wow - where to start...
\"Was there an attempt to hold down salaries and limit the size of contracts? Absolutely. The owners have accomplished everything they set out to do.\"
—Anonymous MLB agent
Yeah, the contracts for Sabathia, Burnett, Teixera, Bradley, and Ibanez held down everyone\'s salaries.
\"If you\'re A-Rod and you\'re using from 2001 to 2003 and you hit 52 home runs a year, aren\'t you thinking about using it in 2004? With that kind of success, are you going to say, \'I don\'t need this anymore?\' I don\'t know how it works. I don\'t know the mind-set of a guy that does that.\"
—Former baseball player Pete Rose
Well, Pete, it\'s kinda like having a gambling problem so bad you have to sell the bat and ball you broke Cobb\'s record with to pay your gambling debts.
\"The one thing that I\'m proud of is coming forthright about my own situation after I\'ve been proven to be a liar.\"
Into the season or spring training?
I think he pulls or pops something 2 weeks into spring training that keeps him on the shelf until late May (when something else will happen).
BP should start a pool.
If the Dodgers were really looking for an \"impact bat\" they would\'ve signed Abreu or Dunn - either one would\'ve tipped the balance to them in the NL West, and they could\'ve beat the offers those players got.
The Dodgers seem to be looking at Manny as a business proposition, not a baseball one - will he put enough fannies in the seats to justify the coin outlay? Their judgment to this point has put the break-even somewhere between $20-$25 million per year. Unless something in that calculus changes, they\'re not going higher.
So as far as the Dodgers are concerned, having Abreu and Dunn off the market doesn\'t affect Manny\'s signability at all.
Does San Fran really have the kind of coin it\'d take to sign Manny? I doubt it. And if I\'m SF\'s owner, there\'s no way I let Brian Sabean off the leash long enough to make a FA signing like this. I\'d be e-mailing Sabean pictures of Barry Zito every 15 minutes.
Of course, if I was the Giant\'s owner, Brian Sabean would be lookin\' for a job.
Why would the commission schedule a vote when they knew going in it would be a tie because one of the commissioners wasn\'t there?
And why did the objecting commissioners raise new conditions at the last minute?
Whatever you think about the stadium deal, the commission\'s clearly engaging in political grandstanding of the worst kind.
I wonder if Bochy knows how hysterically funny he is. \"Yeah, we signed a 45-year-old starter with a long history of back problems, added 2 bad relievers, swapped Renteria for Vizquel, and one of our better hitters is a 22-year-old with 154 ABs above AA. We gonna ROCK.\"
Hicks is a moron with zero credibility. I\'ll bet the first thing Hicks did when A-Rod said he wasn\'t doing \'roids was try to figure out a way to get him to start.
Remember Davis qualifies at 3B in a lot of leagues, though. That dual-position eligibility is valuable, not to mention those kind of numbers at 3B.
The MSM doesn\'t report news - it creates stories to make money off an ignorant public.
Politicians don\'t address issues - they exploit them to grandstand for the ignorant electorate.
Any truth or reason attached to, or resulting from, these processes is purely incidental, and entirely unintended.
This is why a multi-millionaire ballplayer is being made an example of, while you never hear amything about how our own government subsidizes the most dangerous drug of all (http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30).
This \"story\" has nothing to do with baseball, and everything to do with money. Otherwise, you wouldn\'t have heard about it.
A-Rod actually hit fewer HRs (47) in 2003, the year he flunked the test, than in 2001 and 2002.
A-Rod hit more HRs in 2005 (48) and 2007 (54) than he did in 2003, the year he flunked the test; and he did that in a park much harder on RH hitters than Arlington.
A-Rod\'s season HR totals since he arrived in NY: 36, 48, 35, 54, 35.
Random variance and park effects very adequately explain A-Rod\'s season HR totals.
If you\'re going to use stats to back up your position, do it right. Otherwise, you\'re a cheater, too.
\"No, I don’t really think Mark DeRosa will bat ninth for the Indians; add “double-check all lineup orders” to the to-do list.\"
I believe this analysis is correct. There\'s a distinction between the government regulating the citizenry\'s conduct, and MLB regulating MLBPA members\' conduct. The government\'s rules aren\'t subject to \"collective bargaining\" - MLB\'s rules are. The government could bust a player for [insert drug of choice] possession; but if he didn\'t end up in prison, MLB couldn\'t keep him from playing.
[the US Attorney’s Office rarely launches a prosecution without first considering its impact on their careers, and on their masters above them on the political food chain.]
I have to be missing something, because I can\'t see how the Indians are a \"likely contender.\" Their entire rotation\'s either a question mark (yeah, that includes Lee - can you say \"Loiaza?\") or outright sucks, the bullpen\'s no better, and they\'re going to have a lotta trouble scoring runs. OK, the Sox and Twins have issues and aren\'t any great shakes, either - is that basically why Cleveland\'s \"likely\" to win the AL Central?
This guy sure defies the jock stereotype. Nice to see someone gettin\' a shot as much because of his brain as his ability.
Since the IRS got a copy of the master list of players who tested positive when it raided Comprehensive Drug Testing, the answer would appear to be no, MLB doesn\'t discard test results.
Thank you, Will.
Economy tanking, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran getting nukes, illegal immigrants pouring over the border, poisonous food products, dangerous imported products...
Yep, looks like the government needs to put on another freak show to distract us.
Getting out of the US Cellular launching pad will help Vazquez quite a bit. Just don\'t start him at Philly if you can help it.
\"But he\'s one of the best shortstops in the majors.\"
—Braves general manager Frank Wren, on Padres shortstop David Eckstein
How does such a complete and total dumbass become a GM?
Attanasio\'s whining makes me sick. You want to be competitive, try not throwing $10 million at Eric Gagne; or $6 million to a 41-year-old to pitch maybe 40 innings. If you can\'t be competitive in an environment where Atlanta\'s GM thinks David Eckstein\'s a good shortstop, your problem\'s in the mirror, not New York.
The 7 AL teams without a reasonable shot at the playoffs don\'t really gain anything from signing Ramirez, Dunn, or Abreu; or need the money for other things.
Of the other 7 teams: The Angels are such a hands-down favorite to win the AL West for the foreseeable future that spending another $40-60 million over the next 3-4 years doesn\'t significantly improve their chances; the A\'s have to consider their new stadium before committing big coin to a FA; the Red Sox, Rays, and White Sox are set at DH; the Yanks have spent their money; and the Twins sent Livan Hernandez to the mound 23 times last season and still came within a game of winning a division that hasn\'t improved any this winter.
Nobody in the AL needs these guys at a price anywhere near their market value.
\"right up there\" is not the same as \"most accurate.\"
I won\'t advertise PECOTA\'s competitors on BP\'s website. Suffice to say over the past 15 years I\'ve used dozens of projection systems. The 3 I currently use have, for the past 3 years, each been better predictors of player performance for those seasons than PECOTA.
But that said, does it really mean anything? You make a good point that what appears to be a superior predictive system could simply be a beneficiary of luck and/or statistical noise that will wash out over time; and I doubt 3 years is sufficient time for that to happen.
So I\'ll change my post\'s wording slightly: There is no evidence that PECOTA, for all its other virtues, is the \"best\" predictor of player performance for a particular season; and claiming that it is could ultimately do a great disservice to the stathead cause.
\"...then there\'s PECOTA, our projection system, and the most accurate one in the business.\"
A statement like this is why sabrmetrics would take it on the chin if Wieters doesn\'t meet PECOTA\'s expectations. PECOTA is a very useful analytical and predictive tool in many respects; but it\'s not even close to being the best projection system for a particular season.
9/22 Cubs lineup: Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Soto, DeRosa, Theriot.
9/23 Cubs Lineup: Soriano, Lee, DeRosa, Fukudome
9/24 Cubs Lineup: Soraino, Lee, Ramirez, DeRosa, Fukudome, Theriot
Since it\'s hard to say who the Cubs\' \"regulars\" were at 2B, and CF, it seems to me those lineups qualify as \"regular.\"
\"I want MARK to live in truth to see the light, to come to repentance so he can live in freedom - which is the only way to live.\"
Yeah, publishing a \"tell-all\" book that embarasses your brother, but puts some coin in your pocket, is an effective way to set him free. More than, say, sitting down with him and just talking privately? What? Mark doesn\'t want to talk to his brother? Gee, I wonder why.
[And thus are 5,000 years of critical thinking thrown out the window, because there are some who are just too lazy to work through the arguments, and who instead must appeal to some undefined ethereal thing that obliviates all thinking.]
Truly poignant, whether applied to baseball or anything else.
And when applied to baseball, yes, Chaz Scoggins, we\'re talkin\' \'bout you.
Kent\'s a first-ballot HOFer because his virtues are reflected in the counting stats the voters look at, and his shortcomings revealed only with the type of analysis the voters have never used.
Having Alomar and Biggio inducted ahead of Kent can only help - can you imagine the BBWAA putting those 2 in and not including a guy who had more counting stats?
He\'s trying to sell the cheap and ignorant owner\'s half-assed product. Light a candle for the man.
[So, the new numbers are great new tools, but I think that it will take awhile, even for the most savvy number-crunchers, to step back and look at what these numbers are really going to mean relative to the traditional numbers. We haven\'t gotten there yet.]
Not only have we gotten there, we\'ve been there for some time now; and claiming we haven\'t is just cover for trotting the same ol\' same ol\' ex-jocks and know-nothings in front of the camera so Joe Averagefan won\'t change the channel. I don\'t have a problem with ECSPN doing what it has to to make a buck - but have the integrity to call it what it is.
[watching the rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees, and the over-hyped coverage of it, is amazing.]
Does this mean I get to watch games between someone other than the Yanks and BoSox on the East Coast Sports Programming Channel this year?
When you\'re in the same division as Texas and Seattle, you can play Morales at 1B and still have an excellent shot at the playoffs.
And maybe Moreno\'s still got a bad taste in his mouth from signing Hunter and Matthews (yeah, I know he signed Fuentes - I said maybe).
I hate RBIs as a fantasy stat almost as much as Wins.
If you could replace one hitting and one pitching stat in a standard 5x5 league, what would they be, and what would you replace them with?
[Rice\'s main power was to right and right center.]
Of Rice\'s 382 career dingers, the locations of 273 are known. 162 to left; 12 to left center; 63 to center; 32 to right; 4 to right center.
So 63.7% of Rice\'s dingers where the location is known were to left and left center, and 23% were to center.
That means 13.3% of Rice\'s career dingers where the location is known were to right and right center.
I hesitate to bring up these inconvenient numbers it took me all of 10 minutes to find on baseball-reference.com, for fear I may be accused of using objective data to discriminate against Rice; but they are what they are.
Ignorant fans who parrot the MSM line without thinking for themselves are as much of a problem as the MSM itself.
If you can get on Dusty\'s good side, he\'ll never let your inadequacies interefere with your play time. Ask Corey Patterson and Neifi Perez.
Agreed. Whatever helps bring the message to the masses is a Good Thing.
Now, who should be the centerfold?
How are the police supposed to know you don\'t manufacture drugs or run a business in your home without searching it? The Feds aren\'t taking Arnold\'s word he\'s not doing anything wrong - why should a different standard apply to you?
I supppose that depends on your privacy tolerance. Personally, I don\'t think a search of this kind is warranted (!) when the only indication of law-breaking is the word of a guy who got caught cheating; particularly when there are other, less instrusive means of verifying the cheater\'s claims. Obviously, your mileage varies.
Of course, you won\'t complain when the police show up to search your house after getting a tip from someone who thinks you\'re breaking the law - right?
They didn\'t need to raid the company to verify Romero\'s claims. They did, however, need to raid the company to make headlines for themselves and make it look like they\'re earning their pay.
And the witchhunt continues...
Newspapers are just information-delivery vehicles; and poor ones, at that. They\'re bulky, cost money, require huge amounts of resources to produce and dispose of, have significant barriers to entry, and are only up-dated every 24 hours.
At one time, our society needed newspapers to deliver information. It no longer does. Now we need online, web-based information-delivery vehicles. If the Times, Tribune, Herald, et. al. can\'t compete in that venue, they\'ll go extinct like any other business that can\'t adapt. That doesn\'t mean we\'re stuck with an inferior product; just that newspapers couldn\'t provide an adequate one.
\"Free\" to the end user is the BEST business plan there is. I\'ve never paid for Google, or Yahoo, or MSN, or any number of other profitable sites. I read some BP content for free for a long time before I subscribed - think I would\'ve forked out a subscription fee without knowing what I was getting?
If anything, the end of newspaper-dominated print information will IMPROVE the content we receive. Do you think, Will, that the BBWAA would do anything but laugh at you if not for the popularity of Internet baseball content? Just as the Internet has provided a vastly superior understanding of baseball than newpapers could ever be bothered to; so, too, will the coverage of, and debate over, politics, economics, science, etc. improve.
Newspapers served their function, but poorly. Now, there\'s a better way. Embrace it.
I agree both objective and subjective opinions are needed. But when \"subjective opinions\" are based on de-bunked assumptions, 30-year-old memories, and a total fabrication of actual events - all of which are then served up as \"objective\" analysis; then what you get are the ignorant rantings of Chaz Scoggins, and Jim Rice in the HOF.
\"Opinions\" that perpetuate falsehoods, miunderstanding, and ignorance of the game are not \"necessary\" to baseball.
Understanding Rice\'s selection is easy. Even he knows why:
\"...being a Red Sox and playing with such great teammates.\"
Justifying the selection - that\'s another story.
[walks were just a by-product of not getting any good pitches to swing at.]
That argument would have some validity if you could show overall walk rates during Rice\'s career were lower than at any time since.
But you can\'t, because they weren\'t.
[I feel like there was more emphasis on hitting than getting on base]
Yes, because baseball players of that era were too stupid to realize making outs was worse than being on base.
Those arguments have been soundly disproved in several articles on this site alone.
Chaz Scoggins is the poster boy for everything wrong with entrusting MLB awards to the BBWAA.
I hope you\'re right, but I don\'t think it\'ll work that way. The typical fan knows nothing about the game, and doesn\'t care to. In the past, he got his info from MSM \"writers\" who also know nothing about the game. Today, he gets it from the know-nothings at the East Coast Sports Programming Network. Tomorrow, the know-nothings will still dominate the discussion, and determine the outcome, and the average fan will still pay to read and listen to their drivel.
Sheehan\'s right - it\'s all about the story; and the know-nothings get to tell the story.
Far more appropriate to put that moron Hendry\'s name on a Port-O-Let.
Is is any wonder Kansas City is the sewer of MLB?
Of coures, it\'s the Yankees\' fault, right?
Allegations???????????? He ADMITTED he bet on games while he was managing. I wish Rose fans would devote the same energy to defending the game\'s integrity as they do to trying to make a case for a man who betrayed baseball, and lied about it until he was forced to come clean.
No way should anyone should get in the HOF if they bet on baseball games while playing or managing. The game\'s integrity is more important than the HOF\'s.
Simpson\'s comparing his omission of Henderson to other people\'s selection processes 40 years ago is disingenuous. Back then, the standards of comparison were Ruth, Gherig, Cobb, et al., not the watered down HOF we\'re stuck with today. Moreover, advanced performance metrics and tools are widely available now, allowing much more accurate assessments of player careers - that is, for those with the brains and professional ethic to use them.
The Twins organization he built won\'t be buried with him, and that\'s a lot more important to Twins fans than his money.
Give the man some credit - he looked at his competitive environment and saw that good organization, management, scouting, and player development could put a winning team on the field year after year; without resort to the crapshoot of paying FAs exorbitant amounts for past performance.
The Twins made the playoffs 4 times the past 8 seasons (and came within a game last year of making it 5), had only 1 losing season during that stretch; and has a roster full of young, home-grown talent that will continue to contend for years.
Baseball needs MORE Carl Pohlads, and more fans capable of appreciating good ownership when they see it.
[slinks sheepishly away]
That assumes (though not unreasonably) that MLB players can be expected to mimic the general population in that regard. But even so, assuming abuse on the basis of a sample size of 1,200 seems a stretch.
Look at Sabathia\'s April last year. Some advantage Cleveland had, huh?
Yes, the team with Sabathia and Tex has an advantage - in making the playoffs. Once in, though, that goes out the window. Individual ball games are far too variable and subject to chance to assume \"all else equal.\" Remember Adam Kennedy\'s 3-dinger playoff game against the Yankees?
It\'s been awhile since I studied statistics, so if these points are wrong, please forgive.
IIRC, correlation is not causation. Is a .55 correlation co-efficient strong enough to support a conclusion that payroll determines a particular level of Win %age? Also, you said that .55 is the \"highest\" you got - would be valuable to know what the lowest and median values are, too.
Assuming .55 justifies a conclusion, are some underlying effects not being considered? Take the Yankees: Given the general state of mismanagement in the AL East during your time frame (particularly BAL and TB), a decent team should be expected to win more games. It seems the point that needs to be proven is how many more games the Yankees won than, say, the Orioles, strictly because of payroll disparity; and I don\'t see how your data answers that (though it might and I just can\'t see it).
Also, many key players during the Yankees\' championship seasons were home-grown, not high-priced mercs. Just because the Yanks spent a lot of money on FAs doesn\'t mean those FAs contributed anything to team success (think Carl Pavano or the last 2 years of Jason Giambi). I don\'t know if that\'s reflected in your analysis.
In any event, thanks for the link - some interesting reading there.
No one will really be paying attention to the 2B situation after the first fistfight between Bradley and Zambrano.
Your analysis \"suggests\" 40-50%? Please provide the details of this analysis so we can examine the methodology.
Maybe after all the cr@p Burrell\'s taken from Philly fans, it\'s worth $6m to him to get out of there.
And Boras, too.
Dumping Nelson and signing Proctor to save $550k is the Yankees\' fault. If the Yankees didn\'t spend so much money putting a championship team together, the Marlins would make better baseball decisions. Baseball needs a salary cap so cheapskates like Loria will spend more money to put a competitor on the field.
Drawing valid conclusions from this methodology requires knowing which teams comprise each of those %age groups, as well as the payroll amounts in $.
Claiming payroll alone, in a vacuum without any team context, determines playoff success is silly. Maybe ownership doesn\'t CARE if its team is competitive, in which case payroll isn\'t a reflection of disadvantage, but an owner\'s conscious business decision. We can\'t know that based on the data provided here.
Possibly, but unlikely given the 2-year deal.
James said to \"pay attention to\" MVP votes. You cherry-picked MVP voting as the sole factor in making a HOF case, and justified it by assuming (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) the voters of 25-30 years ago knew something about the relative values of baseball players.
To the degree your subsequent posts in this thread rely on performance metrics, you make a much better case for Rice. But when you start evaluating and comparing player contracts you fall right back into the same baseless assumption: that for the HOF, the subjective opinions of demonstrably ignorant people are an acceptable proxy for performance analysis.
And my apologies for that snide remark about your BP subscription - that was out of line.
The people who determine the MVP are not \"professionals who would lose their reputations\" for making stupid decisions. They\'ve made countless stupid MVP, Cy Young, ROY, HOF, and other decisions; and they\'re still around hawking their palaver and nonsense.
The people who determine the MVP will lose their reputations and jobs when readers start paying attention to the analyses of writers like Jaffe, Neyer, and James. If you want to make a case for Rice based on what a bunch of know-nothings thought 30 years ago, and without regard to what he actually did, fine. You should cancel your BP subscription, though - it\'s clearly money wasted.
Oops, 7 out of 30.
\"Top market teams can stay reasonably competitive even with making bad baseball decisions. Bad decisions by small market teams can be blamed on the inherent unfairness of the system.\"
The corrolary to this is that small market teams can\'t stay reasonably competitive if they make bad baseball decisions; so you\'re saying the system\'s \"inherent unfairness\" is that it forces small market teams to actually know what the hell they\'re doing.
Only 7 teams out of 31 haven\'t made the playoffs at least once in the last 10 years. Is that because they suffer from small market disadvantages that somehow don\'t apply to the Twins, A\'s, Rays, Padres, Rockies, Marlins, or Mariners - or because their ownership and management stink?
AGree completely. He passes on McGwire because he\'s too lazy to educate himself about PEDs, but votes for Rice, Dawson, and Morris. What a moron.
If you gave every owner the Yankee revenue stream, you could count on one hand the number who would spend money like the Steinbrenners. The rest would just put a nominally competitive team on the field and pocket the $100 million left over. I\'m from Chicago, and I can guarantee you if George Steinbrenner owned the Cubs, there\'d be shrines to him all over the North Side.
How is it unfair for the Yankees to spend their money on their product (something their couterparts would never do), but it\'s fair for Pohlad and his ilk to pocket millions of Yankee dollars just because they\'re not in New York?
People forget the Yankees are a business first, and a ball team second. Their primary competitors aren\'t other baseball teams; but the entertainment industry in New York - and if you want to thrive in that environment you need to do more than just win ball games. You need to be seen and talked about all the time. The Steinbrenners NEED to spend money if (unlike their counterparts) they want their team to do more than just get by every year - even if it means taking a chance on (ugh) Carl Pavano. If that\'s bad for baseball, if \"parity\" is so desirable, then relocate franchises so none has any revenue advantage over Kansas City. Then we\'ll see how good for the game plummeting ratings and attendance are.
I\'m no Yankees fan; and I don\'t buy the argument that small market teams can compete year-in and year-out with the New Yorks and Bostons and Chicagos just through the draft. It\'s not possible. But the real problem with most teams (\"small-market\" or otherwise) is that they\'re owned and managed by small-minded men who have no clue what they\'re doing. The Yankees didn\'t tell the Mariners to hire Bavasi, or Pittsburgh to hire Littlefield. The Yankees didn\'t tell the Rockies to give Todd Helton and Mike Hampton huge long-term contracts; or the Giants to give Barry Zito the same. Arguing it\'s unfair that the Yankees can afford those kinds of mistakes begs the question. For most teams, the source of their \"non-competitiveness\" is in the nearest mirror.
I asked BP about that a couple months ago, and was told it\'s just a random number assigned to each user. The number apparently serves some kind of data purpose, but doesn\'t signify anything about the user.
You clearly need to broaden your musical horizons.
Wilson hasn\'t been worth half what he\'s been paid the past 4 years, and he says management has to be accountable??? Until he gives back all that money he hasn\'t earned, Wilson\'s just another loud-mouth hypocrite.
September 24, 2007 - Burnett misses his start against the Yankees in the Bronx. Jesse Litsch is moved up a day.
September 25, 2007 - Burnett makes Litsch\'s scheduled start against Baltimore.
Burnett is gutless, and clearly only tries when there\'s another lucrative contract at stake.
Punto has pictures of Pohlad and Gardenhire doing unspeakable things to barnyard animals. It\'s the only rational explanation for the Twins\' fetish with him.
Ummmm...how does getting 200 innings of 5+ERA instead of 150 improve your pitching? If I was the Rangers, I\'d be grateful Padilla had only 171 IP.
Not that it matters - if Ron Washington really thinks the most important thing about starting pitching is its impact on the bullpen, the Rangers aren\'t going anywhere.
Of far greater import is MSM reporters\' increased access and exposure to you, CK, and BP. God knows they and their readers need it.
I wonder to what degree BBWAA\'s increased emphasis on admitting Internet-based writers is an acknowledgment that newspaper-based \"reporting\" will be extinct in 10 years.
Remember, the Cubs are for sale. If any deal they make now ends up screwing them 3 years down the road, that\'s not Sammy Zell\'s problem. Sammy\'s problem is getting the price tag as high as possible - I don\'t know whether a pennant does that, but it sure couldn\'t hurt.
Will said only that there are \"some\" smart people in baseball. That is undoubtedly true. Equally true is that there are morons like Sabean, Hendry, Bowden, Bavasi (RIP), etc. (and of course their clubs\' owners) whose limited intellects proscribe effective use and analysis of data.
My guess is the data to which Will refers is produced by no more than 5, maybe 6, teams.
The title should be \"The Ignorant Tools.\"
Using the BBRAA\'s ballots, logically explain how the similarity of outcome is anything other than pure coincidence.
The BBRAA and MSM cater to the \"average\" fan, who\'s never even heard of VORP or WARP. Awards travesties will continue until those fans actually know something about the game and won\'t accept the slop they\'re currently getting. Progress in that regard may seem slow, but the comments to this article prove awareness is a quantum leap ahead of where it was 10 years ago. Those of us who know and love the game are fortunate to have BP and others leading the charge; but we, too, need to spread the gospel.
Keep givin\' \'em Hell, Joe.
Yes. You are. Everyone else frolics knee-deep through the numbers with ease and abandon.
Don\'t feel bad, though.
You expect logic from the BBWAA???
If these awards are to mean anything, then something other than the BBWAA as currently constituted has to hand them out. It would be nice to think the BBWAA is expanding its membership because it realizes it simply can\'t do its job right; but the new members are just the same ol\' same ol\' mass media know-nothings. We\'ll know the BBWAA\'s serious about its credibility when it not only admits REAL analysts, but prunes the deadwood, too.
People who care about baseball as being something more than an occassional subject for a 1,5000-word piece hammered out 10 minutes before the filing deadline should welcome BBWAA gaffes that discredit that sorry, pretentious outfit (with apologies to Mr. Perronto, whose work I enjoy) - particularly this one, since it didn\'t influence the outcome.
In Pavano\'s case, it would\'ve been more accurate to spell it \"Whinehouse.\"
Using relievers in lieu of starters is incredibly risky, at least in a weekly format. Relievers as an overwhelming rule just aren\'t very good, even though once in a while they\'ll string together 50-60 IP that makes it seem they\'re a lot more than they really are. A classic example is this year\'s Ray bullpen - if TB thinks they can contend next year with that bullpen, they\'ll be sorely disappointed.
The same guy who thought Beltran was the MVP.
I remember watching Craig Biggio duck into pitches all the time. He was a master - seeing him do it in slow motion is amazing. They should have video of it in his HOF exhibit.
My observation the past couple years is that pitchers don\'t \"nibble\" on an 0-2 pitch, but waste a pitch that\'s nowhere near the strike zone. I\'m not talking about \"set-up\" pitches, because many pitchers today don\'t do that. They seem to think an 0-2 pitch has to be thrown so it can\'t conceivably be called a strike, and the batter won\'t under any circumstances swing at it.
And why do hitters think swinging on a 3-1 count is mandatory?
How much money were the players making while they were standing around waiting for the commercials to end?
It isn\'t just the owners who benefit from advertising revenues.
Yeah, even me don\'t do that.
It\'s a self-governing American territory. Not a foreign country, but as close as you can get without being one.
I think Maddon\'s refusal to give his team the best chance to win (not making defensive changes in the late innings of close games, not using his bullpen personnel effectively, allowing Upton to play Center Field any way he wants) will finally catch up to the Rays.
I hope I\'m wrong, because I\'d love to see the Rays win. There are a few Cubs\' fans here at work that need a little something more rubbed in their faces.
And yet, as events proved, the situation DID call for a situational reliever. If Ortiz had homered against Miller, the Rays\' best pitcher for that situation, then you can shrug your shoulders and call it fate, chemistry, whatever. But letting an obviously struggling Balfour give BOS a better chance than they should have had was just plain arrogant.
The Rays\' hubris (including Upton\'s view of himself as a cross between Carl Lewis and Willie Mays) did them in last night. They played like the game was iced; and were justly brutalized for it.
Here\'s hoping they learned their lesson.
\"Perhaps no team has a more complicated set of decisions to work through regarding its personnel...\"
Seems to me the Cubs have a lot more problems to address than the Dodgers. Ramirez, Soriano, and Lee are a year older; DeRosa isn\'t going to repeat what he did this year; Edmonds is done, and Pie doesn\'t seem to be the answer; Right Field\'s a vacuum; Zambrano\'s a question mark (as of now, though he probably pulls things together by Spring); ditto Harden holding up for another full year; ditto Dempster repeating; Marmol and Wood are the only decent bullpen arms...
And Sammy Zell probably sells the team this offseason for such a large nickel the new owner(s) are hamstrung in the FA market.
2009 could be a big disapointment in Wrigleyville.
Because you have to win Game 6 to get a Game 7.
If you had to win 3 straight games, and you had Halladay, Lincecum, and Livan Hernandez, would you send Hernandez out there for the first game? Of course not, because that first game is the most important - you don\'t win it, you don\'t get a shot at the next 2 games; and that\'s what you\'re playing for in Game 1. In Game 2, you\'re playing for a chance to play Game 3. Only if you make it to Game 3 are you playing to win the series - but you have to get there first.
When facing elimination, games are not equally important.
You read a lot of Poe, right?
Nope, nothing matters more than that.
Precisely what I was going to post. Manny himself is irrelevant to this discussion. Joe\'s point is that McCarver a) doesn\'t have any facts to back up his claims, and b) abused his position as a MSM journalist by making claims the facts simply don\'t substantiate.
It\'s one thing for fans to speculate about a player\'s heart, motivations, etc.; it\'s quite another for a supposed \"journalist\" to do it for no other reason than to boost his career.
I come to BP to learn about baseball, and I can\'t do that reading/listening to MSM bozos. I can understand BP expanding its journalistic base to include opinions from other sources; but please don\'t do it by polluting your fine product with garbage I can readily get (and choose to avoid) from the paper or TV.
I\'m in an 18 team keeper league, and I\'ve never bought a closer. I pick up one or two (or more) of the \"out of nowhere\" closers that show up every year, and trade them for a lot more than they\'re worth.
I always win Ks and Ws because I run all starters; and I can afford to buy, or trade for, good starters because I don\'t value closers. Results? 3 championships and a 2d place finish in 6 years. No, it\'s not all because I punt Saves, but that\'s a key part of it.
And people STILL pay $30 for Mariano Rivera!!