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But we shouldn't be in this position. A collision between a catcher and a baserunner should always be an accident, not an outcome of intent. The baserunner should be allowed to think "slide" without perceiving this to be a disadvantage to the play's outcomes; the catcher should be allowed to thing "catch and tag" without worrying that he's about to be blasted by a runner coming full tilt. It doesn't matter who "wins" or "loses" the clash of bodies, we simply shouldn't be encouraging the collision. If we enforce a new set of rules (or the same rules in a new way), Posey wouldn't be in the path of Cousins, however Cousins construes that path, and likewise it would never occur to Cousins to slam into Posey. Set aside who's at fault in this instance: given the current structure of the rulebook and enforcement of that rulebook, both players had incentives that lead to the collision. Remove the incentives and you reduce the likelihood of the collision, we still have an exciting play at the plate, and we have two players who are more likely to come out the other side of the play no worse for wear.
It's easy to fix: catcher's can't block the baseline leading to the plate; if they do so, the runner is automatically safe. Baserunners cannot purposefully collide with fielder's who are not obstructing their path to the plate. If they do so they are automatically out. All collisions will be reviewed after the game, with fines or suspensions doled out when necessary. In this case, the rules should have been applied as follows: Buster was not blocking the plate, Cousins was not within his rights to slam into Posey. Cousins is called automatically out and subject to fines and/or suspension. Of course none of the damage done here can be undone, and I don't think it would be fair to come after Cousins now, as this sort have play has become a norm, but I think this logic has to be applied going forward for the sake of players and fans. I think something similar has to be done about plays at second base. In the college game, if you slide past the bag or out of the baseline, the runners are automatically out. To say that "this is just how the game is" is a complete cop out. There are some plays that are just freak accidents, but his play was the result of a terrible incentive structure in combination with lax enforcement of the rule book.
I'm not convinced by all this name dropping that there are "severe problems" with the comps. I think you should offer up evidence on PECOTA's terms: what information did PECOTA use to determine the comps? For example, with the Decker-Mays comp, I think you're calling foul because of your knowledge of the extraordinary career that Mays had, but I'm pretty sure that's not how PECOTA is designed to work: I don't think it's using Mays age 22+ seasons as the driver of the comparable match. Instead, Mays earliest years are used to make the match. In this case Mays later, very successful years are just a piece of a larger puzzle, one that in this case happens to contribute to a rosier outlook for Decker than if Mays were not a comp. This does not imply that a Mays like year is an assured, or even likely, outcome. See the Comparable Player and Comparable Year entries in the glossary for more details.
"Breakout Rate is the percent chance that a hitter's EqR/27 or a pitcher's EqERA will improve by at least 20% relative to the weighted average of his EqR/27 in his three previous seasons of performance. High breakout rates are indicative of upside risk."
So what's the problem?
I thought Josh Byrnes was the GM...