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This was a great piece. Thanks John and Ben. I especially liked John's insight into why he felt he never really missed on a player.
Have we officially "jumped the pitch count shark" when you pull a dominant ace at 108 pitches and replace him with a shaky bullpen in the most critical game of the year? To me, this seems like the dark side of sabermetrics, a blind overreliance on data. Can someone tell me what Leyland and Jones saw (besides pitch count data) that made them think it was wise to pull Scherzer in that situation? (I mean in a mechanical sense, not a "save him for a possible Game 6" sense.)
Thanks Doug. Very informative - great work!
Too funny....reads like the script to "The Office". I think Dwight would make someone a great "Assistant to the Marketing Director". Nice job, Ian.
These are great. Good job, Sam - thoroughly enjoyable.
I agree with this. Seriously, one of these years they are going to have to plow the snow off the field to play - it's ridiculous to have these guys play their tails off for several months only to have the ultimate games decided in this type of cold weather. If all parties compromised and they played a few extra day-night doubleheaders and a few extra single gate double-headers I'm sure they could finish the season and play the World Series earlier in October. I used to be opposed to shortening the season, but now I'm not so sure that 154 games shouldn't be on the table too. Baseball is a summer sport, most Americans don't care about it past the early part of football season.
The Miggy-Trout debate is so good for baseball. It brings attention to the great individual athletes within the sport. I thought Larry's post was spot on. Cabrera's run has gone a little bit under the radar....Verlander was talking on Monday about the absence of national media around Cabrera. Regarding the MVP, my head says Trout, my heart says Cabrera. While I certainly embrace the analytical approach to player evaluation, I also have a hard time shedding the ties to history that the Triple Crown evokes. When I hear "Triple Crown" and I can't help but think of Yaztrzemski cards in my spokes and whiffle ball tournaments in the backyard. Dang, this sport is great!
With all due respect, I wasn't bashing the question. I was giving my response to it. I don't think the question is ridiculous, I think the notion of judging the character of someone you don't know is ridiculous. How would you even begin to measure one person's character against anothers involving off the field issues? The only character issues that would go into the voting process would be those for which a player is exposed. Is the absence of being exposed for a character issue evidence of good character? Performance is objective and can be measured. Relative character, I believe, is impossible for an outsider to measure objectively.
How far back do you go in evaluating someone's character? Junior high? Should private investigators be hired to determine the MVP? Do you investigate whether the character flaw has been corrected? This seems like a ridiculous exercise to me.
Thanks, guys, for the info. I look forward to the new coverage. I'm sure it will be great.
FWIW, several years ago Kevin did a series around August where he ranked prospects by position. Each article was a top ten, I believe. Is there any chance of this type of ranking system rising from the ashes?
Kevin - congratulations and good luck in your new endeavor! I think I've probably read every word you've written on this site. You've been the Dr. Feelgood for my prospect addiction....maybe now I can enter rehab and possibly gain back a small slice of my life.
But this is about you....you have worked hard and done your job well. Enjoy this new chapter. You deserve it.
Crisp is Oakland's Master Blaster, Tribe "Wonders" about their Ace.
Jason, GREAT article. This is funny and relatable. Destined for the next BP "Best of..." book.
Joe, FWIW, keep cranking out new stuff and charge me whatever it takes to make a nice profit. I want BP to be successful and financially stable. The content and sortable stats you guys offer are very reasonable compared to say, Baseball America.
Jason, great work - I've been waiting to see someone write about the different characteristics required for success. Last week when you explored the guys drafted solely on their "physical tools", I couldn't help but think about all the other components for success - mostly neurological. "Instincts" and "ability to adapt their skills to baseball" do not seem descriptive enough. There are many physical specimens in the NBA who cannot shoot the ball with proficiency outside of ten feet. There are far more neurological actions going on that I ever hear being discussed. Quickness in recognition, firing your actions, and the muscle memory actions required to create an accurate swing. Some people have it and some don't. I was glad to see you unwind this category from the issues that are about determination, fortitude, adaptablility and #want. There is more going on than "feel for the game". I tend to believe, without evidence mind you, that you can improve in this area, but someone born without it will have a hard time ever developing this skill to the level required to be successful at the highest level. I would love to see you explore this more in the future.
Great stuff, Sam. Love your work here.
My favorite prospect is Niko Goodrum.
This is freeging hilarious. The parts about Avila and the usher had me laughing out loud! Nice job!
Thanks, guys. That was another informative article. Keep up the great work.
Jason - any truth to the rumor that Arte Moreno financed the Albert Pujols signing by licensing the rights to sell Verducci Rally Wigs at all Angels home games next year? If so, shouldn't he take the leftover proceeds and buy the Dodgers, too?
Thank you, David, I've enjoyed the interviews! Best of luck in your future endeavors.
Is there an ETA for the Custom Reports on the Statistics page to have 2011 stats? Just a general answer...days, weeks?
I read almost every article on this site and can say that for my taste, the entertaining and useful content of the site has been in a free-fall since the departure of Joe and Will. This article was the giant "thud" of it finally hitting the bottom. I sincerely hope that at least a fraction of the new talent being brought in can begin to distinguish themselves as must-read baseball writers. The internet if full of people writing about baseball but very few can convey a combination of intelligence, information and entertainment. My wish is that BP's leadership will search for these individuals and focus on quality, not quantity. I look forward to the season starting and see what the new writers can do with something to work with.
Admittedly, Mags is no Jayson Werth, but at $116 million less, this seems like a pretty reasonable expenditure. As a Tiger fan, I like it far better than entrusting RF to one of the non-Raburn organizational alternatives.
"Say It Ain't Joe: Joe Sheehan on the Game and Business of Baseball."
I look forward to this book!
Pavano'd - Preseason Assessment of Various Ailments Nullifying October Dreams
I'll take this a step further and ask why anyone would even care how many awards there are anyway? They are just a post-mortem random collection of opinions not unlike the Hall of Fame voting. It's like an nice pair of earrings on Victoria Beckham...they are great and all, but c'mon, who's really looking at those?
Great take on the Tigers, Christina. This isn't just about this year. Mike Illitch is getting up there in years and he wants a championship in the worst way. Detroit might be Hockeytown, but he knows what the Tigers mean to Michigan. They will have a lot of flexibilty next year and I suspect they are positioning themselves for a push in 2011-15 with the young pitching corp maturing and Miguel Cabrera sitting in his prime years.
I don't have any stake in BP or know any of the parties personally, but I am comfortable making the statement that if anyone can produce a writer of the quality being discussed (Silver, Sheehan, etc.) that will work full-time forever under the revenue model this site operates with, I'm sure BP will be happy to hire them. Seriously, for $35 a year, how much money do you think is here for these guys to split up? (I don't think the subscriber number is public and I don't think it should be. It's not our business.) These guys are at or near the top of their profession and should be compensated that way - even if they need to go somewhere else to get it. I would much rather lose the occassional writer to opportunities that improve their lot than have the BP team not reinvest in their product. If the departing writer wants to write about baseball, we will see them somewhere else anyway. I can go out on the weekend and spend $35 faster than Joel Zumaya can say "kegstand", so for 50+ hours a year of entertainment, I say it's a heckuva buy.
In summary, I don't hold BP's management team responsible for things they may not be able to control, only what I know they can control. I'm excited to see the forthcoming changes.
"...just two entities doing business."
That's a very fair statement, but also bold enough to probably make BP's manangement cringe a little bit. I applaud the leadership here for letting it be said. That's what makes this site a thought leader.
Joe, thanks the for the great writing. You will be missed greatly. You certainly deserve the career you've earned and you will be read wherever you go.
BP leadership, many of your readers have an idea of what you are going through. Running a business in this economy isn't quite what we signed up for when we left college with our dreams and ideals intact. After all is said and done though, your product is worth every penny you charge me and for that I am grateful. Keep up the good work, keep investing in your product and I will definitely keep coming back.
While genetics certainly play a role in recuperation time, can certain nutritional (non-PED) protocols decrease recovery time and are training staffs utilizing the science behind nutrition effectively?
If you find this kind of stuff interesting, then I suggest the extrememly entertaining book "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely. It's about decision making and how certain situations will consistently lead people to make irrational decisions. It's fascinating. It should be mandatory reading in all business schools (and front offices).
Kudos to Peter and everyone at BP for making baseball such a great form of intellectual entertainment. I live in Michigan and on my way home from work yesterday I thought I would turn on sports radio and listen to all the callers scream about losing Curtis Granderson, who is obviously a fan favorite in the state. To my surprise, about 50% of the callers liked this deal and were talking about splits, cost savings, and trading guys at their peak. This would have never happened here five or ten years ago. This is a testament to the education of the casual fan that can be directly linked to the work of icons like BP and Peter. Great job and thank you to all of you!
This probably isn't practical, but if there was a way to print all of the day's articles at once with one or two clicks that would be great.
Wow - this is absolutely fantastic. The handling of statistics is one of many true differentiators for BP on the web. To see that you guys are focused on continuous improvement in this area is very encouraging for the baseball enthusiast. Keep up the great work.
Thanks for the explanation about the CID on the custom reports. That's very helpful. Lastly, this may be nitpicking a little bit, but can BP show OPS in more reports so that downloading to Excel and doing more calcs isn't necessary?
Will, I agree, the cup probably is a luxury item in some of these countries (did I just say that?). Anybody that has been to these countries and seen some of the conditions would understand where you are coming from. That being said, this could be a really fun endeavor: This sounds sarcastic, but it's really not (I swear),....give us an address and let all the BP readers who want to send in one cup (preferably new!) and lets see what we can do! You probably shouldn't give us a PO box because the Postmaster wouldn't like it. I'll let the other commenters come up with the slogan for this drive.......wow could this be fun!
I think putting helmets down there would make it too darn hard to run.
BP just contributed to a 1% decrease in the productivity of the American workplace. :)
Good job, Brian. Nice and to the point - great for reading at work! I like this type of stuff in an Unfiltered format - bite size takeaways for when I don't have a half hour to burn at the computer.
Ken had my vote at "institutional-sized container of Whoop-Ass Au Gratin". If that's original, I love it. Inform me and entertain me - I'd love to see more of this at BP.
Constructive criticism is a part of the process. I'm just offering some positive reinforcement to the writers. I think my main point which maybe didn't come through is the fact that they have to write about different topics each week - that's a pretty high bar for anyone - professional writers included. In today's society those who are elite at what they do are not usually "generalists". I was acknowledging the difficulty of what they are doing.
I think all the participants have a really tough job. They have to write about topics that may or may not be in their sweet spot each week and then subject themselves to a comment board that evokes a saying I heard a few weeks ago - "there are a million movie critics for each movie maker". Even BP doesn't ask their writers to address topics outside of their strengths. I think they are demonstrating a lot of guts and would like to tell them that I appreciate it and am enjoying their work. Thanks Jeff and good luck to everyone who remains!
There's no doubt that many of the kids who grew up playing Strato or APBA or Statis Pro baseball are now readers of Baseball Prospectus. It's a natural evolution! Nice to hear about your journey, Joe - I agree with Calkid above who wouldn't mind seeing a little analysis done on that game now - maybe an article about which strategies play well in the game and real life and which don't quite translate as well using real people.
I just went and checked them out, Kevin. These are awesome. This is like someone putting six pieces of bite-size dark chocolate on my desk at work everyday - perfect!
Joe I enjoyed the post. I had the same feelings when I entered Comerica the first time. You'll be surprised how fast new memories will build in your new park. One of the great results of a rapidly changing world is that we always have anchors for different times of our lives. Your "youth" has just been compartmentalized for you! This will mean more to you in ten or fifteen years as those memories just keep getting better and better.
So did I and I got it yesterday - so keep the faith, it should be there soon!
I don\'t think the Tigers would bite because of their huge commitment to Sheffield and their fall-back left field option of Marcus Thames. Thames has his uses, but he does keep that line-up tilted to the right and is just as limited defensively as Guillen and Griffey would be. I don\'t think it would be a marketing ploy at all to add him - even though many people think this is what Griffey is about now. The problem is creating a roster spot for him.
If the Carlos Guillen in LF experiment doesn\'t work out (whether defensively he can\'t handle it or Everett doesn\'t bring enough bat to SS) Griffey would be a nice left-handed solution in LF for the Tigers. I would love to see it happen, but I don\'t envision this is the type of move Dombrowski would make.
Allen Iverson\'s rant on \"practice\" really wasn\'t about practice....it was about a book forward:
\"We talking about a Forward!?! A Forward!?! Are we talking about a Forward?!? What are we talking about? A Forward? We ain\'t talking about the actual book? How the hell can I make a book better by having a Forward!!\"
It wasn\'t me that gave you the minus rating, but on this note, is there some kind of definition somewhere of how this +/- thing should be used? If we agree \"a lot\" with something are we supposed to give it a \"+\" and if we disagree or think the comment is incorrect we give it a \"-\"? That seems somewhat imprecise for a \"metrics-based\" site like BP!
Just a wild guess here, but since \"MLB\" is in the name of the network, I don\'t expect many critical assessments of anything on this channel. That being said, I\'ll still enjoy it for what it is.
Two easy changes first: 1. In your Statistics section, Custom Reports, under \"Batter Season\" and \"Batter Team Year\" please add OPS! We need to be able to sort by this! 2. On the Printable Pages, put the link back to the home page!
For a bigger change, I would say clone Goldstein and add more minor league coverage!
Start a Hockey Prospectus if you must, but please don\'t use BP as a forum to deliver ANY hockey news.
I agree with this wholeheartedly!
Gee Kevin, since you probably don\'t need to sleep, maybe these lists could be \"evergreen\" - you update them every Friday (like the Hit List) from now until the end of time!