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Great stuff, Ben!
So we should adjust our ranking for one year? Or should we adjust them every year based on this one year? And how should we adjust them, and how much? This seems like a bad idea.
Dreams don't always make perfect sense. In that way they're kinda like Hit List comments.
or a book about baseballs made of honey
It's true! 393-270
That's very kind. Thank you!!
Our own Matthew Trueblood explored this (quite well, I thought) today at BP.
I always took that as an ironic name as Reese was not pokey, he was fast!
For the record, I picked the Red Sox in 2013. So I'm over-over-optimistic!
Sam is correct that I am not correct but he is not correct that that joke was worth an exception to that rule or really any rule.
This is the Hit List, not a podcast
It is true by WARP! Not sure about other metrics.
I said "as of this writing" which was and remains true, so no, I didn't screw up. As for messing up tact vs. tack, guilty as charged.
Endeavoring to fix this problem but for now, yes, art!
This early in the season the Hit List is much more about potential, what we think the teams will be, than what they have been on the field. Don't you agree it would be a mistake to put the Rockies as the best team in baseball on the strength of one game? We don't know enough about the Rockies (or the Brewers (or any other team)) yet to do that.
I'd argue they are about the same whether he's on the roster or not.
I suppose reasonable minds can disagree about which player is better. That's fine. Either way, it's beside the point. The topic was surprising trades and the Red Sox making a trade with the Yankees after not making a trade with them for 17 years surprised me, and that's why I wrote about it.
The part where Drew had been a three win player the year before while Roberts hasn't played a full season since 2009.
I picture you writing that with a huge cowboy hat and giant mustache.
I did watch it again. There is no way that is a routine play. I'm sorry, it just isn't. In fact, it isn't close. Could he have caught it? Maybe? I doubt it. Upon re-watching, it appears Hunter over-ran it (I'm guessing the ball was tailing back towards right field), but that was shot out of a cannon and was probably over his head anyway. Even if he ran to the exact spot at the wall he probably still can't catch it.
Which missed catch are you referring to? The Ortiz-hit one that went over the wall?
I got all your Bryce Brentz jokez!
Excellence drips from Alex Speier as he walks down the street.
I should've mentioned this above, but Jon Miller does a Vin Scully impression which you can hear here.
Yes. Or the actual title works too.
I'm genuinely curious: How do you present "analysis" on something as idiosyncratic and individual as a baseball broadcaster?
Good point! I looked it up on Baseball Reference and there have been 11,351 games since 1914 where the batter has zero hits, zero walks, and at least one stolen base. The most stolen bases without any hits or walks is three. That has been done seven times, most recently in 1991 by Vince Coleman while with the Mets.
That is a good (bad!) one!
Lots of birds
Oh, and I asked on twitter if everyone got the Reds joke and everyone said yes, they did.
Yes, I tried to fix it but the system wouldn't let me in and then I got sidetracked, but I'll find someone to fix. Thanks for the reminder!
My real name is Gzvzczxzxqqqxzmatthew
Believe it or not, I made it up on the spot and was so so proud of myself.
In my house we apologize when we make a horrible mistake.
It's a total of each player's left on base, so it double and triple counts, but that's how MLB does it in the box score.
Less funny. Matthew has spoken.
I'm about to miss the forest for the weeds, but the Lando Calrissian bit killed me.
I WILL BE SURPRISED
Great piece, Sam. One thing to add, if I may. I wrote a piece for the Old Time Family Baseball blogathon that looked at total spending since 1998 (the farthest back I could find salary data). The 2013 Astros spent 0.7 percent (not seven percent, less than three quarters of one percent) of the total money spent on salaries by all teams that season. That's the second smallest payroll by percentage since '98. Only the 2006 Marlins spent less, 0.6 percent. Only two other teams spent less than one percent ('08 Marlins and '03 Devil Rays). So the amount the Astros spent on payroll relative to the rest of MLB wasn't historically low, but it was pretty close.
Sorry, yes, 16, not 18 teams. I miscounted. Lucky this isn't a site that uses numbers!
Issues? There are no issues!
It wasn't pitch counts. Scherzer had told Leyland that he was done. From Chris Iott's Michigan Live piece (link at the bottom:
Scherzer was asked if he knew he was done after seven.
"Yeah," he said.
So, no discussion?
"I told them I was done," he said. "They wanted me done. They had it all lined up how they wanted to approach the eighth inning.
Scherzer was asked again whether he could have gone back out to pitch the eighth.
"No," he said. "I was done. You can write that. I was done. Everybody, they wanted me done. I was done. I was not going out there for the eighth inning."
[shakes fist] SUSSMAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!
Didn't stop me from voting for him! Then, it did stop me from voting for him!
(and by Matt I mean Matt Sussman; I'm not thanking myself) (Thanks, me!)
Thanks to Matt and Sam and Ben! It was a blast!
I do mean that. And I'll change it. Then I'll say I don't have any idea what you're talking about!!
I looked it up last night to see if I was using it correctly and Google gives this for the definition: "used as a stage direction in a printed play to indicate that a group of characters leave the stage."
Kevin Bass, Tim Salmon, Art Herring, Derek Lungfish, Horatio Minnow, and Bill Deep-Sea Smelt
Right. The 2,013 is actually the year, not the attendance. I think that's a joke fail though.
Why? You have a three-in-four chance of not getting beaten with a bat!
I'm only plusing one of those.
You don't think Trout would take 8/$212 (that's what's left on Pujols' contract)?
Almost went with Segway but then I thought, this is a major league team. These guys are pros. Pros don't touch the ground. The choice, then, was clear. Hovercraft.
You're right. I got so excited when I saw the six double plays I took leave of my basic math skills.
Shhh! You're giving it away!
Ah! Your right. Bones is McCoy. Who am I thinking of?
Consider it Puig'd!
Now I'm kicking myself for not writing that. Well done.
Post that comment four times a week and it'll be like nothing changed.
Either way, glad you enjoyed it.
In what way? The order?
We've helpfully added a disclaimer at the top which should make this more clear. Hopefully it will clear up any lingering confusion.
That's another insight I can't provide, namely the difference between taking little girls and little boys to games. A friend of mine has a four-year-old girl and she can sit still for things. My two boys can barely handle sitting in the car seat on the way to the store. But maybe that isn't anything to do with gender, I don't know.
That's great! I love that he was three and brought his glove.
I haven't taken them to a game yet so I have no insight there, but it's on the agenda for this summer so maybe I'll write about something like that this fall.
Well done. Except for the booing Red Sox part. That part is wrong!
It's tough. I think it depends on the kid. Some are more interested than others. A friend of mine has a six-year-old son who he has taken to multiple Phillies games. But my kids are (so far!) not that way. I'm lucky if I get a half inning of attention.
Nathan is correct. The teams are ranked by Adjusted Hit List factor, which uses stats other than wins and losses as you can see here:
You're making it sound like we seven who wrote for this week's Lineup Card deliberately (for lack of a better word) dissed women. I don't think we are obligated to cover any specific topic and I don't think not picking a topic is any kind of reflection on us or on that topic. Everyone picks a topic independently. There was nothing implied by my choice of topics other than that I thought it might be funny/interesting, and I feel comfortable saying the same is true of my seven co-authors. Because I picked the topic I did does not mean I think women can't play professional baseball, can be major league umpires, or participate in any other way.
I'm pretty sure that's not what anyone here is saying.
You make some good points, but I think you overstate things when you say "The DH turns the game into a bland slugfest." The average hitter in baseball has hit .252/.318/.403 this season. DHs have collectively hit .249/.336/.423, which is better but not by that much. What's more the AL scores 0.41 runs more than the NL as a whole (part of which is DH-dependent, and part of which is a talent difference). While that isn't nothing, I don't think it qualifies as the difference between a slugfest and not a slugfest.
That's the joke!
Ha! I'll try to make it more joyless. Tune in tomorrow morning to see how I did.
I'm addressing a sentiment I've heard from many people and in the blogosphere over the off-season.
To answer your last question, I think after last season's disappointing performance, Adrian Gonzalez had his detractors, but lots of people didn't consider Carl Crawford to be a good player anymore.
Thanks for reading but I don't think that is what I was saying. The comment was about pitcher wins, not Corbin.
I think it's a reasonable question. If you're getting minused it might be because of the way people are perceiving your tone. Just a guess. I have no problem with the question or the way you've presented it.
My understanding, and I'm not the creator here nor do I update the numbers, is that the adjustment is based on historical matchups. Because the Hit List ranks all of MLB, there has to be an adjustment and the AL has been the stronger league by, I believe, a good margin over the past decade, roughly speaking.
As for the Astros moving, I'm not sure about that. I'd be happy to ask for you though.
There's an entire article by Jay Jaffe linked there under Hit List Factor. Did you read that? It explains Hit List Factor in detail. The adjustment is (comparatively at least) relatively minor and based on historical performances.
The article I'm referring to and that is linked to above is here:
I hope you find it helpful. If you have questions beyond that I'd be happy to answer them as best I can or to track down an answer from someone smarter than me (pretty much everyone at BP) if I'm unable to answer.
Click the links!
The rankings are generated by a formula, not by me. I merely write the (occasionally) witty quips. The rankings are based on Adjusted Hit List Factor. You can read about Hit List Factor by hovering your cursor over the heading and clicking on the article linked there. Hovering your cursor over any of the headings will give you an explanation of what they are as well.
Hope that answers your question and thanks for reading!
Hover your cursor over the headings. Articles explaining the methodology are linked to there.
I agree. I like Verducci but honestly, I thought he was way off base.
We're on the cutting edge over here.
Good one! I'm running my jokes by you (at 1am) from now on. What's your phone number?
My apologies. I wasn't aware the etymology of that word was offensive. I will absolutely refrain from using it in the future.
Thank you, Shaun.
The odd numbers refer to the number of walks. The Brewers have a winning record when Braun walks an odd number of times.
That must have been a popular phrase back in the day. First of all, it's wonderful. Secondly though, I've seen it attributed to others, most notably (oddly enough) the Cleveland Stadium Corporation in a letter to a Browns fan in 1974. Though it's entirely possible that CCC ripped the phrase off from Dorm Braman.
I assume every other player on your team is a Yankee.
Thanks, and thanks for reading!
Not crazy at all, but what was wrong?
Probably not that difficult. Having him get good enough and confident enough in it that he could throw it effectively in games, now that's another thing entirely.
... San Diego, CA: 4,072 km
... Vancouver, BC: 4,026 km
... Portland, OR: 3,992 km
... Long Beach, CA: 4,102 km
I'm not sure that makes much sense, but whatever Sam Miller wins!
Wow, you're right. That was pretty bad of me. I guess I don't win the waverunner and lifetime supply of rice-a-roni.
Oh me and my silly mistakes!
And of course, glad to respond. Thanks for reading!
I don't remember hearing him described that way and BP definitely didn't describe him that way. I don't have a Baseball America subscription so I can't be sure what they said about him specifically at the time other than the rankings which are freely available.
Shortstop is a more difficult position to play so it is more difficult to find players who can play it well. So there is more value in having it played well. So I'm not sure that second basemen are undervalued.
I think his talents were recognized to an extent, but don't you think he would have made a BA Top 100 list if he was that good even with bad makeup? I don't feel like bad makeup keeps you off lists like that.
I was thinking it's a five blue rhinos scale, so four out of five blue rhinos = pretty good.
I agree, but watching baseball on TV has its advantages. At least at a major league park it's very tough to get a sense of the movement and placement of the pitches because I'm so far away. That's where TV can really elucidate the batter/pitcher match-up.
If we write that article we'd probably also have to note that there is a good argument against Verlander's MVP two seasons ago.
They do, and they get them older and far more expensive. That's not to say they won't be productive or worth the money, just that it isn't the same as having Beckett for his age 26-31 seasons, or Hanley Ramirez for his age 22-28 seasons, and paying them at those prices.
I'm not saying 'some people don't find winning the World Series to be important.' Of course we all do. The issue is what kind of import you place on the playoffs, or how you define that import. If you see the playoffs as a crap-shoot of sorts then maybe you don't credit Beckett as much for the win in 2007. In other words, maybe winning the World Series doesn't justify making the trade. Maybe it does. It depends on how you see things.
As for the Dodgers, that chapter is still being written.
That's the truly interesting thing to me about this trade. Usually there's a winner and a loser, but here there really were two winners. The Red Sox got two valuable pieces that helped propel them to a second World Series win in four seasons, while the Marlins got out from under a contract they didn't want in Lowell and turned he and Beckett into two good, young players. Win win.
Ha! It would seem he's in that vicinity. To take your comment too seriously, I'd say he might be among the top 1200 but specific team needs and other such real-world issues have intervened.
And now that I write that I remember that he's on the Giants 40-man roster which is officially a spot in the top 1200.
It's true, he will always be one, but I'm not sure I'm on board with a Yankee definitively answering this question.
Yeah, that second "team" should be "player." Sorry about the mistake.
I think that's my take-away from this article. This kind of thing is extraordinary in it's ordinariness.
I was in research-mode when I saw that picture and laughed far out of proportion to its actual humor value. And when I found that Rosario had been dropped for Castillo a second time, well, I had to take a break.
I appreciate your tick in the "Sox v. Sock" debate but this being BP and all I'm going to need some evidence.
Only three different organizations? Humph! Child's play.
Don't you DARE talk bad about Nick Johnson!
Nice job, Ben. TV looks really hard in that you can't look at notes to jog your memory. When I podcast I always have like 80 tabs open so I can call up some piece of information at a moments notice but you can't do that on TV. In conclusion, two things: 1) I'll never be on TV, and that is probably a good thing for everyone. 2) job very well done, and thanks for posting this.
He may start two games, and in fact may start many more than that. But as the current fifth outfielder, it would require a bunch of injuries and unlike last season, the Red Sox have some minor league depth that could help them avoid giving away hundreds of ABs to fifth outfielder types.
He will start a game or two, but not 76 like last season.
Nice, R.A.! Sliders are impossible. Well, good ones, anyway. There are few feelings in life like lining a ball hard over the shortstop's head. It feels wonderful. I can't suppress a smile running down the baseline.
I am a much better hitter. About the only thing that gets me is a really good fastball. Beyond that, I feel I can hit most of anything (I'm speaking in the realm of adult league baseball here). Fortunately I don't see really good fastballs too often.
Sounds like a good drill. Might have to try that one out.
I'm 37 so I might be that old but I'm not sure.
"Jumping the gun..."
I almost stole his.
Thanks, Ben, for not putting my monumentally stupid Stanton to Boston trade proposal in here. Stupid Stanton trade proposals = "seemed like a good idea at the time..."
I don't necessarily disagree, but the Red Sox seem to like Aceves more than I and, dare I say, you. It's possible it's an act to increase his trade value, but I'm expecting him to be a part of the 2014 roster in some role or another.
That would be an odd swap considering the total monies owed (tons for Lee, little for Ellsbury) and the years remaining on their current deals (tons for Lee, little for Ellsbury).
I don't think you can compare Gonzalez's 7 year, $154 million deal and Crawford's 7 year $142 million deal with two three year, $39 million contracts. I mean, you can, but you have to acknowledge there is a pretty wide chasm between those two groups.
Sure. It's not going to happen?
They were gritty and scrappy and extra clutchy. Also they had nice little fruit cakes.
Got ya with that one!
Right you are!
Young is a good pick. I could have gone 10 deep (and was about to before realizing how many words that would be) and Young would have made the list.
A couple things about Young. 1) He's clutchy, 2) he's grit-filled, 3) he's versatile (he plays many positions badly). His WARP was (ever so slightly) worse than Kotchman's (-1.5 to -1.2) but that difference hinges on defensive numbers. Young was a better hitter than Kotchman by a long shot. Kotchman slugged .333 as a first baseman! Barfy!
I didn't get into player salaries for a couple reasons. Firstly, they're not considered in MVP voting which is what I was trying to mimic. Secondly, I'd rather not condemn a player for how much he makes.
Now I'm kicking myself for not thinking of Dukes. Maybe I should've cut the first 1,000 words and done a list.
Maddon wasn't a free agent this winter.
To legitimately answer your questions,
Draft picks: I'd guess that for an expansion team I'd probably wouldn't lose any picks. If I did, I'd only lose my first and second rounders, which since I just signed 25 free agents, isn't that big a price to pay.
Where does the team play: No idea. The biggest city without a major league team is probably Portland, Oregon, but they have no plans to woo a team anytime soon.
Manager: If it were up to me, I'd hire Terry Francona. As to
Team name: I'll hire Jason Parks to come up with something.
THEY totally know how to win. Only took me two days to notice that misspelling!
I don't know the legalities behind it, but I can't fathom that after building a publicly funded stadium, the Marlins would be permitted to leave town in five years.
The totally know how to win.
Are you saying you don't think a 40-year-old Marco Scutaro is a bargain at $8 million? Sir, I am shocked. SHOCKED.
If the Yankees tried to build a team exclusively from free agents, they'd look this old too. Anyone would. Because free agents are old.
I tried to answer that below.
The PECOTAs aren't available yet so I can't say for sure. I think that I accomplished my goal of putting a competitive team on the field for 2013. Depth wouldn't be especially strong but I think this team could win in the neighborhood of 90 games, give or take 5-7 depending on injuries, under/over-performance, etc.
As Sam Miller noted to me when I submitted this piece though, and as usual he's totally right, is that while this team would be good in 2013, things would probably go downhill from there. The financial outlay is extreme and in two years (2015) I'll still have a $120 million committed to 11 guys, all of whom will be in their 30s, and some in their very late 30s. It's not a recipe for long-term success. As long as I can keep spending to add talent I can probably keep things from getting putrid (and at some point you'd hope there would be an infusion of minor league talent), but this is a crazy expensive and risky way to build a team.
Also, worth noting the Cubs signed him for 1 year, $5.5 million. I offered 1 year, $6 million. Not a bad guess!
Good question. Two things. First, I read more articles about how much he's expecting to get and how many teams are interested in him. Second, as with all the other players I "signed" I assumed they wouldn't want to come play for me unless I paid more than anyone else.
This one would.
I posted this before the Cubs signed him!
According to the ESPN Park factors linked in the article, last year it was.
Are those different?
"Brian Sabean [...] surrounds himself with people who don't merely know baseball, but feel it, deep inside."
Was I the only one to read that line think think, "Gross!"?
It was garish, though that was probably the point. The part I found odd was that they let the guy with the sign just walk down there with it. Just about every park I've ever been to won't let you near the first row behind home plate without a ticket saying you belong there.
I was hoping someone would identify him. Thanks, Paddy!
Yup. Saw that. I'd guess that won't change PECOTA's percentages by much though I don't speak for PECOTA so I could be wrong.
The Yankees could break out at any time. They have that kind of talent. That said, I'm not sure a seeing-eye grounder portends much.
Stranger things have... well, actually, no, stranger things haven't happened.
That slide by McRae isn't really a slide so much as he runs to the bag then uses it to launch is butt into the second baseman who is about two feet behind the bag. How does that not start a massive fight?
Put him in as a Seattle Pilot. There. That solves absolutely nothing at all. You're welcome.
Great article, Jason. Not to steal your thunder, but I looked at that 6/30/60 game and here are a few potential fun facts!.
1. The Orioles second baseman is named Marty Breeding. Try to come up with an alternate last name for Marty that means the same thing as breeding but that you can say in front of your grandmother. You can't do it!
2. Walt Dropo, the hitter Jim "two-homer" Gentile replaced in the lineup had, to that point, two hits in two at-bats, the first of which, a two-RBI single in the first inning, had the highest (at that time) Win Probability Added (WPA) in the game behind Breeding's fifth inning homer. Did I use enough commas?
3. Marty Breeding!
4. Cleveland's first baseman has the very best name for a first baseman ever: Vic Power. Top that, Universe!
5. This game, in which 10 runs were scored, took two hours and 12 minutes. !.
6. The Indians shortstop was named Woodie Held.
7. In fact, just look at the first names of the players. Cleveland's lineup featured Johnny, Marty, Tito, Vic, Hank, Woodie, Ted, and Bubba. Baltimore countered with Marv, Jackie, Walt, Brooks, Hal, and Gus. Despite wearing ballcaps many of them likely used Brylcreem.
Ha ha! I'm SO not Nate Silver.
Perot wins, I guess.
And hey, pretty sweet tape dispenser too.
With a few exceptions, crazy ownership keeps managers who win. I'm sure '70s era George Steinbrenner bucks that trend in some instances, but he's the outlier by a fair margin.
If, as you're suggesting, Francona took the Indians job because it would make his dad happy, that's wonderful. But I'm not sure it's much of a recipe for long-term success.
I'm sure there were disagreements between Acta and the front office, but those disagreements didn't exist when Acta was hired. The arose over time. More to the point, as I said in the article, Acta was fired because the team lost. I'm sure that wasn't the only reason, but I'm equally sure it was the over-riding reason. The team lost because they weren't very good, and now with Francona managing, they're still not very good and their chances for getting better in the near term aren't good either. That's all I'm saying.
I'm not inside Francona's mind and never claimed to be. I'm talking about outside factors that make a managing job appealing. Cleveland has some, but lacks the biggest factor that makes a manager a success.
It's not about looking down at anyone. I'm not looking down my nose at the Indians or Francona, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for.
I'm sorry you found it to be a lazy article. Managers with the kind of political capital that Francona had coming out of Boston (and the way that team imploded this year probably made him look even better) can often have their pick of jobs. Familiarity with the front office and a shared vision are both wonderful things, but in the end you can have all the comfort you want and if the team doesn't win then the manager is going to be fired. Francona isn't immune to that. If the Indians can compete in the next few seasons then Francona will likely stick around for a while. But after looking at the roster, the team's history of and ability to spend, and the talent they have on hand in their minor league system, I don't see Cleveland winning much in the near future.
Nobody can predict the future, especially not me, and as the Orioles have showed us this year, predicting baseball is pretty tough, so the Indians could absolutely prove me wrong.
Which reminds me, can I stop drinking tiger blood now? PLEASE?
I'm planning on writing one so I hope BP is planning on publishing one. And thanks. It's been a blast to write. Hopefully it's been a fun to read as well.
Of course! Less than subjective judgment, there is my judgement. And less than judgement there are things that are interesting and/or funny (at least that's the goal).
I don't think I belittle the Orioles any more than any other team. However, their success this season has surprised everyone who isn't an Orioles partisan, and, if I might be so bold, probably many of those too. So fairly or not, I'm sure the JPC (jokes per comment) for the Orioles over the course of the season is as high as any other team. I hope you haven't taken offense. I haven't intended any, for sure.
The Hit List is ordered by the Adjusted Hit List Factor, not subjective judgement, so there's no "come on" about it. I don't pick the order of the teams, the math does. If you're curious, you can read a snipet on AHLF by hovering your cursor over the "AHLF" up top. There's also a link to an article by Jay Jaffe for more depth.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Bart!
Is there a button up top that let's you go to today's? Because I see the 28th up top here. Let me know if it's still not working for you.
Fixed. Apologies to Mr. Kranepool and his family.
I don't think there's anything wrong or pathetic or sad about wanting to keep pitching. We all act like athletes who have trained their whole lives to do what they do are supposed to just stop at a certain point. I don't think that's realistic. If it were me I'd try to pitch as long as I possibly could. Most guys have to stop. The game dictates that to them. Clemens has yet to have that happen.
Thank you, Shaun. That's a very nice thing for you to write. Even being mentioned in the same sentence as Sam is a huge compliment.
Are you sure? I thought I remembered him waiving the thing around in a cowboy hat. Huh. Well, if there's one thing I've learned from doing this job for almost a full season, it's that the commenters know a heck of a lot more than I do. So I'm sure you're right. My memory is a warped version of reality probably brought on by sheer anger over how badly both those sequels sucked.
I fixed it. Now nobody will ever believe you! Spell a word wrong? Me? Never!
Am I the worst speller in the history of humanity? Quite possible!
You don't really ever go into a game expecting offense from the pitcher was my point, even if the guy has a nice swing.
Glad someone got something out of that game.
I laughed when I saw the play live on TV. It's a goodie. In fact, the Red Sox announcers laughed too. It was funny in real time.
We part ways there, sir, but I certainly understand. Gose should be proud of that homer. It was crushed.
It looked like he swung late to me, but in either case it was a high 89 mph fastball and he missed it by a fair bit.
I thank the excellent Ben Lindbergh for that GIF. He's the GIF master (I think it's printed that way on his business cards).
Ha! Thanks for commenting, Mike. To me the thing is this: on the field the Astros are a mess (congrats on the 2-of-3-vs-Cin thing though), but in the front office and now with Kevin Goldstein in the scouting department, I'm not sure there's an organization I'm higher on.
(How was that for bone throwing?)
Which ever one was on MLB.com. Looked pretty conclusive to me. I'd be open to being wrong on that though. You saw a different one that looked inconclusive?
Maybe so, but if it were up to you, which would prefer? I'm guessing you'd pick the current set-up as opposed to the reverse.
Something it is!
Still, I +1'd you. Nice catch.
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, it's also the centerpiece for the awful cliche I'm using to get through the last 30+ games of this horrible Red Sox season.
I don't see Gonzalez as declining. He's been bothered by shoulder injuries and since becoming healthy he had trouble finding his swing. He has since found it. He has hit .338/.380/.597 since the All Star break, .372/.385/.543 in July and .315/.373/.609 in August to date. He had a tough start to the year but he's come on strong of late and I expect the same old Adrian Gonzalez going forward, more or less.
That's one interpretation that I've heard. I think the Dodgers got some real talent back. Like the deal that sent Josh Beckett to Boston in the first place there was some unwanted talent that came with the main guy (Adrian Gonzalez) but like that deal, the unwanted guys still have talent and can contribute. I may be in the minority but I don't think Carl Crawford is done making All Star teams. Josh Beckett is another matter, but the Dodgers can take the hit on him if he never revives his career and the chances he turns into a league average guy are fair so they may yet see value from Beckett.
The Red Sox got what they wanted out of the deal, so I'm sure they're happy as you alluded to, but don't discount the Dodgers side of things.
If he plays like he did this season, Middlebrooks can sustain a .335 BABIP if anyone can. He either struck out or hit a line drive. I'm using hyperbole here, but that's what it felt like. I'm not worried about Middlebrooks producing.
Iglesias isn't a hitter, at least not at this point in his career. If he's in the lineup it's because of his ridiculous glove, so in theory he's adding value elsewhere.
I think the Red Sox batting order for 2013 has yet to be decided so I don't think you can say it's good or not (not that you did, just saying). The point is that it could be good. There's room to tinker and the pieces they have in place are, for the most part, good above average pieces.
I think those are different things. The bad starting pitching wasn't bad because of injuries. They did have injuries and those didn't help but players like Pedroia, Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ellsbury, and Crawford were all expected to play at a certain level and all failed to do so.
Lester, Beckett, and Buchholz were all healthy for the most part (Beckett missed some time as did, I believe, Buchholz (I'm not looking it up now so I could be wrong)) but all pitched below expectations, and in some cases severely so.
I'm going to split hairs here, but I said that Crawford was one of the team's best players along with Adrian Gonzalez. I think if Crawford is healthy he is one of the best players on the Red Sox, though he's no longer on the Red Sox, so that makes it impossible. Anyway.
I'm as big a proponent of walks as anyone, but there is much more to being a good baseball player than walking. Crawford did (and does) a lot on the diamond that is above average. When healthy he's a great baseball player and I'd point to his production this season (as I did in an earlier comment) as proof of that.
I didn't say he was one of Boston's two best players. I said he was a star level player, which I believe he still is. He hit .282/.306/.479 with an elbow in need of Tommy John surgery. That's pretty good.
Crawford was awful last season, no doubt, but not this one. The injuries should be behind him next season (the Dodgers hope). I think writing him off at this point is a mistake, regardless of the numbers on his contract.
I'm predicting the future!
You get a +1 for that.
I think that scoring runs and preventing runs are skills. But the closer a specific score gets the more random variation can affect the out-come.
I re-watched it. But I wrote it out before re-watching it then re-watched to be sure I got the order right.
I thought about that when I heard about the fake website! Oh well. We can only speak with knowledge of the information available. That's why it's important to allow for the fact that we could be wrong. Which I was. Wasn't the first time but it'll be the last! For sure!
I'm sure that's true sometimes, but other times I'd bet the incentives and disincentives to action are not weighed before deciding to do something.
I get digs in on everybody. No offense intended.
I thank you, Ian, 1) for a great article, and 2) for not including Bronson Arroyo.
What do you mean exactly by 'taken seriously?' That you don't think it will happen? Neither do I. But it could. Can't we all agree that sometimes, occasionally, teams come back from the brink and make the playoffs? In fact I'm pretty sure it happened last year.
And if there was a Phillies prospect worthy of bringing up I'm sure someone would have written about it.
There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding by some readers of the Lineup Card pieces. They ask us, the authors, to write about something that fits a certain topic, in this case players we'd like to see come up from the minor leagues. It's not a list of the seven prospects that BP as one entity feels teams are making a mistake by not calling up. It's seven players who seven different authors thought would be interesting/fun to see. I think it would be interesting/fun to see what Xander Bogaerts (who homered again last night) could do at the major league level right now.
I'm no Angels fan (I'm not a hater either) but if you ask me do I want to see Mike Trout on the biggest stage Baseball has to offer? Yes. A million times yes.
He at least could have remained in the running had he not walked out, and probably more importantly even if he hadn't stayed on with Washington he could have got another managerial position with a different team. Now how can you justify hiring that guy? He quit on his team. I'll be shocked if he ever manages another major league game in his life.
I forgot to note this in the article, but he's now the manager of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in Double A.
I'm not sure you can say my friend's dad made a good decision. In fairness, I didn't come close to explaining all the intricacies of the presentation that my friend's dad attended. I wasn't there, I just heard some information about it after the fact, so you're right in a sense, but neither of us really has enough information to make such a judgement. Also this is just a silly article about baseball.
God I love this site. A wonderfully thoughtful article followed by a whole bunch of thoughtful, intelligent comments. Where else online can you find this? (I realize I work here now and this comment could be seen as advertising, but please take me at my word that I just find it refreshing as heck to read all of the above.)
As to the meat of it, I often wonder about that dichotomy, the head versus the heart, as it were. I find that even as I've grown more into a sabermetric understanding of baseball, I'm still able to get upset when the Red Sox lose. I'm not sure that's desirable or not, but that's the way it is. It still bothers me. Sometimes it bothers me because I know that they were the better team on the field that day and the luck of the baseball gods just was not with them.
As to personal experience (and then I promise I'll shut up), I find that when I watch games at home I often watch them with more of a sabermetric slant, so to speak. But when I'm lucky enough to attend a game, the MUST WIN fan in me comes out. I yell, drink a few beers and have a good time.
Thanks for the thought provoking article, Jason, and for some great comments. Made my afternoon.
Ah, but there is hockey in Cincinnati! Check out the Cincinnati Cyclones. Any hockey is good hockey. And now back to your regularly scheduled Hit List...
"I realize it has become an article of faith that run differential is a very good predictor of future performance"
Faith has nothing to do with it. The predictive value of run differential has been substantiated by numerous studies.
As for using a single parameter, the Hit List is more complicated than that. I suggest you read some of the work Jay Jaffe, this list's creator, has done on the topic. You can find a good summary article by hovering your cursor over the AHLF heading above and clicking that link, or by clicking cutting and pasting this URL:
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Thank you, sir.
I don't have an e-reader either, but Amazon has a free e-reader program you can download. I have a Mac so that's the version I downloaded (and it works well), but if you have a PC they have one too. I just searched for "amazon kindle download" and it takes you right to it.
Hope that helps!
The Mac version is here:
I've mixed up my centuries old explorers. OK, you should all show off your shocked faces now. Ready? Go! [pause] Well faked. Thanks.
Even if he is getting lucky to some extent (something I haven't looked at at all and am not making any claims about one way or the other), wouldn't you assume a general improvement in skill level as he gets older from 21? Skill improvement could be enough to more than cover up for anything lost to luck.
If his bat is really that slow, as Ian's source says and as the evidence Ian presents in his piece corroborates, then it's not hard to see how he isn't hitting major league pitching.
I guess the question is, has his bat always been that slow? Or has it slowed down for some reason (mechanics?)?
Ha! Sadly Hamels' 'performance' has really fallen off since his 'hot start.' He's hitting .234/.265/.319, though in fairness that isn't too far off of Ryan Howard's .200/.292/.400.
Nothing wrong with enjoying it. Certainly nobody here would argue against that. But I think your first two paragraphs explain perfectly why the Orioles are where they are in terms of the Hit List.
Fixed. Thanks! (Sounds better with a homer though.)
Both. And actually, I did just get a haircut. Now I'm all respectable-like.
I wasn't insinuating there were no legitimate reasons for his retirement. I was making that statement while in awe of his talent. You see how good he still is, how he's still one of the best hitters in baseball even with those injuries you bring up, and it's shocking. I don't begrudge the man some rest. He's surely earned it.
Which is saying something. Going back through that game I was struck by their utter inability to work the count. Yes, Cook was throwing lots of strikes (as I said in the article) but it was weak-ish contact after weak-ish contact. Kinda like last night's Red Sox game, actually.
Yes. If you could start this season from this point 100 times.
Yup. That's what it says. Next year he'll be retired. Wording is a bit clunky. I can see where the confusion is.
They gave him a $100M+ contract AND a no-pie? Man. Asking for trouble.
For a burger, fries and a coke at Fenway? $26 might be undercutting it. Initially I had $76 but then I thought, nah, gotta be more realistic.
I think what Sam (and Russell and Geoff) have shown here is that Franklin Morales, Wes Littleton, and Jerome Williams are vastly under-rated and under-paid and smart-thinking teams everywhere would do well to trade any and all assets to acquire said players.
Ha! That would be a nice way of putting it. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to sneak Alexander Hamilton or Aaron Burr just for you.
Actually, I'm a big Rizzo fan ever since he was in the Red Sox system seemingly ages ago (really, like three years ago). I saw him play in Fenway after he was first called up last year by the Padres. There was a long rain delay and he was the only guy out on the field signing autographs for some kids while it was drizzling.
Probably not surprisingly I'll take that as a big compliment.
Not ashamed to say I laughed a whole whole whole lot. Next article: best (worst?) place to put a rusty bear trap. Why rusty? Because you gotta go all the way, baby.
Basically that the Pirates season has been so unbelievable that no movie studio would believe it. The only way they'd green-light it would be if they could make enough through product placement that ticket sales wouldn't matter.
Sorry if that wasn't particularly clear. I guess they can't all be winners.
If he's as good as they say it'll be difficult for Redskins fans to loath him or even dislike him. As for Strasburg, he's under team control for four more years following this one (I believe), but I don't think anything is guaranteed after that.
Or were you kidding and I badly missed it?
Sorry, that should have been "runs and RBIs." Don't know how the "home" got in there. Fixed.
I actually wrote about that very thing at my old site a few years ago. I'll see if I can dig up the link, though I might not be able to, it's been a few years since I've written there. Will post it here if I can find it.
That's a typo. The "R" got dropped somehow. Should be "armour."
Shane Victorino's well-known distaste for Cincinnati chili likely played a role.
You're right! I missed that one. Nice catch. And glad you enjoyed it.
By the way, thanks for the compliment, but it's my job to get the facts right and make the lines work around that, not to bend the facts for a good line. So thanks to you for bringing that to my attention.
That's right. Holliday is younger than I thought. I could swear I recall hearing he was 35 this season, but clearly that's not the case. Good catch. My bad.
You are correct. My mistake.
More data is better. Agreed.
Papelbon was a starter for a while too, and I believe, in the minor leagues as well. There are lots of pitchers who switch back and forth in the minors. In fact, I'm probably not too wrong to say every relief pitcher was a starter at some point, though that's likely similar to the fact that just about every major leaguer was a shortstop at some point.
Samardzija was too hard to spell.
It seems to me that most of the pitchers chosen make the move successfully, but some smaller percentage don't (Phil Coke). Of course, the pitchers who are chosen are chosen because their teams think they can make the switch successfully.
In any case, Samardzija is a good example, you're right. I probably should have included a paragraph on him. But even if I did, do you think that makes it conclusive?
Good to know he cares. Sort of.
I forgot: Thanks to Ben Lindbergh for making the GIFs!
I'm not sure that'll fix all their problems like a hermetically sealed, sea-level pressurized dome will. I mean, that would really fix everything.
Awesome. Glad you enjoyed it!
Ah! Right you are. And wrong I am. Whoops. Thanks for pointing that out.
Yeah, ol' Paps didn't lose the game, but his usage was against Manual's grain so I thought I'd mention it.
Because nobody is going to make the playoffs!
Seriously, that's a good question. I'll try and find out.
"My biggest problem is that you're going to have upset clubs (owners, players, fans) when their team is opposed by the team(s) they're battling for a playoff spot."
This is actually the beauty of the idea. This is what would get people to watch. If you're a Dodgers fan and you're competing with the Giants in the NL West and the Dodgers and Giants are on opposite teams, you'd tune in because the game would actually matter.
I never put blame on the players in a negative sense. They aren't incentivized to play to win. That's MLB's responsibility, which gets us back to my original article and then this post.
No feelings were hurt over here. I just wanted to point out that when you use language like you did the potential for hurt feelings exists.
So, to you, league affiliation is important. That's totally legitimate. To me, it isn't important. I didn't consider it any kind of stumbling block. Do people still root for one league over the other? I don't, never have, and don't know anyone who considers themselves a fan of one league over another (beyond the DH thing, which is a separate argument). So I didn't take it into consideration.
If the problem is that the All Star game isn't being taken seriously by the players (and that's clearly what MLB thinks, not a problem I defined), and players make enough money that financial incentives to play harder are prohibitive, then making the game actually count in the standings seems like a reasonable solution to me.
I think it's logistically possible. After the All Stars are selected you'd divide them up by team (all Red Sox on one side, all Braves on the other, etc.) so the players were relatively equal in number on both sides. You could even had a televised draft. I don't think it would be prohibitively difficult.
MLB is concerned that the All Star game wasn't being taken seriously enough. That's why they tied Home Field Advantage to the winning league. I don't believe that change fixed the essential problem which I described in more detail in my article. The way the game is marketed has little to do with the way it's played. Marketing might set some fan expectations, but I don't believe it impacts the players or the way the game is played (not that you claimed it did, just saying).
"If you're just throwing something crazy out there to generate discussion, that's no problem."
That's exactly what it is, though I wouldn't call it crazy. If I thought it were crazy I wouldn't have posted it here. It's not anything I expect to happen, but I thought it solved the problems inherent in the current All Star Game set-up that I described above and in my article.
I'm fine with your disagreement, but I don't see anywhere in your comment why you think the suggestion is "crazy" and "among the worst [you've] ever heard." When you use language like that it's not a stretch, I think, for someone to take it as insulting. For the record, I'm not taking that way, but that's the risk you run.
In any case, I'm curious as to why you feel that way. Thanks for reading and for commenting.
I think it would help this issue, which is what I said. There are obvious travel implications, but beyond that I don't see where a balanced schedule would hurt anything. What am I missing?
I agree. I just had this thought when I was writing the other article and thought I'd like to share it. Honestly, I'm curious to hear what people think about it because I've never heard anyone propose something like this before (maybe someone has, but if so I'm not aware of it).
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Excellent. Thanks, Shaun, for adding some numbers to the discussion.
Agree, Russell. I had a paragraph about some of the design-oriented parts of the game that make it feel more impermanent and that was in it. Ultimately though I'm not sure changing their uniforms is going to incentivize the players to play harder and care more.
On the whole, the process for choosing players is convoluted but works most times. It's kinda like the umpiring to be honest. Most of the time it works perfectly, but sometimes it doesn't and those times seem to be the most glaring.
I used to enjoy the All Star game when I was younger. Now it's harder to get excited about a game that doesn't matter in the middle of a bunch of games that do.
Thanks for reading and for the kind words.
I tried to address that issue, at least on the margins. I believe the difference is financial. Back when very good players made $60,000 a year, a $10,000 was something to play hard for [I haven't researched these numbers, but I believe they're in the ballpark], but now when just about every All Star is a millionaire multiple times over, the money doesn't matter. Health and convenience matter far more. Also, the game is managed differently now than it was forty years ago.
I see your point. I'd argue that attaching Home Field Advantage to the All Star game is essentially random, as it has nothing to do with the teams who will eventually participate in the World Series.
The article is about the All Star game, so I tried to not try to solve this problem, but I think the advantage should clearly go to the team with the best record with the tie going to the team from the best record in inter-league play. That seems the most equitable way to do things. (A balanced schedule would help increase the equality quotient.)
Congratulations to both Ben and Dan. Exciting times!
I hate the Family Circus.
Thanks. I don't know how we do that, but if you figure it out, let me know. Though I wouldn't use the phrase "off your duff" in the email to the Commissioner. Works fine here, just say'n is all I'm say'n.
Well thank you very much.
I guess I should have said "travel due east of Baltimore's Inner Harbor..." and you will find Baltimore Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay, both of which contain fish, which is what I was referring to.
Then, continuing east, you reach the aptly named Eastern Shore and Chestertown, MD, where I went to undergraduate school and therefore spent way too much time.
The worst thing about the Red Sox is their record.
I think if a system can be designed, tested, and implemented, then yes, I'm all for computers calling balls and strikes. I'm not sure we're there yet, I've heard some very real concerns about pitch f/x, but I've also witnessed some very real concerns with the current system of umpires.
I like that the NFL has replay. I just think their system is ridiculous. It takes an incredible amount of time and doesn't allow for challenges to much of the game (i.e. lots of calls are "unchallengeable"). They could do a much better job if their goal wasn't to make replay competitive.
Am I the "signs of the apocalypse" guy or was that just a general statement?
I plussed your comment so I liked it, I'm just asking for the record.
I'm certain that is true (the progression). I'm also pretty certain it's true for just about every pitcher ever.
That said, I'm not sure taking Tomlin out was the right or wrong call, just something that surprised me.
OK, supposing you're right, isn't he as much of a fraud in the first inning as he is in the seventh?
I get that sending guys through a lineup too many times can have disastrous consequences, but when a guy like Tomlin is pitching well, as a manager, I'd be inclined to leave him out there until his pitch count gets too high, he struggles, or he gets hit. None of those three things were happening. (This isn't to say it was the wrong move, just one that I thought was questionable.)
Seems there was a lot of spot missing. More than I would have thought. On a certain level, to do this you have to trust that the pitcher and catcher hitting their spot will create an out. I suspect there might be a bit of, as it stated, "bad" hits.
Neat idea, Sam. I am now terrified that I got all of them wrong.
His defense has been better than I expected based on how he played in his call-up two seasons ago. Range isn't his strong suit but he has certainly acquitted himself as well as could be expected. And as long as his OBP remains around .400 you won't hear me complaining.
Thanks for reading!
We're endeavoring to do just that.
Thanks. And good luck with that.
Staging something with a three year old is... well, I don't want to say impossible, but impossible.
Excellent. That's exactly what I was going for.
There are worse examples of non-Papelbon usage, I agree, but I couldn't wait around for a better one to show it's face.
We don't know it was the best offer on the table, we know the Red Sox thought it was the best offer on the table.
It was certainly the best offer on the table. I very much doubt the Red Sox, all things being equal or even marginally unequal, wanted to deal Youkilis to another AL team. But when that's all there is then that's all there is. Take it or don't. The Red Sox took it.
Nope. We all dislike him.
(that's a joke)
Thank you for that, Tim. Your kind words made my day. I'm glad you enjoy it.
I'll be traveling over the next couple weeks with my family and the excellent Jason Wojciechowski will be taking over for me on an interim basis. If his first effort is any indication (it is) you won't miss me.
Unless you can invent some sort of non-pants crotch cover. Ha ha! Just kidding... that would be impossible.
[applauds] Excellent job, Jason. I'll be Wally Pipp'd before I know it.
You have special permission. Everyone else must remain pantless.
The question to me is, was the author a fan of the Angels or Blue Jays?
For the record, I watched video of Southpaw to determine that he is, in fact, right-handed. If he wasn't, I was prepared to eat what is in fact a half-decent joke.
I really enjoyed this piece, Sam. Which makes it different than your other pieces not at all.
Yeah, I can't spell. ARG. I meant "eye-gouge."
Someone's been watching a lot of Top Gear. Or, you know, actually living in the UK. Probably Top Gear though.
If I could use photoshop I would join the likely legions of people who have made that uniform alteration, but sadly, I can't. Also, sadly for my sense of humor and your reading pleasure, I still find it funny. For that, I'm sorry. He he he...
Know what's weird? Here at the Hit List our numbers aren't showing. What an egalitarian place this is!
I am plusing you without comment other than to say I'm plusing you without comment.
I saw that and I immediately thought, "Are you kidding me? Dude, the ball hit like five feet in front of you, and no umpire has ever made a mistake THAT big... HA HA HA HA HA! No, seriously, good try."
I was just looking at that first round yesterday! It was about the best first round in recent memory and with the third overall pick the Mariners did the next-to-impossible and picked wrong.
I wonder if that's how they did it.
Bavasi: With the third pick, the Seattle Mariners take ID number 43768, Choice, Wrong, catcher from the University of Southern California. [background noise: yay!]
Nah, they test for steroids now. But MLB doesn't test for zombie cyborgs, despite a test being available and comparatively inexpensive. Inexplicable!!
I'm sorry I made fun of the A's on yesterday's Hit List.
Also, enjoyed that piece in a funeral dirge type of way. Hopefully Cespedes gets a face.
Also, BP should sell hats with giant white question marks on them.
This is awesome stuff, Ian. Very much enjoyed that.
Yup, with five homers he's hitting .157/.328/.471 over that span.
I had the total bases right, just mixed up the components.
That'll go well with his Model T, handlebar mustache, and bottle of Professor Featherington's Old Timey Liniment and Bed Bug Extermination Cream for Gentlemen of Leisure.
This is terrific work, Ben. Any truth to the rumor that Lowe requires balls fouled into the stands to be returned and reused?
Yup. Sorry about that. I'll fix it straight away.
They're not sending Nava down now. He's been the best hitter on the team for an extended stretch. I can't see him leaving until Ellsbury and Crawford come back and even then who knows.
I don't see them junking Punto now. As frustrating as he's been to watch both offensively and defensively, they gave him a two year deal and don't really have anyone else who can back up both middle infield spots. If Iglesias was going to come up and start then Aviles could take over that role, but that doesn't appear likely to happen anytime soon.
If they need a roster spot Byrd will get released (he's hitting .271/.287/.323 and Boston is paying him the major league minimum). Podsednik is next in that line. They'll probably want to hold on to McDonald because of his service time, though losing him wouldn't be the end of the world. Ross might be back soon, but Kalish will need time in Triple-A and could conceivably spend the rest of the season there without any harm to his development. It might even be what's best for him in the long run.
However, Ellsbury and Crawford aren't going to be back anytime soon (best guesses put them back in a month or longer so from now) so things could easily change (more injuries, trades, etc.) between now and then.
I don't hate the uniforms, I just think they don't make any sense. The Astros 'technicolor' uniforms I hate.
Interesting from an analytical standpoint, but from a fan-standpoint I'd find them pretty frustrating to follow. But then that's just me.
The Giants are an interesting trade partner, but I'm not sure they want to give up on Belt yet. Or maybe they do, I don't know. There could be a match, but I doubt the Red Sox want anything to do with Zito or the remains of his contract, his recent resurgence notwithstanding.
Middlebrooks certainly has more trade value, but he's in the Red Sox long term plans so I doubt they'll trade him. Also, as far as my points above, dealing Middlebrooks requires them to depend on Youkilis to stay healthy. Right now they're in a best-of-both-worlds kind of situation where they have two guys who can play, but one who doesn't have to (Middlebrooks) because he can still learn things in Triple A.
But with Bard's implosion and the innings limits he and Doubront have even without last night, I'm sure the Red Sox will at least explore the market for starters. Matsuzaka could be back soon (within the week if need be) and Aaron Cook is waiting in the wings as well.
I'd love to say yes, but... Jeter can still go to his right. As I wrote elsewhere at BP, when Jeter tries to go to his left, he still goes to his right. (It was funnier in the other context.)
I know you were kidding, but I like the outside-the-box (sorry for cliche) thinking. In years past I might've even endorsed the idea, but this year Red Sox starters aren't striking hitters out with near the frequency of past seasons. The result is more balls in play, so defense at shortstop is actually pretty important for Boston.
They look good, I'm not denying that, but it's an odd color choice considering 1) it's not part of the team color scheme, and 2) there is another team called the Red Sox.
I like that our top five are all in different divisions. Only the NL Central isn't represented.
True, but again, where do you add pieces? It's only early June so there is plenty opportunity for needs to crop up and I'm sure the team will look to make moves based on need as the season goes on, but I don't see them not adding a significant piece because of payroll. I believe Larry Lucchino has said as much as well.
That was my point. The Rays have a reputation as incredibly smart (which they are) but everyone makes mistakes and their mistakes are sometimes seen through that lens.
Ah, I think you're right. Thanks.
That's kind of you to say. Thanks!
I love the five year spending pool idea. The idea of providing an exception for small market teams would have be worked out more though. The one thing that came to mind regarding that was would the agents know beforehand that their guy was the one with the exception or would it be determined after the fact (the player the team spent the most on would be excepted, for example)? If the agent knows then I can't see baseball getting behind the idea as it would likely lead to one guy getting much more than he would have before. I think that might not be a dead end if that guy wouldn't ever sign under the current CBA, but if it's a he signs for X or he signs for X plus a two million, baseball will opt for the former.
Great work on this Kevin. Really interesting stuff.
Independent of finances, it's of course always better to pick higher in the draft, so for the Astros future being a hot mess this year is probably better. That said, nobody wants to lose 120 games.
Not speaking for BP as a whole, but so far they haven't been anywhere near as bad as I thought. Their non-stinkitude has been a pleasant surprise, but we've got 120 games to go so there's plenty of time for the awful team most people expected to rear its head.
That's probably why the system still gives them (and the Pirates) a 0 percent chance to make the playoffs despite their early season success (relative to our expectations).
Thanks for the kind words. Knowing people enjoy it makes the effort worth while. I do appreciate it.
As for Bobby V, yeah, he's left a few guys out to dry this year. I think it's two things. First, he was trying to wring more innings out of the rotation during the first month when the bullpen was a flaming mess. Second, I think, like you alluded to, he's learning on the job a bit. Also, sometimes you leave a guy out there, he gets the outs, and you look good. Other times you leave him out there and he continues the blow up and you look bad. Valentine had a run where the second one kept happening for a while. Part bad luck, and part bad design there, I think.
Great stuff, Chad.
This sample might be too big (that's the first time those words have ever been written on this website) but I recall Kevin Maas' hitting 21 homers in three months time (300 PAs). He was 25 years old with a 150 OPS+. Never broke 100 again and was out of the majors for good five years later.
Yeah, I can't spell. That might (or might not) come as a huge shock.
No, they're not all bad. That's true. In fact, in all my time going to games, that's by far the worst scalper experience I've ever had.
Ever since that incident I've been more vigilant about looking at the money I receive from people.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
The first time I ever got on a SETPA bus we were pulled over by the cops because a (I assume) homeless guy was peeing on the back door.
Yeah, we're on that. Thanks.
I'm going out on a limb and say there is a 0 percent chance of that being correct.
I was watching the Molina/Miller at-bat and as soon as I saw that swing and miss I thought, "I hope Sam Miller puts it in his column."
I know, right? We're ahead of the curve at BP in more ways than anyone previously thought.
Missed punctuation is all. Either the period should be
1) after "all" as in "I love all. The butt hurt Phillies fans."
2) after "hurt" as in "I love all the butt hurt. Phillies fans."
There's lots more to baseball than just making the playoffs.
The catcher is clearly unnecessary and can be moved to short left field. Also, second base itself should be moved to a few feet to the left of third base.
Maybe the Angels should hire and then immediately fire Thad Bosley too.
Lance Berkman, who was awful with the Yankees and nobody wanted, is one. Carlos Beltran isn't scrap heap in the strict sense, but he was available to all at a very modest price. Rafael Furcal is hitting .370/.432/.500. Lance Lynn has a 1.81 ERA in 44.2 innings. Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook have been terrific at (again, relatively modest) prices.
I agree it's partly a reputation, but I think it's deserved.
I saw that when I was researching this piece. There's a bunch of interesting writing one finds when googling the topic.
[taking notes] Would you like anything to drink with that?
Good catch, and indeed I did over look it.
And no, pointing out a fact isn't nit-picking. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Thanks, R.A. I saw him get lit up by the Red Sox immediately after the perfecto and then again two starts after that by the Indians. But you are right. Humber was pretty good last night. My bad on that one. Not sure what I was looking at.
It's an endurance test, and I will wiiiiiinnnn... [falls asleep]
He does. Never hurts to hear nice things anyway. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Thanks! Glad to hear it.
As long as he keeps hitting like he is I doubt the White Sox care. Still, it's an interesting streak. To answer your question: I'll go with 'forever' and hope I'm right.
Maybe so. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me, but intelligent minds can differ.
I don't do the numbers so I can't speak to them specifically, but after one month of a six month season, why doesn't it pass the smell test? It passes my smell test.
It has some potential (I hope I pointed that out in the article), but definitely needs some more work.
I think all these additions can make GameDay a little bit better in the minds of some, but I also don't think either adds much. If a feature's success rate (i.e. the number of times it adds useful information divided by the total number of times it attempts to provide useful information) is 50 percent or less, probably just scrap it.
Judging by his stats, I'll say Casey Kotchman and Marlon Byrd both have bears on their heads. Also probably on their faces preventing them from seeing the baseball.
That was the saddest line ever.
Good point. At least he's not walking many people (4 in 22 1/3 innings). But yeah, he's been kinda yucky.
Yeah, but he's only hitting .127 from the 7th inning on in night games in months ending in Y when the DOW is between 10,000 and 11,000. So I'm not sure how helpful that is.
You're too kind.
First, I love this article (I know some may not want me to say that because I work here and Sam works here, but I do so I will).
Reading it, I wonder if the answer is a combination of factors. I mean, duh, of course it's a combination of factors, but what I mean is we're looking at the last season's worth of data (from the second half of 2011 to now) as a singular set, but as Sam details, that data encompasses some odd circumstances. Pujols a) recovered from a wrist injury very quickly, b) came off the worst stretch of his career (or one of the worst, I'm not sure but I think it was the worst), c) played in both the AL an NL, d) played with two different teams in two different states blah blah blah.
So I wonder. If just some of that is to blame, and he 'fixes' a little bit here and little bit there, maybe the numbers don't look so stark.
And I hope. I don't have any particular love for Pujols, but as a baseball fan I root for greatness and Pujols is certainly that.
I think Sam's broader point about the dangers of long term contracts (or maybe that wasn't his broader point but that's what I took from it) is a great one. The list of the longest contracts in baseball history is a list that holds many of the very worst contracts in baseball history. I think we underestimate the dangers inherent in signing someone for a decade or thereabouts. Even if they are a sure thing like Albert Pujols.
Ha ha! I do!
I don't think anyone has quit. They may not like the manager but quitting is a very strong word and I don't think we've seen anything to support it.
I believe that's correct. American League players have to pass through all AL teams before the NL teams get a shot.
Thanks for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed the piece.
I don't believe in baseball karma.
I think it's easy to deduce that Valentine wasn't Ben Cherington's first choice, but that doesn't mean he didn't fully endorse the hire when it was made.
Trading Scutaro was odd. I think they probably had something else going on that fell through otherwise it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. They did save a good amount of salary under the luxury tax though ($8 million) and that alone could have been the reason behind the deal.
If by "limped into September" you mean "was in first place at the start of September" then I agree.
The Red Sox are an old team, but no older than the Yankees. Injuries have been a reoccurring problem for them to be sure, but outside of some guys who are injury prone (Youkilis mostly) they've been of the freak variety and, I don't believe, particularly predictable.
One thing is for sure: this proves Derek Jeter is a great fielder. I'm just not quite sure how.
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.
You're right it isn't necessary, but it's very nice of you. I always appreciate it when readers take the time to let me know they liked (or didn't like) my work. Though I won't lie, I do prefer the first one. Thanks for reading and thanks for taking the time to comment.
I suppose that's one interpretation. But that assumes that World Series games are more important than Division Series games played by the Red Sox, something which I'd dispute.
In all seriousness, you're right. The World Series homer was undoubtedly more important. However, in my defense, I didn't watch the World Series that year because I was angry the Red Sox had lost. So, uh, yeah. That.
Thanks for reading.
I've seen similar threads on Sons of Sam Horn and I totally love them. Stuff like that is one of the things that makes rooting for any team worthwhile.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I agree, the errors are upsetting and I apologize. Sam is being magnanimous, but it's my name on the article so the mistakes are mine and thus the blame for the errors lies with me. I'm glad you are enjoying my articles and I'll endeavor to do better, more error-free writing in the future. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply.
The email in question was a thread from two friends of mine who are Phillies fans. They had corresponded with each other and then emailed me in the course of an already begun conversation. That's why I said the email came from two of them. I apologize if that was a confusing or off-putting way to phrase it.
I think those are all reasonable comments on signing in Philly. But if the Phillies offer him crazy money (defined as whatever his market value is at the moment) and they might and Hamels likes living in Philadelphia (he may or may not, I don't know) and he feels comfortable there, why leave?
My point is I think it's hard to say from here what the right thing to do is. I'm sure Hamels knows about the Phils farm system, but I don't think it's going to make or break his decision to re-sign with the Phillies for $100+ million.
1) I think we clearly value Lavarnway differently. I may be higher on him than most. He may never be a great defensive catcher, but I think he can play the position at the major league level. I also think his bat will play at DH even if he can't catch. So if you have a catcher who can hit .266/.341/.430 (that was what DHs hit collectively last year) or better like I think Lavarnway can, that's a valuable player.
2) Yes, there is risk. But because the cost is so low the risk is comparatively minimal. If Evan Longoria had turned into nothing or gotten seriously hurt in his rookie year, the Rays would have been on the hook for $17.5M. That's not nothing but teams make far more expensive mistakes than that all the time. Not to mention that money would have been spread out over six seasons so it wouldn't have handcuffed even the Rays. And because the Rays took that chance, they've now got a 6-8 win player locked up for 1-2 win player money long term. Lavarnway may or may not be the player you want to take that risk with, but I think it's something teams are going to look at more and more.
Thanks for writing back. I appreciate the conversation.
Very much enjoyed reading that. Thanks, Adam.
Admittedly, locking Lavarnway up is going out on a limb. Signing guys in Lavarnway's position (or close to it) to long term deals will yield more contracts like Evan Longoria's. In effect it's like the draft, but with better information. You'll hit on some guys and miss on others but the overall effect, if done correctly, will be a positive for the team's bottom line. One way or the other, I think it's an interesting discussion, which is why I wrote it.
Try saving the article as a PDF. The GIF's will save as static pictures.
I'd last at least three.
That's awesome, Ian. Would you think less of me if I admitted a tinge of jealousy? As a former drummer I've always been a huge Brendan Canty fan. Dude is amazing.
You got to open for Fugazi? Ohhh... Man! I used to catch Fugazi shows back when I lived in DC. I saw them play in Philly once and they did four encores. Actually, they did five, but my legs were hurting so badly from standing on concrete for what probably was close to three hours at that point that I had to leave the venue to sit down. I heard their fifth sitting in the parking lot.
As for minor league games... uh, I saw Brian Lawrence pitch for the Camden Riversharks three or four years ago. Guess I gotta go to some more minor league games.
Great job, Ian.
Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.
I'm impressed when anyone can do anything with both hands. My left arm is basically a waste of blood and skin.
You're right and (small consolation) I knew that. Apologies for the mistake/typo. For the record, Mullane played from 1881 to 1894 though he missed the 1885 season because he was suspended.
Actually it's the other way around, which my article says and the article you linked to confirms.
To be honest I couldn't find an explanation as to why the minor league umpires gave the advantage to the hitter over the pitcher. Not specifically anyway. The major league rule (which is quoted specifically in this article: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100330&content_id=8995670&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb) does it that way so I'm assuming that's why, but no specific explanation was given.
Great comment. Thanks for sharing.
I bet Jeff Francoeur would eat the [expletive] out of that banana.
According to my research, Stewart never did in a game. This Sports Illustrated article confirms that:
I'm holding out hope that Pedro Martinez decides to return and crafts a second Moyer-esque career for himself.
Glad to be of assistance...?
No problem. I tried to put that out of my memory too. And thanks.
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.
Andino is the one who got the hit off Jonathan Papelbon that beat the Red Sox on the last day of last season.
Williams has always seemed an enigma to me, so pairing him with a deceased toy bear is somehow appropriate. Well done, Cee.
Thanks. Glad you are enjoying them.
What I should have said: many thanks.
He's a tripling machine! Thirteen three baggers in 9 years in Boston and 16 for his career.
"Based on what we knew through 2004, it is a surprise that the band Bush is still releasing new music"
That's a charitable way to describe what Bush does.
Wonderful as always, Sam Miller.
That's interesting. I'm sure there are spikes in ability depending on the day. That thesis sounds quite possible.
Clearly this isn't inspiring discussion though. Maybe I should take a position on Lackey's usage of peanut butter... I'm for it!
I got your email and thank you for both your compliments and your constructive criticism, David. I'm sorry you don't like the dialogues.
I hope you'll understand that humor is in the eye of the beholder. I'm not claiming to be hilarious, just saying that what some people find funny others do not. I was asked and am honored to write a column here that will appear once a week. If you don't think it's funny, amusing, or otherwise worthwhile, that's fine. With all the other amazing writers here at BP I'll be pretty easy to avoid.
That said, I hope you'll keep reading and keep giving me chances. I hope to win you over. Again, I thank you for your thoughtful responses, both here and over email.
You da man, Playa.
Steven, you have been an inspiration to me as a writer and, in my unfortunately limited contact with you, as a person. Your writing here at BP and elsewhere has not only been a pleasure to read but it has challenged the way I think about baseball, the world, and right and wrong. If I can become a tenth of the writer you are in my entire career I'll stop people on the street to boast about what a success I've become.
I humbly offer my congratulations on your success here at BP and look forward to reading your work, no matter the URL.
I present: Bill Dingus (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=dingus001wil)
I'm guessing there's more to it than that alone.
I didn't own it either. But through the magic of the Google machine one can learn these things.
And yeah, beating Contra on three lives was, for me, an impossibility.
An oldie but a goodie.
I tried that but there were too many.
Classic stuff, Larry.
Thank you. It sounds obvious to say, but not everything is for everyone. Fortunately has BP done a great job by featuring lots of different types of writing. I'm just honored to be an infinitesimally small part of that.
You never know with Kenny Williams. And Chicago is much closer to his home than Boston or Philadelphia. It could happen. Why it would is a whole different inscrutable kettle of fish, but it could.
Rats. I knew I'd forget someone.
Well, Mr. Pickles is clearly an important factor, but if you're asking me, and I sense that you are, I'd say the Red Sox have made their interest in Oswalt known. If Oswalt wanted to play in Boston I imagine it would've happened by now. It hasn't though, so I take that to mean it's unlikely to happen. That all said, the fact he hasn't signed elsewhere still means it's possible he wears a Boston uniform this season.
1. Sam Miller = awesome.
2. I think Gary Busey is in the first row of the outfield stands in that Casper Wells missed homer.
It would probably go something like this:
Thanks for the kind words, but I think BP has done a great job of incorporating humor into the site. Everything Sam Miller writes is hilarious, Jason Parks, Ben Lindbergh, Jay Jaffe and Steven Goldman are all very funny, and now the Platoon Advantage people are going to be writing here as well, and that's just off the top of my head.
I'll guess he ends up in St. Louis. That's where he wants to go and they have the need. I think they'll figure out a way to make the money work. Eventually.
That's a great point. Why spend... well, anything on AJ Burnett when Oswalt is out there? Of course, Pittsburgh could have contacted him and maybe Oswalt doesn't want to play there which would be both unsurprising and a given considering Oswalt's off season to date.
That's very kind of you. I don't think there's much chance he ends up in Boston. Unless that is literally the only offer he has. So if he starts any games at Fenway he'll be wearing the road uniform.
My apologies, that's an old article. My understanding is he's faced live pitching recently.
Kevin may have more on this, but this (by Alex Speier) is the latest I've seen on Westmoreland's comeback:
I'm just glad you weren't minused to oblivion.
I'll take it. Thanks.
Oh, you guys!
Yes you did. Check Deadspin if you're curious.
In retrospect, the Red Sox have to be ecstatic they held on to Ellsbury and Lester. Though, now that I write that, having Santana in the rotation in '08 might have netted another World Series appearance (they made it to Game 7 of the ALCS that year, losing to Tampa) and it couldn't have hurt in '09 either. Still, probably not worth losing Lester and Ellsbury over.
Excellent thought-provoking work, Aaron.
Nicely done, Jason.
Great work, Ben.
I'd be interested in reading more articles like this, fact checking claims made by agents, broadcasters, front office officials, etc.
Maybe, but most every team wins 60 games over the course of the year, so it would stand to reason that almost all teams possess those opportunities.
Yes... that's true. I certainly did not read a draft of the article early yesterday morning. I was.. uh... asleep! Yeah, that's the ticket.
Excellent work, Ben. But I can't shake the feeling I've read this before somewhere...
It gets lost in the shuffle that the 2011 Red Sox had the best record in the AL at the end of the day on September 1st. They then proceeded to go 7-20. You can't dismiss that from their season, but I think looking at that time it's pretty clear it was indicative of injuries and severe under-performance from normally reliable players.
I can certainly see why some regression would be expected from Ellsbury, but Pedroia's and Gonzalez's performances were consistent with their careers to this point. Also, Carl Crawford, a consistent All Star player, put up one of the worst seasons for a regular player in my memory. If he's even league average that's a huge jump. It was a similar story in right field for the Red Sox. Improvement at those positions should be enough to off set Ellsbury and the step down at shortstop.
I'm not saying the Red Sox are the best team in the AL, but I do think they're flying under the radar a bit. If they had the best record in the AL at the end of the season I wouldn't be surprised a bit.
Drew was a) 35, b) injured and c) terrible (he hit .222/.315/.302) last season. What part of that package is intriguing?
Is there a Being Sam Miller class I can sign up for?
(In case that wasn't clear, loved the article.)
Jason, the only thing I object to in your post is that your number is much, much lower than mine.
Not to take sides on the question one way or the other, but are we not agreed on the fact that one of the worst groups at analyzing professional baseball players is professional baseball players?
It's been said many many times already, but I have to say it again: excellent work, Jonathan. A highly enjoyable, entertaining, and informational read and an impressive job of writing. Well done, sir.
That's like asking if Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny are the same person.
That line got me too.
rabble rabble rabble!
Try pronouncing it.
Wonderful work, Jason.
Very enjoyable read and quite well thought out. Great work, Ben.
This reminds me of that time I did that funny thing and my grandpa took me aside and said, "Son, you ain't no Sam Miller." Sure, he was drunk and referring to his cocker spaniel of the same name pooping in the cooler, but the point still stands.
That's a shockingly negative way to look at it. Are you sure you aren't a Red Sox fan?
Depending on his health I'd guess they'll either use him as a DH, or non-tender him. They could trade him but I can't imagine he has much value after missing the last year and a half.
Great work as always, Steven. Only complaint is the Over The Monster link is broken.
Kevin, are these prospective deals contingent on the team receiving Hamels being able to negotiate an extension with him? Or are the deals listed worth one year of Hamels?
Ah. That makes more sense. Thanks for the clarification, Kevin.
Question, do you know if any part of the negotiations are the Red Sox attempting to get out from under that financial obligation either by passing it on to the Cubs or by forefitting it entirely?
The Red Sox pay Theo Epstein $7 million per year? And he's signed a 5 year deal for under $20 million total to go to Chicago? I have no inside information, but that doesn't sound right.
It makes no difference if the public knows there is an alternative (at least as far as the negotiations go) but the Red Sox should certainly know about it.
They DID allow him to take a promotion. They are the ones who let him talk to the Cubs, something they weren't obligated to do considering Theo is under contract to them for another year.
I don't see how extracting the most value for a prized asset is "bitter and petty."
Theo is a prima donna? Where exactly did you come across that information?
They haven't officially named Cherington the GM yet. And principal owner John Henry did say he wanted to keep Theo. He said it to Theo then he said he said it on the radio in Boston.
I'm pretty sure the Red Sox don't owe Theo Epstein $8 million for one more year of his contract. If he was making that much, why is his new deal in Chicago for less than half that amount?
Well I hope you're happy, Rany. You've kept me up till 2am reading this article. Now I'm going to be a mess tomorrow. It was totally worth it though. Great work. Sorry I don't have anything more substantive to add now (at 2am), but I hope this marks the beginning of more contributions from you at BP.
Enough with your "facts" and "information!"
That's because Fan Graphs WAR (fWAR) attempts to take defense out of the pitcher's performance by using FIP instead of ERA (I believe - correct me if I'm wrong). If you look at Baseball Reference's WAR (rWAR) you'll see Verlander has 8.6 to Sabathia's 6.9.
Who ever said they were basing any arguments only on WAR?
True, though I don't think anyone in their right mind thought Jennings would be this good this quickly.
Looks great, Steven. Will there be a place for comments?
Only four Ks in six innings versus a AA team doesn't sound very Strasburgian to me.
Ah, well if that was a joke, you got me.
I'm pretty sure there was a chapter, if not on that, then where that exact premise was mentioned specifically.
Seems like good information, but those are not exactly an inspiring list of names.
That was a joke.
Can I just say to the Powers That BP, I love this series of articles.
For the roll of Theo Epstein, I nominate Dolph Lundgren.
Wait, you didn't like Fever Pitch?!?!
Well done, Sam.
Who is "you?"
First, it's debatable whether or not the players received by the Astros are indeed replacement level. Hopefully for Houston they are better than that. But in any case, I think the point is the Astros are so lousy, so rotten at so many positions that one All Star caliber player isn't going to do the trick. They need volume (a point I think Mr. Goldman made above) more than they need quality. That's not to say the don't need quality too, but the road to a winning record is paved with at least a few league average players, so there's no harm in acquiring them now. Another point: if you think Frank Wren was giving up Julio Teheran for Michael Bourn, I've got a bridge to sell you. (Sorry to end on cliche but it's late and I'm tired.)
I believe you mean Hernandez refused to STOP snorting coke. I'm pretty sure Whitey Herzog didn't present Keith Hernandez with the option to do drugs or be traded.
It was probably your use of the word "wow" followed by an exclamation point. It read to me like you were shocked and appalled that the Mets weren't a 'winner'. Maybe I read it wrong. Maybe you wrote it wrong.
Well, they're not winners in Mr. Goldman's opinion. I'm not sure that makes them losers though.
True, though if the Cards had an inkling of how good Albert The Great would be they wouldn't have picked him in the 13th round.
It's not much of a sample but Anderson has turned it around at the plate since the All Star Break. He's hit .310/.403/.586 with 3 homers and 7 2B in 16 games. For whatever that's worth.
I don't think you read the article. I'm pretty sure there was no "sky is falling" or sounding of a "death knell" in there. It was a look back at what Omar Minaya did with his 7 years on the job.
I can't comment on how good Anthony Ranaudo really is, but those criticisms (his fastball has average velocity and he tips his curveball) don't sound like deal breakers to me. If indeed he's tipping his curve I would think that would mean once he stops doing that his results may improve. As for the fastball, lots of guys do very well with a 91-93 mph fastball. Also at 6'7 you'd think there would be some projection left though I'm sure Kevin could speak to that far better than I.
Wonderful work as always, Steven. One small nit to pick: the last sentence of the first paragraph says 1960 Phillies, but it was the 1961 Phillies that lost 23 in a row. From July 29th through some portion of the afternoon of August 20th 1961, the Phillies did nothing but lose. They finally won the second half of a double header on the 20th.
For some reason I thought Ben Lindbergh was the author of this piece. My apologies, R.J.
Two things, Ben. Well, three. First, I enjoyed this. So thanks.
Second, I understand this was mostly a thought exercise but always consider the source, i.e. I wouldn't put much stock into what Buster Olney says in this theater. I'm sure he's a nice person and all but there has been entirely too much silliness from him over the years to take what he has to say in regard to talent too seriously. Just my opinion of course.
Third, and my only issue with what you wrote, I suppose in some ideal total-value-based world a rival evaluator would get some utility out of attempting to devalue Rizzo, but in practice, I just don't see how it's really possible. Say the Diamondbacks GM came out and said, "Rizzo has eighty-seven holes in his swing and I wouldn't give a pre-chewed piece of gum for him." Would that really alter Rizzo's value? And even if it did, more importantly, would it really matter to the Padres? The Padres are not going to trade Rizzo. They can't. They've got too much invested in him now. One way or the other Rizzo will remain with San Diego long enough that his play on the field will have the ultimate impact on his value, not what some faceless evaluator says to Buster Olney.
Sorry to go on and on about this.
Or the phone book (if they still make those things). I bet Scully would have a story about everyone in the book too.
Well, we can have this debate but it sounds like feelings may already be hurt.
Wow, I wish I knew what all that stuff meant. How about: Wanted: English major with sense of humor. Must know some stuff, but not really all that much. $120,000/year.
"I was at an age where any phrase involving offensive language seemed to me to be the height of hilarity."
For me, that age has been from roughly two years old through the present time.
Quite the extensive list. Thanks, Kevin.
I think it comes down to this: if you have one pitch which you are very good at and some other pitches which are potentially decent but also potentially crap then it behooves you to just stick with the plus offering. Changing speeds is good to keep batters off balance but, for example, if your change-up doesn't do much but hang out over the plate, maybe it's better to throw that two seamer on the black.
Wonderful writing as always, Steven. Thanks.
Hey Sam, great work and congrats on the new gig!
Kevin, there's a coma between "Rougned" and "Odor." Which is the first name and which is the last? I'm assuming Odor is the last name (in which case I'm buying a jersey right now), but thought I'd ask to be sure. Thanks.
Three whole minutes?! [passes out]
Great point, because hitting batters is so incredibly effective and not at all dangerous.
You bring up an interesting point, Kevin. Any idea why Lavarnway is only catching part of the time?
"The club must really dislike that Yankee Stadium victory lap."
Ha. Ya think?
Believe command is it's own entry in the scouting handbook.
Shouldn't the Twins, who are spending lots of money on Delmon Young, be careful with him and wouldn't they be justly killed in the media for not being careful with him if it was revealed his injury was made even the slightest bit worse by trying to walk off the field instead of being carted off? But mostly, why do you care how Young got off the field after an injury?
Good discussion, but I wouldn't place too much stock in radio interviews. As anyone would do, Riggleman is attempting to place himself and his decision in the most positive light possible. It's understandable but just because he said it doesn't make it so.
It's hard to say what 29 other owners will do, but were I one of them I wouldn't consider hiring him ever.
For what it's worth, the interview I heard was spent trashing a Washington Post columnist for perceived slights.
It's pretty much time for you to be quiet now.
Here here! Well done (again), Steven.
Maybe firing the manager is their admittedly lame attempt to generate some press. Obviously they can't seem to do it by building a good team.
I looked it up and the Blue Jays are the second Rays listing above, the team with 221 IP. Also, not to be a pain in the butt, but don't we have better stats to use for relievers than ERA?
Which one is the Jays and which one is the Rays? Can someone fix that?
To me, Will hit it on the head when he said "small sample size." To me that's the key to enjoying baseball without over-dorking on the stats side of it. Usually when I watch one game I'm not stat nerd. I can separate the overall (X team is good) from the right now (X team is not good right now). But honestly, sometimes its fun to watch a game and know that the one team is winning because they're getting lucky hits. That doesn't have to ruin the game.
In any case, I enjoyed the article. Great read, Will.
A wonderful article, Steven. Terrific writing. Well done.
Maybe, but don't we all know Scott Boras well enough to know he won't give the Brewers a discount or any favor whatsoever because they drafted his kid?
Respectfully, that's ridiculous. Look at these two pictures, the first from 2004 and the second from this year and tell me he looks "considerably lighter and leaner than he ever has before:
They test for PEDs now. MLB has the strongest testing program of any of the major sports. Just sayin...
Allow me to address your comments: Huh?
You know you've done a good job when the low numbers come out on your side. Great work, Sam. Very much enjoyed reading that.
Sabean is clearly being hypocritical, but isn't he supposed to be? I'm not defending his asinine comments, but the sentiment behind them. He's paid to put this team together and to expect him to not side strongly (and, in this case, too strongly) with his side is naive. Again, this doesn't make what he said about another player's career acceptable.
The real problem to me isn't the hypocrisy, but the threat. Sabean out-and-out promised retaliation against Cousins. You can't have GMs publicly calling for their players to attack and potentially injure other players. That is something MLB needs to look into. It should be nipped in the bud.
I enjoyed the article, Steven. When watching Yankees games I often wonder why Girardi has to insert himself into the game so often. He must be great in the clubhouse because all the bunting and intentional walking is counter-productive and I would expect Brian Cashman to know that.
Maybe at the last second but I don't think it's as easy or as sure a thing as it's being made out to be.
Steven beat me to the punch and did it in a much nicer way. Plus one.
Maybe I've been worn down by years and years of this, but please, if you have the compunction to write, "I'm tired of reading about X team" or "Why don't you write about X team?" kindly spare us all and don't.
What's with all this vitriol in the comments section? If you have an issue with Mr. Goldman's work, it isn't too much trouble to ask it to be expressed with kind sentiment.
Also, saying "that's correct" or "that's wrong" isn't helpful or interesting. I'd be interested to hear why you think Mr. Goldman is correct or incorrect.
I think this list goes a long way towards explaining why the Orioles have had the decade they've had. Nobody gets every pick right, but teams that get every pick wrong tend to languish in last place for a while.
9 or 10? I can't imagine that had anything to do with it. Unless you're joking, in which case, well played.
I've noticed that too.
I should write something mean back for that last comment, but one of the things I like about BP is that people are respectful of each other. Yourself excepted, of course.
It's kinda sad that this is the first comment on such a nice piece as this.
Nominated for stupidest comment of the year.
I've been reading Marc's work since his time at Beyond the Boxscore. I've been a BP subscriber for as long as I've been a reader of Marc's work and I intend to keep doing both long into the future. I'll just have to reset my bookmarks after Marc reappears. Best of luck Marc and thanks for all the great work here at BP.
How come the powers that BP haven't gifted you with an author's account, Emma? The fact that I can minus your comments could send the earth spinning off its axis.
In fairness to Ben, I think this article is mis-titled. As the comments above attest to, it's not about the AL East but about how the Red Sox and Yankees pitching depth has taken a hit. Simply calling it that might be more helpful.
Beyond that, good work, Ben.
It's just you. I guess maybe if the Twins were looking to give him away, but he's just not that good. Certainly he's not any better than Alfredo Aceves or Tim Wakefield.
As Steve pointed out, the Yankees have Montero in AAA. He could certainly have replicated Posada's pathetic slash line. As for Jeter, well he's just not very good anymore. Replacing him wouldn't be too difficult. Just off the top of my head I'm sure the Yankees could have picked up JJ Hardy.
It depends what his goal is. If his ultimate driver is to remain employed then this maybe isn't the most sound strategy. If that isn't his primary concern and he's more focused on the quality of his current job or possibly the quality of his next job, then maybe his actions are easier to understand.
Oh please, Jay. You really don't want to rehash that old episode.
I knew I'd heard that somewhere! Good memory, Ken.
When the Cubs and the Blue Jays get together you can throw out the rule book. Ah, inter-league, you pointless monster, is there anything you can't make essentially unchanged?
It's a shame you couldn't.
Oh, come on people. He brought the crazy. You gotta plus that!
I'd assume based on his age and performance to date he is in line for a promotion to High A sometime soon with the goal of getting him a cup of coffee in AA. There aren't a lot of great 23 year old prospects starting the season in High A.
Your point is well taken Richie, even if I disagree with it. I minused you though for your ill-considered final question. Asking a bunch of internet baseball writers if they work for a living is snide and rude not to mention ignorant. Maybe hold off on that next time.
Brentz is destroying low A, which is great, but he's 22 years old. If he's any kind of prospect he should be, right?
It's not about taking responsibility, it's about passing along information that could hurt someone's feelings without actually hurting someone's feelings. Or at least hurting someone's feelings as little as possible. Journalism is about information and sometimes to get information you have to allow people anonymity.
Your "Anonymous sources make for irresponsible journalism" line would make a nice bumper sticker, but it's not realistic, and when you think about it for a moment, it's not really true either.
He was sneaky young.
That's the thing about the Billy Ripken card, it may not be valuable anymore, but it'll always be hilarious.
I too collected cards in my youth. The biggest error card of that time (the late '80s early '90s) was Billy Ripken's 1988 Fleer which featured a bat handle with a strong preference to procreate with someone's face. If you know what I mean.
Or they could just fire the idiot umpires that have brought this plague upon us.
Ha ha! Just kidding, making the list is much more realistic.
Marc and Corey may know better than I but last I'd heard he was down in Florida hitting batting practice and fielding. I don't think he's necessarily ready to join a team and he might not be this year at all, but he's come a long long way.
Looks like if the Red Sox had waited until May to trade for Adrian Gonzalez they could have saved themselves Casey Kelly.
What I don't understand is why everyone who has been disagreeing (respectfully) with Jay's reference has been getting minused. If someone was insulting Jay personally I could easily understand and endorse it. But nobody is doing that. As long as it remains respectful, let people have their say without minusing them.
Kevin, how much does DIPS theory apply to the minor leagues? A guy like Andrew Miller may not be giving up many hits but when I look to see how good or not good he is I look at Ks and BBs. Is that incorrect?
(Also, slight mis-type on Oscar Tejada's home team.)
Excellent work and excellently written. Thanks for that, Steven.
Hunter's trot was extended because he stood around in the batter's box watching it then started walking towards first.
Kevin, do Hazelbaker's strikeouts scare you? I would think that could be a real problem once he moves up a level.
Probably can't throw enough innings to make that jump. Also, why would you do that to him? The Red Sox don't want him to fail.
I'm looking forward to "No Riches, Just Embarrassment: The Houston Astros, Parts 1-10"
Kevin, do you think Kelly's struggles due to an aggressive promotion played at all into Ranaudo starting in Low A?
That's a shame. He was as sure a thing as one could get in that draft. Just goes to show even 'can't miss' guys can miss from time to time.
Except, no, not really. Unless there is an injury, each of those pitchers is owed $20 million or is so young they are very unlikely to be replaced in the rotation. I don't see any room there unless someone has a serious injury. The Sox have made their bed with these five guys.
You had me up to "Commissioner Frank McCourt."
Great stuff, Ken. Very creative. I enjoyed reading that very much.
You need to learn the difference between an argument and a discussion.
Its odd that I said ten years and you only looked at nine, which conveniently left out the Mariners 102 win season in '01, ultimately it doesn't much matter. Despite the Yankees and Red Sox and Angels grabbing most of the spots most teams in the AL have made the playoffs over that time period. I'm not sure that it dis-proves you're great morality play, but there it is.
As for the rest of your comment, I'm not sure why you have to say my comment and my name are nauseating. There's really no reason for person attacks here. I don't recall insulting you. Making unkind statements with no provocation is a good way to get your comments justifiably minused.
You should look at the standings the last ten years. I think you'll be surprised at what you see.
And if by "bad for the sport" you mean "good for the sport" than I agree completely.
I hate those dumb Sterling-isms so so much.
Thanks for the piece, John, but the scout's take on Jacoby Ellsbury is kind of worthless. I mean, he's hit .333/.367/.544 with three homers. It doesn't take any kind of specialization to see he's crushing the ball. I don't know if you spoke to the scout or if you compiled the quotes from other sources, but I wish whomever spoke to the scout would have asked the follow-up question, "Why?" and then printed the answer above.
I did enjoy the article though so thanks for that.
Here here. Good interview questions, and a thoughtful subject equal a good read. Thanks, David.
Have you looked at the available options in the outfield next off season? There isn't going to be anything better unless they make a trade.
Marc & Corey, this is a terrific article. Full of useful and interesting information, well written, and not a hint of ego anywhere. Thanks for one of the best additions to BP in a long time.
I think Mr. deMause's point was that MLB does realize it, they just can't do much about it because of all those big, zombie lawyers with sharp teeth.
An hour and forty minutes?!? Slackers!
Seriously, thanks for the great work, gentlemen.
There is no NOMAR, only Zuul!
That was terrible and I apologize to the author for it. I'm sorry, Mr. Parks. If I could delete the comment I would.
Any chance we get a "Jason Parks Will Break Your Heart" article by your ex-wife?
I hoped for that even before reading that comment.
Wait, I totally mis-read your comment, beckerharry. Disregard my previous reply. My apologies.
Tejada is a second baseman now, so no.
Can I ask why getting college credit is a requirement?
I'd totally apply if getting college credit wasn't a requirement. Wish they had this program 15 years ago.
No no no no no
no no no no no no no
no no no no no
It was a joke.
The list isn't finished yet so we don't know if Prior is on it or not.
Are you questioning John Sterling's ability to evaluate talent?
Seems Josh Beckett took a baseball off the back of his head.
He said he's going to write more later. You'd think that would keep the "What, no Player X!?!?" comments to a minimum.
Probably far better than the season is going to feel.
Thank you, Steven. I remember reading about the Brooklyn Dodgers and Duke Snyder in particular as a teenager via Roger Kahn's book, The Boys of Summer. I'm not a Dodger fan but I'm surprisingly saddened to hear of Duke's passing.
I agree RE: the Twins, but hasn't the secret sauce been discredited? And even if it hasn't, don't the Twins consistently have two of the three elements (big K closer & good defense) anyway?
I'm sure it depends on who the four star prospect is and on who's doing the choosing.
Judging by the typos in your comment I'm guessing actually you aren't their guy.
I ordered mine two months ago and it hasn't shipped yet. I hate you. (in a nice way)
If by "THE END" you mean, "I now crown the KC Royals as World Champs" then fine. You had me until #4 then you lost me.
I think we could surmise it would include two things: 1) NO NO NO NO [removes pants] NO NO NO!!, and 2) communism or socialism (because as I'm sure you're aware they're the same thing).
The guy is clearly a buffoon. I don't think it's necessary to take anything he says very seriously.
Wonderful writing, Steven. Thanks for that.
Welcome, Corey. Great work, I look forward to reading more from you and Marc.
Addendum: great write up, Jay.
If I had a vote I'd vote for him. I think Jay's description of him as a tiger waiting to pounce was a wonderful one. It totally congers up the image of Sheffield in the batters box with his bat waging back and forth.
I can't say I'm a fan of the guy's personality (or at least the personality he has shone through the media) but the guy was one of the best hitters of his generation. That should count for something.
My question is if he goes into the Hall of Fame, what hat does he wear? He played for eight different teams, and none for more than his six year stint with Florida. That isn't the team I identify him with in my head (though admittedly what I think counts for very little). I might put him in as a Dodger, though they didn't win anything particularly big while he was there.
I fall into the metafan (I keep wanting to spell it "metaphan" for some reason) category in some ways, such as my love of BP and analyzing the inner-workings of running a baseball team. I've come to enjoy statistics and economics through their relationship to baseball.
But, I love watching the games as well. I plan my day around watching my favorite team play, and I watch every pitch. The only time I don't is when I have an adult league game to play in.
So I'm proud to say I'm a metafan and an actual fan. But on the other hand, I do live in my mom's basement.
That's the real reason the Dodgers moved to LA, isn't it?
"Giant Alston angry! Giant Alston smash Ebbets Field!"
That bothered me as well. Glad you brought that up.
So would Manny Ramirez.
What is NotJimTracy's opinion of this article?
I'm sorry, I know this has been covered before, but I dislike these ESPN insider articles. I guess I appreciate having access to them, but they just feel so dumbed down that it's almost painful. In three lines about why the Red Sox might not win, one of which is devoted to how opponents might "run wild" on the Red Sox catchers, there wasn't a mention of injuries, specifically the half the starting roster which is recovering from major injuries. Also, since I'm ranting here, how are stolen bases going to stop the Red Sox from winning? Haven't we moved past over-valuing stolen bases?
I don't mean to be rude or overly critical though I suppose I could fairly be accused of both. I guess what I really want is some notation on the homepage next to the article so I can avoid it if it is an ESPN insider rework. Thanks.
You should read the whole thread before posting a question. Steven answered that very question just a few comments above yours.
I have an iPorpoise, will this work for me?
I can't believe this is still going on. Don't any of you people eat?
It is surprising that an extension hasn't been finished by now, but ten years and $300 million is a lot of years and money to tie yourself to if you're St. Louis. As great as Pujols has been, maybe it's better to thank him for his services and point those resources in a different direction.
Nothing presumably other than the fact that I very much doubt either Pujols or Gonzalez (remember him?) wants to DH. They could decide to not sign Gonzalez and let him go after this season in effort to sign Pujols, but then you're really rolling the dice. It's entirely possible in that scenario that Boston could be left without either.
If the total money is the same, and you front loading the contract, the time value of money will make it a more expensive contract for the team to pay off even if the total dollars are the same. Inflation over the life of the contract means that 2011 dollars are more valuable than 2021 dollars.
Think about it this way. Would you rather have $100 in 2011 money or would you rather have $100 in 1920 money? The latter is worth about $1,100 now.
I don't know about the others, but Crawford should be worth more than 2/3rds of his contract. Looking at last year's 10 year projection from BP which in light of his better than PECOTA expected last season, Crawford projects to be worth around 28 WARP going forward. If I'm correct in valuing 1 WARP as worth $5 million on the free agent market, that makes the next seven seasons of Carl Crawford worth $140 million or $2 million less than the total value of his contract.
That's a cool $50 right there. Just to be clear, we're talking about Oregon, right?
You are hereby excluded. Apologies if I hurt your feelings.
Let me see if I can sum up the objections.
"I've subscribed for blah blah blah and I've never my life blah blah blah this is gay porn blah blah blah I'm afraid of Emma Span blah blah blah you're a stupid dummy butt."
Apologies for the lack of typos.
Is it possible you could just, you know, be quiet if you don't have anything useful to say?
Like that one that posts the stories about Jeter and Posada getting it on?
There's a giant obvious logo next to the article on the home page. You really need more than that?
If you leave, can I have your number?
Yeah, because they never talk about actual baseball here. By my calculations, only 99.9999% of the articles BP has ever published have been about actual baseball. Unacceptable!
Currently at -20. Not enough. Minus!
"I'm a .9er"
"Well, I'm a 10 incher."
Please minus that.
"Although the negative externalities of a hearing seem overstated..."
I'm not sure I'm buying this statement, Mr. Anderson. When a GM like Theo Epstein purposely goes an entire decade without going to a hearing I have to think there are solid reasons to pay a bit more in order to avoid one.
Absolutely. Almost no downside for the team. Makes me wonder why Hamilton agreed to the deal.
I FIND THIS OFFENSIVE!!!
Oh wait, sorry, wrong article.
Fair enough. I got $25 and a futon for a Portland trip! Probably going to need some help though...
Since I can't plus you, I'll just say here here!
That seems more unrealistic than some of the situations in the article.
If nothing else I think this demonstrates the futility of the plus/minus comments system.
I say "Unfortunately" because it would be funny, not because I want the Yankees to get Pujols.
I just checked to see if Teixeira has a no-trade clause. It occurred to me the Yankees might try to dump him on Baltimore and sign Pujols. Unfortunately, Teixeira does have a no trade.
Everyone is acting like the Red Sox are out of it, but they haven't signed Gonzalez long term yet. It will be interesting to see if they decide to wait on that deal at all to see what happens in St. Louis with Pujols.
I don't think they could afford his salary this season. If they got him in July he'd cost them $8 million. They traded Garza because he'd cost them half that.
Explain again why you'd give him a bunch of money and then let him leave when his salary gets cheap.
That's true, but $125 Million will kill you too.
You aren't getting Albert Pujols for Howard's ridiculous contract. You might get Alberto Callaspo though.
This is about the time of year I get pissed at myself for moving out West.
I recall being down on the floor of the old Capital Center outside Washington DC before a Washington Bullets game (yes, I'm that old) and seeing the ice for Washington Capitals games underneath the bleachers. I was astonished that the ice was still there. Of course, I was like 10 at the time. I asked someone who looked like he worked there and he said they kept the ice full time and would construct the basketball court over top of it for games. I don't recall, but I'm sure there were days when the Caps played at 1pm and the Bullets played at 7:30 or so.
Sorry for the rambling. Thanks for the good work, Larry.
Portland!!! Maybe JimmyJack will come down from Seattle and say "hi."
He should get some extra credit, not for being a Yankee, but for pitching an extra seasons worth of post season games and for doing it well (if not as spectacularly as I fear people will remember).
To this day the 2006 Cardinals upset me. They were mediocre and no amount of World Series wins will convince me otherwise.
Cano is absolutely a stud and I think Hughes (who I think is 23) could still be that as well. The Yankees bungled Joba, that is without a doubt, but you're jumping to some serious conclusions here without much evidence to support them.
Are you friends with Aaron Gleeman?
Steven, I appreciate your opinion in this matter, but I wonder what Kevin Goldstein would say to your statement that the young kids deserve a chance. It's not frequently players like Betances, who has 14 innings above A ball, or Banuelos who has 15, make the jump to the majors. Brackman is older and has 80 innings in AA, so in a relative sense he's ready. I guess my point is if I were the Yankees I wouldn't feel comfortable depending on those young guys either.
Because it's not alliterative.
You mean the two pitchers have the same number of wins?!? Are you sure they're not twins?
(For the French impaired: My mother is a cheeseburger)
If anything the fact that the mainstream preview magazines are saying my Red Sox will win the World Series makes me less confident in that eventuality. What I'd really be interested in finding out is where they come up with this stuff? I mean that in all seriousness. What is their process? Is it based on anything other than "this is what I think"?
Well done, Steven. It makes me think of what I learned in French class: Ma mère est la cheeseburger.
Great article, Ken. Thanks for that.
I don't see why BP couldn't fill a moderately sized room in a big eastern city twice a year at minimum.
What do you mean "if"?
Interesting... You're quite the slooth, Diana.
Also, I should've said before, congratulations, Steven. This is good news.
"...and stop calling me Shirley."
I know. That's why I wrote... dah, never mind. Just read the whole comment next time please.
I'm not sure what "Kalish" on its own means. If you mean Kalish will take the spot instead of Reddick, well, that's the way things are trending, and that's why I wrote "there would be a spot open for Reddick if he earns it".
"The signing of Carl Crawford leaves Reddick blocked"
KG - It sounds with Reddick's arm and range that he would be a right fielder if he was ever to be a regular in Boston. Crawford is a left fielder, so how does signing Crawford block Reddick? With Drew's contract up at the end of the year I would think there would be a spot open for Reddick if he earns it.
Sorry to nitpick, but Lavarnway went to Yale, not Harvard.
Think we just have to be happy that Westmoreland is alive and seemingly has no long term complications (that I've heard of) from his condition and subsequent surgery.
I think that's the consensus, at least as far as I've heard and read. Kalish will likely take over in right next season. Of course, there's a whole year of baseball to be played between now and then, so that is always subject to change, but considering the paucity of free agent targets it makes sense.
Bill - two things
1. Age is in fact on his side. A 20 year old in AA is young for the level.
2. I'm not sure BABIP works the same way in the minors as it does in the majors. It doesn't just revert to the mean because the talent level in the minors is (and KG or anyone please correct me if I'm wrong here) much more uneven and unpredictable. Therefore I don't think the same rules apply. To be clear, I'm not saying he'll have a .370 BABIP again next year in AA or that he'll be able to maintain such a thing in the majors.
Thanks for your response, Christina. Next time I'll read more carefully! I should add I appreciate you answering commenters questions in so timely a manner.
Napoli may be a defensive liability, but the question is how many runs does that cost you and then compare it with how many runs he generates on offense. Admittedly the first question is harder to answer, but I think generally speaking we can conclude the first number is smaller than the second.
But, Christina, does this deal even make the Angels better on the field? With Napoli gone Mathis will be in line for more PAs and Wells' career line isn't that far off from Rivera's. In addition to costing the Angels $20M a year for four years, this deal could actually make them a worse team.
You read that in Ken Rosenthal's latest piece.
Next time maybe post in English?
Why would adding (effectively one to three extra playoff games hurt baseball long term? I'm not seeing any reasoning behind your statement.
I don't see how Tazawa can be a failed experiment. Don't lots of players come back from TJ surgery?
Spoken like a true agent.
Do you think Yankee fans hate of Papelbon is more or less than their hate of Johnny Damon pre-2006?
The first 18 picks in this draft are protected picks, i.e. they can't be lost by signing a Type A free agent. If the Rays were to recoup a first rounder for Soriano, Soriano needed to sign with someone who had a pick between #19 and #33.
To be clear, the top half of the draft is protected, but the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Brewers all got 1st round picks for failing to sign their first rounders last year. Which makes the numbers look weird.
Chamberlain was picked in the supplimental first round (41st pick). Its not like he fell that far if indeed he fell at all.
Who says the Yankees aren't a potential suitor? If Papelbon has a good year and re-establishes some value, who's to say the Yankees won't throw $30+ million at him? Put it this way, did you think the Yankees would sign Soriano for $35 million?
Not to nitpick, John, but Crawford's deal with Boston is for $142 million, not $154 million. (I'd heard $141 before but Cot's has $142: http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2004/12/boston-red-sox.html)
Thanks for posting this, Kevin.
"Likely candidates include:
- Pirates (don't laugh)"
The Pirates might try to sign Soriano, but I can't imagine a good reason why they should. Spending boatloads of money on a relief pitcher while losing what would be for them a second round draft pick in a loaded draft doesn't make any sense for a team at the bottom of the entire National League.
The only way it would make any sense would be if they could get Soriano on a one year deal. Then they could deal him at the deadline or they could keep him and get another first rounder in next year's draft. Other than that, I'm laughing.
That extra $11 million in your pocket isn't going to help you win any games this season. The AL West is winnable for the A's and Beltre could have helped Oakland a lot. Instead he's going to be actively helping a division rival.
To be clear, you can't fault the A's front office for this. They've tried to get Beltre on numerous occasions and haven't been successful through what appears to be no fault of their own.
That's really not true at all. I suggest you read this:
If Will was still here I'm confident he'd say recovering from concussions is an inexact science. I don't think anyone really knows how long it will take Morneau to recover until he's actually recovered.
Beltre took out two left fielders last season in Boston. To my knowledge he hasn't collided with any shortstops. The guy who should watch out is David Murphy and whomever replaces him after Beltre breaks his ribs.
Keep in mind they only had Lee for a few months. When you're making the comparison between Beltre & Webb vs. Lee & Vlad (whom they could still re-sign if they can somehow deal Young) you're talking about full seasons of the former vs. a partial season of Lee and a full season of Vlad.
I think the Rangers are set up to be favorites in the AL West. After that, I have no idea what will happen.
Do Boras clients provide any increased return on investment than non-Boras clients? That would be an interesting study to read.
Most of Boras' (that's Boras with an "A") clients are expensive. Teams know that, for the most part, they're going to pay top dollar when they sign players who employ Boras as their agent. Many teams don't/can't afford to pay top dollar for free agents. I think that's your reason. You aren't likely to see many Boras clients on the Royals, A's, Twins, Rays, etc. Some to be certain, but not many. You'll find many more on the bigger budget teams, the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, etc.
Oh sure, you're the first guy to suggest that.
Just wanted to say wonderful work, Eric. Thanks for that.
I don't like the rating system either, but in fact, that isn't how it goes at all.
All those suggestions you listed sound good, John. I know you asked for suggestions but its easier for me to say what I don't want. I can get basic beat writing/gamestories and boilerplate quotes from just about any news media outlet. I come to BP to avoid that, but not just to avoid that, to move past it. I know that probably isn't very helpful, but its about all I can give you at 2:30am.
Happy New Year to you as well!
No Elves? That's the problem with BP these days. I'm not renewing my subscription!
Why can't you see it being the Mets? If they have the money, is there a smarter way to spend it than on the best hitting first baseman in baseball? Alderson has a reputation for not spending a lot of money, but I think thats mostly because of the clubs he's been associated with. The Mets don't (or shouldn't) have that problem and Alderson is a smart man who understands player value. I don't see why he wouldn't try to sign Pujols if the opportunity presented itself.
I don't think the market is limited to the Cubs because Boston and the Yankees already have first basemen locked in long term. 2012 is a long way off. There are many teams who could afford Pujols. Off the top of my head: the Angels, the Dodgers (if they get their 'situation' sorted out), the Mariners (Ichiro's salary comes off the books after 2012), obviously the Mets, the Orioles have been trying to sign or trade for a big bopping first basemen for a few years now, the Nationals obviously have tons of cash burning a hole in their pants, the Cubs of course... If Pujols doesn't want to give the Cardinals a discount and the Cardinals are dumb enough to let him walk there'll be no shortage of teams who can pay his freight.
Agree with your overall point, but I've heard that the new collective bargaining agreement may eliminate draft pick compensation for lost free agents either completely or in some form. Meaning: I'm not sure the Brewers get two first rounders for Greinke when he signs elsewhere as a free agent.
Jon Heyman has reported that the Royals offered Greinke to the Yankees for Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez and the Yankees declined.
I agree. To me its like the draft. You take the best player available because he's the best player and you worry about positional issues later on down the line. You never know how things will flesh out and the worst case scenario is you end up with two complete studs who play the same position. In that case, you obviously explore trades and/or positional adjustments.
I take that last sentence back. It would have mattered if the Nats won ten more games last year. They would have ruined their shot at Bryce Harper.
Werth is worse because of the context. Marginal wins are more valuable to teams on the cusp of contention (Yankees). The Nats could have won ten more games last year (not that Werth is a +10 player) and it wouldn't have mattered.
This is exactly the reason why Brian Cashman is over rated as a GM.
With all due respect, that is a ridiculous theory. You don't sign someone to a seven year contract to help TV ratings. The risk involved is too great. Time and again studies have shown that people come to the ball park and watch on TV to see winning teams. The best way to get people to buy tickets, by team merch and watch on TV is to put a winning team on the field. That is what the front office is trying to do. Plain and simple.
RE: Sox prospects. Pedroia won the rookie of the year, which doesn't mean he's some surefire HoFer but it wasn't like he sucked out of the gate. He had one bad month to start off and that was it. Beyond him, it doesn't take much to come up with a list of Lester, Buchholz, Youkilis, Papelbon, Bard, etc. Also, you may remember Hanley Ramirez who came up in the Sox system. I'm not sure you can claim the Sox prospects are serially bad.
Its definitely the pitching. If they can stay reasonably healthy and get some career average performances from their starters they'll be in contention.
Christina, I'm a fan of yours, but I think that's a bit unfair. If you're evaluating a prospect on his merits, what difference does it make a) what organization he plays for (besides park effects) and b) what the prospects did for that organization 20 years ago? I understand hype as far as media goes, but do you really think Jed Hoyer fell for a bunch of Boston media hype on a guy he drafted and a guy who most Boston writers would struggle to tell you more than a sentence or two about?
I gave you a +1, but in fairness to Bud Black, three years is a long time ago. I sometimes have trouble remembering what happened yesterday.
I'd be surprised if they traded Scutaro. I'm a huge proponent of Lowrie but the guy has had some serious health issues. They're already putting their eggs in one breakable basket at catcher, and installing Lowrie as the starting shortstop in December on top of that gets into some dangerous territory.
Now the NY Times is reporting Jeter wants "4-5 years" at "$23 or 24 million". Is this the most out of touch negotiation by a player ever? It is in my (admittedly short) memory.
Sure, because I'm sure nobody else would want Hanley Ramirez and the Marlins will happily hand him over to New York. I'm sorry, but I HATE comments like that. I mean, why don't they just go and get Lincecum and Halladay too while they're at it?
amazin_mess is actually Kevin Towers?
Not to belabor the point, but have you seen him play at all, Jay? Can he possibly be as terrible as I've read?
I should have noted that I enjoyed the article, and I agree wholeheartedly that the Yankees should move Joba back to the rotation permanently. That means, even if he struggles they should keep him in a starting role. He's got the stuff, velocity and endurance to succeed there.
I agree. I haven't seen everything written on Montero, but everything I've read - absolutely everything - has said he's not a catcher, can't and won't catch in the big leagues. Maybe that's changed, but considering the many strongly worded statements against it both here and at other sites, I doubt it. I think you'll have to come up with another solution, Jay.
The Maybin deal means grabbing Ellsbury from Boston is redundant.
Jay, if you're still checking these comments, in today's GM for a Day on the San Diego Padres, Christina Kahrl suggested Adrian Gonzalez deal to Boston for the following package:
one of Josh Reddick or Ryan Kalish
one of Michael Bowden or Felix Doubront
If I was the Red Sox I'd jump all over that assuming I could do the first two of the alternatives rather than the last two. What do you think?
Speaking as Theo Epstein, because we're old buddies from back in our Princeton days (or was it Yale?), I don't think I'd be able to deal both Ellsbury and Kalish. That leaves the '10 Red Sox with a 38 year old post-surgery Mike Cameron as the only legitimate center fielder, and I'm not all that certain he's all that legitimate. I think Ellsbury, Navarro, Reddick, and Bowden is absolutely a do-able deal from Boston's perspective. (From San Diego's perspective, I wouldn't be all that excited about that package, however.)
It might make more sense to bring Beltre back if you think there is a chance he repeats his offensive heroics (or some facsimile thereof) next season and into the future. But if you think that's unlikely to happen, and you think the team needs offense, then there's no better way to do it than to add one of the best hitting first base men in baseball to the team without subtracting anyone's bat.
Jay, great article. Thanks for the in-depth explanations and ideas. Frankly, this is exactly what I love from BP.
My only quarrel is with the Ortiz decision. Maybe its my Red Sox colored glasses, but I don't understand why you aren't picking up his option. I'd much rather have Ortiz as my DH than Thome, Cust or Branyan. You can throw Matsui and Vlad on that pile too for good measure. To my mind Ortiz's production is much more certain and likely much better than either of those guys (although I'm a big Thome fan).
In the end the world difference between Ortiz and someone else is about $8 million, which isn't peanuts, but its also not a huge issue on a one year deal to a team with the Red Sox payroll. I'm also not sure that the inevitable reaction from the fanbase isn't worth avoiding on some level, but even ignoring that aspect, isn't it worth it for the Sox to pay a bit more (or a bit more than a bit more) to get more production from the position? The end result in an ultra-competitive division could be the difference between making the playoffs or missing them for the second year in a row. I don't see any compelling reason to take that chance.
Then I'm guessing you'd probably have to trade Gonzalez to a different team. I don't see Boston giving that much up for one year of Gonzalez.
I echo everyone else's compliments, Jay. Well done.
I'm surprised its that long.
Yeah, that's definitely going to happen.
I recall reading somewhere (sorry for the lack of attribution, I can't seem to find the article) that Dunn very much wants to play the field, i.e. not DH. I guess money could change that but I'd be surprised if the Rays went and out-bid every other team. The next time that happens will be the first.
I agree. I feel like if a three year deal for Martinez would get it done then it probably would've happened already. And what with Gammons predicting (over and over) that Detroit is set to offer four years or even more (depending which day he's doing the predicting) it seems that the V-Mart back to Boston ship has sailed.
When in doubt always fall back on the maxim, nobody cares about your fantasy team.
I was thinking the same thing. The only potential problem is a fragile guy like Harden warming up multiple times a game.
I agree it'll never happen, but the thing to do isn't a batter requirement for a pitcher, but have a non-injury mound visit limit per inning - say three or four - and after that, well that's it.
I would love to read the re-evaluation of the markets. That would be a great series of articles for the off season.
I'm a fan of Christina and her writing, but comparing her to Mozart is a bit much.
That would have the added benefit of saving managers like Washington from themselves.
Sorry, Steven, but why are there space concerns here? Was this article cross-posted elsewhere?
Good stuff, David. Thanks.
I don't really understand, but OK.
I couldn't agree with this more.
I'm not so sure that Berkman swings if he thinks its a strike. Sometimes as a hitter you "can't" swing, and yes this happens all the time to professional hitters. If he was looking fastball and Pavano throws a good change up his weight is going to be all on his front foot. I'm not saying that happened, just giving an example of why he might not have swung besides he knew it wasn't a strike.
Plus, if it was as close as you say it was (and looked to me like it was), I don't think Berkman can safely assume it won't be called a strike. The best reaction to a pitch that close with two strikes is to swing at it either in attempt to put it in play or in attempt to foul it off.
That said, great article.
You've obviously mistaken BP for ESPN.
Is Will even on the BP staff?
I am shocked there are no Red Sox prospects on this list. I mean, I'm not upset about it, but didn't just about everyone in the Sox system totally tank this season?
Bill, all criticism should be in hiaku.
Will, theoretically, how many TJ surgerys could one have?
No, but he does seem to have a predilection for exclamation points.
Ah, whadaya'll know? Yer just a bunch of bloggers!
I don't know about you, but a .289/.372/.458 line at AAA is pretty darn good. I don't think anyone's expecting him to be Ted Williams, and I expect he'll probably be back in AAA ball next year, but I wouldn't have a problem with him splitting time between AAA and Boston next season.
I'm pretty sure the Red Sox sent Westmoreland to hang around with a few of the minor league teams towards the end of the season. To my ear that bodes well for the future.
Sadly, I agree. If he's swinging at everything (so to speak) he won't be slugging .600 in the bigs.
Still, its important to note that he's only 23 years old. He's probably never going to have the world's greatest batting eye, but if he improves to even mediocre his defense and power could play well at the big league level.
I was going to say the above statement from the article seems to be a rush to judgment on Nava. I wouldn't be at all upset if he were on the 2011 Red Sox or at least a frequent contributor via the Pawtucket-to-Boston shuttle.
Thanks for making my point.
People might take what you have to say more seriously if you quit the namecalling.
Sorry to hear that. You missed out on a good book.
Thanks, Ben, for putting this together. Its very interesting.
In a similar vein, I'd love to see the wisdom of the crowds answer how much in terms of money and years it would take for Jeter to leave the Yankees?
Not that it really matters, but how do you know he didn't ask for advice from veteran players?
The previous from me was in response to lemppi, not Mr. Goldman.
I'm sure the ranking system will be all over this, but you, sir, are the douchebag.
I'd hardly say calling Pujols' decision-making into question because he stood at the podium during one of the most divisive public rallies in recent memory "political preaching." I think you're looking too hard.
Pujols and LaRussa were both front and center at the most recent Glen Beck rally in DC.
Lowrie can supposedly also play first though probably not as well as Lowell which is saying something. Still, I agree, Francona wasn't given any other realistic choice.
Jack Z reads this column every day praying Montero isn't on it.
I put 5 years, $105M. That would put him through his age 41 season, just like A-Rod's deal. Also, the AAV would be $21M per, just like his current deal. Seems reasonable to me. Actually, now that I look at it again it seems ludicrous, but this is the Magical Jeter and the Yankees, so in that warped world its reasonable.
There is literally no way Jeter accepts a contract with an AAV of $5M regardless of its length.
"I think Jeter needs the Yankee almost as much as they need him."
I agree but, more to the point, I doubt Jeter would.
Yeah, that's gonna happen.
Odd place to ask that question, but there's one up now.
I assume they're referring to Joe Sheehan, but maybe I missed something too.
In a chat on Fangraphs.com on Wednesday, Dave Cameron said, "The guys passing off mechanical analysis as some kind of injury predictor are basically just making stuff up." Of course, he gets more questions about that statement which I won't quote here (you can easily find it yourself if your curious) but I was wondering if that position is supported by Will? It sounds like it isn't, but I thought I'd throw it up here to see.
The only thing to complain about here is that I wasn't invited.
The six left against the Rays are going to be playoff-level games. I'm looking forward to that.
That's probably not a good thing for Boston. Its unlikely that either Tampa or New York will beat up on the other. Its more likely they'll split or something close to that, which doesn't help Boston.
As a Red Sox fan that doesn't excite me, but as a baseball fan I admit it is interesting.
Well, lets see. Marc listed the following Red Sox players who have spent significant time on the DL:
Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Victor Martinez, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Mike Cameron
Of course there's more (at one point every catcher in the Red Sox organization at the major league and AAA level was injured) but this is Marc's list so we'll use that.
Translating to positions, that's losing significant time from your starting second baseman, starting first baseman, starting catcher, #3 starting pitcher, some backup bench guy, starting left fielder, and starting center fielder.
Their Yankees and Rays counter parts are as follows
Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, ???*, Brett Gardner, and Curtis Granderson
The Yankees did lose Pettitte for a long period of time and Posada for a period of time as well. Losing Cano and Teixeira would undoubtedly seriously hurt them though. Its hard to argue that losing that bunch of guys wouldn't hurt the team in the standings.
Now the Rays:
Sean Rodriguez, Carlos Pena, John Jaso, David Price (listed as the #3 starter on the Rays website), ???*, Carl Crawford, BJ Upton.
Losing Price (or Shields or Garza if you prefer) would've really hurt Tampa as would losing Crawford. The rest they probably would have been able to overcome with some minimal difficulty.
As far as I'm aware the Rays haven't had much in terms of injury problems this year. The Yankees have missed Pettitte and Posada and they've had other assorted injuries, but nowhere in the neighborhood of serious injuries that Boston has encountered.
*I'm not sure why Marc included Lowell in the list of injured Red Sox. Sure, he missed a significant portion of the year, but he was never an important part of the team (until Youkilis' injury).
While Ragnhild's comment (above, currently a -13) is worthless, I would have enjoyed seeing something like an analysis involving how much VORP (or a different metric, maybe that's the wrong one) the Sox have lost and how much they've managed to get from the guys they brought up/acquired at the last second.
Other than that, thanks for the article, Marc.
I don't think he forgot it. In fact I'm pretty sure he mentioned that they were only mathematically in the race in the very first paragraph.
Another great hitting prospect at catcher for the Yankees? Oh great...
Why can the profanity? Shows getting canceled anyway.
Kevin, do you think Ranaudo signs with Boston?
Twice in this comment thread people have defined a decade as "arbitrary". Decades are not arbitrary. They are not subject to the author's whim or preference. They are pre-defined sets of time. You may think they are too constricting and lack importance (and I'd probably agree with you) but they aren't arbitrary.
Sorry for the rant. Great article, by the way.
Actually, no, that'd be Jon Lester. Check out who started Game 1 of the playoffs last year
"His killing of other team's running games makes up some for his lack of strikeouts"
Uh, nope, sorry. A good pick off move is nice but it doesn't come within a mile of the importance of a strike out.
So, Steven, as someone who was born and raised a Yankee fan, are you telling me you feel no more animus towards the Red Sox than the Rangers or Marlins?
Sheehan as in Wreck
No, Wieters is in the majors.
Superficially I see what you're saying, but how do we know that it was Long who came up with Cano's new stance? I mean, sure he's the hitting coach and all, but couldn't it have been Cano who did it? Or maybe Cano's newfound MVP form has more to do with him maturing as a player. I think we have the same problems here that we do when analyzing managers or pitching coaches: just not enough information to go on.
I don't know how useful this is, but personally, I recently found that a changed stance has allowed me to hit the ball harder and in the air more often in my adult league. Whether or not this is germane I don't know, but I feel like, if Swisher altered his stance and was able to maintain the alteration, i.e. not return gradually to his old ways, there could be some level of real change there.
Good article, Marc. Thanks for that.
I'm gonna go out on a really small limb and say the Mariners screwed up royally when they took Smoak over Montero for Lee.
"No matter the explanation from Ellsbury and his team, a big gap is going to cause a "soft" perception, if that isn't already sticking."
Sadly, I think we're already there.
Presenting, The Lloyd McClendon All Stars!
Thank you very much!
Good stuff, Jeff.
Feel better, Steven!
I doubt that is what Will was referring to when he titled his column.
I'd love to see Mr. Goldman go farther back and use a manager like John McGraw, or Connie Mack, or even Earl Weaver. Just my two cents. Thanks for the fun series!
Steven, I wonder how many runs would that team score? I think there's a run estimator or run calculator out there in the wilds of the internet somewhere. Anyone know where it is?
Everything I've read has indicated Victor Martinez isn't very close to returning to the Red Sox. Other than that, great as always, Christina.
Great article. Thanks for it, Kevin, and I second Clonod's comment above: more like this one please!
That's quite the extensive list. Thanks, Kevin!
For all the discussion about it, the baseball all star game is without question the best all star game of all major American pro sports. All of the other games are much more exhibition than game.
Enough with baseless steroid accusations please.
I agree, but Montero is 20 years old. Smoak is 23. That's a huge difference in the developmental curve. I think if you offered Smoak for Montero straight up most GMs would make that deal.
Isn't 22 kinda old for A ball?
If AAA is too high an assignment I guess it goes without saying (yet I'm saying it anyway) that you aren't optimistic about him helping out in the Reds bullpen. Am I correct in that?
This is exactly why I hate the comment rating system. If someone says something obscene or overtly stupid it should be up to whomever at BP to delete or moderate the comment in some way.
To BP readers yes, but I fear that subtly may be lost on sports radio callers and many columnists.
Agreed. Thanks, Ken, for the great article and the quick replies.
Will, is there any increased risk of injury from converting a pitcher from starting to relief and then back to starting? I'm thinking of Aroldis Chapman. Is there any danger of a Joba-like breakdown from moving a player back and forth from role to role? Thanks!
Jimenez didn't seem to have bad stuff, but had a night where he didn't dominate. Those will happen and, unfortunately, his teammates couldn't pick him up.
Was this written before Papelbon gave up two of the biggest homers I've seen this season?
As for the rest of the Jimenez comment, I haven't seen him pitch but last night, but if he didn't have his over powering stuff on a night when he was regularly hitting 98 and 99 on the radar gun then I don't know what over powering stuff is. To me it looked like, if anything, his undoing was an inability to get his changeup over with any regularity. The Sox recognized it the second time through the order and were sitting on the fastball.
Good to see some Red Sox give KG some cause to appear here.
Great work, Ben. Now, either delete this from the BP server, or write an in-depth piece on easy ways to get Evan Longoria out.
"I believe in the process, and I believe in the future of this team," Nutting said.
Nutting said the 'P' word!
It would seem they have enough starters, yes, but we haven't seen Beckett in a while either so maybe the organization knows something we don't (i.e maybe we won't be seeing him anytime soon).
Also, I'm not sure as to what is available on the trade market that fits the Sox needs, but its likely that if Lee is the best player out there the Sox would have interest just based on that.
Plus if Lee comes to Boston that means he won't be in New York, LA, Tampa, or anywhere else which has value as well.
You can't. But it has nothing to do with Pittsburgh who supports all its other sports teams very well.
Nava went 3 for 4 today with two doubles.
And yours and I'm sure mine will get a minus as well. I'm not sure what the purpose of this plus/minus system is but whatever its purpose is its not working. There has to be a better system for BP to implement and I would urge them to find it and implement it soon.
I'm not Kevin, but Baseball-Reference.com has them. Click on the "minors" heading on the player's page.
Interesting. In all the draft stuff I've read I've never read of the Red Sox being connected to Eibner.
Wonderful work, Steven.
Thanks for your answer, Randy.
Kevin, why don't you love us?!?
Can someone tell me why this isn't the definition of an analysis using a small sample size?
Kevin, love the glowing report on Inglesias, but I've read that he's 20, not 19. Soxprospects.com (www.soxprospects.com/players/iglesias-jose.htm) lists him as being born on January 5th, 1990, which would make him 20. Is that incorrect?
I heard Francona's interview on the radio in Boston and he was joking when he mentioned FEMA.
According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox designated McDonald for assignment after tonight's (Monday's) game. Christina, is there a spot for him in the bigs somewhere or is he headed back to Pawtucket?
In reference to Papelbon's struggles against the Yankees, I'd bet almost all pitchers have the same problem because over the past decade plus the Yankees have been a great offensive team.
Also, in fairness to Papelbon who didn't look sharp either night, the second night the Yankees scored a run on an error and a free base (second taken on defensive indifference). Cano's double (which was smoked) was the only hard hit ball that inning.
Thanks for the quick reply, Jay. I appreciate that about BP. The authors are (almost) always willing to discuss their work with us readers. Thanks for that.
To reply to your reply, Ortiz hasn't met the criteria for PAs yet this year. You wrote in the article that, "it's fair to point out that Ortiz has just 113 plate appearances thus far this year." Then you wrote, "according to the work of Russell A. Carleton ... it only takes 150 plate appearances for strikeout rate to stabilize, and 200 PA for walk rates to do so, whereas OBP and SLG don't stabilize until the 350 PA mark."
That's why I said the K/BB ratio is as telling as the slugging percentage. Am I missing something?
Interesting data from Normandin. Thanks for the link. I had missed that somehow.
I don't think anyone would dispute Ortiz is in decline. I think the question is what can we expect from him going forward and it seems to me that we just don't have enough data to know what he's going to be able to accomplish.
There will be lots of teams lining up to pay Werth if he hits the market. But if the Howard deal is any indication, Amaro has no problem over bidding before hand.
I'll probably be attacked for saying this and I mean no disrespect to the writer, but how is a K/BB ratio of 17/3 more telling than the fact that over that same time span Ortiz is slugging .761? Both of them were compiled over sample sizes too small to fairly extrapolate from. I would argue if Ortiz keeps this up pitchers will stop trying to beat him with fastballs and his walk rate will probably rise.
Also, aren't we done fighting about whether clutch is a skill or not? Hasn't that battle been fought and won?
"The New York Daily News' John Harper writes that CC Sabathia's dusting of Dustin Pedroia showed the toughness of the Yankees."
I wonder if Harper noticed that Sabathia ended up costing his team two runs and made himself throw 15 extra pitches in the process.
Please never include an article by Dan Shaughnessy again. He's just terrible. Thank you.
I enjoy the weekend content, but I'll survive without it.
Thanks for putting that together, Jay.
I was following the draft last year and for the life of me couldn't understand why the Red Sox passed on Stassi over and over. We'll see if they were right to do so, but it looks like Stassi is doing alright, which is good news.
Agree completely. Well said.
"However, Gardenhire also knows that teams can win without drilling so deeply into the numbers. After all, the Twins have won five of the last eight American League Central titles and are on top of the division this season with a 16-9 record."
Put the Twins in the AL East and see how important any edge you can get becomes. In that division they don't win five of eight division championships. In fact, I'd wager they don't win a single one.
"Is NOBODY in the front office capable of looking at those numbers ..."?"
I assume you meant that question to be rhetorical, but in case not, the answer is, no, of course not. Nobody in the Royals front office has a clue what BABIP is. I'd be shocked if there's anyone who can define OBP. "Uh... Other Baseball Player?"
For the Phillies sake I hope that's not how it happened.
Sure they didn't have cost certainty until the deal was signed, but the benefit of cost certainty usually comes when you're afraid the player will make more during the time you've signed him for. Think Jon Lester. Think Evan Longoria, though that was outright theft. The point is that $25 million a year may be cost certainty, but what is the upside? Was Howard really going to make lots more than that? Is there some alternate universe where the Phils would have said, "Well, alright, $35 mill a year, but not a penny more." I doubt it. What if they had waited a year to sign him. Would they have been on the hook for lots more money than they are now? I really doubt it.
Matt, many of the moves Amaro made that you mention above in your comment are moves that turned out well, yes, but I'm not sure that is such a good barometer to use. Was it reasonable to expect that a 37 year old outfielder's defense would suddenly improve by 15 runs? Could you logically expect Pat Burrell would get hurt and then be replacement level? Was a good thought process behind giving a 45(?) year old pitcher a two year contract? Sure all those moves have been positive ones for the Phils so far, but I'm not so sure that, knowing what we knew at the time, we could have or even should have expected these outcomes as likely.
Well then, do tell DGBL, who else is a roid creation? You know, since you can tell just by looking.
Another comparable is the Travis Hafner extension. Hafner signed his extension in July of '07. At that point they had him locked up through the 2008 season, which is a similar if not exact the same time line to that of the Ortiz and Carpenter contracts.
The aspect of the deal that I keep coming back to is the timing. Howard was signed for another year and a half and not at a meager salary either. I don't see the logic behind signing him to a five year extension now that kicks in two seasons from now.
Not that strange a sound. I think most baseball fans can recognize it if they've been around a few decades.
I'm going with "everyone except Beckett" at this point.
A relief pitcher threw 100 pitches in the bullpen. If it wasn't the manager's fault then who's was it?
Its only 38 PA but he's got a .927 OPS, so that's something.
OK, fine, but Madden's ridiculous machinations had nothing to do with the Rays winning. Both Ortiz's and Beltre's hits were right at where the first and third basemen (respectively) would normally be positioned on those plays. Madden's moves were interesting, but I don't see how either one played a role in the Rays win.
I'm a huge Francona fan. I don't think there is a better manager in the big leagues.
Some people may remember Nomar (and Manny and Johnny D) in a negative way, but I certainly won't. I'll remember the best moments that all the players brought to me and other Red Sox fans. But, as Christina said earlier, that's only my two cents.
Could that be Wells plus the major league minimum for every other roster spot?
The second one.
That first paragraph was poetry, Christina. Thanks for that. That's what I'll remember too.
I think its a shame, Steven, that of all the great moments in his career, sulking Nomar is what sticks with you. The man was a great baseball player. He won't be a Hall of Famer, but he played up to that standard for more than a couple years. He had many great moments both at the plate and in the field and inspired a generation of young Red Sox fans in the process. For me, at least, what he did on the field over shadows his behavior off it.
True, and Bonds does all that except the "sit in the press box" part and the "waive to the fans" part.
I appreciate the insight, Joshua.
"Yet, we should keep in mind that with 30 teams, the average length of time between championships is 30 years."
The average of the numbers 1-30 isn't 30, its 15.5.
Oh, come on. This was some pretty non-partisan stuff. You need to relax a bit.
"Their offensive core is aging, increasing the risk of injury."
This line was under the Red Sox, but I think you meant to (or should have) placed it under the Yankees heading. The Red Sox "offensive core" off the top of my head would probably be Pedroia (26), Martinez (31), Ortiz (34), Youkilis (31), and Drew (34) for an average of 31 years old. The Yankees would be Posada (38), Jeter (36), A-Rod (34), Teixeira (30), and Cano (27) for an average age of 33 years old.
In this tough economy we should all be focused on job creation, and putting Scooter back to work as a stats intro guy (thing?) is a great idea.
MLB Network, like ESPN, is in the entertainment business, which is different than the baseball analysis business, apparently. Its why I come here and haven't been to ESPN's site in years (other than for fantasy football).
I'd love for one of the new generation of analytical BPers to take a rigorous look at this.
At least yours is on the way. Mine is still "not yet shipped."