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The strike zone has been terrible, and seems to have really neutered left handed hitters. I'm surprised that the hitters haven't taken up the balls/strikes call for computerized umpiring, or at least a challenge system similar to tennis. I would imagine that if you gave the pitcher and hitter one challenge each per PA (with a second one if you are right on the first), the strike zone would get fixed really fast. It says something that the biggest problem with that suggestion is that right now there would be a successful challenge on almost every single at bat which would slow the game down.
And this is just my perception, but a bigger strike zone would seem to favor the team with better pitchers who can utilize it. That call was being made in the A's/Tigers series as well, and while Jarrod Parker did okay with it, Justin Verlander was virtually unhittable popping 98mph gas 8 inches off the plate.
If the goal is to incentive winning, but not punish teams for the scarcity of wins and luck involved in fielding a successful team, why not make team ineligible to receive revenue sharing checks unless they make the playoffs at least once ever few years (say, 5-8 years).
Imagine if in 2014 the Orioles would not be eligible for revenue sharing checks for 3 years unless they made the playoffs by 2013. You would very likely see the Orioles try a lot harder (for at least a year or two) as they don't want to lose that money. It would probably encourage some teams to adopt a cycle of rebuilding/1-2 years shots at winning, but that is better than perpetual rebuiling by a lot of these teams.
Wow, great stuff Mike.
Interesting point about second baseman needing to be able to play SS. Is this why there are so few Chase Utleys and Rickie Weeks in the majors? The offensive skill has to be so overwhelming that a team is willing to take a chance on developing a pure second baseman as opposed to developing a utility player or saving 2B as a retirement position for an aging shortstops?
This seems like a great thing to do if you have a pitcher who is a stud hitter as well, like Yovani Gallardo. On his off days, bat him 1st for whatever pitcher is starting that day, then let the pitcher come out for the bottom half. You won't even have to worry about the pitcher's feelings as most pitchers don't care about hitting and they won't lose their chance at a W anyways.
Just awesome stuff, Mike. As BillJohnson indicated, I think a few baseball fans intuitively know that there is bias in the pitch calling, but this is stunning in the presentation of the data and explanation of the most important interaction of the game.
"American's are far too easily offended"
Also a criticism that Americans are uneducated. Don't know why I have that urge to 's when I pluralize nouns...
Funny stuff, I certainly didn't mind. Shoot, even had a disclaimer. It is a common criticism of the United States that American's are far too easily offended by "adult" subject matter.
Glad to have you along, Emma. Variety from the standard top 10 minor leaguers and how PECOTA is a little better than everything else is nice.
Evan Longoria at short? I think the Rays would be one of the only teams willing to try such a creative solution. Would be a nice data point in studying how players do when moving the other way on the defensive spectrum.
So if this round of voting isn't really progress, what is? The NL Cy Young was decisively won by the best pitcher. AL Cy Young won by the most deserving, while certainly overcoming a historical bias. Both MVP's were very worthy. I understand being disappointed with the downballot issues like Cano and Soriano, and the lack of robust support for Pujols and Longoria, but isn't reaching that place where Longoria finishes 3rd and Votto only eeks out Pujols the utopia? The end of progress?
I certainly agree with T. Kiefer that the voters are inconsistent with thier standards, but isn't that progress when the old sway was that the voters were consistently wrong with their standards?
As far as attribute adjustments in season, I would hope that would only affect the Garrett Jones and Gordon Beckhams of the world, guys who came out and were probably under attributed in the game but consistently played well. I doubt it would be something like making Chris Shelton an A for power cause he hit 10 HR's in April.
I would like to see them remove the "H/9" rating for pitchers in the game and replace it with a GB/FB rating instead. And make the ratio of strikes thrown more realistic. Despite slugging close to .600 in the game in RTTS, I still see close to 65-70% strikes. It makes it very hard to draw walks, as the computer really only throws balls with two strikes. I'll never forget the game that Daniel Cabrera threw me 14 strikes and 2 balls over 4 at bats, despite hitting 2 HR's off him in the first two at-bats.
That said, this series has overtaken Madden as the most realistic sports video game out there. Well done.
Ooh, let the Strasburg vs. Mauer vs. Longoria vs. Lincecum debate begin!
Good luck with that list, Kevin. It's going to be a tough one!
I would think Kershaw has a little skills consolidation to do before he becomes a true Cy Young competitor. He had an awfully low BABIP and HR/9, walked a lot of guys, and threw 171 MLB innings as a 21 year old.
That's not to say he is not one of the most talented pitchers in the game right now. The fact that it is even a reasonable discussion whether he is a CY front-runner speaks to his bright future.
I've said it before, that has to be the worst study Nate Silver has ever published. And this is from someone who is a very big fan of his work, both at BP and at fivethirtyseven. The sample size, self-selection biases, and quite simply overall methodology of that study are an example of hose how no study is better than a poor study in science.
I think this is the "laymen" argument most of us try to have. Personally, even an a recreational baseball player, I just don't see any way I don't become a "better" baseball player if I was stronger than I am now. If simply lifting weights helps someone become a better baseball player by making hem stronger (which I don't think is too controversial a statement), I don't see how taking steroids doesn't.
That's not to say, of course, that benching 400 pounds=MLB stud. But two equivalent 5 tool players, with one who never touches a weight during his development and one who works out like a maniac+ steroids? I think player #2 will be better.
I think you hit it right there, Kevin. It seems the Rays are looking to win titleS, not just go for it all now. But it's a valid point, look at the Phillies and Cole Hamels. He probably pitched too many innings last year, but hey, flags fly forever. Oh he's hurt right now? Well, maybe we can put a patch of our World Series Championship banner on his sling as motivation to get better. Definitely exposes the Ray's long term vs. short term valuations. I'm not saying I agree with it, though I definitely didn't have the knee-jerk "WTF?" as some have had.
See you guys tonight in Alameda, I'll be the 26 year old who looks like a kid in a candy store. Always a good time when you guys come out to the East Bay.
I think it is possible to be upset about multiple things in this situation. Caring that the law was broken does not mean I have to ignore the fact that one of my favorite players cheated (regardless of how that information was obtained). By that same token, I don\'t think A-Rod should go to jail, I don\'t even think he should be suspended. But I do think he deserves to lose endorsements, that he deserves the loss in revenue from jersey sales, and he deserves every last boo bird he receives in every ball park he visits. For those purposes, this information is very relevant (even if it was only \"partly\" true that steroids were illegal, whatever that means).
sorry, typo, meant #13 jersey
Passionate, biting, emphatic... all words I would use to describe this article.
Levelheaded... not so much.
Look, on a scale of 1-10, BP\'s commentary on PED\'s (and virtually every entities\' handling of it) has got to be a 9 as far as turning a blind eye. For such a loyal reader of BP, this is the only area I am shocked in its response.
Reading about this, I have yet to find a single article that has failed to mention that the tests were supposed to be anonymous, or giving a \"tough, he cheated\" spin to the positive test. The people I have talked to have all been quite balanced in their disdain for PED use as well as the shady nature of the government\'s actions. I\'ve seen many articles suggest that MLB at least tacitly encourage this, and point out that it looks like Jose Canseco might be right more than once thought. Maybe Yahoo and ESPN and the San Jose Mercury News have been outstanding in their coverage, but I don\'t see this media/public failure that Joe rails against.
\"I don\'t really care that Alex Rodriguez used steroids. There was a time, not very long ago, that I thought the issue of PEDs in baseball was overblown because use was overstated. Now, I think that use was common, with some significant number of players regularly using steroids in an effort to become better at that craft, and a larger number at least trying them out for a period of time. I remain skeptical that PED use is connected to performance in a way that warps the game, a conclusion supported by the evidence that proven use is mixed among hitters and pitchers, among good players and fringe ones, among the strong and the skinny.\"
So... it was overblown when it it wasn\'t used as much as thought, now its overblown because it was actually quite common? When would it not be overblown, then? And the best evidence for PED use not warping the game is that a wide variety of players tried it? I\'m sorry, isn\'t that evidence to suggest IT DOES work? I\'m not saying it does, but jeez, how can it be dismissed so flippantly?
As far whether we \"should\" know this info, that is very relevant in a court of law, but absolutely irrelevant in the court of public opinion. No one is saying Wheaties should wait until Michael Phelps is actually charged with a crime to drop him as a spokesman. There is a picture of him smoking weed, end of story (and maybe I don\'t care, but Wheaties does, and its their money). Maybe some don\'t care that A-Rod used drugs, and because of the circumstances he will face zero legal liability. But some do when deciding whether to purchase a #3 Yankees jersey.
I\'m sorry, I\'m starting to ramble. Its just that, reading this article and most of the accompanying comments, I wonder if the near-unison agreement is due to self selectiveness of the readership or a more dangerous Animal Farm-like chanting. Taking the extreme position in opposition to another extreme position is usually not the right position.
Uhh, I consider myself a \"real\" baseball fan and I want to know what the heck is going on. If nobody was covering this, would \"the media\" get skewered for not reporting important news? Man, you can\'t win if you are the media. Reporting information is a good thing. I believe in my capability to distinguish this from propaganda, don\'t prevent me from making that determination on my own, though.
When baseball was trying to \"turn the page\" on this, I think it was more towards putting the fact that they were willfully ignorant behind them. If baseball truly believed that a commissioned report and testing was going to make the issue of steroids go away entirely or make it a non-issue, that is pretty naive.
I would assume the MLBPA is fuming that the tests were not anonymous as promised. That is pretty shady on MLB\'s part.
I agree with 90% of the articles written here, with the huge exception for everything written on steroids and PED\'s. I give a little more credence to what Will says, but some of premises of the arguments I just don\'t agree with.
That being said, I\'ve been a premium subscriber since I was old enough to have a credit card... when it comes do baseball and cold hard facts, nobody does it better.
Never understood why the Cy Young is simply understood to be solely about individual achievement (even if it uses wins in its analysis), thus allowing players from non-playoff teams to win, while the MVP virtually requires the player to lead his team to the playoffs or blow away the field. I didn\'t think there was such a big difference between someone who is the \"best\" and someone who is the \"most valuable\".
Because those teams that would be interested in Holliday at that time would be in a higher stakes situation (i.e. in a playoff race). If you are the Tampa Bay Rays, and you are a game up on NY and BOS with two months left in the season, and you are still getting killed by LHP, I would think giving up someone like Reid Brignac (who probably will not get a chance in TB with Bartlett in front and Tim Beckham coming from behind) plus change is a good trade. Or if you are BOS, and JD Drew or David Ortiz gets hurt, you do the same thing with Bowden and perhaps a SS prospect in A ball. I wouldn\'t expect a \"Haren\" package, but I truly don\'t see a downside for the A\'s except the expense of having Holliday for at least half the season (and for once, its nice that the money doesn\'t seem to bother the A\'s).
Bruce is no longer considered a viable CF?